Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Catching Up

We have been very busy the past few weeks. We celebrated father's day with Todd a little early and had a fun day riding our bikes locally and going to the park and then going out to dinner at the Skyway for amazing pulled pork and ribs. The next day I left for California for the weekend and had a wonderful time visiting with my former college housemates, Tricia and Lesley and their families. We packed in a lot in a few days and had a great time exploring Monterey and Santa Cruz. Meadow and I got back on Tuesday and had kind of a chill day on Wednesday to recuperate before starting to pack up for our camping trip on Thursday. We got all packed up and left for Crowe Butte around five. It is just under a three hour drive. We headed over Mt. Hood and drove a few hours in the gorge. We had a wonderful time with Todd's sister and family and a few other friends. I love camping with other families, because the kids love to play together. We had a fun time biking, sea kayaking, and relaxing. More on that trip later. Just a quick pregnancy update. I am now 27 weeks pregnant, almost done with the second trimester. The baby weighs about two pounds now and is the size of a cauliflower. I have a lot of pictures I hope to post soon. The summer has definitely started with a bang.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Enjoying The Outdoors

The past few days Meadow and I have been enjoying being outside. It has really been great weather. In the 70's and partly cloudy. On Monday, we met up with my friend Heidi and her son Jonah at Imagination Station in Troutdale. I had heard great things about this playground, so it was great to see it in person. Meadow and Jonah had a blast crawling and climbing all over the place. It was a bit more work for Heidi and I, and it included Heidi at 7 months pregnant sliding down a firemen's pole just to keep an eye on the kids when I had to go to the bathroom. I was so sorry I missed seeing that feat. There were just a lot of nooks and crannies that can make a parent of toddlers really nervous.

Jonah had this awesome surf outfit with a matching hat on. What cuties with sunhats on.
Taking a break

Acting like monkeys

Yesterday we went on a little hike with our neighbors to little zig zag falls. This hike is only about ten minutes from our house and is perfect for toddlers. It is not quite a mile long round trip and there is a cute bench to sit on to look at the falls. My neighbor and I love the outdoors and enjoy getting the kids out in their natural environment. They had a blast climbing on rocks, playing with sticks and generally just having a good time. Janelle and I were discussing how playgrounds are really fun, but kids can learn so much more when they are playing out in nature. I just feel so blessed to have nature right out my back door. Sorry there are no pictures of this trip, left the camera at home.

Camping along the Klickitat River

Under threat of thunderstorms and hail, the family, myself and our friend Berny headed out to the Klickitat river. Todd and Berny were meeting up with our friends Sara and Randy and some of their rafting friends to paddle the Klickitat. As we crossed over Mt. Hood the overcast skies parted and the sun came out. I can see the benefits of living in Hood River. They definitely get a lot more sun over the mountain. It was a beautiful drive out to the river. I always love seeing parts of the country I have never seen before. I have been out to the White Salmon river several times, but have never drove north east from there. There are beautiful high elevation meadows by Mt. Adams and you drive by a deep narrow canyon to get to the take out for this river and our campsite.

This is a picture of a cumulonimbus cloud we saw above Mt. Adams. We have been seeing a lot of these clouds lately and have had a few thunderstorms by our house. We usually don't get thunderstorms in our area, so it is kind of a weather treat.

After the drive, Meadow and I got to relax by the river while the rest of the crew went rafting and kayaking. I admit, I was a little jealous of their adventures, but being able to read and do yoga while Meadow played with shovels, buckets, water and rocks was a real treat for a pregnant lady. Here is a view of the river
Meadow in her outdoor glory. I had brought several outfits, so that she could just get dirty and wet. I made several trips down to the river with this yellow bucket so she could play with the water. I am sure it was refreshing for her because it was 80 degrees and sunny.

This is another one of Meadow's favorite activities. She could literally spend hours throwing rocks into the river. I found a little shady spot, so we could wait to see the rafters and kayakers come down the river.
Here they come.

I wish I had taken a better picture of the campsite. It was actually a really nice site because there were few people and a lot of room to hang out by the campfire. The only drawback to this campsite, was the bugs and the lack of trails. Poor Meadow got 11 bug bites on her back and that was even after putting on longsleeves and spraying her with bugspray. It is possible that the natural bugspray is not effective, or it was too old to make a difference. We had a nice dinner and I broke out the strawberries and angel food cake for dessert. There is just something about eating good food and camping. We are still loving our camper and we all slept really great.

