Spring break day 1 and 2

 I took this because I was totally struck with how handsome this guy is. The pic really doesn’t do it justice.img_8112   So spring break. I always get antsy around times time this because I feel like I should be off exploring new places and making adventurous memories with my mini-me’s. But in reality…. It is easier to keep close to home. Thanks twins. given that there is a million things to experience in Portland I am determined to throw my doubts of taking 4 young kids out in public to the wind and ‘do’ Portland. 

Day 1- to nobody’s surprise it didn’t go as planned. I signed the girls up for a circus arts trapeze class and noticed that it was next to powell’s books and blue star donuts. Perfect. Powell’s books is the biggest book store in the US, maybe the world? And blue star donuts is reputed to have the best donuts ever… Both are Portland musts. So after lunch I set the gps to powell’s books and we headed out.  We arrived to find the parking garage full and preceded to spend the next 45 minutes driving around in search of a parking spot. But we got one, an awesome one, right in front of the bookstore. We walked in…, and it was amazing… Books as far as the eye could see.img_8123  I quickly referenced to gps to see how long it would take to walk to the theater where the girl’s class was held…. A 16 minute drive across the river. I somehow missed that it was a completely different area of Portland… And a different, smaller powell’s books was across from the theater. Which left us about 20 minutes to explore the bookstore. We made the best of it, the girls managed to ask me to buy them 367 different books, all of which I could say easily no to because we now had no time to stand in line. (Silver lining, perhaps?) any how, we moved on and arrived with plenty of time to hit the donut shop before class. As we started the two block trek, the skies opened up and it poured down rain. We all got soaked. But atleast we got donuts… Or not so much… They only had two types left. Serves me right for showing up for donuts at 3 pm. We got ordered those- Pb and j and creme brûlée, and ran back to the theater. Incidentally, the rain stopped as we walked inside.

img_8116    The class was pretty cool- a far less structured version of gymnastics and the girls loved it.

 img_8119img_8117 The boys who live their lives watching their sisters attend classes were somewhat delighted in the fact that there were two red balloons on the ceiling.img_8121

After class we tried the donuts- even the dregs of blue star were delectable. One of these days we’ll try one of the famous flavors… While we were chowing down Kennedy said, “mom, the was a great day. The best ever!” Not sure if she was channeling her inner politician or if it really was the best day, but it was good to hear. 

Day 2. Somewhat ambitiously, we drove out to the tulip festival. The high was in the 50’s and we arrived to find the tulips weren’t yet in full bloom. It was starting to look much like the previous day, but it turned out to be a serendipitious because almost nobody else was there and we had the whole festival to ourselves.

The cold, windy hayride.

  Mud.   Flowers.
    
    
    
    
    
    
  Eventually it warmed up a bit and the layers started coming off.  
   We lasted until noonish, the twins were getting brave and people were starting to show. We headed home, but the day wasn’t over though. somehow I was talked into letting the boys fingerprint- a first for them. (Also- I’m loving my dining room these days!) IMG_0196IMG_0197IMG_0199IMG_0200IMG_0205 the final products: Alex’s

  And Ollie’s, although he spent far more time painting his body…

 after paint and a bath we met up with Kylie at the park, at which point my phone died… To much excitement I guess. Two memorable days- 3 more to go if I can handle it.

St Patrick’s day, state park and the rocks and minerals museum.

St. Patrick’s day. The girl’s were setting leprechaun traps all week   Our leprechaun grudgingly made his visit Thursday night. Friday morning we woke to lucky charms and green balloons. I think this was the kid’s first foray into the world of sugary cereal. The box lasted less than two days.
    
  Doing sis’s hair.

    No naps have been rough. Falling asleep in front of the tv.
  We took Luna for a walk at the state park. Lots of antics along the way.

   
    
    
    
     Also the girls checked out the treehouse in our yard. It was a first. They are pretty excited. Obviously the weather is getting better.
  Watching p in gym.

    The boys and I had a few extra minutes, and we tried to find the playground by p’s preschool; we failed, but we found big hills and sunshine.
 The train table at the preschool. Boys are obsessed, Ollie will even sit and watch chuggington now. 

   We hit the zoo with Kylie and Ainsley after school one day. Daddy was on a business trip (Korea!) and I, and everyone else, come to think of it, was going stir crazy and we just had to get out. We only had about an hour, but i think it did us all good.
    
