Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from the Southwest

Pshew, we sure know how to keep busy over vacation! Mostly, Grandma and Grandpa kept me busy while Mommy, Daddy and Uncle Ryan explored Arizona. On Monday, we made pancakes together and the whole family hung around Sedona. Uncle Ry and Mommy made some dorodango (in short shiny mudballs, but theirs weren't so shiny) while I just wanted to play in the mud! We also went on a short hike at the V-V ranch to some really amazing petroglyphs, including a cool solar calander and all sorts of animal carvings. I did get a little crazy and slid in the dirt... I don't know if you can see it, but my tush was red with the dirt. Tuesday Mom, Dad and Ryan headed to the Grand Canyon. They also stopped at a lava flow and the Wupatki ruins which they said were especially cool. Not only were the ruins remarkable, but there was a nifty blow-hole that was an opening to a HUGE underground cave. They were also super impressed with the grand canyon and had a great day for their excursion. The grandfolks and I went to a fun park with all sorts of toys including a backhoe! They also taught me to sing Telstar, I'm pretty good, at least as good as they are! La La!! La Laaaa! I also charmed all of the shopkeepers in Sedona... it was especially nice that they were giving out all sorts of foods.. cheese, crackers, pumpkin pie, etc... Wednesday we started with a super nice breakfast at L'Auberge which was right on oak creek. The food was yummy and the area around the restaurant was beautiful... I went a little wild running around with everyone and did a good job wearing myself out. After breakfast, we drove up to the cathedral which is surrounded by cool eroded monuments and a breathtaking view.That night the grown-ups played a new game, skybridges... looked like playing blocks to me, but they had fun. Thursday was THANKSGIVING! I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving, and I was certainly thankful to be able to share so much time with family! We made scones in the morning, then had a huge lunch. I wasn't eating a ton, but did have some mashed potatoes, applesauce and PIE. Most of the family relaxed at the condo, but Daddy and Mommy went on another short hike on Schnebley wash, and need I say, they thought it was beautiful.That evening after more turkey and more pie they started a puzzle. Friday we cooked some more! Mommy, Grandma and I made Krumkake... a Norwegian cookie my Great-Grandma Jean used to make and send to Mom and Uncle Ryan. I love them. Uncle Ryan headed back to Las Vegas, I cried to see him go. After more work on the puzzle, Mom and Dad headed on one last hike in Sedona. They tried to go up Boynton Canyon but ran out of daylight so hit a vista point just after the sun set. The moon was full and it sure was windy, but they thought it was still a pretty evening. The hike was near a vortex, or so they say, they didn't know where it was, but the best guess was this pile of rocks.Grandma and Grandpa got me to eat... a lot! Turkey... everything! Friday, the rest of us loaded up for Las Vegas and Uncle Ryan's house. My eating binge continued with a lot of dim sum at Cathay house followed by a big dinner at I love sushi (where I did a good job eating lots of edamame and cucumber rolls). Grandma and Grandpa babysat one more time and sent Mom, Dad and Uncle Ry to see O (a really cool water show) at the Bellagio. They said they would take me later this week to see the fountains. Today we had a relatively low key day, the grandfolks left early this morning and managed to beat the traffic. I played in the park, went to the grocery store and made dinner (I stirred the brownies!). I love playing with Uncle Ry.... he's the best. It's nice to play with Remy too, I miss my Scooter-dog, so at least I can get a fur-fix from Remy. We are having a wonderful time. I know this has been a crazy long post, but it's because we have been really really busy having lots of fun. BUT, there have been a few real milestones... to be brief, I have really started putting sentances together. My first big one was "Thank you for the tissue Uncle Ryan"! It was so sincere that he gave me the tissue he got for his own nose! I also ate with chopsticks at dim-sum. Not just one coincidental stabbing of food, but I picked up several pieces of Cha-siu bao and some broccoli... yep, round slippery pieces. No pictures (camera was in the car), but it was pretty amazing!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Red Rocker

