Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thank goodness it's only once a year....

Christmas post-children really just absolutely kills me. It saps my strength. It makes me crazy. I feel like all I do is spend spend spend and bake bake bake and wrap wrap wrap. When it's all over it takes me days to recover.

It's exhausting.

Our second Oregon Christmas was full of new challenges this year. The big news was the mini-blizzard that hit our area - the Columbia Rive Gorge saw the largest snowfall in over forty years. Kbear got an extra week off from preschool and Banana had late starts until six fresh inches fell on Wednesday and they finally threw in the towel for the last two days before break.

People in Chicago may have scoffed at our measly 18-22 inches of snow (depending on where in the yard you stuck your tape measurer) but let me tell you Midwesterners something; when you get rid of road salt, your whole damn world gets turned upside down. Tree hugging hippies in the Pacific Northwest don't use road salt - they apparently prefer to see how many 360s assorted motorists of all ages can do on their way to the grocery store. And when it snows that much, EVERYONE goes to the grocery store! Then you've got to understand the plowing situation....there isn't one. The entire week that the snow came down, I saw ONE actual snowplow. ONE. The rest of the time I watched people use everything from pickups and four wheelers with plows attached to them to a friggin' BACKHOE in a collective attempt to move the white stuff from our roads and driveways.

And then there was the situation out on the one major interstate that leads through town. It's the only way to get in or out of town in any direction.


We had no mail service for almost a week. UPS and FedEx took an extended local holiday - the WEEK OF CHRISTMAS. It was horribly frustrating and made me happy that I haven't joined the ranks of hard-core online shoppers just yet, because let me tell you, they were screwed.

It also meant that freight couldn't come in or out of town. And after awhile, Fred Meyer and Safeway both had a very "Children of the Corn" feel to them as supplies dwindled. But December 22nd, here's what you saw if you went to the store.

No baby oranges

No sour cream

And no milk.

Freaky huh? And to this native Chicagoan who knows snow, it was downright bizarre.

But hey, we survived. This year the kiddos had a fantastic Christmas. Santa did what he was supposed to do, and both Grandmas actually respected our request for a scaled back year and gave each munchkin just a few practical fun gifts. Skippy restrained himself quite admirably during his last minute bonanza, and I managed to pull it all together pretty damn beautifully if I do say so myself. Among my personal stash I managed to score some new fuzzy socks courtesy of my kids, an armband for my iPod and a HUGE Itunes card among other goodies from my hubby, and all sorts of other assorted loot. Banana digs her (cheap) MP3 player and Kbear loves her keyboard, although I have a bit of buyer's remorse over that particularly loud gift, especially after the Chunk discovered the power switch. Chunk is happiest on his ride-on firetruck that I discovered has no off switch, and although I love it when my child is happy, someday my sister-in-law will pay ever so dearly for that particular present.

But overall it was a great year. And in the end, I was so happy that Skippy kept me from breaking out the sleds that we had bought for under the tree a few days early - with the snow falling I was dying to give them to the kids before the big day but the wait was so worth it when we took them all up and down the hill a few times. Plus, Dixie managed to take my new favorite family picture.

It was a good year. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

1 comment:

kat said...

duct tape darling. for those toys you can't turn off. right over the speaker. does wonders! xx