Saturday, July 31, 2010

Madeleine's new bike

Somehow Olivia has claimed the princess bike as hers so Ben brought home a new bike for Madeleine. Well you can just imagine her face when he turned up with this boys bike, not quite what she was expecting. However she seems to be coming round to it and looked very happy yesterday on it. We've promised her handle bar tassels and a basket :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

First day out on the bikes

We had a nice afternoon yesterday as both Madeleine and I have new bikes so we thought we'd try them out. We went for a ride along the river and stopped off at the little beach where the kids played in the river. Somehow they managed to cake themselves in mud, only my children can get so filthy in water. If you look in the distance on the first pictures you can see Downtown Portland which is where Ben works, he cycles along to river everyday to work.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Still waiting

Sorry for all the random little postings but if I don't make a note I'll forget everything we've done. I'll come back later in the week and update the new posts with pictures etc.

Laptop is still dead and no idea when it will be fixed. We're just finding our way around the neighbourhood at the moment and my next mission is to find the pool.


We tried to register the kids for school today but it doesn't open until the 16th August. I did get to meet the principle who seemed very nice and it seems a lot simpler over here as you just go to your neighbourhood school, no waiting lists. It was a very big school though and not sure my three will like it :(


Not much happened today, we just wandered around the neighbourhood again admiring all the houses, they are so pretty. We have discovered our local supermarket which is called New Seasons, it's kind of like Waitrose but not as nice and more expensive.


Ben put together our chest of drawers today and then we went for a walk/ride around the neighbourhood. People love their yard sales over here, they just put out their old stuff and sit there for the afternoon. We love it and spent all afternoon trying to find more.

They were showing the Squeakel in the park on Sunday night so of course we had to take the girls. It didn't start until 9.20pm but the girls and JOnah were very excited and stayed for the whole thing. Ben and I were getting eaten alive by mossies so when Maxi declared 'go home' at 9.45pm I was more than happy to take him.


We went on the hunt for a new sofa which took hours of me umming and arrhing over colour and style as they didn't have quite what I wanted. Finally decided on a 'saddle' leather sofa and a fabric reading chair. Poor kids were very good as it took over two hours to organise.

Wendy very kindly made us dinner in the evening whilst Piet and Ben put together the girls beds and two sets of chest of drawers. I managed to put together Maxi's kitchen but one bit has fallen off already.

Maxi's birthday - Friday 23rd July

It was Maxi's 3rd birthday today so we went to the Salmon Street Fountains and Wendy baked the most delicious chocolate cupcakes, I think the kids ate at least three each.

Maxi chose a new playmobile truck from Nanny and literally fell asleep whilst playing with it. One happy little boy, thank you Nanny ")

Monday, July 26, 2010

We are in the new house but... laptop has died so can't update you all just yet.

Hopefully Ben will have it up and running tomorrow so I can continue with all our news.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Normal services will resume soon

sorry for the interruption of service but we're off to the new house now and not sure when internet will be back on.

Be back soon xx

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A productive day.....

Wendy took us over to the new house today and we managed to get all of the kitchen stuff unpacked, bedding made up and dining table chairs assembled. The kids had a ball playing with the boxes and saucepans and didn't want to come home which is a good sign. Ben is now at Ikea buying all the basic furniture and then I can have fun getting all the 'fluffy' bits :)

Looking forward to Saturday when we can finally move in for good.

Probably the best cinema in the world.......

We went to see Toy Story 3D yesterday at a cinema called The Living Room Theatre. It was the best cinema ever, all the staff were really young and trendy and one girl looked just like Julia Stiles. The cinema itself had armchairs and coffee tables so it did feel like you were literally in your living room. I loved it and don't think I'll ever want to go to a normal cinema again, check out the kids 3D glasses, Olivia looks very cool.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On a bit of a downer today...

Ben thinks I should write about the good, bad and the ugly so unfortunately today is a bad day :(

I know I should be happier, we have the keys to our house but we don't have a car so I can't get over to there to set things up. Today I went to get a social security number which was fine but I'm constantly having to keep the kids in check as all they want to do is run riot. Then we find a fantastic yarn shop so I thought great I'll just nip in and grab myself a skein so I can attempt a lace shawl. But NO, the kids can't even give me that simple five minute pleasure, they had to touch everything and just wind each other up so I had to leave with my head hung in shame. Then another ride on the trolly back home, I'm so sick of doing this every day, thank goodness I only have three more days left of it.

