Monday Morning

8:30 mon morning: I’m sitting in a cafe in Wallingford having just dropped Evan at preschool. It’s his first preschool experience, aside from Gymboree, and drop off went pretty well. I’d been prepping him forever for basically the whole Summmer holidays – from talking about it with him, to organising an extra class visit, finishing off certain, ahem, ‘training’ points, buying new ‘prechool’ clothes (hello, Old Navy elastic waist pants) and even getting Joy to roleplay drop off with us (Joy quite enjoyed playing the part of the teacher as you might imagine.)

It was a lot of preparation, and it seemed to be helpful. But I realize that it was as much for my benefit as it was for his (if not more). If I hadn’t prepared ‘Evan’ in that way, I myself wouldn’t have felt as confident walking him in there this morning, and then he probably wouldn’t have either. So – lucky I’m such a preparation freak then, yes?

So I find myself in Tully’s with a coffee, my iPod and a book (and the iPad of course.) I barely recognize myself! Of course I’m looking at my phone every ten seconds and there’s a Spiderman water bottle sticking out the top of my bag, but aside from that I paint a pretty relaxed figure! Preschool? Pshhaw, no probs.

I haven’t posted in weeks, so I’ll be doing a mini Summer recap soon, including our recent rodeo experience!

In the meantime, for a peek into my parents’ visit and an audio-visual feast, visit my Mum’s blog laroseedespetiteschoses. Not only does it have a fancy French name, but also videos Mum made of all the stuff we did with them. Trust me, it’s awesome.

It’s a Parade!

All week, while I was taking Joy to art school in Wallingford, I’d seen signs for a Family Festival and Children’s Parade this Saturday. I thought it might be fun to check out.

So late Saturday morning we hopped on the bus and joined the other families and ‘Wallyhood’ locals on N 45th St to await the parade. I didn’t really know what to expect, or what the purpose of the parade was, but once it started, it became clear. It was the perfect opportunity for the local businesses and services to promote themselves, and also a chance for the children and adults to perform (or just look cute and wave.) Lots of family and friends were cheering and clapping from the side. I loved it.

But first, we had to wait for something to happen. Here’s the street pre-parade:

To keep busy, Joy whipped out her notebook (which we now never leave the house without) and started drawing. Evan also thought this would be a good idea.

Joy doing some precision work

Evan’s was a man with a mustache!

After a short while, things were looking up. A brass band! It was awesome. They looked and sounded amazing! They were from the local high school.

Here are some of the other paraders. So many groups went by, but I just included a few here.

A children’s theatre school

And one of many amazing drum/dance troops

Not sure what these ladies were doing, but they looked lovely. And they were strolling so serenely.

This is was a children’s daycare group. They just scooted and biked along, with the occasional wave. The chillest parade ever!

This was the ‘Magic Bus’. We didn’t catch exactly what that was, but we felt for the Dads, pulling the kid-laden bus from the front. (Actually, it’s impossible to see from this photo, but there’s a boy in the bus with an Australian flag. Joy was the first to notice it. 🙂 )

Random horsehead dude. Again, looking totally chilled as he walks down the street. (It’s possible he wasn’t even in the parade, maybe that’s just how he does his Saturday mornings!)

This one I took from the cafe where we had lunch and watched the rest of the parade from the window. Clowns! Of course!

The parade went on for a lot longer as we sat and enjoyed lunch. People who happened to live on the street just stood on the front porches taking photos. And as it ended, we saw the ‘performers’ walk/scoot/pogo back the other way to meet up with their families for the rest of their Saturday.

It was a neighbourhood parade – not super big or crowded, but a casual, colourful, fun celebration of the community. Fantastic way to spend our Saturday morning. 🙂

Art Gallery

Joy did a week of day camp at an art school nearby. It seemed to go well, both for art-making and friend-making. She completed a variety of different projects using various mediums and tools, and each day they worked on something new. She also has a drawing book in which they practised their technique and made sketches before doing the final version

She brought home a big bag full of her projects today, and they look amazing.

Evan has also been experimenting with drawing and even a little writing at home, and I included some of his art too.

Joy

The newly installed wall of art


Acrylic paints


Eagle, pen and paint. I think this one is outstanding!


Flowers, crayon and collage


Neon paints, fireworks themed for the 4th July


Chalk and tape


Clay fish


Clay strawberry bowl

Evan


Spider under rainbow


The artist explains his vision


Train (and haircut!)


Cat


A feat of engineering. Evan’s own invention.

Afternoon in the sun…snow…sun

Looking back through these posts, I realise I haven’t addressed the weather here. And from the photos I’ve strategically chosen, you may be getting the impression that Seattle is a sun-drenched mecca. Haha.

You know that Seattle has a reputation for terrible weather. One of the quotes from Sleepless in Seattle goes like this:

-“It rains 9 months of the year in Seattle!”

– “I know! I do not want to move to Seattle.”

The thing is, when you’re contemplating moving with your husband and two young children across the world, to what’s likely a demanding job, in a place where you know no one, a bit of rain doesn’t seem like that big a deal. And as I mentioned, the first few days were utterly gorgeous.

So let me be straight with you. It does rain a lot here. You have a stretch of a week or so where five days it’ll rain or be drizzly and two days it’ll be clear.

It doesn’t rain heavily; you don’t get mad flashes of rain and hail or torrential downpours. It’s a drizzly rain, you look out the window to see if it’s rain, mist, or sleet. And then you just rug up and head out anyway. It doesn’t stop anyone from doing their normal stuff, which I think is kind of cool.

However, the weather here is also seriously changeable, today providing the perfect example. Evan and I headed out this afternoon with his little green glider bike, for a ride before school bus pick-up time. It was sunny. F-r-e-e-z-i-n-g, but sunny. We’re bundled up for the weather, so no worries. He’s riding along having a great time when it starts to rain lightly. This is pretty standard; a bit of light rain, a bit of sun in the distance. Very Seattle.

We’re approaching the bus stop on foot  (I’d also brought Joy’s scooter along so she could scoot home from the bus stop) when Evan and I both notice that it’s started to snow. Actual, light, feathery snow. It’s not settling, but definitely soft and icy to touch.

At this point, I’m wondering what’s going on. And how it is that it’s grey and windy and snowing, and I’m walking around outside with both a bike and a scooter. No one around me is bothered. I gape at two joggers running by us in bike shorts,  t-shirts, and wet hair, who although were caught out by the unexpected snow, were not at all deterred by it. Madness, I tell you.

We huddle under the shelter and wait with the other near-frozen parents and siblings for the school bus, and we collect Joy with no problems. And then, to my utter amazement, the snow stops and the sun comes out. Blue sky and everything.

So what do we do? We ride, walk, and scoot home with the sun on our backs.