Patrick’s First Grade Trip to Camp Colman

1 06 2015

 Another year, another Camp Colman trip under my belt. We had excellent weather for this trip — really couldn’t ask for anything better.

This year the kids discovered street hockey. The camp has a set of plastic sticks and foldable net goals set up at the basketball court. Over the course of the weekend we played about five different kids-versus-dads hockey games, and the kids won all but one. (It’s not because we were letting them win, either.) While I think of myself as in decent shape for a middle-aged dad, the sprint-stop-sprint-stop of the hockey games took its toll. I was wiped out when we got home on Sunday. My only consolation is Patrick was wiped out too. On our last morning at camp, I had to wake him up at 8:30, which is the latest he’s ever slept in his life.

More photos at Google Photos.


Tooth Fairy

27 05 2015

For both of our kids, the future is filled with dental work. Patrick’s got a bad crossbite, and Alex’s teeth have always been strange. (He had an extra baby tooth, which we nicknamed “the fang”, for example.) Last Friday we took a relatively simple step that will hopefully make the future work less difficult: both kids had some teeth pulled. For Patrick, it was one molar that was in the way of his adult teeth. For Alex, he needed to get both of his canines pulled. His adult teeth weren’t coming in directly behind them, so the roots weren’t dissolving.

Because the roots are intact, Alex’s extracted teeth look particularly cool:

Alex's teeth

I had no idea that roots were so big.

We’re at an awkward stage with the tooth fairy. A few weeks ago, Patrick asked me, “Are you the tooth fairy? Tell the truth.” I have a hard time flat-out lying when asked a direct question, and evasion and silence didn’t work with Patrick. He kept asking me, so I finally told him, “Yes, we’re the tooth fairy.” 

So when Alex brought up the tooth fairy on Friday night, Patrick kept giving me weird looks. He was clearly thinking, “Dad! Why are you letting him go on like this?” After a while, Patrick couldn’t take it any longer and he blurted out, “There is no tooth fairy! It’s the parents!” Molly and I stayed quiet as the younger brother tried to explain to the older brother the ways of the world. Patrick was only half-persuasive. As near as I can tell, Alex now believes that the parents team up with the tooth fairy — the tooth fairy doesn’t have money, so the parents provide that, but the fairy takes the teeth.

That night, both kids put their teeth in special “tooth pillows” that Nana made them. I’m sure Patrick did it because he was thinking, “This is the ritual I have to do to get some money!” But Alex clearly believes: That night, after I left them in their room, he went to the bathroom, took a Kleenex, and on it wrote this note in pencil:

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Can you leave my tooths? I just want them for my collection because I think they are cool and I know we took a picture but, with a picture you can’t feel them. So please let me keep them.

Keep my teeth,

Alex Dewey

Yes, we let him keep his teeth. Molly wrote a return note explaining he can hold on to his teeth for a while, and when he’s done he should give them to his parents for safekeeping. And Patrick? He happily took his money, but then wanted to see where we were keeping all of the old teeth. He wouldn’t stop asking until we showed him the stash we have in our bedroom.

It’s strange having two kids sleeping in the same room but living in different worlds.

Fringe Sport Weekend

18 05 2015

Some weekends, everything happens at once. There was so much happening this past weekend that I couldn’t even do half of what I wanted. On the calendar: the Mutual of Enumclaw stage race, the LA Aviators visiting Seattle for Ultimate, a backyard BBQ at our house, Beat the Bridge (had to skip it), the University District street fair (too busy to go), the CF walk (sad, but couldn’t make it).

This wound up being the Fringe Sport weekend; my time revolved around bicycle road racing and Ultimate frisbee. I know very little about road racing. However, my cyclocross team hosts the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race each year, and all team members pitch in and volunteer. This year I helped as a corner marshall on Saturday and doing road race setup on Sunday. 

Men's Pro/1/2

Sunday, we watched the visiting LA Aviators play the Seattle Cascade in Ultimate frisbee. My college roommate Frankie coaches the Aviators and we had a fun-but-short visit before the game. 

At the Ultimate game

The kids had a blast at the game. While spectating was fun, the highlight was getting to play capture the flag on the field at halftime. 

