Sunshine and Artistry

The sun came out for a few minutes a couple of weeks ago so Kei had the brilliant idea to set the kids up in the backyard to do a little painting. I’m looking forward to more of this as the weather continues to warm up – although right now it feels as though Portland is teasing us with warm, sunny skies one day and hurricane-force winds the next.

Still, we are without a playroom for the next few weeks so I suspect we may have to brave the outdoors regardless of the weather. (more on the reason we’ve lost the playroom coming soon).

Oh, my poor youngest child. You have no idea how much teasing I have endured over the years due to an uncontrollable need to poke out my tongue whilst concentrating. I’m sorry that I passed it on to you, but I promise to protect you from your grandparent’s inevitable comments as much as I can.

At this point I’ll mention how wonderful it is to see Thomas painting with color. For a long time every single picture that came back from school was a black and white drawing of a Storm Trooper or Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker. Now, we still get the same pictures of Star Wars characters but sometimes they come in lovely jewel tones.

Samuel has recently declared that his favorite color is blue. Must drink from a blue cup, wear blue pants, shirts and socks, eat with a blue spoon – you get the idea. Conveniently there is no shortage of blue in the boy’s clothing department.

I think it’s safe to say that we’re all excited with the prospect of a little more sunshine, a little more paint and a lot more blue.

Living in Las Vegas

OK, so I wasn’t exactly living in Vegas, but after six days it felt like it. Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to take a trip and experience a little sun (emphasis on little thanks to the windowless conference rooms in which I spent most of my time), but I was definitely ready to come home after 6 days. Vegas is a nice place to visit for a day or two but it can wear out its welcome quickly.

Thankfully, I had a nice home base during my stay so, in the spirit of the Pioneer Woman, I thought I’d do a little hotel room tour. Let’s call it “Nice place, shame about the view.”

In an effort to stay away from crazy-world Vegas, I decided to stay in a place that was free of gaudy French/Italian/Greek decor. The Aria Resort and Casino offered modern decor and included wi-fi and access to the fitness center that I used…uh… once. (Warning about the website link. It plays loud, obnoxious music as soon as the page opens – a pet peeve of mine).

here’s the view into the room. Nice big bed (that I unashamedly spread my entire body across) and warm, neutral colors. Funny thing is that I didn’t realize how purple the carpet was until I looked back through the photos.

See those curtains above? They opened and closed with the press of a button (sheers or blackout). The best part? When I set my alarm in the morning, I could set it to turn the TV on to the Today show AND open the curtains to let in some daylight. Such a nice way to wake up – much better than the white noise offered by my old alarm clock at home.

That’s the front door. Next to it is a panel when I can conveniently push a button to select “service” or “privacy” – not that I remembered to do that 90% of the time that I was there. But it was nice to know I had the option.

Next – the bathroom.

Notice the toilet discreetly hidden behind the frosted glass door? Good thing I was traveling alone or my modesty may have overcome my need to pee. OK, kidding – there’s no such thing as modesty for someone who has given birth to two children. In fact, who needs a door at all?

Then there was the  wonderful shower and bathtub…

I used the bathtub once and had the water so hot that I could only remain submerged for 10 minutes – but what a wonderful 10 minutes that was. T=

This was the type of place where they neatly lined up your toiletries after you haphazardly leave them lying all over the counter in the effort to leave quickly after misjudging the time it takes for them to show that one story they teased on the Today show all morning but you just have to see before running to make it to your first session at the conference. Seriously, why do they do that?

The many drawers and closets that I didn’t use… (I’m not the type to unpack in hotel rooms. Far too afraid that I’ll leave something behind).

And, OK, this was my view. The room was wonderful for everything EXCEPT the view. I should have known as soon as I realized that they placed me on the 3rd floor but I didn’t expect a view of the HVAC cover, as stylish as they tried to make it. What I didn’t know when I first moved in was that there was a door in that big white stripy wall. And I didn’t expect a couple of men to walk by after inspecting something inside that door. Let’s just say that it was a VERY close call – for EVERYONE.

