Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Presenting ....

"Song Show"
by Dragon 



We hope you enjoyed this program. Stay tuned for other shows and shenanigans courtesy of Dragon.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall City 10K

Our first race as a family of four was Saturday at the Fall City Half Marathon & 10K.

I've been having a lot of calf pain lately when I run so I was super nervous about how it would go. Luckily, thanks to a lot of stretching and some pre-race Ibuprofen, it was a blast. 

Before:


If the calf pain thing wasn't enough to make me nervous, the fact that we haven't done over a 3 mile run as a family because Dragon gets bored and wants out to go play made me extra nervous about how this run would go. 

One of the selling points of the race is that it is supposedly the flattest half marathon in Western Washington. When pushing a double stroller, flat is good. Hills are evil. 

Somehow Ben survived the run (while pushing the stroller) even though his training never got him running over 3.5 miles at one time. There was a pretty big hill towards the end and he thought he was done after that but he powered through and we finished! 

I ran a 1.02.24 (9.59m pace) race and Ben ran 1.02.29 (10m pace). 

I was 6th in my age group and Ben was 7th in his. (Of course that doesn't count the overall winners which were probably all from our age divisions but ... still! I took 6th!)

After:



I probably could have run a bit faster pace, looking back, but I was so nervous my calf pain would start up at any minute that I wanted to take it too slow rather than too fast.

After we crossed the finish line and rested for a few minutes I told Ben I was ready to go again! He said he could tell I wasn't pushing myself hard enough when I wouldn't quit talking towards the end of the race. Oops!

I remember training for a race once a long time ago and Ben kept talking to me and I was so exhausted and annoyed at him in that moment so I can probably imagine how he felt.

Another great thing that happened: Dragon stayed in the stroller the entire time and Colt only made happy coos every now and then despite me forgetting to feed him before we started the run. It really couldn't have gone more smoothly.

Besides the almost completely flat race course, the scenery was gorgeous. We were running on some quiet country roads near some big open fields. I  really do kind of want to go do it all again right now and enjoy the scenery more while focusing on surviving the running a little less.

It was a fun, beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning.

Another after shot, in front of the finish line:


Just before we took this picture a WORLD record was broken for fastest half marathon run by an 8 year old girl. That was definitely a fun thing to witness. It's not every day you watch world records being broken and new ones being set. She was about 10 minutes faster than the previous world record. WOW!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pinterest Party

I invited a bunch of people over for a Pinterest Party/Girl's Night the other day. Everyone got their kids ready for bed then headed over. 

Each person was supposed to pick a food from their Pinterest boards they'd never made and try it out and bring whatever the result was for everyone else to try. The hardest part about this task is narrowing down the hundreds of food pins to just one.

Root Beer Float Cookies and Ghost Brownies!


 We had a bunch of other foods but I didn't get pictures. 

All of the food was super yummy. We ate, chatted and worked on a couple of projects from Pinterest. 

I picked a couple of fun projects for us that I thought would be relatively easy, inexpensive and fun:  a State canvas and some block pumpkins, since it's the Halloween season!

We had Washington, Illinois, Utah, Florida, Italy and a dolphin represented. It was so fun to see everyone's take on the projects. "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

I'm not the most creative person. I see projects and use them to inspire my creativity but I have a pretty hard time just creating something on a whim. Being surrounded by people being creative is definitely my favorite way to work on crafts!  Plus, it makes waiting for paint to dry a lot more fun. 


And, our final products looked something like this:



And, the state project was easy enough that I decided to do Idaho the next night.



Thursday, October 2, 2014

A trip to Rockaway

Turns out, when you have a baby in your arms, it's a lot harder to pull out your camera and get those awesome pictures--especially when that baby is sleeping. As a result, I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I would have liked but we did indeed still have lots of fun.

We got to our rental house just after 4pm on Friday. It was 3 stories high and had another extra set of stairs leading up to a balcony just about as high as the roof that allowed you to see over all the trees. It was a great ocean view that I, once again, didn't get a picture of. But just imagine gorgeous white caps and blue ocean as far as you can see.

The house itself was definitely an interesting layout but there were beds in every nook and cranny of the place so four families could easily fit.

Three of the four families made it there by 6 so we chatted for a bit and then I ran to the nearest real grocery store (30 minutes away when it's not a downpour). As much fun as it is to be so secluded it is a pain when you need something!

The town does have a grocery store but it's tiny and pretty much just carries the very most basic necessities.

I was so glad to finally be done driving in the pouring rain by the time I got back. Plus, it was dinnertime!

We have a great setup where each family is in charge of a breakfast or dinner while we're there. I kind of wish I could have that deal for all meals all the time. It would be nice to just have to cook one meal a week!

On Saturday we all headed to the Neahkahnie trail to do a hike. The kids were all troopers. While the younger ones had to be carried on and off, they still walked quite a bit. The oldest kid in our group is turning 7 in April and the youngest is Colt.


It's fun to have 9 kids just running around playing together; not to mention the great looks and comments from strangers passing by.

