Monday, September 26, 2016

fallelujah!

backing up to last thursday - not only was it soccer night for azalea, but it was also "back to school night" at her school. it's an open house where your child shows you around the classroom and the school. it was really fun to see all the stuff they have been doing that she doesn't tell us about! ;)



friday night when thatcher got home from work, we went out for dinner at the bbq place in our neighborhood. it was a fun night with the kids and the food was amazing as always!


saturday morning i dropped off thatcher and the kids in the town of everett (35 mins north) to take a special train ride into downtown. it was a temporary train route running this weekend for people traveling to the washington state fair (they get off in downtown and board another train). thatcher thought it would be fun for them to ride it as far as downtown and then bus home. here are some pictures of their morning: 





meanwhile i headed to a coffee shop in the greenwood neighborhood to get some invoicing done for work. 



i came home and they were still gone for a couple hours more, so i ate lunch, cleaned a bit for my mom's arrival on tuesday (!!!), and did more invoicing. i ended up being on my own for nearly 6 hours. so nice! of course i soaked up their snuggles when they got home. we grilled hot dogs and chicken sausage for dinner and the kids watched toy story (which i rented from the movie store in our neighborhood). now ashford knows who buzz light year is - it's his halloween costume, if you missed that in my last post. 

sunday morning thatcher got up at 5:45am to get ready for a day hike with 2 co-workers. with ashford waking up so early lately, i crossed my fingers that he would sleep through it, but of course he woke up too and demanded to get up immediately. sighhhhh. at least azalea slept until 7. the kids and i hung out at home for most of the morning. then we walked down to the locks to meet our friends matt, vanessa, and ewan and vanessa's family who was in town (her siblings and brother in law). it was so nice to meet them! it was a beautiful day at the locks, but soooo crowded. i didn't get any pictures of the people, but i did snap one of this gorgeous tree on the walk there and this amazing green moss in one of the locks: 

 

the kids and i spent the afternoon at home, i finished my invoicing, and thatcher returned before dinner time. the evening was much of the same and today's agenda is more cleaning and grocery shopping for my mom coming tomorrow! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

september is flying by!

backing up a bit to last week with a couple of ashford updates i forgot to document with the start of school...

on tuesday ashford had his first parent-child swimming lesson at the pool in our neighborhood. i always said i didn't want to do swim lessons with my kid, but i actually loved it! it helped that our friends vanessa and ewan are in the class as well. both boys were a bit unsure and clingy at the start of the class, but quickly realized it was fun. ashford surprised me and was willing to do all of the techniques like putting his face in the water, floating on his back with his head on my shoulder, etc. it was basically like we got to snuggle in the water for 30 minutes. i can't wait for the next one tomorrow! 


on thursday, i took ashford to get his hair cut at a....dun dun dun....non kid themed hair cut place! i've been wanting to do this the last couple times because the kid hair cut places are insanely expensive here. so, i took him to a chain walk-in place (with sucker in hand!). he did really well. the lady who cut his hair had pretty much zero confidence, which was interesting and it's far from a perfect cut, but it looks fine! and it was definitely worth paying half the price of the other place. 


now onto the weekend...

friday night we hung out at home and made pita pizzas for dinner. i headed out right before the kids' bedtime to meet my friend beth for a drink at a bar a few blocks away. her daughter was in azalea's preschool class and now they go to kindergarten at the same school (although different classes), so i've gotten to know beth well for the last year. we had never hung out without the kids in tow, so we thought we'd go out for a "we made it through the first week of kindergarten" drink :) it was a fun night chatting with her, and before i knew it, it was after 10:30.

saturday morning both kids woke up at 5:30 am (argggh). it is not unusual for ashford to do that, but pretty unusual for azalea (especially considering how tired she has been with school starting). granted we didn't get out of bed until 6:30, but it was a rough morning of little sleep. we didn't have any plans until noon, so the morning got a bit long at home. at noon we had a birthday party at carkeek park, so we decided to leave a little early to check out the halloween costume selection at value village. i'm all for my kids dressing up for halloween, but i have no sewing skills and refuse to pay $25 for a new costume, so we always look for a second hand one. the selection wasn't huge there, but thankfully the kids are easy to please! azalea found an anna dress (from frozen) that fit her and she was thrilled. i found a buzz light year costume for ashford (with the cutest built in muscles), and he was excited when we put it on him and it fit. the funny part is, he doesn't even know who buzz light year is, so we'll need to watch toy story before halloween! glad we got this all important part of fall taken care of with over a month to spare! 

