We’re here in Roseburg now and will be for another six or seven weeks. We’ve got some big news to share in terms of next steps, so stay tuned.
Last Thursday, Noe celebrated his one month birthday. Well, actually we celebrated for him, taking our first couple of hours away from him as a couple since his arrival. Regardless, I’m pretty sure he enjoyed the day as he slept through most of it, which we’ve found is generally a good sign.
Here’s a look back at a few of the highlights of our newest little travel buddy’s first month on planet Earth.
Noe may have joined us on June 21st, but he made his first real foray into the world on the 25th, when Lori and baby were released from Good Samaritan hospital. Lori and I may have walked the half mile from the apartment to the hospital when she was in labor, but that didn’t mean she was going to attempt the return trip on foot. Hence, Noe’s first car ride. According to Noe, highlights of the trip were listening to the wirrrr of the car engine, staring at the fabric pattern of the rear seat, and breathing fresh air (or at least non-hospital air) for the first time.
We introduced Noe to his new digs in our compact one-bedroom Goose Hollow apartment. He seemed to approve of the accommodations, promptly wetting his bassinet and spitting up on his fuzzy monkey blanket.
Over the next few days, it was just the three of us, and we actually managed to fall into a nice little routine of eating, sleeping and staring blankly into space (all baby-permitting, of course).
It’s meant a great deal to us be able to introduce Noe to family and friends over the past month and we are very grateful for their generous support during this transition time. With that said, our fondest memories from the first month with Noe are from those first 48 hours home from the hospital in our apartment with just the three of us getting to know each other and figure things out.
On Saturday, my sister, her husband and two young kids came into the city for a fun-filled afternoon in Washington Park and dinner at the apartment. Baby’s first park visit.
Cousins! So vicious.
Sunday morning, we were eager to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. We wanted to make every effort to have one small outing every day with Noe, though another trip to the hospital would put a wrench in that plan.
We took a leisurely stroll down NW 23rd Ave, visiting our favorite bagel place (Portland Bagelworks) where we would meet once a week after Lori’s yoga while she was pregnant. We also made a stop at Barista for baby’s first coffee run (and daddy’s first cold brew since Noe’s birth) — a much needed stop on this particular day.
Signing up Noe at the Northwest branch of the Multnomah Public Library for his first library card! During the discharge process at the hospital, a staff worker gave us a very cool library packet for newborns, which included baby’s first library book (that you get to keep). Lori and I thought the whole packet was the coolest thing, and being regulars at the library ourselves, it wasn’t a difficult decision to sign Noe up as well.
On Sunday, Lori’s mom came to stay with us for a few days. The plan was to continue settling in to the apartment while taking little outings, allowing Lori to rest and heal up, letting Grandma and Noe get to know each other and having a helping hand along the way. But on Lori’s mom’s second night in town, we all ended up in the ER.
Despite a challenging marathon labor and delivery where nothing went as expected, Lori had had a textbook pregnancy. She had never had any issues with her blood pressure in her life prior to Noe’s birth. But after baby’s arrival, she just couldn’t seem to get her blood pressure under control. Three days after discharge, Lori ended up in the ER with 200/106 blood pressure. I got to change my baby boy’s diaper on the floor of a busy ER triage room and Lori got two more nights in the hospital. When Lori was finally discharged the second time, we had spent 7 of the last 10 days in the hospital. Lori’s mom took over for me the final night, thankfully. Another night and they definitely would have been transferring the three of us to the psych ward.
We enjoyed taking advantage of our neighborhood amenities and those a bit further afield in our last two weeks in Portland. A year ago, it would have been impossible to imagine that this is how our last couple of weeks in Portland would have gone. We imagined Lori giving her notice and the two of us having a celebratory cocktail at one of the upscale drinking establishments along NW 23rd. We also never dreamed we’d be in Portland for 17 months. Now that we’re leaving (and certainly under the circumstances of our departures) it all seems very surreal.
We were out on one of our walks one day, strolling through the Pearl district, when Lori suddenly said, “Let’s get a beer.” This generally wouldn’t have surprised me but for the fact that Lori hadn’t had a beer (or any other alcoholic beverage) since October. We rolled into Bridgeport, found a nice, quiet parking place for the child and began to booze it up…with a two half pints of pilsner. Nice to have my drinking buddy back in commission!
Then, Lori decides she’d like some wine.
My parents came into town the following weekend, so we dusted off the ol’ Oregon Wine Passport and headed down to Amity to try out some new ones. Baby’s first wine tasting trip.
We visited Mystic Wine and Arcane Cellars on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon the day before the 4th of July. We thought visiting the farther fringes of the Willamette Valley would help us escape the holiday weekend crowds and we were right. Beautiful views and great wine at Mystic. Arcane had good wine (and beer) but the ambiance was worth visiting alone — though it all seemed lost on Noe. One thing about this kid, he’s far happier when he’s out of the house and on the move. Can’t imagine where he gets it from.
One of the added benefits of visiting Arcane Cellars is it meant we got to take the car on the old Wheatland cable ferry across the Willamette River on the way back to I-5. Baby’s first auto cable ferry!
