last mariners game Friday, Oct 9 2015 

I thought it was important for this household to celebrate the last Mariners game. It was a tough season, especially since it started with such high hopes, but we love the team nonetheless and my boys are diehard fans no matter their record.

The last game was on Sunday and unfortunately Chris was scheduled to work. I had originally planned on just making hot dogs and watching the game at home with the boys in our M’s gear. That seemed festive enough, but as the date approached, I started to wonder if I should attempt my first solo game with all three boys. Here’s how the brainstorming went down in my head:

Yes, take them to the game!

The forecast called for sunny 70-degree weather.

I found tickets for $6 on Stub Hub because the Mariners were out of the running for the playoffs.

It wouldn’t be packed since most folks around here have already moved on to football.

The start time was 12:10pm, a pretty reasonable time for little kids who still nap.

Safeco Field is a really comfortable baseball stadium.

It was Kids Appreciation Day which meant kids were both welcomed and encouraged. :-)

No, are you crazy?

Chris wouldn’t be able to come with us.

The logistics of managing three little kids at a baseball game is a little overwhelming – the eldest likes to sit and watch, the middle likes to run around, and the youngest is too little to understand where we are or why we would skip nap time.


The fact that Chris wasn’t able to come with us was a tough one to get past, especially since I knew it would be tough for all of us to be at Safeco without him, but I decided he would be proud of us and that the pros definitely outweighed the cons. I just had to do it!

Our adventure started off rocky with a three-year-old who woke up tired. It was the kind of tired that made him sad about everything – he even cried when I put the oatmeal in his favorite bowl. I really needed Grant on board and was concerned about what this would mean for the rest of our adventure. I decided to push through with our plans, despite my concerns, because I would feel bad leaving him behind and I didn’t have too many options besides dropping him off at the hospital with Daddy. David was a big help and we ended up tailoring the trip to Grant, making sure eating and play time were plentiful. It worked and we all had a great time!

It also helped that it was Kids Appreciation Day which meant there was lots of fun stuff for kids. We ran around the play area for a bit, met the Mariner Moose, tried to throw pitches like King Felix, got our faces painted (me and David), and ate frozen yogurt.






Henry was actually easier this time around and much more engaged. He loved pointing to the giant screen and the airplanes in the sky. He also really enjoyed the music. :-)


I did not ask them to do this. These boys have been to so many baseball games…


The highlight of the day, however, came at the end of the game when DAVID WON A PRIZE! After each inning, the Mariners gave prizes away to kids – autographed balls and jerseys, video game gear, front row seats to future games, etc. David kept looking for our seat number on the screen and we shook our heads after each one was announced, “Nope, not us.” Then, at the end of the 7th, the announcer was getting ready to give away the grand prize of that inning – the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Mariners game next season – when a lady holding a “WINNER” banner came to our section. I started to wonder if we could be so lucky…

…and then our seat number showed up on the big screen!!!


I was worried that maybe I had mistaken our seat number (we weren’t exactly in the right spot) and so I quickly whipped out my camera and took a picture – it was totally our seat! David was so excited! He also had immediate questions: How will I know where to go? Will we have tickets to the game? How far away will the catcher be? Who will come to the game?

I hauled the boys to the prize table where we were given instructions on how to arrange which game David would get to throw out the first pitch (basically, we have to work with their office). We couldn’t wait to tell Daddy! (I obviously texted Chris immediately but wanted David to have the chance to tell him personally.)

We are all thrilled for David and can’t wait for next season! This will be a really special experience for one of the biggest Mariners fans I know – he deserves to be appreciated! :-)

When Chris came home, we told him all about our big day and he was just so excited. David later told Nana that “Daddy flipped out.” After some celebrating and settling down, Chris decided to grill some hamburgers for dinner. As he was heading outside David asked, “Do you think we could work on my pitching?” I watched from the window as David and Daddy role played throwing out the first pitch – wave, pitch, picture, and all. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on David’s big game next year! Yippee!

