Sunday, June 29, 2008


We just returned from a week of vacationing in Washington State. It was mostly fun with brief moments of hell, as all vacations with a 3 and 1 year old must be. Here is a recap of our adventures.

Day 1 and 2:
Driving...we ate lots of candy, drank lots of Mountain Dew and listened to lots of cartoons on the DVD player. Can you imagine a 15 hour drive without once turning on the radio or the ipod? I can. It was funny putting Jacob in time out in the car- he would get so upset even though he was still just stuck in the his carseat...watching a movie. At some point we would say, "OK, you are out of time out" and he was so relieved. It cracked me up. After one time out for hitting Eddie, I explained to Jacob that he can't hit his brother. Jacob, in his sweetest voice asked...
"Mommy, can I kick him?"
"Mommy can I push Eddie, please...please...please"
"No, you can't push him".
"Mommy can I take away Eddie's puppy? Please?"
I had to turn around to hide my laughing. "No, you can't do any of that!"
"Mommy can I be mean to Eddie?"
"Jacob, no...just watch your movie!"

Another fun tidbit was that Jacob had some mosquito bites on his face that got progressively more swollen throughout our drive until he looked a little like Quazi Moto. We gave him Benadryl every six hours but this did not seem to make him tired, or help his face. I even gave Eddie half a dose in one desperate moment but no sleeping ensued. The kids finally fell into a restless doze around 11:30 pm and we only lasted a few more hours until we stopped for the night in whateverville, Oregon. We finished our drive the next day and arrived happily in Merrilyn's home of Bremerton, Washington. Sigh...
Day 3:
We slept in, recovered from our drive and visited with Dr. Merrilyn Nelson. Shes a butt kicking, beautiful lieutenant in the US Navy and a beloved aunt to our two boys! And she is single...hello fellas! We went to church...yes we did, where our kids made a spectacle of themselves in Merrilyn's single adult ward. Then we explored the waterfront in beautiful Bremerton. Yes, I actually took this picture. Should anyone get to live in a house this beautiful?

We also went on a tour of an old Navy Destroyer ship, the USS Turner Joy, which the boys really liked. You can still see some swelling left on Jacob's little mosquito bitten face.

Day 4:
We woke up early (only because we have to...our kids won't sleep in) and headed for the ferry to take us and our car to Seattle. Jacob couldn't believe we drove our car onto a boat and he was even more in love when he found that the big boat had a cafeteria! This was our first of many ferry rides across the Puget Sound.

Once we made it to Seattle, we spent the day at the Woodland Zoo which was very fun. Dave was a little grumpy, to be honest, because lunch was too expensive. But the kids loved it and we even got to leisurely stroll around for an hour or so while they both slept in the wagon. Jacob couldn't stop talking about the gorillas and Eddie loved ducks and saying "quack, quack". This trip was a requirement for us because one time, about a month ago, I mentioned there was a Zoo in Seattle and that is all Jacob has remembered about Seattle since that fateful day. The Woodland Zoo has lots of fun play areas and activities for little kids and a cute little farm with animals, a barn and tractor. I highly recommend it, as far as Zoo's go.

Day 5:
Merrilyn had the day off so we drove to Port Townsend and took a whale watching (or in our case...bird, seal, sea lion, otter and anything but whale watching) tour on the USS We Don't Really Know Where The Whales Are. The scenery was crazy pretty and we enjoyed exploring the area very much. It was the captains birthday so our boat was overtaken just off the San Juan islands by a "pirate" ship full of the Captain's family who wisked him away and replaced him with another captain for the rest of our excursion. It was fun to see this ship up close because it was a beautiful sailboat (commissioned and owned for 25 years by Neil Young apparently). Jacob is still talking about the pirate ship and about singing Happy Birthday to our Captain. I'm still talking about the no whales (bitter, anyone?). We also had a few hours to play in Friday Harbor on the San Juan Islands where we had an awesome lunch and visited the overpriced Whale Museum. Friday Harbor is so picturesque and beautiful. It was a great day with the family and Merrilyn even though no whales were seen! it so much to ask in life, seeing a whale?

