Part 1 of Summertime Catch Up

So, this time I was determined to have something to write about besides Evelyn.  I’ve been taking notes– like when I have an actual thought, I go and write it down.  So then you get to hear these rare gems that occur inside my brain that aren’t kid related.

But who am I kidding?  Most of this blog will be cute pictures of Evelyn.  I know what the public wants, and it isn’t to hear my inner commentary.  🙂

You guys!!!  It’s like summer is OVER!  I know, you’re probably thinking, “No sh** Sherlock, you just now noticed?”  But the thing is, it feels like today is the first day I’ve had a chance to sit down and chill out, which is a laugh because today I’m doing laundry, going to two doctors appointments, going to the grocery store, packing for climbing St. Helen’s tomorrow, cooking dinner, and watching Evelyn.  Terribly calm and relaxed day.  😉  What I’m trying to tell you is that in comparison to previous weeks this is pretty sweet.  What that really means is that I’m not at work today.

For the month of July, because of our summer programming at work (2 week-long summer camps and several shorter workshops with groups), I was working full time, sometimes even more so.  And let me just say that 40 hours a week is stupid.  Seriously.  Let’s not go there and do that again.  How in the world is a person supposed to work 40 hours a week every week and DO ANYTHING???  Like take care of a kid, for instance?  I mean for reallllz. Americans are dumb.  🙂

Anyway, rant aside, I’m back to my normal schedule, so I’m filling it up with my typical awesome stuff, which includes doing laundry (EXTREMELY important when you have like a hundred loads a week because of a miniature Pig Pen in your house) and which also includes CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN.  Today is a day of CAPITALS.  BOOYAH.  🙂

Yeah.  So.  Mt. St. Helen’s is actually like, really short.  So let’s not get too excited.

 OK, OK, I hear you complaining at me.  There have been entire paragraphs of writing on this blog already, and not ONE SINGLE photo of a certain adorable toddler.  Alright, people.  Calm down.  Here’s a good one:

I always feel like all my photos of Evelyn have one backdrop– her high chair.  It’s practically the only place I can contain her where I am reasonably certain she won’t hurt herself drastically while I take eyes off of her long enough to pull up the camera on my phone.  Which isn’t always the case, actually, since she now thinks it is hilarious to stand up in her chair (as per usual) and mimic us telling her to sit down, which sounds a lot like Arnold.  “Sit DOWN!”  So that either means she is picking up on Jason’s love of Arnold at a really early age, or she just understands irony way better than I do.

Whew.  Summer in the Pacific NW is exhausting.  And it’s been a really dry and hot summer, which just means more sunny weekends to pack full of stuff.  At this point we have every weekend booked until late October, and have been running around every weekend since May.  Once it starts raining again, I’m not leaving my house. I’m going to sit on my couch and eat ice cream.  Which is what I’m doing right now, but hey.

This is the part of the blog where I make a long list of crap we’ve done in an attempt to remember what in the world I should be writing about.

We went camping for Memorial Day weekend up near Mt. Adams, which was new to us.  Man, is Evelyn an outdoor baby.  It’s like by keeping her inside we’re caging her soul.  I’ve started referring to her as Animal Child. This is simultaneously awesome and exhausting.  You can just let her run around the campsite, but then you also have to make sure she doesn’t stand under the water faucet and coat all of her clothing in mud. Or, if you’re like me, you don’t say anything until she reaches some arbitrary level of ‘too wet’ and ‘too muddy’.  That arbitrary level is reached faster when we have an actual activity to go and do, or when we are running low on clean dry clothes because of previous visits to the water faucet.  It’s like a magnet for children, I swear.

She would run in circles around the campsite, just saying “Run!  Run!”  And then, after the first night, when trying to put her to sleep, she couldn’t fall asleep because she was so excited about camping, and she just kept saying, “Run.  Play!”

Hmm. What’s in here?

The Nose.

Holy crap there’s a bear in our campsite!

Oh man that nose sculpture.  We stayed for three nights, and every single morning the first thing Evelyn talked about upon waking was “Nose!”  We probably visited that dang thing three or four times every day.  She was obsessed.

Do not follow my example here.

So, in the above picture, I had the bright idea that Evelyn should get her first popsicle– you know, it’s summer, the other kids are eating them, whatever, right?  WRONG.  See that crazy look in her eye?  That’s her contemplating a meltdown when I refuse to give her another one.  Kids + sugar = DON’T DO IT.

