Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ashford's kid party and a trip to anacortes, wa

we all had a 3 day weekend over here. thatcher and azalea were both off for martin luther king day, so it was nice to have a bonus day together. i won't recap the entire weekend, but just some highlights. it was a busy one! also, before i move onto the weekend, i want to record that azalea started a basketball class at the community center last thursday (her pick!). she seemed to love it despite being one of the youngest and definitely the shortest. :) she also went to another birthday party for one of her classmates, stella rye (there are two stella's). they invited the entire class (and any parents who wanted to stay to their house). as you can imagine it was quite chaotic! now onto the weekend...

ashford's kid party

saturday morning we had ashford's joint 3rd birthday party with his buddy ewan. ashford's birthday is 12/21 and ewan's is 1/13 and we share a lot of the same friends with their family, so we decided to do one together. best decision ever! we rented a party room at the children's museum (just like we did for azalea's birthday). vanessa took care of all the food, decorations, party favors, etc. i basically just showed up. she is amazing :) we had about 25 people come (including parents and siblings). the kids had a blast running around the museum and then we served some snacks before having 'birthday donuts'. we got home and both kids crashed, which was nice!

until the day of the party, i don't think ashford understood that it was for him too. he kept calling it "ewan's party" and when i would remind him, he would say "but i already had my birthday!" so cute. needless to say, he had a great time. 

anacortes, wa

the first year we lived in seattle we did so many little day trips and exploring, in general. it has certainly slowed down the second year and i miss it, so i suggested we do a day trip on sunday. thatcher agreed! we picked anacortes, which is the "gateway" to the san juan islands. we had not been to anacortes yet and it was on our list. it was about an hour and a half drive to get there. the kids did okay, sans electronic devices (something we are going to invest in soon for car trips for our own sanity). 

we stopped in mount vernon and grabbed some coffee on the way. when we arrived in anacortes, it was lunch time, so we found "secret cove", which was a restaurant we picked before leaving. every table in the place had a beautiful view of the water! we had a nice lunch (despite the kids being really squirrly and talking loudly the whole time) :) 

after lunch we walked through the downtown area. lots of shops that were closed and restaurants that were open. 

i'll give you one guess who took this one ;) 

then we walked over to an old train station, which has been turned into a plaza. in the spring, summer, and fall there is a farmers market there, but not a whole lot happening in the winter. 

 this ship is only open march-november. womp womp.

our last stop in anacortes was washington park. we drove into the park and decided to take the "scenic drive" which was a 1 car width road that was also shared by pedestrians and bikes. wowza. at least it was a one way and no treacherous drop offs or anything like that. the coolest part was, there were small parking areas along the drive where you could get out and look at the views. and let me tell you - they were spectacular! 

some nice ladies asked if they could take a family picture for us. "yes please!" says the mom blogger :) 

a couple more for good measure: 

this one cracks me up. 

thanks for the fun, anacortes!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

another outfit post

in an effort to break up the "this is what we did this weekend" posts, i thought i'd do another outfit post from your favorite wannabe fashionista. :) my last one was from 9 months ago! i post my outfits on instagram probably once every week or two. i love looking for outfit inspiration from fashion bloggers, especially those who buy reasonably priced clothes. who knows, maybe i will help inspire some outfits for my friends along the way. 

here is a collage of some outfits from the past 4 months: 

1. i had a flannel shirt a couple years ago that i liked, but it was super tight in the shoulders, so i never wore it. i went to value village (think goodwill) this fall and actually found two of them second hand. they have been getting a lot of wear. earlier this week i wore this one under a gray sweater and that was cute too. 

2. this is the dress i wore for kelli and jake's rehearsal dinner in october. i found it second hand at buffalo exchange for $12 and it's a free people dress, so that was kind of exciting. i'm a sucker for anything lace, especially on dresses and the color is so pretty! 

3. the striped shirt is a target find from this fall. i had been wanting a black and white striped shirt because they look really cute under vests. i also love that this one has more of a boat neck and the stripes don't go all the way up. the green vest is an old navy find from a couple years ago and i love it because it's super thin, so it fits well underneath jackets. jeans were second hand viggoss brand from buffalo exchange. they just bit the dust this week with a giant hole in the crotch ;) tan booties are from h&m this fall. i love them, they have a short heel (super comfortable) and they go with everything! 

