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Posts Tagged ‘oregon’

Apparently today is my anniversary with WordPress, which means I’ve been doing this little blog thing for two years now. That seems crazy, but then I have to two year olds, which is even crazier. πŸ™‚

We have had some insanely busy weekends lately. It seems like we’ve always had something schedules for at least the last month, if not more. This weekend wasn’t really any different, though the busy schedule belongs to Ken and not to our family as a whole. As the school year winds down and graduation starts to cast it’s momentous shadow over the land he is going to be a very busy guy. I am trying to squeeze in family stuff where I can. This past week for example he was home Monday and Tuesday night, gone Wednesday, home Thursday, but was sick so I don’t feel like that counts, gone Friday night, will be gone tonight, and is working most of tomorrow. That’s a lot of time away from his girls.Β  And a lot of time for the girls to be away from him. I feel like if we go and do things then we are able to focus more on spending time together whereas when we stay home dishes/laundry/housework/fixing things all seem to weasel their way into our focus.

There’s a little… amusement park, I guess, just south of Salem called Enchanted Forest. I have very found memories of going there as a child. It’s quaint and little, but still entertaining for young kids. As Ken put, it’s Disneyland Lite.Β 1 Beware: there are very few pictures of the girls faces. Getting them to look away from everything and at me was a challenge, but I’m also a little obsessed with the back of their heads at the moment. I cannot begin to explain why. There’s something about their blonde heads next to each other (YES! They are both blonde now.) that I just adore. Like they are constantly in cahoots with each other.

2FYI, this park is exactly the same now as it was 20 years ago.

3I love that the girls are still free when we go to things like this. I am going to be a sad momma when they turn three and we have to pay admission for them.

4See? Two blondie bears. I miss Hazel’s brown hair. The blonde is beautiful, but I was in love with how dark her hair was when she was born.Β  I’m still interested to see if Haley’s hair will darken like everyone thinks or stay brown. With how much the girls like to be outside and summer just around the corner, I pretty confident I will still have two yellow haired girls in the fall.

5Peeking in Snow White’s cottage. I love this. They adore Snow White and Hazel was walking around singing “heigh ho, heigh ho, heigh ho, heigh ho”. They also had the dwarves cave to walk through with black light and colored rocks and a vignette of the dwarves working away. And then there was this.

PicMonkey CollageHaley refused to go in. Ken and Hazel went, but when I asked him what was inside, he couldn’t remember.

6How gorgeous is Oregon in the spring?!?! Yes, it is a little chilly, and wet for what seems like an endless amount of time, but it is beautiful. And in my secret heart of hearts I think I would miss the rain if we ever left. But don’t tell anyone. πŸ™‚

 

9Their first (kinda) ride! I’m having Splash Mountain flashbacks looking at Haley’s face. Now I understand why my mom loves that family photo so much. This is a winner. I am going to keep it forever and ever and use it for their high school graduation, wedding, and any other important life events that require a photo slideshow.

There is also a western town, and a medieval village, but I quickly forgot about taking photos because I was enjoying having fun with the girls and I didn’t want to hassle with the camera. They do have some rides. One is a Matterhorn knock off that Haley is tall enough to ride, we didn’t try it, but I do want to go back and see what she thinks. Hazel needs to grow an inch before she can go on it, or I need to buy her cowboy boots before we go back. There was also a log ride, but the height requirement was 42″. And then there was a kiddie section with bumper boats, a mini ferris wheel, a frog hopper, and (ding ding ding! we have a winner!) a little train. Which they loved and wanted to ride again and again and again.

10Have I mentioned lately how much she loves her daddy? They have such a great bond and it makes me so happy that he has someone who loves him best of all. Especially after going through a very mommy-centric phase (which Haley is still in, by the way), it’s nice that there is a girl for both of us.

