summer sewing

Most of the pictures I sent to my sister this summer were selfies in the bathroom with an unfinished shirt on (picture not included). I wrote earlier about a dress I was making with a pattern that I printed out with the wrong proportions...and I will say that things did improve from that, other than the fact that I barely eked a shirt out of the dress, which is a little sad. But it is only a tiny bit too small. And part of me wants to buy more of that fabric to make the intended dress, and the other part of me is soooo over that fabric so, whatever.

I've gone back and forth over the past couple years about making some clothes for me and I thought I came to the conclusion that I was not going to feel bad about not doing it, even though I could.

Until...patterns. I love sewing patterns (especially the newer "indie" patterns). There are so many tutorials out there and while they are great, they never work that well for me--I need someone to do the hard part and I can just trace and cut. So I tried a shirt pattern this summer and it's my favorite--I made four shirts so far from it. I have a few patterns in the line up and a few I can't wait to try, including a button up shirt.

I mean, how many button up shirts is too many?

And anyway, not that everyone needs to see all the shirts I made myself, but here they are. I love that chambray one. That is the fun part about making things--you can pick out the fabric! I think I will spend the rest of my life looking for the perfect black and white striped fabric, but other than that, the new, modern fabric out there is so great.

I also sewed some things for Sam too--I'll eventually post about those. Dave, probably wisely, changes the subject when I offer to sew him something. 

fall adventures

September has had great weather. It's cooled down and started raining more, but earlier this month we were still playing at splash pads! Some of the fun things we've done include story time, oat dumping/playing, toy store exploring and good old fashioned playing in the rain. Sam loves puddle jumping.
  
So this was just the funniest thing. I encouraged him to go play with all the kids in the middle (he is very shy and introverted at story time) and he did, and then they all went to sit with their parents. Sam? He just stood in the middle, still as a statue, for at least 5 minutes. Seriously, still as can be. I was just laughing in the corner. This last week, he actually went and sat on the teacher's lap during a song. I was shocked! 
He loved this little stroller, and I've been thinking for months of getting him one. It seems must less tear-inducing than our big one that he likes to push around (and get it stuck).
 The other day we walked to the park and it wasn't supposed to rain for a few hours, but of course it started to rain the second we got there. I had his boots and jacket, but I just got his boots on and he was off!

september eats

I've been going to the farmer's market every Saturday for the last couple months, and one week I dragged everyone with me (sometimes Sam comes with me anyway) and we tried some Pine State Biscuits. The sit-down place is on the East side, but they have a little booth there and we tried some fried chicken/bacon/cheese biscuits (mine had apple butter, Dave's had an egg) and they were great! It was a fun day at the market. We're loving the fall apples and zucchini and the end of tomato season.

Sam and I met up with some friends last week and had some Salt and Straw (their rocky road is soo good, and Sam has still-stained clothes to prove it). Ahhh, white shirts. whyyyyy do I buy anything white? 

favorite parenting moment (leading to a lot of sam updates)

I think that one of my favorite moments in parenting was teaching Sam how to lick an ice cream cone. Sounds silly, but I've had that thought floating around in my head for weeks. It was a perfect combination of deliciousness, unbelievable adorableness, funny-ness and rewarding...ness. I mean, you don't get to eat ice cream during most of your parenting moments, and you are also teaching them, you know, a needed skill in life (hence the rewarding).

It was just so cute, him learning to stick his little tongue out for the purpose of getting ice cream, only to have him open his mouth instead and try to bite it. It was the best.

Sam is getting so big these days...so independent but still so dependent on us. And that leads to quite a few tantrums these days; some are the actual lie-down-on-the-floor-and-bang-my-fists type, and those are exasperatingly endearing. We are just trying to get him to realize that he actually can do things on his own and he actually will NOT die if, say, one truck doesn't balance perfectly on another. Or if something falls, you can pick.it.up.again.

Next is getting him to realize that he will not starve to death waiting for a meal or a snack, but on the other hand, we hate for him to be unhappy and feel like he's starving. You know, parent problems.

He knows lots of animal sounds (an impressive roar, too), vehicle sounds (his little "too too" kills me) and says a few words and uses a few signs. He is also impressively communicative using his hands on your knees, and sometimes I think is really trying to pick me up (when I'm sitting on the floor) in order to have me go where he wants.

