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.

Good Ole Portlanders

It was nice to read about our community today in the paper.  I learned that there has been a lot of goodwill and charity over the last year in my city.  Indeed, of special note has been the work of the Portland Community Fund which distributed many items of food and gifts over the Christmas season.  In addition, those families who cannot afford them, received delicious Christmas dinners.

So it’s nice.  It’s just another thing that makes me happy about living in Portland.  I also heard that kids from the Portland School District have been receiving much-needed assistance. One of Jayden’s pre-school friends has a sister in that school and I know first-hand how much the family needs help. Everyone’s really been pitching in throughout the city; from churches to local residents; businesses to other schools and food banks; it’s great how the community is rallying around.  Jayden even donated a few of his toys to the cause; I don’t like him to always feel bad for others; but at the same time it’s important he has some awareness of the poverty that exists amongst his peers so I often try to strike up the right balance and I think through the work of the fund, I’ve managed to do just that.

Here’s to more great Portlanders!

Thank-You Notes

I told my kids – well Jayden really, Ethan is too young – that we needed to start writing thank-you notes for all the presents we received over the holiday season.  I started off by showing him what I was doing for Daniel and then he started his creations.  I showed him how I’d made our family logo when Ethan was born last year through Logo Maker and he said “cool.”

Next, I gave him a large piece of paper and he drew on it.  But then, after studying what I was doing, he decided he wanted some of the family stationery to do it on so I gave him some of that.  He was very happy with his final creation. He made one each for both sets of grandparents, one to Ethan (his idea) and then one each for me and Daniel.  Oh, and then just as he was about to stop and eat a snack, he realized he’d forgotten his aunt and uncle and did one for them too.  I was very proud of him for his efforts – and I told him so – and I think he was happy too by the end. It was a fun, productive and educational afternoon.