Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Season of Lights

 Happy Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice or whatever you celebrate.  Let there be celebrations!  May your New Year be as silly as these kiddos.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Backpacking this summer

Here is a video from the Dad and daughter backpacking trip.  I have not been backpacking since kids.  YIKES.  I am determined to go backpacking this next summer.  Car camping is nice but just not the same.  Fingers crossed I can get HK out of diapers. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Some photos and some stories and some thoughts

 This little man lives for his trains.  He will venture downstairs and I'll hear 'LIGHT ON.  Mooommmaaa LIGHT ON' and then silence for quite some time followed by another 'LIGHT ON'.  Sometimes he doesn't even call though and will just play down there in the semi dark depending on the time of day.  He is happy to be with his trains even in the dark.
 Elizabeth is super into tag games.  The rules are hard to follow since she constantly changes the rules with the addition of new bases or removal of ones that I'm running towards.  She will get on a base as I tag her and declare 'CLEARLY mom, I mean clearly I was on the base'.
And sometimes you have a scratch
 She has had a few more bumps in the road will her little friends.  I saw a friend tell her that she couldn't play with them, she went off and played with another kiddo and was pretty resilient about the whole thing.  Talking about it later I told her she did the right thing and found a sweet friend who was happy to have her to play with.  She then asked 'but how can I make the other girls be nice to me and play with me'.  Ugh.  Kindness finds kindness I keep telling her.  Can't make anyone do anything but can only control how you react so do so with kindness. 
 This holiday season I found myself very reflective about my little Jewish family.  We don't do Christmas or Santa Claus and exclusively celebrate the Jewish holidays.  A decision I fully embrace and find that I don't miss Christmas despite having such great childhood memories of the thrill of Santa.   Elizabeth also doesn't seem to miss or want for us to do it different which is nice considering most around us celebrate Santa.
 Over dinner the other night she starts belly laughing and can barely tell the story she is laughing so hard.   'In music class Gabriel said he didn't know what a Menorah is and the rest of the class didn't either.  Then they also said they didn't know about the Jewish language Hebrew.'  She says all this while in tears laughing basically saying what fools these kids are.  HA!  She then said that her and Lilly (another Jewish kiddo) explained it all to them.  So wish I was there for this conversation but glad she is happy to know and share about herself.
 I just finished reading a book that is peripherally about the WWII and that holocaust which has made me even more reflective.  It is a wonder to me that someone could hate my kids because they are of Jewish heritage.  It is not something I fear but more simply aware of.  I do know that the fear is real and more of a  daily struggle for so many other parents.  People hate for color and religion and ethnic tribe and political affiliation and nationality and so much more.  Kindness finds kindness I hope.

 Elizabeth and Henry at a school party.  She is shushing him.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Vancouver Holiday Party

We went to Vancouver for the annual JRS Holiday Party.  Stayed for just a night which was a bit short but we needed some down time at home.  In the past two weeks we have only eaten ONE meal at home at our house with just us. 
It was fun, there was swimming, there were cocktails and my dress shows were forgotten at home.  So I wore RED CLOGS to the swanky party.  Some people mentioned that they thought my shoes were 'cute'.  Meaning they thought this was my fashion choice.  Oh well.... shoes matched our color theme for the photo above!

Monday, November 17, 2014

And we bought a cabin

 We have dreamed of this for years and even almost made it happen prior to Henry's conception.  We looked back then because if I couldn't have a second baby then I was going to have a second home in the mountains.  I got my second baby and happily gave up the dream of a mountain house.
 Then we talked to friends this summer and stumbled upon a steal of a deal.  Almost everything we wanted.  Views, space enough for friends to come, land, access from the house to biking, hiking, a lake for swimming and skiing and friends to buy it with thus making it affordable.
 This weekend was our first trip out there and we explored our little plot of land and cleaned a bit and rejoiced that the previous owners left ALL of the furniture.

We found a zip line and a rustic fort and hung up a swing.

Jeff attached a slide to the fort.

 It is not for the faint of heart as it is more like a rocket launcher.
I want to remember how this home became ours.  Well at least 1/3 of what the bank doesn't own is ours.  How Elizabeth cried after we first saw it because she thought we were moving out there permanently and she loves her Seattle home.  And then how after this weekend at the cabin she cried because she didn't want to leave.  I want to remember exploring with the Connolly kids along the lakes edge and finding frozen critters and a turtle under the ice.  I want to remember that both my kids slept past 7am which is a minor miracle and proof that fresh mountain air is good for the soul.  I also want to remember that walking Elizabeth to school this morning we saw 2 bald eagles.  TWO.  I love that our home is Seattle and in the Methow Valley. 

