Tag Archives: Christmas

The Christmas One

22 Jan

Dec. 18

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Tom is twelve and a half pounds.

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Our DVDs were not always locked up.

Dec. 19

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They are fun to rearrange.

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Sometimes you have to choose between using the camera flash, and giving him crazy eyes…

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or not using the flash, and being content with blurry, yellow cuteness.

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I made a ton of Christmas cookies, but kind of dropped the ball on decorating and distributing. But look how perfect they are!

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My willing taste-tester shoves a cookie in his mouth before I can change my mind.

Dec. 21

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Tom had ample opportunity to escape, but chose to stick it out. I love watching their antics.

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Gotta pet him hard, so he can feeeel it.

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They always let him win, wisely.

Dec. 22

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Josh inadvertently brought home the best souvenir from his business trip – this mini Dasani water bottle. Dave loved it for days and days.

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He attempted to use a rubber band to keep David from unloading his gaming equipment, but Ida can’t resist rubber bands.

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The whole setup was a huge cat magnet, and they (Ida) broke it. Now I think there are hair ties keeping the cabinets closed.

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Dec. 23

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If he wakes up before I’ve drunk my coffee, he chills out in the pack ‘n’ play for a while. He is really easy-going about entertaining himself. He will peruse a board book, play with one of his shoes, shake a rattle for a while.

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“My parents took me to Burger King and all I got were the Cheerios I brought in with me” is something Dave might say.

Christmas Eve

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The presents were stacked on the piano with care. Sometimes I wipe food off his face with a washcloth. Sometimes I wipe it off with Picasa. ;)

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Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter.

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Not much snow this year.

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David got to open a present from Josh’s mom, which had his first Christmas ornaments and Christmas pajamas!

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“What do you mean, we don’t have a chimney?”

Christmas Day

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I was letting him play with the cookie jar because it is sturdy plastic and I didn’t think he could open it. Only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!

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New books!

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His British animal sounds video claims owls say “to-whit-to-woo” so that is what we say.

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Oh, my gosh, open it. It took forever. What is it?

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I think of this as his “oh my gosh oh my gosh” face!

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Christmas?!

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I like to laugh at this picture of Tom. It reminds me of an old-timey crazy person.

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He had cords on for Christmas dinner but it soon became apparent that he couldn’t really move his legs.

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Josh cooked, while Tom pussyfooted.

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Laughing at his dad

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“Yellow ring, you will be my favorite.” And it is to this day

I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who helped make our first Davy Christmas so happy. It kind of kills me that my boy couldn’t spend it with more of his family, but we are truly blessed to have our peeps even when we are remote. I hope my mom and dad know how badly I wanted to be able to celebrate with them the way we used to.

Dec. 26

Dave took a few steps to Josh, but it hasn’t become a regular thing yet. It is still occasional.

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Always hold the leg. You never know.

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I don’t know what was going on, but something definitely was.

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Reading a new book at naptime.

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TRYING to sleep.

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TRYING to read.

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Ida patiently explains how the baby monitor works.

Dec. 27

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I just love this one.

Dec. 28

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The coffee was hot. I know because the mug changes colors. ;)

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Dec. 29

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Ida got on the counter when we weren’t in the room. Still a bummer. :(

Dec. 30

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Dec. 31

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Touch and go

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This is why I failed to pick up the hamper as quickly as I expected.

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So I have fun with his blocks!

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<3

Jan. 2

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Jan. 4

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Wind

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Tom knows what to do on a cold day.

Jan. 5

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Heating pad: another acceptable activity on a cold day

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If you are serious about books, you read them IN the bookshelf.

Jan. 6

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Pediatric waiting room. He was wearing slipper socks.

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I think he was too distracted by this flavored tongue depressor to cry during his shot.

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Jan. 8

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Jan. 9

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There was nothing in the yard.

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He is glad to be out of the baby tub. I had to put it away because he started trying to stand up in it, but he put up with it for a long time. He LOVES the big tub.

