Monday, November 22, 2010


OMG, IT'S THE STORM OF THE CENTURY! I love Portland, I really do. I can extol her virtues at the drop of a hat. But one of the quirky things about this place is how everyone FREAKS OUT whenever we have any out-of-the-ordinary weather. It's all anyone can talk about. In fact, the weather doesn't even have to do anything out of the ordinary do get us all in a flutter... how about just the chance of it? The news stations (love you guys!) break out the dramatic graphics and send poor reporters all over town.

 It's been this way for as long as I can remember, but a new humorous bent is the ability to follow the #pdxtst hashtag on twitter.

It's so tongue in cheek... pdxtst stands for Portland Twitter.....Storm.....Team!
I love all the suggested hashtags for severe weather, like #snowmaggedon and #snowpocalypse! (When it's unusually hot in the summer, we have #summergeddon!)

I usually want it to snow so badly that I really do hang on every #pdxtst post – as if knowing there are flakes in the the Sylvan-Highlands neighborhood will make them come to me in Grant Park.
Snow days have a whole new meaning now that I have kids. It's a forced day off for me, with nothing planned except being together and playing. Of course, with ZooLights starting on Wednesday, this week really wouldn't be ideal for me. There are a number of little details on my punch list that need to be taken care of in the next 2 days! But hey... force of nature, act of God... if it happened, I wouldn't complain. I'd make hot chocolate with Brian & the kids, we'd dig out the mittens and hats and have a blast.
But for now, it would seem that #SNOWMAGGEDON isn't happening. So we'll call it #sNoShow instead and keep hoping.

What would you do with a snow day?

Friday, November 19, 2010

5QF: Five Question Friday

OK, so there are all these bloggy memes. I really like Wordless Wednesday, although it's a struggle to not include some words. I just learned about Five Question Friday, started by My Little Life.
I don't know about this, but I'll give it a shot. My non-joiner tendencies are fighting with my new-found interest in the blogosphere community. 

So here are the questions, as posed by My Little Life:
1. What Christmas song do you loathe?
I really don't loathe any Christmas songs that I can think of right now. In fact, I don't like to dwell on things I loathe at all, so how about instead, I'll tell you that I love Ella Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas. I also am in love with a Starbucks compilation from yeeeeeaaaars ago,
called Winterludes, especially the Bach, "Sleepers Awake." It's not necessarily Christmas, but it fits the season. In fact, I love that piece so much, I used an accoustic guitar version of it as the processional at my wedding. Love it. Oh, and back to Christmas music — I HAVE to listen to the London Royal Philharmonic's Nutcracker as many times as possible every year. It just doesn't get old for me.

OK, next question:
2. Do you and your significant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed?
Mostly opposite, I'm afraid to say. Especially if kids are in the bed -- which happens less now that they're older, thankfully.

3. Have you ever had surgery?
Yep, a few. Most notably, a c-section when I had the Boychild. There really isn't much I want to say about that, except a c-section was so much easier than having the Girlchild completely naturally, no drugs. A LOT easier. However, if I were doing it again, I would insist that Brian be allowed to be in the room with me while they administered the numbing agents. It was borderine terrifying to go through that part alone. Fortunately, he was brought in right after that, and he calmed me down.

4. When do you typically have your holiday shopping done?
Is there really a "typical" for this? I often think I'm done early, but then realize I've forgotten some major category. I also keep thinking of little extras that aren't necessary but keep me running.

5. If money were not an issue (and you HAD to pick something), what would your ultimate luxury item be?
Do I have to pick just one? 
Let's see... a private jet (environmentalism be darned), my own island resort, Cashmere blankets, a giant closet with room for everything to have it's own place... ok, the closet wins. 

So... here are the rest of the Five Question Friday responses:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Little Jack

Welcome to the new member of our family, Jack.

What do you think of our new little family member?

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm ready to open my heart again

We lost a beloved family member last year on Thanksgiving. Sancho, the Best Dog Ever, lost a 6 month battle with cancer.

