10/9/17

Cora, you never cease to amaze me

Cora, today had its ups and downs. But it ended on a real high note. You suggested we just ‘put a dinner together’ and proceeded to the cabinet and grabbed Goldfish crackers and nuts. I exclaimed, ‘No no no, you’ve had absolutely enough carbs and junk today, you need vegetables!’.

Mind you I had no idea what we would eat that would make everyone happy that would get enough veggies in. Lucky for all of us, Cora had just harvested some kale and chard, and I some tomatoes (and both kids had gotten the pumpkins!). Cora saw that and immediately thought to make a salad. She grabbed the santoku knife, and started in on the kale and tomatoes (she scared me with the tomatoes but did em safely anyway).

 

She asked about other veggies we might have (remembering what we had eaten the day before) and I rummaged in the fridge, pulling out cabbage and celery. That girl proceeded to whip up a mean salad that EVERYONE in the family enjoyed.

Here are the fall crops we recently harvested.

Fall 2017 Late Harvest

Fall 2017 Late Harvest

 

04/18/17

Easter 2017

Happy Easter to all. Cora and Harlan got a Bible story from PawPaw so they could be reminded that Easter isn’t only about candy. Of course it was mostly about candy foot them all,  but our neighbors on Mead St made it also about community.

I didn’t get very many all inclusive pictures, but it was a beautiful day.

02/7/17

Winning and losing

I don’t know what else to call this day. It was euphoric and tragic. There were giggles, smiles but also tears, damaged property and death.

The day started with schools closed and beautiful snowy environs. Sean dug his Rogue SUV from the snow and braved the streets at 5am to sit on an airplane for 6 hours to go to Dallas. I planned out a fun day around a few crucial meetings but otherwise intended to enjoy the day with the kids in the snow.

When the neighbors arrived, we suited up and headed out for snowpeople making, snowball fights and sledding. Apart from Cora thinking I left her alone and getting soaked because I forgot it was SNOWING, we had fun, no real drama. We got back and only minor sibling squabbles ensued. Cora even helped me clean the fish tank, practically on her own.*

After a few more meetings we set out again, this time by bus and train to retrieve Sean’s truck from the airport. Well that’s when it got real groovy. I realized when we got on the train I had forgotten the key to Sean’s car AND I had left my phone on the bus. Got off at the next eternally far away stop. By the time we got back to train stop to go home, I irrationally decided we needed food for lunches the next day, so we popped in to the Safeway at that stop. The bus took so long after we finished (+15 min is an eternity with 2 kids who are wet, cold, and hungry) that I had to take the kids inside the shop next to the stop to warm up. They, of course, acted like they lived there and took their shoes off. I saw the bus coming and, of course, freaked  and rushed to get them shod, only to forget the bag of groceries.

We finally make it home only to realize that in my rush earlier in the day to make one of my meetings, I had forgotten the grate on the fish tank filter and it had caught Castle, Harlan’s fish, like the scene in Finding Nemo but with an unhappy ending. Harlan, bless his heart, assumed Castle had just “moved to another tank”. Cora wasn’t quite fooled.

When I went to put Castle to rest in the backyard, the ridiculously heavy gate in our yard was stuck and when I pushed on it to get it open, it straight fell off its hinge, almost on me (it’s a 6’x 8′ x 6″ gate door). I decided I need to avoid any further brushes with the horrific and stopped trying to do anything useful. Except get this out.

12/25/16

Deal me in, Santa

Sean was a champ in the kitchen this year. 4 batches of sugar cookies, gingerbread, chocolates, candies and general merrymaking to get ready for the family to fill the house. Oh and to cause sugar highs in the kids prior to their arrival. But mostly for merrymaking.

Making it happen in the kitchen

The results of our labors. The kids really enjoyed decorating the cookies themselves. I also got in to the piping bag decorating again as well. It’s been a while and it scratches that creative urge I don’t often get to fulfill these days.

 

Pretty please!

Okay but just one.

A family-made gingerbread house along with sugar cookies made for an almost irresistible centerpiece.  Hands off, buddy! We’re watching you…

I meant to get a picture BEFORE the decimation by a hungry family. Good thing the veggie tray survived.

Cora awaiting bedtime

We have a family tradition on Christmas Eve to eat delicious food,  play games and visit with each other.  For a while, there was no one to worry about getting to bed on time,  and the timing went up util midnight where my sister and I would get to open one present then off to bed we went. Of course, Cora and Harlan needed to be sent to bed in order to ensure Santa would visit our home. Thankfully there was minimal resistance as they had enjoyed a full day of family and games. Cora won every hand.

 

Cookies for Santa

Cora penned the note for Santa to know the cookies were especially for him.

09/19/16

Happy Birthday, to the love of my life. 

