Tuesday, March 31, 2009

City Farmers Nursery

After running some errands (shoe shopping, replacing Dan's watch battery, screaming nonstop in the credit union) we met Alex and the girls at the coolest place: City Farmers Nursery. Alex was there to buy a couple trees, but the rest of us had tons of fun in the mini playground, and admiring the plethora of animals. Check it out: a pen with a horse, three goats, ducks, chickens, roosters; a hutch with two rabbits; a pond with big turtles; a tank with mini turtles; numerous tanks of fish; a mean parrot; and Abby the dog. Abby the dog was Brandt's favorite and he got very upset when we couldn't find her to say goodbye. I told him she was off sleeping and he brought it up several times later by signing dog and sleeping with a sad look on his little face.
We had a terrific dinner at C Level with Jeff and Ashley. Sam and Brandt didn't play together too much, but Ava fell in love with Brandt (she told us so) and shared her princess stickers with him. I brushed Brandt's hair for the first time for the occasion. I used a wet mascara brush and it did a great job. Some day he'll have enough hair for a real brush.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Last minute San Diego

Dan has been Brandt's favorite person for a while now. Every day he searches the house for him and looks out the window for his car. So since Dan just found out he has to spend a week in San Diego, we thought it wise to tag along for a few days.
We spent the afternoon playing with Paris and Audrey. We spent a lot of time out in the backyard so hopefully Brandt got a little sun on his chicken legs. A tan would also help hide those bruises on his rough-and-tumble boy shins.
We were going to finish up the day with dinner out with Dan and his coworkers, but Brandt passed out in the car on the way back to the hotel so our day ended nice and early. I didn't mind because we'd been up since 5am.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

We had a picnic at the Ballard locks today and discovered how cool they are. The grassy area was covered in goose poo so that part wasn't so cool...and I was worried Brandt was going to strain his wrist running around signing "poo" at every little landmine he saw.
Looking at the water was a big hit and the fish ladder was interesting, even though there were no salmon swimming upstream. I think the salmon start up next month so we'll be back.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Leavenworth

We drove 2:20 to Leavenworth to visit Kerstin and check out the little Bavarian village. The town is really cute and we'll definitely come back when it's warmer and there's a festival going on. We should have our pick of several during the month of Mai.
Brandt had fun in town, but even more fun at Kerstin's with the dogs and cats. The dogs were good sports and put up with him sitting on their backs and helping walk them in the snow. He and Jovian had a great time playing fetch together. See for yourself:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

World Water Day

I'm not sure what World Water Day is all about, but we ate brunch at BluWater Bistro and then walked around the lake, so I think we did our part. And speaking of water, for the last week or so every time Brandt wants a sip of water he signs water (like before) and does a little fake cough. I guess we've been forcing water on him every time he coughs so now he thinks that's what to do for a drink. It's funny, but hopefully won't last forever.
Do you like Brandt's new light blue sweater? I found it at the sale yesterday and thought it said "6'ers" which I think is a basketball team. I worried Dan wouldn't like it since it's not one of his sports teams, but it's just so cute! Upon further examination it says "GERS" and is short for Rangers. We decided it must be a Canadian hockey team, but I just Googled it and apparently it's a Scottish soccer team. So that makes it really cool! Nicknaming the Rangers the gers seems silly, but it probably sounds pretty good in a Scottish accent.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Golden Gardens Park

Brandt and I hit the Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Coop's spring kids sale right at 9am. It was huge and awesome! We got 22 items for $68, including a Sophie the Giraffe. A week ago we went all the way to Tottini downtown and they were sold out of Sophies. Grr. Our new Sophie's label said "gently used" but she looks brand new. Brandt's been putting stuff in his mouth again with this last set of molars coming in so I figure Brandt can chew on the Sophie now and the new little guy can chew on it when he starts teething.
I felt pretty shopped out, but couldn't resist hitting a different sale at North Seattle Community College since it was put on by 40 different coops. But it was tiny! And by the time we got there it was pretty picked over. We got one measly shirt for $1.
After a nap we got Dan to stop working and drove to Ray's Cafe in Ballard to enjoy the gorgeous view. Then we headed a bit more north and played in Golden Gardens Park while the sun set. Brandt kept warm wearing a hat we got this morning. It looks good, but obstructs his vision a bit. It didn't hamper his rock collecting and throwing, fortunately.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Woodland Park Zoo

Brandt and I finally joined the zoo and walked over to check it out this morning. Now they tell me parking is free until April! But the exercise did me good. And the walk home was all downhill.
Naturally, Brandt was more interested in the trash cans and rocks than the zebras and giraffes. A peacock roaming the grounds barely captured his attention. The peacock was quite the showoff, by the way. My previous experience has only been with the mellow birds at the pannekoek place in the Amsterdamse Bos, but this guy walked right up to us and spread his tail out to pose. Then he turned around and posed his butt for us, too.
The best part was the 2.5-year-old boy we met by the zebras. Brandt had a great time chasing him around (rather than pay attention to all the cool animals around us). They were done with each other by the time we hit the indoor Zoomazium play area at the end of our visit. The Zoomazium was pretty fun and useful for when it's cold or rainy. Of course Brandt had the most fun on the ages-four-and-up-only play structure.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No nagger

