May Twenty Eighteen

May is all about satisfaction! I ended that with an exclamation point to make it seem more exciting than it really is. All small things but big enough to make me happy and feel satisfied. (Mick would be jealous.) Let’s start with the simple, mundane dream I had in early May. I woke up feeling so freaking satisfied. Like I was smiling and happy. Weeds. The dream was about weeds. Thrilling, I know.

In the dream, we lived in a neighborhood that was a cross between our current neighborhood and my neighborhood growing up. There was a section of the sidewalk that was filled with weeds… weeds growing out of the cement, about an inch apart. And these weeds were maybe a foot tall. The sidewalk was packed with these suckers. They were bothering me because nobody seemed to care enough to do anything about them. I waited until dusk so I wouldn’t run into any neighbors (even in my dreams, haha) and I pulled them out. I was able to pull them all out, roots included. It was such a satisfying feeling. All over pulling weeds.

I’m not big on looking for meaning in dreams; I’m more of a realist. I’m certain I had this weed dream because there really are weeds in our current neighborhood. They’re growing where the sidewalk meets the road. And they’re driving me nuts. Like nobody else sees them? I don’t know. Maybe nobody cares enough to do anything. All I know is the minute I see a weed, I pull that sucker out. And if I can’t get the roots in one pull, we have a special yard tool to get the roots out. The special yard tool, a screwdriver. Haha. It works really well (we’re not yard people). But these weeds are in front of other homes so I’m not sure the protocol on picking other people’s weeds? But they aren’t technically theirs since they are in the street? I have no idea. So I’ll just complain about the weeds here, give them the side-eye when I walk past—the weeds, not the homeowners—and do nothing.

Except for flying dreams. Talk about satisfaction. I try to understand the meaning of those dreams since I can’t actually fly in real life. Although, if I could pick a superpower it’d be a toss-up between flying and being invisible. Invisibility is a whole other ramble. But man, flying dreams are the best. I feel like I am literally flying in the air, with nothing holding me up there. Soaring about, complete freedom. Euphoric. I used to have them all the time. It’s been a while. Since kids actually. Maybe they are about freedom? Because the complete opposite of freedom is having four young kiddos.

Back when I worked, my favorite part of the job was dealing with self-important people. You know, the ones who never show up to a meeting on time because their time is more important? No, wait, that’s not right. It was the feeling of satisfaction from completing proposals. I absolutely loved working on these projects that had a defined ending. With a deadline that wasn’t internally set… there was no budging. No matter how stressful the project was, I always knew that by a certain time and day, things would be over. Until next time. I thrived on these projects. Total satisfaction. And this is the mindset that gets me through most things. When I know that by next Tuesday this crazy week will be over, I can hang with the chaos.

Brian always talks about work deadlines and how they’re constantly moving. I couldn’t hang in this type of environment. Then again, talk about self-important people… some of these software developers who think their work is as important as curing cancer. Working long hours all week, always checking their email and responding at odd hours. Not all are like this but the stories I hear from Brian and others makes me wonder about some people and their work-life balance. Are they making work seem so important to avoid real life? Maybe their boss is and sets the tone for the team? Who knows. Brian was off for Memorial Day and had a three-day weekend. Some guy sent Brian a code review late Friday afternoon for something not that important. Brian got a scathing email from this dude Tuesday telling Brian he had five days to review and asked why he hadn’t responded, including Brian’s boss in the email (haha). Brian said he’d get back to him Wednesday or Thursday. I like seasoned Brian. Ten years ago Brian would have probably freaked over an email like this.

This is why I’m so looking forward to the up and coming generations. The ones who don’t want to slave all day working for The Man. The ones who embrace life outside of work and want more life with less work. And around here, they move on if they aren’t happy. I think the average employee at Amazon lasts nine months? Retaining employees is getting harder and harder with these kids joining the workforce. Even with the hefty signing bonuses and starting six-figure salaries… there’s always a better offer somewhere else. They get a bad reputation but I think they will help shape the future of the working world. And, please keep killing things off like diamonds and fabric softener. I recently heard they’re killing off top sheets also. I can get behind this.

