Thursday, November 8, 2018

Halloween 2018

A little late, but here is my annual Halloween post.  We have a fun Halloween tradition where a bunch of us gather at a friend's house (except Paul and I have to take turns staying home to hand out candy) and have a drink and then walk with the kids while the trick-or-treat around our "loop", then we continue trick-or-treating our way down to the other end of our neighborhood to another friend's house where we commence with our annual Halloween party (which is more of just a gathering of friends, not an actual party.  No decorations or food or anything, just alcohol.  Priorities).  This year, all of the older kids went out by themselves and we just stayed at our friend's house and talked and drank, then when they were ready to head down to our other friend's house I went back to get Paul and Kona and we just walked down by ourselves while the girls and their friends were trick-or-treating their way down.  It was kind of cool.

Olivia was (obviously) Dorothy from Wizard of Oz.  I couldn't find red sparkly shoes that weren't like $35, but I found some gold ones at Target and I was going to spray paint them, but they ended up being too big and by the time we found out it was too late to exchange them.  Kayley was that zombie from the Walking Dead (no, she hasn't seen that show).

The whole gang before trick-or-treating

Monday, October 22, 2018

10 Years Blogging

Today is the 10 year anniversary of my blog.  Wow.  I have probably posted about as much as most bloggers do in a year or two, but whatever.

I started this blog as a way to keep friends and family updated on the twins, but mainly I just found it very therapeutic and a great way to vent about the challenges of having twins vs. a single (not being able to go many places because they can't accommodate a double stroller, not being able to "sleep when the baby sleeps" because, hey, there are TWO  babies and they might not necessarily be asleep at the same time!, which one do I go after when they run off in different directions?, etc.).

It's been really hard to find time to blog these last 4+ years since returning to work.  There are times when I'll get inspired and motivated to blog a lot and then there are times I think I might give it up altogether, but I'm pretty sure I want to keep going until they graduate high school because I love having something to look back on and reminisce about how things were.

Anyway, here's a look back at the girls every year, this time of year, since I started the blog (actually, even before):

2007 (ha ha)









2016 (Kayley wouldn't let me take her picture)


Saturday, September 1, 2018


I will finish documenting our summer with some highlights from August.

We have an annual tradition were we meet up with some friends to watch the Blue Angels practice over Lake Washington.  It's part of Seattle's annual SeaFair festival.  They close down the I-90 bridge and people can walk out onto it to watch.  It's so cool.

Found the perfect snow cone holder

Our neighborhood has outdoor concerts and movies every summer.  We saw Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

The girls and a friend all bundled up

I really want to start hiking more, but unfortunately Olivia doesn't care for it and I don't want to pay for 5 or 6 (or at least 4 depending on length of hike and drive time) hours of babysitting just to go hiking.  But on this particular day we managed to coerce/bribe her to do Snow Lake with us.

The girls and Kona with their friend Jasmin

For Paul's 50th birthday a year and a half ago, I got him a Seattle Mariner's Gift card and we finally used it to go to a game.  We picked a Sunday game so the girls could run around the bases after.  They played horribly and lost, but it was fun anyway.

Ken Griffey, Jr. statue

My best friend that I've known since Kindergarten turned 50.  She and her son spent the weekend with us.  We went to dinner and a free concert at the casino with another friend on Friday night, then on Saturday I treated her to a massage at the Salish Lodge.  On Sunday we went to a campground with another friend and all the kids to go swimming, and then back to that friend's house for dinner and drinks and games and just to hang out.

Lastly, the girls started 5th grade on the 29th!  See previous post.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

First Day of 5th Grade

Today is the last "First Day" for the girls at this school, as next year they will be off to middle school.  What the...?

Kayley and Kona

Olivia and Kona

This is the first time since I started working 4+ years ago, or maybe even longer, that I'm actually a little sad that summer break is over.  Summers have been hard because it's been stressful having to worry about childcare and not being able to go do fun things very much (and having to fight weekend crowds when we do), but now that my work/life balance is so much better these days I was able to enjoy this summer way more than I have the past several.  Fall is still my favorite, though, so I'm not THAT sad!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Proposed Schedule

School starts tomorrow (!) so I’ve been thinking about what our schedule will probably look like.  Olivia is doing soccer again this year but Kayley is not.  She is doing dance instead (Hip Hop), and Olivia is doing dance also (ballet) in addition to soccer.  It's going to be a busy fall.

6:15-7:45 - I get up and get ready for work.

7:45-8:40ish - Girls get up and get ready.  I will help with breakfast and lunches (preferably packed the night before, but not always going to happen).

8:40ish - Everybody leaves for work/school.  I imagine that for the first several weeks while the weather is still cooperative they will either walk or ride their bikes with friends.  Otherwise I will drive them.

8:45-9:00ish - I arrive at work.  It’s only 5 minutes away but can take up to 20 minutes if I get stuck behind a bus or something.

