Category Archives: Holiday

The 12 to 25 Days of Christmas – Day Twelve

I finally made it to day 12! Now I won’t have to worry that I lied when I titled this series. I’ll also add my apologies for neglecting to post this before Christmas…the closer it got, the less time I had. I also took a little break. Now that Aiden is back in school and things are back to normal, I’ll have a little more time.

This was the tree decorating day. I got smart and pulled out all of my Christmas stuff the night before (and one box that didn’t have Christmas stuff  but that I should have looked in way back in July). This way I wouldn’t use not having the boxes out as an excuse to not do it like I had the day before. Of course, that morning, I instantly got distracted. First I had to get a couple boxes out of reach of both of the little boys. Then, when I opened the big box, I found the garland I’d been holding on to and never using for years. So I used it.

We’ve got a railing along the top edge of the stairs. I used gold ribbon to tie it on in several places and then went to work decorating. One of the boxes I had brought up the previous night had a bunch of birds on sticks with cones and greenery on them. I stuck a bunch of those in the garland, added red ribbon and then made  bows out of the gold ribbon and stuck them in as well. I’m rather pleased with the result.

This method of procrastination complete, I went looking for others ways of putting off decorating with a couple of kids on my hands. I used up the obvious ones like feeding the kid and nursing and was once again left with nothing to do except decorate the tree. So I did. I wound up dropping Callan into his play pen and had to send Liam (and eventually Aiden) away so I could get ornaments on the tree without tripping over someone at every turn. When the kids are big enough that I don’t have to put the tree in a corner for fear of them knocking it down, I’ll let them help.

Aiden had originally wanted a star for the top, but it turns out I don’t have one. Liam and I compromised with the intention of making a large gold bow…which I didn’t make. In the end, I put up the angel that I’ve used for years (made by my mother).

I did have a few other days worth of things to post but, since I’m a couple weeks late, I’ll just have to do it all again next year. This time I swear that I’ll get started on December 1st and be quicker in getting the house decorated, presents bought and wrapped, and pictures takes…not to mention the baking.


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The 12 to 25 Days of Christmas – Day Eleven

Day eleven was one of the more productive days. I finally got Ian to help me move the TV which gave me the corner to put the tree in. Consequently, I could put the tree up. It may not be decorated, but it’s most definitely up. So why was moving the TV (and all the other furniture in the living room) so important? Well, last year, we put the tree along the wall that divides the kitchen and the living room. That gave the tree a whole 180 degrees of tipablilty. That’s fine when the youngest is 2.5 years old and you can tell him to move. It’s not so cool when the youngest is 11 months old and delights in doing exactly what you tell him not to. As a result, I opted for a corner which would only give 90 degrees of tipability. The TV was in the best one…and I had to rearrange the entire room to make the new TV placement work.

I also managed to get Callan to sit in his highchair long enough for me to finish off the last four bows to go on the internal doors. They look much better than the original two (even if I say so myself…and I do). It’s amazing the difference that a silent/eating baby can make.

On one of my passes through the basement, I grabbed Dancing Santa – the bane of my Christmas last year. He’s about a foot tall and dances to Jingle Bell Rock. There’s really nothing wrong with that since I like Jingle Bell Rock, but the volume and frequency of playtime was enough to make me want to through him out the window and then secure the premises so he couldn’t get back in. Alas, this year he is on my desk. At least I get to control when he gets turned on and off this year (and how loud he is).

Finally, I dug out a sheet of window decals that my mother sent me a few years ago. It had about 15 snowflakes on it in blue, silver, and white. Liam helped me place them on the living room window…or maybe I helped him, it’s hard to say. Either way, we got them all up and then threw on our coats and boots to go outside and look at them. By this time, I needed a break. Then end result is that decorating the tree got put off until Sunday.

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The 12 to 25 Days of Christmas – Day Ten

Day ten was definitely one of my more pathetic attempts it decorating. It was also supposed to have a healthy dose of Christmas shopping with the boys after Aiden got home from school – Friday’s are half days. Unfortunately, we got off to a bad start with the shopping because Liam refused to eat lunch, and then Callan wanted to drink. Every time I got everyone close to leaving, I had to stop and nurse or fix hair, or clean faces, and then the boys got themselves distracted again. We didn’t get out the door until after 4PM.

Starting with the poor decorating attempts: we got another Christmas card in the mail and I figured since that brought our count up to two (yes, we’re so popular!) I should display them somewhere. Since we’ve moved, we no longer have a mantel that I can put them on so I had to resort to taping them somewhere. Since we had a wreath on the front door, and I was putting bows on the bedroom and bathroom doors, I settled on the linen closet door. So, our two cards are taped to the door and I’m hoping we’ll get a couple more to add to them before I take everything down in January. The lack of cards is also a hint to write my own cards…I should get on that.

When it came to shopping, I made a huge mistake in taking them through Toys R Us instead of going straight for Zellers or hitting up a regular mall entrance. I ended up getting a Yu Gi Oh starter deck for Aiden and some little Spiderman figurines (Spiderman and Doc Ock) for Liam. They also went window shopping for what they might like as gifts from Aiden’s grandfather who went shopping with Aiden on Saturday (or today). When I finally got them out of the toy store, I had to feed them.

