Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Day of the Year

Christmas came with much anticipation and excitement and family and food. And transformers and dollies, and all good things. We have so much to be thankful for.

It feels like this past year has been a time of maintaining in a lot of ways which has been a relief. The next year ahead promises changes and opportunities for growth all around.

My kids (and I) love the light this time of year. We appreciate the soft glow of candles or the fireplace, or twinkling lights, or the days of bright sunshine.

May your New Year be filled with light, in all it's many forms!
See you next year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cozy Days

We're reaching that point in the Christmas countdown where our patients are wearing thin. There are still last minute preparations to be made, birthdays to celebrate, gifts to wrap, and ongoing effort to stay 'busy' and have some fun while ALL THE WAITING continues. So much waiting. And is it Christmas? Today? Is it today???
I took these pictures a couple of mornings ago. Some days getting everyone dressed and out the door takes the same effort it would take an old steam ship to do a 360. But some days you just have to appreciate laying around, sunbeams through the window with a world of snow outside, a bowl of cereal and each other.
I especially love the hair static and the extra fluff floating around in the air. I think it's a teeny bit dry around here...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How Many More Sleeps?!

I can't believe it's only a few days away...AAAAAHHH!!! The kids wish it was Christmas every day, it's so hard to be patient!
I could use a few more days myself. Luckily Christmas comes whether we are 'ready' for it or not (as my mom always says). This from the woman who would have us try on our 'gifts' with a blindfold and be up sewing late into the night Christmas eve...!

The Babe is enjoying the magnet calendar the most I think. She likes to take them off and put them back randomly. Just to keep us on our toes.

The Bee is still busy making decorations. Instead of a wreath on our front door we have the less traditional Christmas Robots taped all over the glass. Another favorite is the clear/snowflake cellophane he has taped to the banister posts up the stairs! I was telling a mom at playschool how he likes to decorate and she said she'd have a hard time not following right behind him to remove everything. And yes, the tape can be a bit much at times, but it's mostly quite entertaining. We enjoy his creative genius!
Here is an example of his drawing. I think that is a monster snowman on the right.

And The Bug is busy watching...Cake Boss. Odd for a 4 year old, but whatever. I'm just a bit worried that he's going to have some pretty high expectations on his next birthday! We've also been enjoying The Grinch and a new favorite.

And as for the teacher gift...thanks for all your comments and suggestions. The Teacher received some peppermint bath salts and sugarplums from the boys (which they mostly made) as well as over $400 in spa certificates and wine and cheese gifts from the rest of the class. Meeerrrry Christmas whuhoooo!!

Sugarplums* these were fabulous and no processed sugar (just don't coat them with it). We'll be making more of these little nuggets of sunshine! Another recipe.

I also made this scrumptious recipe for Spiced Kettle Corn last night. (Thanks Gwyneth, not that you ever touch the stuff!)
Not quite so healthy, but oh so yummy. I think the kids have only ever had microwave popcorn, but I've been annoyed with it lately. The stove top version was sooooo much better. And yes the sugar and butter may have helped, but even the texture was superior! YUM.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Decking the Halls

It's been so cold and the kids have colds so we've been home the past few days. And we're about done with it. Each other. Being stuck inside. Gettin' a little stir crazy. But we haven't been totally unproductive. Here're a few things we've been up to in the last while...

Rather than waiting for Christmas Eve for new jammies, we started off December with a festive pillow case and new jammies. Might as well enjoy for the whole month.

We made a countdown tree out of my magnet board. It's a little easier for the kids to keep track of the days this way. They would not do well with an advent calendar. All the treats would have to be consumed or fought over. So we just count the days and make our own treats whenever we (I) feel the inclination/buy them!

I made some rice bags to keep us warm on cold nights. I just used basmati rice with herbal tea to make it smell nice. Christmas Eve herbal tea (tastes like toothpaste) but has a light pepperminty/cinnamon/orange smell. I like it. And the kids like them too. Although they're just as happy to throw them around like giant bean bags...

We had a couple of santa hats in with our decorations but with 3 heads and only 2 hats there was trouble.
So I made an elf hat out of fleece. And then I made 2 more for good measure. I think this is a super fun idea. And with a bit more time and inclination you could really make them colorful and funky...for now they are just plain with a jingle bell on the end. Two of which need to be replaced already...

For the tree...I've been letting the kids do most of the decorating and we just add on as we make new things. So far we've done bead candy canes, salt dough shapes, and pine cones with glitter (my personal fave). We also have store bought red balls and tin stars for some sparkle.

I have plans to make The Babe a cute dress before Christmas, but I just don't know. I did manage to make this one from the Carefree Clothes for Girls book. It's quite sweet and not too difficult, but I don't have much time to focus on anything that takes more than a few minutes or I can do with 3 helpers with their faces in mine.
One thing that I've been having fun with is making little pajama pants. I first did some for the boys but it's fun for girls too. I just take a pair of their shorts, or sweatpants with holes in the knees, cut off the arms from a sweater/sweatshirt and sew them on to the leg holes. So simple with knit fabric and you don't even have to finish the leg hem (previous arm cuff). Fast and fun. For me. Cute and cozy. And maybe a hat to match!

And now here's a little christmas quandry I find myself in. The Teacher Gift. My boys are in PLAYSCHOOL. They go and play. And it's tons of fun for them.
At their school, apparently is is customary for all the parents to pool money together for a gift card for both teachers (there are two classes of 3yr olds and 2 of 4yr olds). Not such a bad idea. I'm sure you only need so many mugs or tree ornaments. But I heard from one of the other mom's in the other class that last year they all gave $25.
Excuse me??! For a playschool teacher? Or any teacher who isn't directly related to you or saved you from a burning building. I think that's a bit much. And with two kids would I be inclined to give $50? (I wouldn't).
So far now one in our class has mentioned an amount. So do I give a lesser amount? Do I opt out and go the handmade by student route? I personally think that's a more appropriate option, but I understand that you could have a cupboard full of cute/useless gifts. But shouldn't the efforts of your your students be meaningful? Or am I just being cheap (my husband's question to me)? Could be.
What do you think????

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Because I Have Coot Boys Too...

That's right, more gratuitous photos of my kids!
We're having some fun getting ready for Christmas.
3 days down, 21 more to Christmas Eve...that's like 21 million light years to a 4 year old. So we're trying to stay calm and have fun. Or something.
I'll be back with further posts of our festivities. Maybe I'll make up some slack from NOvember. More gratuitous cootness headin' this way!