Augtember Twenty Eighteen

This is going to be a loooong post. Like wiener dog long. Or Beethoven’s Ninth long. Or Catholic wedding long. I can keep coming up with long references but that would just make this post even longer. So let’s get to it: Augtember. August, September, October all in one post. And really, I should toss in November since Thanksgiving already happened. But then this post would be Diplodocus long… but not as long as Longcat.


AUGUST

We kicked off August in a yurt. We ended August in California. Everything in between I don’t remember. Which reminds me of that someecards card or is it a meme? I’m not sure the terminology. But it says, “Not only is my short-term memory horrible, so is my short-term memory.” Yep. This is me. I can tell you birthdays of people I went to elementary school with. And I’m that creepy person who if I’ve met you once and you tell me some random fact about yourself, I’ll remember it 10 years later when we meet again and you don’t remember me. But ask me what happened last weekend… I’d have to really think hard about what I did. Thankfully, there are August pictures to jog the memory.

Kayak Point

This was our second year yurting at Kayak Point and I’m pretty sure it’s an official annual tradition now. I’m not sure how many times you have to do something to make it an annual tradition? Unless there are annual tradition police, then I think we’re good calling it one. More pictures here.

Baker Blaise

Another annual tradition, blueberry picking. We went late July this year, and left with more blueberries than we could eat before they went bad. We’re not big freezer people—which is what I hear people do with a ridiculous amount of blueberries—so we made a pie. And bonus, Blaise used leftover pie dough as moulding clay.

Catching Up With Friends

Summer went fast. Between everything end of school, swimming, and summer camps, most of June and July were jam-packed. And the kiddos’ friends were just as busy. We found a day in early August to hang with their friends up at Tolt MacDonald… they mostly picked blackberries. This was the first time I’ve let the big kiddos out of sight a decent ways away. It was a little unnerving but I wasn’t terribly concerned… power in numbers with all four big kiddos.

Hoarder Saige

Saige is a hoarder. She loves stuff. She collects things and then sets up play areas all over the house. Even outside. Clutter makes me anxious… it takes all my energy to ignore her arrangements. At least she’s somewhat organized. This was one of her August arrangements.

I’m pretty sure my kiddos will either be worse than me when it comes to stuff and organization, or they’ll totally go the opposite direction and be clutter hounds. I’m curious how they’ll turn out as adults with their own homes.

Elephant Tree

More catching up with friends. We played at Farrel-McWhirter, which we hadn’t been to in forever. Back when it was only Blaise and Laine, we’d be there a few times each week. The memories! Now we go there a few times each year. We should change that…

The ever-popular elephant tree. We have to check it out every time.

Lake Marcel

So much fun! Our friends live on Lake Marcel, and they have access to a community beach. We met them there for a beach morning… that turned into a beach afternoon. I think we stayed almost five hours? The kids were having such a fabulous time it was hard to leave. This was their first time swimming in a lake. And it was perfect. The area is roped off and somewhat shallow, yet they had to swim to the dock. And the younger kiddos had ample room to wade around. With a slide bonus.

Lake videos.

Fort Baby

Following Saige’s fort making, Baby made one.

Park Kiddos

I have no recollection of this day. Go, mom memory. I can tell we went to Tolt MacDonald from the picture… that’s about all.

Farrel-McWhirter, Again

Apparently two of our few times a year happened in August. Saige has a wonderful little friend from preschool. We met them at the park; they hadn’t been. I love Farrel-McWhirter for so many reasons, one being it’s a super easy park to confine four kiddos. They can run about without having to worry too much. The kiddos hit up the swings first, then checked on the farm animals, and finished at the water. The big kiddos scored; there was another family there with kiddos around their age. They took off with them while Saige, her friend, and Baby stayed within view. It was a super fun afternoon.

Blaise LEGO Creations

This kid would do LEGOs all day, every day if he didn’t have to do anything else. Maybe he’d split the time between Minecraft and LEGOs. He always has me take pictures of them. Sometimes there are videos with him showing how to make things. And he usually ends with subscribe to my channel. He doesn’t have a channel. Haha.

Battle Laine

Having a fenced yard has been amazing. I really miss our old, smaller place. It was so cozy. I have such great memories from there. Including the kiddos playing out back. They’d go out back almost daily in the summer, and the girls next door would come out also. It was great. There was no fence so the kiddos could see when each other were out. I miss that, very much. But having a fenced yard has been awesome. I can toss the kiddos out back and not worry about any of them wandering off. I only worry on windy days about trees falling and when Baby is alone outside… we have a bobcat living somewhere on the hill behind our house. With more than on kiddo, no bobcat is going to come near the noise. And really, I’m probably even worrying for nothing. Anyway, here’s Laine on one of the toss the kiddos out back days. I gather they were having some sort of battle, and she was all geared up.

