Monday, June 29, 2009

Portland Weekend

This was one of those weekends that totally snuck up on us, but when it was over, I kept saying "I'm SOOO glad we did that." I had reserved a night at McMenamin's Edgefield Lodge outside of Portland - it was supposed to be a "girls weekend" with Amy and Liz coming down from Seattle, but Liz's summer travel plans took her to Belize instead (yea, tough choice on that one!). Instead of cancel our reservation, we decided to make it a family weekend. I have a friend that has described Edgefield as "a grown-up playground," and she is totally right. It's an old Poor Farm and later nursing home that the McMenamin brothers have renovated in their signature style. It now has a hotel, winery, brewery, distillery, ice creamery, soaking pools, a spa, golf course, movie theater, a nice restaurant, and several other "food spots" tucked throughout the property. I've never stayed at a hotel where everyone is just milling around, chatting with other guest and generally just having FUN!

We put Owen down in our room, and then spent time out on one of the decks drinking beer (Scott), eating ice cream (me), and watching the sunset. Scott figured out that our monitor would even reach to the pool hall, but we never got that far. The best part? We were in an upstairs room of the lodge with just one TINY window, so it stayed totally dark and Owen slept in until 8:15 AM! Glorious. The second best part? Our room was only $99/night. Yes, it's a "European style" hotel, so you have to walk down the hall to a shared bathroom, but even that was pleasantly surprising. It's really just an area of each floor with 6-8 individual bathrooms grouped together (accommodating old plumbing), rather than the dormitory style bathrooms we were both expecting. Bottom line: try Edgefield if you're looking for a place to stay near Portland.

Anyway, we went to Portland with two purposes:
The Zoo

Our Ikea trip was successful in that we purchased a toddler bed, mattress, and matching dresser for Owen (and a couple new lamps for ourselves). The visit was also a the predictable headache that you would expect with a nearly two year old who had spent the last 3 hours in the car and then dragged through Ikea land for 2 hours. We survived, and I'm THRILLED with Owen's new furniture... just have to build it... and dismantle our guest room to make room for it... and... and... and... don't expect pictures for a few more months.

The zoo, on the other hand, was fabulous. Owen loved seeing all the animals, and we planned our route to hit the big stuff (elephants, bears, primates, etc) first and then had a wonderful encounter with the sea lions and otters on our way out the gate. We enjoyed our visit last September, this was even more exciting because Owen could run from exhibit to exhibit, name some of the animals, and provide his own commentary. Plus, after 2 1/2 hours, he was so exhausted, that he was asleep before we hit the freeway and snoozed for almost 2 hours of of our 4 hour drive home. And now, here are the zoo pics...

Outside the warty hogs ("Pigs!" yelled Owen):

Dancing on the concert lawn after lunch:
Helping to groom the goats:
Checking out the "striped horses"
Looking for giraffes (but all we could see were the gazels). Aparently a lot of the animals also need an afternoon nap.

Source of Silliness?

I'm wondering if Owen may get his silliness from my dad... What do you think?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Plan vs Reality

Saturday Morning Plan:
1. Breakfast, lounging, get Owen ready for the day
2. Purchase Father's Day gifts
3. Visit the Library
4. Grocery store for Father's Day food

Saturday Morning Reality:
1. Breakfast, lounging, get Owen ready for the day - Check
2. While loading Owen in the car, turn a 20 pound bag of cat food into this...

3. Spend an hour turning the above mess (not one smidgen managed to stay in the bag), into this...

4. Find exactly the gift we want, then feel swindled by the store, abandon the purchase, and leave nearly in tears (maybe some pregnancy hormones playing into that one).
5. Visit the Library - check!
6. Abandon grocery store visit, we're out of time
7. Lunch - one glass of juice on the floor (Owen), one larger glass of juice all over the kitchen table (me)

Boy, was I glad to get to naptime, so I could just sit on the couch and not risk messing anything else up. When Scott walked in the door, I asked for a RESET button on my day. Sometimes life is just like that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

We had a wonderfully low key Father's Day. Scott requested some "guy time" to get out Mountain Biking on Saturday and then we had a family day on Sunday. I got up with Owen and we made the made the coffee, started the breakfast scramble, and decorated cards for Scott. All the while, I was telling Owen we were being sneaky, which makes him scrunch is face up, wiggle his hands, and squeal "sneee-keee!" It's kind of evil genius, but so cute on a 2 year old.

Scott got to sleep in a bed and then be ambushed with the early morning picture (though he looks pretty good for just out of bed) while Owen helped him open cards and mountain biking gifts.

We puttered around our morning and then hit the Summer Sunday Concert in the park for some wonderful funk/soul music and wrestling on the lawn. We can't wait for the weather to be warmer, so we can bask in the sun (instead of bundling up against the wind) on these free family outings.

It was a great Family Father's Day and hard to imagine that this is only the second year for this holiday around our house. Owen is blessed to have such an involved, attentive Dad. The two of them light up when they are around each other. I'm blessed to have a partner that actively shares the parenting role every step of the way, from inventing the "super swaddle" for our colicky baby and absorbing gallons of spit-up in those early months to wrestling, working in the garage, and doing all things BOY with our active toddler. I love you, babe!

This picture is from our recent visit to Bend Airport Day, which deserves a post to itself, but I wanted to show off my two favorite guys..

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Friday Field Trips - Rock Garden

Our June Friday Field trip (a few weeks ago) was a visit to Petersen Rock Garden, which is a crazy oddity of a place. The whole area was constructed over 50 years ago by a guy that wanted to build something from all the various rocks he had collected throughout his life. It's only 10 minutes from Bend, but none of us had ever been before. The perfect outing. We were joined by some kiddos/moms from another Friday play group, and I think we had 10 or 11 moms with toddlers.

