Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Thanksgiving, 2010

On Thanksgiving day, we volunteered for the Seattle Turkey Trot, a 5K fundraiser for the Ballard Food Bank. We'd been out of school all week with snow, and I was worried we'd have 33 degrees with freezing rain. But no, it was low 30's with light snow - just perfect. Our gig was at the same-day registration table. Maeve had the best job - putting a turkey stamp on runners' hands so they could get their free T-shirt. Either Mike or I worked with Maeve taking fees and the other adult ran around with Silas. Silas was in hog heaven - the race was very dog-friendly and he got to pet lots of cool dogs.

Maybe we'll volunteer for this until the kids are actually big enough to run it!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 27, 2010

October 7, 2010
This is an older photo (a month ago) from when Silas started attending the same daycare as Maeve. They now both ride with Mike on the bike, Silas on the bike seat on the rear rack and Maeve on her own bike as a tagalong. Mike experimented a bit and found this contraption that allows him to hook Maeve's bike to his and still be able to fit Silas's seat on his rack. My bike is equipped to do the same, but I've yet to try it out. Apparently, it's quite a bit more work to carry both kids.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 22-23, 2010
Snow in Seattle

We had snow on Monday of this week, and ended up having the week off from school. Seattle pretty much closes down with all the hills and little snow moving equipment. We were able to get out and about in our neighborhood, and Mike walked to work one day, but some roads are still quite bad. Maeve loved the snow - especially eating it. Silas is less sure - he has trouble standing back up again in all the clothes and boots and face planted several times in the snow.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Fairs, slides and Hiking

Two weekends ago we went to the Pullyup Fair, the WA state fair. Maeve has been very interested in riding roller-coasters for over a year, and we thought she'd enjoy some of the rides. Plus, it was a gorgeous fall day. We didn't do a roller-coaster, but Maeve did enjoy the swings, as long as I had my arm around her. Maybe once Silas is big enough to go on the roller-coasters, Maeve will want to go. In addition to the rides, the baby pigs were a big hit.

Yesterday (Oct 2) we went to the 5th Birthday party for Sienna in View Ridge Park. Maeve's highlight was the cake, but my highlight was watching my independent 14 month old son completely master the smaller play set. He crawled up the stairs, walked to the slide, and slid down feet-first on his tummy over and over. Unbelieveable.

Today we went for a walk up to PooPoo point, the local hanggliding take off spot in the Issaquah Alps. Unfortunately for us, it was also the weekend of the Issaquah Salmon Days, and we had to detour around a road race and lots of Salmon-related street closures and activities. We'll go back next year for that, it looked fun. This year was a hike, only 1.5 miles one way but 1500 feet and Maeve did a fair amount of complaining about being tired on the way up. We stopped at the lower launch site where the kids and I ate and took a break while Mike ran up to the higher site, which has a better view, though a bit fogged in. On the way back, Mike headed down in front, walking a bit quicker with a fussy Silas, and 20 minutes later walked back up with a sleeping toddler. Silas had on his Halloween costume, a bear? body suit, handmedown from cousin Hugh. It was too cute - I love the ears and the tail. At the bottom, we were parked at the landing site, and got to see a paraglider come in. Way cool.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Howell Beach week 2010

We were on vacation in NC for two weeks. The first with my mom in Lake Lure, where we spent the week in the water. Maeve is now much more happy to play in the water and well on her way to being a swimmer. We then spent a week down in Wrightsville Beach, NC with all my Howell family kin. All of my first cousins were there, and all 11 of the 2nd cousins - all under age 8. This shot is of everybody, except Mike, who was flying in and was delayed in Atlanta, and my brother's family, which was only there the second half of the week.
This is Maeve, Winnie and I floating in the sound. Maeve was able to hang with the bigger cousins in the water - she just had to wear a life jacket.

Granny Hazel was down on Thursday and we all took pictures with her. She's in her 90's and every time we get to see her it's special. This same day, we drove up to Topsail to see David Patrick, John David, and families - Duke friends from college.

