Friday, January 30, 2009

Little Artist

Just had to share a recent activity we did the other day. Fingerpainting! Meadow has really started to enjoy the process. We tried it several months ago and she wasn't a big fan. I think now that her fine motor skills are more developed she is getting a big kick out of it. She was very serious and into the project, so it was hard to get a big smile in the picture.

Putting some clothes and a mitten on her doll. The doll's most recent outfit was a pretty dress, pants, warm coat, and boots. I thought that was pretty fitting for the northwest and winter.
She chose all the clothes herself.
I am hoping to start incorporating some more regularly scheduled art and music time into our day. It is just amazing how the day goes by so fast with a toddler. So, I am working on being a more of a plan a head person so that we can incorporate more into our day. I wish I could have some of my friend's come over to help with some of this enrichment. I am sure Meadow would love if my friend's Jerri or Sarah came over to sing. I try my best, but singing has never been my strong point. Although, I was in chorus from 4th-11th grade so I can sing twinkle, twinkle little star pretty well. At least Todd has been teaching her a lot about ryhthm with his drumming. She likes to hit every drum he owns. We still need to get a video of her playing his drum set.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Palm Springs Weekend

This was our third annual trip down to Palm Springs. Todd's parents rent a two bedroom house for six weeks and invite many friends and family to stay with them while they are there. Steve is in golf heaven when he is down there and golfs almost every day. Rita really misses the crazy weather we have in Oregon and her grandkids, so she only stays for about half the time before heading back to Oregon.

We were curious how different our trip would be this year due to our very mobile toddler. Meadow really had a great time and enjoyed looking at all the interesting plants and flowers that we don't have at home. We spent a lot of time outside during the day just enjoying the 70 degree weather as well as eating good food and playing cards at night. It is just a nice weekend for all of us to spend quality time together, which can be hard to do with our busy schedules.

Bampom reading books before bed time.

Getting some loves from Ghanny

Rita watched Meadow for us so that we go golfing in the afternoon. We had a nice time with Steve and both had some high moments. Todd birdied one hole and I had a 160 yard drive. My short game needs a lot of work though. One of my main problems is that I want to hit the ball as hard as a field hockey ball.

Todd's nice golf swing

It was a really beautiful course. I did make it over the water and landed just to the left of the green.

In the neighborhood where they rent the house there is an 18 hole putting green course. Meadow had fun helping us get the balls in the hole.
Learning how to putt.

Meadow loves wearing this backpack and sometimes will wear it all day.

Meadow really enjoyed riding in the cart. They would go on rides around the neighborhood. Todd and I rode bikes along side them.

At the bocce ball courts
Silly Van Hee's playing bocce ball.

It was nice to be able to experience a little break from winter for a few days. The night we got home it snowed an inch. I think Meadow missed the snow a little bit, so she was happy to get out and play outside in it. Todd and I missed the ease in being able to just walk outside without having to get all the gear on. oh well, I guess we will just have to wait a few more months for the warmer weather.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Snowboarding Weekend

This past weekend I had a lot of fun with Todd and Meadow as well as my friends. On Friday and Saturday morning I went up to the mountain snowboarding with friends and in the afternoons hung out with Meadow while Todd went kayaking. He had not gone on a good adrenalin run in awhile and had a blast on the Clackamas river. On Friday morning I carpooled up to the mountain with my friend Liz and we joined up with some other friends on the mountain. It was another gorgeous day with little crowds. It was really fun to be in a whole group of snowboarding women. Liz had not been on her board in a few years since she picked up tele skiing. So, she was excited to give it a go again. She used to be a snowboard instructor, so it was like riding a bike for her. We got a few hours in and were both ready to leave around 12, which worked out perfect for a few of the women who had to take a break to pump breast milk. I thought it was so awesome they had it all figured out to be able to do that on the mountain. On another note, I really appreciated being able to get together with a group of women doing something adventerous. It was a lot of fun being able to catch up with each other while getting some exercise.

Here is an example of one of the gorgeous views that day.
Liz and I
The ladies minus me

On Friday evening our good friends Sara and Randy came over the evening and to spend the night before heading to the mountain. It is always fun having them over for a sleep over because we don't get to see them very often and we get to catch up on our lives while drinking a few beers and soaking in the hot tub. They are also great entertainers for Meadow and as soon as they had arrived Meadow was very excited and was sprinting circles around the living room. After a fun evening, we had a very yummy waffle breakfast in the morning and then Sara and I headed up to the mountain with Randy in tow. We had a great morning of boarding and had gotten up early enough to miss some of the crowds. The snow was perfect mid morning because the sun had melted it just enough for some good carving. I had a really fun morning until a little boy came from my blindside and cut me off. I figured instead of taking him out I should fall. I was glad I had my helmet on that day. So, I have been a little sore the past few days but it was well worth it to save some possible broken limbs.
I headed back to the homestead for the afternoon while Todd went out on his kayaking adventure. Sara and Randy came back for the evening after their full day on the mountain and we went out to our favorite restaurant, "The Rendevous." I hadn't seen Randy and Sara since the fall, so it was great to be able to catch up. We are hoping to plan our Portland weekend soon, so we can check out their newly remodeled kitchen and hang with the city folk for a few days.

