Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ballard on Syttende Mai

Ballard used to be parodied on the local skit comedy show, Almost Live, as a neighborhood in Seattle full of old, cranky, Scandinavians. My favorite involved the Ballard driving school, where you must have your blinker on at all times and your seatbelt hanging out the door to get your license. Today it's more often referred to as a quaint little drinking village with a condo problem. There are plenty of bars and plenty of condos. Some people wonder if it's lost its original charm.

However, on Syttende Mai, the 17th of May or Norwegian Constitution Day, everyone is an honorary Norwegian. And dresses accordingly.

Check out the socks on that guy! I am impressed. The tassels, the turned up collar, he is pulling it all off splendidly.

A whole boatload of Norwegians! So very blonde. I love the way the sun is shining on them despite the grayness of the sky. The sun is funny like that here, it sneaks up on you sideways.

It just wouldn't be a parade without a drill team. (You know what I'm talking about Opie.) I love the color combination used for their uniforms and the pom poms on their socks. A parade with such wonderful socks must be good.

Not to mention a Viking Robotics Team. Yes, a Viking Robotics Team. Top that.

Well, a hundred small children on unicycles is pretty cool. Let's call it a tie until next Syttende Mai.

Monday, April 30, 2012

RoozenGaarde Tulip Garden

Recently, yesterday in fact, I visited the RoozenGaarde display garden in Mt. Vernon.


The Roozen family have been bulb growers in Holland and the U.S. since the early 1700's. They ship bulbs all over the world. I loved seeing the variety in color, size and height.


And people come from all over the world to see their display garden. I could hear German, Spanish, Hindi, and many other languages being spoken.

Tulip Tree

I'm lucky because their garden is only a few hours north of Seattle and this year my Mom wanted to see them.

Mom visits the tulips

We thought we'd show them to Walter too.

Walter finds the tulips

The place was packed! It was hard to get a photo without other people in it who were also trying to get a photo without anyone else in it. But it was worth it, to see so much color.




I hope we can return next year, so he can run wear some rubber boots and play in the mud. That seemed to be where the action was really at.


What a way to celebrate Spring!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Multnomah Falls

In February I had my first trip away from Walter. I think it was for about 36 hours. But to be a whole state away from him at 7 months old was a feat for me and for him too, I think.

Luckily my knitters just wanted a quick trip to Portland and I always want to go to Portland.

For the first time I made it to Multnomah Falls, something I'd been wanting to do for a long time.   It was a blustery day. You can even see some white caps in the photos.

Despite many trips to Portland, no one else I'd ever been with had wanted to stop before.

I can't imagine why not, it's a beautiful place.

I hope to return again, and maybe next time I'll show it to Walter.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The New Normal

Today was starting to feel like a normal day.  The kind of day where I manage to get a few things done.

I made some brown sugar.

It's pretty straight forward. You add one teaspoon of molasses to one cup of white sugar. And mix it up.

Then put it in your prettiest jar and you're done. I only made one cup because it turns out I was down to the very last bit of my molasses.

I knit a little bit on my newest hat, Fenimore by Jared Flood in his Shelter yarn, colorway Nest. Not many stores have Shelter yarn yet, but Churchmouse Yarns does, so whenever I go there I end up with a little in my basket. It's the colors that really get me. And I'm partial to mousey ones like this.

It's meant to be a loose cabled tam, but because I'm knitting it it's turning into more of a beanie... here's to hope and blocking!

I also made some granola, did some laundry, took a walk, really ordinary things. But they felt amazing because I was able to do most of those things while someone else slept.

I won't say who though.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What a nice combination of genetic materials you have there!

Where does the time go? I can't believe my newborn is a month old already! Walter Felix Chapman was born July 3rd, 2011 weighing 8 lbs, 14 oz at 20 inches long. Our labor together took about 30 hours and was started quite dramatically by my water breaking on my massage therapists table!

I didn't know what to expect from labor, despite taking a birth class and reading many books on the subject. All the research added up to the fact that you really don't know until you're in it.  For me it was something I was able to do one contraction at a time.  Trying not to think of the hours stretching in to days. Working through the back labor I was so very much hoping to avoid altogether. Spending lots of time in the tub. Laughing inside at some of the crazy noises I was making. Feeling utterly secure in the team I had chosen to be in the birth room. Being so very thankful when it was over.  We're all very glad he's here.  My gratitude to Jesse and Amanda for helping me bring him in to this world is immense. I will never forget the hours they spent laboring with me.

This month has really flown by, but it wouldn't have been half as easy without all the support we've received from friends and family. This is a time when people really reach out and I can only begin to say thank you to all the people who've knitted blankets, prepared a meal or stopped by to visit. As much as I love the little guy, he isn't a great conversationalist (yet) and it's really great to have people come over. I can see how parenting can be isolating and I feel lucky that I have quite a network to tap into when needed. Or as his Great-Grandma Stella said: Walter's lucky already. Lucky to have such warm family and caring friends. I know because I'm lucky too.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

This is my Mom in 1981 with me and my sister in Guam. 

Since my Mom was traveling this Mothers Day I spent the day at a Birth Fair and lecture by one of the most revered midwives in the U.S., Ina May Gaskin.  It was a lovely, enlightening way to spend the day. 

Being on the verge of motherhood myself, I'm not sure I've ever appreciated my own Mother more.  She was the Girl Scout leader, the classroom assistant, the maker of Halloween costumes, and so much more.  I hope I can follow in her example.  I love you Mom!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's On


Just 3 years ago we had a little chant to welcome in the New Year. It went something like this:

We won't procreate in '08!

And we didn't. But then a few years passed and we decided we would.


So far so good. We are open to name suggestions. Although I have my secret favorites. Shhh.