Monday, July 30, 2012

weekend notes

I. you know what i hate most about moving? it's that awkward two month period right at the beginning when everyone you see is a new face, when you have to relearn where things are in a new grocery store, when you require GPS to go anywhere at all. we're slowly settling in over here and we've got sweet neighbors and i'm finally able to drive around town without getting lost...but, still. i drive over to issaquah to see friends and feel a little sad that we don't "belong" on that side of town anymore. and church! don't get me started on church. a giant perk of being mormon is having a huge network of fellow mormons, but a definite downside is that it encourages -- nay, forces -- you to put yourself out there and meet new people, week after week. every week when sunday comes around, i drag myself into the chapel filled with dread that i'll have to smile and make dumb small talk with people who will someday become normal, worn-in, friendly friends. oh well. after so many moves you'd think i'd be better at this, but i'm not. the only thing i've gotten better at is knowing to expect a good six-month period before we're finally settled in. having this hope allows me to cry it out a lot less than i used to. :)

II. i did manage to make one new friend (she's the relief society president, so judge for yourself whether she was obligated to befriend me or not ;) and she invited us over for dinner last night. win! so nice. while we were there, jack ate a mancala bead. fail! yes, you read that correctly -- he swallowed one of those glass beads. i was slightly panicked but since the hosts seemed like it was no big deal (and they've managed to keep FOUR children alive, as opposed to my one) and my rational thinking told me the bead wasn't sharp, wouldn't disintegrate or poison him, and would probably just come out the other end eventually -- so i chilled. i'll spare you the details, but we got the mancala bead back today. (i pride myself on jack's regularity. :) it was turquoise. i didn't keep it.

III. we had visitors this weekend AND it was b's 30th birthday! we ran ourselves ragged over the past few days and i've got lots of pictures to show you. jack did uncomfortably well for missing his nap on saturday, i'm crossing my fingers this wasn't a sign of things to come. stay tuned!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

birthday date

b and i are more into DOING stuff for our birthdays than GETTING stuff. this year, i told him i just wanted to do something fun in seattle. he has been paying attention -- my birthday outing included two things i've really been wanting to do. great job, b!

first we went to dinner at the pink door. this is a secret restaurant in post alley, part of pike place market -- there are no signs for the place, only A PINK DOOR. so cool. it's decorated really bohemian inside and a few nights a week there are trapeze artists who swing above the tables, but not on saturday nights. boo. they also have a really pretty deck overlooking elliott bay. the italian food was delish and it was so nice to have a quiet, adult dinner.

then we went to the mariners game! (slightly different attire needed for this event....we changed our shirts in the car.) this was my first one since moving to seattle, and my first baseball game since we went to the rockies when i was 9 months pregnant. so much better this time around. especially because we won! 8-0 over the texas rangers.

such a fun night out with b. the weather was beautiful too! we love living here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

flying with toddlers

our trip to lake powell was jack's 20th time on an airplane and, coincidentally, the last time he could fly for free since he is now two years old. pretty sure his travel schedule is going to dramatically clear up from now on because i am NOT looking forward to having to buy 3 plane tickets every time our family flies. sorry jack -- only road trips for you from now on!

but anyway. i've become pretty well-versed in the whole travel-with-a-toddler thing (especially when traveling solo, without b) and thought i'd share my tricks here. NONE of them involve watching dvds on the flight. :) either they'll help you, or they'll just be here as a reminder for me the next time we have a free flyer in the family. if you're interested, click the link below -- otherwise, feel free to skip ahead!

my best tips for flying with a toddler...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

lake powell 2012

yet another reason i still haven't unpacked our house: jack and i spent the 4th of july in lake powell with my family. b couldn't come because of work (turns out early july is the WORST possible time to plan a vacation if you're employed by msft) and we missed him a lot, but we still managed to have fun. :)

i grew up going to lake powell every summer, but hadn't been back in almost 10 years. a lot of it felt the same and it was SO GOOD to be back, but (especially after living in the lush green-ness of seattle for the past year) the stark contrast of uber-desert was still a little jarring for me. i had missed those red rocks! we stayed on a comfy houseboat and went wakeboarding and tubing and swimming. i read half of the steve jobs biography and took a few naps. we ate tons of delicious treats. it was glorious.

just a few highlights from the trip:

+ jack LOVED the boats, especially driving them with pop pop. he did not so much love the water. the closest i could get him (without screaming) was to float in a tube, which he thought was cool. he also loved digging in the sand and exploring the beach (or really, doing everything) with his grammie. all in all, a successful first boating trip for the cute little monkey.

