diapers, budgets & paint

stay-at-home mommy by day
program manager by night
children's painter somewhere in between

zoo for you

we finally uploaded the photos off my camera last night - time to play picture catch-up! and if you're wondering, yes, we do spend a LOT of time at the local zoo. today's post is dedicated to that fantabulous place, just 10 minutes down the street...

that's one hot crib... monkey-style

mmmm... roast duck, anyone?
(just kidding! i didn't bring my hoisin sauce today)

so three turtles walk into a bar and...

wow, when did she get so big???
(yes, i meant emmy!)

and happy (early) birthday to the gosselin sextuplets tomorrow - they'll be three! i am in love with their show, jon & kate plus 8, as well as their 2 previous documentaries. any parents that can handle "2 6-year olds and 6 2-year olds" totally get props in my book, and the fact that all the kids are hapas is just icing on the cake for me! aren't they sooooo adorable?

ASIAN DOLL UPDATE! one last thing, i found the perfect doll for emmy today! while browsing in the right start store, i came across the asian corolle "poupette" doll. it looks like she'll be perfect for em: she's huggably soft, easy to dress and just so darn simple and cute! i'll be stashing her away for a special occasion, that's for sure! have you found any particularly good asian dolls / toys?

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we're baaaack

grrr... i had this great long post all ready to publish and blogger ate it. ugh, how i hate you tonight, blogger. i'd try to recreate it but i'm sleepy and annoyed so we'll see how i do tomorrow. for now, a few quick updates...

wow. i never thought it would be so hard to play email/blog catch-up but it sure felt like it this week. have you ever had one of those weeks where you just don't have the energy to do much of anything? or, more specifically, where you don't want to look at anything that requires an internet connection? (i know, that's sacrilege - how could i ever turn away from my beloved laptop?) perhaps it's because daddy's on spring break this week; we're trying to make the most of our real-life connections while we can. i'm sure i'll be hittin' the blogging bar hard next week. in fact, make it a double, bartender.

in the meantime, i'm slowly catching up. for my pals in blog-land, sorry for the lack of commentary... but i'm still reading! :)

we spent the past few days visting my folks in southern virgina. we were supposed to see my best friend's daughter get baptised too but emmy's horrible stomach bug kept us quarantined for the entire trip. on a um, positive note, we now know how to thoroughly scrub and clean a britax car seat to remove stinky 3-hour-old macaroni and cheese. mmm... yeah, it was just THAT fun. emmy got lots of good bonding time in with my folks while we were there; in fact, my mom started showing emmy the intricacies of playing hwa-tu. blair doesn't play so i look forward to challenging em... of course, that might take a few more years. right now, we're just excited to point out all of the "birds!" and "flowers!"

at least she's not chewing on 'em...

now that we're home and healthy, we're trying to make the most of daddy's time. today's stops: the reston zoo and playground time...

i can't believe my baby is all grown up - look at her drive!
i dunno about her choice in friends though...

these two baby porcupines were just born at the zoo this morning;
we were the first people to see them!

every good asian learns to use the abacus from a young age, right?

riding the whale does a body good

next up: today's mommy wars discussion, or the one that blogger ate

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new to the zoo

now that i've finished uploading a bunch of december pics, it's time to revisit emmy's first trip to the national zoo! we had been meaning to go for months now but we'd been a little skeptical as to whether it was worth the trek yet; juggling work/school/food/nap schedules can make any trip harder to plan, especially when you wonder how much your infant will actually see before catching some zzzzz's in your stroller. anyhoo, the recent mild temperatures finally cajoled us to head to the zoo and it was totally worth it - i recommend a quick stop here for all moms and dads, whether you're a local or just passing through.

[yes, if you're paying attention, you'd know that we live in reston, va. that's only about 20 miles from washington, d.c. and its cool touristy, sciencey, smithsonian-y stuff. sadly, do we ever bother to take advantage of it? since blair does the commute daily for school (and we both used to do it for work), it tends to become more of a chore than a treat. we need to work on that as emmy grows up; there's too much interesting stuff for her to enjoy... you know, before we finally move outta this area! sorry, i digress - point is, us suburbanites ought to stop taking this area for granted and see what it has to offer. you know, more than just those seedy clubs i've seen during all those bachelorette pah-tay nights out. heeheehee!]

anyway, blair and i had been eager to make it to the zoo ever since they opened the new asia trail; it's the wonderfully designed / renovated home to sloth bears, fishing cats, red pandas, a giant salamander, clouded leopards, small-clawed otters and, of course, three giant pandas. we started our trip with a lucky find: papa panda tian tian was comically scratching his tush against some trees, much to the great amusement of our fellow zoo goers. next door, goofy baby tai shan lumbered after mei xian, frequently rolling down a little hill to catch up to her and annoy the heck out of his poor (yet patient) mom. emmy was having a hard time viewing much from her stroller so i decided to carry her through the zoo instead - she seemed to perk up as soon as she could see over the crowds better (and my arms got quite the work-out). she was definitely interested to watch the older sloth bear pace across his rock while the cub got stuck in a tree ("bear! bear!"), and even seemed impressed to see the elephants in their home ("big!"). nevertheless, the best part of this trip were the two indoor facilities that we toured. not only did we warm up a bit, emmy could actually stand up against the glass display windows and see animals at her level. she was a hit in the ape house, where several apes and orangutans swung/walked over to sit/eat directly in front of her ("oooo ooo ooooh!"), and she ADORED the small mammal house and all of its petite occupants. the meerkat clan seemed to amuse her the most, so we'll definitely have to make a return trip in the spring when she can enjoy it more. we'll also have to see more of the zoo - we only made it through about half of the exhibits and i totally missed seeing the prairie dog enclosure - you can practically pet them!

of course, i'm pretty fortunate in the animal department - i happen to live with two of the cutest critters around:

don't be jealous - they really are that cute in person too.

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