Sunday, July 29, 2007

A trip to the park and an ice cream cone

Yesterday we took Kate and McLaren to the park one last time before we have to leave.

After walking across the bridge to the park, we saw this sign.

After many trips down the slide, Kate got to try her first ice cream cone. This experience included:

  • 1 dropped ice cream cone (Tim's)
  • some playing in the doggy water dish near the outside seating
  • Kate sitting down at someone else's table and eating some of their food
  • Kate deciding to "pet" the cement puppy statue and Tim soon realizing that it was covered in a fresh coat of paint (and now Kate was, too)

We are headed out tomorrow morning, hopefully by 6am. Ha. I can hear your collective laughs from here. Zip it; it could happen - we might leave by then.

Our first stop will be Boise, followed by Salt Lake City, Zion, Flagstaff, and finally Tucson. Y'all hold down the internet for me until we get home.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Coffee, dress-up and more berries

McLaren is her parents' daughter. Mmmm, coffee.

Dress up.

Kate played dress-up with her sister.

More berry-picking.

Yesterday was wine-tasting at Willamette Valley Vineyards, where we got married almost 6 years ago. Today is a visit to Enchanted Forest. Should be a hoot!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Barf-o-rama 2007

I have never been vomited on so many times. Claire is suddenly intolerant of all solid foods (after finishing a whole box of rice cereal, a whole box of oatmeal cereal, containers of pears and sweet potatoes and some peas at home last month). At first I thought she didn't like the new Gerber vita blocks oatmeal. But yesterday she had a couple of bites of plain sweet potatoes, and then while we were at the mall picking up our pictures, wham-o! Or, splat-o, really. I was holding her on the tile floor of the hall outside the Picture People (I am so glad we weren't inside, as I'm sure they are as well) when she got sick. Poor kid. Somehow, even after failing to keep any solids down for the past several weeks, she still doesn't have any ankles. Just chub. Cankles. Love.

Last night we had dinner at Sheila's house. Afterwards we all took a walk to the barn next door to see the sheep. I love it here! Our "walk to the barn next door" was a trek of about 1/2 mile down the gravel road past Sheila's house. We stopped to pick wild blackberries along the way. Can it get much better than that?

Kate's favorite toys: trucks.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Grosse Pointe Blank, Oregon-style

We came to Oregon for the month of July for 2 primary reasons:

1. Tim's dad's 60th birthday on the 4th, and
2. Tim's 20th high school reunion this weekend

Last night was dinner and drinks at Mac's, the local watering hole. Tonight is the formal dinner downtown at a hotel. We had fun last night. I wasn't sure how it would go; I had never met any of Tim's friends from high school, save Mary whom I met at our wedding. Tim's sister, Buji, who graduated 2 years behind Tim, also was there last night, so that meant I knew a grand total of 3 people. But as I sat thinking about it over blueberry pancakes this morning, I realized why I felt (and apparently) looked so much more comfortable amongst all the spouses: I have done this before. I have done this many times before. The military does it to you all the time: you go to events where your husband knows a lot of people and you know no one. So there I was, trying to talk to these wives of guys Tim had gone to school with, and they're giving me the "I don't know you and I don't want to be here so I'm not going to make eye contact with you" look. Thanks to Mary, Buji, Tim and a couple of other people there who were not afraid to talk to someone they didn't know, I had a pretty good time. Also, it was a night out at a bar with good beer, and my kids were at home with grandma and grandpa. I could have stayed out all night. Well, not really; I was yawning by 10pm, but that's beside the point.

So last night was fun, and tonight will be...well, I don't know. I kind of hope not all the fun was had last night. We shall see. In any event, I hope no one has to kill a blonde guy with a ball point pen.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Berries, berries

We went berry picking a few days ago at one of the local farms, and Kate got to pick (read: eat) berries off the bushes. She loved the blueberries. Then we moved on to the raspberries and she loved those, too, until she picked and ate an overripe one. That one ended up in stains all down the front of her shirt.
Tim arrives today, back for more vacation after 10 days of work in Arizona. He'll be happy to rest and spend time with the girls; he spent the past week and a half studying for an ACSC test that he took on Tuesday. Nothing like 51 hours of studying in 7 days. See you soon, Tim!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bringin' the heat

It was fun for the first minute. Then: tears.

Hot. It's hot here. Yesterday I walked outside and I thought I was in Arizona. It was 104* and dry. I was fairly certain that it was warmer here than at home, and after a quick call to Dana, I found out that I was right. Whew, triple digits makes for some hot days. I had forgotten how difficult it can be to sleep when it's hot at night and you don't have AC to cool you off. It reminded me a little of my summers visiting my grandparents in Detroit growing up. Lots of tossing and turning and trying to get the fan to blow just right to cool you off.

