Monday, September 25, 2017

i was sick all weekend and some other things

good news! i just celebrated the start of fall for the third time. you know, the first time was the day after labor day, the second time was the day azalea went back to school and the third and official time was september 22nd ;) i think i have all bases covered now. this weekend it was time to bust out some fall decor at my house. (though i'm waiting on halloween stuff til next weekend). 





and now i shall whine about being sick for the rest of this post. fair warning! after thatcher returned from his work trip, i started feeling like i was coming down with a cold. thursday night i fell asleep on the couch at 8:15, friday i made it through the day, but was feeling pretty crappy by dinner time. thankfully thatcher came home early. we all ate dinner and then he took the kids to his co-worker's house in our neighborhood for a family street party. i stayed home and sat on the patio until it got dark out. it was a beautiful fall night! 



i helped get the kids to bed after they returned and went to bed for the night at 8:30 myself.

saturday morning we didn't have any plans. i was hoping we could all go out and do something, but my 10am i was back in my pajamas and feeling rundown. but a monumental moment came that morning when thatcher suggested that azalea try wearing pig tail and she happily agreed! i'm not kidding when i say she has not let me touch her hair (other than to wash and brush it) for nearly 4 years. she never lets me style it, so i was shocked. maybe this is the start of a new era. here is the evidence: 


she looked so cute!

 thatcher took the kids to a playground while i stayed home and rested. it was much appreciated. i laid on the couch and watched a movie because i wasn't having any luck falling asleep. they came back for lunch and then thatcher ran some errands in the afternoon. despite our best efforts to keep her awake, azalea fell asleep on the couch at 3:30. the kids played their video games, we made spaghetti for dinner, gave them a bath (confession: it had been 6 days), and ashford fell right asleep. of course azalea was not tired (but i was!). i laid in my bed a little after 8 to read and fall asleep. she laid next to me and read too. she actually ended up falling asleep with me and thatcher carried her to her room later. it was the best medicine. 

i woke up sunday morning still feeling crappy. i debated going to the doctor, but i didn't have a fever. thatcher had an early morning coffee meet up with a friend from minnesota who lives in oregon now and was visiting seattle for the weekend. when he got home, he played with the kids and took them to the park while i rested on the couch for a good part of the day. then we all walked to parfait for ice cream (not much can come between me and ice cream).



we made pulled pork in the crockpot for dinner and when we were finished eating and cleaning up before 6pm, we decided a walk to the locks was in order. it was a beautiful night there and we even saw some sea lions swimming!



 i'm glad i was able to get lots of fresh air on sunday despite not feeling the best. i hope i'm on the mend now with a new week starting! 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

grandma jan's fall visit

i can't believe this was my mom's 5th visit out here since we moved. i'm so glad we get to see her every few months between her coming here and us going to minneapolis. we've done most of the "touristy" (and non-touristy) activities in seattle with her, so i'm always feeling like i need to come up with new and exciting things to do when she's here. not that it really matters, it's just nice to be together. i was especially thankful for her presence and help this time because thatcher was gone for most of her visit for a work conference in colorado. we did a lot of "every day" stuff with her and it was perfect. 

highlights of this visit:

- my mom got to see azalea's new 1st grade classroom and meet her teacher. she also got to see ashford at his swim lesson at the ballard pool.

- thatcher and i got short (and funny) date night. our venue? whole foods to pick up food for his work trip and to have a little dessert together. i tried mochi for the first time - it was good! romance is not dead! hehe


- my mom got to see ashford's preschool at the coworking space (and the space itself) and meet his teacher. my mom and i even snuck away for a couple hours to the uvillage outdoor mall by ourselves after i did my work for the day :)


- eating out a bunch: the hi life, the ram (meh, would not recommend that one), pagliacci pizza, and the athenian.

- nightly happy hour/appetizers with my mom on our patio while the kids watched their shows inside ;) the weather was gorgeous for the first half of her stay, but then turned more cool and rainy. 