After the train ride, we only had four ride tickets left. Which was just enough for Ken and Hazel to go in the haunted house. The creepy, run down haunted house. I still cannot believe Hazel went in with him. But Ken was saying he really wanted to go in and Hazey piped up with an I go too, Daddy. They walked up the stairs to the house together. About halfway up a werewolf howled and Hazel stopped on the steps and looked up at the house. Ken asked if she still wanted to go in and she said yes, bless her little heart.

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If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve already seen this picture. The haunted house is right next to the Western Town.

Haley and I parked it on a bench near the exit and munched on popcorn and dried cranberries while we waited.

12She came out in Ken’s arms, but wasn’t in tears or even seemed to be afraid. Ken said she flinched once when something moved and watched most of the house with her head resting on his shoulder. I’m so proud of her. She’s so brave and I’m so happy Ken has a kid to do the haunted house/roller coaster stuff with, and that I have a someone to keep me company while they are gone.

13We left pretty quickly after that because the girls were starting to get tired and a little over stimulated and Ken is still recovering from a nasty cough. I think we will definitely go back at least a couple more times this summer, I know my mom really wants to go with them, and I would like to try some more of the rides. They do live outdoor performances of fairy tales as well and I think that would be fun to get the girls use to the idea of going to the theater.

Does anyone have suggestions for other lesser known things to do this summer?

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The weather last week was beautiful! It was warm, but not hot, sunny and bright. The grass was the most perfect shade of green and I woke up in the morning wanting to throw open the windows and start singing “the hills are alive with the sound of music!”

But I didn’t. I, instead, stumbled over to the coffee pot and tried to ingest as much caffeine as humanely possible before the early rising sun woke my children. I expressed my happiness not in song, but in clothes. Well, sundresses.

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I mean, now that they are both walking how could I resist, right???

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And the joy I felt at not having to put tights or leggings on underneath their dresses? Indescribable.

7Yes, she’s eating a dinner roll. We love our carbs!

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Sweetest angels ever!

 

Thank you to everyone for voting for us! The contest continues until May 8th.

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Does anyone else know that song? It’s from a musical called She Loves Me that I saw a few years ago at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It’s a lovely show and this is one of my favorite songs from it and, now, every time I go to the library I find myself humming this song.

We got all bundled up to leave our apartment cause, friends, it is November in Oregon. Ugh.

I also find myself singing “the rain rain rain came down down down” a lot too.

(PS. this is kind of a long post, so if you would rather scroll past all my ramblings and just look at the pictures, I totally understand!)

We went to the library to have a rainy day play date with our friend Melissa and her kids, Evie and Jack. And, I must admit, I was very impressed with the library.

We got there a little before Melissa and her posse, so the H’s got some time to explore the kid section of the library. Haley is so native NorthWesterner with her downy vest and boots.

Did I mention I haven’t taken a lot of photos of the girls lately? I think once I got started it was really hard to stop. After all, I do still have a baby book to fill up. Their November page is looking very sad. Especially when considering that usually half way into a month I have to start budgeting picture spots.

She looks like such a big kid in this picture. I feel like it’s a glimpse into the future. Why, hello Toddler Haley, it’s so nice to meet you. GIVEMEBACKMYBABY!

This is the moment when Hazel realized that sister was playing with the really cool toy….

…. and crawled over to investigate/make her share.

Melissa and her kids arrived while I was getting my library card. Pause in the cuteness for a quick rant. The library CHARGES you for your library card. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the library? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I paid it and I’m sure the money goes to worth while things and it’s probably part of the reason this library was so awesome, but still! There is the option of having a free card, but you can only check out one book at a time. I just can’t live like that! Anyway, back to cuteness.

I came back to this adorableness. Melissa’s kids had apparently immediately parked it at the table and started playing with puzzles. That’s her little girl Evie, who I think is pretty stinking cute! She’s in the daycare at the school with the girls, so they know her. She was petting Hazel ever so gently on the head, but I kept taking photos in between pets.

