Thursday, April 23, 2015

Get Your Camp On

Ben is in full-on camping mode. Today he dictated his packing list (in order of importance):



News and Reviews



Last night I got sucked down the internet rabbit hole, particularly scrolling through this website: Nature of a Man positions critter cams in Central California and his photographs are spectacular (and funny). The ones of mountain lions just south of San Fran are especially fascinating.  Or the bears!

Speaking of those same lions, check out one youngster’s journey in an attempt to find himself a new territory in downtown Mountain View. I wish I could say he was successful but five months later he was hit by a car while trying to cross a highway.

Whoa. William Shatner, keep your dirty paws of our precious Seattle water.   Get rid of all those SoCal golf courses, lawns, and swimming pools, and then we’ll talk. Maybe.  Or probably not.

Excellent post about relationship tips from weddings. 

My mom wants to be turned into a coral reef when she dies. I might spring for tree food. What do you think? Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, fertilizer to fertilizer...

Holy batman, peeps! This is taking it to a whole ‘nuther level. Mom sends most demanding birthday invite ever. 

CEO of the century: One Company’s new minimum wage: $70k/year

Outdoor preschools are coming to Seattle!!

For the bicycle set: cute toddler shirt. 


 I loved this speech by Amy Schumer. Read the entire thing here. 
"I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, 'All right! You got it. You figured me out. I'm not pretty. I'm not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice'...But then I think, F*** that...I am a woman with thoughts and questions and sh*t to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and f*** and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you.”

The Tallest Trophy: The Movie Star and the Missing Totem Pole (a great read!)

Pacific Northwest Peeps: Are You Ready for Mushrooms?

Ben just participated in a similar study by the same author: Game played in sync increases children’s perceived similarity, closeness.

There is no such thing as ‘women’s rights’. 

Speaking of women, my mom dug out that newspaper article (pictured above) from the year I was born (1981) about the Equal Rights Amendment. Here is your depressing history lesson of the day:
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for women. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman. In 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress and went to the state legislatures for ratification. 
The resolution in Congress that proposed the amendment set a ratification deadline of March 22, 1979. Through 1977, the amendment received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. Five states later rescinded their ratifications before the 1979 deadline, though the validity of these rescissions is disputed. In 1978, a joint resolution of Congress extended the ratification deadline to June 30, 1982, but no further states ratified the amendment before the passing of the second deadline, leaving it three short of the required threshold. 
Consequently, our Constitution is missing this little piece of wording: Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction. Not cool, country. FLOTUS, get on it!

Again, for the biology fanatics: The mystery of the red bellied newt. 


Hope you’re gearing up for a great weekend, Peeps.

xo,

Sonja

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to tell a good woodland yarn

It's almost camping season! I saw these tips for telling a good campfire story in the latest issue of Sunset Magazine. 



I could tell you about the time I almost peed on a rattlesnake or the time we woke up to find that skunks were going through our trash.  And how one of my fellow campers decided it would be a good idea to throw rocks at the skunks to scare them off...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Emma - 15 Months

Oh my, I love this stage of babyhood. And this little girl just slays me.

There is something about having a wee child that forces you to examine the world with fresh eyes and new perspective.

Flowers are beautiful, grass is perfect for crawling, and now is an excellent time for a tickle party.


Emma is coming into her own as a determined, inquisitive almost-toddler. A force of nature.


She is a happy child. She eats, she laughs, she loves to cuddle. We are captivated by this little human as she explores her world and interacts with her people.


Endlessly curious. This gal will be a scientist, I know it. Or a stand up comedian. She loves when the family’s attention is on her and she’ll pull out all the stops to keep us entertained. Currently she’s perfecting her walking and downward dog poses. I would give anything for her flexibility.


OH MY GOD, MAMA. CHECK OUT THIS FLOWER.  I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING SO BEAUTIFUL.


I MUST DESTROY IT.


Excellent. My work here is finished. 




Still rocking’ the baby-patterned baldness. You own it, girl.


Such a quintessential Emma face.



Watch out, world.

xo,

Sonja

Friday, April 10, 2015

News and Reviews

Just in time for Spring Break, I caught the flu. No fun, peeps. Here I was thinking I was going to escape the winter without suffering a serious case of the wheezes. 

But it was not to be. 

And Chris is getting it to so we’re going to be a really fun household here for the next week, I’m sure of it. Having myself a jolly little pity party over here, my dears. 

BUT!

Take comfort in the fact that that I’ve been enforcing a super duper wide personal space radius around myself for the past few days and using hand sanitizer like crazy. Hopefully we won’t spread the sickness beyond our immediate family. Fingers crossed. 

Ok, enough talk about that. 

Emma is walking! If you can call a baby doing a crazy drunken-looking stumble ‘walking’, then this is it. Girl is justifiably thrilled with her new skills. Almost as much as her refrigerator-door opening trick. 






I thought this was unduly harsh towards the parents, but at the same time my mom and I had to work out a good system for dealing with the stuff she offered: Millennials nix their parent’ treasures.

Grief is the pathway to action. I can’t tell you how true this is for me, especially (ironically!) now that I have children. 

No more helicopters! Be a lighthouse parent. 



Hope you have a happy (and HEALTHY) weekend. 

xo, 

Sonja

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

News and Reviews

Get ready, everyone, tomorrow is April 1st.

Just to get you in the mood: April Fools Pranks (the Walmart prank!!!)

When there is no place to go. 

Have an outdoor cat? It needs this. 

Pilot proposes mid-flight. 

The radical political implications of spending time outdoors. 

I pay for my parenting mistakes in kisses.

The craziest video you’ll see all week. 

