Wednesday, October 17, 2012

N's Current Favorite Book

I know I haven't been keeping up on our life here, and I have plans of back logging it all very shortly, but for now you can take a listen to N "reading" through In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. He has really taken to this book recently and I can't help but see a little bit of N in the storyline myself.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Little Street Cred

E was mentioned on our school's website!

(sorry for the screen shot pic)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Birch Bay 2012

Mom and Kids Only Camping trip! Looking back over the other 2 trips we've taken, I realized that we have steadily increased our stays each time (Deception Pass - 1 night, and Ocean Shores - 2 nights), soon, we may be up to a week! This year we decided on a shorter car ride up north and stayed at lovely Birch Bay State Park, right across the water from Canada. We nabbed a great site complete with it's own forest trails. E spent most of her time in a huge climbing tree with Asher, and N and Mini were great companions. The 3-night trip (as you may imagine) presented itself with its unique challenges; a burst of rain on our ill prepared tents, a tick lodged under Mini's eyelash, early wake up calls, raccoons bumping around in the night, mosquito bites, uncooperative children howling in the showers, and a table full of picky eaters. None were so terrible to deter us from planning another trip again next year. Here are some shots from our time, none sadly from my actual camera, all via Instagram on my phone.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 Shark's Picnic

To say that swim team was a good experience for E this summer would be an understatement. She shone; our family was incredibly proud of her hard work. She was up every weekday morning for a 8am-9:30 workout and practice and she really swam her hardest at each meet. Her times vastly improved over the corse of the summer! Good work Sweet Girl!

In League Champs, the final meet of the season which included 5 or 6 teams, she placed 2nd in the 25 yard Backstroke and 3rd in Mixed 100 yard Freestyle for her age group (that's out of 30 or 40 some odd kids in those events)! We're already looking forward to next year!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fourth Swim Meet

E's coach has taken a special interest in appropriately pushing E's quickly growing skill set in the lanes. It was decided that she be placed in an event rated for 10-year-olds (she's 7). She was entered into the 100-Yard Individual Medley. This requires her to swim 4 lengths of the pool and a new stroke for each pass. It was exhausting just watching. But she pushed right on through and finished 4th, we were so

Here's the video:


Last minute instruction from Coach Monique



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And her best event; the 25 Backstroke was another success! She improved her time by 2 seconds and brought home another blue ribbon!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Third Swim Meet

The backstroke is E's strongest stroke, she won first in her division today! A very proud moment for all that were there cheering her on. D and I were serendipitously timing her lane and got to watch the whole thing unfold right under our noses. She's in lane 4 (4th from the top).

*Thanks to Grandpa for taking the video.

Monday, July 16, 2012

N's First Swim Lesson

Swimming lessons have been a top priority for our family. I took them every summer until I earned a Red Cross Certification, E's been in the water since 2 1/2 almost year round, and now it's time for the boy. He's reverted back to his clingy self as of recent, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I gave him the rundown, and he had loads of questions. It helped that E was already in the water doing "her lesson," and he just got right in! For the most part he listened attentively and participated in everything (at one point he even shot off the raised dock to imitate his teacher only to find himself near the bottom of the pool...coughing a sputtering he have me a soggy smile while his instructor placed him back on solid ground, undeterred in the least).

*You can see E watching from the far left lane on the other side of the pool and cheering him on!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

E's First Swim Meet

E was all smiles during all 4 of her events (she must have swallowed a gallon of water with her mouth open like that). She competed with other 7/8-year-olds, and felt great about the experience. I was volunteering the entire evening as a timer, so I didn't get to focus on her like I would have preferred, but her 4 grandparents were in there in full force along with N, I was so thankful for their support.

*This cracks me up every time. She's swimming, but more interested in spotting her grandparents on the side.

Friday, July 6, 2012

N's First Bike Ride

We got E the tiniest little bike when she was 2. She rode it a lot until it was outgrown and then we lent it out. Well, it's back in the hands of another 3-year-old... One who strangely enough is content to pedal at a snails pace. Just like his sister though, N's is having a little bit of trouble with the pedaling direction and often stomps back to a jolting halt. I have no doubt that very shortly I'll be screaming at him from the front porch to slow down, and stop playing chicken with oncoming traffic.

