Postscript to Strawberry Picking

30 07 2011

This picture’s been sitting on my computer for a few weeks now. It’s a postscript to our strawberry picking adventure from the beginning of July. One of the things Molly did to preserve some berries was make strawberry sorbet. As you can see, it was so good Alex had to lick the bowl!

Lick the Bowl

All Wet

25 07 2011

As you may remember – we’re not soon to forget! – Alex ruptured his eardrum back in May. The time I now call The Black Spring, with its strep and earaches and stomach flu. At the time, the pediatrician told us we shouldn’t get Alex’s ear wet, as there was a risk of water going into the inner ear and doing damage. So, dutifully, he’s kept his head out of the water since then.

Well, last week, we brought him back to the pediatrician. “Wow!” he exclaimed on looking in Alex’s ear. “I wish you could see this! It’s a textbook example. You can see the clear window where the eardrum has started repairing itself.” Alex got the all-clear to submerge his head again, but he was warned to avoid jumping into water for the next few weeks. The pediatrician doesn’t want the force of impact to tear the eardrum again.

As much as Seattle has complained of the 78 minutes of summer we’ve had so far, we’re getting the good weather when it counts: On the weekends. To celebrate Alex’s clean bill of health and the first sunny, warm day in a couple of weeks, we spent a few hours in the water at Magnuson Park. And this time, Alex happily got all wet!

Summer Sun

Sounds of Summer

24 07 2011

The blessing or the curse of having our kids at the Bright Horizons at University Village: The Sounds of Summer Concert Series. Wednesday evenings during the peak summer months, U Village hosts a free outdoor concert in the parking lot right outside of daycare. From the window of Homebase G, Alex gets to watch them set up the stage, so by the time we pick him up he’s past all hope: “Can we go to the concert?! Can we go to the concert?!”

The kids have been to the two shows so far this season, and they’ve had a blast. We get there early, before the music starts and it’s too crowded. The kids each have a slice of cheese pizza and a smoothie. Then they play until the music starts. After the music, Alex still plays… Patrick, on the other hand, goes right to where the music is loudest. He might dance a little, but mostly he just stands and watches, captivated.

Thus, his dream to be a rock star is born!

Sounds of Summer

First T-Ball Game

20 07 2011

Alex had his first T-Ball game yesterday. We didn’t really know what to expect. It turns out that when you’re five, a T-Ball game is just another kind of T-Ball practice. It’s all about learning the rhythm and expectations and not at all about a score. We did three innings because that’s what fit in an hour. Every kid gets to bat once in an inning. No matter how well you hit the ball, you run only as far as first base. Even if the fielders manage to get the ball to a base before a runner (which happened exactly one time in the game), the runner’s safe: Everybody gets to go around the bases, one hit at a time. The last hitter clears the plates: Everybody runs all the way to home.

The score isn’t important. What’s important: Learning to take turns batting. Learning that when you field, you need to keep watching the ball. If you catch it, throw it to first base. You’re part of a team, and you need to listen to the coach. And of course: Have fun! (Alex did.)


Getting Ready to HitT-Ball

Looking Harder for Summer

19 07 2011

This summer, we had to look harder for summer, but we still found it in little pockets here and there. Saturday morning started gloomy, but we had a few hours of nice weather in the afternoon and we got the kids out to Ravenna Park. I’m happy with the pictures.

(P.S. For those out of town, you may be amused that our local paper computed that we’ve had 78 minutes of summer-like weather in Seattle so far this year.)

Patrick, Bottle


Yay, Summer, Again!

10 07 2011

Tonight, after the kids fell asleep, I remarked to Molly, “It feels like we’ve already had more summer this year than we did all of last year!” Partly it’s that the kids are older, so we’re getting out to do more things. Partly it’s that the weather is simply better. (I’m still scarred from last year: The Year Without A Summer.)

After all, is there anything that says Summer in America more than spending time out on a baseball field? That’s how we started our weekend, with Alex’s t-ball practice. I don’t have any pictures, because my job was to keep Patrick from running out onto the field and grabbing all of the bats and balls. Both of our kids like t-ball so far, but Patrick seems to really like it. He can’t stand to stay home when Alex goes to practice, and if we bring him it’s hard to keep him off the field.

Watching Alex practice t-ball makes it painfully clear how different five-year-olds are from normal human beings. Yes, they’re all having fun out in the dirt, but their powers of concentration are lacking. For instance, Coach Jeff had all of the kids out for fielding practice. Each child was in position, and the coach would roll the ball through the infield to a kid. The kid had to get the ball and throw it to first base. Then the coach rolls the ball to another kid, and things repeat. With the children’s throwing and catching skills still developing, this is already a pretty challenging drill. It’s even harder when your first baseman decides just to walk off the field to get a drink of water, or to walk over to his little red-headed brother to see how he’s doing…

Another Summer in America activity? Spending a lazy afternoon at the local swimming hole. That’s what we did today. In this case, the “swimming hole” is Lake Washington. Apparently, if you’re young, it’s remarkably entertaining to just run into the water and back out again. That’s what Alex and Patrick did, over and over and over, for an hour. Well, Patrick also repeatedly tried to drink the lake water. I hope he didn’t succeed too much.

Lake Day Wonderful Summer Day!

Magnuson Park also has a wading pool in addition to its rocky beach. We spent about half our time in the wading pool, which Patrick liked much better than the lake. Part of the reason was even small waves could knock him over. The wading pool was also warmer. (That the boys got in the lake at all just shows, once again, that there might not be a lot of common sense in the next generation.)

I hope your summer weekends are as much fun!

Yay, Summer!

6 07 2011

Summer weather has arrived, and we’re getting outside to make the most of it. On Saturday, our friends Dawn and Eric arranged a trip to the Skagit Valley to pick strawberries. You should read their account of their trip last year; they do a fabulous job describing the incredible berries we got to enjoy on our trip.


Our kids had a great time, but the strawberries were just a small part of it. They got to spend the day outside in the warm sun. See horses. Play with dirt. Play on a see-saw. Learn the word manure. Run around like crazy. In other words, a full dose of summer.

Dirt Digger Patrick Walking through Lavender

More Strawberries!

(And did I mention eating strawberries?)