Thursday, November 12, 2009

In review: September. Michelle is back from Iraq!

September saw the return of our sister, Michelle, from Iraq. She is currently stationed at Fort Hood and yes, she's ok. Here's most of us girls. Tracy, Karen, me, and Michelle. We look alike, don't we? Linda avoids the flashes because she's too big a star. ;->

Our resident reticent teenager even allowed me to photograph him. A rare smile. I am honored.

Kendrick drank and passed out texting in the backseat. If I were really mean, I would have finished his text for him!

In review: August

I just realized I have photos on my camera since July, which means I haven't sent any photos to Grandma. I'm a bad daughter. I must make amends.

So here goes. In August, we went to Jacksonville for my niece's graduation from her Naval training. Her class is the last to officially receive wings. She asked my dad, an old Navy pilot from back in the day, to pin on her wings. He was choked up with the honor. It was very sweet. He didn't even make her bleed at all!

A bunch of us showed up to support her! Everyone else gets to smile, while I wrangle the toddler.

Here's Tonya in the cockpit of the P3 she works in. This is supposedly all Top Secret and stuff, but everyone was taking photos, so I did, too. Tonya is a lovely goof, isn't she?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

At the Museum of Flight

D_ and her son, R_, went to the Museum of Flight in Tacoma. Jack loves planes so I thought he'd love the museum. There were tons of wonderful planes including the F8F9 and the Aerocar.

Grandpa flew this plane - the F8F9. Neat!

This is the super fun 1956 Aerocar Model One. I think this was Jack's favorite by far. It's a car and a plane! My two favorite things! WOW!

There's a whole kids section with real airplanes and even a helicopter that are really small. Check it out!

Jack! In! Space!

Moms and Tots at the Seattle Aquarium

I'm a bit biased but I love that Jack loves marine life. He will happily watch almost 30 minutes of Blue Planet and point and cheer. He still doesn't really call me "mommy" but he knows the difference between an Orca and a Humpback whale. I can't help but feeling proud.

While in Seattle, we went to the beautiful aquarium. Sadly, my camera skills aren't the best so please forgive me. Since I think my son is too cute, I can't resist.

Jack really liked the Octopus. She was particularly active, moving about, flashing her colors getting all BIG and scary.

Ivy pauses a moment to have her picture taken.

An Orca skull. Those teeth are as thick as my forefinger.

A sea otter surfaces for a moment.

The funny thing I'm noticing as I look back through all my shots of the whole trip is that rarely did I take any photos of my friends. It's all kids, animals, and kids. Sorry friends!

Belly at 17 weeks

By popular demand, I am providing a belly shot. But not your normal belly shot. This is my POV. My belly is lopsided.

This is Jack sitting on my belly reading a book. See how crazy lopsided it is?

This is the view above the book. I put these shooting range earmuffs on him when I vacuum. He seems to like them a lot and goes into his room singing to himself and reading while I vacuum. It's a good thing.

Back to the book. Nothing keeps him for long when "The Happy Man and his Dump Truck" is open!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catching up...

Hi there. It's been a while, how ya been?

Due to some level of guilt and the sweet, gently nagging voice of friends (ahem! you know who you are!) I am finally posting some pictures from our recent trip to Whistler, B.C. and the Seattle area. I called my "Great Tour of All Things I Didn't Do When I Lived Here" and it was incredibly successful!

In Whistler, my friend Greg and I did a ZipTrek Ecotour. 5 zip lines that get steeper and longer with 1 over 20 stories high and something like 2000' long. That was totally kickass and even more fun than it sounds. Greg and I were mostly speechless and grinning the rest of the day, but we did admit our next fantasy job was being a ZipTrek guide.

Please note the rakish angle of my helmet. I meant to do that. Sure.

There was something so ominous and strange about the steps to nowhere.

I even made a video of one of my zips. Super fun! I'm having troubles with uploading to blogger but the Youtube link seems to work. Pardon my colors - I don't know how to color correct video.

