Just Keep Swimming

To sum up how we have been since my last post in two words: extremely busy.

Between finishing my Master’s degree, working, juggling everyone’s schedules and the holiday season it feels like I am finally just starting to be able to come up for air. Here’s hoping that our 2014 will be a little more stress free and full of amazing adventures.

Things that we have been able to squeeze in during our free time:

  • Attend three super cute kids birthday parties
  • Took the cutest trash can and ladybug you’ve ever seen trick-or-treating
  • Ran another 5k that benefited the Woodland Park Zoo
  • Had a nice visit from my Mom and step-dad Gary for a long weekend
  • Took Jimi and Cecilia to their first movie in the theater
  • Celebrated James turning 30 years old with a jam session and an old fashioned house party
  • Take Jimi and Cecilia for a trip on the Santa Train on the Snoqualmie Railroad
  • Had a nice surprise visit and dinner with James Aunt Ali and her boyfriend Dan
  • Celebrated and early Thanksgiving with my family
  • Had a date night via Jimi’s preschool’s parent’s night out
  • Stated taking Jimi to speech therapy once a week (hopefully I’ll get to another post on that soon)
  • Had a fun and delicious Thanksgiving with James’ Dad, step-mom Karen,  his Jennifer, and Grandma Dorothy
  • Traumatized Cecilia and made Jimi’s dreams come true simultaneously when they both met Santa
  • Enjoyed a lovely Christmas Eve with James’ Mom, step-dad Jamie, and Jennifer
  • Spent Christmas with my Dad, his girlfriend Ann and my sister’s family

know there is more but my brain is fried. If I forgot anything super awesome that we did with you, please forgive me.

And just because I love looking at pictures of my cute family over and over here is a little slide show of the last few months. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend we went to the pumpkin patch at The Farm in Snohomish, WA. We have been going there for the last eight year. You can see some of my past posts about the pumpkin patch here and here.

I’m pretty sure the pumpkin patch is one of Jimi’s favorite places. He’s been talking about going back to the pumpkin patch ever since we left it last year. It probably didn’t help that we kept a picture of him at the pumpkin patch on the refrigerator…

It was a pretty gloomy morning the day we were going to go to the pumpkin patch. We decided to wait until after nap time to head to the patch, which worked out in our favor because it turned into a beautiful fall day.

It was Jimi’s second time going to the pumpkin patch that week because he had gone with his preschool on a field trip there. Cecilia was only two months old when we took her last year so this was her first real trip to the pumpkin patch. Both kids had a great time looking at all of the animals and running around the pumpkin patch field.

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Jimi’s Garbage Truck Bash

When I asked Jimi several months ago kind of party he wanted to have for his birthday he quickly insisted that he wanted a garbage truck party. I kept asking him for the next couple months and he never wavered. At one point I almost had him convinced that he wanted a Curious George birthday party, but then he informed me that his dad wanted a Curious George birthday party. (Surprise honey!).

I was a little nervous trying to figure out what to do for the party but if you search pinterest and etsy for garbage truck parties there is a surprising number of results.

Decorations for Jimi’s party were pretty easy. We put balloons on the recycling bins and garbage cans in front of the house (green and yellow for Waste management colors). But it was raining too hard for the balloons to stay up.  I went to the dollar store and bought a foam wreath which is wrapped with newspaper that I frayed and then hung one of Jimi’s toy garbage trucks in the middle of (I forgot to take a picture of that though, sorry).

For inside decorations we went some good ol’ streamers and balloons. I also spent a ridiculous amount of time making a streamer garland with newspaper and plastic bag strips in it to give it a recycled look. It took me a while to get the hang of tying the streamer and newspaper pieces on without them tearing. You have do it really gently and don’t pull it all the way tight.

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We happened to go to a “Touch a Truck” event in Marysville the week before. (Which is exactly what is sounds like. The city had a ton of different types of city vehicles, buses, firetrucks, excavators, etc out of kids to sit and climb on and mess around with). At the “Touch a truck” event they had two different garbage trucks for Jimi’s viewing pleasure. I took a picture from the event and it printed in 16×20 at Costco. I hung in the middle of a wood frame that I’d been hanging onto  that came with a dishwasher delivery. To make it look a little nicer I made a mini pennant banner to hang across the top.

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We didn’t do anything too special in the way of theme foods (who wants to eat trash?) but I did make some good old fashion dirt cups. a garbage truck cake and some green cake pops with yellow sprinkles.  We also had a veggie  tray, chex mix, cheese and crackers, pigs in a blanket and a delicious brisket that my Dad started smoking at 4 am (THANKS Dad!!!)

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Thank you to everyone who was able to attend Jimi’s party and help make his birthday special!

Evergreen State Fair

We to the fair two weeks ago, so I’d say that this post is pretty much on time with how frequently I’ve been blogging.

I’m a fair person. There I said it. I love everything about it. The rides, the pig races, the greasy over-sized proportions of food, the smelly animals, everything. I have been going to the Evergreen State Fair with my family every year since 1993.  James isn’t really a fair person but he’s been a trooper for the last four years that I’ve asked him to go with me and put up with me shoveling a large brick sized portion of curly fries in my mouth (I’m getting hungry thinking about them).

