August was busy. Self-inflicted busy. We were gone almost every day doing something. Toward the end of the month, about 10 minutes into each outing Blaise started saying, “Mama, I’m tired. I want to go home.” And he wanted to be held which isn’t his normal self. I wore the kiddos out, and myself while I was at it. We were going to take the rest of the month off after the 29th, then it rained hardcore so we used it as an excuse to stay in and recuperate. We were back at it on the 30th and 31st and have plans to take most of September off.
I’m always up for taking the kiddos different places, hence the randomness of a lavender farm. It’s a you cut place on some land in Woodinville, and I read that on warm days they leave the sprinkler on for kids to play in (we didn’t go on a warm day but the sprinkler was on and Laine made a break for it). We weren’t there too long as the novelty wore off but the kiddos seemed to enjoy being there. Laine liked attempting to use scissors to cut the lavender; Blaise liked the bees that were swarming around all the plants. They both enjoyed the chocolate lavender ice cream before we left.
Lavender success (with help from Mike and Katherine).
It wasn’t supposed to rain, then it was, then it was only going to sprinkle, then clear up… typical bipolar Washington weather. In the moment the weather said no rain, we left for Farrel McWhirter. A little drizzle when we started turned into a massive downpour. We were already there so we stayed. We had the place to ourselves! After playing in the water in the rain, we moved to the open field, parked our picnic blanket and got muddy. I keep a container of buckets, shovels, rakes, bug catchers (thanks to a friend for getting us them), and some bubbles in the back of the van so we’re always ready to play in the dirt. The one time I didn’t have a change of clothes in my van container… the kiddos went home pantsless and in need of a bath so it was a success.
Shocker, Farrel McWhirter
Our weekends are usually kept open so we can fill them up depending on how we feel. We were out and about running errands so we stopped by Farrel McWhirter for the kiddos to run around. Maybe because I’m the youngest I’m all about fairness so if we’re running errands I feel like it’s fair for the kiddos to get an outing too. Sometimes I wish I could get over this and just have a day running errands but I’ve yet to. It was a great day to stop by the park. Bitzy, the small pig, was out on a walk and came down to the water while we were playing in it. Laine got to hang out with her a bit until Bitzy’s walker gave her an apple and she ran into the trees to eat it. She was NOT going to let anyone take her apple. So cute.
I feel so lucky to live in an area with mild weather and ample things to do with kiddos. I often wonder if we lived back home—where it averages in the 90s during the summer—how we would spend our days. Probably inside air conditioned places if not in water somewhere. I know we’d make it work but I’m just not a heat fan. Up here, we can be outside daily without melting. We’ve started hiking more, which has become one of our favorite activities. Now that Blaise can make it a decent distance, it’s easy to take the two on my own. I wear one of our kiddo-carrying backpacks and can rotate the two if needed. The novelty of riding in them is often the driving force for carrying one.
We explored Cougar Mountain a few times this month, first with our friends Mike and Katherine who led us on a new route to the clay pit. We started at a former Nike missile site and along the way we stopped at a former coal mine shaft—interesting history around here. The 3.59 mile hike (according to my Garmin) took us almost 2.5 hours… we stopped at every spider web, slug, mushroom, etc. I love watching the kiddos get excited and learn about things.
Blaise found a mine shaft and clay.
Laine loves flowers; Blaise taking a mid-hike rest.
Mike and Katherine with the kiddos.
Earlier in the month, we picked a ton of blackberries and ended up making jam. Having never made jam before, it turned out well so we thought it’d be a great idea to pick raspberries to make more jam. It was the last day of the season so it was slim pickings. We left with enough to make jam but they were moldy the next day so no jam. Moldy berries or not, the kiddos had fun.
Berry pickers! Blaise didn’t protest Laine wearing his favorite hat.
