January 27, 2017

Midway Ice Castles

Tonight we redeemed our tickets to the Midway Ice Castles that my brother gave us for Christmas. They did not disappoint! It was freezing cold (somewhere in the teens), but the night was calm and clear so we were able to bundle up and have a good time. We were well prepared and had snow clothes for everyone, hand warmers, blankets, a sled to pull the kids and hot chocolate waiting in the car. I even had the kids in pajamas underneath so they could fall asleep on the way home and then we could move them into bed.

It took us a good 10 minutes to get everyone bundled, but I'm glad we all had enough layers to stay warm!

Ready to go in

I knew Sophie would love to meet the "real" Elsa in her ice castle so I looked at the schedule online before we went to time our arrival with the princesses. She was sooo excited and talked about it for the whole day leading up to our visit. On our drive out to Midway she fell asleep in the car and, when we got out at Subway to eat dinner, she jolted awake and started looking around saying, "Elsa? Elsa? Elsa, where are you?" Luckily we found her right as we walked in and were the first ones in line to greet her. 

Giving Elsa a hug

She was even more excited when she saw that the "real" Anna was there too

My little ice princess

Davey the Blue Marshmallow. He was a pretty good sport tonight considering it was freezing cold and he spent two hours immobilized in a snowsuit.

Some of the amazing ice structures

Watching Sophie crawl through a tunnel

The highlight for Sophie (besides the princesses) was the ice slides. I took her the first time and was worried she might be too scared because lap riders were not allowed and, although we were going at the same time, she wouldn't be able to see me until the bottom because there was a wall dividing the two tracks. To my surprise, she sat down and went without hesitation, and asked to go again as soon as we finished. Brave girl! We let her go one more time with Dave and then moved on because the lines were starting to get pretty long and Davey was losing patience. Later we found a smaller slide that had much shorter lines so she could go several times, once even on her belly like a penguin. 

I think she just barely beat Dave in their race down the track

Sitting on the Ice Throne

The lights looked beautiful as darkness fell and I was able to take just a couple pictures before my camera froze and decided to call it quits.

"Bring out your dead!" This is not the best picture, but I wanted to show the kids on the way out. They were pretty much little frozen puff balls. 

January 25, 2017

Davey at 10 Months

Davey hit double digit months last week! His update is a little late because our house had stomach flu over the weekend and both Dave and I were hit hard, but somehow the kids were spared. I am eternally grateful I didn't have watch them puke their guts out (or clean up the aftermath). My milk supply was affected for a few days afterward, which made Davey frustrated, but we did have lots of frozen that we could use to supplement. I don't know what we would have done without it.

One big accomplishment for this month was learning how to eat minuscule amounts of real food (oatmeal, yogurt, purees, and some finger food). He got busted at his 9 month well child visit for flat lining on the growth curve, most likely due to low iron. The doctor said he'd have to go to feeding therapy soon if he couldn't figure it out, so we've really been trying to get him to start taking solids and have seen a small bit of progress. We're also giving him an iron supplement, which I think is completely nasty, despite being advertised as "Tastes Great!" but he doesn't seem to mind. As Dave pointed out, if you enjoy chewing on car keys, maybe the metallic taste is a bonus.

We also made another attempt at sleep training while we were staying at my aunt's and had an extra bedroom to move him into. It was pretty successful and, after a few nights, he was going down from 7 to 7 with just one feeding between 4 and 5 am. Best few nights of sleep for me in a long, long time. Unfortunately it was short lived and we're regressing back to the 1:30 and/or 3:30 wake ups and I really don't know how we're going to fix it until we move and he has his own room. I'm starting to think I will just be perpetually tired. At least he is cute :)

Davey at 10 Months
  • Around 30 inches and 22 pounds, which isn't much of a change from the last couple months, and yet he still is outgrowing clothing. 
  • Loves back rubs, playing peek-a-boo, cell phones, turning the XBOX on and off, standing up under the kitchen table, and grabbing silverware from the dishwasher. 
  • He does great in the bath and loves splashing around with Sophie until, without warning, will suddenly decide he is done and begin attempting to fling  himself out of the tub. 
  • His favorite food continues to be milk (unless ice cream is an option) and I'm still nursing about 6 times a day.
  • Finally abandoned the army crawl in favor of hands and knees, and is always on the move.
  • Is very curious and spends most of his time inspecting every corner of our house for treasures, or making a valiant effort to insert himself into whatever Sophie is playing at the moment. She is slowly learning to take her toys to the kitchen table or her room if she doesn't want to be bothered
  • Will still go to anyone, but is very much a momma's boy. He seeks me out and comes speeding over as soon as I make eye contact. Ironically, the only word he says on a regular basis is "dada"
  • Got his top two teeth, although they are not fully grown in, so he has two on top and two on bottom. Dave thinks he looks like a little muskrat. 
  • He pulls up on everything now and is starting to cruise along furniture. We are not discouraging walking, but we also aren't doing anything to help him along so I think we should have at least another before he's on the run.
Has already started climbing up slides, naughty boy

