Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Owen's Hawaii

Owen has taken a great interest in taking pictures.  I'm sure most kids love the control of the camera and the digital screens are so great for that instant feedback of what you are doing.  My mom has been giving hims some tips along the way... Christmas, they practiced "zooming" at the botanical garden and in Hawaii, he seemed to have camera in hand whenever he wasn't heading for the water.  He mostly likes scenery and self portraits, but one afternoon chose a human subject.... a little boy came up and asked if Owen wanted to take his picture, and the two of them staged their own 2 minute photo shoot, selecting background, pose, and both far and near shots.  My mom and the boys' grandmother just stood back and watched.  Too funny.

Here is what Hawaii looks like to a 4 1/2 year old.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Break for Aloha

In the middle of all our moving craziness, we took a much anticipated trip to Hawaii to join my parents at Ko Olina.  It seems only fitting that I would interrupt blog reports of our move to toss in some pics from our trip.

I have said it before, and it holds true again: Before we had kids, we never understood the "resort" vacation - always wanting to travel with backpacks, so we could move around and explore as much as we can in a new place.  Now that we have kids, we like nothing more than going to Ko Olina, putting our clothes from suitcases into drawers, and parking ourselves for 6 solid days.  My dad puts his beach chairs in the same spot every morning and Scott and I try to take turns trading naptime oversight in the condo while the other gets some beach time alone.  This trip, we managed one excursion... to Safeway, but otherwise never left the resort. 

Granted, Ko Olina is really a group of resorts, so we walked every morning, explored the Marina, wandered through the new Disney Resort down the beach, rented paddleboards one afternoon, and even tried some of the "resort sponsored activities."  Kids story time and family water balloon toss were both a bust (but free); the spray on tattoos were a hoot... but you really can't expect us northwest white folks to keep the area free of sunscreen, so they didn't last long.

The best event by far was the lagoon fish feeding.  Owen and I took a LONG walk to get there by 7:30 one morning.  I expect to watch the staff throw food in the fish pond.  Instead, we were given fish identification charts and got to wade into the ocean with handful after handful of fish food.  The fish swarmed and jumped right at our feet!  Definitely a winner.

Not a winner was the stomach flu that hit Josh, Scott, and then my Mom over the course of the week.  Never fun to be sick, but at least when you're sick in Hawaii, you get to recover by lying on the beach. Scott also ended up spending a good portion of the vacation trying to coordinate the house purchase in Portland, but free wifi by the pool made that a much more pleasant task than it would have been from an office in the city!

We all loved getting some water time in the middle of winter.  Owen was a real fish and LOVED the ocean.  Josh was a big fan of the pool and the sand entry at the pool, but pretty frightened by the ocean waves and consequently the beach itself.   We enjoyed lots of soccer and football on the grass instead. Hopefully next time we make this wonderful trip, he'll be up for building sand castles. But really, you can't complain about a week at Ko Olina. It is a magical place!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Needless to say, we have landed in our "new permanent" home in Portland. As a follow-up to my last post, our second week of "transition" looked like this:

Monday (2/27): Kids and I make an early dinner at Jane's because Scott is swinging by for a quick dinner before driving to Bend.  Scott gets stuck late at work and doesn't get on the road until 7. He's armed with a LONG list of last minute items that need to get done before and while the movers load up our stuff. 

Tuesday (2/28): Kids and I drive an hour to daycare/work.  Scott is in Bend for a meeting and spends the morning with the movers.  All our stuff gets put on the truck... but we still don't know if/when we will get keys to the house.  I send a shout out to my Bend Mamas asking for positive thoughts and energy... I need it!  Scott has the forethought to toss our mattress topper, sheets, and the two kids mattresses in the car.  Add the dog, cat, two coolers, and several boxes of essentials and that is one packed car.  Good news: we have sleeping pills for the cat. Bad news: they take 2 hours to kick in and Scott has to pull over on the side of the road to give the screaming cat a second dose before he finally conks out.

At 4:00, we get notice that we are going to get the keys!! Our realtor hides them at the house and Scott goes straight there, unlocks the door, and tosses the animals inside.  Then, he drives 40 minutes back to Jane's to put our food in her garage fridge/freezer (so grateful for that one!).  Scott gathers his clothes and returns to the house to spend the night with the drugged up cat and disoriented dog.

Wednesday (2/28 - Leap Day!): Kids and I pack up the last of our suitcases and food, and drive an hour to daycare/work for the LAST TIME.  I am so thankful the weather is gross and nasty because I have food in the back of my car that needs to stay cold.  After work, we grab take-out and have our first dinner on boxes in the new house. Yes, yes, yes!  Scott has thankfully picked up industrial cleaner, so we can make the bathrooms palatable for bedtime. We all spend the night on nasty carpet, but it's worth it to be in our own space.

Thursday (3/1): We have no oven, microwave, fridge, or pots and pans, so the kids and I hit Starbucks for a nutritious breakfast. =) We stash all our belongings in the bathrooms of the house because we are getting new carpet installed while we are away at school/work.  We drive 12 minutes to the kids' school, never having to touch the freeway. Yes!

Friday (3/2): Carpet is 75% installed.  The carpet guys are showing up at 7 AM to try and get the carpet finished before the movers show up between 10 and 11.  I'm hoping the poor weather over the pass slows them down!  Ethel is also coming at 10 to watch the kids while I direct movers.  This is a GREAT plan until I look our the window at 7 am and see a moving truck parked outside.  I get a 2 minute powpow with the carpet guys and they set to work at breakneck speed.  Kids are still in PJs, so I get them dressed and then stall the movers by leaving for another nutritious breakfast at Starbucks.  After a much too stressful start to our day, the carpet guys find themselves forever on my "amazing" list by finishing the bedrooms before the furniture starts coming in the door. They will come back the following week to do the stairs.

The carpet guys leave at 10. Ethel arrives at 10:15. The movers are done by 11:30 and we are left starting at a sea of boxes, but I am grinning because WE.ARE.HERE.

I think this brings our moving adventure to end... and begins our next adventure finding our groove in Portland while trying to rehab our new house.  More posts to come!