A quick trip to DC (and also down memory lane...or something)

Wednesday, September 16

So it turns out that life as an attending is pretty amazing for many reasons, one of which is that your hours of work per week are closer to 40 than 80 (WHAT?!) and you occasionally get days off during the week which means that you can plan impromptu trips to DC just for the heck of it. 


So, all that to say that Monday morning we packed our bags and got in the car and headed North. Two and a half hours later we arrived in DC (to a hotel in Dupont to be specific), and my heart was full and happy and I felt like I was home. You live somewhere for eight years and that sort of happens...it feels like home, right?  Except it turns out that if you live there eight years as a DINK (that's DUAL INCOME NO KIDS in case you don't know) and return with your one baby and one crazy toddler, you may be unfamiliar with which attractions are kid friendly and which Metro stops have good elevators, but HEY. Also, related: NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU ANYMORE. 

The sad reality is that I returned to DC as a boring old mom. Yup. Our first day there, we checked into the hotel and then took Metro down to Chinatown. We walked to Matchbox for lunch, the first restaurant I ever visited in DC, and still my favorite. By sheer coincidence, they seated us as the exact table I sat at for my very first visit, and also the table I sat at for my third date with Jared. I asked our twenty-something waitress to take our picture. Clark was screaming because he wanted apple juice. Henry was crying because he wanted LEFT BOOB. Jared was annoyed that I wanted a picture and I was trying to pose in a way that made me look skinny. And the waitress? Looked annoyed. Trying to diffuse her annoyance by telling her the story about how it was special to return to our special table with our two babies only served to make her more annoyed and even though I didn't actually see it (because I was in high-level hostage negotiations with my toddler),  I'm positive she rolled her eyes at me. 

Then. We decided to walk down toward The White House, and past The Treasury. When we got to the gate that is between Treasury and the East Wing of The White House, I stopped and showed Jared. I reminisced about walking through the gate to get to work every day and about how much I loved that job. I told Jared, for the tenth time maybe?, the story about the time I walked into work and a family had their face pressed up against the gate looking in. About how when I showed my badge and the gate opened, the mom proclaimed. "Look kids! A real live worker! Let's watch where she goes!" I told Jared about how the memory always stuck with me because it was a reminder of how lucky I was to work there. And then, as my happy memories were swelling up inside me and threatening to spill over, I wheeled my stroller toward that gate and walked toward the entrance, calling a flippant, "Jared take my pic!" behind me. 

BUT. Then a Secret Service agent appeared and firmly instructed me to turn around and walk away. And I was genuinely confused and told him, "But you don't understand. I used to work here! Every day! I just want a picture to remember." And he totally didn't give a crap. He looked at me like I was a liar. Or crazy. Or both. NO SYMPATHY. And he told me again to step away. As in, "Ma'am, I've already warned you once." 

And then some 24 year old girl walked up in her heels and cute little figure and cheap suit (we were all there at 24, it's fine) and scanned her badge and breezed in. She didn't even notice me. And that's when I had the realization that I'm totally irrelevant. No one cares about me.  I'm a washed up mom that may as well be from Iowa and drive a minivan. But then Clark started yelling at me that he needed his WA-WA. And so I realized I'm still important, but it's totally different. And that was its own epiphany I suppose. Isn't Clark sweet to remind me in that moment?

Also I realized that cute flats no longer cut it in the city, particularly when pushing a giant double stroller. And so, not only am I a boring, irrelevant mom, but I also now own THESE: 

PRAY FOR ME. I feel I've passed for point of no return.  But my feet feel amazing. 

Related confession: I secretly daydream about owning a minivan.

{almost} Sweater Weather

Wednesday, September 9

I found out I was pregnant with Henry on April 1st.  I was wearing shorts and a tank top the day I found out.  Henry was born on December 1st.  I wore shorts and a tank top to the hospital the night I went in to deliver.  I spent my entire pregnancy trying to survive the hot weather, never once  needing so much as a light sweater to keep warm, and all things considered there are far worse things in the world, but let it be known that I hated it.  Also.  We lived in San Antonio for four years, and the times I needed a jacket (let alone a full on coat) could probably be counted on one hand.  We HATED it.  San Antonio is like one LONG, relentless, hellish summer.  No one escapes her evil wrath, and by November you feel like you're going to scream if the temperature doesn't just freaking drop to below 90 for ONE DAY.  In my opinion.  The lack of seasons or cool weather was totally depressing and we are so glad to be back NORTH!  And EAST!

Last Saturday night we went to a concert on Yorktown Beach.  The Virginia Orchestra was playing.  Everyone brought chairs and blankets and picnic baskets.  It was a beautiful evening.  The sun went down, the music was playing, we were drinking our wine, and all of a sudden I got a chill.  Did ya' hear?


