Trips to Portland are fewer and farther between since we had Juliette, but it feels like every time we go down there, we think, “What took us so long?!”  We made it to Mitch’s house around lunchtime on Friday, after an easy (although not altogether quiet) drive.  As soon as we walked in the door, Morgan grabbed Juliette’s hand and said, “Do you want to come play in my room?”  And with that, they were gone!  The girls spent the next hour trading baby dolls back and forth while Shane and I ate a peaceful lunch and caught up with Mitch.  This cousins thing is money.

Elise came home from school a couple of hours later and we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in the yard, cardboard sledding and testing the range of the rope swing.

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Last time we were in Portland, Juliette was happy to play the part of the baby.  Now it’s, “Come sit on my lap, Elise!!!”

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We ate dinner at the house and then took the kids out for frozen yogurt in Multnomah Village.  Nothin’ like an up-past-bedtime sugar high…

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Saturday was cool and damp, so we opted for a morning indoors at OMSI, bouncing from the giant sand box to the turtles to the earthquake house.

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When we got home, Morgan and Elise offered to put Juliette down for a nap.  I’ll give you one guess as to how well that went.

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But finally, once the cousins were sent upstairs and I let Juliette climb into our bed, she slept.  As did I!  We woke up refreshed and ready to hit the hot tub.

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We closed the day out with a trip to the library and playground, followed by dinner at the neighborhood Mexican joint.  Not a shabby Saturday!

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Sunday morning was quiet and lazy, perfect for coffee-sipping and lounging indoors (until the kids started climbing the walls, at which point we headed up the street to do our coffee-sipping at Starbucks).  Kathryn and Morgan went out to run some errands while Elise enjoyed some solo time with her little cuz.

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Elise is really into the Harry Potter audio books right now, but quickly learned that Juliette isn’t the most attentive listening companion…

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So out to the trampoline we went!

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We closed out our visit with what has become our traditional living room dance party.  The grownups and Elise pooped out after a couple of Miley Cyrus songs, but Jules and Morgan rocked out to what felt like Billboard’s entire Top 40 Pop.

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One last snuggle for the road as I prepared for that familiar ache of missing my nieces…

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See you sooner rather than later, Jarrells!