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Our little girl celebrated her 4th birthday, on Wednesday. According to her, she's now a "big girl". Read about her birthday celebration. (Oh yeah, and see the great birthday cake Scott made!)
A Low-Key Family Birthday Celebration!
On Wednesday, Alex had her fourth birthday. Rachel and I were a little apprehensive about the event, because Alex kept asking the same question, in the day's preceeding her birthday:
"Is [so-and-so] coming to my birthday party?"
Besides the fact that Alex's birthday was mid-week and all of her school-age friends would be away, we weren't planning a party for Alex. She seemed so intent on a party that we began to feel guilty and were worried that her birthday, instead of being fun, would be a big disappointment.
We needn't have worried. If there's one thing about the Oop - she takes it as it comes! Her family-only birthday was a huge success and she was so tuckered out from all her excitement that she even went to bed an hour earlier than normal, at 7 PM, instead of 8 PM.
Our little girl is FOUR! What's next, University? Geez!
Continue on to read about the Oop celebration.
Scott & Rachel took their 3 1/2 year-old daughter on her 3rd self-supported bicycle touring adventure. They cycled from Yellow Point to Seattle and back (350 miles or so). Read about their 10-day journey. (Completed through Day 4)
338 Miles, 5 Ferries & 10 Days of Sunshine
Early this month, we enjoyed a 10-day bicycle loop adventure. We started from our home in Yellow Point, just south of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island and rode to Seattle Washington (via Victoria) and then back, along the Washington coast. Along the way, we took a few ferry boats, which helped break up the riding for our 3-and-a-half year-old daughter.
It was Alex's third cycle-tour! (For a 3 year-old, that's pretty good!)
We experienced 10 days of glorious Indian Summer weather, we camped out, we visited with friends in Victoria, West Seattle, Redmond and Bellingham, we had an unlikely encounter with an old PCT friend, and we even managed to cycle a fair distance.
Join us for the tour! See photos, maps and read the daily log. Learn which routes made for good cycling, where we'd visit again, why Washington State is bicycle-friendly and more about the logistics of cycling with a kid, riding ferries and cycling western Washington, Vancouver Island and the Vancouver lower-mainland.
It's going to take a while to unfold this story, so I'll have to do it in pieces.
(This should aid the night cleaning crew, as it'll chop the diatribe into small enough chunks that they should have plenty of time to mop the floors and empty the trash cans).
Journal complete through: Day 4
Table of Contents
• Start Page
• Intro and Route
• Day 1 - Yellow Point to Salt Spring Island
• Day 2 - Salt Spring Island to Victoria
• Day 3 - Victoria to Sequim Bay, WA
• Day 4 - Sequim Bay to West Seattle
• Day 5 - West Seattle (Rest Day)
• Day 6 - West Seattle to Redmond, WA
• Day 7 - Redmond (Rest Day)
• Day 8 - Snohomish to Bay View State Park
• Day 9 - Bay View State Park to Bellingham
• Day 10 - Bellingham to Yellow Point
• Epilogue, Planning & Resources
We plunked the double-hulled, aluminum shrimping boat "Pugwis" into Vancouver Island waters for the first time. Read about her maiden voyage and why we were dejected, when we pulled the boat out of the water
Pugwis Hits the Water
After a few months in the boat yard, "Pugwis", was nearly ready for a dip in the ocean. Scott still had to re-wire the trailer, clean the deck and then the boat was ready for her maiden voyage. Unfortunately, we discovered that the boat was laden with nearly 340 pounds of water and had to find a way to drain her.
Finally, "Pugwis" was lighter, her trailer wired and ready to go. Last week, the Gods were with us as both weather and our busy work schedules converged, allowing us to take "Pugwis" down to the public boat ramp at the Ladysmith harbor. With nervous excitement, we hitched the boat to our minivan and headed south, along Yellow Point Road.
To read about the maiden voyage of "Pugwis" the boat and why we're now calling her, "Pug the Lug" ... carry on.
The "Happy House" (Alex's play house) is looking a bit happier, these days, as we've started to pull it back from the brink of destruction. A progress report on "The Happy House Project".
A "Happy House" Project Update
Alex's derelict, 2-story play house, which was nicknamed "The Happy House" by previous Hutton House owners, is in serious need of attention.
It must be 20 years old (or more). The three Hutton kids - 2 boys and a girl - played in it while they were growing up. At least, that's who it was built for. Who knows how old they were when it was built? All I know is that they're now in their late 20's and early 30's. Our plan has always been to fix it up so that the Oop can play in it, letting her imagination take her to far away places, have countless tea parties with imaginary dignitaries and maybe even a sleep-over or two.
Before then, however, there's much work to be done.
Read more about "The Happy House" project ...
It's about time - an Oop Update! Artwork, photos and funny things that our three and a half year-old daughter, Alex, has been saying recently. Just try to keep up with the Oop, we dare you!
The Oop Bends a Knee
I'm driving home with Alex the other day, after having picked her up from day-care. It's a 15-minute drive, one-way, nothing like the two-block walk it was, when we lived in Edmonton. It's one of the things that we're still getting used to about rural life, having to drive so far to get anything, but it does give Alex and I some time to chat.
"Did you have fun at day-care today?" I ask.
"Uh huh," she says.
"What did you do?"
She then provides me with a long - mostly unintelligible - list of things that she was involved in, during the day, from an insightful 3-year-old perspective.
Alex's day-care is in a private home, which, in many respects, is much better than the sanctioned day-care facility we used in Edmonton. The woman who runs it has a daughter that's only 2 years older than Alex. It's nice that Alex plays with an 'older' kid, because it helps her learn faster. There are generally less than 5 kids there, at any given time, so we know that Alex is getting lots of one-on-one attention and there also far fewer germs being spread around. (Alex isn't sick nearly as often as she was at the germ-pit in Edmonton, which means Dad and Mom don't get sick as often too!) Yay!
With Rachel's hectic hospital schedule and picking up the odd overtime shift, having Alex at a private home also means a more flexible day-care schedule. The only thing we miss is the sheer number of kids, which helps with Alex's social development (Alex tends to be a tad bossy and a bit of a control freak). Wonder where that came from?
Alex goes to day-care, on average, about two times a week (on each of Rachel's 12-hour day shifts).
Anyway ... back to the story ...
So I say to Alex (as I try to make a conscience effort to do, just to let her know), "I love you bud."
"I love you too, daddy."
She's quiet for a while, after this, just looking out the window, watching the sun-dappled Douglass fir and Maple trees go whipping past. Summer has arrived at Yellow Point and the forest comes right to the road's edge, providing a mostly shaded drive, despite the sunny afternoon.
"Daddy?" she asks.
"When I grow up I gonna marry you," she blurts out.
"That's nice," I say, surprised at the sudden show of affection, "but I'm already married to mommy."
"She's too fat for you," the Oop says to me, logically positioning her proposal to her advantage (there's not one ounce of fat on her).
While it's true that both Rachel and I have put on weight since we finished hiking the PCT, it's Dad - not Mom - that shows it more.
"Alex, don't you think Daddy's fat too?" I ask, immediately coming to Mom's aid.
"No," she says, "You're not too fat for me, Daddy."
And just like that, I received my first ever marriage proposal - from my three and a half year-old daughter! As strange as that was to hear!
For more Oopism's, Oop-news and photos ... carry on ...