Watermelon Roses

A collection of random thoughts, commentaries, and journaling. There is a lot to explore here, including links to other sites of mine. These are mostly for my own benefit, but guests are welcome to browse and explore as much or as little as they like.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Remlinger Farms

We went to Remlinger Farms on Sunday. It was a scenic drive and a lovely day. The farm was very cute and welcoming with friendly scarecrows and harvest decorations. There was a swimming-pool-sized pit filled with hay for jumping and a hay maze for the children. There were rides and a miniature train. There was a petting/feeding area with small farm animals. There was a nice gift shop and a restaurant with a play area, which is where we were when K met us after finishing up at the office. He rode the train with us, then we browsed the store for a while and picked up a couple of pies to take home. The children got balloons, but Layth's escaped before we even made it to the car. We watched it until it vanished from sight. I'd like to come back here for the pumpkin patch next month!

We heard a bump followed by distraught crying coming from Rayan's room one night earlier this week and went in to find him sitting on the floor, no doubt where he landed after climbing out of his crib. I dismantled the crib on Thursday and put a twin mattress on the floor. We'll get a low frame eventually. I had to take one last picture of Rayan in his (and Maya's, and Layth's, and Layla's, and Mina's) crib. I'm ready to retire that worn-out crib for good, but K isn't ready to let go since it belonged to the girls.

Layth's picture day was yesterday - we'll see how that turned out in a couple of weeks. I realized after dropping him off that I hadn't tucked his shirt in, but I don't think we'll see that anyway unless there's a class picture. I also had to go with K to a formal business dinner. The entertainment for the evening was a severe nun in full habit giving us a quick lesson in Catholicism. We found out later that she was the star of Seattle's Late Nite Catechism. If this is showing near you, it's a lot of fun, even if you're not Catholic! I even learned a couple of things I never knew and was corrected on a thing or two that I thought I knew.

K's dad and I went to a Hindi movie called Chak De! India tonight. It was a great story, and the star, Shahrukh Khan is my favorite Bollywood star, but it was lacking the colorful (and improbable) song and dance routines that I love. This was probably the most serious Hindi movie I've seen! I'm looking forward to Shahrukh's next film, which promises lots of song and dance.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Meet the Parents

There was a PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) coffee and chat on Tuesday after dropping off the children. Only about 20 moms and 1 dad went, but it was nice to meet some of the moms of Layth's classmates. That evening, K and I attended curriculum night and learned a little more about the kindergarten curriculum. There was a scary set of parents there who were pressuring everyone to sign a petition to get a teacher's aide for Mrs. Robinson, despite her obvious discomfort with the situation. She tried to reassure them that she was fine the way things were set up, but they were insistent. We signed, but hope that it won't reflect badly on Mrs. Robinson or make it look like she put us up to it.

The children and I explored the play areas at Bellevue Square Mall while K's parents did some shopping on Wednesday.

I went to a moms' night out at one of the other moms' houses on Thursday. She had a fantastic game room! There were several pinball machines, a pool table, a foosball table, darts, and an arcade game with hundreds of arcade games available on it. I regressed to my early teens and played Donkey Kong, Galaga, Dig Dug, Joust, and Pole Position. I want a game room like that! After snacking, playing, chatting, more snacking, more chatting, and watching a pool game or two, we headed downstairs to play something I'd never heard of called PervArtistry. Suffice it to say that I spent much of the evening blushing and learning embarrassing new phrases. Still, it was a really fun evening, and a nice break from playing mommy!

K tried one more time today to interest Layth in soccer, but they didn't even last 10 minutes on the field this time before they came home. That's it for soccer, for this year anyway. Known as football in England, it's too ingrained in K's culture for him to give up altogether. Rayan and I had a relaxing afternoon at home while the rest of the family trekked down to Puyallup for the Puyallup Fair. It looks like the children had a great time!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Seattle Center

I tried going along to the soccer clinic today to see if I could help Layth enjoy it more, but it didn't work. I spoke with the clinic coordinator and asked her whether she thought I should keep dragging him along when he didn't even want to come, and she said no. I relayed this to K, but he's determined to take Layth himself at least once before giving up. I couldn't get him to play with the others, but I did at least get a few pictures in his uniform before packing it away.

Later, we all went to Seattle Center where we played at the Children's Museum until they closed, sat and watched the International Fountain for a while, and went on rides at the Fun Forest.

