Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The beginning of a beautiful friendship

I just love this picture. I can't believe how big my babies are getting and it is so great to start to see them interacting with each other. Some of the interaction is good and some is not so good :) We tell Thomas to be gentle a lot. We have also taught him to say "Sorry, Sissy". But for the most part, Charlotte thinks Thomas is hilarious and he loves to tickle her and hear her laugh. I can't wait to see how they develop as little playmates and I am so grateful for them every single day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Last day at the lake

We have been blessed with great weather this week, so we have had a lot of time boating, jet skiing and going to the pool. Yesterday we put Charlotte in the pool for the first time and she loved it. Last year, we did the same with Thomas and he loved it, but this year he has learned a little fear of the water, so we are now making sure he is comfortable with it again. Josh is great at working with Thomas in the water and getting him to kick and do a few strokes.

Josh and I got the chance to take a long jet ski ride and get coffee by ourselves. It was weird to have the freedom to hang out together. Because I have been on the road and we were getting ready to go on this trip, we haven't really had a lot of time to spend together, so it has been nice to have babysitters (aka grandparents) here this week.

Yesterday I took a trip up the lake by myself and thought again of how nice it would be to live in a place like this. Maybe what I really think is that it would be nice to be on vacation all of the time :) - I usually get over it by thinking about all the disadvantages to living way out here like the lack of a grocery store close by and the lack of a movie theater (this is what I tell myself to make it okay to go home).

Charlotte is trying very hard to crawl (there was speculation that she would crawl this week, but while she is making great progress backward, she is still not able to propel herself forward). She did get the chance to eat meat for the first time (chicken - she loved it) and she continues to be our super social baby girl.

Thomas is keeping us all on our toes. He wants to be "outside" all day and night (it is very difficult to explain to him that it is too cold at 6am to really go outside). I'm thinking that two years from now we will be able to more easily have him go outside and play without having to chase him all over (at his current age he only follows the directions he wants to follow and "stay out of the street isn't one of them), but we will see.

Seems like it is time to take a walk over to the pool and enjoy this good weather for one more day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Annual pilgrimage to Priest Lake

This is either the 5th or 6th time I've made the annual pilgrimage to Priest Lake. I started coming with my sister, Rebecca and her family and my parents in either 2005 or 2007. We come out here for a week in late June and get a great deal because the weather is truly variable. This week, for example, we are expecting everything from 55 and rainy to 80 and sunny. We'll see how it actually turns out because we can never really trust the weather report.

We started out yesterday and went as far as Moses Lake, which is halfway here and has a great water park. We had such a good time and then a bit of a tough night (Thomas refused to go to sleep until 10:30 - which was a lot of crying and asking for Mommy or Daddy, whoever wasn't holding him). Both of the kids were up around 5:30, so we were on the road by 8:30. There is only so much you can do with small children in a motel room.

The travel went well today and we got here at 2. It was unbelievably beautiful - the lake was like glass and it was about 80. Josh took Thomas swimming in the pool (I know, a pool at a lake resort, but the water in the lake is cold and the water in the pool is warm - which makes it great for kids). Charlotte and I enjoyed the view from inside the condo. She was happy crawling around on the floor (not really crawling quite yet, she kind of gets places by wiggling and scooting) and I was happy getting everything unpacked and set up.

We got both the boat and one of the jet skis in the water about 4:30 and took off for some adventure. Thomas went out in the boat with us and Charlotte hung out with her grandma back here. It was amazing. For the past couple of trips here, I have been pregnant, so even though I rode the jet ski, I didn't really take it out there and jump or turn fast or do anything crazy. Of course I don't do anything as crazy as Josh or Mike and I sat in the boat with Thomas laughing at their crazy antics.

Beth prepared a great dinner (meatloaf!) and the kids absolutely crashed. Thomas was so tired that he went to sleep after only one reading of Goodnight, Moon.

My parents and Robb and Rebecca and the kids are joining us tomorrow and if I get my act together, there will be pictures at some point. For the time being, I will say that after my last post, I was way more conscious of my stress points throughout the trip and made an effort to take a deep breath and just enjoy my kids and enjoy the moment and my stress level was really low for the whole trip.

Tired now (all that sun, wind and fun is making me sleepy), so I am off to bed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I have been traveling way more than usual the last couple of weeks and I have discovered that I have a lot more patience these days that I used to. In the past, delays were so annoying to me that it would make me crazy. Now, I just expect them. It is possible that I have more coping mechanisms (internet access, Kindle, Blackberry, iPod) than I did in the past, but I often spend the time just staring into space. It is a nice break from all of the constant thinking and planning and I go into some sort of travel mode that allows me to just sit, be still, relax and wait.

