Friday, December 22, 2006

Time to relax

Well, the cards went out, the baking stuff is stashed away where I can't see it and be reminded of my Baking Disasters, the house is mostly cleaned and the presents are wrapped. Whew. M gave me an early Christmas present -- since we have to drive both cars down to my parents' house, he's going to let me drive his car (Saab! Turbo!) all by myself while he takes the kids in the MomMobile. Yay! Two hours of grown-up music and talking to myself without being interrupted.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kitchen adventures, part 3

What do you get when you are attempting to make a last-minute batch of Chocolate Biscotti to take to your daughter's playgroup, when said daughter interrupts you in the middle of sifting your dry ingredients with a potty-break problem and, as a result of said interruption, you forget to add baking powder to your dry ingredients? What's that? Did you guess Chocolate Rocks? Good guess!

Looks like our playgroup friends will be getting a hearty, sincere Merry Christmas this year.

Once the holidays are over, I'm running right out and getting Martha Stewart's new book. I love All Things Martha, and this looks like another great addition to my collection. Hey, it may be sorta aspirational with two kids, a small house with no storage space and the world's Most Shedding Dog Ever, but a girl's gotta dream, right?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Busy day

Today I'm very busy trying to not feel bad that I'm letting A roll around on his playmat all by himself, without me hovering nearby wielding burp cloths and rattles. The house is a sty of clutter and germs and I must, need, have to clean it up today.

In other news, I was in a very optimistic mood last night and got all the Christmas cards addressed. I'm thinking I just might be able to take a picture of the kids this afternoon, providing D comes home from school in a decent mood and A doesn't look too puffy and rashy-red from his cold. I might get the cards in the mail tomorrow. If not, I've got a real headstart on next year's cards.

Monday, December 18, 2006

More holiday cheer

Baby A still sick with a middling fever and a terrible, congested cough. Poor baby. I was half-listening for him all night long. We got him some antibiotics of his own on Sunday, hopefully they'll help him get over it sooner and he'll be better before we head to my parents' for Christmas.

In other seasonal news, it's about 80 out today. More like an early summer day than mid-December. I was hanging a new Gator banner out front (if I can't decorate for Christmas, I'll decorate for Important Football Games) and got stung by a bee. Good thing I wasn't up the ladder yet. If we lived somewhere normal that had real seasons, I'm sure the bees would be dead or hibernating, but oh well. So now I have a lovely red welt on my upper back.

Not much going on this week. D is back in school until Wednesday, then they're on break for two weeks. I've officially hung up my holiday baking aspirations, but my wonderful SIL stepped up to the plate and sent us a big package of cookies and peppermint bark and FRUITCAKE! So I get to nibble on goodies all week long anyway. Saturday night is M's office holiday dinner party, then on Sunday we're headed to Naples for a bit. Mom and I are getting massages on Thursday while my Dad watches the kids, so I'm looking forward to that. I still have a bunch of wrapping to do, and I'd like to clean the house really well, and there's always the laundry and packing of course, but other than that I'm looking forward to a happy, relaxing Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sick of it

Good news: D is recovered. No fever, just a bit of a cough. Back to her self, for sure. Bad news: Baby A seems to be heading down the same Miserable Road that D just traveled. Woke up with a 102 fever, flushed cheeks, rattly cough. Darn it. We're headed back to the doctor this morning. I've officially given up baking this year, and I'm about to give up on the Christmas Cards too.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What day is it?!

So. Tired. D up many times last night - water, meds, potty. I literally fell asleep in the hallway when she got up to go to the bathroom at around 3 or 4. This morning she's tired, but her cough is so much better. I thought she was going to lose a lung last night. We ended up filling her Rx for Zithromax late yesterday so hopefully it will kick in by the end of the day and we can put this all behind us. Just hope A doesn't come down with it too. Or anyone else.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Somebody? Anybody?

As if things weren't crazy enough around here, Baby A JUST WON'T NAP! (Sorry for yelling.) It's driving me crazy. I mean I put him in his crib and he looks all calm and peaceful and I tiptoe away and then like 15 minutes later he's crying. Argh. So he's overtired and I'm tired out.

Maybe it's that we haven't left the house in 3 days.

I may need to take up drinking wine again. Just a bottle glass at night to relax while we watch TV.

It didn't look like this in the Pottery Barn catalogue

D only has a 100 fever this morning - but we're not celebrating yet as she seems to have developed a nasty chest cold overnight. I'm thinking she has the flu. She'll probably be home at least one more day, but maybe she'll be feeling well enough today to eat or play a game or... sit for a Christmas picture?

Yesterday (in between administering medication, forcing people to eat and playing endless rounds of "where's baby" and "peek-a-boo") I found time to clean, straighten up and finish decorating. We were being overwhelmed by piles of laundry, stacks of mail and bins of Christmas decorations. Even after the most thorough clean-up, within minutes toys will be scattered all over the living room, dog hair tumbleweeds will drift from under the furniture and the dining table will be covered with crumbs -- which appear even if no one has eaten there for days.

Sadly, no matter how hard I try, our house will never look like a Pottery Barn catalogue. For instance, here's Pottery Barn's beautiful Emma bedspread in a real-life setting:

And here's their super cute animal hoodie towel as interpreted by A:

Not quite what I imagined when I bought this stuff.

Monday, December 11, 2006

O Tannenbaum!



Cabin fever

So D is working on her third day of 102 or higher fever (note the pink cheeks!) We took her to the doc this a.m. and thankfully it's not strep, but they don't really know what else it might be. At least if it were strep we could just go straight for the antibiotics and treat it. Anyway, no school for the next two days at least. She's too run down to go out, so I'm homebound too. So much for the remainder of my Christmas prep. Thank goodness for the Internet or I might as well just move on to Valentine's Day! But at any rate, I probably only have two brick-and-mortar stores to go to: Borders and Target. Then I'm done.

