Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Update

Mommy holds and launches the drone while Thomas handles the remote control

Clearly Josh took the picture so there would be no evidence of his morning hair
I didn't post this weekend because we were too busy relaxing and hanging out. We did some shopping on Saturday and picked up our car which had been getting maintenance updates all week while we were in Seattle.

Sunday morning we had a little fun with the Mini Hover Drone that I bought Thomas for Christmas. He is pretty good at flying it. It only goes up and down and we have to duck as it gets closer to the ground. We sent Charlotte on a mission to find it and she was pretty nervous about touching it.

Sunday night we all got to go to Josh's hockey game, including all of the grandparents, Thomas and Charlotte's Aunt Jen who is 7 months pregnant and expecting at the beginning of May. Then I was off to book club. Definitely not a boring day.

As a result of the big weekend and a long day today, I am now tired. I am also grateful - for my husband, who came home from work early so I could stay late, for my kids, who were full of life and love when I got home, for all of the family that we got to spend time with this weekend and for the time I got to spend with my husband and my kids this weekend.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Photo Friday

Our snow in South Lake Union on Thursday morning

The Space Needle from our apartment on Snow Day

It is almost impossible to get a good picture of Thomas - if you tell him to smile he scrunches up his face - so I try to get him when he is not really trying to smile.
See, this is what he looks like when he tries to smile.

Charlotte decided to just take a seat by the window and watch the world pass by this morning.
She was trying to get out of the chair and she kept saying "stuck, stuck".

This morning we woke up to beautiful, sunny skies. Lake Union was sparkling.

And the Space Needle looked beautiful.

We also had a beautiful sunset. We were eating dinner and looking out the window and I thought this would make a great picture. Happy Friday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The best laid plans

I had a big plan to actually use pictures in the blog tonight, so I took pictures today of our "snow" (we are near Lake Union, so we didn't get any accumulation) and I took pictures of my busy babies and then realized that a) I don't have the right cord to get the pictures off my camera and b) the SD card reader I use in these cases is also in Bremerton. I laughed at my lack of preparation and now I am going to move on.

We are in a season where the kids get up really early. Like this morning when Charlotte woke up at 3:45 and Josh brought her into our room. As soon as she quieted down a little and I was drifting off, Thomas woke up (4:15). It didn't take me very long to get him settle back down in his bed. As soon as I started drifting off again, Charlotte woke up - this time for good (4:50). So I brought her out to the living room and we relaxed together for a while. Thomas actually slept until almost 6. Which was about the time I needed to throw on my sneakers and head to the gym. We have tried everything we can to fix this and have come to the conclusion that it will pass. Charlotte is teething and Thomas is 2 and they will get older and need more sleep. So, for now, we survive this by going to bed early.

We have been graced with visitors this week. My sister, Rebecca, is taking a class here so she is bunking up with our kids. And, tonight, Josh's dad, Mike, and our friend, Ray, came over for dinner. It was so nice to have a lot of people in the apartment. It is usually just me and the kids until Josh gets home from work and it was nice to have people here - the kids loved it too!

We have no big plans for the weekend. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with the family and relaxing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The snow has materialized

We have been promised snow for the past several days, but it did not show up in force until today. In case you think snow is a pretty normal thing in winter, I should explain that snow in Seattle is an EVENT. For those of us who have lived in places with real snow (like Colorado or New York), it is pretty amusing to watch. First, there are the dire news predictions, followed by general states of panic and canceling of events and finally the promised snow - usually around an inch. I shouldn't poke too much fun - there is likely to be more snow than that tonight and the real danger is that we don't have a lot of experienced snow drivers here so it is a good idea to stay off the roads...

What I am really wishing for is a fireplace. It is really lovely to look out the window and see the snow falling. I'm also happy because I don't have very far to go to get to work.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's better when you tell the truth

Our kids really like Yo Gabba Gabba. Aside from the fact that it is kind of trippy, I like most of the stuff they sing about. Tonight's little lesson was about lying and how it is better when you tell the truth. I've been thinking a lot lately about the kind lie. The one you tell to get through the day and because you really don't feel like making the effort to say the truth. Lately, I've seen several places where this intention goes wrong. And, it starts to look less like not telling the truth and more like giving up. So that went on my list of things to change. Start by telling the truth, early and often (and not meanly, but kindly). For me, this mostly applies at work, but I love that I find Yo Gabba Gabba reinforcing it.