I have discovered that this sitting and waiting also works for computers. If it is taking a while to connect to the wireless, sit back and breathe. If you get the rainbow circle (Mac) or the blue circle (Windows 7), don't push any buttons - just wait. I get the bigger message here and it comes just in time for me to go on vacation with my family. So I have decided to take this vacation slowly, to not be in a hurry to get somewhere, to listen to my kids and be sensitive when they need to stop and to just relax. No more time to waste making other people faster, I'm going to use it all to slow down. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New York City

I am in New York once again for a couple more meetings. Tonight I am staying at the Mansfield. 10 years ago when I started coming to New York for work, my friend Toben recommended this hotel and it became my go to place to stay in New York. I hadn't stayed here since I started working at Amazon and then it came up as an option when I was coming out here in May and I was really happy to find that in the 5 years I had been staying other places, the Mansfield got a little makeover and started including breakfast. I am a fan once again.

I must say that I don't miss traveling all the time. I really miss my family when I am on the road. I can't wait to get back to them tomorrow night :).

We go to Priest Lake on Friday and we are really looking forward to spending time together as a family and enjoying a little relaxation. The jet skis are ready to go and the boat is all clean and shiny. This trip is our kickoff to summer and I can't wait!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I should)

It was such a gorgeous day I should be posting video and pictures, but I am not the photographer or videographer of the family - that job falls to my father in law. We had a fabulous afternoon in the backyard celebrating my sister in law, Jen's graduation from nursing school. It was one of those rare days where the weather completely cooperates. It was about 80 degrees with a light breeze. Not too hot and not too chilly. We put the kids in their bathing suits and they played with the hose and ran all over the yard (except Charlotte - she just chattered a lot, I imagine, about wanting to be able to walk and play).

It was also the first day we got to make full use of our heat pump. We got our furnace replaced and had a heat pump installed, giving us the equivalent of air conditioning on days like today. I love it. We had been discussing doing this for a long time and finally made the decision to do it before the summer gets too hot. The room where we spend most of the day (our family room) gets really hot and Thomas' room also gets really hot, so we are really enjoying the new cool.

We have actually been doing a lot of home improvement projects this year. We had our house painted, we got new garage doors, we had our roof cleaned, we closed in our loft to make a room for Charlotte and we are about to get a new front door. I don't know what stopped us from doing these things in the past. It is nice to finally get some of them off of the to do list.

Okay, time to capitalize on the fact that my children are asleep and go to sleep myself.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy to be home!

Sometimes being a mother is terrible. It makes it so much harder to leave home every day. I thought the hard part would be going back to work after maternity leave. No, it is harder now. Each day I love these guys a little more (really, can you blame me? do you see how cute they are?). I think the traveling has made me love them even more.

Charlotte has chosen these weeks to start sleeping on her stomach. My mother will make fun of me for this, but I was really freaked out the first night I woke up and saw her on the monitor sleeping completely face down. I know I have to get over it, since this makes her sleep longer and thus makes her a happy baby, but it is taking some getting used to.

That is the terrible part of motherhood, the worrying, the love that makes me irrationally protective, the longing to spend as much time as possible. I wouldn't trade it for the world. It has taken me completely by surprise. I did not know how much I would love it and I am so grateful.

I am also completely grateful that I get to do this with someone who loves these little ones as much as I do. Josh really does all the heavy lifting and he keeps me sane. I am seriously blessed.

One more trip left and then I get to go on vacation! I got home last night at 2am. This morning I got to spend a little time with the family before going to work. Josh and I sat on the couch, drinking our coffee and watching Thomas tickle Charlotte on the floor while she laughed and laughed. Now the children are in their beds and I am about to pass out as well. Good night!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Where does the time go?

I haven't posted for a while and I have been itching to get this updated. I've been traveling a ton - I'm currently in New York for the 3rd time in 4 weeks and I'm coming back in 2 weeks. I want to get some pictures up and share a little bit of my traveling experience, so here we go...

The kids are doing great. Thomas has a lot of words and is busily communicating with us. He especially likes to say "no". He is still very active and loves to run and tries really hard to jump.

Charlotte is 21 lbs and 26 inches. She is wearing 12 month clothes (at 6 months old)! She is also very verbal and loves to chatter to us. No recognizable words yet, but I have no doubt that they are coming soon. She can sit on her own and play for a long time and then she stretches out to grab a toy, ends up on her stomach and tries to move around. She is pretty good at moving backward, so we are sure that crawling is coming within the next couple of weeks.

We are all really looking forward to our annual Priest Lake pilgrimage in 9 days. After all this travel for work, I can't wait to spend time with my family.

I used to travel for my job all the time when I worked at NavPress, but I have been at Amazon for 5 years now and have made only 2 -3 trips a year. I have felt a little rusty in the travel department and have the following observations about my latest trips:

1. These days, carry on is required. If you check a bag, you not only have to wait for it when you arrive, you actually have to pay extra. I can now fit 4 days in my little suitcase.

2. Cabs in Boston are way more expensive than cabs in New York.

3. Car service from the airport is cheaper than a cab most of the time.

4. The runway at JFK is under construction. This means that you will be waiting 1-2 hours to take off.

5. Jet Blue seriously pads the amount of time they tell you it is going to take to fly from Seattle to New York so they are always on time.

6. TV on the airplane is awesome. It passes the time very fast.

7. They really have to figure out a way for you to be able to use electronic devices while you are sitting there waiting to take off. Shielding? Different technology in the cockpit? Anything would be great.

That is all for now. I have to run to a meeting!