Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Zane!

It is impossible to believe that my little man who used to look like this:

Is now a big 5 year old! In light of the fact that it is POURING down rain today I decided to let the boys watch a movie and eat some popcorn as a treat.

Zane didn't even want to turn and look at the camera, Lightening McQueen was on and it was one of his favorite parts.

I am so thankful for my Zane. He is my sweet boy that frustrates me, delights me and causes me to never get complacent about my parenting. What a huge blessing he is in my life. I thank God every day that I have him. Happy Birthday baby boy. I can't wait to see what the next 5 years with you brings!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Party for Zane

It is almost impossible to believe that Zane is turning 5 years old this year. I know I feel this way every year and with every kid but honestly, it really is shocking to me. Time continues to fly on by and Zane has had an amazing year of growth and learning.

Much to Zane's chagrin, his birthday is the last in a LONG line of summer birthdays in our family. Starting with Andrew's birthday in July he gets to sit by patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) until it is finally his turn to celebrate. I mean come on, even mom gets to have her birthday before he does! How is that fair???

This year Zane insisted on two things: Star Wars and a pinata. In my quest to try and fulfill both those items I racked my brain for a cake and pinata idea. Zane's idea of a perfect cake was one with "Master Yoda" on it. Well, this momma is not quite that artistic but I figured that I MIGHT be able to handle a cake with a light saber or two. If my black decorating gel would have cooperated it would have been just about perfect. Certainly Zane thought it was neat and that is what counted.

While we were out getting party supplies Zane found this Darth Vader mask. He wore it for about half of the party so I suppose it was money well spent. He absolutely loved the mask.

Second order of business for the party was a pinata. Eric and I did our very best to create a light saber pinata. It was looking extremely neat too up until last night when we tried to paint it. Then it broke. A little duct tape and some sticks kept it usable for the party but it was not the artistic gem that I envisioned. Although I think the fact that it was filled with candy and kids got to bang it with a bat made it a winner with the birthday boy.

Zane made out a bit like a bandit in the present department. Lots of fun Star Wars stuff and some very cool other toys. He will be occupied for quite awhile to come.

Not only did Zane want the big #5 candle but he wanted 5 little candles as well. Andrew pointed out that it was more like Zane was turning 10 but that was fine. My little man got the birthday that he had been waiting for finally. Happy Birthday my little man!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doin' the Fair

Today we made our annual trek to the Evergreen State Fair. This year we took advantage of no cost for admission before 1 pm. The price was perfect so off we headed to see the sites.

This morning I very specifically looked to see if there was supposed to be rain. The forecast showed no sign of it so we made our plans to do the usual things: Pig Races, Lunch, Lumberjack show, animal barns and vendor barns. Well, about 45 minutes after we got to the fair it started to rain. And rain and rain and rain it did. All day long it down poured on us. Not August fair weather for sure!

We met up with some good friends from church though and had a fun time checking out the animal barns, eating some lunch and chatting up some vendors.

The kiddos were beat by about 2:30 so we threw in the towel and headed for home and some hot chocolate. A different kind of fair experience but a good one for sure. Can't wait to do it again next year.

Zane's 5 Year Old Checkup

Yesterday was the day for Zane's 5 year old checkup. His birthday isn't until next week but I thought we would get it out of the way. I managed to have 4 doctor's appointments in 3 days! It has been a crazy week for sure. Zane is doing great. He is still a big boy but that is what we expect from him at this point.

Height: 46.75" (98%)
Weight: 51# (94.5%)

I was pleasantly surprised that he was that low on the percentages for weight. The height kinda surprised me though. I think maybe he was looking a bit down or not standing super straight because I am pretty sure he is closer to 4 feet. Even so, he is currently an inch and a half taller than Andrew was at 5. My wallet is already hurting for the teenage years.