There I went rambling again. Let’s talk about satisfactionin real lifein the month of May:

Two Pillows

As if it could get more boring than weeds. Couch pillows. (This is where it becomes super obvious I’m pretty boring.) I decided to get rid of all but two couch pillows. I’m constantly going through purge moods. Hoarders, yeah, I’m the opposite… I have this need to get rid of things. Constantly. And just when I think there isn’t much left to get rid of, I get into one of these moods. I even get excited when something breaks because it means I get to throw it away. I’m not sure I’ll be totally happy until we have next to nothing. But until then, I purge often. And last week I was looking at the couch. I decided I wanted to get rid of some pillows. There were five pillows and I’ve cut it down to two. It’s such a simple, dull change, and yet it looks so much better. I like sparse. And I like less to deal with even better.

This is probably my favorite thing in May. Because the two pillows snowballed and I purged even more spaces that I had already purged before, and yet still found stuff to get rid of. I’m slowly working toward having next to nothing. But never one of those tiny houses. I’m not going down that route. I need space. Lots of empty space. And I’m back in a purge mode today. Watch out, kid toys… this afternoon, it’s on.

Side notes: 1. West Elm couches don’t hold up well. 2. I always laugh at how I had to special order those prints back in 1996… now they’re everywhere. I know, I sound like an art hipster or something. 3. I’ve actually managed to keep that plant on the side table alive for about five months. 4. Yes, this is how our family room always looks. It’s not cleaned for a staged blog picture. I take that back, sometimes there are toys on the floor… but the kiddos know to pick up before raging, neat freak mom makes an appearance.

Skate Ramp

We finally have a skate ramp. And the satisfaction of finally getting one and having it completed feels amazing. In typical Brian fashion, he’s talked about getting a skate ramp for years. (It takes him about six months to buy something as simple as a laptop case.) He started seriously talking about getting a skate ramp when we first bought this house, when he realized one would fit well in the backend of the garage… we have a four-car tandem garage so I can still park in the garage. Almost three years later, we have one and it fits really well. He’s happy, the kiddos are happy, and I’m happy they’re all happy. Bonus for me: we had to get rid of a ton of stuff for it to fit back there.

A slideshow of the skate ramp from start to finish:

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Saige Swings

Saigers learned how to swing on her own. Score. I think this is the second best milestone next to getting kiddos out of diapers. Selfishly, of course. I no longer have to push her. Three down, one to go… diapers and swinging.

Camp Orkila

We’re one kid closer to me having a kiddo-free weekend. Saige made her debut at Camp Orkila this year, keeping with the tradition of Brian taking the kiddos over Mother’s Day weekend so I can enjoy a few calm days. Baby debuts next year. Baby and I had a really nice, quiet weekend. Very satisfying to not have to answer a single question. I remember my mom sternly saying, “Please don’t ask me another question.” I totally get this now. I’ve thought about keeping a tally of how many questions I’m asked each day. But then I realize I’d rather not know.

A ridiculous amount of photos from the Camp Orkila weekend are here.

Summer Plan

May also ended with the satisfaction of cancelling some summer plans. I have a habit of planning things out and then not wanting to do them when the time comes. Talk about satisfaction; that’s the feeling I get when I have a full calendar months in advance. I love planning and organizing, getting things on the books so we have things to look forward to doing. But then deep down, I really would rather have nothing to do… no commitments, no watching the clock. A bad habit of mine and yet I continue to do this. I haven’t found the right balance of planning and organizing, and following through. Probably by the time the kiddos are 18 I’ll have it all figured out.

I cancelled two summer camps and cut back swimming lessons. It feels so good knowing we have nothing weeks planned. Although, there I go planning nothing weeks… because that totally makes sense. Swimming lessons are non-negotiable but for our planned swimming lessons in August, we’ll be down in California. Bob and Tara have a swimming pool so the kiddos will be swimming all day, every day. Just like my childhood summers.

Fall Plan

I finalized all the kiddos’ fall schedule with school and activities in May. I was slightly annoyed one of their programs didn’t start registration until late April… shocker, it was the one public program they attend. Everything else up here starts in December planning for fall. Which, obsessive, yes, but I like to check things off my list and know I have spots needed. Thankfully, I was able to get all the spots I needed. It feels super satisfying to finally have it all planned out. And not planned out like I want to change it come fall… everything is all set and it feels like the right balance. We cut back on two schooling programs for the big kiddos. I’m tired of driving all around and mostly, cost. With Saige and Baby making their way into the schooling and activity world, it’s getting expensive. And I also want to focus more on actual homeschooling… which I have all planned out (and I WILL stick with this time, but probably won’t).

