March 29, 2015

Flora and Fauna

This Saturday we woke up feeling like we needed to get out of dodge so we decided to go see the plants and animals.  And by that I mean the tulips and the whales.  This area (the Pacific Northwest) is well known for both and Seattle is only an hour or two away.  We have been to the tulip fields before but Aiden certainly didn't remember.  It was on the and they really are gorgeous and bizarre so why not.

From there we took an hour-something ferry to Friday Harbor (or in Aidens case, an hour-something nap).

To kill time before dinner, we cruised the docks and chatted up the sea plane pilot and watch them take off. They were headed to Seattle, literally blocks from our house which sounds pretty fun and not just a little bit fancy. Next time!  I also tried to get in the spirit by watching Twilight for the first time even though David kept saying it's not that close to Forks.  Meh- foggy, remote towns in the PNW are all the same to me.  

The next day we hopped on one of the little whale watching boats that weaves through the islands looking for orcas or humpbacks (this is the season for orcas).  Both transient and resident pods are common in the San Juans but unfortunately the whales were feeling quite private that day and we saw neither. We did see seals and sea lions and bighorn sheep and lots of Eagles (none of which I even remotely have the lens for) so I guess that's gotta count for something.

It was a bummer not to see them but the weekend was super fun and we'll try again. It's understandable I suppose- they are wild animals after all. 

March 26, 2015

Life Lately

Just as a little disclaimer: I don't have anything particular to say or any particular point I want to make.   So if this seems direction-less, that's why.   But stuffs been happening, non the less. I have pictures on my phone that I'd like to see on a big screen and isn't that the M.O. of a lazy blogger?  Plus, I'm thinking maybe this will let me see the pattern in the tea leaves, so to speak.

I just had a work trip to California. Can I first just say- how much better is life when work is going well?  I like to think of it as the side thing that enables my life (that I usually quite like) but the reality of it is that it's a super major part of my life right now. And if it's grinding along throwing gravel in my wheels, it's for sure gonna dampen my chipper.

Anyway.  California... oh California.  I about drowned in nostalgia, at least a dozen times.  Not that I necessarily want to live there again but maybe..?  No.  It wouldn't be the same.  Regardless, it's the home of the Happiest Time in My Life (so far).  I meet my love and had my baby and everything else wonderful just landed on my lap there.  How can I not wish it had lasted forever?!  But it also couldn't have sustained and certainly wouldn't be the same if we went back.  You can never force recreate some past experience. What am I going to do: get married again?  Become a mom again?  No, and surly California doesn't live up to the mystical place my memory has made it out to be.  Onto new things.  We will attempt to make them new and better.

But it could have been...  And it's hard to stop wondering what the California-Forever Amber would have been like.

I have been thinking about getting a ukulele for Aiden a while.  Maybe a year?  I finally got it- it's only $30 after all.  I guess I just don't want him to be spoiled.  Anyways, no regrets.  I've even been tinkering with it some myself, too.  (Yes, me, the one with less musical talent that annnnnny-e-one.)

He has serenaded "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Happy Birthday to Marriaaaaaaaaaane" and by that I mean held the ukulele very convincingly while he hit the strings randomly and belts out some words.  He's also made up a few tunes.  The one that stopped me in my tracks was the catchy melody of "We no say $%#! We no say $%#!" (insert bad word that apparently I tell him we don't say).

This is my running trail.  Is that magical or what?!?!  I guess the rain's got to be good for something.  I've been struggling to get in an exercise grove for a while.  And by struggling, I mean I'm not doing it.

I created a lot of my good habits by making routines be super low friction.  Like I eat lots of veggies and fruit by having tons of my favorites around the house.  Same idea but opposite direction with junk food: I don't stock the stuff where I'd eat the whole box.  If I can just get the thing happening, I realize it's not so hard and pretty soon it's second nature. That used to work well for exercise, too, but not many things are low-friction with a toddler in the house.  It's just so easy to get "tired" or "too busy" and not go.

