Friday, December 21, 2007

Well, maybe tomorrow morning's diaper will have a pleasant scent...

So earlier, I was making pomanders by sticking cloves in oranges. Don't be impressed -- I was desperately avoiding decorating the second tree, wrapping presents, doing laundry and cleaning the bathrooms.

I'm not usually crafty, but I had inventoried my spices and herbs this afternoon when I was printing my recipes for our Christmas Eve get-together. I'm going to try to get the bulk of my grocery shopping done tomorrow, leaving time Sunday afternoon to run back to the store for the handful of items I'm sure to forget and fresh fruit to make a salad.

Anyway, I had a tin of whole cloves, and I generally only use the ground ones, and although I could have ground them up in my mini-food processor or coffee grinder, I grabbed half a dozen oranges out of the fridge (no one's eating them anyway) and decided to make pomanders to add a festive scent to the house (and when they get dried out, I'll drop them in pot of simmering water and squeeze out every last bit of that yummy smell).

So, there I was, grabbing cloves out of a shallow bowl and poking them through the orange peel (is it peel when it's still attached? Maybe it's rind?) and J.J. decided to check things out. He reached in the bowl, grabbed a clove, and before I could wrestle it out of his hand, popped it in his mouth.

I laughed, pulled him closer to me, waiting for the "oops, I shouldn't have eaten that" reaction and was about to fish the clove out of his mouth when he quickly chewed it up and swallowed it. He gave a quick "mmm...", smiled at me, and was not happy when I whisked the bowl out of his reach as he attempted to snag another.

Remind me to keep those pomanders WAY out of reach.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas Meme

Rules for the game are as follows:

1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Ok, so there's no link because no one tagged me (yes, I've become that irresponsible that I even get skipped on the easy ones!), but I did get this several times via email.

1. Wrapping or Gift Bags? Wrapping. Gift bags are reserved for the presents that are difficult to get in a box and for hostess gifts/gift exchanges. Presents under the tree are wrapped. They're more fun to open.

2. Real or artificial tree? Artificial. In my dreams, I have a closet that I can slide a completely decorated tree in and out of effortlessly each year. I think Christmas trees are beautiful, but loathe decorating them.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually? The first week of Advent. This year? Let's hope it's up by Christmas Eve. And there are two this year.

4. When do you take the tree down? Not until Christmas is over.

5. Do you like eggnog? I do. Even if it's not spiked.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Fashion Plates

7. Do you have nativity scene? I do. And I want a new one: This one.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Nothing. Not meaning I never got a bad gift, but meaning I didn't get a gift when I expected one.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Although this year I cheated and didn't send cards; I sent pictures with "Merry Christmas" and our names pre-printed on them. I was feeling guilty even before they were addressed.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? Frosty

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Labor Day. Sometimes sooner.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I'm a sucker for a good cheese ball.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored.

14. Favorite Christmas Song? This year it's "Angels We Have Heard on High" because J.J. sings along with the "Glor-or-or-or-or-or or-or-or-or-or or-or-or-or-or-ria" part. Not when I try to show other people how he does it, of course. Just when it's him and me alone.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Technically stay home. Unless you call the 45 minute drive to my mom's house "travel".

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yep.

17. Angel on tree top or star? Star. And I finally found two this year. Well, my mom and sister found one and I found the second.

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Christmas morning. My husband's family tradition is Christmas Eve and I'm really struggling with it.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? All of the bullshit around retailers who market "Christmas" trees being lambasted by the non/anti-Christians and those who market "Holiday" trees being slammed by Christians.

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? Absolutely not.

21. What do you leave for Santa? A plate of cookies.

22. Least favorite holiday song? Anything written after I was born.

23. Favorite Ornament? There are several on my mother's tree from when I was a little girl. I hope to start making ornaments with J.J. by next year...

No point in tagging anyone, since I think I'm the last person in the world to get around to it. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Santa pictures, year 2

Last Saturday, J.J. and I met our friend Dawn at Opry Mills as the doors were opening at 9 AM. In an hour and a half, we made it around the entire mall circuit, bought enough stuff that the stroller was overflowing, and got to the food court to see Santa before the line got outrageously long.

