Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mutant Garden

We've planted a garden along our backyard fence every summer for the past 6 years. Usually we are pretty sucessful and get beans, peas, strawberries, potatoes, lettuce, zuchinni, carrots, blueberries, raspberries and more. The weather has been so crazy this year, and I have to admit, we haven't spent much time tending our garden, but things have gone a little wild!
We planted peas, carrots, beans, cherry tomatoes, watermelon, eggplant, and zuchinni. We never got around to planting potatoes, which I am very sad about. We do have strawberries, blueberries and raspberries which are pretty well established and don't take much work - which we all love (more on those later!)
This is what our garden has become this year: This is two cherry tomato plants. Our neighbors watered them for us while we were in Wisconsin. We think they must have slipped them some growth hormones along with the water. You can't tell where one plant ends and the other begins. There are tomoato cages around them, and we've tried staking them up, but nothing seems to help these wild things!
This is still the tomato plants. See the big yellow blossom in the middle? That is a runner from either the zuchinne, eggplant or watermelon. It just grew up over the top of the tomatoes.
We normally have a lot of luck with our beans. This year, it took them about 2 and half months to do anything. I was just looking at them the other day, and I may be able to harvest a handful of beans later in the week. There is also a rogue tomato plant that grew right in front of the beans. We think it must be from a prior year plant.
I planted a section of carrots - we got 2 sprouts. I've left them both in the ground and am waiting to pull them for a few more weeks. I love carrots fresh from the garden, so I'm waiting until these gets nice and big. Those poor dead plants are the peas. We got a few peas off of them before the shriveled up and died. I'm not sure what their deal was, we watered them!
I guess we'll just be writing off this gardening season. Soon, everything will be pulled up and we'll fertilize and hope for a better growing season next year.

Family Artwork

Adam has always enjoyed coloring and drawing. He has recently started drawing people. I think he does a pretty good job. This is a recent picture. He brought it to me and asked me to write in everyone's name as he told me who the people were.
A couple of things that I found funny:
1. You know who his favorite person is. Uncle Brian is the biggest and has the biggest smile.
2. He wanted to have all of his cousins, but he couldn't remember everyone's name. So he pointed out Noah, Talia, Aiden and Asher, and then told me the other group was his Other Cousins. We went and looked at the family picture we took at the Wallis reunion and I pointed out his Wallis cousins, but he just couldn't decide which was which, so he said "write down other cousins"
3. How come he drew Daddy as a little boy and "Daddy growed up", but Mommy was only drawn as a little girl?
4. I love that "Daddy growed up" is holding Jackson
5. I asked him if he drew Grandma and Grandpa Conrad or Grandma and Grandpa Wallis. He said he drew all of them. The grandma picture is two grandmas and the grandpa picture is two grandpas.
It makes me happy to know that Adam knows that all of these people love him!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I need a shot!

So on Saturday we got back from our little weekend getaway to Leavenworth. We had a lot of fun and both boys were great. I needed to run to the store and Adam was coming with. He asked where we were going. I told him that because he had been such a good boy we were going to the doctor to get a shot. He didn't get that dad was kidding but I didn't expect the response. He said "Good I've been thinking I needed one!" The entire time we were out at the store he kept asking when am I getting my shot. I kept telling him that dad was just kidding but he insisted he neded one for his arm and went so far as to let it hang limply by his side as evidence he needed one. The next morning he came downstairs and asked me why I was up so early, it was 7:45 (sleeping in by his standards). I said it was Sunday and I was getting ready for church. I asked him why he was up so early and he said "because my arm hurts, I didn't sleep good at all. I told you I needed a shot!"

