Thursday, December 22, 2011


Whew!!!  Writing this post is the last thing that I had on my "To Do" list for today/tonight- tomorrow we are heading up to Syracuse to spend Christmas with the Sheldon side of the family.  I can't believe how fast December just flew by- it seems like yesterday I was preparing for Thanksgiving dinner.  Considering it was 60 degrees today as well, it just doesn't feel like Christmas.  My last week though has been filled with baking, catching up with friends, finishing up Christmas shopping, and wrapping presents.  Not to mention keeping CJ entertained when he gets bored.  Poor kid got plopped in front of the television today in his exersaucer and surprisingly enough a DVR'ed Pixar Shorts Special and Charlie Brown kept his attention for a little while.

Well, I'm happy with house our house looks this year, although we got some work to do next year if we want to catch up with some of our neighbors' houses.  I am content with our pretty doorway though.  Next year's tree may have a gate around it, we'll see.  
I have also done a ton of baking this year- but oddly enough with having friends over and going to a cookie exchange there is nothing left!  Maybe that's all for the best- I haven't had as much time to work out the past couple of weeks and I don't want to back track on the headway I have made on my weight loss (10 more lbs since October, woot!!!).  
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Stuffed Mushrooms

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark
The recipes come from all different places- the mint choco chip cookies recipe is a variation of premade mix use, the sugar cookies are cookies my grandma used to make every year that I now make, the stuffed mushrooms are from a blog that I am pretty addicted to now, the cupcakes are from another blog , and the bark is from Martha Stewart Living.  Let me know if you would like the recipes to any of these- they all came out great.  

Of course CJ does not let me get most of this stuff done while he is awake- I can sometimes sit him in his bumbo seat for him to watch me, but that only works for so long.  So, I have to rely on good naps from him.  He still takes 3 naps a day with no signs of needing less sleep.  He is rolling around like crazy and now sleeps on his stomach (sorry "Back is Best" people, he rolls over right when I put him down.) 
I cannot wait until he can sit up on his own because I feel like he is getting extremely bored laying down, even though he is pretty happy on his tummy now.  I honestly think he will be crawling before he is sitting up. CJ will be getting some toys for Christmas that are best played with while sitting, and although I can sit with him propped up against me for a little, he still needs to learn how to balance by himself.  I guess we need to do some core strengthening!  Maybe some AbRipperX!  Over the past few days CJ has developed a cough with a runny nose which surprisingly enough I have found out can be attributed to teething.  He does not seem sick otherwise and there is no fever so I'm not too worried.   If it is indeed a cold, I guess we'll just have to let it run its course.  I feel like he has shown so many symptoms of teething for the past few months now, I'm ready for one of those bad boys to break through!  

My last random thought (and today's picture) has to do with a wrapping idea.  I ran out of gift tags, but then remembered something I recently read somewhere in a magazine or a blog (how big of a dork am I???) on reusing old Christmas cards as gift tags.  We do keep the cards we get in the mail, and many of them are really pretty!  No, I'm not going to use your family's picture from 2008 as a gift tag.  We keep those intact.  Here's an example of how I used one today-
I just punched a hole, threaded the ribbon through, and then wrote on the back of the card.  Some of the bigger cards you have to cut up- but it's this reusing of something that otherwise would just be stuck in a box that makes me giddy!

As the preparations and anticipation wind to a close, I want to reflect on this past year and how blessed I am with wonderful friends and family.  There always is a lot to do this time of year, and even though I have been home I still feel just as busy (and even less on the ball) as I have in the past.  However, I feel like I have been able to enjoy celebrating the season with all of my friends, and look forward to seeing family during the next week.  And even though he has no idea what is going on, I especially have loved celebrating Christmas so far with my very special little boy.  I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! 
Super Baby! 

Monday, December 12, 2011


I blame it on my Dad.  And Chevy Chase.  I get so geeked up at Christmas it's laughable.  I am one of those people that will turn on the radio station that plays Christmas music 24/7 before Thanksgiving.  I am also one of those people that is very big on tradition.  Sometimes I feel sad that we do not celebrate Christmas in Sterling anymore and my grandma is not around to be with us, but I know that lives change and we just have to make new traditions! 
So of course with a new baby, we're already starting new traditions- or CJ just becomes a part of old ones.  Every year one weeknight in December, the Leesburg fire company drives one of the trucks around the neighborhoods with Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph waving to everyone standing out in the cold waiting for them.  We all waited in the living room until we finally started hearing the sirens get louder...
We waited outside with our neighbors and I am embarrassed to admit that I got choked up when that truck came by!  Even though CJ has no idea what is going on this year- having a child still adds a whole new dimension! 
This past Saturday we had 3 parties to go to and CJ did great.  I made sure that he still got his naps, and he made it until 10:00 before a meltdown.  Such a proud mommy of a party animal!  One of the parties we went to was something that I've done almost every year since 1998- and that his watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" with my VA PepBand friends.  CJ was pretty into it for at least the first half-
We also have bought one of those "Elf on the Shelf" kits this year.  From what I understand, you name your elf, and set him in different places around the house during the season to show your children that he's "watching" you.  I know some people who think it's more creepy than cute.  Not to mention it's similarity to Big Brother.  I think it's a cute idea which doesn't have to be menacing.  We haven't picked a name for our elf yet- I know Kevin would like Squeedabo but I think it might be just a little TOO ridiculous. 

