Friday, December 28, 2012

A Black and White Christmas

None of our pictures turned out very well from Christmas--there wasn't enough light and then I turned on the flash and got red eye.  So thank god for black and white photos, they look so much better!

 Our Christmas eve was very mellow, we just got Chinese food and the kids hadn't taken naps so they were in bed pretty early.  Brendan and I put Christmas presents under the tree, filled stockings, and watched TV.  I was in bed by ten. 

The next morning we slept in until 7!!  Brendan and I were actually up before the kids were, which NEVER happens.  Ingrid was all excited to see presents from Santa, even though they were wrapped in our wrapping paper and she watched me put them under the tree.  That girl WANTS to believe!  She opened her stocking and was like "Santa has our same wrapping paper!  Cool!"  Even though I've told her many times that Santa's not real, this year she has chosen to believe.  There is apparently nothing I can do about it.

The kids played with their toys and we ate cinammon rolls and lounged the morning away.  I cleaned, getting ready for our family to come.  It was definitely the last party we will have until Ingrid's birthday in May.  We had three big get togethers the past month, which was just too much!  I was pretty glad when everyone left, I just sighed a huge sigh, poured a huge glass of wine, and said hooray for Christmas being over.

We took down our tree the next day.

Now we are back to normal, except both kids have pink eye.  We generously gave it to our neighbor's kids, too, so at least they can come over and play without us worrying too much about spreading it around.  We have another long weekend and then back to for real normal on Wednesday when Brendan goes back to work and Ingrid is back in school.  Ahhhh, new year!  What will it bring?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Getaway

First of all, IT SNOWED!!  I was thinking it probably would never snow around here, we always seem to be just out of the range of wherever it is snowing...But it snowed the other day, and Ingrid was so excited!  We had to go out and play in it while Otis slept.
When Otis woke up, he wanted to join in the fun, so we made a snowman.  I have no idea why Otis is pouting here, though!
Anyway, the snow was the perfect backdrop for our Christmas getaway.  Brendan had some vacation time left so we got a suite at a hotel about an hour north of here.  It was awesome!  They have a waterpark so we got to go swimming and the kids went down little water slides.  The place was all decked out for the holidays,  it was gorgeous!
 Our room had a little bunk house for the kids, with bunk beds and a boat-shaped bed.  They loved it!  I loved the fireplace!  We had such a good time, it was really relaxing and fun.  We went to the local children's museum one day and had the place to ourselves.  It was super fun, so much to explore and play with!  Ingrid loved the grocery store and the doctor's office, which always makes me laugh.  "Come play store with me, Mama."  Uh, no thanks, I actually have to do real grocery shopping every damn week--it's not that fun.  They had a cool net thing to walk out over the whole first floor.  Ingrid was a scaredy cat but Otis ran full speed onto it!
 We stayed for two nights and it was perfect.  Just enough time to go swimming, eat out a couple times, and best of all, the last night we were there, guess who showed up??
Ingrid was beyond excited.  The cool thing was they had a group of carolers on the balcony singing holiday songs for awhile before Santa showed up.  We just sat in the lobby dancing to music, then went up to put pjs on and when we came back down, there he was!  Otis was more into Mrs. Claus, the little flirt!

We had a great time, this is definitely going to have to become one of our holiday traditions!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pinterest and My Make Believe Mud Room.

I know some people don't like Pinterest because it makes them feel inadequate, but I am a realist.  I know I will  not do the ten million crafts I have pinned for the kids, I know I will probably not make half the recipes I see on there.  I know for sure I will never get a slide staircase, even though I would LOVE one!  But I love to sit and waste my time after the kids go to bed and daydream about what we can do with our house.  Since it's our house and we can do whatever we want!
Lately I have been daydreaming about putting on a tiny addition to the side of our house, where the side door is.  I would love to someday add just enough space to have a little mud-room/laundry room combo.  It would free up some more space down in the basement, and give us a space to put our coats and shoes, which really pile up quickly...
Tonight I found these two pins that made me really want to do this!  The first is the exact idea I had--a small addition, just large enough for some storage of coats, mittens, boots.  A little bench.  Also a washer and dryer in there somewhere, too, so I don't have to go to the basement.  How cute is this?  It really doesn't look that huge, either, which is great.  We don't have a ton of space between houses, but we'd have enough for this.
 And this one shows the absolute cuteness I could bring to a muddy room with good fabric choices!  And flooring.  And maybe some cool vintage things scattered about on little shelves.  My mind is filling with ideas!  Now we just have to see how do-able something like this would even be...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mustache Party!