The other day Dave opened the fridge (gotta do that really fast these days) and Sam walks up like a boss, grabs a half-full gallon of milk and just starts fast-walking away. Like, ok, where were you taking that? It was just so funny. So much attitude, but also, so sweet.

He blows kisses, pats your back, gives you a squeeze, and likes to fold his arms for prayers. We are borrowing a little firetruck ride-on toy that he loves. He is also very good at copying you, even when you aren't teaching him anything. He will put silverware in the drawer, pretend to make copies, use the rolling pin, brush his hair, etc.

He chatters away in the cutest little voice, pointing and telling you all sorts of things. I wish we could understand what he's saying, but I'm sure that will come soon enough. He is one busy, fun, adventurous and entertaining toddler.
photo by the great al/so

bike camping

The craziest thing I did this summer was bike 50 miles over 2 days! I joined a group of fellow downtowners from my church group, and we biked 25 miles past the end of the MAX (our subway/metro) line to a campground and then came back the next day. It was half trail, half riding through back country/town roads, so not very busy at all. It was a lot of fun. There were four ladies and six kids. Oh, and one husband joined us for the ride up. :)

We biked all our gear with us, and luckily we were sleeping in heated cabins (rough, I know), so we didn't have to carry a lot of gear. The back of my bike trailer fits quite an impressive amount, though.

I was a little nervous about biking that far, but it really wasn't too bad. And there were two 8 year olds that were biking as well, so really, I was fairly confident I could keep up. Those girls did an amazing job. They didn't bike the entire 50 miles, but at least half of it, which is impressive! There was one 5 mile stretch the first day leading to the campground that was pretty miserable. It was slightly (or more than slightly) uphill and just went on forever! I think I prefer city riding to trail riding because trails go on forever and look the same and it's often hard to gauge where you are.

Anyway, a lot of walking was involved for the last two miles into the camp BUT it was worth it in the end. The whole area was gorgeous. I wish I could have captured it all. And the next day, we had miles and miles of downhill. It was wonderful. 

 
Sam loved camping. he loves being outside and just loved the dirt, fire pit (he did touch a hot grate, but no lasting harm. He was more upset by the multiple table/head collisions and face plants). We have this hand-me-down flannel shirt that I thought was perfect for the occasion. He's so cool, right? His hands were stained black (and purple, see below) for at least two days.

 

On the way home, we stopped along the trail to pick the wild blackberries and they were sooo good. I think everyone ate about a pint, and they were a perfect mid-trail snack. I almost couldn't pick them fast enough. His little ziplock of berries, meant to last the last 2 miles into town, didn't even last before we started back up again.

I know this photo is pretty bad, but I tried. It was just miles and miles of forest and mountains and blue sky.

Sam was an amazing passenger. I think there was maybe an hour total (of about 11) of whining/crying, but he slept, ate, looked at/ripped up books, etc.

Not pictured: me changing a poopy diaper in the middle of a field on the way home. (although I do have that picture)

wear all the stripes!

One of the highlights of August was driving up to Long Beach, Wa. and meeting up with the Skidmores! Kristen was one of my freshman roommates and I love her! They've spent the last 4 years in DC for law school, and we're finally back on the same coast.

It was so great to catch up and see all the boys play. The dads and boys had fun playing on the beach (even though the sun was stubbornly staying inland). We eventually abandoned the beach for a playground and found some salt water taffy to end the day. Next year we'll have to find a beach with some sun (that does exist up here, I swear).

you could look happier for being carried up a mountain.

A few weeks ago my aunt drove through town and we met her at Multnomah falls for a short hike. It's all switchbacks, and luckily my aunt was awesome enough to split the hauling of Sam. We tried out a real hiking backpack and he didn't love it. (And these pictures make it clear that Sam needs new pants for the fall.) I didn't take pictures of the large waterfall or the view...but it is beautiful.

And I'm not gripping him around the back because he is going to fall in, more like he wouldn't look away from the water and I was trying to hold him still.
 This is not The Fall, but the very top of it.
Sam was enamored and was really mad he couldn't play in it. I let him dip his toes upstream, but he just wanted to get in and we had to pull the plug on that one.

Then we had lunch at the lodge and headed back to Portland via ikea with some fresh blackberries from my grandpa's yard. win.