Test Subject Blaise

Back when Blaise was a baby, I signed him up to be a test subject for the University of Washington. We’ve gone to a few studies over the years; it’s been a fun experience. This time, he’s part of a long-term study. He was super stoked because he walked away with twenty bucks.

Can Can

I love Seattle. There is always something to do, and it doesn’t have to be top notch. Hence, the Can Can. As my friend who was born and raised in New York said, “What did I just watch?!” Hahaha. It was perfect, for Seattle. I loved the show. There was a host who was as cheesy as you’d expect, and four dancers—two females, two males—who performed. One of the women took it seriously; the other was younger and having fun. Both men seemed to thoroughly enjoy dancing; one exuded flamboyance… the way he whipped that umbrella around and hung it on the ceiling to twirl from, amazing. I love anything live, and anything with talented performers. It may not be Broadway but I was entertained. (Photos were encouraged.)

Pottery Painters

The kiddos wanted to make Papa and Wawa birthday gifts. Coffee mugs it was. All six of us went to RTC but only Blaise and Laine painted pottery. I’m not up for Saige and Baby in a pottery place on a weekend yet. I take the easy way out if I can. Brian took Saige and Baby out and about while Blaise and Laine painted. Turns out there was a chalk festival this weekend. And bonus, free popcorn from the movie theater upstairs. Saige and Baby scored.

Mermaid Laine

Man, this kid was so excited. With the anticipation of going to California and swimming in Papa and Wawa’s pool, Laine had to have a mermaid fin. And then she wanted a mermaid swimsuit to go over the fin. Even still—it’s November—she puts all this on and mermaids around the house. (Yes, I just used mermaids as a verb.) And of course Saige wants a mermaid fin for Christmas now. A pink one.

Errand Day

In preparation of going to California for 15 days, we had a ton of things to check off our list before leaving. The kiddos are troopers. We must have checked off about 10 errands this day, and they weren’t all quick errands. I’m not sure if it’s a positive or negative to homeschool on days like this… I totally get the appeal of shoving the kiddos in state-funded babysitting. (Yeah, ignore the snark.) But then, they get to see how real life works. Like getting an oil change… and sitting on the nasty, dirty floor. Eh, nobody else was in there and some battles aren’t worth fighting. The kiddos were awesome errand runners.

California!

A separate post would probably be better. So it’s here. The overall gist, California for 15 days: 10 days at Bob and Tara’s and hanging out with family, followed by four days in Legoland, and then back to Bob and Tara’s for what ended up being one day… the 5 was closed north of Redding due to a fire so we had to take the 101 to Oregon. We eventually made it back home on Blaise’s birthday, after traveling for two days. And the poor guy was sick. But it was an amazing trip!


SEPTEMBER

September, where to begin?! Let’s start with the weather. I’m a few months from 40, and what else do old people like to talk about other than weather? The answer is ailments. But I think that’s more of a 60 and older thing. Maybe 70 and older? Sixty and older may be when the weather-ailments crossover begins. Or it never happens and they take up a love of discussing both. This was Nan. I used to talk with her every Sunday at 5pm, and I quickly learned to never let on if anyone was any sort of sick. Not even a sneeze. Because if I did, every Sunday for two months we’d discuss how everyone was feeling and if we ever figured out where the germs came from. And the weather, she always had to talk about the current conditions. She was one of those who thinks it dumps rain all day, every day in Seattle. It was pointless to try and convince her otherwise. I miss Nan.

About ailment lovers, they sure know their medications. I mentioned having high-blood pressure to an older acquaintance… she immediately asked if I was taking XYZ pills. I had to look it up because she really wanted to know. And then she compared her experience taking high-blood pressure pills to mine. That’s when I noted to never bring up any ailments—under any circumstances—to older folks.

For the record, I don’t really think 40 is old… even though I’m sitting here listening to ’80s music on Pandora, and half the singers are dead now. Likely from life choices but still dead nonetheless. I remember my parents chatting in the evening, and often they’d say, “Did you hear [famous person] died?” Now Brian and I are at the age where people from our childhood are starting to die, and we’re saying the same thing in front of our kiddos. Hang in there, Betty White.

Speaking of ’80s music, Billy Joel. He’s not dead; he’s too busy chasing his youth. But September reminds me of his song, We Didn’t Start the Fire. In a very non-musical way, I feel like I need to spew off everything important that happened in September. Thankfully, no children of thalidomide. There’s one medication name I know.

