With Spring and Summer come busy weekends so we have been making an effort to pack up meals to take along with us while we are out. As much as we enjoying the occasional dining out we don’t want to make it too much of a habit. Two weekends ago now we packed up lunch and headed out for the morning to run a few errands and eventually we found ourselves at Dawson Park to have a picnic lunch. We had been to this park last Spring but they have completely overhauled the park and it is really great! Edith loved running around and trying out all of the play structures, Alder didn’t know what to think of the faux turf but grew to like it and we all enjoyed the swings. Check out more details here or under the PDX With Kids page.
Spring is officially here and we are back to visiting all the parks that the Portland area has to offer! I just finished up a feature on Westmoreland Park it’s the new Nature Play Area. If you haven’t been yet get down there and go because it is fantastic! Edith had a blast and we can’t wait to take her back. Click Here for the full feature or see above under the PDX Sites & Eats tab above.
Who else is thrilled for the week ahead? We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving for a variety of reasons but I do love that Neil will have both Thursday and Friday off from work and guess what they will be paid days off because he is now full-time! Along with this full-time position came a promotion – woot woot! Anyways I am so excited to have a four day weekend with my love and our babies. We will be laying low on Thursday but Friday we will be up bright and early to go to the My Macy’s Holiday Parade here in Portland.
The My Macy’s Holiday Parade will take place on Friday, November 28, 2014 in downtown Portland. The parade steps off promptly at 9 a.m. and lasts approximately one hour. We attended last year and it was freezing so make sure to check the weather forecast and dress warm! Oh and get there early because if there is anything that I have learned since moving to Portland is that Portlanders LOVE their parades.
I am so excited to attend the parade again this year and I’m excited to see what Edith thinks. She had fun last year but now she is so much more verbal and understands so much more I can only imagine that she is going to have a blast when she sees all the floats pass by. We are lucky enough to be sitting in the VIP section again this year (we won VIP tickets last year) and I am happy to announce that I am able to giveaway four passes this year!
So who wants to win?
a Rafflecopter giveaway
- These passes allow you entry to the special seating area in front of the Macy’s store on Alder Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues starting at 8 AM on Parade Day.
- The VIP pass will grant you access to coffee, cocoa and sweet treats at The Red Star Tavern across the street in their Club Room compliments of K103 FM.
- The parade takes place on Friday, November 28th (the day after Thanksgiving) at 9:00 AM. The line-up includes local high school bands, equestrian units, special inflatable floats and more than 600 costumed characters.
- Make sure you wear the “flashing” buttons for admission to this special reserved area! (The buttons are Macy‘s star pins that light up and are your VIP passes.)
Happy Daylight Savings! Yeah I don’t know how happy you are about it but I’m less than thrilled. I’m also less than thrilled that Neil moved our clock in the bedroom forward instead of back so he and Edith were up at 5am while he was thinking it was 7am (can we say daylight savings fail?) Anyways we made the best of our extra early morning and after breakfast and coffee we headed out for a hike.
We decided to start our hike at the Audubon Society so that we could first check out the birds at the bird hospital there. It’s also a great place to start and end a hike because they have bathrooms, it’s the little things.
>> We checked out the birds first and got to see this amazing huge raven. Edith had to snap a few photos of it was well. She has really taken to “taking photos” and even has to “take photos” while we cook and of her food. I think we might need to consider getting her a little inexpensive digital camera – any suggestions?
>> Neil started our hike wearing Edith and here they are looking at the water (sorry it didn’t make it into the photo) but of course Edith had to take photos of the water as well.
>> Alder fell asleep on our way to the Audubon Society and I easily transitioned him out of this carseat (seriously one of the best features of our carseat is that is rotates for easy in and out) and into the carrier where he peacefully slept for the first half of our hike.
>> Half-way through the hike and we stopped to eat a huge honey crisp apple and of course Alder wanted to eat as well so we took a seat and had a snack.
>> SWITCH! We switched babes and Edith wanted to ride on my back which I was thrilled about because it is so much easier to hike with a child on your back even if they weigh twice as much as the one previously on your front. I don’t get to wear Edith quite as much anymore so I was thrilled to have that time with her. I have to say she is a pretty supportive rider as well- when we hit a steep point and I slowed down a bit she would say “mama, make it?” and I’d say “Yes Edith, we’re going to make it” and then she would reply “mama gots this”.
>> Once we made it back to the top I convinced Edith to give me a break and to walk back to the car. She agreed but she needed to have her own walking stick.
>> After our hike we were all ready for lunch and so we headed to Harlow to refuel. Edith insisted on having a bowl of oatmeal (odd request for her) so luckily it was still brunch time and we ordered her a big bowl which she proceeded to eat almost all of it.
>> While we are feeling pretty run down after the early wake-up we had a fun and successful day. Edith made it to bed at the new 7:30pm and was asleep quickly after so here’s hoping that she wakes up at 6am tomorrow and not 5am!
What did you do this weekend? How did Daylight Savings go for your and/or your little ones?
