Midnight Drives and Intuition

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Star darkness.

“Look honey, up there, at the stars,” I said. I could hear the Puget Sound lapping less than 50 feet away from the cabin, as I loaded the wheelbarrow full of my haphazardly packed items. Did I really need to bring home this pillow? Could it be sacrificed the Gods of State Parks and Midnight Ear Infections?

I knocked on the cabin next to me, “Dad? Dad? He’s sick, can you help.”

The mismatched trio. One headlamp. One wheelbarrow. A purse, and some extra bags, holding hands up the long steep and winding hill to the car.

“I’ll text when I get home. I might stop at a hospital along the way if he doesn’t go to sleep. I was afraid this was going to happen.”

Four days earlier I had taken Potamus in for a chest cold checkup. Doc said that it’d clear up on its own in the next few days, and if it didn’t, come back in. I had gone because this was exactly what I was worried about: the midnight drive home from camping. I guess no amount of interventions can influence karma, the Universe, or the way things are supposed to be?

I pulled out of the state park into the island darkness. No GPS to guide me. No daylight to illuminate landmarks. A wing and a prayer. The evening too far gone for even Coast to Coast radio.

Everything smelled like garlic, and puke, and dribbles of urine. There was coughing, and choking, and my panicked “are you okay? tell me you’re okay,” as I hurtled 70 miles per hour down the freeway, coming to a screeching halt at the fortuitous rest area. New change of clothes. The thought: in nine months this will be my new normal. The zombie-like decision making, where I’m so tired I’m not even mad (which says a lot, because I’m often awoken like a bear), and all I can think is “please be okay.”

Where did this motherhood strength come from? Was it always there? Was it bestowed when he was born, like a gift from the Good Fairies?

I admire Boof, who didn’t freak out, when I unexpectedly barged into the bedroom at 6am and said, “I’ve been driving since 4. I need a shower and to sleep. Can you sit in the car with him. He finally fell asleep after puking.”

Eventually we dozed together, the babe and I. And now we’re heading to the doctor…

Cabin Camping on Cama Beach!

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Potamus, Boof and I met up with my parents on Camano Island at the lovely Cama Beach State Park. We stayed in their pet-friendly cabins, which were RIGHT on the water! While the shores of Puget Sound can’t really compare to the majestic Oregon Coast, in terms of magnitude of waves and loveliness of sand, it was really nice to be within a stone’s throw of the water! While our cabins were in the 2nd row, we could still see (and hear!) the water from our front porch!

Our days were spent swimming, drinking beer, watching Potamus climb driftwood and collect rocks/shells. He slept great the first night and crappy the second, but who said vacations were supposed to be relaxing for parents, anyway? The weather was amazing, and it was lovely to beat the heat of Seattle! Since it’s only 1 hour and 30 minutes from Seattle, I think the consensus was that this place will be an annual trip, while we’ll save the big years for the Oregon Coast extravaganza! So, here you go, a few pics from the trip:

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the waves are smaller and the beach is rockier, but he is drawn to the water nonetheless!

 

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people can rent sailboats (and kayaks and rowboats) right there at the Center for Wooden Boats right on the beach!

 

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cabins, taken from the beach

 

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swimmin’ lessons!

 

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driftwood fort with grammy and grampy

 

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spatulas, good for making dinner…or scooping sand (er, rocks)

 

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the shoreline was gorgeous

 

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shoulder rides with daddio

 

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taxidermy freaks me out

 

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building a little wooden sailboat at the Center for Wooden Boats children’s area!

 

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wagon rides

 

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always covered in marinara

 

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this’ll probably end up as our Christmas card

 

Solo Mama Road Trippin’ to the Oregon Coast (Part 2)

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We could not have asked for a more beautiful 24 hours on the Oregon Coast. More often than not I’ve experienced the Oregon beaches to be tempermental, much like the Washington Coast. Beautiful and rugged and full of a loveliness all it’s own…but it’s often accompanied with some rain or wind or overcast skies. So, we HAD to take advantage of the sunny 70 degree weather! And all of this adventuring before 10am!

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The weather was warm enough to even take a dip in the Pacific Ocean! Woo!

A boy and the ocean

The trepidation that Potamus felt the first day was completely gone by the next morning. We could not keep him from race-walking (he can’t run yet) as fast as his little legs would carry him…straight into the waves! He was much more sure-footed now, not wobbling every time the sand shifted under his feet with the lapping waves. He even experienced several waves that got him thigh high and he didn’t get bothered by being knocked onto his backside. A kid after my own heart! When I was his age (and into late elementary school) I would TANTRUM SO HARD if there was water around and I wasn’t allowed to swim. I’m guessing I’ll have another fish on my hands 🙂

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After some lovely wave jumping, Potamus settled in with grampy to build some sand-castles. Unfortunately we picked a place a little farther from the water, so instead of really building castles (because the sand started to dry pretty quickly), my dad said we were “building ruins.” We all had a good chuckle at that little quip.

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After a hard morning of play, we headed off to take a nap. Afternoon adventures were to be had, but first, rest!

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The afternoon was spent traveling up the road a few miles to Cannon Beach. I convinced my parents to go to this pizza joint that Boof and I had eaten at on our honeymoon. So yummy! But, in true Oregon Coast fashion, the weather turned from warm and sunny to cool, overcast and a slight breeze in the air. Looking at the sky we realized if we wanted a few pics with the famous Haystack Rock, we’d better get skedaddling before it turned into a full on rainstorm!

