A Birthday Wish for a Couple of Oldies But Goodies!
Sunday, August 31, 2008

So...my dear friend Michelle has been having a grand time the past several months heckling all of her "older" friends as they've transitioned into the "wow...you're old!" decade. Now, it's her turn. And if I could be in Tulsa to celebrate with her, I would be right there to personally light every single candle on that birthday cake! But I can't, so I'll just devote some very coveted blog space to her instead.

Michelle and I met during our first year in grad school when, as Graduate Teaching Assistants, we were assigned the same office to share. Oh...you didn't know I was a teacher in my former life? Yeah..for a period of time I taught college students how to be pro bowlers. You think I'm kidding, but I have the glow-in-the-dark bowling ball, fancy shoes, hand towel, and goofy wrist brace to prove it.

Don't ask me what I'm doing in this picture,
but I'm very happy to be with my bowling ball, that's for sure!

I eventually graduated to teaching Intermediate Tennis, and I am so very thankful I was dating Eric at the time so he could at least teach me the rules of the game before the first day of "class". After the first year, I think they finally realized I was a lost cause and "promoted" me to Academic Advisor (sounds fancy, right?) to freshmen and sophomores in the department who were attending college primarily to party or get their M.R.S. degree. But hey, I got a nice stipend every year that helped pay for all of the Ramen Noodles in my pantry, so I didn't complain too much.

At any rate, Michelle and I became great friends. We both accepted jobs in Tulsa (not at the local bowling alley, for inquiring minds) and met for lunch or dinner on occasion to catch up on all of the goings-on. And when Eric and I made the decision to move to Oregon for residency, I was thrilled at the opportunity to experience life in the Pacific Northwest but devastated to leave my job managing wellness programs for corporate employees. That was, until I recruited Michelle to take over for me. And to be quite frank, I knew she had the brains to turn it into something truly magnificent...and she did just that.

Separated by nearly 2,000 miles, our friendship seems to grow stronger with each passing year. She has visited us every year since we've lived in Oregon, and has fortuitously "been there" for me during some incredibly trying times. And I certainly don't know of anyone else who would have even haphazardly agreed to audition for "The Amazing Race" with me. Man, we could have won that blessed race! I still can't let it go.

Happy 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29...oh yeah...30th Birthday!!! You asked for it.

While we're on the topic of birthdays and grad school, the Edgar fam was so busy in June that I didn't have the opportunity to wish my favorite, fiery red-head a Happy 30th Birthday.

I met LeighAnn in grad school too. She has since decided to pursue medicine, so this time next year we'll have to refer to her as "doctor" if we want her to return our phone calls. Pah! Although, knowing her like I do, if there is more to accomplish, she'll be the first one in line. By the time she finishes residency, she'll be about 35...perfect age for applying for the Presidency...how convenient! Oh, Lord! Could it be possible? A 2012 face-off between Hillary Clinton and LeighAnn Gooden? Trust me, girl...I'd vote for you! A red-head in The White House would totally dominate!

I hope you had a great birthday and are sailing through your last year of med school. I'm proud of you!

Inaugural OKC Memorial Marathon-2001
(Me, Melanie, LeighAnn, and Michelle)

Wine Selection: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: Nothing really special about this wine. Fairly boring, I suppose.


Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Friday, August 29, 2008

By the time this has posted, we will most likely be in the car (kids snoozing soundly...please) on our way to spend one glorious week in central Oregon. I have been so excited about this trip ever since we experienced just a taste of what the area had to offer this past May. Even more exciting is that it's the first vacation in which I've done almost all of the planning. I usually defer all vacation minutia to Eric because he is seriously THE master trip planner in our family (and because I've learned that it doesn't really matter what's on the agenda...he'll manipulate it so that we're doing what he wants anyway, so what's the point). But I have found that being in control of the schedule most certainly has its perks. By the looks of this itinerary, it might just prove to be the best vacation yet.

