Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friends from Chicago!

The Fish meeting is in town this week, which means for us a sweet opportunity to spent some quality time with Leo, Katie, Milo and Betsy who came all the way out from Chicago! Mom can't believe that it has been 5 years and three and 7/9th kids since they have spent any time together. Well, just to back up a touch... before meeting them on Friday, I spent some time with Sophia, who I had been missing. In lieu of painting a mural, we spent most of the time painting ourselves (then smashing ourselves on the mural)! Mom forgot the camera, but grabbed it before showering me off... I had a great time and need to spend some more time with them. Anyhow, after a very quick shower, we headed downtown to Kenny and Zukes to meet up with our friends and Daddy for lunch. I downed the hotdog in record time (for me) and got comfortable with our friends. By the time lunch was over Milo and I were good pals. Daddy had to get back to work after lunch, so the rest of us headed over to enjoy the sunshine at Jameson Park. We had an awesome time cooling off in the water, running, splashing, for a really long time. The grown-ups finally were getting a little hot just watching us run about, so we took off looking for a cool drink and a walk. Milo and I had a great time playing in the coffee shop and I loved the dueling iphone movies. Such a nice and fun afternoon enjoying Portland sunshine and good friends. We walked all over town and I was beat . Daddy left that night for another trip to NY to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Steves... and for a work meeting, so it has been just Mom and me for the rest of the weekend, really super great that the Smiths were in town to break things up for me. Although Leo had to work on Saturday, Mom and I met Betsy (who I LOVE), Milo (who I SMUSH) and Katie at the Farmer's Market. It was a crazy busy day at the market, probably because it is primo berry season and beautiful morning weather (heating up increasingly in the afternoons). We had a great time running around and eating a few snacks, of course, along the way. I headed home and actually took an awesome nap. Spent the afternoon running errands with Mom, and just keeping busy. This morning, I woke Mom up a little earlier than she probably would have liked, but it gave us the opportunity to get all of our baking in for the week while it was still cool out. We made Lasagna and bread. Alas, we got a call a little later that Alice is spending her birthday recovering from a stomach bug rather than with the planned party. We hope she is feeling up to par by now... I know those things are no fun. To beat the heat, Mom and I headed to Ikea before ... you guessed it... going to find the Smith Clan for an early dinner. I was so happy to see them again, that I was a bit of a super goof for most of dinner, but it was a nice opportunity to spend some more time with them and to bit them farewell. We feel so lucky to have had such a wonderful visit with great friends! Thanks guys!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fish, Fireflies and Family Fun!

