Archives for category: Places we See, People we Meet

So sorry for the lack of posts this week. I have not been feeling well at all, and writing had been sorta the last thing on my mind.

The Vet
My mom has a dog named Humphrey.

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We’re not entirely sure what’s wrong with him, but he’s acting like he’s in pain. So we took him to the vet and are currently waiting for the results from his X-rays.

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Owen really likes Humphrey. Whenever he starts barking yapping, Owen starts laughing lol. When we go over to my mom’s place, Owen will always stare at Humphrey and is so intrigued by him (as you can see in the pic above). This was Owen’s first time at the vet, and it didn’t go too well. In fact, Owen was so bored (and fussy) that Dan ended up having to drive over and get him before the appointment was over. :/

Oh Christmas Tree
We put up our tree and decorated it last Saturday!! How do you think it looks? 🙂

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Baptism
This past Sunday I decided to get baptized. I was actually baptized Catholic when I was a baby, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about following Jesus and the Bible, and after talking to one of the pastors, Gerald (who is in the picture with me), I had made up my mind. It felt like the right time and the right step to take on my journey with The Lord.

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H Mart
There is an Asian market not too far away called H Mart that we went to the other day, and I realized that that was the first time I’ve been there since I was pregnant. Ok, that doesn’t sound too interesting, but we tried going in one time during my pregnancy and I almost threw up because of the fish smell. I literally could not stay in the store. But! I’m not pregnant anymore and the smell doesn’t bother me, so we went! Which means it was officially Owen’s first time there too! They sell all sorts of things there, like specialty items. We like to buy Siracha and chili sauce there because it is SO much cheaper than trying to buy it at Fred Meyers or Safeway. Seriously! A little container at FM or Safeway will be like $5, but a huge tub (pictured) was only like $13 or so. I know I just posted this pic the other day, but Owen looks so cute in it, plus I want to point out how big the tub of chili sauce is compared to him. I think they weigh about the same lol!

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Portland Meadows
Last Saturday we went over to Portland Meadows, where they do horse racing. We didn’t see any races, but we did win $7 from a lottery thing they were doing. The grand prize was $500k, and even tho we didn’t win that, we were still happy with the $7 lol 🙂

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Several weeks ago I purchased a LivingSocial deal for two 2.5 hour sewing classes. Yes, sewing lol. I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew, so this was a perfect way to learn!

The classes were held at A Common Thread, and the $35 LS deal also bought you a $25 voucher to use at their store for fabric, materials…anything! The other cool part about these classes is that they supplied sewing machines and materials. If you had a sewing machine then you could bring your own. I don’t have one, so this is what I learned on:

20121028-173021.jpg That’s a Janome DC2012. Mom, Dad, Santa, anyone – I’d be happy with a Janome DC2011 or 2010 for Christmas lol! 😉

We learned how to thread a machine, how to clean it, and how to work it.

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Then we made a pincushion/beanbag (mine turned out a bit pathetic cus I ran out of thread and didn’t rethread it properly lol), and then for the second class (after the lunch break) we made another project. I’m not going to say what it was because its going to be my mom’s Christmas present. 🙂 But here’s a sneak peak:

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No guessing what it is either cus I’m not gonna say! 😉

Sometimes LS deals can be kind of a dud. Like one time Dan and I bought one for a sushi restaurant and it was in a terrible part of town, but the food turned out ok. We haven’t been back cus of where it’s at (we literally pulled up to the restaurant, looked at each other, double checked the address to make sure it was correct, and hesitantly walked in lol). This deal, however, was not a dud. Overall I really learned a lot from this class and the instructor, Jan, was super helpful and knowledgable while keeping the class interesting. All of the women working at ACT were very friendly and just so helpful. If/when I get a machine I think I’ll be returning back there for help and supplies!

On this past Saturday, the Southwest Community Center was holding a bake sale in association with No Kid Hungry to help end child hunger in the United States.

According to their website, 1 out of 5 kids in the US are struggling with hunger. That’s approximately 16 million kids. Just in the US! Since I don’t have much extra money to donate, we decided to bake something for this fundraiser cus it’s the least we can do.

