Uh, oops..  Right.  I have a blog.  That I should probably post to more frequently.  Sorry about that.  In the usual whirlwind that is the Christmas season, I obviously neglected to keep up my end over here.  But since I don’t have any serious opinions, or issues, or feelings I need to share with you right this moment, I am going to give you an update of what’s been going on in our neck of the woods for the last  couple of weeks, random-style.  Because I’m lazy creative like that.  This post could also be called “The one in which I provide many (boring) details about our life.”  I’m pretty sure I was warned about this exact type of post, but I seem to excel at trivia, so how can I stop now? But first, a bit of the miscellaneous.  Is it normal that your kid is a little more of a handful at someone else’s house?  Abigail is pretty well-behaved at home, is a friendly, social kid, and isn’t overly destructive (case in point – we have some intact Christmas decorations she can reach, and she hasn’t taken down the tree, yet), but we visited a friend and her baby last week, and Abigail was a holy tornado ball of energy.  Yes, she’s a busy, nosy kid normally, but this was kind of off the charts.  I’m pretty sure it was just being in a new place with all new stuff, not the boring old stuff she sees every day at home.  At least that’s what I told my friend when I saw her look at her own, currently-immobile daughter with fear in her eyes.  Abigail was her ghost of Christmas Future, apparently.

Also, did you know that Tony Sirico (Paulie) and Steve Schirripa (Bobby Bacala) from the Sopranos were Bert and Ernie on Elmo’s Christmas Countdown?  Seriously.  Seriously Awesome.  And I just saw an ad for a Saturday Night Live Christmas special – Schweaty Balls still cracks me up.  Where was I?

It’s been a veritable Christmas whirlwind around here.  It all started the weekend before last, when our community centre held a pancake breakfast with Santa,  followed by a sleigh ride (well, horse-drawn-wagon ride) that evening.  We went with some friends from the neighbourhood, and Abigail loved it all, starting with the GIANT plate of pancakes her father gave her:

Where's my bacon??

 She ate about four  mouthfuls from that plate.  After breakfast she tooled around, looking for mischief.  I have no reason to show you the following photo except, HELLO, check out her silver shoes.  If they made them in my size I’d totally have a pair.

Sometimes, she sleeps with these shoes.  That's how much she loves them.

Sometimes, she sleeps with these shoes. That's how much she loves them.

 And she was very intrigued by Santa.  There were no tears at all, but she didn’t entirely trust the guy.

What's in this for me, big guy?

 The sleigh ride that capped off our day was lovely – it was a clear night but not too cold. We are going to make this day an annual tradition, it was such a good way to start the holiday season.  The fact that we got to share it with some close friends made it all the better.

 Before we go any further, I must mention that I’m still waiting to get my Nikon back, so the crappy (or at least comparatively crappy) photo quality is because I have been using our little Sony Cyber Shot.  It’s remarkable how something that was just fine really suffers in comparison when you get something really great.  But Future Shop called tonight, and we can pick up the Nikon this weekend, so I’m very excited to go back to non-blurry photos with clear and sharp colour contrast!  Not to mention the faster shutter speed – I never realized how fast my kid moved until I kept getting blurry pictures of her on the Sony.   

Last weekend we were just as busy.  We got our tree Saturday morning, and after some moping about how small it was, and some (not so) gentle reminders from my husband and friends that a “small” tree for me is a “normal” tree for anyone else, I decorated it and the rest of the house and it looks pretty good, I think. 

That is not a dead body strapped to the roof of our car. I swear.

 That night we had our new babysitter over to watch Abigail while we went out for dinner, and it went really well.  We (I) was a little nervous about having a non-family babysitter, but the reality is that with our moms watching her during the week, we were a little thin on babysitters for the weekend and it was time to get some additional help. She is very sweet with Abigail, so I have my fingers crossed that this will turn into a long-term arrangement for occasional babysitting on weekends. 

 Before going to dinner (and after getting the tree) I went to my usual salon and got a really bad dye job.  My hairdresser made a very honest mistake and put the wrong colour on my head, the extent of which wasn’t really apparent until I got home and saw the result in natural light.  This meant I spent a few days with my hair in a ponytail, and then got it fixed Wednesday night.  If this had happened a few years ago I probably would have had a multi-tiered meltdown, but my dominant emotion about it now was something along the lines of “I wonder if anyone will notice?  Can I wait a couple months to get it fixed?  I really don’t have the time. Meh, I suppose I can fit it in.”  Priorities, eh?

Speaking of priorities, I’m making an attempt not to do too much this year, not to over-extend myself in an attempt to do it all and make everything perfect, which usually results in me being stressed over things that should be purely fun.  So I’m trying to scale it down.  I’ll let you know how that works out.  So far the Santa photo is done, the cards are sent, the tree is up, and I’ve done most of my shopping and some of my baking.  The shopping has largely taken place online – Amazon.ca is my new best friend, and I renewed my love affair with Etsy.  To simplify Christmas baking I had a cookie exchange with five girlfriends last night, so I scored some sweet treats, but I was clearly in the wrong headspace for doing the Betty Crocker baker-extrordinaire bit this Christmas (and since we’re not hosting a whole lot – score – we don’t need the goodies hanging around).   I had the cookie exchange and some pot lucks to contribute to, so I spent a late night dipping sugar cookies in melted chocolate and sprinkling them with crushed candy canes, muttering seasonal expletives under my breath.  I love baking, but despite my best efforts I felt a little under the gun this year since I put it off to long.  When I finally got my ass in gear I chose my recipes, made my list of ingredients, and then bought a bag of sugar THREE TIMES in a row, each time intending to buy flour.  I finally gave up and asked Erik to get it.  Anybody need a cup of sugar?  

There have been work parties galore for Erik and I – Erik’s was today, and Abigail was the party star.  She was little miss social in her pink satin dress, white beribboned sweater, and of course the silver shoes.  I’m looking forward to time off during Christmas, but before that we have a few things planned, like seeing A Christmas Carol at the National Arts Centre this weekend, and a couple of Christmas parties to attend.  Instead of feeling like I have to make something to bring to every party, or host a lot over the holidays, I’ve bought a few very nice hostess gifts and will be a model guest at other people’s parties.  We’ll host a little bit, and I’ll really enjoy doing it because I’ve left the time to prepare for it.  Cripes, am I getting wiser? So how are your holidays shaping up?  Any traditions you keep up, or new ones you are creating?  And do you run yourself ragged in the attempt to make everything perfect at the holidays?  Or have you learned your lesson yet?