12 February 2014

In January, he turned three

This year our early January birthday celebration for Wyatt was a family-only affair.  It included local relatives, a double chocolate cake, fireworks (well, a sparkler anyway), and a pinata filled with small musical instruments, baseball stickers, and old Halloween candy.  Wyatt had requested "a fiesta like the one on Caillou."

We did our best.  Byron took charge of the indoor-pinata-experience, which turned out great.  I used the party as an excuse to make homemade tamales -- something I've wanted to try for a long time.  After a trip to a Latin market, I was set with lots of dried chilies and Oaxacan cheese and sour cream.  Plus a few lemon dulce, which we never quite figured out what to do with although they looked like a good idea at the time of purchase.

The tamales took a bit longer to put together than I anticipated, but five hours and a whole lot of masa later, we had tamales with several fillings to choose from: potato and Guajillo chile sauce;  chicken and tomatillo sauce; garlicky chard and cheese, and poblano pepper and jack cheese. We also had lots of guacamole and chips, a pot of our favorite beans, and an experimental Mexican rice dish that I don't think we'll make again anytime soon.  

Wyatt had a blast whacking the pinata, wearing his birthday crown from preschool, blowing out his candles, and essentially eating chips, guacamole, cake, and old Halloween candy for dinner.

All the excitement did not lend itself well to getting Wyatt to bed, and by 10 p.m. we wondered if he would fall sleep that night at all.  He was most definitely the last one of us to succumb -- the last thing I remember was him, tucked into the big bed between Byron and me, animatedly jabbering about something . . . .


I kid you not -- the day after Wyatt turned three I felt like a switch had been flipped.  We heard new words and phrases, saw new insistence upon doing things his own way, and the hoarding  of things as "mine" started up.  On the up side, he has started napping again fairly regularly -- and for two-plus hour naps!  He's grown out of all his pants, most of his shoes, and required a new coat quite suddenly.  Nowadays if I ask him whether he wants yogurt for breakfast, if he doesn't say yes, he'll give me an answer like, "No, mom. I'm good" or "No thanks, maybe another time." 

Tonight (it's been a little over a month since his birthday) he asked grandpa whether he wanted "hot chocolate of some sort" after dinner.  And earlier today he told me he was, "Preparing a list of things I want to do tomorrow."

My toddler boy pretty much disappeared overnight.  Wyatt is exactly right when he calls himself a "bigger boy" these days.  As for me, I have the sinking feeling that he'll be in high school before I know it.

Winter hikes in Discovery Park

This winter we've spent a good number of weekend days exploring new paths and unseen areas (at least to us) of Discovery Park.  It's one of the city's best parks -- with breath-taking views of Puget Sound, lots of wildlife, and the kind of terrain that actually gives you a bit of a work out (especially when carrying a small child).

That said, Wyatt pretty much walks everywhere himself now -- especially since he acquired his Merrell size 11 "hiking shoes" as he calls them.  Last time we hiked in the park, about a week ago, he walked for a couple hours and only gave out on the last stretch back to the car. Proof, I think, that he indeed is a "bigger boy" as he calls himself now.

Our favorite route, at the moment, is to park at the upper lot, take the stairs up to the top of the meadow and walk down the road a little.  Then cut through the meadow on one of the many paths headed for the bluff. Take the trail through the sandy area and up to the crest of the bluff above the beach (after reading all the signage we can find).  From there, we head down the stairs/path to the water, stopping to look out the lookouts.  Once at the bottom, we walk out to the lighthouse, have a snack (or better yet, lunch followed by Sharkies gummy fruit treats) and then head back up the hill via the road. At the junction with the loop trail, we cut back to the west and head back toward the bluff, up through the meadow, and back to the car.  Then we stop for hot drinks or fish and chips (if we forgot lunch) on the way home.

You might want to try it.

Wyatt behind the lens.