Weekend Musings: Potluck, OMSI & More

We started Saturday off with a morning run to get the blood pumping and some physical activity in before we really started our day. Lindsay and I have both been making an effort to get back to our more active selves and are working to encourage each other to stay active. So, we woke up and started our morning with a very light breakfast before getting our running gear on and strapping Edith into the stroller and hitting the roads.

Despite the light rain, we had great runs. Lindsay pushed the stroller as she did her speed work and I did a slightly hilly (and surprisingly fast!) 3 miler through a local park and some local condo developments. We decided to meet at Whole Foods and really timed it well as we met up on the sidewalk right in front of Whole Foods and finished our run together before getting a little snack to carry us through the morning.

Fun at lunch!

We then headed home, showered and got ready to head out to the last Portland Winter Farmers Market at Shemanski Park. We picked up some great mushrooms, fruit and veggies. After that we were off to a vegan brunch potluck hosted by a twitter/blogging friend of Lindsay’s. We had a great time talking with the other adults and enjoyed all of the food. I particularly enjoyed watching Edith interact with the other two girls as it’s not something I get to see very often since I’m at work during the play groups and meetups Lindsay and Edith attend. It was nice to socialize and meet other people who share the same interests as us as well.

After a couple of hours, all of the babies were starting to wind down and Edith was clearly ready for a nap. We drove home with the intentions of settling in and getting a couple of things done around the house. However, Edith was deep in sleep when we were almost home, so we decided to extend the drive a bit and explore the area. We followed a back road into Portland that we had been told about. It was a great drive out past some beautiful farm land and through some windy, hilly roads that cut through Forest Park in Portland. I definitely took a mental note on all of trail heads along the road in hopes of finally getting to do some “urban hiking”.

After our drive brought us in to Portland, we realized we were getting hungry and decided to try Pok Pok Noi. The Pok Pok restaurants are a group of restaurants in Portland and NYC run by Andy Ricker with the main Pok Pok being named the #8 most important restaurant in America by Bon Appetit. Pok Pok has been on my list of Portland restaurants to eat at since well before we moved out here. And I will say, that it certainly delivered. We had a delicious soup, mushroom salad and a Rhubarb Blush.

Daddy's at the engine, Edith rings the bell

Daddy’s at the engine, Edith rings the bell

Sunday was a much more relaxed day for us. We took a trip (my first) to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry where Edith played in the babies’ play area, spending time crawling in the mini ball pit and being mesmerized by the fishes in the aquarium. After Edith was done playing, it was my turn to play. Museums are one of my favourite things and I had a great time looking at the various exhibits and thinking about how fun it will be to take Edith as she gets older. OMSI seems to do a great job of having a wide array of exhibits that will appeal to kids of all ages and still keep parents entertained. I particularly enjoyed the exhibits on natural energy and can’t wait to check out the Myth Busters exhibit!

Lindsay LOVES fake food in fridges.  Seriously.

Lindsay LOVES fake food in fridges. Seriously.

After playtime at OMSI we headed back downtown to get lunch and a sampler of beer to share at Deschutes. We then got our groceries for the week including our first trip to the Asian supermarket in Beaverton. It was fun to wander around the store and see all of the different things we could only get on trips to Boston or New York when we lived in Burlington.

We ended Sunday night with a big bowl of sweet potato mac and cheeze and the Oscar’s. Unfortunately becoming parents hasn’t allowed us a trip to see any of the nominated films but we still enjoyed watching the awards show.

Unfortunately, we only took camera phone shots this weekend and our new android phones take horrible photos compared to out iPhone’s so we didn’t get many good photos.

 

Free Friday At The Children’s Museum

The first Friday of every month The Portland Children’s Museum has a free evening for families to enjoy what the museum has to offer. We decided to get out of the house and take advantage of the free evening, even though Edith is a little young to appreciate the museum. We arrived and were greeted chaos. To say we were a little overwhelmed by the mass of families with busy little children running all around is an understatement.  We took a stroll around the museum, trying to orient ourselves, eventually searching out the baby room and making a beeline to it as soon as we found it.

PDXChildrens10

PDXChildrens12  PDXChildrens8

PDXChildrens2

Although there are many fun activities at the museum such as the water room, the play cafe/market and forest, among other things they were all a little too old and too packed for us.  The baby room on the other hand only had a few families in it and was much calmer. We played there for a bit with Edith and talked with a few other families.  Overall we had a wonderful time there as a family, however I’m not sure I would go to another free Friday night until Edith is a bit more mobile.

Not Exactly What I Had Expected

Cafe Au Play
Cafe Au Play

Cafe Au Play (Source)

There were plenty of great groups and resources for Lindsay as a mom and her and Edith as a mother-daughter pair back in Vermont.  Between the bi-weekly moms meet up group at the yoga studio, post partum yoga, and other mom’s groups there was plenty of avenues for her to get together with other moms outside of her own social circle (which proved quite handy since our social circle didn’t exactly contain a lot of other parents!).  One thing that you didn’t see so much (if at all) in Burlington were similar groups for dads and their children.  I mean obviously as she gets older, there would be plenty of opportunities to participate in her activities whether they be active, artistic or otherwise.  But, there wasn’t really any venue to meet and interact with other new dads.

I was pretty excited to find that there were a number of dad’s meet up groups in the area on meetup.com.  I found one group that seemed like a good fit. It was a group for new dads to get together and discuss how they were doing as new fathers.  The meetup was at a cafe that also serves as a childrens’ play area (it even has Play in the name).  As we prepared for the meetup, I started to worry that the group was more of a support group than a dad and children’s meet up group.  Lindsay and I both came to the conclusion that if the meet up was at a cafe that was meant to be a cafe for parents to take their children that it would at least be fun to introduce Edith to other children.  So, we got Edith ready and packed up and headed to the east side to grab something to eat and explore the area some before the meetup.

When I got there, Edith and I headed inside while Lindsay went off to try to get some work done. I ordered an Americano and panned the room while I waited, looking for the other members of the meet up group.  When I noticed them, I saw it was at this point, a couple of fathers quite a bit older than me, neither of which actually had their children with them.  I had also overheard them discussing postpartum depression, something I hadn’t experienced and couldn’t relate to. I started to get a little anxious and texted Lindsay asking for advice on what I should do.  I can get pretty anxious enough as it is when meeting new people, but realizing I’d be the only person at the dad’s meetup at the children’s cafe with a child and that, at least initially, I would struggle to find something to relate to these other dads with, I quickly changed my order from for here to “to go” and hurried out the door, back to the car with Edith in tow, hopefully without being noticed (I think the barista actually picked up on the situation as she asked me if I wanted to change my order to “to go” before I had a chance to ask her). While I think that it’s a great thing to have a support group like this for dads who are experiencing issues like postpartum depression and who generally are having a hard time with parenting, that just isn’t something I can relate to.

For now, I’ll continue trying to find a group of parents that I can relate to and make friends with for both myself and our family.