Months 2021 | 2022

Somehow it’s May. Let’s cut to the chase since I have six months to cover. Obligatory long post warning (and likely some unnecessary rambling).

Going backwards, because why not? April back to November. But first, highlights.


HIGHLIGHTS.

And pictures galore.

SAN DIEGO.

We went to San Diego in early February to hit Legoland and the San Diego Zoo. And we managed to squeeze in the beach and a quick trip to Mission San Diego de Alcalá. It was a short, jam-packed trip. All about it here.

LAS VEGAS.

With more flight credits left after San Diego, we hit up Las Vegas. Because it’s totally a family vacation place, haha. All about the trip here! I think it was one of my favorite family trips we’ve taken, surprisingly.

BOWL & PITCHER.

Another month, another trip. This is my goal, to take the kiddos somewhere once a month. Close or far, it doesn’t matter. Just somewhere. Like Bowl & Pitcher, also known as Riverside State Park. It was a great weekend! All about the trip here.

CHRISTMAS.

Another Christmas down. It was fairly uneventful this time around. And we didn’t go all out like we have in past years. The kiddos were up at like 4:30am. We told them to go back to bed until at least 6am. Sure enough, at 6am, they were up and ready to roll. We had to wake up Maive who didn’t seem pleased about getting up. She quickly changed her tune once she realized why.

It was a quiet morning after all the chaos of opening gifts. The kiddos were occupied with all their new loot while Brian made breakfast. It was a record year for me, getting the tree undecorated and out of the house by 9:30am. I love Christmas and I love having the tree, and all the house decorations. But once everything is opened, I want my house back in order immediately. All the new stuff was put away, the tree down and out, all decorations packed back in the garage storage bins… the house was back in order before noon. The kiddos did have some new stuff out and about that they were actively using, which I worked hard to overlook. I have an obsession with things being put where they go. I need cleanliness and order for my sanity. My kids will either inherit this obsessive trait or they’ll be the compete opposite and live like slobs, probably to spite me. Haha! I already have my guesses as to whom will live which way.

Brian went with a prime rib for Christmas dinner. Our weekly milk delivery had the option to order a prime rib from Owen’s Meats in Cle Elum—where we had been over summer and the kiddos loved the pepperoni sticks—and Brian went for it, for a mere $150. Vegetarian me has no idea if it was worth it but Brian enjoyed the prime rib for dinner, and for a few days after Christmas. The kiddos weren’t that into the prime rib so we’ll likely go back to my favorite Christmas dinner next year, a Mexican buffet.

Santa picture even though we don’t do the Santa thing.

Cutting down the Christmas tree. We went to a new place this year and I don’t think they GAF. They said nobody under 18 could use a saw to cut down a tree. We read this on their website before going. To get around the requirement, Blaise and Laine took their own hatchets. We asked the guy running the show if he was cool with them cutting down the tree using their hatchets; he couldn’t have cared less. Haha. Blaise and Laine hacked the tree down with ease.

Christmas Eve before the storm. We had two trees this Christmas. As we were leaving the tree farm, the guy running it asked if we wanted a precut tree. Sure, we grabbed a small one and it ended up being the tree for all the family gifts—gifts from siblings to each other and gifts to all the kiddos (like board games).

Christmas morning!

We were supposed to head over to Leavenworth the day after Christmas but we cancelled. Brian ended up having to be on-call for work and also snow. We were set to have a massive snowstorm. Sure enough, it snowed lightly on the 26th, with the massive snowstorm arriving over the week. Not just here but in Leavenworth. Turns out they got several feet of snow! It was incredibly cold here, like in the teens, and snow galore. Not quite like past years but enough snow to shut down things. Every time it snows, there are always those who are from some flat area in the midwest who complain about how things shut down over such little snow. Any amount of snow is enough to shut things down around here, and I’m totally cool with this. Because it was the week after Christmas where almost everyone was home, and Omicron was raging again, people around here pretty much said screw it. Any other snowstorm, people are out and about, and driveways are shoveled. Not this time.

26 & 43 YEARS (AND 44 YEARS).