Dan suggested I make the coconut chocolate bars from Martha Stewart. I had made them before but I didn’t like the big chunks of chocolate chips, plus I felt like they were missing something.

So, I decided to add Heath bar bits and butterscotch chips, and chop them up so that once the bars cooled each bite was pretty consistent in taste (not one bite with a huge chocolate chip and another with a huge butterscotch chip). After letting them set overnight they were so yummy! Best of all, they were easy to make too.

There are many different ways that you can help out too – just click the link at the beginning of this post for more info.

Everything Bars

Ingredients:
3 cups finely ground graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup Heath Bar bits
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly splash a 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet evenly with water, then line with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly press onto bottom and up sides of prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating halfway through, until firm, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool, about 20 minutes.

3. Chop up walnuts, Heath Bar bits, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Sprinkle cooled crust evenly with the nuts, Heath Bar, chocolate, and butterscotch bits. Pour condensed milk over the top, spreading to cover completely (do not let it drip over the edges). Sprinkle with coconut.

4. Bake until coconut is toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. Trim edges, if desired, and cut into equal-size bars.

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Last night Dan and I took Owen to his very first Halloween event! The Southwest Community Center was holding their annual Halloween Mash and we decided to take Owen so he could wear his costume, meet other kids, and just have some quality fun family time together.

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There were so many ppl! We didn’t really know what to expect, but were pretty surprised to find the parking lot full, as well as the lot across the street for the neighboring shops.

First things first – Owen’s costume 🙂

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He was a monkey! Ever since he was a newborn we have always called him our little monkey boy, so we figured that a monkey would be very fitting as his first Halloween costume!

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Inside the gym, they had all sorts of games for the older kids and right in the middle they had a baby center with all sorts of foam blocks and even some pumpkins. Owen wasn’t entirely sure about going off and playing with other kids, but he did play a little and was generally in a good mood all night!

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I LOVE this pic below of Owen clinging onto Dan. He got a little scared or overwhelmed at all the commotion and turned to Dan to be held. It was so cute! He didn’t cry or anything, he just got very quiet lol

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They had all sorts of games and activities for all of the little ones to enjoy and win some candy.

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They even had a costume contest for each age group, and though Owen didn’t win it was still fun to sign him up! (A 2 year old cheerleader won and she was very cute!)

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As you can see Dan didn’t dress up, but I did! As a cat lol

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Have any of you already gone to any Halloween events for the kiddos? We don’t have anything planned for actual Halloween day, but aside from handing out candy, what is there to do with a baby? Ideas?

Yesterday, Dan drove Owen and I over to The Dalles to see his son, Matt, race. He runs cross country and it’s really fun to cheer him on, and even more fun to watch Dan get excited about watching him race.

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One of the things I love about Dan is how great of a father he is. He really tries to be there for his kids, even if it means leaving work early to drive 1.5 hours outta Portland just to see his son’s cross country race.

But, this post isn’t about how much I love Dan (sorry Dan, love you! ;*). It’s about what we did after Matt’s race – his daughter and her boyfriend, Sarah and Nick, made us all dinner! It was really yummy and not only that but their daughter Hallie got to play with her uncle Owen!

This is the first time that they’ve really played together since Owen has started to crawl. Hallie is about 5 months older than Owen (making her a year old now – HAPPY BIRTHDAY HALLIE AND SARAH! 😉) and she’s already walking running around. I was a little nervous to see how they’d interact because Owen is still pretty small – if he could walk and share toys then I wouldn’t have been as nervous.

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But they did really well together! Sure, there was grabbing and pulling, but there was also hugging (Hallie can hug!! She is so adorable!) and sharing (she knows how to share sorta!) and my favorite part was when Sarah said “can you give baby Owen a kiss?” And Hallie leaned in and kissed his little face!

20121005-060607.jpg Isn’t she cute? I always tell Sarah this, but Hallie’s eyes look like a dolls eyes!

Last night was also the first time Sarah fed a baby a bottle (she said Hallie never took to one).

