Sunday, July 29, 2007

Catching Up With Mr. Miles (July Edition)

A new giraffe friend.

Mmmmm.... toes.

Reaching for the sheep.

Pathetically cute facial expression (1)

Pathetically cute facial expression (2)

Researching the next trip.

Sitting (for about 2.5 seconds).

Getting some traction.

Catching some Zs with Mr. Whoozit after a hard day.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Miles Goes Bananas

Upon returning from Oregon, Miles quickly demonstrated his broadened horizons. After struggling for several weeks to complete his back-to-front rollover move, suddenly Miles mastered the finish, peeling off five or six full rotations with increasing ease.

Even attentive to signs of a clustering of developmental milestones (so to speak), Lisa promptly mashed up a fresh banana to test her theory that Miles might be ready for some solid food.

At first, Miles wasn't so sure about the whole idea.

But then he thought, what the hey, I guess I'll give it a try.

Hmmm... you know what, that's pretty good.

Now that you mention it, I think I will have some more.

OK, let's get some more BANANAS!

Thanks, Mommy, for making me such a tasty treat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Portland to the Max

On the last leg of our Oregon trip, Miles checked out the Portland MAX on our way to Powell's Books.

He also met a different Max -- our friends Erin and Larry's new offspring.

Max's grandmother Ella welcomed Miles to the Rose City.

Then it was time to pack up all of our gear. (Hey Miles, why did you bring so much stuff?)

We made it back to Seattle in time to celebrate our third (!) wedding anniversary. It's been three wonderful years, and the adventure is just beginning.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Around the Bend

Uncle George in the shadow of Mt. Bachelor.

Climbing Mt. Tumalo with Martin, Robin and George.

All dressed up to hit the town.

Crossing the Deschutes at the Old Mill District.

The end of a long, hard day in the high desert.

Breakfast Chez Georges.

An order of Muffinhead.

Handling with care.

The Tongue Family.

Exploring the foliage.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Running the Deschutes

Before arriving in Bend, we were fairly certain that Uncle George would want to take our fragile little former preemie whitewater kayaking on the Deschutes River. We were equally sure we were not going to let it happen. "Maybe on a nice calm lake," we told ourselves, "but certainly not on the Deschutes." I remembered running a stretch of that wild and beautiful river with George a few years ago, and feeling quite lucky that, in his phrase, I didn't "join the swimming team."

So how did these reasonably protective parents and their son end up, one fine Saturday morning, with a small squadron of kayaks on the west bank of the Deschutes?

Well, George had convinced us that this stretch of the river was as flat and gentle as can be, with only a 1 mph current and scarcely a ripple on the surface. Plus, he demonstrated how easy it was:

We weren't sure whether to believe all of George's claims, but my very credible cousin Martin vouched for the story.

And so we were off! Lisa and I loaded Miles into a double kayak and set off on our first family paddling adventure.

Our resident Bend friends Christen and Christian and their son Chance joined the excursion as well.

Miles cooperated admirably, staying out of the sun and keeping on-board gyrations to an absolute minimum.

George proved an excellent and (in this case) accurate guide. We paddled upstream for an hour and then returned to our base, never encountering a stretch of river that was not as smooth as glass. Contrary to his normal practice on the ski slopes, George even stopped occasionally to wait for us to catch up.

Only after we had safely returned to shore did Miles touch the refreshing waters of the river.

"Kayaking on the Deschutes?" he says. "Been there, done that."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Miles Away

Miles has successfully completed his first road trip, a daunting 800-mile round trip to Bend, Oregon.

We began the journey with a measure of trepidation. Although Miles reliably falls asleep in his car seat, we had never taken him for a drive more than an hour long. We'd been advised to double the amount of time necessary for any car journey with an infant due to frequent meltdowns and feeding stops.

Our fears proved unfounded as Miles slept soundly all the way from Seattle until our lunch stop in Toppenish on the other side of the Cascades. Then he fell asleep again until we crossed the Columbia River and began our climb up to the Central Oregon plateau.

Miles didn't start to make any fuss at all until the homestretch between Madras and Bend. We took the opportunity to take a time out and check out the Crooked River Gorge.

Finally, a mere 7.5 hours after leaving Seattle, we pulled into Bend, where my cousin Martin and his wife Robin kindly (and bravely) hosted us, and where Miles finally met his Great Uncle George.

At 82, George maintains an active lifestyle that puts nearly all of us to shame. In summer, this means lots of kayaking, a subject he used to teach professionally.

After hello, George's first words to Miles were, "Did you bring your paddle?" It turns out, he had.

Stay tuned for our next episode, when Miles gets his kayaking baptism in the Deschutes River.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Farewell to Grandma

We bade a fond farewell to my grandmother Judy Borseth on July 12. My stepfather Dave presided over the memorial service at Acacia Cemetery in Shoreline.

Judy's three surviving children (Jay, Judy Anne and Jeri) and many other relatives attended.

The service was followed by a reception at the Sons of Norway Hall in Stanwood, Washington, where Judy was born ninety-five years ago. She spoke only Norwegian at home until she went to school, and her speech retained a Scandinavian lilt long after she switched to the more or less exclusive use of English and swapped her birth name "Hjordis" for the more euphonious "Judy".

Uncle Jay read a moving poem he composed for the occasion.

We shared many reminiscences of Grandma--many humorous, many touching, many both--from her youth growing up during the Roaring 20s and the Depression, to her devoted career as a wife, mother and somewhat maniacal cleaner, to her golden years as a surprisingly intrepid traveler and enthusiastic Scrabble maven.

And all of us who ever enjoyed an afternoon receiving a Scrabble education at the hands of Grandma and her lexicon of extremely obscure words appreciated this high-scoring final tribute: