Archive for Family

Boys Dressed Up

Going back a bit….

Here are the boys at Eric’s cousin Phil’s wedding in Iowa in May. Feeling miserable.

Laying on Daddy’s lap during the ceremony.


Wandering up and down the outside aisle, not wanting to be with us, but not wanting to be far away either.


Deciding to just lie on the floor and be done with it.


Totally asleep in the pew afterwards.


They were so cute, all dressed up. Too bad we all felt so awful. These are about the only pictures we got.

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Family Fun Day – Summer!

We’ve been working hard in our yard for the last few months, so we decided that with predicted hot weather (finally!) this last weekend, we needed to go do something fun, especially for the kids.

My plan was to find a U-pick strawberry farm, but that didn’t quite work out. When we eventually found one, most of the way to the north end of the island, we were one day early for the season. Still, they had strawberries for sale from their own, non-U-pick fields, so we bought a bunch to make jam. Then, since we were nearly there anyway, we headed on up to Deception Pass for our picnic.

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It was glorious at the beach, but thank goodness we were early! As we were leaving, there was a constant stream of cars entering the park and I’m sure it was getting to be really crowded.

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The next part of the plan worked out much, much better! I recently discovered that there is a public, outdoor pool a little south of Coupeville. Next to the water, with views of the mountains and the passing ships.

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It wasn’t crowded and one of the pools has an even depth of 3ft, which is perfect for Ben to bounce around with his head above water. He had a blast. Even Timothy warmed up to it pretty quickly.

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After an hour in the pool, the only way we could get Ben to leave was with the promise of strawberries in the car and that we’d come back soon.


And then…. barbeque. We’d been to the farmer’s market on Saturday and had loads of little artichokes to grill. Along with our standards of mushrooms, potatoes and tofu. And also, a few tiny onions that had been “liberated” from our garden by a certain one year old.


Ben thought he’d try some wine. (It was empty.)


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Our Long Strange Trip

Timothy had started throwing up the day before we left. He seemed mostly fine on Thursday. Until the flight. He was cranky and yelling and crying and wanting to be held but then lunging for the floor. He finally slept for a little while, then woke up and threw up all over him and me. Immediately the pilot says “Sit down, we’re beginning our descent.” Great. We sit down and strap in and try to change his clothes and my shirt. Then Ben throws up all over himself. So Eric had to get him cleaned up and changed.

We got off the plane, Ben was a limp lump, basically wanting to lay on the floor while we got our bags and our rental car sorted out. He threw up again in the parking garage on the way to the car.

Our plan had been to arrive in Minneapolis at 8pm (6pm for us), get our car, get dinner, put the boys in jammies and drive for four hours to our hotel in NW Iowa. Arriving around 1am, 11pm by our body clocks. Totally do-able.

Yeah. Not.

None of us wanted dinner.

Half an hour out of Minneapolis I threw up.

Half an hour later, Eric was starting to feel woozy, so we decided to stop at the next town and find a hotel room. Which was a damn good idea, because as soon as he’d got us a room, Eric threw up too, right in the parking lot.

We spent the whole night taking turns throwing up in this random hotel, all four of us miserable and hardly getting any sleep.

And then there was diarrhea.

It got better, slowly. We made it to the original hotel eventually, on Friday afternoon, made a brief appearance at the rehearsal dinner Friday night. Then Ben threw up again.

Saturday morning, I had a throbbing miserable headache on top of everything else — hadn’t had any caffeine in two days what with that whole not-keeping-food-down thing. So I tried some hotel room coffee. My stomach sent it right back up, but I guess it was down there long enough to help my head, at least.

We made it to the wedding, barely. Ben slept through nearly the whole thing. We lasted maybe half an hour at the reception with Ben looking increasingly miserable and weepy. It had been 12 hours since he last threw up, and he’d eaten that afternoon so we thought he was doing better, but as soon as we got back to the hotel, he did it again.

It was a waterpark hotel, and Ben was sooo very very excited about the waterpark. We were supposed to be there for three nights, plenty of time to go play. But we didn’t get to go once.

The rest of the week was less eventful. On Sunday (Mother’s Day), we drove 3 hours to Indianola, the town where Eric’s uncle and grandma live, and managed to do three days worth of pukey laundry and have dinner with Eric’s parents before they left. We’d mostly been avoiding people up til then.

Then we just hung out in town for 3 days, went to the zoo, played in the pool (just a regular small swimming pool, no waterpark, but still fun), went to the park, that kind of thing. All the other relatives had already left and the ones living in town were working. We made brief visits to Eric’s grandma each day, but not too long because a) it wore her out and b) watching the kids in her place wore us out.

Then, the best part of the whole darn trip.

We had booked a hotel near Minneapolis airport for Thursday night, before our flight on Friday, to avoid a four hour drive + flight in one day. Just some basic hotel.

Well, we changed it. I googled for waterparks in Minneapolis and found the Water Park of America, even nearer the airport and even slightly cheaper for a room. We booked it.

We were there when the water park opened at 4pm, and we played for 4 hours. And went back the next morning for 1.5 hours. Ben LOVED it. Tim was not so sure, but it was definitely the highlight of the trip for three of us.

We’ve been home for over two weeks now, and we’re only just getting back into a groove. Or, perhaps I’m the only one who’s taken this long to recover. But I’m finally ready to start posting photos and updating again.

