Turning into mom

You know how lots of girls grow up worried that they’ll turn into their mother? I kind of expected that I would. And that seemed pretty great! She was always patient with us kids, and cooked for the family everyday, and kept the house clean, and made it seem so easy! But as an adult I realized I was decidedly NOT my mom. Nope. I’m my dad. At the end of the day I just want to retreat to a room alone and watch TV. I’m a terrible housekeeper, and, although I try hard, my kids drive me a little crazy. There are even times when they’re doing stuff that I KNOW my sisters and I did as kids and all I can think is, “HOW DID MOM PUT UP WITH US?!”

However, there are occasional times where I can see a little bit of my mom in myself. For instance, if I lose something, I follow her sage advice to clean until I find it. (Because then even if you NEVER find it, at least stuff is clean.) But what got me thinking about this is that the other day I thought, “I should have Brian put up our Christmas lights while my brother is here for Thanksgiving, so he can help!” And y’all. That is my mom right there. We used to joke about how she saved all that kind of stuff for when her sons-in-law were visiting so she could assign it to them. Anyway, I’m always amused by the quirky ways that I AM like her.

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Temporary insanity

Something about the Christmas season makes me believe that I’m crafty. I’m not, particularly, but I get it in my head that I should be doing a whole bunch of Fun! Awesome! Christmas crafts with the kids. Last year I picked up some stuff at after-Christmas clearance sales to make ornaments. The clear ball type that you put stuff in. I was so pleased with myself for remembering to put away the craft stuff separate from the Christmas decorations (first time I’ve remembered that.) Anyway, I got all the stuff out last week for some fun ornament making with the kids!

First kind I was planning on having them do were these little kits I bought (uh, a long time ago) that make your ornament light up different colors with an LED light. Fun yeah? Except then I read the directions and turns out you need a soldering iron. Do you have a soldering iron? We do NOT. So next! Next I had little trees & deer & fluff to make winter scenes. But the type of ornaments I bought were the kind where you put stuff in through the top, instead of the kind that come apart into halves. Aaaaaand none of my cute stuff fit through the top. Okay, the fluff did but that’s not really enough for a winter scene. I *DID* manage to get a tiny bottle brush tree through the top (with a lot of shoving) but not with the base on, so then they just fell over. Despite my best efforts with pliers & tweezers & various kind of glue it was all just a hot mess.

In the end the kids filled a some with pompoms and tinsel and glitter. Then Lydia broke a couple, because no craft session is complete without broken stuff. Will this teach me a lesson? Probably not. I’ll still come up with some “great” idea next year, I’m sure.

I don’t do this during the rest of the year! The rest of the year I know my limitations! 😂 But THIS episode of shenanigans won’t even keep me from doing more crafts before Christmas! I still have cranberries and marshmallows to string, since that has gone so well in past years. Or something. Anyway. I plead temporary Christmas insanity. That’s a thing, right?

Decorated

When Daniel started climbing out of his crib (like, a year ago) we did some INTENSE babyproofing of his bedroom. Because listen, he’s cute, but he is not to be trusted. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

Today we failed to notice that there was a 4 pack of crayons in there. So Daniel did some decorating. His walls. His closet door. And his bed, OBVIOUSLY.

So. Who can tell me the best way to get crayon off my walls?

*sigh*

You should make these cookies

These cookies are basically the best cookie ever and you should make them. Melt Aways. And I’m going to give you a tutorial, because *I* always think baking is easier when you know what things should look like. So pictures! First off, here’s the recipe:

Super easy. Don’t substitute margarine for butter though. Normally I’m all for whatever you have on hand, but this cookie NEEDS BUTTER. Anyway, here’s what your cookies should look like before you cook them:

Dough is pretty dry, almost crumbly. If it doesn’t look like this, probably the butter was over-softened and the dough will need refrigerated for a bit. I put 15 cookies on a sheet, because they hardly spread at all. You don’t want to make your cookies too big, because they’re pretty crumbly when cooked too so they break easily.

This is what they look like cooked:

I don’t know how to turn this picture in the WordPress app. Sorry. They should just be getting brown around the edges. The recipe says 12 min, I took mine out at 10 because my oven cooks a little hot. They are not super great without frosting. Pretty plain. So definitely frost them (that’s on the recipe too.)

I spread frosting on with a spoon or knife, it’s not fancy. Here’s what they look like frosted (after I put 2 dozen of them away to take to a thing tomorrow. And left these on the plate with all the crumbs)

They don’t look like much, but they are SO GOOD AND YOU SHOULD MAKE THEM. I consider them a Christmas cookie, but that’s because I will absolutely eat a whole batch of I make them, so I try to limit how often I make them.