Day 6:
The best Day! Definitely my favorite day...we went to the Olympic National Forest. This is one of the most beautiful placed I have ever seen. We went on a beautiful hike inside the park to Falls. The weather was beautiful and the scenery was ridiculous. Then we went to see Crescent Lake, which was lovely and surrounded by beautiful glacier covered peaks. The kids were sleepy so we drove a few hours into the park to see the Hoh Rain Forest, which is full of giant, moss covered trees that are hundreds of years old - we saw an Elk only 10 or so feet away, drinking from a stream. It was beautiful and a great little hike. We left the park momentarily to drive through La Push and Forks (I didn't see any vampires) and I got my picture taken on the worn out hillside that welcomes you to La Push. We went out to eat at a burger joint that offered a "Bella Burger". Who knew Bella liked pineapples? We ended the day visiting First Beach and Rialto Beach on the Pacific Coast fun sunset. It was beautiful and worth all the driving. Next time we go to Washington, I think I would love to camp in the Olympic Forest the whole time - I wish we could have seen more! It was amazing. (See slide show post) .

Day 7 -
We rode the Ferry back to Seattle. Dave took some great pictures of the skyline from the boat. We took the boys to the Seattle Aquarium and strolled around Pike's Market for a while. We had lunch at Ivar's - a tradition when visiting Seattle and took a last Ferry ride back to Bremerton. Grandma and Grandpa Nelson flew in later in the evening and we got to visit with them.

Day 8 -We got to go into the Puget Sound Naval Hospital grounds to attend Merrilyn's graduation from her 1st year of residency. She is now heading to Pensacola, Florida for flight surgery training. We are all so proud of her. I'm a raging sap so I cried. The boys went insane during the ceremony but we survived. We left strait from the Naval Hospital and headed back on the road. It was a beautiful, but long drive. Jacob and Eddie kept sleeping, so we kept driving and made it back to Utah in one long stretch.

It was a great trip! We had a lot of fun with Merri and it was great to be together as a family for so long. I enjoyed it especially when Dave lost it with the kids because he can understand a little better how they wear me out lately. It was nice to be able to double team them all week. I loved seeing Dave so much and I am going to miss him next week when we are back to real life and working. I think we crammed about as much into the time we had as possible packing our two little guys with us. The only dissapointment (besides the whales) was that Josh and Amy were in Utah the whole time we were gone so we didn't get to stop and see them in Portland. I sense another trip to the pretty states in our future.

Friday, June 13, 2008

happy summer

This is a picture of the dishes I let stack up over the beginning of the week! Notice how intricately the stacking became the longer I put off cleaning. It took a few days of neglecting chores, but, hey, at least I was putting them in the sink. All this because unloading the dishwasher just didn't sound fun. And before I could load these in the dishwasher (what is hand washing and how do you even do it?), I had to take a picture to document my crappy home making.

And because I still don't feel like cleaning, I would rather blog about the non cleaning than actually start to work. Both my little maniacs are sleeping, and this just seemed like a better use of my free time. Jacob and Eddie are only wanting to be outside now - especially with the addition of the Gagon's old powerwheels to our arsenal of outside toys! So the yard gets more attention than the house these days, because that's where the boys are, and by default, me!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

why this was my first and last yard sale...

So, I went against my inner voice (sorry Oprah) and had a yard sale this week. I've always known yard sales were not my thing, but somehow I kept ignoring that screaming protest in my head long enough to actually plan one. If only I could go back a few weeks and do things differently. So, in case, I ever start considering a yard sale again, here is what I have learned.

The top 10 reasons for not having a yard sale.

10. People who think your bath mats are priced too high (3 for $10.00) will assume you must be the most evil, heinous person on the planet.

9. You will only make $45.00 (or $.36 cents an hour).

8. Some crazy lady will argue with you when you tell her the half-used bag of Costco baby wipes are not for sale.

7. It's going to be 40 degrees outside even if you do it in June.

6. You don't own enough ashtrays to have a real yard sale.

5. You like your friends too much to do a "Multi" family yard sale.

4. Kids from the Price College Stake will come around with sob stories and Dave, the pushover he is, will sell them all your nice stuff for $5 bucks!
3. Your 16 month old will walk around eating price tag stickers off yard sale items. Later, his poop will be a crazy shade of orange.

2. You can't post your classified ad in the Sun Advocate online. Blerg!

1. Do you really want people to know some of the movies/CD's you have bought in the past (i.e., MC Hammer "Please Hammer, don't hurt 'em")?
So, I implore myself and my readers. Do not think your crap is worth any money to other people. Do not think this will be as easy as hauling stuff to the DI, do not think you need $45.00 so badly that you will sell your self respect and dignity to get it.