I just started watching Portlandia.  It’s in the second season right now, but I went back to the beginning to watch it from the start as my friend Amanda has been talking about it non-stop for the last couple of months.  Mind you, being 40+ and pregnant for the first time, there’s not all that much sense coming out of her these days.

It’s a fun show.  Fred and Carrie live an idyllic life in Portland.  The first episode of the second season was screened last Friday and I did take a sneak look at it (even though I promised Amanda I would go back to the first season to really catch me up to speed) and it looked fun. She tells me it was such a clever show that they actually coined phrases that are now popular in our area such as “Put a Bird On It.”  It certainly sounds like a good response to the next time my boss starts talking to me about something with which I am unfamiliar!  If nothing else, it will get a giggle!

There is one couple in the show apparently who are totally eco-conscious (typical of Portlanders) and love everything organic.  Then there’s the artsy couple and a feminist. And that’s just a few of them. It seems like the show is full of different and eccentric people. So it sounds like something I’ll really enjoy watching. Not sure if it’s for Daniel but we can at least start a few episodes together.

Craft Activities with the Kids

I wanted some downtime with the kids after the weekend, but Jayden seemed to be too full of energy to just sit and chill.  So I decided on a compromise and told him we’d make some nature stuff.  I found a really cool recipe for Treasure Rocks using coffee grounds, sand, salt, flour and water.  Of course, I had to make Daniel run out and get some sand from one of the local play areas as that’s not exactly something we keep in the house so much!  Jayden mixed all the ingredients together and of course – leaving him alone for less than a minute – Ethan started trying to eat it!  They both certainly enjoyed being covered in the mucky goo we ended up creating so I was glad for that.

Our next assignment was to create a rainbow.  I happened to have a ton of food colors as Daniel had bought them to make my “surprise” birthday cake next week with Jayden.  Jayden was so delighted with his creation that he asked me to take a picture of it with him standing next to it (which is pretty impressive for him as he usually hates having his picture taken).  So that was how we spent our afternoon.  I was glad that I had agreed to do something creative with them as it really was a lot of fun for all of us in the end.

Weekend Plans

We have had a great weekend so far.  Early Friday evening, I took the kids to The Devil and the Deep and they loved it!  It was a totally cool aquatic/nautical art show.  I wasn’t sure if it would be age-appropriate for them (well for sure it was for Ethan but he just loves being around his brother and seeing action so I knew he would be fine) but surprisingly, Jayden really got into all the art. 

After that I took the kids home and Daniel and I went to Salt & Straw Ice Cream, which, in retrospect, the kids would have enjoyed too. But then I may have had to give some of my ice cream to them!    The event was to celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday.  I didn’t try the new special flavor as, truthfully, it sounded gross to me – banana with bacon-infused peanut butter – but Daniel kept trying to convince me as he said he loved it!

Saturday Jayden had a playdate with a friend so Daniel and I took a long walk with Ethan.  I enjoyed it a lot.  When we go walking, it’s one of the only times Daniel doesn’t play Angry Birds on his phone so we really get to talk!

Swimming Saves Me

It’s true.  A year after Ethan was born, because everything felt so hectic and I was so overwhelmed with all my new tasks, I just didn’t manage to get back to the pool on anything like a regular basis. It was a big mistake on so many levels; I got depressed, despondent and actually physically sick. 

So, for the last four months since he’s been in proper daycare (as opposed to Daniel and I splitting it), I’m back at the Southwest Community Center & Pool swimming my regular on-and-a-half kilometers.  Located on SW 45th Avenue, it’s conveniently only a 5 minute drive away from my home.  I firmly believe that if an exercise routine is not convenient, one just won’t keep it up.

It’s great because the opening hours are fantastic, especially for lane-swimming.  From Monday to Friday it’s open from 5.15am until 9.00pm; Saturday 7.00am until 6.00pm (that’s the one day I don’t go) and Sunday, 9.00am until 5.00pm.  I usually go in the middle of the morning at around 9.15 and it’s pretty empty – rarely are there three people in my lane and almost never more than that so you get to basically have your own lane and do circle swimming.  There are at least six lanes available at all times.

We were teaching Jayden to swim at one point.  Well, at that age it was more like water appreciation classes.  But then when we had Ethan we gave up.  But we need to get back to it and to start with Ethan. That’s on the plan for 2012!

Cycling in the City

I’ve been debating when would be a good age to teach Jayden to ride a bike. I wouldn’t be teaching him as I never learned myself. Apparently my parents’ first attempt with my brother was so disastrous, they didn’t even bother trying with me.  Still, it’s for sure something I feel like I missed out on so I’m hoping Daniel will take in the reins with Jayden and teach him at some point.

Anyway, coincidentally, just as I was thinking about this, I read about cycling in Portland and what a good city it is for it. It was reported to be “one of the most cycle friendly places in the United States.”  That made me even more enthusiastic about getting Jayden on wheels. But then the story went on to warn all those enthusiastic Portland-cyclers that because of this fact, it could ultimately be more dangerous for them since the friendliness of the roads makes them less focused on being careful.

Still, Portland is such a stunning city and the weather is often so perfect for cycling (in the right clothing of course since it can get pretty cold).  I have therefore come to the decision that Jayden should start learning right away and initially he’ll just ride a bike in our yard.  But ultimately he should be able to enjoy cycling in places like the Cycle Path and really get a feel for the beauty of our city.  Still, I’ll wait a few years for that.  I want to keep him as close to home as possible for as long as I can.