Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Time Is Near. . .

...Happiness and cheer.  Fun for that all children call, their favorite time of year."


Yes, yes, I realize that it is still only November, however this is the only week until the New Year where we do not have 2-3 health care visits per week and it as after Thanksgiving.   Thus, I am celebrating our week of toddler-free torture by going full force on spreading the Holiday cheer and being all Christmasy.

Turn on 95.5 or any other all Christmas songs all the time station and sing along with me and Ellie Bear!  (Ellie is so clever.  There was a song with Fa la lalalala la and Ellie repeated "a lalalalala".)

Last week we took Ellie to visit with Santa.  We made this trek last year and Ellie slept through the entire ordeal. . . dressed as a reindeer.

Baby Bear last year


This year, she was most definitely awake and we did not know if she would cry or just stare.  She just started.  Then she smiled so big and beautiful when she saw me with my camera.  My perfect photo-op was unfortunately affected by the light-thingy that the professional photographers at the mall use and thus my shot became washed out and blurry.
Who is this guy?  I am not sure about this.
Well, maybe he will let me use his vest to pull to a stand.


Oh by gosh, by golly.  It's time for mistletoe and holly and also time for baking!!!!

I cannot cook.  Really, I cannot even bake chicken or saute it or broil it.  Andrew has some good cooking skills.  I will start to make dinner and then he creeps over to the stove and lifts up the lids and looks.  Then he stirs.  Then he sneaks stuff into the pot (without tasting it first, I might add).  I finally give up and let him take over.  Hey, I will gleefully give up the cooking!

Baking, on the other hand, is my specialty.  I LOVE baking.  Lemon bars, cookies of all kinds, pumpkin bars, fudge, cakes, cupcakes, homemade icings.  Sigh.  The presentation isn't all that great, but typically my goodies come out rather tasty.  The thing is, Andrew is a traditionalist, which is all find and dandy, but seriously, he will only eat sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate chip cookies with walnuts.  If I vary from these common, but ever-so popular confectioneries, I am left with a rather large amount of sweet, sugary treats just for myself.  The cookies then become breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and late night snack.  After all, why should I let these goodies become stale and why should I eat an apple when there is a nice velvety chocolate cupcake with chocolate butter cream icing calling my name?  See, my thoughts exactly.

My little candy cane, sugar cookie, Christmas Angel

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, time for baking.  As a member of two mothers' clubs, I find myself baking a fair amount this time of the year.  Both clubs have cookie exchanges where I need to bake 3 dozen cookies for each event.  Everyone else bakes 3 dozen cookies and we, you guessed it, exchange.  I will then end up with all sorts of sweet, sugar yummies to bring home and shared with my lovey Andrew!  Since I will be exchanging baked goods amongst friends, I will make something different--my Holiday chocolate spiced cookies, which is actually a slight variation of a Meeta recipe.  You may find the recipe featured in the next post.  I would show you a lovely picture except my desserts are big on taste and not visual design.

Sugar Plum Bear-Bear
For us Theurers, Black Friday is actually Christmas-Holiday-Snowman-Penguin-Decorating Day.  All of the turkeys and pumpkins are packed away for another year and I dig out multiple sterilite containers full of knick-knacks, stockings, and tree trimming.  This year, due to the Bear's new found mobility (Super Bear!  Exceeding all expectations with cuteness and determination!!!!!), I really restricted the decorations.

We also have a bit of a tree issues.  Well, more like a space problem.  Since Andrew rearranged our living room to accommodate a rather large baby jail, I mean play-yard, we now have no space for our big tree.  After much discussion (~3 minutes), we opted to only up my old little tree in the bedroom.


While it may be a little Charlie Brown tree, remember that One Little Christmas Tree can light up a home.

Of course Amelie immediately tried sitting IN the tree which caused it to topple.  Tama then claimed the tree skirt as her new kitty bed and Sophie believes that she can fit under the tree.  (I apologize for the lack of picture of Sophie squeezing herself under the tree.  It was hilarious, but when she saw the camera, she came bounding over to me).

Ame Paws

Tama Boo
Truly, It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Every where you go.  Really, everywhere. 

So let's embrace this Holiday season, start some traditions, bake and sew, and whip our the Bing Crosby and sing White Christmas and Mele Kalikamaka all while Decking the Halls.


References:
"Christmas Time Is Here" Vince Guaraldi (1965)
"Mistletoe and Holly" Frank Sinatra
"One Little Christmas Tree" Stevie Wonder (1973)
"It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas" Meredith Wilson (1951)
White Christmas” Iving Berlin (1942)
Deck the Halls”  author unknown, possible Welsch, then Mozart, then official in 1881

As many of you know, I follow many blogs written by people who care for those with special needs.  I like to consider it my own virtual support group.  While I may not have met these many of these people in person, I consider some of them friends.  One of my blogger friends has a new (11/22) baby with Down Syndrome.  She is absolutely beautiful and a strong little fighter.  I would like to ask for your thoughts and prayers.  She two severe heart defects and will be having risky surgery this Wednesday.  Thank you in advance for your thoughts and support. 


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