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.
My mum (we call her Oma now) has been spending time with us this month and yesterday we said goodbye to her as she heads back to NZ via Vancouver. It’s always a bit of a gamble as to how I’ll feel when we say goodbye after a visit, but this time felt like it was much too short and she has left a bit of an Oma sized hole in our lives. If we are speaking literally, the hole isn’t that big because she has lost a ton of weight and looks AMAZING. But if we are speaking metaphorically (which we are), the hole she is leaving is quite large. She gives Mika so much (attention and love, but also donuts..) and she is so confident and helpful with Teo. To hear ‘you guys just go, i’ll put them to bed, we’ll be fine’ is like the biggest sigh of relief and has ivan and i running like love-struck teenagers to the movies? a restuarant? a bar? the park? who cares really, we just needed some TIME together and we really managed to get plenty of it while Oma was here.
We went swimming, we went hiking, we went camping, we went to 5 different farmer’s markets, we went to a yoga class, we walked the lake. We explored beaches, we explored supermarkets. We cooked dinners and we ate out. We made pancakes and we picked berries.
Lately we have been wondering about the size of our family. Is 4 just perfect? Or do we want 5? Or 6? And when we have family visiting with us it makes me think that if we all lived in the same city then maybe i would definitely want a larger family. But because we are so far away and everyone we love is so spread out around the world, a part of me thinks that a little family unit of 4 might be just perfect. I’m still not entirely sure. If you have 3 (or more) kids I would love to hear your thoughts!
– I’m training for a half marathon and I’ve caught the bug. Running is so much harder if you haven’t got the bug and it definitely takes a while to catch it. But now I’m up to 11 miles and have managed to stick to my training schedule for the past 7 weeks and most of all i am loving it, so the bug has definitely been caught. I don’t really want to jinx it by talking about it all too much cause really the lack of sleep and the restricted diet i’m on all make for a very ‘bleh’ state most of the time, and I’m worried that the running bug will turn into the sick bug and that will be the end of that. But right now things are going well. I got shiny new shoes for it all and am running a 10k race soon as a warm up. I haven’t done any speed work (and don’t plan on it) this time round – I just want to be under 1:50 for the June race and maybe I’ll put some speed work in over the fall and aim for a better time in November. My last half marathon was 1:41 which I was pretty happy with considering – and maybe one day in the unforeseeable future where sleep isn’t a novelty I’ll have a crack at my PB time of 1:30.
– everyone asks about teo’s skin and my diet and the current state of everything is just URGHHHH. I dunno. I haven’t eaten wheat or corn or nuts in forever now (almost 2 months) but things are still bad and so I have also cut out coconut and things are still bad and so maybe when I thought soy was OK it actually wasn’t? So might cut that out again, but then I’m like ‘is it raspberries? or stone fruits? or maybe should I not eat onions at all?’ and it makes me quite frustrated. His skin is bad and then we put a tiny bit of steroid cream on him and he is great for a week and so i dunno. I just don’t know.
– we have somewhat perfected the diet of no allergens and so I would love to share some of our favorite recipes on here for anyone who might want to cook/bake so everyone can enjoy their food or just whatever. Like anything I suppose, there is an adjustment period to cutting things out but it is really quite amazing how after a while (about 4 weeks i think, maybe more or less) a new routine and new habits can push out old ones. I do miss wheat and corn, but after finding things i can eat instead, it’s really not a big deal.. But yes, I miss almond butter and toast right now more than you could imagine.
– we had SUCH a great weekend and managed to get a free outdoor picnic table in one of those perfect stars-aligning good karma sort of moments. And there isn’t much that makes me happier than mowing lawns, so I did that, worked on my tiny (flourishing) garden and ivan finally put the sand into what was turning into mika’s permanent mud-kitchen (the mud was awesome, but the sand is even better?). We ended the weekend with dinner outside with friends, which is pretty much how we plan to spend the summer.
– and one last thing: despite our glorious weather, i am desperately wishing i could be elsewhere right now. There are times when being away from so many of our closest friends feels like a real life sickness. Facetime and skype are good but not good enough and i long to be lying in bed next to my best friend while she goes through a yucky breakup or bringing food and doing dishes for two of my favorite people in the world who have just had a baby. Urghhhhhh. I wish i could be everywhere at once!
All things considered, our days are very easy. We put baby to sleep around 730pm in our bed and he wakes up at 11pm then 3am then 630am, more or less. Mika creeps into our bed between 1am and 3am and I never notice her until I’m sort of awake and feeding baby at 3.
At 630 Ivan gets up with baby and at 7 Mika wakes up, kisses me all over my face and then whispers ‘i’ll be with papa and baby in the kitchen’ and quietly slips out, closing the door behind her. Sometimes I take half an hour more sleep or I lie in bed awake just having some mental time to myself. I am very much a morning person, but lately I can’t bring myself to be awake and cheery before 7. It could be to do with the fact that I’m on a no caffeine diet..but more on that later.
We walk papa to work and depending on the day we drop mika at school on the way. The walk is good cause baby is ready for his first nap by 830 and this makes it easy to get everything done.
We are always home for lunch and sometimes ivan joins us. After lunch, mika’s friend C comes over 3 times a week and this is pretty much the best situation for everyone. The girls can almost entertain themselves entirely with make-believe games. I feed them snacks and we usually do one activity together (baking or a craft) and I always read them at least 5 books. So while they play, I have time with baby – sometimes they help me or play with him too, and then once he is down for his longer afternoon nap, i have some time to play with them or clean etc.
We have a very tiny house and I feel like I am always tidying and cleaning and we have a very minimal amount of stuff and it just makes me wonder how other people do it…like with a bigger house or with more stuff, I think I would go crazy! I am also constantly purging and clearing things out of our home and it somehow always seems like there is more to get rid of.
At 5pm C goes home and sometimes we will walk to get Ivan or we will drive and go get groceries together before heading home. Then I am usually out the door for my run and we all eat together around 7, either something I’ve made or Ivan’s made and after Teo is down by 730, Mika follows closely around 8pm.
It is a good rhythm we have going and it all feels very…easy. And although I wish I could get the laundry done faster (there is just so much!) and our list of things to do in the yard is never-ending, I am really enjoying this baby-nap-3-times-a-day lifestyle. I have heard from multiple sources that it all changes once your baby boy is more mobile, so I’m going to relish his immobility! And every month is just so different – I think the warmer spring weather is making things so, so much easier.
And he is just so insanely cute, I can’t even… like sometimes I’m alone with him and he is just so cute that I don’t even know what to do. Like, should I squish him? Or eat him? Or just make squealy happy noises? Cause he’s so cute I feel like I need to do something.
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.
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