Friday, August 27, 2010

End of Summer Birthday Trip

The past couple of summers, we've made a trip out to Ocean Shores to celebrate the end of summer and Adam's birthday. Scott was asked to help with WoodBadge this year, so we decided to do our trip the last weekend of August instead of waiting until September, since those weekends were quickly filling up. (WoodBadge has since been cancelled because they didn't have enough people sign up - oh well!) Scott and I have talked several times this summer about how poorly we have planned things - meaning that we haven't really planned anything, until the last minute. This trip was no different. By the time I got around to making reservations at The Grey Gull - which is our favorite place to stay in Ocean Shores, it was all booked. We tried several camp grounds near the ocean and even some camp grounds at a few other places, but everything was already booked. Finally, on Monday of the week we wanted to go, we decided to try a hotel in Leavenworth, WA. I made several phone calls, and was FINALLY able to book a room thru Hotels.com. (We are going to plan better for next summer!!) So, Friday morning, we headed out to Leavenworth.
I love Leavenworth. Scott and I have spent several weekends there, my sister and I kidnapped our mom for her 50th birthday and took her there, we had a family reunion there and we've been camping at Lake Wenatchee (which was all booked up as well - I checked!). It has been quite a few years since we've spent any time there and it really hasn't changed a bit. It's just this little town, surrounded by mountains. Scott took this great picture of the moon.
We spent Friday afternoon walking around and enjoying the sunshine. We went into the Wooden Toy shop and Adam had fun spending a little of his allowance. After shopping a little, we found an ice cream shop and sat in the park enjoying our ice cream.
Jackson enjoyed sharing mommy's ice cream!
After getting his fill of ice cream, Jackson decided to crawl around. He kept crawling over to the sidewalk where he would turn around and sit down, right in the middle of the foot traffic. It's a good thing he's such a cutie!! To distract Jackson from the sidewalk, Adam decided to be a tunnel for him to crawl thru.
That was fun, too!
We had a nice night at the hotel, where Adam went swimming. The next day, Grandma and Grandpa met up with us, and Adam had to show them the Wooden Toy Store, and then we walked down to another park that is right on the Wenatchee River. Adam watched his dad skip rocks on the river and tried so hard to do the same. It was a lovely, and relaxing day. (We left the camera in the car!) After stopping at my most favorite store in Leavenworth for some delicious candied apples, and then a wild game of miniature golf, we headed home.
Next summer we'll be sure to plan ahead, but for a last minute trip, we had a great time!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baby Kisses

I think I've mentioned before that Jackson gives the best kisses! Wide open mouth, a little tongue, sometimes a chomp from the newly grown in teeth, and always tons of drool! I love getting kisses from this kid!
Yesterday Scott came home from work early because he has several things he needed to get done for a meeting. So, he was home when Jackson woke up from his nap. Jackson can be quite cuddly when he first wakes up - especially if I have to wake him up (he had been sleeping for 3 hours and it was almost 5:00). So, I took Jackson into my bedroom and laid down with him on the bed. Adam was next door playing with Xander, so Scott came in to see what Jackson and I were up too. He sat down on the bed with us and started teasing and tickling Jackson. Every once in awhile, Jackson would look at me and lean over and give me a big slobbery kiss. Then he would sit back up and play with dad some more. Scott would say "Where's my kiss, Jackson" and make little kissy noises. Jackson's reply was to lean over and give ME another kiss! This went on for about 15 minutes! It was so funny! Scott couldn't get a kiss for anything! But, Jackson made up for it at bedtime. Scott was laying on Adam's bed after the shoulder ride race (a nightly event when dad is home). Jackson crawled over, grabbed Scott's head and sunk his teeth in. He left a big ol' glob of baby drool along with the teeth marks! He said he wanted a kiss....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Welcome Robyn June!

My brother, Daris and his wife Rachael welcomed their first baby this morning. She is so darling! She was born August 22nd at 7:45 and is 7 pounds, 5 ounces and has dark eyes and lots of dark hair. We headed down to Valley Medical Center in Renton to welcome her to the family.
We were supposed to then head to the summer picnic for my company, but on the drive down, I got a phone call and found out that the picnic had to be cancelled because of rain. Anyway - by the time we got to the hospital, I was knee deep in phone calls, so Scott and the boys went in to meet Robyn while I finished up on the phone.
Here are the boys with Robyn and Grandma.