4. gray sweater was second hand from value village. i'm obsessed with gray sweaters, they are so versatile. green jacket is from target last year (but they have a similar one this year). i love this jacket as a jacket, but also because it looks super cute as part of an outfit as well. you can't really see in the picture, but i'm wearing white jeans which i've always wanted (but was scared to buy). i found this pair (mine were bought major on sale) from nordstrom this fall and i call them my "no kids" pants. i typically only wear them when i'm not with my kids, for obvious reasons :) my purse is from target probably 3 years ago now. as much as i love some of the designer purses out there, i just can't bring myself to spend the money on them. this one is starting to fall apart (i've used it pretty much every day for the last 3 years), so i replaced it with a similar cognac-colored cross body from nordstrom. 

5. this is probably my favorite outfit of the collage! i got this chambray tunic shirt at buffalo exchange our first summer here and it's so fun to style it different ways. i have mixed feelings about the denim on denim look, so i'm more comfortable wearing it with pants that are a different color. which brings me to to these cropped skinny black jeans from gap outlet. they are sort of high wasted (keeps everything in - ha!) and sooo comfortable. i got them this fall, so i'm looking forward to wearing them in warm weather with sandals. the scarf is from buffalo exchange as well. i've been trying different ways to wear scarves, this attempt was as easy as it gets! :) same booties from h&m. 

6. this cranberry top is from target and i love it except i ordered it a size too big and was too lazy to exchange it, so i always wear something over it. but i love the lace detail on the bottom. the black and white cardigan is from nordstrom this fall and it is the comfiest stretchy light-weight material. i have another one in gray and black and they get a lot of wear. jeans are gap skinnies from buffalo exchange. 

7. the famous blanket scarf! this was a gift from kelli to all of her bridesmaids and everyone loved them. (we even used them for the outdoor professional pictures). i've always loved the look of blanket scarves, but was too intimidated to figure out how to fold/wear them. getting one as a gift was the perfect way to dive in! there are so many tutorials online for folding blanket scarves and it turns out it's not really that complicated at all. the colors in this scarf are so pretty, and it's the perfect way to "dress up" a plain shirt. 

8. finally, this white peasant-y top is from target. i love the way it hangs and that it's more exciting than a plain white tee. the cardigan is from target as well and is super loungy and oversized, which is a style i don't own much of, but i really like it! these gray jeans (which are really more like jeggings) are from h&m last winter. somedays the tightness is not my friend, but i do love their color for a change from regular denim. 

so, there you go. no idea if this post was fun or bored you to tears, but i had fun writing it. i'm sort of "over" cold weather clothes and itching to wear shorts, skirts, tank tops, and sandals once again. but we have quite a few months to go before that will be reality. until then, i'll just keep looking for new ways to wear my current wardrobe. oh and buy more clothes i probably don't need. i can't help but take advantage of a good deal when i see one :) 

Monday, January 9, 2017

sooooo...it's still january?

i think january might be my least favorite month of the year - especially once the new year excitement goes away. isn't like january 8th or something the official most depressing day of the year? :) it's cold out, warm weather feels far away (even in seattle this year), the cozyness of the holidays is gone, not much is on the calendar. the good news is, i have nothing major to complain about, so i am thankful for that. our weekend was pretty quiet, but here is an update anyway: 

friday night we made dinner (tried a new veggie and lentil soup, which was good!)

got the kids to bed, and then decided 8:50 was "too late" to start a movie (lol) and went to bed in the 9:00 hour instead. i have been so tired after the kids go to bed lately. like completely brain dead and just want to go to bed myself. the eternal struggle of getting more sleep or getting more free time ;) thankfully the kids have been staying in bed until 7-7:15 almost every day, which is a huge improvement from the 6:00 hour wake up we've had for the last couple years. i think my kids might be growing up. it's bitter sweet! 

saturday morning we had no plans, so we made a yummy breakfast, then took the kids on a walk to the library. it was nice to get some fresh air, but man has it felt like winter here. way colder than last year (which felt like spring). not to mention i've apparently become a wimp ;) but that's neither here nor there. both kids napped in the afternoon, 

thatcher went out on some errands and i didn't have anything that needed to get done for work, so that was awesome! i snuggled with the kids a bit, then snuggled with my phone. ha. in the evening, we dropped the kids off at our friends vanessa and matt's so we could have a date night. (love our date night swaps!). from 5:30-7:30 thatcher and i enjoyed blissful grown up time. we went out for dinner and dessert. for dinner we went to a new (to us) place in fremont called 'the red door", it was a bar/restaurant and we didn't think about the fact that the seahawks playoff game was that night, so it was pretty loud with all the fans, but it was fine and the food was good. for dessert thatcher grabbed a slice of vegan, gluten-free pie at 'flying apron' then we walked across the street to another bakery called 'pie' so i could get my own piece of pie...filled with gluten and dairy. ha! i have to admit, both were delicious. 

