Christmas Recap

Christmas is always a whirlwind of family parties, church, food and wrapping paper and this year was no different. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family – we were missing a few members this year to their in-laws, but we managed to adjust tradition and make it a beautiful holiday.

We kept with the tradition of the family sneaking all their gifts to one house so that the kids awake/arrive to a sea of presents. This year we hosted gift opening and it was a blast. PW and I both went to Bay’s room when she woke up and the first question out of her mouth was “did Santa come?”. We told her yes and that he had eaten his cookies and milk and that the reindeer loved their carrots. Her response? “did he put his dishes in the sink?”. Clearly she is my child.

She got to open one gift first thing – her new backhoe scooter – complete with a tool kit. What? Not everything has to be pink and pretty! She loved that she would have something that she could get around on quickly (she hasn’t quite mastered her trike yet) when she plays with Britain down the street.

She beeps when she backs up

“rip and tear!!”

Once she was done opening her presents, she asked for a “time out” in her crib. Which I think was a nice way of saying “overloaded”

“Boots like Morgan!!!”

We switched up our usual schedule a bit which left Christmas day afternoon open – which meant plenty of mimosas at brunch and a nice long nap for the whole family. The best part was that we had several friends stop by. Normally getting together with friends means much planning and coordinating of calendars, but the shared day off by all meant lots of very welcome impromptu visitors. We got to catch up with a great friend and best man from our wedding, Ryan and by Baylor’s Godfather Joe and his fiance Brandy. There was also a convoy of new bikes, scooters and cars with the neighborhood kids while the parents sat on the patio and sipped champagne. It was a perfect holiday.

After Bay had gone to bed last night, PW and I enjoyed our gift from my parents, a 2007 bottle of Cakebread Cabernet (we typically by wine base on the fact it’s under $15, not so much on the year). We were snuggled on the couch when PW looked over at the coffee table full of new Legos and said:

“Your Lego tower is pretty wonky”.

“It’s a tree” I replied.

“Wow. That’s a pretty crappy tree.”

“Listen, I don’t work at Lego Land, ass. Use your imagination!”




Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!! 

Thank you all for reading The Goon Room,  for all your comments and words of advice. I’m grateful for all of them! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, memories and much happiness.

Hand print Santa by Baylor Wand

I love looking at all our friend’s smiling faces!

It wouldn’t be Christmas without torturing Bear with some antlers.

Baylor’s Christmas list:

1. Boots like Morgan (her best buddy has a rad pair of green galoshes)

2. Presents.

Well said little lady!

Baylorisms – Part 3 – The Christmas version

Christmas has brought a lot of new words to Bay’s vocabulary and not all of them are easy to understand. The Grinch, for example. I asked her to repeat herself 16 times before I sent her to PW for interpretation.

Silly Lu Lu – Cindy Loo Hoo.

Zinsh – The Grinch. This one is hard to write because it’s really more of a sound than a word and leads me to ask “show me what you’re talking about”.

There’s me! – her greeting when she walks into a room.

Sarah – Dora the Explorer. She doesn’t watch Dora but for some reason thinks her name is Sarah. Her swim diapers have Dora on them and when I put them on she says “Hey Sarah!!”.

The Teddy Bear – Winnie the Pooh. We’re going to see the Winnie the Pooh Christmas play today so I’m guessing she’ll know his name after that.

Krishness – Christmas!


Preschool Play

Baylor had her first Christmas play last week and to say it was adorable is an understatement. I have been hearing bits and pieces of Christmas songs like Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Angel  and Are You Sleeping? for weeks so I was excited to actually hear the songs in their entirety.

Room 1 was lead in by their fearless (I think that’s actually part of her job description) leader, Teacher Jackie. They sang three songs with no tears and only a few wiggles. If there was a picture of Peter, me, my mom and his mom, we would have all looked like giggling idiots – my face hurt from smiling.

Ready to belt it out

Finally spotted Mom, Dad, Grandma and Noni

Hand motions for the “like an angel in the sky” part

Proud of their performance

I love this – they hold hands when they walk somewhere – B and her buddy Morgan know the drill

Kid Friendly Nativity

Growing up, we had the most beautiful nativity scene. It was all carved wood and was incredibly detailed and had so many people – it was like a religious Barbie house to me. I loved playing with it. I like staging all the figurines, hiding baby Jesus and enjoying every minute of it.

As an adult, I had a hard time finding an equally beautiful manger scene that was kid friendly. But then I came across a hand-made set at a silent auction for Circle the City charity (amazing amazing amazing. If you don’t know, find out). I was stalking a bid I had made on a bedding set for Baylor and noticed the adorable figures. They are all knitted and include the three wise men, shepherds and sheep, a donkey, camel and of course the holy family and an angel. The auction was closed for it, so I asked the lady collecting the cards if she could give me the information for the person who made them. The lady said she didn’t have it, but if I would give her my info, she would have the lady contact me.

