Winter Bucket List

  • -- Make snow ice cream
  • -- Set up tree
  • -- Build a snowman
  • -- Go ice skating
  • -- See Santa
  • -- Watch The Grinch and drink hot chocolate
  • -- Enchanted Forest
  • -- Nutcracker Ballet
  • -- Make a gingerbread house
  • -- WinterShines Festival
  • -- Festival of Trees

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Case of the Croups

Exciting day here in Krueger Town. So Eleanor has had croup for a couple of days, and whatever, she's had it before and it's not a huge deal, I just keep making her tea that is, like, two parts honey. 

But this morning I got up to feed Geneva at 4:30 and then realized I hadn't heard Eleanor cough all night, and I ALWAYS hear when she coughs, so I'm lying there trying to talk myself out of going to check on her when she finally coughs, and I'm like, Ok good. But she doesn't STOP coughing, and by the time I get in there, she's panicking and can't catch her breath between coughs. 

So I wrap her up in a blanket and whisk her outside so the cold air can relieve some of the inflammation, and her coughing stops and her breathing slows down and we wave to Frosty in the front yard, who is wearing two of my hat pins to keep his hat on. 

Joel takes her in to the ER, and I lie in bed and wait and set myself time limits for how often I can text to see how they're doing. Eleanor gets some epinephrine and some steroids, and is kept under observation for a few hours. 

She comes home and we just have time to eat breakfast and get dressed (Eleanor laughed loud and hard at wearing her jammies and her boots at the same time, her jammies out of doors what a joke) and still make our date at the zoo. The zoo is free until April and it's not prohibitively cold right now. 

No one napped well, because despite the meds, Eleanor is still coughing, and the steroids have made her SQUIRRELLY. She is extra Eleanor - extra chipper, extra talky, extra wants you to watch while she does sommersaults around the room. We had another dose to give her before bed, so here's hoping for a good night's sleep for us all. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Pretender

I bought a big old bag of garlands from Value Village the other day because I wanted one of them for my tree, and the bag was like a dollar. I let Eleanor get her hands on the garlands I didn't want, and then for DAYS she was wrapping her toys in them

and then roosting on the bundle and counting to ten

before CRACKING THE EGG open. 'There's a triceratops in this egg.' Eleanor, you are so weird.

Or she'd drape herself in it. 'This is my dragon costume. I'm going trick-or-treating.'

I got a weird amount of mileage out of that bag of garland.

Eleanor is very pretendy right now. To wit:

Downstairs is the North Pole. ('I have to get all my gear on. Get, get, get.')

Her dad is Santa.

I am Splat the Cat.

She has a pet monster that she carries with her everywhere whenever we leave the house. She literally never breaks character with this one, I'm always looking down to see her with an arm across her torso, and I'm like, Eleanor, what are you...oh, right.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Slaw day.

We had the opposite of a snow day today. EVVVVERY day in Saskatoon is a snow day, but today was a Thaw Day. A Slush Day. SLAW day. Everything is melting.

I keep seeing those snowman kits in the store and being like, Dude, I could easily make one of those, thrift store hat and scarf, something stuck to Popsicle sticks for face and buttons, but clearly after a year of saying this, I am not going to, so I just lay down the $10 and now we have an amazing-looking snowman that Eleanor is stoked about. 

I tell you this: rolling a snowman is 100% easier when you aren't five months pregnant. SO much easier, in fact, that I made the middle ball too big and couldn't lift it. The mailman came by at that point and I was all like, I made my snowman ball too big, and now I can't lift it. *pout* But I guess I was being too subtle because he didn't offer to help and I had to shave half of it off and run my arms through it like it was a bead. 

Whatever. Our snowman is killer, and I HAD to make it that big because it needs to keep being bigger than Eleanor. Remember THIS guy? 


Oh man. Her birthday approacheth, and I keep having Feelings. 

Speaking of feelings. Eleanor woke up from her nap cranky as a bear, so we put on her rainsuit (the mileage I am getting out of that thing) and went for a stomp. 

And anywhere there's even the smallest parking lot, there's a mountain. 

To summit. 

And then descend with alacrity. 

Tomorrow's another warm one, so we may have to do repairs on the snowman, but then we descend back into Usual Temperatures so he should be good for a WHILE.

As should we. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Gingerbread Housing

Last year we gingerbread housed like a couple of amateurs. I'll reproduce my post from the now-defunct Food Riot one day, but suffice it to say that it took four days and two separate trips to the store, and there were tears involved at least once. But overall it was super fun and we ended up with this:

This year we took a page out of Josie's mom's book. Ok, it is like six pages, and it is a magazine. LOOOK at it.

If anyone wants to get me my own copy of Better Homes and Gardens: Christmas Cookies Edition from 1993, I am completely not joking. I want to make everything in it. This is Josie's mom's sacred gingerbread house text, and she entrusted it into my hands. It (and all of Darlene's notes in the margins) didn't let us down.

