Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ballerina dance party

Addie wanted to get her ballerina gear on mighty early this morning. Who am I to argue if she wants to get her groove on before breakfast? Addie insisted that Arabella put on a tutu dress as well. Once she had it on, Bella started twirling and clapping right along with her sister. Look at these cuties eating their meal at the kiddie table! Note Bella's hand in her oatmeal bowl. I picked up this awesome purple nail polish for Addie because she loves purple toes. The little girl polish doesn't cut it so she needed some big girl purple.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Daily WA pics

Putting the girls to bed separately has proved to be more manageable. Now if only I could get Addie to let me sleep in my own bed. As it does every time we come back to the States, the girls have tummy aches and diarrhea from the milk. My girls drink a ton of milk. We've gone through 3 gallons in 6 days (we drink 10 liters in 6 days back in Manila). When the milk changes drastically from what we get in the Philippines their poor little tummies have a hard time with it. Hopefully it will pass soon.
It was another beautiful day playing outside, swinging, riding bikes, and swimming in Washington. We are seriously missing Daddy now though! We love you Justin.

shout out to American retail

Oh how I love you, American shopping! You make me so happy. Especially when you come with no sales tax in Oregon.

My Mom looked up the closest Sephora for me and then suggested I go while Bella took her nap today. What a Mom! With the grandparents holding down the fort, I drove out to Clackamas Town Center to check out the Sephora. It's not as sprawling as the Tyson's Corner mega Sephora or as cool as the Georgetown shop but for this beauty product starved expatriate, it was perfect. I loaded up on my favorite Boscia products and then splurged on Miss Dior Cherie. Yum, this is delicious. The bright lights, rows of cosmetics, creams and potions made my head swoon. I could have done some serious damage but I kept myself in check. I probably should have pulled the trigger on some new under eye concealer for all my weary nights of motherhood but the perfume was way more fun and my Target concealer seems to do the trick for now.

Then in a serious effort to rebel against turning 30 I did the only thing any American apparel starved expat woman, who encroached upon her third decade of life this year, would do: I went on a shopping spree at Forever 21!

There are tons of fun hidden finds in this store. I used to love picking up super trendy pieces for super cheap here. Who needs the expensive version if the trend is going to fade faster than a pair purple suede pumps? I was amazed to see most of the same trends that are around the world in Asia in the States as well. The clothes in Forever 21 were made in Asia so I guess it makes sense. I have a printed skirt at home in Manila I got at Zara that's exactly the same as the one I tried on. Mine is cuter though.
Who knew Forever 21 could be this fun? I picked up that bright pink cocktail dress for less than $30! My favorite is the yellow linen skirt with the stripped button down shirt. The sales lady asked me if I was going on vacation. No honey, the US is the vacation. I'm just letting American retail absorb back into my pores.

Monday, June 28, 2010

she needed a Mom minute

Addie took a nap this afternoon. She woke the entire house up at 4AM from a bad dream and both girls couldn't get back to sleep. After an early morning, she needed some extra rest in the afternoon. Lucky for her that meant she had a later bed time than normal. I got Arabella to sleep then Addie, Grandpa, and I took a walk around the block. I miss one-on-one time with my eldest daughter. She's so funny and curious. I love hearing her thoughts on things. Note the baby doll on her back. This is her adopted doll at Grammy and Grandpa's house. Her name is Lucy.

Earlier that day we hit the playground again. Addie is riding the tricycle all on her own now. I can't believe how fast she picked it up.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nordstrom Rack-check

My folks watched the girls at home this afternoon while I hit the Nordstrom Rack in Portland. I couldn't wait to dig through all the sale shoes. I ended up with loads of great new stuff and two new pairs of shoes. Imelda Marcos would be proud!

I couldn't get over how beautifully blue the sky was today with big fluffy white clouds. I snapped a few shots while I sat in traffic. Ugh! Seriously? My parents said I brought the sunshine with me but did I bring the traffic too?
Woo Hoo for west coast driving.
Mount Hood was glorious; and look at those sailboats (more traffic).
No trash fires or squatters tents in the road medians in the States. Just pretty flowers.
Look at those glorious roads! The sidewalks are so clean. Wonderful. Everything is so shiny.
The outing was so much fun. I drove myself, parked the car in a nice car park with a friendly booth attendant. Everyone was smiling and friendly (definitely a Pacific Northwest thing). The sales people were friendly and helpful but stayed out of my business unless I needed them. I even got hit on by a nice American guy. (Getting hit-on by an age appropriate American man is flattering. Getting hit-on (I mean gawked at) by all of Manila that is male (and female for that matter) is creepy and annoying).

