Sunday, March 29, 2015

spring break

Our spring break plans were sadly altered when mom/Popo became so ill that we had to leave Surrey - instead of staying through Friday, we came back on Wednesday afternoon.  We stopped in Seattle on the way south and walked around Green Lake Park, played at the playground, and had lunch at Macrina Bakery.

On Thursday morning, no one could face driving anywhere in the car, so we played at home, did some chores, and went to the field to play soccer.  In the afternoon we investigated a new nature playground that was recently created - it's just across the county line towards Beaverton, about 5 minutes from home. We had a great time making a play house from stumps and logs. After that we got some frozen yogurt and went to Cornell Farms garden store, where I indulged my semi-green thumb with new potted flowers, edible greens, big outdoor pots, and planting soil. I've started transplanting and re-potting all my new lovelies and can't wait to see them all around the outside of our home.

Friday morning we headed downtown to the Central Library for our usual orgy of returning/checking out scads of books. I think we have more than 90 books checked out right now. :)  After that we hopped on our bikes - Sebastian on his own, and Liesl behind me in the Topeak bike seat - and rode down to the river, along the waterfront, across the Steel Bridge, and then along the east side to OMSI.  Liesl really wanted to go in, so we parked our bikes and played in the little kid room for half an hour, and then biked across the Hawthorne Bridge back to our car.  Friday afternoon was back at home, Sebastian at the field playing soccer and basketball, and Liesl playing Legos and riding scooters with friend Rowan.  I baked a raspberry almond cake for my birthday, did a few hours of work-related emails, and got my hands dirty with my new plants. 
Saturday felt like sort of a classic Portland day: soccer, pork, hiking, bakery, soccer. :) 
We started off a little slowly at home, with the children constructing various play forts around the house, and then played soccer at the field for an hour before hopping in the car and going out for lunch at a barbecue place called People's Pig. We got ribs and pork shoulder and a fried chicken sandwich - along with collard greens, macaroni salad, black-eyed peas. It was tasty, although I felt smoky and overstuffed all day afterwards, and probably won't make a habit of it.

We decided to walk it off with a stroll up the Balch Creek trail, looping back along the Wildwood trail and the streets of NW Portland, over the newly reconstructed Thurman bridge.
Steve's soccer team played a late game, at 9:20, and I decided to join in the fun once again - we asked Lilly to babysit so we could both go play. Steve tweaked his ankle/Achilles lunging for the ball, which was just frustrating. It's feeling better today.

And finally, today we enjoyed a bike adventure with the Hoangs and Delloways.  We biked along the Banks-Vernonia trail from the Manning trailhead to the Stub Stewart visitor center, about a 14-mile round trip. We had picnic lunches, let the kids chase each other around, hiked up to the top of the hill where the campground is, and biked back. It was a wonderful sunny day to be with friends, a good last adventure to mark the end of spring break. Back to work tomorrow, and school, and rain is coming in...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Crescent Beach and Campbell River park

We drove up to Surrey B.C. to see Popo and Grandpa during Oregon's spring break. We left on Monday morning and drove straight up in the pouring rain - picnicked in the car, sang songs, read books, drew pictures, and played guessing games. As usual, Liesl charmed the border guard who was asking questions about the children's father, by telling him "Daddy had to work. Poor Daddy."  She never fails to make the most serious customs officer crack a smile.

Mom had made a blueberry pie and prepared a delicious dinner of salmon, but was sadly starting to feel increasingly ill over the course of the day. She felt feverish, nauseated, and weak, and stayed in bed all day Tuesday with the chills.  Poor Popo.  

The children and I went to Crescent Beach on Tuesday morning and had a lovely time digging, making trails, playing follow the leader, throwing rocks, and rolling around in the sand.