We've always known we'd get another dog, but the pain of losing Sancho remained so fresh, we just weren't ready to dive back in to doggyland. Periodically, the kids would ask "When Sancho is coming back from Heaven," or "Why don't we have a dog?"

When the Girl started preschool in September, one of the kids brought a picture of his dog for show & tell. When asked who else has dogs, her reply was, "I have a dog named Sancho. He lives in Heaven."

Oh, so heartwrenching!

In addition to not being ready to try to fill Sancho's pawprints, I haven't been pushing very hard to get a new puppy because Brian is at home with the kids all day, so he's the one who will have to deal with a puppy. Also, quite selfishly, I've been enjoying the lack of dog hair.
Here's Brian and Sancho at the beach, and Girlchild & Sancho, about a month before Sancho died:

But Thanksgiving is coming in another week or so.

I realized yesterday that I just can't bear it. I don't want Thanksgiving to be about losing Sancho. It will be, to some extent, forever. But if I at least know there is another dog on the horizon, I think I can take it. While looking at pictures all over the interwebz yesterday, I sobbed my heart out for Sancho, and it was just as fresh and devastating as it had been when he first died.

I've been watching and visiting several area shelter websites on and off for about 6 months. There just haven't been any little puppies at the times that I've been watching. Of course, as I mentioned, I wasn't really focused on the search then.
I'd love to be able to adopt a dog that really needs a home, but Brian & I really think we need a small puppy.  We have little kids, 3 cats, and a neighborhood full of kids and cats! I can't take a chance on a dog with a mystery history.

We had great success introducing Sancho to the kitties, because even though he grew to be 125 pounds, he started off smaller than the cats. He never once did anything aggressive towards those kitties.  Oh, he was such a good dog. I'm crying as I write this. :(

So we went and looked at a couple of 10.5 week old Rottweiler puppies yesterday. I thought, there's no way we go look at puppies and don't bring one home!
But you know, we just didn't seem to have a connection with either of them. Maybe it's because their tails had been docked. I don't know. Brian and I were hesitant, but then Girlchild clinched it. Brian asked her, "Do you think we should invite one of these puppies to come home with us and join our family?" and she responded, "No, I don't think one of these puppies is our dog."

She then changed her mind, for the record, as we were leaving, and then changed it back again -- so I don't know how much stock we should place in her opinion here. She remains convinced, however, that we did the right thing in not getting one of those puppies.
So do I.
We'll find our dog. I sure hope we find it before Thanksgiving, but I feel a little better just knowing we're ready.
No dog could ever take Sancho's place of course, but we can make room in our life for another dog.
"Who's a pretty boy??"

"A Fine Specimen"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mostly Mommyhood: I loved my outfit today.

Mostly Mommyhood: I loved my outfit today.: "I wish I had taken a picture. It was off the hook. Starting from the ground up: camel-colored faux-suede lace-up knee-high wedge-heel boots..."

I loved my outfit today.

I wish I had taken a picture. It was off the hook.
Starting from the ground up:
camel-colored faux-suede lace-up knee-high wedge-heel boots. How's that for a description?
Dark charcoaly jeggings... I have a hard time saying writing that word, jeggings, but really - they were jean-ish leggings. Jeggings is just more efficient.
Chambray shirtdress with 3/4 rolled up sleeves. Perfectly perfect.
Triple chain chunky necklace.
drumroll, please... The piece that made it over the top, luxurious and oh so wonderful...
My new faux-fur leopard print wide scarf.

I love my scarf. I have been afraid of wearing even faux fur to work because, well, it's a zoo. I didn't know what people would think. But come on... it's FAUX! And BEE-YOU-TI-FULLLLLL.
I bought it at the zoo conference -- in a fundraising auction for wildife conservation. So I thought I was safe in wearing it at the zoo.

I always say, "You can pull anything off that YOU think you can pull off." In other words, nobody knows what you can or can not pull off except you. It's all in your head.

Reactions to my fabulous faux-fur piece today were mostly positive. I actually got a, "Your outfit is so cute, I'm almost speechless!" That was fun!