California
Legoland
Blaise’s Birthday
Parade
Outdoor Explorers
Tiny Treks
Anniversary
Dance
Tike Hikes
Gymnastics
Ninja Party
Saige’s Birthday
Bounce Party
Pneumonia

And that’s just the important stuff. All the starts and celebrations. With the exception of pneumonia. That was AWFUL and I never want to see it on a monthly list ever again.

I got sidetracked. I forgot about the weather…

September weather in Washington is the BEST. Give me clouds, rain, gloom, or drizzle any day. We were back home in California when September started and I was so over all the sunshine. And the funny thing is, it wasn’t even warm sunshine by Sacramento late summer standards… it was only in the mid-80s and low-90s while we were there. We had those temperatures up here all through July and early August, and then going down to those temperatures, painful. The only benefit of being in that awful weather is seeing family.

We came back to my kind of weather. My happiness factor immediately went up. Add in daily hoodie wear, I’m elated. And now that it’s getting dark around 5pm, my happiness is off the charts.

Let’s get to the fun stuff from September because pneumonia. Fucking pneumonia. How I ended September. Let’s chat about that ailment later… because we’ll all probably be 70 by the time I finish this post.

California! (Still)

September kicked off at Bob and Tara’s. We had been down since August 25 and were leaving for Legoland on September 4. More California pictures are posted here.

Legoland

LEGOLAND! So much fun. All about Legoland is posted here.

Blaise’s Birthday

Blaise is eight! Time flies. All about the eight-year-old is posted here.

Parade

In retrospect, I didn’t time things the best. It all worked out and was fine, but a bit more breathing space between things would have been nice. We made it home Sunday early evening from our 15 days in California and the big kiddos started Parade Monday morning, bright and early at 8:30am.

Blaise was still sick with a fever so he stayed home. Laine was super excited to start another year. Second grade! I love our schooling choices. A friend recently sent me a excerpt from something she was reading. It said something about weird combinations, being a rule follower who also kind of hates authority. THIS IS ME. This explains so much. And this is how I feel about sending my kiddos to school like you’re supposed to do. But before I ramble on and on about that, part-time public school is perfect for us. The big kiddos go one half-day and one full-day up the street, and we love the program. I mean, it’s still public school so I wouldn’t say the academics are the best, but they get to experience all the normal school stuff without having to go all day, all week long. They get teachers, cubbies for their backpacks, recess, lunches, library books, mailboxes, science fairs, reading challenges, field trips… etc. Oh, Scholastic book order forms! They haven’t changed much since I was a kid.

Laine’s first day on Monday; Blaise’s first day on Wednesday when he was feeling better.

Tiny Treks

The Pie started her second year of outdoor preschool! She LOVES school. She couldn’t wait to start back up. She’s such an outgoing kiddo. It’s hard to explain Saige without seeing her in action. She talks with anyone and everyone, will tell whomever wants to listen her life story, all while giving this glowing smile. This is how she is when we drop her off in the mornings. Pick up is 50/50 because she gets super tired after three hours of outside play, with friends and learning. The opposite of a super outgoing, happy kiddo is a moody, pissed off kiddo.

We’re so in love with their outdoor preschool. I can’t imagine sending them to a preschool with walls. It’s just not our thing. Blaise and Laine went for two years, Saige is in the midst of her 2.5 years, and Baby will start her two years next September.

Goats!

Outdoor Explorers

The big kiddos started another year of Outdoor Explorers. They spend four hours outside, focusing on science. It’s a wonderful program and we’ve been super thrilled to be a part of it since the beginning. We’re calling it quits after January though… as much as we love the program, it’s time to focus on some other academic areas.

Blaise was still sick on the first day. And I totally forgot to take a picture of him the next week on his first day. Oh well. Here’s Lainey Bug… the second picture is pure Laine.

Anniversary

Sixteen years legally and almost 23 years total. That’s how long Brian has been stuck with me. Haha. We didn’t do anything; I’m not even sure we remembered it was out anniversary at first. We’re not big on celebrating our anniversary; it’s just another day. And it was just another day… the big kiddos had school, Laine had gymnastics, and I had plans to go see Waitress. We got home from California the Sunday before and my musical fan friend was leaving Friday for her vacation. This was the only week we had to see the show, and the only week it was playing in Seattle. And it just so happened that she had tickets on Wednesday night, our anniversary. It was such a great performance! It’s actually a movie I remember watching. Which is rare. Brian and I will watch a movie and I’ll comment that I haven’t it before, and he’ll say that we saw it in the theater together.

Dance

All the kiddos started dance. Blaise and Laine are taking hip hop again; Saige and Baby are taking tap and ballet. This is Saige’s second year and Baby’s first. She’s super excited to be taking dance. “I go to dance tomorrow?” She asks almost daily. And we’re at two studios again. It just had to work out this way for class times. Which means we’ll have two dance recitals again. Yay.

