Wednesday, April 1, 2015


 Phase 2 of our trip took us into the city.  We once again stayed a little outside of the city.  This makes for lower prices and great opportunity to make use of public transit.    It also meant that while Brandon headed into his conference on that first night the girls and I got to kick it in the hotel.  By the time I got them all cleaned up it was basically bedtime anyway.  The next afternoon we took the train in and met up with Brandon.   We Pike's and spent a good time at Beecher's watching them make cheese. 
 It was a testament to how much Brandon loves his little girls when he paid  $11 for a dish of macaroni and cheese.  Even he can't say no to Daisy's big eyes.  In case you wondered, it was worth every cent.
Another Awesome Photo
We walked all over to really get a feel for the different neighborhoods.  When we got to the Space Needle Rosy was having none of it.
 Taking the girls to the fountain may have constituted the most interesting and also most torturous part of the trip.   They loved watching it but after two straight days of being wet I insisted that they stay out of it.  The sun was shining but it was still a little too breezy for water play.
The next day it took me way to long to find Brandon's hotel and everyone was cranky.  Brandon tried to cheer everyone up by telling them that we were going to see a troll under a bridge.  It caught their attention but then Daisy went from being grumpy to being scared.  It took a bit for her to muster the courage to climb up but once she was there she cheered right up.  The best part is the Slug Bug he holds.

 It  was a perfect day for us to explore the parks.  I felt guilty that we weren't paying for them to see any of the museums but then realized that they were just as happy throwing rocks into the lake as they would have been looking at the Star Wars costume exhibit at the EMP.  I am not so sure about their dad.
 Rocky and Daisy set themselves up okay for their first album cover but Rosy sort of blew it with that crazy hair.
 It was a lovely place to visit and we were sad to say goodbye.

Spring Break

 I finally got to experience my dream of going to Silver Falls.  We didn't get  to see all 10 waterfalls which just means we will have to go back. The girls loved going under the falls.  We were lucky because just as we came out soaked by the mist the sun started peering over the trees.

 And with that tiny sunburst we headed out to Olympic National Park in Washington.   It was the last we would see of the sun for a  while.  The last time we camped in a real rainstorm was coincidentally also the last time we tried to camp  during spring break.  There seems to be some kind of lesson here. 
 We found a lovely campsite nestled  in the trees.  We figured that the  leaves would give us some cover from the downpour.    What really happened is that all through the night the calming patter of raindrops would be interrupted by a whoosh of the waterfall indicating that the leaves had given up and the trees released their reservoirs in one big dump.  It was perfect because just as you started to fall asleep it would happen and startle you enough to wake up.  It created a fantastic pattern for a sleepless night. This was helped along by the droplets that somehow always landed right in my eye.  Brandon got out and tightened things up around midnight and we woke up mostly dry. 
 And  things went downhill from there.  By the time we had  gotten ourselves and our stuff out the tent had become more of a bag to hold rain. 
 But that didn't stop us.  Nope. We still wandered our way through the park.   Most of the morning was spent in trying to track down a visitor's center that was opened on a weekday.  Brandon and I still got a good view of the rainforest.  No pun intended.   I am sorry to say that before this experience I had no idea that there was such a thing as a temperate rainforest.  Now I will never forget.  The girls were busy watching Frozen in the back so they probably didn't even notice that we had moved from our campsite.
 We finally stopped at a park because we saw a covered picnic area and decided that we had better take advantage of a dry spot when we saw it.  I didn't even realize that we were in Forks until I saw the Twilight store.  We looked around for vampires or werewolves but didn't see anyone suspicious.    In fact, we didn't see anyone at all.  Probably the folks driving by in their cars figured that we were the weirdos.  Who else has a picnic in this kind of weather if not for beings who sparkle when the sun is shining?

Best Photo Award
 By the time we reached the other side of the giant park it had cleared up enough to actually get out and explore.  First we found a campsite and hung our tent, towels, blankets, and wet clothes all over the trees in a couple of campsites which worked out fine because we were virtually the only people there.  Then we went hiking.
 By the time we finished everything was still a little damp but we were tired enough not to care.
 The next morning was glorious! 
We decided that since we were just going to be in the car most of the morning that the girls should just stay in their jammies and not get anything else muddy.  This was a decision that I regretted almost immediately when we saw other human beings. 
Miraculously the road up to the viewpoint opened and the heavens opened giving us a fog free look.

And that concluded our camping portion of the trip.  The highs clearly out did the lows.  The rainy adventures are the ones that we remember best anyway, right?  The girls told me that their favorite things were eating oatmeal and playing with the flashlights.  Rosy liked sleeping in the tent because she was in the middle part that stayed dry and she actually did sleep.  Ahh, the memories.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Return of the Nubbies

 It was wacky hair day at school so we pulled out an oldie but a goodie.   I forgot how much I loved putting nubbies on my girls.   I think it is going to be moved from the "wacky hair" category into the little known "my mom actually did something to my hair" category.  If we add the nubbies  then that category will actually exist.