sunday morning thatcher took the kids to carkeek beach (in the rain, no less) and out for lunch with his co-worker chris and his daughter penny.

i spent a couple hours doing book keeping work at toast coffee shop. 

then i came home and got to relax for a bit too, so that was nice! we decided to skip nap for ashford the afternoon (and hope for early bed time) since they got home pretty late. the kids and i played the rest of the afternoon while thatcher got his hair cut and went to the grocery store. for dinner we made an asian pork bowl with rice and veggies. the kids watched "the princess and the frog". there was a dance party, then off to bed (not early as hoped i might add). thatcher and i relaxed the rest of the night in preparation for the week ahead. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

ashford at 3

it's been quite a while since i've done an update on ashford's development. birthdays and their corresponding well check-ups are a natural time to do it, so here we go! i spend 99% of my time with this boy, so you would think i could spout off a novel about him, but it's amazing how the details start to blur together when you have more than 1 kid. let's start with his stats from his 3 year old check up: 

weight = 32 lbs (54th percentile)
height = 37 inches  (37th percentile)

i was curious what azalea's stats were at the same age, so i checked and it turns out she weighed 3 pounds less and was the exact same height. interesting! the doctor said ashford is a healthy boy, very socialable, and developing perfectly. i am so thankful for "boring" check ups. i feel so lucky to have 2 healthy kids and i try my hardest not to take it for granted. 

i have to admit, i've sort of been dreading age 3 arriving. it was a rough year for azalea (her hardest age so far), and i fear that will be the same for you. of course we are early into the year, but so far things seem to be going okay. you have your moments (and dare i say they are more strong-willed than when you were 2), but for the most part you are a happy, agreeable boy, which makes spending time with you pleasant. i may be singing a different tune in 6 months. we shall see :) you go back and forth between being fiercely independent ("i do it!!!!") and crying for "mama mama mama" all the live long day. you test the boundaries all the time and it results in a lot of time-outs for you somedays. you also still love to run away from me/want me to carry you everywhere - it's killing my back, dude! you seem clingier to mama than ever. always needing to be touching me (especially my hair) and whining for me when i'm merely a few feet away from you. i love it, but some days i am so drained and touched out by bedtime. 


are wearing mostly 3t clothes, though many of your 3t pants are still too big in the waist, so there's still a couple 2t in the mix. you wear a size 6 diaper (more on this later), size 7 shoes (tiny feet just like your sister). you don't have too many opinions when it comes to clothes. the comfier the better (see: sweatpants, or no pants when at home). and sometimes you will demand a shirt with stripes, just to feel like you are in control :) you hate getting dressed in general and sometimes i have to wrestle you out of your pajamas 5 minutes before we need to walk out the door in the morning. you get a hair cut about every 3 months and you always really need it by then! you hate wearing socks and almost always go without. 


you are still the king of snacks. you would just eat those and not a single meal all day if we let you. you ask for them all day long, even if we are going to eat a meal in 5 minutes. "i have something while i'm waiting?" you often try to skip breakfast so you can sneakily ask for a snack 30 minutes later. not happening! while we are on the subject of snacks, some of your favs are: granola bars, fruit/veggie pouches, apple sauce, goldfish, etc. i let you have snack-like lunches because you are more willing to eat them: bananas or crackers with peanut butter, fruit, pickles, carrots and hummus, etc. you love mac and cheese, burgers, and pizza. we make you eat whatever we are having for dinner and you whiiiiine about it every.single.night. some nights you barely eat 2 bites of dinner and we do not let you snack after dinner. you've never met a sweet you didn't like. you love the granny smith apples in the "free fruit for kids bin" at the grocery store. you eat all your meals at the big table in your tripp trapp chair. you mostly drink water, but sometimes you have milk, chocolate milk, or juice for a treat. you use all open-top cups now. 