However, at least five people gave me dirty looks and said variations of, "What is that dead animal around your neck???"

Well hello, person wearing leather shoes & belt. This is faux. And it's beautiful, unlike your shoes.

I'm not giving up on my scarf. If it were a vest, I'd wear it. It's that awesome. I was trying to figure out how to get myself a fabulous faux-fur vest without selling my firstborn when I found this scarf. It does the trick.

I consider myself in the know on the latest fashions (due to my obsession with Vogue & Glamour and myriad websites), but my budget doesn't allow me to participate in most trends. Yet I find myself being considered over the top in a place where Corporate Casual is "dressing up."
Example: After wearing a long red hippy-chic cape with super-high black patent leather with white trim peep-toe booties last week and getting a lot of "Wow!"s and "Whoah!"s and "How do you walk in those things*?" I tried toning it down a bit.
But it didn't last long.

Dressing is an expression of myself and my creativity. So I don't care if it's Casual Friday every day. I'm gonna wear fabulous high heels and excessories, because I LIKE THEM. Even if you laugh at me.

*Answer: Heel toe, heel toe. One foot in front of the other.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hollywood Farmers Market

How I love my farmers' market. Any of my friends on Facebook will tell you where to find me on Saturday mornings from May through November. Unless we're out of town (which only happened 3 x all summer!) or if I have an event at the zoo that prevents me from coming, the kids and I are there.

Most of the time now we ride bikes (graduated from the wagon, and the stroller before that), but if it's raining, I'd rather drive than not go at all. Even in pouring down rain, I'm not going to miss it.

It's so important to me for a lot of reasons.

First, I am absolutely ADDICTED to the lamb chorizo breakfast burritos. Ask any of those Facebook friends! Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if the nice gals at the breakfast burrito stand were putting some sort of addictive narcotic in the chorizo. My response would be, "Oh, that explains it!" It's usually our first stop at the market.

Another reason is all the wonderful, organic and locally grown products -- of course! I have so much fun each summer, experimenting with new veggies and finding creative ways to use it all so the kids will eat it. My favorite farmers at Big B Farms like to talk me in to new things (not that I need much convincing!). Because of them, I now love kohlrabi and romano beans. Who'daknew? In fact, now that they're no longer at the market, I'm a little stressed to figure out where I can get my kohlrabi fix... there is nothing like it, sliced thin with cucumber, dressed with some good olive oil, salt&pepper, a little fresh Italian parsley, and an acid of choice (first choice = lemon juice, second choice red wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar).

But there's so much more... the beauty of eating Caprese salads all summer, grilling corn in the back yard, freshly brewed beer to go in my growler each week. The kids each choosing their own pint of berries, which are gone before we get home. I have to hide a couple pints to put in the freezer each week for our smoothies! Oh, and peach season! We love peaches, and sometime I'll share my recipe for peach cardamom pie. As Boychild says, "dewishus!"

But you know, the best part about the farmers market is the sense of community. We run in to our neighbors and friends, enjoy the music, compare notes on what's wonderful that week. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be an Oregonian. And a Portlander. And a resident of the Grant Park neighborhood. And to be surrounded by the fantastic neighbors that we have. And our weekly trek to the farmers market is a piece of that beautiful mosaic.

And it's only open for two more weeks before closing until May.

I guess it's back to shopping for produce in grocery stores (fortunately, there are still plenty of locally-grown and organic options). But I dread the holing up that happens in winter, where you don't see your neighbors for weeks at a time. I committing now to find ways to stay connected. It's too important, and a big part of what makes life so sweet.

Now we're off... it's time to pack up and go hit one of the last farmers markets of the season.
See you there?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Spooooooky

Anna as Ladybug Girl, in front of our house (w/all our spooky d├ęcor):

Here are the neighbor kids, after chili & snacks, ready for trick-or-treating!

We had about 24 or so people over (haven't actually counted) for pre-trick-or-treating dinner. I love this neighborhood SO MUCH! I feel so blessed to have such great neighbors that we want to hang out with.