Eleanor at almost-three (shut up. I don't want to talk about it) is so different from Eleanor at almost-two. So reasonable! And careful! And dextrous! Look at her pour that (those?) molasses.

We only had enough flour to make half a batch of dough because I am still bad at planning, and that was afternoon and evening on the first day. On the second day, we went to the store for more flour (but not icing sugar because I cannot read ahead in recipes) and then while the girls napped I made more dough and enlarged and cut out the BHG template, which was finicky work but MILES easier than just trying to make something up when you don't really understand geometry.

We spent the afternoon rolling and cutting out house pieces (me) and shapes (Eleanor). I kind of just gave her the cookie cutters to keep her busy, but refer to my earlier comment about her dextrousness.

Part of the reason the house was so easy this time around is because I wasn't just winging it. BHG is all like, After you bake the pieces and while they're still warm, place your template back on them and trim any spreadage. Josie told me later that once, they forgot to do this, and regretted it sincerely.

Anyway, between Eleanor not being a total big giant baby anymore (seriously. Shut up about that) and GH being full of helpful instructions, we finished up the cutting and baking without any major disasters.

Today was Decoration Day, and as great as the last two days have been, this was BY FAR the best. We had to burn to the store for icing sugar because I am terrible, but still had SO MUCH MORNING left to squirt 'the glue' and stick things to it.

And like maybe you eat some bits. 

I even lured Joel out to decorate a wall, forgetting that either the one he was doing or the one Eleanor was doing would be hidden inside. Since it was Joel's only wall and Eleanor was THRILLED with it ('Good job, dad!), I had to hide what was arguably her best work. R.I.P., Eleanor's wall.

I assembled the house while the girls were napping, and goodness but there is a huge difference between actual royal icing and the wimpy garbage I bought last year. You just kind of put the pieces, and they stay. It's incredible.

I wish I'd been videotaping Eleanor when she came out from her nap. 'Whoah.' And good thing she's so helpful and nimble-fingered because Geneva woke up in a state and needed tending to (who's still a big giant baby, who is) and Eleanor had to do a surprising amount of the shingling.

Also the snowing.

The finished product is pretty alright. 

It's so LARGE and the corners all meet and there's festive junk all over the walls.

Next year I'll make it in a bigger tray so we have room to do a pathway and a fence and a pile of logs and so on. But we're pretty ok with how this year's turned out.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Deck, deck, deck.

Let's talk about my house for a bit, because it's super festive. I was tired and sick the night I set up the tree, so I just did that and a few garlands and called it. Then for like the next four days I pulled something out every time Eleanor went down for a nap or to bed so that every time she woke up, NEW THING. This is how I decorate from now on.

As usual, I have hella nutcrackers. Nutcracker guarding the boots, nutcracker guarding the stairs. 

Nutcracker guarding the free pointsetta.

Lookit him, he thinks he's so big. 

I bought a full-sized tree this year. Fake, of course. As I'm setting it up I'm telling Joel, This is such a part of my Christmas memories, going to the garage to get the various parts of the tree, stuffing his spindly areas with spare branches. My tree is pretty spindly. 

And this WAS going to be The Year I Forgot I Had Bought A Train Last Year At 75% Off Until I Opened My Bins And I Was Super Stoked About It, but it's turning out to be The Year I Discovered Deco Mesh. 

Look how baller my tree looks now. And FULL. I wish I had put in even MOOOOORE mesh. Joel has started describing the tree as a woman who starts getting work done and then can't stop, because I keep adding things. A string of pearls, this glorious topper I found at Value Village. 

My tree is Fancy As Shit. I told him he was lucky he didn't come home to a house buried in deco mesh. I still have half a roll left. 

I also have an Ingrid. My aunt gave us Ingrid like two years ago, but she was at my parents' house for the longest time because you cannot fit her in a suitcase. She has hooks, and pocketses. 

Every morning, Eleanor takes an ornament from that day's hook and hangs it on the tiny tree of yesterchristmas, which is now her tree. A lot of the ornaments are 'friends with each other,' by which she means they are hanging side by side.  

She hangs her ornament, finds the elf (wherever I spent eight seconds hiding him the night before. I don't put effort into that, and I also don't tell her he's spying on her. That's creepy, you guys), and then goes to her calendar to get her note, which tells her what festive thing we're doing that day (and also spell her name like ten times). 

Sometimes the 'festive thing' is going to the library for Christmas books. Sometimes it's painting sun catchers from the dollar store

because I like combining Festive Activities with Decorating Opportunities. 

For the last two days, we've been working on the mother of all festive activity slash decorations. 

It's going better than last year, I tell you that. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

My phone is full of adorable

Sink bath. 

Wrist hold. 

Bed hairs. 


Baby friends. 

Bed friends. 

Cosy bird. 

Phone grab. 

Book club. 

Verrrrrrry necessary baths.