Sunday, September 29, 2013

5 things I won't be too sad to leave behind in Kirkland

We close on the new house tomorrow!

Here are some things I've been thankful we'll be able to change once we move...

1. Three different surfaces under Peter's high chair. It's a pain to deal with linoleum, carpet, and the mat that covers a bit of both. At the new house we'll have some swanky new faux-wood vinyl under our entire dining area. I've never been so excited to break out the broom!

2. The cramped dining nook. After 3.5 years we haven't found a completely workable orientation for our dining table and chairs. We've had it in three different places and nothing feels quite right. This growing belly of mine will appreciate free walking space around every chair once we settle into our new digs.

3. Short on counter space... Big on personality? Not really. I don't hate our kitchen by any means, but it sure leaves some things to be desired. Counter space being the first one. I keep dreaming about the new workspace we'll have with the kitchen PENINSULA in Duvall!  (and item 3.1, cabinets that don't look like, well, these. :))

4. Bedrooms right off the kitchen. Honestly, this layout does have some perks. It's nice to send the kids into their rooms to grab socks or whatever while I'm in the kitchen and not have a flight of stairs to complicate things. But what we'll lose in that small convenience (Peter is almost ready to navigate stairs by himself anyway, though those gates sure are going up when we move!) we gain in sheer freedom to do more things in our living areas, namely the kitchen, when the kids are asleep. I'm not going to be swinging the meat mallet or anything, but it will be nice not to feel like the kitchen is off-limits during nap or bedtime -- and I'm exaggerating a bit, but not much.

5. Blinds, blinds, blinds. I'm glad our windows have SOMETHING, but boy is it a pain to swivel 8 sets of blinds in the living room when I want a bit of natural light or privacy. We kind of have built in privacy in Duvall anyway, but the fact that there are absolutely no window treatments doesn't scare me. The venetian blinds can go take a hike. We're thinking fabric shades at some point, and roller shades for the bedrooms to start. I love that no matter what we do, we won't have groups of people standing across the street from our house and smoking with a free view of all our goings-on unless we turn those 8 sets of blinds.

What will I miss? Plenty. Sappy I-love-our-first-house post to come. :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Uncle Daddy strikes again

I wouldn't have minded, except this was his fourth such tower of whipped cream on one breakfast waffle. Oh well!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Uncle Daddy

This may sound familiar, Tim "sort of" acting like one of the kids. In an effort to be a little more respectful to my husband (but only a little) I've come to call this "Uncle Daddy" behavior.

Things like giving the kids some chocolate chips to "test" when baking cookies. Like 30 of them.

Or the time last weekend I stepped out to have my hair cut and returned at Peter's nap time, only to find Tim had forgotten to feed him lunch.

Tonight at dinner he persistently attempted to train my sweet young ones, whom I am attempting to train in obedience and respect all week long, to shout "Silence!" in a voice that is more of a growl than a yell, any time somebody "says something you don't like." Protesting that I would be dealing with tiny dictators shouting "silence!" at me all next week, his response was:

"I'm training them to be emperors one day. Besides, you can't learn manners without first learning to be rude."

Linnea, from the bathroom, shouted: "Daddy! I already know how to be rude! I just open my mouth and show people my food when I'm eating!"

I rest my case.

Will all the real uncles please stand up and put this imposter out of a job?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Good things

Linnea's latest swim lesson

Petey "building a city, mama!"

The green-car-grocery-cart contraption at the Duvall Safeway, which was surprisingly large and nice. We went out there last night to check something at the house and visited the grocery for its soup buffet at dinner. Having not shopped at Safeway for years, I forgot how nice they can be. Better than our Kirkland QFC, in fact. Score one for the captive audience of country shoppers. Hooray! (And I'm not sure I will ever get the kids out of that cart at the end of a shopping trip.)

The pink and purple playground tucked away in a part of our current neighborhood which we'd driven by occasionally but never visited. Today was a gorgeous day and I wanted to make sure we tried it before we moved. Linnea was thrilled; Petey was climbing like a big boy. Success!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A sweetie or a buddy

We are getting closer not only to our move date (Oct 4! That's next Friday!), but also to finding out if we are having a boy (in Tim's much-proclaimed Psiaki tradition) or a girl.

The last two nights Linnea's bedtime prayer has been as follows:

"Dear Jesus,
Thank you for Mommy and Daddy and Petey and baby, and please let it be a girl...or a boy. A sweetie or a buddy.
In Jesus' Name, Amen."

