Bear Naked

Lake loves his stuffed animal friends! He sleeps with them at night and plays with them during the day. He’ll often be found carrying one or two with him in the morning and evening. He doesn’t really play favorites. He’s equally supportive of all shapes and sizes. In response to “how did you sleep?” He’ll now sweetly say “good”. Same goes for the bears last night. “How did the bears sleep?” “Good.” Today when asked about the special parts of his day he replied “swimming with the bears. And swimming with the tigers. Tom Sees.” What else was special? “Swimming with the giraffes. Baby giraffe. Mama giraffe. Baby’s giraffe. Daddy Giraffe. Tom sees!” And what else was special today? “Swimming with the monkeys!” Yes, Tom sees that too! On further inquiry this all occurred in his bedroom. So imaginative!

Lately we’ve been spending a lot of time naked or at least “no pants” for the case of toilet training. We’ve been having various degrees of success. At first he seemed to like going in the toilet. We would sing The Wheels on the Bus, and make up different verses. Now he has developed various forms of resistance and evasion, from passive (would rather wait until he can go in his diaper), to fully on crying “no!” and making his body too stiff to sit, to bargaining “Mommy first.” Though he rarely holds up his end of the bargain. So sneaky!? Michael is having the best success with him lately. He has a more pragmatic straightforward approach that rings authentic with Lake. And so the training continues!

Wish us luck!

Zoo Tunes

Lake sings Old MacDonald Had a Farm a lot! He sings different variations on the theme usually with Old Madonna or Old MacDonda having the farm. While we were at the zoo this weekend he belted out a bunch of novel verses. Old MacDonda had a Mr. Cat. …had a Bear…had a Lion. …had a wolf… had a hippopotamus. Old Madonna is one brave farmer I was sure to point out. He loves to sing and he loves the animals. (Mr. Cat may be his best friend.)… and in theory he loves to pet the goats.

A perfect early autumn day at the zoo. I’m glad I spent it with you, my love!

Playing House with Mr. Cat

Lake was having a blast today playing house with Mr. Cat. He used all the large throw pillows to make a “bed” with “covers”. When I came in to his room he was lying on the floor naked under the pillow “covers” with Mr. Cat also under a pillow. Lake told me he was reading Mr. Cat a book. Indeed he was reading to him out of a German book. He was having so much fun he didn’t even want to go to the Greenlake park or to his friend Otis’ birthday party. Which, of course, we did attend and he did have a blast there too, as well.

When we returned home (by bicycle and trailer, Lake singing the entire ride) he was overdue to sleep. This he wanted to do with Mr. Cat. And on the floor. Where he had his pretend pillow bed. A perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you.

Camp NanaBaba(West)

Lake is coming home today from his holiday with my parents on the coast. They played with trucks, blocks, read books, went to the lake, hiked trails, sifted sand at the beach, and took in the ocean. Based on Baba’s report it’s fair to infer a good time was had by all.

Duane Murphy’s notes from the field:

“You wouldn’t believe (maybe you would) how strikingly wonderful the world at the ocean beach was yesterday.  It started off with a little baby rain which encouraged us to seek shelter in a driftwood  log beach affair.  Lake was nonplussed about the weather.  And then the day started getting better and better,  and never stopped.   Oh….it seems Lake likes to walk on logs.   But maybe you already knew that.  Anyway,  there were about 500 there,   and we worked on many,  but didn’t have time to get around to all of them.   Same with the sand.  Tons and tons of the stuff.  And again,  not quite time enough to work it all up properly.    We had a good day,  and we were blessed to spend it together with Lake!”

A perfect day at Kalaloch, I’m glad I spent it with you!

Cirque du Soleil Volta

Lake was enjoying the Pacific Ocean today at Kalaloch with Nana and Baba. Such a beautiful day for enjoying the nature with Camp NanaBaba(West). We had a controversy of conscience whether he should come home early from Camp Nan to join us for the Cirque du Soleil show tonight. He would have surely loved it. Maybe too much.

He already loves “jump-ing” and he has no fear of falling. He launches himself off everything including stairs and jungle gyms. I admit to being a tad worried he’d get ideas at the Cirque show. Don’t misunderstand me, Michael and I fully support him becoming a circus acrobat performer. We think that’s a strong option for him. We’re just concerned that he might start practicing now by jumping out of our windows at home! So this year we went just the two of us and had a real date! So much fun!

Volta was a jolt of energy and a celebration of the physical triumphs of the fully expressed human being. Lake was there in spirit! A perfect day… I’m glad I spent it with you!

Au Pair Of Parks

Luisa’s best friend Christine is visiting from Germany. They took Lake out sightseeing this week. Two parks in one day! Gasworks and Kerry Park. Both yielded big Seattle views. When asked what park he visited: “Tom Park” of course. Everyone’s having a great time with ‘Tine here!

