Lake is truly blessed to have such an intrepid explorer for a Nana. We named Nana’s dharma: adventurer. She told us her high school friend likes to remind her she was voted: “Most Likely to Walk on the Moon,” for her graduating class of 1965 from Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane. Four years later the very first astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did set foot and walked on the moon.
In the nearly fifty years since then a total of 10 more have gained the honor. None from Lewis and Clark High School, though. So she still might nab that distinction. In the meantime, she’s no stranger to extreme geographic locales! Lake adores his Nana!
Shown here in her element: Mt. Ryan, CA
Mostly Lake is growing up in the city, an urban kid. It’s the same Pacific Northwest region as where I grew up, but so different… One might say the Quinault Rainforest of Olympic National Park is a world away. I try to provide Lake with a daily “nature bath” but it’s not the same as experiencing immersion into the deep coastal rainforest or the wild Pacific Ocean beaches. I want him to have a taste of the freedom of skipping rocks on Lake Quinault, feel the fresh salty air, and eat the raw oysters from Brady’s. We did and he soaked it all up! I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, though, him or me! I was pretty happy to be in my homelands!
Friday night was parent date night out in the neighborhood with our plus one, our tag along. It was super cold so we chose to not walk too far down the Ave and to stay close to home for our dining choice. Xi’an Noodles is one of our favorites not only due to the generous spirit of chef/owner Lily Wu but also due to the supreme deliciousness of her fare.
When the food arrived we had the task of explaining to Lake why he had only plain tofu and an apple while we feasted on spicy hand ripped noodles and spicy garlicky broccoli. Michael made up a funny fable for Lake. Lake seemed to accept being resigned to his fate of no garlic or chilies until he is out of diapers.
Thus, he quickly moved on to the entertainment portion of the dinner. Whereby he repeatedly “stabbed” Michael with a chopstick between his torso and his upper arm like a samurai or fencer. It was found by all, but Lake especially, to be an immense delight!
Lily was sad to miss us and posted on Chinese FB about her great affection for Lake.
Luckily Michael suffered not a scratch and took part in the merriment willingly. We surrender to the adventure and surface the richer for it. A perfect date, I’m glad I spent it with you!
It’s an incredible feeling to have Lake holding my hand. He lifts his hand up and waits for you to curl your fingers inside his. So heartwarmingly sweet. I can’t vouch for the whole day, but holding hands with Lake this morning as we walked around the neighborhood in the snow… those were perfect moments. The imprint of his hand and that feeling stayed with me and carried me through the rest of my day at work. Lake, Michael, I’m glad I spent the morning with you.
Lake loves his Grandpa. I think the feeling is mutual. It turns out his name for him is Baba, like Papa, but Baba!: loud and clear. We visited Nana and Baba last year for Presidents’ Day weekend (see Good Old Days) and here we were again… Lake’s favorite place to be! And in between adventures Lake’s favorite spot was in Baba’s lap by the fire reading books.
Lake made a crew of furry new friends during our weekend stay. There were two sheep, a rabbit and an owl: “Ba, Ba, Hop and Howl” They were usually close at hand.
Without a doubt his favorite friend is Baba, though. They are quite a perfect pair. A perfect day, a perfect weekend… we’re so glad we were able to spend it with you!
We’ve experienced all kinds of weather this week. Snow flurries, bitter cold, wind storms, sunshine, rain and hail! For our Presidents’ Day weekend we were visiting Nana and Papa in Grays Harbor, and repeatedly on Saturday the rain was seen driving in front of their picture window at a 45 degree angle. Even so, it didn’t stop us from getting outside and exploring nature full on. In fact, it heightened our adventures at the Ocean, Lake and rainforest. I think Lake may have loved the hail at the Ocean most of all!
The First Thursday of each month brings free entrance to many of the city’s treasures. Art treasures! Seattle Art Museum, Museum of History and Industry, Burke Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Bellevue Art Museum and the Volunteer Park Conservatory are notable highlights. There’s also the Pioneer Square Art Walk on the First Thursdays of the month, which is something to think about as the evenings get brighter, warmer and longer. That claims the honor of being first of its kind in the United States.
We like to take advantage of these opportunities to share art with Lake. He usually has a great time. This month for February First Thursday, Lake and his girlfriends met up at the Seattle Art Museum downtown. Here they’re shown discussing the giant mouse “Mann und Maus” by Katharina Fritch. What explorations will the March 1st First Thursday bring us? What kind of cultural perk will make the perfect day?
Lake graduated to a big boy bed last month thanks in large part to Michael’s ingenuity. Toddler bed hack = Dad Win! Prior attempts to have Lake sleeping in the big bed ended in Lake worming his way along the carpet, whimpering in his semi-sleep and looking for a cozy corner. So, to remedy that without spending a cent, Michael built a soft boundary around the side and foot of the twin sized mattress. He accomplished this by rolling wool blankets and lining them under the edge of fitted sheet. Lake is getting so big and heavy that transitioning him up and over the sides of the Pack-n-Play crib was becoming wearisome. Also after the sometimes tedious process of getting him to sleep, he would predictably wake up during this transfer, no matter how sound asleep you were sure he was. In the Big Boy Bed we can fall asleep together and then Mummy is able to stealthily slip away unnoticed. Bonus, cats can easily join in on napping opportunities!
Congratulations, Lake! Well done pragmatic and clever, Michael! I’m proud of my boys!
Happy Valentine’s Day! True love isn’t always red roses and chocolates. Sometimes it’s simply spending time together in the moment. We become the sweetness, we become the blossoms. We become the perfect day.
The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.
~Thich Naht Hahn
Know that you’re loved. Blessings
After a fun day outside in the winter sunshine Lake and I are home by the fire. We’re dancing around the living room and refining our language skills. Lake, his English, and I’m practicing my Sanskrit. As it turns out, yoga teachers must speak Sanskrit. I hear there’s an exam. So, here I go… learning by doing. Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Uttanasana, Ardha Uttanasana, Utkatasana, Virabhadrasana, Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivritta Parsvakonasana, Anjaneyasana, Natarajasana = King Dancer Pose, shown above near Westport, WA. Not to mention the Sanskrit of the Yoga Sutras.
Meanwhile, Lake is making progress with his English. His mastering new vocabulary brings him such clear joy! Towel, me, you, Honey, toes, puppy, and still happy baby! His speaking is a harbinger of joy for both of us. And like me with my Sanskrit, as each new word becomes familiar to our lexicon, it’s slow, but solid… and so triumphant.