Friday, June 29, 2012

Northwest Trek, 2012

Just a quick trip down Memory Lane.  This is from 2008.

9-15-08 girls and mama NW Trek[5]


This is 2010.


And here is today.



The kids stayed at Grandma & Grandpa’s for a few nights so I could clean—CLEAN!—the garage and prep for the annual neighborhood meeting I’m in charge of.  Instead, I got a 24-hour bug and had just enough time to pull the meeting together and put on blinders when I walk through the garage.  But I got better in time to take the kids to NW Trek with my parents.  Kyla  was being especially adorable today.  This kid’s style rocks.




Monday, June 25, 2012

Uh, Oh, A Plant Sale

Through severe self-discipline, excepting seed packets, I haven’t bought a single plant this year.  Then Molbak’s began their big sale.  ALL outdoor plants, buy one get one free.  I told Dwayne I wouldn’t spend more than $50… a day. I might have added that caveat under my breath. 

For $52 (including tax), I brought home all of these.  And yes, the kids were kicked out of their wagon so we could fit all these in. 



For Mother’s Day, my mom gave me a copy of this book.  I don’t usually enjoy gardening books enough to read them cover to cover, but I loved this gardener’s style.  She’s the ultimate lazy gardener,  where the “good enough” plan is just right.  I marked several pages and went to Molbak’s with a list of low-maintenance, high-satisfaction plants to grow in my occasionally watered, slight-sun, deer-eaten garden.  An employee at Molbak’s took me around and showed me each plant on my list. 

Easy Answers for Great Gardens: 500 Tips, Techniques, and Outlandish Ideas


But then we went to Bellevue Botanical Gardens yesterday (go see it and walk on the new suspension bridge!) and I rekindled an old romance with a smoke tree.091


I went back to Molbak’s this evening and bought one, and to take advantage of the BOGO deal, I bought a gorgeous blueberry bush which already has infinitely more berries on it than all three “bushes” I’ve had for a few years. 

But that’s it.  No more plants.  Dwayne’s already aiming new walls right at some old plants that desperately need rescuing before they are cruelly bulldozed, so I have to direct my not insignificant energies at saving them.  And to complaining to said husband about husbands who build walls.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bellevue Botanical Gardens

My Oregon-based brother and his wife came up our way for the weekend and we explored Bellevue Botanical Gardens together.  I’ve been wanting to go since reading that they had just expanded the gardens by several acres and added a suspension bridge over an emerald green gully.

We found a statue of a frog and called this “The Tadpole That Lived”. 



This boy cheerfully soaked himself at this fountain before we had been there ten minutes.



I can’t imagine the man hours it takes for all these acres to look so effortless.



Okay, Pipes, you are cute, but you’re off trail.  Again.


The Gardens are free.  Unless one develops a severe case of flower-lust and must go out and buy approximately 60 acres worth of flora for one’s own area.  Right now.

I want to grow this flower079

and this one083



and this one






and this one 084086

and this one….okay, so I just went out and bought this last one. 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yep, They’re Dead

The tadpoles, that is.

This is Kyla and Piper’s imitation of our dead tadpoles.



Piper:  I have a hypothesis.  The tadpoles died-ed because they were pretending to be elephants and then they pretended to be dead elephants.

The kid who can use the word “hypothesis” fairly correctly believes the tadpoles died while pretending to be something they’ve never seen in their short, isolated lives. 

School’s Out—Time to Go to the Zoo!

I planned the best zoo trip ever for the kids.  I brought my book and a bag of snacks.  We spent 4 hours at the zoo, saw three animals, and played at the Nairobi village, the Discovery Zone (Spider Web playground), and the Meerkat burrow).  That’s right—three locations, four hours, and I nearly finished my book before we left. 

Kyla wears her flower girl dress with no discrimination.  I can’t believe that no matter what happens to it, it always comes out of the washing machine as good as new.  And it does not get special laundry treatment!  Do you like how she pairs it with green sweats?


Piper discovered she could climb The Tree in the Discovery Loop by herself.  Being a bear cub that day, it was a good place to sit and eat her snack.



We walked by this lady when she seemed to be trying to figure out her zoo map. I stopped and we walked together to where she was trying to go.  She was really sweet—she asked each kid if they wanted a ride on her deluxe walker!  We tried not to take too much advantage.




Tuesday, June 19, 2012


When Piper bonked her face today and gave herself a bloody nose, there was no help for it.  She wanted a band-aid.

6-20 Ballet recital 002

If You Love Something…

You must let it go. If it loves you, it will return. Ha!

Well, the butterflies are gone.  This year, all five caterpillars became 5 cocoons and then 5 beautiful butterflies.  I still have yet to catch one emerging from its cocoon, but there’s always next year. 

The afternoon turned out so nicely that we brought their house outside to enjoy the sunshine.  All five began flapping around quite enthusiastically. So we unzipped the top and all five flew away.  They are unlikely to return. (If you are raising your own butterflies, I just learned this from the girls’ preschool—they love orange slices in their cage.)

6-19 butterflies 16-19 butterflies 2

Wesley celebrated Freedom Day for the butterflies by getting out a bat.

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The tadpoles also were brought outside for a little afternoon sun, which they seemed to like, evidenced by looking a little less dead and swimming around, again enthusiastically.  When we returned home a little later, they seemed dead.  Quite dead, like the four weeks of practicing looking dead finally paid off.  I’m giving them one more night of floating belly-up, not breathing, and not swimming when their cage is nudged before I call it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father’s Day

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(I just replaced my recently deceased camera and this one has a lot more toys.)


I surprised Dwayne with a night away at Thornewood Castle, leaving the kids at Grandma & Grandpa’s

6-16 castle 2

6-16 Castle6-17 garden Dwayne

Wonderful estate, but even better gardens at the nearby Lakewald Gardens, 10 acres of formal & natural gardens.  I took lots of pictures of flora I’d like to try in my backyard.

Having avoided being parents for 16 hours, we went back to the kids, who were quite excited to see us and bike circles around us.

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Kyla’s helmet gave her away during our game of hide-n-seek.

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Then we trooped up to Keith and Julie’s for a luncheon.  We had gotten my dad a Ladders game, which tipped and came apart the first time it was hit with the snake.  The poor construction created more hilarity.  Keith, who is usually good at everything, made a few points.  Eventually.


This is what Keith looks like when he scores.

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Wesley was so surprised with Uncle Keith’s success, he almost stops sucking his fingers!

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Parker silently cheers his dad on.

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I think this is such a sweet shot of Julie and her boy.

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Our best cheerleader….in everything.  Thanks, Mom/Grandma!

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One of the few shots the ladder is standing upright.

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I think that Wesley is trying to figure out how to put himself in toddler jail.

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Daddy, Daddy, he’s our man!  We love him!

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6-17 Father's Day 325

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Camera!

I can take pictures of the kids again!  They’ve had to go almost a week-and-a-half without a pictorial proof of their existence. 

I like that all three of the kids play on this merry-go-round together.

6-14 Playgroup park 1


“Look, Mama, I can run on this now…….almost.  I’ll try again.”

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I think that Wesley is pretty photogenic, but the real reason he gets so many pictures is because he’s more like that either of his sisters to be in range and still enough to not be blurry.

6-16 Somers 2


Piper finally is stopped and just above me, ideal for a portrait.

6-16 Somers 4


Kyla also finally qualified for a picture, but blocked me anyway.

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