Thursday, October 8, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

What a month of special birthdays! We welcomed the newest member of the family on September 11, Arena Realm. She missed sharing her Granny's birthday by only a day. Alex and Isaac had to share their mommy's attention with their newborn cousin, but the welcome visit from Granny made it well worth it. Mom's birthday may have been overshadowed by Arena's birth, but we did take some time out of baby gazing to garage sale our way across the entire Pullman-Moscow area and attend a street fair in Moscow. The boys and I even had to resort to eating ice cream while mom checked out the town's consignment stores.

After a week or two to stash away my garage sale finds, Isaac's Grandma and Grandpa came to celebrate his first birthday. After one failed cake, my second attempt looked pretty, but Isaac was more interested in finger-painting with it than eating it. Alex didn't have a problem eating his. "Can we have cake now? Is now the time for cake? Now would be a great time for cake, mom!"

Despite a change to fall weather, we headed outside to play with Grandma's new toy, a remote control car.

Dad came and celebrated his and Isaac's shared birthday with us this week. It was a beautiful fall day, and we enjoyed an afternoon at the Moscow arboretum with Julie, Ryan, and Arena. Alex learned from Uncle Ryan how to climb trees (Ryan's lesson seemed to be: climb as high as you can when no girls are looking, and try not to get caught. Thanks Ryan!). We headed home for a buggy birthday party, complete with my one very successful cake of this birthday season: cockroach cake for Dad... he even made my day by biting right into one of the realistic plastic roaches I hid on the backside of his piece of cake.... "Yum, Yum!". Isaac decided that cake isn't so bad, if it's coated in bugs and made of carrots. He polished off his piece and went looking for more under his plate.
Five cakes later, thanks to all of you who made this such a special time, and for traveling so far and taking so much time out to come see us. I am so thankful for the love, joy, laughter, and just plain fun that you brought to us these weeks! I love you all, and can't wait for the next special occasion with each one of you, although I may wait awhile before I bake another cake!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dani is officially married, which leaves me as the youngest Kingma girl.. Haha!
We had a great week in Bozeman, with tons of family and festivities. Jeremy and I enjoyed a couple of nights out without the kids and the kids enjoyed being spoiled by grandparents and Aunt Sara. Alex enjoyed the harvest from Aunt Dani’s garden and has now informed me that he only likes carrots, peas, and beans that are not from a store. All I can get him to eat for veggies now are the cherry tomatoes I’m growing on our balcony. Here I was worried about him coming home and wanting to eat nothing but cake and instead the problem is that he’s begging for fresh veggies.Playtime
Ice Cream with Aunt Sara
Isaac with Grandma Van
Alex trying to stay warm at the rehearsal dinner (August in Montana! Brrr!!!) Dressing the Ring BearerGrandpa Van, Jer, and Alex waiting for the Happy CoupleThe Father of the Bride - Just Married 30 years ago this week
Bridezilla? Nope! Those aren’t her horns - they’re antlers! Hey, that’s my date!

Congratulations Dani and Adam!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Alex, Isaac, and I just returned from a week of travels, first to our old home, Silverdale, then to visit Granny and Dad in Ocean Park. We left early last Monday and hadn’t driven an hour before I realized all the things I had forgotten: Alex’s favorite stuffed animal, Amber, his Bluey (blue fuzzy blanket) and his toilet seat. Oops. Alex made it to our lunch stop before he mentioned Amber, and then cried and cried missing her. “But I’ll be too lonely!” he sobbed . He was finally satisfied with the thought of her keeping daddy company while we were gone, and distracted by a new happy meal toy. He didn’t mention her again, and made it happily through the rest of the trip without Bluey, I guess I missed them more than him. Sad to think about him beginning to put his baby blanket behind him. I’m not ready for that.

One thing I did remember correctly was how great our friends are in Silverdale. We invaded Zach and Leah’s new house for the night. Alex and Jack were immediately great friends, holding hands and sharing, and laughing. Matt and Bethany came over for dinner, so we were able to see them, too. We had twice as many children as we did last time we were together, and it was interesting to see them all together. My kids managed to make the largest messes of the group, in both the baby and preschool divisions. I went to help Alex in the bathroom and came back to where I had left Isaac, safely contained in his high chair, to find all the adults scrambling to clean sweet potato puree off of every surface in sight: the back of the couch, the carpet, the tile floor, every angle of the table and chairs. Isaac has longer arms than I thought and had pulled his entire baby food container down off the table to splatter on the floor. What a mess! Poor Leah! Sweet potatoes all over her new house. Alex didn’t want Isaac to get all the glory, I guess, so just as we were getting ready to eat lunch, I looked out the sliding door to see Alex standing in a puddle on the top step of Leah’s concrete patio. He hadn’t quite made it to the bathroom. At least he was outside. The puddle wasn’t too bad, but then the toddlers noticed it, and of course kids love to play in puddles. Yuck!

I drove by our old house, the cute little white farm house with a red door and an acre of grass. I’d been really regretting selling it lately, wishing we could turn back the clock, skip these years of restlessness, and just stay there. I think it was good to see it and bring it back to reality. Good to see how big and unkempt the yard really was, and good to see the changes to the neighborhood that we didn’t have to live with since we moved. I think it made me realize that we really can’t ever go back, although I probably still would buy it again if I could.