Tike Hikes

We started Saige and Baby in a Friday outdoor school program so I can have time with just the big kiddos. And it’s been fun. We’ve been able to do big kid things that are so much easier without the little ones around. Simple things like go to Starbucks or to a museum.

Saige loves more outdoor school. She calls her other program Farm School and this one Forest School. This one is on five wooded acres near a nature preserve (the other is on a farm). It’s a beautiful location. Saige was all in on day one. Baby was all in on day one… not so much on day two, three, four, or five. She started to get anxiety about being dropped off, saying she didn’t want to go on Monday yet class wasn’t even until Friday. And she’d cry at drop off. She’s become super attached to me at home since she started; she even has to hold my hand walking up and down the stairs. This is new. I thought for sure she’d love going since she went to a summer camp with the same teacher. And she loved summer camp! She couldn’t wait to go and waved me off as soon as I signed her in.

We decided there was no need to send her if it was causing her so much stress. So we kept her home one week. Then the next week, she wanted to go. It was a perfect day! She was waving goodbye as I dropped her off, and at pick up she was super excited about being there and said she couldn’t wait to go the next week. We weren’t sure if we’d sign them back up for spring but with Baby loving it now, they are going again… which means more fun times with Blaise and Laine.

Fun stuff the big kiddos get to do without the little ones (I’m not sure if they’d classify worksheets at Starbucks fun though).

Gymnastics

No pictures but Laine is back at gymnastics. Maybe not back since she went through the summer but she’s back after our California trip. She goes Wednesdays and Saturdays for two hours, and Blaise goes to ninja warrior on Saturdays while she practices. January starts her meet season, with four weekends filled with everything gymnastics.

Ninja Party

The Saturday after we got back, we had Blaise’s birthday party. It was a ninja warrior party. All about Blaise turning eight, and his party is posted here.

Saige’s Birthday

Saige is four! All about the four-year-old is posted here.

Bounce Party

Saige had her first official friend birthday party. More pictures are here.

Pneumonia

The Friday before Saige’s party, I started to feel bad. It was my head. I was sure it was a migraine; I get them every few months. And they are the worst. I can’t do anything besides sleep. But usually I can sleep the migraines away. This time it didn’t work. I woke up Saturday morning—the day of Saige’s party—still with a migraine. I took migraine medicine. I lied on the couch before we left. Nothing was working. I suffered through her party, feeling like the room was spinning and fighting to even stand up. It was awful. I made it through the three hours and left immediately, leaving Brian with the kiddos and to deal with whatever needed to be done. Thankfully we had two cars there.

I made it home and hopped into bed. I took more migraine medicine. Nothing helped. I slept. I felt slightly better that evening, and even made it out of bed to walk downstairs. This was short-lived.

Saturday night and into Sunday morning, I was throwing up, I couldn’t sleep, and when I took my temperature Sunday morning, it was 103.7. I figured I had the flu. Not fun but I’ve had it before and I feel really bad for about two days, and then all is well. Monday I wasn’t much better. Tuesday I felt worse. I had started coughing. I actually drove to Urgent Care Tuesday morning. Before going I drugged up so when I got there, I felt better and decided not to head in. They weren’t open yet either and I didn’t really want to wait a half-hour in the car. So I drove home.

Tuesday afternoon, the drugs wore off. I felt even worse. Brian was at work. I called my doctor and asked if I should come in. I’m not a big go to the doctor person so I wasn’t sure if my symptoms warranted a visit. They said to come in the next day. I went downhill even more Tuesday night. Brian stayed home Wednesday. My plan was to drive to my doctor appointment but I felt so awful that we had to pull the big kiddos from school so Brian could drive me… we wouldn’t be back in time to pick them up.

My doctor listened to my lungs, said it’s pneumonia. So of course I thought I was going to die, because that’s what old people always die from. I didn’t realize it was a younger person thing also. I know, not too bright; I don’t keep up with stuff like this. He sent me up for an X-Ray to confirm, and sure enough, my right lung was all cloudy. Back in my doctor’s office, he talked with me about the treatment and how to recover, and what to expect in the coming weeks. For the next few days, he said once I start the medication, I should feel better within 48-72 hours. Lucky me, it was just about 72 hours later that I finally felt human. Still a sick human but a functioning one.

I had been so sick I barely ate anything. I ate maybe six saltine crackers the entire week. The rest of the time I was pounding ice water. At least I stayed hydrated. And bonus, I lost six pounds that have stayed off. And as awful and terrible as I felt—and now I totally get how people die from pneumonia—it was kind of nice to have nothing on my plate. I wasn’t on any time schedule, Brian handled everything kids, and I lied in bed or on the couch all day. I mean, feeling that bad isn’t fun. I didn’t even feel like watching television or playing on my phone. I literally just lied down.

