Thursday, December 25

I was one of the six billion that tuned in to this last year thus creating a pop culture phenomenon via YouTube. These guys have a great story, but more importantly are just really fun to listen to and watch. They are hilarious. So in the spirit of "I'm way to busy to blog this Christmas," I thought I would give these guys some more attention. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!!!


Straight No Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas

Wednesday, December 24

WW: My New Favorite Picture

I just can't stop staring. The picture itself isn't fabulous; as a matter of fact, it might be in the one of the least fave categories--I soooo need a new camera.
But the subject in the picture is breathtaking, inspiring, and honestly, simply my favorite person on the planet. Period.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23

One Cold Winter's Night


A couple of weeks ago we spent the weekend in jammies. Not the first time we have done this, but it was the first official Christmas night that we stayed in. We had just finished this new fleece blanket to go with our fleece jammies, when Sophie decided Jackers needed it the most.
It doesn't matter that we had the heat blasting, a fire blazing, and his fur coat to keep him warm. He just needed that little extra something.
He's such a good sport, and Sophie had a blast taking care of him!

Saturday, December 20

PSF: A Crazy Sweet Christmas!!


Christmas Crazy



I wouldn't mind the title of Mrs. Claus.

At all.

In fact, I decided this year to pretend. In my mind she's in charge of the cookies. She's in charge of the belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly.
That grocery list is real. I bought that stuff. Almost all at once.


So I began with 14 1/2 dozen Spice cookies to shown above. In the past my hubby has called them 'heroin' cookies, because upon consumption, you are immediately addicted to them and actually go through withdrawal if you run out.

Unfortunately in the batch you see above, I had forgotten the baking soda. Took me a day or two to figure that out, but I did and simply chucked them all and re-made them. This time I only made about 10 dozen, but they came out almost perfectly. I have to say that these little morsels are a special treat because not only do you have to sift all of the flour before measuring (a total of over 20 cups) but you have to hand roll them each--twice! This is a total of about 294 spice cookies, individually rolled twice.

Then came the rest of the baking.

PEANUT BUTTER BALLS: 2 batches ~(188 individual balls-hand rolled)

FUDGE: 1 batch (78 pieces-individually wrapped)

SNICKERDOODLES: 2 batches (8 dozen, individually rolled)

SUGAR COOKIES: 4 batches (half frosted, half plain)

APRICOT SURPRISES: 2 batches

PUMPKIN ROLLS: 8 (that's right 8 since Thanksgiving!)


This picture includes ALL of the sweets in the house at the present moment.

You see, Mrs. Claus isn't just in charge of baking, she's also responsible for all of the delicious visions of treats that dance around in the heads of millions of children each year.
I started with my own child by decorating a gingerbread house and tree shown here in the middle of the table with BUCKETS of candy also shown:

spice drops, dots, skittles, MnMs, licorice, tart'n'tiny's, peppermint ribbons, raspberry filled, candy canes (4 kinds), special-ordered red, green, and white swirly lollipops in peppermint and fruit flavors, peppermint nougats (my fave) and of course the Wilton special decor candy that comes with each kit.

The candy list also includes an assortment of Christmas chocolates--mostly left in the advent calendar--chocolate Santa's, Hershey kisses (regular and peppermint), Reese's Christmas trees, and chocolate coins.

I don't mess around with my Mrs. Claus responsibilities. Neither does my hubby when it comes to helping Santa out on Christmas morning. I think I'm more excited than Sophie!








This is ready for December 26, along with a bucket of tums, Pepto Bismal, and a sorely neglected member card to lifetime fitness.

The bellies will shrink, and probably be right back to normal by next Thanksgiving when it starts all over again.



Oh, and if anyone wants to play a Christmas prank on their endocrinologist let me know; I'll let you borrow the pictures!


PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


Tuesday, December 16

I'm getting a lump of coal......

Yesterday I woke up at 2:30 AM because I couldn't sleep due to the fabulous sack of snot sitting in my head. Thanks Soph....
So, yesterday I decided not to make the same mistake by taking some cold medicine before sleeping.
Sleep for 12 hours.
12 hours!!!!

So I'm behind. A lot.

In order to entertain Sophie I decided to do a little video trick and post it on my blog. Unfortunately the folks at Disney don't let you copy and paste embedded videos, so I went through the back door.

On the video above this post you'll see where the URL is supposed to be----a little message as to what I get for being sneaky.

Ooops.

Well, as soon as I get organized, I'll take that off and just share the link with the world like I'm supposed to.

In the meantime, coal--smoal. I've been a good girl.

Friday, December 12

PSF: A Christmas Carol

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek







My only comment is, "Enjoy the new Jingle Bells. This will be our version from now on!"

Oh, and I know the lighting stinks. I always forget about that part!