On a brighter note we did have some rain today, well more of a drizzle but it was nice as cooled everything down.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Sorry for the terrible picture but the battery is dead on my camera.

We didn't do much today, just a bit of retail therapy for me and the girls. They got a new skirt each and I got a fab pair of grown up sunglasses. Hopefully the kids won't trash them or me lose them.

We have the keys......

Yay, we have the keys for our new house. We can't move in for a few days yet as no furniture but hopefully we can sort that out by the weekend. I will be glad to see the back of this place, the AC doesn't work so it's absolutely roasting at night and there's not much for the kids to do nearby. It's served it's purpose though and was much better than staying in a hotel but it's time to settle ourselves in to normal day to day life.

Our new landlady, Heidi dropped the keys off this evening and she brought her 5 year old daughter with her. The three girls were very quiet at first but after 15 minutes they all warmed up to each other and were happily playing by the time they had to go home. Hopefully we will get to see more of them in the future as Heidi has been very kind to us and has made us feel very welcome.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Washington Park

We visited Washington Park today which is a massive park 5 minutes out of the city centre. The views are spectacular and you can just about see Mt Hood in the distance which looks like it's floating.

There was also a great playground which the kids all enjoyed, especially Jonah as he met another little boy called Jonah and they had a good 2 hours of playing stuck in the mud and tag.

Yet another trip to Ikea

This time to buy all our bedding. We came away with 6 pillows, 5 duvets, 5 duvet covers and 5 sets of sheets, I just need to wash it all now.

Wild flowers....

I love sweet peas and was really happy to see them growing at the side of the road. I've always had trouble growing them back home, perhaps I'll have a bit of success over here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My new hat....

After a very hot day at the zoo last week resulting in a migrane, I thought I'd better get a hat. The girls chose this one for me and hopefully it suits me ok, all Ben could say was 'it looks fine'. *rolls eyes*

Ben's new chair.....

Ben saw this outside a cafe down the road from us and had to have it. He remembers taking exams in one of these and as you can see he's very pleased with his new purchase.

Mud mud glorious mud...

We went to another water playground but of course my lot were happier playing in the dirt. I think they must've spent over two hours playing in there and I don't think they argued once but they were absolutely filthy by the end of it. Wendy and I had a lovely afternoon watching them and we found time to stop off for coffee and cookies at the fabulous Lovejoy bakery.

Another car

I couldn't believe my eyes when Ben turned up with a Lincoln this week. It's absolutely massive and just ridiculously long, we could barely fit it in the garage. I will be very glad to see the back of it tomorrow as it's not been ideal, Ben has to drive around the parking lot twice to find a spot big enough to fit it.


Piet and Wendy.

I just wanted to introduce you all to this South African lovely couple who moved over at the same time us. We have become good friends already and I can see us spending a lot of time together over the next few years. Wendy is such a kind and wonderful person, the kids have really taken to her and fight who gets to hold her hand or sit next to her :) Olivia has taken a real liking to Piet and he handles her little ways a treat.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My apologies :)

My brother in law was most upset that I hadn't updated yesterday so here's an entry just for him :)

All we managed to do yesterday was a trip to Safeway but I guess it was quite eventful as I managed to find Tetley tea bags. I can't tell you how nice it is to have a decent cuppa instead of those awful breakfast or afternoon tea bags, I don't think I've ever met anyone who drinks 'breakfast tea'.

We still have the ongoing saga of our car which is becoming to be a real pain in the butt. We are supposed to have a car leased for us for six months but they failed to tell us there was a budget on that. A car to fit us all in is double the budget, we don't have that extra to pay in so at the moment we are just hiring a car at the weekend. Of course this weekend they can't find us a mini van which is a complete nightmare as I need to buy more stuff to furnish the house and we can't fit in a 5 seater. I'm so annoyed it's not liked we suddenly sprung four children on them. Hey ho I'm sure it will all be sorted soon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We're going to the Zoo Zoo Zoo

We took a trip out to Oregon Zoo today but unfortunately we chose the wrong day as it was roasting again. The Zoo is set in a lovely park called Washington Park and is really picturesque. The kids had a great time but the only problem was the lack of animals, or as Olivia put it 'what's the point of a Zoo with no animals' she's got a point :)

The highlight of the day was when the polar bear walked over and did a wee in front of the kids, of course they thought this was hilarious.

