Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tomorrow, in ten minutes, or by the time I post this I'll be 31. I have no in depth reflections at this point on what that means to me. I haven't had time to think about it.
Reagan has become quite the conversationalist lately. Last night she decided to take a bath with her favorite lovie - Lambie. She got out of the bath and into her super froggie towel. She walked into the kitchen with her eyes brimming with tears and kept saying, "Wammie is bwoken?!" It was the sweetest and saddest thing. I love that she is so expressive. I've had a hard time finding the right time and the right way to set boundaries for her. Last week she took something away from Riley and immediately told him, "I don't want you to have that right now!" She also is addicted to chocolate milk (bunny milk) and eating potato chips on the couch, in her pajamas, after Riley leaves for school. I'm not sure how she got into that! She thinks she can always drink my morning coffee and the only time she likes to hear "no" is when she is saying it to us!
I gave Reagan a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin this afternoon and found her promptly pulling out every chocolate chip.
I love her to pieces and enjoy being home with her. I like spending most of my free time with her until she's clingy or screaming at me, but otherwise we've enjoyed most of our quiet days with Riley at school.
It was a busy month with Fiona arriving, getting the kids settled into school, and Sean getting settled into his job. Maybe this weekend I'll have a chance to post pictures. Well, maybe by Monday.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Two years ago today we picked up this little bundle from a nearby hospital...
and we named her Reagan Abigail. Riley gladly settled for her over the frog or the baby alligator he originally asked for. As a compromise, he still called her Reagan Alligator for 6 months.
For two years, we have adequately convinced Riley that if he doesn't get along with Reagan we'll take her back to the hospital. If he does get along with her, she will make him cookies when he goes to college. I also told him I would do his laundry when he came home and he quickly told me, "No mom. I'll do my own laundry." We'll see if we all live up to our agreements in this bargain.
That phase happened to last a solid year. She had two outfits: snowsuit and snowsuit. The hood with the faux fur had to be on and if we washed both at the same time Reagan would scream for the entire wash and dry cycle.
Thankfully, we moved on to dresses, fairy wings, tutus, dinosaurs, and shoes, shoes, shoes.
Her new "lovie" is lambie. I heard Riley yelling for me from their bedroom tonight. I went to see what was going on and I found Reagan gleefully glaring down at Lambie on the floor. Riley was standing on the bed and crying over a moth that was loose in the room. Sure enough, Reagan had taken her Lambie, tossed it across the room and hit the moth.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I'm from North Carolina. I spent my summers at the pool every day. I'm used to humidity and hot weather.
At least I thought so. Then I moved to the Northwest where 75 is hot. In my tenth summer here, I must have acclimated. I've been worried about the kids sleeping in a 90 degree house. I was shocked to find the butter on the counter and the chocolate for smores in the pantry were completely melted.
Seattle hit it's highest ever recorded temperature yesterday at 102. I heard Bellevue was 105! Around noon we jumped onto Expedia and booked a hotel in Ocean Shores. I'm not terribly fond of Ocean Shores, but the weather map said it was only 88 there.
Off we went within 30 minutes for an overnight stay at a hotel on the beach with an indoor pool, breakfast, and a work out room.
Imagine my surprise when we got into the car in 100 degree weather and got out of the car three hours later in a misty fog and 55 degrees!
We roamed around in the fog until we found food and then took the kids to the pool. Riley was beside himself at the prospect of swimming since he recently discovered water wings. He think he's an olympic swimmer!
Sean ran to the car and left me with both the kids in the pool which I'm not comfortable with at all. In the same instant, I flipped Reagan off her floatee ring and Riley stepped off of the step into 4 ft deep water. When Sean came back with Riley's water wings I was in the process of trying to save both children at the same time. Thankfully everyone was ok. Reagan happily went to "Daddy" who is taller and handles the kids better in swimming pools.
Sean just kept laughing at me for thinking it was hot since he comes from Palm Springs, CA where hot is 128 degrees. Sigh. At least he was kind enough to agree to support the insanity of taking two kids to a hotel overnight. I wasn't the only one with that idea either since every hotel with AC in Seattle was booked to capacity.
We arrived back this afternoon to a 92 degree house in 101 degree weather, but I'm glad to be home.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Last week I had a great host family interview with an Indian Family. They offered me a glass of water in a tin cup. That moment was filled with nostalgia as visions of St Joe's Abids and many dinners of chapatti and rice flooded back to me. I wish I could go again and take my family. I would visit the market place and take my kids to Yankee Doodle Ice Cream. I'd love to stand again at the top of Golconda Fort where the wind sails around the 400 year old ruins.
It's hard for me to imagine I've been to such places when the memories fade over the years. It's not likely I'll ever visit the same villages, the same schools, or see the same people again.
Nevertheless, India was my first love. For reasons even I can't explain. I'm quite fortunate to have been there for two summers.
The last week was busy for our family. I went shopping without my children and found fairy wings and a skirt for Reagan.
It came in handy that I had these with me when I met up with Sean and Riley at the local Splash Park. Turns out, Reagan didn't like the splash park. Riley, on the other hand, adored it. He's asked every day if we can go back. The highlight was climbing to the top of a huge killer whale and sliding down its nose.
Reagan was happy to frolic in the grass in her new skirt and wings.
Saturday was trailsfest at Rattlesnake Lake.
After definitely not going to sleep in any uncertain amount of time, we got the kids up and took them out for another busy day.
