Watching the Falls

28 02 2010

Watching the Falls

We had another absurdly nice February weekend in Seattle. It wasn’t the April-like weather of last week, but at this time of year a few clouds won’t keep me from enjoying dry, mid-fifties weather.

This weekend, I took the kids up to Snoqualmie to break out of the rut of Seattle activities. Patrick’s always been captivated by small waterfalls, so I thought he’d be impressed by Snoqualmie Falls. He was, I guess… you know, it’s really hard to tell. Patrick and Alex both looked at the falls for a few minutes, and then they spent a half an hour wandering through a gravel parking lot picking up rocks. I think they would have been just as happy had I taken them to a gravel road by an abandoned meth lab, just as long as they could pick up rocks!

Yuck, Sick.

25 02 2010

It’s been a week of coughs for everybody in the family. That’s made it a week you survive rather than enjoy. Tuesday and Wednesday, when we picked the kids up from daycare, Alex was in full I-will-not-cooperate-I’ll-just-do-the-opposite-of-whatever-you-say mode. The only thing that cheered him up a little was Taco Night, which for some reason Alex uses as a chance to stuff his mouth with just plain lettuce. I couldn’t resist pulling out the video camera at the start of dinner. In the movie, you’ll hear Alex spontaneously apologize to me (for being a terror when I got him from school) and make his own little peace offering.

What a Nice Winter!

17 02 2010

Ah, El Nino! California has gotten all of our rain this winter, and it seems that all of the cold is in the South and the East. As you’ve seen if you’ve been watching the Vancouver Olympics, we’re having an exceptionally mild winter. January was the warmest on record – not a single day was below normal, and the average temperature was the same as a typical March. I just processed these photos from a few weeks ago… on the last day of January, the boys got to play outside without coats!

No coats!

On the fence

Alex Dresses Himself Now

15 02 2010

I hope you’ve been able to guess this fact from some of the recent photos.

Goggle Boy

Alex Dresses Himself

Great Wolf Lodge

9 02 2010

Wow, we didn’t have places like this when I was growing up!

I have fond memories of summers spent at the wave pool at Cameron Run Regional Park. But that’s nothing compared to what kids can do at Great Wolf Lodge. For starters, we could only enjoy Cameron Run during the hot summers… but not too hot, because you can’t be in the pool during a thunderstorm!

The water park at Great Wolf Lodge is indoors, though, so even on a dreary, damp, February weekend – when everyone on the East coast is digging out from two feet of snow – you can spend lots of time getting wet. And there are a lot more ways to get wet, too. Sure, there’s the wavepool, but there are also innovations like The Giant Water Bucket, which is easier to show than explain:

The kids had a wonderful time. Patrick was a little hesitant at first, but he eventually warmed up and had a blast going down the water slide (over and over and over again).

Alex had one little adventure with Molly down the big water slide – a long fast ride for multiple people in a raft. He only did that once, though, because he didn’t like waiting in line. He spent most of his time playing in the kiddy pool with his brother.

The rest of the resort is clearly optimized around keeping little kids entertained, and extracting as much money from parents as possible while doing it. The big draw outside the water park is a scavenger hunt game called MagicQuest, which involves waving a magic wand at different items throughout the hotel. Apparently, if you do the full game, it takes 4 hours and you walk 10 miles up and down stairs, which makes the $25 seem a bargain. What else occupies kids that long and gets them that tired? (We got Alex a wand, but didn’t enter him in the game… he could just wave it at things to make them move.)

Overall, it was a successful trip. Both Patrick and Alex loved every single minute of it. In spite of the cost, I bet they’ll drag us back again.


Alex and the Fountain

Another unheralded January milestone…

4 02 2010

Molly’s birthday. As I’m sure the parents appreciate, with kids around, birthdays are no longer about yourself. It’s about giving the kids an excuse to have a party. In this case, the party was small… just balloons and cupcakes. But when you’re young, that’s enough of a party!

Nom nom nom!

Lick the Icing

Patrick’s First Haircut

2 02 2010

Whoa, forgot to mark a milestone! One month ago, we finally decided that Patrick’s hair had gotten too long. Actually, it was more me that campaigned to get his hair cut. The little red curly wings he was growing next to his ears were just too much for me. When he came out of the bathtub after a hair wash, his wet hair was down to his back. Yes, his hair was (and is) still sparse on the top and the front, at least compared to the other members of his family, but that makes it worse. Really, do you want to see an 18-month-old with a mullet? I took this photo right before he got his hair cut, and you can see some of the Medusa locks on the side.


I don’t know why, but we expected the haircut to be traumatic. It wasn’t. Kid’s Club operates like a well-oiled machine. The kids get to sit in cool cars (Patrick picked a race car), they’ve got boxes of toys for the kids to hold, and they’re fast.

Snip, Snip

Snip, snip… we were done in 10 minutes. No tears, no fussing, no mullet!

After the Haircut