Tulips, take 2

As I mentioned last year, I have been looking forward to this year’s outing to Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival! We found time to go on a Wednesday afternoon to avoid the big crowds. The tulips were at their peak, the sun was out–it was a gorgeous day to see some gorgeous flowers.


Mt Hood in the distance!

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This year’s trip was much different than last year’s, for several reasons. First and foremost, we no longer had such a strict nap/feeding schedule to adhere to! Ever since the babies transitioned to one nap, we have the whole afternoon available for outings.

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A difference that is almost just as important–mobility! After last year, we knew the ground would be uneven and therefore to forget the stroller. And so we brought the Ergos, but not surprisingly, the dudes definitely wanted to explore!

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In fact, M explored right into a big fat mud puddle. And we don’t have spare clothes in the diaper bag. Oops.

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I’d been wanting to get a new version of this photo: DSC_2481-1

And we sort of did:  DSC_9895-1_WEB (2)


Around this point, they noticed the giant viewing staircases and they desperately wanted to climb them. It was also getting late, so we needed to leave and get dinner (we can all eat at restaurants together!), which meant it was time to get a family photo. (And really, another family photo at the tulips was one of my main goals for going at all, so no matter what, I was gonna make it happen!) I had to go get and set up the tripod and set the camera timer (because of COURSE I realized that I lost my remote when we were about to leave!). So it was pretty much the worst time to take a picture.

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Heh. Definitely not the best photos, but they sure are real! 🙂

They were way too squirrelly for us to try for individual parent + baby photos, or to try another clone shot behind the tulip cutout thing. And since each of us had to watch and chase after a toddler, I only grabbed a few flower shots, which was a little disappointing. But hey, the tulips will still be there another time. And maybe next year, it will be a little easier to wrangle two two-year-olds? (Haha, yeah right!)

Rose Garden

Last Saturday, the weather held nicely all day, so at the last minute, we decided to make a quick trip to the Rose Garden.

The two of us went there on our first trip to Portland, in September 2011:



Even though it was so late in the year, there were still a ton of beautiful blooms. And the weather was downright hot that whole week.

We haven’t been back since, even though we moved to Portland last fall. Recently we decided it would be a nice spring outing with the babies (in carriers–a stroller would not be fun on all that grass). I’ve been starting to see roses bloom around town, so I figured some would be coming up here in the garden. It’s definitely still the beginning of the season, so there weren’t a ton of flowers yet. But it was still very pretty! And hey, we’ll just have to come back later this year, for more roses with bigger babies!

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Rhododendron Garden


Last fall and winter, I joined a bunch of Meetup.com groups, in hopes of meeting people and learning about interesting places in Portland. One was a group called New to Portland Moms. Well! That’s exactly who I was (or who I was about to be)!


They are a very active group, with outings most days a week. But most of the meetups are early in the morning. So when I saw an outing for the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden at a 11am (an hour past a feeding), on a Thursday, it was like, “Bingo! That’s perfect!” It was close by, I hadn’t been there before, it wasn’t too early, and I wouldn’t have to feed them there. Finally, an outdoor outing that I could feel comfortable attempting by myself!



The garden is a lovely network of paths ambling among trees and around water, with lots of colorful rhododendron bushes everywhere. All seemed to be in peak bloom. It was a perfect day to stroll, just the right amount of warm. The paths were nice and shady to keep you cool. There are some small hilly sections that were a little bit of a challenge with my big stroller, but for the most part it’s easy to roam. There’s a large lake in the middle. I found a few moms from the group with their kids–all bigger than mine–and after a little loop of the flowered paths, everyone hung out on a lawn while the kids roamed and snacked.




I laid out a muslin on the grass and took the babies out of the stroller. In less than two minutes, the fussiness started.


They weren’t screaming or anything, thank goodness, or even crying very loud. It was just clear that they were unhappy. I tried to deal with it for awhile, and a fellow mom even held one baby for a couple minutes. But finally I decided that the hassle wasn’t worth it, and I packed them up again.







So it wasn’t the greatest outing in the world, but it wasn’t the worst either. I guess I just need to take baby steps–ha!–in getting these babies out and about in the world.

Tulip Festival!

On Thursday afternoon, we did an afternoon outing at the Woodburn Tulip Festival!


Though I grew up in the Seattle suburbs, I never went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. I would hear about it and be so interested, but I never made the effort to actually go. A few weeks ago I was thinking about tulip season and wishing it weren’t so far away so I could finally go…then I wondered if there was something similar a little closer.


I looked it up and lo and behold — a local tulip festival! Woodburn looks to be much smaller than Skagit–it’s only one farm and one field. But it was still so beautiful!


Rows and rows of different colors of so many tulips!




Of course half the reason I wanted to go was to take pictures. Of course with two babies and uneven ground for the stroller, I didn’t have a lot of time to really hang out in the field with my camera like I wanted to.


But I got a few decent shots at least. And I’m already thinking ahead to next year.  DSC_2400-8

Babies will be walking by then, so we’ll have a little more freedom (though of course we’ll be chasing after them too). And we can take lots more cute photos. Imagine this one in another year, with both babies sitting in the wooden shoes. Won’t that be adorable?!!


(Am I the only one who specifically looks for and plans photos on outings and future outings?)

This was also a good opportunity to get nice photos of each of us with each baby.





And of course take a family photo! Next year I hope to find a spot with better/closer tulip backgrounds.


We didn’t have a lot of time to look around before they had to eat. We’d left right after their 1pm feeding and arrived around 3pm (it’s a 45 minute drive from Portland). We fed them in the car in their carseats around 415. They were still distracted and it took longer than normal, but it wasn’t the craziness like our last outing. Unfortunately, E did his freakout thing and Andy had to try lots of different things to calm him down. We finally gave up with an ounce left in his bottle and we left around 530.


It was really a treat to get out of the city, especially during the week with fewer crowds, and see such a pretty sight. This year all the tulips are in bloom at once, and this is the peak. If you’re local, you should go!