That just makes my heart smile. Because that's definitely how we call it around here. :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dear family, please pray

We are really sick with some stomach virus over here. Peter had it Tuesday and threw up 8 times. Linnea has been throwing up all day, and I started at dinner time and have thrown up 7 times in the last 3 hours. This is the most violent illness I've ever experienced; the strain has popped a few blood vessels under my eyes. It seems to be a 12 hour bug but please pray for fast healing. And that Tim doesn't get it, and I don't get dehydrated for baby's sake. I am trying to lean on God as there seems to be an element of spiritual warfare here as well. He is bringing scriptures to mind but I am finding it hard to endure this bravely.
Love, us

Friday, September 20, 2013

Seattle Aquarium

We've got a short bucket list of things we want to do before we move (and many of these become pretty far away). One of them was visiting the Seattle Aquarium, since Petey is obsessed with fish and Linnea had been talking about going. We didn't have anything planned for this morning, so I decided to jump on it. After 5.5 years of living outside Seattle, and therefore not driving in the city very often, I'm pretty wimpy about all the one-way streets and constant traffic revisions due to construction. But I put on a brave face, started up the minivan and off we went.

It was a marvelous day. Sunny but cool.  My phone gps helped me with the tricky maneuvers off the highway until I knew where I should park. First off we noticed two Seattle Fire Dept trucks and the medic truck parking back at their station across the street, so we wandered over. I was surprised to see the firemen suiting up in diving gear. One guy hooked his heavy backpack-like harness for his tanks on the side of the truck and struggled into it in the position of an elderly man attempting a back handspring. When we walked away we started toward the aquarium, but then I saw more firemen and someone looking like the chief. I figured what the hey and awkwardly asked what they were up to. The man explained it was a diving drill, and I must have sounded completely nuts asking "under what circumstances would you need to dive?" Uh, if somebody was drowning, lady. See the water? Where I come from, firemen don't also moonlight as scuba divers, so it seemed like a reasonable question to me. :)

We waited a little while to see if they would jump in but that gear took so long to put on, a couple next to us wondered aloud how it could possibly be useful in an emergency. You can see the SFD fireboat in the background of the shot of Petey looking through the fence.

Next was the aquarium, and they had a blast poking fingers at starfish and anemones, seeing jellyfish, an octopus and the frisky river otters and harbor seals, and watching the woman in a scuba suit inside one of the huge fish tanks. The place was crawling with school groups and for a moment I thought I was crazy, but we made it through all the exhibits without tears or lost children. It felt wonderful navigating the place on my own with them and not wanting to tear my hair out. A highlight was eating lunch in the nearly empty aquarium cafe, which Linnea had remembered from our previous visit. We've done a fair amount of eating out in the last week and a half, given the packing, house showing and attempt on my part not to stock up on too many groceries before the move. I though about packing a lunch but Linnea was so excited to eat in the cafe, that we did. They both had clam chowder and Petey kept exclaiming, "Ferris wheel turning, mama!" since we could see the newish Seattle wheel on the pier nearby from the cafe window. Then we hit up the last couple exhibits and stopped for ice cream on the way back to the car. A massive sea gull eyed us the entire time we had our ice cream, but didn't make any fast moves. I changed Peter's diaper in the car, and minutes after hitting the road -- and another traffic revision that luckily I was able to navigate when my phone was not -- he was asleep.

It was a long day away from home as Linnea had an early swim lesson scheduled and I planned to have P nap in the car. He didn't sleep great but it was better than nothing. I was so pleased that after two weeks off Linnea still loved the water and going under, her latest accomplishment! We're still trying to figure out how to continue lessons with the move.

Final pictures are of her crimped hair after wet braids, and the princess toothbrush and toothpaste she wanted to show the grandmas. :)

I'm so thankful for wonderful days like these which, if not passing without a hitch (at one point I thought I'd lost my debit card), just make me really thankful God decided to bless us with such a measure of ease and joy. We've had a fair number of "easy" days like this recently, without constant whining and tantrums and things going wrong, and I always remind myself to tread lightly: they are a gift from God, and not some kind of evidence of my mastery of parenthood. We are in a great stage right now but I'm careful to just be thankful and not pat myself on the back. Once I start doing that, it all falls apart. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Some discoveries

First, those cute kids.

Peter calls his bottom a "bombin". He can sing pretty much all the words to Jesus Loves Me and Sing a Song of Sixpence. One of his favorite things to ask one of us is, "how doin', mama?" He walks around the house announcing, "how 'bout (a book, a doll, an orange crayon, etc." All his little phrases and mannerisms are just precious and Tim has caught some of them on video. I recognize his repetition of a lot of things we say and it's hilarious to hear them coming out of the mouth of a 21 month old! He also peed on he potty for the first time a couple weeks ago. :) I absolutely love this stage when all he's soaking up is so apparent, as is his little personality. He will come up to me and confide, "Daddy say HA HA HA"! in this big giant like voice or initiate a game or a joke. He's just delightful. And he's now weaned (!) and only asks to nurse about once a day (waaaay down from before). It still doesn't feel official because he still does ask, but I think he maybe didn't at all today, for the first time, and he's now easily pacified with a cup of milk or a banana instead of just sobbing. It hurts my mama heart a bit but I am relieved I won't be nursing a toddler AND a newborn!

