Tuesday, July 24, 2012


What did we do when Grandpa came? Played in his wheelchair and carried his cane around, among other things.  Eloise got over her shyness with Grandpa very fast.  I think they bonded over their shared baldness.  Eloise gets excited every time she sees a picture of Grandpa nowadays.  She does a little jump and says, "Bampa!"  
 On Sunday afternoon, we took Grandma and Grandpa for a walk around our neighborhood so that Jared and Eloise could show off the neighborhood's most appealing feature for them: horses.  Jared has recently figured out how to pedal his bike, so bike riding is big around here these days.
 Eloise didn't get to bring her bike, since it doesn't have the handy push bar, but we had a good time hanging out together on the walk over to the horses.
 As usual, Jared hung back, content to observe horses from afar while Grandma fed them some clover.
 Emboldened by Grandma's success, and with a quavering, "Daddy, protect me!" Jared ventured to feed a horse from his hand.
Jared got tired of pedaling on the way home, so Eloise took a turn on the bike.  She loves bike riding even more than Jared does.  
 She has a tendency to drag her feet a bit when she is being pushed, though.
 Jared would have preferred to ride home on Grandpa's foot rests, but they aren't designed for the weight of a chunky little guy, so he had to take his sister's place instead.  This is my 17 weeks pregnant baby bump.
 On Monday, Jared got up in the morning and asked to go to Saint Edward State Park.  Grandma was out on a run, but after breakfast, she came home and agreed that that sounded like a good idea.  I'm not sure she knew precisely what she was getting into.  We hike to the playground, about two and a half miles from our house, with babies in backpacks both ways.  Legs have to work a lot harder when you are carrying 35 extra pounds.  I took us down one (very steep) wrong turn, just for a little exercise bonus.  I'm nice like that.
Of course Jared and Eloise didn't mind the distance a bit.
 Grandma was a very good sport, claiming that she wasn't tired.  She claimed that a lot during her visit, but we noticed that she was sleeping very well at night (no thanks to the woodpecker on our drainpipe at the crack of dawn), and occasionally dozing off on the couch during the day.  She is a very good sport.
 She even got into the spirit of the playground with a little solo spin on the rocking horse.  Grandkids keep you young at heart.
When we got home, Jared and Eloise set directly to work wearing out Grandpa, too.  Jared discovered gum while his grandparents were visiting, so he had something to pester them for, besides tastes of Grandpa's "juice," use of his cane, dragging his suitcase around the house, and asking, "What's that?" and "Why?" a zillion times a day.  Yes, Grandparents are very good sports.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What do you do in the summertime?

We did end up making the whole drive home from Idaho in one very long day.  I don't remember ever being happier to be out of a car.  Todd didn't have to go back to work on Wednesday, so we had a low key day with only a quick trip to the library and a couple of stops at some of our Lake Washington beach parks.  First, Marina Park, which is down the street from the library.  Notice how blue the sky is.  That is sort of a big deal around here.   
 Eloise collected a new pet rock for her collection while we were there.
 Later, we went to Denny Park, which is Todd's favorite waterfront park. An added bonus is that it is only five minutes from our house.
 Arizona Grandma didn't know what to make of so much water in one place.

 Todd did have to go back to work on Thursday, so Jared, Eloise, and I took Grandma to the zoo.
 After seeing the other children climbing on this hippopotamus, Jared had to try it.  Then he had to climb on every other statue he found in the zoo. . .
 . . . even if it was too steep to climb. . .
 . . . or absurdly small to be sitting on. 
This face he makes for the camera is not puckering.  His little rebellion is saying "Ooooooo!" Whenever I ask him to say "Eeeeeee!"
Remembering past failures, I did manage to get some pictures with actual animals in them this zoo trip.  Here is a porcupine who wanted to be noticed.  I love the sign on the fence: "Please do not touch the porcupine."
 Tireless Grandma picked Jared up over and over and over again to give him better views of the animals.
 Very tired Eloise spent a lot of the zoo trip hanging out on my back, ready to fall asleep as soon as the endless parade of children stopped keeping her interested.
 When we were done with the zoo, we had a bench side picnic in Woodland Park, and played on the playground for a few minutes before going home.
 After naps, it was back to business, being as exhausting and wild as possible for Grandma before we went to pick up Grandpa from the airport.
I'm not sure who was more excited; Grandpa to see Jared or Jared to see Grandpa.  Eloise even picked up on the excitement about "Bampa," even if she was a little wary of him at first.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

