Christmas came and went in a whirlwind frenzy of preparation. We didn’t host anything and didn’t end up traveling anywhere and yet I still felt an overwhelming sense of relief sweep over as soon as all the presents were opened. Ben and I opened our gifts while we were wrapping on Christmas Eve. We have this problem anytime there are gifts in the house with us but this time we rationalized it because in my family gifts were traditionally opened on Christmas Eve so we agreed to continue it on this way until Chase is old enough to not care about Santa anymore. The picture is Chase coming down the stairs first thing in the morning. Gotta love that bedhead.
The whole Santa charade is surprisingly difficult to a) craft and b) maintain but I’m glad to know I’m not the only person that struggles with it. Santa was good to Chase though and she is particularly happy with her new kitchen and she seems to really like the food I made for her. I also bought her a tea set that is probably way too old for her but she loves it, it was on clearance and I just don’t think she would enjoy it as much without making everybody ‘juicey.’ The other thing about our Christmas was the piss poor planning that led to a looong Christmas day spent at home just the three of us which was nice but we’re not accustomed to being stuck in the house without going out. I mean everything was closed and it was too cold for the park.
To make up for it we went to the aquarium on Friday. As a family gift we decided to buy a family membership. At first I just bough tickets but in the two or so hours that we were there we only covered half of the place and decided a return trip would be in order. The aquarium will let you retroactively apply your admission toward the purchase of a membership on the same day so we went for it. You only have to make two visits in a year to make the membership worthwhile. It everyone’s first visit to the aquarium. What an amazing place. Chase was totally blown away by, and I would list the exhibits here but it was literally by, all of it. Well, all of it except for the dolphin show. The dolphins really freaked her out and she would only cast sidelong glances with her cheek pressed firmly against daddy’s chest. Maybe she was worried that we were in the splash zone or maybe she was worried that they would jump out and into the audience, who knows. I thought they were spectacular even if they did almost make me cry. These bubble columns were awesome. Could these kids be any happier?
Which, for that matter leads me to my next bit of info which is to finally just up and say that we’re expecting a new little addition to our family sometime in early August. It’s taken me a long time to get comfortable with the idea of saying that publicly because I even with Chase I felt so much anxiety during the first trimester but I’m slowly growing more comfortable. We’re only about 9 weeks in at this point but very excited. Ben says he still doesn’t want to find out the sex of the baby. I thought it was just part of the novelty of the first pregnancy but apparently not. Go ahead and find out if you want to he says but I just don’t think that will work.
Meanwhile, I’m starting to remember what it’s like to pass out at 8 and sleep straight through the next 12 hours only getting up occasionally to pee. That part’s the same but a lot of things are different too. I think I’m experiencing a lot more muscle pain this time and even though I haven’t been sick even once I feel nauseated more often. It’s sort of strange. In any event, this holiday season brought us many things to be thankful for. So, I put it out there even if most of you already knew. So here’s to the next 4 (or 5?) weeks passing swiftly.
I sent one package out yesterday and I’ll send another tomorrow which will bring my holiday projects officially to a close. One set of nieces are getting custom headbands on their own ring for hanging and a couple of extra hair ties. Our nephews are getting clipboards and crayon rolls for sketching their surroundings and/or keeping a nature journal.
This is the second time I’ve put these headbands together. I just think that the whole concept of using a hair tie to add the stretch is totally brilliant and simple. I think they’re cute and girls like headbands.. right?
The felt crayon rolls turned out pretty well too. Each roll holds 10 crayons and the ribbon holds the roll closed and to the metal clip on the clipboard.
I have a few more things to do tomorrow and then there’s only a short workweek standing between me and the holiday! I’m really looking forward to it and Chase is totally ready. We made sugar cookies today.
And now some too dark pictures of Chase being all Audrey Hepburn
I realize now that it’s something I never say. I went back and forth for a long time about whether to even post this because it just seems so weird to put it down in writing. It is true though. Today I am extremely proud of myself. The swearing in ceremony for newly admitted members to the bar today at the Maryland Court of Appeals marked the end of a long road for me. Even though I have known for some time that I would ultimately be admitted to the bar, nothing is final until you actually take the oath. Only today can I actually claim that I am a lawyer. You can’t claim it after you graduate from law school after so many years, not after you write the bar, not after you find out that you passed the bar, not after your character committee interview. Nope, not until you’re done with all your swearing and affirming.
I thought that the ceremony would really just be a formality. That I’d go and sit through it then go out for a nice lunch and carry on with life as usual. As it turns out though, I was a lot more affected by all the pomp and circumstance than I thought I would be. It could be my current emotionally charged and hormonal state but I felt myself holding back the tears at least twice.
I thought about my family. The members that I live with and those that don’t. The ones I talk to and the ones I don’t. It was hard. You might think this is weird and creepy but I was so whipped up in a frenzy of nostalgia that I wore the one blazer of my mother’s the I saved. Ok, well it’s not like anyone could tell. It looks like it’s part of my own wardrobe not like something you’d find in your grandmother’s attic but it made me feel good to wear it. It sucks that she’s not here.
