Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday, Brody!

 photo Brodyyear3_zps73fa1162.jpg


To my sweet baby boy,

I can't believe it has been 3 years since you looked like this:

 photo Week0.jpg

You were just the sweetest baby!  We all adored you...yes, we still do!  Last year when you turned two, you were still so quiet and just seemed to be observing everything around you.  We suspected you were learning language as you understood everything we told you and have always been a great listener and followed instructions well.  Then, one day at Target you just started speaking in little sentences, and now we are constantly amazed at the intelligent way you express yourself.  You fill our home with the sounds of your sweet voice and laughter.  Like your brother, you have a lot of very good common sense, and you also have a great sense of direction which should help you a lot in life.  Lately, you love to tell us how to get places in the car.  "Turn that way, Mommy!"  You definitely know how to get to your beloved Chick-fil-a.  One Saturday, we were going to the mall so we passed the exit that we usually take to go to Chick-fil-a, and you loudly protested that we were going the wrong way.  "No, Daddy, turn that way!"

 photo Brody16_zpsae1cad44.jpg
We just love your smiles and laughter!

You still love music, and yesterday, I enjoyed hearing you sing "Let It Go" (from Frozen) in the car.  Your favorite song is still "The B.I.B.L.E."

You still love your "toot toots," but you recently acquired a new fondness for Mickey.  Now when you wake up and come in our room in the morning, you immediately request to watch "Nickey's House."  Your favorite movies lately are the "Genii Genii" movie (Aladdin), "the snowman movie" (Frozen), and "panda panda" (Kung Fu Panda).  Like your big brother, you mostly like funny movies that make you laugh.  You are still a video game addict, and I am just so amazed at how well you play the games.  I sat and watched you playing Super Mario Bros. on the Wii one night for a few minutes, and you beat two levels.  You do not like when you get killed though.  One morning a few months ago, I was upstairs, and you were downstairs playing the Wii.  I suddenly heard a loud banging sound and then you screaming "Ahhhh!"  I snuck down the stairs and watched you (and I might have videoed you too!).  When you got killed in the game, you would bang the controller repeatedly on your little table in a fit of rage and then scream "Ahhhh!"  Once you had gotten your frustration out, you calmly continued the game.  Then, you would repeat the process.  Ha!  You've actually done better lately at controlling your temper.

 photo preschool25_zps62cf2e76.jpg
You love school and learning new things.

 photo Brody3_zps1af0f7a0.jpg
You still love those choo-choos. 

You have been learning so much lately...your colors, shapes, numbers, etc.  You love to tell us when to stop and when to go at stoplights or point out stop signs for us.  You know the stop sign is an octagon and sound so cute saying big words.  Your favorite color is still blue, but you know green, orange, and red pretty well. You have also been learning to use your manners a lot more.  When you ask for our help with something like playing one of your favorite games, you always says "Thanks" after we help you.  You are pretty good about saying "please" too although you do need reminding occasionally.

 photo Brody9_zps261ec39a.jpg
You actually don't use your little Elmo potty much anymore and do better using the big potty, but I thought this was a cute and fairly acceptable shot of you on your potty. 

 photo Brody8_zpsf30057bc.jpg
Silly boy!
You have been doing a fabulous job using the potty like a big boy and telling us when you have to go.  It is really Mommy and Daddy's fault that you are not yet wearing underwear as you are telling us you need to go all the time and rarely wet your pants anymore in the daytime and stay pretty dry at night too.  I think I can honestly say you have done as well potty training as your brother did, and I am so thankful I have had two easy potty training experiences.  You really trained yourself as you started asking to go on your own.  We are so proud of the big boy you are becoming and love when you proudly proclaim that you are a big boy.

You still love to eat and will basically eat ANYTHING!  You are definitely like your Mommy there.  We both know how to appreciate good food.  Your favorites are probably Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets, anything you can dip, and salad.  You still love to eat salad!

 photo Brody6_zps0bab86f8.jpg
Rocking out on the guitar. 

 photo Brody15_zpsc8af37d2.jpg
Being super silly in the bathtub is one of your favorite pastimes. 

 photo Brody12_zpsb0c88a6b.jpg
We just love your sweet face. 

 photo Brody1_zpsb7d64c92.jpg

We just can't believe how quickly you are growing up.  I look back at your pictures from the last three years, and I miss all of our happy times together.  You are still my sweet, cuddly baby boy who loves to snuggle with Mommy in the bed every night and just gives me the sweetest hugs and kisses.  You still adore your big brother "Edah" and, of course, your daddy.  You boys have so much fun together, and I look forward to watching all the fun you three will have in the years to come.  I anticipate you will be starting to play sports later this year and so much more.  Welcome to being a big boy, my sweet baby boy!