Mmm, blueberries.

First taste of popsicle.

McLaren got to try blueberries yesterday for the first time. She LOVED them. We put several frozen berries in a mesh bag and she chewed away for about 15 minutes, making a big mess and loving every minute of it.

Then, after dinner, Grandma gave her some popsicle "to cool her down". She loved that, too, until about 5 minutes later when she threw it all up (and then some) all over the living room carpet. No more popsicles for Claire for awhile.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Drive

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, we made it. Actually, we made it here about a week ago already. Time flies. The trip up was...interesting. We drove through Phoenix to LA where we picked up I-5 and headed north for what seemed like Forever. And we, of course, learned some things along the way.

  • It's probably better to not leave for vacation after your husband has worked a half-day. It is very unlikely that you will be able to leave within, say, a few hours of when you thought you would.

  • Also, make sure your doctor tells CVS that you would like your prescription ready sooner rather than later when she calls them to order it for you. That way hopefully it will be ready in less than 4 hours.

  • It is probably better to have all car maintenance performed on your vehicle before you leave for your trip.

  • If google maps says it will take you 4 hours to drive from Tucson to Blythe, and you have 2 children under the age of 2, and you are leaving at rush hour on a Friday, it will take you far longer than what google says it will.

  • In 'N Out Burgers near the freeway cause traffic jams for miles.

  • Booking your hotels online prior to leaving on your vacation does not allow for much flexibility.

  • Almost-2-year-olds get a little giddy when they miss their nap every day for 4 days and also go to bed at 10pm every night.

  • 5-month olds just get crabby with above schedule.

  • Sitting in a car for 8-10 hours a day is no fun for anyone. Especially for the driver who is sitting in front of a toddler who can kick the seat.

  • California traffic is horrible. It's probably a good idea to plan for an extra 1-2 hours each day for that alone. If you don't plan for traffic, it is highly frustrating when you realize how very wrong google maps is on drive time.

  • Potty breaks with 2 children under the age of 2 do not take 5 minutes. Especially when the Patton museum is right next door and the toddler's daddy wants to show her the cool 'targets'.

We did learn some good things on the trip. It's great to spend so much time with your kids; you learn a lot about their habits, their preferences and what they know. For instance, Kate can now count from 1 to 10, and is speaking in 3-4 word sentences. She is also able to say the alphabet from a-g, and will sometimes say more with help. She loves to sing, and often tries to sing Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star and Black Horse by KT Tunstall. Who knew.

We are pretty sure we saw a McLaren pass us on I-5 in California. It was going too fast for me to get a picture.

And you never know what you will see on your drive through Cali. For a moment, we thought we were back in Korea.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Independent Spice rolls over

McLaren rolled over for the first time today! I know she is 5mo, but she's big, and Kate was the same way: slow to roll over, quick to walk. I'm sort of hoping Claire is not as quick to walk as Kate was. But Claire was on her back this morning, sticking her feet up in the air and rolling from side to side. Side to side, side to side. Then, out of nowhere, she rolled over all the way to her tummy. She was very proud of herself for about a minute, and then she got frustrated when she couldn't roll back over.

Her other favorite things to do lately include pushing away from you when you're holding her (I don't need to hold on to you, Mom), and also letting go of your fingers when she is standing up.

She tried pears the other day, and they did not agree with her, either. I'm not sure if it's fruits and vegetables, or if it's cereal, but I think we're going to pause the whole solid food thing for a few weeks. She is very good-natured through the vomiting incidents, but it's sort of a mess to clean up. ;-)

On another note, it is HOT here. I absolutely did not think that I would say that on this trip. I mean, we live in Tucson, land of triple digits. But it's been in the mid- to upper-90s here since we arrived, and there is no Air Conditioning. Also, there Is Humidity. About 50-60% of it. The kids are doing great through it; it's just me who is whiny. Go figure.

Time to let Claire have a nap. I'll try to post a bit about our journey up here in the next couple of days. Until then, photos of my girls:

A trip to Silverton park.

McLaren and Great-Grandma Irene.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

We're here; we survived

And that's about all I have time to say right now. The computer is in the girls' room here, and it's bedtime (very late). The trip up through California was...somewhat painful, but we made it and are glad to be back in the Pacific Northwest.

We just celebrated Tim's dad's 60th birthday tonight. Happy Birthday, Jerry!

Tim's putting Kate to bed while I type a quick note to let y'all know we are here and that I hope to write more tomorrow.

Happy 4th of July!