Big thumbs down

When Kalena and Will were toddlers, bedtime was easy. So easy that any time someone watched us put them to bed they’d say, “That’s it? They just go to sleep?” And yep, that was it. Sure, they got up at the crack of dawn, but bedtime was easy and early, so it was fine by me.

Then Daniel came along, and he was the kind of baby who, if you were 10 minutes behind schedule putting him down for a nap, would just fall asleep on the floor.

And then we got Lydia. And apparently she is hell-bent on making us pay for EVERY SINGLE EASY BEDTIME WE EVER HAD. I hate it so much you guys. What she wants is for someone to lay with her until she falls asleep every night. Which takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour (OR MORE, depending on how determined she is to stay awake) Turns out I can’t lay still on a bed in a dark, quiet room for that long without falling asleep. Then I’m essentially taking an 8:30 pm NAP which totally ruins my own sleep schedule and GAH. Anyway it’s terrible and I’m writing it all down so that when she’s older I can complain to her every day about what a terrible sleeper she was. (I say was because this has to end at some point, RIGHT?! I don’t even know if I believe that any more, since I’ve been saying it for over 2 years now.)

Garland

I remember stringing cranberries and marshmallows for our Christmas tree growing up, and thinking it was SO fun. (I also remember we tried stringing popcorn one year and it was just ridiculously frustrating. Cranberries and marshmallows don’t break into a million pieces when you put a needle through them.) Anyway, this was one tradition I knew I wanted to continue with my kids. Two years ago I decided at least Kalena and Will were old enough to try it. (Have I written about this? Possibly I have. Too lazy to check.) They thought it was fun for about 3 minutes and then left me alone to finish a garland that would be long enough for our tree. Which was fine, except that then I forgot to actually put it ON the tree. (Garland doesn’t go on after the ornaments. That’s the rules.) But I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I hung it on our banister! And Lydia proceeded to eat it every chance she got.

I was undeterred though, and last year I bought the stuff to string cranberries and marshmallows again. The kids had much more stamina last year, and we ended up with a nice garland. Except I inadvertently ruined this project before it even started. For reasons unknown, when I bought the cranberries and brought them home, I put them in the freezer. (Seriously. No idea what I was doing.) So we were stringing FROZEN cranberries, which was fine-ish, but as they thawed they just leaked red juice EVERYWHERE. Fortunately, we realized this before we put it on the tree. But last year’s garland ended up decorating only the inside of the trash can.

Now APPARENTLY I am a glutton for punishment because I bough the stuff to do it again this year! (Turns out I still think it’s fun.) I also bought myself this ornament, for all the happy garland-making memories I have.

Anyway, wish me luck with this year!

Goals

I set a reading goal this year of 100 books. I KNEW that was ambitious, but I wanted to push myself to read more. I am certainly *capable* of reading 100 books in a year. I have the time, if I choose to use it that way.

It’s not happening. My goodreads says I’m at 50 books, and I counted up the books I haven’t entered there yet (8) for a total of 58 books so far this year. I’m in the middle of a couple more that will most definitely be finished before the end of the year, but 42 more? Haaaa. Not so much. And 58 isn’t bad! That is many more books than I read last year! I was going somewhere with this, but now I can’t remember the point I was trying to make. Pretty sure I didn’t come here just to write about my reading failures.

Anyway. Now I’m considering next year’s reading goal. I need to find a goal somewhere between “I could read this many in a month if I tried hard” and “technically possible but highly unlikely”

Due to…a bunch of crap really, I ended up sharing a full size bed with Daniel last night. You would be amazed how someone so small can take up SO MUCH BED. I tried to move him! Repeatedly! But no. Anyway, that was not super restful, and then he woke up at 5 and started pawing at my face saying, “Mama! Hi mama!” Which is adorable but you know. 5 AM. He’s a handful, that kid.

He’s also a handful at church which is how he ended up sitting in my lap instead of with his class. Good thing we had crayons!

Ornaments

I joined a felt ornament swap again this year, set on making some adorable Grinch face ornaments I saw on Pinterest.

Side note, I think the Grinch is a little misunderstood. He just wants a quiet Christmas morning! 

I feel ya buddy. 

Anyway, I made the ornaments and missed the mailing deadline (Thursday) and went to mail them today, but HEY! It’s Veterns Day! So the post office is closed. I’ll mail them Monday (SORRY JANET!)

But the point is, they turned out pretty cute, right?