Saturday, November 29, 2008

The New Use For Ornaments

Colin and what is left of the tree. :-)

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Christmas Tree That Never Was....

I can say without a doubt that my mothers instinct is pretty much dead on accurate. I hope that you are all enjoying the pictures of the Christmas tree, because it looked like that for one hour. And that was the one hour Colin was asleep. ;-) I finished putting up the decorations during Colin's nap yesterday and let me tell you, it was a huge disaster when he got up. I purchased tons of plastic ornaments from Garden Ridge in preparation for Colin pulling the tree down, and at least that was a good idea since they are all over the house now. I wish I had captured the look on his face when he saw that tree. It hit me immediately that I was expecting way too much out of a 16 month old baby. The tree was a giant shining glittering shimmering beacon of heaven to his little self. I thought he was going to pass out from the joy of a giant glowing tree of toys hanging from it. Except that they were not toys. And he was not supposed to touch it. Yeah. Brilliant idea, Mama. He went after every ornament, bow, light, tree skirt, cord...everything. I spent a long time alternating between yelling, silently removing him (while he screamed), getting on eye level and telling him no, grabbing his hands and saying no, crying and saying no, and finally banging my head against the wall while saying no. It was a lovely afternoon. I realized that I was being unfair to Colin and really setting him up to fail by placing the worlds largest teaser in front of him. I surely could not spend the next month in a war with Colin over the tree and it would stress me out beyond measure to watch that tree like a hawk. I want this to be a joyous time for him, not a time for me to yell at him constantly. He does not understand the tree yet and really does not understand why he can play with his normal ball pit, but not the balls hanging on the tree. Therefore, the tree no longer has ornaments on it, except for the very very top. I took everything off today that was in arms reach, and with a tall toddler on tip toes, that was pretty high up. It looks utterly ridiculous, which in itself will be a funny holiday memory. The tree is pre-lit and Colin seems to have no interest in the bare tree with no goodies on it, so it stays like it is. At least there is a tree up. A tree with one quarter decorated. Peace has been restored in the house and I am happy. I think if we had a larger house where the tree was not literally in the middle of where Colin has to walk, I might have been able to pull it off. Maybe. For those of you who gave birth to toddlers who actually could walk past a shimmering tree of joy and not touch it, just shut up. ;-)

Here is the looks much prettier in real life. Colin would reach the stockings, so none of those this year. I plan to string up all the Christmas cards we receive along the bottom of the mantle as well. I saw the idea in one of my magazines and it should look cute and be a fun way to display them. I love getting Christmas cards and never have a good way to showcase them, so I think this will be fun.

This used to be a nice view of the decorated tree. If you click on the picture, you can get a nice view of my plastic ornaments. Now imagine it with the star on top and two ornaments. ;-) Forgive the messy kitchen and gigantic pile of toys. We have one of those tall skinny trees that I bought back when we were cool and lived in downtown Dallas. It worked well for our modern apartment in the city and still works for our small living area, at least size-wise. I am ready to go back to the classic shape tree, not to mention the fact that I collect special ornaments and I am running out of room on this one. I think I may buy the new tree next year. I will keep this one should look nice in the entry of the huge house that I should own by 2040. hehe!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! It has been a VERY busy couple of days around here which finally ended in extreme eating this afternoon. We had a great day and it was wonderful to be surrounded by our loved ones. I am so thankful to have such an amazing husband and beautiful little boy to call my own and I find myself incredibly grateful for all that I have been given.

We celebrated the big day at Jer's parents house, which is simply the perfect place to have any party! My parents and sister Alieson came in town to celebrate with us, which was a special treat. It is rare to get to celebrate holidays with two sides of our family at one time and it was so nice. My other sister Meredith and her fiance Cory are getting married next weekend, so they skipped out this year to stay home and work on the wedding. We missed them a lot, but we will all be together next weekend, so that made it better. I spent all day yesterday cooking and running wedding errands since Jer was home to watch Colin. In what I am sure will be the most re-told story of the year, I had to make FOUR chocolate pies due to the fact that I ruined the first two. Our family chocolate pie is a much loved tradition and this was my first year to make it instead of my mom. I practiced it earlier this year and was ready to go. I was making two pies and I got completely finished, including made from scratch crust (which had to chill first and then bake beforehand) and filling. Both pies were made and stunning when I went to whip up the egg whites into meringue. I spooned the sugar and vanilla into the egg whites, whipped them up, poured them into the pies and THEN tasted my fingertip....I had not been paying attention and used SALT instead of sugar in the meringue. I kid you not. I poured a salt lick over my precious pies. It was a sloppy salty mess and I knew the egg whites were taking too long to set up, but I was not paying attention and just poured it on the pies. It would not come off and both pies were ruined! I had a complete and total meltdown...I was beside myself! Jer tried to remind me that we would look back at that moment and laugh during holidays down the road and he is right...but there was no consoling me at the time! UGH!! I ended up making them all over again because I could NOT handle missing chocolate pie on Thanksgiving, not to mention that I would never have lived the story down if I had not produced a pie. :-) I made them all over again and they were great, thank goodness. What a mess! After that fiasco, my family arrived at my house and we all settled in for chili and cornbread that I made earlier in the day. We had a great time hanging out and chatting and Colin had a blast running around and showing off for his family. He had a whole room full of family to laugh at him, which he found highly entertaining!