We are still getting settled in Portland, but decided to take a break after our short stint in the rain to head to Sedona and dry out a little bit! We're spending Thanksgiving week in Sedona with Grandma Terri, Grandpa Tom and Uncle Ryan! Well, to back up just a touch. On Veteran's Day, Mommy tried to catch up on some work and Daddy and I headed over to the Children's museum. Portland was having a windstorm which knocked out the power, so we did a few activities in the dark, but it was still pretty cool. The weather has turned a bit rainy and cooler. Fortunately I'm figuring out how to deal with such wet weather... it's called PUDDLE STOMPING!!! A little girl down the street, Sophia showed me how it's done, and man it's fun. Anyhow, daycare continues to be a little bit of a challenge, I'm having a hard time letting Mommy go in the morning, but I have started playing with the other kids after a little bit of time. After getting more of the house in order and actually can fit the car in the garage now (go Dad!). Nicole, who is staying with Scooter for the week, came by Saturday morning and took us to the airport! We headed to Vegas! Grandpa picked us up and we drove directly to Sedona... I stayed up super late so I could see Grandma and Uncle Ryan. This morning we woke up to wow... lots of beautiful red rocks! It is pretty amazing here. Mommy, Daddy and Uncle Ryan went on a pink jeep tour to the broken arrow trail. They took an awesome, super bumpy tour of submarine rock, chicken point, mushroom rock, and all sorts of really amazing rock formations. I played with Grandma and Grandpa on some play equipment and walked around the shopping area. We sure had a good time. I was bushed and had a great nap. When I woke up, I got to play in the pool with Daddy, Mommy and Grandpa. Not many pools have views like this one! I swam until I was blue, and then some. This evening we had dinner at a cowboy restaurant. I hung in there and was good by a shoestring, but headed out just a touch early with dad to get ready for bed. Our vacation begins! Looks like a great start. Happy happy thanksgiving everyone. I hope you have a good week!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Checking out the sites in Portland

We are making our way here in Portland. There are some really cool places around here to visit. This week, I hung around with Mommy a few days this week and we explored our neighborhood quite a bit. We went to Woodstock park, but it was too early in the morning so all of the equipment was wet and the really big lawnmower/leaf pickerupper was cruising around so I didn't stop to play too much, but it was good to check things out. Thursday was my second day in daycare. Courtney said I did fine, though mostly just watched the other kids and didn't hop in to participate much yet. I think it is just taking a bit to make friends, though they all seem very nice. I did miss James so much that I grabbed a picture of him, scrunched it by giving it a big hug, then refusing to give it back to mom saying "my james!" (we'll have to webcam soon buddy). This weekend, however, the whole family enthusiastically hopped into some Portland fun after I helped make pancakes (stir stir stir) and ate 4 big'uns myself (mom only ate 3). On Saturday, we started by heading to the Farmer's market at PSU. It was amazing... a ton of vendors, beautiful produce, meats, jams, and unpasturized apple cider for Daddy (made his day). I got to run around with a few girls for a while, daddy and I munched Kettle corn, hung on some trees and had a great time. Since we were so close, and received our zoo membership the other day, we decided to head over to visit the animals. We didn't spend too long, since it was close to nap time (okay, we pushed it way over, but I was pretty happy about it). We just saw the Cascade mountain part of the zoo, which meant that I got to familiarize myself with black bears, bighorns, bald eagles, cougars, trout and even sealions! The zoo is pretty great! All of the animals could be viewed very clearly and were so close I could almost touch them (well, except for the really thick glass and fences). The habitats were beautiful, the day was nice, we had a great time. Actually, in the farm animal display... I could touch a few sheep. That evening Linda, Matt and Matt's sister (and Scooter's dogsitter) Nicole came by for a quick visit. It was really nice to see them, and I enjoyed playing with the softie farm set they brought me! That evening we had a great meal from our Farmer's market bounty, including peppers, oregon grass-fed steak, chanterelles, and fresh cider! A little later that evening, I also got to see Greg, Cathy and Trevor before Greg and Cathy left for their home in Maryland. Sunday morning, I got up and brushed my teeth, played in my room and then ran errands with the folks. It was a day for more "house stuff" meaning that Mom and Dad lugged me to Ikea. I was pretty content to hang out in my stroller for most of the time. At least when we got home, I got to play outside while Daddy mowed our lawn, then we went for a walk down to Woodstock where Scooter practically pulled me the whole way. Here's a shot of our house as we returned home.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