- a trip to the ballard library and mighty o donuts, and to see music at the locks.




- a trip to pike place market where we saw the new addition to the market that opened in june and had a delicious lunch overlooking the water. 


 

i have to share a cute story about our lunch. we went to "the athenian" which is in the market. we got there around 11:30 and ashford had been saying he wanted pancakes (he had them there before). we didn't see them on the menu so we asked the waitress and she said "i'm sorry, we don't serve them after 11am". ashford looked at me with tears starting to fill his eyes and didn't say anything. i said "it's ok, we'll find you something else yummy" and the waitress says "look at that face! i'll go ask the cooks if they will make pancakes for him". she came back and said "they are happy to make him pancakes." ashford was so sweet and i was proud of him for not melting down about it. i thought it was really great service on the restaurant's part too :)


- my mom played lots and lots of board/card games with the kids. she also showed them how to play solitaire on her phone and they are addicted now. ha!



- my mom brought azalea 4 new dresses that she found at a second hand store in minneapolis. one of them looked so familiar to me and i quickly remembered that azalea had one that was the same print when she was a toddler. i looked through old pictures on our computer and found the proof from 2012. i took her picture in the new one, just for fun. man, time flies! 


- azalea started a new gymnastics session on monday (her second time taking it at the community center). she loves it and claims it's her favorite of all the activities she has tried. i'm interested to see if she will continue with it as she gets older. 


- i got a night out with my friends vanessa and martine. we went to a scottish bar called "macleods" on ballard avenue. it was my first time there and it was so nice to get that break and hang out with them. 

we were all sad to see her go this morning. we are hoping to come back to minneapolis for a week around christmas time, but we don't have anything booked. feels like we were just there, but i'm sure it'll come fast! time flies! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

weekend recap: mama night, lao festival, co-painting

one more thing from last week before i forget...ashford started swimming lessons! he took a parent-child class a year ago with me, but this is his first time taking one on his own. it's at the ballard pool on thursday mornings and he is in a 3 year old class with only one other kid (so far). he was a little nervous about going in without me, but the teacher was great with him and he warmed up to it right away. i was so proud of him. 

 

on friday thatcher had a friend in town from minnesota, so he took most of the day off work to hang out with him. i had dinner plans with some friends, so we agreed that we would trade off kid duty at that point in the day :) my friend teresa who has been part of my mom friend group for the last two years recently moved to the phillipines with her family for a two year contract for her husband's job. pretty cool for them because she is from the phillipines. anyway - they were back in town for a week to tie up some loose ends, so she wanted to have dinner with our friend group. unfortunately vanessa and i were the only ones who could make it to dinner, but we still had fun! we went to a mexican restaurant on ballard ave called gracia and it was delicious! it was so nice to have a night out with them.



saturday morning we hung out, played board games at home, etc. after lunch we drove down to south seattle to check out a lao festival that was happening. we were excited to go since we have a lao connection in our family now :) it was held at a park and there was a stage setup with live music, food vendors, and a playground right next to it. we felt a bit out of place because were were literally the only non-lao attendees, but i don't think anyone cared. it was a fun way to spend the afternoon. 





we stopped at the grocery store on the way home, then made meatball hoagies for dinner. thatcher also made pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting for dessert. tis the season! yum! the kids played some video games, had a bath, and then went to sleep. i was so proud of ashford. he still wears a diaper at night and goes #2 in said diapers at least a couple times a week, but that night he woke up because he felt like he needed to go and called for me to take him to the bathroom. yay progress!

sunday was a cool but bright and sunny morning. almost-fall perfection! thatcher did some work around the house and i took the kids to a playground. the playground was packed - seattleites sure love their cool weather! we came home for lunch, then i left to go to the coworking space to help some of the other board members paint. we rent space in a church and the "work" room had this super loud neon green wall paired with blue paneling. we've been dreaming of painting it since we opened back in february. we worked with the church and a designer to get a new color palette of soothing greens, light pink, and orange. it was a fun little project. it looks soooooo much better and it's not even done yet. maybe i'll share a before and after on here when i get some good pics :)



 i got some groceries on the way home, the kids played their video games, we grilled dinner, and ashford fell fast asleep. azalea stayed up late due to an afternoon nap. 

my mom comes into town for a week tomorrow and we are so excited! we don't have any set plans while she's here (besides thatcher being gone for 5 days for a work trip). 

Monday, September 11, 2017

the school year begins

before i get to our weekend recap, last wednesday was the first day of school in seattle! azalea was both excited and nervous going into it. last year when she started kindergarten, they had a jumpstart week followed by a family meetings with the teacher. it was a nice way to ease into elementary school. first grade is more like: here is your teacher assignment 4 days before school starts...see you on the first day! of course we took the obligatory first day of school picture:


the smoke was really bad last week from wildfires :(


her school's start time was moved up to 8:55am (from 9:35am) this year. i am happy about it since i have early risers and the old start time meant some loooooong mornings to fill at home last year. this is much better! azalea has been waking around 6:45 lately and ashford has been sleeping until 7:15-7:45(!) if he hasn't had a nap the day before. dare i say we almost feel a little rushed in the morning?

we all walked up to her school together as a family. she easily found her room, put her stuff in her labeled cubby and we met her teacher. she has a male teacher this year, which i think is neat considering they aren't as common for younger grades. i didn't have one until 6th grade! she found her assigned spot at one of the tables and was happy to learn that two kids she already knew were assigned to that table as well. she seemed a bit hesitant about the new environment, but she was brave like always. we kissed and hugged her goodbye and went on our way.

thatcher went to work, and ashford and i packed up to go to "the inc" for cowork/preschool time. i didn't take ashford's picture since he has been going there since last february. i'm really liking our new routine of going 3 times/wk. i've actually used most of the time for board and book keeping work, which surprised me. i'm sure i'll have some quieter work days where i can get other errands and stuff done too. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

labor day weekend 2017

the final weekend of summer in the books - it was a hot one too! no signs of fall arriving in seattle, which is sort of strange considering seattle summers aren't that typically hot to begin with. half of me is like "summer don't go" and the other half is like "i wouldn't mind some fall and the cozyness that comes with it." either way, it'll be here soon enough!

friday the kids and i went to top pot donuts, followed by a trip to the playground. then i took them to fred meyer where ashford enjoyed the childcare room and azalea helped me shop (she is too old for the room). in the afternoon we went to the splash park and also caught the last "park in the heart" free art activity tent right next to the splash pad. score!



 friday night we made tacos for dinner, and got an email from azalea's first grade teacher (which was exciting because the letter didn't come in the mail and we were bummed). she had fun looking at the 1st grade facebook group to learn which kids will be in her class this year - my how times have changed from when i was a kid! ;) thatcher and i relaxed on the couch after the kids went to sleep. 

saturday we had no plans, so we took the kids up to azalea's school with their scooters/bikes. we only stayed about 30 minutes because it was getting hot in a hurry and there's no shade. in the afternoon thatcher took azalea out on some errands and ashford and i played at home. then i escaped for a little mom break in our neighborhood. when i got home at 4:30, both kids had fallen asleep. ruh-roh! thatcher says he could not keep them awake. late afternoon naps are the worst, but what can you do?! by dinner time it was 88 degrees out and we weren't feeling like cooking in our kitchen...and we were out of propane for the grill, so we decided to order bbq takeout from "the boars nest" in our neighborhood. you might remember this as my brother's favorite seattle destination when he is in town :) we finally got the kids to wake up around 5:45 for dinner. we hung out at home the rest of the evening, the kids had a bath, and despite them going to bed at 8:30, it was nearly 10:30 before they fell asleep. i can't say it enough, late afternoon naps are the worst!

