Thursday, August 21, 2014

Emma - 7 Months Old

This has been a big month for our little Em. She learned to crawl and sit up, she’s ravenously attacking solid foods, she’s cutting two new teeth, and she’s discovered a love of stealing Ben’s most prized possessions. Life is good for this little gal.

Through it all, she’s remained her happy, content self. When in new situations, she sits back and observes, rather than participates, but once in her comfort zoom she is determined and engaged. Ben can get her laughing like no one else. She is deliciously ticklish. She is also the most easy-going baby I’ve ever met. Until she’s hungry and then she needs nourishment now.

This was also the month that she stopped sleeping through the night, which has been a bit of a shock to her sleep-loving mama (me!). We’re hoping that the introduction of solid foods will fill her up enough so she’ll once again adopt her solid snoozing habits. She’s still getting the hang of eating: lots of attempts to feed herself but not much actual swallowing. It’s a process and we’re trying to be patient.

We love this little gal to bits and are so glad she’s joined the family. Life is crazy and hectic with two, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Love you, Emma girl.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Emma’s Nursery and Design Conundrums

I  have great timing on baby nurseries. I finish them just as the kid learns to crawl, which necessitates the removal of half the decorative items, due to baby proofing measures. Eh, I’m willing to live with it.

Emma’s room isn’t quite finished actually, and I could use your thoughts and advice. 

The puzzle: This large, weirdly shaped wall. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Like father, like Son

My Dears,

We just got back from a wonderfully relaxing week in Anchorage, Alaska. Our family was ready for some down-time; it's been a hectic month. 

One morning we went through some old albums. I love looking at the similarities between husband and son.

Here is Chris around age 4:

And Ben:

Ben isn't quite as sturdy and his hair is wispy-er but the eyes and facial structure scream 'Chris'.

Also, how cute is Chris' little bro? Look at that smile. And the hair!

I wouldn't be surprised if Emma's followed a similar path; what little she has is sticking straight up!



Monday, August 11, 2014

Seattle Outings: Forest Park Petting Zoo (in Everett)

We needed a farm fix the other day so we headed up to Everett to visit the small but lovely Forest Park petting zoo

The farm has varied menagerie of animals (ducks, chickens, pigs, bunnies, horses, sheep & alpacas) but we spent most of our time visiting with the babies goats. 

Goat watering time.

Checking out “Thigh” and “Breast”. Just kidding. They had cute names like Henrietta and Penelope. 



If You Go: 
Forest Farm in Everett, Washington

Open June 28 - August 24 10a.m.-4p.m. daily (2014). Check website for additional details

Occasionally they give $4 pony rides. I couldn’t find any information posted on the website. The day we went (a Tuesday), they were available from 10:30-11:30. 

The park is also host to a fantastic spray park and jungle gym. Be prepared for a crowd on sunny days. 

Both parking and the farm are free but donations are greatly appreciated. They have a cute little ‘donation goat’ that rambles around wearing a collection vest; the kids will have a kick sticking a few bucks into the attached piggy bank.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Life and Times (State of the [blog] Union)

So, as you [ahem] may have noticed, we’ve been pretty kid-centered on the blog lately. Bet you can guess how we spend most days, right? 

I struggle with how much to post of the kids, given that I’m the primary person that is content to spend my free time thumbing happily through pictures of my children. Me and probably five other people (who all happen to be related to those selfsame kiddos). 

Knowing where to draw the line between what is amusing to me vs. what is amusing to normal (non-related) folk is often tough to determine. Especially since this is a site about my life (which happens to involve two crazy, wonderful babies). 

We started the blog as a way of sharing our activities and lives with far-away families. Those geographic distances aren’t so far nowadays but the readership has changed and I find that I really enjoy blogging; it’s a fun activity to do in few spare moments that are allotted after the kids have trundled off to bed. 

In summary, I’m not sure what our blog should look like, but it’ll probably continue in the same vein. I’m going to forge ahead with the normal routine and try my best to balance the kid posts with more interesting fare. Above all, I’m glad you’re here and thanks for reading. 

But first (you knew this was coming, right?!):

Welcome to the crazy farm. Never a dull moment. 

Ben just woke up from his nap. He’s still in zombie mode. Emma gives him a playful little slap to speed things up. “Here brother, I got your back” [SMACK]

And he’s awake! Thankfully he chooses to be happy-awake, not grumpy-awake, which happens occasionally.

“You good, bro? I could do a little tickling"

It worked. He’s going now. FULL THROTTLE.