+ the night before we left, jack had a fever. a day later i found out that two of jack's friends had come down with hand foot & mouth disease...and yep, that explained the fever -- jack had it too! sick. that is seriously one of the grossest-sounding diseases in the world but it's actually not too bad. at least, it wasn't for jack -- he had a pretty mild case and got over it within a few days. i'd gladly take this over barf or a few other choice ailments. (i also got a cold the second day of our trip -- the wells family is incapable of staying healthy on vacation.) 

+ we spent the night of the 4th listening to patriotic music on the local radio station and watching fireworks over the canyon -- hands down, my favorite way to spend the holiday. we also lit a few of our own but saved the majority of them for a saturday grand finale. then the park rangers showed up to search our boat for firearms. :) that was fun. 

+ the morning after the 4th, we went out for a ride and discovered a grisly scene: a ski boat sitting about 25 feet up on a partially submerged rock. the bottom was totally torn up and there was blood on the boat and rocks. yuck. we got up close and my brother swam over to take a closer look, but when we went back again in the afternoon to take pictures they'd already hauled it away. later, we found out the boat belonged to a family who was driving back to the marina in the dark, after the fireworks -- they didn't see the rock at all and just drove right up onto it, ejecting three passengers completely out of the boat. luckily everyone survived...but DANG. that does not sound like my idea of a fun time.

+ my brother grant is jack's new best friend. jack would ask for him as soon as he woke up in the morning (probably so he could watch mickey mouse clubhouse on his phone) and wanted to play with him all the time. grant was so patient and sweet with him -- even playing catch in the houseboat hallway. so cute! i love my brother and i'm so glad he's back.

+ i loved spending time with my family! we have so many good memories on that lake and i loved that we could just pick up where we left off. not to mention -- it was good for my soul to be in such a beautiful place. i soaked up all the vitamin D i could get and absolutely loved being surrounded by those canyon walls and dry desert air. lake powell is my happy place.

i was also reminded how much i love make up and straightening irons. :) we were sad to leave but SO happy to come home to b and our regular routine.

Monday, July 16, 2012

beach day

on birthday eve, we headed to the beach. west seattle's coastline is the only beachy area up here that reminds me of california -- lots of sand, people skating and biking along the shore, dive-y restaurants. we met up with my friend marie, grabbed treats from bakery nouveau (i got a twice-baked chocolate croissant and yes, it was even better than you are imagining right now. yum!) and headed to the beach!

it was a BEAUTIFUL day. sometimes, seattle, you really win me over. sunny days like this make it almost worth it to deal with the year-round rain. 


in case you're wondering, jack wouldn't go near the water. whether it's a bath tub, the ocean or a pool -- he does NOT like water. an unfortunate development since i'd be happy to take him swimming at the drop of a hat, but oh well...i don't push it. i let him dig in the sand to his heart's content while i got to work on my tan. win win. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

friday the 13th

sharing a birthday isn't so bad, except when it comes to parties. b said we shouldn't do my surprise birthday date ON my birthday, since it's jack's day too and he shouldn't have to get a babysitter. okay, understandable. but by the same measure, i am not willing to throw jack a birthday party on his actual b-day because it's MY day too and i don't need the stress. :)

therefore, this year jack's birthday party happened on july 13. which also happened to be FRIDAY the 13th. uh oh. i'm not superstitious but when b got a flat tire on the way to work AND it started pouring rain on my way to set up for the party, i almost changed my mind.

jack and his friend emery are exactly one week apart, so emery's mom megan and i decided to throw them a joint birthday party. july = summer = pool party, right? not so in washington. silly me. this whole week has been gorgeous and hot (ha, hot...80 degrees) and the weather forecasters predicted the same for today. we woke up to clouds and by the time we packed up the car and drove to pick up some balloons, it was hailing and thundering & lightning. thunder. in seattle! that's not something we see much of around here -- rain, sure, but thunder? no way.

we were going to do the party at the pool in my old apartment complex, but there weren't any covered areas and it was pouring rain. megan and i decided to try our favorite, typically vacant park instead because they have a covered picnic space, but when we showed up there was a 30-child baseball team huddled under the enclosure, waiting out the storm. of COURSE there was. the rain was starting to fade and we were pretty much out of other options so we made the best of it.

we opened up the back of megan's car, spread out all the food and decorations and turned it into a birthday party food truck.