Demanding that people exit tents to play with her.

Photo from Julia!

Best of friends.

**NOTE** Okay, so I started this post about a MONTH ago.  And still haven’t finished it.  Let’s see how take 2 goes.  And yes, I decided that I would just keep all the stuff I wrote in the first couple paragraphs, even though I absolutely did not climb Mt. St. Helen’s today.  Anyway.  On to the rest of catch up!!!

Jason and I have even been on dates!  Which is like, parenting gold or something.  It sort of costs the equivalent of gold, so maybe I’m on to something here.  Anyway, we went on a date to a Live Wire show (this was actually about a million years ago, because it was at the end of May, but I’m pretending it just happened because it’s really hard to write about this stuff without it feeling like just a list of ‘we went here, we did that’… anyway, I’m just trying to clarify by making this paragraph much more confusing).

The date was hilarious because a) we went with Jason’s boss and his boss’ wife, which sounds really odd but was actually really fun, and b) Jason was his normal self, which is to say, ridiculous.  The show is awesome– they tape a radio show with a live audience.  They always have a mix of musicians, authors and funny people, and this show was heavily funny people.  At one point, they bring on an advice columnist and ask audience members to write their versions of “Dear Abby” questions for this advice columnist to answer.  Jason, of course, has something to contribute, but won’t tell us what he wrote, because he’s all tickled thinking maybe they’ll pick his question.  Because I know Jason, I know he wrote something completely inappropriate, but I can’t decide if this means they WILL pick it because that’s the stuff of radio show gold, or if they WON’T pick it because it’s simply too inappropriate.

Are you wondering what happened?

I wish I could take a poll here.  How many people think Jason’s question was TOO dirty to be read out loud on the radio?  And how many people think Jason cleverly walked that line between ‘just dirty enough’ and ‘wildly ridiculous’?

Anyway, to take you off the edge of your seat, they DID read Jason’s question.  Which made him really excited, obviously.  What was really ridiculous about the whole damn thing was that a) Jason signed his BOSS’ NAME to the question! and b) the question was: ‘My wife and I are considering spicing up our sex life.  We were considering sexting.  What does this mean and how do I do it?  Should I just send her a picture of my man-parts?’

Dear lord.  Jason’s boss thought this was hilarious.  Jason just kept giggling his little ‘I’m so freakin’ funny’ giggle… oh man.  I’ve used the word ridiculous several times already, because it applies so aptly to this situation.

Anyway, if you’re interested in listening to one of the funny people we listened to that evening, look up Baron Vaughn.  His stand up set was hilarious.

That same weekend we went strawberry picking!  Which clearly Evelyn loved.  In an, “I didn’t realize strawberries grew somewhere I could just pick them and eat them as fast as I want, regardless of their color or ripeness!” kind of way.  Then, we did a fair amount of beach sitting at Sauvie Island.  In addition to eating a gut wrenching number of green strawberries, Evelyn ate sand.  Totally healthy.  Then, just to make sure her stomach was never the same again, we took her to the Rose Festival and she rode her first ride!  The carousel, obviously.  Coincidentally, the only ride that allowed children her height to ride, which we didn’t know until we had all already paid the adult entry fee.  Oh well.    Evelyn loved it, obvi.  She couldn’t close her eyes, she just kept looking around at everything and saying “More, More!” and “I DOOOOOO!”  It was awesome.

This is me and Eliza (our friend’s daughter) on the awesome swings.  Every time I swung around to where Evelyn could see me she would shriek and wave.  Hilarious.

We took like 15 pictures there, and this is the only one where Evelyn was looking at anything even resembling something other than the strawberries in Jason’s hand.  Because she has her fists full.

Being prompted to wave to me.  But I’m pretty sure she had no idea where I was.

Okay, so after the Rose Festival, we went to the home of our buddies Eli and Juliana for a BBQ.  I love these guys, and I think they love us, which is good, because of what happened in their backyard.  After the rides, Evelyn was clearly very thirsty (it was a very hot day) so she drank a bunch of water in the car and then peed through her diaper before we got there.  So of course the first thing I did when arriving in their backyard was to peel off her clothes and her diaper.  And I figured I’d let her run around naked for a minute– she had just peed, after all.  But.  Of course.  Two minutes after I take off her diaper she’s pooping on Eli’s lawn.

It’s a good thing they like us.

