Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Christmas morning was the usual rush of gluttony. Aleks inspected the presents:
Bastian smiled:
And rode the bike that Aleks didn't seem to notice for the first half-hour
Papa looked tired and angry:
Everyone investigated the contents of their stockings:
Natalie looked tired too:
Bastian played with the Star Wars action figures (pew! pew!):
Aleks finally figured out he got a bike:
And we all posed afterwards with our coffee and wearing our new clothes:
Jon then hid away in the bedroom rawking out to the ipod and reading lolcats:

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve we stopped by a friend of the family's with Grandma Cat and Aunt Lilly, partially in the hopes that the boys would get worn out and fall asleep on the rather long ride home. We sang Christmas carols that we didn't know all the words to in the car. Aleks kept insisting on the "Welcome Christmas" song from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which we really didn't know all the words to. I brought their Christmas jammies so they could get dressed there and fall asleep. They refused to care that I was taking pictures of them: Aleks aimed his foot at me.

The good news is that they did indeed fall asleep!

Monday, December 17, 2007


Because we are freaks, we hung the holiday decorations up in the middle of a blizzard. I had waited a long while to buy the garlands because I was so incredibly busy being stressed out about getting stuff ready for the holidays as well as starting a business. The kids bundled up in snowsuits (Bastian's is technically a holiday gift) and braved their way down the stairs.They eat snow no matter what I have to say about it.
Me, all bundled against intense winds and near white-out conditions.
Bastian ran in the street at one point! He couldn't see the difference because everything was covered, but I think he had an idea that the street was there and not okay to run in. Maybe the blanket of snow made it seem like it was okay for now since it looked just like the yard.
Our garlands, all finished:
Then the boys threw snowballs at me and each other.

Gingerbread People, Shamrocks, and Imperial Walkers

So I got a bug up my butt that to continue the holiday festivities, despite Aleks' head injury, we must make gingerbread cookies pronto. We had bought all the stuff and were prepared to make vegan cookies, icing and all so that Jon could eat them too, should he so desire. As it turned out, he also got the joy of doing all the baking. Except for the few minutes where I was in charge of taking cookies out of the oven, which I did not do, which resulted in an entire tray of burnt cookies. C'est La Vie.

Jon and Bastian worked hard cranking out the (rather crumbly - thanks veganism) cookie dough. The kids immediately grabbed whatever cookie cutters we had, resulting in a shamrock cookie and a turkey cookie in addition to all the little gingerpeeps.
Aleks' new Imperial Walker/Storm Trooper Transformer found its way across the rough terrain of cooling cookies.
Many of the cookies stuck together too, so the AT-AT (Imperial Walker) is pictured here stepping on a chain of 6 or so cookiefolk on its way to Hoth.
The icing didn't work out great either, but we had some conjoined triplets and a conjoined twin that was anatomically correct (thank you Papa). We gave these to the upstairs neighbor who was packing to move to Chicago and she said they were delicious!
Here's a bowlful of gingery goodness!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Harry Potter Scene It? Out For blood!

While trying to get our Harry Potter Scene It? game out of the closet by standing on a filing cabinet, Aleks lost his footing and fell off with the tin game box falling after him and hitting him in the head. The cut didn't bleed for very long, but it wouldn't stay together, so we eventually decided to make our way to the hospital despite the blizzard that had just started.
Aleks brought his new Transformer AT-AT (Imperial Walker) that he'd bought with his own money the day before. He showed it to all the hospital employees, very few of whom seemed to know what the heck an Imperial Walker was. Aleks also objected to having to wear astronaut pajamas. I think he wanted to pick out his own print, but there wasn't much choice. He has specifically expressed his desire to go to another planet and his need for a real astronaut suit recently, so the objection confuses me a bit. Here's his cut under waterproof tape to protect it while the numbing gel works its magic.
All done, waiting to be discharged. He had 3 stitches, which Grandma Cat cut out 5 days later. He did not like getting stitched at all. The first 2 stitches seemed okay, but I think he really felt the 3rd one. Still, he handled it like a champ.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Longest Track

In the pre-holiday frenzy of finishing cards, gifts, and as much work as possible before shipping off to the grandparents', I needed distractions for the boys, whose energy levels were reaching the boiling point from being trapped indoors for so long. So a challenge was issued to put all the train tracks together to see how far they reached. The usually ignored trains thus got some use and the boys had to work collaboratively to achieve the desired goal. Sadly, we don't really have too terribly many track pieces and the finished track only reached from Aleks' bedroom through the hallway and partway into the kitchen.
The start of the track was beneath a mountain. Aleks points out his achievement.
Bastian connects the tracks.
Then destroys everything!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Building the Helix

Papa helped build, or rather, built a double helix out of zoobs with the boys, at Aleks' coercion. GACTCATG...

Aleks wouldn't stand still for a picture. Big surprise there. They spilled orange juice on the floor too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Popcorn Party

We (read: I) made popcorn garlands for our Charlie Brown tree. I had planned it to be something the boys helped me with, which they did, sort of. Aleks ran around crazy, eating popcorn, but eventually handed me pieces to string on, while Bastian ran around crazy eating (and throwing!) popcorn. The living room was covered and my seasonally and stress-relatedly short fuse was basically shot. I recovered myself, however, and did a second strand. The next morning they began eating it directly off the tree:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Winter Table

We're not very Waldorf-y, but I like the season table as a nice thing to do for the holidays, at least. I'd like to continue it into the other seasons as well, but Bastian keeps tearing it apart. We'll see if he becomes accustomed to it staying intact. Maybe I'll find a place up high to put it for the time being. I also don't know the "correct" way of making a season table, so ours is a farm and I did most of the gluing.

We used cotton balls for snow, gluing some to fishing line for falling snow and connecting a bunch together for a sheet of snow on the roof of the barn.
Aleks constructed a fence out of blocks to keep the farm animals in so they wouldn't a) get away and b) get attacked by predators. He thought the horse would likely be able to bust through the gate, but I assured him that horses pretty well obey fences naturally.
Bastian loves to play with the animals.
The pocket gnomes now have a home.
Aleks made a dyed wool nest for the gnomes to sleep in at night. He's even been tucking them in before bed and waking them up in the morning.Contrary to proper animal husbandry techniques, I'm sure, the animals are all corralled together: horse, pigs, sheep, chickens (both roosters no less), and what we think is a goat.

Snowy Day for Snowflakes

On the first real day of snow, we avoided the 25-degree weather and enjoyed snow inside the house by making snowflakes, as part of my December festivities. Aleks had to keep checking to see what his snowflake looked like.
Bastian still doesn't quite have the coordination for cutting even less difficult things, but we worked together to make some lovely flakes.
Aleks had fun putting the snowflakes on his head.
We used origami paper to give the flakes even more texture.
Lastly, we hung them in the dining room, whose wall does not look very snowy at all.

After all that real snowflake building, we did some virtual snowflake building too: http://snowflakes.lookandfeel.com/