Honestly, the next person I heard go on and on about their awesome "staycation" was going to get an earful from me (not really - I'm all talk). But seriously. I know times are tough and that's what we can all afford right now, but I don't want to keep pretending that I'd rather explore my own backyard than head to Hawaii for a week or two.
But then Little Boy decided he REALLY wanted to start acting TWO and Sweet Baby Girl decided that night time sleep is WAAAAY over-rated and when I was just about ready to make a cardboard sign that read "Two Free Kids" and park them in a wagon on the sidewalk outside of our house with the freshly painted sign, Wonderful Husband decided to take a couple of vacation days off from work and help me get these kids under control. (I think that was code for "prevent wife from having a mental breakdown"). Neither one of us wanted to take these two crazies to visit the grandparents like we had previously planned (to many variables!!) and so our "staycation" was born.
6 days later...I'm so all over it. Lo and behold, our kids turned back into sweet little angels the first day Wonderful Husband stayed home. We used day one as an opportunity to head up to Richmond B.C. to Watermania. If you haven't heard about this AWESOME waterpark (really it's Richmond's Community Pool) it has a little gym with a waterslide and sprayers perfect for toddlers. The wave pool goes on and off every 20 minutes, and there's floaties, noodles, and innertubes to enjoy. There's also a kid friendly hot tub to relax in. Little Boy had the time of his life for 2 hours and Sweet Baby Girl floated around with me in her cutie infant swim suit for a full hour. Best part? $11 Canadian for the whole fam. Boo-ya!
Next up? Flying kites and picnic dinner down at Zuanich. A lovely evening with take out pizza (really - could I get any lazier??) and kite flying for LB. Zuanich is never too crowded and there's a great playstructure and don't even get me started on the docks. Oh, what fun can be had walking up and down the docks with LB.
We also managed to fit in the Farmer's Market (successfully with no breakdowns! I know - you must envy that experience - it's the first time in 2 years), blackberry picking, gardening at our house and various playdates.
But perhaps the best day of all was yesterday. We headed up to Mt. Baker (Husband has been wanting to do this for a long time with me shouting "NO! Naptimes, meltdowns and feedings!" but yesterday I obliged) so of course, it turned out to be the best day ever. We drove up to Twin Lakes - perfection because Twin Lakes is normally the kind of altitude and place that can only be reached by backpacking and some serious hiking. LB ran around and explored for a couple of hours while Husband and I held SBG and took turns staring, open mouthed at the beauty that surrounded us. We ate lunch lakeside and then hopped back in the car and drove to Artist's Point. From there we took a 1 mile hike (2 1/2 year old LB walked/ran the entire way!!) and again, gaped at the beauty. Can I tell you how much I love Artist's Point? Tons of trails to choose from - all perfectly kept up and suitable for walking toddlers, and I swear, some of them could even handle a jogging stroller.
*AND* since yesterday was our ninth anniversary, we capped it off with a glass of wine and a toast to ourselves after kiddo's bedtimes. :)
and Lover of his "Baby Sister".
He likes to:
feed her (his crackers)
bathe her (and get a little wet himself)
rock her ("stop crying! stop crying!" while frantically rocking her chair)
show her toys (mom says "please don't lay your trains on your sister's face)
and tell us what she's doing in the car ("eyes open" minutes later "eyes closed" minutes later "eyes open" minutes later "eyes closed")
But the best part about LB, Lover of Baby Sister, is his willingness to pitch in. Husband changed her on the couch and left her there to fetch new clothes and from the other room he heard LB...
"Hello, Baby Sister"
"I GOT HER!"
We just happened upon two fabulous things lately that I didn't hear about in time to get them up on the website - BOO! And the best part was? They were FREE!
My mom heard about Bear Creek Nursery (in Bellingham, out on Lake Sammish Rd.) on the radio. They advertised an Easter Egg Hunt the Saturday before Easter. It's right by our house, so I thought I'd give it a try. We were in for a real treat! They had:
Toys to play with (and beautiful nursery flowers for us to peruse)
Cookies and Capris Suns (LB had two of each!)
An Egg Hunt
Prizes in a prize drawer (and wonderful ones at that! LB chose a baseball and a large cannister of play dough).
It was awesome! We were there for literally about three hours. Time flew. We went back today (I called it the "park") and again, LB entertained himself in the playhouse and with all the toys, diggers and dumptrucks, lawnmowers and everything fun for boys and girls. I got to slowly pick out 4 new plants for my yard. What a beautiful morning!
And for the second great thing, we were told about Laurel's Country Farm and Western Supply Store customer appreciation day yesterday and we hopped in the car to head over and check it out. It was WONDERFUL! LB got to catch a fish (a 14 inch trout, mind you!), pet Ben the Bull, various cows and calfs, a horse and fole, bunnies and chicks. Wow! He also got to ride in a horse drawn wagon and we ate a free, delicious lunch served up by the staff of fajitas, chips and salsa, hot dogs, and soda. The workers were so friendly and everyone was welcoming and sweet to LB. We had a fabulous time.
Thanks for you patience while there was little updating on the site. Baby Girl was born on March 22nd, bringing a lot of exciting moments with her. I went into labor at about 11pm and felt like I needed to push about 20 minutes later (I was already dilated to a 6 for the week before - I know, I know - that's so weird). My husband threw me in the car and drove like a madman, getting pulled over along the way (the police officer took one look at me and yelled GO! GO ON!) and then we checked into the hospital with a nurse running down the hall with me in a wheel chair, looking for the first clean room they could find. I was already at a 10, so I got up on the bed and pushed some more....and then 3 hours later BG was born. Yup, quick labor, long pushing! She did not want to come out! Once she did, we found a content, sweet and quiet little pumpkin. What a doll. And Little Boy loves her. A lot.
However...LB had a 102 fever when we got home the next day and he quickly got worse. I got his cold and it turned into pneumonia. That was a few weeks ago and we were all on the mend until LB Carrier Monkey brought home the flu from the park. It's always fun taking care of a throwing up toddler and a newborn. Then the worst of the worst happened - yup, my husband and I got it. So I'm sitting here on my laptop, finally with some time to update the site because LB is at the grandparent's, Husband is sick in bed, and I'm sick on the couch with a rare moment of BG sleeping.
But we're so happy. And doing surprisingly well. BG is a dream and LB is so sweet. Here's a few pics from those few days between colds and the flu. :)
It's that happy, euphoric, yet still completely crazed and hormonal feeling right before having a baby. I have so much to be thankful for right now. I have a wonderful group of playgroup moms that I get to see every week - 6 out of 7 of us have had a baby or are about to in a 6 month span and our firsts range 6 months apart as well!. Because of this we haven't really done baby showers or birthday parties for the kids. It would be too much for all of us.
Imagine my surprise when they came over bearing cake and treats and an Ergo Carrier for me (they've heard me talk about how badly I want one weekly!). I started crying. I was so blown away by their generosity and thoughtfulness. They said they did it just for me because I host playgroup every week, but I feel so lucky that they're willing to come over to my house, rather than me having to drive somewhere! I absolutely loved it. And I can't stop thinking about what wonderful friends I have.
I have great friends, close family and a little boy who's cuter than words right now. Just the other day I asked Little Boy what it will be like when Little Sister is born. He looked at me like I should not be confused, then he grabbed both my cheeks in his hands and got his face close to mine and said "It's gonna be great, mama!". He looked REALLY concerned that I didn't know this already.
Too many blessings to name right now and a baby that should come in the next 3 weeks. This is my warning that soon I'll be entrenched in newbabydom. I'm sure I'll be MIA, so I'm trying to to get as many things on this site for spring as I can right now. Enjoy, and I'll try to keep you posted on this baby.
but now I'm back for a bit! What is it about winter that makes us hunker down and go into survival mode? I swear I am 150% more productive during the spring, summer and fall. But when I reflect back on this time since the holiday season, we have been busy...
We taught our 2 year old how to ski. He does great! I skiied my last run yesterday. I am now 4 weeks away from giving birth and I figured out I just can't do it anymore. And my pants really don't fit. :)
We went on a family vacation to Whistler (courtesy of the grandparents - THANK YOU!)
We celebrated a birthday.
We've gone sledding.
We made Valentines crafts - looooots of glitter still being vacuumed up in our house.
And we've planned and replanned our summer and spring projects.
Oh! And speaking of that baby, we've gotten a baby room together and stuff set aside. It's amazing how hard that is with a helpful toddler. :)
Hope your winter is going great too!
Having a baby in early January, I figured we'd have a long haul during the holiday season. I start gearing up in November. I come from a family with a lot of Christmas traditions and my husband comes from a big family, so starting in Thanksgiving we spend the next six weeks running here, there and everywhere to get to all the festivities. This year was no different!
We had the various holiday parties, tree cutting day, decorating day(s) and cookie making/baking/holiday shopping/wrapping/planning days. We also headed to my husband's home town of Puyallup on the 19th of December for 5 days to visit friends and family with at least two things booked for each day. We had a ton of fun. LB starting getting a cold on the first day though, and for the first time in his life (and much to our resting dismay!) he ended up fitfully sleeping with us every night. We came home sick and exhausted just in time for Christmas Eve. We spent it in Bellingham, quietly, with the other grandparents. It was a much needed "break" and LB continued with his cold, on holiday overload, unwrapping presents and sledding every day. On the 26th we took off for Leavenworth (per longstanding tradition - 31 years now!) for a week of cross country skiing, sledding and relaxing by the fire. Again, though, LB was sleep and camped out in our bed until the very last night when he made it through in his pack and play!
We came home to recover for 5 days (while we unpacked, undecorated and unwound from the "vacations") until we switched gears for LB's birthday. He's two this year, so we didn't want to make a big deal out of it. A simple sledding party (his favorite activity!) up at Snoqualmie Pass at my parent's cabin. Lo and behold, there was an avalanche. My parents have owned a cabin with my grandparents for over 30 years on the hill at Hyak and never in a million years have we ever been worried about an avalanche. Until the morning when my mom called in tears, telling me to check my email. She had forwarded pictures of their hill and all the distruction. The cabin above theirs slid completely off it's foundation. Ours was unharmed, but the feelings of loss and sadness for our friends is overwhelming. So, needless to say, the sledding party with all the cousins was cancelled.
So, with the weekend plans cancelled, we woke up on LB's birthday and had playgroup at our house as usual. After he woke up from his nap we went to the train museum in downtown Bellingham. To say that LB simply loves trains would be a HUGE understatement. It was a hit. He wandered around saying "Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness" over and over. Then we went to the best of all kid restaurants - Red Robin! I knew they'd have fast service, give him balloons, sing to him and present his own special icecream sundae. Does life get any better? We came home from the big night out and quickly opened up presents (a shovel, rake, metal vehicles and a recorder - remember playing those in elementary school?) and an exhausted LB went to bed happy and satisfied.
I need to do a better job of sticking to my plan of keeping things simple. Because, really, that's what made this birthday the best for him!
So, being a former children's art teacher, I decided that even though Little Boy is under two years old, he should still get to experience making a gingerbread house this year. And I was inspired by the celebration and contest put on by the Port of Bellingham. So we made up some frosting (his first cooking adventure!) and then I made several gingerbread houses out of graham crackers during his nap and when he woke up, I taught him how to put one together. It went mostly like this:
me: "Mommy will spread the frosting and then you can stick on some candy!"
me: "Oh! Save the candy for the house! Can you put a piece on your house?"
LB: "Mmmmmm. Yummy!"
me: "Ok. No more candy in your mouth! Put some on your house!"
(LB takes the candy out of his mouth and puts it on the roof)
me: "It is gorgeous! Can you do it again?"
LB: Sticks an entire handful of candy in his mouth and takes one piece out at a time and sticks it on his house.
me: "So pretty"
LB: "Mommy pretty"
me: "I love you."
We dropped off the gorgeous/pretty house today at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal for display. Some of the other entries may outshine LB's, but do they have have half eaten snowmen leaning up agains their houses? No. The Port Celebration is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday with tons of fun activities and the Lighted Boat Parade. It starts at 5:30 at the Bellingham Yacht Club in Squalicum Harbor and makes it's way to Fairhaven. I called the Port and they said it will probably arrive between 6:10 and 6:40ish in Fairhaven. Hope that helps. :)
The Port's activities:
Friday, Dec. 5 noon - 8 p.m.
Music & Dance Performances * Santa Alaska Ferry Send Off * Gingerbread House Display and Silent Auction
Saturday, Dec. 6 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Music & Dance Performances * Santa Horse and Wagon Rides * Gingerbread House Display and Silent Auction Children’s Art Activities & Lighted Boat Parade
Sunday, Dec. 7 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Music & Dance Performances * Santa Horse and Wagon Rides * Gingerbread House Display and Silent Auction Children’s Art Activities
We had some airmiles that were going unused. We had some ideas about going on a trip with LB before he turns two so we can make the most of the "free lap ride", but plans weren't really going anywhere (literally) so we gave up. Then we heard that they were upping airmiles AGAIN so we decided we better use them up fast, before we can't go anywhere with them!
It didn't take long for us to decide that a vacation without LB would truly be a vacation...ie the most relaxing time. We also felt like we should treat ourselves before this new baby girl comes in March and we dip back into the parenting vortex for another year. But we also knew that we are on a tighter than tight budget and that free airmiles are almost too costly...so that left us with a list that went: 1. Free or cheap 2. Sunny and relaxing 3. Fun and easygoing. Huh.
Imagine our delight when a friend at Husband's work said he could use his friends and family discount to get us a room at a WorldMark Resort. We looked up their locations and found one in Palm Springs (Indio) where a 1 bedroom was $42 a night. GET OUT! Our luck was looking up! Add on some free airmiles and the fact that the suite had a full kitchen so we could grocery shop and avoid going out to eat and we were all over it!
So we left last Wednesday and came home Tuesday night. One blissful almost week away from home, hecticness and LB. I missed him immensely, but two sets of grandparents took care of him at our house and apparently he never even asked for us. Much to my happiness! Every day was around 85 degrees and we spent most of it lounging by the pool or riding on this cool "river" ride in innertubes. We also went into town to a couple of markets and made our way up to Joshua Tree National Park. The first pic is of the view from our room. Can you say AWESOME?!
My family always asks me what everyone wants for Christmas and I say things like "Oh, I don't know..." for a few weeks before I toss out some ideas of things we don't really need, but kind of want.
Scratch that for this year! I found wishlist.com where I can add as many lists as I want, so I put on a family wishlist and a wishlist for our second baby due to arrive in March. No more guessing for people! I love it. I'm going to keep it up year around as things occur to me. It might cut down on spur of the moment purchases too. :)
The wishlists feature a picture (easily downloaded from different websites, etc), a description, price, and personal notes. Go to wishlist.com and click on the downloading option - right click to add it to your favorites and then when you go to your favorite websites or search for what you want, you just click on the wishlist in your favorites and then it pops up a tiny window. Click on the "picture" box, then click on the picture of what you want. Click on the description, then click on the description on the site. Etc. with the price, then it pops up an extra window to change that information and add notes. Then save it to your list. SO EASY!