December Day 16: Mommy gets out

December 16: Tonight was the MOPS steering team Christmas party. Pajama party with white elephant gift exchange – so fun! I am so thankful for the awesome ladies on this team. I have never been part of a group where everyone is so capable, responsible, creative, hard-working and fun to be around. There is no weak link.
When I put on my pajamas to leave the house, Hannah was quite confused. Then she got really excited at the idea of a pajama party. I tried to drive really carefully, because I did not want to get in an accident or be pulled over while wearing my pajamas!
My fabulous white elephant prize…

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Redneck stemware! And a bonus bellybutton lint brush. Score! And some fuzzy socks from our sweet mentor mom.
Brett got his magic neck shot at the doctor today, so he should be feeling much better. Since he took care of the monkeys while I was out partying tonight, I’ll let him drink out of my new fancy cup if he wants. ;)

December Day 15: Still recuperating

December 15: We stayed home from church today, so I didn’t try my pre-selected outfit plan. No one was back to 100%, and the stomach flu is going around. So we opted to take an extra recuperation day and try not to catch the barf bug. Though Hannah will be back to preschool, aka germland, tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes.
I got a gluten-free cookie mix at HEB, and we whipped that up this afternoon. We’ve been eating cookies in secret because we feel bad that Violet can’t have them. I really don’t want to buy all the different flours and stuff needed for gluten-free baking, so my strategy has been to get mixes and make a bunch then freeze them to pull out single servings when needed. I’ve done this for pancakes, mini muffins and now cookies.

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You can see Violet was soooo tired, but she was chowing down that cookie! It made her incredibly happy to have a “tootay.” Now there’s a whole bag-ful in the freezer for whenever. :)

December Day 14: Books and bacon

December 14: Violet likes to look at books. And pull them all off the shelf. A favorite baby game.

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We had some bacon today, and I thought I’d share my bacon strategy. If I cook bacon as part of a meal, like with eggs, we usually use half the package. For the rest of the package, I take off 2-3 strips at a time and fold them over together then lay them flat in a freezer bag.

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Then I freeze them flat, and they’re super convenient anytime I need a little bacon. You can get a lot of flavor from two strips of bacon; I use them for potato soup, quiche, sandwiches, spinach and beans. So this works well for me – lots of bacon flavor on hand, convenient portioning and efficient storage.

December Day 13: Friday the 13th

December 13: Boy oh boy. It’s been a day.
Brett was up last night with multiple headaches. He had put off calling the headache doctor for his magic neck shot all week. So he called this morning and found out the doctor’s office is closed on Fridays. Boo for procrastination. Luckily, he had taken today off as a random vacation day anyway, and some coffee and extra rest perked him back up.
One of his projects today was getting a leaky tire repaired. Of course, since it’s our unlucky day, the leak was not repairable, the tires were discontinued, and Brett was on an adventure to the Toyota dealership for new ones. Expensive ones, of course, but very good ones.
Hannah had some misadventures in natural consequences. Such as, if you tick off the cat, she might give you a deep bloody scratch along your cheek. And if you mess around with your chair instead of sitting on it at dinner, you might accidentally drop it on your foot and have a little purple lump forming.
On a positive note, she did make herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a snack. She asked first and didn’t make near the mess I expected.

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Violet still has the crummy cold and was doing better this morning but crashed after lunch. I didn’t have anything particularly unlucky happen to me personally, but I did get to deal with everyone else. And I have several errands I need to run, but I plan to spend the evening quietly at home instead. Just to be safe.
Even an unlucky day in our house makes me thankful for all we have. Chickfila was having a cookie fundraiser for Hope for Orphans, and we like cookies and supporting orphans so we took part. We talked to Hannah about what orphans are.

Me: An orphan is a kid who doesn’t have a mommy and daddy.
H: So they just take care of themselves?
Me: Sometimes they have to. Or someone else takes care of them. How would you feel if you didn’t have any parents? Would you feel sad and lonely?
H: I would be a little sad, but I wouldn’t be lonely because I would have Violet. I would take care of her, and we would be okay because we would be together.

Sister love.

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Anyone else have a rough Friday the 13?

December Day 12: On the mend

December 12: Everyone woke up feeling much better today. I think it’s easier with them both sick at the same time. It’s double the clingy and cranky girls, but it works well for everyone to take it easy, and I can pour two doses of medicine as easily as one.
At the beginning, I made no promises of excitement, and this post delivers none. So there.
Violet has been eating Rice Chex for breakfast as a gluten-free cereal. We ran out, so I picked these up at Trader Joe’s since I happened to be there.

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Violet thinks these are hilarious and kept giggling and waving at the gorilla during breakfast. Much more fun than the Rice Chex box.
There was a morning train.

