Todd is Five (Month 11)

Todd at ~5 years, 11 months old – July 18, 2020

JUN 21 – JUL 20 (2020)


  • “I need a tutor to beat Act 3” (talking about the Hello Neighbor game)
  • “Luke is my favorite actor. I like his hair, for one.”
  • “I like cool songs. My brain has a vacuum in it and it sucks up cool songs. And it’s not sucking up this song.” (we were in the car & he asked me why I like ‘my’ songs)
  • “Mama, you’re the best girl I can count on”
  • “I’m glad I got to Act 3 on Hello Neighbor Xbox. I’m happy for myself”
  • Todd pronounces ‘woozy’ as ‘oozy’ when talking about knocking out bad guys on (XBox) Gang Beasts (waves)
  • Todd says “multiply” when he means “multi-task” (as in “I’ll multiply” or “You can multiply, mama”)
  • “Hey, look over there!” (he does a trick when he wants to sneak something away)
  • “My bad” or “That was my bad”
Todd keeping up on his table work! – July 14, 2020


Lucy & Todd – June 22, 2020


  • Movies: Shaun the Sheep (the movie), Moonraker, Star Wars movies (always!)
  • Shows: Star Trek, Floor is Lava, Masha and the Bear
  • Xbox: Playing Gang Beast; we got our 3rd controller on 7/3 so we could all play together
  • iPad games: Hello Neighbor (trying to pass Act 3), Minecraft
  • Eric set up a video station for Todd with the GoPro for making videos of him playing games
  • Todd & I play Minecraft in the same (creative) worlds
  • Eric worked with Todd playing the keyboard
Watching Star Trek – June 30, 2020


  • Shooting basketballs with the new hoop in our tennis court (2x)
  • Bunch o Balloons water balloon fights and spraying water with the hose (7/16, 7/19)
  • Walking along the canal trail (7/20)
Walking on the canal trail – July 20, 2020


  • Biking around our home (9x)
  • Biking in East Wenatchee (6/27)
  • Todd & Eric went to Horse Lake for Todd’s 1st ‘real’ mountain bike ride (7/12); Eric used a piece of theraband to assist Todd with the uphill; Todd said “That was an exceptional ride”
  • The 3 of us went to Horse Lake for a short family mtb ride (7/13); there was a small fire that we could see
  • See post, “Mountain Biking: Horse Lake (July 2020)
  • Elisa- mtb @ Squilchuck 8.96 miles / 5.04 mph (6/25)
  • Elisa- mtb @ Squilchuck 5.93 miles / 5.05 mph (7/3)
  • Elisa- mtb @ Squilchuck 6.54 miles / 5.42 mph (7/7)
  • Elisa- mtb @ Squilchuck 4.77 miles / 5/07 mph (7/11)
  • Elisa- mtb @ Squilchuck 5.62 miles / 5.22 mph (7/15)
Todd’s 1st mountain bike ride with his pedal bike – July 12, 2020
Eric & Todd at Horse Lake – July 13, 2020


  • Eric bought a new toy! It’s a 1989 Yamaha TW200
Eric went looking for the comet – July 15, 2020
July 18, 2020


  • Yay! The pool finally opened on 7/4 (this summer it’s only open to residents & there’s a 5 person limit in the pool area)
  • We swam 9x this month
  • On 7/8 Todd decided to practice his back kicking
Opening day – July 4, 2020


  • HUGE Milestone! Todd’s last “small boy Goppa” was 6/29! (small boy Goppa = using his Green Sprouts cups with silicone spouts). He finally decided he was ready to start working toward getting the Hello Neighbor Xbox game by drinking his Goppa out of his “Big Boy Goppas” for 15 days. He earned his prize on 7/17!
  • He loves cantaloupe & he readily eats broccoli
  • He loves having a combo of dry cereals (Rice/corn Chex, Special K, etc)
  • He loves Gardein Fishless Filets with London Pub malt vinegar
  • We started doing “Chipotle Mondays” and “Pizza Tuesday” for take out
Todd in Leavenworth – July 8, 2020


