Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012: Arrivals, Departures and Delays

We had our first visitor in the Pacific Northwest!  Leigh Ann came for an extended weekend on my birthday weekend.  It was a fabulous, whirlwind of a time!  The day she landed, Seattle weather showed off for her and gave her great views of the mountains, the beaches and everything in between.  Above is Lincoln Park, walking distance from our house and a favorite running spot of mine.  The big boat off in the distance is Fauntleroy Ferry, which takes you to Vashon Island and some other islands that I don't know the name of yet.  We will work on that as we explore when the weather breaks.

The day after Leigh arrived, the rains came.  Of course they did.  It's March in Seattle.  It didn't stop us though, we spent time at Pike Market and downtown, even caught the Buckeyes in their first game of the Tournament.  It was a great time even though it was wet.

Above is the very first Starbucks.  It's at Pike Market.  The line for coffee there is usually ridiculously long.  I mean, seriously.  The coffee isn't going to taste different there.  Although, how would I know when I can't ever get in there....

It was a fabulous weekend and one of the best birthdays I can remember.  On Saturday we toured Capital Hill and Queen Anne neighborhoods.  Cap Hill is very trendy, hip, artsy.  Tremendous people watching.  At one point, Leigh Ann commented, "I didn't know there was a circus in town."  Oh yes, that's what it's like in Cap Hill.  Always circus people hanging about.  For those following along, Cap Hill is one of my favorite places and where the Jimi Hendrix statue is.

Of course we painted the town red.

As we were having our fun, though, the Castaneda family had just a few things going on.  Amy was due March 7, so her mom, Diane, arrived on March 4, in order to be here for the baby.  Diane brought her dog Charles.  She had this ancient pomeranian declared a therapy dog so she wouldn't have to pay extra to have him on the plane with her.  I just love Diane.  She and Lorelei are BFFs.  This is Charles with Lorelei:

Amy did not have her baby on March 7.  Or March 8.  Or March 9, 10, or 11.  As the fates would have it, this was a good thing.  It enabled Ed to travel home for his father's funeral on March 10.  My condolences, Eddie.  Our love to you.

As a matter of fact, Amy didn't have that baby until March 15.  Maya Rose Castaneda came into the world at nearly 8 lbs and over 20 inches long.  She's gorgeous.

 This picture is already outdated.  As I write this she's a week old, going on 14.

I fear Shawn has baby fever.

The most important thing, however, is that Amy, Ed and Maya are all doing fantastic.  Maya is growing and changing as babies will, and she remains beautiful.  Amy doesn't even look like she had a baby, which of course means all of us who looked like we had a baby and might still be pregnant into our kids' first year, well, we are quite envious. Ed, for all his tough talk about how he will raise this daughter of his, is already a pile of goo and wrapped around her little newborn finger.  Maya has been in the world a week and already conquered it.

With all these goings on, we continue to acclimate and become adjusted to our new hometown.  This week it seems that the Olympics are out more than they are not, even if it's not perfectly clear.  This makes us all believe that the weather will break eventually.  It's been an unseasonably cold winter and spring for Seattle, to counteract the unseasonably warm winter and spring in Ohio!  I wouldn't say it's terribly cold, but I'm ready for some sun.  This week it appears the sun is on its way.

To pass the time we've been trying to develop good habits.  Like Lorelei, here, teaching her polar bear how to floss.  There is an accompanying video, but I'll save that for later.

Otherwise, all is well.  We've had some wonderful visits with Steve as he lays over in Seattle.  That has been a welcome part of family that I've desperately needed.  It also helps to have him laying over here so that I can convince him that he needs to move here.  I'm continuing to work on that.  Shawn and Lorelei are both doing well.  Lorelei has started to turn a corner in her school and bond with more students, and Shawn is beginning to really like his job.

As for me, Shawn finally got tired of my sad face over not having cable.  He lined it up just in time for March Madness.  Very, very cool.  Go Buckeyes!

We miss all of you in Ohio and hope you come visit soon.  Until then, love to all!

This entry is for Carlos and Maya Castaneda.  Godspeed, Carlos, and welcome, Maya!