The Petersens: Our Tales & Travels

8.02.2015

one of these things is not like the other...

my mom sent me one of the above photos and i was entirely confused until i looked at the car seat and realized that little sleeping person was me! 

there was this post where i swear elle looked just like my dad's side of the family. 
and this other time when jude looked just like me as a baby, but now this!

as jude has gotten older i don't feel like he looks anything like me, and assume he resembled mike as a child, but hullo!? this is plain weird. it has to be the sleeping element that makes us twins, because when we're awake i must have been more angelic of a toddler;) this kid gives us a run for our money... 

(also why i have so many sleeping pictures of him: he's so peaceful and cherub-like when he's asleep:)

*i also think all of these were from vacations, which is apparently the only time i'm ever awake before him, and/or see him sleeping on-the-go. in our normal life it's usually DARK when he wake up, making the taking of sleeping photos challenging. 

7.27.2015

theodore roosevelt island...

 yesterday afternoon we had a little time before going to some friends' house for dinner, so we made our way to theodore roosevelt island- it's this gem of an island in the potomac, right downtown. the island is super close to georgetown (which i think may be my favorite part of dc we've seen thus far! can't wait to explore more soon...)- a great little area. parking was free, and there were miles of hiking once you crossed the bridge to the island itself. i sure wish we had the ability to kayak, row, or paddle board because it would be perfect! alas, we have small people who would likely make that experience less than stellar, so we'll just walk around for now:)
when it's blindingly sunny, 92 degrees, and about 92% humidity, this is what you get. warm, sticky, squinty people.
^^ jude hair. all day. everyday.
i was kind of surprised that this wasn't more well-known- everyone i talk to isn't familiar with the area! that being said, i hear there is a large population of ticks calling this place home (my gosh, there are so many in general here), so i'm mildly terrified to go off the beaten path... but we definitely will be back when it cools down a bit. we made it approximately 50 feet before we decided we will come back later in the year- can you imagine fall here!? yes, please.

7.22.2015

this past weekend...

our complex is full of college kids, so the earlier i get up, the greater chance i have to enjoy the gym all by myself! (college kids do not get up at 6am.)  mike & i have been trying to workout more now that our metabolisms are cashing in more vacation and/or sick days than they are putting in their time- we try to go at least 6 days a week, so it means serious creativity and time-negotiating to make it work. the only thing good about all this working out are the days when i have the whole gym to myself- you know- no weird men staring at their muscles only they can see (what are you looking at. there is nothing there), hogging all the equipment while they s l o w l y peruse- first the weights, then their triceps, then the girls who are around them, then the whole thing repeated... it's very primitive and strange. must be a testosterone thing. dude. move. share equipment. thank you! clearly, i'm just too old for that crap;)
after my workout i grabbed the kids and we went on an adventure around the neighborhood as the sun came up. we ran around and looked at sculptures and bugs and gardens and had a number of impromptu so you think you can dance auditions ("cue music!") and rollercoaster rides down hills. 
mike joined us eventually and we walked to share bagels (which jude calls donuts) at our neighborhood joint. it's no pick-a-bagel, but it'll do;) eventually the skies opened and it stormed just in time for jude to get in a little nap.
(but wait! friday afternoon! ^^ mike & the kids stopped by my work to say hi. and to periodically steal york peppermint patties. close enough to the weekend to include as part of the weekend, so there.)
 the storm passed, and we let elle pick our adventure for the afternoon: the national museum of the american indianone of our favorites! dc on summer saturdays is cringe-worthy with people and hot temperatures, so we didn't stay too long, and instead headed to 7th street for some food.
 we put in our names at oyamel- which was packed (it was 3pm on a saturday...?)- they get an a++ for decor, and a c- for font legibility. it's cute, don't get me wrong- i appreciate a good script, but spanish + script is no bueno. we actually just kept calling it "cucina mexicana!" because that's the only part of the name we could read:)  

the most logical thing to do while waiting 30 minutes for a table is to go directly next door for gelato at pitango. holy hannah that stuff is amazing- it brought me back to our time in italy, minus the fact that we were all 4 sharing a small, and my kids have no appreciation for expensive ice cream. (they take after me. it's a battle to the death.) i do think mike got a bite of each flavor at least... maybe? (tangerine and chocolate hazlenut. they totally didn't go, but they each were incredible on their own:) 
'twas a great meal starter, for sure.
 ^^ basically jude's mood for the day.      kid was on one.      some days go better than others... this was one of the "others." not.pleasant. but hey, we push through because what else do you do, right? you want the weekend to keep moving, so you keep moving. and use bribery as an incentive. because i whole-heartedly believe in bribery.
 the best part of our meal was the guacamole- which they make right in front of you! i'm usually an eater, but not a fan. this time, i was both. i think i ate the entire bowl of guacamole.    
numero uno fan right here!   
it was incredible! plus it was the only thing that didn't set my tongue on fire... it's kind of rare that we sit down for a sit-down-meal, and even more rare that we try a new place. we ordered the guacamole, 2 tapas tacos, and refried beans & cheese to all share. the kids started chowing down on the tacos and immediately realized they were super spicy. it was the funniest thing i've ever seen- bless them, they were so confused! it was all fun and games until mike and i also took a bite, and our faces were basically identical. (i feel like shots of milk should come as a side at all mexican restaurants.)   "mild" my heiney!   no way, jose.  mild=fire breathing. we're really bland eaters. our pathetic palate is accentuated when we eat spicy food.
 ^^ but the beans! those are beans! stuffed with cheese! sure, it looks like a turd, but it was yummy once you got past the appearance. very fancy in a gross sort of way.
 we headed to the national gallery of art and power-walked through some exhibits before we were kicked out at closing. 

