June Twenty Seventeen

Researching moving to Canada, I found this page with information on different topics, including bringing a family: “Moreover, children born in Canada to U.S. citizens enjoy the benefit of having natural-born citizenship of both countries. Who knows, maybe your child will be the next Ted Cruz!” Haha. I like their humor. I’m pretty sure I will have failed as a parent if I have the next Ted Cruz.

I’m craving change. June was the first month in a while where everything was smooth. I’m realizing I don’t like smooth. When things are too perfect, I find ways to create chaos. Have two kiddos close in age and get to a place where they’re easy, have two more close in age. Move to the forever home with enough space for everyone, get everything organized and running like a well-oiled machine, and then decide you want to move countries. Stuff like that. Looking back, this has been my pattern. As soon as things are pretty perfect, I change things up. Even on the simplest of things… like I find the perfect area rug, buy the sucker, and then a month later decide I don’t like it like I thought I did. Repeat.

When I was 27, I went through a major change and I’m going through another. Both good changes but moments in life that make me face who I am and evolve. Eh, so much for wanting to be an adult because life is easy. And I shouldn’t complain… life is pretty easy. Here I am bitching about area rugs and moving countries when I can do both easily, while there are others who wonder if they can even eat tomorrow.

Annoying smoothness aside, June was a great month. Except for all the sunshine and warmth. I need rain and clouds. Perhaps I really should move to Canada.

June, in pictures, after starting the month in Republic:

Birthday party #482. Okay, more like #7 since April. I’m not complaining, they’re fun and the kiddos are at the ages where anything birthday is close to being the most exciting thing ever. This was a home party and they had drums. Laine and Saige went to town on them… we now have a set.

Standard morning walk. The last little kiddo-only walk before the big ones were on summer break. Now we all go. Baby never made it to the playground. Picking flowers was her thing this day.

Zoo! The kiddos had been asking to hit the zoo. I wanted to take them before school got out for the summer so we wouldn’t have to deal with crowds. HAHA. It was field trip day. SO MANY KIDS. It was insane. Keep in mind, I would always take the kiddos to the zoo on Tuesdays in winter. The zoo has more flamingos than people we’d see on a December Tuesday. We dealt with the crowds. And it helped Lisa was with us. I’m not convinced my kiddos even go to see the animals. The like the play structures, grassy area, trees to climb, cotton candy, carousel… and maybe an animal or two.

Saige wanted to see chickens at the zoo.

Jump! I don’t do nearly the amount of things with the second round of kiddos that I did with the first two. When it was only Blaise and Laine, we were always out and about doing anything and everything. Hell, I took them to a lavender farm because it was something to do. I’m not sure I feel bad about this; Saige and Vaile’s normal is more home time. Which isn’t so bad considering they have a playground out back and we have enough kids for play variety.

It was the big kiddos’ last day of Outdoor Explorers and they were having a family lunch. I didn’t have time to go home before the lunch so I took the little ones to Arena Sports. Maybe I’m getting older and worn down on the toddler thing, but the place was busier than I remember. There used to be a handful of other kiddos back in my early parenting days… there were at least 20 other kiddos there this go around. We stayed maybe 45 minutes. It was too hard to keep track of both kiddos who, of course, wanted to go the opposite direction of of each other. They had a blast and I had to physically carry Saige out the door to leave. She was objecting, quietly at least.

Outdoor Explorers, last day. Another year down. One more year of Outdoor Explorers before they age out of the program. We ended the year with a family lunch, complete with roasted marshmallows. Saige wanted to see the chickens before we started the lunch but freaked out when I opened the gate to walk in the pen. And I learned to never leave my wallet in the car when the chickens expect you to have a quarter or two for the food machine. I quickly ran to the van for my wallet. Happy chickens.

Brian hike. We had Lisa scheduled for a Saturday morning. We debated about signing up for a 10k but decided against spending the $80/each registration fee and went for a hike instead. We had limited time so a short hike it was. Little Si. Our first time hiking there. I wonder why we never hiked much before kiddos. We went a few times but looking back and knowing we had SO MUCH free time, we should have gone more. Hindsight. It was an easy, quick hike, with the hardest part finding parking. We had to park about 20 minutes away from the trailhead parking lot. On our way back to the parking lot, we saw a few cars being towed. That must suck walking down from your hike and your car being gone. It’s important to read signs.

Summer ski lessons. The big kiddos are back at summer ski lessons. They go once-a-week over the summer and then Saturdays on the snow come winter. Same as last year. Saige will start next summer.

