Summertime on the Eastside

June and July flew by. And then there was August, now it’s September and the last day of summer. Next comes the holiday season. Then what, ship the kiddos off to college?! Time is flying. It flew so fast that I neglected posting what we’ve been up to. So, in what might possibly be a too picture-filled, really long blog post, here is a rundown of our summer (mainly for our parental records).

Toddler problem solving: avoiding the bulldozer.

Blaise’s idea of playing is playing; Laine’s idea of playing is bulldozing brother and his toys while he plays. He’s pretty good with her, he puts up with her a few times then will either move to another spot or move to another activity (long enough to throw her off). She’s getting better figuring him out, and he’d had enough this day. He took his trucks, tossed them into the Pack ‘N Play, then climbed in. She was at a loss, even as she tried to climb in.

Cookie Monster Laine.

We had a lazy start to June, the weather was dull and we stayed in a few days … which meant entertaining two active kiddos inside, all day. When we transferred our food from the old fridge to the new one, I had eight bags of chocolate chips in the freezer (still not sure how I ended up with eight bags). So, needing something to do and wanting to use the ridiculous amount of chocolate chips, we baked. Blaise has had cookie bites before but never a warm, fresh out of the oven whole cookie. I gave him one, and he walked off as I stayed in the kitchen to clean up. After cleaning up, I went to the family room to join the kiddos and I found Laine. Covered in chocolate, with a guilty smirk on her face. And ironically, she was reading a Cookie Monster book. Fourth Dog struck again.

Pajama Friday.

Yet another June Gloom, lazy day. Well, semi-lazy. I was tired of the weather and being home. There was a break in the rain so I piled the kiddos and the puppers in the swagger wagon and we made our way to Marymoor Dog Park, pajamas and all (well, yoga pants for me). After the process of getting everyone out and situated, we started our dog park routine. Start at the far left entrance, walk along the fence path, back through Dog Swamp Bridge (or maybe it’s Soggy Dog Bridge, I should really know this after six years), to the grassy area, back by the river, along the great blue heron nesting trees, on to the main entrance grassy area, then back to the van. The pups know it by heart, they just go for it figuring I’ll be behind them. Right around the far left entrance, it started drizzling. We sucked it up and accepted our Washingtonian status and embraced the wet. The only complainer was Mayah, the California wiener dog, as soon as the drizzle hit her delicate sunshine-only preferred skin, she turned around and bolted to the parking lot.

Blaise hit the 21-month mark.

He’s pretty much been two in our book for a while but he was technically 21-months on June 9. We celebrated by going to the ice cream “bar” at Baskin & Robbins. We had planned on Ben & Jerry’s but Brian thinks they’re more politics than ice cream for a toddler. Blaise was more interested in watching the trucks and cars drive by; Laine wonders why she can’t eat ice cream all the time.

Blaise date.

We go on dates with our kiddos. Blaise and I went on a shopping trip. Laine isn’t much of a shopper, she doesn’t have the stamina. Maybe she’ll like sports. Blaise and I went to Toys “R” Us and Bellevue Square for our date. He scored some new emergency vehicles and I scored some new SAHM uniform pants.

Two kids, one swing.

We went out to breakfast then to Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park with a fellow little man. There are only two toddler swings and we had three kids. Solution: two kids, one swing. Problem solved.

Tait date.

We love Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park, clearly. It’s pretty much our go-to park. And since our friends, The Taits, from north of Seattle wanted to play, we settled on Farrel-McWhirter since it was easy for all of us to get to and somewhat in the middle. Makena is one day older than Blaise, Liam is four, and Jennifer is their awesome, fun mom. It was a fun day. We walked along one of the connecting trails, the kiddos played hard, and we successfully tired them out. Two mom fails for the day: our play date was at 11am and I totally forgot to bring the kiddos lunch, thankfully Jennifer had packed enough to share; I decided to bring the single stroller since Blaise was (and still is) Mr. I Only Walk Now but he was so tired he wanted in the stroller so I improvised (he loved it).


We see horses all the time at Farrel-McWhirter but we don’t touch them, not sure if we can so we don’t take the chance of breaking rules. Our friend is a horse rider and takes lessons at a local ranch. She arranged for us to take our kiddos to see the horses, pet, and feed them. Blaise prefers to admire horses from afar, he wasn’t a huge fan of petting them but did enjoy watching them eat carrots out of our hands. Laine chilled in the stroller, and thought I was going to abandon her with the horses every time I went out of her line of sight.

Remlinger Farms.

Remlinger Farms is a local hot spot in the summertime. It’s a family farm that has been commercialized with rides, a u-pick farm, restaurant, and market. It’s quite cheesy and quite fun at the same time. We met two friends there with little gals Blaise’s age. Pony rides were first, after patiently waiting in line, it was our turn. Blaise wanted nothing to do with the ponies. He was fine looking at them but as soon as I hoisted him up to sit in the saddle, tears ensued. We watched the little ladies ride the ponies then moved on to the canoe, train, and car rides, then a lunch pit stop followed by seeing farm animals and climbing on old vehicles. It was a good day (and hot!).

