Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas 2010

Family Wall Noir Christmas 5x7 folded card
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Friday, December 10, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Dear Blog,

As we get closer and closer to Christmas more decorations go up, Wesley gets more and more excited and I try to find more ways for our family to make fun holiday memories together. My husband had very different Christmases (at least how he remembers it) from how I did. It is sometimes a battle to kick to Grinch out of him but in the end he usually enjoys the efforts I make and the torture I put him through to make our holidays merry.

I just finished writing out the Christmas cards (going in the mail today!) and I have almost all the gifts for the family and am going to ship those off too. It will be a huge relief to get those sent off. This week we did a couple projects for the holidays.

First, we made Whoopie Pies. For those who don't know, a whoopie pie is two chocolate cakes with a marshmallow cream filling. These can vary but the kind we make are chocolate with marshmallow fluff/icing filling. They are super good and go really fast around here (especially when you are sharing them with friends). It took me quite a while to get the recipe from my mother in law, in fact it took 4 years of marriage and a deployment to get them but it was worth it. My husband says they are better than his mom's when I make them but I think that is only because I double the icing recipe so there is LOTS of fluffy filling. Anyway, here it is for anyone who wants to make a super special treat this holiday season. Williams-Sonoma is selling them on their website-12 for $50. This recipe makes about 16 and will cost you only a fraction of that!

Whoopie Pies:
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla (use a good vanilla like Burbon vanilla, not an extract or imitation vanilla!)
Beat until mixed.

Then add:
2 cups of flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp of cocoa
1 cup of whole milk (I have used 2% and it has turned out fine)
Mix all ingredients together and drop by measured tbsp onto parchment lined cookie sheet. 
*I like to use my Pampered Chef large scoop, it's perfect!*
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8-9 minutes.

While baking make the filling:
1.5 cups of shortening
12 tablespoons of Marshmallow Fluff
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1.5 cups of confectionary sugar

When cakes are cool slather on the filling and make into little sandwiches. Enjoy! 

Other holiday projects for us have been making paper chains to decorate the windows. It is fun and colorful and a great way to spend some family time together. Just cut up construction paper into strips that are 1 inch by 8 inches (you can make them bigger or smaller, but I like that size and it's easy based on the size of the construction paper- 12 x 8). Then make them into a circle and tape or glue or staple them together. Link as you go!

Window treatments, paper chains.

Our "winter" wreath, hanging inside on the back door.

Henry, Santa's little helper, spreading the Christmas cheer!
My "Pottery Barn" table decorations. Love it!
Our Christmas tree. A little eclectic, a lot of fun!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas, Christmas time again....

Dear Blog,

My husband is annoying me asking if I am writing on my blog again so here I am. I was watching the Harry Potter marathon but then the Ravens game (Go Raisins!) came on so no more Harry Potter for me. So sad. So, here I am (after googling about Baltimore City-"The City that reads!" and Edgar Allan Poe - flashbacks from 7th grade English class). 

I was reading on another blog (or somewhere) that a good idea for some topics this month is stuff that we do for Christmas. We have lots of Christmas traditions and I know we will come up with more now that we have two little boys running round. I can't wait for Christmas this year, it will be so much for us with the two boys. We already have our tree and have it decorated. Our tree is eclectic and crazy looking and there is a lot of ornaments in one spot because Wesley keeps bunching them all together and Henry and the cats have totally messed up the red beads but I love it. It is not a Martha Stewart Christmas tree but it is ours and is perfect in its own way. I love how all our ornaments are different and each one holds a lot of memories for us.  We have plans to make paper chains, drive around looking at Christmas lights while sipping hot chocolate, and leaving our outdoor Christmas lights in the trees until next year so the renter's won't have to do it. Keep posted for lots of fun holiday up dates! One thing Wesley and I did was put together a photo shoot of his Star Wars Legos (specifically Clone Troopers) have a Christmas extravaganza. Extra points to me for being creative and having fun doing something Wesley and I love. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Post Office

Today my husband asked me if I had a blog. I told him, yes, actually I do but I never post on there anymore because I never have time with two kids and all the craziness that goes on in my life. Then I said "I shoudl blog more because I have a lot to say!" to which he replied" "Yeah. Yeah you do." So, here I am. My goal will be to blog a little something everyday. We will see how it goes. Anyway, here is today's blog.
Oh, and he suggested that I start it "Dear Blog" so that is what I will be doing from now on. Cheers.

