Saturday, December 31, 2005

Out of hibernation: a photo essay, part II

Later on Christmas morning we went over to visit with Tim's family, where happy, mass hysteria ensued.

Nate, however, managed to find a quiet moment to read his new dinosaur book.

In the relatively quieter days that followed, I was able to make slightly more progress on a few projects. I finally felted these hats that I had knit in October. The green one was meant for Hattie,

and the purple one for Charlotte. I had made the circumference on Charlotte's so big that I had to pleat it to get it anywhere near hat size. Now they both fit me perfectly, however, so I'm thinking that I may need to run them back through the washing machine another time to see if they'll shrink more to get them anywhere near toddler size. And yes, that is a balloon sitting in a bowl that they're drying on.

Yesterday we went over to my sister's for a visit. This is a picture of everyone wearing Nate's sweaters through the ages. Hattie is on the Big Wheel that Grandma and Grandpa gave her for Christmas. She can't really ride it yet, but that hasn't stopped her from getting around on it.

Another picture of the girls before we left for Aunt Anne's.

Today I got caught up on almost all of my holiday baking! Only a week behind! I made the dough for these ginger cookies over a week ago and only today got a chance to roll them out. Accordingly, while I cut out some cookies in holiday shapes, I felt free to use a variety of other cookie cutters. If you look closely, you'll see the United States, a football helmet, a couple of dinosaurs, a lion, and a polar bear, in addition to some more traditional shapes. The lion was in honor of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which Nate and I went to see the other day. We finished reading all the Chronicles right around Thanksgiving, so it was a fun outing for us. We really enjoyed the movie!

And more cookies. The holidays at our house apparently include a fish, a triceratops and a mammoth (LOVE the mammoth, even if he is a pain to get onto the cookie sheet in one piece). This is not, however, a shot of the sheet that slipped in my hand as I was taking it out of the oven. And of course it was the sheet with no sides, so the cookies slipped right off. Fortunately I was able to both curtail my expletives and save most of the cookies, as Hattie was standing right there watching. She was very concerned that I was hurt, but felt much better after I gave her a broken cookie.

And finally, some buckeyes for Tim. I had been promising him that I would make them since before Christmas. So all hail the New Year's Buckeyes!

Happy New Year, everybody!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Out of hibernation: a photo essay, part I

No, we have not fallen off the face of the earth. Rather than whine about how busy we've been, I thought I would show you instead. (This is all from the first week I didn't post -- I was going to put everything in one huge post, but either I can't figure it out or Blogger only allows so many pictures per post, because for some reason it cuts me off here. So the next post will be a continuation.)

In the week before Christmas, we all got sick (fortunately no pictures of that), we got better, and then we went to see Hattie in her school program. The program was very cute and well performed. The two-year-olds, however, were so far in front that they were in the dark. So unless you happened to be sitting in the front row, on the correct side (which we weren't), you were unable to watch your particular child sit there and not sing. I did run over to the other side to get a quick shot to preserve the moment. This is the best I could do from behind a solid wall of moms, ten deep, who were completely blocking the aisle.

Then on Christmas Eve we went out for our traditional nice lunch with my family. Somewhat limited by the number of restaurants that were open for an early lunch that day (1), we ended up at a place decorated as if it were somewhere in Europe during World War II. It was fun for the kids because it's located at the end of a runway to a small airport. And there were very few other people there, so we had the place almost to ourselves. Overall, a very enjoyable afternoon.
Here Nate and Hattie are mugging for the camera in part of the decor. Hattie looks almost too comfortable and at ease there in the driver's seat for a two-year-old.

All the kids piled on Dad after lunch.

Walking out to the car afterwards -- Charlotte with Daddy and Hattie with "Unco Weeow and Anne Ant."

That same day I finished Hattie's stocking. Yay! Now every member of the family has his or her own stocking! It only took me ten years.

The next morning was Christmas morning. We all got some great presents.

Among Hattie's favorite gifts were 1) a necklace, 2) a stepstool painted like a tiger, and 3) a hairclip shaped like a penguin. Here she is, modeling all three. And yes, that is a hole in the toe of her pajamas because they were handed down to her from her sister, but they all three got new pajamas from us this year.

To be continued.......