An awesome weekend overall. I just wish the calendar spread the awesomeness around a little more!

The Weekend in Pictures

6 05 2015

Everything came together for an awesome weekend. We had clear skies and warm (for Seattle) weather both days. Work didn’t intrude (too badly) on weekend time, so we got to go out and enjoy our city. So what did we do?

Saturday morning, the boys and I started the weekend on our bikes, of course. We first rode to QFC for bagels, then headed to the Montlake cut to watch the Windermere cup.

Women's Winderemere Cup

Women’s Windermere Cup: University of Washington (far boat) versus University of Virginia (near boat). UW won the close race by 3 seconds.


Alex at his perch by the Montlake cut for the race. The racing didn’t hold Patrick’s attention and he wandered off onto the grass.

When the racing was over, the boys headed over to the “Husky Rock”, a concrete rock-climbing sculpture south of the stadium. The boys confined themselves to the “steeply slanted” concrete instead of the “vertical with tiny, far apart handholds” walls. Climbing the slanted walls was still a challenge, though. It took Alex dozens of attempts to learn how to get to the top, and Patrick never made it (though also never got bored). This was the highlight of Alex’s weekend, and he and I made a return trip on Sunday so he could climb some more.


Alex climbing the Husky Rock.

Saturday night, the boys & I camped in the back yard. (Molly decided to skip this craziness.) This was mostly a trial run to see if my small, 20-year-old tent still works (it does, although one of the poles shows its age) and if we all fit in it (we do). I’ve been dreaming of doing at least one bike camping overnight trip with the boys this summer, which motivated the gear check.

Backyard camping

We spent several hours Sunday working outside at the boys’ school, helping restore/reclaim the unused trails and land that lead from Villa’s hilltop perch down to the lake. I was nervous heading into this. I don’t garden at home, so the idea of gardening at a large scale intimidates me. Luckily, my assigned job was just brute manual labor; it required only strength and not skill. I had to help load and move wheelbarrows full of mulch down the trail to the “sanctuary,” which will be an outdoor classroom space.

All in all about as nice a weekend as you could hope for!

Happy Belated Spring Break!

27 04 2015

So yes, spring break was 3 weeks ago. Happy Belated Spring Break! 

End of Trail

We spent 5 days in Phoenix, Arizona. It was everything we wanted in a spring break trip: Sunshine, swimming pools, and lots of unstructured time. We spent at least two hours a day in the water. I got a lot of pleasure reading done. We shared a hotel room with the kids and wound up going to sleep at the same time they did, so I was really well rested at the end of the vacation, too. Perfect.

Because Arizona is a short flight, in the same time zone, and has reliably good spring weather, I bet we’ll be back. 



Alex’s First Piano Recital

31 03 2015

Every famous concert pianist started with a simple polka.

Every junior high piano dropout started with a simple polka, too.

Time will only tell which camp Alex is in.

(Do not watch this video unless you’re a relative, or prepared to be bored.)

Errandonnée 2015

30 03 2015

A total stranger on the Internet made the challenge: On your bike, run 12 errands in 12 days. Minimum total distance, 30 miles. This is the 2015 Errandonnée. “Why not?” I thought. Most of my bike riding is because I need to get somewhere in the city, not about “exercise” or “training.” The errandonnée fits into my daily life. The most challenging, unnatural part was remembering to take pictures. (“Pics or it didn’t happen!” as the kids say these days.)

Well, probably because I didn’t view the errandonnée as a challenge, I had only 8 different errands at the end of the 12 days. For posterity, this is my snapshot of 12 days of city-life-with-a-bike:

  • I biked to & from work for 7 of the 12 days. (By the rules of the errandonnée, I can only count 2 of those.)
  • Kids & bikes go together well! I rode with the kids to school, to a soccer game, to a playground, and to Baskin Robbins.
  • Need to run to a store but dread finding parking? Bike! I made two shopping trips (Chrome and Swift Industries).

So, while I may not qualify for a cool errandonnée patch this year, my thanks to the Chasing Mailboxes blog for putting the challenge together. I love seeing people celebrate the practical side of biking.

Biking to and from school in the nice weather! #errandonnee #latergram

A photo posted by Brian Dewey (@frozenphoton) on


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