Sunday, September 26, 2010

The blur that is September

We've been gone at least 1/3 of this month. It has been fun, but it's gone insanely fast!

The first weekend in Sept (Labor Day) we visited my parents. My mom and I both celebrated our birthdays. I have to say it was fun to turn 25. Just kidding...26 (plus 7). I got to do some kid-free shopping, eat lots of carrot cake and cheesecake, and go tubing behind the boat at Mark Twain Lake.

Josiah got to do a lot of fun things ride on the tractor,
hang out with his cousins,
ride on the lawn mower,
more hanging out with cousins,
play games,
go out on the boat,
and play in the kiddie pool.
The 2nd weekend in Sept we visited Jason's parents for a fun family reunion/7 person birthday celebration.

Here's Josiah with his Paw Paw:
Helping Mi Mi wash dishes (he loves to help right now):
Hanging out with Paw Paw Camp at the park:
Posing with second cousins:
Hanging with cousin Trent and a stray dog they both liked to pet:
A "friendly" game of family football. No one got injured that we know of.
Uncle Derek and matching Missouri shirts!

We had fun visiting both sides of our family! Two days after we got back from SW MO, we left for a week in Seattle! The next posting will contain the highlights.

Seattle vacation

Josiah liked getting on the airplane and flying, but he was not as excited about it as we thought he would be. He acted like he was a seasoned world traveler.

Since he was not distracted by being on an airplane, we were very thankful that we were able to borrow a portable DVD player to keep him busy for the 2.5 hour flight (thanks Tim & Crystal!).

This was our view of Mt. Rainier from the plane as we descended over Seattle (and our view leaving Seattle). It was really cool to see, and it was our clearest view of the mountain during our trip.
We had SO much fun visiting our friends Mick & Genevieve (and Olivienne)! They are the best hosts. We had a blast hanging out, going to the park, and watching hoarding shows after the kids were in bed. We also enjoyed some amazing food with them, some of which they made and some we got at restaurants. Jason got some great sushi (although he says not enough), and I enjoyed the cooked seafood.
The 2nd day we were there, we ventured into the city to see some sights. First we went to Jason's favorite outdoor store (REI) where we misread the parking meter and subsequently got a parking ticket.

Then we took the monorail to Seattle Center where we saw
the Space Needle.
From the Space Needle, we got our best view of Rainier without being on an airplane.
Then we took the monorail back and walked to Pike Place Market. This is the vendor famous for throwing the fish. We did get to see one being thrown but I didn't get a picture because I was RIGHT behind the guy that was throwing it and was a little afraid of getting slapped in the face by a flying fish. While at Pike Place we went to the original Starbucks so, understandably, Jason had to get some coffee.
The next day we drove almost 3 hours to Mt. Rainier National Park. It was a very cloudy day, so even though we were really close to a huge mountain (actually an active volcano covered in glaciers), but couldn't see it at all.
Within the park, we went to Paradise Visitor's Center and hiked around there for a couple of hours. It was really fun to do some short hiking. We got to see a couple of waterfalls, and some deer roaming around.
Josiah liked hiking, but after a few minutes would start saying "my legs are tired". So then we would stick him in this great jogging stroller we borrowed from Mick & Gen (conveniently comes with a rain cover!). After hiking up a big hill, we were headed back down and the front wheel of the stroller started to wobble...and then it fell off! So our trek down the mountain was Josiah riding on Jason's shoulders and me trying to push the jogging stroller on just the 2 back wheels. Quite a humorous sight. I'm sure the deer were laughing at us.
Myrtle falls:
After leaving Rainier, Josiah took a nap in the car while we drove to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. This was a really cool park in which they allow the herbivores to roam free (they have some carnivores like bears and wolves in enclosed areas), and you can take a 45 minute tram tour of this huge amount of acreage and see moose, deer, goats, rams, bison, and elk roaming free. Here's Jason & Josiah on the tram:
And here's a huge elk that really was right next to our tram. It was almost breeding season while we were there, so we even got to see a couple of male elk locking horns!
Olivienne and Josiah played really well together. She called him kuya which is Tagalog/Filipino for an older boy. Josiah just called her Olivia, because there is no word in Tagalog for a younger girl, and also because he kept just leaving off the end of her name.

The video gaming company Mick works for (Bungie) just released Halo: Reach, a game which Mick helped work on (he created the level of the game that won the most awards...not that I know anything about gaming). So, the company gave him some gifts after the launch party - one of them was this hand painted collectible action figures thingy. I'm sure if gamers heard my terminology, they would die laughing. So he and Jason spent some time checking it out (or as I would say, two grown men playing with action figures).
After a day of rest, we headed north 2.5 hours to Vancouver, B.C., Canada. We had our passports ready, but they did not stamp them. What a bummer.

We parked near the Olympic countdown clock.
As luck would have it, the Lamborghini Club of America was having a little street fair with lots of expensive cars (not just Lamborghini) to look at, face painting, music, free soda, and samples of different products. Josiah got his first face painting - a blue car.
We grabbed lunch, and then took a 2.5 hour walking tour around the west end of Vancouver, and Granville Island. It was very informative and interesting. We got to see lots of cool buildings and hear about architecture and history. Josiah was very patient for most of it, and finally fell asleep toward the end of the tour.

