Todd is Four (Month 12)

Todd at ~5 years old – August 17, 2019

AGE 4 (MONTH 12)
JUL 21 – AUG 20 (2019)


  • “Brave kids are averse to Thanos”
  • “You’re correct, mama/dada”
  • “Am I correct?”
  • “Get!”
  • “Break it off!” (he says this instead of ‘knock it off’)
  • “But what the hell is this? What the heck does this do, or what?” (while picking up a flash drive)
  • “I’m not Mr. Lebowski, you’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude, so that’s what you call me” (he recited lines from The Big Lebowski movie trailer playing at the beginning of a Pink Panther DVD)
  • Eric asked, “What kind of logic is that?” & Todd said, “That’s not a word to say”

Todd was a chatterbox talking about his shark toy and about taking it to the pool on 8/4. He was non-stop for at least half an hour before I decided to it write down:

  • “I think the Great White shark is going to be alive in our pool. I like this GW shark because it’s pretty grey. And we have to be careful of this guy. See, I really, really think he’s going to be alive in our pool. He’s gonna bit your hands. He bitted your mouth. He bitted all of you. Now you’re in his mouth. He ate all of me. He ate all of dada. I’m just kidding. Look at his tail, look. This is really, really going to be alive in our pool, and it will swim on its own and it will open its mouth and close it. Look at the dorsal fin. Let’s see if it sinks or floats. Okay? I think he will sink. How many gills does this GW shark have? I think this is gonna sink. I’m gonna throw him into the deep end and see if he likes it. And let’s dry him off, too, from when we’re getting out of the pool. And look, this is a big one, but not as big as the pool. The pool is bigger than this GW shark. Our pool is huge. Look how big this guy is! Look, look at his tail. This guy is so freaky, from he just bites. Sometimes when he bites it’s really freaky. Right now he’s just watching you guys doing something. He’s pretty big. And this is my idea to put a GW shark in the pool and watch for it. We really have to be careful, mama. So I will be careful, so just chance me.”
Mixed up shark – August 12, 2019


  • In the Sharks library book, he likes the page with the ‘mixed up shark’ (above)
  • Building marble run, playing beanbag toss game, playing a game with chess pieces/board
  • Building Legos & putting together lots of mixed up figures with weapons/accessories
  • Fighting with his Hulk figures in slow motion
  • Pretending he’s a cat named ‘Lizzy’ by crawling, jumping on the couch & trying to lick my face (he started doing this after our trip to Ocean Shores)
  • He says he’s going to be a scuba diver from when he gets bigger
  • He is better than me at Hill Climb Racer now! He likes to take screenshots
  • He said:
    • “I didn’t appreciate from when you took it out of her hand” (talking about a Lego figure)
    • “I got the wrong vehicle” & “I need a new vehicle” (playing Hill Climb Racer)
    • “If you watch me you will be a fan of Neon” (playing Hill Climb Racer)
Screenshot from the Hill Climb Racer game- August 18, 2019


  • Open gym (3x)
  • He was able to do a full row of monkey bars! (8/5)
  • He was able to grasp the bar & hook his legs on the bar; once he flipped all the way around (8/5)
First attempt: Todd almost completed two bars
Second attempt: Todd completed the full row of bars
Third attempt: Todd almost completed two bars again


  • Eric & Todd went to the pump track while I mountain biked (8/4)
  • Swinging at the park & throwing rocks in the river
Cashmere pump track – August 4, 2019
August 4, 2019
August 4, 2019


  • Play date with Lyndsay/Wyatt/Zeke after open gym (7/29)
  • TEAMS Learning Center (5x)
  • Puddle jumping on a very rainy morning (8/9)
  • Library (1x); getting new books & looking at the fish
Puddle jumping – August 9, 2019


  • See post, “Trip to Ocean Shores (July 2019)
  • We drove to there 7/24 & drove home 7/28 (stayed 4 nights)
  • Activities:
    • BoomShaka trampoline park (7/24, 7/28) [See post]
    • Grammie’s house: Building trains at Grammie’s house, playing Hill Climb Racer, loving on the cat (Misty), tearing apart & rebuilding the Lego Jr. fire set, watching American Ninja show then practicing ‘moves’ before bed
    • Grammie’s beach: flying the kite, playing in the water, walking in tide pools
    • Riding on Globber scooter (7/25)
    • Coastal Interpretive Center & Matthew McGee Nature Trail (7/26)
    • Damon Point Beach (7/26)
    • Swimming @ the Ocean Shore Community Club, Cabana Park pool (7/26, 7/27); Todd’s first jump off a diving board! [See post]
  • He got 2 answers on Jeopardy correct (“Great White” & “Thresher Shark”)
  • He slept on the inflatable bed & said it was ‘cozy’ (during past visits he slept in the travel tent)
  • He loved the ‘sandwich cookies’ (Trader Joe’s Neapolitan Joe Joe)
  • Dining out: Carl’s Jr (7/24), Los IV Hermanos (7/27), Pho and Baguette (7/28)
Todd & Eric at Ocean Shores – July 27, 2019