Monday, December 8

Crazy Busy Weekend!


For the first time that I can remember, time is moving just as painfully slow as when I was a kid and at the same time so quickly I want to stop the clock so I can soak in more.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME!

This weekend I spent fantastic quality family time absorbing every blissful moment while frantically trying to capture every memory with the camera.

We had a couple days with some boring advent surprises: Sat, a slinky jr. that doesn't really work, and Sun. some Hershey kisses with some Princess nail polish that her daddy doesn't want her to wear. OK, so even the elves aren't perfect!
The Hershey kisses were good though!

And the several hours playing with Auntie Julie more than made up for the boring trinkets in the big wooden tree. Somehow I didn't get any pics of this fun playtime, but I was up to my elbows in cookie dough and other holiday goodies that I guess I just couldn't grab the camera. I ended up making 14 DOZEN spice cookies btw! I think I've already gained at least 5 pounds with at least 3 weeks to go before the new year's resolution kicks in! Yikes!


Then it was off to the grocery store to pick up some more ingredients for the yum yum shoppe that is now my kitchen.

How come I get a good action shot, a fabulous facial expression, a GORGEOUS smile, or mesmerizing eyes but I can only get them one at a time?

A good action shot with a silly facial expression would be fun, or how about that smile and those eyes together? In the same picture?


Does anyone really want to see all that chewed up bread in her mouth? Nope, but I guess at least the eyes are there. And if Santa shows up with Photoshop, well then I guess it just won't matter now will it?

Anyway, no one can ever say that Sophie and I don't have fun EVERYWHERE we go, because these pics above were taken while waiting at the deli counter. Yeah, we're a riot!


Then came her first cake making experience--not to be confused with cake baking, which she is still too young to do.

She greased the pan, measured the popcorn, tested the M'n'M's and finally after it all said and done, fell on the floor, stuffed like a little turkey!

Except for the melting of the marshmallows, she literally did the entire thing. This cake is called something like Miss Hilda's Popcorn Cake from the kitchen of Emeril's mother? I think. We got it off of ABCnews.com one morning when we happened to catch Emeril and his son (I think that was his son) making some treats on Good Morning America. Sophie saw this and right away said, "Let's make that Mommy."
Well, who am I to deny this kid anything--especially when it comes to dessert?


The weekend wrapped up last night with a visit from Gamma, and unfortunately due to one piece of pizza too many, these babies just couldn't buckle up their seat belts and ended up with several broken bones! Thank goodness there was a doctor in the house. Poor Sophie Mommy got a ticket for failure to buckle to up her little ones, but thankfully everyone will make a full recovery.

When I asked her how much the fine for the ticket was Sophie, not missing a beat, replied, "One dollar."
Phew! Sophie sang and read to her little broken babies and nursed them back to health--all before bedtime!

It's just NEVER a dull moment around here. Today will be NOOO exception! Let the season RING!!!!!!!!! whoohoo for Christmas.

Friday, December 5

PSF and the 4th and 5th Days of Christmas.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek





The popcorn was perfectly buttered. The pretzel was hot and the cheese very scrumptiously cheesy. The freezee was blue raspberry. The twizzlers absolutely made our mouths happy! Sophie's outfit was a fantastic combo of Christmas ruby red slippers with her red and white striped outfit to match.

She was the perfect HSM mascot.

AND, the theater was empty. Blissfully, quietly, and comfortably empty so that my little cheerleader in training could totally enjoy our first official movie together. (We tried once about a year ago with her daddy and she only lasted until the animated portion of Enchanted lasted.)

EVERYTHING was awesome. We ate our treats. We sang the songs. We danced in the aisle! Literally -- because no one else was there! We ran up and down the steps and sat way at the top.
We snuggled and relaxed while we happily enjoyed the final farewell to our fave group of teenagers.

The movie itself? Good old Disney with it's own brand of delightful cheese--that we happen to love. But the MUSIC! It was amazing. And there was tons of it--almost a sort of rock-opera; they literally sang out their HUGE teenage problems. It was soooo cool.

We love all things HSM. And the elves today decided to leave Soph something that says


'We understand how much you love this stuff.'






This is what belief in Santa really looks like!

Thursday, December 4

I just can't stop!

I think I was born to be an elf!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Elf Yourself!!!!!

Somehow we found this last year, and this year is all new and improved! Have fun!

Auntie Julie, this one's for you!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Weird, wacky, WHATEVER kind of Wednesday


It seems the elves were playing a little trick on Sophie when they gave her Pez candy in her calendar this morning.

Sophie said, "Oh great, little tiny candy things."

Nice.

Then I pointed out the little figurine on the shelf behind the calendar (it didn't fit.) OHHHHHHH.



A Pez dispenser!


