Monday, August 29, 2016

goodbye august

our last weekend in august was a low-key one. friday morning ashford and i went to the locks with our friends vanessa and ewan. there may have been donuts involved ;) azalea had her last morning of jumpstart kindergarten. 

we stayed in friday night, made gyros with greek chicken meatballs (my favorite dinner lately!) and hung out with the kids. 

saturday morning thatcher and the kids dropped me off at the licensing center in shoreline, so i could get a washington license. my minnesota license is still good until next july and while i know you are supposed to update it soon after moving, i've just been lazy about it. however, if i want to register to vote in washington for the presidential election (which of course i do!), i need to have a valid washington license. so, i figured i should take care of it now so i have plenty of time. anyway, they dropped me off and then headed out to do some errands. as soon as i walked in i could tell there was going to be a bit of a wait. it took about an hour total, which was actually kind of a nice excuse to just zone out and look at my phone. (you know you are a mom when....). haha. 

when i was finished, thatcher and the kids were still at the grocery store, so i walked across the street to get a starbucks. i have to say, my solo morning was pretty awesome! :) 

the kids (and i) all took naps in the afternoon while thatcher did his fantasy football draft and baked bread. it felt really good! in the evening, we dropped off the kids at our friends vanessa & matt's so thatcher and i could have a date night! this is the second time we have done a date night swap with them and it's the greatest! no paying for a babysitter, and no guilt because we trade off. we do an early dinner so no one has to deal with bed time either. so from 5:30 to 7:30 we ventured to the fremont neighborhood. we had dinner at red star taco bar for the first time (really good! and strong margaritas - whew!) then we went to thatcher's favorite - "flying apron" vegan bakery nearby for dessert. the chocolate cream pie was delicious! and we even still had time to walk around after. 

the kids had a great time playing with their friend ewan (who is ashford's age). it was a great night! in 2 weeks we will watch ewan while his parents go out for their anniversary.

sunday we had no plans. the kids fought like cats and dogs all morning, so by 10am thatcher and i were nearly at our breaking point. we decided to each take one kid somewhere. thatcher and ashford drove up to carkeek park to throw rocks at the beach. azalea had her last kindergarten playground meet up of the summer at 11am, so i told her we could go to a coffee shop before to kill some time. i got an iced latte and she got a cookie and it was a fun little date. we went to the playground after that to meet up with the fellow kindergarteners. 

azalea napped in the afternoon, but we could not get ashford to go down because he took a 5 minute car nap (arggggg). thatcher and azalea went to the grocery store, then the kids helped thatcher make brownies. we made a new recipe for dinner: thai chicken burgers. they were time consuming, but delicious! then it was bath time and off to bed! i know minneapolis schools start today, so i'm looking forward to seeing lots of first day of school pictures. we still have 2 more weeks to go here! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

er adventures and kindergarten jumpstart

i mentioned in my last post that azalea had a little mishap on sunday night that landed her in the er. the kids were on the couch watching a show, and i was on the computer. all of a sudden i heard a thud and a loud scream. azalea had rolled off the couch (she says ashford pushed her, but we didn't see) and hit her head on the corner of the ottoman. she was holding the back of her head, screaming and crying. thatcher picked her up to comfort her. first we assumed she just bumped it, but then we saw the blood trickling through her fingers. she saw the blood and started freaking out even more! i could see the look of panic in thatcher's eyes as he rushed her into the bathroom and grabbed some towels. i remember someone telling me years ago that head wounds always bleed really bad even if they are minor injuries and i'm so glad i know that. i am generally not good at staying calm during moments like these, but somehow i managed to keep completely calm. i truly felt like my dad was with me at that moment because he was always so calm in moments of stress (thanks to being a firefighter for almost 30 years). thatcher was able to find the wound underneath her hair and it was definitely a big laceration. we kept towels on it for a few minutes to slow the bleeding and once it had mostly stopped, he carried her out to the car to go to the children's hospital to see if she needed stitches. 

what i haven't mentioned yet is that this all happened 10 minutes before kelli, viv, and colleen were supposed to be arriving to go out for dinner. awesome timing, right? ;) i let them know that it would just be me and ashford joining them. i knew azalea was in great hands between thatcher and the doctors and she was barely bleeding when they left. so, we did manage to have a nice, relaxing dinner out. 