Beanz meanz Heinz....

or in our case Trader Joes.

When I first opened them I thought they looked revolting, dark brown and a runnier sauce (although looks the same in the pics). However we were pleasantly surprised and they were actually very tasty, I think I prefer them to Heinz.

Monday, July 12, 2010

We love skype!!!

I can't tell you how much skype has helped us with our move to the states. My lovely friend rings me daily to see how we're doing and the kids love seeing our family and friends on the computer screen. Olivia does likes a bit of privacy though and I have to box her in with the breakfast cereal.

However, Madeleine has been a little bit shy and homesick and was refusing to chat to anyone. We were starting to get a little bit worried but this morning they were all colouring at the table so I just turned the camera on to them and she finally started talking to her best friend, such a lovely sight.

I'm sure this will become very tiring.....

...but we all thought it was very exciting to see the bridge go up. The kids were waiting for Ben to take a run up and do an Evil Kenevil stunt jump :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

No photos today I'm afraid

But we did have a great afternoon shopping in IKEA. Anyone would think the kids didn't get out much, they spent hours playing in the children's department and I think we are definitely going to have to get Maxi one of the wooden kitchens for his birthday. They all had the meatballs for lunch and ate every single one so we shall be back. We managed to buy all the bits and pieces we need to start us off in the new house, just need to go back and order beds, sofas, table and chairs. It's almost worth the move away to be able to buy lots of lovely new stuff.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Nothing to report today....

as Ben looked after the kids whilst I went to see Eclipse. I had a lovely afternoon with a few hours to myself and of course Edward, although I could be swaying towards team Jacob. I met Ben and the kids later in the mall where Ben managed to forget he'd left Jonah playing PvZ in the apple store, I think the shop staff were more concerned than Jonah.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The benefits of housekeeping......

......we have to go out and get more ice cream so they can clean our apartment.

Todays flavour was strawberry for the girls, rainbow sherbert again for the boys and a frozen vanilla yogurt for me.


Apparently this is the hottest weather Portland has seen in years, it's expected to be up to 40 tomorrow. As you can see Maxi is absolutely wiped out by the heat and had to have a three hour nap yesterday afternoon, something he never does.

Put to good use.....

Well the crocs have been put to good use already.

Portland has lots of these little fountain parks dotted all over the city, great for kids and no one seems to mind them charging around in them. As you can see Jonah was having a whale of a time in the water.


Well Maxi needed new shoes so we all head off to the mall for the day. I couldn't find one shoe shop anywhere and somehow got talked in to a pair of crocs for each of them. Actually Jonah's and Maxi's have been a big hit but the girls ones are a little uncomfy I think, typical girl, style over comfort.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

We have wheels.....

Well some of us do.

We bought a trailer to go on my new bike (when I get it) but for now Ben put Olivia and Maxi in the trailer and then Jonah and Madeleine rode their bikes. They all had a fantastic time and gave me 30 minutes peace and quiet, bliss.

Snow cones.....

The kids were desperate to try one of these the other day. Basically a cup full of ice and a syrupy flavouring poured over the top. Madeleine chose raspberry, not that you'd guess from the colour. Thankfully they didn't enjoy them very much so we won't be buying more.

Todays flavour is.....

Rainbow sherbert.

We are working our way through all the different flavours and this was todays choice, a sorbet made up orange, lemon and lime. The kids seemed to like it although I was very boring and stuck to good old mint choc chip. I've also learnt that they have to have a cup with only one scoop!! The portion sizes are so big that the ice cream melts and drips down the cone before they get time to finish it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Found the perfect house but.......

We are third in line for it :( Absolutely gutted as it's opposite a park, in the right catchment area, the right number of bedrooms and a spare one for nanny. Jonah loved it and kept on saying can we get this house but the process of renting a house is a lot different over here. I think basically it's first come first served and unless the first two applicants fail the screening process we won't get a look in.

Ah well back to the hunt.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our first day out sight seeing.....

We went to the Multnomah Falls on Saturday which were absolutely beautiful. Only problem was it combined three of my worse phobias so I didn't have such a good time. First of all there was water which combined with children is one of my worst nightmares, then you have heights so I was having a wobble on the bridge and then narrow paths. Thankfully Madeleine started complaining halfway up so I offered to bring her back down. I think everyone was glad to see the back of me and my constant 'hold my hand' 'not too near the edge' 'look where you're going', you get the idea.

