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Lasts.

Today we took our last walk from Chopaka to Issaquah’s parks. We had a picnic and playground time with the Sosbys, and it was great. The next time we meet up for picnics and playgrounds, we’ll drive there from the Little Blue House!

   

       

Maddie had a meltdown on the walk home, which is really the worst time to have a meltdown, but it was manageable. We packed the small amount of stuff that needed to be packed, had dinner, and then it was bedtime, because tomorrow is going to be a really big day. For me, for Zach, for the kids, and for the cats.

Tomorrow is moving day!

After I put Simon to bed in his crib, Maddie and I read a few chapters of All-of-a-Kind Family, and then I put her to sleep in the nursery in this apartment for the very last time. 

Tomorrow’s going to be a day of firsts, and we’re all pretty excited.

  

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Fairy door.

Zach and I are contributing very different things to our big move. He’s been spending nearly every evening at the house, painting, scraping ceilings, fixing things, etc. (He’ll guest blog about some of his improvements right here at some point.) 

I’ve been taking care of our children and packing up the apartment. And today I made a fairy door for Maddie and Simon’s room!

I love fairy doors. I thought about buying one, but decided it would be more fun to make. And cheaper. So much cheaper.

So I took the kids to Michael’s after school today.

 

I love Michael’s.

 

  

  

I also love tiny things, so I was pretty psyched to find these tiny mushrooms. And the tiny birdhouse. So cute!

  

Maddie loves it, and Simon hasn’t seen it yet (he’s napping with a Hot Wheels car in each fist). I’ll be sure to take a picture when the door is installed in their new room!

  

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Car wreck.

  

We had a terrible accident on Monday. I hope this will be the worst thing that happens to us, and the worst memory Maddie has, if it has to be a memory at all. 

I’ve heard stories about moms getting super-strength in awful adrenaline-filled moments, and I hope to God I never need to have another moment like that, but it was very much that way right after the crash. I couldn’t get out my door, so I flew through my mom’s door and around the car to get to Simon. (Mom was already out and unbuckling Maddie.) This very heavy wooden sign was in the way, so I lifted it and got Simon out, and we all waited for the police.

We’ve talked to Maddie about what happened, and her memory of it seems to be just: “Remember when we were in the car and it was like ka-BOOM ka-BOOM? And then there was a police car and then Mater came to fix our car?”

(My mom had pointed out that the tow truck was kind of like Mater.)

And we’re not sure yet whether the car can be fixed. This also happens to be the month we’re moving into our house, and traveling. I hope for a peaceful rest of the month, even with everything that is happening.

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Happy Easter!

It’s Easter weekend! Yesterday, we met up with the Easter Bunny at Gilman Village. Maddie was very anxious about him (or her).

  

4H had some real bunnies there to pet (gently!), and Maddie was much more on board with that.

  

Then we met up with Becky and her family. 

  

We went to their house for an exotic and delicious Texas dinner and an egg hunt. It was Simon’s first, and he did a fabulous job. Maddie’s wild success was due in part to Emmi’s generosity. 

   

       

Simon rode a tricycle for the first time (with lots of assistance from Zach), and he loved it.

  

After dinner, Maddie and Emmi lugged a piano and guitar downstairs and put on a truly excellent show.

  

We all slept like Rip Van Winkle. Even Simon only woke up once last night.

Today was full of egg dying, Easter ham, and cake to celebrate Maddie’s and Zach’s early birthdays with my mom.

   

 

Simon loved the cake. Loved it.

  

Now I’m going to try to convince him to take a nap, so that I can take a nap. 

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Lute children at the Seattle Children’s Museum.

Have you been to the Seattle Children’s Museum? Because it’s awesome.

We went to Seattle on Wednesday, because I needed to pick up Simon’s birth certificate for our upcoming trip to see our friends Luke and Jill (and their crazy adorable baby, our godson Grayson) in Minnesota. 

When I finished my very quick business at the vital statistics place (shoutout to the very efficient lady who helped me!) we went to the children’s museum at Seattle City Center.

 

It was awesome.