I was excited to get my hands on this tiny little baby. Of course, I had to un wrap her to get a look at those skinny little legs and tiny feet. She is just a doll!
However - Jackson wasn't too excited about me holding Robyn. This was a new experience for me. Adam was not a momma's boy - at all! He could have cared less if I held another baby. Jackson did not like it!

He gave me a big hug once I gave Robyn over to her other Grandma who was also there. I tried to hold her one other time when it looked like Jackson was otherwise engaged. He quickly dropped what he was doing and crawled over to pull himself up onto my lap. Silly boy!
We are so excited for Daris and Rachael - and excited to have a cousin living so close! Hopefully Jackson will learn to love her - I guess as long as I don't hold her!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

11 Months

I realize I didn't post anything for Jackson's 10 month birthday. We were in Wisconsin at the time, and the day came and went so fast! I can't believe that today marks his 11 months!
I continue to feel so blessed to have this little guy in our family! He is amazing, and has grown so much in the past month! I found this morning that he cut his 5th tooth! It's on the bottom left. During this past month, he has figured out crawling, which has made a huge difference for everyone! He is so much happier and doesn't get nearly as frustrated as he used too. He is everywhere, and Adam has quickly learned that if there is something he doesn't want Jackson to get, he has to put it away. I am surprised at how fast he can get around!!

I love this picture that Scott took. You can see the trail of toys he has left as he goes from one thing to the next. He is such a busy, busy boy!

Aside from crawling, Jackson has continued to just be a happy boy. We decided he is going to be a jokester. One of his favorite things to do is to bite on the spoon when you're feeding him. The other morning, Adam was laughing at him every time he bit the spoon. As soon as Jackson figured out that Adam was laughing at him, he would bite on the spoon, grin and then look over at Adam and just wait for the laugh! He does the same thing when you put sunglasses on his face. He grins and looks around, just waiting for someone to laugh at him! His personality is emerging more and more every day!

We've had such a busy month! We made our annual trip to Jetty Island. Jackson loved the sand! Here are a few pictures from the fun day!

Cute picture of cuddling with Grandma after waking up from a nap on the beach!

Jackson kept crawling in and out of this bucket to get to the ball. He was very proud of himself every time he got it out!
He also got to meet some extended family for the first time. Here he is with Grandma and Grandpa Wallis. It was fun to spend time with Aunts, Uncles and cousins!

Jackson got his first haircut this past month.
He discovered a favorite place this past month. Jackson seriously loves the shower! He loves the shower fully dressed, or at shower time. I was getting ready to get in the shower this morning, and had to go help Adam with something. When I came back into the bathroom, this is where I found Jackson.

I'm finding it hard to believe that my little baby is almost a year old. What a joy he continues to be! Happy 11 months Baby Jackson!!