The happiest place on earth

I'm pretty sure Disneyland has nothing on Salmon, Idaho.  Eloise went on her first four wheeler ride on Sunday, June 24.  Jared was a little skittish about getting on, but Eloise screamed and cried when we tried to take her off.  She spent a lot of time after her rides sitting on the four wheeler pretending she was driving.  
 I'm told that Idaho rules about safety are different.  Apparently people don't worry about silly things like car seats, helmets, or children's lives.  That could explain why we always have such a wonderful time there.
 Jared and Eloise learned to love trampolines in April at Grandma and Grandpa Knight's house.  Jared and his second cousin Brooklyn played many games of "Ring Around the Rosies" on the trampoline.  Eloise started calling the trampoline the "all fall down."  She crawled to the back door, pointed out at the trampoline, and asked, "All fall down?" any time she wanted to go play.

On Monday we went to Williams Lake with Uncle Von, Aunt Patty, and any of their clan who stuck around (Jan and George and family, and Bryce).  Ashley brought her kids over for a while between baseball practices and tournaments.  We had a great time (not) water skiing, riding in the boat, swimming in the frigid water, and playing in the shade.  Eloise enjoyed the boat, but not her one brief contact with water.  She spent most of her time sitting on a towel and snacking.  We almost managed to sacrifice my old $5 hat to the lake in a gust of wind, but blind luck had us drive right by it on our way back to rescue a water ski, and George saved it.  This just proves that the sunglasses principle applies to hats, too; the cheaper it is, the harder it is to break or lose it.
 We got the kids life jackets so that they could go on the boat.  Jared discovered that his works just fine in shallow water, where he spent a lot of his time.
 We did manage to drag him out of the water eventually, when he was turning blue.  We parked him in the sun and stuffed him with juice and fruit snacks.
Eloise got one short nap, strapped to my back, at the lake, but all the fun wore both kids out.  After a quick bath, they both fell asleep before the evening socializing had even begun.  

We decided to start the drive home on Tuesday morning instead of waiting until Wednesday so that we wouldn't have to be rushed.  A shortage of stops on our way to Idaho had left both kids with stomach aches and led to really, really bad night's sleep that we didn't want to repeat.  We were very sad to leave Idaho.  We left with our head full of unlikely plans for building a summer home there so that we don't ever have to feel like our leaving is permanent.  
 The ride home was fairly uneventful.  Jared spent the entire ride watching for sprinklers, which are a novelty to a child who doesn't remember much of life outside of the Pacific Northwest.  Eloise spent the entire ride watching for cows.  Every time she saw any kind of livestock out her window, she called, "Tow! Boooooooo!" ("Boo," says the cow, not to be mistaken for "moo," which is what she says when she wants milk.)
We brought Grandma Knight home with us to entertain the kids on the drive.  Oh, and we also wanted to spend more time visiting with her.  Fun in Idaho was over, for now, but fun with grandparents was just starting.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Wedding, Carrie!

On Thursday, June 21, we got up early and headed out to Idaho!  Jared and Eloise are excellent travelers.  Aside from the potty stops every half hour, it was a fairly uneventful trip.  Eleven hours later, we stumbled out of the car onto the mostly deserted ranch in Salmon.  
 Almost everyone had gone ahead to Idaho Falls to avoid the three hour drive on the morning of Carrie and Tyler's wedding.  We picked up Grandma Knight at the Idaho Falls airport on our way to the temple.  The sealing was really special.  Jared and Eloise played with their second cousins while we were inside.
 It was hot outside, and, in spite of and because of all of the excitement, cousins, sun, and fun, Jared and Eloise were both pretty exhausted by the time we left for the luncheon.  Of course, in typical me style, we didn't get any pictures of the bride and groom.  You can see some of the bridals on Carrie's blog.
Eloise crashed on the way to the luncheon and slept through half of it.  

Hotel lobbies make great running areas for wound up, tired little boys.  Jared must have run back and forth across this expanse twenty times.  
After the luncheon, much of the family headed off to the reception with Tyler's family, but we went back to Salmon.  Jared and Eloise napped for most of the trip back.  

We still had some afternoon left to visit with Grandpa Jolley and Pat. . .  
. . . swing on the porch. . . 
. . . and help Grandma water the garden (sans pants of course).

Saturday was another busy day of setting up for the Salmon reception, playing with cousins, and catching up with family.  So busy that I didn't get pictures, except for this little gem.

Eloise, who discovered a new love for cows on Saturday, is blowing a kiss at the camera.  We had a lot of fun in Idaho after the wedding festivities, too, so stay tuned.