Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Photos From Mom

Tra La! It's May!

This has been a wonderful May for us this year.  Lots of spots of fine weather letting us have lots of great adventures.  I'm just too busy and tired to write about them!

We've been getting back out to the Ballard Farmer's Market on some Sunday mornings.  Our routine is to enjoy fresh mini-donuts, wood-fired pizza, live music, and performances like juggling.  Sometimes I get my bike out, sometimes we drive down with Michael and have breakfast first.  I feel a little guilty that I don't buy much from the farmers, but I'm too busy wrangling Zane.  When Michael comes, he buys.

The zoo now has summer hours and giraffe feeding is back on the schedule!  For $5 you can hand leafy branches to the giraffes.  It's really, really fun.  The last time we went I thought I would let Zane have an ice cream for a snack, but we ended up having it pretty late in the day.  It was enormous, Zane didn't share, and he ate the whole thing, so it ended up being lunch!  That was kind of embarrassing from a nutritional point of view, but oh well, he enjoyed it!  And it won't happen again for a looooooong time.  Zane's favorite part of the zoo is the little clunky family zoo, and we visited the tractor again for a drive "to grandma's".

The beach weather has been great, too.  At the end of April we tried to go to a local farm for sheep shearing and pony rides, but construction, traffic, and an accident (not ours) conspired against us.  We ended up going to the beach, and Zane was totally fine with that.  It's a great backup destination!  I was pretty disappointed, though, as I've really been trying to get him on a pony or horse.  We did go back to the farm later in the month and had a great time visiting the animals, exploring a stream, and romping through a nearby playground.

Now that it is coming on towards summer, the Seattle Aquarium sends naturalists down to the beach at very low tides. We've been to two so far, and Zane loves them.  I had to buy my own (polka-dot) rubber boots to keep up with him as he sloshes through the mudflats and fairly deep tide pools.  The first time we went down we found a pet-sized viking burial boat that was singed and had most likely been used to send a beloved cat or guinea pig to Valhalla.  The second time we went it was raining, and Zane impressed a naturalist with his zeal and his knowledge of moon snail egg cases.

All this fun combined with some trouble sleeping lately has made me really muddle-headed.  Zane, however, has a young and nubile brain, and is constantly reminding me of what I have forgotten.  He's becoming very useful!

My local gym has unfortunately canceled its childcare program, but the upside is that now Zane and I are free to go to Michael's kung fu class to see what it's really all about.  Boy did Zane love that!  He quickly took to punching the dummy Bob in the nuts and then swinging on a rail for what he called his "best exercise."

Mother's Day was most excellent!  Zane and Michael got me presents and cards, and we had a lovely morning out to breakfast and at the Farmer's Market.  It's always a lot of fun when we can all get out together.

Zane has started to really get into dinosaurs lately, so I took him to the Burke Museum for his first visit. He had a better time than I expected!  Not only did he like the fossils of dinosaurs, whales, and mastodons, he also seemed to like the cultural displays, too.  Equally interesting were the stairs and elevator, but oh well!

Now it is the end of May, and my Mom is here for a visit!  This is why I now have time to do a blog post.  Zane and Grandma are downstairs playing with trains.  It has been 6 months since her last visit, and I was wondering how much he would really remember her.  Would he be shy?  No way!  Michael said that as soon as she walked into daycare to pick him up Zane started beaming and threw himself at her.  They've been having a great time all week.

Saturday morning we went out for Zane's first haircut.  His hair wasn't really that long, just kind of weird and wispy.  It needed some control.  I had been talking to Zane about it for awhile, and he was not at all concerned.  When the time came, he seemed a little grumpy about having a stranger fuss around his head, but all he did was scowl a bit.  Otherwise, he was perfectly behaved!  The haircut is great: subtle but neat.  The pictures are on my Mom's camera, so I'll post those separately.

That afternoon Michael and I got out to Folklife together by ourselves and got to enjoy and dance to the Roy Kay Trio.  It was great to have a date!  Sunday we got some cold beach time in before I had to go to work.

Monday was super fun! We had planned to take Zane to Folklife, but that morning Zane said he wanted to go to the museum to see the dinosaurs.  It actually was a perfect request!  We got to Seattle Center early enough to score a really close, free parking spot.  First we went to the Pacific Science Center and reveled in: buttons to push and nobs to turn; water tables and squirters; a space capsule; animatronic dinosaurs; gravity well coin donation thingamabobbies; the butterfly room, and 3D insect puzzles.  After a brief snack it was on to the Folklife Festival. We ate great food, hung around the fountain, saw a silver lady pretending to be a statue, a pirate, jugglers, musicians, great music, and scads of people.

Monday afternoon was baking day.  I never got to celebrate my birthday back in March, so Zane and Mom baked me cupcakes!  I came back from a foray to Value Village for fresh work clothes to find Zane covered in chocolate and sporting a fine baker's outfit.  He decided I should have chocolate cupcakes with blue and yellow frosting and sprinkles.  Thus were the cupcakes created, and yea, they were Good.

And so we are up to today: first boating trip to the arboretum!  I wasn't sure how it would go, but the trip exceeded all expectations!  Zane was excited to go but behaved himself well in the boat.  He kept hold of his paddle the entire time and even began paddling (somewhat) helpfully.  He was able to spot the first turtles and was quiet and gentle around the wildlife.  During a picnic break on the grass he ate a great lunch, and then suddenly came up to me and planted a kiss on my lips.  He was so happy!  My Mom and I are glad to have another outdoorsman in the family.

We started out by the UW stadium and paddled across to the arboretum.  Right away we were able to paddle up to a multi-family group of geese with goslings.  We had to go under a couple of freeway spans, and Zane enjoyed reminding us to duck.  We looked at a large old beaver lodge, spotted a heron, and then Zane saw him fly away.  We caught up with the heron later, and Zane was the first to spot the turtles there, too.  Mr. Sharp Eyes!  Ducks kept coming up to us begging for handouts which meant we got some good looks at them; many had babies in tow.

We pulled out on a little beach at the arboretum and had a quick snack break.  Right away a mallard couple came up to us looking for a handout.  Zane scarfed down a ham and cheese sandwich and then said he wanted to get back in the boat.  He's hooked!  Pretty soon a mama duck brought her brood right up to the boat to see if we would offer snacks.  We spent more time and saw lily pads, cowslips, yellow irises, red-winged black birds, wood ducks, cat-tails, some people, and a dog.  Also, some sort of a little bird that skipped around on the lily pads.  After about 1.5 hours of boating, we pulled out again at the boat rental place.

Well, I really had better go check and see if Mom needs relief from Zane!  As soon as I can get pictures from her camera, I'll put some more up in a new photo post.