Wednesday, April 30, 2014

parker // you're four!

here we are, one year older.

i just re-read parker's three year old birthday post & it's funny, not a lot has changed in a year.  he's just gotten bigger.  all his favorites are still his favorites... thomas, dinosaur train, spelling, counting, oatmeal, yogurt, toast, chicken nuggets, chipotle, chocolate milk, french toast.  he loves to dance, snuggle (oh my goodness, he LOVES to snuggle), he's obsessed with frozen, his blanket & his little bear.  he's getting better at dressing himself (today he was asked to go get a new pair of underwear & a couple hours later i realized he had just put the new pair on over the top of the first pair.  DEAD.  so funny!)  he is a peacemaker & loves his baby brother so much & hates to hear him cry.

if i had to describe parker in one word it would be sweet.  he's the biggest little sweetheart.  he's silly & sensitive & does what he's asked & just loves to be home & cozy & comfortable.  he's my little homie.  sure, he still has his moments... if there's something he wants he'll ask & ask & ask until you come to realize there's just no doing anything else until you've taken care of whatever it is he wants.  he's persistent.  his favorite word is "why?"  so many of my answers are just met with another "why" until i finally ask him why he thinks it is & that'll usually buy me some time.

parker started preschool in the fall but due to some unfortunate circumstances, his preschool had to close.  he told us he really didn't wanna go to a new school & we weren't in a hurry to get him in one so he's currently not in any school.  i think he needs something, though.  whether we do swim lessons, soccer or t-ball this summer, he needs some sort of challenge outside of the walls of our house & we're excited to enter that stage of involvement in our family.  my days of being a soccer mom are just around the corner!  and who doesn't want that?

i'm not gonna lie, the first half of three was a little tough.  it was true, the terrible two's had nothing on three.  but once he rounded the 3 & a half mark, he mellowed out.  and i hear really good things about four.  he can be reasoned with or bargained with & he's just so much fun.  it's so fun to see the world through his eyes & i completely understand how kids get spoiled.  when they start "getting it"... ya know, it's amazing to see them get excited.

we made a countdown chain for parker's birthday this year, so for 45 days leading up to the big day he'd run out to the living room each morning to rip off a chain.  when his birthday finally came, he wanted a chocolate donut with sprinkles & chocolate milk for breakfast.  we went to northwest trek for the day with sam's parents & sam's sister & husband.  he wanted costco hot dogs for dinner & so that's what we had.  the day was made complete with frozen for movie night & chocolate cupcakes.  the day was kinda awesome.

i think four is gonna be a good year.  he'll start preschool in the fall & spend the summer playing sports & learning how to swim.  hopefully we find a house sooner than later & four is the year he becomes a portland-er.  i am still surprised daily at how much my heart loves this little guy... how i look at him & see the little freckles that sprinkle his nose & wonder how it's possible to just love him more & more everyday.  apparently it's totally possible, who knew?

happy fourth birthday to my little first born.  can't wait to watch you grow one year older.  i think this year is gonna be a good one, p-ray.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

but first let me take a selfie.

ever since we've been home from texas i haven't really known what to take pictures of for my daily photo.  it's been rainy & we've pretty much just hung out at home & settled back into a "normal" routine so there's not a lot of interesting scenery.  they say when you're feeling uninspired the best thing to do is shoot anyway.  just get your camera out & start taking pictures.  when you're in a lull, shoot through it.  i've found that to be helpful.  some of my favorite pictures have come on days when i didn't think i had anything interesting to shoot & just got my camera out anyway.

so the other day it was pouring outside, i was in workout clothes & the boys in pjs fresh outta naps so it didn't really seem like optimal shooting conditions.  but i got my camera out anyway, found a good patch of light & started torturing them with my camera in their faces.  they weren't in to it.  i set the camera up on the windowsill, grabbed my remote & started shooting us in front of it.  they thought that was hilarious.  the camera shooting by itself?  best trick ever.

and what came of it are these shots.  i haven't taken selfies with my big camera in years & i'm so happy i did today.  these pictures make me happy.  i have so so so many pictures of my boys but when you look back at my last year's worth of pictures i'm in a small handful of them.  and by small handful i mean you could probably count on one hand.  dudes.  i'm their freaking mom, i deserve to exist in these digital memories too, ya know?

even if it means setting my camera up on a windowsill & grabbing a remote, today i'm shooting through the lull & owning the selfie.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

happy easter + a throw back

so easter came & went & we did all the obligatory easter-y things & it was all pretty awesome.  we got back from our vacation at about one in the morning the night before easter but luckily this little bunny was on top of things & had gotten the boys' baskets all fixed up before we left so we were good to go right off the bat easter morn.

it's so fun to be on this side of holidays.  the side where you pick out the toys & treats & plan all the little activities for your kids to enjoy the magic of the day.  it's so fun to relive the memories you had as a kid by creating new traditions for your own family & continuing on old ones.  i placed the baskets in our house & made a little trail of m&m filled easter eggs that led to the baskets for them to follow.  parker made it his job to find the eggs, open them up & then give the candy to elliot for whatever reason.  elliot had no problem with this system... it definitely seemed to work to his advantage.

these guys are so easy to please.  they got a couple activity books, some cool paint w/ water pads by melissa & doug (coolest thing EVER), pez dispensers and new toothbrushes.  they each got chocolate eggs & a handful of other candy & they were good to go.  actually, they were ecstatic.  there is nothing more fun than putting a smile on these guys' faces & watching them enjoy a special little treat.

we skyped with grandparents & had a delicious easter dinner & spent time together as a family.  and i got the one thing i wanted out of the day (besides a wonderful spiritually fulfilling holiday spent with my family, of course): a picture of my boys all dressed up in their sunday best.  mission accomplished.

now, not to destroy the illusion that these guys are perfectly obliging or anything but it should be said that the ties only stayed on about five minutes past this picture before they both grabbed at their necks as though they were choking from buttoned up collar syndrome.  their hair definitely got messed up & shirts were untucked in a matter of minutes as well.  but for these pictures?  they look good.

and for good measure, here are pictures from last year's easter.  crazy what a difference a year makes, right?  elliot's gone a little less the way of chris farley & all of a sudden looks like a mini ryan gosling, amiright??

love these two goobers.

oh!  and parker turns four this weekend.  WUT.

