Saturday, November 16, 2013

One Hour Until Desert Bus

I know I've been pushing this a lot lately, but here's one more plug for Desert Bus for Hope.

It's for a cause I really stand behind, and it's a lot of fun.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Another quick video or two

I was going through my Dropbox tonight and came across this video I took about a month ago. Naomi was at a Relief Society activity, so Peri and I made the best of it by making a fort. It was a pretty good one, too, as part of it spilled over under a table. I don't even remember taking this video, but I think it shows how good Peri is at cinema- and photography. Really artsy.

I also want to take a minute and plug the Child's Play charity. It's a great opportunity to help children. I just read today that scope of the charity will be expanded to include domestic violence shelters. In conjunction with this, I also want to plug Desert Bus for Hope 7.  Let's see how much good we can do.

Presenting: The Trifecta of Peri Likes, Fall 2013

Below is a video featuring three things Peri absolutely adores: Her yukata, her bike, and her wellies.

She got her bike clear back on her birthday, and it took a couple months to grow into it. Now that she's big enough, Peri is out riding about twice a week. What's really cool, and this is something that I'm proud of, is that Peri refuses to ride her bike without her helmet. She'll just sit in the saddle and not roll an inch until we get her helmet on her.

Six years ago, Naomi started a sort-of kimono for her then two-year-old niece. Needless to say, it finally got finished last week for our two-year-old. Peri absolutely loves her purple dress, and insisted on wearing no less than twice in the first week.

And finally, we have her wellies. Peri is a big fan of splashing in puddles, so it suddenly became very smart to have the appropriate footwear upon moving to the puddly side of the state. It turns out that Fred Meyer has a wellie section completely separate from regular shoes.

Just a quick update for all of you who can't get enough of our little Peri.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Peri Likes: Summer 2013 Edition

Peri has found a lot of new things she likes. She likes hiking, with and without her backpack. In the last few times we've gone out, she's ended up walking a half mile on her own. She also loves her new bike, and has her own little toolbox for her wrenches to work on it after every ride. Furthermore, she's warmed up to her trailer and her ladybug bike helmet.

She likes taking pictures. Every time we get the camera to take pictures, Peri begs and pleads for a chance to have a turn with the camera. You wouldn't know it, because I am really bad at taking pictures, but for a two-year-old, she's an amazing photographer.

Peri is really into asking politely for things now. We're hoping to cultivate that. She likes to ask, "can we go outside?" and "can we get some ice cream? Pleeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzee?"

She likes her little pool, and is stoked every time I blow it up and fill it.

More than anything, Peri likes singing. As I write this, she's underfoot singing "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock." She's got a catalog of about twelve songs she'll go through in a day, and at bedtime, we let her choose what she wants to hear and sing. Her doctor was really impressed when we told her and we were very happy when Peri decided to overcome her shyness around others and sang the alphabet song.

Peri loves Nursery at church. She gets excited and talks it up all week. She even does our "dun dun dun, Superman" song, replacing Superman with SuperNursery! She loves learning the songs and playing. She doesn't interact much with the other kids, but that's because she's observing and learning, absorbing as much information as she can process. This is really cool for Naomi and me, because when we taught Nursery in Pullman, we always felt like we weren't making a difference and the kids weren't learning anything.

We've Moved!

We've moved to Auburn! The fourteenth largest city in Washington is our new home, and it's great. We found a great little apartment close to downtown, the train station, and everything we could possibly want. The train station is a nice one for me, as it facilitates an easy commute to Kent, where I got a new job. I now work for Out of the Box Manufacturing. It's a cool little company that is on the grow (so much that we're moving to a new location next month and tripling our floor plan in the process), and I think I will be happy there for a very long time. I've been able to really dive in and do what I know how to do, and learn some new things, too.

Naomi is happily working on getting us unpacked and the apartment in some kind of order, and Peri is absolutely thrilled to have her own room and a giant space for playing. 

We want to give a big thanks to Naomi's brother, Ben, who came over with us and helped carry everything we own into a courtyard and up a flight of stairs. This is the third or fourth move he's helped us with now and by far the most... grueling, and we owe him something nice for his efforts.

Not only is train commuting a possibility in our current location, but we're also situated next to the Interurban Trail, a bike trail for the cool guys who can ride their bikes ten miles like it's not a big deal. The sudden snap of rain and cold has put me off a little bit, but I can see myself enjoying the summer months so much more. I've also figured I can ride the distance almost as fast as I could drive.

