Tuesday, December 09, 2008

2nd Annual Wine Cellar Raid

Thanks to everyone who came to raid the cellar--and brought some great wine and food to share!

We look forward to doing this every year and it is great that so many friends come from out of town to join us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Adventures in Florida

I know what you are thinking. Florida is hardly adventurous, right?

It is when you have a child who won't sleep on airplanes, finds eating to be boring because there is so much else to look at, and has two parents who chase after the child non-stop, until he eventually drops from exhaustion.

We flew from PDX to Seattle, then took a direct flight from there to Miami. Some pediatric website suggested to give slightly less than the suggested dose of Benadryl so your child doesn't sleep the entire flight and not at all later on. 3/4 the dose seemed like a good start. An hour later, August is still awake. Mellow, but awake. Hmmm. We give him the other 1/4 dose, still nothing. "Can we give him more?", asks Paul. That seems like a bad idea, so we entertain him as much as possible for the duration of the 6 hour flight.

We arrive in Miami at 10pm, take a shuttle bus to the car rental, take about 30 minutes to get our car (you just wander around the Alamo lot in the dark, looking for a car, with no help from any staff). We drive 1 hr. to Highland Beach, and August falls asleep. I go to the front desk to check in and a crabby employee helps me out. And he is very slow about it. August is of course not happy about being woken up since we need to get all the luggage in, set up his crib, etc. He is then fully awake and plays in the room until 1:30am. Wake-up time? 6:30am! Sad, but true. August is raring to go so we eat breakfast and then walk down to the beach.

One of the favorite spots we all seem to keep winding up in is the Jacuzzi, right off from the beach. August never went in past the first step, where he liked to play with his pool toys. One day this woman with an English accent came up to us and pointed out that August was not supposed to be in the Jacuzzi as it was bad for his heart (or something like that), pointed to the Rules and Regulations sign behind her, and said no one under 8 was to be in the Jacuzzi. (Actually, the sign said no one under 12 unless accompanied by their parents, but never mind).

"How old is he?", she asks.

"He's eight," I say, in a snotty voice.

"Oh, ok then."

Does she really believe he is 8, or is she being snotty back? Either way, she mutters something else and walks off in a huff. She never bugs us again, and we continue to enjoy the Jacuzzi.

After spending a few days in Highland Beach, we drive a few miles to Boca Raton to check into a different hotel, which is where the Bat Mitzvah festivities will be. I am lame and have no photos of the actual event, but I can tell you that my niece did a fabulous job and the party was incredible.

Our Florida adventures end in Miami, where we spent one night in the Embassy Suites hotel, 1 mile from the airport. Free open bar from 5:30-7:30! Just what we need to wrap up our vacation before another 6 hr. flight. For some reason August eats very little when we travel (too much going on, maybe?) but scarfed down a ton of steamed broccoli and grilled chicken in the tub. Yeah, we feed our kid in the tub. You got a problem with that?

I don't know if I have stayed in an Embassy Suites Hotel before, but man, whoever they hired to decorate the rooms must have taken a lot of LSD while on the job. Check out the curtains! Note the thatched green trim on the top:

Look at the snazzy artwork--it looks Masonic, no? It caught the eye of both of us, immediately.

Now this is kind of freaking me out. Look at this image (best I could find off Google):

This was the third image above our bed:

Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on here?

Why is the cover of an Aleister Crowley book adorning the walls of an Embassy Suites hotel? It is really freaking me out and I am dying to know the story behind this.

OK, enough for now. I will post some videos soon.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Our Punchy Child

August went to his first Halloween party and wore this cute costume that his great Aunt Ginny sent him--a Gingerbread Baby. Not something we would have picked on our own, but it looks quite adorable on him.

So all the parents lined up the kiddies for a group shot on the couch. Hmm, who is that punching a monkey in the head?

Poor monkey. Now he is picking her nose:

Here he is harassing a chicken:

I wonder if we will be invited back next year?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Camping Part 2: 4 Adults, Two Toddlers, and a Dog

After much debate about where to camp, it seemed that central Oregon would be less rainy than over here in the western part of the state. It was raining when we left Portland, and it just got worse from there. We drove a little less than 3 hours over the Santiam Pass to Camp Sherman, on the Metolius River and met up with our friends from Bend.

It was a really beautiful spot and we all did our best to keep the party going, despite the weather.
Luckily we had 2 easy-up canopies or else it would have been a disaster trying to cook and hang out in the rain.

Like the last time we camped, August found the dirt to be delicious:

There were loads of salmon flies attracted to the lanterns at night:

The next day, the weather would clear up and the sun would come out for a while, then the rain would resume. After several hours of this, it seemed best to pack it in and find a motel. No one knew if there was enough propane to keep the kiddies warm for 2 nights in a row, and we were pretty much out of dry clothes for August.

