Monday, January 31, 2011

Where There's a Will, There's a Way

Let's talk a little bit about this guy.
 I can't even begin to describe how much I adore him!  He is his own little person no matter what other people say to him and it makes me so happy.  His latest obsession with princesses cracks me up.  Almost all of his friend are girls so he gets a lot of princess playtime at their houses, but he's noticed that we don't have any princess things at our house.  As you know, he decided long ago that he wanted a Belle doll for Christmas, but he's been making do with what he has in the meantime.  He regularly brings me a blanket and straight pin and asks me to make him a princess skirt and I think he dresses up as a princess with his best friend Malan every day at preschool and he doesn't care what other boys think (although most of the other boys like to take turns in the princess dress-ups as well).  And if you notice I regularly have to fight him for my shoes.
Before Christmas he kept building this train (James from Thomas the Train, who he thinks is a girl train named Jane) and adding all the blocks on the back and calling it Rapunzel and asking if I like her beautiful hair (We saw Tangled and it was a big hit).
He was really nervous about Santa this year, but decided to be brave and sit on his lap because he really wanted to make sure Santa knew he wanted Belle and Rapunzel dolls (Sorry I'm too lazy to scan in the real picture. )
A few days later he was helping me pick out some Sub-for-Santa gifts for a four-year-old girl, when he spotted a Tinkerbell doll with wings that light up.  You should have seen his crocodile tears as he sobbed out the explanation that he made a really big mistake, and he told Santa that he wanted Belle and Rapunzel, but he really wants Belle and Tinkerbell.  I assured him that it wasn't too late to write Santa a note, and we headed home to do just that.  How could Santa say no to a great picture of Tinkerbell like that?
I wish you all could have seen Creed's joy Christmas morning.  While his cousins opened all of their presents, he sat and played with Belle and Tinkerbell and did not want to open anything else.  It was literally an hour before we could even get him to consider opening another gift.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Christmas Cards 2010

I love making our Christmas card every year, but this year I just wasn't feeling it.  I was just so busy with the move, but once friends' cards started arriving, I couldn't resist the urge to put something together.  The problem was it was mid-December and we didn't even have a family photo.  So what's a girl to do but pack up her family the very next morning and head to the photobooth.

 Oh yes, and antlers were a necessary part of the plan too.  

Creed was in a foul mood and had to be forced into the booth, thus the picture of him screaming, "No!" which we thought was hilarious and we decided to use it even though we got one of him smiling later.

I picked up some jewelry boxes that were the perfect size for our little photo and designed a label to wrap all the way around them to seal them closed.  
And yes, the postage was expensive.  They were really light so they wouldn't have cost much to mail except I met up with the grumpiest postal worker ever who told me that even if I put them in an envelope (which would have been much cheaper to mail) he would still know that it was in a box inside the envelope so he would still charge me parcel post.  Truthfully, I liked imagining my friends surprised by these little boxes arriving (who doesn't love getting a package) and we only send cards once a year so I didn't mind splurging a little on the postage (which cost way more than putting the whole things together.
I made the postal worker a little more angry when I told him that I didn't want him to print postage for these I wanted "pretty stamps" and he slapped some options on the counter and asked, "does this meet your standard for 'pretty'?" He gave me air quotes and a sarcastic tone and everything, which just made it  hard for me not to giggle, and it was totally worth it for "pretty stamps"
We tucked some mints in each box for our friends to enjoy. To be honest I selected them because of their light weight, but they were tasty too.
I was so happy with how they turned out, and I hope they made our friends smile.


I love that we're establishing our own family traditions.  Even though Creed is little, he has an amazing memory.  He remembered setting out shoes for Sinterklaas last year so we were sure to do it again this year, and we stuffed a few carrots in the boys shoes for Sinterklaas's horse.  You can read more about the tradition here.
 Sinterklaas came
 And he didn't forget the chocolate letters (what will I do next year when we don't live by the Dutch store?)
 Creed asked our neighbor that afternoon if Sinterklaas left chocolate in her shoe too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The best cookie exchange I have ever been to

I think you all know I run a children's literature book club for adults.  A few months ago, I jumped at the chance to join a friend's book club to have a chance to read some literature meant for grown-ups because I don't always make it a priority on my own.  I had no idea I was about to meet a really incredible group of women that are pretty intimidating to hang out with.  More on that another time.

For Christmas we decided to have a dinner with spouses instead of our normal book group.  The club was also planning to host a cookie exchange so we decided to combine both events since the holidays are so busy.  Our friends Kersten and Tai hosted at their amazing house.  Tai made his famous lasagna and then the rest of dinner was potluck, except Kersten asked me to help decorate as my contribution (she knows I cannot cook).  Kersten told me I could share some of the photos with you.