Love,

Mommy

 photo nametab_zps32a557cc.jpg

Thursday, April 24, 2014

America's Crown Jewels

To continue my post about the sights we enjoyed at the Natural History Museum, I just wanted to share one of my favorite exhibits.  Now, America isn't a monarchy so technically I guess we don't have crown jewels.  However, we do have a pretty impressive collection of gemstones that I think rival any nation's jewels.  Sorry, England, but I do think these gemstones are as impressive as some of your quite gaudy collection.  Ha!  This collection is more to emphasize the beauty of the natural formation of these wonderful works of natural art.  The sheer size and brilliance of some of these stones is just so breathtaking.  And yes, call me materialistic if you want, but I wouldn't mind one or two of these pieces in my own collection.

 photo Smithsonian44_zps0423ccf6.jpg


 photo Smithsonian42_zpsac31ec16.jpg
The Hope Diamond is the most famous piece of the collection, but I don't think it is the most impressive.  Apparently, it has been more modernly fitted into a setting very similar to the Titantic diamond.  The Hope Diamond is an impressive 45.52 carat blue diamond from India.  It is also surrounded by 16 white diamonds and hangs from a platinum chain bearing 46 more diamonds.   
 photo Smithsonian45_zps97fa639f.jpg
I began to have a love affair with aquamarines when my first son was born in March.  The beautiful light blue aquamarine is March's birthstone.  Eddie actually gave me a pendant for one of my first mother's days. The size and brilliance of this large aquamarine sculpture was breathtaking.  I had a really hard time capturing the beauty of these stones in their glass cases.  
 photo Smithsonian46_zps557aff3f.jpg
This beautiful American Golden Topaz gets the award for the largest cut gem in the collection and one of the largest in the world at over 22,000 carats! 
 photo Smithsonian47_zps5f83b091.jpg  photo Smithsonian48_zps848898f0.jpg
Beautiful yellow diamond necklace, earrings, and ring...I'll take two please!  ;-) 

 photo Smithsonian49_zps58e5daa8.jpg photo Smithsonian51_zps936e9182.jpg
A gorgeous emerald pendant. 

 photo Smithsonian52_zps9735298b.jpg photo Smithsonian53_zpsfda38d12.jpg
Quite possibly my favorite single piece in the collection although the picture does not do it justice.  It is actually a blue emerald cut aquamarine and is just such a clear blue color.  The picture just makes it look more green. 
 photo Smithsonian54_zps3fc408a5.jpg
Some dazzling Harry Winston diamonds, anyone?  There are 325 diamonds in this platinum necklace weighing 131.4 carats.  Yes, designed by none other than Harry Winston himself. 
 photo Smithsonian56_zps484ab9a4.jpg
The Pearson Diamond is a 16.72 carat nearly flawless, colorless diamond from South Africa. 
 photo Smithsonian58_zps7250aa7b.jpg
A Blue Heart Diamond ring weighing 30.62 carats from South Africa.

 photo Smithsonian62_zpsdf600e6c.jpg photo Smithsonian63_zps0ab8917d.jpg


 photo Smithsonian64_zpsa085863a.jpg photo Smithsonian65_zps9a6b9262.jpg
Another of my favorite pieces.  I just love the color of champagne diamonds. 

 photo Smithsonian66_zps68d4cf33.jpg photo Smithsonian67_zps753e8b47.jpg


 photo Smithsonian68_zps29345609.jpg photo Smithsonian69_zps761c8356.jpg
I don't think the picture of this uncut and cut diamond does it justice.  The cut diamond is the largest cut diamond in the collection.  Way bigger than the Hope Diamond at 127 carats. 

