Sunday, July 31, 2011


Sorry for the long silence on the blog. Here are reasons:
  1. The DHS and I had planned a semi-vacation (ie. half-vacation, half-football-tournament) that I semi-forgot about and therefore only marginally planned for, which meant we went camping at a lake without towels, sleeping bags or pillows*. 
  2. We spent the vacation part of the vacation (ie. the non-camping portion) in the Seattle area, walking around the city, taking in Pike's Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium. (The kids caught plankton at the Aquarium and looked at it under microscopes. So cool!)
  3. We also spent three hours at the American Girl doll store in the Alderwood Mall. Yes, my girls and I went a little crazy. (They have a doll hair salon!) The DHS and the son also went a little crazy, but in a whole different way.Yeah, try asking a seven-year-old boy to sit for three hours in a doll store and you'll find out what I mean.
  4. I thought we'd have WiFi in our hotel room, but no. There was wireless not-free internet (WiNfi?), but I wasn't willing to pay for it. (Those few days without internet may have helped me curb my appetite for Angry Bird. I have not played it in more than four days. Yes, really. I might actually start writing novels again. Maybe.)
  5. While enjoying Seattle, the DHS and I soon realized our children had forgotten how to live in a city. When we were in China, we lived in a huge city of nine million people (at least), so I took it for granted that city-life would come naturally to them. But I forgot that we've been gone for two years, so things like ESCALATORS, CROWDS, HIGH-SPEED TRAINS, PUBLIC BATHROOMS, PARKING GARAGES, BUSY STREETS, TRAFFIC and STREET-CROSSING SIGNALS were alien to them. In some cases, even frightening enough to make them cry.
  6. After one short stint at the lake (on the non-vacation portion of the trip, after the night of barely-any-sleep camping) I drove back to the football stadium to pick up the DHS. The children were only semi-clothed, the baby was hungry, the sun was beating down, the two-year-old was throwing a fit. I couldn't get to the suitcase for clean clothes because it was under ALL the other stuff at the back of the minivan and I couldn't deal with unpacking and repacking while the baby was screaming. This is when having a Dashingly Handsome Sidekick comes in very handy. I hauled everyone (my two-year-old was only wearing her diaper) across the parking lot into the football stadium to find the DHS. When he saw me and my entourage approaching, he came right over. (Maybe the baby screaming and the diaper-only two-year-old were some sort of sign?) He left the stadium right away and got out clothes for all our kids while I fed the baby. It was one of those I-can't-take-this-anymore moments, and I'm very glad to have a level-headed sidekick when those moments occur, let me tell you. 
  7. Good news about our vacation: Nobody drowned. Nobody is bug bitten or sun burned. We ate huckleberries because there was a bush at our camp site. I've almost finished my Christmas shopping between the American Girl store and the Lego store. (Yes, we also visited the Lego store to reward the seven-year-old boy after his long American Girl experience.)
*Thankfully my wonderful mother-in-law came through for us. She retrieved our sleeping bags and pillows from our house and sent them over with my brother-in-law who hadn't left yet. We did okay without towels. Thankfully I had one baby blanket with me, so if we were desperate to dry off, we used that.
Outside the Seattle Aquarium with our plankton net.
My very enthusiastic American girls.
Sophie and her friend Blake at the lake. (This is directly before the Mommy near-melt-down moment.)


  1. What a fun time--you'll have some great memories of this. I wonder how you're going to keep the presents hidden for the next 5 months?

  2. I'd love to visit Seattle one day.

    I didn't think about a child's reactions to a big city, since I grew up in one. Yes, it can be scary.

    It would be nice if wifi was free in hotels.

    Have a great week.

  3. The last picture is so sweet ... you'd never expect it was right before Mommy melted.

    My daughter has been begging me to take her to the AG shop ... but we are uber-busy getting ready to move across the country. In fact, I doubt I will sleep tonight as I still need to pack the stuff we're taking with us.

  4. He he! Looks like you had a great time! I think I might go crazy if I was in a doll house for hours, too! Lo)

  5. You crack me up! Seriously, sounds like a Maurer vacation at its finest! Loved that the kids just transitioned right into Am. life and forgot the big-city living. I wouldn't have thought of that either!

  6. You know, Amy, I wish someone like you had been around when my kids were little! I love your laid-back way of going, and everyone survived and enjoyed themselves.
    American Girl was a favourite with our girls, Santa shipped stuff for a few Christmasses.

  7. Thank you for sharing the screaming baby and only wearing a diaper 2-year-old, that made me smile, and reminded myself if we mothers get desperate enough we're really don't care about anything until our more-levelheaded husbands step in. :) Hugs from London where my kids are quickly learning big city life, it's quite a transition from suburban-we-drive-everywhere America.

  8. I totally would vacation like this...I've forgotten sleeping bags, toothbrushes, etc. I have told my husband I thought perhaps he should pack the kids from now on.
    Love the idea of you all on some sort of AG doll bender. My daughter is starting to outgrow it, but I still love the little tea lunches there:)

    WiNFi---get back to Angry Birds!

  9. What a holiday! It sounds like you've all come home for a rest. Glad t hear you're (almost) off Angry Birds. Maybe I should go away to get off Spider Solitaire!!

  10. Wow, you were in my neck of the woods! :)

    Your family is beautiful. A friend of mine was at the American Girl store recently, and she said it was awesome.

    We'll miss you in LA. <3

  11. I hope you're having a fabulous time off!!!

  12. aww look at your precious family!! Beautiful!

    And I cried on an escalator once too... I ran up the down thinking it was hilarious and fell. Poked a hole in my elbow. LOL.