Brad was out for the evening... again... seems like it's been a lot lately. Tonight it was a dodgeball tournement for the junior highers. I certainly don't want to attend that for more than about 10 minutes, so I stayed home with the kids. It's been different living in HC because in Marion, we'd just head over to my parents' house on nights like these. Now, I have to plan in advance for those sorts trips because I'm in Marion once in the mornings and who wants to drive over there twice? Besides, Mom had a choir program tonight. Dad would entertain us, but they just got new carpet and their house is less than baby-proofed at the moment - certainly not Daniel-proofed! The kid gets into and climbs on EVERYTHING!
He's also not content to sit for very long in any one place, including his stroller. So I was trying to figure out what to do with the three of us. I'm tired of laying on the couch being nauseated, and since evenings are best for me right now, I decided to get out of the house and take the kids to the Muncie Mall. I wasn't so sure how this was going to go... if I was going to feel well enough to deal with both of them... if Daniel was going to be content in his stroller... if Rachel would beg and plead for everything she saw... The trip turned out GREAT! After a decision by Rachel in the dressing room of Old Navy to "start over" with her attitude and actions, life was grand. Not only did I finish my shopping for everyone except my brother, I also found a booth set up by a church in Muncie that offered free gift wrapping... just because! Rachel, Daniel and I broke the cardinal rule that you aren't supposed to buy yourself anything before Christmas - I found some pants that are actually comfy - not too big, not too small - Rachel got a cute sweatsuit and Daniel got some darling clothes, too. I'm going to have to take a picture of him in his bodysuit - it says "It's not me... it was the dog." How true is that! I also got him the matching doggy hat and slippers. Daniel and our dog, Jack, are best buds, sharing the same toys, food, trash, etc. The outfit was just too appropriate, and kids outgrow clothes too fast to save it for Christmas!
We also got to visit Santa and all three of us had our picture taken with him... Daniel cried when I put him on Santa's lap, so Mommy sat next to Santa and held Daniel. Rachel was very matter-of-fact about the whole thing. She told Santa that she wanted an American Girl doll, and we have already had the discussion that she most likely will not be getting one for Christmas - a friend of ours had her girls save their own money and buy the doll, which I thought was a great idea, so it may be awhile. Anyway, she wanted the doll and surprises. That's good, because she'll have lots of surprises, then. :-)
They had a train next to Santa and so the kids took a ride. Daniel just loved looking at everything. He really liked the ride, too. Rachel took very good care of him, and was a great help. So basically, a good time was had by all.