Jul 28 2013

a better day

huh. who knew? two parents are better than one in general. and two parents are better than one at diffusing a three-year-old more quickly. it was a better day.

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Jul 26 2013

does that calgon stuff really work?

i am not so keen on my child this week. and i think josephine would say that she’s not so keen on me. i think she’s in a particularly awful rut personality-wise and responds to many of my requests or statements with screaming or whining. this seems like typical three-almost-four behavior and i know i need to endure and things will improve. however, i’m not helping. my reactions to her freak-outs have been less than patient and i’m not proud of the brusk and frustration-filled way i’ve been interacting with her. i know it’s too much to expect that i can always be the calm, collected, fun mom i often berate myself for not being. but i’ve hardly been that mom at all this week and it’s wearing me out.

this summer, for a variety of reasons, has not really gone according to plan. i have my own stuff to deal with, but my waking hours, during which that stuff might be dealt, are spent mainly with a small person who is currently quite cantankerous. she snaps, i snap, she recovers, i take longer to recover, she snaps again, etc. etc. we’re a lethal mix.

she’s been yelling “it’s not fair!” and usually using the protest totally inappropriately, calling something that she just doesn’t want to do “not fair.” i want to explain the subtleties of the concept of fairness to her, but doubt it would do much good. like alanis morrisette, she’s using a term wrong. somebody set alanis straight. who will explain things to josephine?

ned has next week off and we’re vacationing out of town with dear friends. i’m hoping the change of scenery and company does both josephine and i some good.

i have these lovely moments, when i’m rubbing sunscreen into her small, soft shoulders or when she comes up to me in the kitchen and hugs my legs, just because, when i’m melting with love for her and so grateful for my days with her. but, this week, her monster-self is never tucked too far away. and neither is mine.

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Jul 25 2013

i expressed concern

josephine and ned were playing airplane after dinner and i pointed out that she had a full belly of food and ned probably didn’t want her to throw up on him. and she said, “i won’t throw up, mama. the food is talking to the intestines and saying, ‘don’t let it go back up your esophagus, ‘testines!'”


Jul 19 2013

some mosquitoes and a huge lake

well, that title about sums up our trip to oregon. thanks for reading!

kidding. i have a few more things to say. and just a small handful of photos to show you.

we went to southern oregon to join in on a reunion of my dad’s side of the family.  on our way down, we stopped for the night in portland.  our lovely friends tashiana and jamey were very good to us. they let us watch them milk their goat sassy (the other one is molly) and let us drink said milk and sample their goat cheese, they let josephine get an egg out of the chicken coop, they introduced me to the most delicious junk-food salad ever (the spicy peanut chicken tender salad at fire on the mountain), and their home instilled in me a deep sense of house-envy. i wanted to bottle the light.

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from portland, we headed south toward diamond lake. because none of us had been through bend, we decided to drive the long way down. we said hello to mount hood.

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the route we took was beautiful; thick forests turned into knobby desert grassland with snow-capped mountains in the distance. in bend, we ate a very civilized lunch involving cloth napkins and iced tea on a patio overlooking a pond. one last moment of civility before descending into the wilderness. (and, have you met my family?)

we arrived at the campground at diamond lake and immediately set to putting up the screen house we’d bought on our way out of town. the mosquitoes at this lake are legendary and we were determined to not come home three itchy masses of welt. while we set up the screen house and tent, we put josephine and her cousins (they’re really her second cousins twice removed.  i think. i just spent way too long trying to figure that out. we’ll just call them cousins.) to work building with mini marshmallows and toothpicks. this is GENIUS, people. the cheapest and most entertaining thing we brought along by far. we told them the one rule was that they couldn’t eat the marshmallows and they went to town.

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my aunt and uncle also brought a screen house. they were essential as the mosquitoes were indeed swarming. we scurried back and forth between the mainly mosquito-free zones to do our visiting and food-making and eating and dice-game playing. (here’s an article about mosquitoes, if you’re interested.)

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josephine had so much fun with her cousins (the one in the middle is actually her second cousin). josephine referred to her as “the girl i like to play with.” i reminded her that her name is evie and josephine said, “i know, but i like to call her ‘the girl i like to play with’ instead.”

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young models, striking poses:

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the highlight of the trip (and, for me, when the first night got pretty rocky, the thing that kept me from driving straight home) was crater lake. it’s enormous! and so blue! and so deep! it was really quite impressive. at first, i thought that driving around it and stopping at multiple lookouts would get old, but it just didn’t. every time, the lake’s vastness and incredible blueness was a revelation.

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a few more scenes from camp:

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my dad (on the right) and his siblings:

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josephine and her great-grandparents:

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the whole gang (well, almost):

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after a wonderful time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other assorted relations, we stuffed everything back in the car (somehow) and headed back to seattle. we’re still trying to climb out from under the pile of laundry we created in oregon and catch up on sleep. but it was all worth it.

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Jul 10 2013

here, then there, then a bit to the left

other than minnesota, we’re not wandering too incredibly far from home this summer.  but we do have some trips planned.  tomorrow, we’re venturing south to the crater lake area of oregon for a family reunion (and, reportedly, a reunion of mosquitoes. not so excited about that aspect of the trip. wait until you see how we’ve been preparing for that.).  later this summer, we’ll spend some time on the olympic peninsula, in a yurt on an island, and relaxing with friends in olympia.  and then there’s all that fun to be had right here in town.

last weekend, we were in lilliwaup.  where’s that place with the funny name, you ask?  it’s pretty close to heaven (and the hood canal).

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we were greeted by our friends megan, (big) joey and emilee with a huge pot of fresh-from-the-crab-pots crab and the visit just got better from there.

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(i should have taken a picture of my feet up and a book on my lap, as i spent a good amount of time sitting like that on the deck.)

that hike was josephine’s first walking-the-whole-way-on-her-own hike!  she made it 1.6 miles with a bit of whining and a lot of cajoling. but she made it!  note the two thumbs up in the photo of the three of us.

and then, on the way home, this:

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trip bonus! on our way to lilliwaup, we got to meet up with these cuties:

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i think this is about as far as i can stretch my blogging-as-procrastination-from-packing time. til next week…


Jul 2 2013

he *is* quite smart

The scene: A stall in a public bathroom.

Josephine, out of nowhere: The pipes are like the intestines in the bathroom for poop and pee. And then the pee goes into the Puget Sound. … Where does the poop go?

Me: The poop goes to a place where they take it out of the water. I’m not sure where the poopy sludge goes. We can ask Dada. [employing classic stalling technique]

Josephine: Yeah, he knows all about bodies because that’s his job.

[Note: Ned is a social worker. Not a doctor or a sanitation engineer.]