Thursday, July 30, 2009

Welcome to the Jungle

The lameness continues.

It's so stinkin hot here, I can't even begin to think about sitting down long enough to write a thought out blog post. At least I can get some pics up, since I just loaded over 200 that had been sitting on my calendar for almost 2 weeks. Someone call social services, because I should be written up for this kind of neglect.

For those who have been living on another planet or are out of state with no national news... We're breaking all kinds of heat records for the Seattle area. Wah!, I hear you fam & friends in the South, Midwest, and Southwest.... Yes, wah. We have no idea what it's like to have extremes on both ends of the spectrum. However, keep in mind that AC is practically against the law up here. People with AC probably showed a doctor's note at the Home Depot checkout. Beyond that, stores stock approximately 1 fan per 1,000 households, so once a heat wave strikes the riots ensue...A little bit of deja vu from December when people stood in lines for hours waiting for generators and candles. We may be drama queens, but the retailers here perpetuate it a little.

I've actually decided that Obama, in all his awesome wit and crafty wisdom, must have had the most recent space station visitors launch some sort of cataclysmic flare that set off our heat wave, thus creating a surge in spending. Between fans and AC units...the packed malls and movie theaters of people trying to escape the heat...the filled restaurants of families refusing to cook... people are spending money here hand over fist just to escape the heat. I don't know about you, but the recession appears to be over in the Northwest! Yay for us! :)

Yesterday was the hottest day ever in Seattle. Not just record breaking for the day, but EVER. 106 in Seattle, which is right on the water and always cooler... and 115 at our house in Snoqualmie, about 30 miles away from Seattle and in the foothills of the Cascades. Hot. Africa Hot. No AC. Over 70's at night. 1 fan. 90's in the house. Got it? It's hot. If it were just outside, I would love it, but I need the house to escape too...and sleep in, so that's what makes me cranky.

Enough of that. Now on to the pics. These cover the visits from the bros. Shawn's bro Matt, after their trip to Honduras... and a visit from my bro Rex, which is a very rare treat. There are some others in here, but I have no idea what yet. Just look at them and be glad I even had the energy to put them up. Seriously, I'm doing it while sitting in a virtual sauna... or steam room... prison cell in Death Valley... Rick's bar in Casablanca... Broke down bus on the side of the road in Morocco. I'd better wrap up before this laptop starts to look like a delicious chicken leg.

Uncle Matt and Ian looking at a marine life book

Hanging out with daddy and Uncle Matt.

Think we have enough laptops at the table?

Enjoying corn on the cob for the first time.

Having fun with Uncle Rex

Checking out Uncle Rex's motorcycle

He only sees my brother a few times a year at most, so it was nice to have a visit and dinner with him... and we'll see him again in Maui less than 5 weeks from now.

Getting into cruising mode

I'll do a "before and after" of this shot with his other visits at some point. I have to stop sweating first.

Don't you just hate it when people intentionally stereotype their kids?! LOL.

Trying out Shawn's diving gear.

Ian asked Shawn if they could wash his truck. No idea where he got the thought... but he loved it.

Playing in the suds. What better way to beat the heat?

You missed a spot, Ian!

Ian thought this up on his own... Coloring with his toes. Apparently, he's left footed, too!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Missing In Action

I have absolutely not a moment of free time to blog lately. Between a hectic work schedule, Shawn's trip to Honduras, hiking maina, and trying to get through summer to the Maui trip, I just don't have a lot of down time. Heck, I don't even have time for silly things like laundry and dishes. My house (and spouse) can attest to that.

To fend off the wolves, here are a couple of pictures in no particular order. I have lots more, which I'll try to put up soon.

Sorry to the faithful few who have had nothing to look at for the last week or so... Life happens!

With Uncle Matt & Daddy the day they returned from Honduras

At "Lily's Restaurant" with daddy

Getting ready to enjoy the first strawberries from Ian's plant

Just happy. We like these moments (his shirt apparently did not).

Hanging out with cousin Ashleigh while Grandma and I went for margaritas down the block

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Sick Looks Like...

