Monday, November 26, 2012

Back in the Saddle

I had my surgery on September 13.  It went very well, and outside of the fact that as of today I still can't eat solid foods, things are great!  I've lost 50 pounds, which should make everyone ecstatic.  Turns out though, that losing 50 pounds in 8 weeks makes doctors, nurses, nutritionists and your husband very cranky.  Something about health problems from lack of calories and chronic dehydration.  Worrywarts.

I am supposed to meet with a specialist this week at the hospital to figure out next steps.

In the meantime, the kids are crazy and fantastic.  Dan is wonderful but working too hard.  And life is busy, chaotic and normal. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

We went to the zoo today...

Kendra was all over the place.

Monday, July 9, 2012


This past weekend was one of the most gorgeous we've had to date.  So, instead of doing yardwork (which is desperately needed), we headed on an adventure.

Our adventures generally involve hopping in the car and seeing where we end up.  Sunday, it was the Olympic Sculpture Garden, followed by a waterfront walk to Pier 57.  A stop to refuel at Fisherman's Warf turned out to be an awesome choice as we watched the newly opened 175' Ferris wheel spin overhead. With the kids fed, watered and rested, we tackled the Harbor Steps, and then cooled off with a leisurely stroll through the Aboriginal art exhibit at the Art Museum. 

The roundtrip walk was just under 3 miles...pretty impressive for a 4 year old!  We did cheat a wee bit at catch the bus for a few blocks to help her out.  Darian walked more than ever, and loved toddling wherever we would let him - especially if there were yummy things to eat on the ground (blech!).  

Today's adventure included a long day of babysitting by Kendra's favorite sitter (besides Kai, that is), our next door neighbor Nick.  I have just discovered he is of age to babysit, and enjoys doing it.   He's also home schooled, so he has a fantastically flexible schedule! Mama heaven!! Unfortunately I had school board meetings all day, so it's not like I was off having a fantastic, kid-free time.

So long!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Guess Who's 4?

In further proof that time marches on, the tiny little baby who screamed her way into this world 7 weeks early, turned 4 yesterday.  

 I'm still marveling that this:

somehow became this:

She had a wonderful birthday party.  She chose a camping theme and I ran with it.  There was Bug Juice to drink (green lemonade), roasted hot dogs, a make-your-own trail mix station, a wild (stuffed) animal hunt in the backyard, followed up by....a S'Mores Cake.  (OMG it was good!!!)

There were (gummy) bugs everywhere, and the goody bags were bandanas filled with more gummy bugs, bug tattoos, a small compass, and a small flashlight.

The kids, and parents, left full, sugared up and happy.  A very good birthday.

Look who's 4!  
 (Wearing one of her birthday presents.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Does It Happen To All Kids?

It seems Kendra draws people in...and gets them to give her things.  I'm not sure if she's just cute, or has some sort of weird mind-control thing going on, but more often than not when we go out, someone gives that kid a gift.  When we go to the grocery store she gets balloons, flowers, candy, and Popsicles.   Sometimes from the workers, sometimes from random people shopping.

We went trick or treating and she ended up with a big stuffed dolphin.

Dan took her somewhere that was giving away cheap little stuffed animals.  The lady gave Kendra one, then also gave her an actual pillow pet! 

Today we delivered food for the food bank.  One of the ladies in the building gave Kendra an adorable hat, purse, bracelet and shoes set.  And two DVDs.  And two sets of board books for Darian.  And 10 small cans of Playdoh.

So is it mind control?  Or is she really just that cute?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Goodbye To Another School Year

I'm not sure how it happened, but another year has slipped by.  Kendra had her last day of school on Wednesday, and she crossed the bridge to summer and away from another year at King Street.  Just one more year of preschool and she'll be off to kindergarten.  How did this happen?  My baby is turning into a sweet little girl. 

Here she is, walking in on the last day.

Today was the preschool potluck picnic.  It's the final wrap up and a way to say thanks for a great year to the families and teachers that make our co-op so special.  Both kids had fun - Kendra with her friends, Darian crawling all over and occasionally being drug around by one of Kendra's friends.  It's a good thing that boy is so easy going.  It was a bit chilly, but you'd never know it by the kids running through the water spray.  Nutty little people. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thar She Blows

Camping 101:  When passing acres of windfarms (the largest in the country, I'm told) you should consider it fair warning that the campground will be windy.  When the park ranger tells you to park your car next to your tent to act as a windbreak, you should just pack up and go home.

