Vasa Park

With the lack of swimming pools here it always makes me happy to visit Vasa Park on Lake Sammamish. With waterslides, diving boards, and a decent beach, the kids don’t get bored. We arrived around 9:30 and were the first on the beach. Later it got super crowded but we stayed until past one.

image

image

image

Grass Lawn Park

After a dermatologist appointment for the boys in Bellevue, we stopped in Redmond to explore a new park. Logan scared me when he was able to climb the tallest tower, and Ben met his match in the sand pit, when he repeatedly threw sand at a dad named Robert, who eventually said, “Is that how you want to play?” and threw it back.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

More summer fun

Megan went to her first boy-girl birthday party since she was about three. They played in the backyard and watched an outdoor movie. Although Megan is starting to be interested in the opposite sex, we have had many, many conversations about how it is wise to cultivate lots of friendships with lots of boys, and put aside any romantic feelings until she is much, much older. I shared with her that I liked the same boy from 4th grade until I graduated high school. But because I was anxious to be “boyfriend and girlfriend”, I ruined what could have been a really long and fun friendship. Looking back, I would have much rather had him as a friend than as an on-again off-again boyfriend, which eventually created lots of hurt feelings and awkwardness. I blame the media. When did boys and girls stop enjoying each other’s company and start viewing each other as only prospective love interests? For me, it was a steady dose of Saved By the Bell and The Babysitters Club. Oh, the drama.

image

We finally took Ben to a psychologist to be evaluated. In addition to a high IQ (of course), he shows signs of ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and ADHD. The good and bad news is that the treatment for ODD is called parent child interaction therapy (PCIT), which is basically “you’ve got a challenging child and it’s tough to say whether you caused it or whether they just came that way, but now we are going to teach you how to be a good parent for them because you’re really blowing it”. We are going to go slow with the diagnosis process, only sticking him with the label if it will help him gain allowances at school. I am hopeful he will do just fine in kindergarten, especially with enough challenging activities and motivational tools.

image

We “took care of business” at the middle school. Megan is excited to have a top locker this year.

image

We went to Pine Lake Park to meet the new principal at the elementary school. Ben was only interested in throwing rocks in the lake and creating general mischief.

image

Our orthodontist hosted a patient fun day at an indoor trampoline park. The kids were in heaven, even Logan.image

Summer fun!

 

 

After our super busy month in South Carolina, things have been much more laid back around here. We have spent countless hours just playing in the neighborhood and at local parks. We have gotten very good at Frisbee throwing and scooter riding.

imageWe tried out an Adventure Playground on Mercer Island. The online description said, “Adventure Playground is a one of a kind play area that allows kids to create their own play adventure. Nestled in the wooded forest of Deane’s Children’s Park, children are provided toolboxes, various building supplies, safety items and the freedom to create build-it-yourself play zones with the guidance of Staff.” Unfortunately, even child in attendance was within arm’s reach of their parent/guardian, and there was no Staff guidance. I got a babysitter for Logan and took a book, expecting to sit under a tree while my kids joined with OTHER KIDS and did their thing. Nope. Ben tried to join other kids’ projects and was rebuffed. So sad.image

Holly had her twins, Boden Hal and Charlie West Richins. They were born with severe complications and it’s been a roller coaster for their family. We were able to visit the hospital while Jansen gave them a blessing. Boden had open heart surgery and sadly passed away at two weeks old. Charlie has also had open heart surgery and some other smaller surgeries and is fighting like a champ. I took this picture as we left the hospital. It was such a special experience to meet the boys and I hope to see Charlie again soon.

image

This is a combination of potty training and Sunday evening. Logan has been running around half naked the last month as we have tried to get him potty trained before preschool starts in mid-September. He knows what he’s doing but, like Megan, seems to enjoy the power struggle. He’ll stay dry and clean for a few days, then on day three he’ll have accidents all day long. My favorite quote from him was, “I can’t sit potty. I too little.”

