Thursday, August 21, 2014

23 Months: Summer Fun Part 2

I feel like Micah went from one of the largest months of development to one of the most laid back.

This month Micah has:

  • began speaking in sentences…a lot! Everything is "What's up there? What's in there? What is that?"He says "Mommy/Daddy/Gramma/Auntie Cassie/etc. do it" a lot. "Pick you up"(he repeats us when we say you as he hasn't advanced to the first person yet). "What the heck?" (oops!) "Micah go in there" "Micah digging a sandcastle" "ladybug tickle arm" (ok, so they aren't all sentences yet, but we have lots of related and I think somewhat impressive word strings). 
  • sometimes says a word out of the blue just to see what our reaction is or just to try to understand it. It's been pretty funny. Just yesterday in the car riding to Home Depot, he says "shabbat". No one had been talking about it, we went almost a week before to Shabbat in the park and to Tot Shabbat, so it was pretty funny!
  • practiced throwing balls, playing soccer, building Duplo Legos, playing in his new play kitchen, and doing lots of imaginative play with anything that he could put voice to it (like "hello frog" while holding a toy horse)
  • practiced climbing everything and jumping (almost there, but not quiet!)
  • spent a lot more time really truly helping his Gramma Susan bake. It is the cutest thing and kitchen/baking vocabulary is definitely his specialty. He already knows about measuring and flour and patting the dough and so much more. He also got to spend a ton more time with her since Mommy went back to work most days of the week and Gramma is still being our childcare. We are so grateful for her!!!
  • got a balloon from an well intentioned employee at the grocery store for throwing a four star tantrum. Luckily the balloon arrived right as we had gotten him calmed down, so the direct connection wasn't there. Otherwise we may have been ticked! 
  • spent a few consecutive days with just Daddy and Gramma since Mommy went to visit Nana and Papa on her own. Corduroy made the journey too and Micah loved looking at all the photos of his trip
  • went to his new friend Reece's safari themed backyard 2nd birthday party
  • explored downtown Seattle's waterfront area to play tourist with Mommy and Daddy one day
  • got to be babysat by his big cousin Julien since he can drive himself here now! Dad had school, Gramma was visiting her sister in Oregon, and Mommy had a dentist appointment, so Julien got to come hang out in the late morning before his nap. The two went to the park and played in the backyard and it sounds like they both really enjoyed it. We hope Julien will come play A LOT more soon! ;-)
  • made another couple Mommy/son trips to Coulon Park to the beach with Mommy's friend Stephanie and once with our friends from our Pathways Connect group. Micah just loves playing in the sand.
  • had a couple more chiropractic adjustments, since he took a few decent sized falls while running.
  • enjoyed his first concert: Casper Babypants at Hiawatha park. We picnicked with our friends Lucas, Lacie, Maeva, & Brooks. Micah was curious about the music and all the people, but was way more interested in the free cupcake we got
  • helped Gramma celebrate her birthday. Since Aunt Cassie flew in for the surrounding birthday days, Micah enjoyed good quality time with her too. They all did some baking and some grocery shopping and Micah wanted Auntie Cassie to do it (whatever he could think of) all the time. She got to help take care of Micah while I had an overnight work trip too
  • had a backyard camp out (that didn't last more than a couple hours, but was fun to read in the tent and make smores) 
  • went to Shabbat in the Park finally and played with some older kid friends from the Kiddush Club
  • had a playdate with coop preschool friends
  • explored Seward Park and Lincoln Park and Camp Long for hiking, climbing, and playing at different playgrounds
  • actually sat down at the library and did a puzzle!
  • had bedtime stories every night and read a bunch with Gramma, but definitely less this summer than in other seasons :-/
  • went to Snoqualmie Falls and to the train festival in Snoqualmie
  • visited the zoo several times. He is getting really close to being able to hold very detailed reflective conversations after a trip there. 
  • visited the dog park a couple times to try to get Charlie to lose some of his baby weight ;-)
  • spent Mommy's last day off of work at the zoo with our friends Krista and Isaac and Anna and the twin babies, William and Henry
  • slept in his bed all night the last two nights! The first night, Mommy slept with him in his bed a lot and the second one she had to wake up several times to calm him, but he did it!
Cordoroy's Trip to California

Getting good with Duplo Legos and fine motor skills

Safari gear from the birthday party and the balloon given for throwing a fit 

Reece's 2nd birthday

Hanging out

Loving his new kitchen thanks to the Bagocki's!

Yum! Second huge ice cream of summer…gotta love Husky Deli!

Getting very creative and working on problem solving

Caspar Babypants Concert

Very thoughtful especially when studying trains

In Snoqualmie

Had a great summer with this kid!

Cousin Julien babysitting!

ah summer, when you can have dirt all over your face and not think much about it

enjoying a snack at the zoo

Wish his friend Dax at Lincoln Park

Backyard camp out

Tourists in our own city

Baking Gramma's birthday cake with Aunt Cassie

hiking in Seward Park and being sillies

reading in the tent

Family camp out

Micah's first photo ever: Gramma at the West Seattle Brewery

lots of play time with his big brother. Charlie seems very amused.

passing on my soccer skills

the best of friends at the zoo

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

22 months: Living the Good Summer Life

Photo courtesy of Abeille Photography from Awesome kids Day!