Birthday Plan

Brian and I didn’t plan it out well having all four kiddos born within months of one another. July, September, September, October. Not much we can do about this now, haha.

We kick-off birthday season in July with Laine, followed by Blaise and Saige in September, and end with Baby in October… right before Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then start the new year when everything activities and school picks up in preparation for the end of the academic year in June. It never ends. But birthdays, check. I told the kiddos no home parties this year. I’m still burnt out from Blaise’s last year. With all the programs the kiddos do, they have a hefty friend group. All great kiddos, just overwhelming for me. Laine decided on a pottery painting party; Blaise a ninja warrior party; and Saige, well, I wasn’t going to do a party for her but she heard all the planning for Blaise and Laine. She’s having a bounce house party. Baby, no party… we booked two nights in Cannon Beach. Which is probably cheaper than any of the other kiddos’ parties. Everything is booked and it feels amazing. Dare I say, satisfying?

Brian Promotion

And last but not least under the satisfaction umbrella, Brian got another promotion. He also hit 10 years with Microsoft last month. People ask me what he does. I have no idea. All I know is he’s a coder guy and he loves what he does. And since he’s the one who works, as long as he’s happy, that’s all I care about. Bonus is that he’s on a team with wonderful flexibility on schedule. I’m not sure how we would handle all the kiddos’ schooling and activities if not for his flexibility. Especially with all this year-end everything. Picnics, field days, dance rehearsals, conferences… all during work hours. I don’t know how working parents handle this. It’s not fair to them. But that’s a whole other ramble.

May in pictures.

And now, May in pictures. But first, it was just the beginning of May and now it’s mid-June. What’s up with that, time?! Although, I’m not sure I’m complaining that much now that it’s June. A friend asked in early May if I was looking forward to summer. I answered, “Yes, only because it means fall will be here quicker.” I’d like to fast-forward summer and hit slow-mo come fall. I’d also like to hit mute on the kiddos sometimes. If only life came with a universal remote control. Oooh, a pause button. Like Evie in Out of This World. That was one of my favorite shows as a kid. And I wished back then I could pause time with my fingers. Add that to my list of desired superpowers.

Okay, pictures. Except now I’m reminded how some people write OK and some Okay. Is it OK to use okay? I’ve never thought to look this up. Off to Google I go… Yeah, I’m not reading about 528,000,000 results (in 0.34 seconds) about the different uses. The gist is they are both the same with OK being more popular. Apparently O.K. is another option. And then there’s Brian, who omits the O. An example would be I’ll text him something like, Please grab bread at Costco. What do you want for dinner? He responds with a simple, K. I’m pretty sure I could text something terrible like I was just in a car accident, both legs are broken. I’m being taken to the emergency room. And he’d respond, K. He’s a terrible texter; he admits this.

Pictures, fo’ realz.

Looking back at all of the May pictures, we pretty much went to parks. So.much.green. That’s the one thing I take for granted being up here, seeing green everywhere. When we go back to California, all we see is brown and yellow. We always joke about how Cal Poly holds their campus tours in the spring, after the rains. It’s beautiful; set within the green hills. Then you go in fall and it’s all brown and yellow. False advertising.

Farm Kiddos

Blaise and Laine ended their Tuesday classes in April so they were with me for Saige pickup each Tuesday in May. We’d hang out at the farm for a while after preschool to get our play on. Blaise is totally the big brother, taking on helping all the preschoolers. Here he was ensuring everyone had great tire swing spinning action.

I’m pretty sure I have pictures of all the kiddos at different ages in this tree. Talk about a perfect climbing tree… you can climb low or high, and it’s perfect for all kiddo ages.

Rotary Park

Last summer while on one of our park adventures, the kiddos started playing with another kiddo who happened to be there. They got along great so the mom and I exchanged numbers. We’ve been hanging out often since. It’s a perfect match; she has a kiddo between Blaise and Laine, a kiddo around Saige’s age, and another around Baby’s age. Not to mention she is super sweet and a great person, just like her kiddos.

