Sunday, September 30, 2012

Trail Running: A Highlight of Bend

Trail running is a hobby of mine. Before I got pregnant this time around, I was getting very excited about long distance trail running. I had completed two trail half marathons in the early summer, and didn't want to let go of that distance, so I just kept going. Moving to Bend has opened up the possibilities even more. Miles and miles and miles of single track, double track, logging roads, more single track..... all with gorgeous mountain views, in the pine trees, along rushing rivers and creeks. I don't need much more to make me happy.

Of course, becoming pregnant, moving to a higher elevation and drier climate has slowed me down quite a bit, but I still get out when I can and hope to pick up right where I left off, come the spring. I have a cheering squad and a trail running apprentice. She's pretty fast:

Hydrating before the run.

Trail runner in training.

Watch those corners.

Taking a break by the creek.

Not too bad. 

Poor dad hardly gets to be in any pictures. He is always the one with the phone, and gets left out of pictures too much!

There, that's better. 

Swimming Lessons

Since Noella is getting older and she isn't around a pool much these days, we decided swim lessons were in order. From growing up with a pool, I believe I first swam unassisted when I was around three and a half, so it seemed like a good time. That and she's just getting too comfortable wearing her floaties.

Noella is one of the older ones in this class, and I think that bores her part of the time. That, and she really isn't crazy about the teacher. I was hoping for someone who could push her as much as me, but who she would actually listen to (she knows she can whine and throw a fit if I ask her to try something). Unfortunately, she wants nothing to do with this lady, so its basically me teaching her. This girl is stubborn. I have no idea where she gets this. None whatsoever. When she doesn't want to do something, she DOESN'T WANT TO DO SOMETHING. And you better not tell her or ask her twice. When she is comfortable and actually tries one of the skills on her own, she does great and it's fun to see. She can now hold on to a pool noodle or a barbell and kick and paddle forward on her own. She will have nothing to do with me holding her around her waist while she tries this (which is something the teacher has us do at least three times during class).

I'm hoping we are old enough for the next class up soon. I think she is much more motivated watching older kids.

"This is the way we kick our feet, kick our feet, kick our feet"

That duck causes more trouble than good in this class. 

Mom and Noella. I'm smiling on the outside, but throughout half of this class I'm really close to dunking her for her bad attitude. 

The reward at the end of class: the duck slide. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Second Time Around

Yes - you've all heard via Facebook, I'm sure. Little Holt #2 is on the way. We are extremely excited. We've been holding this one in for a little while - don't want to break news too early, so it's fun to be out in the open!

Original estimates have put the due date at March 31st, but according to the ultrasound I had yesterday, it's measuring more like March 25th. That's always good - right? Sooner than expected. We'll see if this one likes to be early, punctual or late.

Noella asked us a few weeks ago at dinner if there was a baby in my belly:
"Yes", I replied.
"Is it ready to come out?", she asked.
"Well, who's gonna grab it out?"
She is so delicate with her wording, don't you think?

Everyone is very interested to know whether we will find out the gender. The answer is, probably yes. I was dead set with Noella to NOT find out (as was Adam). Adam was feeling the same way this time around, but I feel the need to know. Things are different, we can actually plan a little better, we're more settled AND (not that this should be a reason) since Noella is dead-set that it is a girl and we're going to name it "Sistah", I figured it would be good to know (in case, of course, that it is not a girl and I'm pretty sure that name would not stand even if it is a girl).

She looks thrilled, doesn't she?

This may explain for my overall laziness and lack of posting lately. This second pregnancy has hit me a little harder and I have not had much energy to do anything besides chase after Noella. Hopefully, I'm on the upswing!

Monday, September 24, 2012


We do have a lot going on, I promise. Perhaps that is why I find it so hard to sit down and type out a post. Work started for me three weeks ago, and while it's only two days a week, somehow I'm still finding it hard to get the rest of the week into a good flow. We're almost there.

Yep, that's right. I have a JOB. GASP! I am working as the Community Outreach Speech-Language Pathologist for the High Desert ESD. That means I go around to all the community preschools and Head Starts where there are kids with identified speech/language delays.

This does mean that Noella is in daycare for two days a week. While I'd love to say she is loving it, that's not exactly the way it's going. Each week is better as far as dropping off goes (she's sad to leave mom and dad). The teachers say she is fine and happy all day there. BUT she doesn't potty all day long. In fact, she states she is going to do this on daycare days and cries at the thought of possibly being ask to go there. She holds it for 7-8 hours a day (even through nap). Wish us luck.

Other tid bits: Adam is racing in the local cyclocross series here on thursday nights - so that's been fun to ride down there to watch and cheer. We've had visitors and lots of activities going on, so I'd say we're getting somewhat settled. LOTS of house projects and things yet to purchase, but we're making progress. There is a massive forest fire about 20 miles away that leaves us indoors some days because the smoke and ash is too bad. Yuck. It's really frustrating because the weather is absolutely perfect these days.

Fall is in the air! Here that usually means cyclocross, lots of baking and pumpkins:

The Boneyard Brewing cross team has their own toddler cheerleader!

YOU'VE got spirit!

