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.