Monday, September 01, 2014

End of Summer

The last vestiges of this glorious summer weather are slowly slipping away. Time to hold on to them while they last. 

Ben decided that a dip in a high alpine lake was his version of perfection. 

Naked. Of course. This kid abhors clothing. 

The Pacific Northwest does forests pretty well, yes? This is what comes to mind when I think of my childhood here in this far western slice of our country. I hope it'll be the same for my own wee little ones.




Photos: Barclay Lake. Highway 2. September 1. 2014.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Emma: Weeks 20-33

We’re still marching along on the 1 picture/week project. Sometimes it’s hard to choose just one, other times I’m casting around for a qualified candidate. You’ll probably be able to tell which ones are shot with an iPhone and there are a few that are slightly fuzzy; I’ve made my peace with less-than-perfect pictures. Such is life with moving kids. 

Benisms, vol 26

From the other room:

Ben: "uh oh"


"I just broke your (grandmother's antique silver) tea pot". 

"Oh no!  Seriously?!"

"Yes. But!! I have a good idea!!


He strikes an arms-extended superman pose:



I was paying Ben to pick up all the crab apples that fell in the yard. A penny per apple.

“Mom, I picked up all the apples!”

“Sweet. Thanks, Ben”

“And then I threw them all over the fence! The yard is clean! And you owe me lots of money"

“Wait. You threw them all over the fence?! To our neighbor’s yard, who has the most impeccably perfect garden that ever existed?”*

“Yup. But I picked them up first and THEN threw them so you still have to pay me.”

Things are never boring ‘round here, peeps. Good thing I love this kid so much.



*Upon inspection, it turned out that he’d thrown the apples over the fence that divides our front from our back yards, and not over into the neighbor’s garden. whew. He still wanted double payment for having to pick up the apples twice, however. 

From The Blog-O-Sphere

Here is the latest from around the wonderful world wide web:

Sad day. Group Health is closing the birth center where my two little babes were born. Every time I drive by the building I automatically zero in on the window to our room where Benjamin entered the world. I’d do the same for Emma except there was no time to look around and actually see the room. Bed! Bassinet! Here comes baby! And it was in the middle of the night. They’re not closing down the midwifery program, which is good, as I adored those women, just moving their base of operations to Swedish. Which is fine; I’ve heard many, many very positive things about Swedish MC. But still. That ugly old building is near and dear to my heart.

This is your brain on fish. 

What’s at the bottom of Lake Washington? I think about this every time I take a plunge into the lake...

Welcome to Washington: [potential] Grizzly Country!

What the heck did I just watch? Impressed, confused, my head is unable to absorb this crazy Russian dance version of Kiesza’s Hideaway. Things get interesting at 1:05 (ps: that poor chicken).

I’ve just added this book to my list: The Signature of All Things.

“This novel spans two centuries and offers the reader details of travel, adventure, love, family dysfunction, and science. Alma Whitaker is born in 1800 to a self-made man who becomes the richest man in Philadelphia. Alma is brilliant but homely, and during her long, loveless life she pursues the study of botany, ultimately proposing one of the first theories of evolution. Gilbert expertly tracks Alma's travels around the world, her struggles with her family and the man with whom she falls in love, and her desperate need to understand the mechanisms behind all life.”  -- Kate Mai, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Man sets record for the Pacific Crest Trail. 50 miles a day? No problemmo.

Two working parents, one sick kid. An examination of the cultural default.

20 foods you didn’t know you could freeze: yogurt, hummus, tortillas. Sign me up.

My SIL and BIL (that’s sister-in-law and brother-in-law) got us hooked on these videos while we were in Alaska. Basically, it’s adults acting out kid conversations: Kid Snippets. Another: Math. Dance class.

In other awesome news, GoPro just introduced a new camera harness - for dogs. No foolin’ peeps.

Bailey! Get up! We've got to put your new harness on! Bailey gettttt upppppp.

Not sure the Beast would be the best GoProDog. This is about as excited as he gets these days:

Be well, my dears.



Monday, August 25, 2014

Baby On A Boat

Holla Peeps!

Hope you had a fantastic weekend. We did a bit of boating (thanks M&E!) on Saturday night. It was gorgeous. Fall is a-coming so it’s time to make the most of this mild weather. 

Ben was over at my parents house (on a camping the yard. He had a blast) so it was a rare chance for us to spend time exclusively with little Em. Love that girl. 

We ate dinner out on the Sound and then took a tour of the waterfront. It’s so rare to see Seattle from the ‘other’ side. We gawked at all the tourists and they gawked right back. 

I’ve been wanting a GoPro (with drone capabilities!) for a while but after Saturday I really want one. Eric had his attached to the windshield. All three people here are actively involved in taking the photo: Megan (model), Eric (adjusting the shot), and Chris (taking the picture. From a remote on his phone). Awesome, yes?! The fish eye lens is especially neat-o.

Our boating baby.

Has anybody gone on the ferris wheel down on the waterfront? I think we’ll have to give it a go one of these days.

Love this guy.

And this little girl.

 Look at those chubby legs!

The boat is popular. The life vest? Not so much. 

Every single time I step aboard a vessel (even if it’s only an 8-ft dingy),  this will be running through my head:

I'm on a boat and, 
it's goin fast and
I got a nautical themed pashmina afghan



Photo credit: ES and MS

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,