my friend heather's son had his 4th birthday party at carkeek park. i have 4 friends with kids who turn 4 years old between september and december this year. it's pretty crazy! we woke up to pouring rain and wind, but heather said they were going to have the party rain or shine. lucky it stopped raining, but it was a very windy day! we came prepared:


 they were able to borrow a tent to put over the picnic table. we felt very "seattle" picnicking in the elements. ha! the kids didn't care a bit! they had pizza and cake and played on the playground. it was really fun! 



ashford fell asleep in the car on the drive home and i was able to transfer him to his bed (high five!), so i decided to lay down with azalea for a bit. that only lasted an hour because ashford woke up crying for me. short nap for him! saturday night we made chicken, broccoli, and rice with peanut sauce, gave the kids baths, and off to bed!

sunday we didn't have anything planned. we hung out at home in the morning until 11:30. 


 by then we were all going a little stir crazy, so i took the kids to a park and thatcher stayed home and did some cleaning. it was the most beautiful fall day! (it's too bad the party wasn't on sunday). 


everyone and their mom was out enjoying the sunshine and fall colors. we had lunch at home and ashford went down for a nap. i took a solo trip to the grocery store, then snuggled with azalea on the couch and she fell asleep on me. it was heavenly (and also very sweaty- ha!)


we decided to go to chipotle for dinner because they have a "kids eat free" promo on sundays this month (only one sunday left!). we don't have any very close to us, but we decided to go to the uvillage outdoor shopping mall. we had dinner then let the kids play for a bit on the play structures there. it was crowded because it was such a nice night. then it was home and off to bed to prepare for week 2 of school! whew!

Friday, September 16, 2016

azalea's first week of kindergarten

the first week of kindergarten is in the books and it has been a great experience so far! i made my picture-hating girl take an obligatory first day of school pic and this is how it went: 


she's such a stinker :) i had to make her laugh to get that second one.

thatcher, ashford and i all walked her up to school on monday. we said hi to some parents we know and she saw a few kids she knew on the playground. soon the first bell rang to signal the kids to head to their rooms. we all went into the classroom and helped her find her cubby and her assigned spot at her table. 



the teacher was pretty quick to "kick out" the families (i think to prevent moms and dads from lingering for too long). we hugged and kissed her goodbye. she was all smiles! after drop off, thatcher headed to work and ashford and i walked to a coffee shop a couple blocks away with some other kindergarten parents. apparently it's a first day tradition for new kindergarten parents. there were some parents there that i already knew, and i got to meet some new ones, as well. it was a fun morning! 

i thought about azalea all day and couldn't wait to pick her up and hear about her day, but i never felt sad about her being at school. it just felt right. she came running into my arms at 3:45, i asked her how it was and she said "it was good! we had dance class today!" i probably asked her way too many questions on the walk home because she straight up started ignoring me after about 2 questions. ha! i didn't get a ton more detail about her day (which sounds like the norm), but she did share that: 

- she didn't use the bathroom all day (uh, that's not a good thing honey)

- they ate lunch in the lunch room and had recess (3x)

- they read a book called "the kissing hands" and she asked me to kiss her hand :)

and that was about it! i could tell she was so exhausted after the first day. afterall, she is my 5 and a half year old who was still napping quite often, so this is a big change for her. she has been falling asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow each night and sleeping until at least 7am every morning (in fact, it's almost 8am right now and she is still asleep!). the rest of the days this week have been much of the same. she seems to be really enjoying school and it makes me so happy and proud. i'm still getting used to this whole 5 day a week routine of making lunches, drop off/pick up, etc. i'm sure ashford misses having her around all the time, but he has adjusted to it really well. he asks if it's time to pick her up a couple times a day, but doesn't seem too sad that she isn't here to fight with him. ;) 

i'm loving the start of this new adventure for all of us!