Is almost always smiling. At his well child check up the nurse started calling him "Perma-grin"

Enjoying a trip to the library - he's thrilled to finally be involved in some of the fun instead of  just watching from the stroller. 

Loves opening and closing books, and could care less about what is actually on the pages

January 13, 2017

December Roundup

December was a whirlwind, and I expect as the kids get older and our family grows larger it will be even more crazy. It was the good kind of crazy though. Such a great season with so many fun activities. And now we are already half way through January, which always used to fill so long and dull to me. Where is time going??

Anyway, in December Davey improved his ability to get around, and thus get into things. He is in constant motion these days, finding treasures all over and pulling up on everything. It's like having a little puppy around. Sophie discovered games and is always looking for someone to play with her. She is pretty good at Memory, Bingo, Pretty Pretty Princess, Candy Land type games, and several others. Dave and I both enjoyed our break, and are now trying to get back into things as the enrollment season is upon me at school, and Dave is wrapping up his dissertation.

Davey enjoying the topography box at the Curiosity Museum until he got kicked out by a worker. It was fun while it lasted. 

Also at the Curiosity Museum. Normally this thing is packed and she has to fight to get a ball, but the crowds were strangely missing the day we went. I think I would love one of these in my garage :)

Sophie helped me put stamps on the Christmas cards again this year. She took her job very seriously. She would ask me who each card was for, and then look at the choices and say something like "I think they would want this stamp with a red door, because that's the color of apples." She cracks me up. 

Our card for Christmas Card for 2016 was just the kids this year. I took about 200 pictures and this one was about number 5 in the sequence. Good thing we live in a digital age!

Sophie and Davey checking out our Christmas tree one morning during breakfast. Sometimes they are able to occupy the same space without pushing or hair pulling. 

My silly girl on her last day of nursery. She will definitely miss it (the snack especially), but is ready to move on to primary. She was already a head taller than everyone in there and I know she will have fun going to class like a big kid. 

Our Christmas gifts to coworkers, neighbors, and friends was a Martinelli with a cute tag. I thought they came together pretty well and I'm excited we will be moving so I can use this idea again!

We are planning a trip overseas in May and had to renew Dave's passport. There are lots of crazy rules if you want to take the photo yourself and save $$, but I was able to get one that worked. And Dave looks much less like a terrorist in this photo than his lass passport. 

And finally, Sophie gained a new friend this month. Meet Sissa, the 4 foot snake she received as a gift from Aunt Liz. I wish we had recorded her reaction when she opened this present. Aunt Liz knows her well!!

January 10, 2017

To Idaho and Back

Just four days after returning from Washington, we packed our car again for a weekend trip to the Idaho Fall area for little Amelia's baby blessing. Davey was not happy to be back in his car seat, especially since our 3.5 hour drive turned into 6 hours due to weather and traffic, but we survived the travel and are glad we went. All the Howes, minus Amy and Emma, were able to come and it was so good to see everyone.

We spent Saturday at the ranch house in Swan Valley where they have the perfect sledding hill. It was well below freezing and even the effort of climbing the huge hill couldn't warm me up enough to stay out very long. It was very fun, although Sophie had a bad wipe out and might tell you otherwise. That evening we ate a delicious dinner at Big Judd's, played games, and watched the Seahawks beat the Lions to advance to the next round of the playoffs. Then Sunday came and we went to the blessing before heading back home.

Davey meeting Amelia. She is 8 months younger and will be his closest cousin in age. He was very interested in her binky, even though he has never taken one, and kept trying to steal it. 

Hiking up the hill - little Sophie is on the far right

Dave and Sophie getting ready for a run

I did not bring snow gear, but the ranch house had lots of 80s vintage stuff to borrow. You can't tell from the pic, but I found an awesome one piece to wear!