So long Sonoma and Hello Portland

Well, we just finished up a really big week. James came back from Santa Barbara and we got things going with HALLOWEEN! I was a mischevious monkey and James was a deliriously cute duck (check out those feet)! Since our house was pretty much packed up, we headed over the big-J’s house to greet trick-or-treaters, show off our costumes and share a great meal. James and I had a pretty good time, though I was starting to get a little sick. We played with his instruments and Daddy and David read us books, we like Duck on a Bike and Good Boy Fergus!. Our flash wasn't working too well, otherwise you would crack-up at the pictures of Suzanne, Keith and Gage dog... each wearing my monkey hat! Thursday, after Mommy and Daddy packed up some more in the morning, I stopped by the Doctor (and was told I had croup.. a really ugly cough). However, I was actually feeling pretty good by the afternoon so we had a leisurely afternoon at the park with James and Randall. I am going to miss them so much! After playing on the slides, in the play-house and the swings, we headed back to James’s house for another yummy dinner… thank goodness since our kitchen is all in boxes. Friday was another big day for me… Grandma Terri, Grandpa Tom, Uncle Ryan, David, Randall, Keith, Suzanne, Gage, Naoaki and Jim all came over to help us pack up our BIG truck. Our 26’ Penske truck got pretty much filled up. Daddy was saying it was like a life sized game of tetris with all of our friends bringing him boxes just as fast as he could stack them, but everything fit… even our plants (must have been all of that time spent practicing for just this occasion)! We enjoyed one last pizza evening, at the Union this time (no plates… no nothin’ in the house) with everyone. Turned in after hanging around in our empty house for a little bit (everyone was good sports making themselves comfortable on the floor) and after lots of hugs and a few tears. Saturday we were off for Portland! I slept for a lot of the trip (and am feeling much better now!). Mommy, Grandma Terri, Scooter and I drove up in the Volvo and Daddy and Uncle Ry braved the drive in the BIG truck. It was a long day but in the end… we were home! I didn’t really like all of the unpacking chaos on Sunday, until we got a little bit more settled towards the end of the day and spent most of it grumping around. Although I did get to meet some neighbors, there are even a few kids close to my age! Everyone who stopped by was very friendly. Once all of my toys were out and my bed was set-up, I started feeling a little more settled. Uncle Ryan left Sunday night. I stopped in a grocery store and made mom get all teary when I lunged after a little boy who was making James noises (yah yah yah yah… I miss you too buddy). Monday I stayed with Grandma at “home” (I guess we could do without the quotes… maybe in another day or two) while Mom and Dad went into work and spent the day meeting all sorts of interesting PSU folks. Grandma and I had a very good day… Grandma is super efficient and managed to keep me happy, made dinner and cleaned up the kitchen, and now it looks like a family could really be living here (unless you look in my folks’ room or the garage where it is still mostly boxes). We also went for my first of many walks over to Trader Joes. After Dad dropped Grandma Terri off very early this morning at the airport, we went on a little misadventure to return the Ryder truck all over Portland and Calakamas, then finally headed into my first day at daycare. Mom cried, but I think it will be pretty good. There are 8 kids in my class and I think we should all get along just fine. The weather has been beautiful so far (bah… who says Portland is rainy and grey??), all of the trees are the color of our moving van (yellow) and red and all over the ground. I love kicking them up. I’ll keep you all updated as we get settled in here. But a bit THANK YOU and WE MISS YOU to all of our friends and family who helped us move and have been so sweet and supportive… thank you thank you thank you… we send you our love. More pictures of our new abode soon!