Granville Island used to be industrial, but when most of the industry moved off the island, the government got artists to move there, so now it is a really artsy place with only a few industrial companies left. This cement truck company commissioned some artists on the island to paint their cement trucks. We loved this little island, with a great public market, street performers, breweries, etc.
After the tour we walked to Canada Place, where cruise ships dock.
Then we walked to Historic Gastown - here is the famous steam clock:
We ate dinner close to the steam clock and then walked (see a theme here with the walking? I am pretty sure we walked at least 10 miles that day) back to where we thought our car was. At 7:45 at night all the parking garages were locked down for the night. So we were starting to worry that we would not be able to get to our car. We finally found security and got into the garage, only to discover that it was the WRONG garage. Then we had to re-trace our steps to try to figure out where we had parked. We finally found the right garage and our car, and were very relieved as we started to drive out of the city. But then we took a wrong turn leaving and ended up spending an hour driving around. I guess Canada wasn't ready to let us go. We finally made it back across the border and got back to Mick & Gen's around 11 pm. It was a long day, but we had fun exploring Vancouver!

The next day was another recovery day, which was much needed! The kids had fun playing,
and then we decided to take a little road trip to Federal Way, WA for the World Championship Sand Sculpting. It was a drizzly rainy day, and on our way there, our rental car windshield wipers got crossed (literally), so we had to take a detour to the airport to switch out rental cars. You can't survive in the Seattle area without windshield wipers.

The sand sculptures were so amazing. It is unbelievable that people can make these things out of sand (and a little depressing that the rain can very quickly destroy them!). Here's Genevieve and Olivienne meeting Oprah:
Josiah liked the sand dinosaur. It was really hard to get him to not play in the sand/destroy the art.
The next day we went to downtown Seattle and took a ferry to Bainbridge Island. The ferry ride was very windy, and Josiah liked running out to the hull of the ship (into the strong winds), and then running back. It was pretty funny to see the look on his face when the wind took his breath away.

Bainbridge is a quaint little community with shops and restaurants and docks. We walked along the docks and around the shops, but the best part of the island to us was the food we had at Cafe Nola. Jason got this open faced sandwich with a fist sized lump of crab meat. It was SO good. I think Josiah's favorite part of this day was the ferry ride. Here we are on the ferry ride back, with Seattle in the background (the space needle is by Jason's right ear).

We had a great trip, and are slowly getting settled back into our daily routine. It is nice to be home for one weekend this month!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Injuries and challenges

Despite the ominous title, the past month has really not been THAT bad. Just a little bad. :)

First some fun events.

Jason and I ran the Susan G. Komen race for the cure (5K) on 8/8. We pushed Josiah in the jogging stroller for this race. When I say "we" I really mean that Jason pushed him most of the way and I took over at the end. It was fun to do that together, even on a sweltering hot day. Josiah liked pointing out to us as we ran that we were on a street and we were supposed to be on the sidewalk. But mostly he enjoyed the post-race snacks. I guess he was saving this yogurt for later:

Remnants of yogurt on the pants...
On 8/18 we went with our friends Jen, Andrew, & Charlotte to the Chiefs Training Camp. It was a beautiful day (not too hot), and we had a great time. We even got five autographs. Coach Todd Haley was one of them. The others I had never heard of, but maybe they are up and coming MVPs and we'll be able to sell the autographs on Ebay. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

While we watched the Chiefs, Josiah and Andrew enjoyed rolling trucks down the hill we sat on, and coloring.
Then we stayed in St. Joseph for lunch. We picked an Irish pub (see the shamrock?) that was decorated inside with Mardi Gras decor...what? Oh well, at least they had good sweet potato fries.
Then the boys "played" Golden Tee. Jason was so proud.
On 8/21 we got Josiah a big boy (twin) bed! He has been asking for one for a while, so I had him sleep in his blow-up Lightening McQueen airbed to see if he was really ready for the freedom that comes with sleeping without rails. He did great so that weekend we got him a bed! We just got him some Lightening McQueen sheets, so we'll have to post more pics with the cool sheets. He did great sleeping in it the first week... (more on this later)
On 8/28 we got to hang out with our friends the Byers, who have twin boys (Connor & Jacob) that were born less than 24 hours before Josiah. It is always fun to see them playing together!
Picnicing outside...even though they spent the whole time trying to catch flies.
Then the injury. On Monday (8/30), we went to drop off some checks to a bookkeeping client/friend. While there, Josiah was getting restless. He started kicking the door. Of course then we had a talk about how the only thing we are allowed to kick is a ball. He ran around a little, then he proceeded to lean over the arm of the couch and kick it. So I told him to go sit in time out. He sat down on the floor, looked at me and said "NO" (like the well-behaved child he is...just kidding, he really is a good little boy - just being a 2 year old). So I took his hand to pull him up and place him in time out. Of course he was pulling backwards while I was trying to get him up. Then I heard a loud *pop* and my stomach started to sink. Long story short Josiah had his first trip to the ER! They did X-rays and nothing was broken or out of joint, so they called it a sprain, wrapped it up and sent us home. As you can imagine, I am feeling like mother of the year at this point. We got home and I was trying to make him comfortable, when he said "mommy, you are so nice to me". I wanted to say "really? have you seen your arm lately?", but instead I just gave him a huge hug.

At the ER they gave us this great ice pack thing that I was also able to also use as a sling to hold his arm still since he seemed to cry more when it moved.
We took the ace bandage off Wed afternoon, and he seems to be almost back to 100% now. He is using his wrist more and more every day. So part of my guilt is subsiding. :) The doctors and nurses at the ER said that these types of injuries are common and that made me feel a lot better.
Along with the injury came interrupted sleep, and now staying in the big boy bed has lost it's charm. He wants us to sleep with him. He wants to leave the door open and have lights on. He has always slept in a pitch black room with the door closed by himself before this week. At least he is getting some sleep, and hopefully we'll be able to convince him that staying in bed when we put him to bed and sleeping past 6 am are beneficial things to do.
On a happier note, today we went to a bookstore to see Bob & Larry from Veggie Tales! Josiah was very excited to see them but was confused by the fact that they had hands. They don't have hands (or feet) in the movies.

Here's to a happy and HEALTHY rest of the year!