Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When it Rains...

We have had a DRY summer. It's only rained a handful of times since April. That means Owen really has no idea what rain is or what do to with it. I, on the other hand, have started to miss the rain - especially that distinct smell that comes with a rain after a long dry spell. Ahhh...

This afternoon we had a special treat - the forecast predicted thunderstorms, the temperature was over 80, and the drops started falling as we pulled into the driveway. Dinner can wait. Off with the shoes and socks...

Feeling those first raindrops. The puddle is starting to form.

This kid does have Seattle in his genes - no demonstration needed for him to dive right in and stomp, stomp, stomp. Look how hard the rain is coming down in that puddle.

Five minutes later and soaking wet. Deep belly laughs from Owen and smiles of joy from mom.
How hard was it raining? This was the scene from our garage.

Yes, I was hanging out in there with them debating between running inside to change clothes or diving into those puddles with my work clothes and dress shoes. My self preservation won out and I stayed dry and just dashed inside to grab a big fluffy towel when Owen's teeth started chattering.

I'm so thankful for another mom from our daycare who invited us to the park a couple weeks ago after "school." Instead of taking her up on the offer, I raced us home and then stood there dumbfounded realizing we had missed a great opportunity for simple fun because I was so focused on our after work routine. Owen and I went to the park after school the next day, I told the other mom that we would be up for the park next time, and vowed to seek more opportunities for everyday wonder.

In the last two weeks, we've taken advantage of the 1/2 hour after work to visit the community garden to look at the fall harvest, check out the creepy crawlies at the pet store, swing at the park, and dig in the backyard dirt. All so much more fun that wandering around the living room waiting for mom to change clothes and make dinner. Plus, it's a much better way for mom to transition from work to evening play time. Hooray for seeing the world through a child's eyes!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Unfair Battle?

One of Owen's favorite activities remains wrestling with Cisco the Cat. Cisco remains somewhat intrigued by the menacing toddler who shrieks and laughs while following him around our living room. Cisco is also decently tolerant when he gets pushed to the ground and smothered with snot and slobber. However, it seems that Cisco is growing a bit leering of the whole interaction and it may have something to do with the growing weight difference...

Or the fact that Owen can now follow him into his old hiding places - like the dog bed. Cisco is still safe up on the arms of the couch, but I don't think that's going to last long.

It just doesn't seem like a fair fight...but it sure is fun to watch. =)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Over and Over and...

I think every parent has THAT TOY. The item that your child wants to play with over and over and over and over and... Owen has found his in this set of "touch and feel" farm cards.

Each card has a different texture - soft goose, prickly straw. Owen likes to take them in and out of the box and get me to read the names. It's a cool concept, but I finally hid the cards under a blanket last week. It was much more exciting for both of us when he found them again today.

The cards are a little puzzling for Scott and I. They have the standard animals (cow, duck, dog, pig, goat...) and other farm items (barn, scarecrow, tractor...) but we're wondering about this one:

Is COMBINE HARVESTER really an essential object to learn at 15 months?

The Earrings that Never Die

With a grabby toddler, my jewelry has been reduced to stud earrings - no necklaces, no hoops, no bracelets. Thankfully, I have a great pair of stud earrings that Carole got for me in Ireland - they have been a wardrobe staple for almost a decade. These earrings will not die. I've lost the backs more times than I can count. At one point, I lost one of the earrings and figured I had to start a quest for a new "favorite pair." Good thing I was too lazy to throw out the other one because the lost earring showed up in the bottom of my sock drawer WEEKS later.

The earrings worked their magic again at the Husky Game in Eugene. While I was out walking the concourse with Owen, he managed to yank one off my ear. I hunted the ground, but decided it was a loss. We walked a few more laps around the stadium, spent another quarter cheering in the stands, walked 45 minutes back to our car, drove the hour to our hotel, unloaded, changed clothes, and then Scott stepped on the missing earring while climbing into bed. It must have been caught in my hoody for all that time...amazing!

These are winners!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Missing Pics - August

Here are a couple pictures from our summer adventures.

Our first "real" hike in August along the Metolious near Camp Sherman. We hiked along the river to the fish hatchery. Owen managed a nap on the way back, but we need to rig up a contraption to keep his head from bobbing all over the place. He slept fine, but we felt bad...

A couple pics from our trip to the beach. Owen would have run all the way to China if we would have let him and he loved chasing the birds all over the beach. Bye mom! I'll be back later...maybe.