Today was one of those days where I had some questions about my parenting skills. I was making dinner and my son was sobbing. He wanted to go get the mail. I had told him earlier that we would go get the mail after dinner. So when I told him again, he threw a fit - which meant that we were certainly not going to get the mail until after dinner. So I went about cooking and he stomped around and cried and kept telling me that he would NOT eat dinner. Until he saw the hot dogs on Charlotte's tray and ate one. End of fit. It made me feel a lot better about holding the line because the reason I wanted to wait was that he tends to fall apart a little if he doesn't eat on time. Validation. And we were able to go and get the mail after a wonderful dinner in which we all played peek a boo, the kids ate a lot, including some green beans and I got to eat my whole dinner. That's my truth for the day. It is so tempting to give in when kids want something - keep the peace, make them happy, whatever. But, in the long run that just creates a monster that expects a sports car for his 16th birthday. So, while it is exhausting, we are going to help him learn some of this stuff early and hope that it translates into a kind hearted, patient, loving kid.

Monday, February 21, 2011


We had a beautiful weekend - even though it was cold, we got sunshine and plenty of it. Even today was nice - big blue sky, nice fluffy clouds. But, about an hour ago it started to rain. And not normal, misty, Seattle rain - it was torrential and gusty. So I am now sitting here listening to the rain blow against my window. I'm sort of glad to have it back. It makes it more acceptable for me to wear really comfy, warm clothes to work this week.

A note about work here seems necessary, but I generally don't blog about work. What I will say is that I took on a new job recently and it is harder than my old job. Not bad hard, just harder than my old job. As I work my way into this new job, I am trying to give myself some grace and understand that it might mean that I need to go to bed a little earlier. Which is why I am cozy right now and thinking seriously about how I early I can go to bed and still be considered an adult.

Mondays are also transitional day for us - we get in the car early in the morning and return to Seattle for the week. This week, we are driving our smaller car while our bigger car gets some much needed maintenance. The bigger car has a video player in it and the children are accustomed to watching Yo Gabba Gabba on the trip. Thomas keeps asking for it, and we keep explaining that there is no TV in this car. It was enlightening to listen to him entertain himself on the ride. Mostly he told himself stories and occasionally involved us in the conversation. It was a nice change from listening to the same video over and over again.

I know some of you are thinking that it is a holiday and I should have had the day off, but I do not get this holiday off (and I found that several of my friends do not get this day off either). The big advantages to working when everyone has the day off are less traffic and maybe time to catch up on things without interruption from the outside world. I did take an extra few minutes this morning to hang up some pictures in my office. I hadn't printed a lot of pictures in the last year - I do have a nice picture of Josh and I from our wedding on my desk - and now I have great pictures of Thomas and Charlotte on the walls. So even though I didn't get a holiday, I now get to see my babies all day long.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just do it

I have a lot of moments lately that I call "just do it" moments. These are the times when I have to decide between my lazy nature and doing what I need to do. Sometimes that means getting up in the morning to go work out, but tonight it was folding laundry. The kids were in bed and I was trying to find any excuse just to lay down and go to sleep myself. But, I knew that it was really the last time I could get it done before we head back to Seattle in the morning. So, I did it. And, it didn't take as long as I thought it would. And, I got to watch TV while I did it, so it went by quickly... All this to say that I am finding more and more that when I just do it, it isn't so bad and when I'm finished, I feel like I accomplished something.

Today was a fabulous day. We went to church this morning and then out to lunch with my parents and then home with sleepy kids. We worked on projects while they slept (Josh cleaned out the car and I cleaned the carpet) and then we went outside when they woke up. Thomas rode his scooter and Charlotte pushed a truck around. We got to talk to 3 of our neighbors and see the neighborhood dogs. The kids were just thrilled to be outside. Then we went to Josh's hockey game. My parents came, too, which meant that I got to actually watch the game. See, fabulous.

