Much has been going on, too tired to blog. When will I wear out that excuse? Probably when its not true anymore :)
On Wednesday, the kids and I visited our friend Alyssa and her two boys, AJ and Andrew. I met Alyssa on my message board and she lives so close to us! Just on the other side of Hwy 9. The kids played hard for a couple hours, and on our departure, I picked up a swag made of Noble branches and an appallingly long cedar garland that I had bought from AJ's pre-school fund raiser. Both are beautiful and fragrant.
That garland was 25 feet. I'm not sure where or what or if I ever thought I'd use so much garland. That night, after dinner, J and I set about trying to find a home for it. First we tried it over the opening from the entry to the living room. This might have worked except that the garland was REALLY heavy and bushy. We couldn't manage a way to keep it up and away from tickling people when they walked in. Jason said it kinda made our entry look like a jungle.
So then I tried wrapping it around the piece of wall that is at the end of the bannister (I know there is a word for it but I don't know the word). Again, due to it being so generously portioned, it was just too bushy and thick to wrap. At this point I was laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. The floor was just covered in cedar needles and branches and I had scratches everywhere. Couldn't stop giggling. My final inspiration was to hang it outside, off the eaves. Long story short... didn't work. Curses were uttered and threats made to the garland that it was going to end up in the easement tomorrow morning. Luckily, before I took out my frustration on the garland I called my Mom and asked if she might want to wrangle the beast and find a home for it. She did and so I threw it on the front bench and there it sits, sprawled and taking up half the porch, waiting to be picked up. If nothing else, it provided a night of entertainment for the family.
Last night we went with April, her husband Gregg, and their two sons Gibson and Grady to The Lights of Christmas. Originally Alyssa and her family were to join us too, but Andrew got sick at the last minute and they couldn't make it :( Boy, were they missed. Ethan talked about them on the way up, on the way back and even this morning... wondering how "Andew" was feeling.
It was cold, but not as cold as it was nearly 2 years ago when we last went. All the kids behaved well, but had their moments. Ethan had his "moment" immediately, by trying to go and touch all the lights which is kind of a no-no.
The entrance to the train was guarded by two penguins. Ethan was bewildered why they wouldn't talk back to him.
As is somewhat typical of Ethan, he got scared at the last minute and didn't want to get on the train. Started wailing something fierce. So I hefted him up and in and within seconds he was fine. (he's still upset here).
One of the beautiful light arrangements.
They have roaring fires all over the grounds so you can stop and warm yourself. They are pretty big fires and everyone was standing back. One guy came up and chastised us humorously for being "city folk" and "dontcha know you gotta get right up in there to get warm". Gwen took his advice and got close!
One of the highlights of the night was the horse drawn wagon.
After that, we headed over to the pony rides. Surprisingly, both kids hopped on with nary a complaint. Ethan expressed some concern and the guy loading them on spoke kindly with him for a few seconds and then he was golden!
Gibson liked it too!
After a rather funny meltdown by Gibson (I know it wasn't funny for April or Gregg!) we headed back to the main area to get something warm to drink and some freshly made on site donuts. April and I handled the drinks with Grady and Gwen, Gregg had Gibson, and Jason took Ethan for donuts. It ended up taking him over 30 minutes to get them because it was SO crowded (and... the people working there didn't seem to be working with any speed). While we were waiting, and after Gwen had downed her vanilla steamer (milk with vanilla flavoring), she nearly zonked out in the stroller.
But once Daddy arrived back with donuts for all, the kids perked up enough to wolf them down and make it back to the car.
All in all, a fun but exhausting night (especially since I missed our turn on the way home and we ended up in the wilds of Stanwood). My Mom has told me a few times that often these outings end up being more work than play, more drudgery than enjoyment, and that is kind of true. But it also makes memories and despite the tantrums and frustrations, all the kids really did enjoy themselves. Thank you Gregg and April for joining us and making the night even better!