Friday, October 30, 2015

Another “Me in Comics Section”


Classic Parenting Day


10-30 Piper Leave Me Alone sign

Piper-to-English Translation:  “Leave Me Alone”

There’s two days a year that I have a love-hate relationship with: Valentines and Halloween.  This year, though, I made a very deliberate decision to not be a room parent so I’m not in charge of the classroom parties for either of those.  Good thing, too.

As I walked out of the office towards Wesley’s classroom, dressed as a duck with my vomiting pumpkin trick in my bag, Wesley was walking toward the office with another mom.  He had just thrown up all over the foyer, in front of three classrooms of parents waiting for their child’s parties.  I gave him to the nurse to clean up, while I acknowledged the irony, gave the pumpkin over the Kindergarten parents, gathered all his stuff, and took him home, where he took a bath and felt perfectly fine the rest of the day.  Kyla walked off in a huff at home because I was spending more time with the sick child at first than I was with her.  (You know, the home-schooled child that gets more time with me than the other two combined?) 

I was also signed up to help at Piper’s class party, and Kyla was coming with me because she wanted to have a Halloween party, too, but only if I could get Grandma to watch Wesley.  There may have been 5 frantic phone calls and a couple of emails before she called back and said she could come over. 

Piper had a great party, Kyla hung out with some 3 graders and said she had a terrible time and blamed me, somehow.  With Wesley getting asthma attacks at approximately 1am for about half the week, I was a little tired by the end of Friday.  I quickly succumbed to temptation and ordered pizza from Garlic Jim’s.  After Piper’s hour long tantrum about her math homework, I was able to go pick up the pizza. 

Somehow, one of the cats got in the car and was taking a long nap when he figured out the car was moving.  It was too late to go back, so I had a very upset cat, uncaged, in the car for the entire round trip, the meows only broken by a call from the children all blaming each other for outrageous insults and physical violence while proactively claiming complete innocence.  I still haven’t sorted it all out, but I might have mentioned that I hadn’t bought Garlic Jim’s pizza since August, and if they ever want to have GJ’s again, it would be wise for them not to kill each other while I am getting it for them. 

And Piper had holed herself up in her room, using the sign as a paper barricade.  I think I’m going to put it over my bedroom door tonight before going to bed.

10-30 Piper Leave Me Alone sign


But Dwayne earned 3 marbles tonight for coming home before 6:30, something that happens about a handful of times a year.  He knocked on the door at 6:15, and actually made me jump.  Since the kids earn 3 marbles in the morning if they do all their morning chores and are completely ready for school 5 minutes early, Dwayne decided he should earn the same in the evening.  If he keeps this on-time-or-early thing going, he might get more than marbles….

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Kid Builds His Own Hammock

And it doesn’t fall down.  He makes it a few hours before he has to sleep on a flat surface—but I’m really impressed!  Beats the forts he builds everywhere else!

10-28 Wesley hammock

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Monsters, Truly

Our library does an evening story time followed by craft time.  The kids made monster feet.  Wesley is so monstrous, apparently, he doesn’t need to wear his. Regardless, I was charmed.

10-27 Kyla monster

10-27 Piper monster

10-27 Wesley monster

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Swan’s Trail Farm

We had done a pumpkin patch earlier this month, but it was too early to buy a pumpkin.  And, I found out from my progeny, it is sacrilegious to buy pumpkins at a grocery store.  So we headed out to our favorite farm to spend the afternoon and some money…with some of our favorite friends, Aubrey and Jen.

10-25 Pumpkin Farm with Aubrey 11

Cider donuts, a jumping blob, baby animals, corn kernel playrooms, gunny sack slides, and a really cool corn maze in a respectable replica of Washington State—it was a busy afternoon!

10-25 Pumpkin Farm with Aubrey 7

10-25 Pumpkin Farm with Aubrey 3

10-25 Pumpkin Farm with Aubrey 8

Do you love the winter hats and bare feet?

10-25 Pumpkin Farm with Aubrey 9

10-25 Pumpkin Farm with Aubrey 6

10-25 Pumpkin Farm with Aubrey 5

The corn maze had all sorts of secret treasures disguised as state geography trivia.  This is my favorite.

10-25 Pumpkin Farm with Aubrey 12

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Annual Leaf Pile Jumping

10-24 leaves 2


Wesley, Westin, and Piper heard me say “leaf pile” and ran outside to keep Dwayne from blowing off all the leaves before getting some good play time in.

10-24 leaves 3


Pure joy!

10-24 leaves 4

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October Weekend at the Cabin

Before Dwayne and the Shultz family came to join us on the island, the kids and I had a new adventure!

We discovered the Pacific Rim Center in Coupeville and joined an Audubon society walk.  [Fun fact: South Whidbey Island gets about 36 inches of rain annually, but Coupeville, right smack in the middle of Whidbey, gets only 18-20!]  It was 3 hours of slightly trying to be interested in native prairie grasses and birds I couldn’t see, but we found some new trails to explore further on another day.