As everyone knows by now, Shawn left last Friday for Honduras... Roatan, specifically. We've been asked by about half the world's population if Roatan is safe and YES it is. It's an island on the eastern most edge of the country, more Southern Caribbean and less Central America. I did get a text message from him stating that he arrived OK and then another about swimming with sharks. Oh my!

I asked him not to call me, as it would just be a distraction to his trip as well as my "mojo" with Ian. I would much rather just know that he's there OK and discuss the details when he gets home.

As for our week, Ian had a rough day at school on Tuesday and I had to pick him up early. Because they took his temp (a measly 100.6) at 3:30pm, he couldn't come to school the next day. He has to be fever free for at least 24 hours, which cancelled out the entire next day. Great. It meant there was no option but to take a sick day...something Shawn and I draw straws for, typically. Fortunately, since Ian is rarely ever sick and has had only 2 or 3 fevers in the past year, we almost never have to think about it. Just my luck that it happens while I'm a solo parent!

So, yesterday was a sick day. I've included a few pics of what sick looks like on Ian. We went for a walk yesterday morning to get some fresh air and ended up at the library before it opened. There were tons of mommies and their kids outside and we learned that there is a toddler storytime on Wednesdays at 9:30. Awesome! Finally, a "stay at home mom" event! I could pretend to be "one of them". It was boring. Ian was the oldest in the group by far and there were lots of snuggling and tickling activities that caught me by surprise. Gladly, it was only 30 minutes and we continued into the library to check out some books. I was interested in what the librarian mentioned as the "summer reading program" for preschoolers... but when I picked up the flyer, found that the sessions are all during work hours. Of course. Not only can we not participate in ANY mom/me activities in our neighborhood (there are at least 5 playgroups a day and lots of adventure activities), now we can't even participate in something as simple as the library.

I almost typed a really bad word just then.

After the library, we got drinks at Starbucks and then headed home for lunch, books, and naptime. Not once did I hear a whine or whimper. He was so much fun. After lunch, we headed out to find a new park in our neighborhood and located a really nice one about 1 mile away. Too far to walk, but definitely worth the drive.

So, it was a sick day, but a great sick day. We didn't go on a hike or on a grand adventure, but it was one really great ordinary day at home with my favorite person in the whole world.

I won't go into today's details too much. In a nutshell, I let him sleep in and I'm glad I did. He was tired, but feeling much better. I decided to send him to school since it was "movie and popcorn" day, but got a call shortly after 2 letting me know he had been crying for 2 hours that he needed his mommy. Uggh! Just hours before, he was excited about a movie and going to Red Robin for my birthday dinner.

We dried the tears and went home. We watched more Backyardigans than is healthy for a 3 year old, and in the midst of all the joy, Ian jumped in a certain spot on the couch that catapulted him forward into the window sill. I heard the thud of his forehead before I saw it, and the silence that followed told me everything. It was probably really bad. The silence was quickly followed by a scream like I've never heard. I had flashes of my own head cracking incidents as a child and I practically had my coat and shoes on ready for the ER. I grabbed him calmly and hugged him tight, then went for the bathroom before really looking at it. Luckily, it was a dent, but not bleeding too badly. I think his glasses slowed him down so it wasn't so bad. I was able to get a bandaid on it despite his crying, and within 30 minutes, he was trying to "surf" a dump truck across the yard. I'm doomed.

I think the moral of this very long story is that although I would like to think I can do it all alone and MY WAY, I really do need and appreciate Shawn's help. I especially appreciate his help when I'm trying to control Polli and Ian at the same time or juggle a "I have to go potty!" moment with the melting ice cream left in the car in order to get the the bathroom in time.

What has really stuck with me the most is that I wish I had just one day to do all those things we did yesterday. Maybe some day I can make that work; it was so priceless, even just this one time. For those who get that kind of opportunity every day, please don't take it for granted. I really didn't want that day to end, even if it was accompanied by a continuous request to "cover your mouth, please".
Pics from our sick day:

Good medicine: Cocoa and cookies!

