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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Pumpkin Patch 2012

We’ve had some gorgeous fall days the last couple of weeks so we decided to go to the The Farm at Swan Trails pumpkin patch (same place we went to last year) this last week before the weather turned for the worse…. Which happened about 2 hours after we left the patch.

We got Jimi an early reader book about Halloween in which the dog Biscuit goes to a pumpkin patch. So Jimi was pretty excited when we told him we were going to go to a pumpkin patch. This pumpkin  patch is pretty awesome. There is a petting zoo, hay maze, kids play area, corn maze and of course pumpkins. We skipped the corn maze and just stuck with the petting zoo because we figured Jimi didn’t care. He loved getting to see and touch animals. They even had baby kittens that they were letting kids hold. Jimi waited very patiently while all the other kids cut in front of him until it was finally his turn. The kitten immediately went to sleep on Jimi’s lap and Jimi just wore this proud expression while holding the kitten. He loved getting to run around the pumpkin patch and trying to pick up all of the pumpkins. We could have done without the kid kicking pumpkins which Jimi tried to imitated but thankfully he stopped quickly.

Jimi is still talking about the pumpkin patch so we may just have to go again before it closes.

There’s a baby in there somewhere

Jimi and Grampy

Jimi and the kitten

I’m sure Cecilia would have enjoyed it too, had she been awake. Thanks for going with us Dad!

A busy kind of weekend

This last weekend was packed full of activities. On Friday night we had our friends Gregor and Kolleen over for dinner. Saturday, James had a gig with his band 20 Riverside at the waterfront in Everett. Sunday, we spent the day at the Evergreen State fair. All three days were a blast.

The weather on Saturday was perfect for an outdoor show and the band played great! I had my dad come to the show with us so he could help chase Jimi around while I handled Cecilia and that he did. Jimi had my dad doing laps around the marina. Luckily for my dad James’ mom and step-dad were there to take their turn chasing Jimi around. I think we were all sore by the end of the day, that kid definitely likes to make sure we all get a workout in. Despite the showing going two hours past his bedtime, Jimi held up great and had zero meltdowns.

On Sunday Jimi slept in until almost 8, instead of his usual 6-7am wake up. After he was up, we quickly got ready for the day so we could go to the fair early. Jimi was still exhausted from the night before so we were hoping he’d take a nap in the car on the way there so he would be in good spirits for the fair. He didn’t take a nap but certainly impressed us all when he had no tantrums and minimal whining all day. He even rode in the stroller with little protest. Jimi LOVED getting to see/pet all of the animals. He also got to do the pony rides (Thanks Dad). James and I were sure he’d be the kid screaming and refusing to get on the ponies but as soon as he got on he had a huge grin on his face that didn’t leave the entire time.

Cecilia did great at all of these events too but then again she’s only a month old and as long as her food is nearby she’s pretty content.

Jimi kept climbing on the stage.

Fair food!

This is pretty much what Cecilia did the whole time.

 

 

Beach Day

Per usual the weather around here picked up right around July 4th. Summers in the Northwest are gorgeous and (in my opinion) make most of the rainy time worth the wait. While the rest of the country is suffering from over 100 degree temps, we’re sitting around the high 70’s-80 degree mark. Usually, I like the weather to be higher in the 80’s but with all of the extra pregnancy weight and a toddler who gets cranky in the heat, I appreciate the temps where they are at.

On Saturday, we took a break from our long to-do list and headed to the beach to take Jimi in the Sound for the first time this year. We went to Kayak Point, where we took Jimi last Summer. After squeezing him into some swim diapers from last year and lathering him up in sun block we headed in (well James and Jimi did, I stayed back and took pictures).

I was pretty impressed that Jimi just walked right in the water with very little hesitation since I’m sure our last trip to the beach is not in his memory.  Other than acting cold occasionally, he didn’t show any fear until the water was up to his mid-chest. As most people know, the beaches on the Puget Sound are more rock than sand, which worked out great for Jimi. He had a great time picking up rocks, looking at the barnacles, picking weird bugs off them and throwing the rocks.