luckily thatcher and azalea did not have to be at the er for too long. they looked at her head and said we did the right thing by bringing her in. they said they would need to do a "hair tie" where they use a few strands of hair from either side of the wound to tie a knot over it and then glue the skin back together. cool huh?! as with every experience we've had at a children's hospital, they treated azalea so well. she got to play with an ipad and they made her feel so comfortable in a scary situation. she actually thought it was fun there! ha. i suppose it didn't hurt that afterward thatcher took her anywhere she wanted for dinner (chipotle) followed by ice cream for dessert. here are a couple (pitiful) pictures of the experience: 

i'm so glad she is okay!

the next morning she was off to kindergarten jump start! it's a week-long program from 9-12 every day to get incoming kindergartens familiar with their new school, the teachers, and the other students. it's a really great setup and azalea has been enjoying it a lot! it's so fun to see her in this new environment and i think she is really going to like kindergarten. i just wish she didn't have to wait 2 weeks after this for her first day. but i'm sure it'll come soon enough! i cannot say enough good things about the kindergarten teachers and the principal at her school. they are so enthusiastic, so caring, so wonderful. i can't wait to see what this year has in store for her. 

after a july/august packed with visitors, we have a break now for the next month, which will be nice as we adjust to a new fall routine. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#mrsomaida: kelli's bachelorette weekend in seattle

my best friend's bachelorette weekend is in the books and it was a huge success. my only complaints were me being sick on and off during it and the fact that i didn't think to bring my real camera.

the weekend got off to a bit of a rough start. let me back up to friday at....oh 5:30am. that was when i was woken up by a serious stomach ache. i quickly ran to the bathroom and spent more time in there than i would like to admit (tmi, but it's true). i had no idea what was causing it, but it was not good! for the next few hours i alternated between sleeping and hanging out in the bathroom. thankfully thatcher took the day off so he could be with the kids. i had planned on meeting up with kelli and most of the bachelorette group around 10am, but it was quickly evident that was not going to happen. i was so disappointed! by about 11am, i was finally feeling brave enough to eat something and i was starting to feel a little bit more normal. thank god! just to be safe, i decided to skip the friday outings with the group and wait until 4pm when we could check into our airbnb. the afternoon felt like an eternity waiting, but i was feeling much better. i got picked up by an uber at 3:30, anticipating a 30 minute drive across the city. but there was sooooo much traffic that it took 1.5 hours to get there! i was going absolutely crazy as we sat in bumper to bumper traffic, knowing everyone was already at the condo. ugh :( 

it was smooth sailing once i arrived. wine was poured, appetizers were served, and we enjoyed sitting out on the beautiful patio. 

we heated up some enchiladas from costco for dinner, which were so good and easy! we just hung out at the condo the rest of the night and were in bed by 11:30pm. 

we all woke up by about 7:45 on saturday, which was sort of comical. after feeling fine for nearly 24 hours, i had just sat down to eat our delicious breakfast of eggs scrambled with veggies, sausage, and cheese, bagels and cream cheese, and donuts when i was suddenly hit with a nasty wave of nausea. i ran downstairs and didn't get sick, but i did lay down for about an hour to try to get it to go away. and it did for the most part. thank goodness! i re-joined the group for the lingerie game ;) each guest bought kelli a pair of underwear, a bra, or nighty. then we each wrote marriage advice on a purple card and pinned it to our item. she had to guess who gave her each one. it was fun! 


at noon the shuttle arrived to take us to the wineries in woodinville. i will admit neither wine nor food was sounding good to me, but i felt well enough to go. it was a fun afternoon! we went to one actual winery followed by 2 tasting rooms. janna ordered some fabulous hats for all of us to wear, so that was fun! 

the first winery was chateau st. michelle. it's a beautiful place and very popular. we got a few bottles of wine (rather than doing a tasting) and enjoyed them out outside on the grounds. did i mention it was about 90 degrees? oof. i didn't drink much as i was worried about upsetting my stomach. 

after about an hour and a half, we got back on the shuttle and headed to the mark ryan tasting room. on our ride over we ate sandwiches, grapes, and cookies. i was able to eat, so that was nice. mark ryan was a true tasting where you paid $10 to try 5 different wines. i bought a tasting, took about 2 sips of my first wine before deciding i couldn't handle it. womp womp. the other ladies enjoyed having me fill up my glass at the stations and bring them the wine instead :) we were inside and it was air conditioned there, so that helped! finally the shuttle took us to smasne cellars, which was also a tasting room. i did not purchase the tasting this time, but it was a fun place. finally it was time to head back to the airbnb to relax and then get ready for our night out downtown. 