(Photo above: Andrew Parodi, Wikimedia Commons)
We spent the Fourth over at my sister’s family’s place in Tigard, doing all sorts of fun all-American activities like drinking cheap canned beer, wearing ‘Merican flag attire, and marking ‘Merican stuff with baby footprints.
On the way back to Portland that night, we were amazed at the number of fireworks shooting into the sky all around us. The flashes and the bangs and the cracks lasted long into the night in our neighborhood, which didn’t phase Noe but kept us up. The next day we were trying to figure out why the night before had been like no other Fourth of July in recent memory. Then it dawned on us: Fireworks are banned in cities such as Washington, DC and Seattle — but not in Portland, and the citizens of this city certainly exercised that “freedom,” which kept the emergency response teams busy into the morning.
The following day, we celebrated Noe’s two-week birthday with a three-mile stroller ride down to the Lan Su Chinese Garden — our first visit post-baby to one of our favorite places in all of Portland. He was overcome with excitement as you can plainly see.
Anytime we had to go to Emmanuel hospital on the Eastside for ultrasounds, etc., we had lunch at La Cocina, a little taqueria on NE MLK Blvd. Lori at La Cocina about a month before popping:
One of the top things on our To-Do list is to apply for Noe’s passport. Yes, even newborns require a passport to travel abroad. This book will be valid for five years, which means the little dude will still be flashing this photo when he’s five years old! Hello World!
Lori and I snapped the photo ourselves (and yes, you can make your own passport photos as long as they fit all the State Department’s requirements). It was a bit tricky, but a lot of fun trying to get the little guy to keep his head pointed straight while flailing about on a fuzzy white blanket. In the end, Lori held his head straight, then at the last minute let go while I snapped the pic. Took a few tries, but eventually we got a keeper.
Why in the world would a two-week-old need a passport, you ask? Oh…I don’t know…a fun $110 souvenir, I guess. It’s not like he’s moving to a third-world country in a few months or anything, cause that would just be ridiculous…
One Friday in early November of last year, we took a drive east to do some hiking around Oxbow Regional Park. We had a big, life-changing decision to make and thought some nature outside of cell-phone service would help. We had recently found out Lori was pregnant and days after learned that she had been offered a job with her dream organization in Nepal. At Oxbow, we made the very tough decision to turn down the position due to a variety of factors. It was one of the toughest decision either of us has ever had to make.
Eight months to the day, we revisited Oxbow with Noe, introduced him to this strange thing we call a river (the Sandy River), and snapped a few pictures for Noe’s baby announcement. We had also intended this to be Noe’s first hike, but as we were wrapping up our photo shoot, it began to rain, signaling a long evening drive back home. Noe was none to pleased about this turn of events, crying for the next 10 minutes through the park, before eerily calming just as we exited the main gate, then sleeping the last 45 minutes home.
As expected, our apartment underwent some changes in the weeks after Noe’s arrival. Bet you can’t spot them!
We put off giving Noe a bath for some time (not so much as a scrub down), until one day we looked at each other guiltily and said, yeah…I think we better bathe our kid. Noe seemed to agree with this decision as well.
Finally, moving day was upon us — one of the most bittersweet weekends in recent memory. We were excited for the adventures ahead and to be finally moving forward again, but it was much harder than expected to leave our apartment, neighborhood, and city which had been so good to us these past 19 months even when we wished we were a hundred different other places.
With the car loaded down, bikes strapped securely to the trunk, and Kingsbury Apartments in the rearview, we rolled out of Goose Hollow no longer residents of the neighborhood.
Down in Southern Oregon, the fun continues. Introducing Noe’s twin, Chloe!
My parents were watching Noe at their house one morning while we were catching up on some sleep, when the kid had a terrible blowout. Without waking us, the only clean clothes they could find was one of cousin Rose’s little pink outfits, which went awesome with his little pink pacifier which we had also borrowed from our niece to take for a test run on Noe. Somehow, Noe quickly forgave us when he awoke and we were impressed by his open-mindedness and willingness to go with the flow at such a young age…but perhaps that will change when he sees this photo one day…
Knee-deep in unpacking and sorting boxes and bins, we took a break to join my parents on the coast for a day of crabbing! Instead of their usual Bandon, they opted for Charleston this time, and were rewarded for their efforts with seven legal Dungeness and several smaller Red Rock crab.
Noe had other plans for the day (feeding, sleeping, pooping in the shade), but his parents and grandparents couldn’t get enough of the rare warm and sunny Oregon coast weather.
Baby’s first crabbing/ coast trip?
Ok, I admit we got a bit lazy here. By the end of hours of crabbing, the three of us were pretty tired. But we couldn’t go to the coast without introducing the Mr. to the Great Pacific. Having a baby is all about compromise, right?
And back in the car we go! Soon, my child. Soon.
Noe visited his third winery while my good buddy Lee was visiting from San Francisco. Cooper Ridge is the latest and greatest addition to the Umpqua Valley. While their wine offerings didn’t make our top five in the Roseburg area, the outdoor terraced patio overlooking the surrounding countryside, and it’s close proximity to town, make it a place I’m sure we’ll be back to many more times.
Just shy of his one month birthday, we finally got to take Noe on his first proper hike! About two miles round-trip with just over 100 feet elevation gain to the falls, Fall Creek Falls was the perfect choice.
Happy One Month Birthday, Mr. Dude!