We're on day two of a week with no papa. He's off working in San Diego until Friday, lucky dude. I'm going to try to keep Brandt extra busy this week because he's become the world's biggest Dan fan lately. He often says and signs "papa" and searches the house--and that's when Dan is just across the lake at his office for eight (well, more like ten) hours during the day. We dropped Dan off at the airport yesterday morning so I'm hoping that'll help remind Brandt that papa's off in an airplane to return in a few days.
This morning we hosted our first (and to be monthly) playdate. Only two other toddlers attended, but it got me to drop the doggies off for a bath and clean the house really well. Playdates are the best for that! And I expect more visitors in the coming months now that the ball is rolling.
In the afternoon we hit the park. It rained shortly before we left the house so there weren't many kids out. And unfortunately they had just fertilized the nearby trees so it was pretty stinky. Bettie and Lyle would have loved that, but they were stuck at home, smelling flowery.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bike Expo

I woke up to the biggest snowflakes imaginable this morning. Unfortunately by the time Brandt woke up and we got suited up, they had shrunk to pea-sized and melted as soon as they hit the ground. But we stomped around in the slush for a bit anyway.
This afternoon we braved the off-and-on rain to attend the Seattle International Bicycle Expo. We were hoping to find a cheap Burley bike trailer, but they weren't an exibitor. However, we saw some very neat stuff, like bike frames made of wood (!) and got a lot of maps and in the kid zone Brandt got to play Pin the Wheel on the Bike and make a bracelet out of inner tube.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tide

This afternoon Brandt was cruising around the house in a t-shirt and absolutely nothing else (as usual). He brought his shoes over to me so I put them on him and then he said "Tide!" I had no idea what he meant so after a couple more attempts he got frustrated with me and walked over to the door and pointed at it and said "Tide!" again. Oh! Outside. I like that he recognizes we have to put shoes on before we got outside, but it'd be even better if he realized pants are important, too.
The "Say cheese" trick didn't work today due to a distracting bumble bee, lured over by all these spring flowers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pockets Guy

First, a bit of history: there's an old guy who roller skates up and down the boardwalk in Mission Beach with his hands in his pockets and for some reason Dan is completely annoyed by him and calls him "Pockets Guy" in a condescending voice. But our little Pockets Guy is way cool. I asked him to put his hands in his pockets for our bike rides yesterday and today and he stayed warm the whole time.
Driving to mom and tot yoga class today we saw a class of preschoolers crossing the street. Judging by their outfits I thought they were on a field trip to a meat locker or ice cube factory, but then I realized that's just how kids have to dress for school in this city. They were all decked out in full rain gear with mittens and hats with ear flaps. Poor little eskimos.
And hey look: Brandt finally fits in his fancy Sean Jean jeans ($40 new or $3 in perfect condition at Savers). They're size 12/18 (months) so we're lucky he got wide enough for them before he got too long. It's so hard to find brands that don't cater to the short fatties. Brandt's not smiling in the picture, by the way. He's saying "cheese." It really does work!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wobbler on Wheels

Brandt and I went to W.O.W. (Women on Wheels) at Gregg's Cycles last night so we could get free stuff and free food and meet Jennie Reed, Olympian and World Champion track cyclist. It was really fun, but we had to leave before the show was over when Mr. Molar teething toddler started chewing on bike tires.
W.O.W. inspired me to finally get the bike out of the garage and ride around the lake today. I only managed one lap because it was so cold my ears and hands got frostbite. Brandt's ears were OK from the helmet, but his hands got pretty cold, too. Mittens for both and a hat for me next time.
I'm not sure where Brandt got the idea to ride his bike with xylophone/piano thingy. We saw lots of bikes at the show last night, but nothing like this.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

SGA

We went to open play at the Seattle Gymnastics Academy today. I had hoped to take free trial class rather than pay $6 for the open time, but last week's croup put a crimp in that plan.
The foam pit was awesome. The kids could slide in, jump in, or swing in and then claw their way out. Talk about a great way to tire out a toddler. The Tumbl Trak was also a big hit: it's a super long trampoline the kids took turns running along. The 75 minutes of play may have worked a little too well, though--Brandt napped for four and a half hours afterwards. I can't wait until his class starts next month.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Big brother

Brandt's got some exciting news: he's getting a little brother in mid-July.
I don't think he realizes the significance just yet, but we do talk about babies when we see them and always mention that one must always be gentle to babies. We'll see if that sticks...it certainly doesn't work with the chihuahuas. He gets the concept of gentle, but he's more often in the mood to pick up Bettie's back legs like a wheelbarrow rather than pet her gently.