Every January I get a year older and we add a year to our time together. This year I turned 43 and I still can’t believe that number. I mean, it feels right—it’s been 43 years. But man, I do not feel 43. No complaints. Not even any body aches or anything people getting older like to complain about. The cold. I suppose that’s one I’m getting older complaint. This was the first winter where the cold really got to me. Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s the monotony of PNW winters. Whatever the reason, life moves on. And soon I’ll be 44 and then 60. But in my head, I’m still 27. That was a good age. But the benefit of getting older is it’s true, the fucks given are fewer and fewer.

And, 26 years. And another year of me copying and pasting this random comment I saved from a Yahoo article years ago. I don’t even remember what the article was about but this comment is spot on for Brian and me.

“When people marry young, there are two possible outcomes. They are either not mature enough, that’s one group. But there is another group, the group that bond together so completely that they are much more likely to withstand the stresses of time. I think that group is not only the most stable, but the most happy. I think they are the group that better understands the true meaning of love. While people marrying in their thirties and beyond have some core stability, but their relationship is based more in the practical matters of life. Nothing wrong with that, but I think that young folks catch a bad rap sometimes, when in actuality, they can bond much more deeply if they start out mature enough in the first place. In short, mature young folks understand true love much better than the older groups.”

Brian and I are waaay beyond bonded. Probably at an unhealthy level, haha. Either way, all is well and I like the guy more and more each day. And I imagine in another 26 years, I’ll still be using this Yahoo comment.

Adding ‘and 44 years’ since I started writing this post before Brian’s birthday. Months have flown by. Brian kicked off his 44th year on Valentine’s Day. It’s the one day every year where I’m on for birthday decorations. Brian is the birthday decoration master. I try. We celebrated at home with a family dinner and pie for dessert, of course. I don’t think he has any major complaints, just another year as usual.

COVID, CHECK.

We can all check off having Covid. Phew. I’m actually kind of happy about this?! Brian caught it after attending a gymnastics meet with Laine down in Vancouver. Smack-dab in the midst of the Omicron surge. He said if he were to catch Covid, it would be at the meet. Masks weren’t enforced. It’s always middle-aged white people who don’t wear masks. The most privileged and least oppressed ever, feeling oppressed by wearing a mask. Whatever.

The meet was on a Sunday. Wednesday night Brian said he felt a bit off. Thursday morning he decided he should take a Covid test. Memories of taking pregnancy tests before we wanted kiddos. You don’t want two lines, haha. Brian was upstairs and called down to me, asking if I had any predictions. I could tell by the tone in his voice he was positive. He said the lines appeared immediately. At first it was fuuuuck, like with an unplanned positive pregnancy test. And then it was like, eh, let’s get this over with. We decided to roll with him at home, not really isolating from the rest of us. Brian and I had gotten our boosters a few weeks prior, and the four kiddos all were fully vaccinated in mid-December. If we were going to get Covid, it was the perfect time being pumped up with protection. Maive catching it was a concern but we didn’t worry that much.

Brian was hit harder than we thought he would have been. He was down for a few days, mostly fatigue with a fever the first night. And a headache. Brian never gets headaches (not fair). He said it felt like a cold but not like a regular cold. He had a cough and could feel it wanting to get into his lungs. Maive was the next to fall, with a fever and cough. But nothing that stopped her from being a busy, happy-go-lucky toddler. Laine was next up with a fever and then body aches (which could have been from gymnastics conditioning). We tested Laine at home and she was positive; she was better within 24 hours.

The rest of us continued to feel fine. We spent the weekend at home, isolating from the world. By Monday, Brian, Laine, and Maive were better. But then Baby had a fever. Saige continued to feel fine but had a runny nose. Blaise was totally fine and tested negative on a home test. And I hit the trail for six miles. Monday was MLK day so we didn’t have to navigate anything Covid and school/activities.

