Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Funny Things My 4 Year Old Says: Where the Wild Things Are Edition

After reading "Where the Wild Things Are" this morning, LWK gave me a raspberry and said, "Mommy, I'll zerbert you up, I love you so!"  Heart officially melting.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Pacific Science Center Play Date

The summer is quickly coming to a close and we wanted to get one last playdate in with the Mork girls!  One of the things I had wanted to do this summer was to go to the Pacific Science Center and check it out.  We went when LWK was a little baby to see a special exhibit there, but not since.  We got there early (shocking for all of us) and had time to play under the Space Needle and in the open grassy areas around Seattle Center.  We were even so early that we got tickets to the free preschool planetarium show!  The kids had a fun time in the Grossology exhibit and in the children's play area.  They even relived our childhood PSC experience of putting my fave in the air blower so my hair flew everywhere!

We tried out the butterfly house, but LWK was scared once we went in (like when we were at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens) and he and I left right away.   I was proud of him for trying the butterfly house - he had originally said he didn't want to do it but then said he did.  I knew he was nervous when we walked in and as soon as a butterfly flew by him, he lost it and I had to carry him out.  I did let him know how proud I was for him being brave and TRYING it out.  Just like the carousel in Victoria, we agreed when he was a bit older and bigger it wouldn't be so scary!  He did LOVE the bee exhibit though!  It was fun to watch them behind the safety of glass!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Funny Things My 4 Year Old Says: Nail Polish Edition

LWK has really gotten into having his toenails painted and I have been picking up "boy colors" on the cheap for him since it is the only way he will let me clip his toenails without a fight!

This evening, I was painting his toenails Seahawk blue and this was the conversation that happened between J and LWK:

LWK:  "Daddy, look at my pretty blue toenails!"
J: "They look great!"
LWK:  "Daddy, you should let mommy paint your toenails blue too!"
J:  "No, I like my toenails the color they are."
LWK:  "Hmmmmmmmm, the blue is really fun.  Daddy, you're really missing out on doing something really fun!"

J didn't cave, but it is hilarious for me to hear LWK say the things to J that I say to get LWK to try something new and fun!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Railroad Days

Our town is home to a railway museum and its depot is celebrating its 125th birthday this summer!  Each summer, the town festival is called Railroad Days where there is a parade train ride and vendors.  We haven't gone in the past few years, but we were in town this weekend and decided to head down and see the parade and try to ride the rails!  We got there in time to get on the next train and LWK was so excited!  I love that even though it is too loud and he was pretty unhappy waiting in line, he knows that something REALLY fun is going to happen and he toughs it out for us!

Monday, August 10, 2015

First Day Camp

LWK gets to go to the coolest pre-K program in the fall at a farm school complete with a little red barn and animals that the kids take care of, called the "Resident Staff."  Even better, they offer multiple week-long summer day camps about various topics and the last one of the summer is called, "I'm Working on the Railroad."  It was kind of a no-brainer that we would sign LWK up for it!  We have been prepping him all summer about going to camp and about going to school here in the fall, and LWK is getting more and more excited.  

This morning, I wanted to snap a few photos with his "first day” blackboard to practice for Pre-K, but he refused to look at the camera - that stinker!  As soon as we got to there, they were opening the door to welcome everyone in.  LWK found his bin right away and went right into the classroom, without my prompting and being told what to do.  He was a good follower (and probably remembered our visit in December)!  I signed him in and finished filling out emergency paperwork and when I went to check on him and say goodbye, he was happily in circle time reading a Thomas book.  He has struggled with doing circle time with Shweta, but he just followed suit today!  He barely said goodbye to me (sniff).  

When I came to pick him up, they opened the doors right at noon and all the kids were in the foyer and had just been outside.  LWK was a sweaty mess with a huge smile on his face.  As soon as he saw me, he came and grabbed my hand and took me into the classroom to show me the train puzzles and we did one before we gathered his belongings.  His teacher said he did a great job today!  As we were leaving, he wanted to say goodbye to the animals and one of the goats, Boots, came over to be pet.  LWK was so sweet with her, just like he is with all animals!  He is going to have a great week, and if today is any indication, he is going to have an awesome school year!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Park Date #3 and Apples!