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A very clean young man

Jan. 10

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Shaking his rattle

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Jan. 12

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“I don’t know to lift the bottle, because I am used to having a straw” is another thing David might say.

Jan. 14

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I’m not sure what he loves more, bagels or the big bath tub.

Jan. 15

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Josh may have been smacked.

Jan. 17

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Snow on Josh’s “truck”

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Jan. 20

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Once in a while he’s good at lounging.

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Teething. The two top ones came in around the 12th.

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Hanging out in the driver’s seat

You are caught up again. Try to stay that way now; these long posts are a lot of work.

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The Last of the Fall Pictures

17 Dec

David has become quite mobile since October, and his huge fat legs seem to be shrinking a little with the constant exercise. They say that all good things must end some day; autumn leaves must fall.

Last week he and I were visiting my family in California. The four flights (David has been on 16 planes, not including in utero) were not as bad as I expected, and he made friends with other passengers. The trip was fun, but of course flew by!

Nov. 5

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Narcissus

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Nov. 9 I am not sure exactly when he started pulling up, but this was one of the first times. As soon as he heard me take a picture he started coming for the camera.IMG_2913

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Going to the grocery store

Nov. 10 Proof that the Suburban fits in the garage…with centimeters to spare ;) IMG_2927

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Nov. 15IMG_2962

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Nov. 24 (Nine months today)IMG_2989

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Tom

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Eyeing the lens cap

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He always gets his man.

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“Gotta go check on my cats.”

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“Are you sure they like me, Mama?”

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Is she keeping her friend close or her enemy closer? She tends to be nearby.

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My men at Thanksgiving

Nov. 28

Car crash

Car crash. Luckily he was ejected before the Camaro flipped

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“Hello, I’m fat.”

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Loving homemade (not by me) sourdough bread

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The old litmus test

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And it was good.

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Striking a pose

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Dec. 5 It is impossible to get good bath pictures because he is never still even for a second.1384167_924674662665_4591034028619661236_n

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I love this one!

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I’ve been told he has my nose. I don’t really see it!

Dec. 8 Heading to California

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A tarmac guy tapped on our window as he walked by and noticed the baby face plastered to it.

Dec. 9

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Breakfast at Yiayia’s

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He’s no Francie

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Watching Mickey’s Christmas Carol…for like 10 seconds

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Waldo

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David liked this nativity.

Dec. 10 The kitten and the baby were very interested in each other, and each other’s toys. Pretty cute!

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Bed head

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Dec. 13 Christmas Tea1743559_924674358275_259499109089176993_n

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Crumpet selection

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A very rewarding house to decorate

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Mo in the mirror

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Finagling shortbread from Aunt Ellen

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I got lazy with the last bows.

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Uncle Robert and Davy sharing a moment

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Dec. 14

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They both liked the guitar stand as a toy, but Waldo eventually got knocked off the arm of the couch by his end of it.

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Last dinner with the grandparents

Dec. 15 Home again, home again10418869_924673594805_5532170345937346708_n (1)

We came home to a sad, empty house. (Well, the cats were there.) Josh is away, but just for the week! I am so glad he will be here for Baby’s First Christmas.

Pretzels and Cranberries

5 Dec

When you never have free time and energy at the same time, blogging is (apparently) one of the first things to go. In fact, here is a list of things that have fallen by the wayside:

1. blogging

2. Christie’s stocking and Robin’s blanket

3. dishes, laundry, bathrooms

4. my editing business

In case you cannot relate, let me tell you what I have observed about being 30ish weeks pregnant and 30ish pounds heavier than I’m used to and spending more waking hours standing up than sitting down: for someone who has never been whatever the opposite of sedentary is, these conditions make it REALLY HARD TO DO ANYTHING. Just ask Josh, he will verify that I mostly do nothing.