  • Todd slept in his tent on his bed (7/5-)
  • Sleepovers in Elisa’s room (6/25, 7/20)
  • Making our own Mr men books: Mr. Nice, Mr. Fat, Mr. Sad, Mr. Sun
  • We started a Scholastic Bookflix trial (7/13-7/29); Todd loved So You Want to be President?, The Great White Man-Eating Shark, Come On Rain, Goodnight Gorilla, and others
  • On 7/17 Eric & Todd made a plan to get up in the night to look for the comet as well as bats. Eric ending up turning off his alarm but Todd woke up Eric, saying, “I think it’s the middle of the night, now.” They walked outside & Todd said, “Dada, thank you for motivating me to do this.” When Elisa & Todd went outside at bedtime, Todd said, “I’m motivated of bats, not the freaking comet.”
  • On 7/18 Eric & Todd went outside to look for bats at bedtime
  • On 7/19 Elisa & Todd went outside to look for bats at bedtime

Mountain Biking: Horse Lake (July 2020)

JUL 12 – JUL 13 (2020)


Eric took Todd up to Horse Lake for Todd’s first mountain bike ride via pedal bike. (In the past, Todd biked Squilchuck with his balance bike.) Eric used a long piece of black Theraband as a climbing tether, and this was successful! At the end, Todd said, “That was an exceptional ride.”


The very next day, we all did a repeat of the short ride at Horse Lake. Fun!

Eric & Todd at the start – July 13, 2020
Eric & Todd – July 13, 2020
Todd at the ‘top’ – July 13, 2020
‘You are here’ – July 13, 2020

After descending via bikes to the parking lot, we headed up the hill on foot to the viewpoint, where we could see an active brush fire on Sunnyslope.

Eric looks down on the valley – July 13, 2020
Elisa with the parking lot visible in the background – July 13, 2020

Trip to Bend (June 2020)

AGE 5, MONTHS 10 & 11
JUN 19 – JUN 23 (2020)


We got out of the house as soon as we could get packed up (we always bring way too much stuff!). Along the way, we stopped to check out the sights at a geologically scenic viewpoint along the Columbia river.

Todd at a scenic viewpoint – June 19, 2020

In the car, Todd drew a double decker bus with lots of seats! We also drew other pictures with markers.

Car art – June 19, 2020

As always, we stayed at my parent’s house. My aunt Elaine was there. We hadn’t seen her in two years, so that was really special! 🙂 Oops, no pictures of her! 😦

Grandpa & Todd – June 19, 2020

We had a family gathering and dinner that evening at my sister’s house.

Todd with cousin Eli – June 19, 2020
Cousin Ashley – June 19, 2020
Jason – June 19, 2020
Eric – June 19, 2020
Todd & Eli – June 19, 2020
Karin (my sister) – June 19, 2020


Eric, Todd & Elisa – June 20, 2020

In the morning Elaine went home, and we had a lazy day hanging out at my sister’s house. Todd loved playing video games with his cousin Eli on the iPad and Xbox. This was the highlight of the trip for Todd!

At dinner time, Todd, once again did a great job eating Grandma’s (vegan) mac ‘n cheese, and he also liked his drinks of lime on the rocks! Grandpa and Todd watched Shaun the Sheep together on Tubi, then Grandma read Mr. books to Todd before bed.

Grandma & Todd reading before bed – June 20, 2020


Happy Father’s Day! During the trip, Todd slept on the couch. (I love taking sleep pictures of my baby!) When Todd woke up, we gave Eric his gift of a homemade card, Geology Rocks book and the Mr. book, My Daddy & Me. We presented Grandpa with his homemade card, too. (He would later receive a personalized beer glass with engraved birthdates of his 3 grandchildren, as his gift.)

Still sleeping – June 21, 2020

During the day, the whole family biked around Discovery Park for several laps. (This was Todd’s first time pedal biking in Bend!). Eric snapped some pictures of our group from the trail on the hill. We had lunch at my parent’s house, then hung out at my sister’s house once again.

Biking around Discovery Park – June 21, 2020
Todd & I are in the center of the picture, on the trail – June 21, 2020

In the evening we enjoyed the (breezy) fresh air at Discovery Park with take-out dinners…

Todd – June 21, 2020
Cousin Eli, Jason, Karin, Cousin Ashley – June 21, 2020
My parents & Todd – June 21, 2020
Eric & Elisa – June 21, 2020


June 22, 2020

Oh, boy…Eric passed a kidney stone in the night!

In the morning, we took a rare opportunity to go mountain biking together. This was a fabulous ride for me, and a ‘painfully good’ ride for Eric.

{Despite the pain over this day and the next, Eric never did pass another stone…as of July 10th…}

In the afternoon Todd hung out with Eli, and I hung out with Karin. Todd had fun playing with Lucy, too!

