Can't live with us. Can't live without us.
Friday, July 31, 2009

In the car today on our way to pick Eric up from work, Avery had quite a monster of a story to tell. Wyatt--the great big brother that he is-- humored her by sitting quietly in his car seat, listening intently while she talked, and talked, and talked--waving her arms excitedly while placing the cutest inflections on her words (every third one of which made any sense at all).

After several minutes of this never-ending, one-sided conversation between Avery and Wyatt, I checked the rear-view mirror to assess Wyatt's expression only to discover that he had fallen asleep!

Oh, poor Avery. I'm afraid you've inherited that trait from me--boring the men in our lives to sleep with our incessant rambling. Trust me, you'll thank me later.

When she isn't executing lengthy monologues, she enjoys helping her daddy work on his bike. He's gearing up for the MS-150 this weekend, and everything must be tuned to perfection. I wonder if this would be a good time to tell him about the nuts and bolts I found in her pockets.

Too Hot
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

102 degrees yesterday, 106 degrees today, 105 degrees tomorrow. No air conditioning.

Kill me now.

With their sweat-drenched heads and red faces, you'd think Wyatt and Avery just came in from playing outside. But no. This is how hot it is inside our house.

I have a feeling Mother Nature and I are going to be duking it out on multiple occasions this year--our last summer without air conditioning, and our last rain-soaked winter with baseboard heating.

Finally....a science project I can handle.
Saturday, July 25, 2009

During our visit to the Seattle Aquarium in April, I picked up a few sea creatures. Well, not real ones of course; that would be dee-sgusting! From the gift shop. You know, the little rubber ones that grow up to 600% larger when you submerge them in water. I used to love them as a kid, and apparently, they're still a big hit.

So far, we've grown a seahorse and a shark. Each morning, Wyatt would scurry to the countertop looking for the over-sized, recycled SKIPPY container which housed his growing sea creature. And after assessing how much it had grown overnight, he'd let out an excited, "Whoa-ho-ho!".

Shark (before)

Shark (after)

Science. It's the coolest.

Wine Selection: Hightower Merlot 2006
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: This wine came from one of our favorite wineries in the tri-cities (WA) area. It's a pretty good merlot, but it doesn't compare to the 2005 Red Mountain Red Wine we had to pass up becuase it was going for fifty bucks a bottle.


Two Going On Fifteen
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I loathe--no wait--I despise talking on the telephone. Most know this about me and are hardly surprised when their calls are directly forwarded to my voicemail. They are equally not surprised when I fail to return phone calls after two weeks. Sad, but true. Perhaps I'd enjoy the blasted thing more if I had even the slightest capability to multi-task, which sadly, I do not.

My daughter, on the other hand, is a phone-talking multi-tasking machine. Don't ask me where she gets it. After all, determining who is going to call in the pizza on a Friday night can cause quite a rift in our household (which thankfully doesn't happen nearly as often, thanks to online pizza ordering...YES!). Anyway, I got the biggest kick out of eavesdropping on one of Avery's pretend phone conversations last night to her big bro. Between Vacation Bible School last week and Track n Field camp this week, Avery has been missing her "bubba" so much lately. While I found her conversation quite endearing, I was mostly impressed with her ability to simultaneously carry on a conversation while creating art (yes, I do consider green circles and scribbles art). She's quite a natural. Perhaps she can teach me a thing or two.

Wine Selection: Portteus Sangiovese 2007
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: I did not enjoy this wine very much, although I didn't try it with food. I think Eric liked it more than I did.


Pretty in Pink
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Avery and I have been getting in some girl time this week while Wyatt has been in Vacation Bible School. I never would have considered it a luxury to only have one child to wrangle on errands as opposed to two, but my oh my, a luxury it is!

Today we met up with one of Avery's friends, Maggie Jane, for a leisurely stroll in the park. Apparently the girls called each other last night to coordinate outfits for their big playdate, because...well...see for yourself.

Seeing how adorable they look wearing identical outfits sometimes makes me wish I had two girls so I could dress them alike all of the time. Although if given the opportunity, Wyatt would have no qualms whatsoever sporting a few extra flowers and frills. He has already declared how unfair it is that boys aren't allowed to be princesses. Who knows. Maybe he'll end up being one of those men who can pull off the pink dress shirt. Over his daddy's dead body.

New Adventures in Writing
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

With the encouragement of my good friend, Shelly, I have enrolled in an online creative writing class, which started today. When I logged on this morning I was asked to take a pre-test to assess my knowledge of the course content. Of the 12 true/false questions, I missed one. This one.

