Lisa reminded me that I never got around to posting these pictures from when I played hooky from work on my birthday.

We first went by the Smithsonian Castle, on our way to check out the new National Museum of the American Indian (good food in the cafeteria, the museum is pretty interesting too). Ellie did her best Beaver Cleaver impersonation, walking with one foot on the curb, and one on the ground most of the time.

We walked along side the Tidal Basin, where the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. Luckily, we were there on a Wednesday, so it wasn't oppressively crowded. If it had been, we wouldn't have been able to get this picture!

Good view of the Jefferson Memorial through the cherry blossoms.

This was Ellie one year ago at the cherry blossoms.

And this is Ellie this year. She's growing up quick!

Ellie picked up some new habits while she was in Michigan (home of a foot of snow today!).

First, she seems to want to try to use the toilet now. At 20 months old, it seems a bit early, but Bumpa got her one of her own anyway, and she spent most of the time pulling down her pants and going over and sitting on it. Since she got back, we had to get her one for our house as well, plus we got some Pull-ups diapers. Haven't used those yet, we'll see if it's a phase first.

The other thing is that she likes taking naps on her little flip out couch. Half the time she sits in it, and pats on the space next to her for you to sit down as well. But it's kinda nice to have a good spot for her to take a nap. Usually she wants to nap in the big bed, and of course we worry about her falling out. With this lying on the floor, it a lot less stressful. Our little girl is growing up fast!

"I TCP/IP, but mostly IP."

And from what Lisa has told me, she's now very interested in peeing on the toilet. Not sure how she became interested in this, but she seems to know when she has to go and starts saying "potty". A bit early, I would think, but we're not going to discourage it. Only problem is, her little dupa is too skinny to sit on even the potty trainer!

A duck. A normal, every day duck. Until he turns on you!

Ellie and Lisa were in Alexandria with Mrs. Balog, who was in for a visit. They sat down by a pond to watch the ducks. Obviously, this duck wasn't afraid of humans, and was probably used to waddling right up and getting some food from them.

See, Ellie was warming up to the duck and everything. Then it turned sour. Ellie took her pacifier out of her mouth, pointed at the duck, and said, "Duck!" The duck, thinking that whatever was in the child's mouth must have been tasty, proceeded to waddle right over and pluck the pacifier right out of Ellie's hand! The duck promptly spit it out when it realized that it wasn't anything tasty, but needless to say, that pacifier got thrown out.

We kept the duck pictures on the digital camera for a while, because Ellie kept going up to the camera and saying, "Duck!" Obviously, she wanted to make sure she didn't forget what her nemesis looked like. In Elenese (the language of Ellie), she would point at the duck and say "Blah ba blah blah, mean duck! Baba blah ba night-night!" Loosely translated: We were just standing there, and this mean duck stole my pacifier!
We saw some more ducks while playing hooky on my birthday (more pics from that later). Ellie made sure she pointed all of them out, and we made sure to steer clear of them.