Friday, January 31, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

rain hiking...

 On Saturday, after Sebastian's swimming lesson (the first of the series; marked by tears and anxiety), I took the children to the Hoyt Arboretum to run off some energy. It was raining, but they were cheerfully undaunted. We ran from big tree cover to to big tree cover, cuddling under the protective awning. We "fished" in the little stream. We gathered big sticks which we pretended were tunnels to run under or ropes to hop over. It was grand fun.

And then on Sunday, once the rain had stopped, Sebastian and I walked up the Balch Creek trail to the fairy house. The normally sleepy stream had swollen to a fast-paced river marked by rapids and little waterfalls - very fun to see. We got to have a fun little conversation about flooding and water displacement and erosion.

Liesl was feeling tired and cranky, and Steve's knees were bothering him after an earlier long run, and so they only walked in a little way - they visited our favorite ice cream store instead and had tastings of the newest flavors. :)
I have really been noticing the passage of time during our recent hikes together. Walks that would have taken us a couple of hours last January - hikes that would have qualified as full morning activities, and probably required carrying Liesl - now take us under an hour. The children run and skip and jump half the time, and are not tired at the conclusion.  Seb and I made it to the fairy house and back in 35 minutes. I couldn't believe it. I love seeing the kids get stronger and faster, but it also makes me sad to remember that time passes so quickly when you have young children.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I can't take the cuteness.

Liesl is wearing a pink leotard (thanks cousin Evie!) and has her hair in a ponytail. She's right in front of teacher Jarmila here.

Liesl has the dark blue scarf with pink flowers.

And, she's flying!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas break

We had a really nice, happy, and easy two-week break from school for Christmas and New Year's. My parents were here for three days; Steve took some days off from work, and we had fun adventures. We went to the Children's museum and the zoo for animals and Zoolights.  We went hiking and played outside at the Arboretum, the Rose Garden, Forest Park, Laurelhurst Park, and up to Council Crest. For New Year's Eve, we went to a party at our friends' the Zabaglios, where we made noisemakers, ate good food and champagne, and counted down to "midnight" at 8 pm. We went bowling and simultaneously watched the Steelers on the giant tv screen. The kids and I also baked granola, buckwheat pear muffins, cranberry bread, banana bread, cookies and more cookies. And we went to the library and checked out a veritable mountain of books. It was good. It was tiring - I find two children to be much more exhausting mentally than one - but nice to have the chance to hang out with Sebastian and for the children to play with each other.

On one of our hikes, we took our gingerbread houses into the park and smashed them to pieces. That was great fun and very memorable for both children.  :)

Another of our hikes was with friends Mary and Rowan up to Council Crest, where we could see beautiful, clear views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and other peaks. I hadn't been on that hike or up there since Steve and I did it with our families right before we got married here in 2005. Sadly, you can't see the mountains looming behind the children in any of my pics. :(

And now we are back to our regularly scheduled lives - Sebastian in school, and Liesl in a raft of activities. For the next six weeks, we will have swimming lessons, a dance class, art class, and weekly playgroup. Her first swimming lesson on Monday was a huge success - her first foray into the water without me, and she did wonderfully - no fear. She was super proud that "I did everything that teacher Kyle asked!"