Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

We're big fans of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert here. We've been watching The Daily Show since the Craig Kilborn days (wow, that makes us sound old), and it's by far one of our absolute favorites. We used to never miss it - now, we're often asleep before the end (ok, more Mara than Chris), so we tivo it every day. And when The Colbert Report started (remember when it was a joke promo when Colbert was a Daily Show correspondent?) we added that to our daily routine too. So when Jon Stewart announced plans for the Rally to Restore Sanity, there really was no question that we would go. And it seemed like the perfect way to introduce Hannah, a proud American citizen, to politics before she helps Mommy and Daddy vote on Tuesday.

We knew that we wouldn't be able to stay for the entire Rally - Hannah gets overwhelmed easily, and she's not as into the satire as her parents. So we got down to the Mall just as the Mythbusters were doing their human experiments. (a highlight for Chris, as Mythbusters is one of his other favorites) I can't remember ever being on the Mall with so many people before. They are estimating the crowd somewhere between 215,000 and 250,000 - far more than the 60,000 they expected. We retreated back towards the Smithsonian Castle to give Hannah a little breathing room, though it was still packed all that way back. It was hard to hear, and we could barely see the screens, let alone the stage, but it didn't matter. As someone near us said, it was more about being there and taking in the crowd than anything else. And for a crowd of that size, people were remarkably nice and well behaved. Even when we were stuck in the middle of the crowd, everyone was nice, no one pushed, and most people stopped to say hello to Hannah. She enjoyed the music, ate her lunch on the Mall, and generally had a good time.

Yes, we fully appreciate the irony of restoring sanity by bringing a toddler to a rally on the Mall. But it was fun, and the message was an important one.

We're Going to the Zoo

Hannah is fascinated lately with animals. She loves looking at them in books, waves to them on television, and really loves to see them in person. She is totally in love with Colt, the puppy of two of our softball teammates, and she knows where all the dogs and cats live on our street (so that she can stop and wave hello as we're out on our daily walks). At the Fairfax Fall Festival she spent a lot of time saying hello to the animals in the petting zoo - in fact, she greeted each of the baby chicks individually. Since it was a beautiful day on Saturday, we took Hannah for her first trip to the National Zoo. No surprise - she LOVED it.
As soon as we walked into the zoo, she started excitedly pointing at the signs with pictures of the pandas. She LOVES bears, and we spent awhile watching the pandas enjoy their snack (plastic milk crates covered in honey).We then spent some time saying hello to the elephants. She kept waving at them and then turning to us as if to say "did you know that there are REAL ELEPHANTS there?!?". We said hello to the other animals on the Asia Trail as well...greeting animals is a lot of work.We finished our day with lunch. Hannah was not that excited about her sandwich, but was thrilled at all the birds who joined us for lunch.