A last hurrah at Fun Forest

There is a little amusement park at the Seattle Center called Fun Forest. I have fond memories of elementary school field trips, fun days with the family and teenage date nights spent at Fun Forest. It was originally built as part of the 1962 World's Fair, and now, in two weeks, after Labor Day weekend, it will be closed down for good. A couple of weeks ago, our neighbor Quyen and I decided we should take the kids before it shut down. She too grew up in the Seattle area and remembers the roller coaster as her first roller coaster ride! It worked out that a Saturday would be best, which was great because the dads got to come too! So, this morning, we headed out to downtown Seattle and the Seattle Center. I was surprised as we walked into the Fun Forest area - all of the big rides were gone. There used to be a roller coaster (Quyen's first ride), a log ride, an alien space sheep that defied gravity, a haunted house ride, and a couple of more - all gone. They've already been sold, dismantled and shipped off to various amusements parks around the US.
We continued walking and found that most of the little kid rides are still there. We enjoyed a weekend at Fun Forest with Adam about 16 months ago, before Jackson was born, so Adam was excited for another visit. Especially since we were going with his best buddy! So, we bought some tickets, and let the boys pick their rides!
Jackson and Maira got to watch most of the rides. They did make it onto the carousel, but neither one thought it was that great, so we didn't try again.
Adam wore his sunglasses most of the morning, and he refused to smile, except for when the rides were going.
The dad's joined the boys on the Rockin' Tub ride.
Scott really enjoyed it!
Bumper cars are always a hit!
Jackson got tired of the stroller, so after lunch, he spent some time pulling my hair during his favorite ride a shoulder ride! This one didn't cost a dime!!
Quyen and Scott joined the boys for the little roller coaster. I was surprised Adam agreed to go after his traumatic water roller coaster ride at the family reunion - but he went with daddy, and had lots of fun.
The end of the ride. Adam doesn't look too excited, but he said he wanted to go again!
Jeff and the boys did one more ride on the Rockin' Tub. Adam insisted that he wanted to go by himself - no daddy this time. I thought it was funny that he did sit right next to Jeff!
He likes it!!
The boys picked their last ride. They look so big handing their tickets over to the worker.
Quyen and I sat with Maira and Jackson watching the last ride.
Jackson got a handful of Maira's hair. One of his favorite past-times, pulling hair!
After the last ride we found this fun little garden and took some pictures of the family. It turned out to be a pretty day, although it was a little bit chilly. Not sure what the deal is with Seattle weather this summer!
Jackson enjoyed some practice walking on the cobblestone path.
After pictures, we decided to head home. So glad these boys have each other. They are such good friends!!
We had a fun last hurrah at Fun Forest. I guess there is still a campaign going on trying to save it, but I think the chances are pretty slim. It's a little sad to see something from my childhood going away. I'm glad I got to share it with Adam...

Friday, August 20, 2010

The funny things...

We've had a steady stream of people coming in an out of our house this week. Over the weekend, we noticed that our internet connection wasn't working. I also found out that I am on the computer - a lot - but in my defense, I do some work from home! I was feeling rather disconnected from the world, although it was also nice in some ways. We didn't have internet starting Saturday afternoon, until Wednesday afternoon. We tried several things to get it back up and working - phone calls to Frontier, a new router being sent out, more phone calls, the IT guy from the company I work for coming out, more phone calls and finally a technician from Frontier coming out. I figure if I had to send Frontier a bill for my time and the IT guys time, it would have come to over $700 (that's at our billing rate at work). It's too bad I can't get that amount taken off my bill this month!! The problem was with a card that went bad in the control center at Frontier. Go figure!
Anyway - this morning when I got to work, I was talking to our IT guy here and telling him how they finally fixed it. I also thanked him for putting up with Adam while he spent 2 hours at our home Wednesday morning. Adam followed him everywhere and asked him a million questions. Greg said, he was fine, and it was fun to have his company. Two funny things that he told me:
Adam brought his teddy bear to show Greg. His bear has a Seahawks jersey and helmet on and Adam told Greg that this was his Seahawks bear. Greg asked "do you like the Cowboys too?" Adam's reply (sorry Scott) "No, I just like the Seahawks!". I guess he's old enough now to pick his own team.
Second - Adam told Greg that he plays baseball and showed him his trophy. Greg asked him what position he played. Adams response; "Transformers". Greg asked him again what position he played and Adam again said "Transformers". Greg was very confused until I told him this morning that Transformers was the name of his team this past year.
The good news - Greg said he understood most of what Adam said! It was great to hear that! I guess the two years of speech therapy did some good. I still have a hard time understanding some of what he says, so I sometimes wonder if it's done any good. It was nice to hear that someone who has never really been around him was able to have a conversation with him.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Water Fun with a Good Friend!

