We sent off the tail end of 2016 with a very cold spell. Kicking around our hood. The Ave. Michael and Lake grooving in Ave Rat style.
Today we walked down to the IMA which was closed. The sunshine might have been out for a bit and was a bit misleading. We were underdressed. It was too darn cold so we hopped a bus back up to the U District. And another bus up to Wallingford for some fancy pho before going to see a film at the Guild on 45th. Manchester on the Sea. Such a great theatre. They have a private room for babies too. So awesome. We usually end up having a diaper blowout or decompensation right around the climax of the plot though and transition from the front up to the private room and somewhere in there miss some crucial dialogue. So we are left wondering how Michelle Williams gathered so many accolades for her cameo in the film. I think that the diaper change took up most of her screen appearance. It was still a deep film; I cried my way through most of the film.
After the film it was colder and almost snowing. Lake only had one shoe and sock on because the other side became a casualty of the diaper blowout. I tied my hat around his legs like a sleeping bag foot to help protect him from the sleet. We walked home and swung by Trader Joe’s for some hot drinking chocolate fixings but they had just closed. So we seized the opportunity to check out our neighborhood Indian grocery Mr. B’s Indian Imports instead. No drinking chocolate, I think that was the Mayan Indians, but we did come away with an array of goodies for a delicious dinner Michael whipped up. And we discovered our local source for dried beans: lentils garbanzos and such. We also have a neighborhood vegan grocery. Real gritty Ave Rats.
We arrived home and we were extremely grateful to have a warm house to call home. So maybe not true Ave Rats, but certainly in the spirit of the old school Ave. Good bye 2016. Thank you for bringing us Lake! You were SOME YEAR!
Lake is seven months old today. I celebrated by eating pie after he went to sleep at eight o’clock. I fed him all evening so he should be well tanked up. Then I needed to replenish myself too! My friend was right, it’s hard to keep the weight on after the breastfed baby casts off his training wheel appetite and really tucks in for his dinners.
So, behold this beautiful pie Nana made especially for gluten free vegan mummy! Perfect with a Coconut Bliss accompaniment. Now, Happy (monthly) Birthday Lake! You enrich our lives so much with your ebullient spirit!
These are precious days. It’s hard for me to believe Lake will be seven months old on Thursday. We are enjoying watching as he explores the interface between his body and the world, both intentional and unintentional.
He is practicing his dry ground swimming…
His lean into gravity…
His pushing himself up for a better view.
And how his smile invokes such delight in his mummy…
We are deeply appreciating what are likely the final days of his pre-ambulatory phase. It’s a luxury to set him down and know that within the confines of a roll or a spin he’s staying relatively “put”… We know his scooting and crawling and then running and walking days are coming up fast and will keep us on a whole new level of “our toes”…
We hosted some folks for Christmas Eve. It was a bit of a Moving Day reunion actually. So nice to be in our new house in time for the holidays! There are still a few boxes yet to be unpacking and I’ll be darned if my glassybaby candle holders weren’t in the very last of the boxes waiting to be unpacked. I really didn’t think we could host a holiday dinner party without them, but somehow we managed.
We are having a great time starting new traditions for our family and for Lake.
So far our neighborhood has heralded many delightful surprises with near daily revealings. Our neighbors introduced themselves last weekend and it turns out we struck neighbor gold. We could not have asked for a nicer family, except maybe if they had a son Lake’s age. Then presto, the very day after meeting them, their son was born. Now, at one week old, Peter is a promising young playmate. We have already bumped into him out cruising the neighborhood, hanging with his family out in front of the local coffee shop. And there are more great neighbors too. And even more red headed boys! What fortune! New house, new neighborhood, new neighbors, new friends new traditions; some Christmas!
My family has a bit of a tradition for a holiday walk before dinner, any holiday will do. So this Christmas Eve, although it was cold and rapidly becoming dark, we bundled up Lake and set out towards the forested ravine of Ravenna Park just a few blocks north of us. We walked all the way through the ravine and then it was becoming darker so we headed back home by way of Ravenna Boulevard. In the process of our homeward bound predinner perambulation we discovered we live very close to Candy Cane Lane. I was perfectly delighted by the surprise!
Some Christmas Eve! We are already looking forward to next years’ festivities to share with family, friends and Lake! Candy Cane Lane will surely become one of Lake’s fond memories of our Christmas Eve traditions.
Lake is getting more and more interested in exploring our food. Last night he got a basilica stalk from Daddy. He gripped that thing so tightly. It stayed in his hand and he chewed on it throughout the second half of our dinner.
First half he was showing strong interest in the pho bowl, sucking on the side and gazing longingly into the depths of the broth. Lake, I know just how you feel little man. Pho mesmerizes me too… I love it on a cold night.
Mondays I work late so Lake was asleep when I got home at 2030. I had the ongoing Monday evening dilemma of what to do. Wake Lake up for a late dinner or get woken up in the night for Lake’s “midnight snack?”
He was so sweetly fast asleep, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t wake him up. But then time passed and my milk ducts had been all the while productive. It got to the point where I didn’t have a choice. I woke up at 0200 with super full milkies. Full and hard and uncomfortable. Since Lake is still getting 90% of his nutrition from breast feeding (he eats some banana or applesauce snacks during the week at Bright Horizons) and I still haven’t been pumping, it’s up to the both of us. We are in it together. I went looking for my baby. I picked him up out of his sweet sleep for a “dream feed”. He stayed asleep but diligently suckled away for an hour. Sweet dreams, happy waking. He was very happy in the morning, waking up on a tank half full instead of empty!
We went for a cold day at the zoo today. Michael’s sister and Lake’s Ketchikan cousins are down in the lower 48 for the Twelve Days of Christmas. So we met up with Grandma Julie and the Ketchikaners at the zoo and zooed about in the winters’ sunshine for a good bit. Until we got good and arctic. Fun, but… Brrrr.
Today’s highlights were definitely the cold weather accustomed animals such as the snow leopard and the penguins. They were quite at home with the sub zero weather and lolling and strolling about respectively as if it were just another fantastic day in the life. Turns out they might be on to something.
We especially enjoyed the birds.
The WillaWong Station bird enclosure contains an entire rave party:
58 Budgerigars (Budgies)
1 Bourke parakeet
4 Eastern Rosellas
2 princess parrots
…and a Partridge in a Pear Tree (okay pictured is a Kookaburra)
We even witnessed two cockatiels actively working on increasing their count. Oh my!
Plus, it was a smidge warmer in there. And the Ketchikan cousins could actively engage in feeding the budgies. Such a festive Twelve Days of Christmas Sunday activity, going to the zoo, that. And lovely to convene back at home for a warming curry dinner at our new home, new table.
A perfect day, really. I’m glad I spent it with you all. Lake is too!