Saturday, November 30, 2013


 Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving we decorate the house for Christmas.
While other families are out taking advantage of Black Friday sales and come home dead, we choose to spend our day at home blaring Christmas tunes while decorating.
You might remember that last year, we decided it was time to sell our old Christmas tree for a new, taller,  pre-lit tree. This would be our first experience with the new tree, seeing it decorated with all its glory.
I had to work so while I was busy, Jason brought the tree up along with our other decorations and set to work on the painstaking duty of assembling the tree and getting the branches properly placed.
Evan thought it was a good idea to help daddy out.
 Jason hadn't quite finished getting the branches situated and I snapped a quick picture of it. Then I began to wonder. Has any family bought a fake tree and not realized they needed to get the branches all situated and just left the tree straight out of the box with no finagling? Because if so, that's dumb.
During this whole preparation phase, Dawson was getting impatient and was chomping at the bit to decorate the tree. Naturally I had to explain that he comes from a mother and father that are OCD and that means there is a SYSTEM in place.
First, I don my I Presents socks.
Jason took that picture. Just to keep things real, I'll allow you to view my attempt:
Next, we set up the tables to put the boxes of decorations on to keep our carpet from getting dirty.
 Then we open the boxes and get out the ornaments in a certain order. I like a coordinated tree. OCD. We had to go buy more ornaments since we have a taller tree and therefore we also bought some color coordinated ribbon, icicle ornaments and a new tree topper. All of these items were laid out to go on the tree first. Once those items were applied EVENLY SPACED (that spacial coordination is Jason's problem), then we could move on to the "fun" decorations as we termed them. As you can tell, the tree is the first item to be tackled in our decorating tradition.
Picture of the tree once it was completed. This is after I swept up some of the needles that had fallen off. Speaking of needles, is it just me, or does everyone feel the need to wash your hands 33 times once you've finished decorating your tree due to the grimy residue left on them?  If you were to zoom in on this picture, you might notice that I do not vacuum in a straight line. My OCD has its limits.
Take a guess at how many "JOY" ornaments make their way onto our tree.
Here's a picture of our old tree- 
 followed by a picture of our new tree
I love our new tree, but something seemed off. I couldn't pinpoint the problem though, so we moved on.
Next we put the two snowmen in their appropriate places.
 And then the spoon holder goes in it's spot on the stove. I don't collect snowmen, in case you were wondering. If I could collect anything in the whole wide world, I would collect money. So there you go. A great gift idea for yours truly.
 I then set up the nativity which goes squarely in the middle of the mantle over the fireplace. This usually means their is a trail of Styrofoam from the packaging that sticks to everything and drives me crazy, but such is the way of suffering in order to get baby Jesus where he needs to be. Once I'm finished, Jason gets the stockings hung near the chimney with care. We also have a small tree that sits on the left corner of the fireplace but Jason hasn't gotten that brought up from the basement yet. I think he's afraid Evan will eat it.
 Speaking of Jason, the last item that makes it's way into our tradition and out of its box is this "Welcome" sign that he hangs on the inside handle of our front door. I've tried and failed many times to have him hang it on the outside but he refuses. My only guess is that he wants people to know they are welcome once they've made it in.
This is not a tradition (gasp), but I wanted to get out of the house, so later we went shopping at Ross where Jason found a new tree skirt that perfectly matched our coordinated goodness. When we brought it home and got it arranged just so under the tree, I realized that was the missing item I needed to complete the tree. The other tree skirt matched, but it was too small because it was for our old tree. I feel like I can relate to Monk in this way. If you have never watched the tv show Monk, you will have no idea what I'm talking about.

We end our night of traditions by watching one Christmas movie before bed. It's either Elf or Christmas Story. Then I asked Jason to get one final last picture of our tree.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Thanksgiving Post

 I made caramel apple cupcakes with salted caramel cream cheese frosting for our Thanksgiving day dessert.
The first batch I made had egg shells in them. A discovery made by Jason when he bit into one to see how it tasted. This is important to know because this set the mood for my Thanksgiving day. Jason and I fought because he wanted me to go ahead and serve up the cupcakes and I was upset and wanted to make a brand new batch. I had to run to the grocery store and get more apples and a box of cake mix, and the store was crowded with people buying items which I imagined was due to all of them suffering the same plight as me and they all had egg shells in their cupcakes. I'm certain of it now that I think about it. You will notice that I am not posting pictures of said cupcakes as it goes against my food picture policy. So unless their is a riot in my comments, don't plan to see them.
Dawson was bored because he just wanted to get on with the day and he wouldn't be quiet while Evan napped which upset me too. So I told Jason I wasn't celebrating Thanksgiving this year and to leave me home to wallow in self pity.
But I was hungry so I celebrated anyway. Celebrate isn't the right word. More like endured.
I tried getting a few pictures of Evan and Dawson.
This one would have been lovely if it wasn't so blurry. Just a testimony to my blurry mood.
One picture was enough for Evan apparently. He decided to jet.

While we finished the preparations for the meal, Evan ran amok on the little fire engine with his big brother "Don-Don" aiding him.
Finally it was time to eat and my attitude melted away with Mia's prayer for our meal which began "Good Jesus"... and then just a bit later as we were sharing our "What are you thankful for" observations it got to Gabbi who immediately busted out with "Jesus". And to think,  I was only thankful for my family and my yoga pants.
My sis-in-law Jenessa, is very modest about her holy family.
After the partaking of the meal together, it was time for our traditional picture taking assembly.
I'm going to guess we won't see a perfect family picture until the children are in middle-school and we can use Christmas presents as a threat.
I wanted a new FB profile picture and thought I should have one taken of Jason and I. Only I don't like my hair.  My friend Ashley might recognize the clothes I'm wearing though.
I'm confident we nailed the perfect family portrait with every single picture sporting one family member not looking at the camera.
I'm distressed by the placing of my left arm which served no purpose.
If you'll pay close attention, you'll spy with your little eye a Mia affectionately giving her big cousin Dawson a tap on the leg and then on the arm. Also, the dog's not ours but I was hoping she would deflect attention from the useless placing of my arm.
Although I deeply missed my Indiana family this year, I still have lots to be thankful for. Like a second batch of cupcakes sans egg shells.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Enunciation: Words and Other Toddler Shenanigans

So Evan is talking now. This is important for many reasons.  One of those reasons being that the more he says, the less he'll whine. That's my theory anyway. And since I made a list at one time of the things Dawson said at this age, I think it's only fair that I have a list for Evan. You know both of my boys are created equal.
  1. Momeeeee (accent on the e sound)
  2. Dadeeee (accent on the e sound)
  3. Bopit. (stop it)
  4. I-eeeee (ice, accent on the e sound)
  5. Bye-Bye (this is very clearly enunciated.)
  6. Cahndy! (candy accent on the "ah" sound)
  7. Pee-Boo (Peek-a-boo)
  8. Tea-kyou (thank you)
  9. Don-Don! (Dawson)
  10. Goggy (doggy)
  11. jooooo (juice accent on the oooooo)
  12. Ya (yeah)
  13. Gocky (socky)
  14. Doo (shoe)
  15. Die (outside -good thing we figured this one out or I'd be traumatized)
  16. Uh-Oh (fantastic enunciation on this one)
  17. Beep (another astounding rendition of enunciation)
This is what happens when I let Evan play by himself in his room.
Which of course I don't mind, because he's quiet the entire time.
Let's zoom in:
Hmm. Looks like he nearly got his pants stuffed down the register.