We headed to NY this week. Had a long red-eye on the way in, which meant that I didn't sleep until early early in the morning, and completely wore Mom and Dad out... but in the end it was all worth it to spend a great week with Grandma and Grandpa Steves. They greeted us at the airport and we started out great with a lunch that for me included chicken fingers... yum! We headed to Wolcott and had a lovely afternoon, including a pretty darned good nap and some running around time and berry picking in the yard. Wednesday, Grandpa Steves took Mom, Dad and Me out for a spin in his boat and some fishing! I scored the most pan fish that day and had a super great time. I did super well and stayed out all morning... then played with Mom and Grandma in the afternoon. After our yummy fish fry and crashing pretty well that night, Dad woke me up and we snuck outside to peek at some lightening bugs... they were so cool. That first night I was a little scared of them, but was excited for the rest of the week to go catch and see lightening bugs in the trees and grass. Thursday was Mom's birthday... we made an attempt to head to Canindaigua, but car trouble turned us around... so we celebrated with ice cream at Brooks. Had a nice dinner with some family friends Bill and Tracy, where we enjoyed Grandpa's Ribs and some yummy birthday Cake! I played with Dad's old wildlife information cards (and "made a mess" of the well organized cards). Went fishing again on Friday with just Dad and Grandpa. I didn't last quite as long, but still brought home a lot of fish. That afternoon we headed to Canindaigua again and had a lovely, drizzly afternoon. We walked around an Art and Music festival and found cousin Bonnie. Bonnie made me and baby sister awesome warm fleece blankets... I don't have a good picture of the awesome blanket, because I used it as a burrito wrapper or to turn into a rock and was burried, totally, underneath it for much of the week. Thank you Bonnie! That evening we headed to see Great-Uncle Rich, Great-Aunt Joann and Great-Grandma Steves! It was so nice to be able to visit for a little bit. Saturday, I hung out with Mom and Grandma in the morning and we had a lovely time checking out the Mennonite store and Fairhaven. We met up with the hard-core fishers, Dad and Grandpa Steves... and after lunch headed over to Aunt Tami and Uncle Eddie's house for a clambake and Uncle Eddie's fantastic Cornell Chicken. It was a beautiful afternoon of exploring their vast and incredible garden and enjoying their hammock. I also played with the wildlife (frogs, slugs, and garden snakes), and had a fantastic dinner! I wasn't a huge clam fan (I do not speak for the rest of the family that managed to put away dozens and dozens of clams for a snack). We had a really nice time and a great way to round-out our visit. Headed home a little late that night, but I got a great night's sleep and headed back to the airport early on Sunday morning. We had a smooth ride home, well, except when I really just had to kick the seat in front of me. Picked up Scooter and visited a bit with Joaquin and his family (his grandfolks are in town). A little later Melissa Miner stopped by for a nice surprise visit and brought us some rhubarb plants. A nice afternoon decompressing from a week of travel. We had a lovely time and really enjoyed ourselves. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Steves!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Butterflies and bicycles

Mom spent the week in California catching green crabs for work so I spent the whole week with just Dad. For the most part it was pretty boring...

However, Grandma Terri sent me some caterpillars a couple weeks ago and after a week or so in their cocoons, my caterpillars started to turn into beautiful butterflies.

I spent a day or so looking at them in their butterfly cage.

Eventually though I decided that it might be better to let them go so that they could fly around looking for flowers. Daddy captured the whole release on video.

Oh.. I've also rediscovered my bike. Last year I really couldn't touch the pedals and after spending some time trying to figure out the whole pedaling thing I really started cruising. Once again Daddy captured it all on video.

In another day or so we're heading out to New York to see Grandma and Grandpa Steves and all my other relatives I rarely get to see. I can't wait.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Long weekend

Our long weekend began with difficult news. Great-Uncle Dudley died after struggling with pancreatitis for several weeks. We are grateful that we have known and loved him, his generosity and enthusiasm for life is reflected in his influence on us and on his family.

After a day in the sunshine, with some time playing outside, canning cherries with Mom and Dad, and running some errands, we headed over to visit with Andy, Linda and Matt. They had us over for a lovely cookout. I love playing with Andy, we had a great time together. It's bonafide summertime around here and is HOT!

Saturday was also loads of fun, I spent the morning with the folks... we headed over to the farmer's market in the morning after a breakfast of waffles. It was a beautiful morning with yummy berries everywhere, plus a treat from two tarts. My favorite was running around the grass, as you can imagine.

Afterwards, we headed home, and I got a good nap in. When I woke up we went to Joaquin and Val's for a dip in their pool, so much fun, we ended up running and jumping with glee into the pool! Our big fourth of July celebration was over at Dan, Robyn and Alice's house. We had a lovely evening full of playing with my pals, yummy food and fireworks.

On Sunday Mommy left for Bodega Bay to catch some green crabs. I'm not sure why, but dad keeps telling me that "no we can't eat the green crabs. Dad made a rookie mistake this morning and forgot the battery to the camera when we went to Woodstock Park. We walked quite a bit and even went all the way to Otto's for a hot dog. After a nice long nap, we walked to another park, Creston Park, and met Joaquin and Val. Turns out this other park has an outdoor pool which was nice and warm. I'm hoping we get to go here more often so I can put all those swimming lessons from this winter to good use.