It wasn’t quite as bad as when she pooped on the bath mat at our house, because at that point she exclaimed, “Ball!” and picked up her poop and tried to throw it.  She had learned from prior experience that poop was not a ball, and so wisely left the poop in the grass.

If I was to do a ‘Summer By The Numbers’ for summer 2015, I’d have to include 2 as the number of lawns Evelyn has now pooped on.  But her second strike was later this summer, so you get to read about that one in the next blog post.

Playing in the bird bath.  Tweet tweet!

After the pooping, I just let her be naked.  I mean really.  What could go wrong after that?  So she just ran around the yard and played in the bird bath for a while.  NBD.

That weekend my brother Chance was also in town, which made all of these experiences that much funnier.  It was awesome to see him– he’s in school at Brown and was back in Sacramento for the summer with his mom, so he made a short trip up to hang with us and our grandma.  He’s a really amazing person, and it’s really fun to be able to see who he is and who he is becoming.

Family!  Chance, me Evelyn, Nicky, Jason.

OK, time for some inner thoughts.  I really have been taking notes on things that I think are funny/witty/interesting/you might actually want to hear about.  Which is not to say that anything on this blog really falls into any of those categories, but just so you know that at one point I thought it all did.  Sometimes I feel like my brain is like a battlefield– the parts dedicated to ART and WIT have temporarily been conquered by BABY and NEED SLEEP.  Sometimes ART wins a battle (usually aided by ALCOHOL) but overall the war is going BABY.  Or SLEEP.  I can’t tell.

Other inner thoughts– the most challenging part of the last year, I think, has been about balance (because despite what I think is witty commentary on here, there have been some REALLY tough times.  It’s just that I think you’d rather not hear all the gory details).  Time for me to be myself or even *gasp* be alone!, time to be a mom, time to be a wife, time to be a good employee, time to work out or be physically active– it’s like every day got significantly shorter.  How is it possible for each day to feel so full, and yet I still have such a long to-do list? 

And getting longer every day.  I’m a list maker.  What can I say?

So yeah.  I’m at a much better place now that I was about 6 months ago or so.  Sunshine and summer time help.  I think I’ve also just reached a point where I’ve finally admitted to myself that it can’t all happen in a day.  So I just deal.  Which has it’s pros and cons– namely, I am more relaxed, but my floor is really dirty.  Oh well.  🙂

Can I tell you another story?  This is another one that might leave you thinking that Jason and I are ridiculous.  But it’s also a really funny story.

So, we have two amazing friends named Shane and Julia, who have two amazing kids named Eliza and Emory.  Their birthdays are super close together, so they threw a double birthday party this year.  It was a themed birthday party– the Emory and Eliza Super Hero Birthday party.  The idea was that everyone should dress up as one of their heroes, super or otherwise.  Of course the morning of the party arrives and Jason and I do not have a costume. 

This is especially important because of how awesome Shane and Julia are, and also how much they love costumes, and so incidentally how much their kids love costumes.  We’ve been to several of their parties where we were the only people not dressed up (at least that’s what it feels like).  Anyway, we felt it was very important to dress up.

Of course this morning nothing seems to go right– Evelyn won’t nap, everything is taking forever, we get going late, we have to stop by the store, we can’t decide what costumes to buy once in the store (namely because all costumes in the store are expensive— what is the deal with that anyway?  Who wants to pay $60 or $90 for something you’ll wear once that makes you look like an idiot?  Anyway…).  So we’re late.  Really late.  We’re like an hour and a half late to this party, but we are in costume, dangit.

And it’s a million degrees out, and the party in the park, so we have to get out of our car in our costumes, and cross the park, which is full of a million little kids and all of their family members who are BBQ-ing, and they are all looking at us like, “What are they doing?” And then we roll up into the party… and we are the only adults dressed up.


True.  I’m dressed up like Jean Gray, and Jason is dressed up like Julia, of Shane and Julia.  His hero.  🙂

It was super hilarious.  Can’t you tell how awesome we are by this picture?

when we hang out with them we never want to leave

Endless hero awesomeness.  How could you not want to be my friend? PS you can totally tell I’m Jean Gray, right?  Right?
Aiden wearing Jason’s Julia wig.  He loved it.

Julia and Julia!

Bryan’s a pirate, and Eliza is Florence Nightingale.  See what I mean about cool kids?

Yup.  That’s just how we do.

