Ethan and The Dog

One thing I’ve forgotten to mention so far in this blog (and don’t tell Daniel – he won’t be pleased) is our dog Galvin.  The reason Daniel will be less-than-happy is because he sees him as “the first born.”  And, in a sense, he’s right.  Galvin was a rescue dog we found as a puppy when we were engaged (he was sooo cute; “he still is,” I hear Daniel yelling in the background) and he’s been with us ever since.

Anyway, sometimes I do feel a bit bad about my neglect of Galvin since having the kids.  He used to blink and I would think he was a genius.  Now I hardly even notice if he’s thrown up a hairball! So yesterday I decided that first Ehtan, Galvin and I would take a long walk (yes, Ethan still fits in the Ergo Baby Carrier – knowing he’s my last kid I just can’t seem to give it up yet).  I left Jayden in Daniel’s office to watch Toy Story 3 so the three of us could bond. It was a beautiful, sunny – somewhat crisp – d y as well.

After a while it looked like Galvin was getting a bit tired from the walk so we got home and went into the car to buy Galvin a toy.  I figured he deserved something nice.  The kids are always getting new stuff.  So I checked the Internet for local dog stores and went along to All For Paws.  I chose some really cool stuff for him there – actually, it was him who chose the stuff; he went over to the toys and treats he liked and stayed in place for a while so I picked them up for him. 

Now I don’t need to feel bad for putting him in the kennels when we go to Daniel’s parents for the weekend. Besides, they look sort of nice to me from the site – maybe he’ll even have a good time and feel more spoiled there!

Here’s to a grand weekend for us all! 

 

New Toys for Jayden

 

So yeah it’s coming up to Christmas and of course, we have to spoil our kids (who doesn’t around the holiday season?)  Truthfully, we only need to get one toy as Ethan could care less if he’s playing with a broken block or a stone from the street, and, he has all of Jayden’s old toys. But we want to get Jayden something he’ll not only really enjoy, but also get creative with as he’s a pretty imaginative kid and loves to play on his own which is certainly great for me!

He’s been using his Lego a lot recently.  Indeed, every morning before we leave for preschool he needs at least 10 minutes to build “another spaceship.”  So that’s great.  But then when I was at Kayla’s house I saw these Clic Toys and he was having a blast with them. He was making all sorts of things – hardly playing with her kid (his best friend, Matthew), at all.  So I think we’re going to get them – probably the smallest box of 175 pieces, because at his age, that will probably be more than adequate.

There’s also something I saw online: Color Mixing Toys.  Since mom and dad want to get the kids something for Christmas too, I may suggest these.  They’re just for fun and don’t really require so much imagination but it’s just for a good time and, really, isn’t that what grandma and grandparent presents are meant to be about?  According to the promo though, as well as being fun, they are educational.  You put them on and see magic!  You can switch the lenses pretty easily and see the world like a bug does or how it would like through a kaleidoscope.  So I guess that’s educational and it’s definitely something different…certainly wasn’t around in my day Indeed, it gives kids a way of changing the entire world…now, in my life that would be really amazing; just think of all the endless possibilities…hmmm, well, it’s sure something nice to dream about for a not-so-sunny Wednesday!

Have a great day and if you get a few moments to yourself, curl up with a nice hot cup of tea and dream about what you would do if you could change your view of the world into a reality.

Getting Great Service in Portland

I love living in Portland.  We moved just before we had the kids.  Before that we were living in Connecticut where I’d grown up so I was really reluctant to relocate, but anyway we didn’t have a choice as Daniel got a new job.  Anyway, since we’ve come here, I am more and more pleased we were forced into it, almost on a day-to-day basis.

One of the places I discovered very early on – probably because we needed a decent supply of groceries in our home pretty immediately – was Zupan’s Markets.  Located in three convenient areas in the city (Belmont, Burnside and Macadam), the produce sold there is so fresh I cannot work out how they do it. I also like the idea of a family-run business and this is really the feel you get at Zupans – like, I even felt a personal loss a few months ago when the founder and owner of the store – John Zupan – passed away.