The good news is that I am quitting my job! I took a job as a store cashier shortly after realizing I was pregnant because the pay and hours were significantly better and would allow me to save about twice as much money as my bank job. I had planned to work at the store until January something, but Josh convinced me (quite easily) that quitting before Christmas would be better for many reasons. In fact, here are some of our reasons:

1. I haven’t really started any baby prep yet. Also I feel I have lost control of my messy house. Josh wants me to be able to relax and enjoy the last part of the pregnancy and feel somewhat prepared by Feb. 14 (and clean up after myself once in a while).

2. I don’t have to worry about working on Christmas Eve and every day preceding it because we are shorthanded, which would translate to not getting my shopping done and packages mailed in time.

3. The store accepted my application nearly a month ago for an open 24 hr/wk position, and then told me it might take months for it to happen because they are retards (my wording). To make things worse, I haven’t gotten a Saturday or Sunday off in a long time (except when I took leave to go to CA) which is sad because I never have a day to hang out with Joshua. Who wants Mondays and Thursdays off? Terrible. ;)

4. Plantar fasciitis. Needles and pins-uh.

5. Some People have been Getting On My Nerves. This has been getting worse the tireder I become, and is enough to make me pretty annoyed a lot of the time. It will be sad to leave nonetheless because I do like the limited social interaction with customers (introvert) and I like a lot of the people who work there.

6. Josh got a promotion!

Blah blah blah. Six reasons should be enough! The main one is that Josh said I should, and he doesn’t have any pregnancy brain affecting his way of thinking. If he wants to treat me like a delicate flower, that’s okay by this lady.

Last night after work I made a cranberry garland. I’d had Josh buy cranberries when he did the Thanksgiving shopping (I was working) and he put them in the fridge (logical), which was fine for the ones that became sauce but it might have made the ones for the garland a little weird. I have never bought fresh cranberries before but I was expecting them to be somewhat crisp and hard like a green apple, and most were more like very delicate grapes. Is that from refrigeration or just the way it goes? Anyway after a few days of resting on a cooling rack in the pantry, many were discovered to be like wooden beads or green apples or whatever and last night these ones were totally workable. The cats LOVED this activity, and have been playing with the same cranberry all around the house ever since. I ended up making a garland that was about 4 feet long (I didn’t measure) which was perfect for my counter-top Christmas tree. I think my next step will be to make those cinnamon ornaments for it, so it will have a food theme. Kitchen trees should have a food theme? I did not have any un-buttered popcorn so I went straight cran. For the big tree I might do a popcorn-cranberry one, but I might wimp out because I can see the cats knocking the tree down in the night. With any luck/momentum, right through the front window.

Cranberry garland

Cranberry garland

When we were in Texas meeting Robin, Betsy and Marcos had pretzel rolls from Costco. Josh has never forgotten how good they were, and has been talking for weeks about trying to make his own. We haven’t seen them for sale anywhere around here. After a bit of internet research, he made his first attempt (I was working):

Parboil pretzel rolls

Parboil

Bake pretzel rolls

Bake

Lovely pretzel rolls

Done!

Aren’t they perfect and adorable looking? He was disappointed that they tasted exactly like soft pretzels at the mall shaped like rolls. How do I describe the pretzel roll he was envisioning? Softer and more delicate, like a dinner roll, but with a delicious pretzel flavor. He will try again, and again if necessary. Meanwhile I love to eat them warmed up a little and dipped in mustard. :)

Quick pregnancy update: I can’t tell if I would be sore if it weren’t for my job, but that is really my only complaint. No swollen ankles or anything. Sometimes my back aches but Josh can usually fix it right up. I think I must still be in that golden age where I don’t feel sick and I don’t feel like a cow yet. The baby moves a lot, which is awesome! It makes me smile at work.

Christmas Card

12 Apr

I live in one! My street looks so similar to this that I won’t take a picture of it:

And my hood:

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But seriously, it is mid-April and winter is still going strong. I keep thinking of this:

When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.

and that maybe the license plates around here should say “Always winter, never Christmas” across the top instead of “Discover the spirit.”

