A gift from the dentist


Sam had his first dental exam a few weeks ago. I don’t know why I was surprised, but he had no problem with strangers poking around in his mouth. the dentist and hygienist were great, and Sam even wanted to hold the hygienist’s hand on the way out. He left with all kinds of goodies, including an electric toothbrush and a toys r us gift card.
Today we finally took a trip to toys r us to use the gift card. Sam was excited to pick out a new toy. We thought we might get a car or some art supplies, but there happened to be a train table out and we couldn’t pull Sam away from it. This isn’t surprising to us. he loves to play with the train at our favorite coffee shop, and when he arrives at school every morning, he runs to pull out their Thomas train set. I wasn’t sure I wanted Sam to have his own set. I thought it might make the ones at the coffee shop and at school less special. They can also be really expensive. But we stood in the train aisle for a long time today and found a little set that was only a few dollars more than Sam’s gift card. We bought it and put it together during Sam’s nap. Now were anxiously waiting for him to wake up and play!

Dino Pancakes

Brachiosaurus Pancake

I decided a long time ago that I’m not a pancake person. It’s not that I don’t like to eat pancakes.  I just hate making them.  You have to stand over the stove watching them for a long time, and I always burn them or don’t cook them all the way through or make them look really ugly when I flip them.  Eventually I decided to stop trying.  At about the same time, Dave started making delicious belgian waffles.  We haven’t had waffles since our move because we still can’t locate our waffle iron.  Happily, I found a baked pancake recipe in one of the cookbooks I received for Christmas.  We tried it out, and they’re great!  Baking pancakes is SO much easier and faster!

This morning, Sam helped me make up a pan of pancakes (he did all of the stirring).  Once they were out of the oven, I used our dinosaur cookie cutter to make some dino-pancakes.  Sam was EXCITED!  Here’s what he said:

Dinosaur pancakes?

(picking one up) Sam!  Brach-y-saur!

The little guy was right!  The dinosaur cookie cutter is a brachiosaurus.


It’s Finally Springtime!

I may have mentioned before but for the longest time after coming here to Seattle, Emily and I continued to resent the sun’s intrusion on our cloudy haven. Sam’s arrival changed all that, though. Now we look forward to sunny weekends when we can spend the day out of the musty house and have loads of fun! Today was just such a day. After a week of dreary clouds and chilly rain, we are enjoying a beautifully balmy 65 degrees. Not only that, but this is the opening weekend of the Issaquah Farmers’ Market. Pictures follow!

Oh, many thanks to Mike & Natalie for the incredible Irish soccer outfit. As you can see, Sam loves it!

Easter in Issaquah

Yesterday was Easter. In the Castillo household, we chose to celebrate Sam’s first true Easter (first one that he’d recognize what was going on at least) in traditional fashion. On Saturday we met some friends at the park in the morning and then in the afternoon we had some other friends over and colored eggs. After the eggs were colored, Sam spent a bunch of time sticking the monster eyes and mouths that came with the kit. That was easily his favorite part!

Then yesterday we attended the community Easter Egg Hunt. It was put on by our church and located at the local elementary school where our church meets (and where Sam will eventually go to school). He met a giant walking teddy bear (who thoroughly creeped him out), played in the sand a bit, and ran around a playground structure that was entirely too old for him (and terrifying us in the process). The highlight of the day, though, was the Easter Bunny. Sam was taken the moment he saw the huge rodent. I can’t say why the bear was a source of distrust and suspicion where the bunny was enthralling – who knows what goes through the mind of a toddler – but he loved it. So, when they announced that the bunny was going to ride down the zipline, we thought that it would be fun for Sam to watch. Unfortunately things were not timed well though, and by the time we got to the egg hunt field, all the eggs had been found. We were very relieved when Sam picked up a couple discarded egg-halves, considered it a job well done and wandered off to play in the sand again. We finished out the day, figuring that Sam might enjoy having his picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Strangely, even though he liked the bunny from a distance, he wasn’t so thrilled with the experience of being put on the lap of a giant rodent and left there. Go figure.

All in all, we had a wonderful holiday!