Monday, March 24, 2008

Remember This???

I found this hat today. Liam rocks it well too.

Whale Watching

Saturday was day one of the spring whale watching week. The gray whales are migrating past Oregon. We drove out to Astoria, OR and ate at The Blue Scorcher Vegetarian Bakery Cafe . We all shared a couple of berry and rhubarb oat bars, then Dan and I each had a different yummy sandwich. Mine was the best grilled veggie sandwich I've ever had, made on fresh foccacia with a super tasty artichoke spread and tons of veggies.

Halen enjoyed the little kid play area.

We then headed to the Ecola State Park and did the Clatsop Loop Trail . It was a great trail. The first mile and a half was up up up. I actually got my heart rate up and felt a little sweaty. It felt great! My whole body felt like it was getting cleaned out and refreshed. I so needed to get outside and do something like that. At the top of the trail, there was a lookout point, where you can watch for the whales. Here's Halen using his binoculars to spot the whales.

The whales were really far out. We could just barely see their spouts of water blowing up, like little white lines specking the horizon. Halen couldn't see them at all, even with his binoculars. There were people there that had real binoculars. Halen quickly struck up a conversation with them. He's become so social. His opening line is always, "Hey, what are you doing up there?" I love that he says 'up there' just because they're taller than he is. With his social charms, he managed to get a look through the real binoculars, but still couldn't see anything. They said they didn't really help them see better either. We didn't need binoculars, we needed a boat.

The rest of the hike, Halen kept a look out for cougars. There are cougars in Oregon's coastal range. One was spotted in this park back in September, there are signs that tell when the last sighting was. Then they say to keep your children close and always in your view. Yikes. I must say that for a moment, I didn't want to hike anymore. Halen said he wanted to see one, pet it, and say hi to it. We didn't tell him that it would want to eat him, not get petted by him.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Forgot One

I just had to put this one of Liam up, cause it's just that cute.

Too Many Choices

As a vegan, I've never looked at a pastry case so full of yummy yummy things and could choose from any of them. I love Sweetpea Bakery!!!

We went out tonight, for a Viva Le Vegan meetup. Halen got some good play time in with a couple of other vegan kids. Very very cute.

Crickey, That's Hot!

At our house, we often have Animal Planet on the tv. We're big fans of the late Steve Irwin. We often go on safari adventures in our living room, going after Bruce the crocodile. When we get him, we always say, "Crickey Bruce." Then we do the death roll with him. He loves playing the crocodile.
The other day Halen bit into a waffle and said, "Crickey, that's hot." He's so friggin cute and funny.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm The Dude, Man

Dan had the other day off, so we were going to start the day off with some more of those wonderful waffles, then go hiking. It turned out to be a rainy day, but we couldn't forgo the waffles. I swear this waffle cart is the gateway to heaven. After eating our delectables, we had to figure out what to do with ourselves, so we went bowling. Halen loved it!!! I liked having the bumpers up. Dan even got a strike bouncing the ball off the bumpers. Dan got a few strikes, jerk. I got one. Halen didn't get any, but his final score for that first game was 66, only 14 points below me. He's a natural. When we came home, he went straight to sleep. Lugging that big ball wore him out. The first thing he said when he woke up was, "I need to go bowling again Mommy." So today, we started the day off with waffles again, and now Dan and Halen are going out for a little dude time at the bowling alley. Liam and I are hunkering down, singing bluegrass and dancing around.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Liam likes to stare up at the light above his changing table, with his mouth agape.

I wonder why!

Sellwood Park

Sellwood Park is a great park for everyone. It's on the Williamette River, has one of the city's great bike paths going through it, and has a playground for all ages. The kids and I met up with my midwife apprentice and her 3 beautiful kids. She has an older boy, so she brought me a bagful of hand-me-downs for my boys. Perfect timing because Halen is outgrowing all his shirts. He grew an inch last month!!! Halen was fascinated with Caleb's tree climbing abilities. He's 7, and was the self proclaimed "best tree climber here." No one would have dared dispute him. I love hanging out with older kids, it gives me a little glimpse of my future life. Here's a little sample of a mother/son debate.
Caleb, don't knock the flowers out of the tree.
Why not? There are thousands of them.
Because if every kid that came to the park knocked a couple of flowers off the tree, they'd be gone in a couple of days.
Not every kid can climb trees like me.
Just don't okay!

I'm not sure what I'll do when my kids get smarter than me. It's probably very fun and very frustrating.

Before moving to Portland, I thought these round-a-bouts were illegal. I used to love them as a kid, but with sue-happy Americans, most of them have been removed from playgrounds. Not here though, they're all over the place, older than me, and still being played on.
p.s. one more reason having a homebirth is better than a hospital birth. i don't even know the name of a single midwife from the 12 that were involved in my first pregnancy, and I'm certainly not hanging out with them (even if I still did live in Atlanta of course) and getting hand-me-down clothes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Matching Messy

If I had nothing but mess-free art, I wouldn't capture pictures like this, where the paint on his face matches his shirt and his eyes. What a goober.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vegan Waffles