Friday, April 18, 2014

our vacay // the last day.

they say all good things must come to an end... and so it has.  today was our last full day of our texas vacay & despite a kiddo who still isn't feeling 100%, we had a blast.  we spent most our day walking up & down south congress & stuffing our faces with good eats.  pizza, cupcakes, tacos & ice cream to be exact.  we spent the afternoon playing in pease park, checked out the night life on 6th avenue {and by "checked out" i mean we drove past it} & ended our day watching the bats come out from under the congress avenue bridge.  

i have to say, seeing a million+ bats fly out all together at dusk was a highlight of this trip for me.  and for all y'all {btw i can say y'all now, i've been to texas} who don't know what i'm talking about {i didn't a few days ago} here's a little background:  austin is home to the biggest bat colony in north america.  every night around dusk they all fly out from their home under this big bridge over the colorado river to go eat thousands of pounds of bugs & a huge crowd gathers nighty to see this.  and when i say huge crowd, i mean enough people to warrant vendors selling souvenirs like bat-hats & t-shirts & dudes out playing drums with 5 gallon buckets for tips.  it was an event.  and something i walked away from feeling like i had totally experienced something uniquely-austin. 

the last picture kinda shows the crowd & just a handful of the bats.  but for a better feel of the experience, watch the video.  {update: the video is having technical difficulties... will hopefully get it fixed & back up soon.}

so this trip has been a little different than i think sam & i had pictured in our heads.  the weather wasn't quite as hot as we had expected when we envisioned lots of time at splash pads & pools & we definitely didn't anticipate parker being sick for three of the days, knocking him almost completely out of commission.  but it has still been one of my favorite trips.  i just love our little family & getting to experience new places, new foods & new adventures with them.  the boys traveled like pros & adjusted to new beds & a weird routine like no big deal & i got to spend a week with my best friend exploring & being a team.  we kinda live to travel.  

so what's next for me in the coming weeks?  trying to make up for a complete lack of running for almost two weeks & a renewed commitment to clean eating.  because whoa.  and a crazy spring/summer work schedule which means posts may be few & far in between or just quick photo dumps.  but hopefully not disappearing completely.

and now it's one more day of plane hopping & then it's back to real life!  see y'all back in washington state!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

greetings from austin // good news, bad news.

we've spent the last couple days in austin & we get it.  i mean, we totally understand why people rave about it here.  it's gorgeous, there are a million things to do & the food is ridiculous.

it's way greener than i thought it would be... when i envisioned texas i always thought of dusty roads & tumbleweeds.  who knew it would be tree-lined streets with rivers & creeks running all throughout the city?  we've barely scratched the surface of places to go & things to see.  we've hit up a few parks, trails & shops per people's recommendations.  we've tried a handful of restaurants and have yet to be disappointed.  far, far from being disappointed.  more like, "holy crap this stuff lives up to the hype!" which i feel like never happens.  and for all you folks who may or may not someday visit austin {or for y'all who are already around here} i'm talking about the salt lick & torchy's tacos.  so. freaking. good.

here's the bad news.  parker's been sick the last two days.  uuuuggggggh.  it really sucks & it's breaking our hearts.  the bright side is that it's not a pukey, painful kinda sick but rather a fever-ish, lethargic kinda sick.  and i've asked him a million times if anything hurts & he says no... he just says he's tired.  in fact today when i was giving him the usual 20 questions "does your head hurt?  does your tummy hurt?  are you hot?  are you cold?"  he eventually said, "mommy, can we please stop talking about it?!"  so i dropped it.

all the poor guy wants to do is stay in our hotel & sleep.  his fever comes & goes and every time he is loaded up in the car he passes out to sleep.  so that's kinda altered our schedule.  our days out haven't lasted as long as they otherwise might have {seeing the bats come out at night on commerce st. bridge!} & we've held off on some of the more active toddler activities {splash pads! hikes!}.  it's been fine though... elliot's gotten the boot outta the stroller to allow parker to get cozied up inside & we've just modified our schedule to allow for things that just let him chill.  and it rained today so it's not like splash parks or swimming was an option anyway.

oh yeah, rain... like i couldn't have gotten that at home.  oh, that reminds me!  austin reminds me a TON of portland.  they could kinda be twins.  hipsters, a river, food trucks at every street corner & amazing parks.  but i'm pretty sure austin has portland beat in the good-weather department. ah well.

anywho, here's a few shots of our adventures in austin up to this point.  and hopefully a good night's sleep for p-ray will lead to some exciting times tomorrow too.  otherwise it'll be a day of driving from one food destination to another... which, let's be honest, isn't all that bad.

 ^^^waiting for our food at the salt lick & not too excited to be taking a picture with me, apparently.
 ^^^and not too excited about my kissing advances, either.  i was big, fat denied.
 ^^^texas state capitol!

 ^^^the dome inside the capitol.  can you see the word "texas" up there?  this place was GORGEOUS.

 ^^^carrying this little sicko back to the car while elliot took a turn in the stroller.  his little limp body just breaks my heart!!

and that's it!  peace out, from austin.  xo.
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