Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Okay, this is yet another post I have been putting off for some time (not as long as the swifts, but still). Our daughter Hayden has discovered commercials! She loves commercials in general, food, toys, anything geared towards kids. She wants EVERYTHING she sees (thank you smart marketing teams!) She is specifically enchanted by infomercials! As she is watching DK (discovery kids channel) or Nick Jr, she will call out to us to "come see __________" What makes it cute is how impassioned she is about her need to have ____________. One night stands out. Hayden comes downstairs and addresses Tom: "Dad, have you ever had the problem of not being able to get all of the toothpaste out of the tube?" "and what a mess!" "Well guess what, now you can get 'Touch n' brush', you just stick it to the wall, and 'touch & brush". Needless to say, we could barely keep straight faces. The fact that she is completely serious makes stifiling our laughtereven harder! She really does want a Touch n Brush for Xmas. Here are a few more that are on her wish list:

www.bigtopcupcake.com/ (I actually did get her this for Christmas...shhh its a secret)

www.hoverdisc.com/ (Hayden says you can play with it inside, outside, ANYWHERE!)

www.wonderhanger.com/ (She doesn't even hang clothes in her closet yet, but still wants them)

www.snuggieforkids.com/ (She told G&G that she wants one for watching the Hawkeyes.... it
was a proud moment for Tom!)

www.paperoni.com/ (Not a chance, too many little pieces)

www.bendaroos.com/ (We'll see, not sure how long they would last)

and finally:


Not only do we have the next Billy Mays living amongst us, I can get all her Christmas shopping done at Walgreens!

Experiencing the Swifts!

Okay, so I have to admit, this post is long overdue. Things get busy here and then the holidays approached (way too quickly) and now it's December! Yikes! So anyways, back in warmer weather, Spetember to be exact, we gathered with hundreds of Portlanders to watch the swifts at Chapman Elementary. Over the years I had heard rumblings about this phenomenon through friends and local news but had never checked it out. Here's the skinny: for the last 30 years, the swifts ( a small bird) have stopped nightly (every night in September) to roost in the old smokestack atop a local elemntray school. This phenomenon has created quite a following. I had no idea what we were in for! We arrived around 5:30 pm at the school/park to scope out a seat and give the girls time to play before the big show. The birds show up at dusk (approx 6pm). Strangest thing I have ever experienced. Like clockwork, as the sun started to set, thousands (okay maybe only hundreds?) of birds appeared from out of nowhere and started swarming in the sky above us! We sat on our blankets (as first timers we stood out compared to some families elaborate set ups complete with platters of food and beverages) to watch as the birds circled in formation for the next 1/2 hour or so (waiting for any latecomers to fly in). It ended with the lead swift finally decending into the smoke stack and all the other birds following is a tornado-like swirl. The crowd cheers at the sight, families pack it up and we all head home. This happens EVERY night for 30+ days! Not sure if it will be a family tradition or not, but definitely something to check out if you are in Portland in Spetember!
P.S. On a sad note, a couple of the swifts were swept away by a hawk/falcon quietly eyeing the acitivty from a nearby tree. Smart hawk/falcon, he is probably well fed in September. There were plenty of boos from the crowd.