And then Melissa was nice and gave one of her arm warmers to Hazel. It was like having a giant sock! Can you tell how thrilled Hazel was? And so she played with that for a while and then, in true Hazel fashion, wandered off to do her own thing.

Which was to pretend to be a book. Can you believe this kid started out the day sick? Yup, she woke up crying her sad cry and I went in to investigate only to find that she had thrown up at some point in the wee hours of the morning. It was sad and gross, but she was happy once I cleaned her up and ate normal the rest of the day and never had fever, so I have no idea what was up with the random puke.

Jack being so sweet and gentle with the girls and showing them how the toys work.

Hey, look! I’m in pictures too! Hooray for when Ken takes the camera!

We were probably only at the library for 30 minutes, which is the maximum limit on all four kids attention spans. But it’s so nice to have a friend we can have play dates with, and she used to be a stay-at-home-mom too so I can complain about how much I miss it and she doesn’t look at me like I’m crazy. Always a nice thing to have in a friend.

I did runaway from the playing for about five minutes to quickly peruse the cookbook section.

This was Ken’s armful when we left….

This was mine. πŸ™‚

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I love cookbooks.

Like, a lot. As much as I love to read and books and literature I would almost always choose a cookbook to curl up in bed with. I read new ones from cover-to-cover.

I enjoy the little anecdotes before recipes and the pictures – Oh, the pictures! It’s my porn.

I am currently waiting for my copy of the Smitten Kitchen cookbook to arrive and, y’all, the suspense is killing me! Never again will I pre-order something from amazon (or let Ken pre-order something for me from amazon). Why? Because the book was released on Tuesday and what’s that? Oh, it’s Sunday and I still don’t have my copy! Doesn’t pre-ordering something imply that you will have it the day it’s released? Or are my expectations too high?

Deb has posted a couple of sneak peeks of recipes on her blog and they sound delicious! All of them! You want an example? I don’t understand how everything this woman writes about tastes delicious. Wait, actually, I do. It’s cause she makes everything, like, 10 times before she posts about it.Β  I think it has been well established that I do not have the patience to mess around with that kind of shenanigan. And she does this with a three-year-old. Whatever.

So, cross your fingers for me that tomorrow I will have her wonderful cookbook and can begin drooling over all the recipes I will want to make. For anyone who is interested, Deb will be at Powelll’s tomorrow (Monday) at 7:30 for a book signing. I’m not going because I live 1.5 hours away from Portland now and I’m not willing to drive for 3 hours for a 2 minute chat at the end of a full work day and taking care of my daughters.Β  But someone should go for me and tell me if she’s as lovely in person as she is on her blog.

In the mean time, I will be here.Β  Drooling.

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Beer Fest

The Saturday before we moved went to a Brew Fest at Oaks Park, which is a small amusement park right next to where the girls took their swim lessons. Clearly, the girls couldn’t actively participate and I couldn’t either cause I was taking antibiotics and the pharmacist warned me that if I mixed alcohol with my prescription the result would be violent vomiting. :-/ So Momma didn’t get any beer. But honestly, it turned into a train fest instead.

There is a rinky dink little train that goes around part of the park and since the rest of the amusement park was closed they had the train operating for free. πŸ™‚ So, naturally, we had to take the girls on their first ever train ride!

Train seats are really interesting when you’re 8 months old.

Daddy, Gramma, and Haley rode in front while Hazel, Aunt Kathleen, and I rode behind them.

Ignore everyone else in this picture and just check out Haley’s blue steel stare.

Grandpa was a trouper and stayed with the stroller for us, though I think he would have been to long for the train anyways. Ignore that he looks like a creeper in this photo, he’s not, Aunt Kathleen just likes to make him look like one.

Can you tell how perfect the weather was from these pictures? I miss it so much.

I love this picture of the three of them with their heads together. I had such a close relationship with my maternal grandmother and I’m so excited for the girls to have a similar relationship with my mom.

