Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy Halloween

Halloween this year was so much fun. Soren was over-the-top excited by his super scary Unknown Phantom costume and wore it nearly every day for the month before Halloween.

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Since there really isn't any trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, we headed into town to one of the nice neighborhoods where we could park the car and walk around. It was a blast. And also a fun experiment in taking photos in tricky lighting.

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The photos of the night turned into a study of beautiful doorways. There were so many pretty homes.

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Soren inadvertanly discovered the secret of getting extra candy. The people would come to the door, give him candy, he'd say thanks. Then he'd just kind of stand there, I knew he just felt weird about taking the candy and running off. But since the people couldn't see his face, they didn't really know what was going on. Why isn't this kid leaving? There'd be a few awkward moments and then they'd just start dumping more candy into his bag! Genius.

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And, much to Soren's delight, many people told him he looked really scary!

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Movies, Part II

To follow up our previous conversation, Soren started again.

Soren: Mom, Ice Age is not real.
Me: That's right. How do you know?
Soren: Because we don't actually know what color dinosaurs were, so those colors on the dinosaurs in Ice Age have to be made up.
Me: (Not sure if the clues that the mammoth talks to the saber-tooth tiger would have been a more obvious clue, but whatever...) And what about Puss in Boots, is that real?
Soren: Made up. (and just as I was starting to think he was learning about animated vs. "real' movies, he finished...) But it must have been really hard to find cats that could do those moves and walk!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Movie Reviews

Soren: Mom, can cats use swords?
Me: Um. Well, I suppose cats that have hands can use swords.
Soren: Well then how did Puss in Boots (the recent animated movie) use a sword?
Me: Do you think those cats are real?
Soren: Yes, they are real. I saw a behind the scenes show and they showed the cats learning to swordfight.

Later, while we were driving in the car.

Soren: Mom, can I see the movie Puss in Boots?
Me: Well, I don't know yet. First I want to hear from people who have seen it to know if it is ok for you to watch. I want to see if there is too much fighting or  being rude.
Soren: Oh
Me: I also want to know if there are bad words.
Soren: There was one in Rio!
Me: (thinking...I saw Rio. I liked Rio. I don't remember any bad words...) What was it?
Soren: Nigel!

I almost burst out laughting. He thinks I check out movie reviews to find out if there are bad birds in movie, not bad words!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Today at breakfast...

Me: Soren, please finish your breakfast.
Soren: No. I'm going to disobey.
Me: Um, what?
Soren: Yesterday at school we were supposed to write something about "disobey" but I didn't have anything to write about. If I don't eat my breakfast, then I'll have something to write about.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Breakfast Time

My boys made me breakfast today.

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It makes me smile to hear Peter in there coaching Soren on the best way to do scrambled eggs.

Darth + Barbie

This totally makes me smile. Yesterday, Soren's school assigment was to write something about toys.

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(translation: Darth Vader fell in love with Barbie.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Singalong Night at School

Soren's at a new school this year. There are a few kids from his Montessori school there, but it is mostly a new group of people to meet. They hosted a family singalong night last week so we could get to meet the other parents and Soren's classmates.

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Glen, one of the teachers, and his son Nathan lead us all on some fun singalong songs...

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But they first entertained us with a bit of a "talent" show that they pulled of with some of the unsuspecting parents.

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Peter is always quick to say yes when someone asks him to help out. I think he might be a little slower at that in the future!

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It was hilarious and a lot of fun.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ironing, or lack thereof

This weekend we were walking through Wal-Mart and came across a rack of ironing boards. Soren looked at them and asked, "Mom, are those surf boards?"

Yeah, because ironing boards and surfboards are actually equally likely to make an appearance in my house.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blackberry Weekend

For a few weeks I've been watching the blackberries ripening, not quite getting up the gumption to get out there and pick them. This weekend, we worked up the gumption.

Well, I did. My assistant came along mostly just to entertain me and tell me stories.

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And of course steal my hard-earned bounty when my back was turned.

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We made two batches of jam, a pie, and a modified a zucchini-blueberry bread recipe with blackberries instead.

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Yum. Berry good.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tootsie Pops

A few weeks ago, while both enjoying a Tootsie Pop, I told Soren about a classic commercial from my childhood. Remember this one?

Yestersday, when I got home from my run he came dashing to meet me. "Mom, Mom, I saw that commerical...ah-one, ah-two, ah-three!" And who said nothing good comes from parking your kid on front of the TV. Now we have this nostalgic moment to share!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Centipede

Today Soren told me that he needs to choose a poem to take to school for a project. Of course, I used this opportunity to share with him one of my very favorite poems:

A centipede was happy quite,
Until a frog in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg comes after which?"
This raised her mind to such a pitch,
She lay distracted in the ditch
Considering how to run.
-- Mrs. Edmund Craster, 1871

Me: Do you understand what it is about?
Soren: Hm, I'm not sure...

So I launched into a detailed explanation and then asked again...