We headed to Sisters, OR and found a funky motor inn and crashed there. Breakfast cocktails* started off the day on Sunday--the sun was shining and we were happy to be dry!

*Note--this photo was taken after said breakfast cocktails were consumed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Birthday photos

Yes, we are slow. Slow, slow slow at updating the blog. What can I say? Time is going by incredibly fast. The house is still being worked on (possible move-in is now January '09) and the hot weather has left Portland. I am still looking for work and have been on several interviews. Of course the position I was most interested in didn't pan out, and the one I was least interested in called me back for a second interview. I completely b.s.'d my way into getting an interview at an area hospital yesterday and lets hope it wasn't so obvious that I really had no idea what I was talking about.

Although we only made it camping once the whole summer, next week we are going camping with some friends who have a toddler as well. August is unfortunately still into the phase of putting everything in his mouth so we are guessing he will have a mouth full of dirt and rocks within 5 minutes of pulling into the campsite.

Here are some very late photos of August's 1st birthday. It was over 100 degrees the day of his party so luckily that 1/4 keg of beer was around to keep the adults happy. Oh yeah, and the kiddies got a pool to play in--the same exact pool that was attacked by raccoons! We found an identical one a few weeks before the party.

Uncle Dan and Magnus the cat were obviously too hot to move around much:

I think these misters saved the day:

Here is a video of August walking--this was just shot last weekend at Mt. Tabor park:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday to August!

Well, we made it a whole year already without any significant injuries or disasters. Not bad for first time parents!

For the last 4 days Paul and I have been thinking back to what we were doing a year ago at this time--the 2 1/2 day induction; watching "Blade Runner" and "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" while waiting for contractions to get crazy; Paul picking me fresh berries outside around the hospital campus; having the doula arrive and lend us some incredible help; and watching the sunrise together in the recovery room after the surgery.

August 12, 2007:

August 12th, 2008:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Raccoon Party in the Backyard

Or was it some other animal? A family of possums?

We bought August this great blow-up pool for the backyard just a few weeks ago. Do you know how hard it is to find pools in the middle of summer? Everything is cleared out to make room for back to school stuff--in early July!! Why is summer being rushed? This drives me crazy.

Anyway, Paul found an awesome pool that had two different areas to fill up, a place to attach the hose to make water spray around, a little kiddie slide, and a ring-toss game. Spiffy, huh?

The pool was filled up last Friday on yet another hot day and that was sadly the last time it would be used. Never mind that this was the pool we were to use for August's upcoming 1st birthday party.

Saturday morning I went outside to the backyard and the pool was in a heap and mostly deflated. I wondered if Paul had drained it last night, which would be odd if he did since he was in bed before me. I didn't think much of it until Paul woke up later and I asked about the pool.

He went out to inspect it and said that it had been vandalized! Big tears cut into it! Who would do such a thing? A pack of mean drunks? Angry neighbors (OK, our music doesn't get played that loud, does it?)? Upon closer inspection, we could clearly see jagged tears, pointy claw marks and holes, and other evidence that pointed to the fact that it was not a knife that made such cuts.

Did a bunch of raccoons pass by and want a drink, then decide to party down in the kiddie pool? Did they have fun, or were they scared by something which caused them to freak out and destroy the pool in multiple places? I guess we will never know, but it is one of those times where you wish you had a video to play back to see exactly what went on in the middle of the night!

Now we have to find another blow up pool for August's party, and hopefully there will be one last dusty one in some store to snag. Either that or we are hitting Ebay or Amazon for one. That and we are going to have to store it in the garage at night so it doesn't get ripped apart again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

First Family Camping Trip

Paul took off a few days from work so we could finally get around to doing some much needed camping! It has been way too long and we figured, why not give it a try? So we loaded up the Vanagon and headed south to the Willamette Valley and camped out at Salmon Creek Falls. 3 hours in the car is just about all August can take without completely freaking out, so luckily that was about how long it took to get there.

It was really an incredibly beautiful spot! The water was crystal clear--you could see all the way to the bottom of the creek, which was pretty deep in some spots.

August became filthy so quickly that I had to keep suppressing that mother instinct of wanting to clean his hands and face constantly. I found it funny at first, thinking back to when he was a newborn and making sure everything was so clean all the time. It was the dirtiest we have ever seen him.

We got to try out our new Sherpani carrier--it rocks! August even let us keep him in it for at least 30 minutes, which is a record for him.

Somehow I was able to convince Paul to jump into the freezing cold water. Luckily it was pretty hot that day or else it would have not been as, ahh, refreshing?

Yes that is me in my saggy, baggy underwear. Stop laughing.