The Petersens: Our Tales & Travels


after 3 years of preschool, this girl is headed to the big league...

 it's official.
as of this week, i have a kindergartener. 
i only cried one time on tuesday. (ok, one-and-a-half times.)
elle is the only blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl in the whole school. it's amazing to see such a diverse group of kids gather, but terrifying all at the same time. her school has it's fare share of challenges- that's apparent- but we're sure this is what's best for her for now. i'm excited to watch her grow and learn and develop. i'm scared i haven't taught her enough. i'm petrified she'll be walked all over. or bullied. or teased. mike says it's part of life, and i say not kind things for even suggesting such a thing. she came out of her room wednesday night and said, "mom, remember how you said sometimes people say mean things to other people? a boy in my class called me 'chickenhead' today. that hurt my feelings." i told her to roll her eyes and cluck at him if he does it again. what does that even mean? ugh, boys.

have i mentioned she is in all-day kindergarten? and it is a chinese immersion program? i do like that chinese part. (plus, the most logical thing to do after her first day was to go get chinese food. brilliant idea if i do say so myself.)
 (^^ perhaps one of my favorite pictures of all time right there.)
  elle has always been one of the most tender little souls. each night she prays for each of us individually- usually about something different and relevant- last night it was, "please help jude to keep communicating and not get frustrated. please help daddy to keep his eyes close during the prayers. please help mommy to be a great mom at work. and please help me to just be a sweetheart." all the elements change, except her part. she always prays to be a sweetheart.
she truly is so good. all the way from her nose to her toes she is incredible.
 bless her for being used to my camera shenanigans, and being a total sport while i hid behind my camera and tried not to cry. the camera was a good distraction. and i figure she'll be embarrassed by us next year, so i stocked up on pictures.
and that was that. mike took it all a bit harder than even i did, but i don't blame him.

the day itself was one for the record books- in addition to the emotion of the first day, mike also took the train to virginia in hopes (yes, hopes) of getting a root canal. not only did it not happen, but they also told him hours later that they weren't on our insurance. nor was our dentist we've been going to. after days of excruciating pain, he had to endure more (it's the end of the week and we're still struggling to get the problem solved). dentists here are about as stellar as the drivers.
which says a lot.
my work day was the craziest i've had since starting here, and for most of it i was shoving cookies at jude to keep him quiet while i tried to work from home (since mike was gone). 
i had about 3 panic attacks from various sources, all the while i'd pause and scream, "where's elle!?" 

oh yah. 

my baby is in kindergarten!!!



a few weeks ago we headed to georgetown after being in the city for business. let me just say, georgetown is a game changer. it's completely different than most other parts of dc- and it's awesome! it's quaint and hip and lively. there are shops and restaurants- oh, the restaurants! i have a list of georgetown eats much too long to hit in one night, but hey, at least we got off to a good start...
first up, good stuff! good stuff knows their burgers. and fries! oh, the fries. we also shared a shake and chili... not enough food for 4 people, so mike went back for a second cheeseburger, and the kids inhaled it before we got much of a say in the matter.
i did an independent study and confirmed that cornbread ranks the second messiest food consumed by a toddler. 
have you ever just watched a 2-year-old eat? it's fascinating. it's like they're programed to go at it in the most uncoordinated fashion possible. (kind of like you give them a single chocolate chip, and they manage to get chocolate in their hair, on their hands, face, behind their knees, and all over each piece of lightly colored furniture and bed linen.) 
after dinner, we went to the original georgetown cupcake to share a salted caramel cupcake- it was our second time here (we didn't hit the "original" this first time around), and again, no disappointments. (other than the sharing 1 cupcake situation.) no katherine and sophie though.
after dinner and a little window shopping (georgetown is also home to anthropologie, forever 21 and h&m- all on the same street- which is monumental. dc and shopping do not go hand-in-hand, so this was a thrilling moment for me), we headed to the water for the kids to cool off in the splash pad.
jude kicks ^^ and elle levitates...
after a few meltdowns and "i'm cold!" 's, we decided to call it a night and headed home. if apartments weren't $5,000/month, i would gladly call this awesome little neighborhood home.


