Friday, January 30, 2015

outdoor adventures

I went mountain biking in Forest Park last weekend - a few miles down the old Saltzman Rd trail, and then five miles along the Leif Erikson trail - it was fun, but I don't think I've ever been so muddy. Apparently a few days of sun aren't enough to dry up all the winter mud and goop, and the splattering was intense.  I need mudflaps.
Today was a teacher planning day, so Sebastian was off from school. Yay!!  It was sunny and warm, and so we met up with the Delloways and Hoangs to go for a hike in the Gorge - Latourell Falls. It was just the right distance - 2.5 miles - an easy loop hike, with a big waterfall at the beginning and another at the top. Definitely worth a return visit. Especially since I forgot to bring my good camera.

Monday, January 26, 2015

sunny "winter" day

I almost hate to post these pictures when there's a blizzard in NY, but Sunday was a beautiful day - clear, sunny, and unbelievably warm. The birds were out and it smelled like springtime.  Of course, it's January, so this is not seasonably normal weather - global warming? freakish winter? Regardless, we enjoyed it.  There was some morning fog but when it burned off the day was sublime. 
In the late afternoon - after Sebastian got to play soccer on the field for an hour - we drove over to the cemetery on Burnside to see the mountains and city.  We got a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood, still with snow on top despite the recent warm weather.
We had a new babysitter come in the morning for a couple of hours - Steve and I went out for pastries and a walk around the Japanese Garden. The children were extra close all day long in the face of a new outsider. It's super sweet to see them rely on each other for comfort and support.
Mount St. Helens, with Mt. Rainier behind it.  Note the fog still blanketing the north part of Portland.
And then we just got silly, asking the children to jump on the grassy hill while I tried to capture it with the camera. It took a LOT of takes, especially to get the timing right with Liesl. Super fun.

Ta-da!!! Both children airborne.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

basketball season

Some blurry, grainy, not-very-good pictures from Sebastian's first basketball game on Saturday morning.  He enjoyed it, except that he thought the other team was allowed to do too much traveling and double-dribbling. :)
In other news, his soccer team lost on Saturday afternoon by a very wide margin. We don't know how bad it was, because they stopped keeping score at 7-2, but it was carnage. Sebastian took the loss surprisingly well, continuing to try hard and do his best during the game, and shaking it off afterwards.  He crashed into bed on Sat. night, slept an hour later than usual (6:35!), and then was starving all day today. Eggs, bread, cheese, apples, crackers, banana, nuts, granola bar, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, rice, bacon, and then for dinner a bacon double cheeseburger and pasta alla carbonara. Both. It was crazy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sunday adventures

On Sunday we went out and about: the morning at OMSI, building earthquake-proof towers, investigating bottle rockets, learning about the Port of Portland and its shipping containers, testing out sailing ships and paddle-boats, and various other super fun things.  To our amazement, delight, and embarrassment, we discovered another entire wing of the science museum devoted to hands-on experimenting and learning for older children. We have always visited the young children's playroom and the permanent and special exhibits on the second floor. Today we finally walked down the other hallway - for some reason, I thought there was only the planetarium and a submarine in that wing, both of which cost extra fees, and neither of which we'd ever seen. Instead, there was an enormous hall of amazing science play. I feel so sheepish and regretful that we've been there a dozen times and missed out on the coolest room! We even took visitors there and failed to show them the good stuff! I'm sorry! On the bright side, we can't wait to go back, and we're so excited that Tom, Angie, and Rio gave us an annual membership for Christmas!
We had lunch at a new-to-us Latin American restaurant called Teote - very tasty arepas, guacamole, beans and rice, chicken and pork belly. And then we got properly outfitted and tromped around Hoyt Arboretum in the afternoon drizzle.
 A giant wishbone that became two walking sticks.

cozy Saturday

Saturday was a lovely, cozy, rainy Portland day.  Sebastian had sports; Liesl and Steve painted and pretended and read books; I went for a run and baked bread. It was sweet.

My office ordered new chairs and I brought home the enormous box they came in, to serve as an instant fort/house/ship/whatever.  Both children fit inside, easily, and were thrilled.
My double-chocolate banana bread, a new favorite. And my boy, having finally lost his front tooth.
Steve and Liesl painting a picture, with pirates and mermaids and the sea and sky.
Sebastian had a basketball practice in the morning with his new team, the Falcons. His friend Frances' mother is the coach and he has multiple friends on the squad. First game is this weekend! And then in the afternoon he had his first game with a new-to-us indoor team, consisting of many friends from school who compete in an indoor league.  He declared that the double-header of Saturday was his best day ever and can't wait for next weekend.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

mom's day out: snowshoeing trip to Trillium Lake

I went snowshoeing today with my core group of adventuring mom friends - Adrienne, Mary, Anne, and Tracy - we went to Trillium Lake at Mt. Hood and did a 5 mile loop on a packed trail around the lake. It was beautiful and sunny and we had an wonderful time tramping around and chatting.