Birthday Magic at Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park

Birthday Magic at Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park

I love it when I discover something new and awesome in the Seattle area. Well, this time the discovery was precipitated by an invitation to a 6-year-old’s farm-themed birthday party at the location, but it works for me.

The Farrel-McWhirter Farm park is a Redmond city park that also happens to be a working farm.

Bunnies, goats, chickens, pigs, cows, horses, and ponies – All kinds of things to make 6-year-old girls squee.

Farrel-McWhirter farm park Redmond
big pig at Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park
goats at Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park
barnyard at Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park

Really, it’s the best kind of city park. You’d never know you were in city limits.

Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park

The 68 acre park includes a preschool, summer camp program, orienteering course, and of course, pony rides.

My daughter was particularly fond of this plywood cow with a water-filled rubber glove that demonstrates how milking a cow works.

learning how to milk a cow at Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park

And this magical tree, where she spent quite a bit of time pretending to be a baby eagle.

magical tree at Farrel-McWhirter Park

And, did I mention the pony rides? Because that’s pretty much all I’ve heard about for the past week.

pony ride at Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park
pony ride at Farrel-McWhirter Park
pony ride at Farrel-McWhirter Park
pony ride at Farrel-McWhirter Park

We can’t wait to get back out there for another visit.

Seattle Children’s Museum

Seattle Children’s Museum

Earlier this week, we had a day full of adventure at the Seattle Children’s Museum, which is situated in the lower level of the Armory at the Seattle Center.

childrens museum at seattle center

The museum allowed her to try on differents hats for different careers, such as Fire Fighter, or Bus Driver.

fire engine

The global village showed a little bit about how some people live in a few different parts of the world such as Japan, the Philippines, and Ghana.


COG City was all about machines and mechanics and how things work.


With supplies and opportunity to build a few things on their own.

building supplies

The optometry office was a big hit for our bespectacled girl. She loved having the opportunity to wear the optometrists jacket.

optometry office at seattle childrens museum

She loved getting a closer look at the equipment where she could explore and study it in a way that was not possible when she got her eyes checked at the real optometrists.

She got an eye exam as well

Daddy was a patient patient, and even tried on her glasses.

optometry office at seattle childrens museum

There was a model market where they could practice shopping for food and making healthy choices.

farm fresh vegetable sign in the model market at seattle childrens museum

The scale was a big hit.

weighing her groceries on the scale at the seattle childrens museum

And while we know that all the world is a stage, especially for a 6-year-old, nothing compares to some uninterrupted time on a real stage with mom and dad (and others) in the audience.

stage at seattle childrens museum

And then there was a magical fantasy room, full of books, and fairies, and a happy little girl who really didn’t want to leave.


The Seattle Children’s Museum is designed for kids up to ten, but I think where it really shines is for the preschoolers. It’s a lovely place to spend the day with the little ones, especially the toddlers and up to 5 or 6, but I think many kids would outgrow it before they reach ten.

Traveling to Alaska

Traveling to Alaska

I’m thinking about going to Alaska.

Next week.

Who goes to Alaska in February? This is the time of year even Alaskans try to escape.

Well, my mom, for starters. And my brother. They’re both moving back to Alaska and decided to caravan together.

Last time I went to Alaska, it was in the middle of summer.

Turnagain Pass

I took these photos on our last trip to Alaska. Mom was moving back up there that time as well, and Gem and I tagged along with her.

road trip

She was so little then.

rock sheep
beaver lodge
the engine in palmer

This time, they are taking the ferry rather than driving the entire way through Canada, and they invited us along for the ride. The ferry leaves next weekend and it all hinges on whether Gem’s passport arrives in time.

Will we make it?

The Haircut

The Haircut

Yes, my daughter had the most beautiful, long, golden locks.


Did I say had?

Oh, yeah, we cut them off.


She still has beautiful golden locks. Just not so long.



She was ready. And so tired of me insisting on brushing her hair.

I was ready. And ready to let her take over hair brushing duty.

And the hair? It was donated. She is so proud of the fact that even she can participate in helping people.



The stylist who cut her hair took before and after photos for us.