  Ainsley loves to help with the boys, and I dare say the love her help.  Ainsley and Penelope both passed out in the stroller, it was pretty sweet. Until we had to wake them up.
  Then Sunday we hit the rocks and minerals museum. Turns out Kennedy has a real interest in geology. I’m not at all surprised, the girl likes her pretty things. She has officially started a rock collection, created labels and all.    There was a fluorescent room where all the rock glowed in the dark… That was my favorite room, very cool.
    So Kennedy liked the outing…. The other three were absolute monsters. It was not a pleasant experience.
    An older pic of me painting our high cielings… Key word high.
  A few pics from k’s classroom website. 

St. Patrick’s day.  A horned owl visiting the class
   Library. 

Meet Luna and explorations

Found these pics on daddy’s phone, they are a few months old… But priceless.

   

And in new news… We have a new family member, Luna zebley dog! She’s a three months old Shepard mix. We are guessing she’s got boxer in her. I wasn’t ready for the task of puppy training, but Ollie fatefully dumped an entire box of Cheerios on the floor and that did it; I agreed. (Incidentally, she doesn’t care too much for Cheerios.) She’s a lovable terror, fitting in just perfectly with our family. She’s super cuddly and loveable, but spends much of the day chasing the kids and pinning them down to love bite their faces. Still, everyone’s smitten, especially Kennedy, who went into this whole thing adamant that she wanted a bird, not a dog. We take her to school every day and k takes great pride in showing her puppy off. Penelope is a little more hesitant  but positively beams whenever the dog jumps in her lap. Ollie walks around the house chanting ‘moona,  moona…’ And Alex can be found sticking his tongue in Luna’s face at any given moment.

    On the way home for the first time, another fun fact: the pup gets carsick.
      
    
    
   Ootd. little love.  
   Lately this girl is a hot mess, her hair has reached a new level of out of control, but I kind of love it… Atleast the hair.  
   Oh and the boys are now masters of crawling in, on and out of the crib. Two nights ago Alexander got out of bed six times in the middle of the night.   
  Steam night at Kennedy’s school. Lots of cool experiments.  Birthday party for the boy who is “in love with Kennedy. Did I write about this already? One afternoon Kennedy’s teacher pulled me aside to tell me there is a boy in the class who likes to play with Kennedy’s hair. I talked to her about it and she told me all about this boy who calls her ‘sweetie pie.’ She doesn’t reciprocate, but she doesn’t mind his affections. During the party he kept slipping his hands around her waist and hugging her from behind. It was hysterical.
  My little helper assisting me with stripes for the dining room.  
   Always chewing..spring shows itself occasionally now a days. The big ball of fire in the sky feels blinding compared the normal gre, but we are going to spend every sunny second soaking it up.
  Grandpa came for a visit. Outings including a visiting to john’s incredible pizza co, which turned out to be a chuck e cheese on steroids… But with alcohol.. So it was tolerable.  
  Saturday it was raining so we decided to check out Omsi. But apparently so did the rest of Portland, because the line was out the door. We turned around and headed to the the zoo. I’ll take a little rain over wall to wall crowds. We wound up having a great time.  
    
  And Sunday we headed to multnomah falls. A downed tree nixed our plans and we instead visited  latourell waterfall, which was amazing. I can’t imagine multnomah being better. I’m officially hooked, it’s officially my goal to explore the Columbia gorge every weekend.

   

  

  

  
   Mountain climbers

 We hiked up to the top and daddy took lolo right up to the edge.

  

More crib shenanigans.

  and Luna shenanigans..   and crib.. . They literally spend half the day swinging in and out like monkeys.         P riding the zipline in gymnastics.     An after dinner walk. It started pouring down rain and we all got soaked, but it was so fun. Once we were inside and dry Kennedy said she wished we were still running through the rain. I’ll make a Pacific Northwestern kid out of her yet.  Finally, in amusing moments for the week; The girls are in an art class and last week they did abstract printing. P apparently refused to participate and instead drew a self portrait because she didn’t see the point in drawing something that isn’t real. The apple doesn’t fall far from the paternal tree.
  

Valentine’s and stuff

Love this. Look at that hair!    Maestros.