 photo Smithsonian70_zps28d8470d.jpg photo Smithsonian71_zpsc1b552de.jpg
Alexandrites are another of my favorite stones for their ability to change from purple to blue.  They are one of June's two birthstones.  My mom was born in June, and she gave me a beautiful Alexandrite ring that she brought back from overseas.  

 photo Smithsonian73_zpsae91181b.jpg
Trying to get Evan to cooperate for a picture in front of this large piece of quartz. 
 photo Smithsonian74_zps6550a22c.jpg
I would just be content with this "little" aquamarine for Mother's Day this year.  Hint Hint! 
 photo Smithsonian76_zps97467693.jpg
A Wall of Gold!
 photo Smithsonian77_zps2aae5109.jpg
Even some from NC. 

 photo nametab_zps32a557cc.jpg

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

One of our first stops on our Spring Break adventures was this museum.  Anyone who knows Evan knows that one of his first loves is dinosaurs.  This museum boasts the bones of a real Stegosaurus, which is Evan's favorite dinosaur (nope, not the T-Rex!).  He thinks Stegosaurus is just super cool with his bony protective plates and spiky tail and that Stegosaurus could protect itself from mean ol' T-Rex.  This museum boasts many interesting sights, but there was one special exhibit that really caught our attention.  The day before our museum tour, they had just delivered the nation's FIRST T-REX!!!  Yep, Mr. T-Rex had arrived from Montana where he had been discovered and previously on display and was being unpacked while we were there.  Now, unfortunately, it will be a lengthy process of actually getting Mr. T.Rex on display.  5 years people!!!  Apparently, every piece will have to be carefully inspected and photographed before it is repackaged and sent offsite to be mounted for display.  I guess we'll be making another trip in 2019 to check on him.  After a brief stop to watch the museum scientists' progress on Mr. T.Rex, we enjoyed touring some parts of the rest of the museum. I will likely have to break this post into two parts so we don't overload the system with all the photos we took.

 photo DC5_zpsbb4d52df.jpg
This is the building housing the museum.  It is the same Greek/Roman style as many of the buildings on the National Mall. 

 photo Smithsonian2_zps4415ded6.jpg
There was also an IMAX movie and a live butterfly pavilion exhibit.  We were going to pay to see the butterflies, but the boys were tired and hungry by the time we saw the rest of the museum. 

 photo Smithsonian3_zps5060be45.jpg
I thought this sign showing the museum's name as also the National Museum of Man was kind of funny. 

 photo Smithsonian4_zps2e9381e9.jpg
If you have seen the movie "Night at the Museum," you may recall the rotunda of this museum with the giant elephant in the center. 

 photo Smithsonian5_zps5770ab16.jpg
My boys are ready to explore. 

 photo Smithsonian6_zpsc9648e4d.jpg
This was where Mr. T-Rex was being unpacked. 

 photo Smithsonian7_zps932faf66.jpg
This is a little of the story behind the T-Rex. 

 photo Smithsonian8_zpsd4467de3.jpg
The long arduous task of unpacking begins.  

MORE DINOSAURS!
*Apparently, it is a very good thing we got to see all of these fossils because as of April 27, 2014, the exhibits will be closing until 2019 for renovations.  Yikes!

 photo Smithsonian21_zps27bb82dd.jpg

 photo Smithsonian24_zps174910e5.jpg
Apparently, before there were "triceratops" there were centrosaurines with only one horn on their heads. 

 photo Smithsonian22_zps91eb7786.jpg
And then, they grew two horns.  I think they were called Diceratops or something like that. 

 photo Smithsonian23_zps2d00be63.jpg
And finally, they grew that third horn to become our beloved Triceratops.  

 photo Smithsonian25_zps2174df38.jpg
Camptosaurus Dispar

 photo Smithsonian26_zps6005159c.jpg
And Evan's beloved Stegosaurus.  I can say the dinosaur exhibit was a bit crowded as it was Spring Break for many school kids in the country.  

 photo Smithsonian27_zps31f46b4e.jpg
By this point, this was about the only thing that could coax a smile out of this boy.  Evan and his beloved stegosaurus...we affectionately call him "Steggie."  

 photo Smithsonian28_zpsa576825e.jpg
Isn't he cute?  Haha!

 photo Smithsonian29_zps202077d5.jpg
And Evan with the recreation of how Steggie may have looked millions of years ago. 

 photo Smithsonian30_zps149d6a53.jpg
And there must be a stand in for the real Mr. T Rex, of course. 

