Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy Boy

 Despite how it looks, he's not very skilled at pouring water in the top, which means about every 60 seconds, I need to. But he loves pouring it into the container on the ground!
 This was an Easter present that finally made it out of the box! And it has accounted for a half hour of happiness this morning, which seeing how the morning had been going, is pretty darn good. Now how much would a fountain that refills itself cost?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Farewell beautiful Portland!

After being separated from daddy for what seemed an eternity, suddenly our time in Portland had run out without us getting through our fun to-do list! So we made the most of our last weekend there, starting with an awesomely warm, sunny day down at the Waterfront in downtown. I use to run through this fountain as a kid! Dude wasn't so much having it.
The girls, however, were enthralled. Though do notice that they're not casually holding hands here. J has a death grip on M's arm to help boost her courage. It took more than one very high-pitched screaming trip until they made it to the middle.
And he continued to keep his distance. 
Finally they did it! They were so proud of themselves and had such a blast!! And how cute are they really?
Even being around the edges was stressing out the little man, so Bopa took him on a walk to look at the river and some boats.
Then Bopa suggested we rent one of the bicycle surreys to pedal down the path along the river. J thought she could help but once we got going, it turned out her legs were like an inch too short to actually be useful. She still tried though! She just kept kicking her pedals, which led to an unfortunately timed loss of a flip-flop at the bottom of a hill we were about to go up (we'd been diligently gaining speed to help make it easier, which we of course lost when we had to stop to recover said flip-flop).
M and Dude got the royal treatment up front, enjoying the breeze and treats while we pedaled away. We ended up going down, crossing a bridge, all the way up the east bank esplanade, and back across a bridge. It was a good workout even if Bopa claims we weren't all pulling our weight!
Then the next day, Daddy came! YAHOO! He says, "If you ever want to really feel loved, leave your family for 6 weeks, come back, and see how excited they are to see you." I, on the other end of the deal, however, don't recommend this. But it was super cute. The girls tackled him, and then dude got to the door and watched curiously. When they let daddy go, he cautiously walked toward him with a silly smirk on his face, jumping into Coop's arms. He then wouldn't let Coop put him down (slapped my hands away when I offered to take him even), and for the next half hour would randomly look at anybody in the room, point to Coop and say with such a delighted smile, "Daddy!" When it was time for his nap, we took the girls down to the kids day at the LO Art Festival, where they had a blast hitting every single craft booth there.
We then had a delightful goodbye dinner at Coop's parents' house (where I sadly took no pictures), and then spent a busy bunch of hours packing up everything late into the night. When the little ones woke us in the morning, we ate, gathered our things, gave lots of crying hugs to the girls (who will be joining us in July when our house closes), and headed out for North Dakota. It was a long drive. We had to stop every 3 hours to feed baby G and to let the little guy stretch his legs. After 12 hours on the road, we were only halfway, which was really, really discouraging. So instead of stopping with another whole day of it ahead of us, we drove through the night, arriving at around 6:30 AM. This is what the aftermath of that looked like!
But now we're here and daddy for one, is sure glad we are!
And I can report that the little man has recovered and is quite a ham.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Big-Girl Bike Ride!

Taking advantage of a gorgeous sunny Saturday, we went to give the Banks-Vernonia bike trail a try. It was a hit!
These tired, red-cheeked girlies rode 5 miles! True, it was mostly downhill but regardless, that's a long way for such short little legs. Apparently there was a bit of a tortoise and the hare situation with M starting off at an exuberant sprint, and the more conservative J intentionally conserving her energy because she was worried (so out of character for her, right?) about how long the "longest bike ride ever" was going to be. Her strategy worked! When they met up with my mom, dude, baby G, and me (we drove to the start in Banks, which was really our finish, and walked with strollers till we met them and then walked back again), J was in the lead and M was bringing up the rear. 
Baby G was just happy to be along for the ride!

Is there anything better ...

than a warm sunny day at the Coast? Even the sea lions agreed! Those aren't logs that washed up on the beach across the bay. Those are all sea lions!
Here's a closer, zoomed-in look to prove I'm not just making it up:
We figured we needed to go see the ocean one last time before we moved to our new land-locked home. The girlies worked very hard digging pools and connecting them. I won't mention how they felt when little dude discovered them and took to throwing rocks and handful of sand in the holes. He didn't mean to cause a problem. He just figured if you find a hole, you need to fill it up!
And speaking of the little man, how did he feel about the sand? When he first got on the beach, he took these teensy-tiny pitter-patter steps, cracking up everybody that walked past. He got down to the edge of the wet sand with Bopa and stopped cold. He looked back and forth between the darker sand and Bopa, until Bopa convinced him it was okay to go forward. He moved on and was very happily watching the girls run around, until a very small wave lapped at his feet (like so small it might not even have covered his little feet). The surprise and shock of this new development literally knocked him over! He fell right down ... and wouldn't get within 20 feet of the water for the next 3 hours or so.
Just a little traumatized.
The girlies, however, kept right on digging. And digging. And digging.
"Give each other a hug!" Guess this is the best it gets when they're all sandy:
Finally, Nana convinced Mr. to give it another try by first getting him to kick the water. Little by little he got more accustomed to it until he was out jumping with the best of them (with a little help to get some good air). And then, of course, he didn't want to leave. We had to drag him away!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Outta my spotlight folks!

I'm pretty hot stuff, eh?
Guys! She's taking pictures of me! Why'd you get in the way?
Seriously guys, I mean it! I'm getting the attention here! Outta my way!
He wishes he were an only child sometimes. Too bad for him!

J: The bride and broome


Also funny, at the park the other day, J yelled out, "Hold on! This time I won't flatter-jiggle out!"
And then she showed off for me, yelled for me to look, and said about herself, "ooooh, talent!"

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Always Love the Zoo!

Dear daddy,
         We miss you sooooooo much! Here's some pictures of our recent adventures with Nana and Bopa, so that you can see what we're up to. Lots of loves.
Almost as tall as the Sun Bear!
 Riding the animals ... or at least the cool sculptures. Close enough. And at this petting zoo, you don't have to sanitize afterwards :)
 I swear there were birds in this picture when I took it. Dude is also wondering where they went.
 He was really really into the animals this time around. Previously he'd been a little young, but this time he loved it!
 Cutie patooties!
 Though because of his recent climbing obsession, he had to be watched closely at the edge of the enclosures. Or held. Preferrably held.
 M's longtime favorite animal.
 Sweaty girls. It was wicked humid, and that black concrete just does nothing good on a hot day. Nor do the thousands of schools that conveniently picked our zoo day to go on a field trip. Bit hectic. Totally crazy. But still glad we went!
 And it wore everybody out, making the stroller a bit squished.
The closest thing we get to seeing Uncle Adam in person, since he's currently off exploring the jungles of Laos, wherever that is. 

Technology keeps you so very busy ...

that who has time to get dressed?
Back to work!