All of this made me recall that I am an American and these are all MY things to enjoy like every other American. America is truly a beautiful place to live. Living overseas makes it feel extra special and extra sparkly upon returning.

outdoor eating and pool time

When we are at Grammy and Grandpa's house we picnic outside for most meals. It's glorious weather and it just plain fun to do. I love the clovers that get stuck in Arabella's toes. Bella tucked in to a big piece of watermellon for lunch Grandpa grilled and Uncle Mike joined us for dinner.
The girls were starving because they spent most of the afternoon and evening in the pool. This one is a little Cousin Eddie. Addie has the hose in one hand and a cookie in the other. Just getting the pool ready this morning.These girls are beyond cute. Bella crab walked around the perimeter of the pool, splashed, danced and sang right along with her big sister.
These two are becoming good pals.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

happy girls

The sunshine in Washington is doing wonders for bring out smiles in my daughters. Popcicles are perfect summer food and compliment the sprinkler nicely. Bella might never get off the swing! It didn't take long for her to get aquainted with the grass.

an education in groceries

Addie and I went all by ourselves to a real American grocery store this morning. It's sad how excited I was for this. We went down every isle and Addie helped me pick some yummy things out (Addie had to have the rainbow colored Goldfish crackers). I was walking around exclaiming every few minutes about the immense amount of selection for every single item. I'm sure the lady next to us thought I was crazy when I exclaimed "look at all the choices!". Americans really do have too many choices. There are literally gazillions types of cereal now. Cheerios come in chocolate and banana nut flavors? Crazy! I also can't believe there is only two brand choices of soy sauce but an entire section for salad dressings. We picked out some very expensive but beautiful produce. I was very excited for the yogurt (we got yummy organic vanilla). The cheese section overwhelmed me beyond words. There is every type of cheese in every shape and size.

I am a little disgusted by how much convenience and prepackaged food is on the market. It's probably always been there but I'm only now noticing. I didn't even buy any cheese because it all kind of freaked me out. I mean how lazy can we all be that there is this big of a market for pre-grated cheese? I definitely used to buy the "Italian blend cheese" grated in a bag. It was much faster, I recall, but grating it is not that big of a deal. Maybe I've forgotten how Americans really want things fast and now! The faster the better and I guess those few extra minutes it takes to grate a cup of cheese just can't be spared.

I've been thinking about big Cheez-its for a few months now so I had to pick up a box. I have fond memories of munching on these during our last R&R with Joe and Elyse when I was pregnant with Arabella. In my head they taste so good. When I munched one at lunch I was totally grossed out. They taste oily and fake cheesy and just plain gross. Living in SE Asia has changed my eating habits so significantly that I really just want a plate of fish and rice, maybe some stir fry. I know I've been living in the Philippines too long when I'm not even longing for a Chipotle burrito-and I could drive to Chipotle right now! I'm a little weirded out by it all.

I have been indulging in Oregon strawberries (the best in the world) and bagels with cream cheese. Yum! There are no good bagels in the P.I. The shopping trip was definitely a re-education for me. You forget so easily! Addie was loving it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

out and about

Grammy and I drove the girls downtown Portland, OR today to browse around Finnegan's toy store and hunt out some good vintage clothes. Having great cheap seamstresses available in Manila makes me want to find some old cool Dior jacket or something equally fun and get it revamped for me. I am on the look out. No luck with the clothes and it was kind of challenging with the two girls anyhow. They didn't mind the detour to the toy store one bit. Bella went up to every kid in the store and said "Hi". One little red head boy she wrapped her arms around his waist for a hug! She is so lovable and stinkin cute!

The girls couldn't wait to get back to Grammy and Grandpa's yard and who can blame them. The sit in traffic enough in Manila. The yard is a whole new playground for them.

After dinner we rolled down the hill and played soccer. Bella is getting aquainted with the grass The bird needed a nest!Our little garden fairy