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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 08:22 am
Context link, in case anyone is unaware, with trigger warning because harassment *and* stupidity in the response thereto: http://radishreviews.com/2014/07/21/wiscon-the-frenkel-decision/

Cut for excessive capitalization and bolding, and some near-swearing )
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Saturday, July 19th, 2014 08:07 pm
http://www.kgw.com/news/Boy-with-brain-tumor-just-wants-box-of-cards-for-birthday--267802461.html

This is current, and currently on multiple news sites. I find no debunking of it in a quick search. Meaning that this one is probably real and currently topical, so if you are inclined to send birthday cards to a boy (whose tumor is inoperable, and of a type that tends not to respond well to chemo, so...yeah) - the article has the PO box.
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Saturday, July 19th, 2014 01:00 pm
So, we're doing the summer library program, which is reading for 20 minutes a day, with the boys. And it comes with a separate track of doing science experiments also. We're trying to do that with the boys, but really, mostly with Drew - Ian doesn't entirely understand (not surprising - he isn't even three!) and also gets bored.

Today, however, Ian managed to stay focused for most of the time involved.

See, I got a book on candy experiments.... So we did color dispersion, and dissolving candy in water and adding baking soda to tell if it was an acid (and confirming that acids were sour, which of course meant a taste test of the candies, which was popular), and then - stretching the definition of experiment marginally, but in a good cause - we compared the behavior of *chocolate* in a microwave to the behavior of a *marshmallow* in the microwave.

Happy boys. Too much sugar around, but I think I kept the ingested amount reasonable, and happy boys.

And we still have a "pizza box oven" out back trying to heat s'mores. I think they've actually subsided on the plastic and are no longer in the proper shape, but eh, we'll see. If they melt, it will have made its point. And really, shouldn't candy science be sticky and gooey and messy?
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Friday, July 18th, 2014 06:36 pm
Quiet days of getting things done around the house. Good books. Information. Computers. Cameras. Trellises. Wild tomatoes. Wild boys. Good days at day care. Pizza (that I can actually have, because I know how many pills to take). Computer games. (Regular games, but tonight's is canceled. It happens.) Getting the grocery shopping done while I don't have to worry about the on-call phone. Hot showers. Card games. Chips Ahoy Chocolate Reese's (basically brownies with peanut butter).

Friends. And now I wander away from the keyboard to spend time with the one who is here. :)
kyrielle: A very photoshopped stormy sky, dark blue sky with grey/black clouds swirling through (stormy sky)
Sunday, July 13th, 2014 08:11 pm
Today we had thunderstorms, complete with lightning. Way too daylight for any dramatic pictures to even be attempted, but I got to see the flashes and hear the thunder, and share my joy with the boys.

And remember how much my mother loved a good summer thunderstorm. Ours aren't as impressive as the ones she grew up with in Ohio, one of the things I know she missed. But they're not half bad, and I enjoy them, and I think of her.
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Sunday, July 13th, 2014 01:11 pm
Today's lunch, for example, was brought by the letters Q, M, and W (Qdoba, McDonald's, and Wendy's). Why? Because we didn't have anything planned and were up against Lunchtime, and if I'm going to buy crap for the boys, I will at least buy crap they will eat excitedly. That's McDonald's. On the other hand, Scott gets really tired of McDonald's and really likes Qdoba. Normally I'd have gone with one of those two, but Wendy's had a new pretzel burger I really wanted to try.

And so it goes. Sadly, the pretzel burger is really good. Sadly because it is not the greatest choice calorie-wise. Heh.

On the other hand, as the title says, garden! Ian has this ridiculously enormous tomato plant. (It is from a seed started because he chose tomatoes, therefore, it's in his planter, therefore it's "his" tomato plant.) The thing, if it were not in a planted, would be about as tall as he is or a bit more I think. In the planter it's definitely taller.

I took 6-foot trellises and set them up adjacent to support the tomato because the tomato support has been more or less absorbed and the tomato was merrily going sideways and down from out of the overwhelmed thing. Hilarious. Now if only some of those flowers actually, yannow, become tomatoes. (No, it's not a six-foot tomato. But I had standard flimsy tomato cages, and 6-foot trellises. So.)
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kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Saturday, July 12th, 2014 03:15 pm
The weather is too hot for me at the moment. But I am still getting things done.