The weather around here has finally decided to act like summer for a few days. We quickly decided to head outside and do something summery while we had the chance. We headed out to a spray park in Bellevue that I had been hearing about, and have wanted to check out since it opened last summer. I was a little diappointed that it wasn't what I was imagining (I was thinking lots more water spraying everywhere), but the kiddos still had fun. We took Grandma along (Happy Birthday to Grandma!) and our wonderful neighbors came as well! Poor Jackson has a pretty nasty cold, so he stayed out of the water and just crawled around on the grass, which is one of his favorite things to do anyway!!
Here are Adam and Xander striking a pose (Vogue anyone?) under the middle section of a dragon. This was one of the weird things about the park. They had this cute dragon to climb on, but the only place water was spraying out was out of the dragon's nose (Adam said the dragon had a runny nose - "just like Jackson" - I'd have to agree it's been pretty similar. Lots of snot coming out of the baby!!)
Adam is a very brave climber lately. He enjoyed climbing all over this rock with weird looking fish on it. Then he would scream when the water started spraying and jump down.
This next picture shows where Adam spent most of his time. It was very popular among the kids and there was always a line. I found, surpringly, that Adam will not stand up for himself with kids he doesn't know. I was standing there and watched the kid in the red shorts cut in line about 3 times in front of Adam. None of the kids would say anything, so I finally stepped in the 4th time he was cutting and asked him to wait in the line like all the other kids. He just looked at me and kept going, so I asked him again, and again to go to the back of the line. He finally just walked off, and then came back about 3 minutes later and tried the same thing. I thought maybe he didn't speak english, but then I heard him talking to another girl, in very clear english. Just a rude kid!! Anway - enough with that rant! I was mostly just surprised that Adam didn't say anything to the kid. If it had been Xander or anyone he knew pushing in front of him, he wouldn't hesitate to say something. In spite of that, he still really had fun on the whale, and spent a lot of time climbing on it.
The best part was sliding down the nose. You never knew when the water would spray up out of the spout, so that added to the excitement!
The popsicle man for the area was very smart and brought his popsicle truck to the parking lot several times during the 4 hours we were there. He would just sit there and blast his annoying music and the kids would flock to the truck pulling parents by the hand. Adam and Xander got Spongebob Squarepants popsicles and thought they were very fun!
There was also some regular playground equipment at the park to play on. I didn't get any pictures, but the boys had lots of fun. (I forgot my camera, so these pics were all taken with my cell phone - it takes pretty good pictures, don't you think?) We had a fun afternoon, but I'm not sure we'll venture all the way to Bellevue just for the spray park again. I did really like the surface under all the spray toys - it was very soft and springy - all of the other spray parks we've been too - which is a grand total of two others - have cement under the toys. If Jackson had been feeling better, I think he would have had a grand time crawling around and climbing on the whales and rocks. We'll keep checking out all the spray parks in the area, and hopefully find the perfect one! Here's hoping summer is here to stay for a little while!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Annual Jetty Island Trip

We took our 3rd annual trip to Jetty Island on Monday. For the second year in a row, we had yucky August weather. Overcast, a little breezy, and even rain - although I think it was warmer then last year. Once again, in spite of the weather, we had a great time. Our favorite neighbors (Jeff, Quyen, Xander and Maira) joined us as well as a friend that I've known since I was 11 (LeAnn) and her kids, along with her sister (Lesley) and her sister's kids. It was fun to go with some older kids, and they had great fun playing in the sand and playing in the water. Yes, they all got in the water, even though it wasn't even 70 degrees out.
Jackson wasn't so sure about the sand at first, but he quickly warmed up to it and was crawling all over. He even tried to eat it - once.
Adam and Xander played in the water for awhile, and built a sand castle, and then after lunch they played on the little sand hill. They dug holes and laid down in them and pretended they were in rockets that were blasting thru outer space. They had a great time.
Jackson got a little fussy at nap time. I walked up and down the beach with him trying to get him to sleep. LeAnn took this cute picture. Any time he gets super fussy, I like to hold him close and bring my forhead down to his. It always makes him smile!
He did finally fall asleep.
We ended the afternoon with a rain storm. It started with just some sprinkles and was soon raining pretty hard. LeAnn, Lesley and I had gone for a walk down the beach and when it started raining, we turned around to head back to the group. By the time we got back to them, they had packed up all of our stuff and were ready to head back to the ferry. So, we trekked through the wet sand in the rain and just made it to catch the ferry back. I took this picture of a wet Grandma with Jackson on her back on the ferry ride. I wish it had turned out better, but the camera was seriously covered in sand!
We have so much fun when we go to Jetty Island, and maybe one of these years we'll actually go on a sunny day! But, no matter, we'll keep going - rain or shine!