Monday, December 31, 2007

More pictures

This group is specifically for my mom, who is probably feeling some post-holiday missing of the kiddos:

The Lou

Miss Emma

Uncle Steve with the girls. The girls are building; Uncle Steve plays the part of Godzilla.

More Christmas pictures

This year we were able to spend Christmas with the Aldens down in MA, for the first time since before Lou was born. I think at one point all 31 of us (33 with Joe and Danette's twins, due in February) were in GiGi's house. Wow!

Lou, the Victorian princess version

The tree and gifts
Christmas elves

Our family

There really is nothing like having everyone all together for Christmas Day. It does not happen as often as I know we'd all like. I think it's great fun to have little kids around again- they get so excited about everything and just have fun tearing around. Lou and Emma ran loops around the house, until we opened Lou's blocks and they set up shop in the living room. Somehow, people just gravitated to the kids, and my grandma remarked that it had been quite a while since she had spent much time in that room. I can remember playing with my Christmas toys on the same carpet (although in the old house in Hopedale)...such a good day.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

And then.....

Tuesday we woke in our house to find that Santa had indeed visited us!

And he ate all our cookies!

And brought another Ugly Doll:

(I find it interesting that, while Lou makes me change every he/his/him that refers to the Baby Jesus to the feminine when we sing songs, Santa is always a man. What does that mean?)

Jingle all the way

I think I may be yawning here, not sure. Ignore my really big mouth, and focus on my really cute kiddo.
Poor Jimmy. He wants a train too. He'll have to ask Uncle Steve.
New hat!
And I was very excited to get....a new iPod!

And it's inscribed...and the inscription made me cry. I also got some crafty books: one about making stuffed friends out of socks and gloves, a knitting book and this one:
Oh.My.God. So funny, so twisted. I want Amy Sedaris to be my friend, and I want to invite her to my birthday party. Hee hee!

I also got a pewter bracelet I have been eyeing for a year....and other things. I am so spoiled. Lucky girl!

Tomorrow: Christmas, part um, quartre?

Christmas II: Electric Boogaloo

Monday, of course, was Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve, for the last few years anyway, has meant cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and maybe dessert if people feel like it. Pete had some shopping to attend to, so Lou and I headed out to the state liquor store and the supermarket. People kind of look at you funny when you're holding your small child's hand with one hand and a basket full of bottles with another. If I weren't in the get-in-get-out mode of shopping, I might have cared. Or not.

It was a switch this year: usually I handle the last-minute cleaning and the gathering of holiday dishes etc while Pete cooks, but this year I did the food since I had decided on the menu. I made butternut squash/apple cider bisque (my mom's recipe), Michael Chiarello's spuma di tonno, and a wasabi mayonnaise for blanched asparagus. Then I cheated and used jarred pesto to do tortellini/tomato/mozzarella skewers with pesto. I had a whole wheat baguette to have with the soup. Phil and Sri were bringing a black bean dip and chips and Phil's cheddar straws (yum!), as well as beer and wine.

I love the quiet, low-key Christmas Eve as much as I love the chaos of a noisy, happy Christmas Day with a houseful of people. We tried out new cocktails recipes, ate pretty much all the food, and tried to entertain an overtired Lou. Phil and I drank two bottles of red wine (I think we may have given Sri one glass) and we all stayed up way, way too late. We were missing the NoBer Nasons, especially Lou, but they will be back from Charleston on the 28th!

Here's Lou with her aperitif: eggnog and a swizzle stick

Holiday Break

We're in the downtime among family Christmas gatherings. Lou is sitting on the couch watching Sesame Street (Norah Jones and Elmo are singing "Don't Know Y"), Pete has gone back to work. I am drinking coffee and checking the weather. Snow this afternoon, and we have nowhere really to go. After breakfast we'll head to the library and the grocery store, then hunker down this afternoon. Lou would like to do some painting, I'd like to do some knitting. How much do I love vacation?