We were going to do a little hiking on the way home, but Meadow was tired from the weekend that she fell asleep quickly into the drive. We all kind of wanted to get home anyway so it was a good excuse to just keep driving. We also got a look at the hiking along the klickitat and decided we got just as good of a view from the truck. It was really neat to see the small towns on our way back to the gorge. I always am curious what people do for a living and if they enjoy living so far out. For the people who think we live far out in the country, these people live faaarrrrrrrrr out. The towns we drove through on the way home include Klickitat, and Lyle. I am sure the people there really enjoy the fishing and living on a river just like we do. oh and I forgot to add, it never rained or thunderstormed. I heard a couple booms way off in the distance, but it was pretty much sunny the entire time.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hope's 1st Year Birthday

This past Wednesday, Meadow and I had a full day. I headed over to Clackamas for my 24 week appointment and then we had Hope's 1st year party to go to in Vancouver. It is always a nice treat for us when we have doctor's appointments because we can go visit Todd at his work. My appointment went really well. I am measuring right where I should be and gaining some more weight. The baby's heart beat sounded great. This pregnancy keeps just going by fast. I am sure the summer is going to fly by.

Here is a picture in Todd's office. At least he gets a nice view of the parking lot across the street. Hope's big gift from Todd's parents and Tonia and Tyler. She was having a blast in this, as well as Meadow and the boys.
Bampom giving Meadow a push. Xavier was so proud of his graduation cap. He graduated from preschool earlier in the day. I can't believe he is starting kindergarten this fall.

They were able to share this for a little while. Hope liked to push and Meadow would ride and push with her feet. Too cute.

Parker is such an attentive nephew and brother. He is making sure they don't hurt themselves.

The cake presentation

Tonia gave her a smaller cake to actually play with and eat. She wasn't really into the process and actually did not like it one bit. I actually joked and said she might have more refined dessert tastes and only like creme bru lee as she gets older.
Now Meadow on the other hand, loves her cake.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Play Date with Jonah

This past Tuesday we had my good friend Heidi and her son Jonah over to play and have lunch. The kids had a blast while we chatted about life and how our pregnancies are going. Heidi is due a month before me. We brought the kids down to our backyard beach. They loved playing in the sand and a little water pool that had formed because the water has receded. Heidi brought her camera down to the beach and got some great pictures. Check them out on Jonah's blog. After hosing them off, we went inside for a nice lunch and more playtime. I am so glad we installed a faucet off the garage that has warm water. The kids got to have a mini shower outside. Here are a few pictures of them playing in a box we got from buying our new glider and ottoman for the nursery.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Liz's Bachelorette Weekend

This past weekend I was able to go to Gearhart, OR which is about twenty minutes north of Cannon Beach on the coast. Liz's sister had organized the weekend and had rented a beautiful house for the nine of us to stay in. All of Liz's bridesmaids were able to make the weekend, including her sister from Maryland and her good friend Sam from Michigan. I felt honored to be asked to attend the weekend, because technically I am not one of the bridesmaids. We had a great time just hanging out in this wonderful house, which even had a yoga room. We made great food and went on walks to the beach and the local french bakery. This bakery was sooooo good. We tested out several of the pastries and were amazed by every one. I think my favorite was the pear tart.

On Saturday we headed to Cannon Beach and had a nice lunch together and then some of us parted ways to go shopping and the rest of us went to Ecola State Park to see some beautiful views of the coastline and go for a little hike. It was such a wonderful time. We did have your typical Oregon beach weather, which was pretty windy and cold. But, that did not stop us from enjoying every minute. Of the nine women there, five of us were mothers. So, there was a lot of chatting about labor, babies and toddlers. But, there was also a lot of other great discussions as well. I just really appreciated being able to spend that time with a great group of women. We were so thankful to all the dad's that stayed home with our babies and kids. Todd had a great time with Meadow and they played hard all weekend. He took her to the local park and went out dinner afterwards. They don't get a lot of alone time, mainly because we like to spend so much time together as a family, so I think Todd really appreciated his time with her this weekend.

Here is a view of the living room in the house.
View of the houses from the beach

Seeing the beach on Friday night
Taunya, Jen, Liz, Myself and Gretchen

Walking into the wind

The whole crew out to lunch. Sam, Liz, Julie, Myself, Gretchen, Jen, Kate, Luann, and Taunya.
Even though we did not hire a stripper for the bachelorette party, we did get some nice views of a few young men taking off their wetsuits after surfing. We all agreed that our husbands were way better looking. We had a few silly giggles as we started our hike.

