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.
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. :)
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?'
2011 i hardly knew you
a little long between updates but am finally finding a pocket of time.
...career 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?).
...career 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.
...to 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.
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.
i have a terrible memory, always have. i think its genetic. blogging was supposed to be the forum for me to jot down quick thoughts so someday when the kids ask about what life was like when they were little i'd have a handy reference. unfortunately i haven't had time enough to sleep let alone brain dump so the posts are still there bouncing around my head like little pachinko balls.
of course w/ technology scampering who knows whether i'll be able to pluck these thoughts from the ether 30 yrs from now. i suppose i could move onto facebook or twitter for my life updates but i want to holdout. blogging forces me to stop and reflect for more than 30 seconds at a time.
pues, entonces, here are a few snippets since my last post at least a dozen or so moons (or lost eggs) ago.
...i've been working my arse off. its exhausting. the station is starting to take shape and whoop whoop more funding has come through for the next phase. i'm feeling a little more secure in my job knowing that the project can continue. it doesn't make my days any shorter or stop me from waking up in the wee hrs of the morning to cram a couple more hours in. the learning curve has been knowing which details to check. sh*tty is having to rip out work that a detail or dim was just plain missed. pisses me off more when i know the right info was out there and just miscommunicated. or worse, not communicated at all. coming up with fixes to all the fires makes me feel like mole man locked in the quik-e-mart. i want that time back.
...she denies it, but it was sisters idea to run. "lets get the siblings together and run a half. we'll all meet in seattle. it'll be fun." avid runner big bro was on board. avid biker big bro was not. "i do not run. cavemen ran to get meat. i can go to the grocery store. i do not need to run." sister went so far as to buy her race packet. fast forward 7 months later and playing the part of said family were a couple peps dads. [btw, kudos to steve for his stellar performance in the over 40 womens division]. the sibs bailed. no time to train. for me though, running has been the lone exercise and downtime in a very long year. early in the year, i was getting up in the wee hrs of the work week to get a run in. training consisted of 2-3 short runs on a weekday and one long weekend run. the first half marathon went well, i felt good and finished much faster than i'd expected. success. then work picked up and i didn't have time for the weekday runs. i had already signed up for another race. how much could i coast w training and still finish? the next race was painful. i should've trained more hills. the race after that was pleasant. we took it easy and chatted the whole way. the course was flat similar to my long runs. i'm done w/ races for this year. too cold and wet to leave a cozy warm bed on the weekend. hopefully i'll get off my arse and sign up for some more next year. regardless, i feel pretty accomplished to have done 3 halves this year.
...in a blink of an eye, huggy is a little boy. where did 2 yrs go? with roc i remember reading the baby books and blogs for what milestones to expect at each month of his first 2 years. classic 2nd kid syndrome, we're lucky to notice mace reaching a milestone. now he's climbing and wrestling w his big bro, jumbling every knock knock joke into a universal punchline - 'dont cry its just a knock knock joke', and overall basking in his cuteness. his fave pastime is music. doesn't matter what - playing drums, guitar, or listening to caspar babypants. he'll dance all day long if you let him. i'm going to have to book some one on one time w the little man before i miss the next 2.
... for every 50 words a photo. don't be surprised if you catch this one again on our holiday cards.
...no big vacations this year but lots of weekends away. washington coast, vancouver, camano. all awesome times with friends and a gaggle of kids. my absolute favorite weekend away was camping at penrose state park. the weather forecast was dismal but the campground was just over an hour away and we could always bail or crash w/ friends in tacoma. our first camping trip earlier in the summer was fun except for a blunder on the tent. we'd brought my 2+ person tent from pre-kid years and thought that would be plenty of room. we'd forgotten huggy is a space hog. he tossed and turned and kicked jala1 in the face all night long. freddie threatened to sleep in the car. we apologized to the neighbors in the morning. on our 2nd trip we were well prepared. we'd borrowed a 4 man tent which seemed palatial in comparison. we'd brought the tailgating tent. we brought rainy day diversions, beach buckets and a ball for every major sport. our tacoma friends brought their 6 yr old for the day and the skies were clear and sunny. the tide rolled out and the boys had a blast looking for crabs and sand dollars. filling their buckets with poop [=sand]. reveling. good times.