  • Icicle Gorge Loop (8/11); 4.4 miles
  • See post, “Hiking: Icicle Gorge Loop (8/11/19)
  • Highlights were: throwing bread in the water, seeing fishes/water snake/Northern Alligator lizard; throwing rocks in the creek, sitting with Todd on the same log that I sat on when I was pregnant with him
Elisa & Todd on the Icicle Gorge Loop trail – August 11, 2019


  • We drove there 8/14 & drove home 8/18 (stayed 4 nights)
  • See posts, “Part 1: Trip to Bend (August 2019)” and “Part 2: Trip to Bend (August 2019)
  • Activities: Lego building (Old Fishing Store set), playing at the park, mountain biking, floating the Deschutes River, discovering tadpoles/frogs/fish/snakes at Todd Lake, going on the waterslide & diving board at Juniper Swim and Fitness Center, ‘catching fish’ at Discovery Park
  • Birthday party for Eli & Todd (8/17); we had vegan burgers, cupcakes & ice cream
  • 5th birthday presents:
    • Nana & Grampy: Lego Batman Mech vs. Poison Ivy Mech
    • Grandma & Grandpa: Lego creator Deep Sea Creatures, Shark Bite game, Megalodon monster truck, Shark/diver/cage toy set
    • Elisa/Eric & Karin’s family: Lego Welcome to Apocalypseburg, small bagged figure
  • Dining out: Burgerville (8/14, 8/18); Pacific Pizza & Brew (8/15); Bonta (8/15); Baskin & Robbins (8/16)
Todd holds a tadpole at Todd Lake – August 16, 2019
Birthday boys: Eli & Todd – August 17, 2019


  • This was part of our trip to Bend (see above)
  • After we got home, he said, “Next time from when we go on the river, we have to go much, much farther, so we can go to South America”
Elisa, Todd & Eric floating the Deschutes River – August 15, 2019
Elisa & Todd floating the Deschutes River – August 15, 2019
Todd floating the Deschutes River – August 15, 2019


  • Swimming at condo pool (12x)
  • He spontaneously decided to try diving from the top step of the ladder in the deep end (See the videos here: “Water Play (July/August 2019)“)
  • Friends Charlene/Henry joined us 1x
Todd dive sequence – August 1, 2019
Todd dive sequence – August 1, 2019


  • We went to Slidewaters 3x
  • See post, “Water Play (July/August 2019)
  • 7/23: Todd rode behind me on #1 big slide twice, then went by himself for the first time!
  • 8/2: Todd went by himself on all big slides #1 through #4. He liked #2 & #3 the best because of the tunnels; in the pool he practiced making a shark fin by floating prone & placing hands with palms together over his head
  • 8/7: He likes to climb up through the hole in the lazy river inner tube (requires effort but he can do it)
Goggled up and ready for more! – July 23, 2019


  • We convinced Todd to get his hair cut by motivating him with a small Lego set that he saw at Fred Meyer. First, Eric buzzed his own hair then he used his clippers on length #6 for Todd.
After the haircut – August 12, 2019
New haircuts & new Lego – August 12, 2019
Eric & Todd – August 12, 2019


  • He ate carrot stick & avocado slice when motivated by a ‘sandwich cookie’
  • He likes grilled cheez sandwiches made with Daiya shreds
  • Dining out: Munchen Haus (8/11) after hiking; Froyo (8/12)
  • Eric: “Will you eat some sweet potato?”…Todd: “No”…Eric: “I thought you were going to be 5 tomorrow”…Todd: “I’ll still be 5 even if I don’t eat sweet potato”
August 18, 2019


  • When he brushes teeth, he takes pretend phone calls [Example: “Hi Boones. I’m getting ready for bed. Are you brushing your teeth? Yeah. Dada already went to bed. Is Jason in bed? Oh!”]
  • Most nights he wakes up in the night, then goes to sleep with Eric (he says he gets afraid when he’s alone)
  • Couch nap (8/7; after a short day at Slidewaters)
  • We met his Kindergarten teacher (8/13)
  • He is afraid to ride his peddle bike with training wheels!