 we needed two ubers to get everyone downtown. first stop was trace bar in the "w" hotel where we had a drink. next we had a dinner reservation down the street at purple cafe and wine bar. i went there a few months back with a friend who was in town and i knew i wanted that to be our dinner spot this weekend!  here we are outside: 

 this is my only picture of kelli and me from the weekend and i'm so bummed it's blurry

we had a fun surprise that morning when the restaurant called to let us know that they had a cancellation in their semi-private dining room and asked if we wanted to have it for no extra charge. yes please! it was such a nice space and the staff treated us so well! i was feeling much better by this point and was excited for some wine and food. one of kelli's good friends back in minnesota was not able to make it out to seattle because she is about to have a baby, but she sent 2 bottles of champagne for us all the share. so nice! we ate the best dinner - some people had steaks, others had seafood, and they even brought out a special dessert for us all to share. it was the best experience! it was after 10pm by the time we finished, but the night was far from over. normally i would be in bed by 10, but it was my duty to participate in the festivites all night ;)

 next we walked to a rooftop deck in another hotel called "frolik kitchen". it was a beautiful night. we had a drink up there and stayed until midnight when they were closing. 

 at this point i was ready to go home and go to sleep for sure, but the young ladies of the group (aka not kelli's mom and 2 aunts. ha!) had other plans. so, i rallied to make it to another bar. we actually went back to trace because we heard there was a dj there and people were feeling like dancing. it turned out to be kind of a joke when we got there - a dj was playing, but there were maybe 3 other people in the whole place and no one was dancing. but we fixed that! we proceeded to hit the dance floor for the next hour and a half until they were closing down as well. i'll admit we all had more than our fair share of drinks, which was just about the weirdest experience for someone who spends 99% of her life with a 5 year old and a 2 year old. but it was fun! i can't remember the last time i stayed out until 2am and i'm sure it'll be a long time before it happens again. we ubered back to the house and that's where i'll finish the recap of the night. haha. 

most everyone slept in the next morning after being up until almost 3am. oh wait, i actually only slept until about 7:50 - what is wrong with me?! we had to check out of the unit at 11am, so most of the morning was spent getting ready, cleaning up the space, and packing. i decided i was ready to go home and see my babies, but a bunch of others went out for a late brunch. i did get to see kelli, her mom viv, and her aunt colleen again later in the day. they came to see our place (well, kelli has been here before) and then we went out for dinner at "the hi life" in our neighborhood. the weekend was so much fun and i'm so glad all the plans and logistics that janna and i worked so hard on went smoothly. everyone was complimenting our planning and organizational skills, so that felt good :) 

i'm gonna end this post here, but later this week i will update on azalea's first day(s) of jumpstart kindergarten, as well as her trip to the er sunday night. she is fine, but that was not exactly how i wanted to end my fun weekend! 2 more months til the wedding! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

mid week thoughts

- my grandma's funeral was on monday. not being able to be there for it hit me harder than i expected. i feel like i have not had any closure whatsoever with her death. i mentioned i had not seen her since 2012, i also had not talked to her on the phone in a couple months because i let life get in the way, something i am not proud of :( you know that whole thing about not waiting to tell people you love them, etc? it's so true. i'm also struggling with the reminder that she out-lived her two sons. they should be here with their sisters to grieve her death. it's just not fair. it will take some time for my heart to heal from this one, but that's the price we pay in life for having people we love and who love us. and it's so worth it. in happier news, i am so excited because i just booked a flight to go out there (by myself) to see my extended family in mid november. i was so sad to miss the funeral, but it was much easier logistically and financially to plan for a weekend visit in the future.

grandma gin and 14 month old azalea in nj in 2012

- kelli's bachelorette weekend that i've been planning for months is just days away (finally!!). i have been looking forward to this kid-free weekend forever! the longest i have been away from my kids in the last year is maybe an 8 hour stretch once or twice, so the idea of an entire weekend break from mom-duty pretty much blows my mind. of course i will miss them, but they will have lots of fun with thatcher and hopefully i will return feeling refreshed. i need to finish packing and shop for a few last minute things and then i will be ready to roll! 

one of the wineries we are going to visit in woodinville. so pretty!

