And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Break Unplugged - Friday

Friday was the day I was most excited about.  Sledding!  Up until this date we have had two snow days at my parents house with enough snow to sled.  Unfortunately I was always inside with Maylee because she was either napping, or I was attempting to make a meal for everyone.  I was itching to get on a sled, and this day was the perfect opportunity to do so. So with TJ having another day off, we packed up the kids, the snow gear, and plenty of snacks; always have to have snacks!

Mt. Hood had just got dumped on the weekend prior so I had high hopes for some beautiful powder.  The weather was just warm enough for the snow to be a little melty, and not having frozen toes.  We went up to the Scouting lodge recreation area on the other side of the mountain which ended up not being crowded at all.  The kids were stoked and TJ and I were too!

Getting in your snow gear is always the worst.  The kids just wanted to go sledding, but there is a process...and if you don't follow the process then you end up with wet soggy clothes before you even get to the sledding hill.  Perhaps we tried to squeeze Parkers winter coat into one too many winters too, because his forearms were a little exposed and his gloves just didn't compensate enough. The weather was warm enough however, so I wasn't too worried about it being a problem.

Finally we were all ready and we make the 1/4 mile trek up to the sledding hill.  The hill was the perfect size; not too big, not too small.  Sledding hills with kids can be a tricky business. If the hill is too big, the kids will loose energy climbing up it too quickly.  But, if the hill is too small, they will loose interest in sledding all together.  This hill ended up being just the perfect size.  We went down a few times before we realized that Parkers hands were bright red and ungloved.  He is such a stinker!  He totally threw his gloves somewhere on the walk to the hill and we had no idea where that happened to be.  So I retraced the steps back to the car to get water and hopefully find the gloves.  I ended up finding them right where I got him dressed in his winter clothes...Did I mention what a stinker he was?!? 

The rest of the trip was perfect  The kids played in a snow fort, sledded for a few hours, and had so much fun!  Even Maylee tolerated the snow;  she's typically our fair weather child.  The ride back home was quiet and lovely.  The kids reminisced about their sledding victories and we were just one big happy family (car rides are often our families demise...lots of yelling, fighting, and crying).  To celebrate our fun day we ended the day getting donuts at Joe's Donuts (definitely a start of a family tradition) and stuffing our faces with frosted, doughy, goodness the rest of the way home.  This was the perfect ending to a perfect spring break!  I just love my family and am so blessed to enjoy them while out enjoying God's beautiful creations!! 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Spring Break Unplugged - Thursday

Thursday was a great day because TJ was home!  TJ always makes things more fun...and easier for me.  My mom had come along on our adventures thus far, but anytime there is a 1:1 ratio for adults to kids then you know anything's going to be much more fun.  Today's adventures were swimming, movie, and dinner.  Swimming has never been my thing, but my boys all LOVE it so I put on my best face and try and have a good attitude.  I love so many other things so I feel like it's okay for me not to love swimming.  Maylee however, hadn't had a morning nap the entire week so she was tired and cranky.  Because we were going to see a movie later in the afternoon she also wouldn't be getting an afternoon nap.  So, I made the executive call and stayed home with Maylee so that she could get in at least one nap that day.  Someone's got to do it and I was fine falling on my sword if it means that I didn't have to go swimming I was more than willing to do it. 

I packed their bags and they headed out.  The boys were so excited and TJ was equally as giddy.  That's the desert boy coming out in him!  They ended up going to Mt. Scott Community Center Pool for open swim because Aquatic Park didn't have open swim until later.  Mt. Scott pool was farther away but better for the boys because both boys could ride the slide instead of just Dominik.  There was a water park portion that the boys loved playing on, and there was a whirlpool area that pushed the boys into a circle and that was their favorite.  When they come home over the moon excited about what they did at the pool that's the only time I ever regret not going swimming. 

TJ had convinced the boys to get out of the pool a little early by telling them he would take them to Wan Lung for orange chicken.  Dominik's favorite food is orange chicken and Parker loves anything that Dominik loves so they were both excited!  Maylee, Grandma and I met them there and we all way over ate...but the food is delicious, so overeating is fine I guess.

After lunch we did the movie at the Kennedy School Theater and I was so excited.  I had only ever been in elementary school when we went to see To Kill a Mockingbird, and I remember it being amazing.  I love little pockets of culture like this that I can instill on my kids...and Portland is ooozing with culture!!  The school is owned my a McMenamins so its full of bars, restaurants, and snack stands.  The movie theater has a restaurant attached so you can order food and they bring it to you in the theater.  The movies are already out on DVD, or are coming out soon, so ticket prices are so cheap.  There are murals painted everywhere, statues, and so much art everywhere.  There's old historical newspapers from when the school was actually a school showing what the building used to look like.  The boys ate it all up!  We were watching Ferdinand in the theater and there were tons of families with loud kids so we fit right in. 

The kids loved the movie!  Grandma bought soda and popcorn and we kicked back on the couches and enjoyed the show.  Such a fun time!!

As soon as the movie was over we went to Podnah's Pit for some of the "Best BBQ in Portland."  The restaurant was featured on several Food Network shows so I was excited to check it out.  I'm not a huge BBQ lover, but I can appreciate some good BBQ every once in a while!  The boys (especially Parker) were pretty over eating out at this point and they were fading quickly.  After a long day, following a long week, they were ready to be at home resting.  That means a successful spring break right!!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring Break Unplugged - Wednesday

Wednesday was a day all about the kids.  We have been wanting to go to the zoo ever since we got here but it just never worked into the schedule.  The zoo itself is only 30 minutes away, but between moving, napping schedules, and weather we just couldn't make it.  Well now it's spring break, the weather was working in our favor, so the time for the zoo was at hand.  With prices what they were I opted to get the year membership.  If my family were to only go three times then the year membership will have paid for itself.  The boys were so excited...Maylee was pretty indifferent.

She was excited but didn't know it.  The Oregon Zoo of all the zoo's we have ever been to is definitely my favorite.  I love how it pays homage to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and instead of just showing animals there is endless educational exhibits for the kids to really think.  Tricking kids into learning is the best kind of learning!  Dominik was most excited about seeing the alligator in preparation for his upcoming speech on alligators at school.  He wanted to take a picture next to it and then put it into his powerpoint presentation.  I love that he is so creative! Parker was just excited to run around.

We looked at animals, played on every structure we could find, and the best part is, we were on the kids schedule.  We looked at the stuff they wanted to look at, did exactly what they wanted to do, and there was absolutely no whining.  My kind of day!!  We ate lunch over by the elephants and the boys were in the best of spirits.  I knew at some point my luck would run out, but so far we were enjoying the perfect day!

Well soon after lunch the luck had run dry and tensions were building.  Parker was getting tired and I only brought the single stroller with no carrier.  Maylee is not walking so it's not like I had any other options if I put Parker in the stroller.  Red flags were being thrown everywhere.

We luckily got Dominiks picture just in the nick of time.  Literally as soon as we took the picture Parker had a complete melt down about wanting to sit in the stroller.  He pretty much cried the rest of the way to the exit and then I told him if he could stop crying until we got to the parking lot then I would push him in the stroller until we got to the car.  He reluctantly obliged and then received his reward of sitting in the stroller for the last 30 yards.

Despite our final outburst, the day was pretty perfect!  They boys came home and crashed on the couch while we watched a family movie and was the complete icing on the cake.  I love days like these, and now I have had 3 in a row!!  Spring break was turning out to be amazing!!