Another last day. So much for homeschooling, haha. The kiddos have classes four days each week, and this was Monday’s last day. Blaise positioned all his work and wanted his picture taken, so of course Laine wanted to do the same.

Blaise walk. Blaise is the one kid of ours who doesn’t need much sleep. He’s like Brian in that way. Growing up I had an 8:30pm bedtime… during the school year and summer. (It was moved to 9pm in middle school, 10pm in high school, and whatever time once I hit 16). Even on holidays. I was not a fan. And yet here I am, the strict bedtime parent. I get it now. My parents needed kiddo-free time and so do we. Brian and I head upstairs for bed around 9pm so it’s extremely important to me for the kiddos to be in bed by 7pm. The deal is Blaise has to be in his room at 7pm but can stay up until 8:30pm. He can read, play quietly, do whatever. He usually lasts about 30 minutes before he comes down and say he’s ready for bed. I think he likes the hour of lying there, letting his mind wander.

This night I asked Blaise if he wanted to join me for an evening walk. We were only going to walk around the block but ended up walking for over an hour. It’s a nice way to chat with the kiddos. I rather enjoy walks with them.

Pile of kids.

Last, last day. We finally finished up the school year on June 14… they’re officially first graders now. It was the kiddos’ last day at Riverview up the street. I’m happy we signed them up for the program back in December. It’s been fun and they love it there, and they’ll go again next school year.

Summer Saige. Saige being Saige. Kid loves to paint these days. And when she’s not painting, she’s getting her play on outside. Sometimes she lives it up and paints outside.

Field day. Riverview had a field day to celebrate the ending of the school year. So we went. Not many pictures other than Blaise and his friend climbing a tree. We mostly played at the playground, away from the crowd. The big kiddos came and went from the festivities.

Strawberry picking. My least favorite berry picking. It requires too much time bending down and you get red hands, and I don’t even really like strawberries… if I’m going to do labor, I should at least enjoy the fruits of my labor, haha. The kids on the other [red] hand (I can’t stop with the bad puns), love strawberries. They are fruit hounds. Laine would eat only fruit all day if given the opportunity. Hell, Blaise will chose fruit over French fries. If I hadn’t birthed him, I’d be skeptical he’s mine.

I was going to skip strawberry picking this year since I love it so much, but at the field day our friend asked if we were interested in going. Since Brian was around to leave the little ones at home, I went for it with Blaise and Laine.

Ice cream. Brian takes the kiddos up to the local ice cream shop for cones on hot days. They’ve been lucking out lately. Small town ice cream shops are more reasonable than Redmond ones… only $18 for three cones in Redmond yesterday. And of course, no prices on the menu. Cheaper and walkable out here in the country, where the ice cream shop is also a pizza place.

Wonder Woman! Man, that was a great movie. And I’m not a big movie person. My tastes are changing over the years. I’m liking action movies. We watched John Wick: Chapter 2 the other night and as someone who isn’t a fan of guns, violence, or Keanu Reeves, I enjoyed watching. And it wasn’t even a great movie plot-wise. I’m not even sure Keanu spoke more than 20 words. Maybe 50.

Now Wonder Woman, I liked the action and the plot. I did things backwards and bought tickets before even watching the previews. I figured it would be fine; a few friends had posted pictures online about taking their kiddos to see the movie. I watched the previews after and questioned my bad decision making… it was fine. I think the previews before the movie were worse than anything in the movie. There were a few times the kiddos had questionable looks on their faces but in the end, they loved the movie and want to see it again. And we will after Yellowstone; we have plans with a friend to see it together.

Walking to the parking lot after leaving the movie theater. Well, after our traditional post-movie Starbucks hot chocolate. Blaise was all action. Laine was being Laine.

Coal Creek Falls. The last time we hiked Coal Creek Falls was when Saige was about six months old. We were due to go again. I packed up all four kiddos and went for it during our normally scheduled quiet time. I was prepared for the worst given the time of day and me taking all four alone… it was perfect. Shockingly. There were no major incidents and all the kiddos did well. Saigers did get tired on the way back, asking me to carry her. I gave in most of the way back. I had several, “Good mom” and “Super mom” comments, along with an older lady who commented on me having four kiddos with the ever-popular, “You have your hands full!” Which for once, I literally did have my hands full carrying Saige in my arms.

