Monday, February 25, 2013

16 months and so fabulous!

Ocoee is such a funny, good, loving kiddo! We are happy to have her in our lives and although I don't blog as much as I would like I love sharing her little moments with friends and family on this site.

As we women know, there are few times in your life when you truly rock an outfit. Pulling yourself together, brushing your teeth and getting out the door without kid spitup, food or other unnamed items on you is the standard. Since having a awesome outfit is a cause for celebration in my life, I will celebrate even if it was Ocoee's and not mine!!



I think Ocoee knew she was rocking this outfit because she was super spunky and top form for the play we were attending.


The dress is by Hannah Anderrson, sweater cape ( oh, I love capes) is Tea Collection, tights and leg warmers are baby legs and boots are unknown, hand me ups! The details on the sweater are amazing embroidery and I wish I had an adult version so bad!

Also I updated the Oh, the places you will go page and photoshoot page for your viewing pleasure.

Happy Monday!

Cheers
J


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Little little

Ocoee has always been a big time babbler. Lately I hear 'little, little" a lot coming from her. She also said snow and pointed to the snow flake on her shirt and then the snowflake stained glass in her window.

Little, little is unbelievable adorable. She is also smart, kind and cuddly. We try not to focus so much on her adorableness since we don't want to raise a kid focused on her looks or charm, but her hard work and character.

But really she is so dang cute!

She holds her hands together and tilts her head and we are just like,  ugh your so adorable and I just want to cuddle you.

It has just been a good week with her. She is really having fun around the house and loves to put on her apron, get in her kitchen helper stand and help cook. She taste everything I put out...including whole elephant garlic which made her wipe her tongue. She takes the things I chop and places them in the bowl. Another favorite thing is to help daddy go get eggs.....we call it an egg hunt and she hates if he goes with out her.

We are truly blessed.

Cheers
j

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Back home

I always feel like I need a vacation from my vacation. Life always smacks you in the face when you arrive home, have to unpack, do laundry and back to normal life.

This week is particularly rough because I have two late nights of school conferences but then a 4 day weekend! We are finally feeling better from our colds but still nowhere near 100%.

My moment of inspiration came yesterday. I came home early to take the dogs to the park and our dog Love, who is older than dirt (14) was having a bad arthritis day. This was due to not getting as much exercise when we are gone and maybe missing her daily asprin (Guiness likes to eat her food and get them). She has so much spirit though. She through sheer will power went to the park in deep snow, dragging both back legs. I felt so bad for her but she was not to be left behind. She wanted to go.

And today she was so much better! The exercise and asprin had her feeling and looking like a young pup again. If she can do what she does everyday, then I should, suck it up buttercup!

Also some good info about folic acid for pregger moms here!

Welcome home to us.

Cheers
J

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Portland- day 4

Today we all slept in. Around 9 Ocoee swung open her closet door and matched over to the bed chatting away. She is so chirpy and giddy in the mornings. We on the other hand were struggling to get moving. Finally we decided to head to the Pearl district a few blocks away for some shopping.

We swung into Peets for some caffeine and then headed to Anthropologie. Hubby entertained Ocoee while I quickly did shopping. Hubby and kid in tow makes for a quicker experience than my normal shopping habits. I scored a fluffy new scarf that I adore and a cute new shirt that is fun and casual. Ocoee got her first apron that is so stinky sassy! She wore it around the hotel all afternoon.

Ocoee had a minor crises as she peed all over her pants and we were down to her second to last pair. We had been trying to use pull up diapers but this made us think we should get some regular disposables so we headed across the street to whole foods, bought a few more kombuchas, some biodegradable dog poop sacks (work great for diapers) and some smaller diapers. After a quick change Ocoee swung her bare legs, with boots, from her stroller as we headed 3 blocks over to Hannah Andersson.

I love their clothes and we really neede a few more pants since Ocoee had gone through even the extra we brought. Hand washing and drying in the hotel room worked ok but no the best situation. We usually rent houses with washer and dryers when we travel so this was harder.

