Archive for June, 2015

We’ve had a busy few days, livin’ large in this perfect Seattle summer weather.  The Giants were in town last week for a match-up against the Mariners, so we got together with Jack and La Verne on Thursday night to cheer on our boys at Safeco field.

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We slurped down beers and mowed through a monster bag of Kettle corn, reveling in the ease of being out sans kiddos.

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By the 8th inning the Giants were leading by 7 and most Mariners fans had cut and run.  We stayed through till the end though, taking advantage of the abandoned seats and sitting just a few rows away from the action.  Orange and black for the win!

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My office held our summer picnic at Safeco the following night, so we headed back to the ballpark for dinner and a Mariners-Astros matchup, this time with Jules in tow.  We ate burgers on the patio and then caught just the first inning of the game, not wanting to push our luck and keep this happy kid out too long past bedtime.

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Shane’s old friend Steve flew in from California late Friday night for a weekend visit and was eager to do some exploring, so we set out for Rattlesnake Mountain on Saturday morning.  Rather than just hang by the lake as per usual, we tucked Juliette into the hiking backpack and made the 2-mile trek up to the ledge.

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Shane’s shoulders were begging for mercy by the time we summited, but the vista turned out to be well worth the pain.

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We made it down the mountain with minimal whining and then set up shop in our favorite shady lake-front stretch of grass.

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Watermelon, water, and 80 degrees.  Perfection.

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We went to church on Sunday morning and then headed to Local 360 for Father’s Day mimosas and French toast.  Cheers to this guy!  Hot damn, I’m lucky.

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And a quick stop at the sculpture park for some pre-nap sun-soaking…

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We made plans to get together with the gang on Sunday afternoon for a lakeside picnic.  But first, a chariot ride!  I love watching these two snuggle into the trailer, seeing them share snacks and clank their bike helmets together.

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We spread out our blankets at Seward Park and watched the kids frolic in the lake and kick the soccer ball across the lawn.  Shane and Jack picked up a boatload of burgers and fries and we chowed down while drinking white wine from plastic cups – we ushered in the first day of summer with such gusto!

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It took the better part of the weekend and a Pepsi bribe (kidding!  that cup is empty!), but Juliette eventually warmed up to her new buddy Steve.  It was so good to catch up with this guy, to fold him into our family mayhem and then stay up late playing Nintendo and reminiscing.

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We said good-bye to Steve this morning, dropped Juliette off at daycare, and returned to business as usual, simultaneously ultra-relaxed and completely exhausted.  SUMMER IS HERE!

21 months!  Juliette is less and less my baby, more and more my funny, sweet, maddeningly stubborn little girl.  We continue to get a kick out of her gradual mastery of the English language – she’s stringing together 3-4 words now, telling us “all done with sootie! (smoothie)” when her cup is empty, proudly exclaiming “I did it!” when she manages to get her seat belt buckled or when she successfully pushes the button to put down the garage door.  Car rides have become a recurring game of I Spy, as she shouts “BUS!” and “BIKE!” and “CHOO-CHOO!” from the back seat.  Every time we enter a tunnel (or go under a bridge), Juliette pumps her right fist in the air and shouts “TUNNELLLLLL!!!”, as if we’ve just hit the climax of Disneyland’s most thrilling ride.  Her enthusiasm is infectious – Shane and I can’t help throwing our hands up in the air and yelling right along with her.  She still relies on that extra-friendly “HI!” to get the attention of friends (and strangers), but she’s also really into good-byes these days, waving and saying, “Bye-bye water, bye-bye slide!” every time we leave the park.  Last night at dinner, as Shane took the last swig of his Corona, she bid it farewell with “Bye-bye beer!”

Her new favorite pastime is playing in the car, sitting in the driver’s seat and pushing all the buttons on the dash board while I clean out the garage or sweep the driveway.  What are the odds she’ll look this happy 14 years from now, when she’s getting her license and still sitting behind the wheel of our trusty Civic?  (Sorry, Jules – you inherited this car when you threw those crayons all over the back seat and they melted in the sun!)

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She has also recently picked up soccer, spending afternoons at the playfields with Dad practicing her footwork.

And, since it’s been a couple of months since my last photos of a paint-covered Jules…here you go:

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We’ve had some good, good Thursdays together since the weather has turned warm, making our way through our list of Seattle’s best beaches and splash parks.  We spent a morning frolicking in the fountain at Miller Park a couple of weeks ago.  Once the water came on, pants were off in about 10 seconds flat.

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I love the slightly panicked look on her face here – the jets of water shot up pretty quickly and caught her by surprise a couple of times.  Didn’t keep her from running back for more, though!

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And, to top off a perfect Jules-mama outing…ICE CREAM!  Because I want to make sure those chubby thighs and elbow dimples stay intact throughout swimsuit season.

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In reality, I ate three-quarters of the scoop and just let her have a few bites.  But she held on to that empty cup the whole ride home, savoring of the memory of that sweet strawberry treat.  I have discovered the way to this girl’s heart, and it’s through DESSERT (she got that from me).

