I love to talk to little man when I take him to school in the mornings. Obviously because he's my son, but mainly because you never know what he's gonna say. Case in point:
This morning for instance, I tried my hand getting him to see things in different perspectives. We were driving by a pond and I accidentally called it a lake. But that got me thinking...how he views a tiny puddle is different than how an ant would view that same puddle. Seemingly pointless information, but it may give him something to think about; analytical thinking is high on my importance list for him. So the conversation went as follows:
Me: "Declan? Did you ever think about how a small puddle would look to an even smaller ant?"
Me: "Well...let's say you're standing near a tiny puddle. And because you're so big, it's just a tiny puddle, right?"
Declan: "Yeah. Because I'm sooo big and the puddle is sooo small."
Me: "Now, let's say a tiny little ant walked up and stood at that same puddle. What do you think he would see instead of a tiny little puddle?"
Declan: "He'd see me standing at the puddle."
Thanks honey. I love you.
I thought it was to be an ordinary day, but alas, I found myself destroying the Dallas Cowboys, rescuing a US Embassy from terrorists, spelunking for hidden treasure, and rescuing a princess from the clutches of a giant evil dragon-king after getting sucked down a pipe.
I love online Nintendo Games.
[posted by Zach]
Tonight is the weekly, ever-anticipated Family Fun Night here at the Swarr household.
After we got home we made dinner and decided to play a board game while we ate. The game's called Frustration. It's a knock of the Milton Bradley game, Trouble. We just got it this past weekend at a consignment shop and little man loves it.
So there we were, playing and munching on the living room floor, when the smallest of our number began to wiggle around with his legs crossed. Maribeth, using her acute powers of observation asked, "Declan, do you need to go to the potty?"
"Mm hmm," was little man's reply. And with that he stood up and ran off to the bathroom.
We could hear everything from where we were. We heard the seat lift, his pants unsnap and get pulled down. The 4 second stream of whiz...
Then...Silence. A good 6 seconds of silence.
"Whaaat?" came a little sing-song voice.
"What are you doing?"
"Um. Washing my hands," he said with a hint of that oh-crap-I'm-busted tone.
"I didn't hear the sink," Maribeth said as she got up and made her way to the bathroom, "did you wash your hands in the potty?"
"Um. Mm hmm," was his meek response.
"C'mon. Over to the sink. You have to wash your hands," Maribeth said.
"...but I already did..."
I love Family Fun Night.
Last night was Family Fun Night at the Swarr household. We've been very good about taking every Wednesday and spending time as a family; either playing board games, watching movies, or going somewhere. The other thing about Family Fun Night is that Lil Man gets to sleep in our bed. It's a lot of fun and he absolutely loves it.
Last night we got food from Isaac's, rented Charlotte's Web and hung out upstairs. After getting ready for bed (teeth, jammies and stories), the lights went off and it was time to sleep.
I was lying facing away from Declan and trying to relax and Little Man was curled up behind me facing toward me. I was lying there and eventually I started to feel little Declan feet pressing on my butt. I asked him to stop and he didn't. I told him to stop and he didn't. So, like a responsible father I made a little push against his feet with my butt and I made a fart noise (with my mouth, of course).
Naturally, this prompted Little Man to push harder on my butt with his feet and every time he did, naturally I made another fart noise. He kept giggling, so, of course I kept doing it. Then he started to make fart noises. And before we knew it, the two of us are making fart noises and giggling in bed like a couple of three year olds...
Then, as if she was actually trying to sleep, we got a groggy, "OK. It's time to relax, boys" from Maribeth's side of the bed.
So, after a couple more giggly fart noises from both of us and another 'reminder' from Maribeth, we eventually calmed down.
Silent. Relaxed. Ready to sleep.
Then I felt two little fingers 'walk' up my back, down my shoulder, across my neck and up to my ear. I feel them 'squat' and then Little Man lets loose a fart noise and giggles.
I chuckled and turned to him and said, "OK, buddy. Let's sleep now."
