Family Christmas Activity #1: Gingerbread!

Our neighbor, Victoria, got Norah a gingerbread house kit at Trader Joe's (we have one in Chapel Hill now! Because Chapel Hill, despite their overwhelming minivan population, is awesome! And we can now buy organic milk for less than the hormonally-boosted Target milk! And if you can't tell, I'm SO EXCITED!) It's been sitting on the buffet in our dining room area for about three weeks, because I haven't had the time/inclination to put it together - this is probably because we didn't have any icing, and the directions said to make it with egg whites and meringue powder. I would love to say I had these things on hand, but then I would be a liar, and you can't lie at Christmas, because then you get no presents and possibly go to hell, which looks a lot like Southpoint on a Saturday night. Hoo-rah, holiday shopping.

So yeah, there it sat until this morning, when Nonos decided to haul it around the house and stand on it. "No!" I cried, "You'll break it and then we'll never use it!" I realized how stupid it was to deny her this, since we were obviously doing nothing with it anyway, and sent Rob and Norah to Target for icing in a tube and some tomatoes, because I wanted a ham sandwich, and you have to have tomatoes for that.

They got back, and construction began!

As you can see, Rob takes projects like this very seriously. He's a perfectionist, which served us well in the installation of the actual window in our actual house, but which drove Norah crazy after five minutes of, "Not yet, Nonos, Daddy's grouting the roof."

We didn't actually wait the necessary time for it to dry, because we'll probably have eaten it all over the next five hours. We're not very good at having sugary things around the house, and by "we" I mean "totally 100% me." So we moved quickly from construction to embellishments.

Norah was less than impressed with the included candy circles and hearts, but she rather liked sticking them to the house with the icing, because then she could lick it.

Eventually, however, she proved that she is more like her father than her mother in some respects: apparently, you CAN have too much icing, and how amazingly much does she look like Rob right here, those of you who know him?

Then at last, it was done, and with the addition of two teensy fingerpokes in the roof snow, it was lovely.

Holiday activity #1, check... next up, I teach Norah to address the Christmas cards. Man, I hope that one works.

Roasting on an open fire

You guys, it's 81 degrees here today. I am wearing maternity jeans, because none of the other pants I own will a) stay up or b) leave any feeling in my body from the waist down, and I think I'm actually sweating. I feel dirty. It's supposed to be snowy and winter wonderlandish, dang it.

So I decorated the blog for Christmas - it took a big 20 minutes, but I've been putting it off, because that's what I do, I put things off and do more important things like nap and eat endless clementines. (Oh, how I love the clementines. At least they're not sausage.) And I thought to myself, "Self, don't be a lazy bitch, you got this far, now write a post about something meaningful." For that reason, I will not be writing extensively about the clementines. BUT SERIOUSLY, I love them. Love love love. I will instead write about throwing up, because yo, you know you wanted to hear about it. At least this time it's not me.

The strep throat passed relatively quietly, and sister Kate arrived for a conference on day three of antibiotics, so we thought we were in the clear. She blew off the last day of her meetings so we could just hang out while I minded Nonos and the Chapel Hill baby. I let both Kate and Nonos sleep in that day so I could run down south, pick up the baby, and pop back home in time for pancakes and Little Einsteins.


First, I spent the morning trying to bus the other kids around, which meant I did not get home quickly, but rather after several hours of delivering this one here and that one there. And amidst all this carpoolery, just after I ran a red light and just before I cursed out a minivan mother (seriously, Chapel Hill, what IS it with you mothers and your vans? Sometimes it makes me feel inadequate, and then I have to slap myself around for an hour or two) Kate called my cell phone with news that the explosive vomit fountains had been turned back on, and once again, every cushion on the couch had been baptized.

A long day of sanitizing and burning through several rolls of paper towels (the heck with you, environment, I am SO NOT doing THAT laundry) and hours of lit Christmas Tree in a Can passed. Kate went back home the next day, fortunately not sick and relatively well-rested, despite Norah's best efforts to scare her into sleeplessness with the gut-wrenching force of her heaving. Things seemed to be on the mend for the next few days, the throwing up had stopped, we were maybe gonna be all right.


Then we went Christmas shopping, and Norah gave us one more spectacular display of -- guess what? -- the fountains. In Restoration Hardware. And now I can never go back and buy these, because we are most certainly on a poster behind the counter that's been faxed to every RH in the country, a poster that clearly says above our blurry faxed faces, "OH HELL NO."