Yesterday was Otis' second birthday party.  And since he's such a little man, we had a little man/mustache party for him!  They are so trendy right now, really, so it was easy to find fun things to add to our party.  All I had to do was peruse Etsy and type in "mustache party" and I found a million fun things!

I chose mustache crayons as party favors.  I got them from this etsy shop, she was so kind and shipped very quickly!  And they were a hit!  (Although honestly most kids thought they were candy and tried to eat them...)
 I also got some mustache cupcake toppers for our ridiculously red and green cupcakes, from this etsy shop.  We also got some thank you stickers from them for the favors.  My mom and I found this cute snowman cake with cupcakes around it, so we got them, never really thinking about how messy the frosting would be with a bunch of littles running around!
 Otis was a very lucky little boy and got many fine new toys for his birthday!  We got him a wooden camera from Little Sapling Toys, which ended up being SO CUTE!  I just love it!  I think it might be my new go-to present for kids 2 or 3 years old.
 Since we had a breakfast party, we had tons of yummy breakfasty foods like quiche, cheesy potatoes, coffee cake, apple bread, and, of course, bloody maries!  The kids were in good pre-nap moods, and once everyone left, all of us crashed and took naps.  I say that is the perfect time for a two year old's party!  I can't believe Otis is TWO! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shows, Trees and Cookies: Our Traditions

Last weekend was full of Christmasy things.  Saturday I had a show at the local Waldorf school.  It was a HUGE difference from my country club show a couple weeks ago!  The people were all pretty much hippies and actually buying for other people, not gaudy baubles for themselves.  I did really well and had so much fun, I will definitely be doing it again next year!

The day was so fun in part because I was with my friend Melanie.  She has helped at shows before, and I love to spend the day, sans kids, with her!  She is a great salesperson and always helps so much!  Another thing that made it fun was the music that was playing on the stage behind us.  A couple ren-faire looking guys were playing strange Turkish instruments and there was a belly dancer.  Again, completely different than my experience at the country club, lol! 

Sunday Brendan went out and got our Christmas tree.  I was upstairs napping with the kids, and I heard some commotion but didn't think too much about it.  When I came downstairs, there it was, our wet and cold tree!  After letting it dry, we started decorating.  The kids were in heaven, they just thought it was so cool to hang the ornaments!
 I had to laugh because the tree looks like it's about to burst through our ceiling.  It was a bit taller than Brendan had expected, so he had to cut off the top and now it looks jammed in there.  There are also some nice streaks on the ceiling from the branches scraping!  It wouldn't be a real tree without a little bit of sawing and cutting to make it fit in the room, right?
 After the tree was trimmed, we sat down (at our new dining room table found at the thrifts!!) to decorate our cookies.  This year I went the easy route and bought a bag of sugar cookie mix and a can of frosting.  Usually I do things from scratch but after seeing how well they turned out, I think I am going to be a mix cookie gal from now on!  I let the kids have two cookies at a time, gave them a hunk of frosting and a knife, and then we had sprinkles and colored icing to finish them off.  Otis just wanted to eat everything, and Ingrid was very meticulous with her sprinkles. 
 And now we have a couple more exciting weeks ahead!  My mom comes in on Thursday for Otis' birthday, which we will have a party for on Saturday.  Then next week we are headed off to a resort an hour up north.  They were having a "Santa Special" where all their suites were super cheap, and they have an indoor water park, too!  So we get to put the kids in bunk beds in a separate room and enjoy the fireplace after having fun at the waterpark.  I think this will also turn into another holiday tradition for us!