There’s something more magical about seeing your kids experience the fair. Everything is still so big and exciting to them. This was the first year that Jimi knew what the rides were and was excited to go on them (it’s also probably the last year we can get away with only letting him go on a few of them). He also remember riding the ponies last year and couldn’t wait to get back on them. When we went to the fair last year Cecilia was only 3 weeks old, so of course everything was new and exiting to her. Cecilia LOVES animals. But she likes them to keep their respective distance from her. As soon as she spots an animal (of any kind) she starts yelling, pointing, and waving. As soon as she gets close to said animal, she starts frantically waving, crying/whimpering, and scurrying to get away, which is actually pretty cute.

Everyone had a good time at the fair this year and it was a great way to end the summer.

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Summer Vacation 2013

For many months now we’ve been planning a family vacation to the East coast. We had planned one spending one week with James’ family in South Caroline/Georgia and one week with my family in Florida. Unfortunately, life took a different turn of events and James’ grandparents were in a  car accident. So we rerouted our trip to Birmingham, AL for a week so we could spend time with them while they recover.

Although the trip was different than we had originally planned, it was still amazing to see family and spend time with our loved ones. We crammed a lot into two weeks and it will surely be a trip we will remember forever.

I go could on and on about the details of our trip but I’ll spare you all and give you a quick recap:

-Flew into Atlanta, hoped in a car and drove 3 hours to Birmingham.

-Spent 5 1/2 days in Birmingham.

-Ate pizza 3 times and bbq only once (Saw’s Soul Kitchen – go there, it was amazing).

-Visited the Vulcan Statue

-Celebrated Cecilia’s first birthday.

-Went to the Birmingham Zoo.

-Went to the Birmingham Civil Right’s Institute.

-Visited with our family in the hospital and spent time with loved ones that live on the East coast.

-Drove from Birmingham, AL to Kissimmee, FL.

-More birthday celebrations for Cecilia.

-Went to Universal Studies two different days.

-Went to Gatorland. They made me hold a Boa Constrictor during a show.

-Spent time at the beach in Melbourne, FL and many hours in the pool at our rental house.

-Stayed up late playing games with family.

-Went on an air boat ride.

-Mini-golf

-Saw Manatees and a hippo at Homoosassa Springs State Park.

-Took a boat ride to a beautiful island, Anclote Key.

-Had a fantastic family vacation.

Inadververntly Teaching Our Kids

In March I signed up for my first 5k since Cecilia was born so I started getting pretty serious about my quest to get back in shape and lose the baby weight. After I completed that race I signed James and I up for the “Yankee Doodle Dash” in Everett for the 4th of July. Around that time I also started a post-natal workout series called “Pretty Fierce Weight Loss“. The program is pretty intense and will kick your butt, but I highly recommend it for anyone trying shake the baby weight or just wanting to get toned in general.

The Yankee Doodle Dash was James’ first 5k so he started joining me on runs, which meant we had to take the kids along with us in our super sweet double jogging stroller. Pushing the stroller while running without being able to use your arms is not super sweet, however. At the end of each of our runs Jimi would ask to get out and run with us. Then he started asking for running shoes and doing my indoor workouts with me. I commented to James that I thought that was pretty funny that Jimi was so interested in all of that. James pointed out that it’s because Jimi sees us doing it and that we were setting a good example.

And there you have it, an inadvertent life lesson. I hadn’t thought of it like that but James is right. In our own quests to be healthy and active, we have without trying, begun installing that in our kids. And I think that is pretty cool. I hope that as they grow they will continue to be healthy and active and will maybe even find a sport or activity that they are passionate about.

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The four of us after James and I finished our 5k.

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Sleepy girl after one of our morning runs.

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Jimi running circles around the house with his scooter.

By the way, James finished the 5k (which was really 3.5miles not 3.1 because of mapping error) and did amazing, finishing under his goal of 30 minutes.

The blog in which I write about things that happened a while ago…

Alright, that’s not a very good title. But I have been slacking on my blogging. I think I have a few excuses; a toddler, an infant, and grad school among them. However, many other bloggers are able to keep up with their blogging with probably a lot more going on in their lives than me, so maybe I don’t really have an excuse…

Back to the point.

Tulip Festival 2013

In April we went to the annual Tulip Festival in Mt. Vernon. We’ve gone every year since Jimi was born (you can see last year’s trip here). This year we made our way up to Tulip Town. James’ Dad, Jay, and Step-Mom Karen, joined us this year. Unfortunately weather was not so great so we didn’t spend too much time looking at the flowers. But they were gorgeous and the kids seemed to have fun. Cecilia might tell you that they taste delicious as well. After we finished up at Tulip town, we went to Skagit River Brewery for some delicious lunch and drinks!

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Mother’s Day 2013

A couple of weeks ago was Mother’s Day. James spoiled me rotten and I had a fabulous day! James got up with Jimi at 6:30am (Jimi’s choice, not his), he then made me breakfast in bed. James mad me eggs benedict, with homemade hollandaise, and brought me coffee and a bloody mary. After breakfast we got everyone dressed and headed to the zoo, with a stop to my favorite burger place, Dick’s Hamburger’s on the way. The weather held out and we had a great time at the zoo. When we got home James made me my scallops, asparagus, pasta and alfredo sauce (from scratch!) and got me angel food cake (my favorite for dessert). I had such great day. I have a lot to live up to on Father’s Day. THANK YOU James!!!

(This is where I would upload pictures but wordpress is telling me I am out of memory space. Not good. I’ll have to work on that.)