This was such a fun weekend. Can't wait for the wedding on July 25th. Todd and I will be staying up at Timberline lodge while his parents watch Meadow for the night for us. It will be nice to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary and reminisce about our own wedding there. It will also be a good practice overnight for Meadow for when the baby arrives.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wedding Videos

Meadow Turns 2

We had a great turn out and perfect weather for Meadow's second birthday. She had such a wonderful time and it was so great to see the excitement in her face when she opened up her presents and had cupcakes. She literally screamed with excitement to have a cupcake. She had been waiting all day and had kept asking to have one. So, I admit I did let her have one after breakfast. You just gotta let loose on your birthday.

Eating lunch. She sat by all her little friends.
Playing in her new house. She refers to this house as Meadow's house or little house.

A good view of the Visors I made for all the kids.
The bubbles were a huge hit.

From left to right, Cooper and Wyatt-neighbors, Jonah-my former co-worker's son, Hope, Stockton and Xavier-cousins, Myla-cousin and Maddie-Meadow's gal pal.
Opening up presents. The kids were so excited to see what Meadow got and to watch her open up the presents they gave her.

Tissue paper is so fun to rip open.

New tricycle from Ghanny and Bampom.

mmmmmmmm cupcakes, my favorite thing.

Hope checking out the new trike. Hope is turning one next week.

Playing down by the river

It is hard to believe this event has already passed. Meadow had so much fun, it is almost sad we have to wait a whole year for her next one. It is a good thing we have a few nephews and a niece's party coming up.

NY Adventures

After my brother's wedding we had a few days to explore the adirondacks. It was fun to be able to do a few things that I had never done as a kid when we would come up to visit. We were a little dissapointed Enchanted Forest wasn't open, but it really wasn't warm enough to enjoy the water rides anyway. I tried to just pick out a few pictures to highlight our trip, but it is tough when Meadow is constantly doing something cute. Todd and I didn't get a chance to canoe or kayak this time around. So, the next time we come back we are definitely planning on exploring some of the lakes and rivers.

On Sunday we headed up to the Adirondack Museaum. We wished we had left ourselves just a little more time because we ended up not seeing every exhibit. But, it was a really nice excursion for the whole family. It was very accessible for my grandma and Meadow loved the kid oriented exhibits.
This is the biggest Adirondack chair I have ever seen. There was no shortage of adirondack chairs at the museum.
Playground by the one room school house. This was a really neat exhibit to see what it might have been like attending a school like this in the early 19th century.

Trying out another chair

mmmmmm ice cream. This is Meadow's official first time eating ice cream out of a cone.

This picture looks so patriotic. Fitting that it was Memorial day weekend.

Play stucture in Inlet, NY.
View of 4th Lake at the North Woods Inn from the balcony.

On Monday, we met up with Rachel and Nate after their mini moon and took a ride on the Adirondack railroad. This is a view of the Moose River from the train.

There was an open air car on the train so you could have great views. We spent some of our time in this car during the ride. It was a little over an hour ride, which was perfect for a toddler. She had a chance to explore the whole train during the ride.

The newlyweds

Spending some quality time with great grandma back at my parent's house.

Grandpa giving Meadow a tractor ride. She wasn't too sure of this idea, so it didn't last long. But, it was a cute photo opp.
Out to lunch in Utica

On one of the days in NY we were had planned on checking out Ft. Ricky's petting zoo in Rome. We were sorely dissapointed when we drove there and it was closed due to weather. I guess us rugged Oregonians didn't think a little cold and sprinkles should close a whole place down. The tough part was that we had talked about our little excursion all morning and then to arrive and have it closed was very crushing to Meadow. I think we were all almost in tears to see her so dissapointed. The nice thing was that after a good lunch we got some tips from a local mom, and headed over to a place called Rough and Tumble in New Hartford. This place saved the day. You will see why in the following pictures.

Having dinner at Nate and Rachel's house
Taking a walk around Bradley Brook

We had a birthday party for Meadow the night before we left to come back to Oregon. We were able to meet my cousin Amy's little boy, Wyatt.

Blowing out 2 candles

She loves this chair from my aunt Dyann.
I still can't believe Meadow is 2. She is turning into such a kid, like she likes to say. Anytime we see a kid or baby she likes to point them out. I think she is ready to have a playmate.