We’ve been meeting on Wednesdays in Woodinville lately, before Laine starts gymnastics at 4:30pm. This Wednesday we met at Rotary Park; it was new to us. What a great park. There is a half-mile boardwalk trail, a playground, and a skate park. Like most kiddos, ours can play anywhere and use their imaginations for anything. Here they took over the gazebo and there was some kind of sword fight going on… Saige was just happy she managed to climb up one of the pillars all by herself. Saige has also been into maps lately; she was super excited there was a big one on the park sign.

The Perfect Friday Egg

Blaise is the resident egg maker. He’s been making eggs since he was three (video below at 3.5-years-old). The kid is good. This night Laine was at gymnastics with Brian and we needed to make a quick dinner. And since Laine is the only anti-egger, Blaise made a batch of Friday Eggs, which are really fried eggs but we don’t correct him. Just like we let them call McDonald’s, Old McDonald’s and Naked Green Machine juice, ogre juice. He asked me to take a picture to text Brian because it was the perfect Friday egg he claimed.

Three-year-old Blaise making eggs.

Evans Creek

It was outdoor school day for the older three. Baby and I grabbed Saige from school and then headed for Evans Creek to grab Blaise and Laine. We stayed after and played a while. Nothing really exciting to say about this day; it was pretty standard. One thing actually, this is the first time I looked at a picture of Baby and thought she looks older. We’re so used to seeing her as the baby of the family… we forget she keeps getting older.

Baby does obsessive patterns when she plays alone. Maybe an early sign of OCD? She had a pattern she was doing here where she’d run, tap the sign, and then run back. I only caught the first half of the pattern because Saige needed me.

Nature Sun Catcher Wind Chime Things

In my attempt to do more art with the kiddos, we made these things. I first came across the idea a few summers ago and it has since been on my list of projects to do with the kiddos. We finally got around to making them. Because we like doing things with other people, we invited a few friends over to makes them with us. I think it’s one of my favorite art projects we’ve made. And I even enjoy the subtle clanging sounds they make in the breeze.

Saigers was at preschool when we made them. And the poor kiddo was stung by a bee this morning. Her poor forehead and around her left eye was swollen for two days. Apparently a few kiddos were playing around a log that had a hive tucked inside. Bees swarmed and a few kiddos were stung. Her poor teacher took about five stings getting the kiddos out of there. The hive has since been removed. One of the perks of an outdoor preschool in the forest.

Library Time

We all went on an evening family stroll up to the library. One of the things I love about living in Carnation, the walkability. The other thing, our house. It’s a cute town and all—and I really do enjoy living here—I’m just anxious for it to grow and develop. Because it will. No matter how many residents complain or sign petitions. Money always wins. Which isn’t always a good thing but in this case, I’m all for it.

Saturday Mornings

Gymnastics is a way of life. And not a way of life I’m that interested in living. But the kids are. So I take one for the team. But really, I don’t do much. I drive Laine there on Wednesdays. Brian meets us there and drives her home.

Laine has joined a competitive team that practices twice a week for two hours. I wasn’t on board with this but Brian thought she should go for it now while she’s young. He doesn’t have opinions on many things so when he does, I tend to back down. I’ve told a few people in the last month because it’s come up… I’ve never heard the guy yell in the almost 23 years we’ve been together. He’s super easy-going. Which is why we’ve made it almost 23 years, haha. Well, that and he’s the type of guy to come up with the idea to take all four kiddos to gymnastics Saturday mornings so I can have some alone time. He takes the kiddos and they all have classes within the two hours that Laine has practice. He never thinks twice about taking any number of kiddos anywhere. Even I have limits on how many kiddos I’ll take to certain places.

The Yellow Park

If you say the yellow park around here, everyone knows what you mean. Everyone. It’s this small park in the center of town where all the kiddos play during the Tuesday Farmer’s Market. It was recently renovated and reopened just in time for the Market’s opening day. Because I avoid crowds, we waited a few weeks before checking it out. Really, I would have waited longer but we met some friends there who picked the location. They did a nice job. It still has swings, which are so rare these days. It’s super lame schools and new playgrounds don’t have swings. Another plus one for homeschooling: no ridiculous school playground rules. There’s a whole other rant.