Maeve loved the jet ski. This was her first ride with Aunt Noell and Winnie. She later went a lot around the sound with her dad.

She wasn't sure at first about the waves, but as long as we were holding her hand, she decided it was fun!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 05, 2010

July 5, 2010

We finally got photos of Silas walking. We were playing the walking game, the one where the toddler launches himself from one person to another with the complete trust that he will get caught when he falls 5 steps later. Therefore the somewhat cautious look on Maeve's face, who had to work hard to catch Silas and not let his head clonk on the floor. Silas went from walking 1 step, which he's done for several weeks, to 3-4 steps this week, and now he's doing up to 5 feet and sometimes choosing to walk instead of dropping to crawl. He thinks it's great fun and has a line of bruises across his forehead to show his willingness to fall.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Father's Day 2010: June 20, 2010

We decided to take a short hike on Father's Day, a drizzly but warmish day. We headed out towards Snoqualmie Pass to Twin Falls. It's and out and back hike, very short 3 miles, in the river valley with less than 300 ft elevation gain. But it was lovely and in very old forest with very old trees. There was also a put-in at the trail head and lots of kayaks in the parking lot.

We got a little drizzled on over the day, but had a nice hike. We missed seeing the second falls and kept walking on the trail until we talked to someone headed back and decided to turn around. The trail was semi-crowded with families for Father's Day, and would probably be packed on a nicer day.

Maeve liked balancing on the rocks on the trail, and our big motivator was adapting a rhyme about elephants balancing on a spider web to little girls balancing on rocks and then repeating verses with all the little girls in Maeve's day care, her teachers, her girl cousins, her grandmothers and any other "girls" we could think of. This kept us going for a good 30 minutes. Yay!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Washington Park Arboretum, May 23, 2010

We went for a walk today on a trail in the Washington Park Arboretum that goes over a couple of islands and runs along the ship canal. We did this last year and saw an eagle's nest and juvenile blue heron. This year, once we got to the boardwalks crossing to the island, it was washed out. So we turned around and wandered back through the arboretum. Still, it was a pretty, though chilly day.

We had Dagan, a friend of Maeve's, with us and the kids had a great time playing, giggling, running and looking around. We spent a good bit of time watching the ducks, including this Mallard couple, in one of the lagoons off the ship canal.

There was a nice overlook into the ship canal where we could see buoys and kayakers as well as the UW stadium and Laurelhurst across the canal.

We stopped for a snack in a meadow beside the canal. Maeve and Dagan enjoyed crackers beside the water while Silas practiced walking with Daddy.

He smiled a lot when they finally got to where I was taking pictures.
Posted by PicasaNear the Arboretum visitors center, Maeve and Dagan played in the spooky trees.

They also enjoyed playing hide and seek around trees, counting to 12 (Maeve) or 5 (Dagan) and then yelling, "Boo!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20, 2010
Silas has been cruising for a couple of weeks, and is now comfortable holding on with just one hand and using the other one to play. He's falling more, but getting closer to walking.

This photoshoot was to try to get a view of his teeth. His top left incisor came in about a month ago, and is a big white tooth. The bottom two incisors cut about a week ago and are little, unphotogenic, teeth bumps. His top tooth features in the second photo.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day May 9, 2010

My mother's day present was a hike. We went up Rattlesnake Ledge, which is in the foothills of the Cascades. Maeve's longest hike yet, 4 miles round trip and about 1100 feet elevation gain. The way up was no problem, and although the last bit of coming down she was tired, she walked it all. We were out there last summer around Memorial Day with the cousins, and we didn't even get halfway up before descending to play in the lake. This is the limit of what Maeve can do - now I need to find more 3-4 mile hikes with 1000+ feet of elevation gain. Maybe by the end of the summer we'll do Little Si.

Rattlesnake Ledge is less than an hour from Seattle and was super-crowded. I'm still not used to the hoards that go hiking here. Likely hikes for us (short, not to steep, close to Seattle) are going to be super-crowded. By the time the kids are bigger, I'm sure we'll be ready to get a little farther from home to escape the crowds and dogs and hang out in quieter country.