I started a job at a bank, and now I feel more like I earn my days at home and I don’t have to do housework, so you can imagine that the house is getting pretty gross. The job is going smoothly but it’s boring so I won’t talk about it anymore on the blog.

Here is some food for thought: If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. What do you think? I saw it on the Internet.

Rumors are swirling about Ida being part Maine Coon. Her fur appears slightly greasy sometimes, which is common among Maine Coon kittens, and her coloring and markings are quite common for Maine Coons as well, and she is kind of big for her age. But she is not 15 pounds yet, so we’ll see.

By the way, if your cat’s fur appears slightly greasy sometimes, do not Google “my cat has greasy fur” or you will be told that your precocious kitten has all kinds of serious medical issues and could die at any time. Who needs to hear that? Not I. What Google should have said was, “Does she bathe herself?” and you could say, “She’s too busy being a maniac” and Google could say “Well, there you go.”

ida

poof

Easter

1 Apr

Have you ever wondered why so little fuss is made over Easter? Compared to Christmas, for example. Just seems weird.

When I decided to get married and move away from my family it was Christmas I worried about. I accepted that it would not always be within my power to observe Christmas where and with whom I chose, but I dreaded missing the hundreds of rituals associated with that time of year and made an effort to establish as many of them as I could in my new household. I didn’t think the lesser holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, New Year’s) would be as much of an issue, because there isn’t much to them.

But the whole problem when there isn’t much to them is that if you aren’t careful they can kind of disappear. The gist of Easter as I’ve known it (aside from Easter baskets I guess) has been going to Mass/church with my family in the morning and then hanging out with cousins either at my Grandpa’s house or, in the old days, at the Del Cerro pool. Aside from seasonal candy I don’t associate any particular food with the holiday, and I don’t remember getting any decorations out of the garage every year. So when it comes to making Easter here for me and Josh, and I have no relatives or Grandpa’s house or pool to work with and no specific dishes or decor to recreate, I draw a big fat blank. Do we dye eggs? Fill baskets? That’s for kids. But Easter must be observed.

So I’ve been researching Lent and Holy Week and Easter and trying to decide what our rituals will be. And that’s when I run into that whole gray area that is Easter/Spring. Just what do the colored eggs and bunnies and chicks have to do with it again? Do we celebrate Easter with images of spring because they occur at the same time, the way we decorate for Christmas with snowflakes and snowmen, or are we really embracing the new life around us to remind us of our own new life? I have never bought into the bunnies and chicks thing, but maybe that’s just because I don’t like bunnies or chicks. Would putting eggs around my house make me feel more Eastery? Or just kind of eggy?

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?

We ate chili for dinner last night, but maybe next year I will really try to cook lamb like a good Greek. I have been looking to my Greek Orthodox roots and I like their blood red Easter eggs (κόκκινα αυγά) and the cracking game that goes with them, but I’m not sure I can manage seven weeks of veganism followed by lamb. In fact I’m sure I can’t. What did my Protestant or Catholic ancestors do on Easter? Or my in-laws, for that matter? I don’t even know. My research continues.

So far for next year I’m leaning toward hot cross buns and Greek eggs. And if I plan a dinner menu, buy flowers and use the china, Easter Sunday will be more of a celebration.

Do you have any Easter traditions that don’t involve baby farm animals? I’d be grateful.

Joyeux Noël

25 Dec

gingerbread man

Josh and I have been learning French! We are both getting really quick at translating sentences like Je mange une pomme et elle boit du vin.

This was my first white Christmas. It was probably Josh’s 15th or 20th. The whiteness of Christmas did not have as much impact on the holiday as you would expect from the songs. Maybe because sleigh rides are no longer the thing?

white christmas

A tiny bit of snow

This past week I was so busy racing around trying to get boxes assembled and mailed to relatives that I forgot that half of them were going to be away from their homes over Christmas. So much for trying to think of everything. I blame Pinterest for making me overly ambitious.

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It is comforting to know that if I fall asleep on the couch someone will fall asleep next to me and someone else will take our picture.

