Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lil Kicker

The weather was gorgeous yesterday so we hit the park to look at ducks (unfortunately it's mating season and that's not a pretty sight; fortunately Dan and Brandt missed the four-duck show) and kick the ball around. We haven't signed Brandt up for baby soccer yet, but I think we will soon. He really loves kicking the ball. I'd imagine at this age all the squeaking is par for the course.

As luck would have it, the weather was not so nice yesterday when we had a little birthday party for Brandt at the park. It didn't rain, but it was cold. I think everyone still had a good time. Unfortunately my craft project didn't work, but I wasn't surprised since I am incredibly uncrafty. We made bubble blowing solution with 1/2 cup dishwashing soap, 1 1/2 cups water, and 2 teaspoons sugar and then wands with twigs and bread ties. I think my soap ratio was off. Predicting disaster, I brought real bubbles along so all was good.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mini herbalist

Brandt and I went to The Herbalist to pick up some herbs for making fake Kool Aid this afternoon. Fortunately, the dog who was hanging out in the shop last time we were here had the day off. Brandt signed dog as soon as we got to the door so he remembered the dog and had plans for terrorizing him again.
Without the distraction of the doggie, Brandt had a great time scooping herbs and the herbalist on duty was quite taken with him. When she saw my big belly she said the universe was blessed that I was having another one. Cool deal. Oh, and she liked the fake Kool Aid recipe so much she's going to try it herself. Supposedly you can give it to kids who are used to Kool Aid and they love it, too.
Unfortunately the tea gave Brandt hives, but we might try again with one ingredient cut out at a time since it's such a good batch of stuff. Here's the recipe:
From Herbal Medicine Made Simple: Buy, Make and Use Herbs With Ease by Nicole Carter, MEd, M.H.
Kids Fool-Aid:
1 part rose hips
1 part lemon balm or lemon grass
1 part alfalfa
2 parts hibiscus
Sweeten with agave nectar or stevia to taste.
This tea comes out red, like Kool-Aid, but without the artificial colors or sugar. Use 1/2 cup herb mixture to 1/2-1 quart water. Boil water and steep herbs for five minutes. Serve iced.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

This afternoon we biked over to the Sustainable Wallingford Earth Day celebration. Brandt was scared of the Seattle Bag Monster people, but everything else was fun.
I'm so glad Brandt is cool with face painting now. He got a little red balloon painted on his cheek. I think next time we might have to get the whole face done. After sampling our first Mighty-O Donut (free) Brandt ran around with our complimentary sprig of rosemary.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Souped Up

Grandpa and Grammy flew home this morning :( We didn't get to see them a final time last night because Brandt fell asleep at 4pm before the ferry home from Bainbridge and didn't get up until this morning! It's fun, but tiring being a mini host with the most.
The weather today was too nice--we hosted our second monthly playdate and no one came! We waited inside half the time and then rode Brandt's new (free!) big wheel up and down the block the second hour.
After nap we took advantage of the nice day and rode our bike to the playground. It was naturally packed so we headed along to our first and last visit to Souped Up Cafe. I say our last visit because they're closing down soon rather than pay more rent. It was too hot for soup, but their sandwiches sounded amazing, too (Ham and Swiss: Cob-smoked ham, caramelized onions, Swiss, garlic butter, and stone-ground mustard). But for a panini which was supposedly already made and just had to be smushed/cooked upon order, we still had to wait 20 minutes. But we finally made it back to the lake and one of us lounged in the grass while the other ran around finding rocks. And I think this is the first picture of my pretty new bike. Sweet, eh?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bainbridge Island

Yesterday we went to the zoo. I was worried it would be too crowded on a weekend, but it's laid out so nicely that it was just fine. We covered a lot of ground, but there's still more to see next time. Brandt was more interested in the animals than our first visit, but those rocks and leaves on the ground are always going to be enticing.
Today we took the ferry to Bainbridge Island. The weather was perfect and the island is very cute. We walked through the shopping district and found a great toy store and bookstore. We'll have to come back earlier in the day so we can have the famous french toast at Cafe Nola.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Terrible twos