20121005-055637.jpgIsn’t she so beautiful?? Dan always says that he can’t believe he made someone so beautiful 🙂

I can’t believe how old Hallie is now! I remember last Halloween when Sarah, Nick, and a very new Hallie came over to Portland and had dinner with Dan and (a pregnant) me. She was so small and fragile. She started crying near the end of dinner, Owen started kicking inside, and I remember thinking that I was NOT ready for a baby lol! Dan and I couldn’t even calm a crying baby, how were we going to raise one?? As the three of them were leaving that night, we smiled and said our goodbyes, then I think I turned to Dan and panicked. I was nervous to even hold a baby, let alone try to calm a crying one; I was not ready to be a mom.

Flash forward a year (thereabouts) and Hallie is walking! And hugging. And has good manners (she can sign “please” and “thank you”). And she doesn’t cry when she wants something, she either says it or signs it. Pretty cool, huh!

Then there’s Owen – he’s definitely not as bad a baby as I was expecting. He is pretty easy going and often times just goes with the flow.

And now they both are playing with each other! I’m so excited for all of the fun times that I hope they’ll have, but still really nervous for all of the trouble they’ll get into together lol 😉

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So sorry for the lack of posts this week – we are moving this weekend and I’ve been packing and getting ready for the move while trying to take care of the lil chunk at the same time (it was tough, but I packed everything!).

Since we are moving out of West Linn, Dan and I have been hitting up the nearby restaurants. We’ve been to La Fiesta (the Mexican restaurant that had yummy coconut margaritas), Lil Cooperstown (which had really yummy burgers), and today I decided to take Owen over to the Chinese restaurant. Dan is in the Dalles right now so it was only Owen and I. Since I was the only one ordering, there was really “just one” of us.

As I walked into the restaurant, the hostess asked
“may I help you?”
“Yes…I’d like a table…”
“Is it just you or…”
“Yes, just one – and a highchair” I replied.

She left and a different guy came out. We had the same conversation but I cut him off and said “just one. For here. And a highchair please.”

I could already see how this dining experience was going to end up.

He sat me at a table set for four and all of the families nearby stared at me. I didn’t really mind because I do things alone with Owen all the time (like 24/7), but I got the feeling that they (the customers) thought I was a lonely single mom.

The server took two place settings away (leaving two…one for me and one for the chair directly across from me…). He brought two cups for tea and two cups of water. I reminded him “just one” and he laughed and said “oh sorry, but I’ll leave it just incase.”

Just incase of what? I was pretty positive that it was just going to be Owen and I.

A different server brought a plate (to dish up the food) and said “oh! Are there two today?”

“Nope, just one.”

I’m sure that by this time the surrounding tables must’ve found it funny that I had repeated “just one” about half a dozen times and no one seemed to be listening.

We ate, I asked for a doggy bag and the check, and when the server brought it back he also brought two fortune cookies. I didn’t say anything this time, but I did open both fortunes. 😀

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Is it really that weird for a mom and her baby to go to dinner alone together?? Apparently in West Linn it is.

But still, I didn’t really mind. I didn’t mind because I’m not a lonely single mom. Dan just happened to be out of town on our last night in West Linn and I didn’t want to cook anything because I had packed everything up. So I decided to treat myself to dinner. Not very weird at all, right?

The truth is, if I were single (with no baby), or a single mom, or was having a rough patch with Dan, I probably would have been upset by the entire situation. I probably would have felt alone. The thing is, Dan and I have been working on things and I feel secure in our relationship. We have each other and we both are not alone, even when we do things by ourselves.

This day has made me feel like Wonder Woman (is there such a thing as Super Woman? Dan and I were actually talking about this last night lol!). Not only did I get all of the packing and cleaning that I wanted to get done today, and managed to keep Owen happy at the same time, but I also conquered the dreaded “just one” experience.

We may have been the “just one” (plus baby) table, but the two of us had a fabulous time together. 🙂

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Today we went to PCPA’s 25th Anniversary Season Celebration! We didn’t stay long since Owen was wanting food and a nap, but we did get to see all of the booths, the performance by Portland Opera to Go, and we even ran into my friend Doug (who was running the booth for Stumptown Stages). Doug is always so happy and even tho Owen was starting to get fussy, he was all smiles around him!