We're definitley having our last week of summer here in Bend - 95 yesterday, 85+ today with thunderstorms and then down in the 70s over the weekend. After 3 years of living here, we know that we have to take advantage when the weather turns from Summer HOT to autumn mild. We usually only get 3-4 weeks in the glorious 70s and sunny before the cold rolls in. By Halloween, it's usually time to break out the snow jackets! Here's hoping for lots of time outside in September and October!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thanks for all the great comments on my political post. For the record, that post started much more fired up, but I let it sit for a few days, massaged it a bit, and this is the result. I think it really helped to get my brain around the reasons I vote the way I do to write it all down. I would encourage anyone to take the time to do the same. Even if you don't post it on your blog... just know why you vote the way you do. We are so privlidged with the right to vote. Let's not take it for granted. Be educated.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Television Debut

This week, we kicked-off the annual United Way fund raising campaign for Deschutes County. I've been involved with United Way for many years, and now sit on Board of Directors and the Community Impact Committee. Our committe has the awesome responsiblity of deciding where the donations go each year. It's challenging because there are so many needs and never enough money, but we know every dollar helps. I love it!

This year, Owen and I were asked to participate in the media materials for the campaign. Our theme is "Live United" which encourages people to think about the little and big ways they can give of themselves throughout the year to better our community and help those in need.

Here's the link to the video that has started running on local TV:

And here are a couple of our still shots that may be used in brochures and other print materials. The second one takes up almost a whole page in one of the brochures. Yikes!

Give, Advocate, Volunteer
Live United

The Inevitable

Well, you had to guess this was coming. I know this blog is supposed to be about keeping friends and family up to date on Owen and our response as parents, but…who’s NOT talking about the presidential race these days? And I, for one, have never been shy about expressing my political views, so I think it’s appropriate to publicly post on the topic that is (THANKFULLY) sweeping our country these days.

I’m prompted to post because I finally found someone who has put my political views into words. Through the blog of a friend of a friend, I followed a link to
this post from a gal I will call “Greta who gets it” because… she does. Here’s a snipit:
“It boils down to this:

Some changes and policies can, and should, be made on a federal scale.
Some can only occur during a heart-to-heart conversation.”

Bingo. That’s one big reason I take issue with the RNC. How can the Republican party supposedly stand for smaller government and less government control and then push to make such conservative values widespread LAW? Yes, my faith informs my politics, but it doesn’t dictate that I vote with the Christian right’s legalistic agenda.

In college, I stuck out in the greek system as one of those Christian girls that didn’t drink. Lots of guys and gals in our “little club” that took it upon themselves to blatantly oppose events with alcohol, distance themselves from those that drank, and preached their message of alcohol=bad wherever they went. Never saw anyone change their mind and stop drinking because of the guilt message, though... I did, on the other hand, people who were invited by respected friends to attend a bible study or worship service, explore faith on their own terms, made a decision to follow the Lord, and THEN changed behaviors based on their newly understood moral/ethical code. Those changes come from the heart, not from guilt or rules or fear.

All that to say that I don’t think we’re going to legislate morality into our society. I think it’s government’s job to take care of government issues and it’s OUR job (if we are the church) to build relationships, invite others to meet Jesus for themselves, and let HIM lead them into making faithful, life-giving choices.

I encourage you to read Greta’s whole post (she writes much better than I do), but here is the part that made me say, YES! These are the words I have needed so long:
“I don't think some decisions can be made by a far off government; some decisions can only be made from personal relationships and interactions…. Issues like gay marriage for example, have become a non-issue for me, because what governmental decree is actually going to keep two people from falling in love with one another….
The issues that, to me, make sense to decide on a national scale are things like heath care, education, the environment, global relationships, the decision to go to war, and the economy. Those are all issues that I side with the Democrats on.

Thanks Greta. You said it better than I ever could. Here’s my best attempt…

I’m liberal because I believe government should help people that are hurting. I think those that have a lot should share with those that have little (that whole “from those who much is given, much is required” deal). I believe the best way to improve our economy is to keep people working, give them the dignity that comes with work, and help them out when those jobs aren’t paying enough to meet their basic needs.

I’m liberal because I believe government should protect our natural environment even if it might hurt some businesses along the way. I believe we are a resourceful people and can find solutions to make those businesses successful within the new constraints. I’m liberal because I believe we all have to make sacrifices to get this country where it needs to be. We can’t just “DRILL BABY DRILL” hoping that a slight increase in fuel supply will solve our energy problems forever. I believe in the long term view. That we have to do what’s right by our children and their children’s children, not just what’s best for me…this minute…today. I’m liberal because I think poor people should pay less taxes and rich people and big corporations should pay more.