Monday, September 12, 2016

our last weekend of summer

i keep going back and forth about whether to refer to these days as summer or fall. it still sort of felt like summer over the weekend because school is just starting today for azalea, but my mind has been all pumpkin spice, booties, and cardigans for a couple weeks now ;) the weather cooled down quickly in seattle once september hit, so it has been feeling very fall-like here. but this past weekend was 70 and sunny and beautiful! 

first let's back up to thursday night. azalea had her first soccer class at the community center. it's meant to be a class rather than a team, which is perfect for her right now! a while back i asked her if she wanted to sign up for gymnastics because she always seems very interested in tumbling. but she quickly said "i can't take gymnastics, i don't know how to do it! i want to take soccer!" i had to laugh because she has no clue how to play soccer either, but that's what she wanted, so i signed her up. last thursday was the first night and she looked so stinkin cute in her apparel. she really loved the class and i thought she looked like a natural out there. they play in the gym rather than the field, which will be nice once it gets more rainy here. i can't wait to see her learn more about the sport and see if it might be something she wants to stick with. she also really loved dance last spring.


friday afternoon we had our "family meeting" with azalea's kindergarten teacher. every family gets to have one before the start of the year, and like the name suggests, the whole family is invited (thatcher left work early). we had informally met her teacher (as well as the other teachers) during jumpstart, but this was our first time meeting her as "our" teacher. we got to see the classroom, which is a brand new space converted from being a preschool room. nice hardwood floors, cheery green walls, and tables set up in little pods. it looks awesome! the only thing that's a little strange is that the room is attached to the school, but only accessible from an outside door. i will be dropping her off and picking her up there each day. anyway, the meeting went well. she interviewed azalea a bit and did a reading activity with her. i think azalea was a bit nervous knowing all of the attention was on her, and therefore acted a bit strange, but i'm sure she will be fine once school actually starts. after that we went home and grilled dinner and it was early to bed because a certain 2 year old in our house refused to nap all day (so not ready for that....) 

saturday morning i asked thatcher if i could have some "me time". sometimes i go weeks without having more than a 30-60 minute break from the kids, and it had gotten to that point. he took them to the zoo and i drove over to uvillage which is a really nice outdoor mall near the university of washington. it was beautiful outside, so it was the best of both worlds (shopping and fresh air, that is). i got to sip an iced coffee while browsing at my leisure (i seriously love shopping alone!) and then i got a delicious salad at a juice bar for lunch.  it was such a refreshing morning to myself and very much appreciated :) 


i bought a pair of tan suede booties, and an oatmeal color flutter short sleeved shirt at h&m. i also got a cute pumpkin spoon rest from crate and barrel ($5!!) that i may use as decor somewhere else. we'll see! 



both kids napped in the afternoon (woo hoo!) then we headed to ella bailey park for my friend allison's daughter charlotte's 4th birthday. it was such a nice evening and as you can see the views are incredible from the park! i had only been there in the morning before and it was not nearly this clear. 


they had pizza and cake and the kids ran around. it was a really fun night! 


sunday was a nice low-key last day before kindergarten (eeeek!). in the morning we walked to mighty o's for donuts and then took a stroll through the farmer's market on the way back home. we also came across this quirky little playhouse in the middle of our neighborhood: 


 both kids napped in the afternoon and i did a little work. then i went to the grocery store to get stuff for the week the next 2 days. in the evening, our friends vanessa and matt dropped off their son ewan so they could go out for their anniversary dinner. this was part 2 of the date night swap from a couple weeks ago. the kids can be a handful when they are all together, but we are more than happy to do it for them because we know as well as they do how hard it is to not have many opportunities for date nights. we grilled chicken and veggies for tacos, then took the kids to the field at the community center to burn off some energy, which was very smart! 


i'm sure i'll be back here later this week with some stories from azalea's first days of school! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

ashford says...

i realized the other day that i use to do these kind of posts about azalea all the time and i have not been good about doing them for ashford, which is just not right considering how verbal he is and all the cute things he says. :) so, here is my attempt at catching up a bit... 

ashford: "mama, can i smell your belly?"
 me: "um yes?"
*lifts up my shirt and sniffs*
me: "what does it smell like?"
ashford: "smoked salmon" interesting...

holding a piece of our foam map floor puzzle
"is this one mota-sota?" 

thatcher: "what should we do tomorrow?"
ashford: "go to the poopy store!"
thatcher: "oh yeah? what do they have there?"
ashford: "poopies and stinkies!" 

anytime he gets startled by someone coming into the room: 
"hehehe i scared you!"

