Being Dad.

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Dear Lucy,
Let me begin this by saying I know you have another Dad. A dad who loves you very much, who held you the day you were born and will always be a huge part of your life. But you aren’t a little girl with a dad and a step dad. You have two dads.
Our relationship and the role I will play in your life doesn’t require an extra title. I’m not just your moms husband. I met you when you still drank out of a bottle. I went to the store at 2am to get you milk and pushed you in a stroller. I hope you don’t remember a life without me in it.
You are my daughter no different than Mila is. I’ve been warned to prepare myself to hear “you aren’t my real dad!” when you’re a teenager mad at your mother and I for not letting you go out with your friends or taking your phone away. But I already have my response ready to go: “I

am your dad!” Biological or not, I love you, will take care of you, help you succeed and will always be there for you.

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Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden

20140324-160135.jpgRight along side the Ballard Locks, is the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens. Which is a massive public garden and walking path. Everything blooms at the same time the salmon can be seen in the fish latters. Ok I know this all sounds a little wacky unless you are from here, but simply, the Ballard locks are a way of giving the boats and the fish safe passage through while also acting kinda like a dam.
Anywho, when the fish are swimming the latter and the garden is in full bloom it’s so crowded it’s not even worth going. Especially on the weekend. But during the week the schools all visit so it’s chaos then too.

But today it was perfect. Not too many people, we could see a ship coming through, and it just just enough cherry blossoms and flowers to make it worth checking out.

Mila is really wanting to explore on her own and we follow her along and she puts rocks in her mouth, climbs up and down the same curb, and posts at everything saying “this!!” It was not a bad way to spend a Monday, not at all.

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Carkeek Park

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Justin’s mom is visiting from Chicago so we’ll be hitting up all our favorite spots this week. First things first, Justin took her to our grocery store which really is our favorite place to go as a family. But today we went and hung out at Carkeek. There are so many beach/park combos near the Puget sound this ones our favorite because it’s huge yet never crowded. The play area is unique with a giant salmon shaped slide and it’s right on the train tracks so those darling enough can actually stand on the stairs that lead to the beach and watch the train fly by right under your feet. I think it’s terrifying but the kids just love seeing the train even if it’s from a far far away safe distance. I wish I could take more photos of the view from the playground and the play area but the rules of taking photos of your own kids with other kids around is always kinda blurry. Like if one mom busts out her iPhone then I feel more comfortable that she’s ok if I start taking photos of my kids with hers in the background. But today I was the only mom with a huge clunky camera in her hands so I felt way less comfortable. But Carkeek park is awesome I swear.

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Moon Paper Tent

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Thank you so much to everyone who came out and made Lucy’s 6th birthday so special. I think the kids all had a blast at Moon Paper Tent. I was a little concerned when I saw their new space which is smaller and slightly less whimsical, but they brought the fun anyways! Dress up, face paint, a under sea adventure, and they made these little lanterns with LED lights. So wonderful! And my aunt made another awesome cake! Every year the cake gets even better than the year before.

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These Parents : go to the Burke Museum.

I once saw a meme, something along the lines of “people take photos of the things they love”. It’s so true. You can really see what matters to someone by their IG feed.
But also, after any of our family outings, you can go through my memory card and see quite clearly what I enjoyed about our adventure. Goes to a waterfall, takes nothing but photos of the pine trees. Goes to the beach, takes 101 photos of rocks. Goes to diner, memory card is full of pictures of my coffee cup.
Today we took advantage of Free Thursday at the Burke Museum, and once again you can obviously tell what aspect I enjoyed most. Did I take a single photo of a Dinosaur? Nope. Volcanic rock? Nope. But I get to the exhibit about Native American tribal art and it’s like *click *click *click ALL THE PHOTOS!! I could have stayed all day reading about each and every piece. But Mila was being WILD. I tried keeping her in the ergo to help calm her down but she just wanted to run laps. Justin got her to show a little interest in some gem stones, but the Burke doesn’t do a great job of being kid friendly. There’s a play area and all, but this museum is better for adults/teens. Even Lucy I could see getting bored easily.

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These Parents: go to snoqualmie falls

20140304-152018.jpgSo ya know when you go to a massive waterfall, bring your camera, and somehow forget to take a photo of the actual waterfall. D’oh! I don’t even wanna talk about it.
But cut me some slack! We get out of the car and are surrounded by pine covered mountains with fog weaving through the trees. The air is so misty you can’t tell what’s rain and what’s coming off of the waterfall. The crashing is so loud you can hardly talk to the person standing next to you. All I could do was laugh cause it was all so beautiful it’s almost uncomfortable. Ok maybe not uncomfortable…but comical for sure. It’s all so ridiculously gorgeous you can’t help but laugh. So ya. I only took 4 photos. Face. Palm.
Then we wander over to the gift shop with is full of stuff you can find in any of those Made in Washington stores. Like those flavored honey sticks, rocks and gems, and Mila fell for a stuffed mallard that makes a realistic duck call.
Next we headed over to North Bend to be dorky assholes who just HAVE to see the diner from Twin Peaks. The locals and the waitress seem totally bothered by us. But when some tool with quirky 1890’s facial hair and his omgsohip girlfriend climb out of their Kia and begin taking 101 photos with their iPhones, I get it. Hipsters come from all over just to get a “damn fine cup of coffee”. There’s a real sense of ‘here’s your *ucking cherry pie. Just take your photos for Instagram and leave.’ Whatever lady! If it weren’t for Laura Palmer you would be pouring coffee all day for 4 creepy dudes who tip you dimes. The fries were pretty amazing though. And that’s how we spent our Tuesday!

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This Mom: Stays in bed

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When Mila was an infant, about once a month I would spend an entire 24 hours in bed with her. Nursing, cuddling, skin to skin. We’d listen to the She and Him pandora station and I’d rub her legs and feet while reading out loud huffington post articles or other peoples blogs.
But she got older, we got busier, and now our quality time is spent going places.
We recently re did our already pretty simple bedroom and made it even more bare and minimal. It’s the perfect space to get my head clear. The only distraction is our record player and my iPhone of course. But no clutter, no dishes to be done, no packages being delivered or episodes of dance mom on tv.
So for the first time since moving into our new house, I spent the day in bed with Mila. Talking to each other and practicing the hokey pokey. Nursing and napping for hours. Who says Mondays have to be a drag? I think this might be our new beginning of the week routine.

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