Monday, January 4, 2010

end of '09 in a nutshell - a very big nutshell

falls lake in nc at dusk.

end of '09 in a nutshell.

in october the boys and i travelled home to nc. we flew out of spokane, so first we hung out for a week or so in wa.

"nina" wasted no time putting ian to work.

ian wasted no time putting "nina" to play.

he decided they would perfect her somersault technique some other time...
(we only had a week after all...)

daddy and ian made a new friend at nana's.

and despite ian's pleas to keep it as a pet, daddy convinced him to release it so it could go back to it's family. he then said, "i know buddy, this is always the hardest part for daddy too..." man i'm glad they have eachother. sadly, i had a hard time relating to that one.

we hung out at nana and grandpa "jewels" house for a few more days after daddy left,

and then drove up to spokane to stay with rachael and her clan.

(we are missing owen and kai from this picture) - but i assure you owen was there. kai was chilling with other family at the time.
guess she just needed to "get away"...

although i can't imagine why...
even though roach was going thru an exceptionally difficult time (what with her hubby in iraq, me begging her to be quiet, and a birthday mishap!!)...
she still showed us a pretty good time. we went to pumpkin patch/apple orchards.

i let my one year old offer his fingers to a random duck for the sake of a cool picture.
we played in a giant pea-box.
oh, and a word of advice - if you think you could walk into a giant pea-box balancing your toddler on your hip and your camera around your neck and stepping confidently as if it is solid ground, you would be wrong.
wrong. wrong. wrong.
think the marble scene in home alone, or any cartoon, ever.
as you can see, kai-kai knew exactly what to do in a giant pea-box.

we also chose our favorite kids and took just them to the spokane fair. (just kidding kai, isaiah and koa!!) side-note: a day or two before we went to the fair, a hospital took a group of mentally ill men to the fair - you know, for a field trip - and lost one of them. don't worry, it's not like he was some deranged murderer or something... wait...oh yes - that's right, he WAS. it was national news for a few days. but even that could not deter us from our mission or ferris-wheel-fun. did i say ferris wheel?? i meant corn-dog-fun. mmmm....the true reason for having a fair.
c'ne was awesome enough to take ian under her very cool wing, and show him how to handle the big kid rides (and a few little kid rides as well~ thanks again, c'ne).
owen tried his very first caramel apple
(sans caramel) after ian had had as much as he wanted of it.

what a kind big brother.
after seriously testing the bonds of our friendship, rachael drove us to the airport and we headed to north carolina. that was a looooong day... and owen only slept for a bit on the first flight.

a few days later we went out on the boat for one of the last times before it had to hibernate for the winter.

i even went tubing with ian. papa tried his best to scare his sweet daughter away from ever tubing again, but sadly my resolve for tubing perfection is too strong.

not even a week after getting to nc, memere, the boys and i left nc and headed up to va to visit my younger bro. sadly, ian's "hot tia maria - her eyelashes are hot" (to quote ian exactly) was in south america with my sweet nephew visiting their "other" family. sigh... SO sad we missed you guys! despite their absence, we had a GREAT time hanging out in dc.

see... here is ian hanging out in front of the monument in a tree in dc.
(dc trees are just cooler than other trees).

we took ian to the smithsonian while memere and owen hung back. i was not sure if ian would find "museum fun",.. well, fun. but he seriously had the BEST time!!!!! i can't believe how much he LOVED every second of it!! it was such an awesome day.

mommy was in such a good mood, that ian even convinced her to buy an insanely expensive dog from the museum of natural history gift shop... i swear to you ian has never, EVER made this face before!!!
lol - i had to take a picture of it bc i had never seen such intense longing and desperation in his eyes. it worked. wolfie (as ian so aptly named him) is now a member of the family and several months later, still sleeps with ian every night.
when we got back to nc, ian got to mini-golfing. i tried to assist him, but he assured me he was a "pwofessional". four year olds are cocky.

we caught up with lots of old friends.
here is owen having a blast on the very cool playground in my sweet annie's new neighborhood.

and here he is "bonding" with my sweet annie...

my other annie, (howington) also came over and ian rekindled his friendship with jack. they had a dance-off (no seriously, they did - just ask my dad - who sat with his head in his hands as his grandson danced what he was feeling!)
and then they wrestled.
they may be dancing-boys, but they are most definitely boys.