I smiled and rolled back over. Beaming with pride.
I love cartoons. I grew up with my eyes glued to the TV every chance I got. I grew up watching the greats like Transformers, He-Man, Centurions, GI Joe, Inhumanoids, Smurfs, Snorks, TMNT, Robotix, blah blah blah...I could go on and on and on.
I still watch cartoons. I LOVE them. I even watched them when watching cartoons wasn't cool...in high school.
I'd come home and devour them. To the point, I must say, I watched Bonkers, Talespin and Goof Troop. On the other end of the spectrum, there were really good cartoons in the 90s. Batman: The Animated Series, The Tick, Tiny Tunes, Gargoyles, Animaniacs, Darkwing Duck, etc...
I must say, with few exceptions, one cartoon of that era stood out. Well above the rest. Maybe not in an animation sense, but the writing, voice acting and overall story arc was phenomenal. I'm speaking of Mighty Max. That blasted cartoon was amazing! Max, Virgil and Max's guardian, Norman. For an episode listing go here.
One of the things I love to do is gather up old cartoons I used to watch. Ask Maribeth, I have VHS tapes of Hulk Hogan's Rockin' Wrestling, DVDs of Gummi Bears, Transformers, Gi Joe, etc...
So, I find it only natural to buy Mighty Max on DVD. The entire series (even if it is only 2 seasons). I want it.
But I can't get it. It doesn't exist.
During the days of potty training, we found that a little incentive goes a long way. One of those incentives was that Lil Man could pick out some underwear with his favorite cartoon characters on it. I forget the circumstances why, but I ended up going to Kmart and grabbing a bunch of underwear while Lil Man was at home with Mommy. In all of my geeky dad wisdom, I got him Spider-Man, Superman and, of course...Transformers Animated.
Over time, they became just any old underwear, but recently he's been taking a liking to the Transformers underwear (let me wipe my tear of joy).
This morning, however he only had Spider-Man and Thomas undies to wear...but wait! Mommy just moved a load of laundry over to the dryer. He's a Lil Man on a mission.
FINALLY!! The treasure hunter found his booty!
Good job, Little Buddy!
This blog is a place for family updates and recording some of Declan's day to day life. It was never intended to be a place of ranting or raising controversy. However, there is something I have been aching to get off my chest. It involves politics, so if you don't care to hear yet another political rant, read no further.
Here's my beef. Everyone knows that politicians are generally sleazy or unlikable in their own way. It takes a certain type of person to be a politician, and generally, that type of person has traits people don't like (generally, not always). It could be that he or she is a bit too good at schmoozing, or uses language that is far too antagonistic. Maybe he or she doesn't value the bonds of marriage or has simply said something once that annoyed you. This is nothing new.
What is bothering me most about our current election season is not the candidates themselves though. It is the American people. The outlets available for political discussion reflect truly pathetic conversation. Reported news is almost always biased, but that is not entirely new either. The internet has opened a new avenue for a very diverse nation to reach out to each other, discuss their views on our nation's future, and help each other make informed decisions.
Or so one would think.....
I have yet to find a single source of opinion and discussion that is intelligent, factual, and non-accusatory all in one. Readers leave comments to berate biased news articles, only to use name calling tactics themselves. Is this seriously the best our country has to offer? I do not believe that all internet users are uninformed, socially inept, name callers. That being said, why can't I find any intelligent conversation?!
Granted, there is nothing wrong with an old fashioned, person-to-person political conversation, but we are so limited if we converse no further than our own back yards! I am so incredibly frustrated by people who accuse and refuse to listen. Please, America, can't we have some intelligent, kind conversation on who we think the best presidential candidate is and why??? I have my mind made up on the matter, but that does not mean that I don't respect those that support the other guy. We are all entitled to our opinions, but we are NOT entitled to act like children and treat each other like garbage simply because we have not come to the same conclusion on who should lead the country. If you want me to change my mind, send over some well-informed, well-thought out information. Calling me stupid will not help your cause, I promise.
