Tuesday, July 30, 2013

our garden, continued

We have so many greens - lettuce, chard, spinach, kale, beet greens - as well as our first cherry tomatoes, beets, and purple bush beans. The pumpkin and delicata squash plants are running wild and taking over the place.
Liesl picks a beet!
chard and beets, and purple beans

Monday, July 29, 2013

life in Portland

I was sitting at a cafe - Coffeehouse Northwest - on Sunday morning in order to get some writing work done.  A woman and her daughter walked in with a Zupan's shopping bag full of food - manchego, brie, raisin pecan bread, chorizo, salami, and chocolate - sat down at the community table, and proceeded to liberally share their bounty with me and everyone else nearby. It appeared to me that a few people showed up on purpose for the brunch party, but most of us were just sitting there minding our own business.  My favorite thing is that the lady host didn't even ask me if I wanted food, she just handed me a slice of bread and cheese. And then salami. I love this town. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Arcadia Beach

Liesl and I had a terrific day at the beach today. We met up with two friends from our mom's group - Mary and Rowan, with whom we've enjoyed a number of adventures, and Crystal and Alex (a baby), who I've only met a few times at the book group. It was great to talk with the other moms at length and our kids were really happy to be playing in the sand together. This was our first time at Arcadia, just south of Cannon Beach, and it proved to be less crowded and more sheltered from the wind.

We explored some tide pools, seeing anemone and starfish and little fish, walked along the beach , and let the kids splash in various shallow pools. We stayed from 10:30 or so until 3:30 - I had thought we might have dinner on the coast, but Liesl was ridiculously sandy and she fell asleep within 5 minutes of getting in the car, before we even made it back to town. So I just drove home and we got cleaned up and ate dinner here.  It was an altogether delightful day.
morning treats from Waves of Grain bakery - a cinnamon roll and ginger chocolate scone. yum.
looking south
Arcadia Beach, looking north. At high tide, the area between those rocks is completely underwater.
new beach toys: ice cream cones and scoops!
touching anemones to see them curl up, along with Rowan

I love how fearless she is about slimy creatures and insects

touching the starfish

I love her happy face in this picture. She loved crawling around in this shallow pool.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Old McDonald's Farm

Yep, that was really the name of the place we visited today. It's an educational farm just east of Portland, with week-long summer camps and day programs for children, where they can feed animals and groom them, muck out sheds and stalls, learn to ride horses, etc. Our friends Mary and Rowan were going and invited us, and it was a really fun morning. I'm glad we had the chance to visit without Sebastian to distract Liesl, because she was enthralled by the animals - truly focused on each one, on touching them and learning from the guide about how to act around them. She helped feed them an oats/corn/barley mixture as well as hay, used the hose to fill up water bowls, groomed the goats and sheep, and even used a trowel to pick up manure. She most loved the horses, the pony, and the donkey, and asked repeatedly to re-visit them and to go for a ride. I think we have pony riding in our future. :) 

doing the chicken dance. :)

Just the girls

Steve and Sebastian are in New York for five days to visit the Raab family and meet our two new nephews. Liesl and I decided to stay home this time. I have some fun adventures planned, but there are also going to be some sweet moments where it's just the two of us. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Sebastian has been loving his bike lately- he lost his fear of speed and downhills, figured out how to get started on his own, and has been tearing around our block and the school track. He shrieks with glee and his face is alight with joy as he careens around corners and rings his bell madly. He wants to ride every afternoon and has asked to go out on a longer trip, on a rail trail.

And then today, disaster. He fell on our street, after successfully navigating the high speed downhill corner. His bike went up onto the curb and he pitched right over onto pavement. His screams were deafeningly loud as I sprinted toward him. Bloody nose, elbow scrapes, forehead bruise, and worst of all, this terrible cheek scrape. 

My poor boy. He was so sad for the rest of the day. His bike is all banged up and I fear his confidence and joy have taken a worse beating. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

a list of favorites

Right now, it's hard to ignore my children's likes and dislikes. They're pretty constant and I'm usually being directed to help fulfill requests and demands. But I know I'll forget once they move on to the next things, and so I wanted to make a snapshot of right now.

Liesl's favorites:
bunny Fufu - now known as baby Fufu
playing babies - putting babies to bed, feeding them, changing them, cuddling them
the color pink
books about girls, and pink, and ballet, and babies
chocolate, ice cream, croissants
fruit - cherries, raspberries, apples, peaches, plums, apricots, watermelon
hummus (King Harvest roasted garlic!)
broccoli with honey
riding her balance bike, bouncing on her hippity-hop, chasing bubbles
stickers - specifically stickers of girls that she gets to dress up in various outfits
getting dressed by herself - picking her own clothes, changing her clothes
riding in her iBert seat on mama's bike
going out anywhere, on any adventure, at any time
surrounding herself with animals at sleep time - three dogs, two lambs, two bunnies, assorted others

Sebastian's favorites:
his stuffed dog, Woof-woof Smell
the color blue
listening to stories, particularly books about trains, cars, trucks, buses, planes, but really any book. 
bread, bagels, and muffins, blueberries, yogurt and granola
kicking and dribbling soccer balls, bouncing basketballs, hitting tennis balls, playing catch with balls and frisbees, running races
riding his green bike around the neighborhood and riding on the trail-a-bike around the city
constructing elaborate setups in the basement - trains, cars, airports, bus stations, race tracks

Monday, July 22, 2013

tired girl

Liesl couldn't even finish her bagel with cream cheese before falling asleep. Hehehe.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Horsetail Falls in the Columbia River Gorge

We took mom and dad to see one of our new favorite hikes, Horsetail Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. It was a beautiful, sunny day, with a crisp breeze that was just perfect for hiking. Sebastian did a great job and Liesl walked most of the way.