I love, love, love Autumn. It’s my favorite time of the year. I love the smell of the crisp air, the changing leaves, squash, pumpkin beer, warm apple cider and all the seasonal activities. We had our first seasonal outting this weekend to The Pumpkin Patch on Portland’s Sauvie Island. We went with friends of ours who have a daughter a month younger than Edith and a son a month older than Alder; it’s so much more fun to do these things with friends.
I decided to use my Umi Sling (more about this sling at the bottom) for this outing because the color and design went best with the pumpkin patch (yes I choose carriers based on my outfit and our destination). I hadn’t worn this sling in a over a month and when I put it on I was instantly happy I had chosen this carrier because it just felt great on my body and Alder went right to sleep in it. I even had to take him out about 45 minutes into our visit to nurse him and I put him back in and he again snoozed for a bit. Anyways back to the pumpkin patch.
We started of the morning checking out the huge pile of pumpkins and all the different varieties that The Pumpkin Patch had to offer. They had big orange ones, ones with “warts”, Cinderella ones, ghost ones and blue/grey ones (those were my favorite). We arrived a little bit before our friends so after checking out the pumpkins we went into the market and looked at all of the veggies with Edith. We went down the line and named all the veggies and then went to check out the massive cabbage and before long our friends arrived.
Of course the girls had to take advantage of the photo opportunities around the farm.
We debated doing the corn maze but decided to do the cow train first and then see how things were after that. In the end we just did the cow train and the little hay bale maze and tower.
We couldn’t leave without getting a snack and while we really wanted fried dough or a candy apple we went with fresh corn on the cob with a little salt and pepper instead.
We ended our trip to The Pumpkin Patch with family photos because you never pass up the opportunity to have a family photo taken.
What did you do this weekend? Have you taken a trip to a pumpkin patch or gone apple picking? What are your favorite Autumn/Fall activities?
I wanted to share a little bit more about Umi Slings with you. I first came across Umi Slings at MommyCon. A friend of someone working in the babywearing lounge with me was using one (the most beautiful one I have seen yet – black and white ikatish color). She was telling me about it and I just fell in love but I knew I had no excuse to get one because Edith was getting older and I really couldn’t justify another carrier.
Fast forward to this past Spring. I connected with Umi Slings founder Megan about receiving one for blog review purposes and she sent me the Gold Geo ring sling that was used for their latest photoshoot (see more photos here). This ring sling is unlike my others and is made of organic cotton and is hand printed. It is a really wonderful sturdy fabric that creates a nice sung hold making it perfect for both infants and toddlers. I also find this to be one the more supportive slings that I have come across as it has great fabric coverage across the back which helps to provide more support for the wearer.
One other great thing (probably the greatest thing) is that for every sling purchased one will also be made and given to Project Baby Bilum, helping mothers improve the health of their babies by providing closeness and access to the life-giving breast milk they need to survive. Every purchase of an Umi Sling supports moms in need in rural Papua New Guinea- how great is that?
Also a huge congrats to Umi Slings founder Megan on the arrival of her third daughter who arrived just 1 week before Alder.
P.S> Portland friends Umi Slings is local and you can find them in some local shops along with the mini slings for your littles.
This post was written in collaboration with Orbit Baby.
These days, getting out has become a little more of a challenge. We are still getting used to being a family of four and while Alder is in the wonderfully portable newborn stage, we also have an active two-year-old. Getting out the door has become quite a production. It involves making sure the diaper bag is fully stocked with diapers for two kids, books and toys for Edith and – of course – an extra outfit for Alder. Not to mention my phone and wallet. 90% of the time I end up forgetting something.
I also have to make sure that I’ve nursed Alder (at which point Edith usually unpacks the diaper bag) and then I have to get him in his seat and Edith in hers(which usually involves a little negotiating). By the time we do get out the door and into the car we are already running 10 minutes late. For someone who used to always be early for everything, this can me a bit of anxiety but I am trying to embrace it. What can I say? I’m newly a mom of two and still trying to figure this whole thing out.
With all of that in mind, I haven’t been venturing out too far with both kids during the week. Weekends are a whole other story. Thankfully, Neil is home on the weekends and that means we can tag team. And, while we still seem to always be running late, getting out the door is a whole lot less stressful.
After spending the past few weekends moving and getting settled into our new place we were happy to take advantage of the beautiful weather and the long weekend to show my parents around Portland. They’ve visited us a few times since we moved to Portland, but of course there is always something new to show them.
The first stop on our Portland adventure was for donuts at the new(ish) Southeast location of Blue Star Donuts. It’s embarrassing how many times we have been to this donut shop since it opened but what can I say their donuts are amazing and and they have a great vegan selection. We did the whole Voodoo thing during my parents first visit but Voodoo is old news (and not very good). Blue Star is where it’s at. We picked up a box of donuts and found a spot to sit and enjoy our treat.
The thought of donuts bored Alder so he decided that he would rather sleep. So, we decided to take out the Orbit Baby Double Helix. I love how we can easily transition Alder from the car to the stroller without disturbing him thanks to the G3 Infant Car Seat.