And not the of the frozen variety! We heard about some vegan waffles at flavour spot on my new favorite Portland vegan food review blog, stumptown vegan . I've mentioned it before. It's just such a good sight, with good information and good pictures. I didn't bring my own camera out on this particular day, so you'll have to check out stumptown's pics. Dan had a maple and jam waffle. I had a maple soysage waffle, the perfect blend of sweet and savory. These wonderful creations come from a food cart. Portland's food cart phenomenon is amazing. More cities need to get on this. The overhead is low, so they keep their prices down. Portland has several all vegetarian and even an all vegan food cart (that one is only open in the summer, so we haven't been yet). These are things I would normally associate with all beef hot dogs, but not here. Everybody gets into starting their own businesses, even the poor young veg heads. We also frequent the India Chaat House's vegetarian indian food cart, with some of the best indian food ever!
After waffles, we headed to Rooster Rock State Park , to let Bruce have some running around. The off leash area here is huge and there were tons of friendly dogs with their friendly people. We saw 3 garder snakes. Halen was real excited about that, more than he was about the deers. I guess we're always playing up how scary snakes are, so this was a little more exciting to a young boy, the scary factor! The wind along the Columbia River Gorge is outrageous! Hood River, a little way up the river, is the windsurfing capitol of the world! Kite boarding has also become really popular here. My brother has a kite board. I want him to bring it here when he visits, so we can go here to where the wind never stops. I want to bring Halen and some kites to this dog park.
You'd think the day would stop there, as we were all pretty pooped, but we had more to do. We came home, ate lunch, printed directions to the vegan family play date, and headed out again. We told Halen he had to sleep in the car. He did. He can be so accommodating at times. We met some more vegan families. Halen played well with the other children. It was an all around good day.
By the way, I have a terrible case of tendonitis in my right wrist. Just mentioning it because it's killing me as I type and I need a little sympathy. It's from lifting my beefy children. I had it for months after Halen was born. Now it's come again. I need a chiropractor.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oh Deer!

Saturday, we went to Tualatin Hills Nature Park. It's a great trail for kids. It's super flat and easy, with lots of bridges, boardwalks, and a couple of creeks. We saw 3 deers right off the trail. Halen was real excited. I think I was more excited. They just stood there, munching on grass, completely unbothered by Halen yelling 'Hi Deers' over and over and over and over... and over again. I think he was waiting for a response. The animals talk on tv, why not in real life? I always wonder about a child's understanding of what's on tv. We were watching a Discovery Channel special on dinosaurs. With the special effects these days, it can look almost like real live video footage, especially to a two year old. I imagine that Halen believes there are dinosaurs, that he just hasn't seen any in real life yet. Is it going to be sad for him when he finds out they're long gone, like when my brother told me that Santa Claus wasn't real.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Mommy for Messy

Someone is working real hard on rolling over. He's not quite there yet, but I think he'll do it soon. Halen was 3 months when he first rolled over. Liam will be 3 months old tomorrow! He's an old man!!!

On a completely other note, I've got a little mommy rant. I'll admit it, Halen watches some tv, some days more than others, some days not at all (I'm sure some mommies could rant about tv watching, so I'm not saying I'm perfect). It just sort of became habit during the rainy season and Liam's newborn stage. I try to watch with him some and interact with him, getting up and dancing when the silly characters tell the kids to get up and dance or jump or whatever. The rant is about the commercials for all the mess free art products. As a mommy and as an artist, I object. Where's the lesson in mess free art? As far as art goes, learning the colors and how to blend them won't ever happen with pre-rainbowed paper that shows up when your single water-filled pen goes over the paper. Learning to control their little hands and fine tune their motor skills won't happen as easily if they can scribble all over the paper and all around it too. It just seems like another way to get your kids distracted doing something that parents don't have to be involved in. I love drawing with Halen. It didn't take long for him to know where he could draw and to stay on the paper. Now, he can even fine tune his skills and draw things like triangles. Sure, every once in awhile I have to clean up a little mark here or there, but big deal. I'm involved in his art making and I like him to get a little dirty. My home may not be spotless (some could say it's even dirty), and tripping on toys is a major hazard in my home, but we're having fun.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tryon Creek

Daddy had to work today, so the rest of us went hiking. Daddy sells the hiking equipment, we get to use it. Poor daddy. We went to Tryon Creek . It's real close and a really great hiking spot for kids. The trails are mostly root and rock free, with a few small hills. Halen was running for most of the hike. It was great for me because I actually got to elevate my heart rate a bit. Just a little, but it happened. I've been craving a good hard workout lately. I can't remember the last time I had sweat roll down my face. I have always loved the feel of a good muscle burn. Being pregnant and then nursing and staying up much of the night, you lose the opportunity to do such things. I really want to go biking, but we have nowhere to put Liam. We may get a double trailer from Dan's work. We can't afford much of anything these days and chez Riverbend just raised the rent on our itty bitty out of the way plot of land. More than ever, we want to buy a house. They're also tacking on some other utilities that used to be provided for. At this point, we could pay close to the same thing on a mortgage payment that we're paying on rent here. Ugghhh. Qualifying for a loan at this point in our lives is highly unlikely. Maybe there's a house for rent somewhere. Anyway, back to Tryon Creek, Bruce had his first kill. We usually let Bruce run around off the leash because he stays close and the trails were pretty empty. He's also very slow, in comparison to other 4 legged creatures. He has always looked really ridiculous and kinda stupid when chasing birds or squirrels. You can tell he's a domesticated animal for sure. But today, he caught an unsuspecting squirrel and instantly snapped it's neck. Eek. He then proceeded to nose at it like he wanted to play with it. As soon as I called him and told him to leave it, he did. Poor squirrel. I felt awful. Luckily, Halen didn't see it. Bruce went back on the leash after that. I feel kinda terrible about it. I've come to terms with animals eating animals on animal planet, but they are actually eating them. Bruce just killed it out of instinct, but then left it there. I was glad that he did kill it right away. I wouldn't have been able to do a mercy killin', but also wouldn't have been able to watch it jump around in pain. I wish it just hadn't happened, but oh well, Bruce is proud of himself and that's that.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Halen and I were drawing today. Halen asked me to draw a doggy. I said I'd draw Bruce. So, I drew a cartoonish brown doggy, to the best of my ability. After I finished, Halen looked at it and said, "draw his penis." So, here it is, a drawing of Bruce and his penis.