Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Paraphernalia

Mia's preschool Christmas program was last Friday, and she was dressed up as a shepherd for the big performance. I snapped this shot while the kids were all lined up waiting to enter the sanctuary; this was the last smile we saw for the rest of the program. When it came time for her to file onto the stage with the other kids, she stopped dead in her tracks, covered her eyes with her arm, and wouldn't move. The kids behind her had to give her a little push to get her started again, and she quickly raced to her spot with her head down, daring anyone to notice her.

I tried to laugh it off as a silly antic that she'll grow out of, but all I could think of was, she's nervous -- she doesn't want to be up there. I wished she would break out of her shell and show us all a dramatic, sweet performance like we see on a daily basis in our living room, but she never quite warmed up.

She kept her head turned away from the crowd during most of the program, only cracking a half-grin when it came time to shake the jingle bells.

Lauren watched with rapt attention; I'd worried about her throwing a fit in close confines, but she was far too entertained to move. It was better than Curious George.


Not only did the girls help Justin wrap presents yesterday, they also helped me. Mia carefully placed tape and signed her name on gifts. Lauren kept busy with a scrap of wrapping paper and some pieces of tape. The bows, though, were both the girls' favorite part. Mia kept accidentally pulling the entire back off instead of just the sticky-paper part, and Lauren kept removing the bows from already wrapped packages.

My two little chatterboxes kept me quite entertained with questions and directions. Mia chose a purple bow that she made sure I understood was to be used on her present -- because purple is her favorite color, you know? -- and could we wrap her present next? She'd LOVE to help!


At the baking party I went to last weekend, we ran short on time (or long on conversation...) and I didn't get to finish baking all of my Candy Cane cookies. I baked one pan-full and had to call it quits. The few finished products were somewhat less than perfect: too flat and wide, more like a stocking (or shrimp?). I went home with leftover dough and a stubborn mindset -- I would figure out a better way of baking them.

Mia was on board for whatever I had in mind, as long as it included her handling the dough until it melted. In that respect, she did a perfect job.

I'd been thinking extensively about how to salvage the cookies, and had come up with some ideas. First, I'd chill the dough for a really long time. I'd intended to do this at the baking party, but, you know, didn't. Second, I'd re-chill the formed cookies before baking. Roll them all out, loop them into shape, and stick the whole pan into the fridge for a good 15 minutes. Third, I'd increase the baking temperature from 350 to 375, in hopes that they'd bake quicker -- not allowing them time to 'melt' and spread quite so much.

I can tell I'm boring the eyelashes from your face. The point is, it worked...kind of. They're still not what I'd hoped they'd be, but they were better than the first batch. I think if I'd rolled the ropes a lot thinner, they'd have worked better still. I will conquer this recipe, darn it.

Even if I have to bake (and consume) batch after delicious batch.


I'm bummed right now because our forecast calls for a 60 degree day tomorrow, followed by thunderstorms until Thursday. Any other time of year, I'd love this. Perfect temperatures, exciting stormy skies...

But then a cold front is supposed to move in, freezing us for Christmas just as the precipitation moves out. Now, why is it so hard for the moisture to coincide with the cold air and give us some snow? Why? WHY?

I love snow. Sigh.


I'm also bummed right now because I'm sick (boo-hoo). All I want to do is curl up in bed and let my burning eyelids fall blessedly closed on the day and its chores. All I want to have is a thick pillow and a squishy blanket, in a dark room with air that's been moistened by a warm mist humidifier. All I want to know is that I'll feel better in the morning and be perfectly healthy for Christmas.

Again, boo-hoo. At least I have you all to cheer me up. And my sweet, energetic girls.

And those candy cane cookies.


  1. This weather is crazy, isn't it? We've got 40s today, tomorrow it's supposed to rain...and then ice for Christmas.

    Where's the fricking snow???

  2. Aw, I'm sorry you're sick! I hope you recover in time to enjoy Christmas without any pesky cold symptoms.

    I don't care if they look like candy cane or shrimp, I'd eat those cookies. ...Hey, cookies are cookies, man.

    Purple is my favorite color too, Miss Mia. And I was quite pleased when we arrived at my in-law's house to glimpse one package -among all the others wrapped in Spiderman, etc.- festooned with a gigantic purple ornament and bow :)

    Lastly, Lauren's cheeks need to be pinched.

  3. Poor Lauren... my Millie and her should have a little chat. They would totally get each other. Millie is bordering on insane at home, but once she got on stage for the Christmas program, she stood frozen glaring at the crowd like she hated us all.

    So sorry you're sick! I hope you're up and running in time for Christmas.

  4. I have snow if you would like some. And the look of pure concentration on Lauren's face is wonderful.

    I haven't baked too many cookies, you could send some up here.

  5. Oh no! I hope you feel better for Christmas! I'm not a fan of the weather, either. We're supposed to get snow, but the ice is coming first. I may be stuck at my place on Christmas instead of getting up to see my family.

  6. That is the cutest sheperd I have ever seen!!

    And those cookies look awesome...

    Happy holidays to you!

  7. How horrid to be sick at Christmas.
    IF you want snow, I got snow. Plenty of snow. And a shift working hubby so I do lots of shoveling. I'd be more than happy to pack some of mine up for you:)

  8. I'm with happy geek. I would gladly share some of our snow with you! It was fun at first, but isn't it time for spring yet? No? Well, alright then...

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  9. I'm so sorry you're sick! Will Justin have any time off over the holidays? Hopefully you can get some rest. Stay in bed, drink tea, read...you know, the whole fantasy.

    And Mia is easily the sweetest shepherd I've ever seen, which is saying a lot because I see shepherds every single day...literally.

  10. Hi there! Just found your blog on If Evolution Really Works... You are awesome! I love the story of your little girl being so shy in the paegent. It's always like that isn't it? They are total hams at home and then out in public, you would think they are a different child. Anyway, love your adorable site. Looking forward to reading more. Come and visit me sometime too, if you want:



Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?