This place screams, "HE HAD TOO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS!" This is no rock display. It's a village of miniature buildings, walkways, and water features made from collected rocks. This picture doesn't do it justice. That statue in the back is probably 50 feet away, at the other end of this fortress of rocks.

The property is also teaming with friendly peacocks. The kids wanted to chase them at first, but weren't so excited when the peacocks returned the favor. Owen was pretty freaked out, but our other Owen-friend took to repeating the peacocks call around the park - they are LOUD. Here's two Owens checking out the birds:

Yet again, I found a field trip that put the kids at the water's edge for most of the morning. We spied tadpoles, tossed rocks, and avoided any wet tumbles. A few of the kids did find a massive puddle in the parking lot and finished the morning soggy, but that's a different story. Next month, I'm finding a field trip that doesn't involve water!

This is Owen with Will and Sarah, who has become a dear friend since we met shortly after the kiddos were born. As much as Owen is a do-er, Will is a complete observer. We always marvel that two kids in the same stage of life can be so different, but it's fun to watch them grow together.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's a...


We had our ultrasound today to get a sneak peak (or an amazingly detailed look) at Baby #2. Both Scott and I felt genuinely excited for either gender - we love raising a boy and we would love to have a girl. While I had quite a few "girl" dreams, this baby is definitely a boy. Hooray! (Truth be told, it's probably better that my dreams didn't become reality as they were all "its a girl...with no brain" or "its a girl...with only 3 limbs" type dreams.) The best part is that this little guy looks wonderfully formed and is growing completely on track. Since Owen was so tiny, we'll have another ultrasound at 34 weeks to see how things are going, but it's a great relief to know things look great so far.

It's really amazing to think that this baby is only 10 oz right now, but we can already see every finger, rib, vertebrae, and kidney. The tech was measuring things like the space between parts of his brain and how thick his skin is a the base of his neck. Awesome. Beautiful.

True to form, the little guy was supper active, practically running in place and doing stomach crunches. I haven't felt any movement yet, but it looks like I'm in for a bumpy ride once he gets a little bigger. My ribs are already cringing just thinking about what the next 5 months will bring. But we are excited to know that after we get through the next four or five months, we'll get to meet another little boy.

P.S. Don't hold your breath waiting for a name announcement. That will show up on the same day this baby does. =)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Friday Field Trips - Fish Hatchery

Our Friday mom's group is still going strong. Through the winter, we were meeting for walks and play dates with the occasional trip to the gymnastics center, pool, or other indoor play place. Now that we've emerged from the depths of winter, we're embarking on more ambitious field trips about once a month.

Our May field trip was to the fish hatchery. We had about 8 moms/kids, and great weather. We learned that the 45 minute drive is really the limit for these nearly 2-year olds, but Owen and Hazel just laughed at each other for the first 20 minutes, and Julie and I spent the whole drive laughing at them! (All these kids are "firsts" in their families, so not used to having someone to share the backseat with.)

The hatchery was a big hit. They have a bunch of holding tanks to look at various sized fish, and then a big pond where the fish live prior to release. For 25 cents, you get a massive handful of fish food that lasts about 30 seconds with all these kiddos tossing it at rapid speed. We had to pry the kids away from the water for snack (expect Owen and Kaden, who were, of course, running laps around the pond), and even finished the morning off tossing rocks in the Metolious River.

Happy kids, well fed fish, nobody ended up in the water...Success! More field trips to come.

Small Miracle

Over the last couple weeks, Owen has taken a pretty impressive interest in occupying himself. In fact, last weekend, we had one of those "too quiet" moments and we found Owen in the living room doing this:

Sure, I still spend most of my day responding to "Mommy, Lesso!" (what sounds like a Spanish command is really just toddler-speak for "Let's Go!), but we've had several recent occasions where Scott and I find ourselves reading the paper, cooking, or puttering around the house without our 2'6" shadow. Owen's also had two (2!) naps, where he doesn't sleep a wink and just spends 45+ minutes happily hanging out in his crib. Taking a nap is still much preferred (and he did zonk out in the car later in the afternoon), but the self entertainment gives me hope that I might be able to feed Baby #2 in semi-peace when the time comes.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

No wonder...

I was out running errands a few weeks ago and came home to find a bunch of pictures like this on the camera:

No wonder when we break out the pens or paint at playgroup, my child is the one that immediately looks like this:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Memorial Day '09

This was our 9th year visiting the coast with Ryan and Sara (and now Calla), and Tim and Amy (and Nolan). We started as three nearly newlywed couples, and now we have three toddlers with two more babies expected in the fall. We need a bigger house next year!

Every year, we complain that it's cold or rainy, but this year, we finally got some SUN... and crazy strong winds. Tim and Scott built an amazing driftwood shelter (I wish I had a picture), so we could take the kids on (brief) visits to the sand, but mostly we spent mornings doing this:
I love having friends that we can just hang in our PJs with!

The sun allowed us to really enjoy exploring around town, including finding a great local playground a mere three blocks from the house we've been staying at all these years. The girls got a nice outdoor lunch and Scott and Tim took the boys on a banana bike trip down the beach (they LOVED it!), and we enjoyed wonderful conversation and simple time together.
We did drive up the coast a bit one afternoon to enjoy some glorious sand time at Hug Point. It's those brief moments that keep us coming back year after year. Ahh...

Here's one of my favorites of Owen trying to figure out how to skip rocks like Scott does. Probably a few more years of practice, but I have no doubt he'll get there - maybe in time to teach baby #2 the Maxwell secrets.
We'll be back next year - with six adults and FIVE kids under 3...