Well then-

"This the best candy in the world!!"


Why wouldn't a little plastic reindeer make all the difference in the world?







OK, so here's how the day was supposed to go. Music class, drop the car off at the dealer where a loaner car was waiting, stop at Walmart to grab a couple of items for Emeril's sweet treats recipes , make the recipe and do a Christmas craft and have lunch while waiting for the cake to set , clean the upstairs bathrooms (Sophie LOVES to mop floors--who am I to stop that?) and then while Sophie naps I was going to clean the downstairs and finish the laundry before dinner.
I know I am a little ambitious. HA! I guess in my 'back-to-normal' glory of plan making and Christmas enjoying, I forgot the golden rule: everything planned takes TWICE as long as expected, so be flexible. It even took me twice as long to get to music because my dumb brand new slightly used vehicle already needs service. All of the things crossed off the list above were the things we didn't get to. It's my own fault.
But all's well that ends well. We managed to do a craft. This was hysterically stupid because it was almost too hard for me! I had to hot glue almost everything which Sophie was whining about because she wanted the glue gun.
Sorry Kiddo, but I just don't have my car to rush you to the hospital with 3rd degree burns today.
Then she dumped the glitter all over the table right at the same time my hubby calls and says nothing was going to be covered under our supposed 'bumper to bumper' warranty-AND they were out of loaners and wouldn't pay for a rental car.
My head almost exploded.
This is when I ran upstairs to my closet to do some pillow talk screaming and punching. When I came back downstairs I told Sophie to finish the project however she wanted while she at least finished the measly bag of microwave popcorn that I made for lunch. Nice.

Then it was, "Mommy, I don't want to nap today."

Of course you don't sweetheart because I really don't need any mommy time. There's not much that needs to be done. No problem.

Whatever.

She watched TV for like 2 hours after that. I didn't even care. I should have sat down and just watched TV with her, but Oh no, I had to try and be Supermom and fix all of the little problems going on my world.

I will say that calling the GM of a car dealer was about the most brilliant thing I could EVER have done yesterday. Seriously, not only will everything be fixed FOR FREE now, but they have a delightful Camry standing by should the repairs take a little longer in case I need a car. AND they are considering either giving me that 'bumper to bumper' I thought I had, or at least a refund for the crappy warranty they conned me into buying. Win win. whoohoo!
I don't even care at this point, I'm just glad the dumb thing is getting fixed.
But back to Sophie. By this time in the afternoon, she starts to get all whiny that she's bored, which was code for uber-tired, but instead of forcing her to nap (because I was in NO MOOD for a fight-or take her up to the filthy bedrooms) I encouraged her to play in the sink and attempt to wash the dishes.

She embraces every chore with 100% enthusiasm and yesterday even offered to dry the dishes once she was done. It took her almost an hour to complete the task while I ran around like crazy trying to clean the rest of the house and do laundry.

Yeah, my lack of caffeine delirium had set in (we were out of dt.pepsi and i was sweating too much for coffee) and I was on complete psycho auto-pilot.

Sophie did a great job, I got the entire first floor SPOTLESS including the dusting--all of the laundry washed and dried (but not folded--I'm not that good) and even had about 30 minutes of playtime left while we waited for Nate to go pick up dinner.

Yeah, you didn't think I would cook in my nice clean kitchen did you? Remember the glitter?

I told Nate that I really hoped Santa Claus would consider giving me my cleaning service back. I miss them. Besides, even though I find cleaning somewhat satisfying (you get immediate results) I do not have the personality that can do fun stuff when there are chores to be done. AND there are ALWAYS chores to be done which means all work and no play for me most of the time.

I think the real reason for yesterday's chaos was simply because on our first two days of Christmas, I ignored the chores and spent every moment I could with Sophie. Considering I snapped by day 3, well, I guess I still need to figure out a better balance here.

Oh and one last thing. Apparently the Wonder Pets are slowly but surely taking over because once again, they managed to get me off my computer so that Sophie could play their new computer game. I have to admit though that the "Save the Puppy" is really cute and reminds me of a certain little puppy I brought home once. I couldn't resist. So I sat and colored instead of blogging yesterday while the Wonder Pets taught Sophie how to give a puppy a bath. Good times.

