Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Things

We recently wrapped up Spring Break here in Bellingham. We had a low key staycation, spending 2 nights on Orcas, started swim lessons, finished Harry Potter book 1, hosted/attended some epic 5-hour play dates with other working parents who also stayed in town, and tooled around Whatcom and Skagit Counties.
above: Edie and I on a nature walk at the Padilla Bay nature preserve
above: Me reading on the deck at orcas. in April!
above: Edie mid-air while helping clean up debris from the winter storms on orcas



Other happenings:

Edie performed in her first play - Willie Wonka (loosely interpreted for a group of 23 five and six year olds).





Edie got to go to the Tulip Fields in Skagit with her friend Julia's family:


Edie and I have mostly been buying time and counting days until April 28th when we fly to LA for a long weekend at Disneyland. Jeff is mostly working and humoring us with some mild excitement about this trip. Edie is just now tall enough to go on any of the rides so we are excited to take her on Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, and she says she REALLY wants to do Splash Mountain. That kid loves roller coasters so I guess she just might love it. One of my top 5 happiest moments parenting was going on Big Thunder with her last year. She screamed and giggled hysterically the entire ride. Katherine was sitting in front of us and took this picture. I think it was a full 5 minutes after getting off the ride before we all three could stop giggling.



Mother daughter pedicures are scheduled for tomorrow, toes must be on point for California! I'm also VERY pleased to announce that Edie is FINALLY happy to put her face in the water during swimming lessons. Hopefully her enthusiasm sticks around so we can have fun in the hotel pool too. She's finally figured out how cool it can be to have goggles on and see under water. She's not swimming yet, but I'm SO happy that the dramatics about getting water in her face can hopefully, finally come to a close. 

                                        

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Of Late

Hi there. Remember those days when I used to lovingly maintain this blog? It's a little hazy for me too, but it was only about a year ago. I feel bad, because I really liked having a written record of our lives. But things these days feel busy and full and uploading photos feels like it takes up valuable time.

I really couldn't have predicted how busy our lives would feel after starting Elementary School. An older mother once told me that the older they get, the MORE your children need you and I thought, "Pshhh! How can someone possibly need me more than my 1 year old needs me?" But now I know exactly what she meant.  It's not harder (in many ways it's easier) but it IS more complicated and varied. Thankfully, all of this is made possible when you have a child old enough to predictably sleep all night. I may not be following Edie around, making sure she doesn't stick her finger in a light socket, pull the cat's tail, or put something that shouldn't be in her mouth, in her mouth. But in the place of that constant physical vigilance comes swimming lessons, emotional needs, reading and math practice, class volunteer opportunities, remembering to pack her library books on library day, helping her learn her lines for drama class, near constant playdate and birthday party invitations (and then shopping for birthday gifts, and hosting reciprocal play dates), and not to mention making sure you sign up for the best summer camps before they fill up and all her friends are at camp together without her. And those are just the things I'm managing TODAY people.

Thankfully, my work schedule is not as manic panic as it was this time last year, so this all feels manageable, sometimes even fun to strike the right balance. And 6 is hilarious. I am not one of those parents that long for the baby days. 6 is pretty charming - except for the times she decides she's NOT sweet, then she is decidedly rotten. But mostly, she's sweet.

We spent the weekend at Mount Baker in a big VRBO house with college friends and their kids. Edie was the oldest and all the little kids followed her around like the pied piper and she did GREAT. She read them stories and made up games and taught them all how to play kitties (UGH - but sweet in principle).


Edie loves school. She's reading at the top of her class, well above many of the first graders and I meet periodically now with her teacher to get extra assignments to keep her busy and challenged. I have moments where I worry that we should have sent her last year, but then I can't second guess things too long because starting school in Bellingham has been a great gift to us all and we weren't ready to move before this year. She has friends in every grade and my little mini-me-social-butterfly takes forever to say goodbye to all her friends every day. Here she is roller skating with her favorite third graders and neighbors, Eva and Elsa (twins):


 And at the optional Science Fair presenting her research project on Lemurs and Meerkats:


She loves her older second cousins at school and they have her back all the day long. A blurry picture after movie night with cousin Sam (5th grade), holding his crested gecko Phil:


I've signed her up for swimming lessons starting in April in the hopes that she will one day put her face under water.

