Monday, December 27, 2010

Things We Did

New England. You might have heard it's a little wintry around these parts lately.

Sarah stuck it out outdoors in the wind and snow for ten whole minutes before giving it up as a bad idea.

What to do now? She's four, we're stuck inside all day, the roads are too grody to drive on. So we:

Made an oil lamp

Swam indoors

Played dress up (aka "Fashion Closet")

(As fashion-y as that closet gets)

And made rainbows with a flashlight and a pitcher of water.
(Sarah taught me. You shine a light through water, you get rainbows!)

There was also some fort-making, paper-cutting, sick-doll-tending, and Wii yoga-ing. Her cousins better show up tomorrow. I am tapped.

Friday, December 24, 2010

And I'm Feelin' Good: a list

Cookies: baked and delivered.

Gifts: wrapped and under the tree.

Stockings: stuffed to the point of bursting.

Advent calendar: done, and only totally bailed on one activity (sorry, Blue, no homemade dog treats for you).

Family and friends: awesome. Always.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Is It So Very Wrong To Cheat At An Advent Calendar?

So. Yeah. The advent calendar. It's so far off the rails I can't even begin to describe. Where were we. Day 15? 

Day 15: Should have been Make Cookies. FAIL.

Day 16: Should have been Give Cookies to Friends. FAIL.

Day 17: Christmas book (Merry Christmas, Strega Nona): SUCCESS!

Day 18: Watch Christmas movie in new jammies: SUCCESS! (Are we seeing a pattern yet? I am at a complete loss if I have to actively do something to make an activity happen, but if we get to sit on our fannies? Got it covered. Amply.)

Day 19: Sing carols: FAIL. So, I'm choosing to pretend that I planned on making gingerbread houses with the neighborhood kids as one of the activities. (One of the older neighbor kids and her friends supervise the little kids and help them decorate their houses. It's totally adorable.)

(If there's a photo, it must have happened the way I said it did, right? Future me will forget this was not the plan, anyway.)

Day 21: Make a snowman: FAIL. But Sarah did spontaneously make snow angels yesterday, so I'm just going to go ahead and slot that in for today. (There's not enough snow for a snowman, and it's too dry to pack. It totally would have failed anyway. For reals. Really.)

Tomorrow's supposed to be a bubble bath. I think I can manage it. Bubble stuff? Check. Dirty kid? Check. Bath tub? Check! Can we do it? YES WE CAN!

And, to show that I don't completely suck, I finally started baking today, and we might even eventually get around to giving cookies to our friends. Really! Maybe even before the actual holiday! Dare to dream.

(They look much better in real life. Less yellow, for one [I have GOT to do something about the lighting around here. Geez]. Also, the internet needs to invent scratch-and-sniff screens, because the snickerdoodles smell awesome.)

Four to go, people. I'm reasonably confident it can be done.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In Lieu of the Real Activity

Skreeeech! That would be the sound of the advent calendar going off the rails.

Today was supposed to be cookie-making day. Um, yeah. Not so much. We had to go grocery shopping first (ingredients being handy to the cookie-making process), and then Sarah wouldn't eat lunch, and then she wound up taking an almost two hour nap, and then suddenly it was dinner time.

So to make up for lost time I tried making some meringues after I put Sarah to bed tonight, but the whites wouldn't whip up into anything but thickish mounds, and none of it was working. Now Sarah's all pumped up to make cookies tomorrow, but we have to get the house ready for Tom's big work Christmas party, and it just ain't happening. Not this week. No cookies here. Sorry, kid.

But! I have been making stuff involving cookie cutters, just none of it edible.

(The photos aren't great, for which I apologize. All the light in this house in the evening is yellow. So it goes.)

Sarah's not going to be placated with felt, but at least something cookie-related was made around here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent-ageous (See What I Did There?)

I had this crazy notion that for this month I'd post all the advent activities I lined up for Sarah. Maybe not daily but, you know, often-ish. So I posted the first two, and now suddenly it's December 14th. Heh. Also, I haven't photographed everything. Oops. At least I'm mostly done with the Christmas shopping.

In the interests of catching you all up on what I'm sure is just scintillating material, here in one excruciatingly large post are the first two weeks of advent, minus Days 1 and 2:

Day 3: Toys for Tots donation (undocumented, but we totally did it. S picked out a Polly Pocket set, and really really wanted it for herself, but bravely put it in the box outside the store. She also picked out gifts for some of her friends and got nothing for herself. Because Christmas is about giving, damn it.)