- the day after the bachelorette weekend, azalea starts kindergarten "jumpstart." it's a week long program at her elementary school from 9-12 every day for the kids to get to know the school, their potential classmates, and potential teachers. i say potential because they use this week to get to know the kids to form the classrooms, which i think is awesome. they are the only ones at the school during this week, which is nice. the down side is, actual kindergarten doesn't start until 9/12, so that's quite a long time in between. after telling everyone for months how excited (and not sad) i am for azalea to go to kindergarten...i have to admit a little bit of anxiety is starting to creep in. mostly anxiety that i will be blindsided by how much i miss her, that she won't like it as much as i think she will, etc. we shall see when the day comes. the kids' fighting drives me batty, but i know this is going to be a huge adjustment for ashford as well. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

a very roomie seattle weekend

my college roomates heidi and sarah, and heidi's husband chad (who was our honorary roomate in college. ha!) arrived in town on thursday. unfortunately i don't have enough seats in my car to pick them up when i have the kids along, so they took a taxi to our place. they got here around lunch time, then we walked down to 8oz burger and stuffed our faces with delicious food. azalea had not been feeling the greatest that morning, so she asked if we could go home after so she could lay down :( so i took the kids home and heidi, chad, and sarah explored ballard for a bit on their own. in the late afternoon, they checked into their airbnb which was just 4 blocks away from our apartment. then they came back to our place for dinner. when thatcher got home, we made grilled chicken tacos. after dinner we took them to see the locks. it was a beautiful night! 

friday morning we met up at mighty o donuts (are you seeing a theme with our guests?). we definitely don't hate having an excuse to hit up our favorite places when visitors come into town. ;) we enjoyed our donuts and then went to scope out their airbnb. (which was a really nice place for a great price!) the kids and i drove downtown to pike's place and they took an uber and met us there. 

it was my second weekend in a row going there and i'm sure i'll be there next weekend as well for kelli's bachelorette. ha! it was super crowded again, but we survived! it's hard taking the kids there because they get really overwhelmed by the crowds. we decided to get lunch at one of the restaurants in the market that faces the harbor, which was a first for me! it was a seafood place and the food and views were both awesome! 

after lunch, i took the kids home for a little break. they were up and ready to go again by mid afternoon, so i took them to the splash pad because it finally hit 80 degrees again in seattle. (it's been a while!)

 our friends stayed downtown and took a 2 hour harbor cruise, then went out for dinner. they got back to ballard at 8pm and then i got to sneak away to have some wine and dessert with heidi and sarah at pie bar. it was a fun night, and felt just like old times! 

saturday morning we decided to do a picnic lunch at golden gardens beach. to save them an uber ride, thatcher decided to bike with the kids in the trailer and had me give everyone else a ride. it worked really well! i'm so used to going to golden gardens during the week when it's pretty quiet, and that was not the case on this beautiful saturday! we drove around for quite a while looking for a place to park. we found a spot to set up our blanket and enjoyed our lunch, the sunshine, and putting our feet in the freezing cold water (which was a stark contrast to the burning hot sand). :) 

in the afternoon, they ventured off on their own for a while to go to the top of the space needle and to a brewery. we got ashford down for his nap and i did a little work and then relaxed. thatcher stayed home with the kids in the evening and i picked up heidi, chad, and sarah and took them to chinook's restaurant at fisherman's terminal. we had a short wait for a table, followed by a delicious dinner. after that, we drove over to kerry park to see the awesome views of the city. i hadn't been there in a while, especially not when it's still light out. mount rainer looked incredible! 

these two love birds are celebrating 10 years of married bliss next month. i can't believe i've known them both for 14 years! 

 love these girls so much! time and distance has nothing on our friendship. 

finally, we ended the night at hot cakes molten chocolate cakery in ballard for some dessert. it was really crowded and loud and hot in there, so we didn't last long, but my smore bar was amazing! 