Like, the air got down into the sixties, there was a breeze coming off of the water, and I got chilly.  The feeling was so foreign to me that I looked up in surprise and suddenly noticed people around me WEARING SWEATERS AND JACKETS.  I'm not lying when I say that the euphoria I felt at that moment rivaled the happiness I felt meeting my children.  Like, OHMYLORD, nice to see you again, cool weather.  Don't mind if I DO enjoy having a non-sweaty body for five seconds.   I looked at Jared and said, "Oh my gosh, can you feel that cool breeze?" And he responded, "Yes and I just decided that I'm never going to wear a winter coat all year.  I want to freeze my butt off and it's going to be amazing."

The next morning I put some chili in the crock pot, and who cares if it ended up being 92 degrees that day?  The promise of cool weather on the horizon was enough.  We've been shopping for sweaters and boots and all the things that are complete wastes of money in San Antonio.  I have a stack of soup recipes waiting to be tested.  A list of orchards waiting to be visited.  My Starbucks hand is ready for a pumpkin latte, and not even an iced kind this time.  GIVE IT TO ME HOT. We are ready for you, fall.  

Give us your best shot.

Settling In

Monday, August 24

Clark is two.  TWO!  Except he's actually been two for awhile now, and sadly, I just wrote his birthday letter a few nights ago, so that's a pretty good indication of how things have been around here.


We moved back at the end of June, and now two months later, we are finally starting to feel settled.  The past two months have been a whirlwind.  Jared graduated from Residency.  We sold one house (by owner!).  We bought another house (sight unseen!).  We moved across the country.  Jared started his new job.  Henry's been in the hospital and we subsequently have been dealing with his new health issues. And somewhere in the midst of everything, Clark became a big boy, and Henry became a full on chubby baby.  Two years and three months, and eight months old, and I'm in heaven.  I LOVE this stage for both of them.  Clark couldn't be any more entertaining than he is.  He dances and laughs and is full of joy all the time.  He's learned to spell his name, and does it again and again (and again and again).  He's learned how to spell N-A-P (whoops), and can count to twenty.  He's learned his shapes and colors and is starting to recognize words.  He generally loves his brother and gives him lots of kisses, but ONLY when he thinks we aren't watching.  He's also learned how to say, "Dada come home!" anytime he's in trouble with me.  Ha!  He's the most confident little toddler I've ever seen.  He just pumps his little arms and just walks around and talks to people and is generally the most fun person I've ever known.

Henry has got to be the happiest baby that's ever lived.  He wakes up with a smile on his face and goes to bed with a smile on his face.  This boy cries maybe two times...per week.  Maybe.  He's just full of joy and happiness.  He loves strangers and rewards any and all attention from them with smiles and cooing and requests to be picked up by said strangers.  He sits and plays on his own, just started crawling, and loves to clap his hands and play Pat-a-Cake.  He can often be found staring adoringly at Clark while Clark is playing a game.  These two have taken to sitting inside of Clark's play tent, where I find Clark jumping dramatically on top of his stuffed bear while Henry laughs and laughs and laughs at him.  I don't want to rush these ages at all, but I find myself looking forward to the near future when they can play with each other even better.  

As far as his health, Henry is doing well.  So many people have asked, and I'm so thankful for everyones thoughts and prayers!  He is on a new medicine that seems to be working much better for him.  He will get the remainder of his immunizations this week, which will be the real test for us to see if the medicine is truly working.  We hope so.  Knowledge is power, and we feel great going forward with a plan for him.  He's just the sweetest little baby.

For my part, I love Virginia.  We really couldn't be happier here.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous here, and I can actually walk outside with the boys in the mornings without dying of heat exhaustion! The nights are beautiful and bring lightning bugs and cooling breezes.  We live in a much smaller town than we came from, and I have surprised myself by loving it.  There's something to do practically every night of the week, mostly geared toward families.  I've lost count of the number of times we have taken a blanket, some snacks and some wine and listened to live music with the boys at various parks and beaches. Everywhere you look here, there is history.  Markers along the highways, Civil War Battlefields along the side of the road, history plaques everywhere.  The park by our house is filled with Civil War encampment sites. Colonial Williamsburg is 20 minutes away, and a gorgeous, quiet beach is 20 minutes the other direction.  Our neighborhood is full of small kids, and there's paved trails all through our neighborhood that we use every day. We have new neighbors with three kids, one Clark's age and one Henry's. All this to say....we are very content right now. I miss my friends in San Antonio so very much, but I know that this is the life we signed up for, and so this is just how it is. I'm constantly grateful for modern technology so I can keep in touch with my sweet friends. 

Life is good right now. We are happy. That's what I'm saying.