3:05 - Paul gets home (he just started a new position with an (even) earlier start time.  He has been getting home at 3:35).

3:40ish - Girls get home from school, have a snack and start their homework.

Then it will vary depending on the day:


4:30 - Early dinner for Kayley

5:10 - Paul takes Kayley to dance (5:30-6:15).  Meanwhile, dinner for Olivia.
5:35 - I get home.

5:45 - I take Olivia to soccer.  Or, Paul can take both, drop Kayley first at 5:30, then
drop Olivia at 5:45 and go back for Kayley, arriving about 10-15 minutes before the end of class.  Then either of us could grab Olivia from soccer at 7:30.  But most likely Kayley will get a ride to dance from the neighbor whose daughter/the girls’ friend is also in that class and then either Paul or I will pick them both up.  I think most of the time Kayley will ride with the neighbor, I will take Olivia to soccer and walk the dog during practice while Paul picks up Kayley and the neighbor girl from dance.  Whew.

6:35 - Dinner for Kayley if she didn’t already eat earlier, finish homework, free time.

7:40 - Olivia home, finish homework, free time.

8:30 - Electronic device cut-off.  Shower, brush teeth, read, etc.

9:00 - Paul goes to bed (he gets up super early (before 4 sometimes) to go to gym before work most days).

9:30 - Bedtime for girls (will always shoot for 9:00 but 9:30 is more realistic).  Alone time for me—watch TV, computer stuff, then read before bed.

10:30 or 11:00 - Bedtime for me.


4:25 - Paul takes Olivia to dance (4:45-5:40), or most likely she will ride with the above mentioned neighbor whose other daughter is in Olivia’s dance class.

5:20 - Paul leaves to pick up Olivia and most likely the neighbor girl at 5:40

5:30 - I get home
6:00 - Dinner

6:30-8:30 - Finish homework (them), clean up, next day prep, miscellaneous chores (me and Paul)

8:30 - Electronic device cut-off.  Shower, brush teeth, read, etc.

9:30 - Bedtime for girls.  Alone time for me—watch TV, computer stuff, then read before bed.

10:30 or 11:00 - Bedtime for me.


5:00 - Dinner for Olivia, then get ready for soccer.

5:45 - Take Olivia to soccer (6-7:30).

6:30ish - Dinner for the rest of us.

7:40 - Olivia home, finish homework, free time.

8:30 - Electronic device cut-off.  Shower, brush teeth, read, etc.

9:30 - Bedtime for girls.  Alone time for me—watch TV, computer stuff, then read before bed.

10:30 or 11:00    Bedtime for me.

5:30 - I get home
6:00 - Dinner, clean up, next day prep and then same as other days

I will work from home most Fridays.
6:00 - I get up, brush my teeth, put hair in ponytail, let the dog out, make coffee and get right to work by 6:30
6:30 - 8:00 - work from home
8:00 - 8:40 - get the girls ready and out the door
8:40 - 1:40 - work from home
1:40ish - girls get home (early dismissal), have a snack, chat about their day
2:00ish - 3:30 - work from home

Friday, August 17, 2018


School starts in 12 days and for the first time since returning to work 4+ years ago I'm not quite ready for summer to end.  Almost, but not quite.  I've hated summers in recent years due to the stress of childcare and feeling sad and guilty about not being able to do fun things with the girls, plus enduring all of the 80-something to over 90-degree days without A/C (we at least have them in our bedrooms now).  But with my shorter commute and more PTO they are getting better.  Next summer should be the best yet because I will work from home 2 days a week, Paul will take most Mondays off and the other 2-3 days a week we will just let the girls stay home alone and I will come home on my lunch break to check on them, plus there are plenty of neighborhood moms (that either are stay-at-home or work for the school district) that can keep an eye out.  Also I will finally have enough PTO built up that I can maybe take a whole week off and not go anywhere but just hang around home and go to the lake and what-not (in addition to other time off for our regular summer vacation/Crescent Bar, etc).

Anyway, I usually recap our summers week-by-week, but just never got around to it this year.  Instead I'm going to break it into July and August.  So here was our July:

We spent the 4th of July holiday hanging around home most of the day but in the late afternoon we went to our neighbor’s for a barbeque.  There were fireworks for the kids (all of whom are now old enough to shoot them off themselves with adult supervision) and then at 10:00 our community has a big fireworks show every year at a park, so we went to that.  The next day we went to Crescent Bar and stayed through the weekend.

July 5th was Kona's 1st birthday!

She got some birthday treats which she didn't even like :(

A few weeks later the girls and I went camping with a few friends.  Just moms and kids, no husbands, so Paul had a weekend to himself.  We went to a campground only 25 minutes away with a nice pool.  It was a fun little getaway but I don’t think I took a single picture.

