Lots and lots of adventures and activities happening around the Mongoose household. August was a really busy month. Gage was with us for two weeks straight, which was a treat! We made sure to spend it wisely with lots of fun family activities.
The first couple of days he got to spend with his maternal grandma. They went to the movies, played games and hung out together. From all of Gage's accounts it was a fantastic time. Upon his return home we had a nice bbq with the rests of his maternal side. Only bummer was it was the hottest weekend on record this year and we spent the afternoon chasing the coolest most shaded spots we could find in our backyard. Although we did have a splash war in the kiddie pool!
The following day was spent trying to stay cool! In the morning, I got to have breakfast with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Amber. She is a roller derby girl in Eugene, and was up here for a weekend long competition. It was so nice to hang out for a couple of hours catching up on life. I am so blessed to have her in my life still! After a delicious breakfast, the boys decided to try ice skating at Lloyd Center. Gage got around once or twice, but then decided it wasn't his thing. Alan did pretty good. He was befriended by an older gentleman and his wife who skate their all the time. They gave him some pointers and he was cruising around. About 45 minutes in he took a pretty impressive spill and busted his elbow open, so he decided that was it for the time being.
Later that afternoon we headed to Chunky Dunk - a body positive swim party hosted at Peninsula Park Pool. It was still 94 degrees at 5:30, so we really enjoyed being in the water. Gage worked pretty diligently on his jumping into the deep end skills and by the end of the night was a pro in the 8 foot waters. We had a really great time.
Monday brought with it the beginning of camp. Gage had been waiting all summer to attend. He was a little nervous, but more excited. We biked in to camp together on Monday morning and were pleasantly surprised to find out all the activities he was going to get to participate in. They got to go swimming three times, field trips to parks, playgrounds, the movies and the big one - Oaks Park. Gage was beside himself with anticipation. The week went really well. He made some new friends and was bummed when it was over. We are hoping to get to send him again next year. He really wants to go back.
We also spent an hour each evening watching HUGE together. If you haven't checked this show out, please do! It's the story of a group of fat kids and a weight loss camp. Normally that would so not be my style, but this show is quite complicated. They have done a good job casting real fat kids, not size 8 adults. They deal with complicated feelings, trying to fit into a world that tells them they are not ok who they are and looking at how to live holistically healthier lives. We all really like it and we have some pretty meaningful conversations after each show.
After a pretty busy week, the weekend was mellow. We did join some friends on Saturday to wander the Alberta Street Fair. It was a nice cooler day, so even though the street was packed, it wasn't miserable like last year. Sunday we took a little adventure. We headed up the Gorge. First we hit Multnomah Falls. Gage has been asking about going there for months. We didn't have anything on the calendar, so I packed a picnic lunch and we went for it. We stopped at the falls and hiked up to the first bridge. I unfortunately have a torn meniscus, so that was about as far as I could go. After our min-hike, we enjoyed a picnic lunch. I wanted to show the guys the windmills that line the gorge, but couldn't remember how far they were away. We decided to just drive until we found them, which was about 100 miles away! But we also found gorgeous hills, warm sunny skies, crazy wind and an enjoyable afternoon together as a family! on our way back we stopped off at Celilo Falls and Gage played in the water while we watched the wind surfers. Then we headed to DQ for a sweet treat to enjoy on the ride home. It was a really lovely day. I am so blessed to have had that time with my boys.
On Monday we met up with our friends Luc and Nora and headed out to lunch at NOSH and then off to OMSI. I have never been during the week before. It was really nice. Not a ton of people when we arrived, so the kids got to really enjoy themselves. I had never been upstairs before and that was pretty cool. Gage and Nora both got to hold this really creepy bug and Gage and Luc practiced their weather reporting skills using a green screen. It was pretty funny to watch.
On Tuesday, Gage and I met Gage's Uncle Don for some bike riding along the Banks/Vernonia trail. It was a hot day, but this gorgeous trail is covered in natural shade with a few sunny spots along the way. It's paved and not too hard of a climb. We worked our way four miles up to the top, then coasted our way back down to a lovely lunch spot. After lunch we coasted our way down to the car. We were almost injury free, until Gage wiped out at the 1 mile mark. He earned himself a nice knee and elbow scratch, but thankfully his head was protected by his helmet and no other bones were broken.
It was good two weeks together. It was fun having Gage around more and watching him get out there and participate in activities. He is growing up so fast and in just a few days will be a middle schooler. Shortly, he won't want anything to do with us, so we are just enjoying the time with him the best we can. Guess that is all you can do as a parent. Love your kids and teach them to be the best people they can be. The rest will work itself out.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Today is going to be spent finishing my paper due tomorrow. Oh yeah. Good times. I am really ready to be done with school for a minute. I just have to stay focussed today and get through this. I have to have it done by 5pm. I want to be free to hang out tonight with the boys. This is the beginning of Gage's two weeks with us! More on that later. Now it's a quick shower, breakfast and on to paper writing!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I suppose everyone says that, but I am really done with summer school this Thursday. I am so ready to not have to be engaged in homework for a while. I am really struggling to finish this last paper this term. It's only 8 pages, which shouldn't be trouble at all, but it is just staying motivated enough to get it done. Argh. Three more days, three more days, three more day - perhaps if I keep saying that it won't be so bad. ;)
Monday, August 9, 2010
Yesterday, August 8th, Alan and I celebrated our first year of marriage. We spent the day only doing the things we wanted to. The laundry, still unfinished from the day before, remained untouched. We left the dishes in the sink. We slept in late and took our time getting around in the morning. It was lovely. We then hopped on our bikes and headed across the river to the Chinese Gardens. After leisurely wandering through the quite and sereneness, we poked in and out of gift shops in bustling Old Town. In the heat of the afternoon sun, we headed up to the 30th floor for happy hour at the Portland City Grill. You could see three quarters of the city from a vantage often only witnessed by birds. The drinks were delicious and made our cheeks pink. Soon the crowded venue was no longer what we craved, so back on the bikes again to find a new spot to enjoy together. After an unintentional bypath through the streets of northeast, we arrived at Vendetta where Alan proceeded to share with me his love of shuffle board while enjoying an ice cold lemonade Pabst in the sun. As Johnny Cash crooned to us over the juke box, we flirted like a couple on their third date, eyelashes fluttering in anticipation, bodies brushing against each other and innocent kisses being shared. As the sun started to fall in the sky, we hopped back on our bikes and headed to a delicious dinner at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant. We ended the evening sharing tasty sweet-treats cuddled up with each other on the couch.
It was a lovely celebration of our first year together. All the trials and tribulation of our daily life - work, school, bills, custody battles and the like, were suspended momentarily. We simply got to bask in the happiness that we bring to each other. It felt like reconnecting to all the things that initially drew us together, but with a deeper appreciation of the whole people we are. I really needed that time with my partner in life. I feel rejuvenated and re-centered in my commitment to our relationship and each other. I am excited and ready for what year two will bring us...