Day 1: Check in at the hotel. Prop my feet up while Eric and the kids unload the car and get the room organized.

Day 2: Rush to get my morning coffee. After such a hard day's work on Day 1, I'll need that extra caffeine boost. Drive around some of the scenic byways while Eric entertains the kids with stories and snacks.

Day 3: Sleep in until 9:00 a.m. while Eric gathers the kids in the early morning (mindful not to disturb Sleeping Beauty) and takes them fishing.

Day 4: Rush (again) to get my morning coffee, as Day 3 might just prove to be the roughest day yet. Eric and I enjoy 5 hours of uninterrupted conversation (or silence) while we kayak on the lake and enjoy a nice candlelit dinner at the resort. We relieve the nanny just in time to put the kids to bed for the night.

Day 5: Eric and the kids go hiking while I get a massage and read the book I've been trying to finish for the past three months.

Day 6: The stress from all of the hustle and bustle of vacationing suggests that another massage is in order.

Day 7: Too exhausted from the trip to share in the driving, I take a nap with the kids while Eric gets us home in one piece.

What...I see nothing wrong with this. In fact, it's beautiful...simply beautiful. That's what he gets for letting me be in charge.

Wine Selection
: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: Nothing really special about this wine. Fairly boring, I suppose.

Tour de Wyatt
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Folks...he's done it. He's conquered the unimaginable.

Despite the numerous bouts of frustration that have foiled his tumultuous efforts over the past 15 months, Wyatt has finally shown THAT TRICYCLE who's boss! Just within the past few days, he has mastered the art of pedaling (very fast) and steering at the very same time. Trust me...it's an incredible achievement for a two-year old who has refused help of any kind from anyone. Watching him ride his bike with such confidence now (smile beaming from ear to ear) makes all of the tantrums worthwhile. He is quite proud of his accomplishment, as are we.

Check out his new moves. He's quite the little speed machine. I think he's already started training for his first Tour de France.

As for the flower helmet...let's just say I think he'll be a little more careful about not leaving his own out in the rain again. A little public humiliation never hurt anyone.

Wine Selection: Drop Dead Red
Personal Rating: ****Excellent****
Comments: This is a great full-bodied, complex wine with a ton of flavor. I like the fun label too!


Paradise Park
Monday, August 25, 2008

Daddy, I want to go to the park.

You have to very careful what you wish for in our house, especially if Daddy is involved--a concept Wyatt and Avery have yet to grasp.

You want to go to the park, eh? I'll take you to one of the most beautiful parks you've ever seen.

The catch? The only way to get there is by hiking 5 miles through very difficult terrain, up and down canyons, and even crossing a river on foot. And that's just one way!

One thing is for sure...Eric turns just about every adventure into an epic journey (his personal motto). And for some strange reason, I keep letting him talk me into doing hikes with the kids that are becoming increasingly more difficult. "This is the last time!", I always proclaim--only to find myself in the midst of an even more challenging adventure shortly thereafter. But seriously...this time, I really, REALLY mean it.

We hiked the Paradise Park trail on Mt. Hood yesterday, and it was the longest hike we've done thus far with the kiddos--a grand total of 10 miles. It really was an awesome trail (with spectacular wildflowers), and the kids did amazingly well (much better than I could have ever expected), and it was one of the best workouts I've had in quite a while (my legs are definitely talking to me today). But 10 miles? That's asking an awful lot of two very small children, and even though they did exceptionally well, I'd never ask that of them again--at least not for a couple of more years. I just hope they weren't too disappointed to find that "the park" we worked so hard to get to, was void of slides, swings, and every other apparatus they generally associate with a park. Nevertheless, they managed to keep themselves entertained while running amidst the abundant wildflowers.