Is it just me or is there something sad and beautiful about an empty amusement park?

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We took the girls to a pumpkin patch in my parent’s town right before we moved, mostly just so I could get 5 million pictures of the girls surrounded by pumpkins. We didn’t actually get any of the said pumpkins because we didn’t want to have to pack them. πŸ™‚ But pumpkins will be had! I want to get two mini pumpkins, tape out the girls’ names in painters tape, paint the pumpkins black and then peel away the tape so that their names are there in orange surrounded by black pumpkin-ness. Yes, I’m crazy, thanks for noticing.

This is basically a photobomb. Turn away now if the thought of adorable pictures of adorable babies makes you want to go running towards the nearest cliff.

Did we have a perfect day or what? It was beautiful! I love autumn. The colors, the clear blue skies, the crisp air. Don’t get me stated on soups, sweaters, boots, pumpkin flavored everything… It’s a great season and so, so pretty in Oregon.

That pyramid is where all the pumpkins are and since we were there for purely photographic reasons, that is where we headed.

Can you stand the cuteness? Cause I can’t. I squeak whenever I see this picture.

 

Gramma and the grand-babies.

I will have you know I was ludicrously tired that day. Haley is just not an easy night sleeper and we had been having some major sleep issues which usually involved both of us being up for approximately two hours every night, miserable the entire time because we both wanted to sleep, but Haley just can’t figure out how to get back there. Those two hours usually ended with me crawling back into bed almost in tears and having Ken go and get her to sleep because I was too angry/tired to deal with her anymore. Thank the lord for big sunglasses and coffee.

I color coordinated all of us on purpose. There are times when I want to be Martha Stewart so bad it’s not even funny… minus the whole insider trading thing.

We had a conversation in my twin group a couple of weeks ago about how most of the moms aren’t in any pictures with their kids either because they don’t like pictures of themselves or because they are the ones taking all the pictures. The blessing/curse of having a photographer for a sister is that I am in far more pictures than I would like to be, but I want the girls to see pictures of us together and of how much I love them. This series of pictures is great example of how, while I may not love how I look, I love how we look as a family and that makes me happy enough to ignore my tired, puffy face and focus on how perfect my family is.

Poor Daddy and Hazel. Momma and Haley are so crazy.

Anyone else pumpkin patch-ed it up this month? I’m so excited for it to be Halloween for the girls to (FINALLY!) wear their costumes.

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During our last week in Portland, my parents and I took the girls to the Rhododendron Gardens which is right by the neighborhood I grew up in. It was another one of those full circle things that I am going to miss so much.Β  It look pretty much exactly the same, except you’re not allowed to feed the ducks anymore.

Which is probably for the best cause those suckers are aggressive and scary.

We went stroller-less just so we wouldn’t be limited in where we could go in the gardens. I also think the girls prefer to be “worn”. I feel like it’s more interactive for them. The blurry blonde at the bottom of this picture? It’s Haley’s hair. πŸ™‚

Haley was actually really excited to see the ducks. She’s just playing it cool so they don’t think she’s desperate. I love the hair. And the face. And the drool. But I really love the hair. Even if it makes people think she’s a boy.

And then there’s Hazel with her little Caesar do. She loves her grandparents, both girls do, and it warms my heart to see them get excited and laugh and wiggle. All three of them, because my mom gets just as excited. My dad is always happy to see them too, but he draws the line at wiggling.

We were having a very serious conversation about ducks. Actually, I think I was telling her to not mess with the geese.

Yup, Haley’s hair again. Cause I’m obsessed.

It’s not blooming season, so all the rhododendrons were looking a little sad, but some still had some fun, funky color to them. The upside to going when it’s the off season? No admittance fee. And yeah, the fee to get in is only $3 bucks, but for cheapskates like us there is nothing better than the word “free”.

I could stare at this face all day.

 

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