As most of you know, Zach is going back to school. He actually started last week, and we are slowly getting into the groove of this new adventure.
One of the benefits of Zach's endeavor is that I get Declan all to myself one night a week. To be quite honest, this is the perfect medicine for whatever ails me. Declan and I have a really great time when it is just the two of us, and it makes me feel more connected to him after spending 10 hours a day apart.
Last night was the first of these nights, so I decided Declan and I should have our own little celebratory dinner together. When I mentioned that we were going to go somewhere special for dinner, he immediately shouted for joy 'old macdonalds!!' as he calls it. I tried to say that, no, this was not what I had in mind, but whining ensued. To avoid any further grating on my nerves, I calmly explained to him how important it is to put good stuff in our bodies.
"But Mommy, chicken nuggets are good stuff. I eat them at school."
"Yes, and they're ok every once in a while, but they are not the best for us. We need to put fresh food, like vegetables and fruit into our bodies."
He agreed, so I took him to the Chocolate Cafe and ordered us each a peanut butter chocolate banana panini. Yes, he was bouncing off the walls all night, but at least his dinner was all organic. Right?
I thought I'd post the two newest Marine Corps commercials for your viewing pleasure. Courtesy of the Our Marines website.
This first one was from January and it is entitled Marines Across America. A portion of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team traveled to fifteen sites across America to film this one.
This one is the newest of the Marine Corps commercials, called 'Leap'. It just aired in June and it tells the story of Staff Sergeant Hill, now a Senior Drill Instructor at MCRD Parris Island. Please follow this link to read more. It's worth it.
Also, check back soon, I'm working on a few posts about my experience in the Marine Corps from start to finish. For starters, take a look at this commercial...the one I remember.
I've decided to start slow this semester to ease into things and I'm only taking 3 classes, two of which are online. I think this is a good move since I have a tough time getting into the mindset that I am a student. Those that can recall, I was not the most engaged student in high school.
The other thing I have to get used to is that all of the students at school are 10 years younger than me and the faculty at HACC deals with them day in and day out. Case in point:
I went to the campus today to pick up a few books. Not having a student ID yet, I went to the Student Services desk and decided to ask the lady (a non-student) a question...
me: Ok, question: Do I need a student ID to buy books from the book store?
lady: Well I'm not sure. Can I have your student ID?
me: Sure, it's Hxxxxxxxx.
lady: Can I see it?
me: Can you see what?
lady: Your student ID, I want to make sure it's correct.
me: What? I-I just gave it to you. Hxxxxxxxx.
lady: I know but I want to make sure you're giving me the correct number.
me: What? That's the number I use to log in online, correct?
lady: That's the same one. I'd like to confirm it's the right number.
me: Um, could I borrow a post it note and a pen?
lady: Oh sure.
[hands me said items...I proceed to write Hxxxxxxxx]
me: Here you go. [hand her info-filled post it note]
lady: That's correct. Thank you very much.
me: Are you serious?
Lake Tobias was the first of Declan’s field trips where I was lucky enough to tag along. There was plenty of fun to be had, but unfortunately the fun had to wait until after lunch time when Declan finally managed to get over his carsickness. We went on a safari in the morning, and I hate to admit that I was one of those goofy parents who was ten times more excited by the numerous animals than my own child was. Declan kept his head down on the seat trying not to throw up while I nudged him every 5 seconds to get him to look at the awesome buffalo or the huge moose climbing onto the topless safari bus. He just didn’t care.
After we got some food into his little belly, he was ready for adventure. We went straight to the petting zoo (aka herd of goats) where he fed baby animals and tested the patience of several alpacas (did you know that a black alpaca lazing in the sun feels really good against your naked belly? Yeah, me either...Declan does). He also violated at least one goat (kid sees goat with upturned tale, kid thinks ‘what’s that hole for’. Then, said child cannot possibly restrain finger from poking said hole), after which I dragged him directly to the exit to find a place to wash his hands, found that there was no such place, and promptly decided, meh, its just goat butt, how dirty can it be? Yes, apparently spending my childhood summers on a farm did damage my code of hygiene. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
Overall, it was a fantastic trip. Have a look-see for yourself.
