Friday, December 28, 2012

All iced up

I can hardly believe Christmas has come and gone, and that a week ago I was rushing around Ikea and Target, subjecting poor crowd-averse Miss Maizey to my office holiday potluck, welcoming Will home before 5 p.m., and icing those Betty-mixed sugar cookies...

We quickly found out that our little Picasso would rather create than decorate. And I realized why my mom is the world's fastest cookie decorator. With little kids to cater to, you don't have time to make rainbow zebras. Unless you're a dad.

The jolly Joker at her finest.

More merry pics to come...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cheers! It's Christmas Eve!

May visions of sugar plums dance in your heads.

(Special love to my U.P. family - missing you this Christmas eve. Ring in Wigilia with an extra serving of cabbage pierogi + two beano for me...)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cookie monster

For those worried Maizey would be permanently scarred from Santageddon, never again able to capture that Christmas spirit - fear not. Girlfriend found something to really celebrate this holiday season. Hint: to make up for my lack of a sweet tooth, Maizey's been endowed a full set of sugar-loving chompers. Yep. Sassy pants loves herself some cookies.

On Tuesday, at 7:30 a.m., she threw herself on the kitchen floor and wailed... "Toooties, Mama. Toooties."

I gave her one.

But taking advantage of the teachable moment, made her help bake more.

Maizey's highlight? Dough eating and flour throwing. Stay tuned for the icing-event...

Confession: Yes the dough was homemade - but I didn't make it. Came straight from Grandma's U.P. kitchen, delivered by Aunt Robin. Thanks, ladies!

p.s. Yesterday (Thursday, Dec. 20) Maizey decided to free climb. Straight out of her crib. Lawd help us.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Last year Miss M met the Jolly Old Fellow at a Huron Valley Mom Club Christmas party (the one and only club event we ever participated in - back when I was still panicked about my droll social life and lack of adult stimulation). And, loved him.

The year I was ready to make the magic happen. After thoroughly researching our options, including Santa's Cabin (fully booked), Somerset's Santa and Twelve Oaks' Santa (too pricey), I settled on Milford restaurant Bakers' campy-fabulous "Brunch with Santa."

We were rearin' and ready to go at 9:30 a.m. and on the drive to the joint Will channeled his Scripps prep-time parent persona and drilled Maizey on Santa's name and M.O.

Will: "Maizey. Say 'Santa.'"

Maizey: "Tanta."
Will: "Santa."
Will (again): "Maizey. What does Santa say?"
Maizey: "Oh oh oh."
Will: "Close enough."

And, repeat.

We rolled up and my toddler toddled into the eatery, smile in place. I whispered to the hostess, "When does Santa arrive."

As she led us to our booth, she gestured toward to seating area, "Santa is here."

Ole Saint Nick was holding court with a kid clearly not buffet stranger. 

Maizey spotted him, whispered "Tanta?" and when the man in the red suit (and a REALLY bad beard) turned his sites on her, promptly attached herself to my calf and began whimpering.

"Noooo. Nooooooooo. Buh-bye Tanta. Buh-bye."

Luckily, the man of the hour got the hint and made himself scarce. Clearly, this isn't his first rodeo.

We commenced with brunch... Maizey stacked half-and-half...

And crammed carby breakfast lovies into her maw.

A short 35 minutes later, little lady was all done and Will and I strategized...

Will: "We have to pass him to get out."
Me: "Yeah. I know. I want a picture."
Will: "She's going to scream."
Me: "Yeah. I know. I want a picture."
Will: "She really doesn't like him."
Me: "Yeah. I know. I want a picture."

Off we went.

She spots him sitting in his throne by the entry...

Pregnant pause...

She protests...

Mom ignores...

And, scene.
(But really. I don't blame Girlfriend. I was a little skeezed out sitting on this guys lap - hence the lazy eye. It's like Lady Godiva aged and this dude glued her locks to his face.)

Anywho...once outside, she was happy as a reindeer with a Popsicle
(or a kid with a candy cane)...

Thank my lucky stars I didn't splurge on Santa's Cabin.

And, in this time of tragedy,

thank goodness I have these two to call home.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh Christmas tree

Growing up, Christmas tree procurement went like this... Bob and Betty would load Peter and I in "Dad's car" (a.k.a. The Jeep), attach the trailer (sides by Bob) and drive to some dairy farm in Perkins. We'd pull in front of a decrepit looking white clapboard house, Dad would knock on the porch door and talk to a guy wearing a waffled long underwear top and suspenders. Hands would shake and he'd come back the car. 

"Same price. Ten bucks."

We'd drive down a dirt access road, next to an field filled with neglected evergreens, rolling to a stop 300 yards from the house. We'd pile out, donned in Sorels, puffy snow pants and Columbia Bugaboos (except for our teen years, when we were too cool to wear such practical nonsense and instead shivered in faux Guess jeans, Starter jackets and Nike high tops).

*See below for dog details...

Then we'd spend a ridiculous amount of time tromping around, stumbling over sappy stumps and crunchy, brown boggy field grass, pointing at various Charlie Brown conifers. Eventually Mom would make a decision (key = eventually), and Dad would kneel in his Levis (he has forever been too cool for snow pants) and saw away at the sad, but loved, little tree, handing off the blade so my brother and I could take a few draws.

Then, we'd do it all over, looking for Grandma's tree. 

And, sometimes, again, looking for a St. Paul tree. (The best years were the ones when the St. Paulers came too - tromping with us.)

Peter and I would be assigned dragging duties and we'd lug two, sometimes three, pokey trees back to the trailer, where numerous Dad ropes awaited. 

(Ever seen an engineer secure a Christmas tree to a trailer? No? Let me know if you have an hour or two and I'll bring Bob over...) 

Most years our treat wasn't a traditional hot chocolate but a McDonald's eggnog shake.

This year's scenario was a titch different. My mom and dad bought a beautiful Fraser fir from a highway lot. Will and I loaded Maizey into "Dad's car" (a.k.a. The Jeep) and drove (sans trailer) to yuppy Broadview tree farm in Highland.

We piled out, stopping to say hello to three sad looking pigmy goats.

Then, joined other city-folk for a tractor ride to the not-so-sad-looking evergreens. (Admittedly, I was hoping for a horse-drawn sleigh, but, no such luck.)

And, then we tromped.

Will and I had less trouble with the stumbling.

Maizey spent half the time like this.

I blame the boots.

She blames me.

After lots of walking (but WAY less than Betty used to make us do)...

(I swear)

We found it!

Will knelt in his Levis,

and attempted to hand off the blade to Maizey.

Who wasn't clear on the process.

Or, conveniently ambivalent.


Dragging duties were a bit confusing as well.

"You want me to do what????"

Thanks, Will...

Tractor ride back to the base. 

Cold little noses...

Ever seen a finance guy secure a Christmas tree to a Jeep? No? Me either. (wink, wink)

And done.
Like I often say, the more things change the more they stay the same.
At least some things...
(This tree cost $43 and was not so Charlie-Brown-esque.)

And yes, Maizey, I promise to introduce the eggnog shake next year.

*No. Not our dog. We weren't allowed to have a dog growing up. This is the dog I fell in love with (a few years prior) and requested from Santa. I got a keyboard and spent Christmas morning crying on the stairs. My mother still laments. We all still remember. Note to self: get the kid the dog.