i've talked about your less than desirable sleep habits since day 1. it is truly part of who you are and i don't know if it'll ever change. you aren't too challenging to get to sleep (ie. you can fall asleep on your own), but you never sleep through the night. it's been months since you've stayed in your bed the whole night. and by bed, i mean crib. don't tell the ladies you are still sleeping in one, you are kinda old. it's just because you never climb in or out and i like knowing you are secure in your room at night. someday we will take the side bars off. you cry out for mama every single night and then end up in our bed for the rest of the night. sometimes it's as early as 11:30pm, sometimes as late as 4:45am (and anywhere in between). sure we could let you cry it out, but you share a room with azalea and we have a unit above us, so it's not really an option. plus i have a love-hate relationship with you sleeping in our bed. i love the snuggles and i know you will eventually grow out of the need, but i hate that we only have a queen size bed so it's squishy and you are often like an octopus. you go to bed around 8pm and wake up somewhere between 6:15-7 most days. that's actually a little later than you used to sleep, so thank you! you've also gotten more chill about laying in bed while mama and dada sleep a little longer. as for naps, they are starting to phase out, ever so slightly. you probably nap 5-6 times a week. on the days you don't nap it is because you refuse to fall asleep after laying down for a long period of time. you also get a bit meltdowny around 5pm if you haven't napped that day, so that is not my favorite scenario ;) you still hate going to sleep with blankets on, but we make sure you are covered up when we go to bed, so you don't get cold. 


some days you are great about playing independently (you'll lay on the floor and push a truck back and forth or line up vehicles along the window sill) and other days you want mama to play with you non-stop. you love to play with your sister, but that comes with a lot of spats between you two. you love board games (uno, old maid, candy land, matching game), puzzles, legos, play doh, trains, duplos, "make believe restaurant" and your new cash register you got for your birthday. good old fashioned balls are always a hit as well. you love to have dance parties with dada and azalea and just like her at this age, you've started to develop strong music opinions. your favorite song right now is "don't wanna know" by maroon 5. it's so cute to hear you sing along. you and azalea have a set tv schedule of about an hour in the morning and about an hour before dada gets home from work. you love to watch bubble guppies, curious george, super annoying rhyming songs on youtube, and thomas the train. sometimes i feel guilty that you watch too much tv, but i have roughly 14 hours to fill with you each day, so it's inevitable. we read lots of books to even it out ;) elsa and anna from frozen are still at the top of your favorite characters list and you talk about them daily. 


you are such a chatterbox and talk non-stop. you are not shy at all and love to talk to strangers when we are out. you say so many things that make you sound older than you are (probably things you hear us say). for example when i was going to take you to a coffee shop and asked what kind of treat you wanted to get you replied "i gotta see what the options are." when anyone asks you how you are, you answer "pret-ty good". you have 1001 observations and questions an hour. you are always thinking about how and why things are the way they are. grandma jan calls you "the little engineer". you and your sister could talk about potty stuff all day. poop, pee, and toots work their way into most conversations. you get angry if anyone interrupts you ("i'm talking!!") but of course you interrupt your sister and parents like it's your job ;) your questions are usually things that you hear azalea ask about. you loooove to make annoying sounds just to be - you guessed it, annoying! such a little boy. 


ok, here we go with the potty training update. as i mentioned, we started potty training on tuesday (undies, stickers, and m&ms). it started off amazingly well - a couple successes in the potty, no accidents, lots of cheering and one proud little boy. by the time afternoon rolled around he had done a complete 180. no interest in sitting on the potty and a paralyzing fear of letting his "waste" out, period. over the past 3 days he has gone 8 hours, 10 hours, and even 15 hours in a desperate attempt to not let it leave his body (not even into a diaper). it has resulted in some very stressful parenting. he gets himself so worked up because he is so uncomfortable from not going that he spends a couple hours doing a potty dance/crying/melting down before he can't physically hold it in anymore. he is absolutely traumatized and we can't quite figure out why. clearly he isn't ready emotionally, so we've decided to back off. i talked to the doctor at his appointment and he said to put him back in diapers for a week and then try again. hopefully it will be enough of a "reset" and he will forget about his fear of going. i'm worried it won't be enough time. i have to admit, i was more upset about the whole thing than i should be. i've always been in the "take the diapers away and just deal with the mess, etc until it clicks for them" camp, but that simply is not going to work in this situation. it's been a good learning experience for me, as well as him. i'm hoping next week will go better, but i can't get my hopes up too much. he may not be trained for months, which is okay. i selfishly want him to be trained so he can start his preschool class, but this isn't about me and i need to remember that. 