One of Kevin's favorite traditions is having an advent calendar every year- you know the cardboard ones that have the crappy pieces of candy?  I decided to get him one that we can use every year, and I fill it with different types of candy.  Maybe some year he will let CJ open the doors and eat the candy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mr. Mom

The Holidays are upon us; you can tell by my iTunes Christmas playlist on continuous play, and the green and red bins still scattered downstairs.  I have been lame and not updated my blog for almost a month- not that I haven't had plenty to write about!  So many different subjects come into my head during the day, yet sitting down in front of the computer has not happened.  I will spare you every picture from the last 20 some days, but I will have to admit that I did forget to take a picture one day!  I guess it's a 364 Day Project now.  Anyways- my biggest excuse for not blogging at all since November 13 is that we bought a new computer.  Not just any computer, by the way, but a MAC!  We have heard so many places that Macs are supposed to be better, especially when it comes to managing and editing photos.  I haven't been convinced of that yet, as I am still low on the learning curve for learning all of the Mac nuances.  After over 20 years of using PC's, this has been quite an adjustment and it certainly is not easier yet.  It has taken me forever just to figure out how to rename files.  But, the Mac Air is a lot lighter than our old Dell...
Thanksgiving came and went.  This year we had both families come to us in Leesburg, and I again cooked a Holiday meal.  I was in charge of the turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce.  I'm going to pat myself on the back and say that my turkey and mashed potatoes as usual came out damn good.  The pumpkin pie was good, but I do need to practice making crusts.  Winter project, anyone?  I had never tried cranberry sauce before, so I thought I would give it a go.  I believe it turned out the way it was supposed to, but considering there is still some in our fridge, I don't think it was a hit.  Here is our family picture from the day, notice who is sitting at the head of the table...

This past weekend I spent my first night away from CJ.  I had signed up for the Washington DC Hot Chocolate 5K on Saturday and stayed Friday night in the city with my friend Sumner who also was running the race.  I didn't leave until we put CJ to bed, but it was still hard to to know that I wouldn't be seeing him until well into Saturday.  The race was probably the most unorganized race I have ever run.  The location was at the National Harbor which was too small to accommodate 20,000 runners.  There was a ton of traffic, and we started the race 45 minutes late (not fun when it is 35 degrees out, but it could have been worse).  There were parts of the race that were so narrow that we HAD to walk.  We even ended up running the course backwards!!  Because I'm so slow right now to begin with, I knew there would be no personal record happening, so the conditions ended up being a fabulous excuse for my embarrassing time.  And, the chocolate was pretty good at the end.  Here are me, Sumner, and Sumner's friend Adrienne with our hot chocolates. 
After the race, I went back to Sumner's apartment and got ready to drive down to my friend Kathy's house for her baby shower.  It was nice to see many of my UVA friends and celebrate yet another new addition to our Pep Band family.  Sunday I got to see more of my UVA friends again; unfortunately, though it was for a more somber reason.  Jon Hukari, a member of the Pep Band, passed away on Thanksgiving and Sunday was his memorial service.  Even though I was not close to him, I remember that he was a hilarious guy and will definitely be missed by many.  Kevin got to be Mr. Mom this weekend and I appreciate him taking over so I could attend these events-  (and have a bit of a break myself)

So we have less than 3 more weeks until Christmas.  How did this happen?  I really try to stay on the ball with things, but it never happens.  These past few days I have been trying to take good pictures of CJ for our holiday card and he is just not cooperating.  He is such a smiley kid, how come he can't do it when I'm trying to take a picture of him??  Today I spent a whole hour taking pictures of him in an uber-cute Santa suit and while he was content until the very end, he never smiled.  Only when I took him out of the bumbo seat and lifted him up high would he laugh.  Grr.  Here are some of the types of pics I am getting of him- still cute, but not as good as I would like...
Well, maybe when the Little Man wakes up from his nap we will try again.  The poor thing has a very persistent mother.