Part 2: Trip to Bend (August 2019)

AUG 14 – AUG 18 (2019)

See “Part 1: Trip to Bend (August 2019)” for the first part of this post.


At mid-day, we went to Todd Lake for the first time. Grandpa, Karin, Ashley and Eli joined us.

Todd with Cousin Eli – August 16, 2019

The sign says,

“Todd Lake was named for central Oregon pioneer John Y. Todd. In 1860 he built Sherars Bridge, the first structure to span the Deschutes River. Todd Lake is nestled in an ancient dacite volcano that was last scoured by glaciers 18,000 years ago. The receding glaciers left behind a rock basin holding Todd Lake which covers 33 acres to a depth of 60 feet. The lake’s outlet disappears into permeable volcanic terrain about two miles southwest of here. Introduced Eastern Brook trout now support a popular sport fishery in this once fishless lake.”

August 16, 2019

As soon as the trail met the water, Todd was looking for fish to catch with his net. He pretty quickly caught a tadpole and examined it in his net before releasing it.

Todds with tadpole – August 16, 2019
Eric & Todd on the trail beside Todd Lake – August 16, 2019
Todd Lake – August 16, 2019

At the next little brook crossing, Eli found a full grown frog, but Todd wanted his chance to catch it with his net.

Todd Lake – August 16, 2019

There were masses of tadpoles at the end of the lake.

Tadpoles / Baby frogs – August 16, 2019
Todd Lake – August 16, 2019
Todd Lake – August 16, 2019
Mountain view from Todd Lake – August 16, 2019
August 16, 2019

Eli had the opportunity to hold a snake.

Eli with a snake – August 16, 2019
Heading back – August 16, 2019
View of Mt Bachelor – August 16, 2019

After our excursion at the lake, Eric rode his mountain bike to my parents’ house from the Swampy Sno-Park, while the rest of us had ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, (because I’d heard that B-R now has a vegan ice cream made from almonds).

Todd had scoops of ‘Raspberry Sorbet’ and ‘Watermelon Splash Ice’. I had the non-dairy and vegan ‘Chocolate Extreme’ ice cream (the Bend location didn’t have the ‘Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough’ flavor yet).

Baskin & Robbins non-dairy ice cream – August 16, 2019

That evening, we gathered at Karin’s house for a spaghetti dinner. Todd actually tried some pasta shells with sauce…without being coaxed to do so! Todd mixed up Eli’s Lego figures while some of us played a card game. Eric snapped a good picture from their outdoor living space.

Sunset – August 16, 2019


Happy birthday to Eli! Todd slept in long! At mid-day, we went to the Juniper Swim and Fitness Center because Todd had never been on the waterslide there. The slide is short but fun and fast.

Todd on the slide at Juniper – August 17, 2019

After riding the slides, we went to the indoor pool, where Todd passed the swim test and jumped off the diving board a couple times. Mostly, though– he wanted to watch other jumpers and divers going off the low and high dives. They also had a rope swing.

In the afternoon/evening, we gathered at Karin’s house for a party to celebrate Eli’s 12th birthday and Todd’s 5th birthday. This included Nana and Grampy (Jason’s parents). Beforehand, Todd looked for fish in the pond/lake located across the street. We met two boys from Juneau (AK) who were catching/releasing fish, so Todd did, in fact, have the chance to hold a fish then release it back in the water.

I was able to coax Todd into the house with a promise of opening one of his birthday presents.

Lego Deep Sea Creatures set

We had veggie burgers for dinner, and Grandma brought homemade vegan chocolate cupcakes for dessert. Todd spent some time upstairs with Eli playing Xbox car racing and mountain biking games.

Todd with Nana, Grampy, and Eli – August 17, 2019
Nana, Grandma, Todd & Grandpa – August 17, 2019
Lucy & Todd – August 17, 2019
Karin & Eli – August 17, 2019

Todd’s biggest birthday present was waiting for him back at home, so I wrapped up the picture of it. He seemed a bit perplexed!

We sang to Eli and Todd.

Todd is never interested in cake/frosting, but he sure loves ‘ice cream’ (raspberry sorbet in this case!)

Todd eating raspberry sorbet – August 17, 2019

We snuck in a game of Shark Bite before going back to Grandma’s house for the night.

Grandma, Eli, Eric & Todd playing Shark Bite – August 17, 2019


We drove back home, and we had to stop at the Burgerville once again for lunch. This time, Eric had the Oregon Marionberry Bliss shake, and I tried the mint Oreo Bliss shake.

We’ve been spoiled by unseasonably clear skies this summer, thanks to the lack of forest fires. I couldn’t resist snapping a few more pictures of the scenery while crossing the Columbia River.