sunday was another no plans day and the kids were awake by 6:45 despite their late night. i suggested we go to discovery park in magnolia. it's a huge park that was once a military fort with hiking trails, a beach, etc. it's only about a 10-15 minute drive from our house, but we've barely spent any time there. we parked and then hiked to the beach, which took over an hour with the kids' pace. ashford was pretty cranky and unwilling to walk from the very start. sigh. the beach was beautiful! there are abandoned old houses/buildings there that are so cool to see. 




  i know, lots of ashford pics, but he was being such a ham :)






 the walk back required some major pep talking from thatcher and me. the kids were over it. they were tired and hot and hungry. but we survived :)


 in the afternoon i took azalea to a consignment shop in wallingford to look for a rain jacket, but ended up ordering one online when we got home instead. the kids were so tired by the late afternoon, but thatcher and i were firmly team no nap! thatcher ran some errands and then we made dinner and the kids played video games. thatcher got a game console that allows you to play old school video games from nintendo, sega, etc. the kids think it's the best thing ever - and so does thatcher. haha! 

monday was labor day. it was so nice to have thatcher home! azalea and i walked to the grocery store in the morning and otherwise just hung out at home until the afternoon when we went to our friends' mark and tina's house for a bbq. the kids loved playing with emily, who is 21 months now. they have a big backyard, which was perfect for the kids to run around. they grilled burgers and hot dogs for dinner. it was so nice to spend time with them , we don't do it often enough! 



 now it's tuesday and it feels like the rest of the county has gone back to school, but azalea's first day isn't until tomorrow. we are excited and ready for the new school year. adios summer 2017!

Friday, September 1, 2017

currently: friday edition

don't look now, but this is not a life recap post. can you believe it? it's been a while :) i have some random things floating around in my head on this friday before labor day weekend, so i decided to combine them in a blog post using the "currently" format. so, here ya go: 

currently reading: elin hilderbrand! have you heard of her? she is a national best selling author of close to 20 fictional books and i am hooked on her books lately! i suppose they would be categorized as "chick lit" but they are so good. the story lines are pretty light and airy, but not in a cheesy way and i love how much she develops each character. a year or two ago, i read "the castaways" and enjoyed it, but it wasn't until this summer that i started picking up more of her books at the library, most recently i've read "the rumor" and "the island". i'm excited that there are still plenty for me to read, and also some christmas themed ones! does it get any better? here are the ones i have read, if you wanna check them out: 


currently watching: i don't watch a lot of grown up tv these days, but i'm almost finished with the final season of sex and the city (it'll be at least my second time watching the whole series). it's funny how "dated" it has become, but i just love that show. i also watched "bridget jones's baby" last night for the first time, while thatcher was out with a friend. i love that series and had been meaning to watch the 3rd movie for a long time - it did not disappoint! 

currently wearing: summer is almost over (er, except it's gonna be 85 and sunny all weekend) and while it's been fun creating new outfits out of shorts, tank tops, skirts, and dresses, i'd be lying if i said i wasn't itching to start wearing jeans, cardigans, and boots again. when i was in minneapolis, i went to target by myself one night (i really know how to live it up, right?) and bought this gray cardigan that i am in loooove with. i also want to get another pair of distressed jeans. i like to make fun of myself because for years i thought they were the dumbest thing ever, but i've been converted!


    currently doing: writing this blog post while the kids have their morning tv time. i still need to brush my teeth and get ready for the day, but...priorities! :) 

currently eating: the kids and i made cookies yesterday for the first time in a long time. tacos are on the menu for tonight. we have them pretty much every week. we've started doing grilled chicken and veggie tacos lately and they are so good! and guac. always guac. 

currently thinking about: what i'm going to wear today, how i'm gonna fill this day with no actual plans (probably a trip to the playground, the store, some work time for me and lots of board games), azalea's teacher assignment letter is coming in the mail today! can't wait to see who she gets and which kids are in her class this year. 