I kind of LOVE the City Pickers planters I'm using for growing our veggies. Because we were in Wisconsin for the Fourth of July weekend - we left midday July 3 and came back the evening of July 7, and the water reservoirs were empty but the plants were fine - they'd had enough water to carry them through (as planned). Awesome. Ian's planter has the most amazingly happy tomato in it, this thing would be almost as tall as he was if it was starting from ground level. (As it is, it's taller.)

The boys have swim lessons on Saturdays at Children of the Sea, and we usually go back for open swim in the evening. It used to be that I found both quite pleasant. Now I am not as fond of the swim lessons even though I am very proud of Ian!

Reason being: he started out in parent-tot, where a parent must be in the water with him. Also, he started out super-clingy to me, so I was that parent. And when the pool - and the room it's in - is heated to 90 degrees (they teach all the way down to infants).... Well, being in the water is nice than sitting on the bench watching. LOL.

Anyway, he's now in advanced parent-tot, where one of the goals is to get the parent out of the water and the kiddo still content and fine. And today was my first session out of the water. He did NOT want to get in, but a bribe of a toy got him in, and once he was in he was fine. Sniffle. I'm so proud of him, and it's awesome that he's getting so confident in the water. But...I kind of want him to regress so I don't broil. LOL.

In unrelated news, I bought two pounds of blueberries at Costco today. Those who know my kids - especially my "little fruit bat" (Ian) - will probably not be surprised to learn that I expect us to actually eat them all this weekend. You might be surprised to know that in less than 2 hours, about 3/4 of a pound (judging by volume now missing) have been eaten. Goodness.

Dinner tonight is going to be what the kids call "toothpick snacks" - little cut up bits of cold food and a toothpick to stab them with. It's a win-win-win: healthy foods (when chosen well), the kids consider it a treat, no one eats something hot when they're already hot, and I don't have to heat the kitchen up by cooking. Assuming we still have any left by then, the blueberries are part of that. (Also grapes, ham, chicken, cheese, and possibly some marshmallows just to keep it from being purely healthy. And bread cubes if anyone wants them, but history says I shouldn't cut any bread up before asking. Heh.)

They now make Vanilla Coke Zero. I miss Vanilla Coke! So, we'll see.
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Friday, July 11th, 2014 04:45 pm
I was re-reading early 2002 (January-April) tracking down when we started the move into our first house (April, we got the keys on the 23rd).

I used to post A LOT back then. And I'm wistful for some of the exchanges and fun then.

I have two kids now, and I don't have as much time to post, but I am going to try not to be radio silent for weeks or months at a go. *nods*

Yesterday, we had our "regular" Thursday night gaming session. I put regular in quotes because we now only have one of those a month starting this month - the other three moved to Fridays!

That's awesome because Drew is five and starts kindergarten in the fall, Ian is two and will move up to preschool sometime in the next year (probably in about six months when he turns three, I'm guessing, but he's VERY verbal, so maybe sooner), and the "Friday morning meltdown after a late Thursday" symptom, which hits about 25% of the time, bites. So reducing it to once a month instead of four times a month for a potential trigger? HUGE.

Anyway, last night we were playing the Pathfinder Kingmaker game Scott runs (the one that is staying on Thursdays) and I posted a couple Facebook statuses that I think my friends here will also be amused by:

And now I cut because some of you are both places, and it's probably not so funny you want to read it twice. )

And a random bit of silly from Tuesday, involving picking on a 5-year-old a bit.

ALSO already posted on FB. )
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Sunday, June 1st, 2014 06:33 pm
But I sort of did. Sorry about that. I've been reading, and commenting, intermittently - but not very reliably. I have been a bit overcommitted, though mostly getting things done and enjoying it.