hands that smell like old pennies in the summertime, and 33...

every year around this time i break into a typical "so long, sweet summer" blurb (equal amounts of: dashboard makes my heart complete & how poetically that phrase rings true. [i heart you, chris carrabba]). this summer i may break into it at some point, but for now, this has been the flipping hottest summer on the planet, and all i am longing for is a sweater, boots, and some crunchy fall leaves and crisp air (i will regret saying this in 2 months, i'm sure of it). i'm more-so saying so long, sweet summer with a tone of peace out. see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya. 
this summer has been incredible. in hindsight, it's been dream-like, and filled with every wished for bucket list item crossed out with a big ol sharpie (am i the only one who does that? i love crossing things off lists...). mostly though, it's been hot. hot and full of traffic and tourists.

sunday we had our traditional sunday walk, but we didn't make it far. it was one of those times where you could actually feel yourself melting with each step. it hurt to breathe. i feel like dc is (in)famous- at least in my mind- for being desert-like in its lack of shade. 

our goal was to make it to albert and eat. that's what we did. and that's all we did. 

nice to meet you mr. einstein. 

'twas so smart of you to find yourself a spot in the shade under a big tree 
(or is it the shade under a big poison tree!? did you see what i did just there!? totally unintentional, but i'm telling you. i speak in dashboard)...
 ^^ a little finger over the shutter & mid-blink (the others were entirely over the lens), but i like the quirky shots anyway. thanks, elle! 

mike got stuck on albert's head. jude wouldn't put down his minion lunchbox (yes, just like last week), and we all smelled like old pennies as we walked away. 

true story.

fast forward to wednesday. every day this week felt like friday. EVERY.DAY! monday? friday. tuesday? friday. and on it goes. by wednesday, it really felt like friday because it was mike's birthday (don't get me started because then thursday felt like friday AND saturday since i had the night before off... what a mess). mike has had a killer toothache and has been in full-on man-meltdown-mode for days. it goes in waves, so thankfully after i got off work early, we had a sporadically awesome afternoon of fun (intermittently strung between cries of pain and rocking in the fetal position).
so on wednesday mike turned 33. (i won't say who was in the fetal position about that one. 33!)
we went to the beach. because, again: summertime. days are winding up. mostly, saturdays are impossible days to get into the beach (literally, you can't get there. it closes- too full), fridays traffic is about as bad as your worst nightmare. thursdays are the new fridays, and as a coworker told me on my way out wednesday, "good luck getting to annapolis- wednesdays are the new thursdays, and we all know thursdays are the new fridays." HEAVEN HELP ME! 
we only hit one big chunk of traffic, thankfully. but it was bad. i did my normal screaming, shaking, and yelling, "THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT NORMAL! THEY ACTUALLY ARE COMPLETELY UNAWARE HOW TO DRIVE!" because apparently even 2:50 on a wednesday traffic isn't smooth around here. *insert swear words.*
 but the beach!
 this was at the end of the beach day. ^^ fancy parking lot shots.
beforehand, however, check out elle. it's the evolution of the walk to the shore. i love this...
 i should make an animated gif of those last 3. 
 the water felt amaaaazing! if we were going to rate the weather solely on this afternoon at the beach, i'd give it a 10. or two thumbs up. or three gold stars (i'm not sure how many is "best" when it comes to gold stars).
 then there's this boat. 
this random, dirty boat. 
right by the nasty bathrooms (someone was actually squirting blood on this day from their face. that was cool. or not), there are even classier port-a-potties. i'm positive they're cleaner than the bathroom. 

i know why people pee in the ocean. 
one more! trying to get to the "33" hands. ^^ 
and finally, we went to cafe rio on the way home and elle ate like she's never eaten before. she polished off everyones food. growth spurt i say. maybe she'll hit 40 pounds before kindergarten starts next week? OH I CAN'T! i'm not talking about that yet. did i mention it's all-day kindergarten? STOP! i'll stop. 
back to looking like an animal:
happy 33rd, mikey!
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