It’s Thanksgiving week and this is the first week I actually feel like me again. I felt off for the longest time. And I had a lingering couch until last week. It was not a fun experience. I never, ever, ever, ever want to get pneumonia ever again.

Corduroy

Laine and I had plans with one of her friends and her mom to see a Corduroy play. I still felt pretty bad but was functioning. This was my first outing in a week that wasn’t to a doctor. It was so nice to be out.

There is a super cute little theater in RTC that puts on kiddo plays. Laine is a fan of live theater and is always down to go see something. This was a cute play. Not the best one we’ve seen but still worth watching. The best part of this theater is the kiddos get to sit on the floor right next to the stage. Laine really gets to experience everything up close and personal. And after, they get to meet the actors outside.

We hit up PinkaBella cupcakes after… I never thought I’d spend $3.50 on a single cupcake. I feel like Nan who used to talk about coffee costing a nickel. Being out for the two hours was enough to knock me out when we got home. I was back in bed, resting for the coming week. Brian would be back at work and I was on mom duty again.


OCTOBER

October is alright. September is my favorite month; November through December is my favorite time of the year. October has always been a month that just has to happen to get from one favorite to another. I mean, it’s alright. I like pumpkin patches. And it gets darker earlier each day. And Baby’s birthday, which makes me like October more.

At the start of the month, I was still recovering from pneumonia. I didn’t feel back to normal at all. Fucking pneumonia. But we had things to do, dammit.

The things we had to do, in pictures:

Art Thursdays

Being homeschoolers, we get to do what we want, when we want. What we want to do Thursdays, art. Being the over-planner that I am, I planned out art projects for each Thursday we have available to do art with friends. Keeping with tradition, I haven’t followed-through exactly as planned… some projects have been switched out for others, and we’ve missed a few projects. For the most part, we’re sticking with Art Thursdays.

This week, it was leaf mobiles. We collected leaves, painted them, and then attached them with yarn to sticks.

Cannon Beach

For Baby’s birthday, we decided we’d go to Cannon Beach. Our Cannon Beach trip is posted here.

Baby’s Birthday!

Baby is three! Or Vaile if you prefer. All about the three-year-old is posted here.

Spooky Man

Baby is hilarious. Every time we went to Target since they put out the Halloween stuff, we had to say hello to Spooky Man as she named him. Baby loves this guy. I finally took a picture one day so she could see him whenever she wanted. There were a few times we were saying hello to him when other kiddos got scared of him. Baby thinks he’s her friend. Even now when we go and all the Christmas decorations are out, she asks to see him.

Paw Patrol Obsession

Baby is OBSESSED with Paw Patrol. Which is kind of funny since we don’t really watch the show. After saying hello to Spooky Man at Target one day, we happened to find Paw Patrol shoes. She was already wearing purple ones with Skye and Everest on them but had to have the blue ones with Chase and Marshall. And to prove her obsession even more, Baby in Paw Patrol pajamas, playing with a Paw Patrol game, next to her Paw Patrol gift bag… but not wearing her Paw Patrol hat or slippers. Haha.

Splatter Paint Lanterns

Another Art Thursday project. It’s pretty simple, paper lanterns that the kiddos splatter painted.

Cooking Class

We started watched Top Chef Junior last spring and both big kiddos became interested in cooking. With their newfound interest, I found a summer cooking camp. Only Laine wanted to attend; Blaise wanted to do a LEGO camp (of course). Laine loved camp! Brian and I were impressed with the program… which is why when I found the same program was offering a weekly cooking class from October through December, I quickly signed up both big kiddos.

It’s a really great program. They teach the kiddos to make simple, healthy food. Each week they focus on a type of meal, like breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, or desserts and make around four recipes. Blaise and Laine are loving class. And both have become quite the chefs at home.

Blaise and his faces.

Free Solo

Brian heard about the Free Solo documentary and wanted to go. We figured it would be fun for the big kiddos to go with us. I picked up Brian from work, we went and picked the kiddos up from cooking class, and drove up to Lynnwood to see the movie. It was a limited release, and was only playing in Seattle or Lynnwood. We chose Lynnwood for ample parking and movie timing.

What a great documentary. It follows Alex for about two years before his free solo climb up El Capitan. Brian is extremely interested in everything climbing, but has zero interest in actually doing any climbing. So we watch any and every climbing documentary and movie that comes out. I know things I never thought I’d even care about. I’ve followed Alex a little over the years. Mostly for his climbing—making sure he’s still alive when he pops in my head—and partially since he’s from the Sacramento area also. I’m not sure why this even matters but I find most people who are from the same area as famous (or famous-ish) people, they feel some sort of connection. Eh, I don’t know.