ICE AGE MAMMALS!

If  you love the "Ice Age" movies, you may recall some of these species.  My boys love those movies so we have seen them many times!

 photo Smithsonian31_zpsd694b94b.jpg
I remember this slow moving creature in the procession of animals moving to avoid the coming Ice Age in the movie. 

 photo Smithsonian33_zps2fd8b24d.jpg
The period before the Ice Age and after the dinosaurs was a time for land grazing mammals like this one. 

 photo Smithsonian32_zps17cee013.jpg
This could have been like a little sheep. 

 photo Smithsonian34_zps608309e8.jpg
Early zebras

 photo Smithsonian35_zpsce42749f.jpg

 photo Smithsonian36_zps50b0b98d.jpg
A giant sloth...or as I like to call him "Sid."  

 photo Smithsonian37_zps3a2673e3.jpg
I think this is a giant anteater.  Yikes! 

 photo Smithsonian38_zpse70fcc24.jpg
Another one I remember from the movie.  I think this group was a funny mom and dad with their kids in the animal procession. 

 photo Smithsonian39_zps1866427a.jpg
Diego the sabertooth

 photo Smithsonian41_zpsdbc6c3b8.jpg
And the star, Manny the Mammoth
 photo Smithsonian40_zpsbad0297d.jpg
The boys had to have their picture with Manny. 

 photo Smithsonian9_zps2f7d081d.jpg
Brody enjoyed seeing all of the taxidermy animals. 

 photo Smithsonian11_zps7f04c67e.jpg
American Bison

 photo Smithsonian12_zps9bc54cf1.jpg
We love our wolves, of course.  Go Wolfpack! 

 photo Smithsonian14_zps470a191c.jpg
Evan and Brody almost got eaten by a big bear! 

 photo Smithsonian15_zpsba929f49.jpg
This big polar bear was pretty intimidating looking down at us. 

 photo Smithsonian16_zps3114fb71.jpg
And those carnivorous carnivores. 

 photo Smithsonian17_zps6e60ab8d.jpg
This was another fun exhibit that reminded us of another favorite movie series, Madagascar.  I don't know if the museum planned it, but they had the main characters from the movie on display together.  This would be Gloria the Hippo. 

 photo Smithsonian18_zps4e75e6a7.jpg
Melman the Giraffe. 

 photo Smithsonian19_zps1aaff54c.jpg
Marty the Zebra

 photo Smithsonian20_zps0bc89782.jpg
Yikes!  That leopard got his dinner. 

AND MUMMIES TOO!

 photo Smithsonian78_zps493cef39.jpg
We especially enjoyed this exhibit as it sort of made up for the last time we saw mummies when we couldn't take pictures at Discovery Place at home. 

 photo Smithsonian79_zpse527e244.jpg
One of the mummy's coffin. 

 photo Smithsonian80_zps8be9dc27.jpg
Some of the ornately carved and painted burial masks that are supposed to ensure the dead can be whole again in the afterlife. 

 photo Smithsonian82_zpsd947e81b.jpg
Evan finally got his picture made with a real mummy. 

 photo Smithsonian83_zps0c2f6466.jpg
And just in case you needed proof of its authenticity. 

 photo Smithsonian84_zps923ce2ed.jpg
So freaky how much this mummy was intact after well over 2,000 years. 

 photo Smithsonian85_zpsbee40880.jpg
This one was pretty sad.  

 photo Smithsonian86_zps1799987d.jpg
Sweet little boy.  What could have happened to him? 

 photo Smithsonian87_zpsedeac55b.jpg
This is a mold of what his face may have looked like using facial reconstruction technology.   What a cutie! 

 photo Smithsonian88_zpsab8282ed.jpg
The x-ray and CT scans of his skull. 

 photo Smithsonian89_zpscce18175.jpg
And yes, his bones put him right about Brody's age. 

 photo Smithsonian90_zps0dca187a.jpg
This sweet little boy was about the same age as my sweet little boy! 
Sorry to end that on a sad note, but it really is a very interesting museum!

 photo nametab_zps32a557cc.jpg

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails