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  1. Making Time For Fun

    May 12, 2016 by Victoria

    Guys, as a parent, hell, even as a person, it has not exactly been a joy-filled several months over here. Sure, we’ve had some fun, and some nice family time, but it’s been a whole lot of moving and logistical stress, and doctor’s appointments, and school assessments, and IEP paperwork. Just a lot of necessary but extremely unfun stuff. So, while non of the unfun stuff is going away any time soon, we should still be carving out time for joy, right?

    Summer arrived early in Seattle again this year, and it looks like it’s here to stay. And summer was made for fun. And  joy. And playing in the dirt and sand and water. We’ve been taking advantage by spending a lot of time outdoors and exploring new places. Although, I must admit part of my motivation for that is self-preservation. My kids are infinitely better behaved and easier to handle when they are not home. Why is that? Is it just me?

    So here’s what’s been bringing us bits of joy in between the stress and preschooler meltdowns. Sunday, Mothers’ Day, I wanted to get out as a family for a bit so we headed to St. Edward  State Park to do a bit of exploring.

    The trails were wide and perfect for preschooler sprinting.

    Cormac seemed to love it, though we went early in the morning so it was still a bit chilly. After a bit of walking and exploring, we promised Cormac a stop at the playground adjacent to the parking lot.

    Seriously it was maybe the biggest play structure I’ve seen. Cormac was running every which way nonstop.

    And I think Teddy was feeling very jealous he couldn’t run (or even walk) yet!

    And it being Mothers’ Day and all, I forced the boys to pretend they liked hanging out with me.

    Wednesday we also had a big adventure. Cormac was being extremely obstinant in the morning and loudly declaring “I don’t want to go to school!” Given that he’s not legally required to at this point in his life and I was too tired to argue, I just kept him home for the day. Teddy was also being a bit crabby for no apparent reason, and I could tell it was one of those days where things could get ugly if I didn’t come up with a plan to keep us busy.


    So…. at the last minute I saw the Mariners were playing a day game, bought tickets, looked up a bus schedule, and hauled myself, the boys and a backpack of gear onto the bus and headed  for Safeco Field. The 35 minute bus ride was super easy! Cormac was feeling happy and excited and narrated the whole trip for the entire bus. “We’re on a bus! It’s going to stop to pick up more people and then it’s going to go to the baseball game!”

    Once we arrived, Cormac’s excitement continued as ushers handed him complimentary baseball cards.


    By the time we arrived at our (nosebleed) seats, I knew we made the right decision to get out of the house. The weather was just perfect and few things make me happier than seeing Cormac genuinely excited about something.

    Obviously Cormac didn’t have a clue what was going on, but he paid attention to the jumbotron and would randomly yell things like “we’re clapping for number 19!” and he was a pro at clapping on cue along with the crowd.

    Meanwhile, Teddy was also fairly well behaved and fell asleep sometime in the third inning.

    Teddy woke up after an hour or so and I could sense we were all a bit wiped and I didn’t really want to push my luck so we left after the 6th inning.

    BUT! Some sweet, random old guy saw Cormac counting his baseball cards outside the stadium and gave him like 100 more! What? I tried to politely decline but he insisted and it made Cormac’s day.


    Such a fun (EXHAUSTING!) day!

    I have to admit I was actually semi-impressed with myself for managing a bus ride, a baseball game, and the bus ride home with both boys by myself.

    Our ridiculously, unusually warm May weather continued the rest of the week and the boys and I made a trip Thursday to Matthews Beach.

    How lucky are these boys to grow up surrounded by so much beauty?

    It was a seriously easy way to kill two hours. The boys were in sandy, splashy heaven.

    I was a little alarmed at Teddy’s lack of fear. He saw Cormac run splashing into the water and he blindly crawled in right after him, totally oblivious to the fact the water was freezing and coming up his face.


    Of course, the minute we got home after such a lovely afternoon both boys kind of lost it and had simultaneous total meltdowns. Such is life, which is why it’s extra important to enjoy the good times.

    Today promised to be another 80+ degree day and I promised Cormac we could go to the beach again, so while Cormac was at preschool in the morning, I browsed online to find a new to us beach, packed up some beach toys and a picnic lunch, and grabbed an extra bottle of sunscreen. After picking up Cormac, we headed straight to Richmond Beach Saltwater Park in Shoreline.img_7785.jpgSand, rocks, waters and trains?! The boys were in heaven.img_7784.jpg
    Cormac was very excited about this “really cool coal car train.” img_7824.jpgThen of course we just threw rocks in the water for like a straight hour. What is it about that that he loves so much?
    Good vibes, indeed. We snacked on pasta salad from Whole Foods and A LOT of blueberries (and maybe some sand for Teddy), and just hung out for a couple hours.