The biggest event of the day was that Zane needed to get his kindergarten shots. He is not going to attend this fall but I wanted to have all my ducks in a row for when I register him next spring. Eric and I prepped him for days about the shots. Talked about them, encouraged him to be a big boy. Mentioned that this is the last time he would have to have them done for YEARS. Well, the one positive thing I can say is that he did tolerate receiving the shots without a fight. However he HOWLED for at least 20 minutes after getting the shots. To add insult to injury Zane also needed to get his iron level checked. Sweet mercy, you would have thought they were planning on murdering him. He kept yelling he was going to have to get a finger shot too. Eric took him back to the lab and he started shrieking as soon as they poked his finger. I think he would have been fine for the iron test if he hadn't just had shots in both arms. He has had the finger poke before and didn't flip out like that at all. Zane finally calmed down when they gave him a granola bar to eat. Thank goodness for comfort food. In his defense it was lunchtime and he was hungry. I am just glad that it is not an experience that I will have to repeat with him any time soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gwendalyn's 1 Year Well Child Check

Miss Gwendalyn Lily is absolutely growing like a weed. She is getting so steady on her feet these days and is taking steps all the time. She is also really starting to talk. At her appointment today the doctor finished looking at her and walked away to fill out something and Gwen looked at me and said "all done" and tried to climb off the table. She is such a smart little cookie.

Gwen is also by far the littlest of my crew. I don't know what exactly is going on with her but her weight just keeps dropping and dropping percentage-wise. She isn't losing weight but her rate of gaining has definitely slowed way down.

Height: 30" (74%)
Weight: 19# 7oz (19%)

I am going to try and give her some full fat milk and see if that plumps her up a bit. She is just super active and doesn't have a super huge appetite. She eats well though, just not lots of it. My grandma was pretty little her whole life though and Eric's mom was super tiny when she was younger so maybe she is getting some little genes. Goodness knows they skipped Eric and I entirely.

Andrew's 7 Year Old Checkup

This week is going to be the week of doctor's appointments! Today I had to take Andrew and Gwen in for their well child checks. Andrew is doing great and I had no questions about him at all. He is getting awfully big though!

Height: 50.5" (85%)
Weight: 54# 3 oz (62%)

He is doing just great and growing on schedule. When I plug his info into the height predictor calculator it says he should be right around 6'1" It will be interesting to see how accurate (or not) it is in the years to come.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Forks and Rialto Beach

Since we were so close I had to check out Forks. Just for the experience and all. Fortunately no vampires in sight!

After checking out all the vampire paraphernalia we headed over to Rialto Beach to hang out. Andrew spent a lot of time walking from one log to the next, pretending the sand was hot lava. Classic kid game.

Gwen tried to eat the beach. She didn't seem to mind the grit in her teeth. She seemed to think that the sand and rocks were great to throw.

And finally here are some artsy photos that I took. It really was a very cool desolate looking beach.

Just Hanging Around the Place

Our condo had a beautiful view of Discovery Bay. We really could not have asked for more peaceful and beautiful surroundings to vacation in.

It was wonderful to wake up each morning and look out on the water. I can easily see why people would want to retire over here.

We spent a lot of time enjoying the view and working on a puzzle Andrew got for his birthday. 750 pieces was sure a lot of work but we managed to finish it before the last day!

Hurricane Ridge Hiking

One activity we planned to do on our trip was letterboxing. It is like trying to find a pirates secret treasure in the middle of a frequently traveled area. We spent a lot of time at several different forts (Fort Worden and Fort Flagler) discovering different ones. Usually the box contains a stamp and a log book that you can sign. The kids, Eric and I find it a lot of fun and you really can't beat it as a free activity.

The first letterbox adventure that we went on was at Hurricane Ridge. And boy could we not have picked a worse one! We had looked at the hike and determined that it would be fine for our kids. In fact it was one of the hikes in our kids hiking book and it was rated easy. I don't know what those people were thinking if that was an easy hike. First off there were bugs EVERYWHERE. And I am not talking about your typical mosquitoes. I am talking about biting flies. I got bit within the first minute of getting out of the car. It was a good sign as to what the entire hike was going to be like. Also the hike was steep. It claimed to only have 700 feet of elevation gain which is probably true. It just went up 350 in less than a quarter of a mile. Not so hot with short legs.

Gwen LOVED her backpack. We got our Kelty when Andrew was a baby and it has been a great investment for hiking and other adventures where a stroller really isn't feasible.