Peach Bath and Peach Pie

I’m not sure that I can say with any certainty who likes the bath more: Lake or Mummy. And this is Lake’s bath we’re talking about. Lake loves a bath. He still prefers the kitchen sink location for bathing. This suits me perfectly. Lake’s bath is my sanity. On the weekends that Michael works and Luisa is of course off, the hours seem to loom out forever. Sunday he may have had four baths. Hey, fantastic. At least one of them was a “peach bath”. And at least one of them produced a peach pie!

I’m currently in a state of marvel of how parents really manage. I’m mostly the evenings and weekends mum. And still in the middle of a weekend its easy to feel overwhelmed. So with Lake happy in the bath, I can breathe and do stuff. Laundry, cleaning up, tidying, eating, enjoying my coffee, and cooking, or making fruit pies. Yes, that’s right. We made a peach pie (crisp actually) for Daddy’s Birthday. Lake loves a bath! Lake loves peaches! Lake loves a peach bath. Lake loves peach crisp. Lake loves Mami and Mami loves Lake!

We love Daddy too! Happy Birthday Michael!

Nolte State Park

The Newfoundland Club of Seattle Fun Day brought us to Nolte State Park on Sunday. Yes, we are members. No, we don’t have a Newfoundland (yet). It turns out Nolte State Park is a hidden gem in Enumclaw with a beautiful deep little lake called “Deep Lake.” We walked the 1.4 mile loop around the lake with Karen and her Newfie named Kayia. This was after chatting with the friends and meeting so many new Newfies. There was our old friend James Bond, Kayia, Mia and more. Lake started to get more comfortable with them, especially if they lay down and their mouths were held closed and turned away from him. “Sit” said he. A born dog handler. After our Club visit and our walk we finished out our Nolte State Park experience with some wonderful juicy peaches that we’d picked up by the boxful at Foster’s Farm Stand. And Lake’s natural habitat: the playground for jumping. A perfect day! I’m glad I spent it with you and at least fourteen (the highest Lake can currently count) ~130-220 pound Newfoundland dogs! Heaven on a gorgeous autumn day!

Bobby Water

Lake grew up so much while he was away with his NanaBaba at Newman Lake. He got to enjoy quintessential Lake activities as Nana quoted him, “running in da wander”. When he came home he’s suddenly talking up a storm. He says the cutest things (of course). He started calling us “Honey” and “Sweetheart” and daddy “Michael,” and me “Tolle,” as in “Tolle Mama Honey.” This morning eyeing the honey container on the counter, he mixed up his endearments and asked for some “‘Sweetheart’… Lake want that.” Tonight he asked for “bobby water,” the Soda Stream water. And he’s very specific with his requests. “Want bobby water in da baby cup”. And polite: “please” and then “mehr bitte”

Such amusements! A perfect day. I’m glad you’re able to share your thoughts and viewpoints with us, Lake!

Mise en Place

Mise en place is the French concept of “everything in its place” a place for everything and a distinct role and purpose and home for everything. It marries well with the Mari Kondo Magic Art of Tidying Up. It also defines one of my core principles. And has created culture shock waves in our home when I have discovered things out of place… gone missing? How is that possible? Use. Clean. Replace. The kitchen scissors! If not in action, they have but one place: the kitchen scissors drawer! Questions?

So, while Lake has been enjoying special grandparents time this week, I’ve been busy with a KonMari Tidying Festival. Labor Day was spent in real efforts to corral the paperwork and get all the files mis en place. Readers may remember me KonMari’ing our condo New Year 2016 before Lake arrived and again for New Year 2017 here at the new house. Her method is meant to be such a complete experience so that only once is sufficient. Well, there were some significant holes in my first mid en place with the archives as discussed in Magical Tidying . For starters, Lake wasn’t born yet and now he has a growing number of files that have no home, really. Secondly, a large file cabinet (twice as large as the one shown and tidied in 2017) was still yet being generously held in deep storage. Thirdly, I never did make it to KondMari’ing my sentimental objects. All the cards, letters, memorabilia and photos.

So my goal this week was to focus on the papers and create a French style archive for our Home Sweet Maison (inspirational source by Danielle Postel-Vinay). Each topic is separately filed in a clearly labeled binder containing the family’s important documents sleeved neatly inside clear plastic sheets. In organizing our family archives this week, a large part of the process was sorting through old papers from school days at Bastyr University and my start-up business The SPAhT. Which in a way becomes sorting through sentimental objects. A bit slow going when you’re out of practice with the joy of Tidying and jumping in mid-process to attempt to give our papers a true mis en place as our Home’s archives.

I’m so grateful for my parents in so many ways. Not only are they keeping Lake so that I have the time energy and bandwidth to tackle this Tidying Festival, but I am reminded they have also helped me move so many times! and stored these files for so many years, and finally after a decade, they even brought them to me so that I would be able to sort through them at my leisure.

Thank you NanaBaba! Let’s see if I can wrap my project this morning before they bring Lake home today!