Thursday, June 27, 2013

Father's Day

My kids have a pretty great dad.  He's patient and kind and loving.  He also likes to have fun.  Like camp-out-in-the-backyard kind of fun.

Luckily, the camp-out gave me the perfect opportunity to prepare my Father's Day surprise for Adam.

Adam is a root beer snob.  So a basket full of about 9 different kinds of root beers really was the perfect gift for Adam.  Adam says I'll never be able to top the root beer stache, and he's probably right.

What on earth did non-creative people do before Pinterest?

Adam's favorite candy is peanut butter M&M's.  So I switched out the Reese's Pieces for those in the jar...the tag doesn't have the same cuteness to it, but the candy was close enough that I thought it could pass.  And the jelly beans were Claire's idea (she's been asking for them since Easter), and thankfully Adam was willing to share.  At least, he didn't complain when we helped ourselves. 

  Just one more thing that makes him such a great dad (and husband).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

All Creatures Great and Small

At the beginning of June, Adam had to go out of town for a week for school, so I thought I could do something fun with the kids to make up for the fact that we were missing him.  I thought the Portland Aquarium might do the trick. 

We had come once before and Claire cried when we told her it was time to leave.  Needless to say, she was ecstatic to be back.  And being about 5 months older, Henry really enjoyed himself this time.  

Standing at this tank, Henry worriedly watched this eel swimming towards him.  I could hear him saying "No.  No.  No."  Do you see it?   

How 'bout now?  The thing is kind of creepy, right?  No wonder Henry was concerned.  

Now, the Portland Aquarium is pretty small.  It is certainly not as nice as the facility on the Oregon coast.  And not even close to the aquariums that I've been to in Chicago and Boston.  But one thing that is pretty cool - and the kids obviously love - is the shark and ray tank.  Our first visit to the aquarium was on a Saturday afternoon not long after it had been open.  Not a good scenario if you actually want to see things.   But this time we went on a Monday morning during the last week of school (no one takes field trips the last week of school).  We pretty  much had the place to ourselves.  

Another frustration the first time at the aquarium was that by the time we got there, the sharks and rays were all full.  So the money we spent on squid pieces went to little tropical fish instead of rays.  But this time, since we were early and alone, we got the full feeding experience.  It was pretty cool.

This girl had no fear. 

The little man, however, only liked looking at them through the glass.  I held him up and helped him touch a ray while Claire was feeding it, and he immediately began to cry.  

The smaller tanks were more his speed.

We also made a visit to the zoo recently (I love that the 2nd Tuesday of every month is a discount day!)  Just like at the aquarium, Henry really got into the visit this time as he is actually interested in animals now.  I loved his reaction upon seeing the lions.

He also really loved the hippos.  Not the bears.  Not the monkeys.  The hippos, who were eyeball-high in water.

On a side note, Claire has started posing for pictures.

Aaaaaaand again.

But seriously, she did a great job climbing.  She was so proud of herself.

The aquarium has a walk-in cage of birds similar to this that I didn't want to go in, and Claire was really disappointed.  So I caved and took her to the lorikeet area at the zoo.  As it was mid-afternoon, I had asked if the birds were actually eating the nectar (available for purchase, of course), and got a pretty iffy response.  So I didn't bother with the food.  But we were standing next to some people who did buy the food and after waiting around with no birdie interest, they propped the nectar cup in a tree and left.  So what did I do?  I grabbed it and gave it to Claire, of course!  (Yes, I'm one of those moms.)  Claire was just patient enough that she got some interest, and was thrilled when one stood on her arm.

She would've stayed there till every last drop was sucked dry from the cup if I had let her.  

But it seems as though we needn't go to the zoo to see colorful birds.  One morning as Claire was eating breakfast, she commented that she saw a yellow bird outside.  I thought it was just a goldfinch, which I've seen millions of in my lifetime.  But then she pointed it out to me again, and I realized that it was a western tanager - a bird I'd seen pictures of from people at work but never actually seen in person.  Yes, they are yellow, but they have this amazing red head.  They are so pretty.  And we had a small troupe of them in our back yard!  They only hung around for a few days and we haven't seen them since, but Claire was really excited and would look for them every morning.  We have the exotic in Oregon, too!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Spy Glass

When we go to bed at night, we just kind of toss our sham pillows on the floor next to the bed.  This has become Henry's favorite place to hang out in the morning (especially when I'm getting ready) before I make the bed every day.  He happily runs and plops himself down face first on the pillows in the corner, and hangs out for a while.  One day, I was just brushing my teeth, and glanced over to see Henry in this usual spot, curiously examining things he found on Adam's night stand.

A minute later, I glanced over to see him looking at himself in the mirror.

And not just looking at himself, but goofily grinning and even laughing at himself.  To this day, I have no idea what was giving him such amusement.  I'm just glad I had my camera on hand.

Maybe he realized his own cuteness, and couldn't contain the glee.  (Or maybe that's just something that happens to his adoring mama.)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Henry in Action

Henry likes to run.  And jump.  And he is so cute when he's doing it.  These are just some videos of him in action.  Enjoy watching the little man on the move.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Yogurt Face

Henry loves his yogurt.  He is using his own spoon now.  He gets slightly mixed results.  

Half of the yogurt ends up in his mouth, and half ends up on his face.  

Maybe it's because of his approach.

I tell you what, not many people can make getting this messy look this good.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Henry Man

Our Henry Man is growing up fast.  And he's got some big shoes to fill.  Namely, his father's.  

It's not just a fashion thing, either.  Henry's got some important work to do.

He was a little surprised to be caught in the act.

I love that face.

But Henry is certainly not an all-work-and-no-play kinda guy.   He takes time to hang out with his old man, too.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is usually pretty low-key around here.  We went to church, of course, where the kids sing (usually a sappy song, rather than the fun "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home" that involves clapping and kissing and good times...I feel a little miffed about the song choices for Mom vs. Dad, because honestly, kids don't really hear bluebirds singing when we speak, do they?  Half the time, they block Mom's voice out altogether.) After teaching five 3-year olds for two hours (and that's AFTER the hour I've already spent chasing Henry around and trying to keep my own kids quiet in Sacrament Meeting), honestly all I want to do after church is take a nap.  A long nap that is completely child-free. And eat the Mother's Day chocolates that were passed out to me IN PEACE.  As in, no sharing.  But that never happens now, does it?  But it was a lovely day, so after church we went for a drive.

We headed up to Bald Peak, which is not far from our home.  Sometimes it still amazes me how close we are to "the edge."  We really are right on the urban growth boundary that the Portland metro area holds so dear.  We get the best of both worlds...we are in the city (suburbia, though it is), and then two minutes later we get country and amazing views.  Don't mind the dead trees in this shot...  

 ...this is really what we were going for in that last picture.  But I was wearing heels, and going for a hike on a  hill wasn't really in the cards for me.  Thus searching for a better backdrop (one in which we could stand dead-tree-free, that is) was not going to happen.

There were fields with thousands of clovers that just looked purple.  They were beautiful.

So, so pretty.

On the drive home, both kids fell asleep.  So once we got home, I got my kid-free nap.  A gloriously long one, at that.  Happy Mother's Day to me!

Harper Turns 3!

We sure love this little girl, and we were excited to wish her a happy birthday.  But, of course, this little sassafrass decided to have so...