We’ve Entered The Silly Season

Spring continues to bloom in Portland. Now that I pick Thomas up from school every day, I see many more of the back streets of the city, rather than just experiencing the freeway. This is especially true on nights like tonight when I am forced to take the back streets to avoid wet weather traffic – it took me two hours to get home!

Where was I? Oh yes, enjoying the spring flowers that are blooming in the back streets of Portland. I had never noticed how many cherry blossoms lined the streets until I was forced to look at them over and over again during my marathon drive home. Happy place. Happy place. Spring Flowers…

With spring also comes the fast growth of my oldest child. He has entered the silly season when a simple photo request comes with a funny face and and even funnier (nonsensical) story. I was thinking the other day about how I have so many more P365 photos of Samuel than I do of Thomas. This impromptu photo session reminded me of why that is the case.

Walking through the halls of Thomas’ school today and I spotted this rather tidy display of gumboots – evidence of rainy days and, thanks to a school veggie growing program, time spent digging and planting.

Waving Goodbye to Rain…Soon.

Samuel has always been very good at his greetings – waving and saying “hi” and “bye” to anyone that crosses his path. Lately the greetings have gone in another direction. He likes to sit on his little bike and push himself around the house singing “GOODBYEEEE! GOOOOOODBYE!” at the top of his tuneless voice while he waves and pushes himself into the next room. The blame lies with a revival of Yo Gabba Gabba in our house.

I asked Samuel to look up at me and he immediately gave me this cheesy grin which made me think 1. The kid knows how to perform in front of a camera and 2. He no longer looks like my baby – he is a little boy. Makes me sad and happy at the same time.

I had to run an errand in St Johns the other day and took the opportunity to walk quickly down to the bridge and take a few pics. I have driven past this bridge many times and taken photos out of the car window as we drive by at 50 miles an hour. Such a beautiful landmark that I’m sure has been photographed many times – but not by me. It was nice to be able to take my time and compose my shot without having to stop my children from running into traffic.

I picked Thomas up from school today and noticed that one of his teachers had already decorated the classroom door with a few Sakura (cherry blossoms). I also noticed that our sunny days have ceased for the time being and the rain is back. This decor reminds me that the sunshine WILL come back soon, although it didn’t quell Thomas’ requests on the way home that we move to a different country where it doesn’t rain.

It’s a Monday Mosaic Flashback

I was cleaning out some files on my hard drive and came across these little treasures that I scanned a while ago. The scanner was not very good, but the images are clear enough that you can admire the fabulous Carol Brady hairdo on my Mum and porn star mustache on my Dad. I’m also pretty sure this is the last photo of my Dad with brown hair. I sent him grey shortly after.

It’s also strange how items like the wicker chair and brown floral tablecloth, and even the antiquated bouncer chair are burned so clearly in my memory. Crazy to think that these photos are nearly 35 (gasp!) years old.

Warm Hands

It seems silly that I chose a mittened hand photo for this week’s entry for the I ♥ Faces photo blog challenge. We are enjoying an early Spring in Portland so mittens are the furthest thing from Thomas’ mind. As soon as he sees the sun he tells me it is warm outside and insists on wearing his Wiggles tank top, despite the fact that it’s still only around 50 degrees.

Still, although I am not a huge fan of Winter (we really don’t get along), I find four-year-old mittened hands holding cups of Hot Chocolate to be adorably warm and cozy.

Day 50

This post marks 50 days into my Project 365. It’s gone quickly, but I can’t say it’s always been easy. Sometimes I find myself struggling to find something worth photographing, especially after dark when I know the photos will be less than perfect. I am trying to remind myself to take more pictures of the everyday. That’s the purpose after all – a record of our life this year. Now on to the next 50…

This little one has developed quite the personality. This look is one of his classics. He dips his head and looks with his eyes upward and a stern look on his face. Then I return the look and we stare each other down until Samuel starts laughing. After laughing for a few seconds he gives me the look again in the hope that I will continue to play the game. This can go on for quite some time.

Posing for a quick picture with some Wiggly fingers. Yes, that is a Star Wars shirt – his other obsession. Don’t worry, he has never seen the movie. He just understands the story and characters through conversations with his friends. He has also gathered quite the collection of small Star Wars figurines. It’s like they have multiplied and taken over the house. But he plays with them almost every day, acting out scenes in his imaginary world, so it’s worth it.

Spring is already arriving in Portland. Of course now that I’ve said it out loud, we should be expecting a snowstorm any day.

On of the many ways that we have witnessed Thomas’ growth this year is with his love of drawing and art. I has been amazing to watch how his drawing has changed in just a few months. When he started school last September, he was drawing people with one big circle head/body with stick arms and legs. They all looked the same and were all declared to be Stormtroopers. Now he draws elaborate scenes with people who have heads and bodies and elbows and fingers. Today he drew a picture of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, complete with a tornado. He has also been learning about French artists in his after school program and every day I receive a lesson about Monet or Picasso or Seurat (for the record, Monet did not like Seurat). I thoroughly enjoy his enthusiasm and hope it never goes away.