I know where to look now Thursday, Oct 8 2015 

Text conversation with Chris yesterday:

Me: Hey! Do you know where the top part of the immersion blender is?IMG_0589

Chris: Hmmm, in the back of the pantry on the second shelf?

Me: Nope.

Chris: Under the sink?

Me: Nope.

Chris: In the baking section of the pantry?

Me: Nope.

Chris: Downstairs with all my grilling stuff?

Me: Nope.

Chris: In the garage storage?

Me: Nope.

Chris: Under Grant’s bed?

Me: Got it!


two dates: Bollywood + American Idiot Tuesday, Oct 6 2015 

Two dates last week, two very different musical genres.



Thankful for friends who introduce us to new things and for our family who watched the little rascals while we were out. :-)

grant got a crown Tuesday, Oct 6 2015 

Grant had to get a baby crown on one of his back molars when it was discovered that it had not properly formed. He had to undergo anesthesia, which made this mama super nervous, but luckily everything went smoothly and his appointment was picture perfect.

He’s such a champ.


He was back to normal by the afternoon and was excited to pick up David from school.

“David, do you want to see my crown?”


adventures in parenting: entering the school-age years Sunday, Oct 4 2015 

Since becoming a mom, I’ve learned that routines and schedules change quickly when little ones are around and it’s best to try to embrace and accept the change. I have to admit, though, that last month I often found myself looking ahead to the following week when we would surely be able to “catch up” and have a “normal” week. I’m just now starting to realize that this probably is the new normal. No doubt it’s a fun and exciting life, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that last month was a doozy and I’m looking forward to October.

Because I love going back to old posts and revisiting my experiences through the various phases of motherhood, I thought I would capture my life during the first month as a mom to a school-aged child. Let me first start by highlighting some of the emotional aspects of having a kindergartner for the first time…

Letting Go of Control: David forgot his lunch box nine days into kindergarten. I was bummed because I had paid extra to make it special by having his name and a dinosaur embroidered on it. I guess at lunch the kids have to put their lunch boxes in their class bin before heading out to recess and David probably put his in the wrong one. I emailed his teacher who suggested I check the Lost & Found. She was really sweet about it, but I realized while speaking with her that David is now responsible for all of his stuff, not his teacher. I felt so silly assuming she would help keep track of everything like his preschool teachers did. David is old enough to take care of his things and he needs to learn to do it. It is hard for me to let go of that control, but I’m working on it. :-)

Luckily we found David’s lunch box in the Lost & Found two days after he lost it (and not before he brought home someone else’s lunch box, doh!). It’s a good thing we know where lost items go now because I have a feeling we will be spending a lot more time there in the future.


Playground Heartbreak: It’s tough sometimes for me to hear David talk about recess. I was thrilled on the first day when he came home and told me he saw some kids playing kickball. He asked if he could play and they said, “Only if you’re a kindergartner!” This made my heart happy and David was excited he got to play with the big kids. Unfortunately they didn’t let him play on the second day. That’s fine, but when I asked what he did instead, he said he walked around and looked for people. “It’s hard to find kindergartners with all the big kids around.” He was totally fine about it all, but the thought of him wandering around aimlessly without friends is so hard to hear. David is shy and soft-spoken so I’m not surprised it’s taking a while for him and his classmates to warm up to each other. He did start playing with his girlfriends again, though, and was totally shocked when Illiana told him that “Tempe wants to MARRY me!”

UPDATE: He came home with a paper from Jaden that said “My best frend Daved.” He’s starting to make connections!

Please Make It There Okay: David joined the Chess Club! Chris taught him how to play and now he’s playing after school as part of the club. I was nervous all afternoon on the first day of club because I was worried about whether or not he would make it to wherever he needed to be okay. I was relieved when I arrived for pick-up to find him in the classroom playing a game against another blond-headed first grader. Phew! I won’t be as nervous next week now that he knows what to do and where to go. Also, in case you’re wondering, he had a great time. “Our first game was short because the guy brought a bishop out and checked me right away.”