Here's her house all lit-up and welcoming.

We wanted the decorations to be affordable, but big enough to make a statement in her large living space so this is what we came up with (I got the idea from this post that I remembered seeing last year).
We used red cardstock to spell out some of Kersten's favorite phrases from Christmas carols, and then draped them across the room.  Larry, Tai, Kersten and just freehanded them as we were watching a movie one night and it went much faster than we would have predicted.
It's hard to get a sense of how many there were since her living space is so big (oh, to have that problem . . .)
Tai and Kersten were the perfect hosts.
And the star of the show was there gigantic two-story Christmas tree that they cut down themselves in the Uintas.
I was a really nice nice of visiting,
eating Tai's lasagna (which did live up to it's reputation),
and a lot of other great food.
Oh, and did I mention all the amazing cookies?  We gave a lot of ours away as quickly as possible because we would have gobbled them all by ourselves given a few days. They were that good.
I feel so lucky to get to know these girls.

It makes me so sad that we'll probably be moving away in a few months (more on that when we have some of the details worked out).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christmas Ornaments 2010

We have a tradition of giving the boys each an ornament every christmas.  This year, Creed was big enough to have an opinion about his ornament and I made the mistake of telling him he could choose it himself.  So you know what we ended up with?  This Beauty!
He was so in love with it, how could I say no.  It makes me smile every time I see it.  Plus, it will make a great story when he gets older.

 It made me more aware that I only have a few years to pick Ollie's ornament on my own so I tried hard to find something special that would really be a keepsake for him.  Larry and I ended up settling on this Jonathan Adler Squirrel ornament because it made us both smile. I have to say I do look forward to seeing what he will choose for himself once he has an opinion on such things.

Ah, young love

Parents are always saying that Christmas is even better when you have kids and it's moments like this that prove it.  Creed's class sang two songs at their preschool's Christmas program.  We've been singing "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" for weeks to prepare for this moment, but I had no idea that Creed's class was sing a song in Chinese too and Creed knew every single word.
 He got up there with no fear and was so sincere and adorable.  I think it helped that he got to stand by his best gal-pal Malan and Yen-Yen, who Creed has a crush on.  Creed came home from school a few weeks ago and said, "Mom, isn't Yen-Yen stinkin' cute?"  I replied, "Ummm, yes, I think Yen-yen is very cute." Then he told me, "She's hot stuff!"  What?  Seriously?  At first I was like, who says "hot stuff"? How does he even know that phrase, and then I realized he learned it from me!  Whenever Larry gets his hands on someone's cell phone he like to reprogram his name to say something ridiculous. his number comes up as "Larry Boom-Boom Ford" on my mom's phone. My new phone says "Larry Hot Stuff Ford" so I often answer his calls, "Hey, Hot Stuff"  so I hold Larry responsible for the fact that Creed is now using the term on preschool girls.
 I wish I could show you the picture of his whole adorable class, but I would feel weird about that since I  don't have permission from all of their parents.
 We're looking forward to many school performances to come!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Trying something new

I made a movie using I-movie! (Ok, it's really just a slideshow, and I could have used Powerpoint or something, but still, it's a start.)

We've been enjoying the snow around here. There's a small hill across the street, perfect for toddler sledding (and a little grown-up sledding too)
And because some of the pictures are so adorable, I'm posting a few of them again for your viewing pleasure.  I'm a mom, I'm allowed to do that.

And oh yes, I set Ollie down to take some pictures and looked down to see his little face burried in the snow as he chowed down. Gross, but he was happy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wish granted!

Where ever we are for Christmas, we try to take advantage of some of the local celebrations.  Last year, we went to the Festival of Trees and Creed remembers it well.  He begged all year to go back and get a magic wand at the kids section where there are lots of games and craft projects.  So of course, you can imagine what the first thing we did was.

Ollie watched from the stroller and wasn't sure what to make of everything.  He slept through most of it.

 Creed on the other hand, had the time of his life.
 The gingerbread houses did not disappoint
 and neither did the funky trees this year.  They are auctioned off for charity and little did we know that we would have ample opportunity to get a better look at this one during Ollie's trip to the children's hospital that month.
 My favorite was a book themed tree with a Wild Thing decorating it.
 Creed's favorite was the Cookie Monster tree (maybe you could have guessed from his face)
 although they squabbled a little bit about both wanting to ride on the back of our stroller, Creed and his gal-pal Malan love being together and it was fun to check out the trees with them this year.
What were your favorite local holiday events this year?