Day 4: Wagon ride!

That's not us. We went earlier, with one of Sarah's BFFs. They loved it. And the horses didn't even poop! Win!

Day 5: New Christmas book: Jan Brett's The Twelve Days of Christmas (Also undocumented. It's a beautiful book, but all of Jan Brett's stuff is gorgeous. The detail in the margins never fails to delight us.)

Day 6: Toy (I didn't do many of these, but I just happened to have some random little things around so... This day it was pirate-themed Silly Bandz. Sarah was excited for the two minutes it took to open and catalogue the package. I have no idea where they've ended up. THANK GOD I BOTHERED.)

Day 7: Game Night!

Day 8: Put up Sarah's tree

Sarah has her own fabulously fake tree in her bedroom. She gets to pick out new ornaments every year to add to it; this year we found a set of wooden mini ornaments (isn't the soldier cute? he's maybe an inch and a half tall).

Day 9: Make ornaments!

1 c. cinnamon, 1/2 c. white glue, 1/4 c. applesauce. Mix, roll, cut and let dry for 24 hours. Then decorate to your heart's content.

These were supposed to be attached to gifts, but I love them and am keeping them. I'm a terrible person. But I'm going to make other ornaments for the presents, so no one's losing out. (Don't tell me otherwise; I don't wanna hear it.)

This guy's my favorite. Sarah did the whole thing except the eye. Could you just eat him up? (Except don't. Glue. Yuck.) 

Day... um. 10? Paint nails in Christmas-y colors. (No photo here, either, but I was painting the nails of three squirmy four year olds. I'm only human, people.)

Day 11: Get tree

Day 12: Decorate!

Pretty, right? (That's not the tree skirt, though. That's just an old sheet for under the tree skirt to wrap around the tree before we take it out after Christmas. I'm clever like that.) It looked like that for three whole hours before it crashed. Yay! Only lost a handful of the standard glass-ball variety of ornaments, although I have found a couple pieces in the tree. We are all about the holiday safety here. (Um, kidding. Mostly. I mean, I really did find some pieces, but this all happened after Sarah was safely in bed, and now the tree is shard-free. also, she almost never chews on the tree, so no worries, right? [Still kidding. Please don't call Social Services.])

Day 13: Toy (A stinky little Strawberry Shortcake doll thing. I don't know where it came from.)

Day 14: Christmas movie! Sarah was home sick from school today (she's fine now, and no, it had nothing to do with the broken ornaments) so this was particularly serendipitous. Mickey Rooney's crazed ho-ho-ho in Santa Claus is Comin' To Town does not improve when played on a loop all day, for those wondering.

Aaaaand, done. To think I've never considered myself a Christmas-y person.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Slightly Obsessed

So, I'm ever-so-slightly obsessed with yo-yos. Fabric ones.

I started making them on the car ride down to Thanksgiving (seven hours to kill each way, dudes; I had to do something). Aren't they cute? I had all this Christmas-y fabric around that I wasn't going to use for anything (don't ask where it came from, because I don't know -- craft supplies just seem to turn up here. Maybe we're on a migratory path or something), and my friend Sarah had shown me this summer how to make yo-yos with handy-dandy yo-yo makers, so, I mean, duh.

There's something incredibly satisfying about little hand-sewn projects. It's soothingly repetitive the way stockinette knitting is, but not as mind-numbingly dull. I think... wow. I think after many years of knitting, and a good few years of crochet, I just might be turning out to be a sewer. Sew-er. Sewist. Person who sews. (There must be a better word for this.)

This week (Tuesday, if you're curious. During Glee, if you're wanting precision), I finally stopped making the little cuties, and started sewing them together into a long, long string. I'm not halfway through the pile and have about fifteen feet so far. Evergreen garlands on the stair railing will be swathed in garlands of kitschy Christmas yo-yos. Ho yo-yo! (Sorry.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Something Is All Around

I couldn't get away from the holidays this year even if I wanted to.

Monday, Sarah and I were on our way home from feeding our friends' cat, and what did we see as we crossed the State House lawn?

Then came yesterday, Advent Day 1:

Today, Advent Day 2:
breakfast for dinner

And the capper? On our way home from running errands, we happened past the State House (again) just in time to watch the official lighting ceremony.

And the capper on the capper? Referenced by friends on Facebook like half a dozen times this week:

(How awesome is Bill Nighy, I ask you?)

Resistance is futile.