She’s a happy girl. So happy about her new haircut that she spent a while dancing around and showing it off.

With her super hero cape, of course.


She even wrote about her haircut for her writing assignment on Monday.




What is going on in your life?

Gem’s Gems 2014 Wrapup

Gem’s Gems 2014 Wrapup

My kid says some funny stuff, and every year I post a round-up of some of her best lines.





G: I can be anything I want when I grow up?
Me: Sure, what do you want to be?
G: A unicorn

Me: wanna watch a movie?
G: No. I must rule the world.

Me: you talk about being a princess a lot. do you ever think about being an engineer or a teacher?
G: Princesses never lie to their mommies
thus endeth the career counseling session

g: “I’m gonna be a kid for a long time?”
me: “yep, you are going to be a kid for a long time.”
g: “I love being a kid! Grownups work while kids play.”

G: Do you know what my superpower is?
Me: What is it?
G: writing… and thinking. oh, and snoring.

G has decided that now that she is a kid instead of a baby, we are going to have to change the nicknames by which we refer to her. The list is long and I won’t go through them all, but Baby is out, Sweetpea is still ok, and on and on.
So what do you really want me to call you? I asked.
Genevieve. Or you can call me the Judge.



That’s my girl!

G, on the way to the party last night: “I’m bringing the party with me, I carry it in my heart.”

G, fists in the air: “Even though I small on the outside, I big and powerful on the inside!”


this is the space alien that lives in the space volcano. they are not monsters, they are just not from here. I learn new things from my little one every day.

“I want to keep doing this mischief thing forever”

G’s word of the day: Accigently – when you make a mistake, but do it carefully

card shark | CoffeeJitters.Net

card shark

G: DADDY! daddy DADDY! daddy
Me: Genevieve! Daddy’s office is not a yelling place
G: I was trying to find him using echo location

“when I see a baby, the love goes right into my heart and then I sing it out”

applause sign | CoffeeJitters.Net

what? your living room doesn’t have ann applause sign? she hung this sign a couple days ago when we failed to perceive that her dancing was a performance. sign says: if you like my dance, clap.

Me: when you wake up tomorrow, it will be your last day of being 4
G: Oh, good, I’m REALLY tired of being 4

train to Denmark

she arranged the stools into a train, and she has her trusty atlas. the library thinks its time to close, but we are on a train, on our way to denmark to see a pig

G, to another kid at the playground: “That’s my mom and dad over there, and they both love me and I both love them.”

“it’s a good day for dancing”

invincible yoga girl

it took some doing, but she finally climbed up on that boulder – then she stood up and started in on yoga poses ‪#‎invincible

Very angry little girl in time out: I’m just going to take a sharp saw and cut off my room from the rest of the house and sail away.
apparently she likes to travel in style: with dress-up clothes, fancy bed, and toys.


I told her about Get Smart, and the shoe phone…

G: what does BFF mean?
Me: that means Best Friends Forever
G: like you and me?

picnic -2

my girl packed us a picnic

G, clinging to my back: “Can you turn your head around and look at me?”
Me: “no, my head only goes side to side, it doesn’t go to the back”
G, grabbing head: “I can fix that”
Just one of the many things that my kid says that would totally creep me out if it was anyone else

G: I would be happy to trade my computer for your computer
Me: my computer isn’t working very well right now.
G: Then I will trade this lego figure for your computer

G: close your eyes and I will sing you a lullaby so you can sleep better tonight
Me: awww, that’s sweet
G: ♫ Old McDonald Had a Farm… ♩ ♬


For the love of books


waiting for the library to open

waiting for the library to open

riveted | CoffeeJitters.Net


G: I want to give these books to other kids who don’t have any books.
Me: That’s a very nice thing to do.
G: Well, these books are bad
Me: why are they bad?
G: Well it’s not nice to hop on people, its not nice to mess up people’s houses, and kids should never cross the street without holding a grownup’s hand

G picked up an English/Russian dictionary and tried to read it. After a few frustrated minutes, she throws it down, stomps away, and pouts with her arms folded across her chest…
I ask her about it…
G: “that book is for a different day”


attempts reading while walking. at least mom was there to pay attention to boring details like stairs

