I adore Christmas time - there are so many fun things to do to celebrate the season. It also happens to be the busiest month of the year for me at work, so I end up being extremely tired after the increase in both work requirements and personal activities, but oh well! There are so many fun memories.
First up this week was a visit to Doernbecher for Madelyn’s audiology and ENT checks. For one of the hearing tests, Madelyn has to add scoops to a plastic ice cream cone every time she hears a sound. The “game” varies - sometimes she has to add plastic cookies to a cookie jar. Madelyn’s hearing is still within normal range, for which we are very thankful. We will continue to monitor as it is not uncommon for kids who have had cleft lip and or palate to have some hearing loss.
After the Doernbecher visit, we got to say hi to Joylyn who was just starting her evening shift with the NICU. Madelyn was very surprised to see her friend in that context!
Then we headed out for dinner and Christmas lights. The original plan had been to go to Portland International Raceway to see their light display, but we somehow ended up in Portland on the ONE evening in December that the raceway lights were off. There may have been a little stress. Okay, a lot. I am not good at improvising! We got hot chocolate at Starbucks and munched on Trader Joes gingerbread cookies while we drove through a few random Portland neighborhoods looking at lights on houses. About 15 minutes in, Madelyn said, “Okay, Okay - lets get out of here.” (Some of her impatience may have been due to the hot chocolate she spilled in her car seat rather than the lights or lack thereof.) I was a little bummed about the results of the evening until we crossed over the bridge on I-5 to head back to Salem. Madelyn let out a “Wow!” as we drove past the City of Portland lit up over the water. And at that moment, the evening seemed just perfect.
By the way, thank you, Denessa, for introducing us to Trader Joes gingerbread cookies.
Next up in the week was a visit to Santa. Madelyn prepped her letter using an online program offered by Macy’s retail store (she dictated, I typed). Macy’s donated $1 to Make a Wish (up to $1 million) for every letter to Santa delivered through their store!
Then we met up with Owen and Ava to mail the letter and meet Santa. Owen asked his Mom in advance if she would ask Santa whether his beard was real. It turns out that the Santa we visited did have a real beard and he was happy to let both Owen and Madelyn check it out!
At the end of the week, we found ourselves back in Portland again to celebrate both Troy’s birthday and a surprise 40th birthday for a friend. We headed to Christmas in Dairyville at Alpenrose Dairy in Portland and enjoyed an hour or so of free family fun!
It is amazing how things seen through the wonder of three-year-old eyes can make even the cheesiest (no pun intended) of displays seem magical. I will treasure these years forever!
- Tricia Olson, 2012