Tuesday morning, Brian, Laine, and Maive were all back in business. Except Laine had to isolate for five days after her positive test Saturday. CDC guidelines. She had the week off from school and gymnastics. Brian obviously chose to WFH that entire week. Blaise was cleared to attend his classes having no symptoms and testing negative at home. Which seems odd but we played by the rules. I took Saige, Baby, and myself to get tested in Bellevue Tuesday morning. I decided against testing Maive since we’re 99.9% positive she had Covid. She sleeps right next to Brian, practically on him. And her symptoms.

Saige and I continued to feel fine; Baby’s fever was gone. Within a half-hour of being tested Tuesday morning, we all had positive results. If I hadn’t been tested, there is no way I would ever have known I had Covid. I did wake up Sunday morning with a sore throat, but it was gone by mid-morning after my morning coffee. And Saige, she only ever had a runny nose.

Blaise continued to feel fine. It was Wednesday night when we think he finally succumbed to Covid. He went to bed not feeling great with a slight fever. But by morning, he was feeling better. And then Thursday night at bedtime, he wasn’t feeling well again. And that was that for him. He never tested positive but we’re pretty certain he had Covid.

We kept to ourselves that week and the following weekend, before resuming life. We all went and got tested in Bellevue and all seven of us tested negative. It was a quick, short Covid stint. Thankfully, with nothing serious (yay, vaccines). I read a tweet somewhere along the line that said something to the effect that not having had Covid yet is the new virginity. Haha! Although, seeing how Brian was hit, I wouldn’t want to risk Covid, especially unvaccinated. I’m still going with my totally unfounded, non-medical opinion that if you can’t run a mile easily, you don’t want Covid without being protected.

GREAT WOLF LODGE.

December kicked off at Great Wolf Lodge. We drove down on November 30 for one night, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. One of the kiddos’ buddies was turning seven and asked if we’d be game to meet them there. Yep! We booked back in September and the kiddos were counting down the days. We usually go once a year. Our last booked trip was early October 2019 that didn’t happen. Because I was eight months pregnant and wasn’t up for Great Wolf. Brian is never up for Great Wolf. He calls is it parental purgatory. We figured we’d go a few months after Maive was born. But then Covid.

When we booked in September, Covid was on the brain. Of course. But we figured we’d go for it because Covid is here to stay and we want to enjoy life, with precautions of course. Even if that means a trip to Great Wolf, haha. The kiddos ended up getting vaccinated before we went, with their second shot the morning we left for Great Wolf. Yikes. I was a bit concerned they’d be hit with whatever after their second shot but we lucked out, they all felt fine that night and the next day. Tired, sure. But that was likely because of Great Wolf.

Tuesday morning we went to the kiddo vaccination clinic for their second shots. After their shots, we stopped back at home to pack up and eat lunch before hitting the road. It was a fairly smooth drive, with minimal traffic. We found a way to head south avoiding Tacoma a few years ago and I now refuse to hit the 5 through Tacoma. We arrived at Great Wolf around 3pm and quickly settled into our room. It wasn’t long before the kiddos had their suits on and were ready to hit the waterpark. We met up with our friends and spent the rest of the day in the waterpark, even ordering pizza for dinner in there.

Everyone except Blaise and his buddy called it a day around 8pm. They stayed in the waterpark until 9pm, when it closes. Everyone else changed into their jammies and hit the dance party. Maive got her groove on! The older gals ran around and did the wand finding thing. Magic Quest I think it’s called. Maive and Baby were beyond exhausted and went to bed around 9pm. Blaise and his buddy met up with the rest of us and we hit the arcade until bedtime for everyone.

It was a jam-packed Tuesday. Wednesday morning, our friends—including the birthday gal—got sick in the night and ended up needing to leave for home sooner than planned. We debated hitting the waterpark on our own but opted to leave and grab breakfast at a local restaurant. We left for home after breakfast, making it home less than 24 hours when we left. We were even home in time for Laine to get to practice but she was tired so we let her skip. Between the vaccination and Great Wolf, we figured an evening off would be best. The next day I received an email with an offer better than the discount we get through Brian’s work, so of course I rebooked for another one-nighter trip in May.

HIKING.