Blaise and Laine enjoyed the film but were SO tired. The movie didn’t start until 7:30pm and they are usually in bed around 8pm. And they had a busy morning followed by cooking class before we even left for dinner and a movie.

I don’t have any pictures from this evening, aside from a Pokemon truck. I took the picture because we have a friend with a dog named Eevee—after whomever the Pokemon Eevee is—and she stays with us when her family travels.

Halloween Brunch

Our friend had a Halloween brunch on October 13. I’m so glad she had this brunch early in the month because it forced Laine to pick her costume and stick with it… every year Laine picks out her costume early, I buy it, and then a week before Halloween, she changes her mind. I know this and yet cater to her switches every year. This year she picked Rey from Star Wars and actually was Rey from Star Wars on Halloween. She’s not pictured here because she was at gymnastics, quickly came home, and we left. The other three and I were killing time taking pictures while we waited for Laine and Brian to get home.

The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes

Man, I love musicals. If there is one playing that I haven’t seen and I can make it work in my schedule, I’m there. Back in August I was obsessively checking all the musical theaters’ websites, waiting for their 2018-2019 lineups to be released. I found this one, The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes, and was all in. I texted my neighbor—my go to musical date—and she was down to go.

It was a cute musical. I’m not sure it’s in my top 10 but I’d recommend going if you enjoy musicals and live theater. And the Village Theatre puts on amazing shows. Their sets, the actors, the theater itself, all super nice. I should really start using theatre instead of theater, because most of the places with that word in their name are theatre. If only it were like a they’re / their / there thing, with set usage rules.

Standard October Tuesday

Nothing special about these pictures. The kiddos on a Tuesday after picking up Saige from outdoor preschool and then Blaise and Laine from outdoor explorers.

And then at home, where Laine found a Wooly Bear Caterpillar in our backyard. Saige was driving her Jeep around back and Laine wanted to move the little guy out of harm’s way… but not before asking for a picture first.

Bookworm Blaise

Blaise has become a bookworm. Blaise seems to really enjoy and want to read often… unless we say he can use the computer or play Xbox. He really wanted to go to the bookstore. We dropped off Laine at gymnastics and went to Barnes & Noble. I love bookstores. I love Amazon prices better. I feel awful. I want to support brick and mortar stores but when books are up to $10 cheaper online—even the Barnes & Noble website is $10 cheaper but they won’t match their own price—I have a hard time buying a stack of books.

Blaise picked out a Star Wars book after a while. I’m not sure if it’s technically a book since it’s a graphic novel, but I let it slide. He was excited to buy a book and I wasn’t going to stop him.

Issaquah Fish Hatchery

Field trip! Just because we homeschool doesn’t mean we don’t go on field trips, haha. Another homeschooling friend arranged a field trip with the Issaquah Fish Hatchery. I wasn’t sure Blaise and Laine would be into going… the last time we went as a family, they weren’t that interested. I was pleasantly surprised. They enjoyed going. We started with about 12 kiddos and at the end, Blaise and Laine were a few of the kiddos still paying attention. I was impressed. They say their favorite part was learning about the salmon life cycle.

Saige and Baby at Home

Nothing special happening here. While Blaise and Laine are at class up the street, Saige, Baby, and I usually stay home. This day they found Blaise’s tools he left outside and went to town with them. I keep telling him not to leave them out but he forgets. Oh well. And Saige with a diaper on her head.

Halloween Camp

The ceramics place where we had Laine’s birthday party offers camps on days Redmond schools don’t have class. I’m not sure why October 19 was a no school day but it was. Because of Laine’s party I’m on their email list and happened to actually open their email, and read they were having a Halloween themed camp. Laine was all in. And so was her friend. It was a really great camp! Each kiddo painted three pottery pieces, made a glass ghost plate, and painted a canvas. It was so much fun that she asked to attend the next camp in November, a dragon themed camp. Blaise wanted to go also, along with Laine’s friend who went to this one.

The other kiddos and I picked up Laine from the camp at 3:30pm and we had a half-hour to kill before Blaise and Laine had cooking class. Cupcakes. We killed time getting $3.50 cupcakes. Saige went for a cookie instead, at $3. I wonder what a $3 cookie tastes like. The big kiddos made it to cooking class while the younger two and I went to Costco. Brian picked up Blaise and Laine and we all made it home about the same time. Yay for Fridays.

Legally Blonde, The Musical

One of my favorite movies. Actually, I’m not sure it’s one of my favorite favorites, but it’s one of those movies that if it’s on, I’m watching. And I know it all by heart. I was so excited when I found the Seattle Musical Theatre had Legally Blonde on their lineup. I bought tickets the day they went on sale.