Miss Ida was so exhausted from watching me race around that she fell asleep in the bath. A candidate for Dead Cats:

cat fatigue

Too tired to lick self

candy cane

These did not make it into the Christmas boxes. Because they are ugly.

The cookies I did really enjoy making were the gingerbread. I used this recipe and the dough was very workable. I’ve never made gingerbread men before but I’ll be making them again fo sho.

Despite the cold outside and ice forming around the doors and windows, we can’t seem to get it cold enough in our room at night for our fat down comforter to be comfortable. It’s too hot to sleep under the comforter and just barely too cold to kick it onto the floor. So Downie (in her holiday red cover) got relegated to the foot of the bed and Quilty made a comeback from the guest room! This lovely quilt was made by my Aunt Kate.

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On Christmas Eve we watched It’s A Wonderful Life. Then Josh made cheeseburgers for dinner, a family tradition from his side that I am happy to espouse.

IAWL

Welcome home, Mr. Bailey.

We went to midnight Mass at a small parish near our apartment, and while Josh seemed nervous beforehand, I did what I could to assure him that he would not be persecuted and he later said that he was glad we went. I was really happy to hear a good choir singing songs I love, but I was somewhat surprised by all the changes made to the Mass. For instance, saying “And also with your spirit” whenever you would have said “And also with you” (!). There were a lot of things like that, and they were printed in the missal so it seems that I am really out of the Catholic loop. It made me a little sad that my Nicene Creed is outdated. But the overall experience was quite positive.

I would like to add that the woman in the pew in front of us was wearing a t-shirt and carrying a fleece-lined hoodie. I was wearing two pairs of sweater leggings under my pants, socks, boots, an undershirt, a shirt, and a cardigan, and I had just removed a heavy wool sweater and a wool coat and gloves and a scarf. The natives are tough people!

Ida wreaked her usual havoc during the night, waking us up several times with her shenanigans and disregard for personal space, and then Josh was waking me up on Christmas morning. At nine o’clock it was a balmy -11 degrees — so you can imagine how cold it was at midnight on Christmas Eve — and when we (Joshua) forced the balcony door open a couple hours later I made a silent pledge to stay indoors forever. Ida’s Christmas presents were being allowed to step out into the snow for a minute and then a can of tuna from the pantry. She seemed very emotional about the tuna, and as soon as she had gorged herself she passed out on the couch for hours.

tuna nap

I had purchased a 7-lb turkey breast for Thanksgiving before Josh decided that we were going to his boss’s house (that’s how it happened!), so I took it out of the freezer on Friday and put it in the fridge. Christmas morning in my gray polka-dotted sweater, orange ballet flats and flowery-stripey apron I helped Josh fill the new crock pot with turkey, apples and onions for our first Christmas dinner together. Josh is, I think, as excited as I am to have a crock pot in the house, and has already been spotted Googling “crock pot chicken wings.”

crock pot turkey

Think it’ll work? It’ll take a miracle.

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It worked. :)

It was not the big family Christmas either of us is used to, but we were grateful to be together and we had a lovely day at home. Josh and I both want to wish everyone a very happy new year!

Dead Cats

18 Dec

I keep finding them all over my house.





When she is not sleeping or flying around tearing things up she is eating everything in sight. There is no moderation in anything.

I have been baking, shopping, wrapping, creating secret things, sending my spouse to work without lunch and making him make dinner when he gets home. Here is a tablecloth/tree skirt transformation that is not a secret:

tablecloth

Fold, cut.

pin hem

Pin.

pin skirt

Pin more, sew.

diy tree skirt

Arrange.

I like it because it was $13 but also because 70″ is much bigger than I can find in stores and the stand is huge. Also it keeps people from drinking the tree water. You know, people who lurk behind trees.

My phone’s forecast for the next few days:

A bit of snow.
A snow shower.
Partly sunny.
Partly sunny.
Colder.
Frigid.

No sign of seasonal affective disorder yet, thanks to my roommates. <3

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