Saturday, April 19, 2014

Live it in a Day- Seattle

We love Seattle and it's surrounding areas. There are endless areas to explore within city limits along with endless day trips and weekend trips.  Here are a few of our favorite Seattle things to do.

Even though it's probably the number one tourist destination, Pikes Market is a must even for us locals.  It's not just for tourists like Pier 39 in San Francisco. It's actually a real functioning public market and has some of the best hole in the wall authentic ethnic eateries around.  Wander the halls and stores on the lower levels and across the street. Eat at Piroshky Piroshky... It is worth the long line and the line goes fast. If you are a good walker, you can walk from downtown to Pioneer Square and even to Seattle Center. 
One of my favorite drives that will soon be extinct, the Viaduct.

Phil and family and friends in front of our favorite Pikes Market destination

It's seriously worth the wait and the line moves fast!

The shopping area in Seattle on Pike and Pine is great, but you can go big box store shopping in any big city. Instead, go to Pioneer Square and do the Underground tour. It's funny and you learn about Seattle's seedy history too. Another option that is less unique, even more cheesy, and slightly embarrassing yet surprisingly fun and educational is the duck tour.

My beautiful sister in law enjoying a duck tour on Lake Union

In terms of neighborhoods to explore, my first favorite is Ballard. The Hiram Chittenden Locks are fun. Prime time to see the fish going up the fish ladders are late spring to early fall, yet the area is fun and pretty even when the fish aren't running. One of our favorite restaurants for brunch is the Portage Bay Cafe. They have three locations, one in Ballard, and serve fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. Ballard is also great for window shopping, great restaurants for lunch and dinner (our favorites are The Golden Beetle, La Carta de Oaxaca, SeƱor Moose, and Bastille), as well as "The scene" for night life and bars.

Our friend Steph and Jeff at the oh so yummy Portage Bay Cafe

One of Micah's first trips at the Ballard Locks

I couldn't write about Seattle without paying tribute to our home neighborhood of West Seattle (our second fav.). West Seattle has some of the best views of the city. Stop by Alki beach, the Alaska Junction for shopping and food. Husky Deli has the best ice cream, Circa (in the Admiral District) has the best burgers and pub food, and Zeeks (one of several locations) has the best pizza.

Alki Beach

Other neighborhoods to explore: Upper Queen Anne, Capitol Hill (we like 
Poquitos and Barrio), the U District (walk up and down "the Ave", check out the University Bookstore, and even walk around UW since it is a stunning campus), and Fremont (Theo chocolate has a factory tour, there are great pubs and bars, as well as the Fremont Brewing Co. Brewery).

Fremont Brewing Company

The food truck craze isn't just a Portlandia thing ;-)

In the summer it's fun to go swimming in either Greenlake or on Lake Washington (we like the Mount Baker Beach). The closest we get to swimming in the Puget Sound is the salt water Colman Pool at Lincoln Park.

Try to catch a sporting event since Seattle is all about their Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, Huskies, and the Supersonics (no they don't exist anymore, but Seattlites still rep them hard core!).

We have lots of fun museums like the MOHAI (which is a must do for history buffs like me), the EMP (also a must do for architecture freaks and music history nerds), and further north, but worth the drive the Boeing Factory Tour in Everett (yes, it's expensive, but I think it's well worth it!). The Space Needle can be fun, but I would go to the new Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum instead.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Friends at the Seattle Aquarium

A day at the new MOHAI 

I know I completely over did it and gave you way too many choices to fit into one day, but now you can pick and choose and tailor your trip to your own preferences. Please, if you are ever coming to Seattle, send me an email or comment here and I can help you plan your trip! :-) 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Ever Evolving Organized Nursery

Micah's nursery is ever evolving. It keeps changing as he does. It also is missing major window treatments, more artwork, and his crib (in these photos…it is currently in there as a toddler bed so once again, I slacked on updating you and now need to completely update you again!). We've donated the changing table (it wasn't anything special and was a garage sale item in the first place, so when next baby comes someday, we will just go to another garage sale or craigslist to find a new one). I love how Micah's clothing, toy, and book storage is working for us. I do eventually want to get a dresser for him when his clothes become a bit bulkier, but for now the little cloth storage bins work just fine. We mostly treat his room as a playroom since he just naps in here and starts each night sleeping in here for at least a few hours. The rocking chair is still so comfy and provides the perfect place for reading stories and snuggling with a bedtime bottle. 
love the Ikea cubbies for clothing, toy, and book storage

matching reading chairs

Love having a good rotation of bedtime stories!