The kiddos had fun. A few other homeschooling kiddos we know were there. And Saige found a few best friends… everyone is her best friend these days. We didn’t stay too long; the elementary school kiddos started showing up when school ended. Another plus one for homeschooling: avoid crowds during school hours.

Side note: You can always tell the big brothers. They are the best with the little ones. Saige suckered an older boy into pushing her on the swing—even though she can pump on her own. Baby suckered a few older boys into spinning her on the spinning thing. I’ll never forget the first time our friends we met there came over to our house. The oldest of three—a boy with two younger sisters—was standing near our front door. Saige ran over to open the door and he automatically threw his arm up and out blocking the door. Like the mom seatbelt arm. He was on it!

Outdoor Kiddos

With the big kiddos out of DigiPen in May, we would often stay at the farm after signing Saige out of preschool. It’s the perfect way to kill some afternoon time. It’s fun watching all the kiddos get bigger… the little friend with my gang was a baby back when Blaise and Laine went to preschool. Her older brother was in class with Blaise and Laine. They’re all so big now. And they’re going to keep getting bigger. Now I know why all those random adults I’d meet as a kid and then again years later would comment on how big we were. I totally get this now.

Field Trip

Blaise and Laine had their first official school field trip. But being the worrywart that I am, I wouldn’t let them take the bus. I know, I know, lame. But when I was in kindergarten, the sixth graders were on a field trip to Great America. There was a bus crash and one of the sixth graders was killed. My parents were pretty anti-bus after that. Maybe they were before? I have no idea. Heck, back in February I was driving on the 5 and there was a school bus that had been in an accident, with the cops around with their guns drawn. I’d like to avoid that type of situation as well. Cops, guns… two of my favorite things (sarcasm). I don’t watch much television but when I do, I always watch murder shows we call them. Anything on the ID Network. Watching the cops interrogate suspects infuriates me. I just want to yell at the suspects, “Never talk to a police officer without an attorney!” My dad was a cop. I still would lawyer up if any officer ever wants to talk with me. I digress…

Even when I turned 16, my parents were pretty adamant that I be the driver anywhere. Which worked out well since I was one of the first ones in my class to turn 16 and have a car. Even with Brian, I’m usually the main driver. So I drove the kiddos. The field trip was to see Rapunzel, the same play I took Saigers to in April. I’m pretty sure Blaise liked the idea of the field trip better than the play; Laine liked it all. I’ve always thought teachers are underpaid… even more so after this field trip.

Mother’s Day Saige

And so it beings, a third kiddo bringing me Mother’s Day gifts. Saige painted a pot and pasted a poem on there, and planted a plant. And I’ve managed to keep the thing alive. Blaise and Laine also made me a Mother’s Day gift. I absolutely love all the stuff they make… it’s just hard as a not big on having stuff person. But I keep and display them; they make me smile. While I wish their schools made Father’s Day gifts also, I’m secretly thankful we don’t have more stuff.

Evans Creek, Again

Again with picking up Saige and then Blaise and Laine, and hanging out after. The big kiddos were still at Evans Creek… more tree climbing, water jumping, and everything else these outdoor school kiddos like to do. Baby settled in on a log and ate her lunch. She takes eating seriously.

Baby Weekend

Man, it was so nice having a weekend with only one kiddo. Bonus: the one kiddo doesn’t ask for much and goes to sleep at 6pm. Not that I don’t love being with the kiddos—like I am all day, every day—it’s just a break is much needed. Blaise and Laine have amped up their bickering and question asking, and Saige wants constant attention, Mama, let’s color; Mama, let’s jump; Mama, Mama, Mama. Baby, she’s a piece of cake. Brian and the other three kiddos left Friday around noon. Baby and I left for some errands to grab some weekend essentials; I didn’t plan on leaving the house again. She was exhausted Friday night from all the morning excitement with Papa and Courtney arriving, and our afternoon or errand running. We had dinner before she fell asleep just after 6pm.

Baby is an early riser. Like 6am early. And it doesn’t matter what time she goes to bed, she’s up at 6am. We hit the trail first thing to get a Melvin walk out of the way. By the time we walked Melvin and ate breakfast, it was only 8am. My plan was to enjoy a home day. And I knew that meant I wanted to do things that didn’t involve kiddo help. I decided to take her out so I could check off my mom box for the day. We went to Farrel-McWhirter to check out the animals. I was set on hanging out for a few hours and then we’d grab lunch in Redmond together. Baby asked to go home about half-hour after we arrived. I wasn’t going to argue with her… home we went. We had a lazy Saturday at home. I think she enjoyed it as much as I did. One-on-one mom time and quiet. So much quiet. It was amazing.

