Saturday, December 25, 2010

And now a message about moving...

How do I say this without sounding like I'm complaining? Oh I don't know if that's possible.

I am grateful that we are moving. I am grateful for our new home. But moving sucks, especially with a baby. Not only have we amassed way more stuff than we thought, but trying to pack and organize with a 15-month-old is like trying to do something that takes a lot of focus and time while keeping a rabid monkey entertained. We were able to have her go to the daycare for two days while Ken and I tried to cram all the packing into that "free time" but it just wasn't enough. The next day we had her around all day so we "tag-team parented" where one of us packed boxes while the other watched Sidney. Lately though she had been very clingy and always has to have an eye on us. It got to the point where she just wanted to be held and guess how hard it is to pack and hold a 25 pound toddler at the same time? So I broke out the carrier and we papoose-styled it for a while which really worked by giving her the closeness she needed while I could get some packing done. Eventually she was over it and wanted down.

We got 90% of the house packed before we took a break for the holiday. Crazy times. We resume the packing/prep tomorrow. Go team!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Partying

Scenes from last night's holiday party @ Pacific Science Center. I especially liked the butterfly house--I had never been in there before. The Goog always throws a nice party and it was fun let loose a little.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On the Move

I've been MIA through November until now because we are/have been in the midst of buying a new home. The prospect of starting this process back in October was good given housing prices, interest rates and knowing that a larger home is needed. However, I kind of overlooked the fact that it would drop us smack in the middle of the holidays when we'd have to, you know, PACK & MOVE all of our stuff. And keep a small child entertained and alive at the same time.
Being a planner myself, you would think that this function of packing would be underway. I think the holiday functions of gift acquisition, card distribution and a slight up tick in social engagements, has contributed to us gathering boxes and packing supplies but no formal packing started. Part of this is the terror that we will possibly need something for the child. The other is simply not knowing where to start (Ken would say tchotchkes first--all of them). So it's paralyzing and stupid. Also the negotiation, coordination and processing of the new purchase is a full time job, especially because there have been some repairs and contractors to oversee at the new place. We will keep this house as a rental so there is that added element to keep track of too. Bottomline: This operation is not for the faint of heart. (It doesn't help either that Ken keeps having to travel for work lately.)
The good news is that all of the Christmas shopping (as anemic as it is) was completed this week and everything is now wrapped. Christmas cards went out today and Ken's awesome work holiday party was last night. With the prospect of having grandparents up here in the next week, childcare providers on some of the other days and Ken off starting from 12/17, there should be no reason to get this massive project underway.
We move right after Christmas and **fingers-crossed** everything will be good to go. That will be my Christmas Miracle.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween 2010

(Also on Sidney's Page)

This was the scene on Market Street yesterday between 3-5pm.  It marked our first "official" taste of Halloween as parents (last year doesn't really count, she was only 7 weeks).  We marveled at the throngs of costumed children (and adults) as well as observed the unabashed appetite for free candy inspired by this holiday.  The Testas accompanied us on this journey, after which we enjoyed some tacos and cider at our house.  Like you do.

This dude was pretty rad.  Also very skilled at dodging small humans running around his legs.

Market Street, it's on!

Prince Max as the Garden Gnome

Watching some street performers with Daddy

First Trick-or-Treating experience holding her own bucket, on her own feet.

Later back at the house, we received a handful of trick-or-treaters and then we ventured out to about 3 neighbors' houses just to say hi.  One of them really does a "production" each Halloween that thus far did not disappoint.  I was sure to announce that we had little kids with us since we were being directed toward the garage and I could only assume something was going to jump out--and it did.  But Sidney and Emmy (whose parents were also with us) were unfazed.  But now we have lots of candy left over.  I wonder what we should do with it...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Waller Halloween Celebration

With some Finnish cousins visiting, the Wallers put on a Spooktacular Halloween Celebration Saturday, complete with pumpkin carving, candy corn, kids in costume and a musical jam session with a Ukulele, Beatbox, Theremin and Keyboard.  Not to mention shakers and tambourines.  I didn't carve a pumpkin because I don't like getting my hands dirty nor do I have any great skill with knives and pumpkins.  But was kept busy by our little Shark girl who couldn't get enough of the Waller dogs and making herself right at home.

This is a pretty nice place.  I think I will touch everything.

Mika looking mighty fetching in his Hawaiian Grass skirt.

Hide the knives!

Paul as Waldo

Not THIS again...

The "Version 2-Peapod-Monkey-Sharks"

The making of music....

