Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Murray Staycation 2010 – Day 4

I am not surprised in the least that Ella fell asleep within 5 minutes of us putting her to bed, and Joe wasn’t too far behind her. It was a busy day!

This morning started off nice and lazy. Ella slept from midnight until 9 am! That’s big news in our house! When she got up we had a nice relaxing breakfast as a family (sausage and eggs), then got ready to start our day. The air quality in DC was supposed to be really bad today (that basically means that with the heat mixed with the pollution, people shouldn’t really be outside actually breathing the air…ahhh, city life). So we explored all of our options and decided that we would spend the day downtown at the Museum of Natural History. Joe had never been and I hadn’t been since I first moved here, so it would be a great family outing.

It was hotter than ‘you know what’ outside, and the Lord was really watching out for us because we found a parking spot right on the mall RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the museum! If you’ve ever been to DC you know how amazing that is! We were so pumped! We headed inside and straight upstairs to the Butterfly Exhibit. Once again, the Lord was looking out for us because unbeknownst to us, Tuesdays the tickets to the butterfly exhibit are FREE! WOO HOO! Ella loved looking at all the butterflies. A couple of times they flew right past her and tickled her arm or face.

After the butterfly exhibit we toured the rest of the museum. Of course I had to see the Hope Diamond. And of course I had to get a picture of an Alexandrite (Katie Alexander…Alexandrite…get it?), which also happens to be Ella’s birth stone (coincidence? I think NOT).

We decided that since we were already downtown, we’d stroll next door to the Museum of American History and see what they had to offer. First stop…ice cream. Second stop…Julia Childs kitchen. We didn’t see every exhibit, but we hit a few of the highlights we thought Ella would enjoy. Her favorite, by far, was “America on the Move” which displayed several trains and cars. She loved each and every one of the trains. They even have an old subway that simulates a ride. Ella didn’t want to get off of that one. We also hit “Star Spangled Banner” where we sang the National Anthem while looking at the flag that actually inspired the writing of our National Anthem. It was amazing! We finished our trip with a stop at “Treasures of Pop Culture.” I thought there would be more things for Ella here, but unfortunately the only thing she recognized was this little guy.

Ella did NOT want to leave. She cried the whole way home and kept saying that she wanted to go to the store (apparently a museum is very similar to a store when you’re 3 years old) and she wanted to ride the train. Once we got home and turned on Dora she was fine. I’m confident that her little melt-down was because she was tired.

We finished up the day with dinner at our good friend, Beck’s house. Our other good friends, Jessica and Rob, and Beck’s friend Brian, joined us and we had a great time. Ella is really coming out of her shell! She wasn’t shy in the least at dinner. She happily sang for everyone and when we left she told each person goodbye. It was a great day!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Murray Staycation 2010 – Day 3

I didn’t post about day 2 because, honestly, not much happened. Joe had his fantasy football draft (can you hear the excitement in my voice) which lasted pretty much all day. This was the one event that was exempt from the “family” rule because it has been on the calendar for weeks. So he was allowed to go alone, and Ella and I stayed home. We just hung out, stopped by the grocery store, then came back home. We did go out to eat as a family to our favorite restaurant, Hana Tokyo.

Today Ella and I slept in while Joe got up early and took care of some family business. I mentioned our sleeping habits in the last post (ok, MY sleeping habits), but this time I’ll mention Joe’s. The good thing about me is that when Ella wakes up in the middle of the nights I have no problem going back to sleep. Joe, on the other hand, usually lays in bed for awhile and can’t fall asleep, then he decides to just get up and be productive. So this morning he was up around 6 and just stayed awake filing, doing bills, etc.

We took it easy this morning and just laid around the house until after lunch. Then, we decided to venture out to Potomac Mills (outlet malls) to see a movie and exchange a shirt. We walked around the main outlet mall for a few minutes, and got these pictures taken.

Ella wasn’t sure what to think of the photo booth, but Joe and I loved it.

After the mall we headed to the movie…Toy Story 3. We love that Ella can now sit through an entire movie! It’s nice and cool, but we’re still able to get out of the house. And Joe and I always end up enjoying the movie just as much as Ella does. She loved Toy Story 3 because it has a lot of toys that she recognizes…Barbie, Mr. Potato Head, a cowboy, a bear, etc. She talked a lot about those toys during the movie, and when any music would start playing Ella would start dancing in her seat.

While not overly exciting, it was a great day. So far Murray Staycation 2010 is a great success.