Thursday, September 22, 2011

Portland: Part One

This week we are in Portland, Oregon. I haven't been to Oregon since our honeymoon eight years ago, and it is nice to become better acquainted with the city this time around. We did so much traveling around the state during our honeymoon, from Portland down to Crater Lake and back up the coast, that we only spent about two days in the city itself and I never really got a feel for it. When BJ told us earlier in 2011 that he needed to attend a week-long conference in Portland and asked if Silas and I wanted to join him, I didn't have to think for two seconds before exclaiming an affirmative.

Portland has been fun with Silas. Fortunately, BJ had no obligations on Sunday, which was the day after we flew in. We hit Powell's Books, which is a must for any trip to Portland, and we honestly could have spent quite a bit more time in there than we did. Our 16-month-old had had enough though, and who could blame him? He scored lots of stellar reading material from the children's section as a thank-you for his patience. We also hit the International Rose Test Garden, the Portland Children's Museum, and the most kid-friendly microbrewery you can possibly imagine (seriously: an area to play with your kids, a delicious and organic kids' menu that any parent would be nuts about, and practically instantaneous service).  Since BJ has been working longer hours the first few days of this work week, Silas and I have gone quite a bit of it alone, but it hasn't been dull. Even just putting him in the stroller and walking around downtown (where our hotel is) is constant stimulation for him, and every 20.3 seconds he points and excitedly proclaims the presence of all kinds of hubbub: metro trams, buses, dogs, airplanes, babies, you name it.

Here are some pictures of my child enjoying Portland. Feel free to pass them up if you are nowhere near as enchanted with my child as I obviously am.

 The Race for the Cure was passing directly by our hotel, so we joined in for the fun for a few blocks!
Silas is pulling rose petals from the water fountain at the International Rose Test Garden. From the look on his pleased face you would never know that it was pouring down rain.
 At the 'water works' exhibit of the Portland Children's Museum.

 Driving his very own ambulance at the Children's Museum! Vroom-vroom!
 On the way to breakfast with daddy and mama on the transit system.
 Busting out of his hiding place in the hotel closet when he knows he is caught.
The Waterfront Park along the river had two equally compelling components for Silas: a water fountain and a flock of pigeons. 
He should be napping here, but what a fun game to stand up in the crib and make faces at mommy instead of sleeping!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Knitting Frenzy

What feels like many years ago, I promised my friend Sommer that I would knit her baby-boy-to-come the first-ever baby blanket that I would make. I couldn't promise perfection, which I'm sure she was not expecting, but I did promise the blanket. And then I began knitting said blanket.

Months have passed. I feel like a terrible friend. Owen was born at the end of August, and while I know this blanket would really be too heavy for the summertime (even in Massachusetts), I would have loved for that blanket to be there waiting for his return from the hospital. Alas, it was not to happen. The pattern that I am using for this blanket comes from my father-in-law's cousin, the fabulous and wonderful Jeannie. Although I have only met Jeannie twice, she has been more instrumental in my life than she likely realizes. A couple of weeks after Silas was born, she mailed a package to our home containing a blanket that she knitted for him. This blanket, in conjunction with Facebook status updates from a close friend's sister about how cozy and awesome knitting is, spurred me to learn the trade, which is exactly what began last Christmas when I asked for knitting supplies as gifts. So thanks to Jeannie and Jill, for introducing me to knitting. But that is an aside. So, Silas has this very cool blanket knitted by Jeannie, and after learning the basics and knitting SEVERAL projects in 2011, I finally decided I was ready for my first baby blanket, and Sommer was my target recipient. Naturally, I wanted to knit the same blanket I had come to love in our home, knitted by Jeannie. I asked her for the pattern, bought the yarn, and quickly began struggling. My floundering continued, and thus my motivation waned, for several months until I got to see Jeannie in person in Indiana a couple of weeks ago, incidentally on the very day that baby Owen was born. Jeannie quickly set me straight on what I had been doing wrong, and just seeing her again and scheming with a fellow knitter (of whom I seem to know very few) was so rejuvenating for me that I haven't stopped working on this blanket since! I am now well into the fifth ball of yarn, and the blanket will only take just short of six balls. (Skeins I should say. Sorry. It looks like a ball to me.)

So hang in there, baby Owen! It's coming! My goal for completion is October 1, and I don't think that is unrealistic at this point. I haven't blogged about knitting in forever, so probably some of my friends didn't realize that I was still going strong. Never fear, readers, needles are still clicking. =)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Right Words

"And all the stars were crashing 'round
As I laid eyes on what I'd found."

BJ and I were listening to one of our favorite albums, "The Crane Wife" by the Decemberists. If you've never listened, you simply should. What a fantastic piece of work. Two of the songs chronicle the old tale of the Crane Wife, in which a poor man finds a crane with an arrow in its wing and nurses it back to health. In her gratitude, the crane then takes on a human form and repays the man, unbeknown to him until much later. The above quote is from the first song of the tale, and it is simply the closest I have ever come to putting into words my love for my son since the beginning of his life. Of course words can be so inadequate, but this line from the Decemberists reverberates through me every time I hear it; it causes me to think of Silas, the little miracle that I "found," that somehow landed in my lap and changed every landscape of my life.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

*To the tune of the song sung by the Whos in Whoville on Christmas morning*

"Fahoo fores dahoo dores
Welcome football, football day!"

I'm not sure how things could get any better. I know a 16-month-old cutie who is running around our house in an OSU football jersey and carrying a football. College football season is ushered in officially this weekend, GameDay is on in our living room, the sound of marching bands and roaring crowds comes from my television...ah! And to somehow make things even better, meteorologist Rick Mitchell has boldly announced that Oklahoma City has seen its last 100 degree day of 2011. We've only had 59 of them this year, for crying out loud! Tonight a cold front is whipping across the state and tomorrow's high is 7-9. 79! What is this? Oklahoma plus seventy-degree weather equals, in the words of our fabulous Aunt Amy, "no matchy." The cool temperatures are expected to stay awhile, and somehow Tuesday's low is predicted to be 50! That's 50 whole degrees colder than it is right this minute.

To further improve the situation, we are gathering with BJ's family tonight to celebrate with a fantasy football draft while listening to the Oklahoma State game on the radio, and I have prepared an appropriate fall dessert of apple crisp for the occasion. I am hoping to hear many cries of "Goodnight Vienna!" from my favorite announcers.

Giddy giddy giddy. Thank you, dear Lord. And Go Pokes!