Another early discovery I made in the city was the restaurant, the Old Wives’ Tales.  Being a vegetarian veering on the edge of veganism (don’t tell Daniel, he’ll divorce me – he’s SUCH a carnivore), this was a great find.  As well as having a great play area for Jayden (and Ethan is happy as he can just glare lovingly as his big brother and hero plays), it has a huge vegan/veggie menu with some great meat options so I don’t get a sour look from the big man. Sometimes, I even find myself dreaming about the salad bar as I run to pick the kids up from daycare to take them there for a treat…when really I know it’s actually my treat; great food and fun for the kids!

So I’m constantly discovering new and awesome things to do in Portland.  It really does seem that every time I turn around there is something else great about this city.  Apart from missing my parents who are still in Connecticut, I love living in Portland!  They are actually coming to stay over Christmas so I have that to look forward to as well.  And I’ll sure be showing them around my great city that I’m ever so proud of!

So, until next time…have a great Tuesday and try to find something you love about your city!

They’re Still Bouncing Up and Down

We had these new neighbors move in over the summer.  They wrote something on the local email list asking for help putting up their trampoline.  Her husband is away a lot so Daniel offered to help.  It was him and a few other guys and it took them hours and hours to finish putting it up. 

But it was sure worth it. Every time we look at our window – morning, noon or night, literally – there they are, bouncing around on it.  They have four kids ranging from around 7 to 14-years-old, but it’s not just those guys who are using it. Jayden was given a free pass (since his daddy was so helpful in its assembly), but he’s somewhat cautious (or as Daniel would say “a wimp”) so hasn’t taken them up on it yet.  Still, every time I look, there are at least 3 kids bouncing up and down. Even when I take Moo Choo (our dog) out for a walk before 7 am, there they are, jumping up and down on the trampoline.  Daniel often wondered how safe it was, but it does have a net so I’m hoping it’s okay and the company does have a good reputation for safety. For sure it has to be good for the mom who probably has her hands full, what with her husband traveling a lot for work.  I think he’s in the diamond business.  Either that, or gold; some kind of precious gem, I forget which exactly but he’s for sure never been seen on that trampoline!

Food Deliveries  

On the recommendation from a couple of our other neighbors (Kayla and Ruth), this Friday marked the first week of our family receiving an organic food delivery from Organics To You.  I was getting tired of reading about all the cancers that can be caused by non-organic produce and figured since it was so easy, why not check this company out? 

We started off with the Small Bin as we thought – from the description – that would cover our produce needs for the week.  At $33 I was impressed with the price and when it came I was delighted! I got apples, pears, oranges, satsumas, turnips, celeriac, onion, kale, carrots, beets, potatoes, leeks and broccoli.  I can use it all.  The fruits will go in Jayden’s lunch box and be available for him and Ethan as an afternoon snack and I’m planning on making a root vegetable soup with the turnips, celeriac, carrots, potatoes and leeks. The broccoli I’ll use for a quiche (Daniel just picked up some great dairy products over the weekend that I’m dying to try out) and the potatoes will be good for a meal of potatoes, beans and cheese or potatoes with tuna melt that Ethan simply gobbles up.  And if I have any leftover, I can always send it to the bouncing neighbors who must be working up a crazy appetite!  I’ll definitely be trying other baskets from this company in the future.

My Personal Thanks”receiving” Tale

So I guess I had a special Thanksgiving story of my own from last week.  It didn’t happen exactly on Thanksgiving (it was the next day) which is why I’m only reporting on it now.  But still, to me, what happened definitely gave me big reason to be thankful.

It was a crazy afternoon.  Jayden, my four-year-old, had an infected arm that needed to be treated.  It had started off so stupidly; with just a scrape from when he was coming up the stairs outside our house.  But somehow it just wasn’t really getting better – a doctor friend of ours had told us to go check it out. Now, you have to understand something about Jayden.  Great, wonderful, sweet kid that he is, he simply hates doctors.  I knew it wouldn’t be fun.  Meanwhile, I had to take Ethan (the one-year-old) along for the ride and I was pretty tired myself too. So it wasn’t bearing for a good afternoon. Continue reading My Personal Thanks”receiving” Tale