Playing "chase" (with Mt. Hood in the background)

Navigating through wildflowers

Playing in a creek (with Mt. Hood in the background)

We played in Paradise Park for a couple of hours before starting the 5-mile trek back to the car. We usually make good time on the downhill with Wyatt out of the backpack since he loves to play "chase", even when no one is actually chasing him. We are just always hopeful that he doesn't get tripped up by the dreaded "trail monster", usually disguised as a tree root, rock, or hole of some sort. Wyatt amazingly outsmarted said monster on this trip--a pretty miraculous endeavor, to say the least.

Wyatt and me on the trail--tiny specks in a really big forest.

What can I say...we like pacifiers in our family.

Wine Selection: Crane Lake Merlot
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: An okay wine for sipping. It has a really fruity flavor, if that excites you.


Do I Hear An Echo?
Saturday, August 23, 2008

Avery has been quite the little parrot lately, repeating just about anything we ask of her. Even if it doesn't quite come out the way she anticipates, she gives it a valiant effort nonetheless. I'm sure she'll be talking our ears off before we know it!

The Cleanest Car In Oregon
Friday, August 22, 2008

Ever since the movie "Cars" made its debut on our television a couple of months ago, Wyatt has been obsessed with everything even half-way related to cars, from checking the air pressure in the tires to topping off the gas tank (which he can only admire from a distance since it's illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon...seriously). And lest we not forget the ever-so-important task of keeping the car shiny and clean. For this, it's crucial that we visit the fancy drive-thru car wash once per week. If Wyatt had his way, it would be a daily visit. But I gotta set some limits--for the sake of the pocketbook!

Not only has it been a great way to stay on top of the car-cleaning duties, but it has become an excellent bribery tool! I often find myself laughing hysterically on the inside after admonishing very sternly, "If you keep this up, there will be NO trip to the car wash this week." It's hilarious.

You must be thinking, how nice it must be to drive the cleanest car in Oregon! Sadly enough, my poor little blue Passat, which naturally goes by the name of "Sally", is far (very, very far) from achieving such status--even with its weekly cleaning. With all of the dirt, sand, crumbs, and Lord knows what else that has accumulated on the carpet and invaded the tiny, impossible-to-reach crevasses, I'm afraid it has become nothing short of a "disease" that only a professional detail cleaning can cure. One day, just maybe, we can get poor ol' Sally back in tip-top shape again.

Back in 2005 (7 months pregnant with Wyatt)
when my car probably was the cleanest car in Oregon.

Wine Selection:
David Hill Pinot Noir
Rating: **Fair**
Comments: In my quest to find at least one pinot noir that I like, I have yet again been disappointed. Maybe it's just because I can't afford the really good ones. It's drinkable, of course, but certainly not enjoyable, in my opinion.


CHALK it up to artistic genes...or lack thereof
Thursday, August 21, 2008

Move over Pablo Picasso...here comes Artistic Avery!

Not bad for her first introduction to sidewalk chalk, eh?

Embarrassingly enough, she did have a little help from Mommy. In no way do I claim to have any type of artistic ability. My mom and sister have an amazing artistic talent, while I unfortunately, got jipped in that department. I'm even more embarrassed now that (through greater inspection) "our" drawing, meant to be a very jubilant sunshine, is now taking on more of a resemblance to an octopus with entirely too many tentacles.

And here she is with...

Ten dollars to the first person who can correctly
identify the object in this drawing!

This was actually my (ahem! I mean Avery's) very first attempt at a race car (at the request of her big bro), but I'm sure the "VROOM!" kinda gave it away. Actually, I'm still trying to decide which end is the front and which is the back. Geez...my kids are doomed...or should I say "vroomed!"? Hey, at least I can rhyme.

But as you can see, Avery didn't seem to mind her mother's incredible lack of talent. She had the time of her life... carrying around that bucket of chalk like it was serious business.

I have to keep telling myself that it doesn't matter if I sing off key at times or haphazardly draw a sun that looks more like an octopus. Just being present with my kids--acting silly, challenging their curious minds, and laughing hysterically at farts and boogers--is most important to their growth and development at this age. The dishes can wait...YES!