owen and lila stared at each other and when they finally started to actually play together, owen pushed lila down... then laughed. i think he thought she fell to be funny.
sadly, she did no such thing.

sorry again, lila!

we spent lots of time in nc at various playgrounds

and having fun in memere and papa's yard,
and one of every boys favorite places, the back of the truck.
peekaboo with memere is SO much more fun in a pick-up.
owen learned some life lessons about falling and getting up again.

we also got to hang out with the khaters.

thank goodness lauren was home from school on break! no trip home is really a trip "home" without the khaters coming over for dinner and laughs.

while the rest of us were busy talking, akram decided perhaps someone should feed the little one. thanks again, akram!
uncle brian had to ditch his wifey and 5 tots in utah and come to nc for work, so we had a short reunion dinner at el dorado. brian convinced ian that he was ordering cow's brains and eyeballs (or something like that) and ian has since begged for that meal several times. ian of course believes everything uncle brian tells him (as i too used to. fyi - goldfish and sucker fish do NOT live in waterbeds. oh and circus cotton candy is NOT made from elephant hair that has been swept up by the clowns - something i had to learn the hard way from our next door neighbor). fortunately ian can just come to me to verify uncle brian's claims.

i got to go out for a few different ladies nights out. annie and kim howington ditched me in anthropologie just before closing time. i thought all the people there staring at me were shoppers.. finally i realized they were all employees - staring me down until i put two-and-two together and realized they had locked the door and were willing me to leave with daggers in their eyes and a smile on their face.
also had another el dorado night with tammy, emily and juli.
i laughed so hard that by the end of the night my stomach hurt. man i am FUNNY!
okay, some of the time i may have been laughing at the other funny girls...
ps thank you so very much to my awesome group of cascade girls for teaching me to play nertz. because while i may be horrible at it here, i was the queen of nertz in nc. sorry nc girls, but these idaho girls could teach you a thing or two about taking nertz seriously and talking trash...
ahh... and finally, our last activity - or should i say, the REASON for our trip.
you know, minus that whole seeing the grandparents, family and friends thing...

the nc state fair. (can you hear the angels singing??) i possibly scheduled my entire trip around being able to hit the state fair before heading back to idaho.

mommy was possibly more excited than ian and owen-pie..
even making the mistake of going on the water ride as one of our first rides and having to walk around for an hour or so with a wet tooshy that looked like i had possibly not found a bathroom quickly enough - could not dampen my spirits - no pun intended. okay a little bit intended.
by the way, that is pure TERROR on ian's face.
but it was followed by pure joy and a request for more!
ian caught a whale and won a cheap stuffed snake from a very unenthusiastic fair worker.
(side-note: ian just saw this picture and said, "i just don't why i am so good at that!" everyone is good at this, sweet boy.... everyone.)
SOMEhow ian convinced us to let him use his last few tickets for a haunted house ride. papa actually backed up this idea!!!!!!! papa, i still hold you responsible for this error in judgement. last night, (2-3 months after this ride - which incidentally was the "kid-version" of the haunted rides - ian is still obsessed with it). andrew opened the back door at about 4:30am yesterday before he headed to work and it made a very loud squeeeeaaak. two seconds later i heard the pitter patter of terrified little feet running towards my bedroom to crawl in bed with me after his "haunted house" dream. and as much as it scared him, he is also fascinated with it and wants so badly to go again. his birthday is coming up and he has asked for a haunted house cake. i convinced him the cake should coordinate with his theme of super heroes. what a weird kid.
owen had his own scary incident.
in fact, as far as owen is concerned, sparky was worse than any haunted house.
ian got to check out a real live monster truck. not the kind of "monster" you have nightmares about though - thank goodness.
~so thank you to everyone for making this a fantastic trip~
and most of all thank you to memere and papa!! we love you and miss you and hope to get to do it alllll over again very soon!

and that was the rest of '09.
minus that whole thanksgiving, christmas thing... but that is another post for another time. and a much shorter post i promise.. a real "nutshell" - if you will.
.."help, i'm in a nutshell"..
*in british accent.

Another FAV!!