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By the time we made it to the beach, the wind was whipping pretty good. Not one to be swayed (we had come ALL THIS WAY DARNIT!), we headed out to the rock. It was low-tide and so there were some tide pools that we waded in (ouch! barnacles!) and tried our best to keep Potamus from running straight into the stormy sea.

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just take the darn picture already mom!

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being carried by grampy, cause it’s windy out here!

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mom, what’s so cool about that rock? there’s the OCEAN right here!

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wading into the ocean…regardless of the weather…a true Pac NW native!

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okay, one picture mom, but I will NOT be happy about it. I want to wave jump.

We headed back to the yurt just in time for it to start POURING! I won’t bore you with details, but night two was less than stellar, and we headed home early to try and beat the naptime grumpies. While I am exhausted from our almost 48 hour adventure, I think I would definitely do it again. Though, ask me in a few days when I’ve fully recovered, eh?

Any crazy road-trip stories to tell me? Road trippin’ with kiddos?

Solo Mama Road Trippin’ to the Oregon Coast (Part 1)

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first time at the beach!

The Oregon Coast holds a special place in my heart. While we only went there a few times as a kid, I have been back several times as an adult and always around special occasions. There was the birthday I spent there, with my parents, just a few weeks before I left for India. And then there was my honeymoon, where Boof and I relaxed for a week (after driving all over Washington to spend Christmas with everybody). So, when my parents discovered the joys of yurting (like camping, but not in a tent OR a cabin), I jumped at the opportunity to book a small getaway with Potamus. Yurting has all the lovely camping feels that I love, without the hassle of camping that I dislike.

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Manzanita, Oregon

Boof couldn’t take the time off, so I decided to do the road-trip myself…which was a little nerve wracking. Good thing I’m adventurous, and slightly deranged because the drive there took almost 6 hours (though part of that was a pit-stop in Portland to visit my bestie Ruth). While we just hung out last week, it was so much fun to have a back-to-back visit! We chatted, ate some yummy crepes, and Potamus had a chance to burn off his energy in the park. He mostly slept the whole way there, so that was nice for me!

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enjoying some dinner

Potamus has never seen the ocean before, so it was a real treat to watch him go from nervous to super excited. While we had spent some time in the sand, it was in a warehouse and not warm and awesome for sand-castles! There is just something so magnificent about the way the ocean comes rolling in while you sit there in warm sand. And we don’t have to go all the way to California to experience it 🙂

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swingin’

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our digs! pet friendly yurts. like camping…but with beds, electricity and HEAT!

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doin’ dishes with grammy. clearly he is enjoying himself.

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let’s build a sand castle!

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COME ON GUYS LETS GO!

Nervous at first, but a few minutes later he wouldn’t stop heading into the water! We seriously had to pry this kid away from the waves because his toes were turning purple and he was shivering.

wave jumping with grammy and grampy

wave jumping with grammy and grampy

After a long day of travel, lots of adventures in swinging, playing in the park, wave jumping in the ocean and building sand castles, Potamus and I crashed. We had pulled the futon mattress onto the floor so that it’d be the closest to home and fell asleep. Fortunately he slept pretty well in the new place.

So, what’s the craziest adventure YOU have taken with a little one? Did you do it solo or with a partner? Ever been to the Oregon Coast?

Road Trip: 3 adults, 2 babies, 1 dog

This weekend Boof and I realized that in NO way are we ready for another infant. We had a family reunion across the mountains in Eastern Washington and because my brother’s almost-ex-wife is not letting him drive her around (can’t wait for the custody to be figured out soon), so we packed her up in our car, along with Potamus, crazy Scrummy the dog (sporting his new “autism” wrap to help him stay calm) and headed out over the mountains with bro following on his banged up crotch rocket.

The trip went smoothly there, stopping once in Cle Elum to refuel the adults and the babies (and a pee break for Scrummy). The day was spent catching up with my grandma, playing Catch Phrase (a game I am wicked awesome at) and sneaking away for a coffee break with my good friend. The BEST part was introducing Potamus to The Columbia River. He wasn’t nearly as impressed as me, but did warm up to it after awhile, even dipping his toes in the water on his own and reaching down to touch the waves.

On the way home, however, I decided that despite my 6’1 frame, I am really an Olympic gymnast. It was getting late (for babies, which means it was aproximately 6:20pm) and my niece started whining…which set Potamus off whining…which ended up in this big circle of whining (I joined in), that wasn’t alleviated by my holding a bottle or pacifier into the back seat for Niece and trying to hold one of Potamus’s toys out for him to play. It wasn’t working. Because we were still on Blewett pass, with very little area to stop and refuel the babes, I slid into the backseat….in between the two car-seats. Yeah, brings back memories of “double-buckling” when we were kids. To sooth Potamus, I leaned as far forward as I could and flopped my enormous boob into his mouth. Yay, I got to celebrate World Breastfeeding week in an unsually contorted position! Meanwhile, my other hand was trying to hold the bottle of pumped milk out for Niece to drink from.

She might be the slowest eater ever.

Potamus might be growing through a needy/whiny/nurse-to-sleep-and-keep-nursing-for-20-minutes phase.

(needless to say, I got a massage this week to deal with the new kinks I discovered).

So there I am, boob in the mouth of one babe, arm stretched for bottle in the mouth of the other, and I realize that Scrummy is eating a poopy diaper in the front seat.

Awesome.

I said, “wow, we need a picture of this!”

In Boof’s unruffled way he replied, “I’m sorry, I’m not in a position to be taking a picture at this moment.”

So we survived our day trip, but I’m thinking I’m going to be less-inclined to get knocked up before Potamus is in…oh…say college. One crying baby in diapers is enough!