With and without kiddos. One of my goals for this year is to take the kiddos hiking at least once a week. Fifty-two hikes. This hasn’t exactly happened because I’m not doing cold this year. (It’s May now and it’s still freaking cold. Someone on the Seattle subreddit said it’s like fall with flowers. Perfect analogy.) And our schedule is a bit nuts to find time. But the few days where it’s worked out have been great. And it makes me want to go more. Perhaps I should revise my goal to 26 hikes instead of once a week. Especially since there are 33 weeks left in 2022. Yeah, I’m sold on this revision.

Without kiddos, I have ambitious hiking plans. Not so much ambitious hikes but traveling to hike. Karann and I have grand plans where we’ve tossed around hiking in Hawaii, Alaska, Canada… and even a plan that I found on TikTok that I LOVE—an annual marathon walk around different cities. We’re considering Austin, Nashville, Toronto… too many options! The only kicker is finding time where we’re both free. It’s doable, I’m certain!

Hikes completed so far in 2022. A measly four.

Maple Valley Gnome Trail
Cedar River Watershed
Iron Horse & Cedar Butte
Flowing Lake

Unless the trail counts? I’m on that sucker almost daily. Sometimes with kiddos.

SKIING.

January kicks off on-snow skiing. On-snow, haha. I know. Like where else would one ski?! All the kiddos—and Maive will this fall—start skiing around age four. They take lessons at Mini Mountain, a local indoor skiing place that has a rotating carpet where they learn to ski. And then every January, they take 6-8 weeks of on-snow lessons up at Summit at Snoqualmie. This was Saige’s third year I think? Wait, we sat out last winter because of Covid. So technically her second year, but third overall year. Saige has skiing down. She is our most cautious kiddo and yet the best at skiing. Maybe because she’s so cautions. Saige leveled up a few levels this skiing season.

This was Baby’s first year of on-snow lessons. At first she wasn’t that into the whole experience, but by the last few lessons, she was skiing down the hill no problem. She scored a few weeks and basically had a private lesson, since other kiddos didn’t show up and/or they had extra instructors. I wouldn’t say Baby loves skiing but she happily goes and seems to enjoy herself. Maive will start in fall, taking lessons indoors and then will move to on-snow next January. Which will be here before we know it.

Blaise and Laine didn’t take any lessons but went up with Brian for night snowboarding. They made the switch from skiing to snowboarding two years ago, maybe three?

LUNCH BUNCH.

Maive’s weekly class that we make it to maybe once or twice a month. She really enjoys herself when we go! We’d love to make it weekly but it’s the one day where I have Saige and Baby home at the same time, and sometimes we make plans to play with their buddies. And sometimes the class is all the way up in Bothell and I don’t want to drive that long for a short class. The program is through the outdoor preschool all of the kiddos have attended. Maive will attend the outdoor preschool when she’s old enough.

Each week, the class meets at noon for a craft, lunch, a story, and then a short hike. Maive is super cute, insisting on carrying her own backpack with her lunch and water. She’s the youngest in the class and the only kiddo to wear a backpack, haha. Clearly a younger sibling mimicking the big kids. I’ve been impressed with Maive not sticking by my side. Being a Covid kid, her life experiences have been different. I figured she’d be attached to me but nope, she’s up there walking with the teacher and exploring with other kiddos away from me. Makes me happy!

GYMNASTICS MEETS.

It feels like every weekend is a gymnastics meet. Laine has been competing quite a bit this season, with a meet in Arizona even. Laine has really found her thing, and has been doing fairly well. She’s in the top five in her age division at most meets, which isn’t too shabby! She came in fourth overall in her level and age division at the state meet! Go, Laine!

Often I question why we spend so freaking much on gymnastics and then I see Laine’s team compete, and the quality of coaching is superb. It’s not uncommon Laine’s team takes the podium in all divisions. And if there is a team challenge, they’re usually first. If Laine would only work on her flexibility, she would be that much better! It’s holding her back a bit. And it’s the easiest thing to work on, haha. For instance, to level up she has to have a split leap at 150 degrees and they are strict with their requirements. But selfishly, I don’t want her to level up because then she’d have practice four nights a week. And another year at her level will really refine her skills.

