Thursday, December 29, 2016

Road Tripping

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We just returned from our Christmas road trip to Boise, Idaho, and boy, it was a great one! A few weeks before the holidays, Mark and I decided to take Sara to visit his parents and extended family who had not met her yet.
This was Sara's first road trip and first time away from home as well. As usual, I overestimated how much stuff we'd need and over packed. Our car was absolutely stuffed!
We set out early Friday afternoon, as we'd hoped to make most of the trip in the daytime.  It was a 7 hour drive, and included a couple of snowy mountain passes. It was also snowing in the Seattle area, which added to our haste to leave. But because of the weather, it took us over an hour just to make it through the city to start our journey.
I chose to drive first, and crossed the first mountain pass without any issues, but by this time, it was getting dark. We continued on. By the time we reached Pendleton, OR, it was pitch black outside and snowing so heavily, I could barely see the road. We thought about stopping for the night, but decided to keep going, as I was traveling with a small convoy of cars, and we worried the road would be closed the next day, and we wouldn't make it in time for Christmas.
The next pass, Cabbage Hill, nicknamed Deadman's Pass, was really treacherous. Oh, and by the way, what a horrible name for a mountain pass! The road was packed heavily with snow and ice, and it was still snowing hard. I was traveling behind a big rig, which had chains on, and a Hummer H2, which I was thankful for, as they created a path for me to drive in. We made it over the pass, very slowly, and continued down the road. I stayed behind the Hummer for a couple of hours, until they exited the highway, and I'm so very thankful for that car.
It was still snowing hard, and kept snowing the whole way there, so the fastest I could go was 30 to 40 mph the whole time. We finally made it to Boise 11 hours after we started at 2 am.
Mark sat in the back with Sara, and kept her entertained, and she did so good! But she and us were so ready to be out of the car!
We had a wonderful Christmas, which I'll write about in a later post, and Sara got to experience many firsts. Her first experience with deep snow and her first sit down restraunt!
For the return trip on Wednesday, which was a sunny day with no snow, I volunteered Mark to drive, and I kept Sara company in the back. It was definitely a much easier drive! The roads were clear, and we made it home in just under seven hours. Again, Sara did great, but was happy to be home!
We'll definitely going again, but I think next time, we'll try flying!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

More Time Please!

Since Sara was born, I have been busier than I ever have been before. From the time I wake up, until I go to bed, I'm constantly busy with my to do list.
In days past, I used to watch a movie or two during my free time, and still have time to get whatever household chores I needed to do done. Then, maybe I'd go for a walk outside, or maybe head to the mall.
HaHaHa! Not anymore! I have whole seasons of shows piling up on the dvr..The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, among others. Hope I get around to watching them someday!
In the meantime, this little 15 pound person keeps me on my toes! Feedings, diaper changes, cleaning bottles, and pumping breastmilk consumes my day! Not to mention the laundry piling up, and the dishes that's been in the sink for a few days! Oh, and also throw in both a full and part time job, and I am one busy mama!
But it's okay. I've come to peace with the mountains of clean laundry in the baskets taking up residence in my closet, and the cat hair covered sheets on the bed that I may or may not get around to changing sometime soon. What I love is spending time with my little one when I get home in the evenings. Feeding her and watching her learn to roll around and play with her baby toys is now my most favorite entertainment! After all, the laundry and dishes will still be there later, when I eventually get around to them. Or maybe one of these days, I'll hire a domestic helper. Maybe. One day soon!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Yes, We Took Our Baby to a Christmas Party

Last week was my husband's company holiday party. He works for a tech company, and tech companies sure know how to party, so of course we wanted to go! But this year, with a baby, we were thinking we might have to pass. I had called my parents, but they were unable to make the trip over mid week, and one of my coworkers mentioned that she might be able to come to the house, but I was apprehensive because she lives downtown, and we were expecting snow that evening. Plus it would be a late night for her.
Luckily, my husband got permission to bring Sara if he wanted, and we thought, why not!? So I dressed her warmly and we set off for the downtown Seattle waterfront!
The party was at the Seattle Aquarium, which the company rented out for the evening. The theme was the 50s, and many people were dressed in 50s style clothes, which I thought was cute. There was a live band playing music from the era, which I was a bit nervous about, since Sara has reacted badly to loud music in the past. But tonight, she didn't seem phased by it.
In the back of the main lobby, there is a floor to ceiling fish tank, so we chose a table in the next to it, and Sara was absolutely transfixed! She loved watching the fish swimming around, and couldn't take her eyes off from them. Meanwhile, Mark and I enjoyed the delicious food, and a couple of really good drinks from the bar while we listened to the band and chatted with his coworkers and their guests.
Sara was the youngest guest, and the life of the party! Everyone was coming up to say hello to her, and telling her how good she was being! Sara is, after all, pretty mellow most of the time. There was a table nearby with props for a photo booth that you could wear, so I put a little headband on her and snapped some pictures. One of which is one of my most favorite pictures of her I've ever taken!
We decided to show Sara around some other parts of the aquarium that we could go in to, which included a wave pool and a jellyfish tunnel. But by far, her favorite was the big tank up front, so we took her back there.
We enjoyed a few more songs, and waited for the raffle giveaways, which unfortunately, we didn't win anything. I looked outside, and it had begun to snow quite heavily, so we decided to call it a night.
It was a really enjoyable night, and I'm glad we were able to make it a family affair. And Sara did so good! She was the belle of the ball! I'll definitely have to take her back to the aquarium some time!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Winter Morning Tragedy