Anyway, the day was beautiful, the kids were good, and the woods were variable so we had tons of stuff to look at and talk about with Maeve. She identifies snags, cut trees where you can count rings, mushrooms, ferns with and without fiddleheads, conifers, deciduous trees, pine cones, and anything else we can think of to keep her interested. This time we didn't even play hide and seek, which would have been a bit difficult since the trail was crowded and there were quite a few dogs illegally off-leash. Silas slept for an hour on the way down in the backpack. Yay!

The photo is part of the view from the ledge, which has 270 degree views of the Snoqualmie valley and Cascades. Lovely.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Family bike ride to Gasworks Park
May 8, 2010

This was Silas's first bike ride. He wasn't too keen while we were parked, but didn't fuss to much while we were going. Maeve has been on the tagalong for a while and pedals nicely. Silas will have to get used to his seat, but we're quite excited to be able to again use the bikes as a family.

Gasworks park, in lower Wallingford and a straight shot down Meridian Ave from our house, is on Lake Union and has great views of downtown and the ship canal and a nice kite flying hill. We took Maeve's red octopus kite and had a good time flying. Behind Mike and Maeve, you can see the Hwy 99 bridge and lots of boats. Behind Silas is the Space Needle. What a beautiful day.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 10, 2010
Last weekend we took Maeve, Silas, and Chloe, one of Maeve's friends, up to Snoqualmie pass to play in the snow. The mountains had a late winter dumping, and we had fun. Maeve and Chloe particularly liked an igloo we found a Hyak, one of the state-run sno-parks near the pass. Silas pretty much just got carried around - didn't like too much crawling in the snow. Next year, cross-country skiing here we come.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14, 2010

Silas loves to crawl and move around, and recently graduated to taking big kid baths. He sits on top of the frogs in the bath and loves moving his legs around to make the water splash.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 29, 2010

Silas is Up!
January 29, 2010

He's been combat crawling a yard or two for several weeks, but just this week he's up on all fours. Not yet cross-crawling, he mostly just falls over once he's up, but he's almost ready to take off. Luckily we've already got outlet covers and the hinges for the stair gate installed.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Christmas 2009

We spent Christmas week in Grapevine, TX, next to DFW where Mike's parents have just moved into their new condo a few blocks from downtown Grapevine. We spent one afternoon making family portraits, and here's a photo of all of Mike's family. It includes Mike, me, Tracey (sister-in-law), David (Mike's brother), Grandad Paul, Grandmom Carolyn, Cousin Matt, Maeve and Silas.

One thing Maeve really enjoyed was making gingerbread cookies with Grandmom. They couldn't find all the cookie cutters in the new kitchen, so they ended up making gingerbread snowmen. They were a bit dry, but icing and lots of sprinkles helped.

One day we went to visit the Kaplan family. Maeve, Daniel and Jacob played cards and ran around the playground. It was great to check in with friends. We also went out for Mexican - yummy. Kathryn's parents came over so we got to visit with them, too. It's great to have friends where the in-laws live.

We also spent a day with Rachel, Steve and Naomi. We planned on going to the Dallas zoo, but we got there and they said no animals were out because of the cold. I started calling friends, and Seth Kaplan called me back and recommended the World Zoo Acquarium downtown. It was really cool - the trail started on the third floor of the rainforest biosphere and went down to a more typical acquarium in the basement. Maeve and Naomi liked the flamingos.

We also spent a morning with Chris Kribs, Adelfo and Sara, but didn't get any good photos.

Maeve also really enjoyed the trampolene. She could jump for ages. She also enjoyed playing China princess with Mardi Gras beads - first cousin Matt was the China prince, but throughout the week anyone she could get to wear beads was recruited.

Silas worked a lot on eating, taking mini-naps, and getting carried around by a lot of people. He's also now working on sitting and starting to get mobile in a rotate around the circumference of a circle with the center being his belly kind of way.

Posted by Picasa