Three parks in one week - we did it!  This time, we met with the Keatons and had a cousin play date!  We met at a park that had a playground AND a beach.  LWK was in heaven and so were the cousins!  We built a cool sand mountain that attracted some other boys to play with us as well!

And then, on the way home, LWK and I stopped at our favorite fruit stand and found these:

It is one of my favorite times of the year - apple season is starting! Sadly, it also means the summer is ending, but it is so yummy to have fresh, new crop apples.  I bought a huge bag!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Park Date #2

The tradition continues with the Mork girls!  Our summers have been pretty busy, so this is only our 3rd time getting together, but we had fun at a different park.  It was a nice and cool day, thankfully, and we had a nice lunch with the girls, the kiddos got their wiggles out and moms got to chat!

Oh how he loves slides!
Loving the "tater totter!"
Lunch - their favorite time!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Park Date #1

This was the week of Parks with friends and family!  First, we headed to a splash park with the Gorskis.  The boys had a blast playing in the sprays and chasing each other.  Also, in true boy style, every hug turned into a huge wrestling match!

This was the park where LWK decided to jump/fall off the HUGE orca two summers ago (and we haven't returned since). All the way to the park I told him to stay away from it this year, but of course he didn't listen.  The funny thing I realized once we arrive is that orca has gotten smaller, LWK has gotten bigger or mom has taken a chill pill.  He mastered climbing and sliding off it like a champ, without any judgement from other mothers!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Vacation 2015

Warning:  Instead of a whole bunch of posts on our vacation this year, I am making one big post with photo collages.  Feel free to skip around and just look at the adorable pictures!

This year we decided to stay closer to home for our family vacation and head up to Vancouver Island. It was a great opportunity for us to relax and connect as a family after a tough summer.  I even got to practice some of my photography skills!  We had a wonderful time, here are some highlights!

We took the ferry from Anacortes to Vancouver Island and we had so much fun!  LWK was excited to be on the big boat and loved looking out the huge windows.  We watched for whales and saw a seal.  He thought it was so funny that we drove our car onto a boat and the spray from the sea made him laugh!  Even though it was a 2 hour ride (and a 1.5 hour wait to actually get on the boat for some reason), this was a great way for our family to travel!
 Our first place to visit was Victoria.  J and I came here for a mini-honeymoon when we first were married, so we wanted to do some different things with LWK.  We visited the Royal BC Museum and the grounds around the Parliament Building.  Then we took a carriage ride around the old part of town and looked at the historical houses.  LWK picked up a leaf along the way that we carried with us for most of the day.  He thought the wooly mammoth was pretty cool and that the skeleton of the sea lion was a dinosaur!  By far though, his favorite thing was the carriage ride.  He loved the horse, Dolly, and waving at people as we rode by them.  I think the queen would be proud of his technique!
On our last day in Victoria we went to the Butterfly Gardens and to Butchart Gardens.  We thought LWK would love the Butterfly Gardens, but when we walked into the butterfly room a little bird with a HUGE voice squaked at us and LWK freaked out.  Thankfully, there was an aquarium in the lobby so J and I were able to go and see the butterflies and other animals (including that annoying bird).

We then headed to Butchart Gardens.  It had been raining that morning so there were very few people at the gardens, which is a rarity at Butchart (the number of people, not the rain).  LWK was a little impatient, but we did okay.  He wanted to go on the carousel and was so excited when he chose his horse.  Unfortunately, he didn't want the carousel to go fast and once it started, he became really upset and wanted DOWN AND OFF!  They stopped the carousel for us and we got off.  I was able to convince LWK to sit with me on the side and watch the carousel and he said, "when I am bigger it won't be too fast or too scary."  I love that he is starting to articulate how he feels and how things will be in the future.  I think he has my voice in his head, be that good or bad!  We got ice cream cones afterwards, which solved everything and we enjoyed looking at the fountains and beautiful flowers!  LWK was especially enamoured with the frog fountain and even gave it a kiss!