Sundays are rough because we have afternoon church. Logan LOVES nursery but it wears him out. He comes home, we eat dinner, and if we turn our backs things like this happen…

image

Impromptu swim party at the Rasmussen’s apartment complex. Jennifer sent out an email and tons of people showed up. So fun.

image

Impromptu birthday party for Will Summers. The Summers live on a few acres and we love it so much. Sadly, every bit of Sammamish is getting bought up by developers and this little slice of heaven won’t be around too much longer.

image

image

Megan and I went to an Olive Garden tasting. They served us 11 courses and whatever we wanted off the menu and it was the perfect mommy daughter date!

image

Random hike through some woods near our house. When the kids are driving me crazy I find that they drive me slightly less crazy in the woods. We snack on blackberries and hope we don’t run into a bear.

image

image

image

image

Poppy got a job for a company that sells software to the Port of Seattle! He came to see us on the way to a trade show in Tacoma. It was fun to see him!image

Logan turns three!

Well, he’s done it. This kid turned three!

IMG_1091

The day was very low-key, with consignment store presents and a boxed cake a la Megan, but you know he loved every second. His favorite gifts were a toy guitar and a doctor kit.

IMG_1092 IMG_1089 IMG_1079

IMG_1098 IMG_1096

Logan’s favorites:

  • Books: Berenstain Bears and Dr. Seuss
  • Park: He’s getting to be a good climber and makes me nervous on the tall slides
  • Toys: anything pretend play, especially food related, like kitchens and tea sets
  • Electronics: he loves Curious George and Peg + Cat on PBS, and is obsessed with “puppy game”, a little app on my phone
  • Foods: there’s not much he won’t eat, but his favorites include oatmeal, fruit, and hummus

He seems close to reading and is starting to sound out words. He’s gotten very verbal in the last six months or so, and can communicate easily, for better or worse. He has picked up all the bad words Ben likes to use.

We’re about half way through potty training, although he seems to have gotten his wires crossed and tends to walk outside to do his business instead of to the bathroom. It’s anyone’s guess whether he will be potty trained in time for his September 16 preschool start date. If he’s not, I think I’m ok with just waiting a year.

Parks!

Gavin has soccer camp at 9 a.m. this week. It’s been perfect because we are still on east coast time and up at five anyway. We drop him off and play for a little while before leaving.

image

image

image

Later we hit the neighborhood playground with cousins.

image

Then we meet Daddy at another park and have a picnic dinner, just for good measure.

image

image

Beach pictures

The beach makes you hungry. We ate most our meals on this screened-in porch.

IMG_0816

Relaxing with Gigi and Papa Earl

IMG_0825

Trying to do a few at the marsh/beach. We didn’t plan well enough this time, but there are still some fun memories here.

IMG_0840 IMG_0865 IMG_0872 IMG_0879 IMG_0896 IMG_0899 IMG_0904 IMG_0908-2 IMG_0913-2 IMG_0952

Front porch pictures

We flew home yesterday. Thankfully, Christopher was in Boston and met us in Atlanta for the long trip home. Shay brought the suburban to pick us up and we were in bed by about seven, including Christopher and I. Which was great because the kids were up and going by 5 a.m. Darn time change.

Time to post pictures from my DSLR camera. Here are some I took during a summer rain shower.

IMG_0740 IMG_0772 IMG_0781 IMG_0784 IMG_0789 IMG_0803 IMG_0813

Another afternoon thundershower viewed from the front porch. The kids sure love Bear, the world’s sweetest and most spoiled dog. He thinks he’s a person, or maybe a cat.

IMG_0703 IMG_0715 IMG_0727 IMG_0736

 

Riverbank Zoo

We had the most fun at the zoo EVER! The weather was gorgeous, on the cool side (for Columbia, that means high 80s). My friend Anne, who I grew up with, then reconnected with in Atlanta, then she moved back to Columbia (got that?), went with us, and brought an extra membership card which got us all in for free PLUS wristbands for all the kids. When I was a kid, the zoo was just animals. Super fun, right? Now the zoo has a rock climbing wall, carousel, zip line, ropes course, pony rides, mini train… you get the picture. With the wristbands, you can do all the extra stuff for free (mostly), and you know how I feel about paying for extra stuff AFTER you’ve paid admission. I don’t like it. This way, I didn’t have to tell my kids no. We rode the carousel twice (Logan three times). The big kids did the rock climbing wall. And the ropes course. And I had to the do the ropes course with Ben even though I HATE heights because Ben isn’t quite 48 inches and my dad was wearing Rainbows. The little boys did the pony rides and the train twice. We fed the goats, giraffes, and lorakeets. We saw penguins and gorillas and lions and snakes and koalas and flamingoes and monkeys and elephants.

And I took about 500 pictures with my camera, but here are a few I snapped with my phone until I can get home and upload my good pictures…image

image

image