As soon as well walked in the ladies quickly found us two pairs of options that were on sale and sent hubby to the room to clothe our darling. I scoped out a bunch more deals and we are stocked for the rest of the trip and some new stuff to grow in to. The best part about their Swedish design is that the dresses become tunics and shirts that you can pair with leggings as she grows.

Ocoee was needing a nap so we hit a few more stores and then headed back tote hotel. Hubby was spent and really getting kicked by the cold that has been on and off all week for me and now him. It is nasty!

Tucking both of them in for a nap I ran out to Kenny and Zukes deli for some delicious veggie Reuben's, spicy black bean soup a loaf of fresh bread and some root beers to sustain us.

And that was pretty much our day. Ocoee and I took a bath, we played silly games in the room and again I settle down with a glass of pinot to end my day. Pretty chill but considering the way we were all feeling the best we could muster. I am hoping to rally and attend some Chinese new year celebrations at the Chinese gardens tomorrow before we head home.

Good night, Oregon.

Cheers
J









Friday, February 8, 2013

Portland-day 3

In the middle of the night hubby and Ocoee were both laughing in their sleep-both chuckled back and forth in a seemingly hilarious conversation, all while snoozing!

Once we were all up we hit up Stumptown coffee for some caffeine and then picked up the rental car a block away. We wisely passed up the sugar bombs from voodoo donut as we passed by, though they smelled sinfully good! Hubby headed to work and Ocoee and I headed for the ocean.

After a few wrong turns we finally got outside the city driving hwy 26 towards the coast. The sun was shining and the scenery was beautiful. Living in Alaska beauty is everywhere. It is a harsh, surreal beauty that takes your breathe away and stills your soul. This landscape was more lush, green, soft and rolling. Fertile fields and the smell of soil, farms and animals made a pleasant back drop for our adventure. It was like a feast for the eyes with so many shades of green, emerald and jade springing up along the roads as moss dripping from the trees.

Ocoee feel asleep and missed it all. She even missed a appalachian band on NPR singing about the banks of the Ocoee. I will have to track down that song!

An hour and half later we arrived at Seaside our first stop. At seaside we strolled on the beach taking in the huge stretch of sand and frothy breaking waves. Ocoee chased a seagull all over and shrieked in delight as it ate her dropped snacks. We visited the 75 year old aquarium, that though rustic was a hit due to their seals and bait you can purchase to toss and feed the seals. Ocoee totally dug feeding the seals and grabbed the herring from my hand to toss it to whichever one begged closest.

After the aquarium we grabbed some sandwiches from Tsunami sandwich shop. Low key, with yummy deli food it was easy and kid friendly. There were other nice sit down places to eat but I didn't feel like taking the time for that. After lunch we went to ride the authentic wooden carousel. It was so sea town kitsch that I loved it! Ocoee and I rode on a sleigh and she squealed with delight watching the wooden horses go up and down and around. Her first carousel ride was a smashing success.

After seaside we hit up cannon beach which was really cute and homey. I took photos of a dream home, steps from the sand. We gazed out at haystack rock which soars above the beach and sea. I could easily spend a weekend exploring all the unique shops and cafes of Cannon Beach.

On the way home I wanted to try a different route so we headed south to Tillamook, stopped by the factory for some cheese curds and ice cream and then headed back home. We followed hwy 6 through wineries, creeks and rivers with waterfalls popping up here and there.

The entire time I kept thinking. Seriously this sunny warm day, with beautiful scenery is mid-February??? What a huge contrast between Oregon and Alaska. It made me question if Alaska would always be home. I love Alaska so much but when I think of quality of life I can see the benefits of a milder climate.

We got back into town and hubby met us at the rental place to help schlep gear back and I think he missed us a bit. We walked back to the hotel and stopped to grab some street vendor food. Sorta an addiction for me. We had burritos from the same place I remembered from my girls trip this past June and hubby was impressed! They were as good as I remembered.

Now we are back at the hotel turning in for an early night. Nagging cold symptoms come and go leaving us pretty wiped by the end of the day. A good nights sleep usually helps so we are all going to turn in for power sleep fest!