A few random June pictures of the kiddos.

Glow Stick Bath

Relaxing in Lainey Style

Blaise’s First Store Ride (he wasn’t impressed)

Blaise’s First Band-Aid

Reverse Fort Friday

Toddler Wrestlemania

Holding On (Laine has always liked to hold on while she’s sitting)

Kitchen Helpers (or not); Laine Loves Socks

Microsoft Family Day.

Brian was brave enough to take Blaise to work on Family Day (also take your kid to work day). Blaise was given an official Microsoft Kid badge, attended one meeting, and programmed for about an hour (and by programmed, he watched Backyardigans on Brian’s phone while Brian attempted to get a few things done). At the Commons they had a huge event—bounce houses, City of Redmond emergency vehicles, BBQ, Zumba (Blaise loved), hula-hoops—all sorts of fun things to do. Laine and I spent the morning swimsuit shopping for her and Blaise before meeting up with the boys for lunch. It was a fun day, so fun the kiddos were so overtired from our long lunch that they didn’t nap that afternoon. They both were in bed by 6pm that night.

Any takers?

Good times! This photo about sums up a few days in July. Here, the toy baskets were in time out (I forget why) and Laine blew up because brother blew up. Just another day in the life of having tenacious toddlers.

Independence Day.

We spent the holiday hanging out with the kiddos and having our friends over for a Mexican feast. We had a lemon so we gave it to the kids for the first time expecting the typical sour lemon kid face but nope, they both begged for more.

Allergy testing.

We were pretty sure Blaise had a peanut allergy. I had taken him to the Puyallup Fair last September where he had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. As we were leaving the fair, Blaise’s eye was so swollen he looked like Sloth from The Goonies. I wasn’t sure if it was the peabut butter or if he had rubbed his extremely tired eyes with dirty hands but decided not to give him any more peanut butter until we had him tested. Slacking off, I did’t take him to get tested until 10 months later. Turns out he is allergic; Laine isn’t. The little guy did fantastic during testing, they had books and stickers.

Laine turns one.

We went to California to celebrate Laine’s first birthday with family and friends. Here are the kiddos the morning of our flight before the trip; they were resting up to party hard.

Remlinger Farms (again).

The kiddos and I always get to do fun things during the week when Brian’s at work. We do fun things on the weekends too it’s just some things are more weekday-friendly … like Remlinger Farms. The kiddos and I had already been earlier in the summer and Brian heard how much fun we had so after our California trip, Brian took the Monday off. We went to Remlinger Farms with the kiddos and had a family day.


Laine started walking July 25, she just stood up and went for it and hasn’t crawled since. We took her to the park to practice her newfound skill.

A few random July photos of the kiddos.

Dirty Hands (Blaise doesn’t like being dirty yet likes playing in the dirt, toddler dilemma)

Laine Holding On at Microsoft

Costco Kiddos (Laine likes to show everyone her tongue)

Happy Swinger

Big kids!

August was hot, at least hot for me now as a Washingtonian. We did several early morning park trips before it got too hot. Blaise lost interest in toddler-aged play structures long ago but would still play on them. Not any more; he is a big boy now, only using the big kid play structures. Laine thinks she’s big, too.

Water play on a hot day.

Water tables are all the rage but I’m tired of buying what all the cool kids have just to watch ours play with it a few times, then have to look at it before giving it away. So, no water table for us. We just give the kiddos pots and pans with bowls and cups and we have our own modified water table … occupies them for hours.

Finer painting party.

We were invited to a finger painting party at a fellow little man’s home. Blaise being Mr. Clean wasn’t interested in finger painting and getting dirty so he went inside to read books and play with trucks. Laine gave finger painting a shot (hence her lack of shirt) but wasn’t feeling artsy; she ate about seven slices of watermelon instead.

MY bucket.

Blaise has a bucket. He likes to collect treasures when we’re out and about, and now that Laine is walking she wants his bucket full of treasures. Treasures being rocks, leaves, sticks, bark … anything he finds that looks interesting, which is just about anything that will fit in his bucket. He guards it non-stop, even taking it with him to swing and go down slides.

Dog park or toddler park?

Many days I have twelve legs to tire out. These days we head to Marymoor Dog Park. It’s pretty dead there during the day, usually a few other moms with kids or retired folks and their pups. My goal is always accomplished, I get home and everyone is ready for a nap.


The kiddos got a wagon. Blaise is Mr. I Don’t Sit in Strollers anymore, and Laine is indifferent. We were at a friend’s house for a play date and she had two wagons in the backyard that were both hits with all the kids. I knew we needed one. It’s been put to great use, in fact we rarely use the strollers anymore. And it’s always a hot commodity at park play dates with other kids.