This month Micah has:

  • been a frequent flier. Right after his 21st birthday, he flew from the bay area to Denver and then of course back to Seattle. 
  • almost gotten lost. Mom and Dad had their first momentary panic as Micah escaped all four of us (yes, Nana and Papa too) as we were about to board the plane to Denver!
  • got to stay at his Aunt Beth and Uncle Ben's house where he played with balls and chalk in their backyard, fed Uncle's fish and watched the crab and "Blastamousa" (i don't really know what it is either…some kind of coral or something, but Uncle Ben taught Micah the word and he loved repeating it over and over).
  • Got to learn more about Trains at the Colorado Train Museum and on the Leadville Colorado Train ride. 
  • Had so much fun in Vail swimming in the pool, playing in the splash parks, playing on the playgrounds (one was a pirate ship!), spending time with family, and running up and down ramps and all around the grass. He watched birds and chipmunks, and got to ride a horse, "wrangle steer", get wrangled by Daddy, and roast marshmallows. 
  • Had his first ice cream cone all to himself! Chocolate from Bonny Bray in Denver and he couldn't get enough! It was so funny since he was so tired and was just totally zoned out. Then of course the next hour he ran like a mad man all over Wash Park non stop! At least he had fun!
  • learned so many new words and phrases. Said things like quickie (with laughter), gondola, blastamousa, oh god…oh god…, crap! (yes…this has happened more than once! oops!), over here, over there, get in here, hold you (a signal to pick him up), Mommy do it, Daddy do it, open-meal (oatmeal), green and yellow (his responses always when asked what color, one-two-three (he can count to three and sometimes says other numbers randomly like eight nine!), and just started saying five word sentences.
  • went poop in the potty almost every single day of our vacation and some days after we got home! 
  • got scrapes and scratches from climbing every thing in sight!
  • started almost interacting with other kids at the playground. Once he was at Lincoln Park playing with rocks and another little 2 1/2 year old boy joined him. Micah looked at the kid and said "rocks!" and then they played together for about 20 minutes saying a few more words to each other and running around! So super cute! Another time, at the zoo, he was walking down the path and a 4 1/2 year old boy came up to try to look at his Cars t-shirt and then Micah held out his hand to the boy, the boy took it, and they proceeded to walk holding hands down the path for like two minutes. The other boys parents and Phil and I were cracking up…it was so adorable! 
  • blew bubbles, did watercolors, went to look in a pet store, went to the zoo again, spent a few days at Lake Washington at Coulon Park, hung out in the wading pools at Hiawatha and Lincoln Park, had a few picnic dinners at Lincoln Park and Alki, went to the spray park in Burien a few times, hung out with a lot of older kids (like some of Mommy's old students at The Cove, and some new friends thanks to our Pathways Connect group), went to the kidsquest museum (to mostly play on the big train table) and had a ton of fun!
  • spent his second 4th of July "walking" in the Burien parade (after we checked out the after party of the West Seattle kids parade in the Admiral district) and hung out with lots of fun families at a good ol' fashioned BBQ. 
  • tried weeding the yard like Daddy and Gramma
  • had lots of mini temper tantrums…I told you he's already like a 2 year old! 
  • Responded well to Love and Logic!!!! We are amazed that we are already seeing results. Seriously…pick up this book: 
  • had fun at Awesome Kids Day in Burien where he got his first face paint (a doggie on his hand) and went in the jump house (not really into it) and one of those blow up obstacle courses (really liked part of it!), and did some good people watching.
  • Hammed it up with new adults. My girlfriends came over for happy hour one night and I've never seen Micah be so silly and smiley and cute before.
  • had his first chiropractic adjustment. It wasn't anything major, but his scanned showed a little spot that was a bit out of alignment and since Dr. Collins is so awesome and since we believe in preventative medicine and not reactionary medicine, we decided to do it. He seemed to think the whole thing was a pretty cool experience.
  • Spent more time with his Nana when she came to visit for a few days (he even had a night alone with her and Gramma so that we could get a parents night out!) 
  • Loved having his gramma back in town after she was gone for about a week in Idaho
  • Hung out with his buddy Isaac at a BBQ at our house. They both were digging in the backyard and took a bath together. So cute. 
  • Got to visit Anna and Ryan and the babies again and got to meet baby Mason (our friend Crickets cute new arrival)! 
  • started taking showers instead of baths!
  • started to get very brave with his balancing and climbing. Also started to really like to play with balls and kick and throw them. We had a funny night where he actually caught the ball a few times by pure luck!
Hanging out at Lincoln Park

Two out of three times he has completely enjoyed the bike trailer! One time...not so much!

He's quite the funny guy now too. This is his "hockey helmut" pose

stickers save us on dinners out

I couldn't help but be impressed when he totally took to the scooter!

the imaginative play phase is starting and I love it! He totally lined the chairs up like this all on his own on our stop in a bookstore in downtown Puyallup

Micah's gotten several opportunities this summer to check out fire trucks and police cars, like this one on the 4th of July!