Think it will be a good place for me to take my parents without the children.....

House hunting....

I hate looking for houses, so far I think we've seen 6 houses but there is something not quite right each time.

First one was filthy, I think I've stayed in cleaner backpackers but it was a good size and in a great location.

Second one a fabulous craftsman cottage but way out of our budget.

Third one is too close to the freeway and a strange layout.

Fourth one, fantastic house but too far out for me and I'd have to drive everywhere.

Fifth one, looks great but only through the windows as the landlady won't answer the phone.

Sixth one, great house but is overlooked by a tower block and has a radiomast on the roof. Plus we think they are asking too much.

Seeing another one today which looks great and overlooks a park but there's always a catch........

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Breath in.....

Just had to show you Ben's parking, he's very proud of sqeezing our hire car in to the garage. I'm also pleased as it means we can spend the $18 parking fee on more ice cream :)

A dream come true.......

All my girls have ever wanted is a Princess bike with tassels on the handle bars. We've always point blank refused to buy them one but yesterday we were very kindly given this bike by one of Ben's work colleagues. Look how happy Madeleine is, I guess we're going to have to buy another one for Olivia.

24 hours of travelling......

Just wanted to share these pictures of our arrival in Portland. Poor Jonah was exhausted and literally fell asleep on the floor outside the airport and the girls set up camp on all our baggage.

Happy 4th July

Oh my word they are firework mad over here. Forget the firework code, people are just letting them off left right and centre, in the middle of crowds without a care in the world, crazy.

Ben is down at the waterfront with the kids but Maxi was absolutely petrified and cried to come home. Luckily we're only a 2 minute walk way and are now trying to watch them out of my bedroom window. Not much luck though, all I can see is a hotel and a freeway but at least my little boy is happy.

At last......

After a long day in the car the kids finally get to go to the park.

Laurelhurst park is in the middle of one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods and takes up about 10 blocks. We'd love to live here but I think it may be a little out of our budget.


We found the most fantastic place in Hawthorn for lunch today. It was a bus tucked away on a side street and they served the most amazing french onion soup, even the kids ate it. Will definitely be going back.......

Busy day

We had a good day on Saurday, lots of driving around to check out the areas.

First stop was Target to pick up some car seats and Maxi got to ride in this enormous trolly. Of course you can imagine by the end of the shop we had four kids crammed in to it making it impossible to steer much to the annoyance of all the other customers.

Healthy breakfast..

Or not....

Ben lets the kids choose their weekend breakfast and this is what Jonah came up with for this week. Mmmmh Lucky Charms, those marshmallows look almost day glow.....

Friday, July 2, 2010

Charlie Brown

Jonah was very excited to get his new bicycle helmet but not so pleased about having his photo taken :)

Music to chase away the blues.....

Well after a particularly bad afternoon, with the low point of Jonah nearly running over a blind man we come across the local Blues festival. It was great because we could walk through without paying, buy a huge ice cream each and have a bit of a boogie. The blues have certainly cheered me up :)


A little moan (you're going to see lots of these) about cars in America. Why do they need to be so BIG!!!! We are trying to find a 7/8 seater similar in size to a Touran but oh no, they have to make absolutely massive cars and then take out half the seats. I've seen what I think is a great size car for us and then you look inside and there's only 4 seats. Looks like we will need to be buying a bus just to fit us all in.
This is my first post so probably going to be long, rambly and moaning but probably best here so you can all switch off when you've had enough.

We arrived in Portland 5 days ago after a very long day of travelling, have to say the kids were brilliant apart from when Maxi fell over and smashed his nose in Canadian customs. First night was spent in a hotel and we were very glad to leave the cramped space but now we are in a Townhouse down by the river. It's very nice but too nice for my brood and I think we will have lose a fair amount of our deposit. Will be glad to leave here and find ourselves a nice family home with a back garden.

The city is nice, very clean and a great public transport system. However I'm finding it very difficult to get out with all four kids. First day we go to a great water fountain but Olivia declares she needs a wee so I have to dress all four and try and find public loos. None to be found so I end up having to go to a coffee shop and then she decides she doesn't want to go. That's the end of our day out as I can't face going through all of that again.

So that brings me up to date so far