Archive for the 'Family stuff' Category

Tera & Co: My visit to Alaska

I just spent a week in Alaska visiting my sis and nieces, Isabella and Olivia.  I did also see Brian for one day – but he had to leave for work.

Micah couldn’t come with me this time, but I have the time to take off – and boy did I need it!!

It was less a vacation, and more about just spending some time with my nieces and helping Tera out since she was playing single mom for a week.  I definitely got to experience first hand all the joys, smiles, laughter, and fun of those two little girls.  I also got to experience all the crying, whining, feedings, changings, and disciplining too.  Whoa…not an easy job!! (And to clarify, I’ve NEVER thought it was!!)

Fortunately, it never snowed while I was there.  It was a little cold, but nothing too bad that kept us holed inside for too long. 

Isabella showing off her new outfit from Costco aka home away from home.

We also did some exercising.  I taught Isabella how to do pushups and jumping jacks (sort of). 

I picked up some new PJs for Isabella – and Olivia already had the same ones!

We went on some walks…

…and did some shopping (which isn’t easy when you’ve got two kids in tow).

Olivia was crawling like crazy.  She’s going to be walking soon…or perhaps running.  Smile

We rode bikes…

…we practiced eating all our dinner before getting any dessert…on our faces.

And since I was using a cheat Sweet Day – we made some delicious and easy pumpkin whoopie pies!

Isabella LOVED helping out.  She still remembers (a week later), that “you frost, and I put it into a sandwich”

jump zone

We had TONS of fun sliding down the long inflatable slide.  And Olivia loved crawling around the colorful carpet.

We ended our time at the most wonderful place…a HUGE chocolate fountain!

In addition to all this, there was lots of singing, watching Dora and YouTube kid’s videos, eating delicious crab dinner, and nightly dancing/jumping/wheelbarrow.  We even got a chance to Skype with Grandma and Grandpa Rooney.

Tera & Co: A trip to the museum

The Children’s Museum in Seattle is a FANTASTIC place to take your little ones.  There’s all sorts of activities: things to play on, crawl on, look at, touch, paint, etc. 

Warning: it gets crowded!

Hello fishy fish!


There were several slides throughout the museum…and she loved each one.


Of course, there was a huge room devoted to arts and crafts. 


In the outdoor “mountainy” section – Isabella felt right at home.


Where are we going?  Lead the way!!


The Metro bus – Isabella’s favorite thing of the whole museum.


Get outta my way! Honk! Honk!


Isabella is thinking at this moment “I’d rather be driving.”


The museum even had a small grocery store set up. It was awesome!  You could even scan the groceries.


There were TONS more rooms to check out, but we had nap times and feedings to take into account.  So we ended our time at The Children’s Museum with none other than…going down the slide! 

There’s not a ton for 5 month olds to do…but I think Olivia was generally entertained.

Tera & Co: Parks, parks, parks

Parks.  What a great place.  A free place to take your children so they can wear themselves out. 

We had many trips to the park.

One trip was to a water splash pad.  Isabella didn’t enjoy so much running through the water spray, as she did taking the water and cleaning her face. 


Wash, wash, wash.


I love splashing in the water!


All dried off…and ready to go to…another park!


This park had a cool sailboat.


Ah, one of your favorite things to do at the park.


Or maybe this is your favorite. 


Sorry Olivia – you have to wait a bit longer before you can play with big sis at the park. 


Where could Uncle Micah be taking you guys?


Of course, a park!!


You made this twirly thing look so fun, that the other big kids wanted to jump on.

Tera & Co: Helping Uncle Micah

Isabella is at that age where she likes to try and be helpful.  It’s one thing that can work to your advantage.

For example: Isabella trips and falls…major crying fest about to ensue.  Quick! Divert attention and ask her to bring you that [insert item a few feet away].  Done and done.  Caution: does not work if child is too far in meltdown mode.

Let’s help Uncle Micah play his football video game

An NCAA master-player in the making?

Let’s help put aloe vera on Uncle Micah’s sunburned skin


A massage therapist in the making?

Let’s help Uncle Micah stack his beer kits


Yes, I know I’ve already used this pic in a previous post.  So shush.

Let’s help Micah play with his iPad

She loved the iPad – and caught on pretty darn quick on how to use it

Let’s help Uncle Micah pick up yard waste

Sorry no pic for this – but Isabella did help pick up pinecones from our yard and put them in the yard waste bin (she tired of this in about…10 pinecones). 

Tera & Co: Playdates

Playdates – it’s basically a spreading out of the effort it takes to entertain little ones – communal entertaining.  The early stages of what we do as adults…girl’s nights, game nights, dinner parties, etc.

Our friends Regina and Aaron have their not so little Landis.  (He’s 18 months, but could easily pass as a 2 or 3 year old toddler).  Tera was able to get in a couple of playdates with them.  While Landis and Isabella didn’t become BFFs after these playdates – they did curiously look at each other, and occasionally attempted to play.


I will drive Landis’ car.  And when Landis tries to get in on the passenger side, that is precisely the time…I will get out.



Get outta my way!!!


There’s Landis.  I think Isabella would love a bite of that ice cream. 


