Wednesday, October 07, 2015

2015 coming to a close, well not on the verge of closing, but on the waning side

ha, what a difference 3 years make.  do people still blog?  i dont even recognize this interface.  i keep trying to touch the screen, but wait, i'm typing on the mac, not the surface.  in 5 years will a record of this blog even exist?  facebook has become my defacto storage of snippets but only as captions to photos shared for the grandparents.  



....went to lightning fields w/ j1.  its been on my bucket list and am so grateful to the mulies for kickstarting this outing.  our kid free weekend was bookended with nights at los poblanos.  as swanky a boutique hotel as we've ever stayed.  a historic inn on a working farm with a farm to table restaurant.  cozy. intimate.  just lovely.

....the trip to lightning fields starts off at a teeny strip of a town.  more like some empty storefronts that harkened to a time when there was much more happening in those parts.  we met our partners in this outing for the next 24 hrs in a sparse room with a locked door and a fax machine behind the adjacent storefront that just kept ringing.  a texan with little to say shuttled us into his suv.  a 40 minute off road trek and a few instructions on fixings for dinner and he left us with an eta for pickup the next day.  us, a few strangers, a 100+ yr old homestead and 400 lightning rods in a regular grid dotted across the landscape.  the terrain seemed to be just scrub, but upon closer inspection interspersed were lush green areas and areas of desert flowers.  throughout were more red winged crickets than we care to ever come across again.  the area is surrounded by mountains and it was calming to have my eyes focus on the distance.  the rods punctuating the space between the sky and the earth.  no lightning but it didnt seem to matter.  the best part for me was the overwhelming sky and the first point in the morning when the tips of all the rods glowed from first light.

....i am not a very good football mom.  i get j3 to football late to practice. i still dont know all the players names.  i give j3 a hard time about his schoolwork coming first and threaten taking away football when he doesnt get it done.  but its all worth it for this story he wrote of my favorite things to do is karaoke with j1 at the red onion.  we dont go nearly as often as we'd like but when we do, i get to belt out a horrid version of whichever hs ballad i remember that day and the crowd there humors me by applauding like its the best rendition they've ever heard.  

....the year itself was peppered with outings.  a water park in oregon with a plane on top and the slides come out of the 747.   a trip east for me, ostensibly to visit ame at college but really just some mental down time for me.   camping - san juan, rainier, deception pass, fort flagler.  best trip of the summer was the san juans.  almost rained out but we held on and were rewarded with dogfish frenzy!  a local biologist shared her underwater gopro vids with the boys.  so cool.  and in answer to the crazy solstice flautist and singers or just to celebrate fathers day, the local orcas came by on our last morning.   san diego with the neighbors.   got to live on the beach for the week.  couldn't ask for better really.  boys could play catch on the beach until the last light.  zoo.  beach.  legoland.  beach.  aircraft carrier.  beach.   .... old friends at cama beach.  stayed a couple nights with mototown.  uncle michael and manny came by for a day with their pups.  more crab than we could shake a stick at.  (though afterwords found out we shouldve returned some of our haul).  our hands cramped from shelling them.  

....or as aunt nik likes to say, how does it feel to be the family in the frame?  love these guys.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

adios 2012 ... part 1 where we've been

...and like that (cut to sound of lake city backyard fireworks) 2012 is gone

since my short term memory sucks, i'll start w more recent snippets and work my way back through the year.

...i'd told the boys we weren't going to do a lot of presents this year. instead we would go indoor skydiving as a family christmas gift. i figured if they will take kids as young as 3 then huggy's got a whole year on them and at 4 would surely be able to handle it.  j1 and his bro and i and the boys all suited up on a sunday morning.  wind speeds in the tunnel were in the 80s for the boys and went up from there depending on weight.  the boys were nervous but super brave and excited.  huggy still seemed suspect of the whole experience after the first round but had a blast nonetheless and stuck it out for another turn.  a pretty pricey outing but totally worth it for the looks on the boys faces.  so proud of them.

...whirlwind east coast tour. we took a 10 day trip to boston, ny and philly this spring.  

philly - the birth of 5-alarm casey was our excuse for the trip.  n.bay and j.bay were conquering the whole new parenting thing with ease. we took the boys to sesame place (woah, who knew people still wore fringe shirts over leopard print bikinis, work it).  most precious moment was catching fireflies with the muehlies and bakers.  we trapped them in mason jars and neglected to add airholes.  whoops.  hope karma goes easy on us for that one. 

boston - the boys latched onto their cousins and i finally got some qt w each of the girls. its really a shame we cant see them more often.  the boys adore them.

ny - seems like we always visit nyc during a heat wave.  too bad my little northwest babes melt with the thermometer over 80.  keeping the 5 and under set entertained and cool forced us to make a few detours and spend time in neighborhoods i'd never visited before.  caught up w tita ame as well as old friends.  and best of all we chanced upon the human tower.  at the base of the brooklyn bridge and in the shadow of janes carousel, 150 or so castellaners built several versions of the human tower.  the youngest seemed to be only a few years older the boys.  impressive.