We started out at Golden Gardens Beach on the Puget Sound. Then our family biked around Shilshole Bay, under the draw bridge, past Google and over to Gasworks Park.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
We had the opportunity to head to downtown Bellevue to support the Overlake Service League and see a free movie a few days ago. We stopped by Starbucks and ran into a group of au pairs. Of course. It’s become pretty common to run into Host Families and Au Pairs every where I go. I can most assuredly find au pairs at Target, the mall, and any area Starbucks.
We dropped off our peanut butter donations, found a nice spot, put up our camping chairs, and watched the sunset. Somewhere in there, I grabbed a camera and took this guy’s picture with his wife and the President of the Overlake Service League.
Right about the time the movie was about to start, I leaned over to Sean and said, “Let’s ditch this and go see The Proposal instead.”
Off we went to the next showing movie which happened to be at Park Place. We frequent our favorite sushi bar there, but I haven’t been to the movies there in ages. Actually, I haven’t seen a non-kid friendly movie in years.
We were in line for awhile waiting for some lady to write a check. They still take those? As we were standing there, I was joking about our dating days – which were almost non-existent.
Thinking about how we hardly knew each other when we got engaged made me want to recap the story.
Sean moved to Seattle on September 10th 2002. For months I had been hearing about this guy I would get along great with. Various, non-connected friends kept telling me I had to meet him! I laughed it off – after all he was from California. He was a drummer! He went to a completely PC University and majored in politics. No way were we going to get along.
And then we met on Thanksgiving Day. There was a couple that asked us if we were dating. Sean was completely unaware that anyone was interested in setting us up and I responded by saying I’ve never met this guy before in my life! Then this ex-homeless, rough, tough guy who now works in ministries to the homeless pipes up with “Well, we’ll just have to pray for you two!” I said something about going to check on the turkey and walked away. As I walked into the kitchen I realized that it was somehow inevitable that we’d be married in 6 months. Sean thought I hated him at first until we were playing a card game that was complicated and I was the only one who could keep up.
By Christmas we were inseparable and the week after I left on a 4 week trip to Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Holland. I was home for one night before Sean left for 6 weeks on tour with his former employer. In those days, it wasn’t uncommon for Sean to be on the road 47 weeks out of the year.
In January, by day I skied, and hiked, and traveled all over Europe. By night, I talked to Sean on the phone or we instant messaged for hours. The one exception was while I was in Holland with one of my dear friends who lived there for 6 months. I didn’t have access to the internet and I wrote postcards instead.
I came home at the end of January and said goodbye to Sean who was headed to Southern California. By day we worked and at night we took advantage of our free after 9pm cell phone minutes.
I flew down in early February to meet his family and three weeks later on the 24th of February, they came back to Washington.
On March 15th he proposed. I was surprised to say the least. He had put together a scavenger hunt for me and each of the clues led to places in our neighborhood, our favorite park, and out to Snoqualmie Falls. I took the trail down to the falls gathering my notes on the way and there at the base of the falls was Sean with red roses, kneeling in front of me.
We were married on June 21st – just 7 months after we met. We’ve spent our last 6 anniversaries watching the sunset together on the longest day of the year.
We’ve been through a lot, but there’s no one else I’d rather go through life with than Sean. I’m glad he was crazy enough to propose after 3 months of knowing each other and most of it long distance.
We had a great evening out together, but I’m really thankful that we enjoy simple evenings together. We’re pretty happy to sit outside on the deck and chat over dinner while our kids play or spend the afternoon hiking or biking together. It's amazing how even after years you can love someone more and more.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Seattle is known for its moderate climate. It's easy to fall in love with the Northwest on days like today. Our high was 75. This morning started cool and cloudy and we headed off for our weekly park date at Crestwoods Park in Kirkland. I heard someone mention a turtle park. I'm determined to find out what and where that is.
Last night I tried to capture Reagan singing all the way through Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. If I whispered, she whispered and if I held up the camera she'd stop singing and say "Cheeese!" The effort was futile. She can hardly talk and she sings entire songs. I heard Riley refer to her today as "Baby." He still calls her that instead of Reagan. "Our baby is running away!" "Here Baby, I'll push you down the slide." He's a good big brother!
Our kids are bathed and my four year old is reading a bedtime story to my one year old. Sean and I are headed out for a date night at the Overlake Service League's Summer Movies at the Park! They are showing Bride Wars at Bellevue City Park tonight. We just got back from a four mile run with the kids and we're looking forward to evening out!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Summer brings a lot of playdates to our favorite places! We've hit Idylwood, Houghton, Newcastle, and Meydenbauer in the last few weeks. The water is usually cold enough to keep Reagan away and the sand toys are entertaining for both the kids. This has been so much easier than last year when Reagan was still adicted to her snowsuit in 85 degree weather and preferred eating sand.
This was my second Ride the Ducks activity with the au pairs.
Our transit system is not the most comprehensive for beginners, but after missing our connection and getting off at the wrong stop, we made it there and back! I didn't have to pay for parking!
Reagan was more than glad to model her new pigtails and 4th of July outfit!
The park that hosted the Bellevue Strawberry Festival has an inviting splash pad for kids. I had no idea!
Derby Days was a success. I stood in the sun for 13 hours and acquired a fabulous tan. (Read: sunburn)
We were next to a booth with a great fishing game and across from us, the Rotary Club was teaching kids how to drive!
We passed out over 500 brochures while some fantastic au pairs entertained kids with face painting and helped the kids with a Ring Toss!
We headed out to the Bothell Parade for our second year! Reagan seemed to like her outfit, but threw a crazy tantrum over wearing tights with it. I finally gave in and let her wear them even though it was 95 degrees out!