Woodland Park Zoo
We don’t go to the Woodland Park Zoo as much as we should; it’s not that far and only a few bucks to get in thanks to the Microsoft Prime Card (love that thing). Maybe it’s because it feels farther than it is or because when we get there the kiddos are more interested in the grassy hill than the animals. There’s also the school out thing… super crowded and busy during the summer. It had been a while since we went—since before school was out—so we made our way to Seattle for a visit. We met our friends there and started at the Tapir. There was a padlock by it’s viewing window which was way more interesting than the Tapir standing right at the window. Next up, elephants… rather, a spider web. It was close to lunchtime so we left the elephants and went to the grassy hill, the hit of the trip (along with pushing the stroller).
Laine leads the way; stroller pushers!
We are part of a weekly playgroup (that we didn’t make often over the summer). We were free one Friday so we made our way over to Ebright Creek Park. It’s not my favorite park; I usually avoid going there but it was a nice visit. The kiddos played a bit while I caught up with a few playgroup moms. We didn’t stay long before heading home to blow milk bubbles over lunch.
Cougar Mountain, Again
That work thing Brian does during the week gets in the way of him being able to come out with us on weekdays. The kiddos had told him all about our Cougar hike earlier in the month so we took him on the same hike one Saturday. Slugs, spiders, mushrooms… all still super exciting.
Hikers, err runners; rock models.
The new Pixar movie, Planes, came out in early August so I thought it’d be fun to take the kiddos to the movie theater for the first time. I showed them the trailer to get them excited and it worked. We went to a 9:40am Sunday showing so the theater was pretty dead which was the bonus, next to the fruit snacks that came in the kid’s snack pack. After sitting through 30 minutes of previews the movie started, “Planes: Cars in the Sky” as we called it. It didn’t catch the kiddos’ attention spans so we left about 30 minutes in. We can check movie theater off our list until they’re older. A side note: in the empty theater (maybe 15 people) one mom chose to sit in the seat right next to Blaise and then proceeded to text the entire time. Really, is anything that important on a Sunday morning during a movie with your kid next to you?! Eh, I try not to judge but that annoyed me. Especially when her kid (about three) kept trying to sit in her lap and she’d deny him.
Theater buffs (pictures taken before the movie, then phone put away).
Cougar Mountain, Again (Again)
Blaise and Laine will be tour guides next month… we made plans with some friends to hike so I suggested (surprise) Cougar Mountain. Neither had been to the clay pit so we set out for the same hike we’d done both times before. More slugs, mushrooms, spiders… still a hit. Blaise was so tired after he actually napped that afternoon. Apparently a 3.5 mile hike with six other kiddos is the trick to getting him to nap.
Hiker Laine; hiker Blaise leads the way for his friend.
Four of the seven hikers; rock climber Blaise.
Climber Blaise at it again; he can nap (on top of Prince Whiskers our ridiculous pillow).
Fire Station Visit
The moms group we’re involved with hosted a fire station tour for the kids. Blaise is obsessed with fire trucks and ambulances. I thought for sure he would be all over the tour. Wrong. He was so not into it, wanted to be held and said he wanted to go home. Laine, who is indifferent to fire trucks and takes a while to warm up to strangers, was all over the tour and the firemen. (I guess liking men in uniforms skips a generation.) She stopped, dropped, and rolled; was up touching the fireman in uniform; and was one of the first kids to get lifted into the truck. She loved the station. She was even that kid who hopped into the driver’s seat of the ambulance and honked the horn. =/ We left after the horn honking—she wasn’t listening and Blaise had asked to go.
Laine getting personal with the fireman; uninterested Blaise and fire Laine.
We went bowling with a friend right when the bowling alley opened. Man, bowling alleys have come a long way since I went last (years ago). It was super clean, modern decor, a waitress serving drinks and meals while we bowled… much nicer than I remember. It was a great start rolling the ball down the helper thing and retrieving it from the return until Blaise asked to go home. So we left.
It had been a while since we met up with a few friends so off to Farrel McWhirter we went. We checked on the animals, played in the water, and dug in the dirt.
Water rats; dirt diggers.
Blaise may have dumped dirt over Laine, she may have liked it and proceeded to do it to herself.
Blaise has discovered pockets. I’ve discovered the effects of rocks being run through the washing machine. Dirt napper Laine (she protested being cleaned before we left so a bath was in order when we got home except she fell asleep).
