Thursday, October 20, 2016

ashford says...

now that i've been remembering to document these, it feels like ashford has a dozen cute/funny quotes a day! here is a sampling lately: 

"mama. why are the sprinkles not on?" (the sprinkler)

arranging a stack of playing cards proudly, "a cheeeese sandwich"

when riding in the car "why is the moon following us?"

"mama, that dog was so sweet"

"ba-jant" how he referred to my mom while she was in town. short for "grandma jan"

"i play with my junk" said while he was laying down for a nap and i have no idea if that was actually what he meant, but i laughed so hard.

"don't be funky"

looking at the ceiling light while having his diaper changed, "how did that get attached up there?" 

"do you toot in the summer?" 

"i have some sauce on my beard" 

i could not love him more! 

Monday, October 17, 2016

"momcation" weekend in suncadia

after five days of solo parenting while thatcher was on his work trip, my weekend getaway could not have come at a better time. back in july, five of my closest mom friends and i booked a "custom log home" in the suncadia resort, which is 80 miles east of seattle. we were so excited when the weekend finally arrived! three of our friends couldn't leave town until after 11am on friday, so the other three of us decided to get brunch and then our nails done, since our husbands had taken the day off to be with the kids anyway. we went to portage bay cafe for brunch (my first time there despite living only a few blocks away). it was delicious! then we walked to a nearby nail place for pedicures. it was pouring rain all morning and seattle was anticipating some nasty weekend weather, so both places were pretty dead! it was a nice, relaxing morning before hitting the road for suncadia. 

the drive there ended up being sort of stressful. it was pouring rain and very windy and there were tons of speeding semis on the road. we breathed a sigh of relief when we finally made it there two hours later. the house was absolutely beautiful. 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, open, airy, with a super cozy fireplace. the agenda for the weekend was to include: eating, drinking, sitting in the hot tub, visiting the winery, eating, sitting in front of the fireplace, eating, and relaxing ;) the agenda was not include: changing diapers, answering 1000 questions an hour, breaking up sibling fights, or waking up at 5:30 am. we were pretty much giddy! 

we wasted no time turning on the fireplace, making some spiked hot cider and nachos for a snack. next we changed into our suits to try out the hot tub. vanessa bought this inflatable swan which also doubles as a drink holder, so we named him vincent ;) it was in the low 40's out and a little drizzly, so the hot tun felt heavenly. 

the others were still getting their suits on

after an hour in the hot tub, we changed back into comfy clothes (the official attire of the weekend), turned on some music and got started on prepping our feast of appetizers and desserts including spring rolls, baguette with cheeses, pickle rolls, salad, and later cake batter dip, flan, and an assortment of candy and cookies. 

excited to eat! 

after dinner, we poured more wine and played a game of cards against humanity, which always makes me laugh until i cry. :) the rest of the night, we just hung out and chatted and enjoyed having zero responsibilities besides being together. we were in bed before 11, too! #partyanimals

saturday morning we were all awake by 8am (no one's body would let them sleep in when we actually had the chance!). at least it was pretty outside: 

we made a big brunch of egg bake, hashbrown casserole, cinnamon rolls, and fruit. then we got in the hot tub again. we all showered and changed back into comfy clothes (of course) and watched a movie. i repeat: we watched a movie in the middle of the afternoon in our pajamas. i cannot tell you the last time i did that. it felt so amazing. that morning we made a reservation for 5:15 for dinner at the winery on the resort. we got ready to go out and left at 4pm for our less than a mile walk, thinking we would do a wine tasting before dinner. well, google maps got us all confused and we ended up walking the wrong way and in the end it took us an hour and 15 minutes to get there on foot. so embarrassing. at least we made it in time for our reservation ;) i decided we looked like we were shooting an album cover as we walked along the main road: 

here we are finally at the main entrance of the resort. leave it to us to walk the most round about way to get there. 

the winery's restaurant was really nice and had more people than we had seen the entire weekend. we all got a wine flight to start then salads and flatbreads for dinner. yum! 

after our meal, we went into the bar/lounge section to sit in the the plush arm chairs and taste some additional wines and listen to the live cover band. they were great and we had a blast! we had heard there was a shuttle that can take you back to the lodge (or house in our case), so we did that when we were ready to go. guess how long the drive was...? under 5 minutes! ha! we stayed up chatting until midnight that night, so i guess you could call it our party animal night. or, moms gone wild. either one ;) 

sunday morning we slept in a little later, but not by much. we heated up the leftovers from our brunch the day before and relaxed for a bit before getting ready for the day and cleaning up and checking out by 11. no one wanted the weekend to end! we decided to drive to a coffee shop in a nearby town before hitting the road back to seattle. 

 one last group shot 

two from our group headed straight back after that and the rest of us stopped for lunch at snoqualmie brewery. the weekend was basically a 48 hour slumber party and i loved every second of it! it went way too fast. that said, it was so good to hug my kids (who had a blast with thatcher all weekend) when i got home. i truly needed this break, as did these ladies who understand the crazy life of parenting small children. i am so thankful that i've met them in seattle and for the supportive, deep bond we share.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

solo parenting weekend and a pumpkin patch

the biggest news of the weekend was this guy peed in the potty for the first time ever! he has sat on it a bunch of times, but has never actually gone. two mornings in a row i noticed that he woke up with a dry diaper, so on the second morning i convinced him to try and he went! we were so excited and he seemed really proud. we have not done any formal "training" yet (even though i think i said a while back we were planning to). i'm still mentally preparing and waiting for him to show more interest. but we're on the right track :) 

friday night we just hung out at home and thatcher packed for his work trip to san francisco. (thankfully - for me - it's only his second work trip since we moved here).