We had a very busy few days, but it was a lot of fun. Saturday we headed down to CT to visit and have our family Christmas. We stayed with Pat, Angela and Emma, which is always a good time. The girls loved getting up Sunday morning and having breakfast together. They're very cute together: Lou seems to run the show, while Emma exercises more of a herding thing, following behind her, concerned that she might get hurt. It's very cute, and I love the fact that they get along so well even though they don't get to see each other as often as I'd like.

Sunday was Christmas at my mom's- munchies, gifts and Christmas music, then a prime rib dinner. Yum! We had lots of time to relax, chat, eat and open gifts. Ahhh.

So serious!
The boys

Poppa and his girls

My daddy
Uncle Steve

Pete and his angle grinder (not to be confused with an angel grinder, which is something else entirely)

Someone has been enjoying cocktail weenies
Steve and the Christmas level

Poppa and Emma
Presents for lucky girls!

Sunday night we drove home, with a tired Lou in the back. She finally fell asleep as we crossed the border into NH, and two tired parents carried her to bed and then crashed. Then Monday there was more Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

...and the Christmas MEME

Krissy at Speckblog has tagged me, so I've been mulling this over today-

Favorite childhood Christmas gift: I really think it's a toss-up between my beloved Cabbage Patch Kid (her name was Bunny Anastasia) and the tea set I got when I was 7 or 8. The Cabbage (Caggiage as my brother Pat used to say) Patch Kid had light brown curly hair and green eyes. I thought the green eyes were very cool. I'm not sure what this says about me, but this doll is in fantastic condition- for a doll that's 24 years old- and is in my attic, waiting for Lou to be a little bigger. My mom waited in line at something like 5 am the day after Thanksgiving 1983 with her friend Mary Alice to get my doll and one for my friend Meghan (Mary Alice's daughter). You didn't get to choose what you got, and just hoped for one your kid would like, I guess. I think I might have been devastated if Santa did not bring me that doll, and I loved her to pieces. I even used to walk her around the neighborhood in my doll carriage.

As for the tea set....what I love about that is a conversation I had with my dad before Christmas that year. I was looking through the Sears Wish Book, making my list, and I saw a tea set.
Me: Daddy, do you think I'm old enough to handle china?
Dad: The country?

I swear this is true.

Favorite adulthood Christmas gift: The first Christmas that Pete and I were together, we had been living together for 4 months. We had moved away together, and come back. We were temporarily living with Pete's mom, we had no jobs, and had postponed school for a while. Pete gave me a silver ring, just a simple piece of inexpensive jewelry. The back of the band was solid, the front was celtic knots. It wasn't a promise ring per se, but we knew where we were headed. I loved that ring and wore it until I managed to lose it the next summer- he replaced it with another silver ring which I wore on my left hand until he proposed two years later.

He did advise me that I had better not lose my engagement ring, but I think that's only fair under the circumstances.

A gift wish for the future: It's the same wish I always wish, on every star and at every opportunity: I just want to be happy, and for the people I love to be happy and healthy. Really, truly, that's always what I wish for.

If we're looking for something tangible- well, I'd like another healthy baby in the next two years. And an addition on our house that will give us another bedroom or two and a big cozy family room, maybe with a fireplace or wood stove. Ahhh.

I won't tag anyone, but if you're reading and thinking of your own answers, holla back in the comments, ok? much cuteness, and a party...

Mama's little beatnik
We went to the annual family Christmas party at my aunt and uncle's house. Always a good time- too much food, cocktails and the din of 30 some-odd people all talking at once and laughing too loud. Love the family.

Kids like to run, around and around....why don't I remember doing that at parties?

Gift time for kids! I remember this being my favorite part of this particular party when I was a kid. I do not, however, remember hiding under the table eating pickles and olives with my cousin Joe, although we did. I think it's absolutely hysterical that one of the 10 foods his two-year old son will eat is olives.


Em and Lou with GiGi!
I am so looking forward to Christmas. This is the first year we'll spend Christmas Day with our extended family on my side since before Lou was born. It's going to be great fun.