In fact, as we were coming up the trail another couple, who turned out to be LDS, was coming down. The sister was from Jerome! I think she said it had been 30ish years since she'd lived there but it was pretty fun to meet someone else from Jerome out there.

We never made it to the intended view point because we took a wrong turn but it was still a fun hike.


After that we headed back to the house and ate lunch then got kid's down for naps while the older kids made kites. Once the kites were ready to fly we all headed down to the beach. And wow! What a windy, perfect day for flying kites!


Flying homemade kites is a lot harder than flying the store bought kind. This video gives you a good idea of how windy it was though.






Action shot: He almost got picked up and carried away by the wind! 



Dragon flying the dragon:



The guys took a dip in the ocean this year but I didn't get any pictures because Colt was warm and sleeping soundly in my arms and I wasn't about to disturb that.

They said it was actually a lot warmer than last year; although, it wouldn't be very hard to top last year's water temp. That was COLD.

On Sunday we packed up and headed to church. After church we all went to a beach in Oswald State Park. It was a hot spot for surfers but I liked it best because the sand was all packed down so it didn't get in EVERY single little thing we had with us.




We spent a few hours here and then said sad goodbyes to our friends and headed home.

Dragon and Colt both crashed in the car. I felt a little bad because I guess Dragon thought we were just driving back to our rental house to be with our friends some more. He woke up about an hour or so from home and when we pulled in the driveway his first reaction was, "NO HOME!!" He was NOT happy to be back home again.

We managed to get home just a little before 7:30 so we made sure Dragon ran around a bunch to stretch his legs before bed.

It was such a fun trip. Definitely worth the drive to see old friends. It's so nice when you can go a year without seeing someone and then just pick up right where you left off. I will always be grateful to our Seattle ward for giving us such great people in our lives. I can't wait until next year!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Potty Training Update

I was going to have my next blog post be our trip to Oregon but ... this is more pressing.

I completely gave up last week. Things were going so well until I put his pants back on him and made him quit running around naked.

After the pants went on it was an ongoing battle. There were tantrums and crying followed by more tantrums and more crying so instead of heading to Oregon with underwear in tow I packed a ton of diapers and resolved to do it at some point after we got back.

While in Oregon one of my friends was talking about how she'd potty trained her daughter.

She'd put away most of the toys so her daughter could be more focused on just going to the bathroom but it backfired. The beginning was absolutely miserable and nothing was being accomplished. While her daughter was sleeping she was talking to another friend who gave her a brilliant idea. Before that nap was over the toys were all restored to their original places and when her daughter woke up it was show time.

Literally.

Anything within reach became a temporary puppet. Each one of them asked this little girl about the potty. Some just wanted to know what it was, others wanted to know how it worked, etc.

It was a hit.

So today we headed to the store for a mattress cover, just in case. When we got home we started this for real.

Dragon was immediately back to his tantrums. He didn't even want his diaper off until Mr. Snowman suddenly woke up.

The crying ceased completely and he even WANTED to take his diaper off and just wear pants.

Mr. Snowman was a little confused about the potty. He knew he sometimes needed to go but he wasn't sure how or where to do it.

Dragon took Mr. Snowman to the bathroom and showed him his potty seat. Then he took him downstairs and showed him the portable potty. It was super cute watching Dragon trying to show Mr. Snowman how to do it.

Mr. Snowman even got Dragon to practice pulling down his pants and sit on the potty.

Well, I was keeping a pretty close eye on the clock just in case but, after about a half hour, Dragon totally went and sat on the potty on his own. He pulled his pants down and did it!

I told him he could wear underwear if he wanted, and he did!

Next, his trucks suddenly had an interest in the potty. They were practicing pulling their pants and underwear down all on their own but they usually needed help pulling them back.

This went on the rest of the morning right up until nap time.

I know it's only been a few successful hours but man it has been night and day from the last time we tried this (last week).

It helps that it's his toys doing the talking but I think the biggest thing is that it seems like he's the one in control since he's "choosing" to show his trucks and animals how it all works.

Maybe we'll be able to put the diapers away before too long after all!

Also, I think it goes without saying but I am a huge fan of collaborative thoughts! No way would I have thought to take this approach on my own. Thank you, brilliant friends for having other brilliant friends. It makes me seem a bit more brilliant too.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Visit to Great Wolf Lodge

Our friends moved to Oregon about a year and a half ago. Last year we met up with them and spent the weekend on the coast. We had so much fun catching up and hanging out that we decided to make it a tradition.

This year, we decided to make it even more fun and leave a day early so we could spend a little family time at Great Wolf Lodge--a hotel with an indoor water park.

Minutes after our arrival:


 Check-in is at 4 but you can start using the water park as early as 1 on the day of your arrival so we headed out the door around 10, stopped at Costco, and got on the road just after 11am. We made it there at 12:52 and decided to eat some lunch in the car before heading in. If you look really closely, you can see that Dragon is covered in Peanut Butter. I honestly can't figure out how he made such a big mess but his car seat is also covered in it.

At check in they gave us all wolf ears!


Our room was actually all ready to go when we checked in so we brought some of our stuff in, changed into our swimsuits and headed to the water park.

