Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dada's Birthday

Last weekend we celebrated Eric's birthday.  It was very low key, but nice. 

On Friday, I told the kids we'd go to the store to get the stuff to make a cake for Eric the next day.  When Saturday rolled around, Eric told the kids he wanted to go on an adventure in the mountains.  Maggie said,

"But what about going to the store to get stuff to..." (mumble, mumble, trail off)

When Eric asked her what she meant, she said,

"I mean, I want to go to the mountains!" 

The she came over and whispered to me about going to the store for cake.  I assured her we would go after the mountains.

After the mountain adventure, the kids and I went to the store and picked out a cake and supplies to decorate it for Eric.  The kids were SO sneaky.  Obviously, Eric knew what we were doing, but they thought they were tricking him and it was so cute.  As we were mixing it, Eric came into the kitchen and said, what's that?  The kids (scary fast) concocted a story that it was sauce for chicken.  While it baked, Maggie said,

"That sauce sure smells good!"

They spent the rest of the day talking about chicken and sauce.  They didn't even buckle when Eric told them he didn't want sauce, but he wanted cake.

As for the activity for the day, we went to the Space Needle.  Eric and I went on one of our previous trips here, and we noticed that people like to leave notes on the window, and as you rotate around you get all different notes and can leave your own.  We knew the kids would think that was pretty fun.

So, post-its in hand, we headed to lunch.




Sure enough, the kids loved the note "passing."

And a special dessert for the birthday boy:




Also a big hit with the kids.

Wardie was there too.  He didn't pass any notes, but he might have eaten a few:


After lunch we headed up to the observation deck.  Eric was oddly absent during this part.  I think his old age is making him a scaredy cat ;)



Truthfully, the kids and I didn't last up there long either.  It's high!

It was a good day, and hopefully Eric/Dada knows that we love him.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Swingin' in the Rain

Things have gotten better since my last post.  They might have gotten worse first though.  That night I finally got Maggie to sleep, and left Amos to fall asleep on his own.  A few minutes later, I heard Amos and MAGGIE playing!  He woke her up.  I sent him right to timeout.  Where I left him.  Until he fell asleep.  Oops.  It actually didn't take that long, which makes me conclude that I am right, they are tired, they just won't quit monkeying around.


The next day we had another (and thankfully final) failed attempt at the park.  It was sunny when we left our building, but by the time we got there, an arctic rain was falling.  It wasn't the nice Seattle mist either, it was real rain.  Not able to bear the thought of going back to the apartment without getting some energy out, we stayed and tried to play in it.  It was freezing and we were all soaked.  Luckily Amos came up with a way to make it more manageable:



Since that day we have had three WONDERFUL days at the park.  One day I even managed to get Wardie the teensiest bit of a sunburn.

Yesterday Amos asked me if he could bring a bunch of paper airplanes to the park for his friends.  Sure, why not?  The minute we got to the park Amos ran up to a boy just his age and said,

"Hi, will you be my friend?"

while thrusting a paper airplane in his face.  Awesome.  The boy was playing with his dad, so he looked to him for approval, and when his dad nodded, the boys were off.  They played and played.  The boy had a baseball with him, and he and Amos found a stick and soon had their own little sandlot going.  Inevitably, the ball hit Amos square in the face and he came running over with blood pouring out of his nose.

We got him all cleaned up, assessed that there wasn't really any damage, and then he declared:

"It's ok, we are still friends!"

Sure enough.  Thankfully, after that they switched to soccer.

Eventually the boy had to go, and Amos spent the rest of our park time finding more friends to bestow his paper airplanes on. 

One thing I am noticing is that no one seems to come out if it's raining.  My kids did not get that memo.  (Arctic) rain or shine, they are ready to play.




Best face ever:


MUCH more like it:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Grrr/Everyone to your corners


We've hit a bit of a rough patch in our glorious city living.  I love my children, etc., etc., but gosh, it seems like this might be a lot more enjoyable without them.  They are so not equipped for this.  They are seriously lacking indoor voices, for instance.

Going to the park has been a much needed outlet for us.  Unfortunately, two days in a row, someone has had a "catastrophe" the minute we get to the park and we've had to seriously shorten our park time.  Yesterday, Amos bonked his head and couldn't get over it, and today Maggie soaked herself in the fountain and claimed to be dying of cold.  Both occasions left the other two furious, because they wanted to be at the park (since we'd just gotten there and all).  Add on a mother who just cannot fake sympathy for them as they experience the natural consequences of their actions she repeatedly warned them about, and it's not pretty.