Me: So now do you understand what it is all about?
Soren: Mom, why didn't the toad just eat the centipede?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

First Day of First Grade

Today was Soren's first day of first grade. On the way to school he asked: "Mom, can I have a special song since it is the first day of 1st grade? Can you please find some AC/DC?"

Moms were snapping photos of their little ones all over the place. Of course in the chaos of getting us to school on time, I forgot my good camera. No problem, camera phone will do in a pinch.

Mostly it wouldn't have mattered which camera I would use because it seems he's going through a phase (please, please, please tell me this is just a phase) of being physically unable to make a normal face in a posed shot. For example:

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Or this:

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Or this one, lovely:


I did finally catch him when he was too distracted to do something corny. Happy first day of school!


Monday, September 05, 2011

Oregon State Fair

We look forward to the Oregon State Fair every year. Soren especially. But I like it too. Once I get over the fact that I've spent a small fortune on horrendously overpriced rides, and we get back into all the other fair attractions I really enjoy it. Soren gets so excited that he finds things that he likes and makes me take a picture of him there.

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It is actually pretty amazing what people can accomplish with a chain saw.

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But without a doubt, for us this year the #1 attraction was the Walk on Water set up.

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It was the reason we came not once, but twice, to the fair.

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I even tried it once and found it every bit as hilarious from the inside as it is from the outside.

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So hard to get your balance, and impossible to maintain it for long.

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And your own laughter echoes back on you. Awesome.

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I actually got the business card of the people who were running the attraction. They do parties. Now I'm trying to think of a way to convince Peter that this is one party we just must have.

Saturday, September 03, 2011


My poor kid wants a pet. He really, really wants a pet. His first choice would be a cat. Second choice, a Chihuahua (those are practically cats, aren't they?) Third choice: any living creature that he can keep in the house.

Last week Peter found a lost baby bird in the yard. After Peter and Soren did some intense searching for the nest, the bird came in the house...to the elaborate fantasies of all the adventures they'd have together. We did modify those fantasies to let him know that we would only be keeping the bird safe until he could fend for himself.


Getting the bird (named Little Tweet) to eat was a major undertaking. Harnessing all our Google skills we came up with a variety of options, items, and techniques for getting him to eat. Most weren't great. But we managed to cram, er, I mean gently feed enough to keep him alive overnight.

Peter found a local lady who does wildlife rehabilitation so they brought the bird (a Tohee, as it turns out) to her so she could feed him and care for him properly. They'll be giving Soren a "Hero" certificate, plus they let him pet a baby squirrel, so he was ok with surrendering his little pet.

Pet #2 was a snake. Oy. Much to my horror Soren and Peter found a baby garter snake in the yard and decided that it was reasonable to let him live with us for awhile. Soren was delighted to find just how far away I wanted to stay from that snake and made it his mission to try to get me to hold it (for the record, he failed.)

Cinnamini, so named because he came to the house right when they were making cinnamon rolls, stayed with us for 4 days. But eating was his problem too. Despite the worms and grubs they put in his cage or dangled in front of him he didn't eat while he was with us. So back outside he went.

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Soren is still begging for a dog. I actually bought a book about raising dogs this week (my first step with everything: buy the book first.) But I must say that has only increased my reluctance to take on the enormous task of dog ownership. I think we'll continue down the rescued yard animal route for awhile yet.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hood to Coast Relay

My friend Heidi invited me to be on her Hood to Coast team this year. It took me about 1 second to say yes.


Our start time was 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning. A perfect time to start a run, wouldn't you say? This is us at Mt. Hood just before I left on leg one which was a 6 mile run down the mountain, from Timberline Lodge to Government Camp.


The race was 200.1 miles, broken into 36 legs. Each team has two vans with 6 runner each and the runners/vans alternate for the course. So there's a lot of running involved...
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And a lot of time riding/waiting in the van while the other runners are on their leg.

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As we leap-frogged our runner we'd often stop to wait on the side of the road so we could cheer for them as they came by. (I like being cheered for, by the way.)

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And then it is back to the van to beat the runner to the next stop.

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One of my favorite things about the race was cheering for other runners. At the hardest leg on the course (done by Heidi on my team), my team mates stretched toilet paper across the route at the top of a particularly brutal and long hill climb. It was great to watch people feel revived (at least a little) by a roll of toilet paper.

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This is just before my second leg (leg 13 of the course). Don't you love the sunglasses + headlamp combo? It was about 8 pm, sunny when I started but full on dusk by the time I finished.

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There were lots of Honeybuckets on the course.

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So it did feel like luxury when Safeway kindly let us use their inside toilets!

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This had to be about 1 a.m. We managed about an hour and a half of sleep (in a field!) around 3 a.m.


Driving into the night...

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My third leg (leg 25 on the course) started about 5 a.m. and was absolutely glorious. I took it slowly and just enjoyed the views. Don't I look relieved to be finished?

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Did I mention the Honeybuckets? Seems they were on everyone's mind first thing in the morning!

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After our van finished we made our way to Seaside to meet up with family who was waiting there for us.

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Our team took 30.5 hours to complete the course.

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The Welcome sign in Seaside was great to see!

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