Zachary: 2 Months

Well month two has been a whirlwind of new experiences and meeting new people.

We started with a visit from Zach’s Aunt and Uncle, my brother and sister-in-law. During their stay with we explored Rainbow Falls State Park and Zachary when on his first hike!

Then it was Zachary’s first holiday: 4th of July. For more on what we did see Fourth of July 2017.

The next weekend, Zach experienced his first road trip to Nainai and Papa’s house. Zach met a lot of new people at a family BBQ and spent time with his other Aunt and Uncle, Luke’s brother and wife, and his three cousins. He did pretty well through his first professional photo shoot then enjoyed spending his first evening with his grandparents and cousins while Mom and Dad went to Luke’s High School Reunion. It was a busy weekend.

The weekend after this, Luke’s brother and family came to stay with us. Zachary went on his first train ride and to a Civil War re-enactment put on by the veterans museum.  That Sunday he met our birth coach and the little girl and her family who went through the class with us.

Last weekend, Zach met his great-grandparents. He hung out in the stroller as we walked around the Centralia Antique Fest and loved all of the attention from strangers. Later that week he went to Luke’s work’s annual family BBQ and again got plenty of attention.

During this very busy month Zach has learned to take a nightly bottle from Dad or a Grandparent.

Zach has grown by leaps and bounds this past month. He is talking even more and now smiles and sometimes laughs. Zachary has better ability to control his hands: gripping and pulling toys, shirts, and of course mom’s hair. He still very much enjoys music and attention from anybody and everybody he can.

More on some of these July events to come!

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mini-golf

As I mentioned in my Easter post, this past weekend Luke and I took time to check out the local mini-golf place.

I grew up close to several well established mini golf places with both indoor and outdoor courses. I realize being in SoCal I was more than a little spoiled and overwhelmed by  entertainment options. Luke and I, before this past weekend, had only gone mini-golfing twice together. Once before we got married, because we felt it was a date we should do as part of our “dating” story-line. And the second time with family in Oregon after my brother’s graduation for more on this see 2013 vacation part 1 .

So it is not something we have done often, nor something I’d say I’m good at. Still we thought it’d be a fun and easy short date before our birth class.

We got to the Shankz Miniaturize Gold and for $ 9.00 a person, cheaper for seniors and kids, and got our balls and clubs, a great deal. Walking up a set of stairs we found the 18 hole indoor course.

Everything is covered in glow in the dark paint and hit with black lights;  the artwork on the walls we found pretty impressive. For only one course it was packed with decorations challenges and fun. The course is split into three themed areas: first underwater, then jungle, then last dinosaur. Classic music from Ray Charles, to Elivs, to Johnny Cash played in the background as we move from hole to hole.

It was a quiet day and we were alone on the course which helped us feel no pressure and take our time. Even if we did have to wait there were plenty of benches for sitting along the way. We didn’t keep exact score but I felt it was one of my best games, I was able to get most holes even with obstacles in 2-3 moves.

After our round we checked out the arcade, which although not extensive, included several classic favorites including donkey kong, pac man, galaga, pin ball, air hockey and more. We know where to go if we want a little classic game competition.

We had a great time and know it’s worth the short trip and money, a great date activity. We’ll probably go again and hopefully next time bring along some family to enjoy the fun.

My pictures really don’t do the place justice, this is the first time I’ve tried taking pictures with glow in the dark and black light. If you want a better idea of what the course looks like check out their website by clicking on the link found in their name above.

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House Hunting Update 2016-2017

We started looking at places to live as far back as October when we found out where we were living. We have looked at quite a few places since while living in a rental home downtown Centralia.

I feel at times we have taken our realtor on a wild adventures trying to narrow down just what we want and need. Looking for homes this time is different than it was in Wayland. We are at a different place in life and are looking at the place as a longer term location, where our children will possibly be living with us through elementary school. So we are asking questions about safety, clear play areas, school districts, and how close the home is to Luke’s work, the grocery store, as well as church and town activities.

We’ve learned we want a rural suburban home. I know it sounds strange. We like the idea of a quiet house with a few acres but that is within 20 minutes or so from the gym, church, school, work, restaurants etc.

Fortunately around here that is possible to find but it does take some compromises. Many places have a lot of property and a house that needs major work. Or a house that is great but a property that is not. Or both are great but the drive is longer than we want and could be difficult in the winter time. Luke and I are willing to get a place that needs work down the road, a  place we can update. What we cannot do right now is a major overhaul before baby comes, that’s too much stress and a huge time crunch.

One of the beautiful presents we received over the holidays was that our house in Wayland went under contract with a buyer! The day we left for my parent’s house we got news of an offer. Over the holidays we negotiated and finalized a decision. I was shocked, I never suspected our house to sell in the dead of one of the coldest winters and especially over the holidays.

Since then we have been signing paperwork and scanning in files to all the right parties. Several steps of the process have already been completed and we are hoping by the beginning of March we will have our house sold.

So we are really ready to find a place to live, and now we are starting to feel the time crunch of a May due date. We’d love to be at least semi-moved in by the time baby comes. Even if a nursery is not set up and painted we would like to bring our child from the hospital to the home they will be in for at least the first few years of their life. The baby will be in our room in the cradle at first anyways so that would give us time to get a Nursery set up if necessary.

So that is the house hunting and selling so far, more on this to come as we move forward.

 

Tractor Parade

This past weekend we decided it was time to check out our first local seasonal event: The Christmas Tractor Parade. This parade I have been told is the biggest of the year and at least a thousand people bundled in their warm clothes line up along the parade route.

The main route goes through  old downtown Centralia. Fortunately we live only blocks from there. So Luke and I put on our warmer clothes and walked downtown.  There we met some family friends, some of their kids, and nephews and found our spot along the brick street.

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Please Note: these pictures are from the Centralia downtown’s website: http://downtowncentralia.org

You may wonder: what makes a Christmas parade a tractor parade? Well most of the lighted floats were either pulled by tractors, pulling tractors, carrying tractors, or had tractor themed decorations on them. We saw a motorcycle dressed up in cardboard to look like a tractor, several holiday blow up santa-riding tractors, the parade queen sat on the bucket of a tractor, and we saw a lumber tractor on a semi truck bed decorated with full limbs of fallen timber.

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We were told the entry fee is minimal so on average there are 80 or more float entries! Floats are judged for different categories before the parade begins at 6pm. Each tractor or float was creatively decorated and lit; advertising their organization, church, farmers market, or store. Many had music, bubbles, or snow machines.

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What was most suprising to me was how interactive the parade was. Young people dressed as angels, elves, snowmen, reindeer and more walked alongside each float with buckets. When they saw children, they would pass out candy, toys, stickers, coupons and information about their organization.

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The family we came with were prepared with plastic grocery bags. The kids were given so many goodies they could fill up their stockings! Eventually we were given a bag too as the parents tried to get rid of some of the sugar heading home with them. When we got home we opened our bag to find some really amazing treats (not only candy canes and dum dum lollipops).

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Other than floats the local high school band played, motorcycle groups wove up and down the street passing out candy, and a local equestrian team came through with very disciplined horses who were unfazed by the semi truck horns, tractor engines, or the lights they were decorated in.

Overall it was a lively and inviting Christmas parade. It was well attended too in-spite of the rain and cool temperatures. Let’s just say it was a great first local outing and we will probably go again another year.