And, finally, about the pictures above. These are two more from yesterday, but these were taken by my sister in law, who is a fabulous photographer. The photo of Charlotte will be hanging in our house for years to come.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

a day off

Josh and I have wonderful parents. And we live near them. Which means that we have lots of babysitting. And, it means that sometimes they call up on Friday night and beg to take our kids off our hands. Who are we to say no? In fact, Josh's parents took our kids all day today as well. We got to go to Costco by ourselves! and we went to lunch together - just us! and we went to a movie with Josh's brother and sister in law! and then we went out afterward for pie and coffee! It felt really decadent. I fought with the guilt a little, but when we got to their house, the kids were really happy, playing outside and having a grand time. And, I think their grandparents had a grand time too.

Josh's parents have both a keyboard and a drum kit in their house, much to the delight of the children. Even Charlotte is quite the little drummer. And, Thomas and Charlotte got to play with their cousin, Catalina, which is a true delight for them.

When I put Thomas to bed tonight, we laid down and talked for a few minutes and he told me all about his day. He told me he got to push his cart and that he and Charlotte had fun with Grandma and Grandpa. I love that he will just lay there and talk to me. It gives me a little picture into his world.

So, we got a true day off today. I missed the kids, but really enjoyed spending time with my husband and having him all to myself for the day. We are truly grateful to Grandma and Grandpa for the time.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts for Thursday

The kids are in bed, the laundry is folded and put away and I am getting ready to curl up with my Kindle. I could easily sleep as well, but I have made it a goal to read more this year since we don't have a TV in our room in Seattle. I love watching TV in bed, so it took a fair bit of convincing before I agreed not to go out and buy another television. We have lived here for almost 6 months now and I don't really miss it. I love coming in here at the end of the day and reading until I can't see straight.

Another benefit to living here has been the ability to get out to the gym twice a week. We made it a priority for me to do this because I need the exercise (apparently chasing the kids around for a couple of hours after work does not count as exercise). I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago for a physical and she was pleased at the exercise regimen. I really love it because I come home full of energy and really relaxed at the same time.

One of the things that propelled me to the doctor was that I have been having heart palpitations and I had been putting off doing anything about it until I got motivated by other circumstances (more on that in a minute). At the doctor, I found out that my heart palpitations are a fairly routine condition called premature ventricular contractions. In the old days (you know, 5 years ago), they treated these with medication. But, the medication had bad side effects and didn't really solve the problem. It turns out that they are not dangerous as long as they don't occur while you are exercising (if they do, they are a clear indication of heart disease). Mine tend to occur when I am sitting still, so that is a good sign. They think the cause is a combination of factors around caffeine and stress and the recommended prescription was yoga. So now, in addition to the two days I go to the gym, I added two days of yoga. It has been awesome. I am so grateful that Josh was willing to get up early 4 days a week so I can do this.

I haven't yet written about what happened to my friend, Joanne. She is the same age as me (that is, 38) and in great shape from running every day for the last couple of years. On Tuesday, January 11, she had a stroke. Totally unexpected, nothing you can prepare for, out of the blue and life is completely changed. We have been friends for 17 years - the longest friendship in my life. Her journey has inspired me to stop putting off things (like going to the doctor) and to stop thinking that my life is hard or that I can't go to the gym because I'm tired. So tomorrow morning, when I really want to sleep in, I am going to have my just do it moment of the day and get myself to yoga class.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We just had a family geek moment watching Jeopardy. In case you don't know, this week on Jeopardy, there are two contestants playing against a computer. The computer is named Watson and it is big enough to fill my living room. It was fascinating to watch and played right into what I have been thinking about with Thomas and Charlotte and language and communication.

Thomas has all the funny toddlerisms that are typical (instead of went he says goed, instead of saw he says seed, etc), but he also has his own unique ones. My favorite is "I don't know either." He says it in response to "why did you do that?" or "how do you feel?" or "where did you put the remote?". It cracks me up every time.