Maybe my love of the movie set my expectations super high… the musical was pretty awful. It wasn’t so much the script, but the set and actors. It felt like a high school production. Which was super disappointing because I went to see the Producers at the same theater last spring and it was wonderful. The actors were top notch, the sets were beautiful. But Legally Blonde, eh. The lead actress had a beautiful voice but didn’t exude the confidence Elle Woods has. And it didn’t help that she was wearing a blonde wig that was super matted. One of her costumes had a stain on it; the other costumes looked like they were purchased at Goodwill. I feel bad not liking it since I know the actors and everyone involved worked super hard, but it just wasn’t up to par.

Freckleface Strawberry

What an adorable musical! Way better than Legally Blonde the night before. The story is about a group of eight-year-olds, and one has freckles and red hair. And all the other kiddos call her Freckleface Strawberry. Freckleface tries everything to get rid of her freckles but in the end, learns that everyone is different and special.

Rodger & Chip

Laine wanted a fish for her birthday. I knew we’d be in California for a while in August and September so I told her we’d get one when we were back home. She kept reminding me every week about the fish. After Freckleface Strawberry, we walked over to Petco and did the fish thing. She wanted a goldfish… that was the plan. We picked out a fish tank, decorations, food, and then walked over to pick out the fish. I’m still annoyed with myself. The Petco guy said we couldn’t get a goldfish because they grow to the size of the tank. Which, looking back, fine. We’d get a bigger tank when needed. I can’t believe I listened to him. Ugh. So we picked out two Betta fish on his recommendation instead. The goldfish were 17 cents each; the Betta fish, $15 each. And they need separate tanks because they fight each other… Brian calls them the pit bulls of fish. We picked out a tank that had two areas, blocked by a wall. When we made it home and opened the box to prepare the tank, and the damn thing broke. I immediately ordered tanks on Amazon. I didn’t trust anything Petco and I was still annoyed with the guy.

Laine’s friend ended up with a Betta fish also.

The tanks came the next day and we set up the fish. But not before I had to go to Petsmart for tank decorations because I didn’t buy enough rocks for two tanks. I never thought getting fish would be a $150 dollar thing. Oh well. Laine’s happy. And Rodger and Chip seem to be enjoying life in their tanks.

Craven Farm

Another annual tradition, Craven Farm. I first went back in 2007 I think, long before four kiddos. I’m a creature of habit. If I go somewhere once and I like it, I don’t bother finding anything else. I’m not even sure if Craven Farm is the best pumpkin patch but it works for us, and we don’t have any complaints. Looking at our October calendar, we didn’t have a day to pumpkin patch. In order to squeeze in a visit, we had to go on a Monday afternoon after the big kiddos’ half-day class. Laine’s buddy and her sister joined us.

Homeschooling rocks. We get to avoid crowds. It was dead when we arrived around 1:30pm Monday afternoon. The thought of going on a weekend causes me stress. My grandmother had a friend, Frances, who never left home. Her husband Art would do all the outings for her. When he died, my grandmother and friends would help out Frances. I always thought it was super strange Frances never left home. Now I get it. I doubt I’ll ever reach Frances status but I understand the desire to avoid going out.

Pumpkin patch kiddos and silly faces.

The main goal was to hit up the corn maze. The lady who sold us the tickets questioned our desire to do the 15 acre corn maze with six kiddos. We weren’t worried. And we were successful. It took us maybe an hour? And the kiddos were great. Saige was done about 10 minutes before we finished but she was cool about continuing on. We nosed around the farm for a while after finishing the corn maze, before buying kettle corn on our way out. When we bought the kettle corn, the lady who sold us the corn maze tickets thought we had just finished the maze. We told her we had a while ago… I think she was impressed we managed just fine with all the kiddos.

My kiddos were slightly disappointed we didn’t get pumpkins there. The corn maze was $40 for the five of us to do, and the large pumpkins the kiddos wanted were $25 each. I wasn’t about to spend $150 at the pumpkin patch. Sorry, kiddos. Brian stopped by Costco on his way home and bought large pumpkins for $6 each… that are still sitting on our porch, not carved. Sorry, kids. We all forgot.

Saigers

The Pie has started writing her name and drawing. And in all honesty, we haven’t worked with her at all. I’m not a big fan of starting them so young… they should be playing. They all even out eventually. Saige is writing earlier than Blaise and Laine did, probably because she sees them writing. And I’m wondering what is normal anyway because at Saige’s annual doctor appointment, she was writing her name and our doctor seemed impressed. But we know several other kiddos her age who write better than Saige. So, who knows?

