Monday, August 31, 2009

More of our trip

We went to the very fun Candy Store with the girls. We also went to Miette on another day but I of course didn't get any photos of it. Which is a shame as it had the greatest wall paper of all time. We had a shopping spree which aside from taking the girl to H&M kids was our only. I really don't need to get in the habit of buying 300 dollar shoes. Where the phrase "like a kid in a candy store" is recreated for you. This was such a small thing to do but will be such an awesome memory for the girls. They loved it. Portland? Where is our fun candy store? They sell these very awesome chocolate bars at Miette called Maison bouche. The Bergamote one is my favorite. Milk chocolate and Earl Grey. Yummy. It's like drinking a cup of tea with your chocolate which is the way we like to eat chocolate around here.
Then it was off to Coit Tower so the parental units can enjoy architecture, WPA murals and city views. The kids really are good sports about this kind of thing. But I think it's important to do this with your kids. I tended to roll my eyes a lot as a kid when my dad dragged me to another historical building. However he instilled in me a love of history and now I find myself doing the same thing to my own kids.
We drove down Lombard St. in the Volvo just like many years before my parents drove their Comet Mercury (which became my high school car) down. You can see Coit way at the back.

Lovely WPA mural. And one of the artists was an Edith! Another amazing artist/creative type named Edith. It's a good name for her for sure.

One small wrong turn and we came upon Edith street. A nice little dead end street that doesn't appear on any city maps or in the book my dad has about the streets in San Francisco. So how cool is that? One small wrong turn and we find Edith street? What a happy accident! And a reminder of why it's good to not freak out if you get a little lost. I am guessing as this was so close to Coit Tower that it is named for Edith Hamlin. However I don't know that for a fact.

Palace of Fine Arts and Exploratorium

We had a fine evening stroll at the Palace of Fine Arts. And imagined what it would have been like to be there for the World's Fair. New York and San Francisco are currently bidding to hold the next World's Fair up for grabs in 2020. They are now called International Expositions, but I prefer World's Fair myself. Go have a look...New York's bid and San Francisco's. There are other cities bidding too, but these two are the ones I am hoping for. San Francisco being my first choice, but New York a close second. Anyhow there is my plan for 2020-take my kids to a World's Fair. By then they will be teenagers!

Hungry stomachs pulled us away from our stroll and we ate a delicious meal at Greens!

But we did vow to come back the next to play at the Exploratorium and boy did we have fun. What a great place. I know that if we always had it as an option like OMSI I would be less excited. But I'm hugely jealous because it was fun for all of us and not just the kids. But kids can be fickle if something is in their usual routine.

This exhibit shows how the eye works, but you can also just kick your reflection in the face! I love how Miriam has the exact smile and chin as me in this photo!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Home again, home again jiggity-jig...

We got back on Friday, and then Saturday was devoted to a huge pile of laundry and the general joy in being able to have a nice cup of tea whenever I wanted. I love to travel and explore but I also love that marvelous feeling of coming home. And aside from maybe Bath, England, I know that Portland, Oregon is the place for me.

I have a ton of photos and probably a few posts worth of stuff to say, but that will have to wait until Monday. Today will be spent going to our holy mecca of Powell's Bookstore. I know I am most likely wrong here because I don't know San Francisco like the back of my hand. But y'all are seriously bookstore deprived. I now firmly know that Portland is the city of books. Yes I know there are some real gems in San Francisco but for me Powell's is where it's at.

Don't worry San Franciscan's you have us beat when it comes to amazing buildings and history!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

San Francisco!

Only 2 more days until we leave on our trip to San Francisco and Big Sur. I'm so excited!