we then went a mile out of the way in search for a mr. softee because our mouths were still burning. 
the experience was a mirror image to the last time we ate a soft serve cone w/ sprinkles. (it melted by the time he handed it out the food truck window.) the kids and i fought to the death over another shared ice cream, and that was that. we left the battle ground covered in sticky sprinkles instead of blood, and then caught our train home.
 we are garden-sitting for a friend, so we stopped by to pick some ripe vegetables before 9:00 church on sunday. gardens. we've never been legit gardeners, but they always fascinate me. growing your own food! magic!! we left the fresh veggies in the car while the morning temperature (not to mention full-humidity) hit 95 outside; we came back to our car after church and it smelled like the mexican restaurant.     i think we cooked our pepper.     

sunday evening we decided to slide into the pool to try and cool off since leaving the house to go anywhere else was likely unsafe. even the pool was hot. we floated around in our bath water and talked about our day, and elle practiced swimming without her floatie- which is big for her! she did awesome. mike and i are lousy swimmers, so here's hoping she is better than us. 

we brought our taco night outside (and used the rest of our previously-fried-in-the-car-pepper), and grilled in the shade as jude asked us a million times, "how's daddy's day!? how's mommy's day!? jude's day? beeeeee-each, poooo-oool..."    see, he does this each time we eat a meal together. the same dialogue. and it always involves jude going to the beach! finally i asked him the other day, "jude, we didn't go to the beach. did you go in your dreams when you took your nap?" "YAH! mommy! jude beach! saaaaa-aand in shoooo-ooes. ... boobies!!!!" because the whole screaming "boobies" thing is getting worse instead of better.  *sigh*

we have been filling these days and weekends with selfish family time. our complex is secure and mike and i have admitted more times than i should confess how much we love that we're alone and uninterrupted (except the ups guy. he's the only one who comes to our door). we've deliberately isolated ourselves, and although entirely antisocial, and super selfish, it's been amazing. we have made friends at church and work, but for the most part we have functioned in a secret-life capacity just us 4. and it's been just right. that was part of what i struggled the most with in utah- it was too much. too much competition. too much pressure. too much sameness. too much stepford. i of course mean that in no disrespectul, rude, or hurtful way, but that mentality broke me down to a place i can't imagine going back to anytime soon. i woke up one day and realized i had gone really wrong somewhere... but where? going to worship on sundays was more about routine and culture than it was about god and myself as an individual, and the person i needed to become. i went through the motions until i realized i had become a robot who had no idea why i was where i was, or who i was anymore. i never felt like the other moms, and the pressure to do everything the way i was being told to do it was suffocating. here, we hide out and then we stick out and it's just right for right now. i know it won't last forever, and i know i won't want it forever, but for now, it's helping heal myself and our marriage and our family. there are new challenges and issues, but the change is good. the jury is still out whether or not the selfishness is wise... but we're going with it for now;)

so there we were, wrapping up our weekend as a family eating tacos al fresco. wondering how summer only has a month left- which doesn't even seem possible since i have no idea how anywhere can cool off after being this hot for so long.

7.16.2015

mid-summer, and elle's last weeks dressing like a free spirit during normal business hours.

yesterday i placed an order for school clothes- totally not the school shopping i imagined- but an order nonetheless. it was much less climactic than what i was imagining since i sat at my computer and clicked on as many varieties of navy and white clothes in size "slim" as i could find. clearly her backpack will be an adventure in awesomeness since the clothing portion of school shopping was severely womp-womp.

elle's new school has a very strict uniform policy that includes all-black shoes (ABSOLUTELY NO COLOR ON ANY PORTION OF THE SHOE!) and and all-black belt, 100% of the time. 
socks must be white or navy. 
only white collared shirts must tucked into elle's little navy pants (belted, as mentioned), although she can spice it up with a navy overall dress when she's feeling particularly sassy i suppose. 
no jewelry, accessories, or colored sweaters.    and no patterned tights! 
she can periodically wear a sports or team jersey to slice things up- which is really exciting because i have my old "show us your A!" shirt from my utah state days as our lone "team apparel" article of clothing. i wonder if that's acceptable? elle wears it to bed now, so it may be a bit big...

if you haven't noticed, elle is a bit of a free bird when it comes to attire. 

so basically, but this will be interesting ;)

and a few of jude, because, well, he's jude:
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