I don't really know who this guy is, but this is how I feel after
finding yet another excuse to let the dishes pile up in the sink.

I guess this is why they call 'em "painter's pants"

Wine Selection: Hogue Chardonnay
Personal Rating: ****Excellent****
Comments: After the week I've had (and it's not even over), this is the best wine I've ever had!


He must be feeling guilty about something
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Immediately after Avery woke up from her nap this afternoon, Wyatt ran over to her, placed the back of his head directly in front of Avery's face and politely asked, "Sissy, you wanna pull my hair?"

Unfortunately, she was in too sweet of a mood to take him up on the offer. I think it's time we teach her to seize opportunities when they arise.

Cooling Off at the Coast
Monday, August 18, 2008

Portland has been breaking records the past week for the longest stretches of 100 degree heat, and we've been right in the thick of it. The kids and I haven't had much relief (unless you count the random car trips around the neighborhood just to cool off), and the weather reports for this past weekend held even more grim news for those of us in desperate need of a break. So we packed up the kids and headed to the one place in Oregon you can almost always count on to be cold and windy...the coast.

The Oregon coast isn't quite like the ones you've probably seen in movies. You know...with beach babes running around in two-piece suits, basking in the sun for hours, and taking dips in the ocean to cool off. I can say with absolute certainty that I've never been to the Oregon coast without a jacket of some sort, and as for putting more than a pinky toe in the water...forget it!! I remember when my mom came out for a visit last May, armed with only a light jacket. Before she and her husband Dennis left Portland to spend a day at the coast, I supplied them with various fleece jackets, hats, gloves, and ear warmers. She probably thought I was crazy. But later, she told me they needed every single article of clothing they had with them, and probably could have used more! While it is one of the most picturesque places in the country, it's certainly not the place to be if you're looking to be a beach bum...that's what southern California is for!

And this weekend, the coast certainly did not disappoint. When we left Portland at 10 a.m., it was already in the 80's. Once we crossed over the coast range an hour later, temps had dropped into the 60's!! We headed to one of our favorite spots in Pacific City while the rest of the Portland population opted to bump elbows with the masses at Cannon Beach. It was the first time I had ever been thankful for cool temperatures at the coast.

I have been loving the beach more and more lately, and I think it's because the kids love it so much. Hiking is awesome, but it's probably not the funnest activity for the little ones. The beach is the one place where we can all spend the entire day and walk away feeling happy and satisfied. Avery really loves the sand and was perfectly content sitting in one spot while she practiced transferring sand from the shovel to the bucket, which is no easy task for a 13-month old.

She realized very early how challenging it can be to walk in sand (probably why she preferred to sit), but she did manage to crawl wherever she wanted to go.

But occasionally, Mommy was there to give her a helping hand.

On our way to check out the waves

Wyatt, on the other hand, found a sandy hill in which he could practice his log-rolling skills. That pretty much kept him busy for a couple of hours.

That is, until he managed to get a mouthful of sand during one of his very graceful executions.

Can't you just feel his pain?

Needless to say, Wyatt finally decided it was time to take a break from log-rolling, and joined Avery and me on the beach.

Eric ran to the store to pick up a kite (can't go to the coast without a kite) and a little parachute bear for the kids to play with. Wyatt got a little frustrated (okay...a lot frustrated) when the parachute wouldn't stay in the air, so it wasn't too long before we had to put that away and move on to something a little more exciting...like kite flying!

Eric giving Wyatt a little lesson before handing over the reins

You'd think he had done it a million times. What a pro!

Naturally, it didn't take long for Wyatt to lose interest...or maybe it was the fit he threw after the Spiderman kite finally took a dive. Who knows. At any rate, he left the kite-flying duties to Daddy the rest of the afternoon.