“when you learn about light, that’s called light reading”

G just told me she is writing a book. The title: The world of make believe is real… ly cool


People just don’t measure up to animals

G, reading a book about different kinds of birds: “not all birds lay eggs”
Me: “sure they do, all different kinds of birds lay eggs”
G: “the boys don’t”


Awwwww. it’s a cute little baby butterfly

the kid is campaigning for a pet at our new place, so I asked her what kind of pet she wants
me: do you want a pet rhinoceros?
G: no that’s to big
me: how about a pet whale?
G: no that would splash too much and get everything wet
me: how about a pet orangutan?
G: no that would throw poop everywhere.
We’re running out of options here

pig farmer

you might think those look like toy trucks, but you’d be wrong. they’re pigs, and shes a pig farmer

“Butterfly to the rescue!”

rescuing worms | CoffeeJitters

rescuing worms from the sidewalk


The parenting books didn’t warn me about this

G: Why wont you make another baby so I can have a sister?
Me: my body has too much trouble making babies
G: you just need to practice more

G just informed us that the guards at her office called and they really need her to come in to work right now.
most creative attempt at getting out of bedtime yet

spider brush

I was enjoying G brushing my hair till Aaron walked by and suggested she use a real brush. Me: why? what is she using?

“Mommy, how do you spell body parts?”
– she was searching for something to watch on Netflix

“ok, mama, I’ll be good, but just to make you happy”

Me: tell you what, I will let you watch one tv show before you go have some quiet play time in your room
G: if you can decide to let me watch one show, you can decide to let me watch two

G, deadpan, to me: were you there when the Earth was still flat?

G: You’re not my real mom!
Me: Is that so? Who is?
G: Maleficent

G informed me that last night she had the best dream ever. she dreamed that she was Snow White. I asked her if she cooked and cleaned for the dwarves, and she said yes. I asked her if she was going to clean up her mess in the living room… “Mom! It was just a dream!”
Just trying to make her dreams come true

“I’m serious, Mom. I’m as serious as a first grader.”

“my little tooth is so excited to get out of my mouth”


 My little chef

G, at dinner: have you made this before?
me: yes
G: and you made it again anyway?

G: I want to make Daddy a cherry pie for his birthday
Me: I just bought ingredients for coconut cream pie, because it’s his favorite
G: I think Daddy wants cherry
Me: did you ask him
G: Daddy, do you want a surprise?

G: Mommy I’m going to watch over you forever
ME: that’s sweet
G: I’m going to watch to make sure you never make this food again

G: I’m so hungry I don’t care what you give me – except if you give me something I don’t like.

G, to me: When I grow up and have a restaurant, you can be one of my chefs
Me: what about Daddy?
G: he can clean and eat

ice cream

ice cream is deliciouser than ants on a log

G: when I grow up and have a restaurant it will have a special room with comfy chairs for sick people, and I will give them special tea to make them feel better, and daddy will play guitar.


The Fashionista

G: “I don’t even know who St. Patrick is. Why does he get to pick what color I wear?”
nothing bashful about the pink she’s wearing today


favorite mode of transportation: dancing

G, to Aaron: too bad you don’t have my glorious hair


oh how I love these outfits she puts together


 Ready for Kindergarten


she wanted to practice wearing her new backpack today so she would be ready for kindergarten

picnic | CoffeeJitters.Net

breakfast picnic: she wanted to test her new lunchbox to make sure it works. kindergarten countdown: 8 days

G: Every time I look outside, it’s still dark out
Me: Because it’s still night time
G: But how will I know when to wake up for school? I don’t think morning will ever come

Gem's first day of Kindergarten | CoffeeJitters

first day of kindergarten

end of first day of kindergarten

the end of the first day of kindergarten

dancing on the way to school | CoffeeJitters.Net

dancing on the way to school

Kindergarten school picture | CoffeeJitters

kindergarten school picture


I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next year.

Gem’s Gems 2013

Gem’s Gems 2012