This clip is almost 2 minutes long and mostly placed here for posterity. Please forgive the gushing motherly instruction and encouragement.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Knee High by The 4th of July

Our popping corn is plugging right along, and if the forecast is correct the next stretch of sun will really help things along!

Happy 4th!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Conversations With a 7-Year-Old

Setting: Backyard; I'm in our shed cleaning and organizing and she's swinging on her tree swing near the door.

E "Mom, if you could have just one wish what would it be?"

Me "Probably that we wouldn't have to ever worry about money."

E "Ok, what if I add you up to 5 wishes?"

Me "Whoa, well that's a lot to think about."

E "Ok I'll minus you down to 3."

Me "Ok, no money worries, health and safely for those I love, and...well peace I guess just about covers it."

E "Well, what if our car could fly? Like a rocket button?"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

St. Louis Gateway Arch

E got a close up look at the arch today, incredible!

On the Receiving End of a Video Chat

As I mentioned before E got to tag along on the last leg of her daddy's tour. Kinda awesome, right? Not too many kids get to take a week and a half off of homelife and drive from Atlanta back to Seattle in a tour van. She's loving it. I've had a harder time not having her around. I think there were 2 consecutive nights I spent away from her last year sometime, but nothing like this type of separation. Our family is equally divided down the middle; 2 away and 2 stay. Of course we have our multiple daily conversations when I have to interrogate her on teeth brushing and vitamin taking. Every once in a while my phone let's me know there is a video chat afoot; let the silly face making contest begin! Her and her N could have hour long spells doing this: 

We miss her, and cannot wait until next week when we're all back together again.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Boy Time

I'm not sure how I'm going to cope. My first born off on an adventure with her dad for the next 10 days.

At home.
With the boy.

Day in and day out with N. No school, no schedule to speak of, just us and the long long days. I haven't been a parent of one in a long time, "How do I do this again?" He still naps more often than not, and he really will eat most anything so that's something. Wait! He loves the children's museum, the zoo, the aquarium, going on hikes, taking long baths, digging outside with me, playing on our swing set, visiting the swimming pool, playing indoors, cooking...hmmmm on second thought I think this is going to be fine, we might actually not be able to fit everything in! And isn't this exactly what I was lamenting when he was born; that he wouldn't get that undivided attention E had for the first 5 years of her life? This is going to be really good.

Here is my latest solution to his accumulating Playmobil construction collection: IKEA has these extra large shallow under-the-bed storage boxes that are the perfect fit for keeping the mess contained and easy play! Now if we could just manage to get him in matching pajama's once in a while, who is his mother anyhow?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Definition of an Orchard

The definition of an orchard as spelled out by wikipedia is "an intentional planting of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production." My guess is that my front yard won't look the way it does for many more years. I am slowly replacing ornamental's with plants that give a little bit back. Last fall I planted a 4-way cherry, a 4-way pear and a Gravenstein apple. In years past I put in blueberries, raspberries, rhubarb and strawberries. Everything is growing and looking very healthy (except maybe save for the strawberries, can't figure out why they only want to make pea-sized berries). I wasn't sure I would get anything this season from my fruit trees what with it being their first year in my yard and the flip-floppy weather we're so famous for in the lovely Seattle area. Here is a little peek at my orchard.

The apples are right now about the size of a 'shooter marble' and my mouth just waters when I think of the pie and homemade sauce in my future!

This is on the Bartlett branch, disappointingly no D'Anjou this year (which is kinda the reason I got the tree in the first place)

I have exactly 3 cherries growing this year; have to put up the bird netting soon I would die if birds ate them!

Loads of raspberries comin'; these are the epitome of summer fruit in my mind, nothing better.

Blueberries makin' their way too!

Here are my funny little strawberries, the smallest things I have ever seen (but darn tasty when ripe)! Anyone know what's happening here? I acquired them from a neighbor and his berries were 'normal' - they're Alpine which are a more petite berry, but come on; I'd need 100 of these things to call it a snack!