winter break-down

Anyone with a "blended" family can tell you that holidays can be rough. Add a grandchild to the mix, and it gets even worse. Our clan has enough experience with sharing holidays to avoid fighting, but we do seem to get busier and busier every year. This was our celebration schedule, starting the Sunday before Christmas:

Nutcracker matinee. Small Person to Auntie L's for two nights.
Work, shop.
Shop, bake, get Small Person back.
Bake, wrap, panic.
Unwrap, wade through piles out the door to first visit. Eat, drink, unwrap, be merry.
Laundry, pack, wade out the door for next visit. Drive, eat, unwrap, be merry.
Drive to next visit, unwrap more, be wearily merry.
Drive, leave Small Person with last set of grandparents.

Be forewarned, next year we're cutting somebody out. Or, making them come to us.

I've had a couple of days to relax, eat the treats from my stocking, and completely re-do Small Person's room. Yep, it's another project. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures, but it did turn out really well. We pulled up the gross carpet and cleaned up the beautiful wood floor underneath. Then we cut about two feet off the legs of her loft bed. She doesn't like being so far off the ground, but this way she still has some space for storage and fort building. It's too cold and wet to paint and re-finish, so we'll save that until summer, or birthday. She'll return today to the surprise; I can't wait!


...and I'm spent

Today I finished up the holiday madness at work and don't have to think about it for two weeks! Huzzah! The crazies were still ordering like mad to have things on time for xmas. Sure, we can ship your lovely little gift with express mail for thrice the original cost, no problem. Whatevs, I'm done for the season. When I get back, we'll start shipping all the orders made with gift cards. It ought to be nearly as busy as the pre-holiday weeks. Ah, well, no rest for the wicked.

Tonight we went to the traditional small town caroling event. Hot cider and cookies, loud, packed ballroom and miraculously sleeping babies in the midst of it all. Next on the agenda: to bed early and a Tuesday filled with wrapping and cookie planning and last minute grocery shopping.

And, I know I'm a day late (and always a dollar short!), but Happy Hannukah and Solstice!


winter wonderland

We got our xmas tree this weekend. The subsequent schlep home and decorating got Small Person so riled up as to make for an extremely frustrating bedtime scenario. Who am I kidding? Bedtime is always frustrating lately. 'Tis the season for all-nighters and middle of the night holiday prep, anyway, so it's not like I'm really missing out on my own beauty sleep. Having to shove a half-knitted hat under the couch cushions every time I hear the hinges creak on Small Person's bedroom door doesn't do any favors to that pattern, though. Fortunately, it's a forgiving fuzzy yarn, and she'll never notice anyway.

Okay, pardon the complaint tangent, back to the tree. The tree! We went for a potted one this year, and we'll try to remember to water it this time. No ornaments were smashed during the process, despite Small Person's best efforts and grabby hands. She did a fantastic job decorating one square foot of tree to the maximum saturation point, then was a good sport when we suggested a few relocations.

There are no presents under the tree, yet. There is shopping and crafting and online ordering to do this week, so it will stack up fast. Small Person is the only grandchild of a ridiculous amount of folks (thank you, blended families!), which means I can usually get away with a couple of strategic mom gifts and leave the spoiling to others. 

Awkward segue to: the latest garden news.

That is a photo of the freezy frost on our garden this morning. I admit to being a total wuss in cold weather, so I'm not particularly excited by this. But, it did thrill my black heart to see that my latest slug trap was doubly effective. Intoxicate 'em, then freeze 'em to death! I know, totally disgusting. Isn't that what the interwebs are for, after all?

Those funny things in the background are my recycled bottle cloches. Trash into treasure, that's my motto. Translation: I can't bear to throw that out, let's just hang on to it a little longer....?


wax on

This is today's completed craft project: teacup candles!

This project was so ridiculously simple. Really, what am I going to say? Melt wax, place wicks, pour slowly. That was about it. But, the reveal is pretty dang cute. And, I must congratulate myself (someone has to!) on the thrift-to-fun ratio of the project. Thrift store cups, wax, wicks, and scent from the craft store. Now, I'm pretty positive my gift recipient does not read this blog (if so, hi Grammy!), so only we will know that this charming semi-homemade gift took us less than a half an hour and cost less than $15. Shh! don't tell!

Plus, it's one of those projects with a high instant-gratification factor, perfect for Small Person to help and see results quickly. Perfect for me to not freak out when she sticks her fingers where she shouldn't. The wax doesn't get too hot, it's easy to stir and pour, and she can be proud of her skills when it's unwrapped. We'll definitely give it some fancy wrapping to complete the boutique look, and that's that.

One down, countless to go.