...we took advantage of my flex fridays with lots of weekend getaways this year.  great wolf lodge, vancouver for the half marathon, camping at deception pass, san juan islands and hood canal, group getaway to cleellum, thanksgiving weekend in ellensburg w mototown.  j1 had the boys at home all summer so it was nice to always have a trip to look forward to.

...the rest of the year was full of the usual shenanigans.  we celebrated tacos 5th with a lego/swimming party.  huggies was a spongebob party in the park.  taco started kindergarten.  woah.  huge transition for all of us, but after a few months i feel like we're just getting into a routine.   he made friends pretty readily and now has to just work on paying attention.  

...mutton busting.  we hit the puyallup w mototown this year.  the boys got to go on a ton of rides but out of nowhere, taco insists that he wants to go mutton busting?  huh wah? really?  you want to hold onto a sheep bareback while it races across the pen?  that looks like fun to you?  ok.  even after an hour wait for the next race his inner cowboy was still calling to him.   now be it known, taco is not the bravest of little boys. not sure if it was because their big boy friend/hero drew was with us but taco insisted that he wanted to be a mutton buster.   little dude was wearing his soccer clothes while everyone else was sporting cabelas finest.  but he did it.  he held on for max, 2-3 seconds and was unfazed by falling off and being yanked off the ground by a buster wrangler. hi-larious.

...j1 finished the table and benches.  its lovely.  almost 2 years and a summer in the sliversons shed sanding and staining the wood while the boys played in the alley was totally worth it to have a substantial furniture addition to the back deck.  now lets hope the falling tree limbs dont smash it to bits this winter.

...i had fewer random diversions this year.  tried parkour and ran the vancouver half.  sewing class.  was woefully uncoordinated in a hip hop class. i tried to balance the relentless sports outings with a membership to the 5th ave.  between sounders huskies mariners and tball/soccer/oom yung doe, i figure a few musicals is the least i can squeeze in.  oh and we donned our jersey best for our first mud run.   super fun but oh so cold.  must bring portable shower for next year. 

Monday, April 09, 2012

St Patricks Day 2012

so st patty's day, my friend tells taco that st patrick was responsible for driving all the snakes out of ireland. now he's is obsessed with this factoid. being honest parents we tell him that st patty didn't REEEALLY drive snakes out of ireland. we talked about snakes symbolizing the druids and St Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland by converting all the druids from paganism to Christianity. (well duh). The best I could do was to explain what a fable is. We went over the story of the tortoise and the hare and how that teaches you a lesson to take it slow. That you want to be the tortoise and not the hare (though huggy insists on being the hare). Then we tried to get Taco to understand that the snakes are a metaphor for the druids. The followup conv went something like this:

what are druids? Druids are pagans.
What are pagans? they don’t believe in god.
What do they believe in? nature.
I don’t believe in god. (Greeeeat.) Its good to question but god loves you and watches out for you all the time. you just have to have faith in him even though you haven’t seen him.
Do you believe in Santa? Yes.
You believe in him and you haven’t seen santa right? I did see Santa.
Oh right (damn nordstrem asian santa).
Do you believe in the tooth fairy? No. (This is when I realize we’ve gone down the wrong path.)
Is god only real in heaven? Nope, god is real everywhere. …..

so we are open to any advice on how to explain religion to the boys. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

who taught you that?

yet another flippant remark bites me in the arse.

we like to have them feel like they are making a choice in the activities we sign them up for. tennis or soccer? swim or gymnastics? taco asked to add ski'ing to the rotation. all we saw were dollar signs and immediately responded, 'not now maybe when you're older, say 10 yrs old'. our final convincing argument was that his friend who is 11 and that he idolizes only started a couple years ago. success, that bought us at least 5 years. somehow amidst all the discussion i made the flippant comment 'filipinos don't ski'. oh he latched onto that one. why not? i left it to j1 to explain that there's no snow in the philippines and so filipinos living in the philippines don't ski. he left out the part that all those filipinos that came to the u.s. (aka taco's grandparents) STILL don't ski. pues, entonces, we, the next generation didn't grow up skiing either.

so what does taco ask me this morning?

'mom, can korean's ski?'

aye anak.