The three brothers getting ready for a ride

Sophie was WORN out. By the time dinner rolled around she could barely function. After eating a few bites, she asked if she could leave so she could go take a nap. Poor girl :(

The mostly happy Howe family - baby Amelia evened out the numbers so the grand kids are at 4 girls and 4 boys

January 4, 2017

Sammamish Christmas - Part Four (Sophie Skiing)

One big event from Christmas Break was taking Sophie skiing for the first time! We just took her to the base of the resort where it was smooth and mostly flat. I was originally going to take her myself, and then asked Dave to come along and help and I'm so glad I did. It was like trying to manipulate a 40 pound puppet. She was all limp and floppy and it took about 20 minutes just to get her standing and balanced.

Once she could stand, we helped her slide around a bit so she could learn to keep her legs together. Then Dave started carrying her up to the "top" and let her go, while I ran backwards a few free in front to keep her upright and catch her if she caught an edge. By the end she had really made progress and could "ski" about 50 feet on her own, making balance corrections and sliding until her speed ran out without falling. Not bad for a first try!

Video of Sophie Skiing - this is her first four "runs". After I put the camera away she did three or four more and improved each time!

January 2, 2017

Sammamish Christmas - Part Three (Post-Christmas Fun)

The day after Christmas, we went downtown with my siblings and their spouses to see the Little Mermaid at the 5th Avenue in Seattle. Before the show we stopped at the Sheraton to look at the gingerbread houses. Every year they do a huge display, and this year everything was themed for Harry Potter! I would have loved to get a closer look at all the details, but there were TONS of people and we didn't have time to wait in the huge line so we just walked past the back side to try and catch a glimpse.

The play was also fun, as Disney productions always are. Ariel is one of Sophie's favorites and I bet she would have loved it if she were a couple years older. The way Flounder was portrayed was a little weird, but Sebastian was fantastic and probably my favorite part of the show. 

The one on the right is Hogwarts and it even had moving staircases!


After the play we stopped at the house to grab the kids and my mom, and then continued driving up to the cabin. It was snowing hard and not the best travel conditions, but we made it and the storm brought several inches of fresh powder - perfect for skiing! We went to Hyak with my parents and sister Natalie the next morning and had great time on the mountain!

One of our big activities was to try an Escape Room as a family. Ours was an Egypt themed adventure and they had really cool decorations and the chambers were even covered in sand. It was the room with the hardest rating, but we did AWESOME and solved all the puzzles without using any clues and still broke out with 15 minutes to spare.

And speaking of puzzles, I also found time to do quite a few during our trip. Sometimes I had help, and sometimes I was on my own, but had a good time either way.

Sophie got really spoiled while we were visiting. Normally quiet time at our house means playtime in her room by herself while Davey naps. At Grandmari's house it meant watching a movie in the media room with a bowl of popcorn and special drink. Davey seemed to enjoy it too :)

My sister celebrated her birthday on December 30th and the tradition is to go racing at K1 Speed and then have lunch at Olive Garden. I was really excited to go racing because I have been pregnant the last couple times they have gone and was really happy that this time I could go too! I struggled a bit the first race because my helmet kept sliding down over my eyes and I got last :( After that race, I switched my helmet for a youth size and it worked so much better and I won! Worst to First!!

Happy Birthday Nat!

We also took Sophie to the Festival d'Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens that night. Admission is normally $10/person, but we got in free thanks to my Thanksgiving Point pass, which is part of the American Horticulture Society. We got there right at opening before it was even all the way dark, and were able to enjoy some time on our own before the crowds got too crazy. They gave us a paper with different critters to look for while we walked through, and she found them all! 

This aquarium display was her favorite

A slug - ewww

On New Year's Eve we planned to go to a session at the temple (without realizing it was a holiday), so we got all ready in the morning and almost walked out the door before remembering it would be closed. It's the thought that counts though I hope.... instead we played lots of games and then packed up to start our trip back home.

We spent the night at the cabin. Dave went to bed at 9:30, so I spent New Year's Eve on my own, but I had a fire, a fresh snow cone, and Harry Potter on tv so it was still kind of fun. The next morning Sophie played in the snow with Dave, while Davey and I finished up travel preparations inside. 

Helping Dave clear the driveway so we could leave

Someone learned how to climb stairs

Farewell Washington!