A few days after that our sitter went on vacation so Paul took those days off and took the girls and one of their friends to Crescent Bar.  I still had to work, but I enjoyed having the house and time to myself in the evenings.  They got back on Saturday the 28th and then on Sunday the 29th we left to go camping.  We went to Lake Cushman and it was so beautiful with the Olympic mountains all around.  We swam and floated in the lake a lot and they had a cool rope swing the girls enjoyed.

Other than losing Kona for about 20 minutes it was a great time!

Friday, July 13, 2018


Our family vacation this year was to the great state of Texas.  A good friend of mine, Jerri, moved to Austin 6 years ago and I've been wanting to go visit ever since but we can only go so many places per year (like, one, plus Crescent Bar and maybe camping) and it's usually somewhere like Mexico or Hawaii or last year's awesome Caribbean cruise.  So with all that out of our system we finally went to Texas this year.

We are Worldmark owners, so the first thing we did over a year and a half ago (because at that time we already knew we were going to do the cruise in 2017) was look to see if they had any resorts near Austin or San Antonio.  Turns out they have one in Austin and New Braunfels and maybe some others in the vicinity, I can't remember, but we ended up staying in New Braunfels which is roughly half way between Austin and SA (a teeny bit closer to SA).

We flew in on a Saturday, picked up our rental car and drove to our condo, stopping at In N Out burger for dinner.  I had never been and had been dying to try it for years so I was really looking forward to it.  The burger did not disappoint, but the fries were awful.  Anyway, we got settled into our condo, which had a really cool upstairs loft area, and then went swimming.

On Sunday we had planned to go to San Antonio to the Alamo and Riverwalk, figuring that would be the best day to drive down there to avoid traffic, but Jerri really wanted to go to the water park in New Braunfels (Schlitterbahn), so we did that instead and she drove down from Austin and went with us.  After spending the day there we went to Black's BBQ which had just opened a new location close to our condo.

On Monday we went to San Antonio.  We went to the Alamo first, and then to the Riverwalk for lunch and a boat ride.  The Riverwalk is SO cool!  I totally felt like I was in Europe, not that I've ever been but whatever.  We had awesome Tex mex for lunch and then went to Ripley's Believe it or Not Odditorium.


On Tuesday we went to SeaWorld.  Paul asked about a military discount, and we ended up getting in FREE!  The whole family!  I was expecting like a $5 or $10 discount for just him!  We saw 3 shows (Beluga whales/some sort of dolphin (not bottlenose), Killer whales, and my favorite, sea lions) and rode all the big roller coasters.  The girls were even brave enough to ride the big twisty, upside-down one!  I was so impressed!

We rode that and others

One of the girls' friend's family also moved to Austin last year, so on Wednesday we drove up to their brand new house and hung out with them at their community pool.  Then we went to a different BBQ place, Salt Lick, which I liked a little better than Black's.  The girls then had a sleepover with their friend while Paul and I drove about 40 minutes north to Jerri's house.  We had hoped to have a grown up night on the town but it was getting late and Jerri had to work the next day so we just hung out at her house and spent the night there, since we were maybe going to go to Waco the next day and we would be closer.

On Thursday morning after Jerri left for work Paul and I went out for a quite breakfast date, then it was back down to our other friends' place to pick up the girls.  The original plan was to then head to Waco to see the Magnolia Market at the Silos and all the fixer-upper stuff and Jerri was going to get off work early and come with us, but it was just a bit too far, especially since we'd be getting a late start, so instead she took us all around Austin, culminating with dinner at the Oasis, a super cool restaurant on a cliff overlooking Lake Travis, which is part of the Colorado river.  There are some other restaurants and shops there, too, and I would have loved to explore more but the girls were super tired that day, having not gotten much sleep at the sleepover.

Smoker at Salt Lick BBQ

Some overlook on the Colorado River


Downtown Austin

Another bucket list item checked off!

Capitol building

That tower at the University of Texas

Dinner at the Oasis

We spent Thursday night at Jerri's again, then on Friday we took off for Kerrville, about 2 1/2 hours away.  There is a town on the way called Fredricksburg that is a cute little German town with really cute shops and restaurants and what-not, and we stopped super quick just to grab a gift for my aunt and uncle (salsa and jam).  I would have loved to spend an hour or two exploring that town but we didn't have time.  We finally made it to my uncle's place around 2:15.  I hadn't seen them since 1997 at my grandma's funeral, I think, so it was SO nice to see them!  We had a late lunch and just visited for a bit but we had another long drive ahead and the girls were getting restless so after being there a few hours we left to go back to New Braunfels, about 1 1/2 hours away.  We got pizza for dinner and called it a night.

Saturday we checked out and drove to the airport where Jerri picked us up (our rental car was due back several hours before we needed to be at the airport so thankfully she was available to hang out with us some more).  She took us to Barton Springs Pool, a really cool spring-fed swimming hole.  It was one of the main things we wanted to do there so I'm glad we got to fit that in.  After that, we had lunch at an Italian place downtown then she dropped us off at the airport.  It was a whirlwind trip but super fun!