Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ready for Christmas

So I was somehow miraculously able to send out many, many Christmas greetings far and wide and we were the recipients of many, many cards in return, so thank you all for making my kids' Christmas just a little more Christmas-y.

The advent calendar has proven to be a major pain in the ass. Bah humbug! (But it did turn out pretty cute, didn't it? Okay, maybe all of that felt cutting was worth it. Maybe?) (I am clearly fishing for reassurance here, people. REASSURE ME!) (Also, totally not done with the last two mittens yet. I think I lost my mojo around day 16.)

I had to unearth my sewing machine from a growing pile of unfinished projects in order to even start making the Christmas swag. This meant that I finally finished Sawyer's robe which had been sitting idle for oh, say 6 or so months. But I love how it turned out and if he would have been willing to model it for the camera I might have a better picture than this.

Speaking of pictures, I thought you might enjoy seeing the Christmas card photo outtakes. It was a lot like dressing up and photographing kittens.

You comb our hair, dress us in sweaters, make us sit this close together and THEN you expect us to smile?
Think fast, sucka!

This is what happens when your parents are too cheap to take you to the mall Santa and you happen upon the old guy in front of Bi-Mart. We are not even teenagers yet and our parents are already SO LAME.

Change of venue. So far so good.

Cute. A bit off center, but this seems promising.

Oh yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Christmas cards here we come!

Oooh lights.

The one.

As you can see, we opted for the one photo that truly captures Sawyer's effervescent personality. That kid is something else.

He is almost three (SOB!) and I keep catching myself expecting him to actually start acting like a three-year-old. I think I give him too much credit. This kid is clearly still a terrible two. Last week I decided to forgo our usual method of restraining Sawyer in the booster chair while I showered. Brent and Jack were out walking the dog and I left Sawyer building with blocks in the playroom and hopped into the shower. About a minute later as I lathered my hair I heard the cry. You know the one? The cry that makes you leap from the shower and sprint naked down the hallway to investigate? What I found were big splatters of blood and Sawyer scared silent by the pulsating bleeding of his hands. I grabbed a towel and held his hands tightly, cradling him in my cold, wet lap and all the while trying to keep my tunnel vision at bay. So. Much. Blood. After several attempts I was able to piece together a confession that he had scaled my sewing machine table and captured a most prized and forbidden object: the rotary fabric cutter. I guess we will never know exactly how he managed to slice up BOTH his hands with the thing, but one thing is for sure: those rotary cutters are razor sharp and those tiny cuts bled for a long, long time. I was expecting to see some real carnage after I got the bleeding to stop, but after all the blood was gone it looked like nothing more than a few paper cuts.

(And then we were out of bandaids. Naturally.)

But he is very sweet when he cuddles up on the couch to read Christmas books to his stuffed animals.
Meanwhile Jack had busied himself in the kitchen working on some project which involved hauling various materials from the art closet and hitting us up for dollar bills.

Pretty good forgery for a four year old. Perhaps a career in counterfeiting is in the cards for Jack?

I think I am done with the Christmas sewing and crafting and late night session holed up in the playroom with a stockpile of Sierra Nevada Celebration and homemade chocolates. The Christmas eve jammies are finally done, finished at the last minute no thanks to my summer self who thought she'd get "ahead" and buy the fabric in June only to let it sit in the garage until December 20th. Ha.

I fell in love with the idea of felt cookies to accompany Sawyer's play kitchen and drooled over this tutorial for a good old while before I finally busted them out the other night. They are super easy and really fun, even if you detest cutting felt AND loathe embroidery.

And now I finally feel ready.

Ready to have cocktail hour playdates with my neighbor.

Ready to walk on the wild side by letting Sawyer help us make peppermint bark this year.

Ready to have four different holiday dinners in four different places.

Ready to see if Grandma wants to babysit the kids overnight for New Years.

Ready to drink Irish coffees with Amberlee.

Ready to make fondue, cinnamon rolls, Buche de Noel cake, and spinach balls. I am forever losing the recipe for the spinach balls that my mom always made. Somehow, though, the recipe card always seems to reappear just in time for Christmas dinner. But just in case...

I'm not sure where this magical recipe came from, but I do know that's not my mom's writing because she knew how to spell the word "before." I'm just saying.

I'm also ready to haul myself out of a warm and cozy bed each morning to saddle up Lulu and run through the icy fog just so that I can pig out on peppermint bark later on in the day.

I'm ready to bring out all of the toys and treats and surprises we've been squirreling away and put them under the Christmas tree.

I'm ready to see my kids' faces when they see the things we have lovingly chosen or created for them. I'll be hoping that we've struck the elusive balance between Christmas magic and simplicity. And no, we did not buy the Lego Hogwarts for Jack because ultimately we decided that he will appreciate something like that when he is older and can understand the value of an extra special toy. We are not there yet. And so we bought a smaller (and much more reasonably priced) Harry Potter Lego set and I'm willing to bet he will be just as excited.

(Sawyer is getting a toy weed whacker. And if you have been paying attention and know anything about that kid, you realize that this is the perfect gift for him.)

And right now I am ready to grab another Celebration and finish off that effing advent calendar once and for all. 23 and 24 here I come!

Merry Christmas!

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