Playing with the scrapbook store owner's GIANT black lab. He is the biggest sweetie...maybe even more friendly than Polli (and he weighs 140 pounds!)!

Scrapbooking followed by the most expensive smoothie I've every purchased. Ian's "kiddie" smoothie and a small for me was $11. SHUT UP!
The crabby pouty boy I picked up from school today.

Not long after. It's amazing what a snack and some TV time can do!

...and then the fun came to a screeching halt! A nice black goose egg formed, but doesn't appear to be growing and the bleeding stopped fast.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Kitchen Sink Blog Post

This covers just about everything from Fourth of July to mom hiking adventures, to boo-boos...and everything in between.

Without going into a ton of detail on anything in particular, I'll hit some of the important points. We've had great weather, meaning I've been out hiking as much as possible. I don't post many of those pics here, but I'm too lazy to keep 2 blogs running, so I haven't been updating my hiking blog. I did finish June with 52 miles hiked and somewhere over 20,000 feet of elevation (I haven't worked it out yet). I want to see what that looks like on a graph in terms of grade, but I'm no math wiz, so I have to put some effort into it. I started July strong with a short but killer hike with great views at the end. I can't help but post a few pics of that great afternoon.

A big part of the week was spent getting Shawn ready for his trip to Roatan, Honduras for a long awaited diving trip with his brother, Matt. For those wondering, Roatan is far away from the tension in mainland Honduras and there is absolutely no danger there. Cruise ships are still porting there, and that wouldn't be happening if there was even a hint of trouble.

So anyway, I was getting ready to be a single mom for a week and Shawn was preparing about 200 pounds of photography and dive gear for a trip around the world. He left Friday night. My heart goes to single and military moms. It's only a week for me and I can't imagine what weeks (plural), months, years...and lifetimes of solo parenting must feel like. For all the times I think to myself that it would be nice to just have my way and do it all on my own, I really don't mean it. I know that now for sure.

Another big event was Ian's move to a big boy bed yesterday. It's just his crib converting to a toddler bed, so it feels much the same without the front bars. He picked out special pillows and a sleeping bag, and even wanted Polli to play on the bed with him. As it turns out, he doesn't need a step stool to get in and out and I can easily lay with him (eventhough it's a crib mattress) to sing songs before saying goodnight. It was GREAT. He took to it immediately and has yet to really figure out that he has the ability to get up and move around the house. I fear the day he figures that out!

The Fourth was a huge day. We watched the parade in our neighborhood and then spent a couple of hours at the big carnival party put on my the ROA and nearby businesses. They had bouncy houses and slides for all ages and Ian, who was petrified of them last year (and just a few months ago) couldn't be kept away from the bouncy houses. Try telling a 3 year old that he has to wait in line each time, but never the less, it was fun to watch. He also got to meet a "real live" firefighter and sat in a fire truck. There were things we had to skip due to long lines, but we shared a piece of pizza (Ian ended up just eating the toppings and I got the crust...gross). For this, I was sad that Shawn was gone. After a couple of hours, and already getting hot out, we left and headed home for a nap.

After nap, we got our stuff together and made our way toward Grandma Trish & Grandpa Tom's house for a Fourth get together and fireworks. It was great to see everyone, including Shannon's brother Ricky and their mom Nancy. Both haven't seen Ian for a year or more. He was going strong well toward dark, so we decided to stay for fireworks. It took one to go off and he was scrambling to get in the house. He went into a panic over the sudden noise and didn't like it one bit. He seems to be fine with noise that he can prepare for (like a motorcycle coming from down the road) but loud bangs are mood killers. We watched from inside and he did fine after that... In the end, he wasn't home and in bed until after midnight. A new record for him! He did great until about 10 miles from home when he started screaming that he didn't want to be in the car anymore. He was just delirious with fatigue. Poor little guy.

Today, we hit the mall and Target, then later went grocery shopping. He did great. Not one accident and not a single meltdown. It was all errands, but he was as close to the perfect little buddy as possible. I loved today.