Sunday I had plans with my neighbor to have lunch at our other neighbor’s house. Baby stayed with my neighbor’s husband and their kiddo while we lunched. Brian and the big kiddos were home about an hour after I finished lunching. And as much as I liked a quiet, one-kiddo weekend, it was nice to have everyone home.

Side note: I have to laugh about the parking lot. I took that picture because I have countless pictures of our van being the only car in the lot. I’m convinced this is one of the most underused parks… even at the start of the day.

Monday

Brian was off the Monday after Camp Orkila. A much needed day of resting, except there is no resting on a Monday with four kiddos. The big kiddos had school all day up the street and Saige had dance in the morning. We dropped the big kiddos off and left for Issaquah. We had a few errands to check off in Issaquah: litter and a pie. Exciting. But easier to do with Brian with us… I don’t have to take the kiddos in and out of the car multiple times.

Back in Carnation, we had a little time to kill before picking up Blaise and Laine. We took the little ones to the skate park. Brian skated while Saige and Baby played on the playground. He eventually made his way over and played a mean game of hide-and-seek with the kiddos. It’s the perfect park for hide-and-seek; trees galore.

We picked up Blaise and Laine before heading over to a friend’s house in Kirkland for dinner and some sprinkler play. Saige has her first official Saige-only friend… as in the friend isn’t a sibling of a Blaise or Laine friend. They go to preschool together and she was the first kiddo Saige specifically asked to play with. I think she’s become more comfortable with having her own friends. It’s fun to watch this age again. It becomes a blur when I think back to Blaise and Laine at three and four.

Skate (Scooter?) Park

The big kiddos made a bucket list of things they wanted to do Tuesday mornings while Saige was in school. Some things are easier to do without Saige around. She’s in the I’m a big kid, too! phase. We always call Blaise and Laine the big kiddos and Saige and Baby the little ones. This isn’t flying with Saige anymore. We’re trying to switch to calling Saige and Baby the younger two but it’s a hard habit to break.

The big kiddos wanted to hit up a skate park. And while Saige can totally hang, I didn’t want to deal with watching Saige and Baby at the skate park. We dropped Saigers off at preschool and then headed to the skate park. We went back to Rotary Park, where we had been earlier in the month… I made a mental note there is a skate park there. When we first went it was the afternoon and the skate park was packed. I figured if we went on a weekday morning we would avoid any crowds. I was right. We made plans with a friend to meet us there and we basically had the skate park to ourselves. Bonus for Baby. Another kiddo showed up and scooted for about 15 minutes. He must have been a homeschooler also because he looked about 12. We scooted for a while before we left to grab lunch at Chipotle and then pick up Saige at the farm.

Rotary Park, Again

This tends to happen. We find a park and it becomes hot stuff for a bit until we find another park. We’re like Leonardo DiCaprio and the parks are hot young models. I’m totally out of touch with anything Hollywood so I imagine there is a younger version of Leonardo? But Rotarty Park, it was our hot young model in May. We went back the next day to play with friends before Laine had gymnastics. It’s important to always do a kiddo head count… we had seven combined and only counted six when we were leaving the playground. One of the kiddos was sitting at the top of the slide and we couldn’t see her.

More Evans Creek

Evans Creek doesn’t fall under the hot young model category… the big kiddos had their Thursday outdoor class there in May. And when we picked them up again this time, we stayed to play after. There were two snakes hanging out on the rocks that captured the kiddos’ attention for a while.

Before Baby and I picked up all the kiddos, we hit Farrel-McWhirter. She got her water play on for a bit before we had to take off. It always makes me smile, the other kiddos who walk past and want to play in the water only to be told no by their parent. A few kiddos missed out on playing with the water and Baby this day.

Baby playing in the water.

Awkward Smiles

Back in April when the outdoor school kiddos had picture day, the photographer said to toss Baby in the picture. This was the result.