Watching dogs run in the water

That is until he tripped on one of the rocks and fell pretty hard. Jimi quickly started yelling “I done” and wanted to be picked up. After about one minute, he was asking to be back in the water. When James set him down he noticed a huge bleeding scratch on Jimi’s leg, presumably from the barnacles. We took Jimi out, rinsed it off with clean water and told Jimi he would just have to play on the slides (there’s a park there), which seemed to please him enough. Once we got to the slides we noticed that the cut was still bleeding, a lot. So we cut to Plan C, hike up the huge hill to the parking lot, high tail to the store to pick up some neosporin and then home to clean up Jimi’s cut.

I couldn’t get a good angle on wound to take a decent picture so it definitely looks worse in person than these pictures.

 

Rockin’ the Toy Story band-aids

 

Portland Babymoon

This last weekend James and I headed down to Portland, OR to attend my best friend of 15 years, Melissa, graduation from physical therapy school and to have a little “babymoon” before Cecilia arrived. James’ dad and step-mom, Karen, were ever so kind to watch Jimi for a long weekend while we went down there. James’ mom and step-dad, Jamie, were nice enough to watch Penny for us. Thank you all for your help!

We headed down to Portland around 11am on Friday and did not return until Monday afternoon. When we got to our hotel room we were greeted by a nice welcome basket(s) full of breakfast food, junk food (James’ breath probably still smells like chili cheese fritos), and an itinerary of the weekend put in our room by Melissa.

We got cleaned up from the long drive and then headed over to Melissa’s apartment for appetizers before boarding the Portland Spirit dinner cruise. The cruise was a part of a celebration with the rest of her graduating classmates from the physical therapy department and their family and friends. The cruise was along the Willamette river and was really beautiful. The houses along the river were amazing and huge and pretty outrageous.

James and I with Melissa and her boyfriend Jeff.

Melissa won an award from her department

Saturday, James and I slept in (for those that call sleeping until 8am sleeping in) and relaxed at the hotel until it was time to head to Melissa’s graduation, about 30 minutes away. We got there early so we had lunch at a little pizza place called Pizza Schmizza. The weather all morning long was a little chilly and overcast. As soon as the three hours long ceremony started, the sun came out in full force. It was a hot and long ceremony but totally worth it to see my best friend graduate, with a special bonus of working on my tan. After the ceremony we had a very nice celebration dinner with Melissa’s family. Congratulations Melissa!

Melissa getting “hooded”

The happy graduate

I had to help her hold up her huge diploma

On Sunday we met my dad (who happened to be in Portland to run the Rock n’ Roll half marathon) for brunch. We then went to the Portland Saturday Market, which is conveniently open on Sunday’s as well. The Saturday market is a lot like Pike Place and a farmer’s market combined. It was raining out so I kind of rushed through the booths but Portland never ceases to amaze me with weird people. Next we headed up to Pittock Mansion, which is a beautiful old home that used to belong to the owner of The Oregonian newspaper. The views from the house were amazing and overlooked all of Portland. We then hit up the oldest restaurant in Portland, Hubers Cafe, for some appetizers, beer (for him) and coffee (for me). We tried to watch the eclipse after we were finished at Hubers but it was too cloudy out. We then headed up to Powell’s bookstore to find Jimi a book about being a big brother. After that (now I understand why I am so tired today), we met up with Melissa and a few of her friends to go to Portland City Grill, which is located on the 30th floor and has amazing views of the city, for dinner. James and I finally called it quits after that and went back to our hotel room (after stopping for some milk to go with our Oreo’s Melissa got us, of course).

James in the music room (I told him to look musical)

Unfortunately it was pretty hazy out so we didn’t have the best views

When we woke up on Monday the rain was coming down pretty hard so we decided to skip Voodoo donuts (a pretty amazing donut place that always has a long line outside) and got a bagel and some coffee instead and then made our way back to Washington. It was a great trip and it was nice to have some kid free time before we have two munchkins running around but it is nice to be home and even better to see Jimi.