Evans Creek Preserve
I’m always on the lookout for new places to explore. I was perusing the Washington Trails webpage one night and came across the Evans Creek Preserve that’s about 15 minutes from here. I hadn’t heard about it so suggested we check it out. It opened in 2011 and is mostly wetlands with some trails along the way. Bonus, there were slugs and blackberries. We didn’t see the black bear that had been sighted but our friend did find the gnome and re-hid him (we went back again last weekend to find the sucker to no avail).
Kangaroo Farm (Donkeys, too!)
Before kiddos I had wanted to check out the Kangaroo Farm up north but never made it there. We made the trip with a friend and I’m glad we checked it off our list but have no plans on going back. It was nice being able to pet animals; I had never pet a kangaroo or a donkey for that matter. I think the people running the place had some land and a few animals and thought, “Hey, we can make money.” The tour started at noon and was loosely led through multiple fences with no rules except no running to not scare the animals. We entered one fenced area and there was a deer… the kiddos walked (respecting the no running rule) toward the deer and the guy “leading” the tour yelled at them in front of everyone to not go near the deer. Had a rule been said to not go near the deer, we wouldn’t have. I don’t even cross crosswalks until it says I can… I’m a rule follower. Blaise is a sensitive little guy and started asking to go after being yelled at. I was put off so completely lost interest. We ended up leaving. We won’t be going back. The donkeys were super cute and Blaise loved them. He’s such a great little guy, extends his hand for animals to sniff him before touching them. So gentle with them. Laine is great too; she was just on overload with everything there.
Pre-kangaroo farm breakfast; baby donkey!
Laine feeding a kangaroo; super cute bunny.
Blaise found a turtle.
Evergreen State Fair
I was hesitant to take the kiddos to the Evergreen State Fair. We’ve gone to the Puyallup Fair a few times before and it was overwhelming (for me, not a big crowd person). I’m so glad we went, it was a nice sized fair and more kiddo-friendly in my opinion thanks to a smaller crowd. We went on the day it was free to get in if you brought canned foods so we spent a whopping five dollars on kettle corn and seven for a pony ride. The kiddos were great; I took the double stroller that we haven’t used in months and I think the novelty of it made it okay for them to ride in (and hop in and out on their own). It also helped that we went with our friend Katherine so we could divide the kiddos up while looking at the animals. Baby pigs, adorable! We didn’t go on any rides, just walked around and saw the animals and stopped at a few stations (exhibits?!) like to ride tractors and ponies. The pony ride was a major hit with Laine. Blaise said he wanted to ride too but when I went to put him on, he said no thank you so he hopped in the stroller and ate a sandwich while Laine rode. She LOVED it. I don’t think there is one picture where she isn’t smiling wide while on the horse. We’re going to sign her up for horse riding lessons to see how she likes it (she may be a bit young but we’ll see). My proud mom moment of the outing was the Chevrolet exhibit guy called the kiddos over and asked if they wanted a water bottle they were giving away. Both kids said, “yes, please” and “thank you” on their own (which they do all the time… conversations between them is so cute, “here you go, Blaise” when Laine hands him something followed by “thank you” from Blaise and “you’re welcome” from Laine and vice versa). Anyway, the Chevrolet guy said it’s really nice to see manners. Go, kiddos!
Twin Falls is a pretty well-known hike around here, and quite popular with my friends who have kids. We were scheduled to go the Monday before but with the questionable weather and no rain jackets for the season yet, we went and bounced indoors instead. I still wanted to check it out so Brian, the kiddos, our friend Katherine, and I made our way east last Saturday. Such a beautiful setting along the river then up to the two waterfalls. I’m glad we went and did the hike, probably won’t do it again for a while. I think everyone in Washington was there. The trail was super busy so it was hike, then move aside for others to pass, hike, then move aside for others to pass, over and over. With the young kiddos it doesn’t seem fair to be the passers since we’re slower. It was a nice way to end the month.
The kiddos checking out the waterfall (and I’m actually in a picture).