J.J. was in a great mood. He was saying hello to everyone around us, waving at Santa and his helpers and flirting shamelessly with every female within 50 feet as we waited for our turn.

"J.J., are you ready?" asked the girl at the front of the line.

He smiled and leapt from my arms to hers, ready for his private consultation with the man in red.

That is, until the second he was placed in Santa's lap.

His bottom lip pouted out and his body went rigid, refusing to sit, but instead lay propped against Santa's belly. He grasped on to his Ernie puppet for dear life and refused to look anywhere near the camera.

"Just shoot it quick, before he cries!" I pleaded.



"Perfect! Come on baby, let's go home..."

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

If you don't count this seventy-something degree weather, that is.

In keeping with tradition, J.J. had some lousy pictures taken with Santa this past weekend. Actually, that's not fair, because this year's picture is cute; he just looks like he just watched his doggie get run over by a reindeer. I'll see what I can do about getting one scanned in...

No tree yet. Well, we actually have 2 in their boxes in the garage, just no tree up and decorated yet.

The Christmas baking and candy making is scheduled for this weekend. I had to get J.J.'s aunts to volunteer to babysit in half-day shifts to make sure his grandma and I had enough free time to get around to everything. A toddler and boiling oil or melted chocolate don't really mix well.

The bear and I got all of our Christmas cards addressed this afternoon (she did all the L's and M's). If I had brought my return address stamp home from work, we would have gotten them dropped off at the post office, but there's always tomorrow.

Good thing there's still another two weeks to go until the 12 days of Christmas start... maybe by then that hole in our ceiling will be patched.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

And I still have half a weekend left!

We've had back to back to back to back crazy weekends... baptism, Birthday parties, two trips to the ER room, the upstairs plumbing throwing up all over the downstairs, Thanksgiving, hockey games, blah, blah, blah.

Well, this weekend, I vowed things were going to be different. No plans. No commitments. No emergencies (please).

Joe's in Atlanta watching football for work, Lillie Biscuit was taken to the vet Friday for an overnight stay, and my sister (finally) granted my wish for free time.

As soon as J.J. woke up this morning (it wasn't that early, he's morphed into a 7:00 AM waker), I packed up enough diapers, food, and clothes for the day, changed his diaper, and delivered him to his aunt. After a quick breakfast (his from home, mine full of trans fat), I waved bye-bye to him and came home to get things done.

And get things done I did.

Not to brag, because these are all things that most people either take care of during a normal week's schedule and don't let things get this out of hand to begin with, but, in my eight hours, I was able to:

*Do 6 loads of laundry

*Thoroughly clean the bathroom (as opposed to my usual 6 minute swipe down)

*Mop the dining room floor (where the high chair lives)

*Clean the high chair (we're talking soaking the straps, removing the cover and draggin' that sucker outside so I could really scrub it -- with a toothbrush)

*Clean Hannah's room and bathroom

*Clean & vacuum the living room

*Drop off the dry cleaning

*Pick up Lillie

Side note: When I went to pick up Lillie from her vet appointment/grooming/overnight boarding, I found myself at a red light behind a pickup truck. The guy driving tossed what looked to me to be a can of Reddi Whip into the bed of the truck through his sliding window. He then dropped what looked to be a lid from a Reddi Whip can back there. Before the light turned green, a second can flew into the bed, and as he went through the intersection, another lid. I was behind him long enough to see a third can and another lid, and am hoping he didn't end up hurting or killing anyone (including himself) as he did whipits while driving through Donelson...

Back to my "got er dones"...

*Clean the kitchen counters

*Mop the kitchen floor

*Sweep and mop the steps to the basement

*Clean out and vacuum my car

*Find the surface of the desk in our office (hey - there's a computer here!)

I'm no where near finished, but I am no longer overwhelmed. The remaining things to do can be tackled in the evenings, either with J.J.'s "assistance" or after he goes to bed for the night (in the 20 minutes I am still awake).

So, next on my wishlist: Find a general contractor to repair and paint our ceiling. Recommendations anyone?

Phrase of the week:

"I don' know!"

As in, "J.J., why did you just throw all of your honeybees on the floor?"

"I don' know!"

The head cocked to one side and arms outstretched, with palms up, emphasizes his understanding of this phrase...