More to come later from B.C., the Museum of Flight, the Seattle Aquarium, the Woodland Park Zoo and much much more!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Monumental Playground Day

Today Jack did all sorts of things he's never done before. At the playground, he walked forwards up and down a bunch of stairs and learned to use the handrail. He slid down the slide all by himself, as in without my prompting or being at the bottom to cheer him on. He walked all around the playground, even though it was covered in snow and, since we usually end up doing a second set at the swing, he headed over there holding my hand for a little balance because of the snow. When he was done, he stopped smiling and held his arms up for me to stop the swing and pick him up. When I got him out, he walked over to the stroller and started to climb in.

Time to go!

I'd never seen such absolutely clear communication from him that didn't involve crying or throwing himself to the ground or throwing anything. It was amazing.

too bad I didn't have my camera...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Jack fell down...

Sorry, Grandmama Donna! I'll stitch it together with embroidery floss when I find it. Then he will have... Frankencrown!

and it will still be cute.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

New Friends

So, I have a new friend-to-be-I-hope who is totally fabulous, smart and fun. (hi D!) Today we hung out at a big mall in Virginia. They had a fabulous play area for the tots and Mr. Knick Knack was singing his heart out and reading stories. The guy playing conga and tambourine kinda looked sweet and let the kids play with him. The 3 year old was about as good as the big nice guy in the funny sweater.

Jack and his new friend were playing nicely until Jack pushed little Z off a bee. Then he didn't want to be with Jack so much anymore. Poor little guy. Ok, not so little. Isn't he absolutely edible?

Jack is walking a lot - all of a sudden, he just started walking on his own. Of course, I think he's the most brilliant little boy in the whole world. Except when he tosses kids off bees. Then I think, not the best display of an attempt to interact with the world around him, but it's a sure sign he's trying! D was very forgiving. Nice D. I hope Not-so-wee Z gets Jack back!

I want this chair.

A strange thing happened at Z Gallerie. The store at this mall is closing and I want this chair:

But I can't buy it so I bought a jenga type game that stacks bones instead of rectangles with a skull on top. Cool.

Anyway, while I'm checking out I ask the cashier about the chair, delivery, et cetera - you know, living the fantasy of buying the chair. As she tells me the store is closing, I'm overcome with this wave of fear, frustration and pain. My arms flushed and I felt sick to my stomach. The closing date is less than 2 weeks away. I ask her, "Do you know what you are going to do?" And she says there's one thing. Then tells me some very personal information about why she needs medical coverage. No details about her condition, but that her medication is very expensive. Now I know where those feelings came from.

I want to tell her, I'm scared, too. There's no way I can buy that chair. This is a scary time right now for a lot of people.

Instead, I say, good luck! with enthusiasm and, I hope, some understanding and turn to walk away. But I get this other feeling. It's so warm and sweet and I surrender to it fully. I turned around, reached for her hand, looked into her eyes and said, I really feel that you are going to be okay. Better than you expect even.

In general, I'm not one to feel especially cheerful and currently I fight the same frustration, fear and anxiety I felt pouring from this woman. But I'm curious now how she will hold that experience. I like to believe that when I have these feelings that they are accurate. And I really felt that she would be okay and, quite possibly, better than she could imagine.

Then I walked away. And barely made it to the restroom. I hope I did take some of her pain from her. I really hope her load is a little lighter tonight. But even if it's nothing to her, I learned something about the depth of my own emotions and how unchecked they can affect others.

And you know, I still want this chair.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hello, Old Friend...

Hello there. It's been a while... How are you, friend?

Well I guess someone listened to my request. Dear Husband was offered a great job on the other side of the country and we moved over the holidays. And yes, moving sucks. I hate it! Just organizing for the move is a nightmare. Sing along, you know the words! This is the move that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends.

Living in the land of boxes for months, perhaps years, just gets me down, man. Really down. And the slightest set back can make it much worse. I swore that this would be the move where we could fully unpack. The day after we put the books on the bookshelves, the pipes burst in the unit two doors up, destroying that house and leaking through the unit next door and into our basement. I met my neighbors by begging for their help to bring everything up from the basement. Now I have a living room full of boxes where there was nearly only a couch, table and chair. It was nice... for a minute.

I know, I know. You hate that Eeyore tone. I know. I think it's the weather. And the boxes. Oh and Jack isn't sleeping so well and so neither am I.

Well, tomorrow's another day, right? Take care of yourself.

Yes, I will get some sleep soon. Thanks, love.