I was home sick a little while ago. I can't really recall when or what was wrong with me, but I remember that it sucked. Ask Maribeth and she'll confirm; when I'm home sick, I will lay and watch TV all day long. Movies, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Military Channel, etc... If it's interesting and somewhat educational, I'm there.
Well, this particular time, I was watching my third consecutive episode of Survivorman On Demand (I will take this time to say that Survivorman is 1,000 times better that Man vs. Wild). The cool thing about On Demand is that they don't have commercials during the programs, but more of their own Network Plugs. They'll advertise about the network in general or an upcoming series, etc. Fine by me.
Les Stroud just finished skinning a rabbit when it faded to the break. I sat there and watched two astronauts floating in space, talking about the view. They then broke into song and this segment continued on showing different people and situations. All the while they are each singing this song. I was enthralled. I was laying there in awe of what I had just seen. Then I realized it was On Demand, so I was rewinding and rewatching it over and over.
Although I was sick, this segment made me feel good. Not healthy or giddy or anything...just good. Like the world is one big happy family. Well. Thanks to the interwebs, here is that same segment for you to enjoy. I guarantee you'll watch it over and over....and it'll put a smile on your face every time.
The thing is, I'm proud of those moments. They remind me just how much fun life can be. This is one of those moments:
Thanks, Little Buddy.
Shorty after pledging to spend our lives adoring each other, Zach and I realized there are a few things we don't agree on. I happen to think They Might Be Giants does NOT provide the best musical entertainment known to man, and he will not admit that watching Love Actually 2x a week is normal. Over the past (gasp!) 4.5 years, we have managed to agree on things enough to not constantly want to throttle each other. I see this as a great success.
How unfortunate then, that he should have chosen to chain himself to the biggest tight wad on the face of the planet. I will give Zach credit, he has made huge leaps and bounds in the spending department. That said, I cringe at least twice a day on the purchases that find their way into our home.
There is one exception to this rule. Catch me on a day when I am grumpy, send me shopping, and I will have drained all 3 savings accounts (we don't have 3 savings accounts, I exaggerated for effect). Well, last week I had a grumpy day. Actually it was more of a 'look at me and you die' kind of day, but whatever. Point is, Zach opens his big mouth and says, "Honey, why don't you let me hang out with Declan and you can just go shopping and relax."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . seriously?
Actually it turned out ok. I came home much happier, and only a little poorer. AND I brought home entertainment for Declan for the rest of the weekend. Kid was happier than a clam. If he's smart, he'll realize that all he has to do is piss off Mommy enough and she'll go buy presents.
Happy Birthday, Swarr Family Blog!
You're a whole 2 years old today. Congratulations! I remember our first post together like it was yesterday...
Thanks to all for reading, posting and commenting. Without all of you this would be pointless.
(Zach, Maribeth, Declan, Arty and Lucy)
Now...back to Wall-E. It's a story (from what i can gather) about a single robot who is cleaning up the Earth after all of the humans have moved on. Another robot being comes to Earth and Wall-E gets pulled into an other worldly adventure by his cybernetic heartstrings. What more could draw a robot into the depths of space?
I'm really excited to see what Pixar developed for all of the other life forms. They are a creative bunch who seem to have fun doing what they do. Also, Pixar is known to insert Pixar-geekisms into their movie. I'm curious to know how many I can find. Also, the other thing that has piqued my interest is the fact that Wall-E doesn't talk (at least I don't think he does aside from the "Wall-Eeee" I've heard in the trailers). I think it's a great move and really pushes the limit of what one can actually do with just CGI as opposed to real actors.
After all, communication is 70% body language.
Mt. Gretna is our favorite place in the world. Its quiet, serene, family friendly, has the best ice cream parlor for miles around, and all in all is the perfect place to spend one's life. Thanks to Zach's parents, we get to visit Mt. Gretna often and actually feel that we kind of sort of have the right to be there. We're actually beginning to feel a bit like insiders of this cottage clique. Almost.