LIVE SHOWS!

It feels so good to be back in a theater! I didn’t realize how much I enjoy live shows until I didn’t go to one as Covid raged. I’ve been going back since November, and I have no plans to stop. I already have some lined up in the coming months. I’ve seen some great shows these past few months. The only questionable one was in November, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. My neighbor had tickets from work and we went. It’s not that the live show part was bad, I enjoyed the ’80s feel with the laser effects. And the hair band feel from the performers. But man, it felt like an all-white Christian concert. And the older couple who sat to the left of us, they left all of their food trash on the floor in front of their seats… there was a TRASH CAN right in front of our row of seats. No excuses for that behavior.

My favorite was the annual holiday Seattle Men’s Chorus show. I’ve gone every year since we moved here in 2006 with the exception of 2010—the year Blaise was born—and 2020 as Covid raged, and everything was on hiatus. We did the matinee show and then dinner, fun outing! And I’m happy that shows for the kiddos are coming back also. All seven of us went to the StoryBook Theatre in April to see Winnie the Pooh.

TULIPS.

Yeah, yeah. Another April, another visit to the tulips. All about it here.

That’s all I’ve got from pictures and memory. I’m sure I’m missing several things. It often takes deep thought to recall what we did yesterday, let alone over the past six months. I do remember taking a bagel making class at PCC in April. But I have no pictures from there. I’m certain there are other one-off things we did that I can’t recall. And then one random day, in the middle of October when I’m lying in bed before falling asleep, I’ll remember we did whatever on a specific date. Because that’s how my mind works these days.


SIX MONTHS IN PICTURES.

This will mostly be a photo dump for each month. I’m tired of remembering and it’s May 18 by now. If I don’t speed this sucker up, it’ll be seven months in one post. And that seems absurd. Even more absurd than six months in one post. Without further ado, November to April. In reverse. And with run-on paragraphs.

APRIL 2022.

Let’s see. There was the Beat the Bunny 5K, Blaise and Laine’s first 5K. They did great! Laine had a sleepover where the gals made slime after a walk up to get ice cream. We pup watched the cutest little gal, Willow. She’s Mel’s BFF’s new little sister. There were park outings with friends. Bubble baths. I hit the trail often, and I even came upon a downed tree. Maive made a buddy at the gym. The buddy was supposed to be in a gym class but came upstairs to the viewing area and befriended Maive. Laine and Maive did the stick a fork in an apple thing from TikTok. Laine nailed it every time. Easter happened. Bob and Tara were here for the weekend and brought Easter-themed cookie decorating kits. Eater is a mini-Christmas here, and each kiddo made out with some decent loot. We hide baskets and the big kids asked for harder hiding spots. We delivered. It snowed late April. While my tulips were blooming. Maive took an Earth Day art class that Laine crashed. Maive made some art and met the farm animals at Farrel-McWhirter. Blaise and Baby took a one-day LEGO camp together. Blaise is asking for another camp with Baby. I love this. At home we did puzzles, the girls played dress-up, Baby lost a few teeth, to name a few things. Brian finally wore his Nirvana shirt—with the Hansen Brothers pictured—to the office and got some interesting/confused looks from middle-aged guys. The younger gals got to hit open gym and had a blast. Maive was so excited to be included. And even more excited that she had a half-birthday in April. We hit the trail to celebrate. With shoes on the wrong feet. Guess who dressed herself? Haha. And I took a bagel class with a friend, no pictures. I’m sure there are many other things I can’t recall because I don’t have pictures. Although, between all their school programs and activities, I can’t imagine we did much more on top of our standard weeks and what’s pictured.

April, check.


MARCH 2022.