Afterward we had lunch at McGarvey’s. As always, the crab dip was excellent and the food was so-so. Then I got a big box of business cards with my name followed by attorney at law… very nice. I’m going to start entering myself for all kinds of free office lunches. I took some pictures but I notice that the one in front of the sign that says court of appeals also features some rather large breasts and the one in front of the welcome new lawyers sign is cut off so there’s not a whole lot to look at. I did go into the office afterward, what’s happening to me?? I’m just interested to see where this all takes me… us.
Read Fine Cooking magazine. I used to watch the weekend lineup of cooking shows on PBS like it was my version of mass for shut-ins (you’ll have to ask Ben about that one). Then one day I picked up a copy of the Better Homes and Garden cookbook because it was a good deal and because I thought that I should have a basic cookbook around you know, for when I felt like slumming it. Really, I used to cook all kinds of stuff.
However times have changed. I can tell by looking at the dog-eared pages of the BHG cookbook that is now almost permanently in the kitchen. The recipes are simple and I have come to terms (mostly) that it’s now my go-to book for recipes that are quick and simple. Oh, I’m still picky about the quality of ingredients but the relatively short lists of ingredients and straight forward instructions keep me coming back and homemade is homemade. Not to mention that I referred my husband to it for a recipe for birthday cake and for the first time ever it turned out to be a delicious chocolate cake (instead of the usual giant birthday cookie).
I can’t explain it. I’m just barely competent in the kitchen these days. I can’t wing a spaghetti sauce anymore. I used a recipe to make one on Sunday and it actually turned out like… well, sauce. Even though I would swear that I follow exactly the same process when I make it on my own lately I just can’t pull it together. Either the consistency is off or it tastes just ok. I fancy myself a good cook, I do but I’ve decided to go back to basics. At least until this brain burnout wears off.
I still buy Fine Cooking and Saveur too for that matter but mostly they just pile up at my bedside unread and sad. I’d watch cooking shows too if they were ever on. I think PBS is going for mostly pledging with a little programming at the end of each quarter. I still make pfeffernusse at Christmas too.
I have returned to my sorely neglected blog. Getting ready for Christmas is slowing me down a little (among other happy things, to be discussed later). Last week was busy with work and Ben’s office holiday party and training and this week is the big swearing in. Finally. Can I tell you how much I’m looking forward to the end of this journey?? I think the occasion calls for a nice lunch out with the hubby. Children are not welcome at the ceremony so we’ll be flying solo.
I think that Chase’s gifts are all taken care of at this point and so is Ben’s. The kitchen will get assembled at the last second, the food is done and I bought a tea set that I will probably end up having second thoughts about. I also got her plates and pots to go with the kitchen and a few things for her stocking (most of which, much like her dad, she has already managed to find once or twice. I’m hoping that she doesn’t remember. I’m having enough trouble as it is grappling with the whole concept of santa and explaining it to her. It’s very strange to be on this side of the fence. I haven’t wrapped Ben’s gift yet or put it out, although I’d might as well just give it to him now because the man is so grinchy that a) he has already been able to intuit what I have selected for him or b) will spend all day guessing whenever a package arrives, it never fails.
I took some video the night we put up the tree and Ben shot some of Chase’s first class at Hoppin Tots. I had a brief love affair with vimeo because it links to facebook automatically but what about my 30 second video take 2 hours to process?? I’m sorry, but that’s just kooky.
Actually, the market basket part of the project is still a wip but I’ve come up with the idea and that’s the hard part. Actually putting it together probably won’t take that long. I picked up the basket at the craft store and plan to make a simple lining for it with some cute fabric. Meanwhile, I have put together enough play food to outfit the basket for Christmas. I was looking at play food again over the weekend and came very close to buying it but I pushed hard over the weekend and got a lot done. I stitched most of them by hand. There’s something really relaxing about this kind of project. I cut out all the pieces free hand and worked on them at night in front of the tube. No fuss no muss.
The items are random and way out of proportion but I’m happy with how it turned out. There’s corn, and orange, a fried egg. There’s a cupcake buried somewhere in there too. I think my faves are the baguette (or rye?) and the sandwich.
I should have taken pictures today when the light was good but I’m trying to keep the whole operation under wraps and I used nap time to make the sandwich. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try to shoot the cupcake. It’s pretty cute.
I have just one more picture I took today while we were making dinner. You take your eyes off that kid for one second and…
The girl has never met a cheese she didn’t like.
I have just completely frittered away the last week. I hit a wall in my handmade gift making. Didn’t prepare a single thing for thanksgiving, barely cleaned up and the list goes on. I don’t have any kind of approximation of an excuse except for the lethargy that always so easily sets in when you have more than three days off from work at a stretch. I just cannot shake the sitting around. I can only hope that the fact that it’s starting to wear on me will finally help me shake this.
My birthday gift was an awesome new lens for my camera so now I have to learn how to use it. I played around with it a bit tonight but the old me would have had this mastered by now. The only catch is it doesn’t autofocus so practicing on the baby is not a good idea. Here’s a picture I took of the dog, an always willing subject.
Anyway, I have much to learn. One more:
Well phone calls have broken my train of thought. I’ll end this here and try to resume tomorrow.