Sean invited me to share his annual pilgrimage to Mirror Lake along the Pacific Crest Trail for his birthday this year.  I said yes, and we both took the day off work, dropped the kids at daycare,  and headed out I-90 through Snoqualmie Pass to the trailhead. 

We packed fishing gear – a favorite pastime for Sean – the hammock for laying about – everyone’s favorite pastime – and lunch. It was a beautiful day and the trail was practically all ours. 


The last picture really sums up the day,  there were excitement and thrills had by both of us. Mine were mostly related to sleeping in the sun,  reading a funny book and hanging with my man,  but I’ll have to let Sean tell you about his thrills on his own terms. 

09/6/16

Happy Happy Birthday! 5 and 3, too much for me!

This week we celebrated 5 years for Cora and Harlan. They were full of energy in anticipation for the annual bounce house insanity that we invite to our backyard. This year was special also in part because Cora will start Kindergarten in just under two weeks. We’re so lucky and grateful to have such healthy,  strong,  cheeky kids. 

I know at some point they will want to have their own parties but I hope it isn’t for a long time.  

Plus, how will  we keep people thinking they’re fraternal twins if they have separate parties?

05/14/16

To My Daughter

Hi Cora,
Today you had your early entrance to kindergarten exam. We were nervous for you and did virtually nothing to prepare you for it since we didn’t want you to stress. You seemed excited about it and had no problems getting started, and finishing the whole way through.
You didn’t want to tell us all the details about it but we hope what you did share was accurate and that it was a positive experience.
Your reward was spam masubi (yeah girl!) and a sweet drink.
We painted later that day and you chided us that “we shouldn’t get overzealous with the paints” since we might make a big mess. Say WHAT? I don’t even use that word right half the time.

You make me want to scream most days because I want to believe I have all this control over you, and for your health and well being I have to keep up the farce, but all the other times on all those same days, I am proud and amazed at who you are.
Keep it up!
love, mama

 

 

02/8/16

The Red Centre

Uluru (aka Ayer's Rock)

Uluru (aka Ayer’s Rock)

We got our Austrailian adventure kick started with a trip to the Red Centre. This is a vast arrid landscape with two land formations that are stark in contrast to the surrounding area. The first is Kata Tjuta and the other is Uluru, also known as Ayer’s Rock. Both sites are very spiritual to the native Australian people. Uluru had a significant meaning for me, and the only reason I knew about it, was because it was described in a book I read when I was twelve (Atlas of Mysterious Places). The area around Uluru was covered with a red sand, the same color as the rock itself, for which the region has it’s name.

The science lesson on Uluru:

The 300 million-year-old rock is comprised of sand, feldspar (various crystalline minerals) and rock, and originally hailed from a sea floor. A large chunk is above ground today (348m), and the flat top and grooved sides are a result of weathering.

We took a short hike with the kids at the base of the rock. It was a pretty spectacular experience, despite the 100 degree Fahrenheit temperature (yes it was pretty warm, after all it is summer down here) and the flies that surrounded our faces almost the entire time. With the kids, we got a good dose of how disconcerted they were with the flies, and they pretty much wanted to go back to the hotel after the first 100 ft., but like the troopers they are they made the entire hike.

Also, as part of Uluru expereince, we made it out to the eastward lookout to watch the sunset. It was breath taking.

The trip to Uluru was the type of expereince that makes trips like this worth its weight in gold. We, as a family, are able to experience not only things we don’t see every day, but some of the absolute wonders that exist in the world, and how grateful we are to expereince them

01/25/16

See ya, diapers! Round 2

Harlan will no doubt appreciate this post in ways I can’t even begin to enjoy til he’s much older and has friends.

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This picture amuses me most because Harlan really took being potty trained to heart in this moment,  even if it meant we spent 45 minutes taking care of business at 10pm.

But I digress, this post is meant to be a celebration of progress! Harlan had seemed relatively uninterested in ditching the diaper and its convenience despite my insistence on starting at 15 months. And with an upcoming two week trip to Australia,  I was getting real militant about being diaper free.

But H was not having it, until one day,  he did undies all day with no accidents.  Just like that.  No doubt it was the team effort at preschool and home,  but it still seemed somewhat magical in its transition.  Like most things in child rearing,  it’s not black and white,  in dialers one day,  completely in underpants the next.  We’re still keeping the diaper making industry somewhat happy;  you can’t beat the confidence of mess free on long trips (like our upcoming 15  + hour trip to Australia)  so the pull up diapers are still on hand.

What has been the most rewarding of the transition to mostly diaper free  was the change in H’s behavior and the pride in himself with using the toilet vs diapers. I have so few pictures to really capture the emotion, but his whole little face lights up when he goes any stretch without an accident.

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Harlan was treated to a celebration dinner and dessert the week after we said goodbye to majority diaper. Here’s the evidence.