Wallace Falls Hike

Yesterday was a beautiful Spring day here, so we decided to get out of the house to enjoy the outdoors. We decided we would go do the Wallace Falls hike since neither of us had done it before and it was a short 5.5 mile hike, although the trail guide said there was a 1200 ft. elevation gain.

We got a late start because I kept being wishy-washy about whether or not I wanted to go and because Jimi slept in until 7am (thank goodness) which meant that his nap time was a little later than usual. After he woke up from his nap, we got our bags packed and headed down to Walmart to buy the start parks Discover pass. We went with the annual pass, since we plan on doing some more hiking this summer. Well… James plans to, we’ll see how I feel the more pregnant I get.

After that we were on the road. And then about 10 minutes later we were almost home. Jimi lost it in the car ride. We think he was too hot in the car (James is getting his air conditioning repaired on Tuesday) and the noise of the wind from the windows being down was bothering him. Nothing was calming this kid down. We almost turned around several times but decided to keep on going. About 10 minutes from the hike Jimi finally fell asleep in defeat. He was still asleep we when parked our car (about 1/2 mile from the trailhead because it was so packed) so we enjoyed our pb and j sandwiches in the car while we waited for him to wake up.

We ended up having to wake Jimi up, who was in a good mood, but refused to get in the hiking carrier. Instead James carried him and Jimi walk part of the way to the trailhead. Including walking up a steep hill that was about 1/4 of a mile long that James and I got winded from. It’s hard to show the depth and length of the hill in a picture but here’s it is.

Once we got going on the hike, Jimi absolutely loved it and was pretty giddy. We quickly realized that the guide was not kidding about the elevation gain. I consider myself a pretty athletic person but being 29 weeks pregnant and out of shape, this hike kicked my butt. We decided to turn around at the lower waterfall because it was getting late, Jimi wanted out of the carrier, and we were both beat. It was a beautiful hike so I was disappointed I didn’t do the whole thing but I’m glad I listened to my body and turned around. I am in pain and pretty sore today. We’ll have to go back when we’re both in better shape. I stand corrected, James is in good shape, we’ll try it again when I’m in better shape.

This cool thing was on the way up to the trailhead. We’re still not sure what it is.

Tulip Festival 2012

This weekend James, Jimi and I headed north a little bit to go to the yearly tulip festival that runs the month of April. We kind of got a late start on the day (despite Jimi’s 6:30 wake up) and left the house in a hurry. Meaning Jimi snacked and napped in the car and we both forgot to grab the hiking carrier on the way out of the house.

We knew that not having the carrier would be a problem because 1) you’re not supposed to walk in the rows of tulips and Jimi would want to run through the flowers, 2) the tulip fields are always a huge mud pit which is bad for little (and big) walkers who think they are invincible, 3) Jimi doesn’t like to be held for a long period of time which does not go well with reasons 1 and 2. The trip ended up going pretty well but it definitely would have been easier with the carrier.

We went to a field we hadn’t been to yet. There wasn’t as much selection of tulips to look at and the field seemed a lot smaller. My favorite moment of the trip happened about 2 minutes after getting into the fields. After Jimi a pretty good job at being patient waiting in a long line to get into the fields, he was giddy when the first thing he saw was a big patch of grass. We decided to let him run around a bit before checking out the tulips. While he was running and chasing James we called him over to smell a tulip (he loves to smell flowers). Jimi came happily running over, slipped and face planted into the tulip. It snapped and sprayed him with water and pollen. He wasn’t phased at all and we started laughing uncontrollably. I really wish I had the camera or video camera out at that moment. I think our laughing might have made other parents question our parenting but if Jimi’s laughing why shouldn’t we?

After we went through the fields a little girl came running at Jimi with her arms out for a hug. He stood back for minute and let her take the lead but then he got very interested in her. James and I thought the interaction was pretty cute but the girl’s family was not paying any attention to her at all until they were saying bye to each other. It was weird.

Peering over the fence while waiting in line

So happy to be running

He did not want to sit still for a picture.

Pink tulips in the middle of daffodils.

My favorite picture. Our family was apparently the only one that could read this sign.

Jimi made a lady friend.