So of course I was hoping for something nice for Valentine’s Day. And Daniel kept telling me (like he does every year) that he doesn’t buy into all this commercial stuff and if he wants to show me he loves me he can do so any day of the year. Normally we don’t do much (although the first year we were together – during our engagement – he did buy me chocolate hearts and take me out to a hotel for hot chocolate and cookies) but this year he surprised me.
He organized a babysitter, and booked a table at Shigezo which is a sushi restaurant in the neighborhood. We both love sushi and what’s good about this place is that it offered a special for Valentine’s Day that was not nearly as expensive as all the other restaurants which are totally milking the opportunity as Daniel says.
It turned out to be really lovely actually. We ended up not going cheap and getting the holiday special – because we both love sushi so much we just ordered a ton of that to share. And then Daniel ordered a fun sweet sparkling wine for me, just to get us both in the holiday mood a bit without admitting to the fact that we were celebrating Valentine’s Day! He is so very cute though and we both had a great time.
So, since Jayden really happens to like string music, we are considering going to the Mousai Remix concert – which is free (always more tempting) at the Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant. I’d never heard of this ensemble and then I read that it is very new. The musicians are Emily Cole and Shin-young Kwon who have played violin with the Oregon Symphony as well as another violinist and a cellist. They are to play Beethoven’s F Major Quartet, Op. 59, No.1 and Brahms C minor Quartet Op. 51, No. 1 – truthfully I’m not so familiar with these works and nor is anyone else in my family, but I know that as soon as Daniel’s dad puts on some classical music, he seems to really relax…
They are asking for donations (which is fine as it goes towards the Oregon Symphony Kinderjibzert fund which is used to try and have additional outreach performances in schools in the Portland area – so in a way, that will be benefiting us directly too. Anyway I guess we’ll see how the day goes; it starts at 7 which isn’t too late for Jayden and my babysitter did say she’s available, so we’ll just how tired Jayden gets later on.
So Amanda’s nearing the end of her pregnancy now (she has about two months left to go and thankfully it’s gone pretty smoothly). She had been talking about getting some professional pictures taken before the birth of her bulging belly. Apparently these are all the rage these days (I couldn’t do it as I was just too paranoid and wouldn’t even talk about being pregnant or the possibility of having a baby until my kids are out, but everyone is different).
Anyway, because I love Amanda so much and I’m really so excited for her and her hubby, I started looking into different professional photographers in the area and I came across Toor Photo and I really liked what I saw, so I bought her a gift card so that she can go with her husband and get a really fun photo shoot before her little one arrives and she wonders why she ever wanted to get pregnant so badly!
I wish the weather would improve a bit already. I mean, I know this is what we should be expecting for this time of year and it isn’t exactly a surprise but that doesn’t stop me from wishing it would be a bit drier and warmer outside so that I could get out a bit more with the kids. So today I checked the weather forecast and it seems that there is a relatively low expectation for rain so I’m going to have to use that to my advantage. Friday doesn’t look as good but then Saturday seems like it’s going to improve again so if we don’t get around to doing much today (I always prefer to do stuff over the weekends as then we can do it as a family as neither Daniel nor I work), then at least we’ll have that.
Still, Michelle may come by with her two little girls and while it will probably be a tad too cold to play outside, at least she won’t get drenched coming over. I know Jayden usually likes boys coming over but after a while complaining about Sarah they usually end up playing nicely. And Ethan is just delighted there is extra company in the house – he’s such a playful little soul, despite me finding him a handful. So, let’s hope the weather does something nice for us on Saturday and we can go to the park or something as a family. Maybe even the Portland Saturday Market that we’ve never done yet altogether; we’ll have to see.
I’ve always enjoyed the time I spend at the Lloyd Center Mall. And what’s even greater is that I am constantly finding out new things on offer there. For example, I had vaguely heard whispers about the Momtopia program but never really looked into it. Until yesterday. And boy was I happy I did stumble upon this. It’s all about the importance of being a mom, but simultaneous to that, of being a woman with needs too. It’s about making extra time for us by either finding easy entertainment possibilities for our kids, or just doing something totally for ourselves.
So when I discovered the online section on some tried and tested ideas for kids on rainy days, I knew that would be perfect for me, as it would be something new to keep my kids busy (and out of trouble)! One of the ideas was preparing food with the kids. Now, of course Ethan is a little young (they suggested the youngest age being two) but Jayden is for sure old enough. He started by cleaning the veggies (and eating some cucumbers along the way – it’s always been his favorite food!) and also measuring the dry ingredients (although much of the flour spilled on the floor but I didn’t make a big deal out of that). And then, once we’d made a quiche (with zucchinis by the way, not cucumbers!) he was so excited to eat it. I think he ate more at that one sitting than ever before. Clearly the advice on Montopia about getting kids involved in food preparation is a good one.
I’m looking forward to learning more about how to take care of my kids – and myself – through Momtopia; another great gift from the mall, this time one that didn’t burn a hole in the credit card!