Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A letter to my boys: pre-school going on kindergarten

To my dear sweet boys - today was the last day of pre-school.  The last day of Red Bears at NQACC.  To appease my anxiety, and likely not yours, you're still going to be going there for before and after school care in "Kid Camp" now (thank goodness it's "Camp" and not "Kamp" - I don't understand why people think it's kute to misspell things when it reduces SEO capability and reading comprehension).  It's been a wild 5 years ... FIVE YEARS!!!  And now you're "kids" and not necessarily "big kids" because leaving pre-school you get to drop the "big."  That's almost as weird as swapping a "K" for a "C".

Here's what the past 5 years brought - (1) squirming boys coming home from the hospital and parents (aka mommy and daddy) who weren't quite sure what to do with you.  (2) A big move from SF to Seattle for a bigger house, better schools, and new jobs.  (3) A swap from a Green Lake pre-school and a stay at home daddy to a Queen Anne pre-school, new house, and two working parents.  (4) Great friends, fun, swimming / soccer / karate / running / yoga / everything in between and many small trips around Washington. And (5) amazing new adventures in Kindergarten.

When we went to meet your teacher last week, I almost felt like an imposter - how am I old enough to have kids going into Kindergarten?  I once dreamed of being a teacher - shouldn't I be behind that desk instead of my desk at home and desk at work with laptop permanently lit?  And the funny questions - why are the doors so giant in Kindergarten?  Is it to make all of us feel small?  Are turtles and other swimming animals a normal occurrence in elementary school?  I hope we can stick with water animals and not move on to mice or something ickier.  Are you ready for this?  You don't seem scared - neither of you - so why am I? 

I'm proud of you my little men.  You're both so eager, smart, kind, funny, outgoing, and interested in the world.  You both love people and love learning.  My Cole - you are my little scientist and engineer with the capability to make lego sets for a 12 year old following each direction.  You are also my athlete with a non-stop running gate - I don't think I've seen you walk in the past year.  My Wilson - you are my independent happy boy.  You are an artist, a little love, and a free spirit flying on swings and playing on whatever slide you can find (or making a slide if you can't find one).  I hope you both stay happy, eager, kind, and interested. 

 So here are some things you may not know... I work and I'm proud of my work, but I constantly feel guilty like I'm not "mom enough."  But I work because I want to change the world for you and for me and I want to inspire you to work hard too.  I will drive on field trips someday.  I will do homework with you every day.  And I will be here for booboos, tears, fevers, laughs, new jokes, and questions (except the sex ones - go to your dad for those).  I can't be in class to read to you, but know your pictures are strewn around my office and on my phone and I make up stories in my head during especially stressful meetings to tell you at night.  Work aside, I am constantly entertained when new parents or "single-ton" parents (with 1 child) say "I don't understand how you did / do it.  I can't do it with one."  Here's my little secret - I didn't know any better, I got two, which is amazing and awesome.

To my sweet boys, I hope you continue to enjoy treasure hunts, make believe, flying on swings, amazing yourself with big lego sets, fart jokes (just not in public), and making me proud by making yourself proud.  I love you.  I will always love you.  I love that I get the profound gift of getting to love you.

Onward.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lunchboxes!

This weekend Matt and I split up the boys for 1:1 time.  Saturday I took Cole to go pick out a lunchbox and walk around downtown, and Sunday I took Wilson to pick a lunchbox and get lunch.  We haven't done 1:1 time in a LONG time and it was well overdue - and a ton of fun. 

When Cole and I got downtown he was the perfect little gentleman.  We went into Nordstrom to look at lunchboxes (probably a mistake as they're kid-hipster and too pricey) and he was more infatuated with the balloons.  We landed on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (or as Cole would say "Teenage Eheh Ninja Turtle" lunchbox with a matching waterbottle.  The weird part of being downtown was walking by all the homeless people.  Cole hasn't seen a lot of homeless people right next to him, so he kept stopping just a foot or so away and saying "mama, what's their sign say?  What do they want?"  That was a hard one to explain.

Wilson and I went to U-Village mall - a big shishi outdoor mall near the college.  It was a perfect sunny day and the mall was packed with families and kids playing in the water and eating outside.  Wilson and I got a picnic from a little deli and sat to watch the turtle fountain "spit" and enjoy the sun.  Then we went to three stores to find the "perfect" lunchbox - Wilson landed on a bag from Pottery Barn with tigers on it.

I'm sure the lunchbox and bag are complete overkill ... but it's KINDERGARTEN coming up and I feel like all things Kindergarten are a big deal.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Race report: Lake Tye Olympic Tri

This is mucho overdue - last weekend I participated in the Lake Tye Olympic triathlon and youcha - it was HARD!  I haven't been able to run for about 3mo because of the sprained ankle, and I have only swam a couple times ... mainly because it's just not fun for me.  Oh my.  The race started with a rather small field for the "under 39 year old women".  One thing I am starting to really love about tris is at the in-water "starting line" people are always really nice, chatty, and sharing angst about the swim ahead.  Running people don't chat quite as much, I feel like, and biking there's more metal breaking up conversation.