The boys trudged up the hill and looked for clues. Zane was not so excited about the hiking. Andrew was a total trooper though and was far ahead of us for a LOT of the hike.

We saw a marmot eating some breakfast of flower buds. It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. Probably about a foot and half long. I was expecting something that looked more like a gerbil.

The end result of the hike is that in a grove of trees where I was attacked by deer flies Zane, Lucy and I turned around. Eric, Andrew and Gwen continued on and found the letterbox. I hear that the view from the top was amazing. You could see Victoria, BC from the lookout. I ended up carrying Lucy back most of the way. She was totally exhausted and whiny. Zane was better once he realized we were headed back to the car and lunch. Never again will I try that hike. At least not without a bee keeper outfit on. Those flies were terrible.

The visitor area was quite lovely and fly free. You could see a lot of the Olympic range which was stunning.

Discovery Bay Exploring

One of our first days at the condo we went down to the beach to look for shells and other exciting finds. The beach was not exactly sandy and not exactly rocky. Kind of strange but the kids had fun wading and throwing rocks in the water.

The kids found tons of shells. Andrew brought a bunch home to make a project with. I heard something about making a crown out of them. We shall see what it actually turns out to be.

Andrew was also a mighty crab finder. He wouldn't pick them up at all but he did find them for Eric to pick up. I think he was worried about getting pinched.

Lucy found the crab very interesting and cute. She had no issue with holding them.

Gwen seemed unfazed by them too. We actually felt bad for the poor little crab she seemed pretty determined to rip it's legs off!

A Trip on the Ferry

Last week we traveled to the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula to stay at a condo in Discovery Bay (midway between Port Townsend and Sequim). We packed up kids and provisions and headed to the ferry dock with the intention of making the 2 or 2:30 ferry. Imagine our dismay when we get to Edmonds only to discover a 2 hour ferry line!

To make things even more interesting Zane decided he needed to go potty. And not just the water a bush type either. Since we were quite stuck in the line and had not moved for awhile I ran into the closest grocery store and let him use their bathroom. All was going well until Eric called to tell me that they were moving and we were going to have to walk to where there were or lose our spot in line.

So walk we did. Walk and walk and walk. After about a mile and a half of walking down the middle of the street we finally found the van again. I have never been so relieved to see our beat up ride in my life. After we rejoined our crew it was another hour before we got on the boat.

The kids did great even with all the waiting in line. I couldn't have been happier with them. And of course they loved the ferry ride. But really, who doesn't love a ride on the ferry?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Party for Gwen

Miss Gwen celebrated her first birthday today. Officially her birthday is tomorrow but we had to take the convenience of a Sunday to celebrate my super sweet Gwenie-Girl.

Gwen liked opening her presents for awhile. I think the tissue paper was a huge hit!

She wasn't so sure about the bows at first but.....

she soon got over her reluctance and accepted them as a nice new fashion statement.

Eric and I got her the super exciting present of some new princess cups. She tried to drink out of two of them at the same time so I think she liked them. Now to just keep Lucy away from them for the most part! At least until Gwen has gotten first crack!

Me and my sweet Gwen

I forgot to buy birthday candles. I usually have a whole bunch laying around the house. Apparently I used the last of them for Andrew's birthday. They will a necessary purchase in the next week or so. Gotta get ready for Zane's birthday. Fortunately a tea light candle worked just fine.

Singing to my girl

What on earth is mommy feeding me???

Mmmmmmmmm....... tasty!

Such a dainty eater. She really only had a few bite before she tried to throw it on the floor. Crazy kid. It was really good carrot cake too!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Waiting for Daddy

Waiting for daddy to come home is a big afternoon event at out house. The favorite place to wait is in the back of the truck. Think of it like a giant playpen that even 7 year olds want to play in!

Snuggle Bugs

We were also riding bikes this afternoon. He doesn't general just wear a helmet for the fun of it!

Lucy thinks she is such big stuff in the back of the truck. It cracks me up.

Big thrill. Leftover wood from a camping trip. This chunk of lumber was used to bang on the side of the truck for a good 10 minutes by various kids. Why exactly do I buy them toys again?

Gwen thought she was way too old for her own good!!!

What a poser. Seriously.