The first pumpkin of the season

We make lots of time for friends and the park in the fall

Sweet potato waffles always make me feel fall-ish

Celebrity chef Olivia Newton John came to help demo the cooking of sweet potato waffles

She did a pretty good job

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Camping: Take Two!!

Well, it could be said that we are now seasoned campers with a toddler. Or can it? Do two weekends in a row count? I'm counting it.

We took Noella first camping when she was 8 months old. We met our great friends from Olympia (Meredith and Dan and Autumn) and were happy to be in good company on the gorgeous Lewis River in Washington State. It was still exhausting and hard. No one slept, Noella was crawling and tried to put every twig, pine needle and rock in her mouth. At a year and a half, it was slightly easier. We were by ourselves and packed up way too much stuff for one night of camping, which may have made it more difficult. Noella had nightmares about campfires (woke up screaming "fires, fires fires!").  After the first two attempts, I thought "this isn't as fun as it used to be", "wouldn't it just be better to get sleep, keep the baby clean and stay in our routine?", "will we ever do this again and actually feel relaxed and have fun"? In response to the first thought: it gets even MORE FUN to see the joy in your child's eyes while experiencing something you love. And, well, the answer to the first question, is, of course, yes, but the answer to the second one is YESYESYES! Two and a half is a great age to take a child camping. Noella loved her sleeping bag, loved riding bikes with the other kids around the campsites, loved s'mores (duh), loved the campfire, loved taking the kayak out on the lake, loved cooking outside, loved getting dirty. Really, the only thing she didn't love was taking a nap in the tent.

This past weekend, we went to Waldo Lake. This lake is in the Cascades and is surrounded by the Williamette and Deschutes National Forests.  The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the area. It is also the second deepest lake, after Crater Lake. It is a gorgeous body of water that, when the light and wind are just right, looks electric blue.  The bottom is white sand. So lovely. There is a 25+ mile mountain biking/hiking trail that circles the lake, not to mention hundreds of miles of trail surrounding the area.

We were lucky enough to be invited by a fantastic group of people. Some friends of ours in Ashland and their family go every September. Part of their family also happens to include our good friends here in Bend. Noella was SOOOOOO excited to have so many nice friends to play with.
We arrived Friday late afternoon and set up camp, visited and cooked dinner. Saturday was the fun-filled adventure day: kid bike races and stunts (Noella is getting quite daring on her balance bike - barreling down steep rocky hills that the 8 year olds were trying), late morning paddle and playing on the shore, mountain bike rides for both Adam and I, dinner, followed by a sunset paddle, more s'mores and campfire action. Sunday was winding down and packing up. It was a great way to end the camping season!
It's really dark, and she needs her headlamp to open that cheese....

Best buds (Ruth and Noella)

The Gobershocks (Bend friends)

Playing on the "log obstacle course" with some cooler big girls

She jumped off one of these earlier and didn't go out far enough. She caught her butt on the edge. Huge welt/bruise!
And behold some of the sunset pictures:

Amazingly, she was the last one to wake up in the mornings. She did have the best bed in the house though...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Camping and Concerts

We had a very fun filled labor day weekend! We kicked off the holiday with a Brandi Carlile concert at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, OR (we were very nostalgic while driving around the town.... it feels like yesterday Adam and I were living in that tiny apartment: no kid, no dog - seems strange to look back at that now). We met up with lots of friends (including, but not limited to the Patnodes in Portland, Eric, Clarissa, Thom, Kirstie, Bob and Pam from around the Rogue Valley). Carrie and Aaron (the Patnodes) were also brave and brought their wee one, Lewis, to the concert. The kids were soooo good! Noella danced her heart out, clapped, "woo-hoo"ed, bugged everyone sitting around us, played with glow bracelets and ate her weight in summer sausage. Lewis sat and smiled on the blanket and was a charming gentleman the whole evening. He even fell asleep! What a good little boy! Adam bought the latest CD before we departed (yes, I know - WHAT is a CD???). Per Noella's request, we listened to that damned CD the whole weekend (well, we listened to 3 songs on repeat from that album the whole weekend). She tried to sing along as best she could and asked us 15x per day if we like Brandi (yes, dear child we DID like Brandi).
Pre-concert, trying out the sound proof headphones

Aaron, Carrie, Lewis. How sweet is he?!

Sound asleep.

Just tired and ready to go home. She made it until right before encore. 

Next stop: camping at Crater Lake. We have been to Crater Lake several times. We love it - we take almost anyone who's visited us there. It was the Patnodes' idea, and we jumped on the chance. We haven't camped all summer, and this was the perfect opportunity, with great people at a beautiful locale.

She's got the best spot in the tent.

Lewis and Carrie

View of our campsite. You may notice our ginormous budget tent

Staying hydrated.

The Patnodes.

The Holts

Dads and babes.

Move, Dad, I can't see.

Handsome guys!

Checking out Wizard Island. 
The following morning. A brisk 37 degrees. Cold and camping doesn't bother THIS girl. 

The camping chef in action.

The sweetest.

The morning we left. Can you tell we need showers?

Finally, the Patnodes followed us back up to Bend where we regrouped a bit at our house before they headed back to Portland on Monday. What great friends we have! We were so lucky to have randomly met them when they came to tour our old rental house in Portland! This is one of those situations where I truly believe everything happens for a reason. We love you guys!