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Thanks, Granny and Granda!

Yesterday we received these t-shirts from when Granny and Granda visited Antigua on their recent cruise.


They both fit well, and I had visions of a nicely posed picture of the two of them standing next to each other looking at the camera. Ha. Getting the boys to stand still and face the camera is a completely lost cause these days. That’s why they’re lying down, but even that had its challenges….


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Walk in the Forest

Friday morning was gray and damp, but not actually raining. Ben didn’t want to go to school, so we decided to go for a walk in the forest instead. We were in the woods for well over an hour, and I was amazed — Timothy actually walked about half of it all by himself! It was a slow pace, but that gave us lots of time to notice the fallen trees, the odd-looking fungi, the white-tipped pinecones (lichen?), the puddles, the lack of slugs, the different types of moss. It was wonderful to spend time like that with my boys. The forest feels particularly enchanted to me in that sort of weather, and with noone else around at all, I didn’t have to worry about one lagging and one leading. (“Mama, sing the leader song!”) Not that we ever got too far apart.


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April Catch-up

I have much to catch up on. Grandma and Grandpa were here for the first week of April. Timothy had his 2 month appointment on the 12th and weighed 15lbs 10oz, still a big baby but not quite as big as Ben. We’ve been househunting and I’ve gone back to being a working parent at Ben’s co-op preschool one morning a week. It’s felt like a very busy month.
Just a few photos so that I can say I did post in April. And I will try to be more frequent next month. πŸ™‚


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Snow! Again!

Timothy saw his first snow last week. It started on Wednesday morning, and by that evening we had about 4 inches. School was cancelled again on Thursday. We all went out to play while it was snowing, even Timothy. He was very well bundled up, but still only out for about 5 minutes. Ben and Dad built a great huge snowman with a very unusual head. πŸ™‚

And yesterday, the temperature was 70ºF. Crazy weather.


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Snow Storm

We’ve had quite an interesting few days!

Rain on Sunday turned to snow, and by mid-afternoon it was lying. We lost power around 3pm. We ventured out for a while to see how widespread it was, and discovered it was basically 10 houses on our lane and that was it. So we ordered pizza for dinner, and when Eric went to pick it up, the downtown area had just lost power too. It came back on at about 7pm, and Ben’s joyful reaction when the lights came back on was “We can open the fridge!” (Oh, how he misses opening the fridge and getting things out when we tape it shut. πŸ™‚ But he does understand that the “electricity is broken” and we cannot open the fridge, and he’s generally pretty good about it.)

Power went off again at 5am on Monday morning. And it was still snowing. Power came back a little before 8am, but went off again at 9:30. Still snowing. Came back around 1pm, but went off again at 3:45pm. Still snowing.

That outage lasted for about 33 hours. We didn’t have power again til about 1:30am Wednesday.

The snow stopped some time on Monday night, we ended up with maybe 8″ or so, and Tuesday was a bright sunny gorgeous freezing cold day. It felt like we were living in a ski lodge. The temperature was down in the mid-twenties.

We’ve been comfortable enough — we have a gas fireplace that heats the living areas, and because of the open loft layout of our house, also heats the bedroom. We have lots of candles and we have a propane camping stove, so really, we’ve been doing alright. The most difficult thing to deal with was getting to be hot water — the water heater is electric, so we were using the hot water sparingly, just enough to take the chill off when washing hands, hoping to make it last. It just barely did. And then today Eric realised we have an on-demand gas water heater in his office. πŸ™‚ So as long as we have propane out there, we can even take showers if the need arises.

There’s another storm coming in tonight, according to the forecast, but it’s looking milder. Maybe another 2″ of snow. We sort of expect to lose power again, but maybe we won’t. It’s not too worrisome though, at least now we know we can handle it. πŸ™‚

And once December gets here, it’s supposed to warm up a little, perhaps it’ll be more typical Northwest weather….just wet.

our snowy house

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Make Something Day ’06

The day after Thanksgiving, instead of going shopping like many people do, we like to honor Buy Nothing Day. Over the years, that evolved into Make Something Day, and last year, we decided to start our own new family tradition of making Christmas ornaments on that day. That means we get new and meaningful Christmas ornaments to add to our collection every year, we get to explore whatever craft idea seems age-appropriate for the kids, and we sort of kick off our holiday season with a day spent together being creative and goofy.

This year, we decided to bake inedible cookies and decorate them with glue and glitter and paint. Ben was involved at every stage of the process, and was way more focused than I expected him to be. He sat and happily played with glue and glitter for probably over an hour. He created his own little works of art which will hang with pride on our tree this year.

glitter is fun

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Update on Baby #2

I realised as I was reviewing the new site that I hadn’t posted any pictures or updates since 16 weeks, and we’re now almost 26 weeks! So, everything’s going fine. The bump is getting in my way much earlier than the last time, but I think that’s because my activities are so much different this time around. Getting down to and up off the floor, bending over, picking up a toddler… not quite the same as sitting at a desk and walking around downtown on my lunchbreak. Other than that, though, it’s been pretty uneventful once I started feeling better. Here are a few pictures taken while Granny and Granda were still here. We took advantage of the opportunity to try to get some family pictures!

family of 3

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