Our second full day in Portland started at 6am with a private ice skating lesson for my oldest, of course without another adult this became an early morning for all three kids, an idea I realized I did not relish late last night. The first alarm went off and I jumped out of bed and began getting everyone ready, cleaning up the piles of Legos on the floor to facilitate cleaning by housekeeping and again returning to wake everyone up.
Not the most easy beginning to a day but definitely not stressful. In an attempt to keep my day relaxed I preplanned some work arounds for our family’s common pitfalls including brining the anti-epilepsy medication with, including a cookie to take the medicine with, bringing drinks and strollers for both younger ones.
We arrived at the rink and the younger ones were still tired, they didn’t even stay up to play in the soft-play area. When the lesson was over I carted everyone to Bob’s Red Mill Restaurant – probably one of the best kept vegan secrets in Oregon. We had a breakfast feast for $21 which included 3 giant flapjacks, 2 large pieces of English Muffin Toast, Tofu Scramble, Country Potatoes, Silk Chocolate milk and Nantucket Nectar Lemonade – more than enough for leftovers and everyone was happy. My little gal loves checking out the watermill outside and my older son, who is on a mission to complete an axel, is obsessed with jumping up to touch signs – so both were elated by our breakfast spot today.
After breakfast we dropped our ice prince off at the rink while the three of us checked out a brownstone in NoPo. It was nice enough, the problem is the somewhat scam-like way that rental agencies operate here. If you find a listing, you have to file an application paying $45 per adult. Even if you are approved, they will not let you rent because they want to show the place to as many people as possible – for several weeks, each person paying the application fee. It doesn’t seem like much but I have been at open houses that have a line of 15 people, to be told there are two applications ahead of mine (so what was the point then?!) Today was the same, I couldn’t leave a deposit or secure a home because they had other showings for the weekend and next week and wanted to get all applications in before making a decision. Think about it, a 3 Bedroom could have up to 7 people living there – at $45 per application of adult that is $315 per set of applicants (all adults must pay) and with about 5 showings a day for even 2 weeks that is over $15,000 to show one townhome – it really is a racket out here and only one group can actually get the place. I probably sound mad, but this is reality and it is really inconvenient and it seems unethical. Add to this that the rent is $2500 for 1500 square feet and no A/C, and you get why I have been a bit stressed, this place was the best deal and largest for the money. Our first day here we stopped at a new complex that had bedrooms so small you could not fit a toddler bed in them at $2495 for 950 square feet.
After our disappointing home showing we headed back to the mall for some time at the soft-play area – it was a hit but I was tired and I finally convinced everyone to head back to the hotel after a quick stop to pick our skater up some veggie sushi at Mio Sushi. After much distraction I was able to take a short nap. When I awoke I made the kids quesadillas before we headed back to the mall and the ice rink. We hung around until 9pm, everyone had Auntie Annie’s pretzels and lemonade and finally we packed up for the night.
I am even keeping my cool as I look at a completely sheet free bed, calmly explaining to my eldest why you want the sheets on for sanitary reasons and asking him to use a calm voice when talking to his overly hyper brother who is jumping during the bed making.
The whole day has been about stressing less – actively. Things are not necessarily less stressful, I am just choosing not to react to them in a negative way and instead focusing on the positive.