    Teddy once again earning his title as world’s happiest baby.

    While maybe not my favorite beach, given its rockiness and distance from my house, I did love all the driftwood for the boys to explore and how relatively calm and not busy it was, even on such a warm, sunny day.

    And Cormac enjoyed dragging around big sticks. Obviously.

    We’ve got a really hectic month ahead of us – We move out of our house two weeks from today, travel to Boston and Cape Cod for three weeks, then fly back and move into our new house June 16! Before all that craziness hits, it’s been nice just to soak up some simple, sunny afternoons with the boys. And to give us more to look forward to, I’ve been compiling a Pinterest board of fun new places to check out after we move!

  2. Lummi Island Getaway

    May 1, 2016 by Victoria

    The week of Alfie’s anniversary is a tough one for me, obviously. Maybe slightly easier to handle than last year’s but still difficult. I knew I’d want to disappear for a couple days, and I knew Lummi Island was a great place to do it.

    We’ve been before and I found it tranquil and relaxing. You don’t have to worry about what to do with yourself because there’s basically nothing to do on this tiny island.

    We went up Friday afternoon, and after hitting a lot of traffic and a miscommunication resulting in being locked out of our rental, we finally settled in.

    The view was perfect and I was excited to do nothing but stare at water for a few days. We arrived shortly before bedtime, so the boys ate a bit of dinner and went straight to bed. I had a little bit of wine, watched the sun set, and watched Game of Thrones with B (we just started. Why am I so late to the party?).

    Saturday was a perfect 60 degrees and sunny. I was up way too early with insomnia and sad thoughts, so I watched the sun come up.


    Brent read about some church beach with a labyrinth so we walked the mile over to it.

    I don’t know what we were expecting the “labyrinth” to be, but it was just some rocks.

    Luckily the beach was a big hit.


    I think all of these boys could just throw rocks into water all day long and love it.



    After a bit more ridiculousness, we headed back home.


    When we got home, I made lunch – this recipe from The Kitchn. (It was delicious and I’d recommend it)

    Later that afternoon, while the boys napped (thanks to sun and water!), B and I drank beer on the deck, played monopoly and watched the ferry.

    Guys, I have an almost embarrassing obsession with the ferry. Seriously. Zoning out and watching the Whatcom Chief make its 8 minute trek back and forth from the mainland to the island is so soothing to me.

    When the boys woke up, we went to happy hour at The Beach Store Cafe for the the boys dinner and wine for me (and more ferry!).

    Sometimes I think the boys know when I need a break and they were sweet and silly and well-behaved.


    After some more play in the yard, it was time for bed. (I love how well the boys sleep on vacation!!)



    B and I made steak and baked potatoes, watched the water some more and watched more GoT.

    Sunday morning the sads hit me hard honestly, and I kind of just wanted to stay in bed. I’m glad I got up, because we ended up having a fun morning. First we had to build an entire Duplo jungle.

    Once that was complete, we headed over the the Otto Preserve for some light hiking.



    This is such a fun age to take Cormac hiking. He loves dirt and sticks and pointing things out – like this deer!

    Teddy napped for part of the hike.

    And when Cormac got a bit tired and bored, we stopped for a picnic to increase his energy.

    And learned our family cannot handle a full family selfie.

    It was a great way to spend the morning, and as a bonus, it wore the boys out! Allowing me to zone out with a glass of wine and more hot ferry action in the afternoon. Mount Baker was out like whoa.


    After nap time we walked a couple blocks away to the Beach Elementary School, where B and I remembered there was a small playground.


    All the boys had fun climbing and spending some energy.

    After dinner and bed time for the boys, Brent and I just ordered pizza from the Beach Store Cafe, watched the sun go down and put on some more GoT.

    Monday morning, we got up, slowly started packing, ate some breakfast and got on the ferry to head home. The drive back was super quick and both boys napped so it flew by.

    I’m glad we were able to get away for a few days and have some time just to ourselves. I guess I just like to hide from people when I need to reflect, and this was perfect for that.