Monday, March 31, 2008

Part one: Capitol Building and Library of Congress

Lillian on the metro.

If you go to your congressperson's website, you can order tickets for various tours throughout the city. We got tickets to the Congress building and the Library of Congress.

The above picture is in the Rotunda in the Capitol building. This room is "The Peoples' Room" and it tells the story of the American continent in eight or so large murals. Above is the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a scene which never actually took place in real life; the document was signed over a period of months as it was taken around to the various colonies. The artist simply took likenesses of all the signers and painted them in.

These are the phones right outside where the newspaper men are always running to report big headlines from the floor.

The Library of Congress is a beautiful building and worth seeing, but not so much with a toddler. The building is very ornate and the tour guide wanted to tell us about every little detail. Lillian was not so much interested in learning about the statue of nine muses as she was in touching every little piece of tile in the mosaic floor.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Pictures to follow; we didn't bring our camera wire. As most of you know, we're vacationing on the East Coast. We spent about a week in Maryland with Austin and Chantel having fun and laughing with their two kids. Lillian loved Soren and followed him around all day. It was pretty mutual until Soren got tired of all the love. We explored all over DC and are totally pros at the metro system.

Tyler's favorite memory of DC: Soren was saying family prayers and half-way through the usual "bless mommy and daddy" he starts saying in a completely different, high-pitched voice, "I'm an alley cat, I'm an alley cat," and started dancing his cat stuffed animal around.

Amanda's favorite memory: We were getting ready to go watch Chantel perform, I came upstairs and was puttering around waiting to get the show on the road. Owen walks over and asked why people wear see-through pants. I look at Austin to see if this is some sort of family joke and he looks at me like "I have no idea what he's talking about." We finally figure out that he was referring to my nylons.

We left and drove up the coast through Pennsylvania (Philadelphia is totally overrated) and Amish country where we found out that the fancy candle maker no longer makes fancy candles, a devastating blow, and bought some black raspberry jam made by real Amish people. We drove through New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut before reaching our current destination of Boston.

Here are some highlights:

While driving through New York, Tyler exclaims "Wow, New York is ugly!"

We've found that most driving rules like 'stop at red lights,' 'stay in one lane,' and 'cross at designated crosswalks' simply don't apply here in Boston. Instead, they have a lot of extra rules like 'honk immediately as soon as the light turns green,' 'hazard lights mean you can park anywhere, including the middle of road,' and 'if necessary, extra lanes can be created by driving into oncoming traffic.' Also, every intersection has at least five streets coming together. Some go through, some don't, some are one way, and all are ambiguously labeled, if labeled at all.

We've been here for a few days and we've been all over. We walked the freedom trail and saw Paul Revere's house, the site of the Boston Massacre, the old North Church, and the church where they sat and waited for word to start the Boston Tea Party (along with 500 graveyards and/or churches.) We also saw (my favorite) the U.S.S. Constitution, also known as "Old Ironsides." We also decided that Boston has the first of everything: first hotel, first tavern, first statehouse, first public park, first school, first port. And they all have their own plaque. Tyler's favorite was our tour of Fenway Park where we saw the green monster and sat in the original hundred-year-old bleachers. We also really liked the Duck tour where they take you around the city and into the Charles river in a WWII amphibious car. Our tour guide was hilarious and we had a lot of fun, even if it was only in the high thirties today.

Lillian had a breakdown today; her first of the whole trip. I think it was the cold the finally got to her. We had just finished our tour of Fenway Park and were trying to figure out how we were going to get across town to the childrens' museum (which was fabulous if you are ever in the area). It was windy and in the high 30s, and she all-of-a-sudden lost it.

We're leaving tomorrow after visiting Walden pond and Louisa May Alcott's house. I'll post pictures probably Monday or so.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not distracting at all.

Our lives have been so busy. Between papers, projects, finals, studying, and research our lives are consumed by school. Lillian does not like it when we study, as you can probably guess. So, after a lot of headaches and trial and error, Tyler and I came up with a study schedule where we have specific times set aside where one parent will parent and the other can study.

This was last Saturday when it was my turn to study.

It wasn't distracting at all.

Monday, March 03, 2008

We have a climber

We had our quarterly meeting with Lillian's teacher at her day care. She put it best when she said that Lillian is exhibiting "limit-testing behaviors." One of those limits she's testing is how high she can climb on the desk chair. One day when I'm not looking, she's going to go over the top.
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