Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oregon Camping

Last weekend, for Memorial Day, we loaded up the truck and headed south to Black Canyon Campground with Grandma and Grandpa to kickoff this year's camping season. In what seems to be our camping luck these days, it rained a little and was pretty cool. However, we managed to have a fantastic time enjoying one another and the beautiful nature around us. See for yourself the amazing splendor that the Oregon forest offers...

This was Oliver's first camping trip and the whole experience seemed to agree with him.

We busted out the Baby Bjorn and Oliver really enjoyed hanging out (literally) and keeping an eye on the comings and goings.

Grandpa and Grandma had a great time hanging out with the kids. Kennedy particularly enjoyed cornering whichever grandparent was available for reading time. Here's Grandpa Joe taking his grandparenting responsibilities seriously.

Grandma Renee was a huge help in corralling the kiddos and we were particularly grateful for her help in keeping Oliver happy while we set up camp and many of the other ongoing tasks.

To keep Kennedy occupied while we took care of camp (dishwashing, cooking, etc.) we set up Kennedy her own special tent for the bare necessities (books, toys, potty...)

A big hit while biding the time was Kennedy's blocks; Sheryl and Kennedy erected several large castles and towers.

When we weren't hanging out at camp, it was time to go 'exploring' across the campground. These adventures were accompanied by the requisite elephant flashlight, which we think is influenced by the recent introduction of Dora the Explorer into some of our hometime activities.

I enjoyed the small opportunities for science lessons during our walks. Here's the talk about ferns.

Later in our explorations, Kennedy continued to examine the ferns with the flashlight.

We also enjoyed playing with Lucky and Toby (the dogs). Kennedy mastered the art of the tennis ball thrower when it was all said and done.

The campground was situated on the middle fork of the Willamette River - which is the same river that runs through Portland. The water is running so fast now that we kept a healthy distance.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Smiles and Hugs

I managed to finally capture Oliver's captivating smile while riding in the backseat with him last weekend. It melts our heart every time.

Oliver has enjoyed inheriting Kennedy's toys. This one - a gift from our friend Cheryl in Seattle - is lovingly named 'wormy'.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spoon Man

There's nothing more fun than inviting Uncle CK over for dinner and partaking in some of his antics and unending humor. Last week he had Kennedy in hysterics over his spoon-upon-the-nose balancing tricks.

Oliver, however, wasn't quite sure what to make of it all.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Everything's Fine

K: I'm thirsty.
S: I'm Mommy Sheryl, nice to meet you Thirsty.
K: I'm hungry.
S: I'm Mommy Sheryl, nice to meet you Hungry.
K: I'm Kennedy, and I'm hungry. I'm Kennedy, and I'm hungry and I'm thirsty.

Thus ensued a modified version of Tracy Bonham's Mother Mother:

I'm hungry, I'm thirsty
Everything's FINE...


Monday, May 26, 2008

Two amazing girls

A final picture from last weekend when Kennedy and Zoe were enjoying each other's company. We anticipate a good future of friendship between these two girls - particularly since Kennedy will be joining Zoe in learning Chinese in the fall. Although the girls will be at different schools, their shared 'secret language' is sure to be a something we, as parents, look upon with excitement and, perhaps when they start scheming, regret.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Uncle CK Saves the Day

Last weekend, as the mercury climbed above 90 degrees, CK and Kennedy went to the waterfront to hang out. We teased CK that he's using Kennedy as chick-bait but know deep down he adores the kiddos. Tonight, in fact, CK was commenting that he can't wait for Oliver to get old enough to get out and about with them too. This is Kennedy showing off the art of demolishing an ice cream bar; note the sweat-infused hair plastered to her head.

Later on Saturday, CK joined Kennedy in the kiddie pool and together they showed off their best poses for the camera.

Later on Saturday we hosted a BBQ (at 96+ degrees, what were we thinking?!?). Thankfully, the cherry limeade kept the kiddos cooled off; the adult margarita version was heavenly as well. Of course, the kids couldn't resist cornering CK for some reading.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Beating the Heat

This past weekend Portland enjoyed (?!?) a huge rise in the thermometer as we reached highs in the upper 80s and 90s. Now, for those of you in hot parts of the country reading from your air conditioned splendor, you're probably saying 'yeah, so - and then what?'... However, what you have to understand is that Portlanders don't really have air conditioners given that we only climb above the 80 degree mark a couple of times a year. So... here we are frantically opening the house at night and closing it up after the morning temps start to climb in an attempt to stay cool. We managed to stay relatively comfortable with this approach and promptly pulled out the kiddie pool on Friday afternoon.

Later in the evening we ran across the street to hang out with Zoe who also had an impromptu swimming pool made from an inflatable raft.