Dance Party!  What else  would we be doing on a Thursday afternoon?
 The girls were thrilled that it was time for the first of this year's OTC 5ks. They looked forward to it all week.  When Daisy got home from school on race day she told me that she was careful all day not to waste her energy because she was saving it for later. I was a little hesitant because my running has been,  let's  just  say, sub-par.  The evening was beautiful and the OTC crowd is just so amazing that we couldn't miss it.  Brandon bravely struck out with Rocky and I had the chance to stick with Daisy.  She was an amazing little trooper.   Thanks to a few injuries and a growing belly my new running buddy is Daisy.  We match our paces perfectly and we both need to stop for a drink and/or potty break at the same time.  She was tired but she stayed on  her feet the whole race.  Even though the empty spot in the jogger was calling her name she overcame the temptation and finished strong.  
 Rocky just runs because she wants someone to tell her stories.  She was there to cheer us into the chute.  Rosy made sure to tell everyone that I made her ride even though she would have preferred to run. 
There was no school on Friday and we were all a little sore so I turned on a yoga DVD that we checked out from the library.  Of course the Eugene library has like 100 pregnancy yoga DVDs and of course the one that we happened to have at the time was the weirdest one.   The girls tried their best though and they really focused on putting their hands on their bellies and sending their love and energy into their babies. 
 In the end we all actually benefited from spending some time breathing deeply and preparing for labor.
Bonus Picture:  Katie's  Birthday

Fortunes, Forecasts, Lucky Charms

 I know, another kid-in-the-laundry-basket photo  but seriously how could I resist?  She is in the basket, she is wearing the cutest coat ever, and she looks like she could eat you alive.  This might be the best picture I ever get of her so I am going to use it.

The other day Rocky got some of the kids organized and they put together a little business.  They posted signs all over the stairwell.  I saw them working on it but I wasn't sure what it was all about. 
 They have played entrepreneur before but until now it has always been with their budding restaurant but this time they moved on to an entirely different market.
 Kudos to Rocky for picking a product that would appeal to the local demographic but I don't know how much money they are hoping to bring in by telling fortunes for free.  Then again there is an option of paying 1$ which seems like a shrewd trick on her part.  I mean, if I am going to have my fortune told I would want it to be from someone who was feeling pretty good about me as a customer. I might accept  a free sample from the lady at Costco but I would think twice before I went for a free haircut from a stranger.  Who is this fortune teller anyway? 
I like that they included  a testimonial but have to deduct some points for the lack of an apostrophe.
I decided to get  in on the deal and read Rosy's future.  She didn't look kindly upon the idea of potty training.
It's Cool!
 The weather has been incredible for weeks.  We have been soaking up the sun and taking advantage like Oregonians do because you never know when it will leave.  I have run on the Ridgeline Trail lots of times and figured I would be able to navigate it okay with the girls. The thing I forgot is that running with your friends and walking with little people are  two very different activities.  It took us a lot longer than I expected but it was a lovely hike.

 Rosy, show us how you really feel.
 Daisy felt compelled to demonstrate how she would feel if she saw a cougar and then Rosy had to do the same in true little sister fashion.  Rosy looks  more  like she is participating in some kind of meditation.  She believes  in embracing  her fears.

Daisy May

 Daisy turned 5 years old.  This self-portrait that she made is not only awesome, it is also horrifying at night when the light from the lamppost outside hits it. 

Luckily the girl herself is not scary at all, even when she sneaks right up to the side of the bed in the middle of the night to whisper in your ear that she thought she heard a ghost.  That only happens like 2 nights out of 3 so it isn't really a big deal.

For her birthday she was very specific.   She wanted a blue cake with pink frosting, a basketball hoop, and a pink soccer ball.  She also wanted to go bowling and to eat at Wendy's.  She is just the kind of kid that knows what she wants.

 So we gave it to her.  

 Things were going well until we realized that all of the Wendy's Restaurants in Eugene are closed.  The buildings are all still there mocking little birthday girls, but the places themselves are out of business.  Daisy turned her giant eyes into heartbreaking teary puddles and her little frown came out and even a mean mom who believes in tough love turned to mush.  Her sad face might more aptly be considered a super power.  If she joined the Avengers Thor could just lift her up and  point it at the super villains and they would crumble and give themselves up for arrest.  It is that sad.

Eventually she sighed and agreed to go to Little Big Burger.   She perked up when she realized that she  was going to get a whole hamburger to herself.
 I didn't think she could do it but one bite at a time she worked at it until the job was  done.  And she  still managed to have some space for cake and ice cream.  The girl stands up to a challenge.
 Anyone who knows Daisy loves her.   She is tender and loving and also has a belly laugh that is contagious.  Her favorite song is Katie Perry's  Dark Horse and every time it comes on the radio she will  wait for her favorite part.  She likes the deep voice that pipes in with, "There's no goin' back." 
She wanted a basketball hoop because she wants to play basketball with her dad, Abi and uncles when we go back to Utah.  She has a lot of friends and out on the playground they pretend to play Frozen almost every day.   Daisy is always Elsa and Rosy is always Olaf.  The other roles sometimes switch around.   She loves to show her "girl power" by lifting heavy things and will complain when we are carrying in groceries if I try to give her something that is too light.  She likes  to play by herself.  Lately she is making all kinds of things out of her new Legos and she surprises me with her creativity.  When she grows up she wants to be a cheerleader.  I asked her her  favorite color and she said, "every color" but we all know that it is pink.  I asked her what she liked to do and  she said, "everything."   She prefers to be mysterious like that.

She just gets cuter and more loveable every year. 
Nice job photo-bombing Rosy.