After a great visit, we started on the road again, to Ocean Park. I love the ocean. I love the smell of the air, and the overgrowth of ferns and rhododendrons. I love how the evergreens surround the road, and make every turn an adventure. (I know, five years ago I was complaining about that, but I guess it grew on me.) I love the bridges and the cranberry bogs. But most of all, I love being at Granny’s house. I love the cookie jar that’s always full of cookies, and using a different set of dishes for every meal. I love coffee and a newspaper in the morning in the sun porch with a perfect view of the hummingbirds. In Ocean Park it’s easy to forget that the rest of the world exists.
Isaac examining the sand.

We had a great visit, including a stop at the kite museum and another museum in Ilwaco with trains. It was free admission day, but dad spent a fortune in quarters to make the model trains run for Alex, while he ran squealing with delight after them, getting into the right position to watch as they came over a bridge or through a tunnel.
We walked on the beach to the whale bones that dad had never seen, and to the clamming docks that I’d never visited. We even took the canoe out on the bay and managed to make it home without Granny calling the coast guard to rescue us.
Our week was over all too soon. We headed out yesterday morning, and came the familiar route up the coastal highway and then over to Olympia and through Tacoma. We were just getting into the busy Tacoma traffic when Alex decided he needed to use a bathroom. I pulled over at the familiar Bridgeport way exit we had been to so many times visiting Dani when she was stationed in Tacoma. We stopped at a KFC for a break and headed on our way. It wasn’t until we were half way home, over Snoqualmie pass, in Ellensburg when we stopped for lunch and I realized I didn’t have my purse. Ugh. We tracked it down, back at the KFC, and they agreed to mail it to me. So, that left me with the problem that I was still so far from home with just over three dollars in change to get me home. We skipped lunch (thank you Granny for sending so many cookies with us, they made a great lunch!) and drove back with no air conditioning despite the 90 degree temperature, doing all I could to conserve gas. We made it all the way to Colfax, 15 miles from home, before I stopped and Jeremy came to rescue us. What an adventure!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sports Camp

Alex's last day of sports camp was today. After trying t-ball, bowling, basketball, soccer, and track&field, it's official: his favorite sport is t-ball. Lucky since he starts a month of t-ball in a couple of weeks!

All week at camp, I've brought Alex's water bottle for him. When his coaches would tell the kids to go and get a drink, Alex would say "I'm not thirsty" and stay out in the field while his teammates took a water break. Today I forgot the water bottle at home. Naturally, Alex noticed his missing bottle and not five minutes into class it started: "Mommy, I'm thirsty! My coaches say to drink water.... where's my water?" Here he is standing by the water cooler. There were no cups, so he tried to drink out of it like a water fountain and ended up soaked, but happy!Isaac had a great time at Alex's sports week, too. I think his favorite was basketball since there were enough balls for him to play with one all by himself.
We had a busy week, and spent a good part of it at the library enjoying their excellent summer reading programs. Firefighters came and read to the kids, and then sent them home with their own fire hats. Alex has been putting out fires in our bathroom all week, now that he knows so much about firefighting. He is excited to talk to grandpa and learn even more about firefighting.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Yes, we did arrive here.... six months ago! Jeremy bought me a cute little red netbook for my birthday this week, so I'm back online. We're settling in here, enjoying the summer. Alex, Isaac and I have been very busy with playgroups, story time at the library, and trying out all the parks in the Pullman/Moscow area.

Isaac, who could barely hold his own head up when last I wrote, is now officially crawling, and by the looks of it will be walking in no time. He pulls himself up to stand, and is starting to torment his older brother with his sudden ability to move towards any toys he hasn't been allowed to play with before.

Alex is having a fun summer. We have a playground just outside our door, so he gets to swing and slide and dig in rocks every time we leave the house. He's also signed up for Pee Wee Sports Camp through the city. So far he's tried out T-ball, bowling, and track. T-ball was his favorite so far.
Alex, Isaac, and I spent a weekend in McCall with my family a few weeks ago. One of the highlights for me: Isaac sleeping. Here is a rare photo proving that he does, on occasion, actually sleep. Sleep is apparently very highly overrated, and he generally does just fine without it. He was only resting here to save up his energy for the middle of the night.

The highlight of the trip for Alex was catching a couple of big trout and suckers while fishing with his granddad.
While Alex was learning to fish with granddad, Isaac was learning to knit with granny. We really need a little girl in this family....

Friday, January 2, 2009


The moving truck is here, Alex is at Grandma's house for the night, and we're loading up to follow the yellow brick road. It may not be paved in gold, but hopefully there is sunshine instead of snow.We had a wonderful Christmas - my only complaint was that there wasn't nearly enough time to spend with everyone that visited. Alex was old enough this year to sing Christmas carols himself and serenaded us all week with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells. He's been well entertained himself with all his fun new toys, and we've actually been able to sleep in and play board games, since he's so exhausted.We've been able to spend extra time with our families this week, thanks to the holidays, which has been wonderful, although it makes it that much harder to leave them. I've also finally attended board game night at Sara's shop, Rook's Comics and Games. I wish I'd been going every week, it was so much fun.
So, here's to a new year, and whatever it may bring. We miss you all - those who visited or didn't - and we're already missing those we're leaving here. We love you all and can't wait to see you in the year ahead.
baby growth