First Christmas

Reasons for Future Therapy

I’m not into human experimentation when it involves drugs and stuff, okay?  Let’s just get that out into the open before you read this.

I’m a big fan of this blog called Sociological Images.  All kinds of stuff is discussed on there, and since I have an obsession tendency with analyzing media, particularly that which is blared at girls/kids, I was drawn to this particular post about gift giving.  Basically, Jimmy Kimmel asked his viewers to give their children gifts they knew would not be well received (aka, that they would totally hate), and film the kids opening them.  The intent, I’m sure, was to see kids freaking out, maybe pitching a few fits, and to laugh at their crazy reactions.  The blog author focuses on what constitutes an inappropriate gift – it’s either something that I would consider trash (a black banana, half-eaten sandwich, or juice bottle that just has a little left) or “the gift is considered bad because the recipient is a boy and the gift is for a girl” (Wade).  This was particularly interesting, since the boys mostly showed disgust, cried, or otherwise made fun of the gift.  Mostly, the kids were at best very disappointed and at worst completely pitched a fit.

After reading this blog post and watching the video, I just kept thinking about why the kids were so upset.  I mean, I would definitely not be happy if someone gave me something that was clearly trash (who wouldn’t think they were being pranked?), but a lot of these kids were totally rude if the gift was something they just didn’t want, like a stapler.  A parent admitted it, saying, “Jimmy Kimmel told me to do it,” to which this 8-or 9-year-old boy said, “Well tell him to suck my balls.”  Seriously.  The kid said that, the parent still filmed & submitted the tape.  The issue switched over to materialism, the culture of deserving things, and parenting for me, so I just had to know – what would Hazel do if I did this to her?  After lots of thought, I decided her gift would be a package of dish sponges, clearly opened.  This isn’t trash, it’s not gender inappropriate (because there’s no such thing in our house), but it’s definitely not something she would identify as a toy.  Here’s the video:

I love my daughter.

Decorations

I finally finished those two Christmas decorations that I wanted to do this year.  Here are a couple of quick photos; the door the wreath is hanging on doesn’t really allow for a straight shot, but I think you can still see it fairly well.  That wreath, by the way, took about an hour, while the banner took much longer.  I seriously thought it would be the other way around!

Dear Santa

Tonight Hazel and I decided it would be a fantastic idea to write a letter to Santa Claus.  She’s very into Santa and Christmas trees right now, and when I broached the idea of writing Santa a letter in the mail Hazel was overjoyed.  Amos and I helped her out a bit with the content, but it should be pretty clear which sentences were Hazel’s idea.

It may be hard to read, so here’s a transcript:

Dear Santa,

Do you want to sing the ABC song?  Our neighbor has a statue of you.  I love Christmas!  I like jingle bells, Christmas trees, and Christmas lights.  Thank you for having Christmas.  Santa is my friend.

Love, Hazel

Underneath there you can see where Hazel drew “letters” for Santa.  All those zigzags are how she draws ABCs!  After that we sat down and had a nice chai tea.  She’s been expressing interest in drinking our coffee and tea lately (most of which is decaf).  We have let her have sips now and then, and tonight I gave her a little of my tea in her own cup.  It was adorable.

Oops…

Dudes, I have been so mega busy (and gone for a week to St. Louis) that I’ve ignored the blog.  And, um, it’s going to continue for just a bit longer.  We have been crazy busy, but luckily it’s been mostly FUN busy.  I’m one small present away from being totally done with Christmas shopping, and today I’m planning to get all the ones that are here wrapped up.  I’m waiting on a couple to be delivered, but I have wrapping ready for them, so I’m good to go.  Today I have to write one more assignment, and then I’m pretty much done for the whole semester.  I’m of two minds about that, but I’ll elaborate later.  Right now I want to get on my assignments so I can move it to the kitchen.  I’ll be baking this delicious-looking Mondel Bread from one of my favorite blogs, Lottie & Doof while I finish up that wrapping.

