Yeah, I know. It has been forever since I last blogged. To tell you the truth I have just been lazy. Every night I think I should get on the computer and give an update. . . but I don't. So to all you fans of the Stoker family I have finally gotten motivated and am ready to start blogging again.
Here is what we have been up to lately.
We went on vacation to Seattle for 2 weeks. We stayed with Grandma Sandy and Grandpa Derek and had a great time. Unfortunately Brandon could not take work off so it was just me and and kids but it was still fun. thankfully Brandon's family decided to go to Seattle as well and we were all on the same flights. That was such a big help because I don't think I could have taken both kids on the plane by myself. Jackson had his own seat (we have to pay for him now which sucks because he spent most of the flight in my lap anyways) and Lizzy spent most of her time with Grandma which was so nice. The kids were really good on the flight. Very little crying for how long it was. On the way there we had to go through San Jose so it was a 2 hour flight, 1 hour lay over, and another 2 hours to Seattle. Needless to say they were tired by the end. And one more thing to complain about the airlines, they are so stupid about baby stuff. They made me open every bottle of breast milk I brought so they could check the vapors, and all the baby food I bought on the plane which really stinks because once it is opened it has to be used that day. Plus I had to take all the kids stuff off including Lizzy's shoes, and put my stroller on the xray machine. What a hassle. I am just so glad Brandon's family was there to help.
We finally made it to Seattle and it was of course raining. I expected rain in June but more of the overcast sprinkle than the pouring rain that we got. It rained almost every day we were there except for 1 Sat and I think 1 other day. Jackson thought it was awesome. He ran around with the umbrella stomping in all the puddles in his dinosaur hoodi
es. Thankfully we got a few good days to do some fun things.
We helped Grandma plant flowers.
We went to the zoo with Uncle Adam and Alex. The zoo was a disappointment. There were barely any animals. They got two new lepards that hung out in their tree house, the tiger just had babies so she was in a room with a video camera linked to it, and the walruses and polar bears were lazy and boring. Jackson loved the sharks and all the fish though. He kept saying Nemo and Dori. It was really cute. His favorite by far was the peacock. The zoo just lets the peacock and chickens rome around where ever they want so Jackson spent a good portion of the time chasing the peacock and yelling, "peacock, peacock). It was really cute. I think it was really good for Adam and Alex to come too because they really bonded with the kids. Adam said he was sore the next day from carrying Lizzy around all day. HAHA, now they know the joys of motherhood and why I am so buff.
We also had a BBQ with all our family at my mom's house. Yummy food and we went on an exploration in the woods. It was so nice to see my family. They love the babies so much and are so supportive of our family. I haven't been down in the woods in years, since I was a child actually. We used to play capture the flag and go exploring down there. It is really fun to experience that with Jackson as well. And when we were down there we found 3 old Christmas trees that my Uncle Jim had thrown down there. What a scrooge. Throwing his Christmas trees in the woods to be forgotten and die.
After the BBQ we had a bonfire at our house with Alex and Adam. We just hung out, talking, and eating yummy oversize marshmallows and s'mores. It was so great talking to my brother and cousin because they have been through a lot in the past year with dependency and legal issues. I am just happy that they are now healthy and happy, and being good citizens. I think that the two of them, especially together, are the funniest guys I have ever met. They feed off each other with quips and sarcasm where they can only laugh at themselves.
We also went to the Seattle Aquarium and I haven't been there in years. I love the waterfront. That is what I miss the most about living in AZ. The smell, the sounds, and fresh salty air. And the food. Where else can you walk down the pier with your choice of any fresh fish restaurant within a mile? We ate clams and clam chowder on the pier and fed the seagulls. Then we headed to the aquarium. It was awesome to see all the fish from around the sound. But the best part was the two humongous octopuses. They were amazing. Long tentacles and big, black eyes. They also had a tank in the shape of an arch that had tons of jellyfish in it and you could walk under it, so in a sense you were surrounded by jellyfish. I was a little disappointed that they didn't have any sharks or whales there, and I am not sure it was worth the $17 each to go in (kids for free), but it was still fun.
For father's day we spent the say at my grandparent's house on hood canal. It was really nice to spend time with my father's parents and family since he is no longer here. My grandpa reminds me of my dad so much, he is kind and generous, and always looking for an adventure. It was fun to introduce Lizzy to them as well. My grandmother was never a big baby person, (although she had 5 of her own), but she is wonderful with my kids. She knows to put all her breakable stuff up and out of reach and then she just likes to sit back and watch them. She has been such a big supporter of me and my family choices and I am lucky to have such a wonderful women as an example to me in my life.
We spent the day hanging out on the beach collecting baby crabs and throwing rocks in the water. Jackson was fearless! He picked up those crabs with no hesitation. Even my cousin Alex who is 23 years old won't pick up the crabs, lol. We put them all in a bucket with some water and showed them to the family. Then my grandpa and Jackson went down and released them back into the wild. It is really important to preserve the crabs there because they are almost non-existent on the canal now. I remember as a child we would collect tons of crabs and star fish just walking down the beach. My grandma would put large sheets of newspaper on the table and dump a bucket full of cooked crab that my grandpa caught earlier that day, all for us to enjoy. We would dig clams right in their front yard and bake oysters on the beach. It was at their house that a learned to LOVE seafood. Jackson also enjoyed playing the organ with my grandpa. I can't tell you how many hours I spent jamming on that organ. It is fun from generation to generation. It was a really nice day, calm but adventurous.
We had a nice 2 weeks but like I always say about vacations, I need a vacation to recover from my vacation. It is stressful being away from home, especially with two kids. We missed our house and Brandon. I am glad we went and got to see all our favorite people but it is always nice to be home.