In the afternoon, Dad finished up his board meeting (he's currently president of his lawn bowling club) and joined us for a bird-watching stroll around Campbell River Park.
We had dinner in White Rock at a seafood restaurant overlooking the bay and pier, which was scenic and tasty and celebratory.  But since mom was sadly still feeling awful, I felt we were distracting Dad from taking care of her - and I was worried about the children contracting the virus - and so we packed up and came home on Wednesday morning. Such a bummer. She's starting to feel better today - Friday - finally.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday at Hoyt

We had a slow start to the day - the first day of spring break! - but eventually made it out for a lovely stroll around Hoyt Arboretum.

 Double jump!
 Magnolias in bloom at the Hoyt Arboretum.

 Trilliums! A PNW sign of spring.
We feel that the forests and trees and moss are not as green as they should be at this time of year, and blame the ongoing drought. But there's still some pretty awesome moss out there.  Steve and I first came to Portland and Oregon together for spring break in March 2005; we fell in love with the mossy trees, the creepy forests, the greenery everywhere, the Oregon coast, the Portland food scene, Powells Books.... So glad we made it here.

We got some spring produce at the farmers market, enjoyed lunch at Sen Yai, played at Piccolo Park for a bit, and then regrouped at home before heading over to Steve's indoor soccer league. They were short on women so I suited up and played. It was super fun to run and sprint and be in a team-sport environment. I don't have any skills, and made some flubs when the ball came to me, but I ran hard and had a great time.

Baby/Bunny FooFoo

Everyone who knows our family knows Bunny/Baby Foofoo, Liesl's special lovey.  Liesl became attached to Bunny Foofoo really early on - like at 6 months - and has taken her everywhere for her whole life.  All of our family photos have Foofoo clasped tightly at Liesl's side.  As soon as Liesl figured out gender, she informed us that Foofoo was a she and not a he; she also renamed her Baby Foofoo, which is confusing for most people.  Once we realized that Baby Foofoo was going to be IT for Liesl, we bought two backups, but one was rejected for having a differently-shaped nose (a difference that is invisible to most people). That one was named Sister, and is shunned. (Seriously, she lives in the bottom of a box in Liesl's closet, and is only brought out when they need a bad guy.)

But fortunately, one of the replacement Foofoos was acceptable, and so we have used them interchangeably over Liesl's life, ensuring that they are equally worn and faded and shading into tan (from their original cream color).  Sebastian knows there are two, but Liesl doesn't.  Given her attachment to Baby Foofoo, and our own knowledge of the backup version, we have allowed her to take Baby everywhere with her.  This has led to some near losses, as occasionally Liesl gets distracted and forgets Baby.  I've had to drive back and search for her numerous times, finding her in a plastic bag at the Food Front grocery store, among the stacks at the Central Library, under a tree at the PSU farmers market, in the cafe at New Seasons. She's also been left behind at various friends' houses.

On Monday, when Liesl spent the day with Crystal and Vivienne, Baby Foofoo got lost. Crystal (bless her sweet heart) turned her house upside down and spent hours searching for lost Foofoo. No sign of her. I called the Children's Museum, where they'd gone that morning, but they hadn't found a lost bunny.  Tuesday went by with no sign of her and Steve and I started to get worried and sad - the lost version was the slightly more dog-eared original, and we were attached to her. Plus, now we were down to only one Baby Foofoo, which made us much more cautious about letting her leave the house! 

So in the depth of my Tuesday night fears, I spent some time searching and bought a used Baby Foofoo off Ebay. Just to have a backup, maybe, if this new one passed muster.  And then, of course, given how the world works, Baby Foofoo was found on Wednesday afternoon at the Children's Museum!!!  Huge thanks to Crystal for her sleuthing and persistence!

Good thing our bunny FooFoo has nine lives....

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Monday with friends

Liesl is lucky enough to spend her Mondays with friends while I work - usually with Mary and Rowan, but occasionally with Anne and Camille or Crystal and Vivienne. And then I get these fantastic texts with wonderful pics of my girl enjoying herself with her besties. We have the best friends. We are so lucky, and grateful.

With Vivi at the Children's Museum.
This clay sculpture was apparently a house that had been crushed by oozing lava. Seriously. Where does she get these ideas??

With Rowan, in various guises and costumes.
With Camille on the big swing at Marshall Park.