Running makes everything ok for me; it's mentally calming, helps me fall asleep, ironically makes me less snack-y, I won't go on but I could.  So why has it so hard to do?  Why do I resist getting out the door?  Why don't I make it happen?

I got this book.  She's been my favorite for a while, but now she's my hero.  I just totally feel her.  I emphasize feel because I'm not like her in a million ways; I'm less articulate and not effortlessly cool, totally different job, no problems with infertility, live on the opposite coast, not religious, many, many differences.  But somehow, she says things that I feel and didn't know how to say or don't even know I feel.  I mean, this is my castle and, damnit, I'm it's queen!  This is a season of my life and I'll be damned if I don't drink it all in, most of all being somebodies mother.  I mean how lucky is that?!

Reading it was like the mental version of a chiropractic adjustment- that is, if I went to chiropractors and actually believed in that sort of thing.  My thoughts just sort of cracked back into the right place where things made me want to say "yes!  that!" like an inarticulate caveman.

"I've always believed that every breath is a new chance to choose happiness. ... Happiness is a choice"

Also her marriage advice is pretty spot on, especially the anti-advice.

The cousins are awfully cute together.  Pea's in pods and colorful widdle easter eggs and all that.  They are just ridiculously cute playing together and love each other so very much.  It almost makes me not feel bad that my incredibly social kid doesn't have a sibling.  Until they start hating each other and Aiden can't share his toys for two nanoseconds because he doesn't have any practice.  So yeah, mostly it's best when we go to their place.

French Toast was my favorite childhood breakfast.  I haven't made it in ... ever?  Maybe because it's a million calories.  But Aiden and I have started making it occasionally as it's a perfect recipe for his skill level and attention span.  Be liberal with the maple syrup and even top with a little butter because hey if you're going to do it, might as well do it.  Let me assure you in case you have also suppressed your childhood desires: it's delicious.

I have this vivid memory of jogging home from work one day last spring. It was one of the first sunny days and I was just in a sports bra and shorts (which I never do).  The feel of sun and air on my skin was pure ecstasy.  I had so many ideas at that point (I would say dreams but it sounds way too cheesy to me right now) and I really really believed I could make them happen.

Right now, I'm trying really hard to recreate that optimism. I mean I'm happy and all; mildly optimistic I suppose.  But, I guess to be honest, that's mostly just for the sake of motivating myself.  I'm thinking this is what jaded feels like. In other words, basically every adult.

But I am grateful for spring.  Oh so grateful.  Hoping it's a good one.

March 22, 2015

March 52's

The Library was maybe a little too exciting for him.  When he brought his head up from the stroller and saw here we were (some new place with other kids) he let out a couple pretty solid screeches of excitement before I was able to get his attention and shush him.  I think I had to remind him Inside voices! maybe about a million times over the course of an hour.  Approximately.

He will randomly bust out with some pretty great questions. Like: "Remember grandma?"

He's starting to copy common phrases we say and it makes me a little embarrassed.  It just sounds strange to hear a two year old tell you:
Not for you, mama. 
I love you soooooo much.
No. Right NOW!  
You can't have it- it's not ours. 

He is also copying language they teach him at school and it makes me think it's possible to teach a baby anything.  Stuff like, playing with toys and sharing: No thank you, Samarin!  I'm still playing with this.  Or: Please don't take my toy- it makes me sad.  

He's started playing pretend a little.  Just little things like I'm dusty (the plane from the Pixar movie) and zooms around the living room. He always says it a little bash fully and I think because he's testing out the lie and wondering if I'm going to go along with it.

He loves to pee standing up.  I used to resist and encourage him to sit down but his aim is getting pretty good.  His teacher told me the other day that the girls in his class want to pee standing now too, from watching him.

We've entered the Why? phase.  You  know, where each answer is meet with another Whyyyy?  He also seems to have gotten the memo that one is suppose to say it in a slightly deeper pitch with the facial expression of the angelic, puzzled, inquisitive child.  It's both really cute and really exhausting, once he get's to the 3rd or 4th why in a row.

He pronounces smoothie like the gun.  You know, oozie.