The first two strokes of my swim were OK ... until I got water in my nose and throat and started panicking about what was in the lake.  Then I felt like my wetsuit was closing in and from then on the swim was horrible.  I did breaststroke the majority of the swim and occasionally flipped over to do the backstroke - both were a terrible idea but backstroke was an extra terrible idea because somehow I kept getting flipped around and backstroking in the WRONG direction.  At around the 3/4mi mark in the lake I noticed the kayakers who paddled around making sure swimmers were OK were starting to paddle close to me - I think they were prepping to save me.

Getting out from the swim my transition took a little too long.  If I'm honest, my transition took a minute longer than it should have mainly because I was trying to catch up with myself - catch breath, etc.

The bike was OK.  I rode my new (old) Fuji bike and loved it.  The ride was ~26mi, and at mile 13 after swigging water I dropped the bottle on the ground.  Boo.  No more water for the rest of the ride was not awesome, especially as the heat started spiking.

Getting off my bike I felt like I had just dismounted a horse - saddle walk was in full effect.  It took me a minute to get int he groove of running but when I got going (about halfway through the run), I felt solid.  Fast forward another 2mi and at the last mile of the run I had a different chant: "I'm never doing this again, I'm never doing this again..."

In the end, I did OK on the bike and run and horrible on the swim.  And now I can't wait to go again.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekend roundup: BBQ, biking, and bunks

This week we hit a big milestones ... bunks!  The boys agreed to swap the top bunk every other week... we'll see how long that lasts.
 
This weekend the weather is awesome in Seattle so most of the city is out enjoying it!  Saturday after karate, our friends came over to hang and play legos.  Micca and I took the boys on a long walk to a house down the hill where a woman has just started the coolest business venture - she has an eBay store and once a month she has a sales party at her house.  This time, she had a bounce house for kids, babysitters, and face painting.  How could you not buy stuff?!

After that, we prepped for a couple families to come over for BBQ.  The kids had a blast sitting and eating hot dogs outside while we lounged on the steps eating flank steak and Q'd veg.
 
 Today I rose early to head out for a long bike ride with my friend from work.  It was (1) my first time on my new bike and (2) my 2nd time using clips (the first time I quit after falling twice).  Aaron had to fix the clips on my bike before even starting but after fixing, I did a quick clip in/pop out lesson in our ally ... and bombed.  I fell hard which sent Cole and Wilson (dressed as a "space cowboy") running and laughing histarically.
 All in we had a good ride.  We did 40mi on the Burke Gillman trail and my ankle felt fine...ish.  My legs have seen better days that's for sure - I have a cut up knee, a bruise on my thigh from where the bike hit me, and my still somewhat swollen ankle.  Fun-wounds I guess!
 We wrapped up the weekend with an insane sun-ray filled sky, sprinklers, scootering, and the end of Star Wars (which we didn't finish Saturday night).  Good times!


Love and Empire Strikes Back

It's taken about 2-years for the boys to get through Empire Strikes Back.  Always right about at the snow monster scene Wilson freaks and we need to switch back to Cars or something else more benign.  Last night we had a BBQ with some friends, and the boys' love got Wilson through the movie - I love this.  Cole and his other little buddy not in the shot were busily talking about what color lightsaber they'd like to have.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weekend roundup: La Conner

This weekend Matt's parents came to town and we took a reprieve in La Conner, a little port-side town on the way to the San Juan islands.  We drove up first thing Friday morning.  La Conner is a sleep little town on the water with cute art galleries, lots of little restaurants featuring great food from local farms, and great sea air.  We stayed at The Heron Inn, a cute B&B in the heart of town.  Friday afternoon we went for a run - together!  With my hurt ankle Matt and I are the same pace which is rather bitter sweet.  Friday for dinner we went to Nell Thorn and had a seat right on the water where we enjoyed local salmon, salad, and steak - amazing!

Saturday we took a long ambling drive home through Whidbey Island and then took the car ferry back to Seattle.  Along the drive we stopped at a raspberry farm in Whidbey and picked 4 lbs (!!) of raspberries.  Sunday Matt and Don rose early (5am!) for golf.  After a leisurely breakfast at home, Kathleen, the boys, and I made our way to Ballard farmer's market for more delicious local goods.  The afternoon brought a bunch of work for me, and pool time for the boys. 


AND, big news, we switched the boys to new bunkbeds ... tonight will be interesting. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Camping!

Friday we took off from work early and made our way to Wenatchee's Wish Poosh campground with friends from the boys' school.  All in there were 10 kids ranging - a lot!  We all had a blast hiking around, splashing around in a nearby lake, and just "relaxing" in the trees.  IMO, camping isn't really relaxing, but being with friends is.

Day 1 we walked down to a beach/mud area to find sticks:
 Matt and the boys from some good ones!

For dinner one of the dads made amazing skewers and baked beans.  My favorite part of camping ... good food!
We left Saturday afternoon and a couple of the families were going to stick around another night but unfortunately it started raining too hard :(

All in, a good time. 

Pics are from our friend Mica because we forgot our camera.