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Speech Notebook Wednesday

Here's this week's Speech Notebook entry:

And last week's, since I was too busy trying to function to blog:

In other events of note today, Nate wrote some thank you letters for his birthday presents

(Charlotte also did some "writing").

And my grandmother had her 100th birthday. We talked to her on the phone, but it was hard for her to figure out who we were with no context. Still, we wished her a very happy birthday and told her we were thinking about her and that we loved her. It's got to be hard to reach that age and lose so much of what made you vital for so many decades. She's not in very good health these days, so I feel like the best we can do at this point is wish her peace. Happy Birthday, Grandma. We love you.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Hoo boy. Take one husband out of town, three small children, one large dog, and a crazy schedule, and you'll find that blogging ends up very low on the list of priorities.

Even with Mom here to help out, it's been a week of very short tempers, too little sleep (both the kids and me), falling asleep at stoplights (me), and the capper, the night I took the dog out right before the kids' baths, and was unable to locate his deposit in the pitch dark so I could pick it up. Grumpy and frustrated, I gave up and went in to give the kids their baths. I walked around the first floor a little and that's when I found his deposit. On the BOTTOM OF MY SHOE. In every possible crevice of my oh-so gripping sneakers. And now in many other places as well -- in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the dining room ON THE CARPET. You get the picture. Disgusted beyond measure, I scrubbed everything in sight while cussing an unbelievably blue streak. The poor dog was in disgrace for two days, even though he didn't really do anything he shouldn't have done, except maybe poop in the darkest spot in the yard. Fortunately Mom had started the kids' baths, as I was too busy going into conniptions until I cleaned everything up the best I could.

But we did manage to put the Christmas decorations up before Tim left. First, the tree.

Then, a few days later, the wreath. The only portion of it I can take credit for is the red berries that have been jammed into an already beautiful wreath. You will also notice that there is no bow on this wreath. That is due to my complete and utter lack of ability to make a decent bow. So I have opted for the minimalist approach this year, at least as far as wreaths are concerned.

Usually my Christmas decorating attempts look like this:

a scrawny, fake garland that has been inexpertly arranged on some structure, adorned with semi-resurrected bows that someone made for me in a previous year. This year I stopped before I ruined it further by attaching fake fruit that doesn't match.

However, I was not as restrained when it came to the banister:

not a very bright picture, but apparently we live in a place where pinecones, red berries, and grapes all grow on the same pine boughs! And again, no bows.

Tim came home Friday night, and it took me all day yesterday to start to function semi-normally again. Today he took extreme pity on me and took the kids over to Grandma and Grandpa's for the morning until after lunch. I spent all day working on his stocking, which I finally finished.

Even though this is the 10th Christmas we've been married, he's always had to use the boyfriend stocking, which is a non-specific stocking purchased at a grocery store many years ago that we used whenever someone's boyfriend came over for Christmas.

I have a stocking that my mother and grandmother made for me when I was very small, and I've used it ever since. For some unknown reason I was unable to find the time to make Tim a similar one in the years after we were married but before we had kids. And after we had kids, I made one for them, always meaning to make Tim's next. That accounted for the next 5 years, and last year we were within a month of moving when Christmas came around, so he is just now getting his own stocking.

Here's mine, which is 40 years old now!

And the one I made for Nate a few years ago.

Charlotte's was the last one I finished. Her birthday is on Epiphany, commonly regarded as the day the Wise Men made their appearance, so I had to go with the Nativity scene on hers. If you notice a striking resemblance between this design and the pictures in her Speech Notebook, that would be because I designed this myself. Without the benefit of clip art, which would have been the sensible way to do it. I prefer to think of it as 'primitive art.'

And you may be thinking, where is Hattie's? I only started hers today and it isn't finished yet. But it's a pretty simple design, and therefore a lot closer to being done than you might think. In a couple of days we all could have finished stockings for the first time ever! I ran out of navy felt, so I'll have to resume after a trip to the closest Michael's.

Monday, December 05, 2005

"Hmmm. Slacking off, I am."

Yoda -

A venerated sage with vast power and knowledge, you gently guide forces around you while serving as a champion of the light.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not - for my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life greets it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminescent beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you, everywhere.

Flattering, if nothing else.