Monday, June 22, 2009

Little Big Girl's Big Day

Today is Amelia's birthday, so we tried to fill it with everything she loves. Firstly, we sang the happy birthday song way more times than I'm willing to admit. Then we went downtown for the morning. Our usual favorite is closed on Mondays, so we had to branch out. I am SO glad we did, because we found another really great restaurant we'd never even heard of! She had sausage and a very fancy fruit bowl for breakfast, and the staff brought out a little pancake with a candle in it. That was a fun way to get things started!
Orange juice was a treat that made her breakfast extra special, and she got to eat leftover fruit and sausage out of a cup for the rest of the morning.

Next, we took a walk around downtown and went to a big toy store to play. Amelia had a great time pushing around a stroller of stuffed animals and playing with the dress-up items. We had a little birthday money for her, and she chose an umbrella and we bought a kazoo.
More walking around town followed, and we stopped in at the Aveda store to cash in a couple of free offers we'd gotten in the mail. She applied lotions and sipped licorice tea, feeling completely indulged. On our way back to the car, we stopped at a food cart that some friends run to say hello and get some vegetable juice-- and of course they gave her a cookie for her birthday.

The highlight of the day was a ride on the Sky Tram that goes up and down the hill to OHSU. She has been talking about it since we first rode on it last fall, and I think it was as exciting as she had remembered. If it had been free, we probably would have taken the trip up and back a couple more times.
It's fun looking down into everyone's backyards.
Such great views of the city. For some reason Amelia LOVES the city. Whenever I ask her what she wants to do, she gets excited and says "Let's go downtown!!"What is that weird little puff of black smoke?

By this time we were all so tired. We came home for a "birthday nap" which she was surprisingly enthusiastic about. Then we shopped with some birthday money at Target for a watering can and some clothes for her.

We had a nice picnic dinner and ate the last of her birthday party cupcakes (birthday party pictures coming soon.) We have one of those wooden birthday rings, so we lit the candles and talked about how she is growing up and what is so exciting about being three years old. She's finally in bed, and we're ALL birthdayed out. It was so fun to devote a day to doing things she loves-- it's such a great way to celebrate who she is and how she brightens up our lives. Happy Three!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Portland, Take Two....

So, we didn't get either of the overseas jobs Jeff had applied for. The Sicily position had been given to an incumbent transferring from Turkey, and Jeff's application was submitted to Germany too late in their interview process. I am obviously disappointed, but still glad to just know what we'll be doing this Fall. When we got the news about the Sicily position, we consoled ourselves by going out for some cheap, lousy Italian food. We made a list of things we might be able to look forward to about staying here:
1. Really getting my business going (for real this time.)
2. All of the time off that Jeff's current job gives him throughout the year.
3. Amelia's preschool-- they also made us a very generous financial aid offer this year!
4. Getting out of our house and being free of a mortgage and home ownership burdens for a while.
5. Renting in a neighborhood that is better than our current one-- where I might actually feel good about going for a walk!
6. Current relationships-- especially family, and Jeff's work friends.
7. Finding a church community (again, for real this time.)

In the last couple of years, I have found the process of trying to make friends, find community, and get involved here stressful and disappointing. I'm kind of pretending that we're new here again, and this time I just don't feel the same pressure to make it happen. Only this time, we DO have a few friends. And I know my way around town. And I have my massage license. And my child is sleeping at night, and has a preschool I feel great about. Let's try this again, and I know it will be better this time around.

The "post script" here is that although we are now mentally back in Portland again, we are still working with the placement agency, for an opportunity to work for them overseas in the future. Apparently, there are positions that become available throughout the year, so we'll keep our ear to the ground for the right opportunity.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It's that time of year...

I have been thinking a lot about Amelia's third birthday, and am planning to do some posts about her. I know I will enjoy going back to these as she's older to remember what she was like at the start of each new year of her life. To get us started, here is last year's birthday post.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Oh, the things she says...

Amelia has been cracking me a up a lot lately. Although her non-stop use of the word WHY can be a little crazy-making at times, I have learned to turn the question back to her to find out her explanations of how things work and why.
A: What are you doing?
Me: I'm cleaning.
Me: Why am I cleaning?
A: Because you like a [high voice] teeny tidy house.
It's true. I do like a teeny tidy house.

We pray with Amelia at dinner, before her nap and at bedtime. It's fun to hear her compose her own prayers now and then, and this was yesterday's naptime creation: "Dear Lord... The Protector, (!?) It was lovely seeing all of my friends at preschool today. Amen."

She has also started composing songs and stories... I need to be sure to write those down.