Last weekend we stayed in a fancy house on Vashon island with some friends. First of all, it is SO awesome that we are so close to such gorgeous islands here in Seattle. We haven’t even been to all of them, but Vashon, Bainbridge, Orcas – all so close and so beautiful.
It was pretty much just 3 days of cute babies, great food, lots of coffee, a roller coaster of all things 4 year old, and some good old fashioned board game playin. So basically just like every weekend except in a MUCH nicer and bigger house than our own and right on the water.
Oh we also went to a sheepdog festival, which was just as exciting as it sounds. (Very exciting).
And Ivan and I talk about it all the time – life is just easier when you are living with/near other people. I am such a fan of the idea of living in a commune, or building houses with friends on a huge piece of land, or co-owning a huge house with friends or just planning to live on the same STREET as friends. And if that doesn’t work out, making sure that we make an effort with our neighbours makes such a huge difference to our quality of life, we’re lucky that we’ve ended up with some pretty great ones.
So I am very very excited because i will be coming to NZ to photograph the wedding of a super gorgeous couple in January. The tickets were booked pre-Teo’s arrival and now that he is here and I am able to think a little more clearly, I realised that I actually want to extend my stay a wee bit in NZ and make the most out of the NZ summer.
I would love to take some photos for some families while I am back, and as I will be extending my trip I will have a few days available to do so. If you are interested, please get in touch ASAP (book before Jan 5th and get a discount) through my website www.peoplebypamela.com.
We ate lentil loaf and salad and I would have gone to bed feeling great if it hadn’t been for the chocolate and chocolate and chocolate consumed after dinner. All four of us played Catan. Dad and I finished some cryptic crosswords. I went running in my new leggings. We walked to Starbucks on Xmas day. I’d claim this is the first time it’s happened, but actually it has happened once before in 2007 in Vancouver, BC. We walked around the lake. We drank hot cocoa and ate vegan donuts. We drove to Mukilteo and had a real Xmas dinner with friends and their family. My mum and I went to my local yoga studio on Xmas eve and Mika and I slept in on Xmas morning. For brunch Ivan made everyone tofu scramble with beans and hashbrowns. Having my mum and dad here felt like the best xmas present ever.
I took some photos, but definitely not enough. And I have the same song in my head as last year.
[audiotube id=”UkOKCWDJ4iA” size=”medium”]
So Oma has been here for 2 weeks now and it is so so good. Like, ‘how will i manage without her’ sort of good. She has pretty much just assumed the role of chief baby holder and book reader, which has pretty much made me redundant (except for feeding every 3 hours).
But seriously, having more grownups than children in the house makes for a much easier life. And with a grownup like Oma who will willingly change diapers, multitask with an infant in her arms, forgo a shower or two for the greater good and read Dora the Explorer over and over again to the chattiest 3.5 year old, life almost feels luxurious.
I have been enjoying weekly massages (maximizing my insurance benefits), time alone, time with just Mika, some time with just Ivan and even my first postpartum run. NONE of this would happen so easily without Oma here. So things are good.
Teo is getting bigger and stronger and it is SO INSANE how cute he is. Ivan loves being out with him alone because in any other circumstance he would never have so many women approaching him in public 😉
Our days are full but not busy. We walk, we explore, we drink coffee and eat donuts, we go to a dance class or the gym, we read so many books.
In an effort to make Christmas about ‘more than just presents’, I made a little ‘Christmas Jar’ for Mika to open each morning. I made her a christmas tree out of cardboard and drew numbers on it from 1-25 and then in her jar i leave her a little star sticker, a tiny piece of chocolate and an activity for each day. The activities are usually low key, like ‘read a christmas story with oma!’ or ‘choose a toy from my bedroom to donate’ or ‘drink hot cocoa after dinner’, but it has been so fun to watch her jump out of bed each morning and open her jar.
Here’s a few pictures from lately.
We all squeezed into one car and drove to south park with chips and guacamole and beer and veggies. We sat in the sun and talked and played games and the kids were a little gang and they ran wild. We ate lots of things we don’t normally eat, like tamales and marinated meat and birthday cake. And then on the way home our tummies were so full but we discovered a forgotten bag of strawberries and so we found room somehow to eat those too.