Dragon had a blast but he was being a little pill about me taking his picture.


This is what happens when I get a shot of his face:


He was so mad that I tricked him into looking at the camera!

Luckily, that wasn't the end of his fun in the wave pool. Unfortunately, I had to head to our room after an hour or two of swimming to get Colt warm (since his feet and legs were turning purple!) and fed and put down for a nap.

When Dragon and Daddy got back to the room I found out that every time the waves in the pool started a wolf howled so Dragon started calling them "Wolf Waves".

After dinner we got everyone in their PJs and headed down to the lobby for the clock tower show and story time. We had no idea what to expect but it was a lot of fun.

(Once again he was being a pill as I tried to get a picture of the bear claw they painted on his face)


The lobby was huge but super cozy at the same time. They had a giant fireplace and a fun antler chandelier. Ben and I could have hung out here all day! If I'd had a good book I could have just settled down on a couch with some hot cocoa and been content for weeks! The pouring rain outside made this fire that much more cozy.



Just before the clock tower show started Dragon was playing with some boys from another family. They started jumping off a ledge to a window that looked into the water park that was about two feet high. He was having a blast and I jokingly turned to Ben and said, "he's having so much fun. He could do this forever. ... Or until we hear a piercing scream and he winds up with a broken leg!" 

After that I went back to cuddling with Colt and taking pictures of him with his cute wolf ears:

He was less than amused but he tried to act cool about it.



Ahh, just look at these adorable cheeks!



We sat there enjoying a little peace for about three minutes when I noticed Dragon hadn't stood back up from his last jump and I could faintly hear crying. Ben runs over and sure enough, he's on the ground with a hurt ankle.

Ben tried rotating it around and he didn't seem to be in any extra pain from that so we concluded it wasn't broken and had him just hang out on our laps until the show started. 


The show was a cute little thing with talking trees, a moose, raccoon, mouse and squirrel. I think Dragon enjoyed it, although he'd probably have enjoyed it more if his ankle wasn't hurting but it was too late for that.

Once the show and story time was over we headed up to our room to get ready for bed and I got one of my favorite pictures of the weekend:


I wish I could say that that was the end of our ankle hurting drama but it was not. 

We got our boys to bed and I hung out watching a show for a little bit. In hindsight I wish I'd just gone to sleep when they did so I could have actually gotten sleep but ... that didn't happen.

Anyway, about 10 minutes after I shut the show off, Dragon started whimpering and grabbing his leg which soon escalated into full on crying. We felt horrible but didn't really have anything we could do because he wouldn't let us put ice on it. 

Eventually we got him back to sleep. In fact, it was just in time for Colt to wake up for a feeding. So, at about 1ish I finally got to sleep. At 1:30 Dragon woke up again. After we got him to sleep again I said we should probably give him a blessing the next time he woke up, if there was one. 

There was. Ben took Dragon to the gas station for some $10 tylenol and came back around 3:30. We asked him if he wanted a blessing but he refused so finally we told him it could help make him better and he let Ben give him one without crying about it.

As soon as the blessing was over he started climbing down off the bed and Ben and I just looked at each other like, "What is he doing!?". His feet touched the ground and suddenly he yells, "Run!" and starts to run back and forth across the room. He wasn't healed but it sure was cute to see him put so much faith in the blessing.

If it hadn't been 4am I would have thought the whole thing was hilarious but ... I was SO tired! 

It was still hilarious but we quickly reigned him in and told him it was time to go back to sleep. 

Unfortunately, instead of waking up bright and early and getting a start on the day ASAP we slept until about 9, ate breakfast, packed up our room and made it back into the pool a little after 11. 

Dragon's ankle was still hurting him but he managed to have a mostly enjoyable good time.








Back to the wolf waves with Daddy...



...while Mommy and Colt hung out and watched. 


It would have been WAY more fun if they'd let kids ride on their parents laps down the water slides but Dragon was brave once and only once and did it on his own.


He did think it was fun and wanted to do it again but, when we got to the top and I had him wait for his turn he lost his bravery. I think tiredness had a lot to do with it too.

They had a huge bucket that dumped 1000 gallons of water every few minutes. It was fun to sit right outside the splash zone. I should have taken a video from that angle because it was a lot more exciting watching this huge wave coming right towards you.


We knew Dragon was getting tired when he sat down in the 2 inch deep water and made himself comfortable.


We decided it was probably time to get on the road again before a melt-down occurred.


Unfortunately, we started the process a little too late because he was definitely not a happy camper as we headed to the car.

When he woke up from his nap later that day he happily and immediately said, "Bye waters". "Bye slides". "Bye wolfs". "Bye waves". Apparently he was too tired when we left to process that we were leaving.

I love having fun adventures like this one. It would have been a lot more enjoyable if Colt had been a tiny bit older and, of course, if Dragon hadn't gone and hurt his foot but I'm so glad we could spend some time as a family doing something Dragon loves.

I'd love to go back again when our boys are a bit bigger. Maybe we could even go on the bigger water slides next time, we just have to figure out how to get our kid to grow so he can meet the height requirements!

"Bye Great Wolf Lodge"