This is pretty much how Ben acts around Emma. Every. single. minute.

“Loooook into my eyes, little one. Sign over all your Halloween candy for the next ten years."

And that’s a wrap, folks.

Much love,


Thursday, August 07, 2014

So Close...Yet So Far Away

Distance: 2 feet
Mode of Locomotion: Any means possible 

Oh hey, Mushroom Man, you look tasty. I would like to gnaw on you.

I’ll just pullll myself up and then trundle your way.

And I’m up!

Ok, now what?!

Must....move...legs. I am a determined little baby.

Am I moving yet?


I am ignoring you, Mushroom Man.

Ok, back for round two.

I am determined to gnaw on you.

If I can make it over there.

Next time, I will get you, Mushroom Man. As soon as I learn to crawl, you’re toast.

From The Blog-O-Sphere

From the world wide web, this week’s edition of “From the Blog-O-Sphere”:

Police rescue naked masturbating man who fell into Willamette River. As part of the rowing team in college, we had our fair share of run-ins with inebriated/high folks while out on the river. One decided to do a little slalom course over the top of one of the boats once. The men’s team corralled him until the police showed up. Keep it classy, Willamette River.

Peeps, how would you feel about insects for dinner? Cricket casserole? Meal worm marmalade? I’d bite (literally and figuratively). Awesome source of protein, you know? Who’s with me?! Will Americans Buy Bug Snacks? Maybe ... If They're Funny And Cute

Last night we watched the documentary Hanna Ranch

Hanna Ranch is a feature documentary about visionary cattleman Kirk Hanna and his personal struggle to protect a once prominent way of life in Colorado. Born into a life on the family ranch, Hanna became a leader in the environmental ranching movement that set out to protect the West from the relentless encroachment of development and misuse. 
Featured in the book Fast Food Nation and dubbed the “eco-cowboy,” he was an early adopter of Holistic Resource Management practices, sat on numerous environmental boards and was president of the Colorado Cattleman’s Association. Hanna’s opinion was so widely sought and respected, many even saw him as a future governor of Colorado. But when his dream of harmony and sustainability ran up against the reality of family conflict and mounting threats to the land, Hanna lost hope. 
Kirk’s legacy and fight live on as his family and friends continue to protect the West by saving Hanna Ranch. (Summary and photo both from the website)
Have a great week. 



PS: look who wants to crawl soooo badly! 

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Seattle Activities: Northwest Trek

I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for decades and never ventured down to Northwest Trek. Time to make amends.

Frankly, it’s a bit of a haul from Seattle. Ben has turned into a professional backseat driver and told Chris to turn around (because he was going the wrong direction) about fifty times. In the future I’d rent a little cabin nearby and pair this with a weekend adventure at Mt. Rainier.

There are two areas in the park: the self-guided walking part and the tram ride. Both are included with the entry ticket.

I liked the tram best: it’s gorgeous countryside and the animals are fun to spot hiding in the woods.

Or not hiding at all:

The moose are the most reclusive and according to our fuide, it’s a grand success if you spy one of them. One of our fellow passengers gets the 'eagle eye' award for his moose locating skills:

The 435-acre area is entirely fenced, although some small ‘visitors’ can come and go at will. A few years ago a mountain lion made itself comfortable within the zoo and dined on 10 (!) hoofed creatures before he was escorted off the premises.

The elk herd taking a dip.

The zoo is comprised entirely of “NW” animals, which includes much of Canada and Alaska as I’m fairly certain that we’re lacking moose here in Washington. I was going to include grizzly bears in that last sentence except I googled it and found out that there are, indeed, brown bears here in good ole WA. Who knew?! Not me....

I was aware of the hordes of raccoons that inhabit our state.

If you go:

Depending on how busy the place it, it’s worth dropping off someone at the entrance to pay and get your tram tokens. We dilly-dallied around in the car and when we finally made it up to the ticket booth, the next available tram was 50 minutes out. Fortunately you can spend your time doing the walking part of the zoo so you won’t be waiting in line for that time. 

There are lots of lovely places to picnic on the grounds so bring food. 

There is a slight discount for Pierce County residents. As a non-PC resident, I thought the rates ($20/person) were ever-so-slightly too high.  But I’m also kind of cheap. Thrifty sounds better, doesn’t it?  I’m not cheap, peeps, I’m thrifty. Ben was $10 and Emma was free. 

There is also a zip line (additional fee) for the adventurous.