Anyway, a quick update on key points. Since the beginning of the year:
  • I've been eating better and exercising more. I've improved my stamina and lost some weight. And I am mostly pleased but _slightly_ annoyed because I now need to shop for a smaller swimsuit, and swimsuit shopping is not my idea of fun.
  • Drew and Ian have been in swim lessons. Both are now enjoying their time in the water. Ian swims well with floaties and flippers; Drew swims decently without. But most of all, they're enjoying it, and I loved swimming when I was little, so that's precious to me.
  • My job continues, and is good, but there's not much changed there in terms of what goes on. I got a good review, which I'm always happy for.
  • We continue to play roleplaying games weekly. I'm trying to negotiate a shift of days so the boys aren't staying up late nights before school.
  • Drew starts kindergarten in the fall! Where does the time go? He is so pleased. And I think he's in good shape to start - he can count to 40, he can identify, write, and recite the alphabet (in and out of order), he can write his name, etc. I've been to the parent meeting, and I like the people and the school (which in general doesn't surprise me: our local schools are very good; but it's nice to find your observations match with others').
  • I am still finding time for reading, and for the record, Michelle Sagara's _Silence_ is excellent and also a very hard read. And the Wearing the Cape series continues to be really fun reading.
  • I may be a little too fond of bullet points.
  • Ian likes shrimp! Yes, I totally consider that an accomplishment on my part.


...yeah, I still exist. I'm not sure any of that is all that interesting, but there it is.

I am still thinking of things I'm grateful for daily. I'm not posting them any more. It hurt an acquaintance who thought I was more active on Twitter than I was and became upset that I didn't read all of the hundreds of messages posted to my Twitter feed every day, and I feel bad about that, but also ... as much fun as they were, I'm not sure they had much substance. So, that also means I'm not cross-posting them.

Today was Fun in the Park in Wilsonville! It was a good time. There was a racing group/museum/whatever there with a kid racer car that the kids could sit in. Drew got his photo taken in it. They can race starting at 8 and it can go up to 90 mph. O.o Uh, no. Thanks. Yikes. I enjoyed the art, but I enjoyed the people-watching and the kids - the water features were on for the first time this weekend - even more. And the food. (Pork/cranberry and beef/raising empanadas. Hmm. And shoestring fries made fresh from a whole potato while you watched. Neat. So there's that.

Some guy was walking his two little dogs and paying so little attention he didn't notice one lifting its leg on a vendor's display panel. The vendor did and was NOT amused. I can't fault her. Luckily, her art was on display above that little dog's height - but the panel still got peed on, and I don't imagine she needed that in her day. :|
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 03:09 pm
Nearly daily (I try for daily), I post something I am grateful for to my Twitter and Facebook. I used to collect those here, but honestly, I'm not sure the medium really suited them and it became a chore. But today I feel like a longer post than Twitter/Facebook allows, because there is so much I'm grateful for:

I'm grateful for the snow outside, which is gloriously beautiful. I'm grateful for first snowballs, and first attempts at snowman, and kids "sledding" in cardboard boxes, and laughter and dashing inside to shed snow and snowy clothes all over the carpet, before burrowing into blankets.

I'm grateful for my house - it's messy, yes, because it's full of joy and family. It's also warm, secure against the elements, and we haven't lost power this whole storm. I'm REALLY grateful that the furnace died and was replaced in November, so that we have faced this snowy little storm with a brand new high-efficiency furnace.

I'm grateful for our health - horrible colds aside, we've been well, and we're sturdy enough to get through those. I'm grateful that Ian is healing well after being smacked in the nose with a wooden train tunnel - quite the dramatic cut. Noses like to bleed. But it appears to be mending fine.

I'm grateful for our two cats, for cuddles and purring - and for Ray's tolerance of small hands attempting to pet him, and perhaps doing so less than gracefully or comfortably at times.

I'm grateful for friends, family, and coworkers - I am lucky enough to have some of the best ever, of all three.

I'm grateful for a job that allows me to work from home, which is very handy when the forecast suggests that might be the only way I'm getting home at the end of the day - and even more handy when day care calls out closed early.

I'm grateful for an amazing day care that is so wonderful for the boys, teaching and guiding them as well as taking care of them.

I'm grateful for so much more, but I fear this is becoming self-indulgent. Feeling so lucky after this weekend.
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Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 08:28 pm
How quickly they learn, and how capable they are. I keep thinking of them as less-able than is actually the truth, often especially true with Drew (sometimes, I remember when Ian hits the same milestone, what I learned from Drew). Drew can sign his name. He can read, a bit. I should start teaching him basic kitchen skills (other than unlocking the water dispenser and soaking my floor and carpet, which is more of an annoy Mommy skill).

