Early finish (ouch!): Jan's racing season came to an unfortunate early end on August 20th. While racing for third place, Jan suddenly found himself approaching an orange rubber cone that had been knocked into the roadway. With another car next to his and only 1 to 2 seconds to act, Jan had no choice but to drive over the cone, which likely caused his car to lose contact with the road and spin. The other car then hit Jan's GT3 from the side. Although the damage to the second car was minimal, allowing the driver to continue the race, Jan's radiator was punctured, among other damage, requiring him to stop. Fortunately, he was unhurt and able to maneuver the car safely off the road and out of the way. Damage to the car is severe enough that there won't be time to have it repaired for another race this year. Jan is taking the setback surprisingly well: "It hurts most in the wallet," he says.
Sun, sand, and a baby tyrant: From August 7th to 13th, the family spent a week camping in the Chateau op Wielen. Our destination was the Oro Beach Resort on Lake Osoyoos in Eastern Washington, along the Washington/Canadian border. We also stayed for single nights at the Klipchuck campsite in the Okanogan National Forest near Winthrop en route to the lake and at the Tumwater campground in the Wenatchee National Forest near Leavenworth while traveling home. It was a very relaxing week (Amy had time to read three books), and we enjoyed the sun, sand, and water. Camping with an 18-month-old presented its challenges, however. We quickly learned that whenever Sofia was ready to lay down for a nap, we had to get everything out of the RV that we'd need for the next hour—because we couldn't go back in once she was asleep. And our bedtime and waking time were also dictated by Sofia's hours, which, unfortunately, were both too early. Night owl Jan called it "the tyranny of the baby." (For photos and Sofia's perspective on the trip, see Sofia's Album. Cameron has more photos in his Album.)
New wheels: A bit unexpectedly, on August 1st we bought a new car! It's a 2006 Hyundai Sonata, and we're very happy with it. We'd gone to the Hyundai dealership to check out deals on the 2005 Sonatas because Amy's Nissan Altima has nearly 90,000 miles on it—time to start worrying about maintenance problems and costs, although it is still running reliably and without trouble. As it turned out, the 2005 Sonata would have been a step down from the Altima... but the 2006 model has been greatly upgraded. And the combination of its features, the 100,000-mile warranty, and the price we were offered was too good to pass up. If it weren't for the fact that gasoline in Kirkland is up to $2.75 per gallon, Amy would love to simply spend all day driving around surrounded by that new car smell....
A bang-up good time: We were happy that David, Jeanne, and Nicolai Williamson visited us for the July 4th weekend. We caught up on news, watched old Star Wars movies, and visited downtown Bothell to experience a reenactment of Oregon pioneers' daily lives. Jeanne also taught Amy some valuable computer tricks—thanks, Jeanne!! July 4th itself was quiet, as the Williamsons had already headed home, but friends came over for a festive BBQ dinner on the deck in our unusually beautiful Independence Day weather. The neighborhood sounded like a war zone from about 10:00 to 10:45 PM, but Sofia peacefully slept through it all.
Sofia update—June: Sofia continued to average a new word a day through the month of June. Her new vocabulary included the English words juice, shoes, cereal, hippo, up, and rock; the Dutch words auto, vis, kaas, kikker, aap, olifant ("olie"), and buiten; the language-similar words ice/ijs, circle/cirkel, octopus ("oh-pus"), hello/hallo (pronounced "allo" as if she's French), and water ("wah-kah," which has some people believing that we're giving her vodka); the sounds for an owl, horse, bee, donkey, elephant, snake, lion, and bird; the ASL sign for airplane, and the sign for help, which is very, very useful. She also began to initiate peek-a-boo and say, "I see you," pronounced "iz-a-boo." After months of using the word "Mama" to denote not only Mommy but also Papa and Cameron, she finally began to call Papa by name. (Cameron, to his frustration, is still called "Mama.")
In June Sofia became increasingly affectionate, hugging and snuggling more and giving kisses both when asked and spontaneously. She began to show pride in "helping" Mommy and Papa, for example by putting her binkies away in a drawer after naps. Her imitation included holding a kleenex to her nose and pretending to blow and picking up a toy phone and saying, "Allo." She learned the concept of "circle" and points them out everywhere. Also in June we began to see mini-temper tantrums that we dubbed "tantrettes." These involved collapsing flat onto her back on the floor and crying loudly. To date, the most effective response has been to ignore them. (To view June photos, see Sofia's Album.)
Oh, to be a kid again: Cameron is planning another busy summer of fun. He'll attend a daytime tennis camp the week of June 27th in Kirkland. After a week at home and a trip to the Washington Coast, he'll travel daily to Bellevue for another week-long camp on band theory and improvisation organized by MusicWorks Northwest. Next, he'll fly to Idaho to visit relatives in Twin Falls for a week, after which he'll spend a week RV camping with his dad. After another week at home, he'll be camping for a week in the Chateau op Wielen, and then he'll enjoy five days of field trips—including his favorite summer place, Wild Waves—through a Boys & Girls Club day camp. After a final week of lazy days/school preparation, he'll begin school August 29th. If only we could all enjoy such a summer!
Seven years down, five more to go: Cameron finished 7th grade with distinction, having received straight A's on both semester report cards. He was also busy the last two months of the school year playing special performances with the Kamiakin Jazz Band. He is very relieved to have some vacation time!
Racing through summer: After a "warm-up" event in Auburn at the end of May, Jan participated in the Rose Cup in Portland, Ore., June 11th and 12th. Saturday's race was, unfortunately, rained out, but he was very pleased with his results from a second race on Sunday in which he finished 6th of 19. Although he is keeping this year's schedule to a minimum because Sofia is too young to attend, Jan hopes to participate in at least two other races in August and September.