Between Victoria and Tofino, we spent the night in Nanaimo.  Our day was a bit eaten up because I needed to go to the doctor because I got pink eye.  I am not sure where it came from since J and LWK didn't get it, maybe it was from all the swimming that LWK and I did at the hotel in Victoria.  I was incredibly impressed with the efficiency and kindness in Canada of the doctor we visited.  yes, we had to pay out of pocket, but it wasn't exorbitantly expensive.  Even the prescription for the eye drops was about what I would have paid for a copay here in the states.  I did appreciate how they all kept apologizing that I had to pay anything.  I was in and out of the clinic and had my prescription in hand from the pharmacy next door in an hour!

We stopped at the Merridale Cidery outside of Victoria on our way to Nanaimo and since LWK was napping, I hopped in and had a cider tasting and bought some yummy cider to share with J.  Sadly, the cider that was AMAZING out of the tap wasn't as good in the bottles, so I just have to happily remember how yummy it was and plan to stop and drink it on site in the future.

At our hotel in Nanaimo we had a beautiful view and LWK LOVED the pillows on the bed!  I had a Nanaimo bar that was super yummy and stopped for gelato on the waterfront.

We headed to Tofino the next morning and stopped in Cathedral Grove on our way across the island.  The big claim to fame is that there is an 800 year old tree and a nice little loop to hike.  The trail was so well marked and so well travelled, it was easy for LWK to navigate and we found some lovely trees to enjoy.  We especially liked the hollow tree!  We found the 800 year old cedar and it was nice, but probably not our favorite tree on the hike.  We did make sure to give the trees a hug and kiss and get a few nice family photos thanks to other hikers who knew how to use a camera!

Tofino is at one end of the national park on the coast and the town of Ucluelet is on the other end. We took a day to go to Ucluelet and explore that tiny town.  They have a great aquarium, and we all know how LWK loves his fishies.  The aquarium uses local sea life that is caught at the beginning of the tourist season, keeps them in the tanks that are irrigated with the seawater from the harbor and then the animals are released back into the ocean at the end of the tourist season.  I was so impressed with the water being so nice and clean and the mission of the aquarium.  They had so many touch tanks and I loved seeing how gentle LWK was with all the sea animals.  He especially liked touching the sea anemones!  However, his favorite animal was the orange starfish.  We can't convince him to call them sea stars, so we will just let that go.  He chose a stuffed orange starfish to take home to cuddle and wear as a hat!

Ucluelet has a small lighthouse that we stopped to check out.  Unfortunately you can go inside, but the view of the ocean was beautiful!  LWK liked the waves crashing on the rocks!

On our way back to Tofino, we stopped and took a hike in the Rain Forest in the national park.  LWK has this hiking thing down and he led the way.  There were some rickety bridges that made me a little (okay, a lot) nervous, but he soldiered on.  We had to remind him to stop at the signs so J and I could keep up!

As I said before, we didn't love Tofino. It was a little too surfer/hippie/tourist trap-y for us, but the reason we really wanted to come here was for the beach.  LWK was talking about the beach for WEEKS before we left on vacation and we spent time on the beach each and every day while we were on the coast.

We stayed at a great little beach resort that was for RVs and had cabins.  Our cabin was in the trees and had a little treehouse cabin for LWK to play in.  He thought that was pretty cool and had fun playing and relaxing out there.  The resort was located on Mackenzie Beach and was pretty protected, so it was perfect for LWK to explore and for us to not be too worried since the waves were gentle.  We looked for treasures, built sandcastles, walked the beach, waded and enjoyed the sunsets so much.  It was a perfect place for us to stay and relax.

Since the beach we were on was pretty protected, I wanted LWK to see the REAL ocean without any islands off the coast, so we headed to Wickaninnish Beach where the surfers like to go!  The waves were crazy, so we kept LWK in a life jacket, just in case.  LWK didn't take too many chances.  We like that he seems to have a healthy respect for the water, thankfully!  We had fun watching people learn how to surf and seeing real surfers.  The open beach was nice, but a bit more stressful, so after our afternoon, we enjoyed being back on our little protected beach for the sunset!

We had such a wonderful week reconnecting and recharging as a family.  I think the beach will be a part of our vacation routine for the future!