Long, Fun Saturday

Today has been so busy and productive I can hardly contain myself!  After a long, slightly disappointing breakfast at LuVici’s (sorry, guys, but breakfast is not your best) with Mama and Danny, Mama and I headed over to do a little Christmasy shopping before I headed home to decorate the house.  I had to make a tissue paper and Hershey’s Kiss run!  Amos and I have been working in the house all day, doing all kinds of random house stuff.  We cleaned, did laundry, made pecan bread (well, he did), filled out paperwork for Hazel for the new doctor, and a million other little things.  Our house is decorated, our tree is up, and all the gifts I’ve bought so far are happily wrapped underneath the tree.  Hazel did a surprisingly good job at hanging ornaments, although by the end of it she wasn’t all that interested.  Instead she chose to shuffle around the house wearing a pair of my boots with a weird little Santa bucket thing hanging off her arm like a little old lady debutante.  I don’t know why she’s making this supplicating pose, but believe me when I say that it was hilarious.  She’s also been big into repeating everything we say, so today, for example, she told me she was crazy and that she wanted a Diet Coke.

We also had to move furniture around to accommodate the new crib we have ordered for Julia.  I am rather sad about it; after living with Hazel in our room for about 18 months, I was so happy to move to a house with a room for her.  I had a clean, beautiful room for about a month before we found out we were pregnant again, and ever since it has been slowly degenerating into a child/adult room again.  Piles of baby clothes line the bassinet that is again in our room, and the lovely bookcase with all the breakable stuff I’m afraid to have in the living room has been moved to, you guessed it, the living room.  Once again we’ll be living with a baby.  I’m kind of bittersweet about it; it’s fun having the baby so close, not to mention convenient, but I do long for the day when Amos and I have our own space again.  Until then maybe I can cheer myself up with some adorable baby bedding.

Christmas Makings

Okay – you guys know that I love Christmas, right?  I can’t help it; as soon as November rolls around, I am ready for garlands and shiny ornaments and peppermint bark.  I LOVE CHRISTMAS STUFF!  Soon we’ll be decorating the house, and that’s got me thinking about all the adorable Christmasy things I am itching to get my hands busy working on; luckily, since I have a couple of AWESOME friends who are currently looking over the papers I’ve written a bit early, I might have the time to actually do some!!!  But I know I won’t get around to all of them (at least not before Christmas!), so I thought I’d post some here for you all to see.

First, this cutie Merry Christmas banner.  This one is technically for sale, but I can easily see making my own.

Now wreaths like this one were first spotted in Starbucks  a couple of years ago, but since they corresponded directly to Hazel’s birth I never got around to making my own.  This year I am definitely going to – this is just too awesome to not be hanging somewhere in my house!

Swoon, right?!  There’s also a tutorial with many examples of felt ornaments; the ice skates are my favorite!  Wouldn’t these be cute also as gift tags?

I am going to buy yards of felt and many skeins of Christmasy yarn tomorrow, I think.  Maybe if I have all the supplies here I can figure out some time to make things!

Holy Moly! It’s 2010!

The New Year is just ringing in on this old blog, I'm afraid.  I know it's been a while, but I have a good reason – travel/Christmas/travel/workschoolbaby.  Yep, that is one legitimate reason!