As wonderful as Mt. Gretna is, there is one particular event that gets us keyed up unlike any other. The event just happens to be big trash night. This is the night that Mt. Gretnians get the opportunity to throw away, you guessed it, big trash items. Couches, commodes, tables, exercise equipment... you get the idea. You may think we get excited by the prospect of ridding ourselves of our own 'big' trash through sneaky drop-offs, but you would be wrong. Oh how you would be wrong.
Here's how these special, once a year evenings progress:
Zach, Declan and I have a nice relaxing dinner at the elder Swarr household. We drink a little wine (or apple juice), and try in vain to distract ourselves from the excitement of the impending adventure. Then, around 7 or 8 o'clock, we all pile into the largest vehicle we can find, and begin our rounds.
What a site we must be! Windows down, greedy gleam in our eyes, phrases such as, "Don't let that car get ahead of us!" and "You're driving too fast past the trash piles!" escaping from our car. Yes, I believe you are getting the idea. This is not just a night of trash, but a night of new found treasures!
Two years ago we picked ourselves up a new dryer. Not that it was top notch, but it was certainly better than the POS left to us by our home's former owners. Last year we hit a dry spell and found only a vase and a broken laptop. I was rather let down. This year more than made up for my disappointment though. This year... this year we hit gold.
I found a bizarre carved candle that I won't even begin to describe, several Psychology text books set out by a retired teacher, an old, black leather chair, and a very snazzy stained glass candle holder. The elder Swarrs found quite a few treasures of their own as well. Zach, however, was the real winner of the night. He won major points by being the gopher of the night. I may be thrilled by the hunt, but that doesn't mean I'm not mortified to be seen digging through someone else's trash. So Zach hopped in and out of the car while the rest of us threw stage whispers out the window: "Hold that up," "Let me see that," "Hey what's that blue thing?" "Does that treadmill look like it works?!".
It was one of these moments when the luck struck. I noticed two boxes of outdoor lamps and asked if that's what was really in the boxes. Zach obligingly went to check. Oh the excitement in his eyes! He held up, not a rusted light fixture, but a bottle of wine! A chilled, unopened bottle of 1997 Nissley wine. Squeals of excitement erupted as the reality of the situation hit us. FREE ALCOHOL!! The Kreider in me knew I should be eager to take the rusted light fixtures and 'spruce them up', but the Swarr in me screamed 'Alcohol!!!!'
Ah the memory warms my heart. We finally gave up when it became too dark to see and Declan started begging us to take him home, but the night ended with a toast to Mt. Gretna and big trash night. A toast with our very own, very special, free alcohol. Thank you Mt. Gretna. Thank you.
In the early-mid 80s there was an amazing show on called Tales From the Darkside. It was a sci-fi/horror show that was along the lines of (but predating) Tales From the Crypt. Various writers/directors would try their hand at tales of horror, suspense and just plain scariness. Make note that I did say mid-late 80s. 1984, in fact. And to be more specific, the particular episode I am going to discuss came out in November of 1984. So, if you do your math (and you happen to know my birthday), that would put me right at 5 yrs and 7 mos old-ish. Why my parents let me watch this, I have no idea. It may be because I was a whiny, little, stubborn child. Or it could be the same reason that they let me watch Watership Down. Although the more I think about it, I really appreciate watching things like that. That way, I have already tasted raw fear, so everything else that should scare me, seems fairly mundane.
Regardless, I have graciously added the intro here for your viewing pleasure.