Peri got a little art easel for Christmas last year which has been sitting in storage, and now it's her favorite thing. I get a lot of requests to draw cats and dogs and mommy monsters. Also, potty training is under way with fairly reasonable results. She's got a whole repertoire of songs she likes to sing, and she can memorize a new song after hearing it once.

We also have a little climber. I really just wanted a pretense to show these two pictures:

This is one of Peri after having climbed by herself, unassisted (though we did keep really close behind to catch her if she fell).

This is the full size of the rock she climbed by herself, unassisted.

Pretty cool, eh?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Our Seattle Trip

Three weeks ago, we traveled to Seattle to celebrate the wedding of these people:

Peri took this picture of Derek and Arianne.

It was a great time and a really uplifting experience for us. It was Naomi's first trip to the Seattle Temple and my first time there in quite a few years. We brought along Naomi's sister Katrina to look after Peri while we were at the sealing and reception. We had great Italian food, a great date before the sealing, and a fabulous time at the reception.

The wedding was on a Friday, so we decided to take Saturday morning to "do" a part of Seattle, which we all somehow decided was the Pacific Science Center. We arrived a couple of hours before opening, so we wandered around Seattle Center for a while.
We had a race from the parking lot to see who could get the best picture of a headless Space Needle. I came in third.
That same day, Seattle was celebrating its local cuisine with a food festival Bite of Seattle, which, combined with our two hour wait, made us all fairly hungry. We also discovered a neat little statue of a Pigasus, or winged pig. Peri loved him so much, we got about thirty pictures so as to recreate him in wood or clay.

It's been about ten years since I've been to the Pacific Science Center. I had forgotten what cool things it contains. Peri loved the dinosaur and space exhibits, though she was a little afraid of the large dinosaur models.
Peri, piloting a Gemini Capsule
She's got a ways to go to fill this footprint. Mighty big shoes to fill, indeed.
The main event for Peri was the tropical butterfly garden.  We spent a half hour in the butterfly room following her around as she discovered all the butterflies. She was a very good girl and didn't touch or step on any of them. It was a real treat for me to hear her so excited for so long about the butterflies.

We got a little tired and hungry after two hours, but luckily for us, we had a whole food festival outside to try out. Peri and Uncle Ben were excited for fancy corn dogs (featuring brats or polska kielbasa instead of just hot dog). Aunt Katrina opted for an elk burger, and Naomi and I hit up a pirozhki place. Absolutely delicious, by the way.

The next stop was Ellensburg, the halfway point, to stretch our legs. Peri spent about an hour running around the Fred Meyer which was fine by us. After that, it was a smooth couple of hours until home.

All in all, it was a great trip, and we had a lot of fun as a family. We're excited to be able to do it again soon.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Sports Challenges

 Several months ago, I was invited to participate in my friend Derek's wedding. As such I needed to slim down to fit into the suit they got for me. Up until this time I had been wavering on riding my bike for whatever reason, but this motivated me to get out and ride. In the last two months I've been on my bike nearly every day. On Independence day I laid down 55 miles without much problem.

One tool I've been using is MapMyRide, which keeps track of my mileage and speeds. What I like about it is the online community and the achievements. I am a sucker for pretend virtual trophies, and am proud to say that I'm ranked first place for a 0.61 mile stretch of a paved trail in downtown Spokane.

Peri has even expressed interest in cycling again. We bought her a bike trailer last year, and used it maybe twice. Both times, Peri wasn't too jazzed about it. Well, I got into her trailer the other day to find her helmet, as she'll need that for her balance bike, and Peri got excited about the trailer. She voluntarily got her helmet on and hopped into her seat. I pulled her around the block, then up to the Walgreen's to drop off some movie rentals.

Our biggest ride to date is an eight-mile trip downtown and back. She was positive the entire time and got to see a lot more than she can in the car. Of course we'll be going again as often as we can.

I'm feeling pretty proud that I'm slowly becoming an athlete, which is a term I've never, ever applied to myself. Aside from cycling, we're also getting into hiking. In a similar situation with the bike trailer, we have a baby carrier backpack which we picked up a while ago, which Peri also hated. Naomi had the idea to call it a "piggyback" and in the last few weeks, Peri has been really excited for "super piggyback rides." Sometimes we have to just run her around the block to appease her. We've been on a few short hikes, including the entire loop trail at Kamiak Butte last week, and Peri has been really enjoying herself, as has Naomi.