 

  

  

 

My favorite part was the reading room that looked like a castle. When we went in there, Maddie convinced some poor, unsuspecting dad to read to her. (He was like, “Well, I guess my wife can watch our kid…”)

   

 

Hahahaha.

The global village was also very cool. Simon was super interested in the sushi in the Japanese kitchen.

  

He played inside a giant tire, watched some fish for a very, very long time (shoutout to fish. If your tanks weren’t such a pain to clean, we would totally get some of you), and then we made bunny ears.

   

  

   

Simon wasn’t thrilled about the bunny ears.

In fact, Simon hasn’t been thrilled about any ears. He’s been rubbing his and pulling at them, and he woke up several times the night before last. Since he’s already had a couple of ear infections, we took him to the doctor yesterday.

  

The great news is: no ear infection! The not great news is: he’s getting a bunch of top molars at once. Poor guy.

After the doctor’s appointment, we went to Barnes and Noble, which is one of my favorite places. Maddie had an early free birthday cookie with her Memere. (Barnes and Noble sends a birthday ticket for a free cookie or cupcake around the time of your child’s birthday, if you sign up for it. Pretty awesome.) 

   

 

And now, today, we’re prepping for Easter. In awhile, we’ll meet up with Becky and her family for an Easter Bunny meet and greet at Gilman Village, then an undoubtedly delicious Easter Eve dinner and egg hunt at their house. (If you have the chance to make friends with people from Texas, you should do it. Their meals are wonderful and exotic. Well, exotic to people from Massachusetts, anyway.)

Happy Easter, friends.

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Yesterday.

Yesterday was notable for both good and bad reasons. I’ll start with the bad so I can end with the good. 

You think you’ve seen a child throw a tantrum before. Well, I thought the same thing, until yesterday morning. We had a Music Together make-up class, because we’d missed one earlier in the semester. Oh, how I wish I’d just skipped the make-up. How I wish we’d left off at that last official wonderful class. We hadn’t been there for more than ten minutes, when I noticed Maddie was about to break. She and the other kids were running around, and she wasn’t being as gentle as she should have been. (She kept running into Simon and some of the others.) When I asked her to be more gentle, she yelled, “No! You stop it!” (Uh-oh.) I said, “Uh, no? Do we need to go outside the classroom and talk?” And that was that. 

“NOOOOO! Don’t take me! No! I never leave! AAAAUUUGGHH!”

So I carried her out into the main area of Blakely Hall, where she has both Music Together and ballet, and she totally flipped out, screaming her head off, trying to run away from me, yelling: “YOU’RE HURTING ME! DON’T TOUCH ME, YOU MOTHER! AAAUUUGHH!” The women who work in the main office looked embarrassed for me, and also a little annoyed. Especially the woman who was trying to have a conversation on the phone. Mortifying. 

(As a note, Maddie yells “you’re hurting me” all the time, now. When you’re putting her to bed, when you’re holding her hand to cross the street, when you’re brushing her teeth. Pretty much every time she doesn’t want to do what she’s doing. And it’s the worst thing to have yelled at you repeatedly in public. I feel like I need to put my hands in the air and say, “Hey, whoa, look, I’m not even touching her.” Especially when she yells it at the playground that’s behind the police station.)

So we left Blakely Hall, because that’s what happens when my kids are screaming like banshees in public. We leave. That was our last Music Together class for awhile, and I feel crappy about how it ended.

We drove to IKEA in Renton, and had lunch. Everyone started to feel a little better. We did some shopping for the new house, and Simon double fisted chicken tenders nearly the whole time.

   

  

That’s totally what it looks like. After we checked out, Maddie sat right down to have soft serve with an employee on her lunch  break. (Thanks for being understanding and awfully kind, IKEA employee!)

Then we discovered exactly how close our house is to IKEA. Ten minutes. TEN MINUTES. 

We got to the house a little early to meet our realtor, and the kids played in the backyard. I had all kinds of happy premonitions about setting them both outside to play while I drink coffee and write on the deck. Sigh.

Then WE CLOSED ON OUR HOUSE!