Cheers
J













Thursday, February 7, 2013

Portland day 2

Ah, it is nice to wake up with the sun. That is the hardest part of Alaska winters. The darkness. After the sunshine peeped over the building to stream through the windows of the beautiful old building the benson hotel is in Ocoee and I leisurely got ready for the day. Hubby was off to work meetings and we loaded up the stroller for the day. When traveling I use a backpack as a diaper bag, removing my camel back and filling that area with diapers. We headed across the Willamette river to OSMI. It is a super cool science and industry museum with so much to do.

On out 1.5 mile walk I was reminded of how lovely it is that Portland is so walker/biker friendly. In anchorage walking is nice because we have really great trail system but the roads are not for walkers. Here everywhere is safe and easy for walkers and bikers.

I also laughed at how many people were bundled up as I shed my light fleece and sweated from the sunny 45 degree day. Guess Alaska does make your idea of cold different.

At the OSMI there were so many cool things. Ocoee loved the water play area and sand pit the most. There was face painting, a kid sized grocery store and a place to dress up as chipmunks and play in the kid sized forest. We could have stayed all day. We swung by the gift shop for a cool Geography game for my class and a boom for Ocoee. When we travel she is allowed books as her souvenir. We picked out "good night Oregon" since it has many places we are visiting.

On the way back to meet hubby for lunch I had a total Portlandia moment. In the courtyard of the downtown world trade center buildings 12 young yuppy/hipster multi ethnic male dudes were playing hacky sack. Once the completed a full hack where everyone hits the sack successfully they did an elaborate high five circle shake thing that had me Dying! To whip out my cell and capture this ├╝ber Portland moment!

Portland has amazing street vendors and we hit up the swamp shack for a po boy a shack attack-jambalaya topped with fried shrimp! Spicy and delicious! We headed down to the riverfront part to enjoy the sun, eat our grub and let Ocoee shriek at all the dogs running by with their running owners. It was sunny and the perfect happy to pass an hour lunch. Way too nice to eat inside!

And now the most decadent part of the day. We headed back to the hotel for a nap. Fresh clean sheets-check. Destroyed hotel room from toddler cleaned to sparkle-check, full bellies-check.

Ah. How I love naps.

After nap hubby went back to meetings and Ocoee had a bath. We all then headed to Oven and Shaker for happy hour dinner. They have the best wood burning oven and crispy thin crust pizza with bubbling toppings. We also got some fresh mozzarella for Ocoee, salad and a few classes of vino. Portland's happy hour prices would make it hard for me to cook if I lived here.

On the way back to the hotel we swung by whole foods because I love that place! We grabbed some snacks for our road trip and I was filled with fresh produce/ gourmet food envy. There are just so many more things than we get I'm anchorage! I snagged a bottle of spicy and sweet reduced basalmic vinegar, which is one of my favorite condiments. Works great on fish, pizza or cheese!

We were also happy to find the local kombucha was also available I. Bottles as well as growlers. I hope they help us kick the remaining cough and sniffles we both have.

Now back at the hotel Ocoee is asleep. I am drinking wine and hubby is enjoying a bath. Today was a good day.

Back home it is dumping snow! Can't say I miss it right now.

Cheers
J











Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ahhh. Room service!



Portland day 1

The travel gods smiled on us and we landed the middle seat open on our flight to Portland. By Alaska standards the 3 hour flight was short as we had kids in front and behind us-all who were champion travelers.

Ocoee usually take a nap in the middle of the day so we spread a jacket out on the floor between out seats and she spread right out and napped. Since hubby and I are both fighting colds we napped as well. The flight was painless and we woke just before landing.

The weather is 48 and cloudy in Portland which is a little like paradise to an Alaskan mid winter. Back home it is upper 20s and snowing. Which isn't bad but so nice to see the green or Portland after a winter blanketed in white.

Tonight was a big night for hubby's work. There was a reception in the private room downstairs with yummy apps and drinks. Ocoee and I joined hubby to have drinks and snacks. Hubby works with some great people and I always like seeing them. It is a very family friendly group so no one batted an eye as I balanced Ocoee in her pjs on my hip and glass of Pinot I'm the other hand at a swanky reception. Man I love Alaskans!