For those who might be wondering, Wyatt is still deathly afraid of going anywhere near the waves following the incident in California in which he was pummeled by a sneaker wave. But I certainly don't mind. It's the one healthy fear he has at this point, and quite frankly, it's one less thing I have to worry about. I'm sure he'll outgrow the fear on his own eventually, but I'm perfectly content with him playing as far away from the water as he wishes!

It was certainly a great way to escape the weekend heat in the valley. This morning, it's 63 degrees and raining. Ahhh...I never thought I'd be so excited about such a rare weather occurrence in August!

Wine Selection: Mad Housewife Merlot
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: This is actually a nice wine to sip for blogging. I've tried it before, but my neighbor (who knows how much I love wine) recently gifted me with it after collecting their mail for an entire month this summer. What a sweet gesture!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

From his first days in the hospital, Wyatt has made it plainly clear how much he despises sleep. However, the sleep situation has improved dramatically over the past 6 months. He's now sleeping through the night about 3 nights out of the week and only waking up once the remaining nights. When he does awaken in the middle of the night, he's usually very quick to let us know--with methods varying from shrill and violent screams to soft and gentle taps on the shoulder after creeping into our bedroom unnoticed. The past week however, he has exhibited some strange waking patterns--very uncharacteristic of our little night owl.

The first oddity surfaced at about 2 a.m. one morning when I awoke on my own, realizing I needed to shut Avery's bedroom door (just in case her brother decided to wake using the "shrill and violent" method). I then decided to peek in on Wyatt, only to realize he was not in his bed (nor the floor, or anywhere else in his room). A little concerned, I walked into the living room to find him standing in the recliner gazing out the window. Sleep walking, perhaps? Not sure. Nevertheless, I scooped him up and took him back to his bed, where he remained the rest of the night. Strange...very strange.

A couple of mornings following the possible sleep-walking incident, I woke up to Miss Predictability babbling away at her usual time. The house was completely still as Avery and I tiptoed through the hallway--careful not to wake her brother (who had managed to sleep all the way through the night). As we stepped into the living room, we happened upon Wyatt sitting ever-so-quietly on the couch (as if not to disturb those who were still snoozing away), thumbing through one of his Thomas books. There is absolutely no telling how long he had been awake. Strange...very, very strange.

But this morning took the cake. At some point during the night, he woke up (with nary a peep to be made) and relocated to the recliner in the living room. Avery and I awoke this morning to find him curled up in a little ball, sawing logs as if he had been there all night.

I'm not sure if I should be concerned about these strange occurrences, or feel somewhat relieved that he's finally learned he no longer needs Mom and Dad to help him get back to sleep, wherever that may be.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Today is my mom's birthday, and I couldn't let the day go by (only 15 more minutes CST) without sending her the BIGGEST CYBER BIRTHDAY WISH EVER! There ya go.

I was really hoping you'd get my card in the mail today, but considering the postman picked it up from our outgoing mail only hours ago, I don't suppose it's going to make it. But trust me, it's so worth the wait!

Love you, Mom! Hope you had a very special birthday.

I can't believe this is the most recent picture of us that I could find (8/2004).
We need to work on that the next time I'm in town.

Boys and Blood

The two really seem to go hand in hand.

Less than 10 minutes into Wyatt's Gymboree class this morning, he managed to fall and bloody his nose....again. It's certainly not the first time it has happened while monkeying around carelessly, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Fortunately, blood flowing from the nose doesn't make me nearly as squeamish as when it's flowing from an open wound, so Mommy gets major kudos for remaining calm and taking care of the situation at hand. After all, I'm not sure any bloody injury can top the incident he had last June in which he clumsily fell and bit completely through his tongue!

I think I'm finally starting to get desensitized to such occurrences, because instead of getting overly concerned about whether he may have broken his nose, I was more annoyed that he failed to heed my multiple warnings to settle down. That, and the fact that as he was crying on my shoulder and smearing blood all over me, I couldn't help but think, "Man, I'm so glad I only paid ten dollars for this shirt!"