Flash forward 3 months and I got a call from Sister Joan. I had no idea who sister Joan was, but when a nun calls you, you listen. She explained she was driving to Arizona from California and that she had my manger scene for me. Huh? I confirmed that it was for me and not someone else since I had only been interested in knowing how much one cost…and yet now I apparently owned one. Or at least I was going to own one, once I knew how much it cost. To keep it brief, I almost drove off the road when Sister Joan told me what the winning bid was for the nativity scene at the silent auction. But she then told me that the lady who make the scenes donates them to Circle the City so whatever amount I wanted to donate was perfectly fine. I decided on a number that didn’t make me want to choke and handed over the check and collected my goodies.

Bottom line? Worth every penny. The best part about the figurines  is that there is not much that could destroy them so Bay is free to play to her heart’s content. She had baby Jesus in her baby buggy and was pushing him around because “His mommy Mary said it was ok”. Just love it.

The whole gang..happy at home in the hutch.

The wise men

The shepherds and the camel

The Fam – I love the donkey hiding behind them!

Easy Christmas Decorations

Holy cats. This Christmas has been screaming towards us like a Mack truck. I feel like we’ve been scrambling from the get go to catch up / get ahead of this holiday. When we were putting up decorations, I realized one of my favorite things is one of the simplest. It’s  a trifle dish full or ornaments surrounded by a fresh, live wreath. And this past weekend, I found a banner that cascades out of the middle that really is the icing on the cake – er, trifle. And really, it’s so something that Kristin Thomson at could whip up lickety split.

Cookies Gone Wrong

Yesterday afternoon, Bay and I put on some Christmas music, lit a cinnamon candle and fired up the oven to make some Christmas cookies.  B was thrilled to play in the left over dough, flour and sprinkles while the cookies cooked. It was a lovely afternoon.

That is until two cookies escaped the baking sheet and dropped into the oven where they broke into a million pieces. Crap. I decided to just close the door and let it cool before I attempted to clean them up. Until the kitchen began to fill with smoke.

“Why not let it self clean??” I thought. So I put on the self clean setting and returned to icing the trees. Until I noticed that it appeared we had a yule log in our kitchen…yup the cookies had ignited in the oven. I quickly turned off the oven and stepped back trying to decide what to do next – get the extinguisher? Call 911? As I contemplated, the fire quickly went out. Bay casually looked over from her sprinkling duties and said “Mommy, there’s a fire in the oven”. Yes, yes there is kiddo.

Despite our house smelling like a camp fire, all is well. The oven cooled and is no worse for the wear (I think). I cleaned out the chunks of cookie and it is now happily self-cleaning (I think). The windows are open, the fans are going and there are holiday scented candles burning so hopefully by this afternoon there will be no evidence of our almost fiasco.

When my cousin Will arrived last night to watch UofA and eat us out of house and home (I was prepared with 3 lbs of tacos) I told him what had happened. He responded “what’s with you guys and fire??” – referring to the grill fire of 2009. It’s nice to have family who cares about you.

On the bright side, the cookies were delicious! Chef Mini Wand does it again!

The Chef hard at work.

Check out that post nap hair.

Much like shoes, you just can’t have too many sprinkles.

Tree Hunting

Peter finally convinced me this year to go up North and cut down a Christmas tree. I have always been opposed because his plans involved me sitting in the back seat with a squirmy, crying  kiddo while getting motion sick for 5 hours while he sipped hot chocolate, sang along to Christmas songs and drove his oh-so-precious truck.

He agreed to move the location to a much more reasonable destination and went the first day permits were available to ensure that we got the right area. The plan was that we would drive up just north of Payson, get our tree, eat a picnic brunch and head back while the munchkin napped. When I told our friends Beth and Grant of our plans, the wanted to join. So now we would have a party for our Griswold style tree hunting. We were certain it would be a disaster, but hopefully a hilarious disaster.

Sadly, Mother Nature had other plans. She decided to dump 2 feet of snow on the usually dry area the day before our trip. After looking at the web cams and the road conditions, we decided it wasn’t safe to risk an accident or getting stuck. So we opted for church, breakfast and tree hunting at a lot with our friends.

PW and I each can’t remember the last time we had a real tree. We have an awesome, pre-lit version that is so easy we just always go with that. But the live version is pretty great – we bought from a local nursery and the thing might as well have been cut down by us it’s so fresh! Here are the highlights:

Getting her in place.

Uncle Grant ATTACK!!!

Aunt Beth 🙂

Straightening it out…again. It only fell over twice.

Ta da!! I was trying to get tricky with my camera to get lots of light, but it didn’t quite pan out…

Who is that teenie, tiny lady?!

Old School

From the time I was little, I remember Mame had this on her dresser.

I’ve actually done a good job of making a photo ornament for each year. I love looking at all of them!