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This afternoon, we went to Costco to pick up our Christmas card order and a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Best deal ever, $5 for a giant chicken. I made a broccoli/potato/cheese soup out of leftovers to go with it. Cheap and easy. Anyway, Hannah found a display recliner for kids.

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She also played for quite a while in a pretty cool display playhouse with another little girl. And there were some samples. Good times at Costco.

December Day 11: Third sick day

December 11: Our third sick day. Hannah woke up much better and probably could have gone back to preschool, but I kept her home just to be safe and have another rest day. So the cold has kept her out of two days of preschool, a friend coming over, and a Happy Birthday Jesus party. Luckily, she rarely gets sick, so a couple days out of commission don’t take her down too much.
Violet is still “feeling puny,” as they say down here. It’ll be a couple more days until she’s back to normal. She was snuggling pathetically, but when I pulled out my phone to take a picture, she did this:

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Goofball. I think we’ll make it.

December Day 10: Sick day

December 10: Day two of sick Hannah, and Violet is also down with the crud. Snot, coughing, gunky eyes… just general ickiness. Violet felt too crummy to nap this morning, evidently, so when the going gets tough, the tough go to Trader Joe’s. Abandon ship!
The girls were pretty happy with their outing, but Violet lost it at the end. Just in time, Hannah procured an orange sucker from who knows where and stuffed it in her mouth. Big sister for the win. I’m busy paying for groceries while she’s got it covered.

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Later, in the afternoon, Hannah announced she wanted to lay down and then fell asleep for two hours. Meanwhile, Violet woke up from her nap in a better mood and attempted to put Hannah’s shoes on her baby doll. I like the tongue out in concentration.

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To keep everyone awake and happy until dinner, we had some extra TV time. Our usual is two shows on Netflix which totals 45 minutes, so even double that is well below the national average. Mellow kiddos.

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It’s hard to see them feel so crummy, but I haven’t minded having a couple quiet days.

December Day 9: By Hannah

December 9: Monday
We woke up and ate breakfast and did something else and went to HEB. And then we ate dinner and typed the blog post.
I didn’t go to school because I’m sick. Mommy made meatballs and sweet potatoes for dinner. I love you.

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HhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnnnnnnnnhGgggggggggyyyyyyyyhhhhhhhhhhhnhhnnhnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. N. Jhnawwwwawwwwwwwwwgugk )”:;$’c,fBghgkfmxxvgfhthfnfggjt

Thank you to my guest writer and photographer Hannah for today’s post. Bloggers at work.

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December Day 8: Quiet Sunday

December 8: I have resolved to start setting out everyone’s church clothes the night before. I’m hoping this will stop the Sunday scramble and arguments.
“Where’s the shoe?”
“No, you’re not wearing those socks with those shoes.”
“There must be clean leggings somewhere.”
“It’s 34 degrees, you cannot wear sandals.”
“Nope, you wore that last week…”
“Shoot, I forgot to wash that sweater.”
I’ll try to remember next week and give the report. It’s not like we dress super fancy to go to church, it just seems like things just don’t come together smoothly on Sunday mornings. And Hannah likes to give input about her outfits as usual. I exercise more veto power on Sundays than usual. Then when she comes home she can put on whatever she wants. Today, she selected this as the best outfit for baking muffins.

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We’ve been printing multiple variations of our Christmas card to get the right contrast balance. Things just don’t print exactly like they look on the computer.

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I think we’ve settled on one. I designed it myself this year, experimenting with some design skills.
We went out to dinner and all wore our cozy boots. Except Brett, he sported non-cozy footwear.

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December Day 7: Saturday tradition

December 7: Saturday morning is pancake morning.

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All the kid forks were dirty, so Violet got to use a big fork on her gluten-free pancake. She’s been a little obsessed with using a fork lately.
Also, on Saturday morning, Hannah gets to pick chocolate milk or hot chocolate with breakfast, and she requested that I take a picture of her drinking.

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That shirt was a gift from friends from an Alaska cruise two years ago. I guess the moose are a big hit because Hannah still loves the shirt, and when she changed after breakfast, Violet found the shirt on the floor and insisted on wearing it the rest of the day. I’m sure it’s just the beginning of sister clothes-sharing. ;)

My pancake recipe, adapted from the More-with-Less cookbook:

1 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 Tbs oil
Mix together
Add

1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs mini chocolate chips
Mix, let rest a few minutes, then cook

December Day 6: Sisters

December 6: Having two kids is tough sometimes, but it is soooo fun to see them together. For example, morning silliness.

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Hannah and Violet are three years and two weeks apart, so there is still quite a bit of difference between them. Violet was having a rough baby morning, and just wanted to cuddle in my lap for hours.

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Love those squishy baby snuggles. :)
And my big girl was playing computer games. What? When did this happen?

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She’s proficient on the iPad, but a “real computer” is different and the eye-hand coordination of the mouse is taking some practice. And what an adorable tiny pink mouse it is.