The kiddos counted slugs, snails, and mushrooms, and climbed any tree or rock that was climbable. The big kiddos came prepared with their backpacks filled with nature journals, binoculars, compasses, and whatever else they packed. Saige filled her backpack with random toys just to have a backpack like brother and sister. And a few highlights: Vaile took her first selfie, Blaise and Laine photobombed Saige, and Saige passed out in two seconds flat the moment she was buckled in her car seat. It was a really nice time. I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. When we have more free days, I’ll take them on more hikes.

Dance recital rehearsal. Not my normal style… I waited until the last minute to get costumes. They had two dances: jazz and tap. Technically three dances if we count the studio-wide intro dance. The tap dance had a fancy costume the studio selected; we only had to write a check. The jazz dance was to Hard Knock Life and it was on us to come up with orphan costumes. Rehearsal was on Wednesday, I went shopping Tuesday night. And I ordered a smock on Amazon. Thank you, one-day delivery. I’m happy with the outcome. Blaise wasn’t too pleased with his; he thought Laine looked better and did not like his vest. And we had to change plaid shirts. Good thing I bought a few at Goodwill, which they will be getting back now. He was happy the next day at rehearsal… it helped he received several compliments on his hat and vest.

A rough video of their dance at rehearsal. They did a great job at the recital.

Farrel-McWhirter. My love for this park will never end. It’s probably my favorite park ever. I love the variety it offers… swings, water, animals, large grassy areas, trails, trees to climb, huckleberries, no playground. I like to avoid playgrounds if possible… they tend to have hover parents (much like Brian, haha!). We had plans to meet up with a friend and her kiddos. I packed up the kiddos in their water shoes and left for FM. It was the first time the little ones wore water shoes in water. They weren’t sold. Saige didn’t like it at all and kept asking for her boots, and Vaile wasn’t sure it was really okay to wear shoes in water. Eventually, they both accepted water shoes. We ended up spending close to three hours there. And bonus, we met another mom with a son close in age to Blaise and Laine, and she has two younger kiddos close in age with Saige and Vaile. We exchanged numbers and played again last week, and will again this week.

Water balloons and ice cream. Papa and Wawa came up for the weekend for the big kiddos’ dance recital. It was a hot weekend. Like almost 100 degrees hot. They brought water balloons and spoiled the kiddos with ice cream sundaes and toppings… we do ice cream but fail at the topping part. The kiddos scored. And they had a great weekend with grandparents. Note the shield usage to protect from water balloons. That’s thanks to Wonder Woman.

Drums. The kiddos (and Brian) wanted drums after the birthday party in early June. I wasn’t in the market any time soon until there was a drum set posted on the swap meet page for our area. $100, sold. I’m not a fan of how they look in the house but they’re in a spot I don’t really see much so whatever.

Random cat pictures. Moose jumped up not knowing Snugs was already there. And Snugs asleep on the chair with a stuffed cat.

Morning walk. I’ve been keeping up on my morning kiddo walks, with all four now that school is on break. Saige is wanting to walk more. Here, on a part of the trail where she’s usually in the stroller after being bribed with a lollipop.

Hiker Blaise. Brian is the one who encourages me to have Lisa to get time to myself. He’s been pushing for me to do things for me while she’s here instead of my standard errand running. I decided to start hiking while she’s here. I was going to head out alone with Melvin until Blaise asked to join. He wanted to hike Rattlesnake but changed his mind to Poo Poo Point while we were driving. I wasn’t sure how he’d do since it’s a pretty steep hike most of the way. He rocked it. Even telling me, “This is easy, like Parkour.” Haha. He’s never done Parkour.

Paint everywhere. Saige magically appeared with paint one day. The paint I keep on the top shelf in the art room. The paint not even the big kiddos can reach standing on a stool. I figured it out; she was climbing the shelf like a ladder. See video below for a demonstration (the shelf if bolted to studs in the wall… it doesn’t move in the slightest).

She managed to get three paints down and out before I had time to say anything or even help set things up. I went with it. Between her and Blaise, they used three paint containers. There was paint everywhere. Laine got in on the action after a bit. Vaile managed to be interested in other stuff, which is surprising. Saige was such a mess that I had to wash her in the kitchen sink. She barely fits! Blaise had put on his dance costume to show a friend who was over and ended up getting paint all over his nice new pants, belt, and dress shirt. Eh, he won’t wear them again anyway.

We now have painted rocks on the retaining wall in the backyard. I care about things inside the house, thankfully not outside. They can paint away all they want. They were this week also… summer fun.

More skiing lessons, more ice cream.

And June is a wrap. We’re into July now and leaving for Yellowstone this week. I’m still waiting for September to get here.

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