I swear I only left him alone for two minutes. He was sitting peacefully in his chair drinking a cup of milk so I ran into the other room to check Bainbridge ferry times. Won't be making that mistake again.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Puttanesca to die for

We kicked off our day at Lake Union where we checked out a bunch of Selenes. Brandt is really getting into boats, but I think he prefers to watch them from a distance because he didn't get overly excited when one of the owners invited us all aboard. But I think by the time he gets to ride on Grandpa's boat he'll be properly awed.
We couldn't entertain out of town guests without visiting the Pike Place Market so that was our afternoon activity and then we had The.Best.Dinner.Ever at Bizarro in Wallingford.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Grammy and Grandpa visit

First of all: Brandt turned two on Wednesday! Holy cow, time flies.
I was worried Brandt would be a little shy for the visit because he was napping up until Gene and Carol arrived, but he woke up and warmed up quickly. We walked down to the park so Brandt could show off his climbing and sliding skills. Then we dined at Chinooks with a great view of the boats and birds. Brandt was in heaven.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sleepy in Seattle

We landed at 6am. Redeyes always seem like such a great idea, but they're so painful in practice. At least Brandt slept the whole way. Actually, he slept more than the whole way because he fell asleep before take-off. I slept a bit, but it was hard to get comfortable with big Brandt and my big belly vying for space.
When I saw Dan pull up to the curb in my car, I thought it had snowed while we were gone. Turns out it was covered in flower petals, not snowflakes. However, the car in front of us at the airport did have snow on the bumper. He must have driven down from some mountain to pick up a passenger. The blooms at home were nice to look at, but not nice enough to keep us awake for long. Fortunately Brandt was still tired, too, and we got to sleep much of the day away.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pearlridge Keiki Club

The freeloader is finally earning her keep: while Jake was at preschool, I kept Brandt and Hannah busy at Pearlridge shopping center while Tammie got a much-needed (her opinion, not mine) haircut. We rode the escalator a bunch of times, took the monorail back and forth, ate Honolulu Cookie Company samples, and shared a smoothie.
For lunch we went back up to the north shore to meet with a visiting friend of Tammie's. Turns out she played water polo at UCSB a year after I graduated so we know a ton of people in common. Small world!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Tammie and I hid easter eggs all over the bottom floor of her house last night, but Brandt slept in a bit and missed most of the hunt. He was still very excited to get his bucket and find a couple remaining eggs...and to get his first easter basket! The easter bunny (Tammie) was very generous and he got lots of cool stuff. As did I!
Then we checked out the new north shore farmers market that had special easter stuff going on. Brandt and Hannah got their faces painted (a fish for Brandt and a flower for Hannah) and all three kids made little easter baskets. Jake and Hannah did the egg hunt course to collect candy while Brandt opted to off-road it and put sticks and rocks and bits of paper into his.
And then we made it to the beach! Unfortunately there were no turtles on shore, but I saw a few in the shallow water. They were probably on their way in, but apparently it's a very long process so we didn't wait around to see the show. Brandt had a great time playing in the water and chasing bubbles and passed out in the car on the ride home.
But wait, there's more! Immediately after naps, we headed to easter dinner at Tammie's friend's house down the street. Brandt got to eat at the kiddie table with four other kids. It was very cute. Kiddie dessert on a picnic blanket in the kitchen wasn't so cute, though. Ten minutes into grown up cocktails (well, sparkling apple cider for me), Brandt wandered over covered in chocolate.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bunnies galore

We took pictures with not one but two Easter bunnies today. The first one was kind of lame so we didn't stay long, but the second one was very cute as was all the surrounding kiddie stuff. We ended up skipping the face painting and balloon animals, but Jake played nine holes of keiki golf twice, they rode a mini merry-go-round, and they all got to hold baby chicks on their laps at the petting zoo (actually, Brandt just poked at Hannah's chick because I didn't trust him with his own).
In the afternoon we walked to the pool. Brandt and Hannah wisely stayed in the hot tub where Tammie caught them over and over as they flung themselves at her while Jake and I played in the cold pool. I'm pretty sure Brandt will sleep until a decent hour again after all that activity. Unfortunately I am still waking up at 5!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Maunawili Falls

