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On Saturday, D's friend was here. They took over the living room floor and built a village with a forest and a farm surrounding it and were sorting the animal collection accordingly. There was one that looked like a bobcat. Then we discussed the difference between a lynx and bobcats and we couldn't really figure it out.

On Monday, the news broke out that the bobcat at the DC Smithsonian Zoo escaped. It returned with minor injury on Wednesday. And Petula Dvorak came up with an excellent piece titled, The Ballad of Ollie the Bobcat: Back in her cage, just like the rest of us

A little bit to laugh during some times that have been anything but amusing. 
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22/ Beautiful chocolate coloured statues...living and metal.

23/ Wish my kid continues to enjoy clearing the clutter at home!
(Her classmate and brother were coming over with their mom. And D helped to clean up the house and so she lined up all the things she found on the kitchen counter! :D)

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While I am procrastinating and joining another friendzy over here, I was watching Late Show with Stephen Colbert and I somehow cried in awe seeing Congressman John Lewis crowdsurf!!!! A warm welcome to the new friends.

And in a few weeks, Smithsonian opens its very new National Museum of African American History & Culture!! N tried very hard to get tickets to go see it! And the earliest we could get timed tickets was in November! They are opening on Sept 24th - which is also the day many museums nationwide are offering free entry! We might go for the festival held outdoors - but with D it might just get too crazy to go!

Meanwhile, Trump said, "We are the big bully that keep getting beat up!" *deep breaths*
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Spring is here! The skies are clear, the temperatures are just nice... it's beautiful weather! It was on such a day that I headed over to the Smithsonian museum for my usual volunteer shift of four hours. I was however a bit late as I waddled over to my area. Amazing how the weather has improved and the numbers of visitors has nearly doubled!! 

As usual I enjoyed the shift very much! But my body didn't so much. It was hard to be on my feet for so long. The other lady I was sharing the shift with made sure I got plenty of breaks. She has had two kids and sympathised.

The numbers will only increase from now till labour day weekend in September. sigh. so I believe that was my last shift till baby arrives! ah well... am glad I at least got to do it for as long as I possibly could!

I did however get a chance to see so many people with so many different strollers with car seats on and a handful with slings/baby carriers on. I don't think I have ever paid this much attention! We did decide on a car seat and stroller for the baby. The biggest deciding factor (after safety concerns being addressed and stuff) was weight. It can't weigh over 15 pounds - as I can't lift anything heavier. For home and small trips I will be using a wrap carrier but I can see how the infant car seat as a carrier also has its benefits. We are still wondering though if we can hold off on buying the stroller till when the baby is 5-6 months old and just stick to the wrap till then. We might just do that.
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I started volunteering at the Smithsonian a few months ago now. I have been averaging just twice month. It's really fun! The interaction with people. I started just two weeks before Labour Day weekend and my first day was so packed with people at the exhibits, it was crazy. Now the crowds have reduced and I can spend more time interacting with people about the exhibits, instead of just instructing them not to do this and not to do that.

It's always interesting to see the different parenting styles as we get a lot of kids below the age of 10 to the exhibits where I am stationed. Part of my job, as our exhibits are very fragile, is to give four set of simple instructions - watch your step, don't touch, don't pick, and don't take them with you. Some parents make the kids listen, some make them repeat the instructions, some just read the posted signs and don't let me do what I am supposed to do, some just don't care and want to carry on and go. For the last group, I have to remind them that it's the law for me to tell them the following instructions, and it's the law for them to follow it. That usually brings them to a halt and listen and some still couldn't care less.

There are also two types of kids. One who completely freak out with nature around them. We have had screaming kids and mind you our exhibits are not tarantulas or snakes, they are the friendlier kinds. Then the other type who are just thrilled with the sights. It makes the day so much brighter to watch the kid just stop in his/her tracks, and look up in amazement and go, "wooooow".

Then there are kids who are quiet and observant through the whole time there. They like to listen to what we say about the exhibits but they just listen. Then there are kids who actively participate, who do more the of the describing about the exhibits and are so thrilled to know so much about it! 

But the biggest thing is the camera craze! The craze is  not limited by age. I have seen in some cases each kid having their own little camera and the parent carrying one big fancy one; some where the kids are the one using the family digital camera. It's just madness. I see less and less people just learning and seeing the exhibit and more concerned about the lighting of the place, the difficulty of capturing the picture. I have heard a 5 year old complain that the macro setting wasn't working right. How times have changed! ;) We have had people coming up and saying that we should do something about the lighting so that they could take better pictures!! right.... it's a museum, not a photo studio. 

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