There's one episode of this show that stands out in my mind (2 actually, if you include the horrid Christmas episode, I'll post on that one near the holidays). The episode that scarred me for life is called 'In the Closet'. In it, a college student needs a room to rent off campus because all of the available rooms on campus are taken. So naturally, she ends up boarding at a creepy old mansion from a creepy old doctor. Through the days (or rather nights), she comes to realize that there is something living in her closet. That something tries to lure her into the little closet by putting enticing little objects in it from time to time, i.e. a necklace, a china doll, etc... Eventually, the creature goes into her room and hides under her bed. You see red eyes under the bed as she sits down, then the thing swipes at her feet as she brings them up to lay down (just in time). Giving up, it goes back in the closet. Then, the next night, the girls decides to sleep with a flashlight. Idiot. This is what happens:
See? That's why I hate little closet doors.
Do you enjoy not wearing the pants in your family?
Yes, I enjoy it very much. Actually, I don’t see the family roles as wearing pants vs not wearing pants, I see it as more of a 3 legged race where neither one of us is wearing pants.
(for both of us)
Would you bake Michelle and I [Dean] some bread with pepperoni and cheese in the middle and we'll come over the next time we both have a weekend off to hang out?
Yes…you tell us when and we’ll make the bread…
(for both of us)
If you won 10 Million, would you give me [Archer] a million of it? And how many of your friends would you neglect?
After much discussion on this (good question by the way), we’ve decided that you’re the only friend we’d neglect. Just kidding…actually, if we were to win 10 million dollars, we’ve decided that instead of giving 1 million to 9 friends, we would give $10,000 spending cash and a $50,000 investment plan to many more people. Plus maybe a kick ass party too.
(for both of us)
What are you guys doing for fun these days? In fact, what's the best day you had in the past two weeks?
The best day we’ve had in the past 2 weeks was the weekend we got together with a few of my Marine friends and their families. It was just a relaxing day of fun, beer, games and grilling. Not a care in the world. Aside from that, our fun is really just working on the house and chugging away at the day to day. Good family = good fun!
If you could pick a dream job for both yourself and Mr. Swarrior, what would they be and why?
There are a lot of jobs that would make Zach happy. I think he should be writing for a living or doing cartoon voices. Then of course there would be time for puppeteering and inventions on the side. The thing is, he could do just about anything he put his mind to, he just has to decide what it is he wants.
My dream job is to help abused kids. Ideally, I would have a huge horse farm and use the horses in the therapy process for the kids.
(for both of us)
Which 80s sitcom character would you be and why?
Zach: Well, my initial thought was Michael from Knight Rider, but then I’d have to spend my life as David Hasselhoff and I don’t see myself liking that too much…so after much thought, I think the best option for me would be Capt. H.M. Murdock from the A-team. There’s nothing better than being clinically insane, blowing stuff up, and hanging out with BA Baracus.
Maribeth: My first thought was Punky Brewster. She had more coolness in her pinky toe than this little Mennonite girl had in her whole body (plus I'd end up looking like this). Ultimately though, what could possibly be better than the ability to take a nail clipper, a table leg, and a rubber band and make a nuclear time bomb? Final answer: MacGyver.
-zs & mb
Just for the record, here are the questions:
1. (for me): Do you enjoy not wearing the pants in your family?
2. (to both of us): Would you bake Michelle and I [Dean] some bread with pepperoni and cheese in the middle and we'll come over the next time we both have a weekend off to hang out?
3. (to both of us) If you won 10 Million, would you give me [Archer] a million of it? And how many of your friends would you neglect?
4. (to both of us) What are you guys doing for fun these days? In fact, what's the best day you had in the past two weeks?
5. (to both of us) Which 80s sitcom character would you be and why?
6. (for Maribeth) If you could pick a dream job for both yourself and Mr. Swarrior, what would they be and why?
Some of these are really good questions. Check in through the weekend, because the post with all of the answers is going to go up. If you have any last minute questions, post them in this comments section asap.
Over at the 'Fun With the Schaeffers', Dean came up with a very interesting idea. He gave his readers a chance to ask any question and both he and Michelle would answer said question. Now I won't speak for Maribeth, but I'm game. In the comments section of this post, ask your question. Ask it either anonymously or by name and it will be answered.