Lucy & Todd – June 22, 2020

Lucy & Todd – June 22, 2020

We went back to my parent’s house for dinner and bedtime. Out on the patio, Grandpa read Mr. Topsy Turvy to Todd.


June 23, 2020

We drove home, making a stop in The Dalles for a Bliss shake at Burgerville. Mmm! Back at home, we picked up some take-out from Chipotle. Todd loves eating the lime-flavored white rice, flour tortillas (plain), corn chips and apple juice.

Todd is Five (Month 10)

Todd at ~5 Years, 9 months old – May 29, 2020

MAY 21 – JUN 20 (2020)


  • Movie: Looney Tunes: Back in Action (he likes getting dressed & acting out scenes)
  • Todd loves his stuffed animal cats & her talks about wanting a cat
  • Eric & I like watching Nick Zentner’s live stream geology talks @ 6pm T-Th and 9am Sat/Sun
  • “Kid’s day” was 6/13: we set up our new family Xbox
  • Xbox game: Game Beast
  • Todd said:
    • “Come, on!”
    • “It’s your own dang fault”
    • he kept using the word “literally” (6/10)


  • Favorite game apps: Minecraft (MC), Hello Neighbor (HN)
  • Watching RonaldOMG (YouTube) play MC or HN while Todd plays MC or HN
  • He likes to pretend he’s making YouTube videos of himself playing video games (imitating RonaldOMG)
  • Todd said, “Geez, this is epic” (playing MC- he was finding a lot of things)


  • Playing in the sprinklers (5x)
  • Outside play / playing on the deck & riding his little trike
  • Visiting the resident cat, “Chloe”
Playing in the sprinkler – May 23, 2020
Playing in sprinklers – May 23, 2020
May 24, 2020
Goofy face – May 28, 2020
Todd with Chloe – June 2, 2020


  • U-pick strawberry picking at Annie’s (5/22)
  • Eric & Todd went to the Cashmere pump track & Eastmont park (6/16)
Picking strawberries at Annie’s – May 22, 2020


  • Mondays: New packet pick-up & “Pizza Monday” (getting Todd a personal pan pizza, sauce only)
  • Tuesdays: meetings with his teacher @ 10AM & small group @ 11AM
  • See video below for Todd’s line in the class kindergarten poem. Todd had “G is for great friends…”
  • Todd’s last week of school was 6/8 – 6/12
  • Kindergarten graduation (6/11) & I got him the Mr. Marvelous book
  • Last official day of school was 6/12 – new stuffed kitty from Safeway
  • See post, “Kindergarten Graduation 2020
Todd’s dream catcher – May 21, 2020
Todd’s kindergarten graduation – June 11, 2020


Hiking at Red Hill – May 23, 2020
Todd at Leavenworth Ski Hill – June 7, 2020
Todd playing with his figures at the viewpoint @ Leavenworth Ski Hill – June 7, 2020
Todd & Elisa on the Castle Rock trail – June 13, 2020


  • We biked around our home (10x)
  • We biked to St. Joe’s (2x)
  • Biking on the loop trail (E. Wenatchee section) & throwing rocks down by the river (2x)
  • We biked around Lincoln Rock SP then Todd played at Eastmont park (6/14)
  • Elisa- mtb @ Squilchuck 4.46 miles / 4.99 mph (5/25)
  • Elisa- mtb @ Squilchuck 6.97 miles / 5.14 mph (6/10)
Todd tries some flat trail riding – May 24, 2020
May 24, 2020
May 24, 2020
May 27, 2020
Elisa at Lincoln Rock SP – June 14, 2020
Eric & Todd biking at Lincoln Rock SP – June 14, 2020


  • We drove to Bend on 6/19 & returned home on 6/23
  • See the upcoming post, “Trip to Bend (June 2020)” (coming next month!)
Columbia River – June 19, 2020


  • Todd loves eating raw red pepper now!
  • Take-out: Burger King, Chipotle (3x)
Todd eating his nachos – May 22, 2020


  • Todd likes to make a different ‘fort’ on his bed each night to sleep under
  • He loves the “Mr.” books & we read 2 of them every night; he cracks up to Mr. Wrong
  • His before bed ‘game’ is typically playing with his Minecraft Lego scene
  • Another game is we both launch Hot Wheels toward each other on a portion of track & then act out ‘slow motion replays’ of them
  • Sleepovers in my room (5x)
  • On 6/10 he wanted to make some instructional videos like I was doing for my work in the school district

Hiking: Leavenworth Ski Hill (6/07/20)

JUN 7 (2020)

On this day– we hiked up the trail called, “4 the Boys” at Leavenworth Ski Hill. On the above map, starting from the parking lot, the trail appears red then blue. We turned around at the viewpoint located at the top of the yellow (Lower Rosy Boa) trail. From the viewpoint, we were lucky enough to see a long train sweep around the Chumstick valley.