Silver lining: Being mad at Maggie for making us all go home did make Amos and Audrey BFFs:




Anyway, today, as I was complaining to my sisters about life, Anna told me to try some alone time.  Duh!  Like I said before, our apartment has plenty of room.  I was waiting for the kids to choose to utilize it.  BIG mistake.  I realized they've been on top of each other from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day and it just wasn't working.

So, when we got home from the park I put them each in a room by themselves.  Glorious!  The girls both seemed so relieved.  Amos didn't like it much, but he never wants to be alone, EVER.  I told them they weren't in trouble, and they could have any of their toys they wanted, we just all needed a break from each other.  It was so nice, and I had an hour and a half of quiet.  They have been so much better since too.

Poor Wardie finally got a break too...his naps have been seriously hindered by the loudness in our apartment and he has been so cranky!  Bless him, he just slept for three hours.


Two weeks to go...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

One Week

It's hard to believe that just one week ago we were on a plane headed this way.  We've done so much and learned so many new things this week, it's amazing.  We even found a place to live, YAHOO!

A week ago I didn't know the house existed and today I am picking out (landlord approved) paint colors.

We won't move until the end of the month, but it's a huge weight off to know we have somewhere to go.  Now we just get to enjoy our last couple weeks in the city.

The boys didn't want to be left off the matching outfits wagon, so the other night Amos got out his and Wardie's matching jammies, dressed them both, and then posed them in the chair together.  Then he said,

"Don't you want to take a picture of us?"





When holding Wardies head to look at the camera didn't work, Amos said,

"We need someone to make funny faces, so he'll look."

Maggie totally took on the challenge, she just didn't quite understand where we wanted Wardie to look:



With a little patience, eventually I got them both looking:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Northwest Style

It seems the Horne girls have found their Northwest style.  Yesterday, Maggie dressed herself like this:



Sweater. Check. Tutu. Check. Rain boots. Check. 

I dressed Audrey. 

Sweater. Check.  Jeans. Check. Tennis Shoes. Check.

It wasn't until Audrey hopped out of the stroller at the park that I noticed she pulled a switcheroo while I was getting Wardie ready:



Sweater. Check. Tutu. Check. Rain boots. Check. 

These girls are awesome.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Learning Curve

There is one part of this adventure that I have failed to document: fear.  Mixed in with the excitement and anticipation is total fear.  It's normal, I think.  We walked away from a very comfortable existence.  I knew where to go, what to do, and had people.  I don't have any of those things here, but I am finding it's ok.

Case in point, this morning our cars were delivered.  I was anxious about it all night.  Getting our cars picked up on our wide street in Springville was one thing, doing it in downtown Bellevue was another.  Where the heck was the guy going to park his truck?  How would I get the cars into the parking garage?


Thankfully, the driver knew just what to do (because he is well versed in the art of the city) and things went seamlessly.  The cars are safe in the gated parking garage just an elevator ride away.

I am also learning to utilize public spaces.  There is a gorgeous park in Bellevue, half a block away.  Obviously, I can't send the kids out in the back yard to play, so we go to the park.




The first day I went to the park it was really stressful.  The other parents seemed really on edge, and the kids were being kind of weird about interacting.  My kids know nothing about any of that, so they just went storming up to all of the other kids.  Eventually, Amos found a little boy who could hang with him.  I got the sense his "mom" and I were on the same wavelength.  Then I heard the boy call her "Miss Tina." ;)




Since we've been here I have been asked lots and lots "if they're all mine."  It's not at all in a judgmental way.  It's more awe, and then approval.  I like it. 

I also like how much mileage we're getting out of the stroller.  I really like walking everywhere.  


(She's not as cold as she looks)


Looking for a place to rent has not been my favorite.  It's not so simple.  It has been interesting to see that once people find out Eric works for Amazon we get bumped to the top of their lists.  Last night the owner said, "you work for Amazon, you must be VERY smart."  We knew Amazon was awesome, but we didn't know how highly revered it is.  We have found lots of places that would be an ok fit, but we're holding out for a great fit.  I really just want my own house, but alas, it's not the time.

That's about it for now, things are good.  Even in the city.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

City Slickers

We're adapting well to life in the city...I have always wanted to live in an apartment downtown.  Eric promised he would make it happen, I just thought it would be once the kids were grown and gone.

