28 December 2008

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Better late than never on the Gingerbread House, right?

It's the Martha Stewart kit from Macy's (from Nana). Bella and I had a blast putting it together. Definitely a new tradition! And very fun to have lots of time to spend on it. How clever of me to have waited until after the holiday bustle. (ha!)

27 December 2008


Christmas 2008

What a wonderful Christmas! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays. We loved reading all the cards and blogs of family and friends that recapped their year. Thank you so much for including us in your lives!

Bella was such fun to watch at Christmas. All excitement and sweetness. She had requested Santa bring her cookies, and he did (big frosty fancy ones), and she began eating them directly--not even noticing the other presents!

This year's gifting included a few handmade items, always my favorite part of Christmas.
  • Felted bowls, 2 for my mom and 1 for my boss
  • Felted nest for my aunt (this is my favorite gift ever!)
  • Cupcake Purse for my niece
  • Car Organizers for my niece and nephew (I was too dumb to take a picture, but they turned out super cute)
  • Mushroom Rattle for a co-worker's Christmas baby
I ended up being quite sick for Christmas. My usual ulcerative colitis problems are presumably being complicated by a huge peanut squishing up all my important internal parts and a couple of the winter viruses that are going around. But I was so thankful that other family members had offered to host this year and so all I had to do was drag myself over to their couches and be waited on while other people entertained my kid. I was also very thankful that my local clinic, Mayo Clinic, and Walgreen's are all open on Christmas Eve! What a lifesaver.

I also was made to feel better by a number of incredibly awesome gifts. Because I'm shallow like that. Shall I bullet those out too? Why yes, I shall!
  • Sock blockers (which I think Brent gave me just so he could make a lot of cock blocker jokes)
  • A laptop lunch bento box
  • Stiched in Time (from Posie gets Cozy, my favorite blog)
  • The Stitch-It Kit (in all its out-of-print goodness)
  • A handmade felted snowman (!)
  • An Itty Bitty Booklight--which I have used every night since for increased marital bliss
  • Some great looking cookbooks, including Martha's latest tome and The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper.
  • A carton full of fresh Auracana eggs, OMG JUST LIKE MARTHA!
  • A tripod to take awesomer pictures for the blog!
There, I think that's it for the Christmas recap bulletfest. I hope the end of 2008 finds you well, happy, and rested up for a new year.

Daddy's helper

Shoveling the Driveway Shoveling the driveway

Bella was so excited to use her new snow shovel to help Daddy clear the driveway! I personally would have just fired up the snowblower, but Brent prefers the old-fashioned way. Bella did a few good passes and then wanted to go inside. Once inside, she wanted much praise for being "SUCH A GOOD HELPER!"

19 December 2008

Holiday Show

Today was Bella's big holiday show at preschool! She's been singing the songs and talking about it for weeks!

The real performance is another thing altogether.

After this, we had to leave. I was pretty disappointed to miss cookies and punch afterwards. BAH HUMBUG!

17 December 2008


When it's this cold out, there's not much to do but cozy up inside and make some holiday cheer! Oh, and go out to the Dr. and get diagnosed with preliminary pneumonia. (But that's just if you're Bella. And really she doesn't seem that bad. I only took her in because she had a bad cough and daycare sent home a sheet that one of her classmates has whooping cough and I freaked out.)

Anyway, back to getting cozy. We decided to make our friends, teachers, etc. some hot cocoa mix. After I had confirmed that we wouldn't be putting whooping cough germs into each batch (Merry Coughmas!), we got out all the ingredients. Bella is beside herself at this point: mini chocolate chips! mini marshmallows!

Hot Cocoa Gifts

Hot Cocoa Gifts

I did this part (the tags) while Bella was resting in front of the TV. Bella's marker skills wouldn't have led to the Martha Stewart look I was going for. Also it was kind of repetitive and even I got bored.

Hot Cocoa in a Jar

Tah dah! We were quite proud of ourselves at how cute they turned out.

07 December 2008

Saint Nicholas

Brent's holiday traditions from childhood include a visit from Saint Nicholas on December 5. I never did this as a kid so I was trying to pry the details out of him, but he was of little to no use. Apparently his version included a bag of treats. He wasn't sure but he thought there was a shoe involved. So I turned to a more reliable source, the trusty internet!

Bella and I made the traditional cookies, Speculaas. Which technically you're supposed to have little molds for, but we just used cookie cutters. Brent did not recall cookies as part of his tradition, but then revised that by saying they "tasted familiar." 

Cutting Speculaas
Sugaring the Speculaas
Speculaas Ready to Bake

Then we put out the shoe, stuffed with bunny hay, onto the front porch. Bella selected her croc. 

Shoe is all ready

When she woke up in the morning, Saint Nicholas had brought peppermint patties, candy canes, and a princess ornament. 

Treats from St. Nicholas

What a very cute tradition!

03 December 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

This is what 40 lbs of turkey looks like

I am thankful for:
  • Brent, Bella, and Peanut*
  • A feast with family all together
  • Hot coffee
  • Fresh bread
  • Bunnies
  • Yarn
  • A warm house
  • Babysitters
  • Basement storage
  • The web
  • Traditions
*Bella named the baby.

I became overwhelmed with this thankfulness list. However, I'm just going to leave it lie. You can over think these things.

Thanksgiving this year was a beautiful gathering at my cousin's house. I, unfortunately, was sick and left after just a couple hours. I went home and got straight into bed. Luckily, Brent was slightly less sick than me so Bella still had someone to boss around and provide her snacks.

We were feeling a little better by Friday afternoon, so we decided to try to go downtown for the annual Black Friday trip to Macy's and Holidazzle. We got to the hotel and laid around and had some chicken noodle soup, and I was feeling better. We managed to fine a lot of fountains for Bella to throw pennies into. (And, mortifyingly, to fish pennies out of.)

Throwing Pennies

Fountain Family

After happy hour in our hotel rooms, we bundled up for Holidazzle.

Holidazzle Parade

Although it was about 35 degrees so we didn't really need to dress for arctic ice fishing. Then it was dinner and bedtime for the little one.

Time for bedtime stories!

Nana is reading the new book that Bella got that day, "Dora Saves the Snow Princess." Because watching the movie by the same name a gazillion times is just not enough Dora!!

In the morning, we slept in, then sent Bella into Nana and G'pa's room, then slept in a little more. Then we headed over to the Macy's 8th floor show, "A Day in the Life of an Elf." So sweet!

A Day in the Life of an Elf My kind of schedule Mom and Bella Polar Bear and Penguin Walrus trimming the tree Watching for Santa to peek out A glimpse of Santa Gingerbread Man

Bella sat on Santa's lap and told him she'd like him to bring her candy and cookies for Christmas. Then they sang jingle bells. Afterward, she told me she had to talk loud because he had a hat covering his ears. Then we got a cookie. It was all very cute and a wonderful tradition for kicking off the season. Now, let the frantic craziness begin!