Baby A is feeling the effects of being stuck at home with two miserable females as well. He's off his already terrible nap schedule and doesn't seem happy to do anything. I've run through all the options - feed him, hold him, rock him, walk him, the gymini, exersaucer, bouncy seat, repeat. Nothing doing. So he's crying it out in his crib right now, I'll give him five more minutes then go in and start all over again.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bah humbug

You ever get that feeling that you are out of sync with everything? Where you seem to be doing everything in fits and starts and you can't get anything done? Well, that's pretty much how this weekend has worked out. There's nothing like a sick kid to throw a wrench in your plans.

D was sick all day yesterday with a really high fever, so instead of baking and decorating, the day was mostly spent giving her Tylenol every 4 hours. Today she woke up fever-free, but really whiny and fussy. So we spent our whole morning comforting one crying kid or the other. After breakfast -- and by now it was noon - M wanted to get the Christmas tree. He said it had to be a family outing or it would just be another chore, so we all trooped out and found a really beautiful Fraser Fir right away. It's gorgeous. Came home. More whining and crying and presto! D's fever was back up to 102. Poor thing. So I put on Noggin (thank you Lord for TV) and tried to do some baking. Again, nothing worked out right. I burned some lovely pears that I was roasting. Then burned the choc-chip cookie bars. Then I burned my hand when I grabbed the oven rack by mistake. I would give up baking entirely this year except I spent a fortune on dried fruit and chocolate and stuff and don't feel like storing everything til next year. And I doubt the food bank would want 4 lbs. of dried apricots, cherries, craisins, etc. Unless there are a lot of homeless bakers out there.

Oh... there are a bunch of carolers walking by! They'd better not knock on our door or they'll wake up both kids. Plus they're singing Silver Bells and no one knows more than a couple lines of that one.

I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day, except that I imagine D will have to stay home from school so I'll be behind yet another day on my Christmas preparations.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sleeping in.... NOT!

I hate waking up on Saturday feeling like your weekend has already gone to crap. Started yesterday afternoon when my initial attempts at baking went awry. I guess residual prego hormones and the distractions of two kids (one that I still have to carry around 99% of the time) prevent me from being able to follow even the most simple freakin' recipes, like say for the banana- nut bread that I make at least 4-5 times a year. The bread turned out HORRIBLE (shades of last year's cookie disaster) undercooked and gooey in the middle, burned on the bottom and with absolutely no flavor. What did I leave out.. the bananas?! Sugar? I have no idea.

Then, after dinner, I fell asleep on the couch as predicted, but woke up at 11:00 absolutely wide awake. Ended up watching Mission Impossible till about 1:00 then somehow got hooked into watching Real World: Denver until 2:30. I haven't watched the Real World in forever, but it was comforting to see that their casting formula is still in place - the "hot" guy, the gay guy, the enraged black man (men in this case), the quiet girl who spends a lot of time standing around looking alternately amused and judgemental, the drunken slut, and the pretty but clueless chick who routinely falls in loooove with the hot guy in the first 24 hours, hooks up with him and spends the next 6 weeks endlessly rehashing her poor choices. The last time I watched there was a lot of girl-girl kissing, but maybe that's gone out of style.

So anyway, I got to sleep around 2:30. Then D woke up crying at 5, burning up with a 103 fever. A followed at around 6, wanting to eat, needs diaper change, blah, blah, blah. They're all in the living room watching Kipper right now. Since I'm a morning person anyway, I'm ok for now. But I know after a full day of dealing with a sick kid and a baby by 4:00 I'll be a complete mess. Good thing M is around today.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Winter wonderland

Nothing like a cold snap to get that Christmas spirit going. Highs only in the 50s today and there's a wicked wind to boot. We'll definitely be able to stoke up the fireplace tonight and maybe enjoy some of the movies I've got Tivo-ed. I managed to get all of the newer Star Wars (I, II and III), Harry Potter/Goblet, and A History of Violence (starring Aragorn Viggo Mortensen). Movies at night are tricky since most of the time I'm so exhausted I'm dead asleep by 8:30. I didn't even make it through My Name is Earl last night, and since The Office wasn't on, there didn't seem any point to staying awake. (No offense to M.)

In other news, Baby A and I will be out and about today doing errands - stocking up for Christmas baking, buying some final gifts and a special trip to the bakery for my favorite Christmas treat, fruitcake. I love fruitcake. Especially the liquor-soaked variety, loaded with dried fruit. But I'll eat the regular kind with candied fruit too. Light or dark. I store it in the fridge for months and they get denser and chewier and are just awesome lightly toasted with a thin slice of extra sharp white cheddar cheese.

On my holiday baking list this year: PB kisses, snickerdoodles, and peppermint bark. We're having a cookie exchange for D's playgroup next week so I might do one extra type for that - maybe something chocolatey. I'm sticking with tried and true this year after last year's disastrous attempt to make new cookies. I tried this butter cookie recipe that I'd been saving for years from Gourmet magazine and it was awful. The dough was so stiff that I couldn't get it out of the mixing bowl. It sat overnight in my sink with hot soapy water and I still had to chip it out bit by bit. Then the Russian teacake cookies (which my mom makes perfectly every year) turned out just as horribly. They were so crumbly you couldn't even pick them up. Anyway, I spent a fortune on butter and chocolate and I STILL had to do some last minute running around to make substitute cookies and I just won't/don't have the time or inclination this year.

Tomorrow is Decorating Day. I love the smell of a fresh Frasier fir in the house. So Christmas-y. We play Christmas songs and drink cocoa while we decorate and then D and I hide in the hall while M lights up the tree for the first time.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, December 04, 2006


You know where I'll be January 8!