Monday, November 03, 2014


 Never actually made it to a punkmen patch this year and just got them at the store.  And yes she still calls them punkmen and I am doing everything in my power to have that not change.
 Pops is in town for Halloween and he has been enjoying the crazy household.  He has seen us play many games of duck duck goose.  It is not played with rules that anyone understands except E and H.  He has read a ton of books to Henry and helped with many a puzzle.    He came along to the Halloween party and joined in on her soccer game this weekend.
 For the actual day Elizabeth dressed as Fancy Nancy and specifically Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly.  I don't sew or make things at all so I was pretty happy when she choose an outfit that I could piece together.  I got a shot of her with her teacher Mrs Koerner aka Mary Poppins.  I do wish she could have Mrs Koerner just until 12th grade. 
 We had dinner at a friends house with about 15 kids and then all left to go trick or treating together.  It was like locust descending on the candy.
 Elizabeth, Hannah and Sadie were partners in crime and stuck together the entire time.
 Henry even figured it out and went up to about five houses.  He didn't really know what he was getting but was thrilled to show off his goodies along the way.  He would holler out 'tickie treat' , 'tank you' and 'appy alloweeeeen'.
 There is a five block stretch that is decorated to the hilt and everyone is there.  One house had a keg out front and with the street closed down it is easy to let them run around.  It is fun to see all our neighbors and school friends.

 It was our first year without Lila.  The girls both were with their school friends.  Quite honestly Elizabeth didn't even notice however my heart was quite sad.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Corvalis Crew in the Hood

 The Corvalis Crew was in the hood for a weekend visit.  We scored with perhaps our last perfect weather weekend.  Spent the majority of Sunday at the beach and came home with sand buried in shoes, toes and diapers.  As it should be when playing at the beach.

 The girls and Oscar still chum around perfectly but Henry and Felix are certainly getting in the mix.  The last hour before the crew headed home Henry and Felix started really playing together.  I can't wait for them to also be the best of buds.  Elizabeth cried in our arms when they left... 'why can't they live right here with us!'.  So sweet and again loving another weekend of watching my kids nurture friendships with my best friends kids.  Perfection!
Next stop with this crew is the Methow.  Can't wait to see them all there!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Smiley Face Game

Elizabeth loves a good game and her favorite game right now is Smiley Face better known as Hang Man.  Isn't there something very Portlandia about that name!

She is always the word/phrase maker which makes this game last a veerrry loooong time since she sounds spells a majority of her words.  I did not know about sound spelling until this past year but I know it well now.  At times she is right on with her spelling and other times the phrase has not a single vowel.  You can not guess the phrase until each space is filled.  If you have no clue you can not give up until every word in the alphabet is used.  All. Of. Them. 

Needless to say the faces she draws are exquisitely detailed.  Next time I'm getting a picture of our game.

Can't we just play Uno.

Below she is wanting to show the toast she 'cooked' on her own.  Plus she is a goof ball.

Elizabeth and Anneka

 There was no school on Friday and Lynn had to work so we got to spend the day with Anneka!  Both girls were thrilled to get an entire day together.  They are really the best of friends.  I spent a good part of the day keeping Henry out of their hair although they were somewhat tolerant.  Henry alternates between being adorable and absolutely obnoxious. 
 We did a little photo shoot and they were just goof balls.

 I love them and am honored that I get to be a part of their lives and friendship.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

No table manners

So apparently we are not teaching our children any table manners.  Just saying.

No Table Manners from kathleen mcgregor on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

 These photos are from the first day of 1st grade.  Her teacher and classmates all moved from Kindergarten to 1st grade together so initially there was little transition.  It really is a great group of kids and families.  There has been a few bumps in the road but all the sort of typically kids figuring kids out.  How to play on the playground together.  How to be inclusive.  How to bounce back after being excluded.  She said to us the other night 'but why would she do that we are friends??'.  Jeff says that comment alone means we must be on the right track.  She is a kind kid.
 She now knows what resilience means and is working on implementing that skill.  Truth be told I am still working to implement that skill.  Resilience for me is truly something I must practice so it isn't always easy to then teach it to Elizabeth.  The hardest for me is not the kids but the parents.  Ugh.  Sometimes parents teach their kids to be exclusive.  Inviting the select few.  That is when I have to practice my resiliency skills.
Most of all the group of parents are great.  We have met some lovely families.  The teachers are AMAZING.  Her teacher is beyond what I could have ever hoped for my child.  The bumps in the road are making us all stronger and more aware of how treat others.  It is amazing how much I am learning from my kids.  Its all good.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lunch time with Henry

DSC 0117 from kathleen mcgregor on Vimeo.

The other day he was playing and I noticed he was counting to ten.  Just sitting there mumbling his numbers.  He can count things up to 6 which is his sisters age.  After that it gets sort of wonky.

He is also a big joker.  Oh and sorry for the mouthful of crackers.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Some Final Summer Photos

Some final summer photos just cause I am missing summer.   Elizabeth did tell me last week that she is loving first grade cause she now feels so grown up.  I asked why and she says 'cause I can take care of the Kindergarten kids.  Now I know what its like to be a mom and plus that means I'm all grown up'.  Slow down kiddo, slow down.

The Ponies

 Jeff is coaching Elizabeth soccer team, the Ponies.  One of the thing I love about this whole thing is the team names.  In their league they have the Ponies, Fireworks, Dolphins, Rainbow Jaguar's, etc.  Don't the names just make you smile.  Much like this silly adorable team.
 We had a happy hour after the first game and it is such a delightful group of parents and kiddos.  The gals ran around together like a happy herd of ponies.