Sunday, July 8, 2012

week two of our nw adventure

week two is complete and we have a mere five (now one... belated post completion) days left to pack full of fun. boo. we started our second week a little slow (after daddy left) to recover from a crazy week one.

day 8 (thursday, june 28th):
we got a bit of a lazy late start, but ended up at the library down the street after nolan had asked all night about his "all in a day" and "goodnight, goodnight, construction site" books that we had returned to the library weeks before. the library here is pretty cool. puppets and a mini-theater for putting on puppet shows, a pretty elaborate train set up, books (obviously), stuffed animals, puzzles, a doll house and all kinds of little figurines to play with.

we followed the library with a trip to the pet store on our walk home. so many fun animals and they let you pet them all. sad and fun all at once. nolan LOVED the turtles.

after nap we took a late afternoon trip to the playground for sliding and ball kicking. after typing all that out, it doesn't sound nearly as lazy as i though. ha.

wilsonville library kids area
checking out the birds at the ol' critter cabana
"pet turtle, please" - sure, bug.

day 9 (friday, june 29th):
we headed into canby (where i went to 1st-12th grade) to visit the community park, aka: the canby pond. before we arrived, i had vague memories of girl scout day camp and remembered the canby pond as the place kids where went to smoke during lunch in high school. i wasn't all that amped up about it, but my mom assured me there were ducks to feed, so we gave it a go.

when we arrived, i nearly peed my pants. it is amazing how differently i perceive things now that i'm an adult with a little guy versus being a teenager. or maybe it is how differently i perceive things as a californian rather than an oregonian. that place was freaking awesome! yes, there are ducks and geese and they were great, but it was the rest of the space that i was blown away by. there is a playground, a small baseball field, tons of open space, trees, trees, and more trees and access to the molalla river.

my vague girl scout memories came flooding back in full-color detail. it was incredible. nolan fed the (rather aggressive) ducks and geese, watched a boy and his dad fishing in the pond, played on the playground, ran up and down hills and in between giant trees (fir? coniferous of some sort. ha.), blew bubbles, kicked the ball, picked daisies, walked along the edge of a river, held a little river-living snail, stacked rocks and "skipped" stones (read: chucked them full throttle in the general direction of the river, overjoyed at the fact that i actually told him it was ok to throw rocks).

that night, we went to dinner down the way from my mom's at a new mcmenamins restaurant and one of my besties, caitlin, joined us too! best burger (complete with gluten free bun!) that i've had in a long time. it was called a "communication breakdown burger" - 1/2# of delicious meat topped with onions, mushrooms and peppers and served with a salad dressed with homemade balsamic vinegarette. nolan and i shared it and could have probably shared another.

grandma even got goosed!

i had to pick nolan up shortly after this picture.  :)

wondering around in the trees.
holding a little snail

hanging out by the river, playing with the rocks. 
resting on a bench while we waited for our dinner to arrive.  i did a round-off back handspring right after this picture, shocking both nolan and auntie caitlin with my mad skills. haha.

day 10 (saturday, june 30th):
a morning at the farmer's market in lake oswego. so awesome. the first place we spotted was happy campers, a local gluten free bread vendor. freaking incredible.  our stash from the day included: local pork, local honey, local cashew butter, local gf bread and buns and some lovely produce from a farm in canby (where i went to high school and roughly 10 minutes from where i grew up). there was live music and they even have little red radio flyer wagons you could borrow while shopping! what?! we ran into one of my bro's friends from growing up and managed to get into the car and drive away just as the rain started! whew!

when we got home, my dear friend adrienne and her little one, alora, came over to visit. nolan may have fallen in love. :) alora is four months old, a tiny little squirt, has a lot to say and has some of the most beautiful blue eyes i've ever seen. he held her. he kissed her. he rolled around on the floor with her. it was so stinking cute.

