What makes Washington even more stellar is my brother and his family. They've been more than generous hosts, and we couldn't be having more fun. Nate and Jeni eat super well (as in tasty AND healthy), Scotty is in toy heaven and is sandwiched between his 4 and 2 year old cousins Abby and Vivian, and Jake and Emmy (11 and 9) dote on/entertain both James and Scott often. Here's a quick catch-up of September for us all:
-stayed at a bachelor pad in Fife (an hour away) with two first year residents who also went to DMU.
-clerked at St. Francis in Federal Way in Sept. Loved it. Would love to do residency there!
-is clerking at Multicare in Tacoma this month. Verdict's still out.
-comes to see us every weekend and on surprise days off – yay!
-My sister in law Jeni got me started on an un-boring exercise program. So far no pounds or inches lost, but I feel good, and I don't hate exercising, which is a big deal for me.
-I have dinner nights and the family is mostly vegetarian, so cooking has been an adventure of sorts. I've had to get creative! They avoid meat for health reasons and consider it a more accurate interpretation of "eat meat sparingly." They're flexitarians. I thought I would feel weak or needy without meat, but I'm happy to say I don't miss it! I'm encouraged, and I think I may just try it out with my own boys.
-My first speeding ticket. doh.
-Turned 3 on the 21st yay!
- … wait for it… is POTTY TRAINED! We made a project out of Scott and his 2 ½ year old cousin Vivian with good (not great) success. Both still have consistent accidents if we ever go a minute over the hour timer, but they're steadily improving. And it's been easier with two than with just one, I think. We're also working on potty training a puppy. Going potty is constantly on the brain.
-He has adopted a new phrase he says at least once a day and sometimes dozens: "I'm going to turn into a daddy and…" usually followed by an action that requires being tall, like getting the games with little pieces off the top shelf, or getting the treats in the top cupboard, driving, or (my favorite) "I'm going to turn into a daddy and I can cook!...uh.... no I can't cook." Hopefully someday he'll learn being a daddy isn't a requirement for those things…
Here's the birthday after party:
-He rolled over, ate his first rice cereal, and cut his first two teeth!
-He also had a bout of the croup, which was freaky. I can know fully empathize with anyone who's been through a croupy night. It was brief though.
-He's giggling readily now but still mostly does his silent wide-mouthed "laugh" every time anyone makes eye contact with him. He seems to be in Heaven with all the little people around.
-He did finally shake off his sleepies and will stay awake for 2 hours at a time now. Tough, I know.
Our most fun outings have been to the new Sculpture Garden in Seattle, the Tacoma Zoo, visiting my freshman roommate Sofia and her family in Steilacoom, and visiting a picturesque town near here called Poulsbo. I still can't believe how beautiful this part of the world is! Seems like waterfront properties are a dime a dozen, and the water isn't murky or brown like I'm used to: it's clean and blue as can be. Here's some pics of the sculpture garden:
My favorite part of the month by far though has been spending time with relatives! Being so far away from family for so long was hard, and it's so different to actually live with family. Nate and Jeni seem to know something about everything, so there's always a new and interesting conversation topic. They're a great help to me despite having 4 very busy kiddos to care for, which is awesome. I'll never forget this little stay with them. The kids are all very creative and individual. Jake turns 12 next week and writes better then I do now – he's almost always at the computer writing a poem or short story. He adores James and is a great helper when he's fussy. Emmy, 9, is a helper by nature and loving and silly. Abby is 4 and SO dramatic! Mostly fun, sometimes hard. Only hard because Scott LOVES hearing her reaction to all sorts of pokes and pinches. A classic Abby phrase: "Mommy can I pretty pretty pretty please just hold your lipstick? I promise I won't eat it!" Vivian is 3rd percentile mini-adorable and the sweetest thing in the world. She often comes to me, pats my knee, makes some unintelligible exclamation, and waits for my happy response. I'll miss these guys so much when we go…