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!

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.

Unwinding with a Cuppa Joe

We’d had a great weekend with the kids but then I was really craving some “us” time just with Daniel.  It so happened my sitter Donna was available last minute, so we said we’d just be gone for a couple of hours and she was fine with that.  The kids were watching TV and falling asleep anyway and she just adores them so it was mellow when we left the house. 

Of course we went to our favorite haunt, the Floyd’s Coffee Shop on SE Morrison Street. It’s just great there.  The coffee is excellent – they serve Stumptown Coffee.  This is really important for Daniel who seems to think sleep is over-rated, a trait our second-born has unfortunately inherited.  I love the soup bread there.

So we were there for just over an hour and it was just great chilling, people-watching and ending our weekend on a mellow note.  What a great kick-start to the work-week ahead.

Getting Away with Alcohol!

It’s always good to get away.  No matter how much I like living in Portland, it’s just fun to do something different and get away from the humdrum of my day-to-day existence.  So Daniel said to get the kids ready; get Galvin set to drop off at the kennels and we would take a nice drive somewhere that included a bit of alcohol (in the form of sophisticated wine-tasting of course) that would also be kid-friendly.  It sounded absolutely perfect so I enthusiastically packed all our bags without any complaining.

A little more than an hour after we set off, with Ethan sleeping peacefully in the back and Jayden watching Blues Clues on the iPad fixed to the back of my head rest, we arrived at Pheasant Valley’s Bed & Breakfast and Winery.  It was absolutely stunning.  I couldn’t have chosen anything better if I would have planned it myself.  I was truly delighted and thrilled with Daniel’s choice.  Right smack bang in the middle of Columbia River Gorge, the atmospheric air was wonderful for the kids too and I immediately put a smile on my face.

On Friday night after a delicious wholesome, hearty home-cooked meal, we got a babysitter and went walking.  I love window-shopping so we did a lot of that and then just enjoyed the scenery.  We got back at around 9 and took in an early night so we could be up full of energy for the active day ahead.

We started with kayaking (the boys LOVED it), then Daniel took Jayden fishing (he was a little bit interested!) while I put Ethan in the baby-carrier and went walking.  Later on Daniel went river-rafting and the kids and I enjoyed a bowl of French onion soup.  Both kids passed out for around 2 hours Saturday afternoon, leaving Daniel and me free to enjoy a tasting of some of the most excellent wines to have ever graced my palette.

Thankfully we had used the online booking facility to reserve our spot at the Indian Creek Golf Course which Jayden got a real kick out of watching.  He even “helped” Daniel putt a few holes and really had a good time.  I was just busy chasing Ethan around the gorgeous greenery.  Later that night we took the kids to a restaurant in Hood RiverRiverside, located on E. Marina Way, which was a little pricey, but we felt worth it – especially as the kids had a blast.

We drove back this morning and now the kids are settled in their room playing with their toys.  They had a great time for sure, but I think they are pleased to be back.  As I always say, there’s simply no place like home.  Now I just have to brace myself for the working week ahead.