Tuesday, December 2

25 Days of Christmas

On Monday we started the Advent calendar. Sophie wants the Wonder Pets Save the Reindeer DVD. She's started asking for it about 2 seconds after we bought her the Save the Nutcracker DVD two weeks ago at Target, so imagine my surprise when the Elves left a little note in the calendar along with some peppermint kisses saying they left her a surprise by the big TV.
When Sophie saw it, she goes: WOW, this is the exact movie I wanted! Where's the surprise from the elves?
Unfortunately I think she gets that unsatiable appetite for wanting it all from her mom.
However, since coming off the wicked drugs I discovered the humor in parenting again. Phew. Because seriously, if you lose the ability to laugh at being a mom, then you lose the ability to be mom. At least I do. And I have, but not anymore. Here's an example.
After she watched her new DVD with breakfast Monday morning we had to run a couple of errands before going out for our fave Target lunch and heading home for a Christmas craft before nap time. (oh, and btw we never got to the craft)
Well, the second we got out of the car and walked into the bank, Sophie began whining for a lollipop. Now, I didn't see any lollipops and really didn't want her to have more sugar than absolutely necessary, so I explained we weren't at the right bank for lollipops. Only the one by Grammy's gives those out. (and I no longer bank there coincidentally)
Meltdown.
Score one for me. Meltdown continued while I finished my business. 10 minutes and a whole bunch of tears later, the banker looks at me and says not so quietly, can she have this?
Yes, it was a little grape dum dum lollipop.
Sure, but where the h**l was this stupid thing 10 minutes ago? I really said, sure, but YOU should give it to her--she pretty much hates me right now anyway. I just wanted the teller to feel like the good-deed-doer I'm sure she was trying to be in her young, thin, pretty, 22 year old NON mom way.
Any who-Sophie took the lolly and life is OK again.
I finish up, grab my bag, turn and....
You guessed it.
Sophie dropped the dumb dumb on the lobby floor and it smashed into a thousand pieces across the shiny clean marble.
More howling.
I almost told her to lick it up.
I stood stunned, embarrassed and beat red --unsure how to even approach this until finally an older, very sympathetic banker lady came to my rescue with another lolly. Actually, she was sympathetic to Sophie--not me--as she gave me a look that said, "Gosh mom why are you being so hard on her-she's only a kid!"
whatever.

Now, I didn't say a word about this incident to anyone until now. I even told Sophie when we got in the car that I didn't understand what the fuss was about, or why she melted down about a silly little lollipop, so instead of getting mad--I'm simply choosing to move on and focus on what she did right. well, at that moment she had stopped crying. jeez.

And with that we both let it go.

Here's why I know now that was the right way to handle it.

Today, after discovering the adorable little purple pen and candies in the calendar from Santa Elves we ventured off to the mall to return something.
Yeah, a mall at Christmastime with a 3 year old--not so safe. BUT--once Sophie discovered the Disney store there was no turning back. I just went with it. I relaxed--and let her be. She grabbed pretty much all of the floor samples: baby stroller, babies and stuffed animals, vanity tables, golf sets--you name she grabbed it and had it stationed at the front of the store for a good 10 min play time. No big deal I thought until the "Mommy, I want to get this today" started.
Sorry, nothing till Christmas. This is now Santa's job.
Well.
Once I convinced her to walk away from her little mini play land to walk around the store with me, I thought we would be OK. And I was right.
When we got back to the entrance I told her to leave the stroller and keep her fingers crossed that Santa will get her letter--
"As a matter of fact," I said, "let's go tell Santa RIGHT NOW--so we won't forget."
"OK," she says, and walks away from the store completely tear free! See, I quit harping on her and she finally does the nice things. I focus on the good stuff and she acts accordingly. At least today. Thank God!

Yeah, she's the best.baby.girl.in.the.world.

Until, we finally find Santa's house in the mall, and wouldn't you know? He was at lunch!
Meltdown.
Not because she wanted to sit on his lap or anything--oh no, she's wants none of that nonsense, but she really needed ME to tell Santa what she wanted. (let me say right now, I dread the moment when I actually have to do this--I have always and forever been TERRIFIED of the mall Santa.)
"Then, well, can we go back to the Disney Store and get something?"
I just kind of snorted.
Meltdown.
Then she bumped her lipped on a low counter by Santa's fireplace.
Meltdown with a couple extra screams.
Awww, poor thing. She definitely didn't deserve that.
No, I didn't buy her a dolly. I thought about it though.
I do have some restraint. But she did get a little ice cream cone to help that bruised lip--you know, because the cold works just like an ice pack-only yummier!

See? This is funny stuff here. I can't imagine missing another moment. So I won't. I'd say if I keep up looking for the humor, this will be our best Christmas yet and it's only the second day! Not bad if I do say so myself--and I can't WAIT for tomorrow-just because. When was the last that happened?

Oh, and here's a little slide show of what Sophie thought was sooooo funny at lunch! (Aunt Anne's yummy pretzels-yeah, we're healthy today!)

Merry SITSmas!


Merry SITSmas!
Go check out some other Christmas cards at The Secret is in the Sauce and spread a little Christmas cheer! SITS are tons of fun with millions of comments, giveaways, friends, and prizes! You can't lose by stopping by!
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