Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

the killers

as part of bryan’s birthday present, i got him tickets to see the killers in concert. because (a) we love their music and (b) we find it fascinating that lead singer brandon flowers is a card-carrying member of the mormon church.

now, as old marrieds with (almost) two children, we wondered if such a concert wasn’t a bit too out of our league. and as we stood in line and watched punk kids wearing a lot of eye makeup and their clothes too tight walk by, we felt our fears confirmed.

but as if the killers knew how diverse their following is, the venue in which they played was split both physically and demographically into two sections: the standing room only (aka "party hard") and the bleacher seats (aka "hardly party").

and while the aforementioned punk kids were busy standing, sweating, and screaming, we found two seats in the middle bleacher section and very much enjoyed our comfortable view. surrounded by techies who refused to dance, middle-aged couples who brought their young children, and even a few ladies my mom’s age, we fit right in.

the lights dimmed, the drum beats started, bryan put in his earplugs, and the killers gave a wicked good show.

this one's for you, dad:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hai muoi chin

Twenty-nine. Last stop before 30. But getting older wasn’t the only surprise of the day.  It turns out both my little connivers were hard at work from dawn til dusk:

4/15 4:45 AM - For her first surprise, Emily uses the time Bryan is at the gym to create a balloon sculpture in the living room with 29 balloons tied to candy bars.

6:00 AM
- Birthday surprise breakfast!

11:30 AM
- Bryan returns to his office after a morning of meetings. Surprise, surprise. Baby Summer is wandering the halls of She leads Bryan back to her mom, who has brought cookies, balloons, and lunch to his office.

1:00 PM
– Unable to contain her excitement, Summer skips her daily nap. Danger ahead.

7:00 PM
- Birthday dinner. After we order, Summer starts the tantrum that just won’t stop. Moments before the food hits the table, Bryan asks the waiter to box it up as Emily takes Summer to the car.

8:00 PM
– Eat steaks from Styrofoam take-out boxes. Who says plating doesn’t matter?

8:15 PM
- Eat the beautiful and delicious Strawberry Lemonade birthday cake.

8:30 PM
– Sit in special birthday chair to open gifts. Thanks everyone!

29 balloons.

29 candles.

29… ounces of body armor. I like the way James thinks.

Friday, April 17, 2009

worn out

i may have mentioned in passing summer's legendary tantrums. well, it seems that even she is growing tired of them. today, in the midst of a fit being thrown because i wouldn't give her my pen, she fell asleep. seriously. it was kick, kick, scream, scream, snore.

in fact, the rest was brought on so suddenly that i actually had
to stop and think about whether or not i'd drugged her milk.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

olympic anniversary

to celebrate our astonishing five years together, bryan and i ventured back to the olympic penninsula. this time, sans baby summer.

the bed & breakfast

ah, where to start? lazy mornings waking to the surprisingly pleasant sounds of bullfrogs and birds… falling asleep next to the flickering flame of a warm fire, which crackling blaze also added ambiance to lavish lavender whirlpool baths… gratuitously spending an hour and a half to enjoy the gourmet four-course breakfasts…

and this was the view from our bedroom window:

yes, that's canada off in the distance.
for more info on this little B&B gem, click here.

the gifts

the traditional anniversary gift for the fifth year is wood. i’m still not exactly clear on how that applies to bryan’s gift, but hey, i’m definitely not one to complain about a trip to the spa.

the attractions

we visited four main points of interest: the hoh rainforest (uh, a rainforest), cape flattery (the most northwestern point of the continental united states), hurricane ridge (a veritable winter wonderland), and forks (if you don't know, go ask your wife).

bryan has a special post he'd like to write about this year's visit to forks, so stay tuned. otherwise, our assessment is as follows:

the hoh: for those of us who live in the pacific northwest, very uninteresting.
moss grows on, like, all the trees around here.

cape flattery: well worth the drive.

hurricane ridge: a good scenic point in the olympics.
would have been more fun had we brought our sledding gear.

the babysitters

so what about summer? no need to worry about her: she was back in duvall having a grand old time. ever the social butterfly, she enjoyed a two night stay with these sweet girls (and their parents, of course). her many varied activities included hunting for more easter eggs, eating yummy cupcakes, discovering sidewalk chalk and playing with friends.

happy in her new life, i think she was a bit confused to see us again.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter morning

the easter bunny left a few gifts of goodwill for summer. 
little did he know, he need not have gone to so much trouble.
all she noticed was an egg full of jelly beans.

candy for breakfast, again.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Five and counting

We made it. It’s been a full 1826 days since Emily and I completed our martial vows. In celebration of these five years, I present five reasons why I got the better end of the deal.

Parenting style

A confession: When it comes to discipline, Summer is a mighty whirl wind, and I'm a blade of grass that gets tossed to and fro. Last weekend, I was sent to Summer's room at 2AM to help her go back to sleep. Half an hour later, Emily grew suspicious and came to check on our condition. Somehow, Summer had overpowered me, forced me to let her out of the crib, and ordered me to go to sleep on the floor. Meanwhile, she had a grand time playing with all her toys in the soft moonlight.