UPDATE: THE NEXT WEEK HE DIDN’T MAKE IT. He had a substitute teacher that day who must have assumed David knew where to go. He and the other kindergartner in the club got lost. Isabella spoke up and made it to Chess Club. David was too nervous to say anything and never made it. We found him in the after school child care and the parent advisor felt awful. She assured me this would not happen again. Chris and I are working on getting David to speak up and ask for help, but he is still only five and new to this big school business. It was hard for me to say “I don’t see my child” to the Chess teacher and even harder to watch David burst into tears when he saw me. He said he had fun in the child care, but knew he wasn’t supposed to be there. I think the tears came from a feeling of relief to finally be in the right place. I felt better after exchanging emails with the Chess Club advisor who assured me she would look after my boy. Oh, and the wine and chocolate helped, too. :-)

No Nap Guilt: I have to wake up Henry every day to pick up David. It doesn’t seem to matter how early I lay him down, he is always asleep when I open his door.

I’m so sorry, Henry. You may not get as much sleep as your big brothers did when they were babies, but you do get to experience so many more things earlier than they ever got the chance to (see ‘movie night‘).


Grant has been adjusting to a new sleep schedule, too. I have a short window for nap time now and for a while he wouldn’t fall sleep until we got in the car. He’s getting better already and has learned to either fit in a power nap during quiet time if he needs one or to forego sleep entirely. Sleeping less in the car is a better plan I think – at least there’s less anger when we arrive home and need to make our way into the house. :-)


This phase of parenthood has also introduced us to some new logistical challenges, like…

Packing Lunches: After a few weeks of school and trying to figure out this new normal, Chris and I discussed how to make mornings run smoother for us both. I’m often in the inbox for TFA before the boys wake up and have a hard time dealing with all the kitchen stuff. We decided that Chris would empty the dishwasher and make breakfast before he goes to work, which would leave packing lunches and snacks to me. It’s worked out great and I have yet to feel stress about packing lunches. I know that feeling will probably wear off soon, hehe.


Flooded Inbox: My inbox is flooded with a ton of “mom” stuff – emails about volunteering at the school, the magazine sale, carpool rules, teacher reminders, birthday party invitations, etc. I’m not one to miss deadlines, but I’m having a hard time keeping up. What will it be like when THREE of them are in school?!

Homework: David has about 15 minutes of homework each night. It’s been pretty easy to fold this time into our routine so far, but he is often doing homework while I’m cooking dinner, picking up the tupperware Henry has emptied from the kitchen drawers, and engaging in a discussion with Grant about the Lego ship he made. This has been another lesson in letting go. I’ll help when he needs me, but he is generally on his own for homework. He’s such a big boy!

He especially loves the homework that involves math challenges on the computer.


Who, What, Where, When, How: I was out running errands with Henry the other day when I freaked out by the sight of two EMPTY car seats in the back. I had to remind myself that David and Grant were in school and that it was okay. The first few weeks were crazy learning our new schedule. For example, David gets picked up from school at the same time every day, except on early dismissal Tuesdays when he gets picked up an hour earlier. Oh, and on Mondays he’s at Chess Club, so he needs me to get him an hour later. Grant goes to school three mornings each week, two of them at David’s school and one at buddy school (more on that later) which meets at a different time and place each Monday. I can tell I’m starting to get the hang of our schedule because I don’t find myself looking at the clock every ten minutes wondering if I’ve missed picking someone up. In fact, I’m proud to say I haven’t been late to drop-off or pick-up yet!

Second in line at carpool. Hooray!


HURRY UP! Speaking of getting to school on time, the mornings are hilarious. I often think about the Seinfeld episode when Elaine misses her alarm and hurries her unwelcome guest to the airport. We usually only have one hour to eat oatmeal (and show Henry each spoonful so that he can confirm the presence of at least one blueberry), brush our teeth and sometimes comb our hair, put on our school clothes, find our socks, lace up our shoes, pack lunches, grab backpacks, etc. Some days I fit in a shower, some days I don’t. I’m sure we’ll iron out the kinks over the next few weeks. ;-)


Increased Efficiency: Between pick-ups and drop-offs, I often find myself with one or two little boys in the car and too little time to go home but not enough time to get much done. I’m learning to use this time more efficiently. Last Monday I had 45 minutes between dropping David off at school and Grant at co-op. I drove to the Y, checked the boys into child care, and ran a quick two miles on the treadmill. When David was a baby, a trip to the gym would have taken up the whole morning. Now I’m happy, and pretty proud, to fit in a quick 30-minute run.