Another day, another swing.

We go to a park in the morning about three to four times a week. I’m a huge proponent of my kiddos having outside play everyday, so we like to hit up local parks. And of course, Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park, which we favor more than others. Just another day at the park.

Floor picnic.

Many times we get home from playing at parks right at lunch time. And some of those days I’m not feeling mom-like and up for making a fancy lunch. These are the days we have “deconstructed sandwiches” I call them … a plate of turkey, cheese, tomato, pickles, bread, etc. with a side of fruit. Laine likes fruit the best, Blaise likes cheese so they eat theirs then steal from each other’s plates.

Sleeping arrangements.

We had a summer full of sleeping woes, sometimes having one or both kiddos in bed with us (along with the animals).

One month older.

Our little big guy started his last month as a one-year old; bedhead Laine added another month on her 12 months.

Airplane pointer-outers.

Every Tuesday evening from 5:30pm until dusk the Marymoor R/C Club has flight training at the Marymoor airfield. I’d always see the signs when we’d go to the dog park and thought it would be fun to take the kiddos since they both love to spot airplanes. It was a hit. We met Brian at Marymoor after work, played on one of the many play structures, walked through a parking lot with letters marking each row that Blaise had to stop and point out every.single.letter, then went to the airfield. We sat on the bleachers and watched as the old guys flew their planes. Blaise and Laine were unofficial plane spotters with their pointer fingers in full effect. They had a blast. The kids and I actually went the following Tuesday and met a little friend whose dad is an airline pilot. It was fun the second time, too … except for the bee sting Blaise got on his ear that made it majorly swell up.

Kelsey Creek Park.

I’ve had been wanting to go check out Kelsey Creek Park for a while, it’s Bellevue’s equivalent to Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park. We took the kiddos on a sunny, warm Saturday to see what it was all about. It has more amenities and more animals in larger areas, and is very nice but my loyalty is to Farrel-McWhirter … I like it better for meeting my park needs.

Hanging with the Stewarts.

Our friends had the day off and since we have every day off, we hung out with them. Kiddo style: park, pizza, water play (aka shopping for those of us older than two). The City of Redmond has a Big Truck Day every August that I wanted to take Blaise to but when I went to sign him up they required his birthday and the event is for two-year olds and older. I was bummed; he loves trucks. We had planned on going to Marymoor that morning but ended up at Farrel-McWhirter totally forgetting it was Big Truck Day. We scored, since it was before the event started, all the big trucks were either set up or setting up and a few offered Blaise to come check things out. Blaise loved it, though I thought he’d love the fire truck but didn’t even care that it was there. After the park, we made a pit stop at Marymoor to purchase a monthly parking pass, then off to Flying Saucer Pizza. The kiddos were dead tired but I broke one of my mom rules and decided we could skip afternoon naps since we were enjoying ourselves. The Stewarts and I had errands to run at Redmond Town Center so we piled in the van and headed that way. Blaise discovered the water fountains and got soaked. Thankfully there is a Gymboree store there so Laine and I went to buy Blaise a change of clothes while he continued to play in the water. (The guy that checked me out said they get many parents in there for the same exact reason.) After a quick change of clothes, we finished our errands, then went back to the Stewart’s house. The kiddos were in overtired mode so we relaxed a bit then headed for home. They both were in bed by 6pm that night. It was a good day.

One random August picture (I guess I didn’t take too many in August).

The Kid Loves Watermelon

So far in September…

We’ve had a Blaise Date, sibling love, a birthday, our 10 year wedding anniversary, a photo shoot (blog post of pictures to come), and ever-growing toddlers.

Today, the last day of summer 2012.

Surprise, surprise, we went to Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park this morning and it turned out our friends were going to be there too. I met a mom there back in April, then saw her again in June and took the opportunity to get her contact information so we could meet up. She has two-year old boy/girl twins and a 12-month old daughter, and she has a friend with two-year old boy/girl twins so we had seven kiddos two and under at the park today. We stayed close to the animals after the kiddos had snacks and played in the dirt. The cow was extra friendly, the chickens were doing a chicken dance (I guess you call it?!), the enormous pig was actually standing, and the baby goats are now teenagers. After checking in on the herd, the kiddos zeroed in on a tree and all proceeded to climb it over and over. Laine wasn’t feeling the park love today and chose to sit in the stroller most of the time. She did come out to play in the dirt a little and say hi to the cow, whom she mooed at. We came home, took naps, and after dinner had a movie night (Toy Story 3). Interest in the movie only lasted about 1o minutes before Laine rubbed her eyes so she went to bed. Blaise watched it a little at first then decided to play until Brian made popcorn and they sat down together to finish the flick.

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