Cupcake Baby

Baby takes eating seriously. She settles in and takes her sweet time. We went to a first birthday party and there were cupcakes… she found a lawn chair and went to town. And speaking of eating, Blaise won a four pound chocolate bar at the party. He was pretty stoked.

Trail Walk

My damn feet. I’m having heel issues that is causing me pain. Which means my running and walking are on hold. I’ve gone through four pairs of running shoes. They still hurt. I’m resting my heels for now to see if they get better. So far, no luck. Next up is a trip to the foot doctor, which is another way of saying I’m getting old. I’m giving it a few more weeks before I deal with this.

I’m still trying to get a walk in here and there. I figure if my heels hurt the same before as they do after, it can’t be that bad to walk a little. I’m probably wrong. But I’m really great at rationalizing anything.

The picture on the left is mid-May. On the right is mid-February. I wish I could have February weather with May greenery.

Homegoods Kiddos

I have an unhealthy obsession with storage bins, boxes, and baskets. Homegoods is like my dealer… without fail, I leave with some sort of storage item every time. And it knows I’ll be back for more eventually. This all goes against my wanting to have next to nothing. I’ve gotten better over the years but I’ve yet to kick the habit for good.

I was craving a storage fix. This time, instead of buying new storage baskets for no reason, I decided to replace two that we use for toys downstairs. I ended up getting storage baskets with a white bottom. Eh, I like them but they aren’t my usual style… I like color and fun. And for color and fun, I found the suckers on the right. I already have two small ones that I bought from Anthropologie. But I never thought to look at the actual brand’s website before. Turns out they have bigger storage bins in the same style. Score. But of course I needed the set because, unhealthy storage obsession. I like them much better than the white bottom ones, which are now up in the kiddos’ room.

The big kiddos had a birthday party this afternoon. We stopped at Homegoods on the way home. Laine scored a banjo or ukulele… I have no idea what it is but she plays it all the time. A much better buy than that flute recorder thing I bought back when she was three.

Oh, Moosie

Moosie is 11 years old. We’ve had him since he was eight weeks. He was fixed right away and yet he has sexual urges. Big time. The cat is a stuffed animal kidnapping rapist. I found him with his victims one day… he steals them from the kiddos’ beds. Usually he goes for one but must have been feeling sprightly this day. I had been calling him Moosie C.K. after Louis C.K. was outed for masturbating in front of people. But Moose is taking it to the next criminal level. He needs a new name.

Animals

Baby is obsessed with any sort of animal figures. I had to swing into Homegoods this Monday to return a storage basket I decided not to keep. Saige had dance so we stopped in the Issaquah store… each kiddo found a toy they had to have. Saige picked out a bucket of beach toys and Baby found a tube of animal figurines. I’ve been really good about not buying spur of the moment toys but gave in this day. And it worked out. We went to the beach later this week and Baby had new toys to play with while Saige was in dance class.

Neighborhood Park

A quick stop at the neighborhood park after walking up to grab the big kiddos from school this Monday.

Saige, Being Saige

Silly kid. She’s all about posing and making faces in front of the camera these days. While the big kiddos were in class this Wednesday, the younger two and I walked up to Tolt MacDonald Park. And my damn heels hurt the rest of the day.

Sliding in shorts isn’t ideal.

Hooky Players

It was a typical Thursday morning. I had all the kiddos with me to stagger drop-offs. Saige was first and then Blaise and Laine were set to be at Evans Creek again. On the way to Saige’s school, Blaise said he was itchy. We dropped off Saige and then went to Evans Creek. When we got there, Blaise had several rashes all over his body. I gave him the option to go and suck it up or he could come with me to Target and buy some cream. He went with the Target option. He and Baby stayed in the car while I went to sign Laine into class. Laine decided she wanted to come with us instead.

We hit Target for cream and with two hours left to kill before picking up Saige, I decided to take them to breakfast. We went to the Family Pancake House for… pancakes. Blaise’s rash came back that night. We ultimately decided it was the sawdust from him helping build the skate ramp. Nothing else had changed. And Brian had a few asthma attacks during the building process so we’re pretty confident it was sawdust.

They never pass up an opportunity to climb a tree. And the goat was super friendly at Saige pickup.

Beach Play

We made plans with Saige’s preschool friend to hit the beach this Friday. This was on the big kiddos’ Tuesday bucket list; I figured a few days later was close enough.