My sister-in-law got me turned onto TheSkimm, a daily email newsletter that covers world news. Love it.

xo,

Sonja

Bathroom progress

Sometimes I wonder if the other parents at preschool notice that I wear the same ratty pair of yoga pants all the time, or if I have paint on my nose and dust in my hair when I come to retrieve Ben. 

I'm definitely not winning any awards for most put-together, that's for darn sure. 

But my tile project is humming right along, so that's a plus. 


I was so anxious about this project due to the massively wonky walls. And the fact that our tub is almost two inches lower at one end. And the giant holes that needed to be patched. And the waterproofing material that needed to be added to protect the old plaster walls. And my limited tile experience. 

So, there was a lot to worry about. 


But I'm learning and making progress and best of all, I'm done except for two more sections of grout. 


One step closer to having my bathroom back!


Hallelujah.


Next up: wall texturing, painting, vanity install, toilet install, tub refinishing...

Ugh. We're just going to stop the list right there as its length thus far is too depressing. 

Shall we take bets to see if I'm finished by December?!

Monday, March 30, 2015

New Hike!

This weekend we went on what is now my most favorite hike. Drum roll, please!

Ashland Lakes off the Mountain Loop Highway. We only made it as far as the oddly-named Beaver Plant Lake but it was terrific.

It’s 3.8 miles round trip (with a tough-ish last 0.8 mile up to the lake) but the lake was gorgeous and the trail had streams, bogs, boardwalks, and bridges.


Plus we saw frogs and frog eggs which always makes for an exciting trip. Ahem. For the biologists and the four years olds of the family.

We also got to check out the group campsite that we reserved for this summer with a gaggle of families near the Big Four Ice Caves. Let the mayhem commence!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Alligator Boys Go To Alaska

Alligators are my son’s favorite animals. Snapping alligators, he’ll specify. And from the very beginning he has dubbed both himself and my husband (his father) The Alligator Boys. It’s been this way for years. Occasionally I get to be an honorary alligator but typically I’m excluded from the reptilian posse. And for the past month it’s been: “Sorry Mama, but the Alligator Boys are going to Alaska and you can’t come”. I’d put on a sad face and pretend to be disappointed.

But if you’re (or have been) a parent to a wild toddler, you know that ten days worth of peace and quiet are priceless to a sleep-deprived mama.

Can't go to Alaska?

YIPEEEEE.

‘Cause the Honeybadger Girls are going to be enjoying life, let me tell you.

Let there be no mistake: I love Alaska. I love visiting, I love seeing family, I love the gorgeous scenery. But nothing can beat a little down time right now; it’s been a long year.

Normally I’d be green with envy seeing fun pictures like this:



And this (Ben’s first ski lesson):



But I happily plowed my way through five books, stayed in my PJs all day, ate cereal for dinner more  than I should of, and in general had a delightfully introverted week. My Papa was also staying at the house so that was a pleasant interlude to our quiet days.


Unfortunately the Alligator Boys caught the flu or a bad cold (or a combo of the two) on their first full day in Anchorage so they ended up having a rough stay. Being sick away from home is no fun. Fortunately they were in the best possible away-from-home location (my in-law’s house) and there was plenty of TLC, hot tubbing, and hot cocoa breaks. And the Alligators Boys are nothing if not tough so they rallied for a spot of ice fishing:


Ben is still waxing poetic about his tasty salmon, the water slide park, and the BIG, SCARY, AWESOME skiing hill. 

Frankly, I’m not entirely convinced they were even sick, based on the number of activities they did. 


I’ll admit that there are times when I’ve yearned for those quiet early days of parenting. Toddlers, particularly of Ben’s temperament, are all about movement, interaction, loud noises, and incessant talking.

Emma is currently working on her walking and babbling, which proceed at a slower and quieter pace. It’s a lovely change.


We took long naps and played in the yard. Bailey snored away next to us. Spring has come to Seattle; we’re soaking up the vitamin D, listening to the renewed bird chatter, and watching the plants awaken. 


I also was able to tackle a few house projects: painting the basement stairs, 


and doing a bit of tile work in the upstairs bathroom. More to come on this later. 

Amazing how much you can get done with just a wee babe to care for.



But our boys came back into town on Saturday night and once again the house is ringing with laughter and we’re glad to have the family back together. Ben is taller (I swear it!) and ran into my arms and promised that I, too, get to go to Alaska with them next time. And Emma made sure to show off all her new tricks, including her ability to clear her plate in two second flat by expeditiously dumping it on the floor. 

And the standing thing, which is a nice little feat for our baby girl. Walking is just around the corner.


In the meantime, I’m thinking of purchasing tickets for the Alligator Boys to go to Alaska next year, as well.

xo,

Sonja


Friday, March 13, 2015

News and Reviews



Seattle Peeps,

My friend Melinda has a photography exhibit up at Core Gallery in the Pioneer District. I am determined to make it down there before it closes on March 28th.

Where does your food come from? For one outdoorsman, road kill is his only red meat. 

One time right after Ben was born, I nursed him in the bathroom at Costco because I didn’t know where else to go. Never again. After that, I headed straight for the outdoor section and their comfy patio chairs. Love this mother’s take on breastfeeding in the bano. 

I adore zoos. They are one of my favorite places to take the kids. But...ethics. Is it time to put zoos out to pasture?

Before I Go: Time warps for a young surgeon with lung cancer. 
That message [to his baby daughter] is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.

This week Ben is in Alaska with his grandparents so we are going to spoil our little Emma silly. Today she cuddled with Bailey, learned how to crawl down stairs, and made herself cosy in Benjamin’s bed. 

I have a few projects, including the assembly of Em’s Baby Book and tiling of an upstairs bathtub. It’s a big job and I’m a wee bit nervous. 

Have a great weekend. 

xo, 

Sonja