Thursday, April 28, 2011

Adventures in Washington, Part I


So the kids and I went to Washington State for 5 1/2 weeks. Yup. It was--fun.crazy.exhausting.silly.overwhelming. Oh, and fun.

We headed to the Wilmington airport around 3pm...which means yes, a skipped nap. EEK. Gratefully, the first plane wasn't too bad (last time we flew, Sam REFUSED to keep his seat belt on and REFUSED to let me hold him. Fun, right?). For the second leg of the journey, I was happy as there would be tv's in the back of the headrests for the kids to watch.

Imagine my horror when we sat on the tarmac for over an hour (during which we were not allowed electronic devices--no DVD player...), and then when we finally got up in the air...THE TV'S WERE NOT WORKING. And the DVD player was about dead. Joy. Luckily, the kids didn't need much before they passed out cold. Except for the puking. Oh yes, I said puking.

You see, I realized Brooklyn wasn't feeling well the morning we were flying out. I was car-less (due to no brakes) and needed to get to the doctor as I had a feeling B had strep. After much hair pulling, the husband came home early, a last-minute appointment was made and an antibiotic was prescribed. Sigh.

Anyways, once that first hellacious first travel day was out of the way, we were ready to PLAY. This little man decided that 5:30am would be his waking time for the following 5 1/2 weeks that we were there. Luckily, there was one very loving and patient Bubba who got up with him each morning while this exhausted momma could sleep in Ahhh, to be well-rested.

At some point around B's birthday, someone mentioned a pinata. Apparently the idea stuck because she would NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. Some of us were going batty and the Bubs came up with idea of just making one.

The kids fell for it and dropped the subject...for a few days.

After I was sure that Brooklyn's strep hadn't been passed to me, I ditched the kids in Quincy and high-tailed it to Tri-Cities to get me some baby lovins from my super sweet new nephew, Jackson. It was so nice to smell that new-baby smell, snuggle something so warm and small, and remember how hard it was to be a brand spanking new mommy (and daddy!)! I am so proud of my sister and how well she takes everything in stride. It does help that she has a super cute little man...

After 3 days of visiting my sister, I was really missing MY babies. So I returned to Quincy and got into all sorts of trouble with them...

...strawberry waffles with whipped cream...

...planting peas, and just getting muddy in general...

...checking out the local library's story time (P.S. if anyone knows where to get the thingies pictured in the photo, let me know--we loved them!)...

...harassing the alpacas at the alpaca farm...

...throwing rocks into the Quincy Lakes...

Actually, there was a guy there fishing off the boat launch and asked if the kids wanted to catch a fish. Of course they said yes. Both kids were able to reel one in, and they loved it. We've really got to get more into fishing, it's so fun to watch the kids' determination to get that dang fish! lol

...and just causing trouble.

We'd gotten home from wherever and I said, "Come in and eat."
Sam said, "No."
I said sarcastically, "Why not? What are you going to do, sit in the grass?"
Sam, "Yes."

...and he did. For about 15 minutes.

Sam's hair was out of control, so we went to the local barber and I traded him in for a shinier model. much better.

The kids kept talking about their bikes back home and how they wished they could have them, yadda yadda, so we decided to go pick some up. Both had a few troubles with their bikes, but quickly conquered them and ended up having a blast.

I was super excited to get to WA and sew a ton of cute stuff for my nephew, but had just gotten the pattern for this dress and HAD to make it for B, particularly since it is still chilly in WA. I made the dress and a few things for Jackson, and decided that I REALLY missed my own sewing machine and retired my WA sewing skillz.

The whole Lybbert clan went to Tri-Cities for Jackson's blessing and family get-together, so we figured we'd better get a family photo. The only ones missing are West and Russ, dang it!

And of course being the Lybbert clan, the majority of our photos turned out more like this...

My gorgeous sister, awesome brother-in-law, and super sweet you guys!

And then it was back to Quincy and the usual mornings...Sam, the cat and Bubs up at 5:30am with a cup of juice, a cheese stick and Dora. Then the sun starts to come up and Dut meanders out to pile onto the doggy pile.


Love it.

The kids and I went to Tri-Cities (yes, again!), and we left that morning to head back to Quincy to be back for naps. I really like the drive and wanted to get out and enjoy it. We stopped at the "horses on the hill" and did hiked up to see what they look like up-close, which is something I had never done before.