This morning at the outlet mall Brandt rode the 50 cent cars--with the 50 cents in 'em--for the first time. I think it was Hannah's calming influence because he used to only like them standing still. I took a little video which I'll add when I get home.
I can't believe we thought yesterday's drizzles were scary after today's downpour. But since we didn't want to cancel another plan we drove to the windward side of the island to hike Maunawili Falls. Even had it not been raining I think this hike should not qualify as easy and it certainly seemed longer than a mile and a half, but it was beautiful and we survived all the stream crossings and Tammie amazingly found Jake's shoe the mud swallowed up. Unfortunately, by the time we made it to the falls the downpour really got going and it was starting to get dark. But we made it and the kids were troupers about the rain. And the dark. Earlier in the day and without rain, this trail would be awesome.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rain delay

I think in Seattle this wouldn't be considered rain, but it was off-and-on drizzly and grey and a bit windy so rather than swim in the lagoons at Ko Olina, we found a nearby playground.
Earlier today we went to Savers where I found Brandt a Seattle Mariners t-shirt and a Pike Place Market t-shirt (each for 99 cents). Dan thought it might not be cool for a small Seattlite to wear a Pike Place Market shirt, but I think the fact that we found it in Hawaii overrides any uncoolness.
Hopefully we'll make it to the beach at some point this visit. I still feel bad about skipping it last time. What kind of tourist am I?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Last free flight

Aloha! Yep, we're in Hawaii yet again. For the record the trip was Dan's idea this time and was supposed to be a family affair, but he decided he was too green to leave work for a whole week just yet. Fortunately Brandt and I didn't let that stop us from coming out on our own.
The flight went well, although Brandt only napped an hour. And the keiki is not on Hawaii time yet so he woke up at 4:15 this morning--ug.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Short sleeves and sunglasses

What a difference a day makes. It was hot today: sixty-something. People were sunbathing around the lake...not in swim suits, but in short sleeves and with their pant legs rolled up. Brandt didn't really wear his sunglasses; he kept them on long enough for a picture and then threw them down. Some day he'll realize how cool he looks in them and leave them on.
Brandt wasn't the littlest guy in the playground, but he was pretty close. I'm so impressed watching him sift his way through all the bigger kids to get up the stairs and down the slides. He definitely holds his own. This morning at REI he climbed all the way up the tree house and across the bridge, but wouldn't come down the big twisty slide. Maybe next time. Although I forsee having to clambor halfway up the slide to rescue him on his first attempt.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Seattle Children's Museum

Back in the drizzly city.
Brandt's friend Sloane got us into the Children's Museum today. It's so cool! There's no bouncy mattress room like in the San Diego one or an enormous flight of stairs like in the Vegas one, but it's definitely our favorite. We timed our visit to do the Singing and Signing program and it was terrific. We might have to reschedule gymnastics class next time around so we can do this more often.
Not the best picture for this, but you can get a glimpse of Brandt's new shoes. I had thought the way to size baby shoes was hold them up to the bottom of the foot and if the foot is slightly smaller than the shoe, you've got a match. Silly me. Apparently you need a whole thumb's width between the toes and the end of the shoe! So Brandt's been in a 5 1/2 and he should be in a 7 1/2. Doh!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Home Sweet PB

My dad made the trek down from LA to hang out all day and shuttle us around. We headed straight to PB and hit all our favorite spots, and yes: the "Hippies Use Back Door" sign is still up on the front gate at my house. Sigh.
We spent a lot of time playing at Fanuel Street Park and throwing sticks into the bay. And after lunch at The Green Flash Brandt walked up and down the boardwalk wall. We also headed up to La Jolla to visit the seals, but Brandt napped through that part. But that was OK because his favorite thing today was all the helicopters (Coast Guard?). I think he even likes them better than airplanes now so we'll have to find a helipad when we get home.