You're NOT the Boss of Me!

The past week, I've overheard Wyatt (on several occasions) admonishing Avery for doing things she shouldn't. What I find most hilarious is that his tone bears an uncanny resemblance to someone else I know. Hmm...I wonder who that could be?

Avery tampering with the television on/off button

Avery squealing or being unusually loud
Wyatt (with a furrowed brow): "That's enough, Sissy. That's enough."

...and my personal favorite

Avery wandering too far from the front yard
Wyatt: "Avery! Come back here. RIGHT NOW!"

I must be more predictable than I thought. Perhaps I should consider coming up with some new lines.

Wine Selection: Louis M Martini Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: The more I drink this wine, the more I absolutely love it. It's a little bit acidic with well-balanced tannins. Definitely a complex wine.


Just Peachy
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Eric brought home his weekly supply of fruit and veggies from the Farmers Market this afternoon. Included were some peaches, which Avery hasn't yet tried (probably because I don't like them). But as she watched Eric ooh and ahh over how juicy his peach was, she was determined to sink all four of her teeth into it. He gave her one taste and the rest was history (literally).

She pretty much devoured most of the peach,
leaving Daddy nothing but the pit. Naturally.

This was Daddy's second peach. Naturally.

Wine Selection: Louis M Martini Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: The more I drink this wine, the more I absolutely love it. It's a little bit acidic with well-balanced tannins. Definitely a complex wine.

The Flood Gates Have Opened
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

There's just something about the Olympics that really pulls at my heart strings. I'm not really sure if it's hearing the personal stories of perseverance or actually sharing in the pure jubilation of the moment when athletes who've worked endlessly their entire lives finally realize their dreams of medaling and breaking world records at the Olympic Games. It's quite possibly a combination of both.

There have already been a couple of occasions in which Eric has caught me trying to stifle my sniffles. He just shakes his head, rolls his eyes, and grumbles something under his breath about being forced to tolerate my weepiness for an entire two weeks. He may not be shedding tears of joy over the Olympic Games, but he's certainly not immune to getting caught up in the thrill of it all. In fact, I distinctly recall being awakened by a celebratory outburst at 11:30 p.m. last night after the US men's gymnastics team took the lead over China.

Men's gymnastics?!?! Up until this week, he would have argued against it even being considered a sport! I, on the other hand, absolutely love gymnastics and couldn't resist the temptation of getting out of bed to see what the commotion was all about.

I have a feeling I'm going to be quite the little night owl the next couple of weeks.

Bridge Pedal
Sunday, August 10, 2008

Portland is often recognized for being one of the most bike-friendly places in the country. What I find most impressive is the incredible amount of foresight the city planners must have had in order to establish such a high-functioning system throughout the entire city. I'm always amazed by the volume of men, women, and children I see biking to work or school on a daily basis. It's quite remarkable, really.

Every year cyclists throughout the city get the opportunity to bike over Portland's Willamette River bridges during the annual Bridge Pedal event. About 19,000 cyclists turned out for the event this year, including my two boys. Eric and Wyatt biked 37 miles and crossed 11 Portland bridges this morning, and it only took them 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Avery and I successfully managed to navigate through the sea of cyclists to meet them at a couple of spots along the course.

About 28 miles into the ride--just before crossing one
of my personal favorites, the St. Johns Bridge

Where's Waldo?
The boys are up there somewhere.

At the finish line, with 3 of the 11 bridges in the background:
Hawthorne, Marquam, and Ross Island

According to Eric, the only time Wyatt ever made a peep was to encourage Eric to "GO FASTER!" after slowing down to power up a hill. He's a hard one to please, I'm telling ya.

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner.