OK, so the view wasn’t great, but wait… when I went to a teeny tiny little corner of the window and squinted in just the right direction, I could see a little of this…

It wasn’t much, but at least I could make out some mountains and fading sunshine. I guess that’s something and I’ll take it.

Winds of Change

I need to get back to blogging. The last few weeks have been so crazy that I have been struggling to put two thoughts together, so typing something down on the screen has been particularly difficult.

I don’t know why it’s been so hard. I suppose I could blame the LONG winter here in Portland that seems to suck the energy out of me or my husband’s new job or changes Samuel’s new daycare or just the day to day grind of working full time while trying to keep the house on track. The truth is that I feel as though I’ve been living in a fog. While I’ve been here in body, my mind has been absent and I am desperate need to find some motivation to move and get connected to something beyond work. I need to make a few changes – do some Yoga, spend more time outside (as soon as the rain stops), eat better, go to bed earlier, find some time to exercise and spend more time just enjoying life.

This week’s I Heart Faces challenge is “Wind”. I took this photo on Sunday while the boys and I enjoyed a sunny day outdoors. We painted, the boys burned some energy chasing each other around  the yard and Samuel found a dandelion. Winds of change perhaps? Let’s hope so.

Farewell Blue Skies

As our plane set to depart from Las Vegas yesterday, the flight attendant announced over the speaker that we had better enjoy our one last look at sunshine before we head back to cloudy, rainy Portland. How right he was. I’m back, catching up on work and looking forward to a little weekend family time.

I’m also dreaming of blue skies, if not the freaky, fake world that is Las Vegas. I’ll take my dreary skies and hugs from my babies over that any day.

More photos to come.

I’m Here – Well, there…

So this week the Ishidas continue their crazy schedules while I take a not-so-quick-trip to Vegas for the NAB Post Production conference.

It began with a 5:30am flight on Saturday, which I actually thought was a 6:30am flight. Thankfully I was saved by my compulsive need to arrive at least an hour early at the airport and even avoided the panic of running for the aeroplane. I was oblivious to my mistake until they announced “final boarding call for Ishida.” It ended up being a nice surprise and got me in the air much more quickly than I had expected.

Alas, I don’t have time right now to share some of my Vegas adventures, but I will soon. Let’s just say that they include watching women falling from the sky, eavesdropping on far too many Aussie conversations and hearing James Cameron talk about 3D film making.

For now I’ll leave you with a quick glimpse of the Nevada desert from above.

Battle of Wills

My second born child. Closest to me in birthdate and personality. Cheeky, funny, smart – and also the one who is currently pushing me to the edge of sanity.

This weekend was tough. Oh, it had it’s wonderful moments filled with laughter and play and putting on shoes without debate. But, for every good moment or two we experienced a major backslide – and when the meltdown begins there’s no knowing how or when it will end.

When Thomas was this age, he’d quietly go and stand or sit in timeout with very little resistance. After 2 or 3 minutes we’d talk and hug and it would be over. We’d move on. In fact Thomas’ meltdowns were so rare that I honestly can’t remember a single traumatic parenting event – at least as far as tantrums were concerned.

Samuel, however, is headstrong. He refuses to sit in timeout despite the number of times I pick him up and place him back on the step. If I close the door, he sits and kicks it with his feet until it sounds like the house will collapse around us. On Saturday it got so bad that I had to leave him screaming upstairs for at least 30 minutes while I regained my composure. This morning I carried him out to the car without bothering to fight the battle of putting on his shoes and the only reason I was able to get him out there at all was because he was a little terrified at the prospect of being left home alone (a veiled threat of course).

The thing is that he’s a relative angel when he’s with other people and we’ve received nothing but good reports from his new daycare. I really hope that this is just a bump in the road of his development and that Samuel’s responding to changes in daycare and the stress of potty training (it’s gotta be stressful, right?). I know my sweet baby boy is under there somewhere and I want him back.  In the meantime, I’m prepared to read as many books as it takes to find a solution. Feel free to share recommendations.