a LATE (i mean really late) nap led to an even later evening - dinner and a walk around the neighborhood jumping in puddles left over from a hefty afternoon rain and the exploration of the scoop on a giant tractor, followed by popcorn and part of a mariner's game on tv before a 10pm bedtime. pure madness. but, so much fun too. nolan is a sucker for popcorn and sports on tv.

delicious bread samples from happy camper 
picking out peas. they were so tasty! the farmers even gave nolan a half a pint of blueberries just for being cute! ha! too bad he doesn't like blueberries. doh. 
kissies for alora (not the only time he did this).
holding baby alora. nolan's first baby holding experience. brave auntie adrienne!
rolling around together 
experiencing a piece of portland childhood... and loving it!
measuring up on the fork lift wheel. looking like a little farmer in his wellies!
found a (gross) puddle in the scoop.
that's one big scoop!
it started to sprinkle while we were out... we didn't mind! look at the nolan/gma resemblance!
my mama is so smart. she makes her own microwave popcorn. plain popcorn kernels in a paper bag, folds it up and presses popcorn! takes it out, puts some butter and salt and ta-dah! pretty tricky! i suppose air popped is nearly as easy, but if you don't have an air popper... 
he would do this every night, if i'd let him. popcorn and a ball game (any sport) on tv. his daddy's kid!
day 14 (sunday, july 1st):
after the previous night's bedtime, we decided to lay super low. play dough fun and a trip to the little park around the corner. that sums up the day.

that is a serious mound of play dough!
day 13 (monday, july 2nd):
nolan's first trip on a ferry! on our way to visit auntie caitlin at her parent's house, we went the long way around from wilsonville to canby via ferry over the willamette river. as of late, nolan has not been big on all. while we've been in oregon, he has tried to avoid walking by the pool in the apartment complex at all costs, refused to go in to a fountain (that was filled with littles playing and having so much fun) and has said, "no bath" every single night after dinner. we did have luck near a small river in canby a few days prior, but i wasn't sure how the ferry was going to go over. i imagined it to either be super awesome or the worst plan ever. aaaaaaannnnnd... it was super awesome! yay! it is a tiny ferry and we were the only car on there. :) we got out of the car and looked over the edge while we crossed. snapped a couple pictures, got back in and off we went. apparently pools and 6" deep fountains are terrifying, but a river, a river he's in to. kooky kid. :)

we played ball in the o'connor's beautiful backyard with an incredible riverfront view, got to play with oodles of toys (many that i recognized from my childhood) in their upstairs play area, walked down the street to the molalla state park, picked a turnip out of the field on our way by and searched around for some non-existent ducks to feed, returned to the house and nolan rode a tricycle for the first time!

that afternoon, we headed back down to the huge park surrounded by old growth trees, with baseball and soccer fields, tennis and sand volleyball courts, a skate park (small), a play ground, access to the river and tons and tons of open space. after nearly two weeks of sand-free play, we took nolan over to the sand volleyball court. he was super stoked - felt at home, for sure. haha. we blew bubbles, ate lunch on a picnic table while we watched some little boys play baseball, and nolan ran the bases of an empty diamond and even "pitched"to me from the mound!

driving on. 
crossing the river. 
hello, gnome.
"litte wee!"
admiring the view.
playing with auntie caitlin.
"neigh neigh"
strolling through the field/meadow at molalla state park.

nolan's first tricycle experience.
sand castles! a little piece of home.

running the bases.

day 14 (tuesday, july 3rd):
up and out the door early. drove into town to the portland children's museum. we arrived six minutes after it opened. our most prompt arrival anywhere on the trip to date. it started a little rough, with nolan running chucking a tambourine and drumstick approximately 15 feet before fleeing toward the door saying, "outside, outside, home, home" and then screaming in my ear when i caught him and picked him up. best. start. ever. wait... no. it was a slow warm up after that and definitely not completely free of limit testing, but i suppose that is to be expected with that much stimulation. overall, it was fun-ish. i think. sometimes nolan is a hard kid to read. he is very observant and a bit stand-offish and serious face when he is taking thing in, so i often forget to just let him be and let him explore at his own pace (especially when trying to make it through a whole museum on limited toddler time after paying a good chunk of change for admission...i know... not his problem.).