Ah, yes...the most memorable quote from one of the best chick flicks of the 80's, Dirty Dancing. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that at least 90% of you recognized the quote and identified its source within ten seconds of reading the title. I remember watching this movie on the big screen when it was released in 1987 and hoping that I'd someday find my own Patrick Swayze who would sweep me off my feet and serenade me with beautiful melodies like "She's Like the Wind." I WAS NINE! Geez. I bought the entire soundtrack. I learned the dance routines (and performed them in front of the mirror). And naturally, I could recite the entire dialogue from the movie word for word.

So when Eric suggested we watch it this weekend, I was thrilled...and a little bit puzzled. Why on earth (and on his 30th birthday no less) would he want to painfully sit through such a corny love story about dancing? Then he clarified:

"Well, I want to spend time with you. If we don't watch a movie you want to see, then you'll just fall asleep."

He knows me too well.

In case you're wondering, we did actually do more to celebrate Eric's birthday than watch an 80's chick flick. We recently enrolled Wyatt in a drop-off program two hours per week, and as part of our membership, we get to enjoy a complimentary night out each month without the kids. HE-LLO! It was the first time Avery had ever been left alone in such an environment, but she did alright.

We were actually able to enjoy a nice meal in peace at Manzana while overlooking Lake Oswego. In fact, we had the most melt-in-your-mouth, pecan-crusted salmon either of us had ever tasted! It's definitely worth checking out if you're ever in the area.

When we walked in to pick up the kids after a couple of hours, we found it incredibly amusing that someone else's big brother was playing with and comforting Avery while her own just left her to fend for herself while he played with Lightning McQueen all evening. Typical.

With so much going on Friday night, we waited until Saturday to celebrate with chocolate chip applesauce cake (Eric's favorite). Notice who decided to "crash" the party. With a visit from Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks (and his mean tricks), and The King, we were graced with such an extraordinary rendition of Happy Birthday--and in four-part harmony no less!! Unfortunately, Avery had already gone to bed by the time we finally got around to cutting into the cake, but Wyatt was more than happy to eat her portion!

Happy Birthday To the World's Greatest Dad and Husband!

Pickin' and Grinnin'
Saturday, August 9, 2008

I took Wyatt and Avery to pick blueberries on Sauvie Island yesterday. Oh yeah...and it should go without saying that we were accompanied by Shelley, Brayden, and Sienna. Considering we hung out with them 4 out of 5 days this week, I think it's safe to say you'll probably be seeing quite a bit of them on our blog. I suppose it could be a bit pathologic--all of the time we spend together--but I'm okay with it. And we certainly aren't hearing any complaints from the boys. Does this look like a couple of boys in need of a break from each other?

I guess it depends on who you ask. The dads might consider hand-holding to be a little over the top at this age, while we moms still think it's "cute". C'mon...they're running wildly to check out a tractor, for Pete's sake--not a field of fresh daisies. Calm down.

Once we made it to the blueberries, you'd think Brayden had done it a million times. He knew just what to do and remained focused on the task at hand for a record-breaking 15 minutes--much more impressive than I can say for Wyatt, who picked a few...then ate a few...then took off running in hopes Brayden would try to catch him. A plan flawlessly executed, leaving Shelley and I to pick all of the berries (just as we expected).

Then the boys found an abandoned wagon in the field with a few squashed blueberries in it that they felt needed to be mixed with a little bit of dirt before taking turns riding in it.

Ahhh...the joy of having boys! An outing isn't quite complete unless covered from head to toe in dirt.

We actually made it out of there with quite a few blueberries...FOR ONLY $1.10!! Needless to say, we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast this morning! Ahh...I love Oregon.

Wine Selection
: Pavin and Riley Merlot
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: I'm having a hard time rating wines these days. I've found that I really prefer complex wines with various flavors popping out of nowhere. But I fear that I'm not giving the smooth, easy to drink wines, a fair shot. I think this is a nice, smooth wine. It's not bad by any means...just not my style. And since Eric actually opened this bottle last night and forgot to cork it, then my rating (after letting the wine "air" out all night) is probably flawed. I might try it again sometime to see if my opinion changes.




My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771