Lizzy – June 7, 2020
June 7, 2020
June 7, 2020
Snake – June 7, 2020
Todd & Eric – June 7, 2020
June 7, 2020
Elisa & Eric – June 7, 2020
June 7, 2020
Looking down at Leavenworth – June 7, 2020
June 7, 2020
Eric & Todd – June 7, 2020
I liked this section of trail – June 7, 2020
Train in the valley – June 7, 2020
Elisa at the viewpoint – June 7, 2020
Todd with Hulk – June 7, 2020
Todd playing at the viewpoint – June 7, 2020
Elisa & Todd – June 7, 2020

Kindergarten Graduation 2020

Last written assignment – June 11, 2020

JUN 11 (2020)

Todd’s school arranged for an outdoor graduation ceremony with social distancing that was fairly short, but sweet! Each family had their designated areas, including a basket of kindergarten mementos and a balloon. It was really too bad that all of the kids couldn’t play together or talk to each other one last time, though!

Elisa & Todd – June 11, 2020
Todd & Elisa – June 11, 2020
June 11, 2020

Here are the videos, except the clip when Todd’s name was announced (and other students’ names). There were technical difficulties with the microphone on and off, which is why I started and stopped the videos.

Todd’s keepsake banner – June 11, 2020
June 11, 2020

All of the students in Todd’s class (and his teacher!) had a letter in the class poem to spell K-I-N-D-E-R-G-A-R-T-E-N. Todd’s letter was ‘G’. Note: The poem video is not mine.

Here’s the slideshow video from his class…(Note: it’s not my video)

Hiking: Red Hill (5/23/20)

MAY 23 (2020)

On this day, we drove to Cashmere, WA and parked at the trailhead for the Red Hill Trail #1223. The Green Trail map is Wenatchee / Mission Ridge / Devils Gulch, WA – NO 211S (note that our map is old, so possibly outdated).

There were a few parties of motorized traffic but otherwise fairly uncrowded for a holiday weekend Saturday. We made it about halfway to the first dot along the trail before turning around (this is hiking with a 5 year old). There were a few peek-a-boo views, but mostly this was a nice walk in the forest. [We did a mountain bike ride here years ago!]

Todd was focused on “creating a new world” during the hike, and it took me a little while to make the connection to playing Minecraft. Eric likes pointing out geological interests.

Todd hiking Red Hill – May 23, 2020
Eric & Todd – May 23, 2020
Indian paintbrush / Castilleja – May 23, 2020
May 23, 2020
May 23, 2020
Todd with Balsamroot – May 23, 2020
Elisa – May 23, 2020
Mushrooms – May 23, 2020
Todd showing off the local sandstone – May 23, 2020

Todd is Five (Month 9)

Todd at ~5 years, 9 months old – May 14, 2020

APR 21 – MAY 20 (2020)


  • “I’m not vegan on this game” (playing Minecraft)
  • “Hey! That’s my mama!” (when I went over to Eric on his couch to hug him)
  • “Bond will kill him, if I might ask” (he says ‘ask’ instead of ‘say’)
  • “Just go with it” (Todd called me ‘hon’ and told Eric that I’m Todd’s hon not Dada’s hon)


  • Favorite phone games: Scary Teacher, Hello Neighbor, Minecraft
  • Favorite books: Tyrannosaurus Wrecks & the Mr. books
  • Favorite online Scholastic book: Come on, Rain
  • Favorite YouTube: RonaldOMG, K-City Gaming
  • Favorite movies: Moonraker; He cracks up watching Jaws fly “like a chicken”
  • Rainy day: walking outside/puddles (4/22)
  • Playing with his small black stuffed kitty
  • Playing ‘zombie’ in the house
  • Eating dinner on the deck & making art on the deck
  • Making a cardboard ‘gingerbread house’ with pizza boxes & hot glue
  • Playing with the girls outside (4/27) & pretending to shoot bad guys with the umbrella (5/20)
  • He likes to play a game on the iPad while RonaldOMG is on the TV (so it’s like a friend is over & they are sharing an experience)
  • Humming the James Bond theme music a lot
  • Making his own ‘instructional video’ (since he saw me making videos for my work)
  • Watching Nick Zentzer (Geologist from CWU) on YouTube (Elisa/Eric)
  • Morning family walk before watching Nick (5/17)
May 14, 2020


