Sunday, November 7, 2010

Birthday Bowling


I had to save these for a separate post since there were so many cute shots. The birthday activity was bowling which was a first for our kids. (Actually, I think it may have been only a 2nd or 3rd time for me!)






A few times the ball took an impossibly long time to make it to the end of the lane -- which gave the kids enough time to gather and contemplate it's journey.

Weekends

The end of another weekend. I used to look forward to weekends, but in some ways they're even worse than the week days. It probably all comes down to expectations: I think weekend = fun, relax, sleep in etc... but instead it's more like weekend = extra cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, moving stuff from one part of the house to the other which is definitely not the good time I was expecting.

At least last weekend was fun. We road-tripped down to Portland to spend the weekend with my sister-in-law, father-in-law, and my darling niece to celebrate her 6th birthday. I actually felt relaxed - something that's becoming ever more elusive to me. Plus we went out to Por Que No? for some super tasty Mexican food. And on Sunday morning Sat Kaur made me the most wonderful cup of coffee made in an Italian stove top moka pot. I'll have to get myself one of those.

Here are the photos:

Hanging out in the basement. Pritam is the tiger!


Sat Kaur helps Ember into some dress-up clothes.


Pritam as a tiger.


Dinner at Por Que No?

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Three Favorite Trick-or-Treaters!

The Viking, the Chef, and the Garden Fairy



That's a lobster in Chef Beck's pot.



Making the rounds...





The after-party!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Weekend


This morning we carved our pumpkins and for the first time, the boys actually tried out the tools and made some of their own cuts. Ember didn't quite get the idea. We pulled all the seeds and gunk out of her pumpkin and then she kept scooping it back in. It's funny how much the boys have talked about Halloween. They carefully plan their costumes, change their minds and plan a new one. And they keep asking me when I'm going to break out the "decorations!" We have exactly one decoration: Mr. Bones. So Beck and Yogi got busy and made some paper towel ghosts and ghost stick puppets and stuck them around the house. Which is just perfect anyway.



I keep trying to get outside to take a walk today, but by the time I get it together, it's pouring again. After lunch during which the sun was shining, we packed everyone into the minivan for a walk around Magnusson Park. When we got there it was raining lightly so we started off. After about 10 minutes, it was nothing short of a deluge. The kids were soaked - especially Beck who rode his bike around the track two times before we headed back to the car. We got home, stripped off the wet clothes and sunk deep down into our mugs of hot cocoa instead.

Friday, October 22, 2010

All in a Day

I shot these little videos earlier this week. On Tuesday Ember has ballet and the boys both have swimming lessons. This is the third year the boys have taken lessons and finally they don't look so much like they're just thrashing around in the water. Progress! Here are the clips.
Beck's dive.


Beck swimming


Yogi swimming


Ember in ballet class

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nature Trail


These photos were taken at one of our newest favorite walking spots. It's a nature trail with some ponds in an area that was formerly a Naval Air Station. It officially opened late last winter and we've walked it several times each month since. Maybe the coolest part about it is a Pacific Tree Frog breeding ground where we've seen many little frogs. We've also spotted a coyote, a very active bee hive that the boys accidentally stumbled upon, a quail family that lives in a brush pile, cedar waxwings, hummingbirds, herons, bald eagles, woodpeckers, lots of ducks. Not bad for a being in the city.





In the Heart of the Canyon


I just finished this book which left me a little nostalgic for my own summer days spent in the parks. A great read.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Here we are again...


So long since I've sat down to write my blog. It feels a little strange and awkward and I'm sitting here thinking that I can't remember how to put the photos in. I think about the blog often, but I simply don't have time these days. We're working on that - this week Ember will start at a Montessori full-day preschool. For now she'll just do two days a week, but as soon as we can we'll up that to five.

Chris and I look at each other and wonder what were we thinking last spring when we settled on homeschooling both boys and having Ember at home too. The truth is we weren't thinking because too much happened during the first 6 months of 2010. The foot surgery and the long recovery period, the road trip to CA, and then after we returned my doctor found a "solid mass" on my right ovary. We lived through a couple of scary days considering the possibility of cancer, but I had the surgery, they removed my right ovary, and it turned out to be just a big tumor. A week post-op we cruised to Alaska and the day after we returned we had some very dear friends visit from Colorado for another week.

Summer slid by and then the official school year started. And that's when things started to get really rough on me. Ember is bored and frustrated. I'm pulling my hair out trying to keep her busy while I teach the boys and take them to all their classes (swimming, archery, art, Kumon reading...)I've been dropping her off at a "drop-in" preschool which is limited to 4 hours a day, but squeezing in a drop off and pick up time is just adding to the craziness. Add to that the laundry, the constant vacuuming, picking up, kitchen and bathroom cleaning -- well, you get the picture.

Ember. As it turns out, she has been the most challenging of our kiddos. She likes A LOT of attention all the time, she is extremely possessive and volatile and gets angry fast. Don't get me wrong - she's also funny and quick to learn new things, she loves people and is super friendly. It's just that this situation is not meeting her needs. Or mine, for that matter.

I'm hoping things start to open up a bit with her spending more hours at school. And I'm hoping to re-start Homecake. We'll see how it goes.

Photos. You can see me and Beck flying kites at the mass ascension event at the Whidbey Island Kite Festival.