Thank goodness for a cool breeze coming in to give us a break from very humid 80's. Ian and I both woke up this morning congested and tired, so a change in the weather will be welcome for a day or two before I'll be complaining about the cold again.

Enjoy some pics from the weekend! Hope everyone had a great 4th and did the right thing by letting the pro's light the fuses...and giving a designated driver the keys!

Oh man, I left out a whole story about our trip to the zoo on Friday. Sigh. I'm too tired to go back and add it in...There are a few pics below.

One of the things I love most about Ian's new school is that, when the weather is nice enough, I can walk him to school. It's only a few minutes even at Ian's pace...and he loves it. It's a nice refreshing walk back for me, which is always welcome first thing in the AM.

I say goodbye to him at the window every morning. Some days are easier than others. This was a good day.

From about 1.5 miles up on the Chirico Trail in Issaquah. The summit is where paragliders launch and slowly sail down to the field below. As you can see, there is also an unobstructed view of the North side of Mt. Rainier. Always taunting me.

Watching paragliders launch. I absolutely want to do this... although I would also absolutely pee my pants in the process. There's no describing what it's like to watch them step off the side, so I'm sure the feeling of doing it is incomparable.

At the zoo with cousins Cade (12) and Taylor (14) from Fairbanks.

Getting up close and personal with a monkey. As it turned out, it was one of the busiest days of the year for the zoo and also one of the hottest, meaning we fought crowds at every exhibit and most of the animals were sleeping far away from where we could see them. It was still a great day...and Ian held up better than anyone. Cade threw a tantrum before Ian did!

You can see the fatigue setting in.

Random, but I loved this shot. Emerald Python..or Boa. Ian knows. I'll ask him tomorrow.

One last burst of energy in the tropical rainforest (it was SOOO humid in here!)

Fist bump to the diamond back Gorilla. One day I hope he can see one of these in the wild.

Helping me convert his crib to a big boy bed. Cribs are for babies!

Loving his new sleeping bag and truck & bus pillows. His music player stays. I think he might have that thing when he's in high school. It is by far one of the reasons why I can count on ONE HAND the number of nights he's woken up needing us.

Fine tuning his music... while Polli makes herself at home.

Showing off some of our Lego creations. He actually asked me to take a picture for daddy. He was so proud.

Having fun in a bouncy house. Just a month or two ago, he was petrified to go in these things.

Sitting in a real live fire truck. He was a little overwhelmed by it, but liked all the dials and buttons.

Checking out the first fire truck in Snoqualmie. It still runs (although it had a cup holder with Starbucks cups in it, which killed the effect a bit). We saw this fireman today at Trader Joes and I could see Ian's mind ticking... like, why is a fireman wearing a tee shirt and sweats?

As you can see, Ian and I completely forgot to wear red white and blue on the 4th. Oops! At least I could find him in a crowd!

Getting a dart lesson from Ricky.

Hey, wait a second....

Nice Taylor... really attractive! :)

Sitting by a waterfall and Chihouly sculpture in Bellevue Square (Lincoln Tower) today. We had just come from Tully's, which he thought was Tollie's...the Koala in Ni Hao Kai Lan. He was a little disappointed when there were no Tollie items to be had.

When he woke from his nap, he had gouged a scratch on his nose and it was bleeding pretty badly. I put a band-aid on it, and while it looks like he's crying, he's actually laughing about having a band-aid on his nose. He was trying to look at it, which made his eyes cross... and that made him laugh. Thought I needed to clarify that I was not ignoring my child's distress to get a Kodak moment!

Just a silly pic with his band aid and glasses. He actually wore the band aid all day. If anything, it might have helped his congestion some.

Casually playing in his big boy bed after nap with his new passion: GeoTrax trains. He has already examined the back of the package and noticed the pieces he doesn't have. I'm OK with it since these are half the cost of Thomas trains, which he likes but isn't married to. Thank goodness he isn't a brand junkie just yet.