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.