There were bike days where we hit the trail on two wheels. Well, the kids did. I trailed behind them with the stroller in case a certain toddler tired out. Spoiler: she never did. There were silly faces. Math on the trampoline. Laine does school work in the most random of places. And then she’ll be working on something and say, when I’m done with this, question I’m going to draw a turtle. And then she does before moving onto the next question. It takes her FOREVER to finish any task but she finishes. So there’s that. There were park outings with friends. And Saige being Saige, chatting up an older man who was on his morning walk. Laine had part of her hair colored red. She had been wanting this done for a while and we finally made it happen. A rare sleeping toddler. Maive never naps anymore. But she goes to bed early, so I’ll take that! Blaise and Laine completed science fair projects. I failed to grab a picture on Blaise’s final board but it was titled Keeping in Suspension and he made three types of bridges to see which one would hold the most quarters before being compromised. And a happy toddler who FINALLY made it up to the slide. This is the lamest park equipment. The only way up to the slide this weird climbing wall, with rubber circles drilled onto the metal wall for hands and feet.

March, check.


FEBRUARY 2022.

Dollar Tree disguises. Snow. And cold. Layers galore all month long. Mel’s BFF was with us, whom we love as our own! Maive and Evie fell asleep together all snuggled. Park outings with friends—in the cold. Blaise and Laine tried the reverse hoodie thing to hold the piggies. Saige and Baby fell asleep together while reading a book. Haircuts for all. Saige had a proper head shave on one side of her head. Baby had a small section shaved on one side and a fresh bob cut. Brian decided we all needed to attend the RV Show in Seattle. Thankfully Brian takes FOREVER to make any decision so it’s not likely we’ll have one soon. I know he’s waiting on a spot at the local RV storage place. He’s been on there about two-and-a-half years and the woman happened to call right before we went to the RV Show, to ask him if he’s still interested in a spot. She told him he’s close but wouldn’t give him his number in line. Maybe second or third based on her hint. Apparently the list is now seven pages long. I think we’ll take that spot whether we have an RV yet or not, in case Brian goes through with buying one. Trailer, not RV. Same thing in my book. Saige wrote and performed a song. I’m impressed with her writing skills. The song was amazing! She doesn’t actually play piano but gave it her best shot and did a nice performance for Brian and me.

And the fucking oven debacle. Which led to a new microwave. That all happened in January; it all ended in February. Long story short: our oven worked fine for lunch and then was magically dead in the afternoon. No resetting or turning power off/on made a difference. That sucker was kaput. Our neighbor’s microwave died the same day. Weird. The newer version of the oven we had was out of stock. Because of course it was. Three weeks later it was back in stock, I ordered the sucker. Two weeks later it was delivered. Delivery came with put in place option. I selected. Oven delivered, on a Tuesday. Put in place literally means they put it where it goes but they don’t hook up anything. Okay. Turns out our oven is hard-wired. Brian and our neighbor installed in Saturday. We went six weeks without an oven. Doable but annoying. New oven installed, it works great and is much quieter. Brian says it cooks food more evenly. But looking at the new oven made the microwave look dated. And the new oven had a white clock; the microwave had a blue clock. We both decided we needed a new microwave. And so we ordered one. Two weeks later the sucker was delivered. But to install the thing, our cabinetry needed to be cut wider. Brian ended up buying some kind of saw and installed the new microwave on his own. Brian may not be a fan of doing work around the house but he does immaculate work when he takes on any project.

February, check.


JANUARY 2022.

Back to real life after the holidays. There were extra home days thanks to snow. We had a robot toddler. Laine made several Play-Doh creations, including a rainbow cake. Icicles. It was COLD. Trail walkers and puddle jumpers. Flooding after the snow. Evie was with us; love that dog! More trailing, girls only. Blaise wanted quiet time at home. I get that. A trip to Bellevue Square with Maive to buy the Home Alone LEGO set Blaise really wanted for Christmas. It was going to be his Easter gift until he said mid-February he no longer wanted the sucker, not knowing I had already bought one. This is why I rarely buy anything in advance of holidays or birthdays. More trailing, with Blaise this time. The boys! The piggies love watermelon. Maive and I stopped at Snohomish Pie Company to grab a pie for Brian. Maive scored a s’more cookie. Maive “reading” at dinner. Hopefully getting inspiration to ditch diapers. And more trailing! To the river this time. That’s all I’ve got from pictures.