We spent Friday night at Wanapum State Park, mostly awake, and wondering when our tent was going to collapse and blow away in the insanely strong winds.  The kids slept fine, as we put a small 2 person tent inside our large tent.  They were toasty warm and unaffected by the fact that the large tent was being bent in half on a regular basis by the winds.  By 5am Saturday morning, we were done pretending to sleep and decided to break camp.  If the weather improved, we'd be back for the final night of our reservation; otherwise we were headed home.

As we surveyed the campgrounds, we saw about 35% of tents didn't even survive the night.  I guess we were lucky in that respect.  Another family broke camp at the same time we did, and just threw their tent in the dumpster.  We headed to town in search of breakfast, since starting a fire was pretty much out of the question.  For a bunch of farming communities, there was remarkably little open early, and we ended up at a McDonalds.  At least we found an espresso stand that was open.

After breakfast we drove around looking at the countryside.  We ended up at a boat dock that was completely deserted, so Turtle got to play in the water and wander around.  Kendra went wading as well, but the water was freezing cold.  The air temp + crazy wind didn't help, so there was no swimming.  Later we stopped in Frenchmans Coulee and hiked about a mile up an easy trail.  There is no tough hiking with a (almost) four year old and 1 year old who isn't walking.  It was fun though.  Seeing the desert landscape, and knowing it's such a short distance from water soaked Seattle is amazing.

Our last stop was the Gingko Petrified Forest State Park.  Do you know the state gem of WA?  It's petrified wood.  I had no idea - we learned something!  This area is one of the most unique petrified forests in the world because of the variety found there.  Most of the time there are only 1-2 kinds of wood.  Here there are over 30 that have been identified, from all altitudes.  They aren't sure if an eruption brought them down into the Columbia River basin and a log jam kept them there (see also Spirit Lake after the Mt St. Helen's eruption), or if it was just an incredible diverse ecosystem to begin with.  Either way, beautiful and interesting.

By mid-afternoon the clouds had moved in, the temperature dropped and the wind picked up (!!).  I wouldn't have been surprised to see someone trying to surf on the Columbia River.  We went home.  It was a good choice, since by Sunday the kids and I were all sick.  We did make burgers outside, and even cooked up a cobbler on the firepit.  It was an early night.

Monday morning - we're all miserable.  Kendra has a fever, but lots of energy.  Darian has a higher fever and is very snuggly and wants mama all the time.  I have a fever and just want to be left alone.  We compromised and blew up the air mattress in the middle of the living room, camped out and watched movies all day.  Kendra bounced around as she need too, and Darian and I snuggled laying on the mattress.  Considering we are all sick, it was a good day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It's My Party

I can't believe Darian turned one on Wednesday.  Where did a year go?  From my tiny little bundle of cranky old man, to a robust bundle of energetic daredevil-ness. 

We celebrated his birthday with friends, food and cake - all in abundance.  It was wonderful.  By the end of the party he was filthy and exhausted, but extremely happy.  He had opened some presents, played with big sister's friends, played in the sandbox, ate some ribs and enough cake to keep him on a sugar rush for a week.  (4 cupcakes before dinner, and who knows how much cake.  The kids kept giving him more!)

On Wednesday, his actual birthday, we had a small celebration with just us.  Kendra and I made cupcakes with lots of chocolate icing, and we gave him the presents from us and his grandparents. He had no idea what was really going on, and Kendra had a rough time with "no gifts for her" thing, but the cake was good!  It really is hard to be the big sister - especially when the little brother's birthday comes first.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Little Scamps

Talk about slacking...anyway here's all the news that's fit to print. 

Kendra is growing quite the personality.  Tonight she got to have cereal and grapes for dinner instead of the roast, potatoes and spinach the rest of us were having.  Why?  Because three different times within a two minute period she told me "no" to a request (helping unload the dishwasher, turning off the tv, and helping set the table) and was quite rude in her tone.  I wasn't sure what the appropriate response was.  I'm still not sure I did the right thing, but that is the curse of a parent, isn't it?