Beck and Yogi standing proud on a fort they discovered on the beach.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Hello again

It's been a long time. Sorry about that. I'll be brief: My foot is pretty much healed up and I'm back to walking regularly. Ember turned 2! I turned 41!! We spent 17 days on a road trip to LA (more about that later when Chris has the photos ready). We got a 10 foot magnetic whiteboard for the basement. That pretty much covers all the exciting news. Here are some photos:

There was a particularly warm day in March and we visited some childhood friends of mine on Whidbey Island. So lovely.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lovely

A friend shared this with me the other day. She saw it on PhD in Parenting which is well worth a visit, too.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Now and Later

Well. It's been a long week. After a few days Beck got over his stomach flu, but then on Friday night I came down with it. After two pregnancies I've done more than my share of throwing up, but this bug kicked my butt. And I'm still not feeling exactly right. Yogi got it 12 hours after I started and is still having symptoms.

The good news is that my foot is feeling better and I've caught myself not really noticing my foot for little periods of time -- not feeling anything either way which is how I normally feel about my feet. A good sign. I have my next doctor's appointment on Friday.

So other than running to the bathroom and grabbing my barf bucket, I've been busy planning a little trip to Vancouver Island which we'll take this summer. After I read THE ADVENTURES AND SUFFERINGS OF JOHN R. JEWITT CAPTIVE OF MAQUINNA I decided I'd like to see the place where this story played out especially since it's so close - just north of us off the west coast of Vancouver Island. We'll be taking a day trip on the M.V. Uchuck III out to Yuquot, also known as Friendly Cove, which was the summer home of Chief Maquinna and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht people. I'm planning to spend some time with the kids studying more about the NW Coastal Indians before we go so they have some idea why we're there. It's very remote so it will be an adventure. Here are a few photos:

This is the boat we'll take from Gold River out to Nootka Island.


Friendly Cove from above.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Fun Day with Young Children!

Monday, 7:30 am. Chris walks into the kitchen: Hey, did someone poop on the kitchen floor?

Yogi: Oh, yeah. I did, but it was just a little accident.

Monday, 11:30 pm. Beck: Daddy? I'm almost done spitting the vomit out of my mouth. (This was actually just the first episode out of many, many last night.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Report From the Couch

Oh boy. I'm on week four with the crutches and it's getting pretty old. About the only thing that feels exciting right now is the fact that this will be a very good tv week -- season premier of Survivor and The Amazing Race and of course tonight is another episode of The Bachelor -- which sadly enough, has been the highlight of my week for the past few! Do you see how bad this is?! Seriously, I'm feeling pretty bummed these days. I miss walking, I miss moving freely, I miss feeling productive.

And on top of all that my foot hurts. The stitch line where they harvested the bone starts to throb after just a few minutes of being vertical. I look down and my foot is reddish purple and slightly puffy all over and it feels like the whole thing is going to burst out of that line of stitches.

On the positive side, I have read some fabulous books lately. This was great and this was even better. Such lovely writing delivering stories I can't put down. And I'm almost finished with this which is a collection of essays and recipes. I just love her funny, descriptive writing and I'm itching to try several of the recipes, too.

We saw this film the other night which I enjoyed and made me laugh out loud.

And this felt a little homemade, but left me inspired and talking with Chris about what dreams we'd like to live with our family. I love this stuff!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Day! (Guest Blogger: Chris)



Yesterday I took the boys up into the mountains for a sledding birthday party. We met the birthday boy and other families at a sledding hill in Hyak, just beyond Snoqualmie Pass. We've had no snow in Seattle this winter, and so this was a welcome opportunity. The boys got bored with the sledding fairly quickly (the slope was not as steep as the "sledding hill" next to our house), so they dragged me into the woods for a snowball fight and snowman construction. A picnic lunch and birthday cupcakes finished a fun morning.










Foot Report

I'm now a little over half-way with my time on the crutches -- the "stilts", as Yogi calls them. The stitches were removed last Friday and I'm starting to exercise my big toe (which amounts to bending it back and forth 100 times a day). The whole thing is becoming a big drag. I'm tired of the pain and the hassle and of sitting around most of the day. Plus, I'm finding it really hard to sleep. On the bright side, I've gotten a lot of reading in.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Because you asked!

Drum roll, please....TAH DAH!
There's my foot. Ok, I know it may not look pretty to you, but Dr. McInnes was really excited about how neatly and quickly I'm healing. He said the surgery itself was beautiful. This is a relatively new procedure - one that's been done on knees and ankles for awhile now, but they've just started trying it out on toes.

Based on Beck's reaction, I told him he may not have a future in medicine.

There's Dr. McInnes with my foot. The other guy is a physical therapist.

"Real Animals"


The boys went to the zoo with my dad the other day. When they arrived back home they burst through the door full of excitement to tell me that they had seen a "real owl" -- as in a wild owl who swooped through the trees above their heads in the shady, wooded outdoor habitat playground area. And this, of course, was at the end of an afternoon seeing all kinds of real (but not wild at all) exotic and interesting animals.

I think this is the same distinction kids make about school vs. "real life". And that excitement they felt at seeing the real owl? That's the same place I'm trying to touch by homeschooling and having them spend as much time as possible doing real things in real life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beck's 6th Birthday!

This was actually Beck's first birthday party so we decided to do something special for him -- and what could be more special than a private party at the Lego store before regular mall hours?!

Our group coming together in front of the store.


Inside the store during the initial presentation. Those two employees are explaining which sets the party goers could choose from.

Beck, busy building his new set.

All the kids quietly building. It was a very industrious party!

Yogi trying out some sound effects with one of his pieces.

We finished off the party with a big hit of sugar -- Top Pot doughnuts washed down with chocolate milk. Don't you love Ember's party attire?