Fortunately, Emily has enough child disciplining skills for three or four families. As a teacher, she was unusual since she actually enjoyed the classroom management aspect of the job. She gets giddy thinking about how to create order from the chaos that comes from children. She is the grand old tree that stands perfectly steadfast through Summer's gales.

Rationally level headed

Remember, remember... by the time ladies at the hair salon are giving advice about a particular investment scheme, it's time to pull back. Way back. It was true about tech stocks in 2000 and true about houses in 2006. I confess to being irrationally exuberant from time to time, but Emily has always been there to keep me from stumbling over any financial cliffs. Time share peddlers beware... she can see right through you.

Innovating where you should

For thousands of years, husbands have been held hostage by their mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law's cooking. Why? Because cooking skills, recipes, styles, and tastes are traditionally transferred directly from mother to daughter. But Emily is constantly expanding her culinary repertoire and taking her skill set to the next level (no offense to Wendy or Jacqs – some of my all-time favorite recipes come straight from the family cookbook).

Of course, every once in a while, some new fangled dish is DOA as it hits the table. But luckily, she doesn’t take the failures personally. She analyzes the flaws and missteps, and does it better the next time.

Surprises surprises

Emily loves a good surprise. Unfortunately, surprising Emily with clever and thoughtful gifts and other expressions of affection simply isn’t my forte. To satiate her annual surprise quotient, she is forced to concoct fantastic experiences for me instead. Trust me, you definitely want this woman as your birthday party planner.

Aggressive (and confident in her own worth)

This may sound odd, but it’s an important quality to possess should somebody wish to be happily married to me. Bear in mind that I’m never intentionally insensitive, uncaring, or unsentimental. However, I’m afraid I unintentionally do such things on a regular basis.

Lesser women would either resign themselves to a life of quiet suffering or simply handle the situation in a passive-aggressive manner (public service announcement for all the ladies out there: Men are like dogs--you must correct them immediately or else they won’t understand the relationship between their behavior and your reactions). Emily is simply aggressive and it works out to both of our advantage. I get immediate feedback on my misdeeds, and she doesn’t hold it against me when I course correct in a timely fashion. I think it’s all either gender could hope for.

In conclusion

First, a word to my male readers: Sorry gents, she’s taken. To Emily: I have a feeling the next 1826 days will be even better than the first.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

On the hunt

I never realized that my tenure in the Boy Scouts would help me successfully navigate the dangers of an all female household. Consider one of the fundamental, time tested adages: never come between a mother bear and her cub’s Easter eggs.

The rules of engagement were straightforward: Prior to the event, parents provided one dozen eggs for each child that wished to participate. The event organizers hid the eggs throughout the park on the morning of the Easter egg hunt. The children were set loose at the appointed hour, and each child terminated their egg seeking mission once they had gathered exactly one dozen eggs.

Unfortunately, dear Summer arrived 20 minutes late and her initial search only yielded four eggs (well, Summer’s search yielded one egg, and her parents helped her find three more). Hoping to teach my family a lesson on punctuality, I declared the missing eight eggs a casualty of our tardiness and proceeded to the brunch pavilion.

But Emily’s demand for justice knows no bounds. Emily relayed news of the egg inequalities to the event’s alpha female, and a few minutes later, I saw two boys who had earlier gathered an overabundance of eggs redistribute their ill-gotten bounty throughout the park.

Summer swooped to claim what was rightfully hers. And by swooped, I mean overlooked the new eggs and headed right for the swings. Emily followed in her wake, scooping up eight little eggs.

Outcome for Emily’s Summer’s first Easter egg hunt: Mission Accomplished.

Friday, April 03, 2009

second trimester in review

before we turn the corner and head into the final inning, here’s a quick recap of the past three months:

weight gain: 10 pounds.

average daily sleep: 12 hours.

baby’s current position: like sister summer, her head is low in the pelvis, ever-ready to escape the womb.

food cravings: nothing really comes to mind, but i have been known to go out of my way for some cheesecake, and once i ordered scones off the internet (thank you amazon prime!). also, bryan claims my trips to mcdonald’s are up 300%.

biggest pregnancy complaint: i’m drawing a blank here, too. aside from the hellish first four months, pregnancy goes pretty smoothly for me. but, if i had to complain about something, it would be that like london bridges, my preggo pants are always falling down.

biggest pregnancy acclaim: for those of us who were otherwise neglected by mammary mother nature, it’s got to be the boobs. holla!

as for little baby, she continues to be healthy and active and growing at a perfect rate. and yes, bryan and i have settled on a name for our newest addition, but don’t bother asking—just stay tuned for another baby name game coming to the blog in june!

so, what can we expect in the third trimester?
remember the pioneer song about the oxcart? that’s me: slow, slower, and slowest.