26 November 2015

American Thanksgiving 2015

We don't really celebrate American Thanksgiving, but I roasted a chicken today (both as a nod to all the turkeys in the ovens of my homeland and because we have 30 whole chickens in the freezer) and ate it with mashed potatoes and over-salted cornbread stuffing and cranberry sauce. Steve left the house around 8:00 this morning and won't be back until after I'm in bed, so I ate my fake Thanksgiving meal with one child who would only eat the green beans (he opens them and eats the inside and leaves the 'pods') and one child who stood on her seat and howled for more mashed potatoes every time her mouth and bowl were empty at the same time.

 After supper, I got out the Christmas decorations to make sure the kids were really out of their minds excited right before bedtime. The Bairn became super attached to the advent Christmas tree. He selected a location for it and then dragged it away from his sobbing sister and draped his body across it so no one could move it from its correct location until Christmas day. Ellen lost the Baby Jesus from one of the nativity sets (we found him on the workbench), she and The Bairn both draped garlands all over the place, and I managed to wrest the stockings away from them and hang them on the stairs, even though The Bairn is also seriously in love with Steve's (it has a train).

This year on Thanksgiving, I'm very grateful that both my children still nap and that they nap at the same time.  It's a gift.

Also, I'm thankful that Ellen (aka I Always Have Pneumonia Face) has access to 24-hour health care.  She's been to the walk-in clinic twice this week and the ER three times.  She loves the hospital bracelets.

This is what she looks like when she's sick.  She's snuggling a unicorn costume that she refused to let me put away.

Today she seems to be doing much better and she's been sashaying around the house, swinging her arms and wiggling her hips when she walks.  I love the way she walks. She and The Bairn also very enthusiastically helped me clean toilets.  I really love how much they love to help.  Also, I love that The Bairn must always sleep with Chicky Bick (hand puppet) and Baby Bick (finger puppet) on his pillow.  And that he likes me to smell his breath after I brush his teeth to see if he's fully freshened.  And that both kids say, "You. look. maaaahvelous," but it comes out "maaaahbelous" from Ellen.

Happy Thanksgiving.

15 November 2015

A Song and a Photo

I know it's too early, but Ellen and I have been listening to this Judy Collins version of 'The Cherry Tree Carol' every day for about a week.

Also, despite being very attractive children, this is the best picture I could get of Ellen and The Bairn before church.  I did actually comb down The Bairn's hair at some point in the morning and that haircut came from a professional barber, but he's still looking a bit, um, yeah.

07 November 2015

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

We haven't celebrated Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Day) since we left the UK, but some British friends invited us over for their party last night.

When we arrived, the effigy was lying on a table in the yard and several men were tying him down, which The Bairn found fascinating and necessitated a little history lesson.

Me: A long time ago there was a man who tried to blow up an important building.

The Bairn: What do you mean he tried to blow it up?

Me: He tried to make the building explode.

The Bairn: Are you talking about dynamite?!

The Bairn was really, briefly, thrilled with this holiday--dynamite, hot chocolate, a little man.

He was not so much a fan of the fire.

Oh, and there were traditional carved neeps (turnips) hanging around the yard.  The roots make creepy beards.

05 November 2015

Baby Names

Baby name suggestions from Ellen and The Bairn:

Plook, the Diving Baby
Stinks, the Stinkiesr Baby in the World
The Bairn 2
Daddy 2

25 October 2015

Feel Free to Send Boxes of Peanut Brittle

We're having a baby.

I'm 14 weeks along, but I'm still sick, so this had better be one extra glorious baby.

I felt better for a few days last week, which conveniently coincided with our participation in a consumer food and beverage study.  I had to track everything we ate and drank for seven days and most of the week actually looked like normal meals we would eat if I weren't pregnant.  Yesterday was the last day, which was fortunate because I wouldn't have liked to have reported that today I ate spaetzle and no-bake peanut butter cookies for supper (oh, peanut butter, you are a pregnant woman's best friend).

22 October 2015

A Two-Year-Old Girl

Monday was Ellen's 2nd birthday. The only things she requested for her birthday were party hats and candles on her cake, so we fashioned some hats out of construction paper and put candles on the birthday cake that The Bairn refused to eat, since it was really a grown up cake made for my own enjoyment. Also for my own enjoyment, I moved Ellen into her own bed in her own room the night she turned two.  The Bairn very earnestly told her that if she cried in her new room, he would come to help her and give her books and hugs.

Ellen is such a gem.  Her daddy can barely contain his enthusiasm for her sweet ways and she and The Bairn love to hug and tickle and lick one another (I don't know what the licking is about).

Playing outside in the leaves today.

At 2, Ellen

  • loves to draw.  She can entertain herself for ages with a pen and paper making 'balloons and hearts and ABCs.'
  • sings adorably.  She's especially fond of the alphabet song but she has an expanding repertoire.
  • does funny dances that involve bending her elbows and scooting from side to side.
  • plays really well independently.  She loves playing outside with water and containers and inside with whatever she can find--often babies and purses.
  • gives really tight hugs and likes to jump from the stairs into our arms (followed by really tight hugs).
  • holds strong fashion opinions.   She prefers wearing boots and anything ruffled, furry, or gaudy.  I just pulled out the winter clothes and she's upstairs marching around in a fur-lined purple coat and fancy snow boots.
We just love this monkey.

12 October 2015

Happy -------------- Day!

Happy Columbus Day. Or, as we call it in Canada, Thanksgiving. We're going to Grammie and Papa's house for the feasting. Our job is to supply all the pickled things, which is the main difference between a Canadian and American Thanksgiving. Pickles. Before we go, Steve has to pack the pears we dried over the weekend and put the bottled pears down in the cold room. We had a marathon pear preservation day on Saturday, followed by pear pancakes on Saturday, and I have plans for my pear, chocolate, hazelnut cake later this week. But now, pickles.
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