Ian is incredibly verbal. He can string concepts together usefully. And he's up and down the stairs and opening the gate and getting into the ca--

--binet where the VCR is, which I have just removed him from. Again.

How much they damage/disassemble the house is a close runner up, even given I expected it.

More topics welcome, if you want.
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Sunday, January 19th, 2014 07:04 pm
I normally don't do New Year's resolutions, because they last about week, and I blow them, and I don't get back to them because there is always tomorrow. Also because in general I find big goals don't take the vagaries of life into account.

This year, I made a resolution. I read an article about how "process" goals are easier to keep to than "target" goals. I suspect it really should have had the caveat "for some people" attached, but it immediately resonated with me.

I've been frustrated with my health - I have not been active enough, I get winded too easily, and I'm slowly gaining weight. (The last is not in and of itself a bad thing - there was a time in my life when that WAS the goal, and my doctors agreed - but in my case I do not need that weight and it's indicative of both poor diet choices and a fairly sedentary lifestyle, as much as one can have with two active small children.)

So my "process" resolution has been to log my exercise and food every day. I set up a tracker program that handles both, plus I'm using Nexercise to time exercising (and gather mPoints). I don't care if my numbers are good or not: if I logged them, then I kept my resolution.

It's working. Most days my numbers are within the targets I set. (Not so much for the company holiday party or my birthday. So it goes.) But even more...today I exercised a half hour in the morning, only to have Scott and the kids want to go to the zoo less than an hour later. Our zoo has a long down at entrance and a long up for the exit. We did the whole loop, with a break at the bottom for food, and I pushed the kids most of the way in the rented double stroller, including up the exit path. And I emerged not winded, not exhausted, and grumpy only for reasons that had nothing to do with the physical effort. (Small kids: still small kids, not miniature adults. Sometimes, this is annoying. Heh.)

So. WIN.
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Sunday, January 19th, 2014 07:02 pm
Okay, so there's a meme going around. You give me questions/things to write about, and I write about one a day.

...let me know when you've finished laughing hysterically, because yes, that's not feasible. However, if you give me things to talk about, I will pick off *at least* one per week and will *try* to pick off more.

Answers will come in the form of general posts to my journal, but a link to that post will be added in reply to the comment with the question.

Caveat: I will ignore/non-answer those I'm not comfortable with, but, I'll leave a comment that I did so.
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Monday, January 6th, 2014 08:01 pm
Ian's two-year appointment is this Friday. Tonight, he got the toddler bench, shoved it out of the family room and next to the light switch in the kitchen, and turned the lights on and off until we told him that wasn't a good way to play with lights. We took the bench back where it belonged and redirected him.

So for this appointment, there's a survey on developmental goals. Fine motor included: "Does your child flip switches off and on?" Problem solving included: "If your child wants something he cannot reach, does he find a chair or box to stand on to reach it?"

I've ALMOST stopped laughing, five minutes later. Except I'm now giggling again.
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Sunday, January 5th, 2014 07:11 pm
I seldom post movie or book reviews. I mostly enjoy what I enjoy and then move along. But Frozen...I loved Frozen, and I want to write about it. :) So, starting without spoilers, but there will be spoilers behind the cut and no need to avoid them in the comments.

The non-spoiler version: This is a very Disney, classical Disney, movie in look/feel, and it's definitely a Disney musical. My understanding - and I have not read the source - is that you had best treat it as its own thing and not expect it to look like its source.

It is visually beautiful and glorious. The music is amazing, and some of the more questionable Disney tendencies with regard to women are either not present or severely dialed back, IMO.

Olaf, the snowman, could easily drive me around the bend several times if I had to watch too much of him. Luckily, he's not so pervasive that that's a problem. And he is funny when he appears - but like many forms of snack, he's best taken in moderation, IMO.