Other things of note: Nicky bought a house!  Very exciting.  She is now v. grown up person in manner of v. responsible and yet mysterious Princess Diana (I just re-read Bridget Jones for my book club.  So if this sentence sounds weird, it’s because I’m all Bridget-ed out right now.  And if you haven’t read Bridget Jones, go read it right now.  And if you’re really paying attention to these blogs and you happened to notice that this isn’t the first time this year that I’ve talked about re-reading Bridget, then you are paying entirely too much attention to my blogs.  But also, you’re right.  I’ve only read it about a million times.  I LOVE HER.  Gaaah.)

Anyway.  We sort of helped her move in, which basically means that Jason went to help them move furniture while I stayed at home with Evelyn and decidedly did not move furniture.  Because the only thing worse than moving is moving in the middle of the sweltering summer.

But then we did go over to help Nicky decide where furniture belongs, which is a very challenging task in a new place.  So we’re moving things around, then moving them back, standing around and looking at the place trying to decide if that thing fits where we just put it… and clearly Evelyn has been paying attention, because she just walks up to a shelf and starts grunting trying to push it somewhere.

That was funny.

It also reminds you how much kids are paying attention, and then makes you slightly paranoid, because it’s very hard to be aware of all of the things that you are doing that your kid might be picking up on.  It also really made me wish I’d had my camera at that point.  She’s hilarious.

So what else have we done this summer?  BTW, still talking about freaking JUNE here.  I know it’s no long June.  In fact, I know that we are many months away from June.  Oops.

We BBQ’ed a fair amount.   That’s what Portlanders do in the summer.  And Portlanders who live in apartments look for any reason they can to go hang out at friend’s houses, especially if their friends have backyards.  Basically in Portland in the summer you never want to go inside.  So backyard chilling and grilling has been a key component.  Oh, and also, we went to Yosemite!

Oh man, Yosemite.  I hadn’t been back since we got married, which was 5 whole years ago.  The trip was organized because Larry, Jason’s dad, really wanted to hike this long loop trail in Yosemite.  Then Kari, Jason’s sister, decided to make the trip out, and she brought 3 of her 5 kids, so I took some time off work so I could go along and bring Evelyn too.

We drove through the night, about 13 or so hours, to get there.  It wasn’t as bad as I was imagining– we got to the campground at like 9am or so on the first Friday morning of our trip, and had the whole day to nap and recuperate and get settled in.  So while the drive was really challenging, it was totally worth it and really made us think that more trips to Yosemite would be possible.

Getting closer…

We made it!  Tuolumne Meadows.

Snow melt nekkid wading.

As soon as we got there Evelyn fell in love.  It was like she knew we weren’t going to make her go inside anymore.  Every morning she ran around the campground, sat on every rock that was anywhere near her, and learned to yell, “Big rock!”  She picked up sticks, dropped all of her food in the dirt before even pretending to eat it, and went on deer hunts.  Man, it was awesome.

All of the following photos were taken by family members– right after we arrived my phone breathed it’s last gasping breath.  Luckily, everyone else took some amazing shots.

Sunset from Puppy Dome ledge.

In her element.  Half naked in the water and dirty.

One of the last legs of the boys’ hiking segments, before they bagged it and had way more fun hanging with us.

We hiked, we swam, we climbed, it was fantastic.  The hike ended up not working out as the boys had planned, so we actually ended up spending most of the entire trip together as a group, which was really awesome.  We don’t get to see Jason’s family all that often, so to spend a whole week with them in this amazing place was wonderful.

Big big rocks!
We were giant tent city.

Day 1 of their trek.

Evelyn is obsessed with the bus.

 The pictures tell the story better than I could!  At one point we are going bouldering, and Evelyn is in her pack.  We round a corner and start seeing boulders large enough for us to climb, and no one is saying anything, because we’re still hiking and doing a bit of huffing and puffing.  As soon as Evelyn sees the rocks, she just lets out this awed sounding, “I doooooo…”  I think she likes it, guys.

At this point you probably think we basically just let Evelyn run around all the time doing whatever the crap she wants.  Like a little wild animal.  Pooping on lawns and eating dirt and whatnot.

You’re not wrong.

But we do have rules, seriously.

I’m not going to write down the rules right here, because… just… because they’re boring (or something), but it’s important to know that I recognize that I am still the boss in our relationship.  Right?  Aren’t I?


This blog post is ridiculously long already and I’m still talking about stuff that happened in June.  For the sake of brevity (ha ha, yeah right!)  I’m going to end it here, and you can wait anxiously for my slow self to post more details of the rest of the summer.  🙂  Whew!

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