Elisa & Eric @ Hungate Cyn – April 25, 2020
Hiking @ Hungate Cyn – April 25, 2020
Todd with his fuzzy friend – April 25, 2020


  • “Pizza Mondays” & picking up his new packet for the week
  • Tuesday video chats with his teacher & class
  • He did 52 sit ups for his PE fit test
  • Playing in the sprinkler during a break
  • Todd said, “That’s annoying. I’m finishing my work and I don’t want to get distracted.”
Todd’s bubble bee – April 30, 2020


  • Todd’s first time making it all the way to the top! (Elisa/Todd, 4/26)
Todd & Elisa on top of Castle Rock – April 26, 2020
Todd on top of Castle Rock – April 26, 2020
Todd gives the thumbs up! – April 26, 2020


Todd at Dry Gulch – April 29, 2020
Todd at Hay Canyon – May 2, 2020
Todd on the Lake Clara trail – May 9, 2020
Lake Clara – May 9, 2020


View of Saddle Rock – May 17, 2020
May 17, 2020
May 17, 2020


  • Todd tried a Tofutti Cutie & liked it
  • He’s back to eating Gardein Fishless Filets
  • Likes eating plain angel hair pasta
  • Take out: Chipotle (2x); Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas for Todd, Burger King Impossible burger; Blue Spoon (5/15)
Todd at the dentist – May 19, 2020
Todd’s top front teeth! – May 19, 2020
Todd’s bottom front teeth! – May 19, 2020


  • Todd wanted his hair in a pony tail
  • In the tub, he likes pouring cold water over his head repeatedly & laughing
  • Dentist appointment (5/19); first pictures, no cavities, bottom 2 teeth slightly wiggly. Afterward he was rewarded with a stuffed dinosaur.
Todd’s ponytail – May 14, 2020


  • ‘Sleepovers’ on the foam pads in my room (9x)
  • He woke up asking “When can we get a cat?” (5/9)
  • Todd frequently has dreams that he’s James Bond
  • Less interest in having his pillow blankets with him at night (more interested in stuffed pets)

Hiking: Dry Gulch (4/29/20)

APR 29 (2020)

Located in Wenatchee, WA– We parked at the trailhead for the Saddle Rock hike, but instead, opted for the less populated trail, Dry Gulch. This trail offers a side view of Saddle Rock, which is neat.

Toward the beginning of the hike, we saw a large snake…perhaps a Bull snake…(?)

Snake at Dry Gulch – August 29, 2020
Todd – April 29, 2020
View of Saddle Rock and the parking lot area – April 29, 2020
Todd & Elisa – April 29, 2020
Todd with his lightsaber – April 29, 2020
Eric – April 29, 2020

We stopped at a natural high point. This is the view if we’d continued on the trail. It appears to get a bit ‘airy’ but I’m not really sure! That’ll be for another time…

April 29, 2020
Looking across the valley – April 29, 2020

Todd insisted on a lightsaber fight before heading back down…

Todd & Eric fighting with lightsabers – April 29, 2020

Hiking: Lake Clara (5/09/20)

MAY 9 (2020)

This is a beautiful place with its trailhead located at the base of the Mission Ridge ski area. Todd geared up (to fight bad guys along the way), wearing his backpack, trooper mask, and medal. I posed him for his Kindergarten group picture like this first picture, but here’s the version of him while wearing the mask…

Lake Clara trailhead – May 9, 2020

On the trail, Todd paused to answer a “Facetime” call from his kitties at home…

“Facetime” with his kitties – May 9, 2020

We’d never done this hike in early May. Todd loved the feeling of post holing in the snow. He was wet by the end of the trip! I enjoyed seeing all the flowers blooming where the snow had already melted.

Hiking on snow – May 9, 2020
Glacier Lilies – May 9, 2020

This is always a favorite spot to stop and play. We pushed chunks of snow into the creek and watched them turn clear and then disappear.

Approaching the lake, Todd’s joy continued, plodding in the deep snow. And- I caught him on camera falling on his butt!

Todd falling down – May 9, 2020
Todd at Lake Clara – May 9, 2020
Eric & Elisa at Lake Clara – May 9, 2020