Sunday, March 22, 2015


It's easy to feel caged when you live with four other people in a 950 square foot house. To keep our sanity (or whatever is left of it), we go outside as much a we can. We love when the cold of winter subsides (yay to anything above 50 degrees!!!) and we can spend the entire day out and about the neighborhood.

One thing is for sure, since we have to live in a tiny house, we are in the perfect place to do so. The beach is blocks away. The ferry is less than a mile away. There is also a cute little convenience store and deli that sells ice cream by the scoop (very important!)! In fact, today when I was putting together a pasta salad for dinner, I realized that I had forgotten to buy a lemon. I grabbed the baby, walked down to the store, grabbed a lemon, and made it back home before my chicken parmesan needed to be pulled out of the oven. (Sidebar: no matter how fancy a meal I make, NOTHING beats a simple chicken delish!)

Most importantly about our neighborhood, however, there are six parks within a mile radius. This one is our very favorite (and recently underwent a huge ADA-friendly renovation):

This one is a close second (especially in summer):

If there is anything I've learned about parenting, it's that boys are basically just dogs that can talk (they eat everything, they trash everything, you have to constantly clean up their poop, they like squeaky toys, and they even chew up your favorite shoes). So, we pretty much live at parks. I don't know why we don't just live in a motor home and travel park to park throughout the year.

Yesterday I took the kids biking to a park that is not in our neighborhood. It quickly made its way onto our BEST EVER park list. This park has 193 acres of hiking and walking trails, dirt bike trails with jumps of all sizes, a skate park, batting cages, 3 ball fields, a playground, and a stream-powered train! Unfortunately, as soon as we got to the bike trials, Ryan had a wipe-out and his helmet popped right off his head. I packed the kids back into the car and we stopped at the store for the sole purpose of purchasing one bike helmet.

I left the store with one helmet, a brand new bike for Jacob (he badly needed it- the $5 used bike I bought him three years ago is really, really small), a glider bike for Ryan (he uses the one at his nanny's house and LOVES it), and a giant container of cheese puffs. Because... cheese puffs! Duh.

By the time we made all our purchases and I somehow squeezed 3.5 bikes into the back of my Subaru, it was nap time. We headed home and vowed to make it to the bike trails the next day.

Cheese puffs not pictured (because they were in their special spot in the passenger seat where I could sneak handfuls while the kids passed out in the back seat. No, I don't know why the container is half empty. Also, my lesbian friend from Chicago tells me that if you want people to know you are a lesbian, you buy a Subaru. Is this true?)

So TODAY, we finally made it to the new park, the kids armed with their new bike gear. It was so much fun watching them zip up and down and around the jumps. I even kicked Jacob off his new bike and did a couple myself :)

My biker gang

They look so fierce 

In addition to our bike obsession, we began an exciting journey into the world of geocaching this weekend. It's basically an adult version of playing treasure hunt. I wish someone would have told me that such a thing existed when I was in grade school. Would have saved me the trouble of making those thousands of fake treasure maps.

Basically, people hide containers filled with knick knacks and post the GPS coordinates with a hint as to the container's location. When you find it, you leave a note in the logbook (and take/leave a treasure of your own). We did two caches yesterday near our house and as I was reading clues, following my GPS like a compass, and rummaging through nature with the boys I decided that this newfound is the best thing on earth. I felt like a bonafide pirate!

The first geocache we found was supposed to be an easy one but it took us forever. Also my jogging stroller got a flat tire, the baby started to get hungry, and the other kids were getting whinny. I followed all the hints to no avail and was on the verge of tossing myself down a ravine in frustration when all of a was right there! The excitement of finding a geocache is pretty much the same as seeing your first planet through the lens of a telescope. Oh I'm sorry, are my analogies too nerdy for you? How's like solving your first newspaper crossword puzzle? Damn....nevermind.

Anyway, the best part about geocaching is the excuse to get outside and explore new places. The fact that you get to find a purposefully placed "treasure" is a total bonus. We are hooked. I'm so happy to find new activities that I can do with the kids!

Also today, I went for a much needed four mile run. I used an app that tracks my mileage and my times and I was working so hard and pushing myself to get under 8:00 miles. I suceeded too! Except my stupid app malfunctioned and recorded my last mile (which was at least a 7:30 pace!) three minutes slow. What?! How is that even possible? It has GPS and a clock! I can never trust ever again.

Right before dinner (after my impromptu jog to the convenience store for a lemon), I took the kids out biking one more time. This is our view three blocks from our house:

Soaking in the nature

Then we all came in, had chicken parmesan, and cheese puffs (lots of cheese puffs, damn you cheese puffs!). Jacob made Jon a fort out boxes. I'm pretty confident that the best thing a parent has ever given her child (aside from love) is an empty box. 

And Jon had some apples and rice cereal. Look at those chubby thighs!

As I was putting the kids to bed I came across this door sign that Jacob made earlier in the day. I especially love the "heart Jacob" after the warning. 

I also discovered that Jacob has started a diary. The words "Jacob's Diary" scrawled over the top of a notepad was the first clue. I especially loved his third entry:

I love how he eventually crossed out the really bad word. Cracks me up. I'm pretty sure this entry was just an excuse to say all the bad words. Also, he needs a lesson on apostrophes. Stay tuned for more riveting diary entries just seeping with titillating glimpses into the closely-guarded secrets of your average six year old boy. 

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