It's a bit of an adjustment, mostly because our kids are used to being hooligans, and Amos considers the world his parkour course.  I am sure our downstairs neighbors must love us.  The apartment is huge, with plenty of room (as was our house) but the kids insist on being in the same 2 square feet of space as each other.  It is so bizarre.  They drive each other insane, but will not remove themselves from the situation.  We have three large bedrooms, a kitchen, a laundry room, and a living area, and they will all be in one walk-in closet fighting.  Ridiculous mostly.  Sorry, tangent over.

Anyway....

Like I said before, we live above a Safeway.  It's proving quite convenient.  Today the kids wanted chicken nuggets for lunch, but I didn't have any bbq sauce (critical).  So, we put Wardie in the stroller, went down the elevator, walked around the corner, bought some bbq sauce and then returned to our lunch.  Nice.  I could seriously get used to that.

Operation BBQ sauce:



The kids really love using the trash chute and checking the mail now.  I'll spare you the picture of the trash chute, but here's the mailbox:



Again, just a short elevator ride away.


And, yes, they fight over who gets to push the buttons.  Every. single. time.

Wardie and his stroller make a very nice shopping cart and the baby jogger is once again proving it's worth. I now understand why you see so many designer strollers in big cities.  It's almost not an option.

Monday, April 8, 2013

That One Week

Last week might go down as one of the wildest weeks of my life.  Ever.  Not wild, like spring break in Mexico wild, but wild like, I might be a grown-up now wild.  The movers arrived at 8 a.m. Monday morning, and the driver of the truck (a.k.a the boss) kept calling me "Mrs. Horne."  So incredibly respectful.  And weird.

Anyway, upon our first conversation he said things like "I'll get you all packed up and on your way today."  Nice, except the moving coordinator had them scheduled to move us for 5 days...and our flight wasn't until Saturday morning.  True to his word, they did have EVERYTHING in the house packed before noon.  It was incredible.  They moved lightning fast, and I tried to stay ahead of them, but it only barely worked.  I ended up with only the clothes in the dryer for myself =)  I did manage to get the kids clothes, but I only got 2/3 pillow pets and 2/3 blankies.  Whoops. 







Despite our best efforts to slow them down (see below), they had all of our stuff in the moving van by Tuesday afternoon.  Fun fact, the elliptical machine was last on. 

 


The movers were so great with the kids.  I know exactly how hard it is to do any job with those kids under foot, and they were so patient about it all.  Right before they left, they let the kids check out the cab of the truck:




Amos thought having a bed in your car would be pretty neat.

After the movers left we found ourselves in a very empty house seriously lacking basic necessities.  I can't even tell you how many times I opened a drawer to get something out only to remember they were ALL empty.  They didn't miss a thing.



Thankfully, we have great friends who lent us everything we needed, cooked for us, let us sit on their furniture, and kept us company.  This is where I realized the movers finishing up early was a huge blessing.  They gave us three days to just hang out and enjoy our friends with absolutely no responsibilities.  There aren't many times in life you get that.  Maybe not ever again.









I tend to leave out names, specifics, etc. about people for their privacy, but I am going to ignore that right now and say how very grateful we are for, and how very much we love the Browns, Chapmans, and Warners.  They have been dear friends, and will continue to be, even if we're a little further apart now.

Our gifted time also gave me time to clean up around the house, fill nail holes, touch up paint, etc.  I would have been incomplete without that one last trip to Home Depot...


Friday afternoon they came and got the cars (the little trailer is to get it to the big transport truck).  Then, we were really stranded and reliant on others.  We took a final picture on the front porch, and then for whatever reason, the kids went and sat by the side of the road to wait for Alisha to come get us.  We had one last dinner at the Chapmans, and then Alisha drove us to the hotel by the airport (so we could just take the shuttle in the morning). 




Last shot of the house:

 
Yep, the star stayed.  It's like it was made for that spot.



One fun hotel night, one quick flight, and we were in Washington with Dada again!  Our apartment is in Downtown Bellevue (above a Safeway)!  That's our window, with the kids in it...


And the view from one of our windows:


That brown building is a mall.  Enough said.

This past weekend is kind of a blur...there was a spa appointment to reward me for making it, a little general conference (I am really going to have to read the May Ensign), training on how to buzz up the pizza guy, a huge long nap, and apartment etiquette lessons (that are really not sticking! kids!). 

More on our adjustment to urban life to come...