Sweet Sounds of the Purring Prada


Wow, did we have a good Christmas!  The kids are having a blast still with their new toys, giving Daniel and I some nice relaxing time.  My parents have been here too which has been such a treat.  My mom right now is cleaning up the kitchen; she’s so good.

Daniel loved his new iPhone SoL Hybrid Power Pack Solar Charging Case which I wasn’t surprised by. But then I felt a little guilty as the gift he got me (form Marios’s) surely was way more expensive.  He knows I’ve been eyeing the Prada shopping tote for ages, but I seriously never expected it would arrive as a Christmas gift from him.  Maybe a birthday gift – my birthday is in a couple of weeks, but not for Christmas.    I literally was speechless.  But he knew I was delighted; he was grinning from ear to ear.

We never know what to get my parents – truthfully they have everything.  So Daniel made a really cute video of the kids saying “Merry Christmas Grandma and Papa, we love you,” as well as a four-slot-picture-frame for them filled with their gorgeous grandkids.  It brought a tear to my mom’s eye.  So I knew she loved that.

And, amazingly so, it is now the day after Christmas; my parents are still here, the kids are off from pre-school, Daniel  is nursing a slight hangover and no-one has even come close to a fight.  That to me is truly the miracle of Christmas 2011 in the Goldsmith family home, Portland, Oregon.

Good to be Home


It’s great to be home. We got back late last night.  The kids had fallen asleep in the car and thankfully, it was easy to move them straight into their beds without them waking up.  I’d really missed Daniel so even though I was pooped myself, I crawled into bed, cuddling him.  I also wanted to find out what he’d been up to since we’d been out of town. 

So it turned out that not only had he made his deadline, he’d also completed another project, thus giving him some free time to chill while I was away with the boys.  I asked him if he’d done anything special or fun and he told me about his day at Mario’s.  Not only had he bought me something very special from there (in my mind, everything they sell at Mario’s is special), but he’d also had a good time himself.

Well, this kind of surprised me, truth be told. You have to understand something about Daniel (I guess this is true of pretty much all men though).  Daniel HATES to shop.  And he especially despises going into any designer store.  So that made me curious as to why he had actually enjoyed it.  He then revealed all.  Apparently last Thursday Mario’s was having a little celebration of its own; throughout the day the store was serving complimentary holiday refreshments.  All of a sudden I understood why he shopped pretty much ‘til he dropped!  I knew there must have been an ulterior motive and there was. 

Still, it looks like I’ll be coming out of this pretty well so I have no complaints!  I’ll update you tomorrow with what I receive; it’s still pretty early in the morning here and since both kids are still sound asleep we’re not going to take advantage of the quiet time. 

Merry Christmas one and all!

Learning About Idaho Falls

So since we’re in town for a bit, I decided to check out news from the area.  We have this thing in my family – a tradition that was started by my great, great-grandmother.  Wherever we are, we are not allowed to leave without learning something about the place.  Jayden is now just about old enough to appreciate and enjoy this.

Well, it was sure perfect timing as that morning in the local newspaper, the Post Register I read about a disabled man from Idaho Falls who’d won the lottery, cashing in $200,000!  Winner Donny Jones was said to have been “in shock” and of course delighted at the news.  His plans are to pay off his bills first.  What lovely news.  This really was just what we needed. I feel like there’s so much bad news around the whole time that this was just lovely.   

I shared the whole thing with Jayden.  I asked him what he would want to give someone with a disability if he could give them anything in the world.  He paused for a while and then said, “something to make them really smile.”  Well, this lottery winning ticket sure did that for Jones.  Just keep these great feel-good stories coming Idaho Falls!

Visiting Aunt Laura in Idaho Falls


We’d been promising to go see Aunt Laura for months. It just hadn’t happened. And then she’d had a fall and ended up having to have a hip replacement surgery.    So at that point (the surgery happened 2 weeks ago), I knew we couldn’t put it off any longer. It’s a bit of a long journey though – all the way to Idaho Falls – so I planned on staying a few days.

Once we got there, we hung out with Laura a bit (Daniel didn’t come as he has a deadline; I was mighty impressed with myself that thanks to my amazing new GPS I was able to – with confidence – drive all the way by myself to her home).  We spread the drive out over 2 days (even though non-stop it would have taken about 11 hours) and the kids were amazing.  I was actually dreading it, truth be told, but in the end it was really nice and I was extremely proud of my achievement.

The first day Jayden swam in Laura’s pool; he loves it there and Ethan ran around the apartment like the lunatic he is (well, crawled; he’s almost walking – been cruising for months).  The next day we went to the Funland Amusement Park, which is really close to her home; she’d been telling me about it for a long time, probably trying to encourage me to come visit.  It was not so age-appropriate for Jayden, (and certainly not for Ethan!) but there were some things he could do. He definitely wasn’t interested in the three rollercoasters, but there again, I don’t think he’ll want to do it even when he’s older!  He’s just that kind of personality.

We were there the whole day and at one point it start drizzling a bit so we went inside and Jayden loved the Ten Pin Bowling.  I actually went on the slot machines for a bit which really took me back – I used to love playing on them years ago.  We had a yummy lunch and there were lots of things to do at the restaurant for Jayden and Ethan.  In fact, I think that was the best part of the day!

Anyway the most important reason for our trip was to see Laura and she indeed was delighted we’d come.  The next couple of days we were there the kids watched movies and played with the few toys she has for her grandchildren and Laura and I really hung out. It was good to see her.  I shouldn’t leave it so long; as a kid, growing up, she was always so good to me and I’m glad I (finally) made the effort to see her.

Stories, Bugs and Strolling

I wanted to do something with the kids that was fun, even before Christmas started. So I was delighted to read about the Tyron Creek Story and Stroll.  I signed up and took Jayden and Ethan to the park and we had such a great time.  They read one of Jayden’s favorite books so he was happy and, surprisingly, Ethan actually sat through the whole thing quietly.  Then we walked around the park (with Ethan in the stroller) and Jayden kept pointing out all these little, unusual bugs he was finding along the path. Then he wanted to stop at the swings and roundabouts so we did that for a while, with Ethan just glazing admiringly at his older brother.  So the whole thing was fun and I think the kids really had a good time.  It’s definitely a way to get into the Christmas spirit ahead of time.