Henry prefers the open air runs with his friend. (Mommy does, too.)


I’m also using my odd hours off to work in the TFA inbox and sub/teach more Turbo Kick classes at the gym while another instructor is out on leave.

We’re now just a few days into October and we’ve either a) started to figure things out or b) have accepted our new normal. I realize we’re about to enter the craziness of back-to-back holidays – and I can’t wait!

P.S. THANKS TO MY MOM AND DAD FOR EVERYTHING THEY DID FOR US! I’ve been having flashbacks of my mom running us around the Midwest for tennis lessons, tournaments, dance lessons, wrestling, and what not. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

P.P.S. I just read a blog post from another mom about how September is always crazy. Yay, I’m not alone!

fall has arrived Monday, Sep 28 2015 

Chris wanted to see the lodge at Mount Rainier before it closes for the season and the boys and I were up for an adventure, so we road tripped out to the great volcano after my kickboxing class on Saturday.


It looked like we were going to have clear blue skies, but by the time we reached the mountain, it was covered in clouds. Bummer! On the plus side, we saw many beautiful fall colors popping up around the meadow at Paradise.


Our trail was nearly empty which was lovely. We could let the boys run along the paths without worrying about them running into other hikers. It also made the hike quiet and peaceful, except for the noise coming from our gang. :-)





We put Henry in Grant’s 3T jacket which was great because it kept his hands warm and he couldn’t take off his hat. :-)








Our hike was short and easy but allowed us just enough time to get chilled so that we could thoroughly enjoy the toasty lodge afterwards.


(I can’t decide which picture I like better – anyone want to weigh in here?)


The lodge at Paradise Inn was heaven. The 100-year-old wooden architecture, warm dim lights, crinkling fireplaces, hot drinks and brownies, and the piano and violin made for an incredibly cozy atmosphere. The only thing missing was our Backgammon set!


As we were leaving, the skies cleared and we got a spectacular view of the moon shining bright on Mt. Rainier.


Goodbye for now, Mt. Rainier. We’ll see you again next summer. :-)

movie night Monday, Sep 28 2015 

I knew Chris was going to work late last Friday and the boys played great by themselves for over two hours while I did work for TFA and made dinner, so it seemed like a perfect evening for a movie.


Henry is one year old and too little for movies, but one of the benefits of being the third child is early exposure to everything so he got to participate in movie night, too. He was really excited about the bed the boys made on the floor and kept trying to lay on his brothers and get their attention. Here’s what I captured when I wasn’t singing along to Frozen:









I love cozy evenings at home with my little rascals.

henry and sofia, third generation buddies Friday, Sep 25 2015 


adventures in parenting: our babies are growing up Friday, Sep 25 2015 

I ran into a friend at the gym the other day who also has three boys, all in their teens. Here’s how our conversation went down:

Me: Hi! How are you?

Her: I’m great, but I just dropped my eldest son off at college. [tear]


Her: How are you?

Me: I’m great, but I just dropped my eldest son off at kindergarten. [tear]


I am only beginning to imagine what it’s like to drop a child off at college, but in that moment I felt like we were bonding over the pangs of motherhood. We’re watching our babies grow up and no matter how excited for or proud of we are of them, we can’t escape the emotional part of this journey. She definitely has it worse, though, with her baby being physically out of reach. I’ll pull a David and be thankful that I have 13 more years before I have to do that. Phew. :-) (Note: Remember to tag this post in 13 years.)

grandma’s cookies Tuesday, Sep 22 2015 

Grandma Space was known for her cookies, so we flooded the memorial with all of her specialties. David and Grant ate so many that they actually cut themselves off without any prompting from Mom or Dad. Henry enjoyed the reception, too…


Photo credit: Uncle Eric

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