To perfect the skills of a creative writer, you must write every day.

I answered FALSE, partially because that's what I really wanted the answer to be, and partially because--in all of my years of higher education--I learned that questions including the words always, never, or must generally call for a response of FALSE. Apparently, that "rule" failed me today. Considering it has been over a week now since my last blog post, I'm wondering if I'm up to the task. Seriously. Every day? What on earth did I just get myself into?

Well, here goes nothin'.

Yellow Chair Photography
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A friend of mine that I graduated with from high school is a professional photographer in Tulsa. Her name is Sarah Adams and you can find her at Yellow Chair Photography. I have always admired her modern photography style and knew, at some point, I would love to have her photograph Wyatt and Avery. During our impromptu visit to Tulsa in May, I called her up at the last minute and she worked us in to her crazy spring schedule!

To say the kids were uncooperative is an understatement. Wyatt decided to be a grump while Avery opted to play "koala", with me as the tree she clung to as her life depended on it. To be honest, I had absolutely no expectations when the session was over and really didn't give it another thought until Sarah emailed me the images a couple of weeks later. I was pleasantly surprised at what she ended up pulling out her magician's hat!

(click on photos to enlarge)

Great job, Sarah! Thanks for working us into your busy schedule. Maybe next time we can get some shots of the entire family!

Wine Selection: Maryhill Sangiovese (2005 Reserve)
Personal Rating: ****Good****
Comments: Maryhill Winery has been voted 2009's Washington Winery of the Year. It's located in the Columbia River Gorge, and offers some amazing views. This was one of the best winery's we visited last month. The wines we tried were very good, and this reserve sangiovese is actually great with food. The winery hosts a summer concert series, so it may just be another excuse to get us back out there.

4th of July Festivities
Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th at 7 o'clock in the hot, blustery morning. I'm blow-drying my hair when I hear the pitter-patter of excited little feet. I look up to find Wyatt standing in the doorway with a grin stretching from ear to ear. At first I think he's created some mischief but then realize it's way too early in the morning for that. He raises his eyebrows, stiffens his arms by his side and asks, "Mommy, can we go see the fireworks...please?!?!" Knowing what was coming next, I sympathetically told him that we would have to wait until it got dark outside. Then the very first meltown of the day occurred. Happy 4th of July, indeed.

Fortunately, we had a lot on our agenda for the day to help pass the time. First was our annual neighborhood parade. It sounds a little hokey, but you wouldn't believe the number of kids on trikes, adults and pets in costume, and antique automobiles that roll out for this event. Okay, to call it an event may be stretching it a bit. It's more like a family stroll down the street and back, waving occasionally to the--all of ten--spectators sipping coffee on their front porch.

What made the parade even more exciting was that Wyatt's favorite gal pal, Carina, invited Wyatt and Avery to ride with her in a cart pulled by one of her grandmother's minature horses! The kids thought it was awesome. And quite frankly, so did the adults!

Wyatt and Avery riding next to Carina and her great grandmother

So sweet, these two.

Our awesome neighbors, The Freid's, who will no longer be our neighbors in 2 weeks. Jake just completed his Emergency Medicine residency, and they're moving to Klamath Falls.
We'll miss them so much!

After the parade, Avery and I were birthday party bound. Since Eric couldn't tear himself away from the Tour de France, and because the idea of trying to wrangle two kids by myself at a birthday party exhausted me beyond belief, I decided to leave Wyatt at home. I felt a little guilty not including him, because I knew if he found out where we had been, he'd have nightmares for a week about the cake he never got to sink his teeth into.

Fortunately, Avery doesn't have much a sweet tooth;
therefore, she spent most of the party sinking her teeth into some juicy watermelon.

My friend Courtney with her son Blake, the birthday boy.
Happy 3rd Birthday, Blake!
You really know how to put on one cool pool party.

We finished out the day's festivities with a little block party cookout. We love all of our neighbors (even the guy with the pet boa constrictor named "Delilah"), so it was fun to hang out with everyone for dinner before heading to the illegal, but ever-so-impressive, neighborhood fireworks display at the park that backs up to our street. Did I mention how fun it is to live in our neighborhood?

Avery's dinner consisted of Doritos and lemonade.
Gotta love holidays, right?

Carina and Wyatt having a contest to see who can make the silliest face

Avery performing one of her "cool tricks" for the crowd

Avery was quite intrigued by the sparklers, while Wyatt was much more interested in the smoke bombs. Go figure.

Wine Selection: Tre Donne Roero Arneis
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: Probably would've been much better paired with food.



My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771