hope you have a great long weekend! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

goodbye august: richmond beach, friend dinner, alaska visitor

as fun as our getaways have been this month...it felt so good to have a full week at home! i know our definition of relaxing at home is different than a lot of people's but that's besides the point :) backing up to last week: azalea went to a full day camp at an elementary school nearby. it was her second week there this summer and though she didn't know anyone this time, she had a great experience! ashford and i went to the co-working space/preschool (which is now being called "the inc") 3 mornings last week! it was so nice to get a taste of what's to come this fall. i want him to be in a set preschool schedule this year, so we are going to be there every mon-wed-fri starting after labor day. it's from 9am-1pm (we will get there a tinge late because of azalea's school drop off at 8:50). i will do my book keeping work i have for the day and then i can use any extra time to run errands, have an appointment, clean the house, etc. before staying home with my kids five days a week, i always wondered why stay at home parents talked about needing a "break". i now understand it's the most demanding, consuming job i've ever had, so i'm looking forward to a little me time during the week even if it will mostly be used for boring stuff! ha! now onto the weekend...

friday night thatcher got home early from work (woo hoo!) and we were planning to make turkey burgers but discovered our turkey was expired (thankfully before we made it), so we chucked it and had frozen pizza instead. the kids were super tired and went to sleep early after a much-needed bath. thatcher went for a little sunset walk and i stayed home and watched sex and the city. that show never gets old!

saturday morning we had no plans, so we decided to go to richmond beach in shoreline. it was a beautiful morning and we hadn't been there since last spring! we played on the beach for a little while and then the kids played on the playground. i could have stared at that view all day :)



we came home for lunch and then thatcher and i each split the afternoon running errands on our own. i tried to get the kids (especially ashford) to nap since our friends were coming for dinner, but he refused (surprise surprise). azalea slept for a long while on the couch. vanessa, matt, and ewan came in the evening. it has been like 6 weeks since we all hung out because of both of our trips home this summer. we grilled burgers and hotdogs and the kids ran around the apartment screaming like feral children. the usual - haha. it was a really fun night, but i forgot to take any pictures. ashford crashed hard after they left.

sunday morning we had a visitor! thatcher's aunt georgeanne was in town from alaska visiting her daughter jade who is living in seattle this summer for work. they came to our house and we all walked down to the ballard farmer's market together. it was the busiest i've ever seen it! whew! we got some produce and kettle corn and enjoyed the live music, etc. 



  

azalea was thrilled to run into a classmate of hers...and this beautiful parrot!


me, aunt georgeanne, thatcher

we decided to grab lunch, but the first place we tried had an hour wait, so we ended up going to a vegetarian thai place thatcher and i have been to before. it was a stretch for my kids. azalea likes egg rolls/spring rolls, but she isn't too familiar with the other dishes. she was good about trying our noodle dishes in addition to her spring rolls. ashford didn't eat too much (his favorite thing was a lime wedge - ha!) but we managed to have an enjoyable time there. 


yes, there was a christmas tree up! haha! 

the kids both took long naps when we got home (which was immediately gratifying, but bad news later). thatcher ran some errands and then i went to the grocery store. we made homemade pizzas for dinner, then i took azalea up to the school with her bike and thatcher and ashford stayed home and played. we tried to put the kids to bed at 8:30, but at 10pm they were still awake and complaining they weren't tired. siiiigh. thankfully they fell asleep not long after that.

now it's monday again. the minnesota state fair started last week, so it's making me feel a bit homesick because it's one of my favorite things ever! it's the first day of school in minneapolis - i'm loving everyone's pics of their kids on social media. we still have 9 days to go here! 9 days of no camps or classes, so wish me luck keeping the kids entertained and somewhat peaceful. we have a bunch of playdates lined up for the week.

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