Another Whidbey Weekend

I’m all about the photo dumps this summer. When I go on vacation, it seems my words go on vacation, too.

Last weekend’s getaway was to Whidbey Island. Vincenzo forgot to ask for work off, despite the 17 verbal and written reminders I gave him. Fortunately, replacements are easy to find.


His brothers don’t even need him to build driftwood forts on the beach anymore. Here are Rocco and Leo D starting one of their own:


And here it is all finished:


No matter how many times I go to Whidbey (and I’ve been going since I was a baby), it always feels new in some way, whether it’s the people we’re with or the time of year or the detours we take or the things the tide washes up. This time we stopped at Fort Casey on the way up. I took a lot of pictures of the fort and the boys, but the sky kept stealing the show.






The sky even makes this picture I took to remember where I parked in Coupeville look good!


Fort Casey was such a hit, we stopped at Fort Ebey the next day. The next two are both search-and-find pictures. Can you spot all three boys?



Leo thought this would make a good picture.


I woke up on Sunday to see two young bucks play fighting outside my window. I think that makes me officially a Disney princess.


We forgot to bring snacks to the beach, so we had to improvise.


I found this cool rock and seaweed creature on the beach and asked McStreamy to add eyeballs.


She went for the extra credit.


Other than all that, the boys ran their hearts out in wide open fields, collected rocks on the beach, turned to prunes in the pool, ate triple scoop cones at an arts-and-crafts fair, climbed giant rocks, played board games, and watched a parasailer jump off a cliff and possibly fall to his death.

(He’s okay, right?)






And there you have it: another amazing, unforgettable, magical weekend of the same-old, same-old.

Picking up something-or-other

Look Who Turned 13!

It’s Rocco! Rocco turned 13! Which means it’s time for his 13th birthday blog post!


If there were one word to describe Rocco, it would be wordy. If there were a sound, it would be the shhhhhlck of Lego bricks being rifled through. If there were a taste, it would be preceded by the words “five alarm.” If there were a color, it would be the blue of this blasted sweatshirt he won’t take off this summer.


And then in the winter, he refuses to wear anything but shorts!

But because Rocco loves to prove me wrong…


In some ways he’s still smooth-brained (can we please get away from answering everything with “yo’ mama?”). In some ways he’s brilliant (he’s already solved global warming in his head. Twice.).


Rocco comes home from school with his planner filled out, tells us his plan for homework, writes a note to himself to talk to the teacher about a wrong answer he got on a test, makes a schedule for the evening, and plows through it. Afterwards, he studies our calendar, makes a few phone calls, tells me that he’s arranged a five-day sleepover with his best friend, and hands me a grocery list.


He’s more likely to defend himself than apologize. (“But I thought Leo wanted to be sprayed with the hose.”) If you tell him you don’t feel like making fettucini alfredo for lunch, he’ll make it himself. He refuses to drink boba from any place other than Bobae, where Vincenzo works, even if we’re at a different boba shop and everyone else is ordering something. If I yell, “WHO ATE ALL THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS?” Rocco hops on his bike and rides to the store to buy more, even though we all know Vincenzo ate the chocolate chips.

He’s good at both time management and micromanagement.

He’s not good at holding babies.


Whenever a Nerf gun breaks, he and Kevin take it apart to fix it. They watch tutorials, order parts, unscrew things, and 3-D print pieces. They solder things in the kitchen. Not once in all the years have they successfully fixed a Nerf gun. But then, they also have not burnt the kitchen down, so that’s something.


We sometimes have to yell, “NO ROCCO!” just like when he would sprint-crawl to the wine glass rack. He pushes farther and farther still. It’s not that he’s trying to be bad. It’s just that he’s still as intrigued with the world around him as he was then, ready to learn something new, wanting to see what happens if he pushes this button or touches that particular wine glass.


Rocco is a buoy that always pops back up. He’s the question mark at the end of a sentence. He’s the kid wearing a penguin suit in a rendition of The Tempest. He’s a triple scoop of ice cream when you asked for a sample.


It’s a good thing we love our ice cream.

Sticky finger ribs
Mac ‘n cheese
Baked beans
Blue cheese coleslaw
Mix ‘n match ice cream sandwiches

Summer Catch-up

Yikes, here we are in August already! Summer feels like a bus that I grabbed onto  as it passed by and am currently flying behind, hanging on with one hand, yelling woo-hoooo and slow doooowwwwn!

The boys’ summer to-do list was very thin compared to other years, yet somehow the adventures found us anyway. Here are some of the early summer highlights. I hope this post isn’t being graded because it’s rife with inconsistent formatting and punctuation.

Here’s Leo jamming in the kitchen:

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One of our many attempts at making boba (we’ve come a long way!)


We’re working on our new bathroom…


and also on our new leak.


Tried out paddle boarding:


Rocco turned 13! Hopefully I’ll have time to write a proper post about it soon.


The boys leveled up to double decker forts.


Captain Rocco drove us around Lake Union on an electric boat.


Our perfunctory summer trip to Snoqualmie Falls:


Climbing trees at the Seattle arboretum:


Did some cat sitting for this gorgeous guy:


Leo and the neighbors made a lemonade stand. No takers on the $25 haircuts, but they managed to eke $120 out of their customers, most of whom were blood relatives.


Leo made it through Twilight Camp with nothing more than mere flesh wounds.


Spent a day tooling around Bainbridge Island


Kevin and I celebrated 19 years together.


And we spent a few crazy fun days in Coeur d’Alene with my extended family.


Whew! I need a moment to catch my breath!

Beef stroganov
Salad with green goddess dressing
Ice cream sandwiches