It says Saige and Pie, and and a monkey she drew in the car one day.

Preschool Pumpkin Carving

Saige and her classmates carved pumpkins at class. Saige says she helped with the second to last one.

Backyard Kiddos

Laine set up a driving course for Saige’s Jeep.

In action.

Blaise decided if he raked leaves behind the play structure, he’d earn $10. This was all him. We don’t do chores for money, so I’m not sure where he came up with this. The other kiddos joined him. Nobody walked away with $10.

PCC Cooking Classes

A friend asked if I wanted to join her taking some cooking classes. I’m usually down to do whatever so I said sure! We signed up for a vegetarian lasagna class and a side dishes class at PCC. I actually enjoyed them. I wasn’t going in with too high of hopes considering my love of cooking is about the same as my love of football… I could do without both in life. But I actually have become inspired, and I’ve started cooking more at home, like twice a week. I take that back, I cooked four nights in a row a few weeks back. Which is a record.

Art Thursday Morning

This time, a friend hosted. The kiddos made a leaf garland and a Halloween door hanger.

Art Thursday Afternoon

It was an art-filled day. After spending the morning at our friend’s house, we painted pumpkins at home in the afternoon with another friend.

Fossil Friday

This was an amazing experience. Back in August, I put this Friday on our calendar and booked Lisa. The Burke Museum at University of Washington discovered a T-Rex skull a few years ago. They opened up their lab, along with the T-Rex skull, to the public on Fossil Fridays. We were up close and personal with the thing.

Saige and Baby had school this morning, and Brian took the day off. Blaise, Laine, Brian, and I dropped off Saige and Baby at school, went to breakfast, to the library, and then met Lisa to give her car seats to take Saige and Baby home. I wasn’t going to take them to the museum. Especially after a morning of outdoor school, knowing they’d be exhausted.

Library kiddos.

After getting Lisa situated with Saige and Baby, the rest of us went to the Burke Museum. Again with homeschooling, no crowds. (Clearly, I have a no crowd obsession.) A staff member stands outside of the fossil lab, and they filter groups through one room where they talk about fossils in general before walking you to the T-Rex skull room. We pretty much had a personal tour, along with an older couple and their two grandchildren.

In the first room, they talked about how the retrieve fossils and from where, and what they do once they get them back to the lab. There were two older gentlemen volunteers working on fossils, scraping away the sediment surrounding the bones.

In the next room—the T-Rex room—we were within inches of the skull. And we had what felt like a personal talk with the woman working on the skull. This is one of those experiences I didn’t know would hit me so hard. Much like the solar eclipse last summer… it made me realize how insignificant we are. Here’s a being, who existed 65 million years ago, in the age of dinosaurs who were on earth for about 165 million years. Millions! Humans have been around about 200,000 years. That’s nothing!

The skull that the Burke Museum found is the 15th T-Rex skull ever found, and the most complete one ever found. The kiddos enjoyed going but I don’t think they fully grasped how cool it was to be there, and how rare of an opportunity it was to be that close. Brian and I were so amazed.

A model of the T-Rex brain. Super cool. Also, Blaise and his derp face.

A mammoth tusk, the only one ever found in the Seattle area. Apparently this one isn’t even full grown. More info about it here.

The kiddos enjoyed the rest of the museum.

We thought ground sloths were extinct…

Fall on the University of Washington campus.

3 Pigs

Saige had been asking to go see a play since I took her last spring to see Rapunzel. She sees me take Laine to several and wanted in on the action. I figured the 3 Pigs play would be perfect to take Saige to see. And I was right, she enjoyed the show. Laine liked it also, and so did her friend who went also. I should really just buy the season subscription because we’re going back for more plays.

Poor Laine and Saige… the sun was right in their eyes when I tried to take a picture before the play. We ended up grabbing a slightly better one after. 

Meeting the cast after the play. I love how kiddos shows do this. 

Halloween

And finally, ending October was Halloween. We went trick-or-treating with friends and neighbors, and the kiddos had a blast. We have a really great neighborhood for trick-or-treating. The kiddos even made out with a few large candy bars each. Baby was a hoot. Last year she opened doors; this year she was more interested in the dogs helping hand out candy. It was pretty low-key for Halloween, and we were back home with the kiddos in bed by 8pm. All that excitment made everyone tired.

Saige was Clawdeen from Monster High, Laine was Rey from Star Wars, Blaise was a Clone Trooper from Star Wars, and Baby was Skye from Paw Patrol. A friend pointed out how Laine always picks strong female characters for her Halloween costumes. I love this, because she is a strong gal herself.

Assessing their loot after trick-or-treating.

There we go. Three months in one post. Thanksgiving was yesterday and I’m hoping to post about November before 2019.

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