Dear Blog,

Today I had to go to the post office. Back in September I had bought Wesley a Lego Advent calendar at the Lego store. In November my mother in law decided to buy the SAME EXACT ONE for the boys for Christmas (which is really just Wesley since Henry is only 5 months old and could care less about a Lego advent calender). Sure, it might have been a coincidence if I HAD NOT SHOWN HER THE ONE I BOUGHT WHEN I WAS UP THERE IN SEPTEMBER. But I digress, that is another post in and of itself. So, I had to mail back the one I bought to my mom who kindly took it back to the Lego store and returned it and bought Wesley Plo Koon's Starfighter set and a magnet set of mini figures and then mailed them back to me. Great. Everything is working out well. She goes to mail it to us and she gets the one evil lady who is always in a bad mood even when it's not the holiday season and everyone and their uncle is mailing gifts and cards and gosh only knows what else through the mail. My mom asks for delivery confirmation and the postal worker puts it certified which not only costs over double what it cost me to mail up to her but I have to sign for it. Well, I don't mind waiting for a package that I know is coming if I have to sign for it but my mother neglected to tell me that I would need to be there to sign for the package. So, we come home from a day of running errands and I see a note on the front door that my mailman tried to deliver the package but couldn't because we were not there to sign for it and I would be able to pick up the package after 9 AM on the next day. Ok fine.

So, today I pick up Wesley from school, bribe him to come with him instead of staying after to play with his friends and hightail it to the post office to make it there before they close so we can get the package. On the way there Wesley informs me that he has to pee. Fantastic. I can't remember if there is a bathroom at the post office or not so I ask him if he can hold it until we get there. He says yes. We get to the post office, go in and look around and there is no bathroom. But the line is short so I ask if he can hold it a bit longer, all we have to do is get the package then I will get him to the bathroom (bad mom, I know!). He says yes. Well. I don't know if you have ever had to wait in line at the post office with a 4 year old who needs to pee but it goes something like this:
(W): Mommy. What are those packages for? Are we mailing anything to Grandma? Do we need to get those boxes? What is that guy doing? Is there I potty I have to pee! Who is that guy talking to? Why is he saying that? When is it our turn? Can go past that door? Why not? Why is it locked? What are we doing? We are getting a package from Grandm? Does it have Legos in it? I want Grandma to send me some Legos. What is this for? It is for a pen? Can I use the pen? Why can't I write on the table? I want to write on the table! Can you get me some paper to write on? I have to pee, can I pee now? What are we doing here? Grandma sent us a package?What did she send us? Did she send me Legos? Mommy. Mommy. mommy. Mommy.
All while dancing around touching everything in reach.

We finally make it to the dest and I hand over the package pick up slip and the lady goes back to look for it (now I am holding Wesley as he asks the same 10 questions over and over again). She comes back and tells me she can't find the package that someone else is looking for it and could I please move over a bit (to an unused desk) and wait. Sure. Fine. FIFTEEN  minutes later (and a large fraction of my patience gone) the lady from the back comes out and says she can't find the package. Then she asks "Do you know what the package looks like?" Now, seriously, what a dumb question. Most people don't know what the package looks like that is getting send to them. I *think* that my mom sent it in the same package I sent to her so I describe that box to her ("about this size, has colorings and stickers all over it...") . She looks like she might know where is it, goes back to look for it but comes out empty handed. She tells me to write down my name and phone number and she will call me if they find it. Then she says my mailman might still have it and might be trying to deliver it to me again which is crap and not true because my mailman would have put that he was redelivering the package to me, not for me to pick it up from the post office if that was the case, plus he had already delivered the mail that day and had not dropped off any packages. Lame. So now I am waiting for a package that they may or may not have lost and I will probably have to go through the harassment of the post office once again. Too bad I can't send my husband.

Moral of the story: NEVER SEND ME ANYTHING CERTIFIED MAIL. I will never, ever be there to pick it up. Trust me. This is the third time it has happened.

I forgot the best part of the story! So, remember how Wesley had to pee? Well, I bribed him to be good by promising he could pee outside when we got done. So when we left I took him over to the woods (he was so excited), found him a place where he could go with some privacy, stood behind him and told him to go for it. So, he pulls out his parts, and let's go. Man, did that boy have to pee! He proceeded to "water" all the plants in the area then tried to see how far he could make his pee go. Ugh, boys. Then after he was done he points to the bushes in front of the post office and says "Mommy, next time I am going to pee there!" Oy. I hope it is not a federal offense to pee on the property of the post office. Because if so, I am in serious trouble. Or at least Wesley is. 

Oh, and they finally found the package. Then I had to find a way to get rid of Wesley while I opened it so he wouldn't see the Legos "Santa" is bringing him for Christmas. This Christmas Santa conspiracy stuff is exhausting!
Until tommorrow,