Monday, August 29, 2011


This weekend, we met friends on the Hood Canal. Jack and Sonia were there on Friday then headed over to my mom's for the weekend. Life is so different without children. We all shared the housework and meal prep. On Saturday morning, I had no energy for any of it. I just sat on the couch. But by the afternoon, I had lots of energy. We had a blast with our friends. Thanks to the amazing organizational skills of my friends, Heather and Tammy, we rented a beautiful house on the beach, ate great food, drank good wine, and enjoyed the summer days with our dear pals.

I took the kids to my mom's on Thursday am to beat the weekend crowds. My kids seem much happier to play by themselves there. I was trying to get a few things done when my stepfather noticed we didn't know where Sonia had gone. I wasn't worried because their house is very child-proofed (so I thought). Sonia had crawled into her grandparents very deep tub, quietly turned on the hot water and sat there and played as the water filled the tub. Clearly, not child-proofed enough.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Le weekend

Finally, there were two days of summer that could be described as warm and they fell on Saturday and Sunday. Great fun! Although it seems to have made both the kids more tired than usual. We took the bike trailer to a lovely neighborhood music festival. The kids enjoyed snow cones but stayed in the shade most of the time (true seattleites).

Ryan and Jack built a suspension bridge out of the IKEA train set parts during Sonia's nap.

Jack is honing his photography skills but is still not quite getting the idea of the view finder.

I got to go on a run and see this cool view of a rower going through the Montlake cut (not sure if you can see the rower but it was early in the morning and so quiet I could hear his oars going in and out of the water)

Finally, I found out the identity of that weird ball in the sound. From my professional photographer friend's blog:

It’s the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s Sea-Based X-band Radar vessel (SBX for short), designed to identify and track missiles in flight. Built by Boeing in Texas and dedicated in 2005, it’s one of a kind and huge: 240 feet wide, 390 feet long and 280 feet high when measured from its keel to the top of the radar dome. Resting on a semi-submersible oil drilling platform, it has two hulls and is capable of self-propulsion.

This is her photo (from Urban Glimpses)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Colorful Food and other obvious advice

I made this lunch for my kids today: carrots, cucumbers, hummus (home-made), cheese, crackers and rasberries.

It reminded me of some advice I got from a doctor last year at Jack's well-child visit. He said "make sure the food on the plate has some color." This doctor is a very nice young man.. well-intentioned. But when I hear this kind of advice from doctors I wonder what kind of impression I have made. Do I look like my kids only get 7-up, kraft mac n'cheese, and chips for dinner? When Jack was only a couple of months old our doctor told me to make sure I never put the car seat in the front seat. Really? Well, the trunk is ok then, right? Because, seriously, if someone ever puts their car seat in the front, they need so much help that they probably will not make it to a well-child check ever and certainly not on time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nanny for U

Over the spring it became clear that I really needed help with childcare. In desperation I called a nanny service in Seattle. They sent Sarah who stayed with us for 3 months. I never interviewed her or checked references. When a Catholic friend of mine met Sarah she commented that "your guardian angel sent that one" It was true. Sarah was at least as good at caring for my kids as I was in the best of health. She is a college grad with a mountain of patience who is just naturally a joyful person. I felt so incredibly lucky. Since then I have continued to use the service to get some time off for myself and go to appointments that are hard with kids. I have been really impressed with the women they send. They are always great. The gal who came this month was very sweet. She took some great pics of the kids during their day together. A Nanny for U

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sonia Begonia

So much of this blog has focused on Jack. As the first child, he has been more adept at getting our attention. Sonia is catching up though. Like her big bro curly jack, her personality seems to start with her hair. She is willful and a risk-taker. She loves danger. I used to tell her no a lot.. As in, no don't drink the standing water on the ground at this construction site! But anything I say no to she becomes obsessed with. So instead of saying no I just hope she has a hearty constitution. She is, like her brother, a joyful soul but in such a different way. I marvel at how different they are. Sonia will request a "hug" then grab my face to get my attention and tell me what she really wants. She dances and sings a lot. We sing a song about 'sonia begonia.' Sonia has started singing that song too but she doesn't get that we say begonia because it rhymes with Sonia. So she sings 'baby gabonia...' (for her doll) or 'mama gabonia...' She is funny in the way all kids are funny. Her favorite question begins with 'where' as in 'where's aunt kay-kee?' (katie) or 'where's papa' or 'where are you mama?' She is so darn cute that looking at her baby pictures I feel a wave of sadness that the baby days are over.. Soon she'll be two.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bike trailer