Bring a coat if you're prone to getting cold while looking at cold weather sitting in your theater. I was chilly. :P

Scott and I saw this. We didn't take the boys. I'm debating whether I'm willing to let them watch it yet. I'm not sure whether or not Ian would really understand the areas that worry me; Drew would, and I'm not sure if he's ready to have to think about those topics. He might be, and I think overall he'd really like the movie otherwise. I think Ian would, because Ian is my little dancer who adores music.

The first line of spoilers below the cut will be my list of potential triggers/questionable elements for small children. After that, the in-depth babble.

Spoilers ahead! )

If you don't mind spoilers, or don't plan to see the movie, and in any way like Disney animation or music, may I strongly suggest watching the "Let It Go" song/video, which is available on YouTube? It's gorgeous, IMO. Here's a link to the official version of Let It Go.
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Saturday, January 4th, 2014 08:39 pm
When Drew was around two or a bit younger, we tried baby swim lessons at a semi-local pool. It...did not go well. He had fun, until the first time he had to go on his back. All kids, all the same, all the time. It ended when I stopped taking him after a few lessons because I thought they were doing more harm than good. I wanted him to enjoy the water and swim - I was a "water baby" as a kid, and I wanted to pass that on - and instead it was teaching a horror that actually made *baths* hard for a while. No. Thank. You.

But I do want him to know how to swim, for safety reasons. So...Children of the Sea. It is a local, decidedly not cheap, place that specializes in teaching kids to swim, with a good student/teacher ratio and a heated pool. 92 degrees. And, yes, a heated room around it, so you don't freeze the second you get out.

This morning was his first lesson, and for the last month he has wavered between saying that he wants to take the swim lessons and that he doesn't. Luckily, he wanted to this morning and was so excited that putting his hair back in a ponytail (required because of how long it was) was totally ignored. He normally hates having his hair back.

First lesson, and they had him blowing bubbles with his face partly in the water, and accepting being guided across on his back with his head supported with a modified swim noodle. Well, then. The lesson was a half hour, and as we left he was pitching a fit because he didn't want it to stop.

So we went back tonight for open swim, which I wanted to do anyway to get Ian in the pool. (All the lessons for his age range at times we could make it to were closed when sign-ups opened to the public. I'll have a better chance next session, since we'll sign up when member families do.)

One hour in the pool and the boys had a BLAST. Drew gave us quite a start early on, though. Ian and I went ahead to the pool while Scott and Drew got ready - and Scott couldn't find where I'd set his swimsuit. So he came in to ask, of course with Drew with him. Drew was already in his suit, and he saw the slide into the water, dashed to it, and went down it with us yelling 'no'. Neither of us were in the deep area to catch him, and I was by Ian, who was sitting on the steps - I couldn't just dart over. Scott managed to grab him and another mother helped him out, and he was fine and even happy with himself.

While I was watching both boys - on the steps - while Scott got his suit, Ian jumped off the steps unexpectedly and ducked under and I go to fish HIM up - so they both took unexpected dives, but Ian's was a lot less nerve-wracking, IMO. And both were quite happy to stay in the water for the remainder of the hour.

Drew put on flippers and floaties and swam back and forth between the walls, with one of us next to him but not touching, and was SO pleased with himself. LOL. Ian mostly sat on the upper step and played with a couple of pool toys, but he was happy. He did insist on going down the slide - about six or seven times! Unlike Drew, he did it with me waiting at the bottom to catch him. Once or twice I caught him without his head going under, but mostly he got ducked briefly, and he was game to go right back. Drew didn't try the slide again, even when offered - but I don't *think* it was fear. He was mostly game until we told him he had to take off the flippers and floaties for it. He loves those things now.

I do wish open swim were earlier. It's from 6:45-7:45, and Drew resents the idea of getting home and going straight to bed. Our normal bedtime is 8 pm, but we're flexing it tonight. (To be fair, he took an inadvertent 2-hour nap in the car earlier, and he usually doesn't nap. So, that's part of it too.) We may have to flex it whenever we do open swim. I hope he doesn't expect it every week. It's not cheap. It is fun, but it's not cheap.
kyrielle: (technology wins)
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 06:05 pm
I can get to Dreamwidth to whine about it. Facebook loads its header bar and then freezes. The shop I want to get to is unreachable. Tracert shows a sudden spate of requests timing out somewhere after I've been handed off to at&t and before I get to tfbnw (if I get there at all, sometimes I don't).