My disclaimer is this: As the king of the realm called 'Swarr Family, Inc.' (unless Maribeth is in the equation, then I am just a peasant), I reserve the right to not answer or to not answer fully said questions based upon my own discretion.
So there you go. Ask away, dear readers of the realm.
Zach and I have begun carpooling as much as we can, but some days its just not possible. Those days are extremely frustrating seeing as we both have to drive over 15 miles to work and our offices happen to be several blocks apart. Even more frustrating is when we have plans after work and end up following each other all over town. As irritating as that may be, it did lead to a rather interesting discovery.
Apparently, if you are down the road from another car, one of you has an ipod, and you both have your radios tuned to the same station, you BOTH get to listen to the ipod music. Pretty snazzy, eh? I thought so. I ranted about this coolness for days.
Nope...it soaked through.
Now I look like one of those guys who doesn't shake after he pees.
I don't know which is worse, that or the truth.
It was a nice, low budget, weekend trip that I had planned a few weeks ago. It ended up being a good little getaway. We drove down Saturday morning and dumped our bags at our hotel, then we took the Metro to The National Zoo. That night we ended up searching for a place to eat and we ended up at The Elephant and Barrel. I must say that Maribeth and I (and Declan) had a fantastic meal. I say this truthfully: This was one of the best meals that I had in years. Fish and Chips (mine had salt and vinegar), steak crostini and a Guinness.
Day 2 took us to the National Mall. We went to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum and then to the World War II Monument and on the way back to the car, we swung by the Washington Memorial (I might add that for some reason, Declan think that George Washington died in it...).
So now that you got the short and sweet, here are the pictures. Enjoy!
After a little walk , we arrived at the National Zoo...we never saw a Sloth Bear though...
Awesome cheetahs. Their area was right next to the zebra cages...
The ever so boring Emu
This is a wolf...not a fox. And its pee is stinky
hungry hungry panda
and after it eats, of course
WE FOUND UNCLE GABE ON A PIECE OF TRASH!!!
sleepy pygmy hippo
The world's largest rodent species. Here you go mom. A Capybara.
a normal size hippo...these things are huuuge! ...and lazy.
A wild horse that only Maribeth can say the name of.
Ask Declan to stand like a meerkat the next time you see him. It's cute. Cuter than this thing anyway.weird monkey.
Self explanatory. click the arrow in the middle if you don't get it.
Rikki Tikki Tavi...er, um. I mean...a mongoose.
Gorilla...and that's a tree trunk next to it, not a giant stone boob.Tiger #1. Sorta scary.
Tiger #2...SUPER SCARY!!
Mommy and Mr. McGoofysmile.
Daddy and Mr. McNotpayattention.
This was cool. They tied 1/2 a head of lettuce to a hunk of driftwood and dropped it in...eat up, guys.
He didn't move at all. Declan didn't believe me that it was real...even when it did open its eye.Relaxing with some toons after a long day at the Zoo.
Day number 2 takes us to the Smithsonian (here's the castle).
...and here's the Natural History Museum.
After the long track across the mall and up the steps with a stroller (only to find we can't take our drinks inside), Declan and I "cheers" to a good time.
If you look hard, you can see the T-Rex skeleton.
A Pterodactyl. Declan even knows what it's called. Good job, buddy.
Monkey skeleton. pretty cool, eh? Yeah? well...scroll down.
These next 3 pics are ancient sloths. They are about 8-10 feet tall (or more when standing upright) ...awesome!
Giant not-so-woolly-anymore, woolly mammoth.
Ok...minus my brother, this caveman family actually looks just like my family in the 1980s...armpit hair and all.
He's NEVER gonna eat again.Ok then it was off to the Word War II memorial. Absolutely breathtaking. There were three 'towers' like this which represented the 3 major theaters of the war.
Each of the smaller towers represented the 50 states.
Each of these stars represent 100 Americans who died in World War II. In case you can't count them all, there are 4,048 stars.
On the way to the Washington Monument, Declan fed this duck pretzels. Yay!
Then it was on to the Washington Monument...
And the biggest Declan in the world!