Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sky Valley Tractor Show

A couple of weekends ago we went to Monroe, WA to see the Sky Valley Tractor Show. It was very reminiscent of the Inman Farm Heritage Days we've been to in Georgia. Here are Theo and Vivian riding on the kids train:

There were also horse- and tractor-pulled hay rides. See all the photos.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Camping on the Beach 2013

Last weekend we took our 11th trip to camp on the coast of Olympic National Park. You can see all the photos or I'll try and hit the high points below:

Watching the ferry arrive which will start our trip.

Theo hiked the entire 1.5 miles in on his own. He was super-excited about the entire camping trip.

Vivian ponders the small campfire we started. Note she's standing just shy of the rocks we laid out as the official boundary line to keep back from.

Theo had a great time in the hammock.

Vivian learned to log roll on the sand. Straight into the ocean. (Why, yes, that water is awfully close to her at the end.)

Theo had a great time poking anomones.

Taking a lesson from last year's trip (where we locked Theo in the tent by himself under the mistaken assumption he'd sing himself to sleep like he does at home), we prepared by allowing him to stay up as late as he wanted (ideally to around sunset) and then going into the tent with him. Ironically right at the usual bedtime he started claiming he wanted to go to bed. Despite appearances, he's actually delighted in this photo. In a cruel twist of fate, he treated the tent as a bounce house until all hours of the night; I actually fell asleep sometime after 10pm, before him, and woke up to find him face down on a mat. Meanwhile Vivian generally just nursed all night long.

Theo's late night didn't result in a late morning, so he was tired and unable to hike out in the morning. Despite the previous day's glorious weather (some of the best we've ever had on this trip, complete with a clear blue sky) it was raining in the morning so Sarah had to sherpa both children out.

By the time we arrived in Port Angeles, however, the weather had cleared up (the coast is notoriously rainy) and the kids had a lovely time on a playground.

Theo playing Wheels on the Bus on a kazoo on the way home. The audio quality in the video is sub-par; he was doing a very impressive job.

Drying two tents in our backyard after the trip.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Amazon Company Picnic

Amazon holds an annual summer picnic for its employees. Traditionally it's been held at a private venue called Mountain Meadows Farm, in North Bend, WA. This is the same venue that Microsoft (and if rumors hold true, other major employers) hold their summer picnics. However it was sold a few years back and for whatever reason, the picnic was held at Qwest Field this year.

Theo had a great time in the bounce houses. There was lots of food, including special applesauce pouches and goldfish in the kids' area.

Vivian had a fun time with the toddler toys.

Theo did too, although he's outgrown this tractor.

This wad of cotton candy kept Theo (and Vivian) entertained while Sarah waited in the line for a free Barbie doll (evidence of can be seen in the pink bags carried in the crowd on either side of this photo).

It was so much fun that Vivian passed out immediately in the stroller upon leaving and didn't wake up again until we got home (via the light rail). (Oh, I should mention all the kids got balls to keep, which at taking up Theo's spot in the stroller here.) Theo, on the other hand, managed to be incredibly reasonable all the way home. When we arrived he went down for his nap. We were faced with the "Should We Wake Him?" dilemma 2 hours later (at 6pm). We opted to see where this nap would take us and we let him sleep; he woke up when Vivian screamed while changing at 7pm, and promptly went back to sleep and didn't wake up for 14 and a half hours. If that's not indicative of how much fun he had, I don't know what is. See all the photos and videos.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Last weekend was the annual Seafair weekend. While the organization claims they run events all summer long (and to some extent, sure, they do) fundamentally it all boils down to a single weekend of hydroplane racing and airshows. Theo had been looking forward to seeing the Blue Angels all year. Of course they cancelled their shows earlier this year due to the sequester, but fortunately Seafair hired a private jet team called the Patriots to replace them. The Patriots are significantly quieter -- a point of concern for Theo -- but ultimately I think they were slightly less impressive as a result. I volunteered all day Saturday, and the whole family went down on Sunday just to have fun. One of the really nice things about Seafair is all the loot you pick up!

See all the photos. (Warning: lots! sometimes quite repetitive!)

Monday, August 5, 2013

July's Best Photos

Not a whole lot of action here in July. We stayed at home the entire month, which is something of an anomaly so far this year. So this month's best photos are a smattering of typical summer days (which in fact, have been less summery than usual after a week of hot weather in mid June). See the whole gallery for all the fun.

One of Theo's Lego train creations. He likes to use all the blocks of one color first, then the next color and so on and so forth, which creates a pleasant striated effect in the final result.

Vivian running with her hat, which she wants to put on. She's totally an accessory girl and likes to get shoes, hats, and even some days, pants to put on.

The best shot I managed to get of the two of them in their Fourth of July finery at our friends' party.

Playing with sidewalk chalk in the backyard one afternoon.

Theo and Daddy onboard one of the bigger wooden boats at the Wooden Boat Festival.

Vivian loved going up and down this "hill" on her own at the festival.

Vivian eating strawberries from an ice cream cone courtesy of Daddy.

Vivian trying to figure out how to put on a pair of shoes when she's already wearing another pair.

Vivian kissing the meercat. She is big into kisses these days as well.

More sidewalk chalk.

Theo during his test ride of the new child bike seat.

The bike seat in action.

Vivian had to have a turn as well.

Theo doing art at story time at the library.

Theo and Vivian riding the sheep statue outside the library.

Theo, Vivian, and Daddy watching the airshow at the Arlington Fly In.

Theo enjoying the car ride at the county fair. He's topped 36 inches now so a lot of the rides are open to him, since they are a height limit rather than age-based.

Theo really loves to take a shower now and get all lathered up.

Theo, the meercat, and Daddy riding the big blue ball.

Theo's horse from Wild Wild West week at school. He is loving the five hour drop off, and Vivian and I enjoy it immensely as well.

 Mama and Vivian with her new notebook and pen, winnings from Street Scramble.

Vivian at lunch.

And under the fox towel.

Vivian at the last free Friday concert.

All the things Theo doesn't want to share when his friends come over for a playdate are stashed in the closet (where the lighting is even worse than normal). You can make out the penguin, Lego trains, and Lego bulldozer if you know what you're looking at.

Theo saw what we call the Smurf suit in a photo and wanted to put it on.

So of course Vivian had to try it on as well.

Possibly my favorite shot from this month: Vivian in a bulldozer at Touch a Truck. It was also one of only a few shots I got as I forgot to take my camera. Michal got a much better selection.

Theo and Daddy spraying water from a hose to knock over the cones at Touch a Truck.

Theo wearing Daddy's shoes.

Theo and Vivian waiting for the water to splash at the zoo.

Vivian enjoying some Nutella at snacktime.

Theo enjoying his Nutella more.