The hiking has also bled into another activity which I'm enjoying with some friends: disc golf. The closest course to us is an old Boy Scout camp nestled in a pine forest. It's a difficult course and a pretty nice short hike. We went up as a family last week and played the front nine, with Peri in her piggyback for half the holes. She walked the other half with us and in both cases made an excellent caddy.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Peri's 2nd Birthday Party

Peri turned 2 years old in July! We threw a small party for her, which was a lot of fun! We decided to do a ladybug theme for the party, because Peri's favorite book series right now is Ladybug Girl. It took us a week or so to get all the decorations and things finished, and then we totally forgot to take pictures of them before the party. Oh well.

I did get a picture of Peri making off with one of the cookie favors I made for the guests to take home with them. Peri thought they were pretty scrumptious!

These cookies were hard to do, but I think they turned out all right in the end!
Just about a week before Peri's birthday, her newest cousin Danae was born! Peri loves her to pieces and always asks to hold her when she comes over. We're still in the process of teaching her to be gentle. Danae is a trooper and takes it well though! Here she is being held by her daddy.

We made all the food ladybug themed too! I was able to finally use my oval cupcake liners for their intended purpose! They made really good ladybugs! 

We also made ladybug crackers. My sister and niece Jeilyn were instrumental in getting the whole box done!

Jeilyn also helped me make these apple ladybugs! I thought they were really good! And fun to make too. I think we'll make them for snacks again sometime.

Gary was in charge of making these strawberry ladybugs! They were also a lot of fun to make and eat! 

 The only thing we didn't make was the cake. We ordered one from a bakery that we like to go to for cupcakes when we're on a family date. It was so pretty and so yummy to eat too! And it had edible glitter on it!


We couldn't keep the candles lighted because of the wind, so Peri just had to pretend. She didn't seem to mind, as she really just wanted to eat the frosting on the cake anyway. 

 Gary made a ladybug corn hole game for the kids to play too. My mother made some beanbag spots to throw.

That was really the only ladybug themed game we had. For other things to do we just brought out Peri's slide and filled up the pool, and everybody had a good time with that. 

Peri was really jazzed to have so many other kids to swim with! 

 Peri got a ton of great gifts, including books and dress-up items! She loves all of them and plays with them daily. Gary and I got her a balance bike that she is really starting to take to. She's still just a wee bit small for it yet, but she's still learning how to use it, and in another six months or so, it'll be perfect. She likes to take one of Gary's wrenches and bang on the bolts a little bit to "fix" it after she rides it.

 So Peri's birthday was a blast and everyone had a lot of fun! We still have yet to give out our thank you cards, but we are very happy to have been able to celebrate with everyone!

Fourth of July

So we're a month late with this update, but here is what we did for Fourth of July. We were thinking about leaving town and heading out somewhere we could actually light fireworks, but in the end we decided to stay in and just make the journey downtown to watch the fireworks in the park. It was a pretty low key day.

Gary decided to start the day with a bike ride. He went with my aunt and uncle to the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and rode 50 miles. He had a lot of fun. 

We ended up spending most of the evening with my sister and her children, which was a lot of fun for Peri! She loves her cousins. We braved going downtown to find a parking space, but it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be to find a space. The prices were actually pretty reasonable too, so that was a bonus.

We found a spot on the grass just a little bit away from where the  fireworks launched, and had a fun time waiting and chatting and playing. After a while we decided we had the munchies, so we got some mini donuts (6 dozen) and a bag of kettle corn. They were really yummy!

Peri and Jeilyn. They are best buds.

Gary, Peri, and Kinton. Also best buds.

Gary's goofy face.

Having a good time posing for the camera. Kinton took this picture of us!

Peri thought the fireworks were really pretty and very loud, but she had a good time. She even figured out when to say "ooooo" and "aaaahhh". It was pretty cute.

Then it was a made hike to the garage, and when we got to our cars and were ready to leave, there was some kind of stall and nobody was going anywhere for some reason we still haven't figured out. So we got out of the car again, and waited inside the mall, so we wouldn't get carbon monoxide poisoning from all the idling cars. And other than possible death-by-asphyxiation, we had a really nice time out with the cousins.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Old McDonald Had a Farm

I've been working diligently the last few days on framing up the second basement room. I've been working with deliveries of twenty sticks of 2x4 at a time, and I'm making short work of it. The outer walls have been replaced and I've even sectioned off the new "sleeping nook" and "crawl-in closet". This I finished yesterday to the sounds of Peri singing with her mom and aunt somewhere upstairs. We were able to closely replicate it yesterday for a video, which is below. Note that Peri is very aware of the camera when we record, and she usually won't do any of her tricks, so I was very surreptitious and got the audio.