Mt Hood – August 18, 2019
August 18, 2019
Columbia River – August 18, 2019

THE END…of a great trip!

Part 1: Trip to Bend (August 2019)

AUG 14 – AUG 18 (2019)

This will be a two-part post so that it doesn’t get too long. Part 1 includes August 14 through 15, and Part 2 includes August 16 through 18.


We drove from Wenatchee, WA to Bend, OR, and travelled via The Dalles, so that we could stop at the Burgerville for lunch…because…BLISS SHAKES! {As in, Coconut Bliss!} Eric tried the mocha flavor and I tried the Oregon Marionberry flavor. YUM! You can get other flavors, too (They had an impressive adzuki bean burger as well– just hold the cheese and mayo). The onion rings are immense!

August 14, 2019
Burgerville – August 14, 2019
Bliss shakes at Burgerville – August 14, 2019

In the car, Todd started singing along to Paul McCartney’s ‘Band on the Run’ song. During our trip, he got better and better, and also sang to ‘Jet’.

After arriving at my parents’ house, Todd was excited to start building the Old Fishing Store Lego set that they’d broken down for him into numbered bags.

Grandma made a homemade vegan mac ‘n cheez dinner that Todd actually ate! My sister (Karin) and her family came over to visit, and we all went to the park.

Grandma & Todd at the park – August 14, 2019


In the morning, Eric, Karin, Ashley and I went on a 21 mile mountain bike ride…

Elisa – August 15, 2019
Ashley – August 15, 2019
Karin – August 15, 2019

Next up…floating the Deschutes River. This was a lot of fun!

[When we woke up in the morning, Todd said this was a special day for us because we were going to take a boat to South America. And– this coincided perfectly with our plans to float the river in the afternoon. The back story is that we’d been reading library books about apex predators of the Amazon rainforest. I’d explained to Todd that you’d take either an airplane or a boat it you wanted to go there. Then– after we got home from this trip to Bend Todd said, “Next time from when we go on the river, we have to go much, much farther, so we can go to South America.”]

Todd all geared up – August 15, 2019

Todd wanted to swim in the river so badly that it took all of his self-control not to get in (and I refused to allow it!). Since the current is very gentle, Eli and I helped propel our group along at various slow points. It’s shallow in places, so Eli even stood up and pushed the tubes.

Todd, Elisa & Eric – August 15, 2019
Auntie Karin, Grandpa & Cousin Eli
Cousin Eli – August 15, 2019
Cousin Ashley & Grandma – August 15, 2019

Todd really loved the rapids! Grandma got a movie going through that section.

Grandma’s video of the rapids – August 15, 2019
Todd floating the Deschutes River – August 15, 2019
Elisa & Eric – August 15, 2019
Grandpa – August 15, 2019
Grandma – August 15, 2019

After floating the river, we all went out for dinner at Pacific Pizza and Brew (Uncle Jason joined us at that point).

Todd & Eric at Pacific Pizza & Brew – August 15, 2019

Karin suggested Bonta Natural Artisan Gelato for dessert, and I wasn’t about to protest that! Even though it was past 9 PM, the line was still out the door! I had the (non-dairy) coconut lime and chocolate coconut flavors. The best!!


Water Play (July/August 2019)

AGE 4 (MONTH 12)
JUL 23 – AUG 7 (2019)


Todd rode behind me on #1 big slide twice, then went by himself for the first time!

[We ‘got away with’ having Todd ride behind me those two times before the lifeguard said it wasn’t allowed. But– that’s all it took to give him the confidence to ride by himself! When he was behind me, I was able to slide ahead of him so he could feel what it was like to ride alone.]

Eric got a burst of pictures. Todd was using his arms to go faster.

Elisa on Blue Blaster & Todd waiting – July 23, 2019


Todd jumping off the diving board at the Ocean Shores Community Club pool…

Todd jumping off the diving board at the Ocean Shores Community Club pool – July 26, 2019


Jumping off the diving board at the Ocean Shores Community Club pool…

Elisa jumping off the diving board – July 27, 2019


Todd decided he wanted to practice diving from the top step of the ladder. Eric had him aim for the Hulk dive toy.


Todd went by himself on all big slides #1 through #4. He liked #2 & #3 the best because of the tunnels. In the pool, he practiced making a shark fin by floating prone and placing hands with palms together over his head.


He likes to climb up through the hole in the lazy river inner tube (requires effort but he can do it). This was a short day. He must have been tired because he fell asleep on the couch when we got home!

3:26 PM – August 7, 2019