your relationship with your sister is one of my favorite things to watch. you guys fight hard, but also love hard. i'm so glad you have each other and i pray you will value your relationship and nourish it as the years pass. you still love baths (minus hair washing) and almost always start climbing in with some article of clothing on (ha!), you are obsessed with azalea's school and know most of the kids names in her class and her routines, you love "helping" with everything: cooking, cleaning, getting things down from high cabinets, you keep me on my toes! you are forward facing in your car seat and recently got a new one - a high back booster. you have always loved brushing your teeth, but especially since getting a battery operated tooth brush. you are a huge backseat driver and it cracks me up (and sometimes frustrates me). you know a lot of the street and bridge names near us and our usual routes and if we stray from them. you don't know most of your letters or numbers by sight yet, so we really should work on that. you hate riding in the car and often ask me "when are we getting there?" as soon as we pull away from the curb. 

you are such a fun little boy and we could not love you more! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

hello 2017!

i'm pretty sure i've used that header for my first post in the new year every year i've had this blog, but hey it works! here we are, fresh into 2017. the holidays are behind us, azalea is back in school for the first time since december 16th, and i'm attempting to potty train ashford (yikes!). let's just call it his (or my) resolution for the new year. i'll let you know how that one is going next week. in the mean time, here's what we were up to over the long weekend: 

friday night thatcher came home early from work. after the kids went to bed, we busted out his new oregon trail game i got him for christmas. it was actually pretty fun despite the fact that we both died :) 

 on new year's eve, we had our friends vanessa, matt, and ewan over for a feast of appetizers, drinks, and dessert. we made cocktail weiners, bacon wrapped pineapple and bacon wrapped asparagus, cheese/crackers/sausage, spinach artichoke dip with veggies, cowboy caviar with tortilla chips, and chicken wings that they brought. it was all delicious! the kids ran around like crazy hooligans and the adults attempted to relax.

 at 7:45 we did the netflix on-demand kid's countdown to the new year, which was pretty cute. the kids broke our ear drums with their horns, but they had a blast. 

their family left by 8:15 (haha) and our kids were in bed by 8:45. thatcher and i watched 'under the tuscan sun' on netflix (remember that movie circa early 2000s? i used to own it on vhs). surprise surpise, i fell asleep not far into it. we were in bed well before midnight #partyanimals

new year's day we ventured to golden gardens beach for the second year in a row. tons of people gather there and have bonfires on the beach to burn their christmas tree, and some run into the freezing cold sound in their swimsuits. it's fun to watch! 

 it was pretty chilly for seattle - mid 30's and windy. we let the kids play on the playground for a bit, then headed home to warm up and have lunch. 

while ashford napped in the afternoon, i walked down to market street to a clothing boutique called 'kick it'. they were having a 30% off sale. they rarely have sales and i love their clothes, so i was excited. i got a blue top, a gray swing dress, and the softest vest ever. i'm obsessed! 

we also took down our tree, which is always sad, but just feels like a good way to kick off the new year. we've had this storage shelf in the closet under the stairs in the kids' room since we moved here and i though why not bring it out in the living room? it works perfectly! 

we made homemade pizzas for dinner and just hung out at home the rest of the night. 

monday (bonus day!) we got to see our friends kelli and jake who were in town from san francisco. they came to seattle to celebrate nye with a group of their friends and invited us to join, but we opted to see them for lunch yesterday instead. we went to 8oz burger co and stuffed ourselves with delicious food. it was so nice to catch up with, even though it was only for a couple hours. 

i would love to make it down to SF to visit them this spring. we shall see! 

less than 3 hours later, i met up with my mama friends for happy hour at matador restaurant. i was still full from lunch, but that was okay :) we enjoyed margaritas and nachos for dinner. we were done by 6:45 so we decided to go down the block and get our nails done before heading home. i'm quickly becoming a convert when it comes to manicures. i never really got them except for when i was in weddings in the past, but they are really nice to do! and much less expensive than pedicures. this was my second time in a month (regular ones only last about a week). apparently ashford cried for me for an hour while i was gone. that boy is soooo attached to mama lately. i love him, but we need to work on this. that's why i'm gung ho about gettig him potty trained, so he can go to preschool a couple days a week. wish us luck!

hope your 2017 is off to a good start!


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