Oh! And I spotted mama and baby deer on the road near our house the other day! I love that.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


K and I went to the most beautiful restaurant tonight. Palisade is the favorite Seattle restaurant of one of the doctors K worked with in Texas, and she gave us a gift certificate when we left. We went there tonight, and it was breathtaking. It was probably the most expensive restaurant I've ever been to, and definitely a special occasion kind of place, but well worth every penny. The art glass chandelier and the bridge across the saltwater pond are beautiful. There were rose petals and a welcoming note on our table when we arrived (they had asked when we made the reservation if we were celebrating anything and I told them that it was just a rare night out without the children.) Our waiter, Steven, was wonderful. I had been craving king crab legs since I found out we were coming to Seattle and my dad got me to watch The Deadliest Catch. These crab legs were from red king crabs, which are huge! They served three of the meatiest upper parts of the legs, sliced open and easy to eat. They were delicious! The Olympic Mountain ice cream they served was amazing, and enters into the race with Cornish ice cream from Cornwall in England for the best ice cream ever in my book. The waiter was so gracious and patient that we didn't even realize we had stayed beyond closing until the valet brought our keys in to us so he could go home!

Red King Crab

Saturday, September 08, 2007


We had a busy week this week! K's parents arrived Sunday night. That was an 18-hour trip from England, so they were exhausted!

On Tuesday, Layth and I went to his school to meet his teacher, Mrs. Robinson. Since we didn't even know we were coming to Seattle until kindergarten registration was over, we didn't get one of the coveted full-day kindergarten positions. Layth will only go to school for 2 1/2 hours every morning, which makes it difficult for the teacher to squeeze in the full curriculum and difficult for parents to plan anything else for the morning. He was uncharacteristically shy and withdrawn there, and stuck pretty close to me while we dropped school supplies into the proper piles. It was very hectic, and we only spoke to the teacher for a few seconds.

Later in the afternoon, Layth and Maya started swimming lessons. Layth hasn't had lessons in over a year, and Maya, never, but they did surprisingly well! The instructor uses the floatation belt method. They start with two floats in the front and two in the back, then one in front and three in back, then none in front and three in back, then work down to no floats a half-float at a time. Layth started with three and one since he had lessons before.

On Wednesday morning, I walked to Layth's school for the parent orientation. It was a nice, peaceful walk through dappled shade and woods. I came upon a nest of baby squirrels on the return trip, and stood there watching them for several minutes. I discovered that the hill we live on is steeper than it looks! Apparently the sound of the car's engine straining as we drive up the hill wasn't enough of a hint for me. I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest by the time I got to the top, and I've since been told it's the same even for my slimmer and fitter neighbor (which made me feel better.)

Thursday was the big day, and Layth and I packed up his backpack and walked to school. We were under strict instructions not to walk them to class, but to have them meet a teacher at the flagpole who would walk them down. No teacher ever came, so we all walked our children to class. It was pandemonium in the halls! Mrs. Robinson meets the bus students in the morning, so we had to wait for her to come in, and she looked very surprised to see us all after having given us those strict instructions. I mentioned that there had been no one upstairs to bring them down, and she said they'd fix that the next day. (They didn't.) Layth and I had practiced finding his class on Tuesday, so he was in good shape. Layth seemed a little nervous, but excited and ready to find his seat. I met one of my neighbors there, whose son is in Layth's class. On my way out, I saw a sobbing girl and thought about how hard that must have made things for her parents. I had mixed feelings about sending him off to school, but at least I knew he was happy!

K signed Layth up for a soccer workshop that started today, thinking it would be a great father/son thing to do. Yesterday he realized that he would be working almost every Saturday morning for a while. Daada (K's father) took Layth to the clinic and met the same neighbor I just met. Unfortunately, Layth only likes soccer when it involves his family, and only for about 5-10 minutes at a time. He didn't like the clinic and didn't want to go back.

Maya got her hair cut after the soccer clinic. What a cutie!

K and I went furniture shopping again tonight and ordered Maya's bedroom furniture, but still can't decide on patio, master bedroom, or formal dining room furniture! We ordered the full-sized bed and tall dresser from this collection:

We were almost home when the Newcastle Days fireworks started right next to us as we passed Lake Boren. I was hoping they would last long enough for us to get home and call the children to the window. They lasted for about 30 minutes! The family was already gathered at the window when we arrived. We had a gorgeous view. It reminded me of a dream I had one night while we were still in Texas. I had been anxious about the move, and couldn't really imagine myself feeling at home in a new place so far away, but then I dreamed that we were in our house watching fireworks through our window with a view of the mountains in the background, and I felt happy and peaceful. Technically, even if we did have a view of the mountains (our view is of lots and lots of tall pine trees,) we wouldn't have been able to see it at night when the fireworks were going off, but the feeling was the same. I felt happy and peaceful.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


K was leaving for work this morning when he called us to come outside. There were two frisky deer cavorting in our neighbor's yard. By the time I got the camera, they were moving on, but you can see one of them here, headed back to the woods at the end of our cul-de-sac. It was cool and misty out there, and magical!

K's parents are coming tomorrow for 9 weeks. I'm sure they'll be a great help with the children as Layth starts kindergarten and we settle into a routine here.