Kennedy showing off her SpongeBob hat and fancy hula hoop at Zoe's.

Of course, both kids found their ways to try and beat the heat. It was too hot for Oliver to be worn in the sling or to be swaddled for naps so we brought the swing outside and made do. Hey, whatever works, right?!?

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Daily Exercises

We love to play with Oliver during the few moments that he is awake. One common thing that we love to do is play 'Stand Up'. Here's the photo essay describing this particular regimen...

Step 1: Lay baby prone on lap and grab hands:

Step 2: Begin to gently lift baby and marvel at the strong head and neck control:

Step 3: Continue lifting making sure baby's feet are ready to plant:

Step 4: Stand baby up and marvel at the accomplishment:

Step 5: Smile back at the accomplishment:


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Green Thumb Kennedy

A couple of weeks ago in Kennedy's class they studied gardening and how things grow. While we knew this was on the curriculum, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the sweet peas they planted in class were gifts for Mother's Day. This evening Kennedy was adamant about watering her plant which is a good thing given that highs today were in the 80's and we're entering into an uncharacteristic heat wave. Go figure...

In the background you'll note Portland's new recycling containers. In the past we've had to painfully sort the recycling and haul it out to the curb in separate bins. Last week the city implemented new trucks and machinery that let's us dump all recyclables into one single bin (except for glass). We're all celebrating how much easier this makes it for us.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sushi Night

Tonight we grabbed CK and went out to dinner for sushi - one of CK's and Sheryl's favorites. We went to Ichidai restaurant on Powell and indulged in yummy sushi, edamame (Kennedy's favorite), miso soup and one of my absolute favorites - squid salad - yum!

CK and Sheryl took care of ordering up the sushi and here is a portion of it. The yellow gelatenous goo in the middle is sea urchin which CK likes to order for the shock factor. I personally think that the caterpillar roll is beautiful.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a big day in the Anderson household - particularly since there are two of us. Sheryl and I attempt to sneak around all week with Kennedy to purchase and make gifts for the other mommy with mixed levels of success. Poor Sheryl was on the receiving end of a failed attempt at getting things pulled together for her yesterday. Alas - my over-exaggerated assumptions about what all can get done on a Saturday afternoon left me with only half of her gift prepared. Nothing a little groveling won't cure (right honey?). Ha!

Kennedy, Oliver and I started our afternoon yesterday with lunch with Grandpa (an extra set of hands should have allowed the aggressive agenda to progress with ease, yes?). Afternoon temperaments (mine? Kennedy's?) said otherwise after trekking to the store with screaming baby in tow (why, oh why, do our kids hate the car seats so?). Then, after we found out that poor clerk-packing of the picture frames ended in destroyed goods, I just about lost it. Good thing Grandma and Grandpa were there to take both kiddos so I could run back to the store to remedy the situation as best as possible. Anyhow, we ended with two framed prints for Sheryl and a few others for our moms.

Kennedy has shown increasing aptitude for letters and mazes. She enjoys spelling phrases of her choosing while we dish out each letter one at a time. Here she is showing off her gaming skills with Grandpa at lunch.

Today we started our Mother's Day off with a game-filled morning with Kennedy; we enjoyed rounds of Candy Land, Trouble, and Connect Four. Then Oliver graced us with his Mother's Day present - that of his very first blow out. Nice.

After church we headed over to Granny Kay's to join the family for lunch and hanging out. Grandpa and Oliver wasted no time in smiling at each other and cooing.

For Mother's Day we gave Grandma a collection of African-inspired percussion instruments. She is always drawn to the drums and shakers we have so we were relieved to see her face light up when she saw what we had picked out.

My Aunt Tami and cousin Katrina were in house too and we all enjoyed watching Katrina and Kennedy play hard. I'm not sure which one had more fun - but I know that Kennedy enjoyed rough-housing a bit with someone more her speed...

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

2 Months - Anything but average

Today marks Oliver's 2nd month birthday and to mark the occasion we trekked down to the pediatrician for good advice and (lovely...) vaccinations. Oliver took his shots like a champ and was quickly rewarded with some snuggling and mommy's milk.

Oliver weighs about 11-1/2 pounds and is 22-1/2 inches long. Each of these measurements puts Oliver squarely in the 50th percentile. While we're pleased with the numbers, the uppity side of me wants to make sure to point out that little Oliver is anything but average - ha!

Today we also dug out the swing. I was a bit apprehensive given how much Kennedy hated the contraption - but was pleasantly surprised when Oliver actually enjoyed the experience.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Hanging Out

Oliver Del likes to be carried around on C.K.'s shoulder.

Oliver was 8 weeks yesterday and is growing out of of many of his 0-3 months clothes.

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