We drove to Athens again for the holidays, but this time didn't venture further than the Target in Madison.  We had a Nana recovering from breast cancer & chemo, plus a new little nephew named Henry, so we kept travel to a new minimum (besides the whole 1000-mile trip down there, I mean).  It was nice, although we really missed Amos's family in St. Louis.  The visit was super fun in the family style – lots of Wii playing, baby tickling, and Henry-holding (for other people – I had strep AND a sinus infection for over half the visit, so I just stalked him from a distance).  Actually, we were all sick at one point or another.  All except Amos, I mean.  He seriously must have a secret treaty with all bacteria and viruses, because he rarely gets sick.  The pollen attack him something fierce, though, and I admit to laughing a little, because every sniffle Hazel brings home turns into the viral plague for me.  Justice!
But I digress.  I'm writing because I have about 2 months worth of photos to edit STILL, and now they include some Christmasy ones.  I'm just going to post this one and call it an afternoon.  This semester I'm taking a British literature course featuring writers from the 16-1700s and also a Chaucer course.  So, on a little break from Middle English (stretching on about 20 minutes now) I dumped my photo card contents onto my desktop, browsed through, saw this adorable photo, and started missing Hazel like crazy.  She was just so damn excited about this train, you guys.  She was FREAKING OUT in the store, and everything there was all "awww, look at that cutie!  Look at her sweater!  It must be handknit by her proud, talented mother!"  The last two lines may have been running through my mind only, I can't remember for sure because of the viral war going on in my head at the time, but that's how I choose to remember it.
So, blurry or not, here's a taste test of the photos I swear to Fred Sanford I will put up this weekend:

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Quick like a bunny!

I am sick.  Hazel is sicker.  Amos is not (lucky dude!).  So this will be quick fast like lightening!

This week was productive in that I got new yarn and started knitting with it.  Oh also the house was clean for one whole day.  PRETTY COOL.  Friday I got a crazy number of house-stuff done:  groceries, dishes, sweeping, mopping, bathroom-sink-cleaning, plus I made a tofu/kale supper pie, which was phenomenal.  But then I got sick yesterday, and all I did before Amos got home was feed Hazel and pick up a couple of promised books at the book sale.  And today it's been mopey, snotty, headachey, orange-juicy shuffling from room to room.
Thus, the promised quick run-down:
I'm making the shawl on the left with the yarn on the right.  This will be a kind of last-minute Christmas gift for my grandma.  I'm making one that is a little bigger than the one here, since I want her to use it like a shawl.
Also, because Hazel was sick, Amos bought some Crayons for her.  She's a little young, really, but he found these plastic-covered ones and she loved them!  She didn't try to eat them once.
fast fast fastshare?crayoning

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Christmas Stuff – Yes, I Know It’s Early.

That's right bro – it's officially Christmas season up in this mother!!! Why?  I'll be happy to tell you!  I made full-on caffeine coffee today!!!

  • We live in NY.
  • Most of the people I buy gifts for do not.
  • That means each gift involves extra time & money for shipping and strategic (wrinkle-free) packing.
  • That also means we travel every Christmas.
  • We don't like the snow.
  • So, we leave ASAP in December and come back ALAP.  
The last two years I've been orchestrating this huge Christmas endeavor have been learning experiences.  The first year I think I spent about $80 US DOLLARS on shipping alone, not including the cost of tape, boxes, and paper to stuff inside the boxes.  That's just too much.  Last year was better, and this year is going to be phenomenal.  I made sure to buy things that were generally lightweight or small, so shipping will be a breeze!  So, I've basically got that covered.  It helps that I start buying really early, like when everything goes on after-Christmas sale.  
Also, because we leave for Christmas pretty early, it means that everything has to be done by about December 10th at the latest.  When I've tried to let things go longer in the past I have ended up crying red & green tears of despair, curled in a ball under a half-decorated tree, holding lights that won't blink in my hands.  This year I hope to avoid that scenario.  To that end, I have about 80% of my list bought, wrapped, and packed to ship.  About 10% is staying here (bought & wrapped already), and the other bit I haven't made/bought yet.  I have also already written & addressed every Christmas card, and the whole stack is sitting tight in the box in which they came.
I know – I'm like this Christmas Nazi.  I start shopping and planning my Christmas knitting in January; every sale is potential Christmas fodder.  I can't help it; my tendency to over-achieve, combined with our kind of weirdly stressful Christmas situation, makes for a total organized Yuletide dictator.  But you know, when I'm sipping wassel and knitting in the evening with Hazel playing in the flickering glow of Christmas lights, I'm going to be enjoying my holiday instead of worrying about completing all the things I wanted done.

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