It brought a great smile to me to hear my daughter belt out "EEE-IIII-EEE-III-OOOOOOO!!!!" at the top of her lungs, out of time.

Also in Peri's repertoire: "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes", "Lullabye, Lullabye", and "Ring Around the Rosey."

Anyways, I just wanted to share this quickly.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

We've Added to Peri's Backyard Playground!

Naomi and I made some additions to Peri's backyard play area. We were at the Home Depot, and in the cull bin was a big group of pressure treated 4x6 timbers for $2 per stick. A length of pipe, some clamps, and several bags of cement later, Peri has an awesome horizontal bar to swing on. She promptly figured out the best application for it:

We originally thought that the next addition would be a balance beam, but that was superseded by a push-cart. See, we found an old, old riding lawnmower on the side of the garden shed, and Peri immediately jumped up into the seat and grabbed the wheel. She wouldn't let go. I peeled her out of it and she ran right back to it as soon as I put her down. Peri just loves to drive. I wheeled her over to the playground area and a half-hour later we finally went inside. Later, after dinner, Peri went back out with me and my wrenches so we could "fix it." I removed the cutting deck and the engine, leaving the wheels, seat, frame, and steering. Peri was glad to help and kept asking me if I was "fixing it."

Now Peri has always been inclined to help me on projects. At six months, she was very adept at setting screws for me while building shelves. She really loved using the wrenches on this mower. When we were done, she was really happy to hop up into the seat again and steer.

So, next week, we'll get back to the balance beam project. In the mean time, we're driving.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Peri's Very First Easter Egg Hunt!

So last Easter Peri was only just crawling, so she didn't really participate in Easter hunts last year. Every year since I can remember, my aunt Barbara has done the Easter egg hunts for us. Since our family started having grandchildren before all the assorted cousins and such grew up all the way, she's pretty much been doing it for the past gazillion years. And kudos to her, because it's always a lot of fun! Peri is currently the youngest child, so she got to go out first to find the eggs hiding in the grass in the middle of the lawn before the less scrupulous and more enterprising cousins could come out and snipe the easy ones.

At first she had no idea what was going on, but she was game to tote her little bucket outside to play anyway. I showed her the eggs, but for a while she was more content to shake them like maracas instead of collect them  in her bucket. Then one of them broke open and she realized what exactly those eggs were good for.

Oh? What's this?

Is that candy?

It is candy!

And there's more in those eggs, you say?

Why didn't you tell me?
She was battling a cold that week, so that's why her nose is so ookie.

So those are the only pictures we got, unfortunately, since I forgot the camera and I'm the only one who takes pictures anymore apparently. My aunt usually puts about 20 eggs out per round, and then we go for 3 or 4 rounds, so she and her two cousins ended up with a LOT of candy. After she figured out the whole game, she was grabbing up her easy middle-of-the-lawn-eggs and then going after the harder-to-find-on-the-edges-of-the-yard-eggs. She had tons of fun and is still munching bits of her candy every day. It's going to be a while before she makes a dent, especially since Mom and Dad might have gone a little overboard on her Easter basket this year too.

Peri also got some pretty neat gifts from her grandparents for Easter, and she loves them all. She has lots of activities to do and some new clothes to wear outside as it gets warmer. Plus a few new furry friends that she sleeps with and plays with. Thank you grandparents!

On Sunday (all of our bunny-type Easter things happen on Saturday, because Sunday is for churchy things) we would have gone to church, except we were all sick with the most terrible head cold that day. It was pretty sad. We did, however, muster up the energy that evening to tell Peri about the Resurrection and the real reason we celebrate Easter. I made some felt pieces for her new felt board and used it to tell the story while our Resurrection Rolls were in the oven. Peri listened very well, but I think the actual symbolism is beyond her yet. She also wasn't in the mood for anything sweet at the time, so she opted to skip eating the yummy treat. Eh, there's always next year!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peri Has a Slide!

So I've been wanting to get Peri something to play on outside for ages, but we just don't have the money or the space for an entire swing set. So instead we just bought Peri a small plastic slide. She loves it.

She slides sitting down

She slides feet first on her tummy

And she also slides head first on her tummy. She did it all by herself too!

