Arlo turned 15 months old on Tuesday and obliged us by smiling for his orange chair pictures.
His 15-month checkup went well--he's continues to be long and lean with a big head. Every time we go in for a checkup, I have to remind myself that it's okay that he's only 25th percentile in weight. All that stress about him not getting enough milk in those first few months left its mark on me, I guess. But now that he is totally weaned to solid foods, I'm much less worried that he isn't getting enough to eat. (I think I forgot to mention that he stopped nursing 2 months ago. It happened shortly after this post. He just wasn't interested anymore, and I was ready to be done too, so we stopped)
He's still not walking; I guess crawling serves him just fine. I don't feel like he has changed that much in the past month, apart from becoming more expressive and opinionated and learning more words. His latest trick is that he'll lift his arms up on request (potentially useful for removing tight sweaters this winter). It's so cool that he understands us and will usually do what we ask him to. What a little person he is!
As I mentioned before, we've been going on all sorts of fun summer adventures. We took a road trip to Montana (the first time any of us had been there) to see Glacier National Park. It was beautiful! The only downside of the trip was that Arlo doesn't like being stuck in his carseat for very long, so there was a lot of this on the drive there and back:
Although vacationing with a 15-month-old isn't very relaxing, I'm glad we got to enjoy the trip as a family. We had plenty of good moments too.
We broke the drive up into two days each way, spending the night in Coeur d'Alene both times. It seemed like a nice town. The bed and breakfast we stayed at, The Roosevelt Inn was great, and it was walking distance to the lake and downtown. We stayed in the Noble Suite, which was perfect for us--we put Arlo to bed in his Peapod in the smaller room, and then we were free to talk at normal volume and watch movies (on our laptop--they don't have TVs, but they do have a big DVD collection) in our room.
We rented this cabin in Hungry Horse, MT, which was pretty close to Glacier's west entrance. It was right on the Flathead River, which was nice--we took the little path down to the river a couple times, and it was relaxing to sit there and watch the river go by (a little less relaxing when accompanied by a toddler who wanted to crawl around and stick his hand in the water). There was even a nest of baby eagles right across the river!
This cabin's kitchen wasn't quite as well stocked as the Mt. Hood cabin, but otherwise we were really happy with it! There was no high chair, so Arlo got to use a grown-up chair for meals, which worked out okay, except he had to stand up to reach his food, which then inspired him to try to climb onto the table. Not ideal, but it all worked out.
We got into town on a Saturday afternoon, and since check-in time for the cabin wasn't until 5pm, we killed time in Whitefish. We bought bear spray at a local sporting goods store (and didn't have to use it; phew!) and then walked around downtown Whitefish. We got huckleberry frozen yogurt at Red Caboose, and Patrick bought a cowboy hat but was afraid to wear it in public, for fear the locals would ridicule him for not being a real cowboy. Authentic or not, I think it looks good on him!
We got some tasty takeout from The Shak and ate it at the cabin, then put Arlo to bed and watched DVDs (we made it through the second season of Party Down while we were there, as well as Michael Clayton and The Devil Wears Prada--I can't believe Patrick agreed to watch that last one with me!).
The next day was our big day for exploring Glacier. We started out by hiking to Avalanche Lake, by way of Trail of the Cedars. We'd packed a picnic lunch to eat at the lake, and the hike was twice as long as I was expecting (2 miles each way; not roundtrip), so I was pretty hungry and grumpy by the time we got there. But I got over it quickly when we got to the lake, since it was so beautiful. And boy, did those sandwiches taste good after all that hiking! We had picked up a used Kelty TC 2.1 backpack at Piccolina before the trip, and it worked well for Patrick (I didn't try it; it's tiring enough for me to hike unencumbered).
Next, we drove along Going to the Sun Highway, which was amazing. I hear it was closed through mid-July because of snow, so I'm really grateful that we were able to see it. Arlo slept through the whole thing, which was okay, since he probably wouldn't have been able to see much from his car seat.
Arlo woke up just as we exited the east end of the park, and we stopped at the Park Cafe in St. Mary for pie (chocolate cream, strawberry rhubarb, and a piece of coconut cream for later). Yum! We also bought Arlo a little mountain goat at the gift shop--couldn't resist.
It was getting late, but we stopped at Logan Pass to squeeze in the Hidden Lake hike before dinnertime. Another absolutely beautiful hike, and this one was pretty easy--it was a boardwalk path most of the way. The path was snowy beyond the boardwalk, and the sun was going to set soon, so we decided to head back without seeing Hidden Lake itself. It was still a beautiful hike!
When we got back to the Logan Pass visitor center, we stopped for a snack, and we spotted a deer right off the path. Pretty cool!
The next day, Patrick hiked the Highline Trail by himself (too hard for Arlo and me). I walked around downtown Hungry Horse with Arlo (it's a very small downtown, as far as I could tell), had a huckleberry shake, and hung out at the cabin. I would have liked to spend another day in the park, but we're going to go back next year, so we should have more time then.
After another overnight in Coeur d'Alene, we headed back to Portland, stopping in Hood River for ice cream. We drove home by way of the beautiful Columbia Gorge Highway and stopped to feel the mist at Horsetail Falls. Arlo wasn't sure what to make of it.
The next day, we repacked our bags and went to Edgefield for the night, to see The Decemberists! Their concert at Edgefield two years ago was wonderful, so we were excited to see them again at the same venue, this time with Arlo. This was his first concert, and he managed to stay awake through the whole thing, including two encores (they played The Tain in its entirety, along with the Mariner's Revenge Song!). I had been worried that he'd have an overtired meltdown around 8:30 (and that one of us would have to take him back to our room and listen to the concert from there), but he sat quietly on Patrick's lap the whole time, sucking his thumb. What a champ. I'm so glad we went--it was a beautiful night!
Also, I totally recommend getting a room at the hotel when you go to see a concert at Edgefield, if you can swing it. It was so awesome to be able to walk back to our room and put Arlo to bed right away, instead of waiting in the parking lot for hours.
We had a block party on our street last Sunday (organized by Patrick and our neighbor Stacy), and it went really well! We don't talk to our neighbors very often, but we should. It's always fun getting the whole street together. A couple of our neighbors have lived on this street for 50+ years, and they said that back then, kids would play softball at the intersection outside our house, and at least one of our windows was broken by a softball during a game. I guess I'm glad they don't do that anymore, otherwise I'd have to be the mean mom who yells at the neighbor kids.
We also got to meet the couple who bought the scary house last year. They're avid gardeners, and it's so exciting see what they're doing with the house and yard. I think they've gotten a very enthusiastic welcome from the whole neighborhood :)
On Tuesday, I biked to the Bagdad Theater to see Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis talk about their new book, Wildwood (quite a Decemberists-heavy week!). It was a fun event--I loved hearing about the process of writing and illustrating the book. I haven't read many books for fun since Arlo was born, so I've enjoyed getting wrapped up in Wildwood for the past few days. I'm excited to read it with Arlo when he's older!
Yesterday afternoon, we drove out to Cannon Beach for a quick beach trip before fall arrives. This was our first visit to Cannon Beach, and I can see why people like it. The beach was windy but sunny (so not too cold), and the sand was really soft. Arlo had a great time crawling all over the beach and getting super sandy, and he only ate a little beach debris :)