IMAG0134Why thank you!



Isabella also really enjoyed walking their dog, Dexter.  Dexter, in turn, really enjoyed the attention.



Hello there!

Tera & Co: Beach time!!!

Time for some recaps.

The first few days of Tera & Co.’s time with us were spent with Micah and I going to work, and then having just enough time to maybe go to the park with kids, before they had to eat dinner and then go to bed.

So when the weekend rolled around – we were determined to get out and do something fun.

Location: Alki Beach

Isabella apparently is in love with beaches (spurred from a recent family trip to a beach up in their home state of Alaska).  So naturally, we figured a trip over to West Seattle would be a fun activity for us all (we haven’t been over there in quite a while).  After a heavy dose of sunscreen – we were on our way to the beach.  And we lucked out…the weather was sunny and warm.

Olivia – already loving lounging on the beach.


Uncle Micah taking Isabella to play in the water


Not sure what’s up with her sour face, but she did have fun.  However, she really didn’t like touching the sand with her bare feet.


Don’t make me touch the sand!!!

The hardest part of this beach trip – potty time.  The bathrooms are not located close by, and the lines for the women’s bathroom are not short.  With Isabella potty-trained now, that means…no diapers…which then means…if she has to go, she has to go!  This ultimately resulted in me running (literally) her to a restaurant bathroom…three times….all in a row. 

The yoga master

Video call snapshot 46

I taught Isabella downward dog – a yoga position.  She’s such a pro!

Newest member to the team

Remember WAYYYYYYYYY (add or subtract the “Ys” as you see fit) back in elementary/middle school?  I’ll give you a moment to think.  Tick, tock, tick, tock.  Ok, one of my favorite PE activities back then was…KICKBALL!  Kick a ball, run around bases, peg people with the ball to tag them out…ah, love it. 

Well, Micah and I, and a number of other friends are playing in a Sunday co-ed kickball league.  It’s super fun!!  Plus, it’s an easy game to play, and doesn’t take much energy – perfect for getting in some outdoor love on a Sunday afternoon.


We are actually a fairly decent team.  One loss, and five wins…so far!


Go Team Oskar’s! Our team got sponsored by Oskar’s Kitchen (which former Sonic Shawn Kemp owns).  I’m absent from pic above – was on a plane at the time.

While Tera & Co. were in town last week, we had a kickball game to play.  We thought we’d try and recruit our own Isabella to join.


Don’t worry Isabella, the cutoff sleeve is just part of the uniform!  Hmm…now to find you a shirt….and shorts.



I think she is super excited to come play with us!



Ah…nevermind.  You stay home then.  There’s no crying in kickball!  P.S. You need a shirt.

Parenting 101 by Tera & Co.

We just had the best (almost) two weeks.  Micah and I got to see Tera and Co. – which of course includes a first time in-person meeting of my niece, Olivia…as well as hanging out with 2 year-old Isabella, and we even got to see Brian for a bit.


Hello cutie pie!  She’s 5 months old and for the most part a pretty chill baby.  She just LOVES LOVES LOVES smiling.

I’ll post more recaps of our short, but super fun-filled days.  Micah and I definitely had a good dose of parenting reality (and even then, not really since we still had to go to work everyday and Tera was always there to do the hard stuff).

A few things we learned from our time with Isabella and Olivia (in all fairness, this is mostly Isabella-related since Olivia doesn’t do much quite yet):

  1. Your day revolves around nap time…not the rising or setting of the sun, but the critical period of time around noon to 2 or 3 pm.
  2. Days leading up to weekends are focused on finding entertaining things to do that are age appropriate, not too expensive, not too far from home, and in some way accounts for #1 above.
  3. Your weekends are then filled executing #2 above.
  4. Potty-trained 2-year olds can and will use this against you (learned from three consecutive trips running Isabella to a bathroom because she had “the have to go potty” look and the “have to go poo poo” moves).
  5. Kids really, REALLY will repeat everything you say.  Luckily for us, this didn’t involve any swearing.  But I was able to get Isabella to go up to Micah and say “Micah…entertain us.”  (One of my personal regular requests I have of Micah).
  6. Bed time is not actually bed time. 
  7. Storytime before bed time is never just one book, or…two books.
  8. Mealtimes…almost always involve some form of negotiating, bargaining, convincing, persuading, and typically end in…commanding (which is sometimes accompanied by crying little 2 year olds).
  9. I am not so good at being stern.
  10. Micah is very good at being stern.
  11. Sleep…is a precious commodity.


Isabella stacking Micah’s Mr. Beer kit ingredients.  Such a good helper!

Once I download more pics…I’ll post more about their awesome visit!

Generation connection


Technology rocks!  Here you can see my grandma “meeting” (via Skype) her great-granddaughter (Olivia) for the first time.  She’s seen pictures of Olivia and she’s talked with Tera from time to time, but not quite like this.  My grandma was BLOWN AWAY.   She’s never had any experience like this before.  It was pretty awesome.

My grandma also got to see Isabella in action, which at two+ years old, she’s quite the entertainer. 

Despite my grandma being amazed at the experience, we couldn’t quite convince her to get an iPad for herself. Smile

Where in the world…

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