Monday, December 05, 2011

2011 i hardly knew you

a little long between updates but am finally finding a pocket of time. changes pt 1. j1 got a new gig at a residential landscape firm in june. a good fit for now, we'll see if he gets to take more ownership of the designs. boys transitioned just fine back to full time though they do miss daddy days. (who wouldn't?). changes pt 2. i took a gig with the city. i loved my old firm and (all paperwork aside) actually enjoyed the work. but the hours were brutal and mentally there was no pencils down. i'm proud of the work i did to support the train station and bmgf construction but am psyched to go back to 40 hr work weeks and all the holidays.

...10 days in hawaii was too short. an awesome trip. highlights -

- mototown wedding was beautiful and gave us cause to celebrate our dearest friends big day,
- eating abc musubi with the kauai contingent whilst crashing the hilton pool every day,
- talking to crazies on the bus to hanauma bay,
- over the top platter of dessert made by auntie heather at nobu,
- a complete lack of pineapples at the pineapple plantation,
- malasadas and shave ice,
- 11 steps from the beach at haleiwa. i've never been so relaxed.

... taco is 4?! crazy. but not as mind blowing as signing him up for kindergarten. dad came to visit for j3's big birthday celebration at soundbridge. a toddler drum circle made tolerable by a kids party place that allows beer/wine. the kids had a blast.

... taco is your typical 4 yr old. inquisitive, stubborn and all around spacey. he loves all things star wars or lego or star wars lego even though he's never seen any of the series just snippets of the lego version on youtube. he had a spat where he couldn't stand being chased in soccer but with the help of his buddy sawyer, he's gone back to class and seems to be enjoying it. he and o are still taking tennis together. the rackets are about half the size of their bodies. its very cute.

... huggy is 3?! we hosted a dozen or so of his little pals at the gymnastics place. his favorite part was his strawberry baseball cake. we made it at home and the boys did all the mixing. for his bday we got him a snare drum. he broke both heads of the kiddie version in about 15 minutes so we went over to guitar center and got him a real one and new drumsticks for both boys. we've convinced them that its best to play with a pillow case over it just in case baby evan is sleeping next door.

... huggy surprised us and figured out the potty w little prompting from us at all. his teachers just told us one day that he could start coming to school in underpants. woo hoo!

...long weekends are our m.o. when the weather's good i don't think we go more than a month without feeling the need to take off for a bit. seabrooke, leavenworth, hood canal, and mutiple camp sites in the san juans. my favorite short trip was to san juan county park. on the west side of the island, our site was on the edge of a giant field with unobstructed water views all around.
we saw orcas and sea lions from the campsite. the giant piece of driftwood in the middle of the field became the defacto space ship for a gaggle of kids. we could roll out of bed, unzip the tent door and just tell the boys to go play.

...asian santa got waylayed to the 5th floor. at first i insisted we only pick a date where he was at holiday lane. i'm still a little miffed at the demotion but got over it when there was NO LINE AT ALL. freakin awesome. we saw santa, rode the carousel and STILL made it to tennis class for j3. pre-book mommy/daddy qt, i keep signing us up for classes.
we started taking welding back in february. in usual jala fashion, it is now november and our project sits almost complete in the backyard. we just couldn't get that last 10% done before the fall. i had convinced my work that it should count as 'professional development'. ha ha. the inlaws graciously agreed to babysit every saturday morning for 8 weeks. we welded a steel frame together for a picnic table and benches. then in a stroke of good fortune, we were able to get wood scraps from a recycled building milled down to 1x's for the table and bench tops. little did i know we'd spend a good chunk of the summer staining and sealing the wood. special thanks to the sliversons for the use of their shed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

maligayang pasko 2011

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


today is a snow day! yay! but getting home last night was a chore. after being stuck in highway traffic w/ the boys for 90 min and decided to try the backstreets. silly mommy. the boys had exhausted me though and i was ready to try anything. christmas carols, eating handfuls of snow i grabbed off the hood, a phone call home. we were at the point of watching caillou video's on my phone and i was just shy of announcing my halloween candy car stash. i exited instead and got impatient again waiting. i thought i'd try a hilly side street. i've got awd and the subaru had gotten me down many an icy pass in the past. i instantly slid and realized my error. we were stopped by a neighboring parked car. the owner was still in her car and was super nice given the circumstances. best we could do was get both cars parked out of the through lane. a kindly passerby helped me and the boys down the hill. but it was snowing and mace was cold and angry by the time the bus finally came. roc just wanted to stop at the playground. the people on the bus took pity and offered us all sorts of goodies to calm mace down. cookies. reeses' peanut butter cups. no avail. the ride was short and we transferred to another bus that mace finally calmed down on. 3 hrs later freddie met us at the grocery store by our house and we ventured up the hill. home safe and warm. i think i'll throw the chains into the trunk. just in case.