January, check.


DECEMBER 2021.

Christmas, of course. About that way up top. Soccer kiddos. Baby was there also but still on her field. Maive likes coins while the kiddos play soccer. She has discovered vending machines and knows how to use them. Indoor skiing lessons. A refresher for Saige before hitting the snow in January. Baby ended her series of indoor lessons as a Creeper. Annual gingerbread houses at our friends’ home. We used to go to the KidsQuest gingerbread house event but Covid kind of killed that these past few years. Turns out we like doing the houses at one of our homes instead. Baby at a week-long LEGO camp. More trailing, in the freaking cold. Evidence of Maive having a candy cane in the car, which isn’t something I’d let fly. Trailing in the snow. With a snow Mel! Saige and her buddy got their play on in the cold. Saige! Her buddy’s mom and I were sitting on a bench, chatting. Saige asked if one of us would push them on the giant swing; we already had, several times. We jokingly said to Saige she should ask a random person to push her (there was nobody else on the playground). JOKINGLY. Nope, Saige ran over to a guy—whom was waiting near the restrooms for his wife—and the next thing we know, he’s walking to the playground with Saige and starts pushing them. Saige, she’s our extreme outgoing kiddo. A breakfast outing with Blaise and Saige. Maive was probably with us also?! But I have no picture evidence. Christmas cookie decorating. More Evie! Laine ice skating with two of her gymnastics friends; it was one of their birthdays. And a bare-tummy Maive helping the air conditioning installers. We now have air conditioning. Bring on the summer heat.

December, check.


NOVEMBER 2021.

Leaf hunting with the three younger gals, for an art project at home. The newly two-year-old with one of her birthday cards. Vaccinated kiddos! Ugh, at the first clinic there were protestors—shocker, middle-aged white women—against the kids getting shots. We ignored them going in but coming out, those fuckers. The four kiddos were ahead of me walking to the parking lot. I was trailing behind with Maive. I was not present but I could hear their uneducated yelling. They were yelling at my kids to not take the shot because it will kill them. I caught up and poor Baby, she was trying to reason with these pressed anti-vaxxers, saying she wasn’t going to die because she got the vaccine. These awful women—middle-aged and heavy—are prime targets for Covid. Why she thought yelling at children would encourage their parents to not vaccinate is beyond me. Then again, she’s an anti-vaxxer so my opinion of her was already made before the yelling. Thankfully at the second clinic in December, there were women with signs of encouragement for getting vaccinated. The sweatshirt I thought about buying for a while. For all those don’t California our [insert state] people. I don’t actually hear it too much up here; most people are transplants it seems. But I see it all over reddit and TikTok comments, when people mention they moved from California to [insert state]. Post-Halloween pumpkins! I failed to grab pictures of the pumpkins being carved or on our porch. We loaded them in the car and took them to our friend’s farm animals. The kids had a blast throwing them over the fence for the pigs and goats. Another pup we watch, Indy! Sweet gal. Blaise and Maive at soccer, before Blaise started and before Maive discovered the vending machines. A Baby creation on the Etch A Sketch. Baby is incredibly detailed at times. Flooding and cows along the trail. They kept walking closer to me when I was talking with them. I talk to the animals along (and on) the trail, weird. Marshmallow roasting! Maive was SO PROUD to be a big kid. All the big kids and their buddies are SO GOOD with her. She has so many people we say. Lucky gal. The lucky gal has all these siblings also, who know things. Like how to squirt whipped cream in her mouth. Maive got her own bed! She falls asleep in the thing but is still comes to our bed in the night. Eh, it’s all good. It won’t last forever and she is most definitely the last kiddo. We’re milking it while we can. Robot Saige and her robot buddy she made. A Saige date! Saige really likes pineapple on her pizza. A Laine creation on the whiteboard. I always find random drawings. LEGO Laine and Maive! Top hat Saige. More trail. And Louie sitting on top of Lettuce.

November, check.


Phew. That was months in the making and scrambling (it’s almost June) to get this sucker posted.

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