I know, on the scale of 'real problems' this doesn't register. It's not nearly as important or entertaining as having to duct tape the cover on the furnace (because the clip to hold it in place apparently broke), and that's anything but exciting itself.

But grumble. I went to see Mira Grant at Barnes & Noble and had a great time, and I subsequently couldn't even chatter about it on Twitter or see if anyone else was.

Bah.
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Friday, October 11th, 2013 04:19 pm
Stress, stress, more stress, and a truly VILE cold (possibly now a truly vile sinus infection, and my doctor could not fit me in, and getting to urgent care is not really doable while on call AUGH).

However. I can let it define the week or I can argue. I've been missing a lot of gratitudes lately (over on Twitter/Facebook, and I haven't copied any here in forever I know), because of stress, and I think that is NOT helping me deal with the stress.

So. I am grateful for:

The cut tag, which lets me not spam people's reading pages! )
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Friday, September 20th, 2013 05:23 pm
First, key note: if you want to gift, this info is here. PLEASE don't feel obligated. The boys do not need anything, though there's plenty they want, and more they'd like, I'm sure.

That said, they have wish lists, and then I have some additional notes on things they like and don't like along with those.

Ian's list and notes )

Drew's list and notes )
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Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 04:33 pm
Every August, Wilsonville hosts Fun in the Park - a free fair. Lots of booths advertising companies, churches, and other organizations, and giving away freebies. Bounce houses. A food court (not free, natch). Vendors (also not free, as the name implies). This year (and last) a pony ride. This year also, a rock climbing wall and a carnival ride that spun you around. Police, fire, and EMS showing off vehicles / what they do / dive safety - and also being available just in case, I assume. Main Stage and some speakers kept music going steadily for the whole thing. (The speakers might perhaps have been better positioned back from the walkway, as one corner near the food court was Painfully Loud, but so it goes.)

Town Center Park, where this is held each year, has a water feature the kids can play in too - a great way to cool off mid-fair. And the visitor's center, with handy proper bathrooms, good if you're dealing with small kids who need changes among other things! :)

We went at 10:30. A little after noon, we left and got lunch - then Drew and I went back (Ian having fallen asleep in the car for his nap). We spent an awful long time by just two booths - first, Drew ate an entire mini box of Nerds...the first half of it one. nerd. at. a. time. Then he wanted to get his face painted. He was going to get a kitty-face on it, but then he saw Hello Kitty, so he got that done. It was a REALLY good job, I was impressed, and he held so amazingly still for it. I got photos, because I figured it was doomed, since we had to stop him from rubbing at his face twice during the process.

I was right, fifteen minutes later he'd swiped his arm across his face and by the time we left he was more Hello Kitty Zombie than Hello Kitty. So much so that we coaxed him to say "Braaaaains" on the way back to the car, which he did very creditably.

We got home about 4:30. The park's about 5 minutes away. I'd say Drew and I probably spent five hours there - Scott and Ian four or a little less.

Drew was very happily about the swag, it was hilarious. He came home with a spinny flying toy, a frisbee, a pair of sunglasses, a string backpack, an almost-empty bottle of water (THAT one was SUPER useful!), a bunch of free candy, some stickers, two posters, a plastic harmonica, a quack-like-a-duck toy, a toothbrush, a robotics team pin....

He also went on almost all the bounce houses (despite long lines), spun every prize wheel he could find (including at the Mary Kay booth, where they very kindly offered him a "prize" from their free candy basket instead of the "facial powder free at first appointment" that he'd won, lol), and had a BLAST watching the radio-controlled car (Hobby Town) and robot (Wilsonville high school's robotics team, right next door to the Hobby Town booth). Also, Lego Train and town! So cool.

They've started doing a "memory quilt" each year where people draw on a fabric square and they tie it together - the last four years at least. And this year, Ian and Drew each drew a square. Neither one is coherent, but hey. They're not the only incoherent ones. ;)

A good day. A tiring, exciting, very good day. And I totally have a temporary tattoo of a heart on my right arm. LOL.