Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me

Okay, there weren’t millions of peaches. Not yet, anyway. Maybe next week? But there were millions of blueberries. And we picked like half of them. Also, who was going to tell me that Tulameen Raspberries taste just like candy? Seriously amazing. For the next few weeks I think that all my effort will have to go into getting as many of those raspberries in my belly as humanly possible. I’ll keep you posted.

Usually we go to Columbia Farms, but today we went to Sauvie Island Farms because they have the most picturesque peach orchard. It really makes me want to move to Sauvie Island and never look back. Also, they have tractor rides that can take you, wagon and all, to the farthest parts of the farm, so you don’t have to walk the whole way. It’s kind of magical.

And when we were walking on the road Henry was sure to warn me over and over again, “Mama, get out of the road! You don’t want to get hit by a tractor.” He’s very bossy lately.

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It’s so wild and overgrown there, perfect for the kids to play all sorts of games. I think they were playing Lion King. And they were trading off being different preschool friends. And, a new favorite, Henry and Olivia were pretending to be Harry and Lavender. Olivia made up those names. I have no idea where she got them from. But I love it because it sounds like an old detective show or something. “Harry and Lavender, Detectives, at your service.”

It was here that I was randomly approached about surrogacy by another mom out in the fields. She works for an agency that connects surrogates with families in need. I guess my kids must have been extra cute today. That or I was giving off some really killer baby-maker pheromones.

Some Pictures and Completely Unrelated Kidisms

Sometimes I feel like we live out at the Columbia Farms U-Pick. But I don’t mind. It’s just beautiful out there. Sometimes I wish we lived on Sauvie Island. But the other times I wish we lived in the heart of downtown. So we split the difference and live in North Portland, and for us, it’s just the perfect solution.

Now, some pictures. And at the end, a few hilarious things the kids have been saying lately. (But not about berry picking. Because, although quite picturesque, there isn’t much to say about berry picking except that it’s a lovely way to spend a morning. Or many mornings in our case.)
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^^ I color coordinated my nails for blueberry picking because I think pink and dark blue are just so perfect together. (Insert smiley emoji with heart eyes here.)

And now for some random, unrelated hilarious things the kids have been saying.

(The latest in an attempt to get out of nap time:)
E: Mom, my curls won’t let me sleep.
M: What?
E: My curls on the end of my hair. They won’t let me sleep.
M: Nice try.


E: (to dad) “I know you like love. So I like to love on you a lot.”


E: (when Olivia was sick and sleeping on the couch instead of in her and Ellie’s room) “I’m trying to sleep and I have nobody and I’m too lonely.”

^^ I love that, at least for right now, the scariest threat for either of them is that we would separate them. They drive each other crazy, but they also just love each other so very much.


M: Henry, what do you like?
H: I like chocolate chips. I like go adventures with mama.


H: “I a bird! I flying, mama!” (while flapping his arms and jumping about wildly)


D: Henry! you are such a child sometimes!
H: I not a child! I just me!


M: Henry! You are such a little squirt!
H: I not a skort! You a skort!


O: Cay you sing me a song?
D: Olivia you missed your song because you took too long getting ready for bed.
O: But I want a song!
E: I know a song you could sing to her, “You can’t always get what you want…”


E: What does lightning do that’s good? Oh, I know! It takes out the electricity! And that’s saving energy!


D: Ellie, what made you decide to be sweet after you were so upset last night?

E: Well, Olivia shared her Talentod* with me when I didn’t have anything, so that made me think it was time for me to start being sweet.
*Talentod is the name of Olivia’s teddy bear and most prized possession.


O: (upon getting her new glasses) Wow! I can see this puddle really well!

Parenting these three is a wonderful challenge. I love having these little adventurers sharing life with me.

Strawberry Fields and New York Pizza Forever

Ellie and I have been reading the books for her American Girl doll Kit who grew up during the Depression. In the books, Kit talks about eating things like oatmeal with a peach slice on top, so now Ellie thinks that is very romantic and her new favorite food is oatmeal with a little frozen fruit mixed in. And you really can’t go wrong when your kids love cheap Depression food. But it has been seriously depleting our frozen berry supply, so it’s a good thing that it’s berry picking season again!

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Sometimes I can’t remember back to a time we didn’t spend our spring and summer picking berries on Sauvie Island. This is one of our favorite things to do as a family – it keeps the kids very entertained and is so productive! I love filling our freezer with jams and berries for making breakfast, syrups, pastries, pies and tasty snacks all year long.

Friday was the first day for strawberries at our favorite farm, Columbia Farms. The Hood strawberries, the sweetest and most delicious of any strawberry variety I’ve ever tasted, were in bountiful supply. Our friend Cara came to visit from San Francisco that day and almost as soon as she arrived (and after a breakfast of oatmeal) we set off to the berry fields. We like to put our guests to hard work, lugging our kids around and harvesting our food, so they can earn their keep.

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We have a pattern we do when we’re picking berries to help the kids be productive: one in your mouth, one in the bucket. It’s a pretty good pattern. Although I always tell the checkout assistants that they should probably weigh my children before and after so they can charge me for strawberries consumed. Henry’s rule is that he can’t eat berries out of the buckets, he has to pick his own. He’s getting pretty good at that.

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Hunting for berries is like hunting for treasures, and apparently requires a covert outfit.

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After our harvesting (and a nap), we went to have some New York pizza right here in Portland! A NYC pizza chef from Marta came to Roman Candle for a few hours Friday evening to make his delicious pizza for us. It was yummy. I always think I’m such a crust person that I was curious how I’d feel about Marta’s cracker-thin crust. The sauces and toppings are so, so good that they take the cake on this one. The Margherita pizza was spot on. It tasted like Italian summer… or at least how I imagine summer in Italy tastes.  (How cool of a world do we live in? New York Pizza chef making Italian-inspired pizza and coming to Portland for an evening!)

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Olivia looks so hilarious all wrapped up in a scarf to avoid the light drizzle that made its appearance while we were waiting for our pizza.
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How to keep children entertained while waiting in line for a popular dinner option: play with see-through doors! Magical!
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A cell phone timer also makes fascinating entertainment. Watch it count down from 5 minutes! Then 5 more minutes!

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Henry likes to see how much pizza he can stuff in his mouth at one time. He’s very well-mannered that way.

Oh strawberries, I love you so. We’ll be back to get lots more of you over the next two weeks. And pizza, you know you always have my heart.

P.S. Some of my favorite strawberry recipes, in case you need some inspiration: Strawberry Shortcake with Chocolate Bourbon Sauce // Strawberry Scones // Strawberry Pretzel Salad // Dutch Baby Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Triple Berry Syrup // Granola with Vanilla Yogurt and Strawberries