saturday morning we drove him to the airport bright and early (or dark and early is more accurate, as it was rainy). the kids and i came home and relaxed for a bit then had an early lunch. azalea asked if we could go swimming at the mountlake terrace pool which is about 35 minutes north of us. and i was not feeling like spending another hour in the car after our long morning in the car, so i looked up the schedule at the community pool in our neighborhood (where ashford is currently taking lessons) and discovered they have open swim from 12:30 - 1:30 every saturday. perfect! it was my first time taking both of them swimming alone (to a non-wading pool or splash pad), and i'll admit i was a little intimidated, but it wasn't bad! especially since they had life jackets and arm floaties, so azalea wore one of those. the kids had a blast! the hardest part was actually getting them (and me) dried off and dressed in the locker room after. ha! we came home and they both crashed hard for a couple hours. it was so nice! we ate dinner at home and just stayed in the rest of the night. it was really dark and rainy all day, cozy.

that night was pretty rough - we all ended up in my bed by 11:30pm and then the kids woke up at 5:00 for the day!! bruuuutal. in the mid morning on sunday, we drove 45 minutes north to a pumpkin patch called "the farm at swans trail", to meet our friends vanessa, matt, and ewan. it's a big place and it was very crowded just 15 minutes after opening. but it was inexpensive with tons of stuff to do, so that was nice! the kids had a blast picking out a pumpkin, going down the hay bale slides, and bouncing on the jumping "pillows" (like a bouncy house that is low to the ground with no walls or ceiling).

after about an hour and a half it was getting quite crowded and chaotic there and the kids were overstimulated, so we decided to drive back to our neighborhood and get burgers, fries, and shakes from scooters for lunch. it was an easy way to tear them away from the fun ;) sadly there were no naps at our house in the afternoon because they both took mini naps in the car. once i grieved my lack of a "break" for the day, we headed to the store to get some groceries. we had leftovers for dinner and then a bath, then i got them in bed by 7:30 because they needed it!!

4 more days until my weekend away in suncadia. i cannot wait!! :)

Monday, October 3, 2016

grandma jan visit #3

what a fun week (well 5 days, close enough) we had with my mom while she was in town. it sure flew by! here is a rundown of what we did:

tuesday: ashford and i picked her up from the airport then had a late lunch at the hi life restaurant in our neighborhood, we all picked up azalea from school, made tacos for dinner, played with the kids and just relaxed that evening. no pictures, oops. 

wednesday: met up with vanessa and ewan at ella bailey park in magnolia (i mostly wanted my mom to see the amazing views from there), picked up lunch at un bien, hung out at home while ashford napped, made grilled chicken pesto sandwiches for dinner, took the kids out for ice cream in our neighborhood.

thursday: took her to swanson's nursery. she loves gardening and looking at different plants/flowers and it's a fun free thing to do. we enjoyed the koi fish (they are so friendly!) and the dwarf goats and hay maze. had lunch at home, picked up azalea from school, ate dinner at home, then went to azalea's soccer class (thatcher had a networking event all evening).


friday: we drove across the city to volunteer park (it was my first time there, but my mom and dad actually went there on their 2010 seattle trip!), enjoyed the green space, the conservatory, and the play ground, had greek lunch at vios in capitol hill (i've always wanted to go there, they have a kid's play area!), ordered pizza for dinner then my mom and i escaped to value village and goodwill for a bit. 


saturday: we drove into the mountains to snoqualmie falls and gold creek pond (it was the first time we've taken my mom into the mountains!), the weather was nicer than i thought it would be. 

nice face, azalea ;) 

and my goofy boy

we packed a picnic snack/lunch and the kids had fun throwing rocks in the pond and looking at wild mushrooms. it was the most crowded i've ever seen it there (obviously you can't tell from these pictures) 

 i was worried this trip might not happen because ashford woke up with a fever the night before, thankfully it was gone by morning. whew! saturday night thatcher and i got to have a date night while my mom stayed with the kids. we went to elliot's oyster house on pier 56 (downtown on the waterfront). i had a gift card from my employer in minneapolis for my 10 year anniversary. so nice! it was definitely more expensive than places we typically go to, so it was a treat. the food was delicious! only downside was it started pouring on our drive there and neither of us dressed for it (oops). after dinner, we watched the lit up ferris wheel for a while, then went to the co-op to get dessert :) the kids were really good for my mom, so that was nice to hear. 

sunday: my mom had to head to the train station early in the morning to go to portland, so thatcher and the kids took her. then they went to brick con (lego convention) at seattle center. i stayed home to get some work done, a nice relaxing morning to myself! :) here are some pictures from brick con: 

whenever my mom comes to visit, i always wonder what life would be like if my dad had never gotten sick with cancer and would have been able to come out here with her. would they stay in an airbnb or vrbo in our neighborhood? would they rent a car because we couldn't all fit in ours? what would my dad say about the cute and funny (and frustrating) things my kids are doing these days? it still blows my mind that he is not here, how can it be real? 

anyway, time marches on. nothing can change that. so we make the most of this life without him, like he would want us to. i can't believe i'll be heading home for kelli's wedding in a little over 3 weeks! 

Monday, September 26, 2016


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!


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