his favorites: driving the ambulance and the bus, the "market" and cooking area (he made grandma a delicious cheese pizza), the toddler/baby area (imagine that), picking the flowers in the floor (they are supposed to be picked - their stems go in specific little spots in the ground for pulling out and putting in), the truck room (until he started throwng tire chunks across the room) and playing in the water room (after i nearly had to force him into it in the first place). his least favorite: arrival, the dress-up area and the stage (there was no way he was letting me put that cloth knight's armor vest on him), the many areas designed for older ones that he was just too young for, the crocodile getting his teeth cleaned (not real. hehe.) and leaving (when he decided to throw a pretty sizable toy car down the hall of a restricted area when i told him that was not an area he could run into). but, he is still talking about the ambulance, the bus and the water, so i guess he had fun.

mommy lesson learned: let the toddler move at his own pace. worry less about getting through everything and instead let him enjoy the parts that he is enjoying rather than constantly saying, "nolan, look at this" and directing his attention elsewhere. duh.

it looked so promising at this point. ha.
bongos on stage! that tambourine on the floor there is one of the items flung across the room shortly after this picture was taken. 
"10-4. over and out." 
the driver on the bus says, "move on back". 
truck room!
flower picking and re-planting.

grocery shopping.
of all the thing he could choose, he picked out the organic butter. that's my kid. i'm so proud. haha. 
a very serious shopper.
scarves are fun.

sound makers. loved these.
whew. we made it to the water room.
nolan: "what am i wearing?"

day 15 (wednesday, july 4th):
yet another busy, busy day. we started out the morning with a fourth of july parade in lake oswego. i had (incorrectly) mentioned to nolan that there might by horses in the parade. apparently i have forgotten the difference between canby and lake oswego. haha. while he enjoyed the parade, especially the fire trucks and tractors, he was pretty pissed about the lack of horses. we headed home and luckily had a very early nap, allowing us to bust back out the door pretty much as soon as he woke up and made it to the canby parade just in time to miss the only horses that were at the very beginning. ugh. we thought to head to a different part of the route to try and see the beginning again, but didn't make it in time. horsey failure.

we walked over the wait park for general canby day (big fourth of july celebration with vendors, food, music and pretty much the town's entire population. nolan managed to hold his own on an incredibly packed play structure while i held my breath. he climbed things that he doesn't necessarily always climb on his own and went down a type of slide he rarely goes down all with me at least 20 feet away. i was super impressed.

when we arrived home, we loaded up the stroller and went for a walk to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things for dinner and stopped by goodwill (the best goodwill ever) and found nolan a cool little fire truck for $.99 and then enjoyed a lovely dinner out on the patio. we loved the summer sun today.
patiently waiting for the lake oswego parade. 
"hello, wirey ta" - hello, fire truck

"more tractors, please??"
my sleepy patriot.
searching and searching for horsies in the canby parade.
hangin' with the big boys at general canby day. i was so impressed with how friendly they were with him. they invited him up to play with them and everything! ha!
me and my bug listening to music at wait park in canby.
nolan had his first DQ hot fudge sunday experience. while i'm certain that it contained roughly 100 ingredients that i don't approve of, i couldn't help myself. it is DQ! also... just to be clear. he only had a few VERY small bites (nearly licks) of my small sunday. :)
bug and grandma enjoying a delicious dinner out on the patio. lovely, lovely. slow cooked local bbq pork (cooked in homemade chicken broth and homemade bbq sauce), homemade coleslaw and yams. mmmmmmmm...

well, that sums it up. time is flying so very fast. just shy of one week left (nope... actually only one day. boo). before we know it, we are going to be back in santa monica - glad to see daddy and kitty and be in our own home, but missing grandma and all oregon has to offer. *sigh*