   

       

The work’s begun, and we’re so looking forward to moving in over the course of a couple of weeks!

See? I told you the day had a good ending.

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Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet.

This morning, Maddie, Mom, and I drove to Bellevue to see Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet at The Theater at Meydenbauer. It was fabulous. Before the show, the illustrator of the Fancy Nancy books (Robin Preiss Glasser) signed a book for Maddie, and let me assure you: she was fancy. Her handbag was on the signing table next to her, and it had a bajillion beads and buttons all over it. Maddie was a little shy about meeting her, and I assumed this would be the case with the other meet and greets during intermission and after the show. 

We found our seats, and Maddie demanded that Memere read her new Fancy Nancy book before the ballet began.

  

  

The ballet was wonderful. So was Maddie. She sat through the whole thing with more patience than she did the Paddington Bear movie (that we left halfway through – she wasn’t keen on the parts that had too many humans and too few bears). 

During intermission, she met a mermaid, and was not shy at all.

   

 

Maddie loves mermaids. She’s been asking for a Little Mermaid third birthday party for ages.

 

She practiced some of her own sweet mermaid moves in the lobby before it was time to go back to our seats.

 

  

After the show, the dancers came out to take photos with the kids, and Maddie was all over it.

 

There was a major line to meet Fancy Nancy and her BFF Bree, but Maddie wanted to brave it so she could meet them. She was so psyched when it was finally her turn.

 

  

 

Best face ever.

Very happily, Disney’s just announced that they’re making a Fancy Nancy movie and TV series. Maddie is going to be over the moon. 

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Tulip Festival.

We went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival today, and you know what? I am not going to crop nor filter these photos. I can’t do it. The first half of our trip was spent at Tulip Town.

   

   

Like Kirsten Dunst in a 2001 movie, it was crazy beautiful. I’m so glad we made the drive. The tulips bloomed early this year, and we went on a Wednesday, and it was a little gray and drizzly outside, so there were no crowds. It was wonderful. The whole thing.

Well, Maddie’s mood wasn’t exactly wonderful the whole time, but what are you going to do? The girl has a lot of feelings. And one of those feelings is “I don’t want to put my head in the Tulip Fairy hole.”

 

Another is “I don’t want to hold my umbrella.”

  

But man, those tulips.

  

  

Finally, Maddie had a hot dog, and Memere bought her tulips, and it was good.

 

  

On our way to Schuh Farm for ice cream and goat shenanigans, we found this incredible daffodil field. 

  

And finally, the ice cream and goat shenanigans you were promised.

   

   

Then home, with an armful of tulips.

  

  

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Music Together.

It’s the end of another Music Together semester, and this one seems like more of an ending than the others. Maybe that’s because Maddie has expressed more interest in dance than in anything else lately, so she’ll be dancing and preschooling this fall. Simon likes music, but he’s quite the little mover – not very interested in sitting in my lap for extended periods of time. Maybe I’ll try to do a weekend music class with just him, or maybe we’ll explore a different art. I think we’ll all take the summer off from regularly scheduled activities (with the exception of swimming lessons), and he’ll give us a clearer idea of what he’d like to do after that. 

In any case, Music Together was a very cool thing for both of my kids, and I imagine we’ll find ourselves doing it again, but maybe not for a little while.

   

    

All sweet endings usually involve Disney in some capacity, so we went to the Disney Store afterward. Naturally. 

Maddie impressed everyone with her Doc McStuffins trivia skills.

  

While we were there, Zach called. It looks as though we’re on track to close on the house Monday, so… Hooray! 

I stayed up too late last night, revising and rewriting chapters of Winicker, and it was worth it. Thank goodness for coffee. (Specifically Starbucks’ flat white. It’s my favorite thing.)

  

Tomorrow we’re heading to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival with Memere! Gorgeous pictures to come. I’m going to spend tonight packing snacks and a medley of toys to entertain both kids on the way. I hope neither is bored, but Maddie loves flowers, so there isn’t much of a danger there. And Simon is fourteen months old, so he finds all kinds of things interesting. Like his toes. And he’s always got those babies on him, so I bet it’ll be a good day.