Brooklyn was in her flip-flops and was nervous about going up the steep-ish hill, and then there was Sam who was practically dragging us both up the hill. Once we got to the top, Brooklyn was terrified of how far up we were and hardly let me get this far away from her to snap the photo!

And yes, that lone car down in the parking lot is ours. It was a good little hike!

And of course going DOWN the hill was much harder than going up (as Brooklyn kept reminding me, half in tears...), but both kids were SO proud when they looked back up at what they had hiked.

We had so much hiking around the horses, I decided to head to show the kids around Crescent Bar. Yeah, it was chilly, but what do they care--there are logs and rocks and water and and and...heaven for them.

I love these next two photos of Sam...they are just so "him". Backwards, falling off pants, a stick in one hand and two feet in the water. Ah, how he simultaneously tests my patience and pulls at my heart strings.

Okay, I'm taking bets for what she's actually whispering in his ear.

My siblings decided it was time we went bowling. I concurred.

Shelan (who injured herself in the first bowl!) and Kenny wiped the floor with us. And all I'm going to say about this photo is...boys will be boys. Sigh.


Brook and Sam LOVE the trampoline. And even more, they love people who will play on it WITH them. Thank heavens I had some pushover family members who would do it for me. Bwahaha.

Grampy was awesome though--Monster Jumps and Steamrollers. He is known in their house for his ice cream addictions--I fully credit him for the reason my children asked me on our first morning back in North Carolina, "Mommy, can we have ice cream for breakfast?"

?!?!??!!!!?!?!??!? Yeah...they were disappointed.

Landon had these two whipped!

What a good uncle. Showing up late for work just because his niece and nephew demanded he bounce their brains out on the trampoline.

Sam and Grampa heading out on a quest.

So, I find that there are little things in life that are altered whenever we visit WA. Last time, Sam's sleeping troubles stopped. This time, Sam stopped wanting to snuggle at night and stopped coming in and sleeping with me in the middle of the night. Also, both of my kids learned a bit of independence. Although, I think it was a harder lesson for ME.

You see, Teeters have a deck off the back of their house that faces the city park. For one entire morning we told Brooklyn, "Go play at the park by yourself, we are right here watching!" and were met with much moaning and gnashing of teeth. Finally, the following morning she went...and was gone for THREE HOURS!!!!

We watched her with our binoculars--she went from the big toy to the baseball field to the swings to the skate park and ended up at the soccer field...she harassed these high school-aged guys for a good hour. I can hear her saying, "I can play soccer too!" They did a really good job tolerating her...particularly the second, third, and fourth days she ran out there to play with them. HA!

To Be Continued......

Adventures in Washington, Part II


So one thing that I really enjoyed was getting to meet up with a lot of friends that I haven't seen in awhile. Including Sherri and her boys. Not only did I get to snap some family photos of them, but I got to hang out with her for awhile and catch up.

Okay, so this is Bubs and Sam playing Tiddlywinks. After rising at 5:30am, getting his juice and cheese, watching Dora and snuggling, next on Sam's list of To Do's is to play Tiddlywinks. No joke. And this kid is good!

Before we left NC, Russ asked Brook if she'd send him a letter. She said, "I'll send you FIVE letters!!" So we did lots of letter writing, and the kids were pretty stoked to actually get letters back. They really started missing their dad.

Sam, hard at work washing whatever needs washed...the sink, the floor, the ceiling...

Ladies, do I have a treat for you.

You see, I have a brother. A single brother. One who likes sunsets and long walks on the beach. And if you play your cards just right, all of THIS could be yours:

I know, I know, the humbleness is overwhelming, isn't it?

One thing I really enjoyed was getting to spend some quality time (although not nearly enough!) with my brother. I haven't had the opportunity to really hang out with him for years due to his mission and us moving, so it was really fun to hang out and get to know each other as adults (not that we always acted like adults...).

He is one pretty cool dude, and not just because of his sweet ride. I realized that we are way more alike than I ever thought, and I really enjoyed the conversations we had. I really love this dude.

Oh, and ladies, if you're still gazing...I'll add that he is really great with kids.

Good ol' Uncle Chris never fails to make life entertaining for these two.