 Family yoga.
  I’ve actually gotten Penelope enrolled in preschool. It’s very nature focused and they spend time outside no matter what the weather, she had to change clothes half the days she’s attended thus far. So far it’s been a lot of walks in the rain and she nor I are super impressed. But I digress. Before preschool she and I decided to do a letter of the week. We started at ‘e’ and one of the activities we did was ‘experimenting’ with ‘eggs.’ Specifically we put a raw egg in vinegar and watch it eat away the shell, until all that was left was the membrane. The whole family has taken a surprising level of interest in our alphabet science experiments. For ‘f’ we put white flowers in dyed water and this week we are going to break open geodes in honor of ‘g’.

  getting naked at Home Depot.  
  We’ve had a ton of play dates without new friends, this particular one in a lot of art.

     Keeping brothers  busy while big sis is at school and mommy is probably painting something.

  Our first trip to the nieghborhood park.

   
    Little brother problems… Note that Ollie adamantly refused to participate in this.
 

 Valentine’s storytime at the library. Pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever encouraged the boys to use glue and markers.

   More pic’s from Valentine’s the kids all got stuffed animals and then we made chocolate covered strawberries after dinner. 

  

  

  

  

 New gymnastics class.
 We went to this restaurant called laughing planet. It was soooo Portland, the person who took my order had purple hair and the menu was chuck full of vegan options, and they had toy dinosaurs on every table.

    Also signed p up for a preschool cooking class with her buddy Ainsley. She loves it, a lot. 

 Saturdays.  
  Little brother problems… Part two.

   We attended k’s penguin presantation at school.
100 candies for the 100th day of school.   

Alice in wonderland

The twins and I had colds last week so things were pretty slow moving.   Poor Ollie.
  Also we had yet another ice storm- the girl went outside and pretend ice skated on the deck.   I’ve asked Kennedy to paint a colorful cow for the dining room. I bought here real paints to do it. Here she is, doing her thing. This activity has actually inspired a whole range of artistic activities and the dining room is filled to the brim with paint and glue and all kinds of creative chaos. 
   Nanna sent a Mardis gras package and I tried to get a couple of pics, but the little sis and little bro wouldn’t cooperate. Meanwhile big sis and big bro smiled like angels.  
    The most exciting thing of late is that Kennedy tried out for the school play and got a part. Auditions were Monday and they had practice after school the whole and then shows were held on Friday night and Saturday morning. It was super quick but totally impressive. The first show we sat way in the back and it was sort of hard to hear, but that could have been because Ollie was infatuated with a balloon stuck on the ceiling and spent much of the show pointing it out. (Which, incidentally, reminded me of when daddy and I went to football games in college and daddy always spotted random shiny things in the grass)
      Her part was small but it was adorable. She and the other lobsters got on stage and sang and danced around Alice (it was Alice in wonderland) she did great and you could tell she was having fun onstage. And the lobsters def had the cutest outfits.
  Presented with roses.   The 2nd show lolo and I attended and we sat on the floor right by the stage, so as not to miss a thing. 
      

 Alex- obviously feeling better    Continuing with the Kennedy themed weekend, She had to build a diorama for school so we went out for supplies, which turned into lunch which turned into grocery shopping and we wound up having a whole afternoon just the two of us. It was fun and unbelievably easy to accomplish things with just 1 six year old in tow.   And the diarama, completed. 

  

Penelope’s 4th birthday and daily life.

I just realized tomorrow will be one month since we took the one way flight to Portland. It’s bizarre, feels like it was only a few days ago.tomorrow is also of note because we finally become homeowners again! We were supposed to close on the house at the beginning of January, but the weather changed our plans. But fingers crossed it is all simple tomorrow and we can move along. 

Every night they sleep together. The bonds of sisterhood have really been strengthened through the last couple months and it is never clearer than at bedtime.      Housewarming presents from Kate and Brynn. This was before our furniture arrived so it was extra appreciated.
  The snow storm. It arrived the same night as our moving truck. An unheard of foot of snow. The whole city shut down for a week. The craziest part is that Portland has no way to combat the snow, and the city refuses to use salt. For days, the roads were ice sheets. I stayed home and unpacked and went a little bit mad.

    Around day 3 I unpacked the snow suits and sent the girls out on the deck. The boys were totes jealous. 
  Another day we invited Kennedy’s new bff and her sister, over for a play date.  