She also likes to peek out from under the slide. What a goofy kid we have! 
This is one happy sliding kiddo!

Some of you may look at those pictures and think, "What does she mean they have no space?" because clearly, there is a lot of space in our yard, the only problem is this portion of the yard isn't fenced in, and that would make even more money to keep random passersby and destructive teenagers from hurting Peri's swing set (we're not so worried about her being kept in the yard, as she doesn't usually go outside to play without us anyway).

So yay for slides!

More Baby Crafty Goodness

So I'm really loving that Peri is enjoying doing crafts with me. It is so much fun to watch her start to get the hang of it! We've been doing some things around here to decorate a bit for St. Patrick's Day. We aren't too big on the holiday, but why not right?

So about a week ago Peri and I made green glitter shamrocks out of paper plates. She has so much fun with glitter, and it was a pretty easy thing to get going. We made two! Then about a week after that, we made rainbow clouds! I really like this craft, they look so cute! It's just construction paper and cotton balls glued to some more of that paper plate we had lying around. Then we put them on the screen door outside. Like this:

Peri is happy with where her creations ended up! 

On another note, I totally got a Silhouette Cameo (go here if you don't know what that is), and it is the greatest thing since sliced bread! We've used it a couple times already, and I'm really loving it! So far I've made a few shamrock spinners, a couple LUCKY banners, a gift box for a friend's wedding, and cut out some business cards for mi familia. A million and one uses for this thing, let me tell you.

I made one large spinner
and three smaller ones, because my nephew wanted to help make some.

I cut this one out first

Then I used the letter cutouts to make a second banner. This one doesn't look as cool with the lamp lit up, but I still like it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Peri is Having a Good Time

So! Since coming to Spokane, we've been going out and doing a lot of things with Peri, and she's been having a great time! And because words are boring, I'll just put up some pictures!

Cheese Face!
 So the lighting was bad when I took these pictures, but these are pictures of the kitchen mat, which Peri has claimed as her own favorite play toy. It's really gross, but she has so much fun with it I just can't tell her no.

She wraps herself up in it.

She drags it around with her.

And she tries to wrap other people up in it too (ew). But since no one will let her wrap them up in it, she puts it on the cat instead. You can barely see Puppy in these pictures, but he's curled up next to the vent.

One time she also got the mat over her horse and managed to climb up on it too. She used it as a saddle blanket while she rode her pony. It was the funniest thing! I went to get the camera, but she stopped before I could get a picture. Bummer.

 It also snowed a couple mornings ago, and we took the time to go out before breakfast and play in it! It was Peri's first time really tromping around in the snow (we've gone on sled rides and stuff, but she never wanted to actually play in it) and she had a blast!

Down the stairs.

The moment she realized there was a camera involved.
She is a sucker for cameras.
Tromping around.
More tromping.

Getting right down in the snow.
She didn't try to eat it though.
Gary also looking like a cheeseball.

We also built her very first snowman! She helped! This was the only picture I was able to get of it because the batteries decided to die right then. Go figure.

 Peri and I also did a couple crafts! We were at JoAnn's, and she really liked this hat, so we bought some glitter and feathers to jazz it up a little when we got home. She had so much fun with her glue and glitter, but she promptly took the feathers off, so I guess she didn't like how they looked on her hat.

She wears it while watching Caillou. Peri looooves Caillou.
Then we did another craft the next day, and she decided that feathers looked much better on paper than on hats.

She liked doing the paper craft so much that we had to do two! We both really like how this one came out. It's so shiny and sparkly and colorful! They are both hanging on the fridge right now.

We also decided to walk to River Front Park (it's about an hour or so walk from our house) one Saturday just for fun. We called up my sister Sarah and she brought her husband and the cousins over so we could walk there together. Peri got to sit in her stroller, but the rest of us walked. It was a bit colder than we thought, since there was quite a bit of wind. And since we had the small children walking, it took a while to get to the halfway point, Mission Park. We decided to call it a day and stopped at Mission Park to play instead. I think this Saturday we will start at Mission Park and go to River Front Park from there, and hopefully it will be a little warmer out then! Though it snowed again a couple mornings ago, so probably not.

Anyways, since the kids were tired of walking, and it was still a bit cold, we decided to take the bus home instead. It was Peri's first time on a bus, and she did really well! I think she had a lot of fun. It was a really good Saturday to spend with family! If only we had remembered to take a camera though.