Beat Box Baby: Andrew and Paul (Cheeba) keep the party jumpin'.

The Carvers!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Preschool Theremin Fun

Friday, Ken was invited to a preschool that our friend Paul teaches at to demo his Theremin to the children. In the morning the children wore their costumes but in the afternoon everyone wore their pajamas. So we all followed suit. As you can see in the video at the end of the post, the kids thought it was pretty interesting but were a little reserved. Ken loved showing the Theremin to a new audience. Sarah is how we know Paul so Sarah and Andrew also attended the demo. Fun times!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Welcome, Flat Stanley

While visiting our friends in Wenatchee, we picked up a guest who stayed with us for a short while and will be moving on.  Allow me to introduce guest blogger, Flat Stanley.

Hello everybody.  
This is my first blog post so I hope it goes okay.  I am with Ken, Kali and their daughter Sidney.  I first met Ken and Kali when they were visiting the Ronngrens in Wenatchee, WA (my previous host family).  We all went on a day trip together to Leavenworth, WA which is 30 miles from Wenatchee in the center of Washington State.  It is famous for being a "Little Bavarian" town which has yearly festivals and looks just like a town in the Alps in Europe.  When I visited, it was the last day of Oktoberfest which is a huge German holiday with lots of food, drink, music and celebration.  We stood in a long line to get a bratwurst (German hotdog) and I saw lots of happy people there.  

Kali and Ken with Flat Stanley in Leavenworth, WA
Flat Stanley looks on as a woman gets a tattoo in Leavenworth, WA
We returned to Ken and Kali's home in Seattle, WA.  That is where the Space Needle, Mt. Rainer and Pike Place Market are.  But we have spent most of our time around their home in the Scandinavian-neighborhood of Ballard just north of downtown Seattle.  Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and has the second most number of rainy days per year in the US at 154 days (first is Cleveland, OH).  And maybe because of that, Seattle is the #1 most literate city in the US--I guess everybody goes inside and reads when it's raining.  

Their 1-year-old daughter Sidney is quite excited that I'm here and likes to grab at me when her mom holds me up.  She is a messy eater.
Sidney tries to make Flat Stanley feel at home.

One day Kali took us to the pet food store and I got to look at the kitties.  They were very interested in me and tried to rip my arm off.  Kali fixed it with scotch tape.

The kitties love Flat Stanley

We also visited the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks known as "The Ballard Locks."  It is a man-made mechanism that keeps the fresh water and saltwater separate.  It allows boats through by creating a sort of "water elevator" since the water level on the fresh side is ~20 feet above the salty sea level side.  

It also has a fish ladder that allows spawning salmon to come and go without problems.  There is a fantastic viewing area to see the salmon as they swim through.

A salmon in the fish ladder
Some cool sculpture outside the fish ladder.

Something else cool in Seattle is the Experience Music Project / Science Fiction Museum.  This past weekend a new exhibit opened about the show Battlestar Galactica so I went with Kali to see it.  I enjoyed looking at all the model ships they used in the show.

This is the cone of guitars in the center of the museum.  It was pretty cool.

Finally I visited the Google offices in Seattle.  Ken works there designing Google things like Gmail and Calendar and Maps.  The office is on the banks of the ship canal down from the Ballard Locks.  Lots of smart people work there and they certainly love their jobs.  The office has lots of games and distractions to make sure people don't work too hard but they still do.  

Well everyone, I've enjoyed my stay in Seattle but now I'm off to Mountain View, California.

Hello to all my Greenville Elementary friends in Mrs. DeJaynes class.  I hope you are all excited about Halloween. I look forward to more adventures and will talk to you soon.

Your Friend,
Flat Stanley

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Girls Night Out

Like a cherry on top of a giant sundae, my week of fun events with cool (and/or famous) people ended when Angela and I "maraschinoed" it by having a lovely dinner out at Il Fornaio and then attending a benefit concert hosted by Rainn Wilson at the Paramount last night.  It was to bring awareness to the Mona Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting universal education for children around the world.  We had a great time but I'm sorry to say we are not fans of the Blitzen Trapper Band.  I do think we may come around on Andy Grammer though.  Great energy, that guy.
Enjoyed a lovely night out with Angela.   I tried not to look drunk from the one glass of Chianti I had at dinner.  Fail.

This was the best one of the bunch and I still look marginal

Angela laughing at my drunk ass

Andy Grammer

Rainn Wilson

Craig Robinson and Rainn Wilson

Presidents of the United States (The Band)