sunday morning it was time to say goodbye. i drove them to the airport for their flight back to minnesota. i'm so glad they could come out to visit. our other roomate kaylee has a little one at home, so she did not come out, but hopefully some day! next up: bachelorette weekend for kelli. i've been on such a high all month from all this fun. some one pinch me! 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

goodbye grandma gin

my beautiful grandmother (my dad's mom, virginia) passed away yesterday at 94 years young. she had been in the hospital for the past week after going to the ER because she could not keep any food down. they discovered she had cancer spread through out her bones. they planned to do home hospice, but she deteriorated so quickly that she ended up dying in the hospital. she was so sharp, so independent, and so full of life up until the very end. she loved to shop, and chat, and have her nightly cocktail. she was a staunch republican (something we did not see eye to eye on - haha) and was a devout catholic. she was always a fiercely independent woman, which i greatly admired given that isn't always the norm for women from her era. she lost her husband and two of her four children in the last eight years, which i know was very hard on her. i have not seen her since 2012 when we traveled to new jersey (where she lives) with 1 year old azalea. i'm so glad i have pictures from that trip to look back on. i can't believe she is really gone from this earth, but i hope she is with my dad someway, somehow. she will be greatly missed! rest in peace, grandma.

this picture was taken a few months ago. isn't she fabulous?

the funeral is on monday and while i would love to be there to celebrate her life, it's just not going to be possible. the flights from seattle to nj/ny for this sunday were insanely expensive. thankfully heidi, chad, and sarah will be here this weekend, which will be so fun!

Monday, August 8, 2016

solo parenting on a saturday, work time bliss, school shopping

another weekend in the books. a pretty quiet one for us, which won't be the case for the rest of august, so we soaked it up! 

thatcher has been going on a long day hike with his co-worker(s) one weekend day a month this spring/summer. saturday was his hiking day, so it was just me and the kids. which i have to mentally prepare for on a weekend after being home with them all week ;) thatcher left the house by 6:15am and the kids were up shortly after that. siiigh. later that morning, we walked to a coffee shop up the hill called "royal drummer". we shared a couple muffins, i drank an iced latte, and the kids played with the books and toys they have there. win-win! 

at 11:00, azalea had a kindergarten meet up at the playground. it's the second one we've gone to this summer. it's just a casual way for families of kids going into kindergarten at her school to meet each other. it's pretty cool! i can't believe how soon school will be starting! the kids both napped in the afternoon and i worked a little, then relaxed. thatcher got home at 6pm and we ate together and then i headed out for a sanity walk. haha. on my walk i discovered that one of my debit cards was missing from my wallet (ok, i was at buffalo exchange!), so that was a huge buzz kill. i've never lost a card before, so i guess i was overdue. it had been a few days since i last used it, so i checked my account when i got home. luckily there were no charges on it. i canceled it right away. could have been worse!

sunday morning i needed to work for a couple hours, so thatcher took the kids to the zoo. most of the time i go to to a coffee shop, but i decided to just stay home in my sweat pants, make some coffee, turn on pandora and enjoy the peacefulness. it was heavenly! i know i say it a lot, but i am so thankful for my remote work-from-home setup with my employer in minneapolis. i'm not making any sort of significant $, but i love having this in addition to being home with the kids. 

in the afternoon while ashford napped, i took azalea to target to do some school shopping. say what?! it was so fun to have this little date with her. it's rare to not have ashford with us, and it was much more relaxing this way. we went a bit crazy in target (shocking, i know) - her supply list for kindergarten wasn't too bad, probably about a dozen items to be shared with the class. while she already has a backpack and a lunch box, i thought we would get her new ones for this fresh start. that's when i was smacked in the face with....character apparel! there was a gravitational force pulling azalea towards everything hello kitty, elsa, and peppa pig. i will admit that stuff makes my skin crawl, but she was obsessed with all of it. we had to compromise so that i wasn't the meanest mom ever telling her she couldn't get any of it, and so we didn't come home with everything we purchased plastered with some cartoon face on it. i let her get a lunch box with elsa on it and some pajamas with ariel on them, but everything else (back pack, clothes, shoes) had to be character-free. we were both happy with that. we went into the clothes section (read: the girls section - not the toddler section) for the first time! ahhh! we found a bunch of things for her to try on. she is not really into clothes shopping, but at the same time she is very picky about clothes, so i wanted her to choose things and try them on in hopes that she will actually wear them. we ended up buying a few items for fall, but mostly clearance stuff for next summer. it was a success overall. 

we grilled turkey burgers for dinner and got the kids to bed before collapsing on the couch. i've been really bummed that we aren't able to watch the olympics. we do not have cable or an antenna, just streaming. it's nearly impossible to watch it without cable or an antenna. i've just sort of accepted it. oh well. our friends heidi, sarah, and chad come on thursday! it's been feeling like fall here - 60's and cloudy and i'm actually okay with it! i love fall and it's been getting me excited for the change of seasons. 


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