I figured I better post something, just so the few people who read this will keep reading :) Grandma, Christa, and Courtney, that's you!
Of course things have been crazy, but not in a bad way. We're having fun, the kids are enjoying the Christmas season, my Christmas shopping is done...just some more baking and candy making, and lots and lots of family, and then the big day! I still look forward to Christmas just as much as I did when I was a kid. I may have a hard time sleeping Christmas Eve!
We had an unplanned weekend in Long Beach, due to a close family friend dying. Though the reason we made the trip was sad, it was a nice visit; we hadn't been down to visit Mom and Great-grandma and Papa for quite awhile and it happened to be a beautiful weekend down there (hehe, there was freezing rain and nasty ice at home!). So...the nice visiting with family made the trip better. Oh, and let's not forget Isaac's major, non-diaper blowout while eating out. I'll leave out the details; it's enough to know that he was not wearing a diaper, as he's using the toilet very well now. Use your imagination.
My grandparents were fantastic enough to come up and babysit the kids all Tuesday afternoon so that Chris and I could head to Portland for some Christmas shopping. Of course our first stop was Powells, one of my favorite places in the world. Amazingly, I made it out without a single book for myself! The very first time I've managed to do that, in fact. Then again, I had to have a little more self-control with all the books we bought for the kids; I just can't help it when I find things like Eric Carle's Treasury of Classic Stories for Children for $6.50; Olivia Forms a Band and Zen Shorts for $7.99 each (in hardback! brand spankin' new!). I had only gone in for A Child's Garden of Verses (which I also found used, even in the edition illustrated by Brian Wildsmith that I'd wanted) and Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever (not used, but only $15). I love Powells.
Both Chris and I really wanted sushi. We are not very adventurous with our sushi eating, usually. We like Eastland Sushi A LOT, and don't stray from it very often. However, there was a Sushi Land right up the street from Powells, with a sweet happy hour to boot, so we went. Which is unfortunate, because it was mediocre at best, and the Deschutes Brewery is right there, too, and I love their beer. And there were probably some rockin' winter ales on special. At least we only spent $22...
And then, the best discovery of the night! I have been hell bent on finding Isaac some cool bongos, and spent a good half hour before we left, making Chris do google searches, and calling various Portland stores to locate reasonably priced, but realistic (ie- not plastic crap) kids bongos. And I found them at Rhythm Traders, on sale for $35. The people were extremely helpful and friendly, and they let Chris and I play with every bongo and drum we could get our hands on before they closed. They had TONS of cool kids percussion instruments and noise makers, I could have spent a lot more than we did. In addition to the bongos, we bought Isaac a thunder tube--I hope we don't regret that! I will definitely be returning to this store (hopefully with Tracey, my best friend and a drummer, who would be in heaven, who hopefully will be located in Portland by June-ish).
On the way home, I made a mistake. I decided that we'd bought too many presents that weren't "toy" enough (which I'd purposely avoided, but...a kid's gotta have something to play with after opening presents, right?), so I made Chris stop at Toys R' Us at Jantzen Beach to buy a small Lego set for Danny (his major present is a fishing pole and tackle box...not too fun on Christmas morning, eh?). I seriously thought I may have an anxiety attack or seizure in there. Shouldn't be surprising how many kids have ADD when those are the toys they're being bought. I kinda felt dirty when we left. It was amazing the amounts of plastic shit (really, there's no better word for it...sometimes swearing is necessary) in there. Bikes to plug into your TV? Because who needs to go outside? Really? Un-freaking-believable. I've told myself many times in the past that I wouldn't shop at Toys R' Us anymore (I've had some very bad exchange and customer service experiences), yet I keep going back. Ugh. That was the last time. Maybe by publicly declaring it, I'll stick to it this time :)
So...this is a totally disjointed, random blog, and I am supposed to be packing to go to Walla Walla tomorrow and finishing up the package to mail to Chris' family in Tucson and getting some presents wrapped and finishing laundry--not drinking wine and writing on the blog :)