Our neighbors lent us their bike trailer. We had our first adventure today. We headed over to Cal Anderson park -- had a great time in the playground and the fountain. Then as we were going home, we ran into one of our neighbors who was headed to the 12th avenue festival. We had no idea what that was but we were mobile so we went with them. The festival was a blast. Lots of restaurants from 12th ave had set up booths and had $5 plates. We had pork belly sandwiches from Lark, pizza from Via tribunali, lasagne from La Spiga, and many a sugary drink. Lastly, we had ice cream from Molly Moons. The kids ate the ice cream in the bike trailer on the way home. Their faces were completely covered with ice cream by the time we got home. I loved the trailer. I am going to see if I use it a lot these next couple weeks before I consider the investment. I love the idea of getting around the city by bike. Jack says he prefers the car.

I thought I'd add a picture of the fountain by my prof photographer friend, Candy, from Urban Glimpses.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Puppies and bunnies and parenting

When I first became a parent, I felt I was surrounded by images, stories, myths and general social pressure about how great parenting was supposed to be. Everyone was desperately in love with their children. Stepford wives abounded. I felt it was my job to be honest and expose the lie for what it was! I was a pioneer.. the first to admit that parenting is hard, and I did not like it. I became comfortable being negative about it even though it always felt rebellious.
Things have shifted for me quite a bit. Losing almost everything (thankfully temporarily) last spring has given me a very different perspective. I feel such immense gratitude for my life (even started a blog with that theme to be published soon) and even greater gratitude (immenser? immensest?) that I get to spend every day with my kids. Now I see I am decidedly less comfortable describing how much I am enjoying our time together. I find incessantly upbeat people rather dull. But now I notice all of the people, articles, blogs, books that articulate that negative side. For some reason, I never really noticed how much complaining there already is about parenting. Turns out I was not much of a pioneer. I think the point is that I have always felt compelled to be honest about this enormous topic. The funny thing is is that nothing about my life has changed.. only my perspective is different.

I love this picture of two of my favorite gals:

The Space Needle

Today, the kids and I went on an adventure to the Space Needle. J fell in love with the space needle the first time he saw it many years ago. Before he could form words well, he called the space needle the 'ga-doh.' His passion has never waned. We read books on it, watch videos about it, and we have a membership so we can go as much as we want.

Today, the three of us took the bus downtown, then went on the monorail (another love of J's), wandered around the fogged-in space needle for half an hour, then took the bus home. Fun was had by all. J even loves the bus. He was thrilled to show the driver our pass. He looks so proud when he does it. The enthusiasm of children is contagious. It is one of their most precious gifts to the world. How often are you thrilled to take the bus? It's like an amusement park ride for my kids.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Happy Birthday to me

I am simply elated to be 39. During the spring, I wondered if I would get here so I am very pleased that I made it. We had a wonderful weekend. My sister visited and we spent a day at my mom's. Then on my actual birthday we headed to the home of dear friends for a delicious dinner. While I brought my camera, I had such a good time I forgot to take pictures. Per usual really.

Ryan, Jack, my mom and Bert went out on the boat during the afternoon to get crab from their crabpot. Here we are cracking the crab and eating it while sitting in the sun. Lovely!

Sonia is still asking 'where's aunt katie?'

Sonia and my mom's glass table. For some reason, she is always compelled to put her nose and tongue on glass.

Every bday, I take a family picture. One year ago today, we were moving into our rental to begin our 8 month remodel project which is now on its 13th month. This past year brought so many unexpected surprises. It's clear that the only certainty is uncertainty.