As in, I'm continually amazed by the things available online, free of charge. 

1. For example, if you want vintage images for craft projects, you could go to The Graphics Fairy.

I keep on thinking of ways to use this on our Christmas card ...

2. Or, if you want vintage prints and posters to frame around the house, go to Vintage Printable. (I love browsing here ... don't blame me if you find your hour's gone.)

Lucy would love the "rainbow," Nick the spectrum, and me? I just think it looks good :) 

3. And if you want to print out a fancy invitation fast? Gorgeous templates at Download & Print.

Isn't that pretty?

4. The New York Public Library has open access to over 700,000 digitized images ... and the Prints and Photographs Reading Room at the Library of Congress is fascinating.

A Member of the Poultry Club from NYPL's "The Pageant of America" Collection. 

5. I love the projects (and the concept) at Kind Over Matter. I'm debating about printing up one of their cute animal ABCs for Baby Brother's bedroom.


The Weekend

My favorite part of the weekend? Had to be our Friday Night Family Date. We packed a picnic and walked on the "secret pathway" to Western Area Park. 

As we were eating, a colleague of Mr. Nick's came into the park with his wife and kids ... and their model rocket and launcher. They pulled off two launches before it became stuck in a tree. Miss Lucy was enthralled.

After dinner, Mr. Nick pulled out the frisbee. Mr. Nick and Miss Lu have been working on developing her frisbee skills. In fact, she told me she now has "awesome skills" with regards to playing frisbee. 

Yes. Yes she does. 


The Eyes Have It

No, I'm not crying. This is what my eyes look like, pregnant, with crazy allergies. I don't know what happened this week, but mascara's been out of the question ... I can actually feel how swollen they are, especially underneath.

The good news is that my ankles decided to take a relative break with regards to swelling :)


Time travel

Things I'm blaming on the pregnancy: my inability to remember what day (or week, or even month) it is. 

This morning I called in a refill to the pharmacy, looked down at the bottle, and realized that the prescription expires October 5th. In my mind (in which it's already October, the baby's room is finished, and I'm all caught up on work), that meant that the prescription had expired.

So I called my doctor's office and asked them if I could get a refill called in. The very nice but understandably confused receptionist said, "But ... it's not October...." At which point I realized that, in fact, she was right. It's not October. I offered a very embarrassed apology and quickly got off the phone. 

Yeah, I'm totally going to use pregnancy as an excuse for this one ...


First Day of Kindergarten

And ... she's off. Last night we packed her backpack, made her lunch, set out her clothes, had Mr. Nick give her a back to school blessing, and snuggled and talked about being a little bit nervous and how to make friends. This morning we walked to the bus stop this morning where we met about half a dozen other kids ready for school. Miss Lu did great: she introduced herself, told them she was going to kindergarten, and generally exuded excitement. 

When she climbed on the bus she didn't look back. As the bus drove away and all the moms waved, you could see the kids looking out the windows and waving. And when Lucy's window passed by, the only thing you could see was half a head—nose and eyes—poking up and looking out the window. 

I walked back with the other moms (who were really nice and offered their moral support on sending off a kindergardener), hopped into my car, and drove up past the school to my friend Joyce's street (which dead ends right above the school parking lot and has a convenient path leading down—way easier than trying to park down by the school). 

Miss Lucy and I had talked about the plan: I would stand out of the way down by the playground, so I would be there if she needed me, but she would find her way down from the bus herself. The bus pulled up, I watched as she made her way down and headed off ... past the stairs that led down to the kindergarten wing ... and just when I was about to go up and find her and bring her back I spotted her coming down the stairs. She was so excited as she figured out where she was that she ran right into the classroom (missing the fact that the kids were lining up outside with their teacher, Ms. Whitaker). But then I saw her come back out of the classroom and get into the line. As she was waiting I came over and called out a hello. She turned around, spotted me, and gave me a big grin and a wave. Thumbs up were exchanged all around. I told her I was proud of her and to have a good day and then moved out of the way. A minute or two later the kindergardeners marched into their classroom, and that was that. I'm so proud of her!

Cousin-fest 2010

Watching Miss Lu with her cousins at Grandma's house this year was pretty fun. She and Morgan buddied up all week—and gave each other a run for their money at the same time. There were multiple games of "Bulldog, bulldog, what time is it?" on the trampoline, multiple viewings of "Max and Ruby" (especially when Mason was over), multiple discussions regarding aliens between Morgan and Lucy, cousin sleepovers, tents in the yard, trips to Edmonds Beach with Mr. Nick's boat, and games every night for the grown-ups. Good times.

Joe (out of frame) gets the kids laughing on the trampoline

Miya, Elise, and Lucy 

Ring Around the Rosie with Mason and Morgan

Nick and Liz (the "normal" shot ...)

... and the other one ...

Just the girls at the beach

Nick and Joe during a rare non-competitive game moment

Sandpiper, Best of, 2010

So. Our annual trip to the Washington coast was a bit cloudier than normal this year. Which was fine by me—Baby Kung Fu and I were quite content with the cooler weather (and the highly-oxygenated sea-level air). 

Despite the weather conditions, Miss Lu was out on the beach all day, every day, loving every minute.  She even walked clear down to the town and back with Auntie Juju. Uncle Dan built a fabulous sandcastle, Mr. Nick and I read multiple books, and Nana dipped her toes in the ocean and taught us to play Milles Bornes (I lost, but I did better when we played the train game). 

We even found a foggy night without too much wind for our campfire, s'mores, songs, and charades. Miss Lu really got into charades this year: she acted out "Beauty and the Beast" admirably, and had us all laughing after we figured out she had given Auntie Juju "Scrubs" to act out. (She doesn't watch "Scrubs." Her parents are not sure where that one came from.)

On Turning Five

Yesterday a sweet little girl came into my bedroom, climbed up on my bed, and, after ascertaining that I was truly awake, whispered in my ear: "Mommy, can I still sit on your lap even though I'm five now and big?" Yes, you most certainly can.
Lucy's 5th birthday dinner party at Nana's


Miss Lu exhibits a continued fascination with outer space.

Example #1
Miss Lu: "Hey Mom, if I don't cut my fingernails, will they grow long?"
Me: "Yes."
Miss Lu: "Will they grow so tall, tall, tall they reach up into outer space?!?"
Me: "Um ..."

Example #2
Miss Lu: "Mommy, I still want to be a doctor."
Me: "That sounds great! You'll help a lot of people."
Miss Lu: "Can people live in outer space?"
Me: "Well, we send up astronauts in their space ships and some of them live on the space station."
Miss Lu: "So I can go into space and be their doctor! That way I can do both!"


Rains came down

Monsoon season in Los Alamos = flooded backyard. Guess Mr. Nick won't be watering tonight . . .