We had planned to just use the single part of the stroller since we parked a block away from the donut shop, but as soon as Edith saw the stroller she insisted that she ride in it, too. Since it is incredibly easy to add on the second seat of course we said yes (even though as soon as we had the donuts she was ready to get out).
After indulging in donuts we figured we’d better get out and do something active. We headed to the Eastbank Esplanade for a family walk along the Willamette River. We have lived in Portland for a little over 18 months now and I’m going to be honest we haven’t spent very much time down by the river. Although, I should correct myself and say the collective WE, because I know as Neil edits this post he will say to me that he has spent a lot of time going on runs around the Esplanade when he worked in the Central Eastside. Anyways, Edith and I have only been down to the Espalande a handful of times and every time we’re there, I say to myself that we need to do this more often.
The Espalande is a 3.5-mile multi-use loop that involves crossing two of Portland’s bridges and is just absolutely beautiful. We didn’t do the loop this time as it’s too far for my mom to walk and I’m still healing. However, we did enjoy walking and watching the boats along the west side of the Esplanade.
Our walk along the Esplanade worked up an appetite and we decided to to head back to the car and set off for our last destination: Basecamp Brewing.
Of course we had to stop for an obligatory family photo since we had someone with us to take the photo. The thing about toddlers however is that they aren’t always in the mood for a photo and so may end up looking a little distracted (see above).
We arrived at Basecamp Brewing just as they flipped their sign to OPEN and I was thrilled to be there for good beer and even better food. Yay for no longer being pregnant! Don’t worry I didn’t drink all of those samples. Neil and I shared (about 60/40) this sampler with a few stolen sips from my parents. We paired this with a lovely spread of hummus, falafel, fries and pickles from Gonzo.
This was the perfect end to our Portland Adventure and the long weekend. I was telling Neil as we started the drive home that this outing was exactly what I had been missing out on all summer. While we had a wonderful summer the past two months have been hectic with the end of pregnancy, packing, having a baby, moving and attempting to get settled. It was nice to just spend the day doing things that we love with no worries or rushing.
While getting out of the house isn’t as easy as it once was, we are figuring things out. With a double stroller that Edith is in love with, it’s just that much easier. We aren’t parenting experts but we are learning and hope to share more of our adventures with you. We’d also love to hear your tips and stories about how you get out of the house with children.
For more photos of our weekend adventure head to Running With Tongs.
We are lucky to live within walking distance to a beautiful Portland park which is just getting more beautiful as they finish the renovations. It has always been our park of choice to go down and do a family walk, feed the ducks, avoid being attacked by the geese and play a little ball. Now that the boardwalk is open we have been really enjoying our walks and get down as a family 1-2x per week.
Last night we headed down for an after dinner walk and to feed the ducks. I won’t lie I was hoping the long walk loop would help an convince this baby to come out and join us but alas I am sitting on the couch 39w3d pregnant and s/he has still yet to join us Earth side. While we are anxious to meet baby #2 we have been really soaking up the moments as a family of three and have been a little more relaxed with Edith’s bedtime (which doesn’t always work in our advantage) and have been doing a lot more activities outside the house during the week than we would normally. Last night was one more of those beautiful moments together where we played, laughed and enjoyed the sunshine. Who knows maybe it will be our last Duck Walk as a family of three.
What is one of your favorite activities to do as a family?
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With a baby on the way and lots of other changes happening over here our summer bucket list this year is on the short side. For me one of the top items however was to get out and go berry picking. We had planned to do this opening weekend but we were unable to go Saturday and by Sunday u-pick farms weren’t allowing u-pick because opening day had been so popular. Well our weekends after that got to be pretty busy so berry picking was put on the back burner and honestly until today I didn’t think we were actually going to be able to cross it off our list.
Neil had the day off from work so we started our morning with breakfast, coffee and a trip to the park. Since it was such a beautiful day we weren’t ready to go home and thought about doing a few things when finally I suggested we see if Bella Organic was open. We did a little Googling and found that it was and headed right over to get our berry picking on.
We picked up a wagon, a few buckets and headed first to the blackberry and marion berry patch. We had okay lucky but it was a little picked over and there were a lot of almost ripe but not ripe enough to pick berries. After picking a few pounds we moved on to the blueberry patch which proved to be more successful. I have to say one of the biggest surprises was how amazing Edith did with picking. We showed her which berries to pick and 95% of the time she picked super ripe berries and she only snacked on maybe one or two- seriously impressed!
All the berry picking got me to thinking about Edith’s birthday party this Sunday (umm yeah someone turns two this coming Wednesday) and I have decided to make up some (hopefully) yummy berry shortcakes. Along with our blueberries, blackberries and marion berries we also picked up three pints of strawberries (we weren’t able to pick our own because the strawberry fields were closed to u-pickers).
We had an amazing time out in the sun, picking berries and I think this little berry muncher enjoyed herself.
Other things on our Summer Bucket List:
- Hillsboro Hops Game (We have tickets for the last weekend in August!)
- Ride the Portland Aerial tram
- Thursday night music at Kruger Farms
- Take Edith for a ride on the Oregon Pacific Railroad
How did you spend your 4th? What is on your summer bucket list?
You can read our full review here.