Oh, and according to Mitt Romney, I’m crazy liberal because I think the people locked in Guantanamo have rights and deserve a trial to see if they’re a credible threat. Yes, I really believe that “all men are created equal” means… all men are created equal! (Though at this point, anyone locked up unjustly for the last 5 years is probably pretty mad at the United States by now even if they weren’t to begin with. Nice work!)

I won’t even mention the war that we got into based on a series of lies, the need for health care reform, the economy that’s in the tank (how’s that stimulus check working out now?), the way America has lost respect around the world, the national debt, etc, etc, etc. Can you imagine how much more money we could put into our schools if we weren’t paying for a war (or two) right now?

So, big shocker – I’m voting for Obama. I hope you will, too.

P.S. I voted for Hilary in the primary and the thought of having a woman president still sends chills up my spine. I believe it will happen one day and that woman will kick-ass. However, I do not, under any circumstance, believe that Sarah Palin is the woman for the job. I’m pretty insulted that McCain seems to think Hilary supporters will vote for him because he picked a woman. Not. Even. Close.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Labor Day Adventures

Here's the recap of our weekend in Eugene/Portland. We had a great time!

Owen did super well at his first big football game. We were amazed that he stayed pretty happy during the game (some thanks to the binky...), but we were stunned that he never fell asleep! Not until the walk back to the car at 10:30. Crazy! He also started to get the clapping and cheering thing figured out. Of course, he mimicked the crowd in general, so was pretty consistently clapping for the Ducks. Oops!

I've always said I had no desire to go see a football game in Eugene because of the terrible reputation of UofO fans. But when you're offered free tickets... off we went! Unfortunately, the fans in Eugene did not disappoint. Lowlights included:
- Dozens of fans screaming "GO DUCKS!" within inches of our face as we made our way around the stadium to find our tailgate. I think joking with us that we're "raising our kid wrong" because he's wearing purple is good natured fun, but the personal space invasions get old after the 10th, 11th, 12th, 39th time...
- The classy college student wearing a green/gold t-shirt that read "Ted Bundy was a Husky." Lovely. Same college student also offered us dog biscuits after Duck touchdowns.

Yes, the vast majority of the fans were plesant and friendly (including our friends, tailgate hosts, and tolerant people in the seats in front of us), but those few bad apples kind of ruin it for everyone.

Owen did fine at the hotel and we headed to Portland on Sunday morning. Our first stop was the Oregon Zoo. I think Woodland Park is better and San Diego is phenomenal, but the Oregon Zoo did not disappoint. Owen loved, loved, loved it! He would have spent 3 hours in the little petting barn, so to see the fish, otters, turtles apes, polor bears, birds, giraffes, zebras...wow! I don't think Owen even realized it was raining. (His parents who left their jackets in the car did!) We also kind of lucked out that it was the first day people could see the new baby elephant. We didn't wait in the line (I bet he looks like this), but it kept the rest of the zoo mellow.

Can you see the fish in this photo?

Mom, do you see? I'm touching it!

The apes need more space to run around, but it looks like they're remodeling their area.

The rest of the weekend was Portland exploration. We did a little "tour of neighborhoods" while Owen took a nap in the car; wandered around the art fair in the Pearl District; watched a pay-per-view movie after Owen crashed after his second LONG day; enjoied a great, toddler friendly coffee shop; and... visited Ikea! That's an adventure all to itself.

Overall, it was a great weekend. One personal success was that Owen pretty much ate food that we found along the way. I had packed a bunch of toddler meals for "emergencies" if we couldn't find
restaurant food for him, but didn't have to break them out AT ALL*. A little victory that gives me a boost of confidence for future outings.

*Okay, so we did have to be pretty selective: 45 minute wait for the brewery...no. Quiet noodle bar where we can have a section of the seating area to ourselves and let Owen run around the tables...yes.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I've had a lot of people ask, so I wanted to post a quick update while I try and find the time to download photos and truely write about our Labor Day weekend.

Owen was AWESOME at the Husky Game. We (and everyone sitting around us) were very impressed with him. We were not impressed with the fans in Eugene who lived up to their reputation as poor hosts for visiting fans. Of course, the folks at our tailgate were more than generous, but there are enough "bad apples" in the bunch to give UofO their bad reputation.

We had a great weekend in Portland exploring the Zoo, downtown art fair, and visiting Ikea! Owen was a real trooper through the whole thing, especially coming off such a late night at the game. Pictures and stories to come!