Linnea and I started her third week of school today and we are having a blast. Sometime I'll post what we're up to for homeschool preK, but for now I'll just say it's relaxed and encompasses a lot of what we were doing already (reading, crafts, baking, outings). She has such a tender heart and has a lot of complex emotions about our move, as do I. I am recognizing her increasing maturity (though obviously on a preschooler's scale) about various things and it feels like we're entering a new season. And, she just looks older. People have always thought she was older than she is because of her height and vocabulary. I keep wondering if that will come back to bite us someday - not that we're leveraging it in any way, but I am mindful of potential consequences. I wish I could capture the look she gives me when she's telling me something, almost as a theatrical aside. She literally almost winks at me and offers information in a conspiratorial fashion. I love it. She is so with it and has always had a better memory than I. If Linnea says something about what she saw or someone did or wore, even months or a year ago, she's right. It's amazing.

My favorite moments are the two of them playing sweetly together. I do a good amount of refereeing too, but I try to remember and encourage these times. And while I do spend a good amount of time directly interacting with them, in play or baking or outside, it is nice that they can play together and I can run downstairs to do laundry or complete a couple short tasks without having to be completely in charge. Going places with Peter at this age is so great. He can walk himself around and is interested in lots of things. Much different than with a crawling baby this time last year! I know it will all change again in February so I am soaking it up.

Tim was over at the property today and discovered some fun stuff in the woods. He sent me this picture of the latrine. He said it looked decently old, like 20-30 years, but not recently used, thank goodness! It was near his other big discovery, an apparent paintball course, complete with walls off a kid's plastic playhouse and old doors and plywood to hide behind. Dave has already been informed. ;)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What this blog is… and isn’t

First, thanks for the comments on dogs. Tim was insanely researching various breeds of sheepdogs for a few days after I posted that, but I think we’ve returned to earth and realized a dog is NOT in our plan right now. Maybe someday. Linnea has even said she’d like a puppy. (Big mental change!) Actually getting one, though: probably premature.

House update: our Kirkland home is on the rental market. We are super thankful to have gotten this far and are now praying for the right renter! I am really sentimental about our house these days and it all feels very bittersweet, now that we’ve started packing. I’m reminding myself that God is calling us to TRUST him with all these big changes as he leads us forward step by step. Everything has worked out until this point. We take that as a sign of his call and blessing.

Now. What this blog is and isn’t. I rarely post links to Facebook like I did when we announced we were moving, so in case anyone new is reading here (hi! welcome!), I felt the need to spell a few things out.

What this blog IS:

A way to connect with our long-distance family and friends. And a handful of local friends who care to stop by. :) I started this blog in 2007 when Tim and I got married and we moved to Seattle, far, far away from all our family and friends the day after our wedding. It is and always has been a personal, family blog (though public, to help the grandmas and great-grandmas out). Some of my dearest friends are across the country and have never met my children (nor I theirs!). The grandmas and great-grandmas don’t see their babes very often. This is how we share our life with them. With a good bit of humor and a good bit of Jesus, too.

A virtual baby book. I DO have actual baby books for my kids but they are so neglected, even more so than this blog. A snapshot or story here and there, recorded for them to see someday, is really valuable to me. Plus I love to look back occasionally and remember via past posts. I plan on doing that with paint colors when we move because I don’t remember the names of what’s in all our rooms!

FOR THIS REASON, I am pretty stringent about what appears here. I edit my blog roll often for things I find inappropriate or not in keeping with the spirit of the atmosphere I have tried to cultivate here. But I don’t look at it all the time – in fact I mostly blog from my phone and completely ignore the back-end of the blog – so if something seems amiss, please share.

And just to tell you, I have no idea, for the most part, who is actually reading. Grandmas, great-grandmas, siblings, a few friends. That’s who’s in my mind, so I could be way off. But I suspect not. :)

What this blog ISN’T:

A community of people interacting frequently through comments (many blogs seek to inspire that among readers, which is great, but we don’t have a “cause” here);

a place to enter and win giveaways;

a place to find frequent or regular posts (ha!);

a place to read my diary. True, I sometimes speak more vulnerably and from the heart when I feel led, but mostly I post about the everyday, funny, head-scratching, this-is-what-we’ve-been-up-to stuff. I’m not a blogger and I don’t read my stats and I don’t have ads and I don’t seek followers or sponsors. None of that is bad, but it’s not me. I don’t even tag stuff anymore. Virtual photo album with my extensive commentary? Much more my speed.

All that said, thanks for visiting!