Time Marches On...

My last blogpost didn't SEEM like it was from a long time ago, yet now it is nearly the end of the first month of 2012.  It has been a delightfully busy month so far.  Of course, there was the wedding and all of its preparations.  Then, a few days after that, my awesome cousin Chandra came to stay with us for a week.   She is Ruby's godmother and definitely has some fairy godmother qualities to her (washing dishes, shopping for groceries and then preparing tasty meals, cleaning up Ruby's messes, reading books to Ruby over and over again).  It was great to see her, and I'm very pleased to hear that the powers that be in the world of educational conferences have deigned to hold another conference in Portland this coming November, so we can be assured of two visits in this calendar year!  Of course, by then Ruby will be a 2.5 year old big sister!  Wow!
Tomorrow marks Ruby's 20th month, and I feel like she's been practicing her "terrible twos" a bit early.  She's got four months to go, but that hasn't stopped her from tantrums, yelling, and being generally willful. Maybe I'd have more energy for all of that if I weren't 7 months pregnant, but it seems like the past few days she has been wearing down my nerves more easily than usual.  I'm very glad I'm not a single mom.  Ruby keeps me running.  Here's a video of one of her more charming achievements.  Well, the video doesn't actually capture her achievement (putting on a sock).  She plays a bit coy with the camera, but she can put on and take off socks, put on pants most of the way, and put on shirts most of the way.  She is quite fascinated by dressing herself, or trying to!

This past Friday Ruby, Chandra, and I drove up to Seattle to take Chandra to her conference (the business reason precipitating her trip to see us).  Chandra graciously offered to let us share her hotel room for a few nights so we could enjoy a weekend trip.  When we got to Seattle there was still quite a bit of snow on the streets, which prompted Ruby to learn a new word: "nowy" (snowy).  Thankfully it all melted in the space of the next day or so.  Ruby is pretty great in the car.  It was about a 3.5 hour drive and she took naps, looked at books, or played with her toys in her seat.  She has learned how to snuggle out from under one or both arm straps in her car seat, though.  The first night was a bit rough, sleep-wise.  Ruby woke up at about 1 AM and had a hard time going back to sleep, and in so doing kept me (and probably Chandra, to some extent) awake, too.  Ruby was cranky in the morning, and I did not want to risk the hassle of driving to the zoo, paying for parking, paying to get in, and being there for 20 minutes before she had a complete meltdown.  It would have defeated the point of having fun. So, instead, she and I both napped and then after lunch we went to the Pacific Science Center.

It was closer to the hotel, right next to the Space Needle, and best of all, we got in free due to our OMSI membership (thanks Mom!).  It is a huge science center and we definitely only scratched the surface. We mostly spent our time there in the Tot Area, which was perfect for Ruby.  She LOVED the huge water table they had and at one point tried to climb into it!

She also enjoyed the pretend cars and the slide.

We also visited the legendary Pike Place Market.

 Here's Ruby next to the famous pig statue.  When we pulled her up alongside it, her first response was to moo!  I guess I can see her thinking it was a cow, from the side at least.
On Sunday, Ruby and I went to the downtown campus of Mars Hill Church.  It was a cool experience to be there.  Allen and I have watched several sermons from Pastor Mark on the Mars Hill website, so since we were in Seattle, I figured we should go to "the real thing!"  I heard a great sermon on the importance of friendship in marriage (as in making sure your spouse is your best friend and cultivating that friendship), and Ruby had a great time in the children's area.
After church, we headed back to Portland, just in time for the GROW meeting (Germans from Russia of Oregon and Washington, an organization which Allen's grandpa heads up).  It was a busy but enjoyable weekend.


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