Eventually, I managed to get them down to business: looking for a Christmas gift for their father. We ended up having no luck in Zellers (though the boys did walk out with some Crayola stuff) and I wound up having to take Aiden to another store to pick up what we were looking for while Ian (who had come to pick us up) took Liam. No pictures though…their father knows how to use the internet.

Our last stop before heading home was The Children’s Place. The card we had received earlier in the day just happened to have a gift card in it and I needed to pick up some Christmas clothes for Callan because he’s too big for the ones that I did Liam’s Santa pictures in (darn them being born at different times of the year). It seems that there were more children born between December and February last year than there were 2007 or 2008 in total…or at least I can never find clothes in Callan’s size. In the end, I wound up buying  an 18m sweater that will go with some pants and socks that we already have. He’ll grow out of a 12m one soon enough anyway. Now he’s ready for his Santa pictures, which I’ll do Tuesday morning when I go to pick up my copy of SWTOR.



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Liam’s Book Club: A Small Christmas

A Small Christmas by Wong Herbert Yee

Fireman Small spends all day on December 24th picking out and decorating the town’s Christmas tree. He finishes up as the last shop closes and heads back to Firehouse Nine to climb into bed. He falls fast asleep but, much like in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, he was woken around midnight buy a noise on the roof. When investigating, he finds Santa all covered in soot and offers to wash his suit. Unfortunately, Fireman Small needed to be more careful when washing Santa’s suit because it came out several sizes too small…of course, that doesn’t matter when Santa is fast asleep in Small’s bed. So, little Fireman Small, dons Santa’s suit and saves Christmas for the town.

While a cute little story (for me, at least), it didn’t get much of a reaction from Liam. He did like seeing a dog in a Santa hat at the end of the book, though. There’s still hope for it since Liam tends to surprise me and he did sleep with it last night so he didn’t totally dislike it. I’ll have to give it some time to see if it grows on him.

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Liam’s Book Club: Mouse’s First Snow

Mouse’s First Snow by Lauren Thompson illustrated by Buket Erdogan

This is the third of the new holiday books that I read to Liam and one that he’s made me read twice already.

As Mouse stares out the window at the snow, Poppa suggests that they go out to play. Poppa teaches little Mouse how to slide, skate, and make snow angels before showing him how to make a giant snowball. Mouse, wanting to do exactly what Poppa does, copies as best as he can. In the end, Poppa uses the two snowballs to make a snowmouse (complete with nose, eyes, and whiskers!).

While totally worth the $1.43 for the softcover version through Scholastic, I’m quite sure I would never buy the hardcover version with a list price of $18.95 (unless it’s a gift for another family). That being said, there is a board book version for $9.99 that I can see getting for a baby’s first winter/Christmas. The large print combined with limited text on each page makes this an ideal book to read to a younger baby but it will still be of interest to a pre-K child so you can get a few years of use out of it if you buy it early.

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Liam’s Book Club: The Littlest Christmas Star

The Littlest Christmas Star by Brandi Dougherty illustrated by Sanja Rescek

In The Littlest Christmas Star, Max – the smallest child in the class – hopes for the biggest part in the play because he really wants to be the star. Instead, his hopes are dashed when he literally gets cast as the star which is the part with the fewest lines (and likely the shortest one, as well). After memorizing his one line, he tries to help out with other parts but keeps getting told that it’s not his job. The night of the play comes and Max does his best to be the biggest star he can be.

It’s a cute little story, though Liam didn’t ask for it again the next night like he did with The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever. I’m a little unclear over whether there is supposed to be a message in the story or not. You could say it’s to be happy with or make the most out of what you get. Or it could be that even the smallest contributions count…or it could just be a story.

On the plus side, the illustrations are cute and colorful so it’s fun to look at even if Max is a Grumpy Gus through the majority of the book.

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The 12 to 25 Days of Christmas – Day Nine

Day nine wasn’t nearly as productive as I’d anticipated. The original plan was to take that unwired flocked ribbon that I’d intended to buy on Sunday and decorate the doors like presents. Sadly, I didn’t get my ribbon, so I had to use the wired one I’d had the presence of mind to pick up at Costco.

One thing that I consider rather important when it comes to Christmas decorating: wires and babies don’t mix. This, of course takes a great deal of fun out of decorating…and is also the reason my doors don’t quite look like presents (though I’m sure, on a roll of film somewhere, I’ve got a picture of a door that I did manage to decorate once upon a time when I was still in university), and instead just have bows on them. Even the bows aren’t quite up to my standards in quantity or fullness as I was making them with little Callan in the playpen and he was objecting rather loudly.

I got two doors done – Liam’s bedroom and the master bedroom. Liam loves them and has been after me ever since to put more up. I believe, “You didn’t do the bathroom door,” came out of his mouth the other day. That confused me since I had just been down the hall shutting doors to keep the baby out of the rooms down there and I was positive that I’d shut the bathroom door (duh!). He’s also been after me to do the rooms downstairs, which I really should do. There’s no reason not to decorate downstairs even if our Grinch does spend most of this time down there.

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