"what happened at school today, tell us sarah!" 
this is a line from a book we have, the funniest part is he says it like a parent

eleven = "ka-leven"

we put temporary tattoos on he and azalea's arms and he was so traumatized about it, crying:
"get it off, i don't want it on here. why is it on here?" i think he thought it was permanent.



i'm planning to spend some days at home with him potty training next week when azalea starts school. wish us luck! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

labor day weekend 2016

the 3 day weekend is over and almost every child in america has started kindergarten except mine. haha! we still have 6 days to go over here. here's how our weekend went down...

saturday we spent a couple hours at the mall in lynwood. i really wanted to get some fall hand soaps from bath and body works (#priorities) and thatcher wanted to take the kids to the lego store. he bought them a couple small sets to build and i'm not sure who was more excited, them or him. haha. 



ashford refused to take a real nap in the afternoon after falling asleep in the car for 10 minutes. classic! so we mostly hung out. in the evening, we went to our friends vanessa, matt, and ewan's for dinner. we haven't done a family dinner with just our two families before, so it was really fun! they grilled chicken kabobs and we brought a couple sides and thatcher made a pumpkin maple cake for dessert. the kids were suuuuper wound up there (they always are when the 3 of them are together), so it wasn't the most relaxing night, but we all had fun. 

sunday we got up early and hit the road by 8:45 to drive up to bellingham. we've been there a couple times before and it's such a fun spot for a day trip. thatcher looked up all sorts of activities for us to do. the kids did pretty well in the car on the way up. our first stop when we got into town was rocket donuts.




 after donuts (and a massive scrub down), we walked around fairhaven which we had only driven through in past visits to bellingham. it's such a cute area!





 next we headed to the beach. there was a game of kayak water polo going on, so that was cool to see!


we also got to see a seagull dive into the water, grab a crab, and bring it up to shore and eat it! so wild!! 


checking out the empty shell after the seagull left. 


next we headed over to downtown bellingham for lunch. we went to a brewery called boundary bay, which was super kid friendly. i was still pretty full from my donut and latte that morning, so i got a cup of smoked salmon chowder and a hummus appetizer. the food was really good! 


after lunch we got in the car and headed to whatcom falls park. the kids played on the playground for a few minutes and then we walked the path down to the falls. there were actually two - one was natural and the other was a man made structure. it was really pretty there! 



finally it was time for our final stop of the day - apple picking! we drove a ways to an orchard. part of the drive was around whatcom lake, which was really pretty.


jones creek farm is a small family-owned orchard in a beautiful spot with tons of apples to pick! they had all sorts of varieties i had never even heard of and they encouraged us to sample as many as we wanted, so we did! have you heard a type of apple that's pink on the inside called pink pearl? they are really cool! the kids enjoyed picking apples off the trees, then played on the tire swing and see saw. 







 

we were all ready to head home after a full day. the drive back was a little less pleasant (ahem, screamy), but overall it was a great day! 

by monday we were all starting to drag. thatcher, ashford, and i have had a cough/cold for what feels like forever, the kids were being crazy and fighting, and i realized the 4 us had been together for 3 days straight without any real breaks (for the grown ups). luckily we got out to meet up with our friends mark, tina, and their baby daughter emily. we hadn't seen them since last spring and emily has grown so much! we met at a park near their house and then went out for pizza for lunch. it was so nice to catch up with them and hopefully we will see them sooner next time. i'm bummed i forgot to take any pictures. 

we've got play dates lined up all week, our last week of "summer"  

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