Darian is also being quite the scamp. He cut tooth #7 today (yesterday?  I just noticed it) and has been extremely fussy.  I'm currently hiding out in the office because every time he sees me he immediately crawls over to me while screaming.  If I'm not around, he's happy as a clam.  So much for family time.

School ends in a few more weeks, and I'm looking forward to summer.  Long days at the beach with friends, park hoping and outdoor art projects (hello body painting. shaving cream drawing and sidewalk chalk) are on our agenda.   It's been a rough year at preschool (for me, not her).  I'm on the board and we've had so much to deal with - including the teaching quitting in April.  We've hired a new teacher that seems wonderful, and next fall is shaping up quite nicely.

I am on track to have my surgery in August, I hope.  All the preliminary work is done, and I'm waiting on the doctor to receive his copies from all the other docs.  Once that's done (and I'm calling daily to check) we can schedule the surgery and see about having Caroline come to kidsit.  Wish me luck that it all falls into place.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Another crazy busy weekend here.  Saturday we helped a friend move into a new house in the morning.  Actually, we provided the comedic entertainment courtesy of the kids and made the lunch run.  Otherwise I suspect we were there for emotional support more than muscle.

Saturday night was the annual preschool auction, which is the main fundraiser for the school.  It was a crazy, loud, boisterous, fun time.  The kids had a ball running around, and dancing to Recess Monkey.  The parents do most of the work, including providing desserts.  I made some (if I do say so myself) fabulous vanilla cupcakes and decorated them to look like flowers.  I almost caused a riot as people fought over who got the cupcakes.  They were a total hit.  Those not lucky enough to snag a cupcake had a pretty awesome consolation prize in Dan's amazing Fluffy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies.

We spent too much money, but got some great deals.  I got Darian a cute "chubby" remote control car designed for babies for his first birthday present (I can't believe I'm already thinking of that!!).  Kendra got an adorable raincoat decorated with ballet stuff, and 12 weeks of ballet lessons at a nearby dance studio.  Dan and I scooped up a couple of local restaurant gift certificates. 

Today was church, then doing some householdy stuff.  I finished our taxes and did some cleaning, including shampooing all the carpets in the house.  My carpets are clean, but the house now smells vaguely of wet dog.

Dan has been at work most of the day, and will hopefully be home before morning...but no guarantees.  They are working on some big, huge, massive project/deployment of something or another.  He says the next few weeks will be brutal for him.  Guess it's a good thing the kids and I are headed to dad's. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Perhaps Someday

If you aren't familiar with the app "Pinterest," you should check it out.  Be warned, it is full of fabulous ideas and can be a real time suck.

One of the ideas I saw was photographing your little girl in mama's wedding dress.  Guess what we did yesterday :)  The pictures turned out amazing.  I knew there was a benefit to procrastinating so long on getting my dress cleaned and stored!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Update in Pictures

The kids are growing like crazy! 

Darian is crawling, pulling up on furniture and chattering up a storm.

Kendra continues to grow and change from my baby into a wonderful young girl.

And who knew doggie doors weren't just for dogs?!?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Problems I Don't Want to Explain

Kendra has a classmate at school this year who has been...challenging.  The parents are very lackadaisical in their parenting and communication of any issues that might be going on.  Today the child was sent to school, again, with no lunch.  What 4 year old can go from 10 - 2 with no lunch?  The school serves snack, but even with that most of the kids are starved by the time they leave.

We scrounged some food for this child, but when Kendra went to share some of the crackers we set out, I had to tell her no.  Since our preschool, and our home, are big on sharing I was put in the position of explaining why she couldn't share this time.  How some kids don't have enough food and some mommies aren't as good at being a mommy as others. No one is a perfect mommy; we just do our best and this mommy was struggling.

Mom has a new baby at home, but even before that she seemed overwhelmed and...disinterested.  I almost wonder if she truly dislikes her child.  :(  My heart breaks for this little one.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"I Hate You"

Words I expected to hear at some point, but not from my 3 1/2 year old.  They were directed at Dan, but still...

Kendra was sent to her room for the rest of the evening.  We talked about it, and how some words are just so hurtful to hear that a simple "I'm sorry" isn't enough to make it better.  She apologized to Dan, but still had to spend the last 45 minutes before bed in her room.  Here's hoping the lesson hit home.

Tomorrow I'll do a wrap of all the time I've been slacking from the computer!