Quinn Turns Three! by Leslie

We start our birthday mornings around here with cupcakes for breakfast. The kids wake up to balloons tied to their chair, and cupcakes and presents covering the table. This year we sang happy birthday to Quinn while we were all still in bed. He's such an expressive kid, almost every gift he opened was with the expression below. It was all thrilling and fun.

The finger-lights above were a big hit. I got them for Milo to give to Quinn and it was nice there were four in the package, so Quinn happily shared with his brother. His favorite gift though was Robot Godzilla.

After a proper breakfast, we headed into NYC for a day at the American Museum of Natural History to see the big blue whale and the dinosaurs. In the photo below the boys are looking super cool in their "band" shot! I feel like I aught to list clothing sources or something. Ah, why not. T-shirts from Mini Boden, jeans from Request and sneakers from Vans. They are at the perfect ages and sizes where I can buy them similar outfits like this. I never thought I would love dressing them to match, but not only does it look cute, it makes getting dressed so much easier! I wonder how long I will be able to get away with it.

The Museum was fun for the most part, despite some stressful moments when Quinn was acting more like he was turning two instead of three. He was tired by mid-afternoon and a bit overwhelmed by the crowds of people, but he certainly loved the big blue whale. That is what he is gasping about in the photo above. To be honest, he seemed most happy sitting in the cafeteria eating an apple. Hanging around with a three year old is still touch-and-go about whether or not they will have fun doing something like visiting a museum. We met Chris's sister and her son and Milo had a blast with his cousin Jake while Quinn was at his worst.

At the World's Largest Dinosaur exhibit Milo and Jake busily chipped away at a mock dinosaur bone dig and tried out all the hands-on displays. My favorite part was the IMAX movie Tornado Alley, which Quinn unbelievably slept through. It was an incredible movie, thrilling and inspiring. We also visited the Hall of Human Origins, which opened four years ago. The AMNH has had a hall dedicated to human origins since 1921 and back then it was the only major exhibition in the United States to present an in-depth investigation of human evolution. Some of the original cavemen figures from the 1921 exhibit are still there, but displayed in much more modern setting. I kind of miss the original glass display cases and their old-school charm, but it was nice to see so much more information and opportunities for learning. 

After the museum we headed over to Chris's parents place for dinner, cake and more presents. Quinn is one lucky kid, that's for sure. Chris's family is so generous. I think he had a really great day and loved all the attention. 

Happy 3rd Birthday to My Wonderful Quinn,

You make us laugh every day with your goofy antics and funny style. We love you so much and you love us so much too. Yesterday you put your arms around Milo and I and you pulled us towards you, hugged us hard and said, "I wuv you guys!" It was so awesome. You are like that with the dogs also, you adore them. Although sometimes you hug us all a little too hard. You are fierce Quinn, and passionate, just like your Dad. The passion also bubbles over into temper tantrums too. The other day you were so upset, about something that Milo could do and you couldn't, that you cried and hollered for 20 minutes. Finally, through all your tears, you said, "It's hard to be the little guy Mommy." You want so badly to be just like Milo, we often have to buy you guys the same things so that you won't fight. I hope your third year is a little easier for you, and for me too! You can demand a lot from me sometimes and I must try to remember that this won't last forever and nothing is more important than taking care of you. You are starting preschool this year and you will learn and grow so much. School is going to challenge your independent and strong will. I hope you will find your place in the classroom and that you will make friends. I hope you don't do what you did today to Milo, stealing his train tracks by sticking them in your pants! You are clever my dear, I will give you that! Of course, you remind me and your Grandma of what I was like as a child. A rebel and so certain of your own way. It will serve you well someday! For all of this though, you are a beautiful boy who loves so much. You are smart and strong and fearless. You are brave and bold and you will be a force in whatever you choose to pursue. You can sing on key and remember songs. You love dinosaurs and monsters like Godzilla and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but you also love kittens and almost every kind of animal. I look forward to seeing what kind of person you will grow up to be, and I know that whatever it is, it will be amazing.

All My Love & Hugs, Mom.

Typography at the B&O Railroad Museum by Leslie

There is nothing better than industrial lettering. At the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore I found so many spectacular examples I could not put my camera down. The colors and styles of lettering were bold and eye catching, meant to be seen and read while a train is zipping by.

From Wikipedia:

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (reporting marks B&O, BO) was one of the oldest railroads in the United States and the first common carrier railroad. It came into being mostly because the city of Baltimore wanted to compete with the newly constructed Erie Canal (which served New York City) and another canal being proposed by Pennsylvania, which would have connected Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In 1827, twenty-five merchants and bankers studied the best means of restoring "that portion of the Western trade which has recently been diverted from it by the introduction of steam navigation." Their answer was to build a railroad—one of the first commercial lines in the world.