Afterwards there was a going away party for one of hubby's coworkers. He is off to Seattle and they reserved a private room to party and celebrate his departure. It would have been a fun event but Ocoee is bed bound by 6ish so hubby went and I sit in our suite (yeah for free upgrade) and listen to Bob Dylan and the traffic of the city below while I wait for my dinner and bottle of Pinot from room service.

This is my kind of get away. The room is large and the walk in closet big enough we tucked ocoees peapod in so she can sleep and we can lounge in the living area at night. Yep. That's right. My sweet bambino is sleeping in a closet.

It is a big closet at The Benson, so that is cool right. We are both content and relaxed. Works seems a million miles away.

Cheers
J

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ch, Ch, Changing

Ocoee is changing and growing faster than I can keep up with. Here are a few of her new things:

She said cheese-she has to have a baby bell cheese first thing in the morning and first thing after school-she is quite demanding about this. She will use her baby sign language (she uses the same signal for all food items) but if you don't bring her cheese she will shake her head NO!

She likes to dance and spin around while dancing.

She loves making videos of herself on the iphone. She throws her hands in the air and waves them and thinks she is pretty funny.

She wants her shoes on all the time and often makes me put them on before her naps.

She had three pairs of shoes out yesterday and wanted to wear them all. I explained she could only wear one and made 3 piles and asked her which ones she wanted to wear. After thinking for a moment she grabbed one black one and one butterfly one.......matching wasn't a priority.

She loves all dogs. She climbed on top of Brodie and bounced happily for 15 minutes and I think he just slept. Now she has her wheely bug she thinks she can ride Brodie like her wheely.

She loves water. Drinks like a fish. This we have in common.

She will now crawl into bed when she is tired. No having to put her down most of the time.

She is really starting to like other kids. She spent all the super bowl chasing my friend's older daughter around. She also flirted with all the guys in the room....jeez! I see an all girls school in her future!

There are oh, so many more! She continues to be our sunshine!! We adore her.

Cheers
J

Monday, February 4, 2013

Product Review-Guide Craft Kitchen Helper and Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug

This is a review for two fabulous products that my lovely MIL purchased for me recently. No one paid me for these reviews I just wanted to share......though they should, right?

First up is the Guide Craft Kitchen Helper. The kitchen helper is a stand for kiddos to be safe and at the same level as the action. It is designed to use in a kitchen but if you crafted or had other hobbies (like my hubby's beer brewing) this could be used as well. It cost $93 and is available with free shipping from Amazon. We love Amazon and buy so much from there. Also we have the stock.....it is simply the best way to shop and give gifts!



The kitchen helper is pictured above. It has cute cutouts on one side and a chalk board as well. I can easily fit two kids and I think it will grow well with Ocoee. The reason I love it is because my hands are free! As much as I am happy with the strong arms I have developed carrying her around, cooking is way quicker with two hands!


The other thing I love is the kitchen helper folds and stores easily. We have a tiny kitchen and it folds up and we slide it out of the way, easy peasy, pumpkin squeezy!

She loves being able to help. I really didn't see how much she was learning until yesterday when I was peeling eggs for deviled eggs and she grabbed one (she was with me at the sink in the kitchen helper) and she smashed it like I did to crack it open and begin peeling it. Wow! I was so impressed that she was paying attention and wanted to help. I didn't even mind that my eggs came out in interesting shapes.....let's be honest, we both massacred them. Egg peeling is obviously genetic and we both need a good sous chef!

They did taste yummy with the homemade mayonnaise though....or so I was told. Sick and icky didn't allow me much taste buds.

So I love this thing! Totally a splurge but we were lucky enough to receive it as a gift. Thanks grandma!!

The next is also a gift from grandma, Prince Lionheart Wheely bug in Ladybug.  it is super cute and scoots so well on our tile floors. 


Ocoee received it as an Xmas gift and really only pushed it at first. The wheels are heavy duty casters that go in all directions so she was able to really chase the dogs around!

She has now begun to sit and ride on it. We have the small and I think it is perfect. She will easily be able to ride it for the next year and maybe more. It is small but would accommodate a larger rider (yea I sat on it) well. She will either ride or push it all over and what a great way to burn off cabin fever energy! 

Cheers
J