The pre playdate anticipation…

    And then there was Penelope’s birthday! Yikes! She’s 4! We decorated with balloons and a happy birthday sign, which I neglected to take a pic of. We planned to go to voodoo donuts for her birthday, which is this infamous donut place here in Pdx, but at the last second I read that there is usually a line around the block on the weekends and it is right next to a strip club. Wasn’t going to happen this January. Btw- here is another Pdx fun fact: The city rivals Reno, nv for the title of most strip clubs per capita.
Any woo we settled for donuts from another local place- called sesame- and they didn’t disappoint. 

I feel like donuts have officially become a lolo birthday tradition.

    
  We sang and Penelope opened a few presents. It was a good morning.  

 More hangs around the house. Kennedy is obsessed with ‘fairy magic’ books and reads them two at a time. Also, book related, I started reading Harry Potter to them at bedtime.

   
   And a new look for me! 
  
  Walks around our nieghborhood now that the snow has melted: 

    
  K’s school is in the background of that last pic. We live literally a block away, and the novelty of it hasn’t worn off. I love walking her too and from school. Speaking of… Last week was spirit week. Wear your favorite color day.

  Crazy hair day. 

 Sports day.  Also, we joined a gym and we’ve been spending a lot of time there. Kid’s Zumba: 

AAlso we happened to be in to library right before toddle storytime. P was bored but it was so awesome for the boys. They started out as terrors- literally shutting off the music, knocking over piles of books and turning off the lights and just wreaking general havoc, I was sure we’d have to leave, but then they got really into it. They liked the songs and were interested in all the other toddlers. And they really love bubbles. 

    And we also did a story and hike this week which was more p’s speed. It was at Tyron creek state park.  
    The guy leading it was incredably knowledgable- he knew all about which plants were medicinal and edible. I learned that moss is nature’s bandaid and there is a fern that grows out of tree trunks that tastes like licorice and also happens to be an antibiotic.  
      The theme of the storytime was tales and along the hike he’d talk about different animals and the purpose of their tales. As he talked about each one, he’d pull a pelt of that animal( including a coyote, mole, squirrel, and skunk tale) out of his pocket and show the kids. A regular survivalist Mary poppins.

  

 

Adjusting

Currently, I’m stuck in an unfurnished house with two 19 month olds, an almost four year old, and as of 2:30 am, a 6 year old unable to attend school because of a stomach virus. So forgive me if I’m a bit negative about our new life at the moment. Also it’s a high of 22 degrees here, I was told it didn’t get below freezing. Lies. Not that it matters because we clearly aren’t leaving the house. 

We tried leaving earlier this week. I took the twins and Penelope to the library and it was an absolute nightmare. The boys were running wild up and down the stacks, shrieking with glee. Penelope would run after them shouting, “mommy, the babies! They’re escaping!!!! Get them!” I got so many dirty looks. That adventure lasted 20 minutes and I haven’t been been brave enough to go anywhere else during the day.

So Portland. It’s pretty. It’s different. I have a running list in my head of things I’ve spotted that I wouldn’t see on the east coast. 1. There is a cannibus restaurant 1/2 a mile from my house. 2. A billboard promoting veganism. 3. A wild coyote running ’round the nieghborhood.   

But let’s back up… The plane ride here… 

     And the next morning, at the super happy awesome hotel we stayed at.
 And at our new house… Noticing a theme? Jet lag is a beast.

    How I’m reheating my coffee.. We have no microwave and no coffeemaker… Life is rough.
 First day of school outfit.  

 The brightest part of this move is Kennedy’s new school. They don’t do worksheets and the homework is in the form of 1 major project per month. And a reading log. This month will be a penguin diarama. Sounds downright fun. I had to sign a field trip form that gives permission for Kennedy to join her class in nieghborhood walks to study the local plant life, active rule and historical landmarks. That boggles my mind. Her first day all the students in her class made her cards to welcome her and they learned a few words of mandarin. The next day they learned about Morocco, she told me all about the special tiles they are known for. I’m so impressed. And the best news is, she met another girl in her class, kiley, and they’ve been inseparable since the moment they met, which pretty much when she stepped first stepped foot into the school. It’s such a relief to see she is adjusting well.  

The coziest spot in the house. I’m going to add pillows and it’s going to be a fab little reading nook.

  Our first meal in the house. This kitchen has stools that pull up to the counter, and I can tell we are going to spend so much of our time here. We already do, and not just because those stools are the only pieces of furniture in the whole house. Tennis in the house, aka keeping entertained. Whatever works. Actually I shut that down after she hit a light fixture.   Painting.  
 We got a box of goodies from our (old 😭) nieghbors. Thanks you!