the baseball team left at 11:30 a.m. so we got the tables for a half hour. everyone ate and played at the park and ran around and i think they had a good time. i just liked being able to chat with all my friends and watch the kiddos play, so in my opinion it was a success. 

so much for my pool toy party favors. 

i'm not lying when i say all of jack's friends are girls.

megan is the best party planning co-pilot -- even with a new baby. we rocked that thing...and we were the only ones in our bathing suits. haha. we both deserved naps by the end.

phew! sure glad birthdays only come around once a year. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

double birthday 2012

yowza! i am so behind on life right now, including this blog. procrastination is a dangerous thing...i start thinking about how much i have to do and it gets really overwhelming so instead i sit and read blogs so my brain can take a break, while my to-do list continues to grow. but now! now i am tackling it. so while i catch up the one-eyed wonder blog, my inbox / unpacking / cleaning / laundry / organizing / painting will have to wait. get ready to get some maaaajor blog catch up coming your way.

starting first, of course, with the 2012 double birthday celebration! thursday was me & jack's birthday. it was a pretty low key day -- presents, a short trip to green lake, playing with new toys outside, brinner for dinner and donuts for dessert. does anyone else feel disappointed if they don't do something earth-shattering on their birthday? b thinks i'm crazy for considering thursday to be a slow birthday. no matter, because around here we celebrate birthday WEEK so there's a party every day :)

this was a very sporty birthday for jack. between us & the grandparents, he got a t-ball set, a mini basketball hoop, some velcro catching mitts and a remote-controlled car. plus some books and a mini broom to help mom sweep -- his favorite activity. :)

i can't believe this kid is 2! below is what he looks like when you tell him to say cheese. haha. don't mind the awful crewcut...i took him for a buzz this week and it turned out a little too short for my liking.

the weather has been super nice this week so after naptime we went outside to play. he loves driving his race car around already! side note: why does he look like he's 12 in these pictures?


b surprised me with a really cool map i've been wanting forever, plus a fancy date night for this weekend -- i'll share more details after we go. plus he brought home my favorite top pot doughnuts so basically he rocked the birthday celebration this year. also, it was SO so fun to get facebook messages, texts and calls throughout the day. i have the best friends and family!

Monday, July 2, 2012

june in review

the past month has flown by in a blur of boxes, tantrums, meetings and fun. i've said it before and i'll say it again -- moving sucks. packing up my life, transporting it and having to unpack it is NOT my idea of fun [ironic, since we've moved 6 times in less than 6 years of married life] but i do like getting organized, decorating new spaces and throwing things out. so i guess it's not all bad.

i was sad to leave our old apartment behind, but we're on to bigger and better. i LOVE our new house and can't wait to show you pictures of it, once we get things put away. which might not be for a while. *ahem* :) it's so amazing to have extra space and a yard for jack to run around in. we spend most afternoons riding his scooter on the driveway, exploring our new street and playing at the park at the end of our cul de sac. suburbia does have its benefits...including awesome new neighbors who love to play with my boy. 

maybe it was the chaos of the move, maybe the terrible 2's are starting to set in -- but jack had a rough couple of days this month. i couldn't take my eyes off him for more than 10 seconds without him destroying something! but, i regrouped (with a little help from this great parenting book) and we're doing better.

despite the growing pains, jack is getting cuter and smarter every day. just this month he's surprised me with so many new tricks -- singing most of the ABCs, counting ("1, 2, 8, 9, 6, 8, 9!"), identifying colors and letters, remembering funny details from months ago. i love this monkey. 

b is working hard at his job -- but still loves to come home, play with jack and watch movies with me. we cut our cable last month and are living now with only netflix and hulu plus for entertainment...can't say i miss tv too much. i've been busy with my little side projects, as always -- still doing some traditional PR work, but i spent a lot of time this month building up my blogger consulting business. i'm teaching a workshop here in seattle in august and i'm so excited! plus, the "little" local blogger group i started last fall reached 200 facebook members in june -- it's so nice to have such a great community of colleagues here. i've also been missing all my issaquah friends, who live just 20 minutes away but it might as well be the moon -- definitely harder to call them up for random park dates when we're far apart, but so far i've lured a few girls out to the new house so i hope that keeps up. NOT looking forward to starting from scratch in the friends department out here, but i don't need to worry about that for a few more weeks since we've got vacations and other stuff coming up. plus it's been 50 degrees and raining for most of the month, so it's not like we were going to the park much anyway. 

life is good! now, if only we could get summer actually started, i'd be REALLY happy. :)