Yesterday we got together with my friend Ellen. One of the (many) things I like about Ellen is that she always pushes our boundaries with her suggestions for what to do. She’s the one who took me cross-country skiing before Benji was born, and left me practically unable to walk for like a week (the blog post title: “A Litany of Aches.” Ah, good times). She invites me and Benji to parks in the city of Seattle that we otherwise never would go to. She encourages me to eat odd things and try tea I wouldn’t normally have. It’s good to have this kind of friend.
As I may have mentioned before, I have an avocado tree that I sprouted when Benji was a newborn. It’s one of the few plants I’ve been able to keep alive – that is, it has survived despite my “care.”
Every summer, I put it on the front porch, which faces North and provides steady indirect light all day. The last few years it’s grown a couple feet during the summer months, prompting me to overcome my reticence and pinch off new growth. Even so, at the beginning of this season, I did some research and repotted it into one final, large pot with wheels. It’s movable, if not readily so.
Benji turned four on Monday. For his birthday, he asked not for more presents, but for money so he could buy the toy he’s been saving for with his allowance. So, at our small family party, we did a scavenger hunt in which Benji slowly found about $5 (in $1 bills, of course) from each family, giving him enough to buy the truck he’s wanted since he and Ian went to Seaside a month ago. A month is a long time to wait when you’re four!
Our vacation is done – we got home yesterday afternoon. But I’m going to try to catch up what happened, albeit in order of noteworthiness rather than in chronological order.
Most noteworthy was having to get antibiotics for Benji, who developed a urinary tract infection while we were there. Actually, before the vacation, over the weekend he mentioned discomfort when peeing. I decided to wait and see if it stayed a problem in, and then with all the excitement, it slipped my mind.
Fortunately, Benji has gotten better at expressing himself, because on Thursday after Colleen and Jordan caught their sea plane (!), Benji described very accurately the symptoms of a UTI:
Colleen and Jordan came up from California to join us on our San Juan Island trip. They stayed with mom and dad on Sunday night, and they all drove up to Anacortes in one car while we met them there in our car. We only had to stop once for Benji to use the bushes.
We had to wait several hours in Friday Harbor for the rental house to be ready. Just as we were asking ourselves what to do for all that time with an already-tired kid, there came to our rescue a drop-in play area that was well worth $7.50 for an hour.
Yesterday, Dad and I rode Mt. St. Helens. I last did this back in 2011, also, and I remembered beautiful views and difficult climbing, with stiff headwinds on the way back. The roads were nicely paved, though. Yesterday was similar but also very, very different.
So I’ve been thinking about how to approach talking about this ride, because it wasn’t quite the ride I planned on doing. As you know, I normally don’t even mention my rides unless they’re really exceptional. Our St. Helens ride certainly was noteworthy. Yesterday I was going to talk about what went wrong, but after sleeping on it, I’m going to talk about what went well first.
But my hair just doesn’t want to soak in the color, which is supposed to be a nice baby pink to match my bike (naturally! What else?). Aunt Dana wants to go more fuchsia next time, and have it fade to baby pink. I’m still on the fence.
Benji also got his hair cut at the time, but I forgot to take pictures because I was busy interviewing him for information to put in our very own planet book. We made a book about the planets because the ones he has don’t contain all the information he wants to know. Specifically, he’s gotten interested in “cut-outs” of planets, ie, what’s inside planets.