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Rattlesnake Lake has become one of our new favorite places to pass a lazy Sunday morning, rock-throwing and picnicking and dipping our toes in the cold mountain water.

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That.  Hat.

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Mt. Baker Beach has become our go-to spot for a late afternoon post-nap cool-down.  Butts are usually soaked within minutes of arrival!

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While I’m far from being able to stretch out with a book and read in the shade while Juliette runs wild at the beach or playground, it does seem like I’m doing less “orchestrating” of her playtime.  Especially when she can talk one of her little buddies into pushing her on the merry-go-round!

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Happy 21 months, little lady!  So, so, so happy.

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He’s home, he’s home!  Praise God Almighty, daddy is HOME!  Shane has been in Miami for a business trip these past few days and I was nothing short of elated to hear the squeak of the front door opening last night at 11 pm.  Amazingly, this was my first time really flying solo with Jules – Shane has only spent a couple of nights away from us, back when she was a newborn, and my parents were visiting then and able to provide backup while he was gone.  I know there are lots of people that do the bulk of their parenting alone, and I know that a 1:1 parent to kid ratio ain’t too shabby, but still, it was tough!

Jules came down with a cold about a week ago and hasn’t been able to shake her nighttime cough – she was particularly restless on Sunday and Monday nights, up every two hours coughing and tossing and turning.  I spent most of those nights laying on the floor next to her crib, finding that every time I returned to my bed, she’d start crying again just as I’d drift off to sleep.  Usually Shane and I take turns getting up with her on nights such as these, but my moans of “I’m so tiiiiiired” went unheard – it was all on me.  Thankfully, by Tuesday night Jules seemed to back to normal and slept like a log – I was stunned to open my eyes at 6:40 yesterday morning and find that I’d overslept, as I had assumed that the sound of coughing or crying would wake me up long before then.  I heard Juliette babbling in her crib around 7:00 as I was getting ready, thinking that if she and I really hustled, we could still actually get out the door on time.  I walked into her room, ready to gush my effusive thanks for the good night’s sleep, but was stopped short when I saw blood all over her face.  And her hands, and her arms, and her sheets, and her crib rails.  She’d gotten a bloody nose and had smeared red sticky goo everywhere.  She was fine, unfazed by the fact that her crib looked like a veritable crime scene, but I had quite a bit of clean up to do, rushing to wipe her down and get her bedding into the washing machine.  Finally, just as I was grabbing our shoes and ushering us out the door, thanking Juliette for waiting so quietly as I gathered our things, I got a whiff of that unmistakable poo-smell.  I should know by now with this child – if she’s that quiet, she’s either broken into the snack cupboard and is secretly wolfing down animal crackers, or she’s working on filling her diaper to capacity.  Suffice to say, I was rather late to work that day.

Sleeplessness and bloody noses aside, Juliette and I got along pretty splendidly – she was obedient and cheerful and usually helpful.  Daycare drop-off/pick-up, dinnertime, and bedtime all off without a hitch.  I felt pretty good about how smoothly we navigated our daily routine…and yet, with each step, Shane’s absence felt so apparent.  We missed him.  When I picked up Juliette from daycare each day, she ran to my arms per usual, but only let me hold her for a second before turning to the door and expectantly asking, “Daddy?  Daddy?  Daddy?”  I didn’t have anyone to recap the day’s highs and lows with, to share in my joy over the new word Juliette learned or to feel my anxiety over her incessant coughing.  We’re so, so glad dad’s back.  Juliette woke up from her nap today after only 40 minutes of sleep, wailing and clearly still tired, but she refused my offers to rock her or read to her or get her a cup of milk.  Shane swooped in just as I was getting desperate and she reached out to him, quieting and laying her head on his shoulder the minute he picked her up.  They spent the next hour and a half snuggled up like this – peas and carrots, these two.

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On a separate, unrelated note, today is also our dating anniversary – sixteen years ago, my handsome fella picked me up in his electric blue Dodge Neon and took me to the movies to see Notting Hill.  If only we’d known then all that laid ahead of us - I might not have made him wait so long for that first kiss.  😉

I’ve had the chorus of Grease’s “Summer Nights” looping through my head over and over these past few days – you know, “Summer lovin’, had me a blast, oh yeah!“.  It’s not so much that I have romance or leather pants on the brain (although Shane will forever be my Danny Zuko), it’s that I’m LOVIN’ this summer weather.  Sandals and slightly pink shoulders and a re-commitment to get out and explore our favorite parks.  Evening jogs with Juliette, interrupted by a quick joyous romp through the Jefferson splash pad.  Popsicles and bare baby bellies.  Turtle hunts and sandy feet.  I swear, I can feel the vitamin D coursing through my veins, and it’s like a hit of happy.

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We spent Saturday morning at Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland, checking out the wildlife and playing at the beach.

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And to top off a stretch of particularly glorious sun-shiny days, Juliette’s best little buddy turned two over the weekend!  We were thrilled to celebrate with him, with a chariot ride and barbecue and CAKE (that taste of frosting was possibly the high point of Juliette’s entire life thus far).

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I know, Jules, I KNOW!  So good, right?

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