Chris mentioned hiking around The Palisades, and since I can't even remember the last time I was there, we decided to take the kids out to hike around. I'm finding that these two really love hiking around, so I'm definitely trying to add more of it to our daily activities.

It was a pretty steep climb (you can barely see the waterfalls back behind Sam in the above photo), but like I said, the kids loved it. I only wish we would have set out earlier so we could have spent a bit more time there.

We were both a tad nervous though, as Chris reminded me that Brooklyn and Sam are about the same age he and I were when we went to The Palisades one year and Chris fell into the water and nearly drowned. We both have vivid memories of it, but definitely different ones. It was interesting comparing what we remembered. And it definitely made us much more cautious, particularly with Captain Do What He Wants Because It Sounds Fun Even Though It Will Get Him Killed with us....sigh, that boy will be the death of me. But he did well.

Chris was trying to teach them the finer art of rock skipping.

Towards the end of our Washington visit, we took a few days to go visit friends on the West Side. First stop was my childhood friend Olivia. I have photos of me, barely walking, at her older sister's birthday party. Yeah, that kind of childhood friend.

It's fun though because our girls are about the same age apart as we are, so it's kind of trippy.

And I have to tell you, this Elexia girl is one funny kid. She has some pretty awesome parents, and they have definitely bestowed the gift of pure Wit on her because she's something else.

It was cold and icky outside so we went and checked out the Pacific Science Center since it had been years since I'd seen it and I figured the kids would enjoy it. It definitely would have been a bit more fun if it weren't so packed, but it was still good.

The kids had a blast though. They had some robots to play with, and Sam was dancing with him, lol.

The next day we spent with our good friends from our WSU days, the McHargues, who we really miss. Even more so after having visited them. You know you occasionally find that friend who you can talk to about anything or even nothing at all? Or you could just sit around and stare at the wall with? Who is always into the same kinds of stuff as you? It's not easy to find. Especially when you're married--it's hard to find another couple that is that easy to get along with. But hot dang, these guys are the real deal. And I am utterly horrified I didn't get a decent photo of them. Doh.

Anyways, what's even better than having such amazing friends is when your kids all get along like peanut butter and is Brooklyn and Jenna in May of 2007. We all went camping together and the girls had a blast...

...apparently not much has changed...

Lacey treated us to some DE-licious cupcakes. There had to have been at least a cube of butter in my cupcake alone...but oh it was sooooooo good.

Before we had Brooklyn, Russ and I fell in love with Jenna when she was teeny. And although this was the first time I've met her, Miss Jaeley was no different. Such a sweet little thing!

Kids + water = there is no way you're getting out of here without soaked kids. We actually did surprisingly well, thanks to the toys that were just around the corner.

I could seriously just eat her up.

We weren't sure if this photo would be possible with all of our little monsters running in opposite directions, but we did it!

I loved watching these two play. They got along so stinking well.

And Sam? He just preferred to play with the doggy door. Whatever.

These photos just scream "childhood" to me. They were everywhere...hide and seeking, pretending they were riding away, jumping off rocks, picking was awesome.

After all of the playing, Ron came home and asked what was for dinner. Brooklyn requested strawberry waffles, and he obliged. It was so SO good to catch up with them again, and it was really tough to leave...Brooklyn cried for the first 10 minutes after we drove away. Sigh.

The next stop was at Laura and Nick's house! They live on Fox Island, which I fell in love with. Quiet, secluded, was wonderful. And the company wasn't so bad either! It's always an entertaining time sitting around and shooting the breeze with them. Plus, Laura makes a mean from-sratch chai tea. YUM. I've been an addict since.

While we were there, we went to a kind of a Mommy and Me group that was just getting started. They met at the community center, which was a very old building--I loved the charm of the old woodwork and old chalkboards. Cool building. The kids had a blast playing with toys, making Easter crafts, and playing at the little park they had there.

They have a great backyard, complete with a swing-set and clubhouse.

I was curious how Sam and Little Nick would get along (they are about 6 months apart--Sam's younger), now that Sam is getting more interested in playing with other kids. They did awesome together--the longer we were there, the more they played together. One would randomly put his shoes and coat on and go outside, and the other would usually follow suit. I'm bummed we couldn't stay longer and get some more playing in. Alas, we shall have to return soon.

...To Be Continued.