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Tag Archives: Portland

Sometimes it’s foggy

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As we covered in the last post, it rains here in Portland. Sometimes it rains a lot. However sometimes it can be pretty foggy.
Two weeks ago Mason and I went to a neighborhood park on one of the foggiest days I’ve ever encountered. The great thing about the fog was that it made a fun backdrop for some photos.




Just to keep it even, here are some photos of caleb from last weekend. He had a lot of fun playing with an earthworm that we found in our backyard.





What to do when it rains…

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One adjustment of being in the Pacific Northwest is living with weather. In Santa Barbara it rained for only a couple days a year and was pretty bearable. Now in Portland, it rains a lot.
If you ask Elaine or myself what we’d do on a rainy day and you’d probably hear “watch a movie, stay in our pjs, do a puzzle”. However toddlers have different ideas. Rain means getting wet while playing outside.
Case in point, today- thank goodness for rain boots and washing machines.








A long time coming…

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Hello. It has been a while. I feel like I need to reintroduce myself. My last blog post was July 1st and there have been a number of changes in the last five months… in fact that has prevented me from writing. There are too many things to capture.

My goal here is to start slow, give a few updates, share some photos…. nice and easy. Nothing to it.

Here we go…

In mid July I accepted a job in Portland, Oregon. We spent a crazy few weeks packing, soaking up sunshine, seeing as many people as we could cram into our free time, and chasing around two little kiddos. We moved in mid-August and are renting  a wonderful, quaint two bedroom house in the North East portion of Portland. The house has an great yard with an amazing play structure with swings, a slide, and things to climb. We love having the fenced in space and are out there almost every day.  Ruby has been in beagle-bliss and loves patroling the parameter and chasing squirrels and other animals that live under the house (I don’t want to know what else is under there).

The transition hasn’t been seamless, but has gone incredibly smooth. The kids have done a great job, family and friends have visited and stayed in a small trailer on the property, and we are learning our way around our new community. Yes we get lost, but we have seen some very cool things by mistake. Portland has been good to us, even if it does have nasty weather at times.

Mason is an active 3 year old, full of spirit, spunk, and opinions. Over the last few months he’s transitioned away from an obsession with My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake. An interest in dinosaurs (especially Land Before Time) has been a consistent hit and Daniel the Tiger has been a recent request. He loves being outside, coloring, and building with his blocks. Caleb has changed so much in recent months. He started walking before his birthday and has the balance of an acrobat thanks to Mason’s glancing blows and nudges. He loves following Mason around, copies him constantly, and tries to keep up with the big brother pace. He is teething something serious right now (not much sleep for us in recent months) and is getting more verbal with his words, requests, and animal noises.

Everyone except for Ruby has had a birthday since we moved here. I turned 35 in August,  Caleb turned 1 in September, Mason turned 3 in October, and Elaine just turned 30 in November. Each birthday was special, a little quieter than last year, and memorable in its own way. The same was true for Thanksgiving, which consisted of picking up soup at a deli, making pies (pumpkin and apple), baking bread (whole wheat and broccoli cheese cornbread), and sweet potatoes. The food was simple and stress free and we are planning Christmas to be the same.

More update will come with time. Now some photos…..

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Parks parks parks

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We’re wrapping up our last night in Portland and I was looking through the photos on my phone. Low and behold most of them are of food and parks.

On this trip we went into four neighborhoods and found a number of pretty cool parks- even one on top of a dormant volcano! I’d be willing to bet that this was Mason’s highlight of the trip. He gotten much more adventurous on the playground equipment and loves watching the big kids, babies, and adults.

Here are a couple park photos from the last two days.






The Rose City

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Portland was very good to us. People were unbelievable friendly and we had some great food. Vegan this, vegetarian that.. Elaine probably took a thousand photos of her food and wished she had a bigger stomach. One of our food adventures was to Voodoo Donuts. We were blessed with almost no line and a craving for some funky donuts.

The weather was cooperative- our first day was blue skies and the next couple were rainy, gray, or misty. I got a chance to talk with a hotel maintenance man for a few minutes as Mason and I started bundling up for a walk in the rain and he had some great, but casual words of advice

Rain or shine, you’ve got to enjoy your day.

My shoes got soaked on our walk, but looking back that walk was one of my favorite parts of this trip so far.

It would take a long time to recap everything that we did but highlights were walking the city, getting an endless supply of good food, walking through Washington Park, driving the Eastside during Mason’s naps, and hanging out with Elaine’s cousin Rich, his wife Courtney, and daughter Sophia.

Here are a few more photo collages of food trucks, park walks, and of course Powell’s City of Books…

Portland, the City of Roses, Stumptown… call it what you will but we had a great time and thank you for a great few days.


Leg Warmers, Hotel Living, & Molars

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Hi! I thought I’d say hello and give you another update while Elaine is out for the evening in Portland and I’m in the hotel monitoring the baby.
I hinted to it the other night, but we’ve developed a nice routine of spending the first night of each town together and then each taking a night out to explore the town individually. It’s worked well so we can see more of the city and not be stuck in the hotel all night. I don’t know how other families vacation, but it is hard to sleep all in one bedroom when Mason goes to bed so early and you have to be mindful of every light thats turned on and noise.
Right now we basically put our pac’n play in the corner of the room and build a huge fort of pillows, suite cases and blankets so he can’t see us and try to keep some light out. Guess it works but I always wonder what the hotel maid thinks while our room is getting cleaned

Sometimes we have to do desperate things to have a semi-normal evening in the hotel. Elaine told me that on her night in the hotel in Corvallis she curled up in the bathtub with a book and a pillow just so she could read and not strain her eyes in the dim light. I am not that much better- right now it is 8pm, Mason just fell asleep, I have a nature sound noise on through my phone, and I’m typing away on a tiny screen for this post.

If I won the lottery we would stay in giant hotel room suites or connected rooms on every vacation. And I’d get an iPad for these blog posts!

In other news I thought I’d share that we bought Mason some leg warmers in Corvallis and they’ve done a great job of keeping him warm and helping him adjust to a colder climate.

Until this trip I didn’t notice how much of a Southern California baby he was until I realized that A) he didn’t have shoes and is usually bare foot every where we go & B) he has a lot of cloth pants and its never bothered me when his pants turned into capris.

We quickly learned how valuable leg warmth is and that layers are his key to cold weather survival. I now also see the value of shoes too. If you look back at our photos, you’ll probably never see one of Mason while he is wearing shoes, yet alone socks. That has changed on this trip and now he is in full body gear. He will probably go back to his hippy So Cal ways once we get back to Santa Barbara but he at least fits in with his baby peers in Oregon.

Teeth. Molars are hard. About a week or so before our trip Mason’s molars started coming in and everyone’s sleep has decreased. They must hurt really something bad because he has been upset (to say the least) in the night and more fussy during parts of the day. It’s crazy how strong he is when he is upset and flails his weight around. It isn’t every night, but almost every other one is a l o n g night. His teeth are moving and coming in but I don’t think any of us will complain when this stage is over.

We’ve had a great time in the Rose City and we’ll have some photos up in a couple days. But here is one of a banana slug we found on our walk yesterday near the Japanese Gardens… yes this is a random photo for this post but banana slugs seem pretty cool.