Styleeee Sara

The cute couple plus a guy with cool sunglasses and an orange hat.

Short Women Unite! Sara is just a hair taller than me. This is a funny quote from Randy that night. Somehow it was brought up that I was 4'10 inches and 3/4. Randy commented on how he had never heard of anyone using quarters until he met Sara. It must be our own little way of trying to act taller. Don't think it actually works though.

Beautiful view of Mt. Jefferson.

It was great to be able to spend so much time on the mountain this past weekend. I felt energized every time I was up there. I am not sure when we will have temperatures and sun like this again. Maybe not till June.

Meadow's First Day of Skiing

This past Thursday we headed up to the mountain to do a little snowboarding and skiing and most importantly try putting Meadow on skis. We had been looking for some skis that you can strap on to kids boots because we knew it would be hard to find any real ski boots that would fit Meadow. Luckily my neighbor Janelle had some skis that were just like what we were looking for and she had used them with her boys when they were first learning. It is so great to have a neighbor to borrow things from. We have kind of a revolving system right now because her youngest is a year younger than Meadow and her older kids are a couple years older. So, we have been exchanging things on and off.

Well, we made it up to the ski resort and it was 55 degrees and sunny. We picked the perfect day for Meadow's first day. She had a blast, squeeling and giggling the whole time. Todd did many, many laps with her going down the bunny hill and then heading up on the magic carpet. Our main goal for her this year is to just experience what it is like to be on skis and make it fun for her so that she will want to try again next year.

Going up the magic carpet. It is like a walking escalater and is covered to keep the kids out of the elements when it is stormy. No need for it this day. It was actually a sauna in there.

Going fast down the hill.

Learning to walk with the skis. They are like cross country skis, so they will be fun to try out on some of the flat trails.

Todd and I were both pretty impressed with how well she did. She had the skis on for over an hour and then had a great time just playing in the snow afterwards. After a lunch break we brought Meadow over to the daycare for a few hours so we could head up to the bigger slopes. It was really an amazing day with few people on the mountain.

Spring Already?

It has been pretty warm in our area for the past week. Up in Brightwood it has actually been warmer than Portland because of a temperature inversion. So, the higher in elevation the warmer the temperature. Not only has it been a little bit warmer than normal it has also been sunny. We have been taking advantage of all the nice weather and getting out and about. This past Wednesday, Meadow and I met our nephews, niece and my sister in law at the zoo. It was really fun for the cousins to get together and we also wanted to celebrate Parker's birthday. He just turned 10! It is so amazing that I have known him since he was 2. He is definitely growing into a little man. Well, as you can tell in this picture he is almost as tall as me. We had a really fun day watching all the animals. They were pretty busy as well, probably enjoying the nice weather like us.

This lion was taking in some sun through the window.

The baby elephant stayed right by her mom the whole time. She is only four months old.

The whole crew

Meadow taking a bath later that day. I think her eyes look gorgeous in this picture. I had her hair in a nice mohawk, but her hair is getting so long it fell over.

More to come, including our fun adventures on the mountain this weekend.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Friends and Snowshoeing Adventures

This past Saturday, Meadow and I went snowshoeing with our good friends Maddie and Jen around Enid Lake in Government Camp. Todd had a fun day of skiing with the guys up at Meadows. Meadow now calls Maddie "Maaa" and Maddie calls Meadow "Memo" Very cute to watch them interacting so much more now. I just feel so blessed that Meadow already has such a great friend at the age of 19 months and that Jen has become such a good friend of mine. It is really great to be able to share with her all of the ups and downs of parenting. I think we both would agree that this stage for the girls is really fun because every day they are saying a new word or showing us that they can do something new.

Here we are getting all geared up
Maddie all geared up and ready to go.

Jen accidentally forgot her backpack for Maddie to ride in, so luckily I had brought the sled along. The girls rode together for a little while and then Maddie wasn't too fond of the bumpy ride so Jen borrowed my ergo carrier. Jen is hooked on the ergo now too and I think has already placed an order for her own. They really do make baby and toddler carrying so much more comfortable.

Taking a snack break about five minutes into the hike. You can see a view of the snow covered lake about five minutes in. So, it was nice to take in the view while the girls had their snack.

A few of Jen's friends also tagged along. They were a great support team when I needed help making sure Meadow didn't tip out of the sled and carrying the sled over some hilly parts. Meadow really was a trooper and probably got a great core workout. Near the end of the hike, she wanted to just walk or be carried. So, here she is doing a little hiking.

I love this picture of Jen and Maddie. Pretty framable don't you think?

Later on that evening, the girls came over to hear the guys jamming music out in the garage. It was too bad I didn't get a chance to document the finnin haddie reunion, as well as the girls dancing to the music.
Meadow trying to cuddle with Maddie.