David has also told me he is going to help me design my blog so it isn't so plain. I don't know how to do that and thought it was about time I asked him for help. But all that will wait until we are back from our trip. The kids are so damn excited it's been a bit hard to live with them this week. I am also desperate for them to go back to school. It has been a very l o n g summer. I had these unrealistic ideas that I would get so much accomplished. Well I didn't. I did sew a ton in the beginning but the hot weather outside require us to get out of our oven house. And the pool (while awesome) was a huge time suck and tiring. Catching Miriam 50 times as she jumps into the deep end while I am keeping myself a float is excellent strength training. They also need a bit more structure to their days. Summer has been great for them because they have discovered new things they love to do. Which is what summer is all about. But it's time to focus on learning again. And frankly I think we all need a bit of a break from each other. They are every bit as excited as I am. Which is good. I couldn't bare to send them to school if I knew they were dreading it. Win Win!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quick tip

I have found for myself that life is easier if I make lists. Your tasks will always look more manageable written down than all chaotic in your head. Maybe that's just me though. But if I am feeling pressed for time or feel like I have a too much to do, I make a list. I re-evaluate what must get done today and what can be combined with other errands. And I also figure out what can be postponed if pressed for time. There are usually several things that don't have to be done today. Obviously it would be nice if they were but it's also nice to not pressure yourself.

And I have to remind myself of this because it is easier for me to panic about everything. I just have that kind of personality.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Transitions to Fall

It's kind of difficult this time of year. As much as I enjoy the summer I'm still ready for fall. I don't know what it is. I seem to look forward to the next thing more. I wait and wait for summer and it's here and I don't want it anymore. I guess we are programmed to enjoy change. Which is good because otherwise we would be screwed. As we are going on our trip in about 5 days this is really our last full week of no school. Next week counts but I have a feeling we won't be burning daylight but having a ton o' fun. So realizing this I know I should enjoy these days. But I can't help it. I'm ready for the girls (especially Edith!!) to be in school. I think I say especially Edith because she needs a full day of constant activity. Miriam is still quite content to come up with her own things. This last year of preschool is going to be so beneficial to her.

We get back from our trip and school will start for Miriam 4 days later. And Edith a week later. I am terrible at transitions and I have created children who are as well. I just want the next thing now!! Please, please, please let me get what I want!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just a spoon full of sugar...

Gulp. We did it. We pulled everything out of the closets and cabinets and did a huge tidy/goodwill/garbage/recycling weekend. And we stained the back patio. It feels so nice to have accomplished so much and it warms my heart to know where to find stuff.

It's countdown to San Francisco. We leave this Saturday and we are gone for a week. (Squeal)! I can't wait. It's been awhile since we have had a just us family vacation this long so I'm really looking forward to it. There is so much I want to do.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How to make watermelon juice.

1- Have almost 5 year old child knock watermelon off the table where it cracks open and immediately starts pouring with juice.

2- Put that 5 year old in her room because it's the 10th time she has made a huge mess in 5 days and it's better than yelling at her. She screams but then falls asleep.

3- Quickly scoop out watermelon flesh into blender and blend. Strain through a sieve and reserve juice in pitcher. Throw away pulp. Repeat as many times as necessary.

4- Add a bit of lemonade and water to your liking. The lemonade increases tartness which I like. And the water makes it a little more refreshing.

5- Add tequila as required for a nice party punch.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summertime and the living's a filthy, messy house

I remember telling myself 2 weeks ago that I was going to post 3 times a week or something. Well that never happened. Oops. Summer is kind of hectic like. I genuinely thought there would be more time for all sorts of projects. But there really isn't. I manage to get the bare minimum done everyday. The mystical bar of what constitutes a clean house has been lowered so much this summer I wonder if it will ever go back up. Somedays I do just try to embrace it. Edith and Miriam are having so much fun and playing so well it's hard to be angry about messes. Other days? Well they are unpleasant and I might have accidentally sworn in front of the children when I stepped on something small for the 3rd time in a row. I believe the phrase was "Enough of this shit! We are living in our own filth and this house must be made tidy right now!" I am really not obsessed with cleaning but it has gotten to the point where I complain about it a lot. Also I will not be surprised if at school they make a poster of what my mother likes, one of my kids will put cleaning the house instead of sewing or reading. How disturbing. But to be fair I don't think kids can understand how we can obsess on something so much and not love doing it. They certainly do not do things they don't love.

In more exciting news we did Bridge Pedal with the girls. The family ride which is 6 bridges, 14 miles. It was fantastic and Edith did brilliantly! It was hard for me (pulling a 50 pound Miriam). But we did it and it will definitely be a family memory and something we would try and do every year. I would have put the picture at the end but I don't know how to move it!