Today dawned very early and my mom, sister and I started cooking. We made tons of stuff to take to Thanksgiving. I made my sweet potatoes with pecan strudel topping and brown butter mashed potatoes to take with my pies. My mom made her dressing, seven layer salad, corn souffle, ham sauce, and more stuff that I can't think of at this late hour. It was a major feast! We took everything over to Jer's parents house by 11:00am and they had tons of appetizers and wine for us to start with. They made the turkey and ham and Jer's mom made from scratch pumpkin pie! It was awesome!! There was so much food there that I could pass out just thinking about it. Colin ate a ton of food...easily the most I have seen him eat at one time. He loved it all! We ate ourselves to death and then hung out on the patio relaxing while Colin took a nap. We caught some of the Cowboys game and then finally made it home at about 5:00. Colin had a light dinner and was asleep by 7:30. It was just a wonderful day all the way around and I am now ready for the official start of the Christmas season!! Here are some pictures from our day...this is me and my sister attempting a self-portrait. We are such dorks!

This is my daddy and Alieson at the dinner table.

Alieson cracking me up...I told her that this picture was going directly to the blog. :-)

Colin loving his huge feast!

The grandmothers cooking and harassing Colin. :-)

This is one of the out-takes from our family photo shoot in the backyard. I am saving the good ones for our Christmas cards, but this one is sweet. If Colin had been looking up, it would have been perfect for the card. I love my boys!

Mama and Colin lounging on the couch...getting ready to eat!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Colin's New Move

Colin has a brand new move that he unveiled today. I had the television off and was returning an email this morning. I heard the TV turn on in the living room and just shook my head to myself that he was poking the buttons on the TV when he knew better. I finished up the email and headed into the living room to check on Colin, when I saw the above picture. Colin had turned on the TV, went and got his juice and Teddy and climbed up on the couch to watch TV with Enzo. He was intently watching when I rounded the corner. I almost fell down from the adorableness. First of all, he has only managed to get on the couch unassisted once or twice before and that was this weekend. He has always needed a boost before. Second of all, this is the first time that he has done something so grown-up...turning on the TV and getting on the couch to watch! That is such a big boy thing to do!!! Third of all, Enzo actually stayed there to sit with him!! Enzo ALWAYS leaves when Colin comes close, so this was a big day! How cute are my boys?!?! :-)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Update

This has been a VERY busy weekend. We ran all sorts of errands, including a trip to Wal-Mart on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Remind me never to do that again. It was total insanity to say the least! We put up most of the Christmas decorations that I wanted to take care of early and Jer put the lights around the house today!!! He gets extra bonus points for that one. We moved the furniture in the living room back to where it was before it turned into a play land and I love it. I needed a change and sometimes moving things around does the trick for me. Jer was not exactly pleased to be lugging entertainment centers around the house, but he was a good sport. ;-) Jer even hung several pictures that I have had sitting around and moved the filing cabinet in the office. He is such a good husband!
This morning we took Colin out for our favorite Mexican breakfast and then we tried out a new park that is just around the corner. It is next to the public library and it turned out to be the best park we have been to! It was huge and had a whole toddler area where things were Colin's size. The whole place looked like a castle and he had an absolute blast. Of course, he ended up in the bigger kid area and seriously almost gave me a heart attack playing on that extended wobbly floor thing. He came out without injury, so all went well. He is too brave for me sometimes! I just knew he was going to topple off that thing!!
This is going to be a short work week for Jer, which is great. He will be off on Wednesday and my family is heading over that evening. I am very excited for Thanksgiving and the Christmas decorations are giving me that fun buzz of holiday excitement. Now if only I could stay out of Wal-Mart until January. Sheesh!!

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