Monday, December 22, 2014

holly jolly

I reached the zenith of pre-Christmas stress last Wednesday when I realized I only had one day of preschool left to get all my Cumbersome-With-One-Gremlin-But-Flat-Out-Miserable-With-Two holiday errands run -- "taking off" a week from yuletide hustle and bustle for B's virus / ear infection combo really cramped my elf style this year! 

Taking full advantage of Thursday's five toddler-free hours, B and I hoofed it out to IKEA {I'd normally  bitch about the drive, but between the mileage and a parking lot car nap, I listened to the Serial finale uninterrupted, soooo... Thanks, boondocks IKEA!} where I promptly began to feel quite icky. I remarked to a favorite friend that I always seem to fall ill immediately after an IKEA trip; she suggested a particle board and/or meatball allergy, but I'm pretty sure I just tend to make last minute sojourns to the land of cheap Swedish goodies when already rundown and/or stressed {the holidays, 37 weeks pregnant, etc}. 

(As an aside, B is most certainly not allergic to IKEA {especially not the meatballs}, although he might be allergic to the food-safe, edible wax Harry & David paints on its pears. Sad, sad {and weird, weird} {and random, random} day for him... More pears for me.)

Thankfully, I thwarted the on-coming head cold with many, many packets of Emergen-C.  And then not-as-many-but-close glasses of child-free, adult holiday party wine on Friday. Electrolytes and booze {and teeny-tiny beef tenderloin and grainy mustard sammies} really do make the best medicine.  That particular prescription along with a mega wrapping session, a few last minute Prime purchases, half a dozen loads of laundry, casserole preparation, angry calls to the HVAC service peeps, and a frantic quest for a 12 volt security alarm battery {AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE}, and I've reclaimed my Christmas Zen.   

And just in time to rehash all the festive activities to {and fro} which we've been dashing! 

For the third year in a row, we booked a horse-drawn carriage ride to tour the fancy-pants Christmas lights.  The displays were gorgeous as always and L was the perfect age for it this year, but I'm pretty sure ice water in her first red cup was L's absolutely favorite thing about the evening {that and petting the horse} {the horse whose name she told me today was "Penis-Pee."} {So close.} {Penelope}.  This series of photos tickles me to no end. 

B was quite taken with all the lights.  I wasn't sure exactly how he'd do being confined for an hour during what is, at times, a fussy time of day.  But, of course, he was a peach.  Especially when we busted out the banana and yogurt melts. 

Definitely one of my favorite traditions for our little nuclear family! 

L and I indulged our sweet teeth {toothes?} with a cookie exchange playdate + birthday party in one 24 hour time period.  We hosted the former -- our first time having a group of kiddos over since Flood 2.0.  We managed to keep globs of green cupcake icing off the new carpet, and L was so worn out by the end of the morning, she grabbed a blanket and made herself a pallet on the living room floor before her friends even left... Success! 

We've made some new buddies.  I'm trying not to think of what will happen when they come down next week... Can Valentines inflatables become A Thing? 

Of course we had to pay a visit to the big guy in red... 

If you'll recall, L was, uh, not Santa's biggest fan last year.  She remained wary of him this year as well {she asks "why that Leighton crying?!" every time she sees 2013's photograph} {yep, you know that slice of amazingness is framed in our house}, but we promised she didn't have to sit in his lap if she didn't want to.  I even spent an extra 28 seconds applying actual mascara in anticipation of stepping into the shot, but our big girl was quite brave... sidling right up to Santa, smiling for the cheeseball photographer, and making sure to specify her wishlist included "a dollhouse and a door for that dollhouse" {gotsta make sure those trixy dolls have their crap up to fire code!}.  And, of course, B was all "oh hey, happy to be here, just tell me where to hang."  20 minutes and $70 worth of sickeningly overpriced prints later, it was another Neimans Santa Visit for the books. 

L and I made Christmas cookies. 

We cheated and used the Pillsbury pre-rolled cookie sheets {although we did re-roll several times}, and it was brilliant.  L exclaimed over and over "I love making cookies with you!"  Grinch Heart: Melted. 

We celebrated Christmas with E's family on Saturday, and it's safe to say L has the whole concept of presents down.  Still working on our graciousness, though. 

Sister has been decently good about not 100% stealing all of B's gifts, though. I hate to label things "his" and "yours," but I think there's less possessiveness on her part over toys that weren't hers as a baby. 

And with that, I'm sufficiently wiped! So ready to begin our main event festivities tomorrow...

Stay cozy! 


  1. That may be the best posed Santa photo I've ever seen. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  2. I love the picture of the two of them with Santa! L's dress with the red chucks is perfection! Where do you get your smocked outfits from?

    1. Thank you! I buy a lot of them second hand -- both of these were purchased on Instagram (the candy cane dress is from @shopellagscloset and the station wagon Christmas tree john-john is from @amysevolvingcloset). I also buy from Zulily and Facebook auctions -- I never pay more than $25-30!


happy little comments!