Just one of the kids playing with bubbles at a fun 4th of July BBQ

Fun playing with big kid friends at Coulon Park on Lake Washington

Some weeks he eats everything we put in front of him, other weeks hardly anything at all

This day was so cute! Abby and Micah were born just days apart and Abby's mom and I worked together when we were pregnant, so it is extra special to see these two start to interact!

Not the best photo, but this is the day to day stuff..."the burrito" after a shower look

How many kids are this lucky to get time with both Grandmothers together!?

Boys and their digging! Here's Micah and his friend Isaac who is 9 months older, but it is fun to see the development gap start to narrow a bit!

Micah's become quiet the little climber! This is climbing the big rocks at Camp Long!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Live it In a Day: Spokane & Coeur d'Alene

This is technically a live it in two days post. When I tried to separate Spokane and Coeur d'Alene areas, it just didn't make sense, so here is what I came up with! Hope it helps. 

Spokane is a cute little town with a lot to offer in a day. The best times to travel to Spokane are for Hoopfest or Bloomsday the most popular three on three basketball tournament and 12k race. At both you get to see the locals and be right in downtown area walking around, shopping, and tasting local foods as well as hanging out in riverfront park (with the option of taking a gondola ride over the falls). At Bloomsday though you really get to run through some cute neighborhoods too. 
The hubster after running Bloomsday a few years ago

Spokane Falls

If you are in Spokane at any other time, I'd recommend doing the following:
Check out the Davenport Hotel. There are cool photos everywhere of the olden days and you feel like you've stepped back in time. 
Take a walk around Gonzaga University's campus and waterfront area and get a slice of pizza at Davids Pizza (which I just found out closed a few years ago and I'm working on figuring out where the new location is. So sorry!).
Near Gonzaga University in Spokane

Check out Anemone Handmade Paper flowers on Second Ave.
Go to The Elk for a meal (I usually get anything with the roasted corn pasta salad, but everything is amazing!). Then go to the northwest arts and culture museum. It's small but they do a really nice job.
If it is fall time, a drive to Greenbluff area is a must. It's this cool area with a coop of farmers.
The beauty of Greenbluff near Spokane

At any time, head to the South Hill to see cute older houses and to check out Manito Park. They have a really pretty and free Japanese tea garden. 

If you happen to be heading to 
Couer d'alene for your next live it in a day experience, you MUST stop for dinner at Hay J's in Liberty Lake. It is seriously so yummy and has a great ambiance even though you'd never guess it as it is in a gas stations strip mall!

When in Coeur d'Alene, the best thing to do is to walk, walk, and walk more. Walk around their super cute downtown area to window shop. Walk around by the lake or the river. Hike Tubs Hill, which is right near the famed Coeur D'Alene resort (which is way over priced, but definitely a good location). Get on a boat and out in the water if it is summer. Coeur d'Alene nightlife is fun with The Beacon, The Moose Lounge, Mic N Mac's, and a few other local places. If you want a true view of Idaho life, head to the Iron Horse, but beware of the smoke. 
Ahhh Coeur d'Alene Lake

While in Idaho, you must eat out for breakfast. A few favorites are Blue Plate ( a little drive to Hayden, ID), Old European, and The Breakfast Nook.
My favorite breakfast spot: Blue Plate Cafe

Love those Idaho breakfasts!

For lunch my vote is for MoonTime (especially if you didn't go to the Elk in Spokane). I could eat at Moon Time every day for weeks. And the prices are just my style too.

If you are in the area for more than a day, definitely take the 30 minute drive to Sandpoint. Sandpoint has a really cute downtown with good restaurants, nice people, some nice art galleries and of course the seriously good (and pretty cheap) Pend Oreille Winery. Sandpoint also has a nice public beach on the lake (which is so deep the Navy tests out submarines in it!). Also in the area, are the Bottle Bay trail, with a spectacular view of the lake and downtown Sandpoint. 
The Beach in Sandpoint, Idaho

Bottle Bay hiking with my In Laws

I should also say that I've heard that Priest Lake is one of the most pristine lakes that should not be missed, but unfortunately I do not have first hand knowledge of it. Husband fail #1, I'd say! ;-)

If you are in the area during winter time and like to partake in snow sports, I would personally recommend skipping the whole scene at Schweitzer Mountain Resort (unless you really like spending top dollar and getting a Vail or Tahoe experience and unless you just can't miss the views of the lake). I've been to Schweitzer several times and although the views are spectacular, it is often super windy, overcrowded, and overpriced. Instead, go to Silver Mountain Resort or to my favorite, Lookout Pass. Silver is still a large mountain with an amazing gondola ride to start your day. When there we've seen moose and had great snow and amazing rides. I am more particular to smaller, cheaper, and less crowded mountains, so Lookout is my favorite. It is right on the Montana and Idaho border and gives you the opportunity to relax and have so much fun. 
Snowboarding Lookout Pass

So basically the area is great for golfers, swimmers, sun bathers, people just interested in window shopping and eating good food, skiers, snowboarders, and everyone in between. The area is not too excited about liberal California types, but I managed to survive life there for a few years, so don't be too worried! ;-)