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Since we left so early we missed out on some of the other acts like the puppet show and the brass band, which would have been fun for Owen to see and hear, but getting him home and fed and happy is all that matters to me. 🙂

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Yesterday morning, Owen and I went over to the Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center (home of NW Children’s Theater) and took a free demonstration class with Music Together of Portland . I had never heard of them before but came across it in an events newsletter and decided to sign up for the free class. After all, we had 45 minutes to spare, I like to take Owen to new places and have new experiences, plus it’s free!

So what is Music Together? I’m just going to copy and paste what’s on the front page of their website cus I’m feeling lazy right now LOL:

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We interacted with other babies, got to crawl around, play with various instruments like toy drums, tambourines, finger cymbals, and shaker eggs. We danced around with our kiddos, played with scarfs, snuggled together to a slow song, and basically just sang and felt the rhythm move us.

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First, I don’t sing or dance well AT ALL. Seriously. But when I’m home alone with my little chunk, I will sing and dance my little heart out just to get him to smile or laugh. He seems to like it (or maybe he’s laughing at me instead of with me….).

Second, none of the exercises in this class called for experienced singing or dancing. It was low key – the most important thing was for your baby to hear your voice, feel your body move along to the music or beats, and to overall have fun with mom or dad. If your little one wanted to crawl/walk across the room and check out another baby, they allowed that. If you needed to stand up and rock your baby they allowed that too. Whatever your baby wanted to do (that was safe) they allowed. That’s what I liked about it. They understand that babies learn best by exploring and figuring out things for themselves. Owen would rather bang the toy drum on the ground than bang on it with his hand, but hey, he’s learning lol.

Here’s what I didn’t care much for – the length. It was only 45 minutes, but it was a lot of stimulation. At the end a lot of the babies were getting fussy. One girl even had a bad tantrum and was laying on the floor, bawling her eyes out. Maybe half an hour would have been better. Another thing is the price (if we were actually wanting to take the classes). For 10 classes (1/week) it costs $150. Not extremely expensive, but I felt like I could do these exercises at home (minus the guitar playing parts).

Overall though, I liked this free demonstration class! Owen got to interact with other kids around his age, he heard new songs/sounds, and we got to play together. I also got some good ideas for our at-home playtime. An idea I’m playing with is maybe instead of doing random stuff and trying to entertain him with whatever toy is nearby, maybe I’ll create little songs and do exercises like in this class. We’ll have a routine – a song to start off playtime and one to end it. Maybe I’ll buy some toy instruments and a couple of egg shakers for him to play around with too. So many fun things to explore and do!

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The Kids Club
Dan and I both have a membership to 24 Hour Fitness, and one of the great things about it is their Kids Club. For $20 a month we get unlimited daycare (up to 2 hours per workout) for kids 6 months and older. The day Owen turned 6 months, I bought the KC membership and we’ve been going, well, not every day since, but enough for the attendants to know Owen and I by name now. We go to the Pearl location because, as Dan likes to put it “it feels like home there”. With the employees knowing us by name and seeing Owen and getting so excited to see him, it really does feel like home. I think Owen really likes it there too. He gets to play with other kids and really seems to like the attendants. We were waiting for the KC to open the other day, and Owen was super excited. He loves to watch all the people working out and looking at all the TVs lol.

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Unrelated to Owen, that same day as we were leaving we saw a Bugatti! First time I’ve seen one in person!

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Helping
Ever since Owen has started solids, he has always grabbed for the spoon and tried to “help”. Lately he seems really adamant to feed himself though! So after I fed him oatmeal the other morning, I washed the bowl and spoon and gave it to him to practice with.

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He actually used them pretty well, even though he looked like the Beast in that one scene in Beauty and the Beast where he’s trying to use a spoon for the first time lol

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Seriously, that’s what it would have looked like if there were oatmeal actually in the bowl 😉

Feet

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I don’t know what you call this, but Owen started doing this yesterday. He gets on his hands and knees, then proceeds to get on his feet. He just stays in that position and rocks a little then gets back on his belly and does it over again. It’s crazy how one day he will all of a sudden start doing something (like this). He sure is a busy body and loves to scoot around, he seriously will not sit still, unless Dan’s holding him (he loves Daddy!!)…I’m just wondering what it’s going to be like once he starts walking. 😐

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