I was on it this morning, packing a ton of snacks, beach toys, blanket… but I totally forgot swimsuits, extra clothes, and towels. Eh, we survived. And bad decision on my part to put the younger two in dresses. When they bent down in the water the back of their dresses got wet. I had just gone summer clothes shopping a few days before so they were both adamant about wearing a new dress. We all had fun regardless of improper clothing.

Standard Saturday

All the kiddos had gymnastics in the morning. I went with them so I could watch Baby and Saige in action. Blaise has made a buddy that he likes to play some game with before their ninja class starts. Saige makes the rounds in the waiting area, where she gets her Saige on and talks to every.single.person. She approached the dad sitting near us and said her standard, “Hi, I’m Saige, the Pie.” He said hello back and she added, “I’m three and a half.” About a minute later, he asked Saige, “How old are you?” She replied, “I already told you.” He laughed and said he will pay better attention next time. I was laughing because that’s what I say all.the.time to the kiddos (and Brian). They ask me something, I answer, and they ask again. And I’m thinking if you ask me a question, it’s on you to listen for the answer. Drives me nuts. I’ve stopped answering more than once. Which Laine totally milks. She’ll ask me something like, “When are we leaving?” And I’ll answer with the time. But she never hears me and asks again, saying she didn’t hear me. To which I tell her, “Too bad. Then don’t ask if you aren’t ready to listen.” And then she starts making up, “I think you said an hour. So I have time to do XYZ.” Even though I said five minutes and she doesn’t have time.

After gymnastics we worked on finishing the skate ramp and getting the garage in order. We’re so close. A final dump run and a few more things to sort out. Now if we could only find a free weekend. Saige and I also planted seeds in the garden. Which she dug up the next day. If we ever find a free weekend and it’s not too late, I want to plant a few starts (is that the right gardening lingo?!).

Drag Queen Brunch

Karann and I went back in January and we both wanted to go again. So we did. I’m slightly obsessed with one of the drag queens whom I always check out on Instagram. Their makeup skills are amazing. Turns out there is another drag queen brunch in Seattle… it’s on the list for July.

They ask you to take pictures and videos during the show because they know people will put them out there. I always feel the need to add this because I’m not one of those people who has their phone out at all times.

Dad Date

Saige had been asking Brian to take her to his work. She finally got to go. I think she liked the chocolate milk best. And I’m with Brian on not being a fan of open workspaces. I couldn’t handle looking at all the clutter around… like his coworker’s desk behind Saige there. And all the cords would drive me nuts. Brian pointed out that he no longer has the ridiculous three screens; he’s down to one. I guess my constant purging is rubbing off on him.

Big Brother Blaise

Blaise is the best big brother. I remember asking my parents for an older brother when I was a young kid… Blaise is exactly what I wished I had growing up. He is amazing with all of his sisters. If Laine is upset because he gets something better, he’s always down to trade. His choice. And if Saige is in a a Saige mood, he knows what to say to calm her down. Baby, he takes it on to bathe her or brush her teeth, get her dressed in the morning… whatever she needs. Just this morning, he made all the girls breakfast, tailoring each meal to their likes. We never ask him to do any of this. I mean, we ask him to make sure the younger two don’t run into the street if he’s with them, safety stuff. But never put any responsibility on him that a parent holds. I always feel sorry for older kids who are tasked with being a parental figure to the younger ones. They miss out on a childhood.

This afternoon Laine and Saige were at gymnastics with Brian. Blaise and Baby were playing on the trampoline so I grabbed a video. I think they did this over and over and over for about an hour. Baby likes a piggy back ride. And Blaise is using a strange voice… he doesn’t usually sound like that.

Outdoor Explorers Picnic

This Thursday was my last Baby-only Thursday. The big kiddos had their outdoor class at the farm, ending their second year as Outdoor Explorers. We joined them for the last hour of class for a picnic. Saige was already at the farm for preschool and Brian joined us all. It was a nice end to the program year.

Baby and I hit Farrel-McWhirter to celebrate our last Thursday together. She hightailed it to the swings after we checked out the animals.

And just like that, it’s already June 18. I’m ready for July. These last days of June are jam-packed. But I know come July 1, it’ll all be over… before another busy month gets going.

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