Need to get some cute art for this wall without overwhelming it. I may end up doing large book storage here…

I'm not very crafty, but when I saw this shadow box idea on Pinterest, I had to copy it. Phil was the one that wanted to save Micah's first bandaid! The maternity photo was a free little photo session we had with the wonderful Kerry B Photography. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's Laundry Day! (An organized laundry closet)

Doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo…..yes, I am singing to Jason Mraz' song. Please tell me you know that one! Geek in the Pink, anyone? ;-) One of the silly exciting things about our remodel was the fact that we were able to get rid of our old clunky washer and dryer and get new high efficiency ones AND house them in their own little closet! They have been wonderful and we were even able to enjoy them way back when when we lived with extension cords, a microwave, and space heaters. The closet was newer and has only been enjoyed since the summer before Micah was born. The closet doors came after Micah was born and it wasn't until just last month that Phil created these absolutely perfect shelving and countertop for the laundry "room". It was amazing how cluttered our whole house felt just by staring at all the extra sheets and towels piled up on top the machines along with everything laundry related rattling on top of the machines as they vibrated. These two little shelves actually make our house feel 50 times more complete! It's crazy town! We actually fold the laundry in the laundry closet now. This "room" is still a complete work in progress since I would love to add a small clothes line and clothespins, some kind of art, and maybe a few small hooks for the lint, garbage, and extra sock tubs. Micah has been fascinated by the laundry for quiet some time now and has become quiet the little helper often loading his own clothes and pressing the buttons for us.

Forgot to take a before photo. This is after!

Couldn't help add this old gem of Micah and Charlie in the dryer.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Eighteen Months: Closer to Two Years Than One!

I'm totally sobbing while typing my usual phrase, "I can't believe how time flies!" How are we already at a year and a half!? I'm actually not sobbing since I love love love this age! Micah is so much fun and interactive and even when he's being a little stinker, I can't help but laugh. Yes, this is because I am not home all day with him and I miss him like crazy. He is still such a great kid. He is loving and inquisitive, funny and cautious. He loves the outdoors and watching Daddy build the deck. He teases "Arlie" (Charlie our dog) and gives so many wonderful kisses.

Helping sweep up at Nana and Papa's

This month Micah:

  • loved talking on the phone (holding mom and dad's iPhones and anything that fits in his hand and he can use to pretend to talk on the phone). He says "Hi!" and smiles and when you ask who he is talking to he either replies "Papa" or "Dadda". 
  • repeated almost everything we said. He says hi and bye bye. He knows lots of animal names, although he calls chickens bok bok's. He says mama and dada and daddy and papa and sort of manages gramma, but not quite. He says baby and Nee Nee (for Nemo, his stuffed fish), Eek for his Pete the Cat stuffed animal and eesh for cheese. He probably says two to five new words per day now. It's so much fun!
  • had so much fun watching his Daddy build a deck in the backyard.
  • played with the rocks in our front yard a lot while Gramma watched him. He also grows so attached to holding one or two rocks that we are constantly finding them in the house and in the car or left over in the stroller. 
  • walked half of our nightly walk and then is forced to get in the stroller in order to give Charlie a bit more excursive and Micah does not really like it.
  • had fun with cars and ramps, climbing, painting, playing with toys in the sensory bin and many more fun things at preschool.
  • moved to a later bedtime thanks to daylight savings, which actually is nicer for mommy since she gets home so late from work anyways.
  • traveled on planes again to get to Nana and Papa's house with Mommy. He got to help sweep up their front yard and had a lot of alone time with Papa. He played with new toys and went to Burton Park a lot. He did not nap well, was teething, and even though he had lots of fun with Papa, he was happy to see Mommy once she was done with all of Auntie Jen's baby shower stuff. I even got him back in the Ergo here and there this month!
  • Had a fun weekend with just Daddy and Gramma while Mommy went on a girls trip to Bellingham.
  • stopped eating so much smoothies and has been eating a lot of different foods since Daddy and Gramma are cooking and baking gourmet meals almost every night! 
  • still wore mostly disposable diapers. Ooops. DUDE!!! Get on that, right?!
  • been a trooper as Mommy and Daddy focused on themselves a bit more than ever before in his lifetime!
Playing at Seatac airport

Fun at Nana and Papas house

Loving blueberries and quiche at Aunt Jen's baby shower with Papa

Celebrating Baby Seif with family and friends and the Seifs of course!

And then there were moments like this too

Can't wait to meet Micah's first cousin!!!

We tried to take him sledding, but he was so not into it!

Bad timing on our first snow shoeing/sledding adventure day

This family walks everywhere!

Micah even enjoyed the Purim service at PTBE

Got to visit his Aunt and Uncle too!

Seasoned Traveler dreaming of Disneyland (even though he hasn't been yet!)