I just finished organizing the first Lowell Movie Night which was super cute:


And I'm currently coordinating the install of the new school garden next week with my two co-chairs, one of whom is named Rainbow, because duh, we live in Bellingham. We are gathering parent volunteers, collecting enough cardboard to abate 1,000 square feet of grass, and crafting a giant giving tree to solicit donations for garden tools for the kids. I've thrown myself into PTA projects to meet new people and feel connected to the school and it's working.

Some of our closest friends just bought a house in Bellingham and are moving back this summer. While having their house inspection, Reid and Sam came over. Here they are being cute and leafing through the illustrated Harry Potter we are currently reading as a family:

Things are good in Bellingham. It's still weird to be here, but part of the weirdness is how easy the transition has been. The restaurant scene is definitely lacking here, but on the bright side - we are taking an Indian cooking class tonight at Ciao Thyme - taught by the chef from Vij's in Vancouver. Cheers to mid-week date nights and butter chicken!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Photo dump

I cut my hair. Short! This was taken after getting in the car from leaving the salon. The next morning I had the required freak-out when I couldn't recreate this look and instead looked a bit like a mushroom top, but no regrets.
We brought lunch to my Grandmother in Lynden and Edie showed her a book she'd made at school:
I don't really know what's happening here. This was a private moment that Jeff had with Edie and I'm just glad it was documented. Because you're welcome Vogue - here's your next fashion spread:


Our days lately are ruled by Edie's social schedule. We are very lucky to have found all these little girls in our neighborhood. They all live within easy walking distance of our house and are all 4.5-6.5years old. We've started a cycle of playdates that we each host once a month, which means all these girls are together every Wednesday for 2 hours after school. All of the Moms either work from home or have a younger child they care for full time at home so it buys us all 3 days per month of free afternoon childcare. And the girls love all getting picked up by different moms and walking home from school as a big, giggly group (we all live within 3 blocks of school). We just got word that a new family is moving in a block away with 2 more girls in the same age range so we are excited to grow the neighborhood pack. As a bonus, the moms have started an every other Wednesday get together at various bars/restaurants in the evenings, and the dad's have claimed the alternate Wednesdays for drink nights.
At my monthly Wednesday playdate:

Feeding the ducks at lake Padden:
Another Wednesday playdate. This family boasts a huge hot tub so the girls pack their suits for school that day and we pick them up all wet at 5pm after an afternoon of playing in the jets.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Palm Springs - last day

On our last day in Palm Springs, we had to check out of our house and kill time until our evening flight home. We went on a nature walk outside of town and then had an adventure and drove to Pioneer Town, this weird western town about an hour outside of Palm Springs where you can pretend to be cowgirls, pet sheep and generally take random photos in mine carts. You know, the usual stuff.






(missing Katherine who had an injured foot and couldn't do the nature walk)








Then we dropped Katherine at her car so she could do the long drive home to LA, and we headed to the airport to return the minivan and fly home together. 

I've written this post while listening to the "Adele Radio Station" blasting on the Sonos in our house and now I'm feeling all weepy and missing my friends. Clearly time to go eat a cookie!
Maybe next time I'll share some Christmas photos with you, because, you know. Isn't Valentines Day the right time to do that??

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Palm Springs Take 2: Girls trip

Remember that time last month when we all left our babies at home and went to Palm Springs for 3 nights? I do.

Four of us flew in together and were then met by Katherine who drove from LA and Darrah who took a later flight.

Taken at the airport before renting our luxury minivan:
We stocked up on necessities such as wine, champagne, cake, Pepperidge Farm cookies, chips, and cocktail makings and headed for our rental house where we proceeded to run around freaking out like the kids on Episode 1 of every Real World season ever made. 
We spent the rest of our time at the house lounging in our muumuus, prancing around in our swimsuits, eating all the cake, drinking cocktails, and heating the entire pool to 100+ degrees for night swimming. We went for a celebratory birthday dinner for Heidi one night (in our muumuus), and took a road trip another night to LA for the local premier of Katherine's latest movie (Janis - Little Girl Blue) where we stopped briefly to visit the Pee Wee dinosaurs and ate dinner with Craig and Adam (Kristin's brother and husband). I'll save a second post for photos of our last day in town as it was a little different from the rest of our trip. And because I'm tired of uploading photos and need a break.

For now, I have tons of photos from our first 2+ days:



























Yes, that's a punch bowl in the shape of a giant clamshell. And yes, it was delivered to our table on fire.