March Madness – Happy Birthday Jackie and Happy St. Paddy’s Day

100_0944 March Madness – something to do with college basketball and it gets a lot of coverage on the TV and radio – for now I can’t make head or tail of how it works as I’ve been finding with most college sport.  Spring training is also happening in the baseball world and my understanding of this is that all the baseball teams set up in sunnier climes (M’s are in Arizona) and train and play pre-season games and eventually cut their squads down to the allowable numbers just before the real season kicks off at the end of the month.

Anyway, none of this has anything to do with what we’ve been up to apart from covering some of my televisual activity.  As you can see from the pic Lauren had a couple of sessions with Penny the pony in her Pre-school Pony Pal class that was happening in a nearby park.  She was a bit nervous on the first day but she still took to it like a natural.  She helped to brush the pony and clean her hooves and then helped to saddle her and we all went for a gentle ride through the trees.  2 notes here – the local parks are amazing – there are 5 different parks within 10 minutes of the house in every direction and they are all beautifully kept and equipped with immaculate playground stuff and sports fields/pitches/courts.  Not an empty cider can nor a vandalized basketball hoop in sight.  The second thing is that the local cities put on a lot of activities for kids at a very reasonable cost.  They send out a brochure with all the stuff they have going on and you just sign up online.  It’s all good.

100_0977 We had a great day in the snow recently up in Snoqualmie.  I headed up early for some boarding and Jackie and the kids followed me up later for some Tubing.  Kids had great fun on the Tube slopes and we had hot-dogs by the cozy fire.  It was a glorious day – my first March suntan in a while.

Later that week it was Jackie’s birthday – we used our first ever non-family babysitter (lovely girl who works at the Pro-Club) and we got out for a nice meal in DC’s Steakhouse which is about a 5 minute walk from the house.  After polishing off a tasty creme-brulee and 3 gold-fish bowls of wine Jackie finally started to accept the reality of the ageing process.

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100_1022 Jackie and Harry have been going to Gymboree on Mondays while Lauren is in pre-school and he’s loving that bit of quality time with his mammy!  Lauren was the star of the show in her class on Paddy’s Day – when I dropped her off they were reading some Paddy’s Day stories – all the kids were wearing green and they had a visit from some Leprechauns.  We were in the Seattle Center on the Sunday before Paddy’s and there was Irish dancing going on and the Seattle Gaels were signing people up for their GAA teams.  I had a couple of scoops in T.S. McHugh’s in Queen Anne on Saturday night but I was a little sober compared to the others who had been at (or more correctly in) the parade earlier that day.  Our local Safeway had a display set up for Paddy’s Day consisting of a huge cardboard pint of Guinness, a fridge half-full of same + some harp and the other half was full of cabbages and corned beef for the Paddy’s Day dinner.  We got a pizza.  See y’all next time.  Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh!

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