Charlotte is also starting to talk a lot more. She is still mainly on one word things that sound the same "doggie", "daddy", "bite", "up high", "bath", "momma", "key", "please" and the ever popular "more". She is getting so big. I noticed tonight that her little belly is going away and she is getting longer and leaner.

The most interesting thing is to see how fast they learn and acquire context and language and they sometimes shock me with how much they understand - which means I have to be a lot more careful about what I say...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Two small stories from today

1. Thomas told me a story tonight before he went to bed. He is not a reliable narrator. But, if you listen through the words you get the essence of what he is trying to say and it is such a wonderful time to hear how he is processing things. The story always starts out with him trying to sell someone out "Daddy took away my toy" and the probing brings out the truth - it was one he had stolen from his sister. "And is it okay to steal from Charlotte?" "No." He then went on to catalog all of his misbehavior from the day "I pushed Charlie." "And is that okay?" "Nooooo." This is progress for us - he used to say "Yes".

2. It is Valentine's Day and Josh bought me chocolate. He just asked if he could have one and I said, "sure, you can have the rest, there are only a few left." He took the box, held it for a second and then said, "Did you eat all the ones in the second layer?" and I said, "there's a second layer?". Which is all just to say that I hope you enjoy your chocolates and remember that a heavy box indicates a second layer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy New Year, six weeks late

I like to start out every new year with a goal, a little addition to make me a better me this year. Some years it has been to lose weight, others to do more reading, last year it was to get my teeth fixed. I find this helps me not become too complacent and set in my ways. I thought this was going to be a year about fitness (and it is, a little bit) and I thought this was going to be a year about reading (and it is, a little bit), but it is turning out that this is a year about committing. These are the things I am committing to this year:

1) Reading, both fiction books and my daily devotional
2) Fitness, both going to the gym and doing yoga3) Communicating, both on and off line
4) Presence, presentness, being in the moment, however you want to say it

That means that I am going to be more disciplined about blogging. These entries are really for my kids - a record of what is happening in their lives and around them and some history for them so that they will be able to see what they were like when they were little. So, Happy New Year, six weeks late and now, I will give you some pictures and links and an update...
Charlotte is now 14.5 months old, walking around the house, getting into trouble, trying to pull everything off the counter, the table, the desk, etc. She is a happy girl with a ready smile and so much energy. She loves it when Daddy throws her "up high" and just giggles and giggles. She likes to play with her brother, but she does not like it when he takes things away from her. She loves to say please "(peas)" and thank you "den doo" and when she wants something, she knows to tilt her head to the side and give you a big smile while saying them...
Thomas is 28.5 months old and no longer a baby (although he told me the other day that he was a baby so he wouldn't have to eat his dinner "I am not a big boy, I am a baby"). He freaks us out every day with his knowledge of the alphabet (he can recognize most letters and point to the right one when we say "which one is the D or P or Q or you get the picture?"). He likes all things that move, but especially his trains. He likes to build tracks so that the train can go "up a hill, down a hill" before Charlotte destroys them. He likes to ride on his car or his "motorcycle" (which is really his bicycle) and he loves to push things - the shopping cart, the stroller, anything with wheels.

Here is Thomas with his cousin, Catalina at lunch yesterday (the big guy is Grandpa)
My sister in law, Joanne, is doing a 365 project and her picture of Charlotte was the picture of the day yesterday. You can see it here.

Since the last entry, Josh has gone back to work. He now works in the city, so we got an apartment over there during the week. The kids love it. Thomas knows the difference between "Bremerton" and the "apartment". When we leave Seattle on Friday nights, he says "bye, bye, Space Needle" and when we get close to our house he always says "Home?". I'll post some pictures of our view if we get some nice days this week.

I'm sure I'll write more in future posts about the rest of my goals for the year and how they are coming along. Feel free to ask me if you do not see updates, I need the prodding sometimes to make sure that I am on track.

It is Sunday afternoon and the kids are happily sleeping upstairs, so I will now enjoy some rare moments of peace and quiet and read my book.