Kyla walked right along with the guide and asked, in a conservative estimation, about a thousand questions.

10-17 whidbey audobon walk 2

The hallowed native prairie grasses.  It’s dull yet important work. 

10-17 whidbey audobon walk 1

The forest trails were more interesting—we had a lot more fun once we left the guided tour.  It can take avid bird-watchers several hours to walk a mile or two, I’ve learned.  I don’t do that pace, even with kids.

10-17 whidbey audobon walk 3

I love, love, love the Bayview Farmer’s Market (May-October, Saturdays 10-2).  We met Daddy and friends there for Filipino and African food and lots of shopping. 

Piper was most excited about the grasshoppers she was catching.

10-17 Bayview Farmers market 1

Wesley just strikes a pose.

10-17 Bayview Farmers market 2

But Evelyn found poppies in October!

10-17 Bayview Farmers market 3

And then, because Jeremy hasn’t been to the cabin before, we had to try to kill him by taking him down to the beach—at high tide in the fog.  You’re welcome, J!

They were on their way to Hawaii in their boat last time I checked. 

10-18 Cabin beach with Shultz 1

Cool shot, huh? 

10-18 Cabin beach with Shultz 3

Great weekend, M&J!  Next time, maybe the kids will sleep. 

[Ha!  It’s been three years and our kids haven’t really learned to sleep well at the cabin.  But they don’t really sleep well at home, either, so I can’t judge.]

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Sunset!

10-15 sunset

….from our front porch.  Love this place!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How Our House Sleeps

Wesley and Piper have been getting along too well lately…their individual superpowers for obnoxiousness more than double when they are together.  And at bedtime when they want to sleep together, it doesn’t turn off quickly.

We quickly stepped in and quickly decreed Wesley had to sleep with Kyla and Piper could still have the cats.  [If you’re wondering why we didn’t send Wesley to his own bedroom—because he does have one—it’s because Kyla woke me up at dark 0’clock two nights in a row because she didn’t have anyone to snuggle.  I throw her a Wesley, and everyone sleeps better.]





The complete inability for any of us to sleep by ourselves is a tad embarrassing.  I suspect that Dwayne got bitten by a radioactive ferret when he was younger and the ability to sleep in ferret heaps is his contagious superpower.  It’s not as cool as shooting webs from your palms, but it’s all we’ve got.

Baby pictures of our kids:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Must Play on Sunny Sundays!

I’m not ready to buy pumpkins yet, but I’ll spring for some playtime at a farm!  Wesley had a nap, all the kids had lunch, and we were ready to have a few hours of fun at Dr. Maze’s Farm. (If you go, just skip the “hay ride”, especially if only one tractor is running.  Kyla and I waited an hour to have a bumpy ride through the back, uninteresting parts of the farm with no tour guide to make it more pleasant.)

My lil’ pumpkins.WP_20151011_13_00_00_Pro


If only this would satisfy her desire for a real horse.



Yep, I’m sure it’s just like riding a real horse, Sweetie.



Wesley spent an hour on this. Naps are good for him.


My favorite scarecrow! 


Pastor Richard’s Sermons…

...put Wesley right to sleep on a Sunday morning.  He WP_20151011_11_06_21_Prodoesn’t often crash like this, but he wanted snuggles instead of Sunday School so we knew he was tired.  This is also our ace in the hole to keep Papa Jim connected.  No way is he going to disappear from our lives forever when he moves to Eastern Washington.  Who would totally abandon moments like this? 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


I brought Wesley home some new PJs from the thrift store with some funny results.  He actually likes wearing his “new” Spiderman pajamas, and they look better with the shirt.

10-7 Tweedle_wes

Sunday, October 4, 2015

New Niece!

Brian and Sandi brought their new baby, Amber Nicole, (born Aug. 14) up to our area so we can fight over who gets to hold her.

10-4 Amber

For those who don’t read body language (um, guys), this is Julie clearly telling me that it’s not my turn to hold Amber.  But I can take pictures.  Just kidding.  Mom and I were too busy scratching and clawing each other for baby dibs.

10-4 Amber and Julie

But it was a gorgeous day, and I had filled the car with wheels of all sorts.  Wesley tried riding the scooter with his roller blades.

10-4 Family play at grandmas 1

10-4 Family play at grandmas 4

Everyone got into it.

10-4 Family play at grandmas 6

Yep, everyone.  It’s one of the reasons I love this woman!

10-4 Family play at grandmas 14

10-4 Family play at grandmas 19

Parker took a shine to the scooter Wesley has outgrown.  Don’t worry, Parks, I’ll let Santa know!

10-4 Family play at grandmas 10

Even wheel-less, she’s cute.

10-4 Family play at grandmas 11

And the new daddy got a picture of all the cousins…and me! 

10-4 Kruger Cousins

10-4 kruger cousins 2