I woke up yesterday morning, got Sara ready for daycare, and on my morning commute, while listening to the news, I heard the most awful story.
Not too far away, on Camano Island, there was a terrible car accident. A young mother, just 23 years old, went off the roadway, and her van slammed into a tree and burst into flames. She was rescued, but with serious injuries, and her two children inside, a 3 year old and a 5 month old baby, were killed. Not too many details have been released yet about what caused the accident, but apparently it was a winding road, and with recent snowfall and icy conditions in the area, I think she probably lost control and slid off the road.
Being a parent myself, and having a baby that's just about the same age as her youngest, I can't imagine what she and her family are going through. I haven't heard how bad her injuries are, and I don't know if she's awake yet, but I can't imagine what it will be like when she receives the news in the hospital that her babies are dead. I pray that those little ones didn't feel any pain.
This story has been on my mind since I heard it yesterday, and at times has brought me to tears. So quickly, this family has been ruined forever. I just hope that in the coming days, as more details are released, that the internet trolls and keyboard cowboys don't go on a witch hunt for this poor mother, as they did for the family of Lane Graves, another tragic story that brought me to tears this past summer.
Yes, she was the driver, and was probably going too fast for the conditions, but she was just dealt the worst hand you can get. The last thing she needs is strangers all over the world calling her horrible names and driving it in that she's at fault (if she even is, because it's still unknown what even happened.) So I pray that this family is left to grieve in peace without all of the "perfect" people attacking them.
Some other things I've been thinking about if I were in her situation, is how I'd react afterwards. Sara is everything to me. My most precious treasure. If I was driving and had an accident that resulted in her death, I don't think I could deal. I've never had a suicidal thought in my life, but something like that, especially that horrific, could possibly take me there. I don't know. What I do know is that my heart is aching today for this mom and all that know her. Her name was released by the news, and I looked at her Facebook page, and the pictures of her beautiful children, whose lives were ended so abruptly, and I feel nothing but compassion for her, no mater what the circumstances. A family friend also set up a Gofundme for them, to which I donated, but as a fellow mother, I know that it won't make it ok. It will never be ok for her again.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Turkey Day Traditions

Wow! Thanksgiving has come and gone already! It seems like Halloween was just last week! The holidays come by so quick this time of year. It seems like they put up the Christmas decorations right next to the Halloween decorations in August. Starbucks rolls out it's Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier and earlier every year too. I've always been a traditionalist. I wait for October to start celebrating or even thinking about Halloween, November for Thanksgiving, and December for Christmas. Lost in all of the holiday hullabaloo is Thanksgiving. It seems like it's just an afterthought in between, but it has always been one of my favorites, full of tradition in and of itself!

I love getting up Thursday morning, putting on the Macy's parade, and getting the turkey ready, and coming up with a plan of attack for my meal. I make spiced apple cider in my slow cooker, and have a bottle of wine on the ready. This year, with a new baby, I was excited to include her in the traditions!

Sara is only 4 months old, but she is very aware, and loves watching tv! I'm pretty sure she's drawn to the shapes and colors, and enjoys watching and listening to people on the screen talk. She seemed pretty transfixed watching the Broadway numbers, and looking at all of the pretty floats! My parents, who moved to the state a few years ago, came to the house, and watched the parade with her while I got my meal ready.

In years past, I've always been kind of stressed trying to get all of my dishes ready on time so that my guests wouldn't have to wait forever for dinner. But when purchasing new appliances, I'm really glad I chose my double oven, as it makes cooking multiple dishes at the same time a breeze! I had dinner on the table by 3pm!

Sara is still too little to eat solids, but I still wanted to include her at the table. We sat her in her high chair, gave her her favorite toy to play with, and ate dinner together! She seemed to enjoy sitting with us, and was definitely interested in what we were doing!

The next morning was Black Friday, another tradition I take seriously! I don't get up and go shopping super early with the craziness, but I usually go mid to late morning. I've always enjoyed being around everyone at the mall, and still nabbing a few good deals!

This year, I took Sara with me. I dressed her in a comfy warm outfit, and headed out to one of my favorite stores, Nordstrom Rack. I was mainly shopping for Sara, looking for 12 month size clothes, and I wasn't disappointed! The Rack always has good deals on designers, and I can get them at a fraction of the cost that I would in their main store. Also, if you look really hard, sometimes you can find some real treasures! Jimmy Choo, Burberry, Prada, are just a few of the brands I've found here with affordable prices! Today, I found some great Hudson and True Religion Jeans, as well as a two piece Splendid outfit for Sara, each under $40!

I didn't leave empty handed, either. For myself, I found an oversized orange sweater and some gray skinny jeans, perfect for the season! Afterwards, we went over to the mall for a bit, where I picked up a set of Carter's onesies at Macy's, and wandered around a bit. Sara got a bit upset by some loud music playing at a few stores, and I reassured her that everything was ok, and she soon fell asleep.

We went home, and relaxed for the rest of the day, and watched a few shows on TV. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Charlie Brown Thanksgiving are two of my faves that we watch each year. I also started digging out all of the Christmas decorations to deck the halls with.

It was a fun holiday, filled with traditions from turkey to shopping, and football and decorating! As Sara gets older, and her future siblings come along, we will continue to make Thanksgiving one of our most treasured times of year!

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