There is so much going on in this photo:

  1. Samuel enjoying a snack after school by himself. He often sits by himself at the table because he likes to linger while he eats and the rest of us run out of patience. Today he sat there for about 30 minutes before dinner and another 30 minutes during dinner.
  2. The helmet is back. Samuel is obsessed with hats and if he manages to get his hands on his helmet then he’ll wear it non-stop until we hide it while he’s not looking.
  3. Still wearing his jacket and shoes even though he’s been in the house for 30 minutes – another obsession.
  4. Red paint samples on the wall to the left that promise a soon-to-be painted dining room and a big massive pile of paint swatches in the middle of the table – although I’m not sure how having 1000 paint colours to choose from makes the decision-making any easier.
  5. A tiny little bit of daylight remaining at 5:45pm – the days are getting longer.

Random Things I Love Right Now

It’s random Friday so I thought I’d share just a few of the things that I am enjoying on this sunny Portland day.

1. Painting

Excited that the inside of my house is finally being painted – almost two years after we finished our renovation. We bit the bullet and hired someone to do it for us. Of course I am in charge of choosing the paint colours which we all know is the hardest part. Deep red for the dining room and upstairs feature wall, neutral taupe for other walls and the hallway downstairs. I am stuck on the bathroom though. Right now it’s this hideous shade of lavendar with a yelow ceiling so anything will be an improvement. I am considering deep brown alongside the white wainscoating, trim and ceiling. Suggestions welcome.

2. I’m on a Horse

I don’t often watch the advertisements on TV (thanks TIVO) but this one grabbed my attention while I was watching Lost with the girls on Tuesday night. Of course the irony is that when I think of Old Spice, I am always reminded of the time when my grandmother sent me to the grocery store to pick some up for my grandfather’s birthday. I was about 16 years old and and my grandfather must have been in his 70s. A far cry from the man in this commercial.

4. Speaking of Lost…

It is officially my favourite television show – and made even better this year with our weekly girl get togethers. So much fun to be able to discuss events as they are happening – and with wine and chocolate.

3. Still the man

LOVE Robbie Wiliams. He’s celebrating his 20th year in music this year which makes me feel incredibly old. My teenage crush has grown into an adult one.

5. Spring

It feels like it is here already. 50 degree temperatures in Portland and we’re already seeing a few flowers blooming.

6. Online grocery shopping

Placed my order last night and will pick it up tomorrow morning. LOVE that!

7. Upcoming Adventures

This winter has been tough. It has felt long, dark and busy so I am looking forward to few fun advantures in the next couple of months. A girls weekend, a weekend at the coast and a trip to Australia are all on the horizon and they could not come soon enough.

8. The weekend

Just a few hours away. It will be a busy one, but hopefully productive with a little fun thrown into the mix. Hope yours is a good one.

Airport Adventures: Monday Mosaic

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to San Francisco for the day. For the record, my 10 minute meeting in the city resulted in two new passports by the end of that very same week. 4 days to obtain two brand new passports. Gotta love that Aussie efficiency.

Most of my time in San Francisco was spent in the airport due to a chronic fear of missing my flight. I can’t remember the last time I was able to just hang out in an airport without having to occupy two small children. For the record it’s overrated, especially when the airport is Oakland. I spent most of my time working and then decided to wander around and take a few photos. Warning: airport photos give me license to be creative with post-processing. 🙂

Sweet Things – P365

We begin this P365 post with a photo that is not the best, not even in complete focus, but that tongue in the cheek says it all. Pure concentration. Thomas came home from learning about Monet at his after school program and just had to paint. I think you’ll agree that his work of art would rival Monet any day of the week.

Just a couple of days before Valentine’s day and that means candy has begun infiltrating our house again.

Kei and I had an actual adult night out on Friday. We visited a restaurant that I been wanting to try for a long time (about three years) and the food was AMAZING! I’m still thinking about the soft shell crab with the shrimp gumbo, paired perfectly with a cucumber mojito. Then we headed to see Avtar in 3D (fun, but a little long) before picking up the kids. The only downside to the entire evening was that we didn’t have time to make it to Pix for a totally extravagant dessert. Next time we’ll see a shorter movie.

I told Samuel that I was going to take a picture of us. He said “no picture” and pushed the camera away. This is the result.

For the past couple of months I have been purchasing our groceries online from New Seasons. It means paying a little more – both for fully organic groceries and the “bring it to the car” fee, and I have been wondering if it is really worth it. Today we decided to make a trip to Fred Meyer for our weekly grocery shop, mainly because we had to pick up a couple of things that were not available from New Seasons. Within five minutes I had decided that New Seasons was worth every penny. No whiny children asking to buy every toy they see, no guilt at having to purchase products that were likely shipped from halfway across the country, and no wasting two hours doing something that you can do in 30 minutes with a laptop. I think I’m sold.

Here’s the whiny kid – well, one of them.