Monday, March 3, 2014

A totally Pacific Northwest day

Last weekend while Phil did a huge study sesh, Micah and I got to keep ourselves occupied all day long. We started with a little hike in our nearby city park, Schmitz Preserve. We hiked from city graffiti to lush green mountain hideaway in no time. Micah touched the moss and lichen, climbed across fallen trees, threw sticks in the stream, kicked up some dirt, and smelled the fresh air.

We then ventured to the local elementary school's playground to have a picnic lunch and play time. The sky was grey, but our fun was colorful. ;-)

And of course since this is the Pacific Northwest, there is never a beach too far away, so we walked only a couple blocks to get to the Puget Sound. On Alki beach, we made new friends and "people watched" before feeling some major rain drops vs. our typical constant drizzle and thus packing it up and heading home.

After all that fun out and about, nothing was more sweet than to see this sleeping beauty napping with his daddy. We play hard to sleep hard here. ;-)
After their afternoon nap, we headed to the public library to spend time looking at board books and playing with a few cool puzzles and games. Did you know that the Seattle Public Libraries let you borrow board books on the honor system!? Yes, you get to borrow them for as long as you want! So totally awesome! After spending a fun hour or so at the library we were about to head home, yet the rain became quite fascinating and being as we had no where else to be and nothing else to do   I am such a cool mom, we stuck around to play in the puddles in front of the library and then again when we got home. 

No story about a typical Northwest day is complete without a stop at a brewery. We met up with "Uncle" Mikey at the Ram in U Village. Micah had fun playing on the booth and on Mike and cried when we had to take him back. That was a first! Uncle Mikey can come take him any time he wants.
After happy hour we were invited to another wonderful meal with my cousins and their friends. They know the most interesting people! Micah had fun entertaining the big kids and was up way past his bedtime.

To sum up why this was a typical northwest day, we:
1) got outside in nature
2) had a picnic in some drizzle
3) took in the beauty of the Puget Sound and some of the Olympic Mountains peeking through the clouds
4) spent time in a library reading
5) played in the rain
6) consumed beer
7) met up with friends and family
8) were full of love and laughter

Monday, February 24, 2014

Seventeen…Don't it Just Fly By Wild and Free?

This month Micah has:

  • Been saying new words like bubble and bath time and hi and hot, "Ock" for rock and walk, ball, dindin for dinner, dino mumble mumble for dinosaur. His most used word is either more or dada.
  • Been tugging on you or grabbing your hand or arm to lead you where he wants you to go
  • Been pretend talking on anything that looks somewhat like a phone
  • Ran... Mostly around the kitchen island. He loves it when you chase him with the popper toy or with his car
  • Loved more FaceTime with nana and papa and blows them kisses
  • Played at the park a lot. He is mostly enjoying all the little cars and big plastic toys, with some time on the swing and in the sandbox with trucks.
  • Played in the snow, gone on hikes, watched the Broncos and Seahawks in the SuperBowl, played at the library, went on lots of neighborhood walks, and more.
  • Started sleeping in his "big boy bed" (crib without one side) during naps and at night until Mommy and Daddy go to sleep.
  • Raised his hands in the air like a touchdown when anyone said football or 49ers or Broncos (or whenever he saw anything associated with sports like basketball on tv too!)
  • Had lots more fun at the coop preschool. He likes to climb on the climber, play with the trains, play at the sensory table, play with cars, and snack and music times.
  • Had his first dentist appointment and he did really well. Daddy got to take him and Dr. Kae said everything looks great.
  • Started cutting his canines, which are the worst! I always heard that molars were the worst, but these are way harder! I cannot believe the amount of drool and snot (I think it's related) that Micah's had going on the last week or two! And the tooth is just barely cutting through.
  • Had his second hair cut...his first at home buzz cut!
  • Eaten a lot of hummus, cheese, bananas, chicken, cheerios, yogurt, smoothies, pita, bread, rice cakes, peanut butter, raw broccoli, raw carrots, etc.
  • Practiced using his own utensils.
  • Had a couple of diaper rashes (possibly due to berries in his smoothies and/or a different laundry detergent on his diapers).
  • Worn mostly disposables this month since things were not going so well with cloth. Need to get on that! I don't want to give up on cloth!
  • Been seeming so grown up already! I definitely am already missing things about his baby stage and while we can't wait for him to learn another new word, I already have insight into the "this kid never stops talking" phase! ;-) 
  • Liked throwing balls and rocks.
  • Liked looking at animals and saying their noises.
  • Can hear a word in one book and go find the same word in another book without prompting.
So thoughtful at lunch time

Smoothie and cartoon time

At the park

Big enough to go on the merry go round!

Nothing like good ol fashion cardboard box fun

smelling the herb plants

Runny Nose and drooling thanks to getting his canine teeth!

Teething…hence sucking on an ice cube!