Taking Ethan “Swimming”

Since we took Jayden to a friend’s hydrotherapy pool when he was 5-months-old for swim classes (well, actually it was really more like water-appreciation classes), we felt bad we hadn’t done the same for Ethan.  He’s already 15-months and it’s always been a priority for Daniel and me to not treat him like “second best” being a second child.  Problem was however, her pool closed a couple of years back and it is a bit tougher to get to the Children of the Sea Swim School.  Which shouldn’t really be surprising since the friend’s hydrotherapy pool was on our block.

I was certainly glad Daniel did finally make reservations for the class however, since Ethan had such a great time at his first class last night.  We signed up for an initial four classes.  Daniel said it was pretty similar to what Jayden had done – dunking the kids under water; singing with them; putting them on plastic horses, etc.  At first Ethan – perhaps not surprisingly – was a little cautious.  I mean, it’s not as if we could explain to him as we were putting swim diapers on him where he was going or that he was about to be submerged under water for around 5 seconds four times in 20 minutes.  Still, Daniel said that after a while he really got into it.  Since I wasn’t able to go (I did some stuff with Jayden) we didn’t get a photo this time but hopefully at some point we’ll both take both the boys (to actually teach Jayden to swim; right now he thinks he can swim which is the worst scenario) and then we’ll make it a fun family activity.

Anyway the staff at Children of the Sea is really excellent – professional, child-loving, caring and enthusiastic about what they are doing – so we think it’s going to be a great fit for both our boys.

Portland Parking

Not that I’ve exactly ever been the world’s best parallel parker, but I’m not all that bad either.  However, now that there are new laws on parking in my city, I may start “stressing out” as my husband so lovingly and encouragingly puts it.  The new laws are only going to be effective over the weekend though which shouldn’t impact me too much as Daniel usually does the driving then.  I try to avoid getting behind the wheel as much as possible so only drive to work and back and to collect the kids from preschool. 

Still, when I heard about the Friday night-Saturday morning parking ban in the city I wasn’t exactly thrilled. If we want to go out on a Friday night that’s going to put a bit of a damper on things although Daniel says it’s really not such a big deal as he has always been a lucky parker. But if he does take his chances and mis-parks, he could risk being towed at a $135 fee ($70 towing fee, $35 impound fee and $30 ticket).  Parking is now forbidden from 10:00pm Friday until 6:00am Saturday.

But then I was thinking anyway, I usually like to be in bed pretty early – even on the weekends – so we could for sure leave the city after an evening out by 10:00pm.  We usually leave around 10:30pm, so pushing it back half an hour or so wouldn’t exactly spoil our plans (although Daniel always complains at how early we go home as it is). 

Meanwhile, our great city has kindly put out a list of the venues people can park in the city, at no cost.  These include the Hadlock Field parking lot, all of the Portland Public School lots (except Reiche School), Munjoy and Wilson Street parking lots; and more.  Still, like I said, it hopefully won’t affect us too much as Daniel doesn’t stress about parking and this is only over part of the weekend when I rarely drive.

As my wise mother would say, “this should be our biggest problem.”

Birthday Presents

So as I promised in my previous post now that things are calmer, I can tell you what I got for my birthday.  First, I got the cutest little necklace (that I asked Daniel to order) of the boys. It’s silver (I don’t really like gold) and has two little boys on it engraved with their names.  I wanted to add a bone with Galvin engraved on it and I even had a bone that I got ages ago when we just had Jayden, which Daniel got engraved but it was much bigger than the little boys and just didn’t look right.  So now I just have the two boys which has upset Daniel as he says I don’t care as much about Galvin as he does which is so not true as it’s usually me who walks him.  Still, I will look out for a more suitable bone.

Then I got bath stuff from Jayden.  He went with Daniel to choose me a gift.  They both know how much I love my long hot soaks in the tub so Jayden sniffed all the bubble baths in the store and chose two along with four candles.  Then he told me (when I opened it) that he wants it for his bath too!  That could be cute, putting the kids in a candle-lit tub with lots of smelly bubbles!

Amanda came round on my birthday with thick bed-house socks. She said she knows how I always love to be home and in bed and cozy so thought that would work which it does.  And then Danielle bought me a really cute mini-gold purse which is kind of tacky but fun at the same time.  My parents just gave me money so I’ll have to work out what to do with that. They told me they want me to use it to buy something for me, not just for bills.

And that’s about it.  I did pretty good and was happy with my gifts. It was nice when my friends brought the gifts round as it gave me an opportunity to see them which doesn’t happen nearly enough.  Worth having a birthday just for that!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, today is my birthday. I am 41-years-old.  It’s been a lovely day so far (well, other than the fact I had to go to work!). My necklace arrived with two little boys on it – one saying Ethan, one saying Jayden – and, when I got home from work, a few of my friends came round for a drink, some snacks and some birthday cake that Jayden had decorated with Daniel.

Funniest thing was, they could only find ‘Bratz’ in the store so that’s what I ended up with! Daniel said it was either that or Spiderman. Cute though, huh? Jayden literally used a whole tub of sprinkles with which to decorate it.

The cake was a Duncan Hines marble cake (as Daniel pointed out “try as I might I’ll never make anything better than them”) – and it was truly delicious.  And the cutest thing was just how excited Jayden was to present it to me.  He was so proud of what he had done.  At first, Daniel said he thought it was a bit much with all the sprinkles, but in the end we all agreed it looked (and tasted) perfect.  Of course I’m now trying to deal with sugar-overload – both from the kids and me!  But still, a great birthday all round.  And the presents seem to be still coming in!

More on Portlandia


I just downloaded Portlandia – the first season.  Last night I got the kids to bed early (Jayden can often still be up at 9 which is pretty tough for me as I like to be asleep by 10; but he is so yummy and cuddly at that time, but still) and started with the first episode.

I enjoyed it.  For a start, it’s definitely cool to have a show reflecting your hometown. That’s the only reason Daniel started watching it with me.  He didn’t think it would be “him” as he figure it would be a bit chic-flicish, but it turned out it wasn’t at all. Truthfully it was kind of surreal; the way it’s produced and directed is a little strange. It’s got dance/music and then sit-com so it’s a whole mixture of stuff and very different.  In the beginning they are singing a song with a chorus "The dream of the '90s is alive in Portland," indicating that truthfully in America today, with its economics and policies, come live in Portland as then you can live an idyllic life.

We also discovered that the name of the show – Portlandia – is a reference to the Portlandia sculpture (I never knew that big thing we pass regularly was called that) which is on the Portland Building on Fifth Avenue, downtown.  So a bit of hometown history isn’t too bad either.  I’m sure Jayden’s has asked me about that sculpture when we’ve driven by a million times and I have no answer for him.

Anyway, I digress.  I really enjoyed it because I love TV shows that feature couples and this one has Fred and Carrie as the main players.  The first one was about a particular bohemian couple whose priority it is to have the most humane and ethical restaurant. It seems it’s important to some people (especially Portlanders I guess) what kind of life the chicken had before it arrived on their plates at the restaurant.  Apparently the chicken they were eating had 4 acres in which to run around; and then they showed the somewhat weird couple a picture of “him.”  Oh well, as Daniel says, each to their own!