Monthly Archives: December 2011

Who’s hosting this thing?


We celebrated Christmas Eve with my family on the eve of Christmas Eve. So that’s Friday the 23rd if that was too complicated for ya. After making a quick visit to the hospital where my dad was being diagnosed with colitis (no biggie, he’s doing much better though he missed the whole holiday) and Walmart to pick up a rotisserie chicken for all those who wouldn’t eat rouladen (a classic german dish) we arrived at my mom’s house to find it not quite ready for the party. My mom is much better at the social aspects of a party than the prep. To her defense, my dad is usually around to cook and help clean and obviously he was out of the equation this year so there was just too much for one person to do.

So, when we arrived I took over the cooking, sent my mom upstairs to ready herself and the gifts that we’re wrapped yet, set out appetizers, organized the desserts, tables and chairs, organized the ornament exchange and attempted to socialize. My SIL helped whenever I could delegate something to her so that was awesome. Basically I took over hosting duties which my mom was appreciative of. I think I’ll host at my house next time. It’ll be much less stressful…I think.

In spite of the craziness, I did manage to have some fun though I don’t feel I was able to hang out with everyone as much as I would have liked. That happens though. I’ll stop detailing the logistics and just show ya some fun pics. Thanks for sticking with me through this posting šŸ™‚

The first gift O opened. A Bears sweatshirt from Uncle Brenden. Do you think he liked it?











L opening all her baby gear from G-ma Anke and drinking hot cocoa out of her new mug.












My Grammy was a trooper listening to all Cullen’s shenanigans. This picture sums it all up. I think he even threatened to fight her over some chocolate cheesecake or something. I’d put money on my Grammy though. She’s one tough cookie.


























The ornament exchange was the most fun. I found some awesome ornaments at Flowerwood nursery in Crystal Lake so there was a lot of stealing of ornaments going on. Here are some of the highlights:

Chace ended up with a sleigh. Boring! No one stole his. No one stole Brenden’s cheap-o stocking that he picked. We all got a good laugh out of that too since it was Kelly who bought the stocking ornament so that Brenden could participate anyways.


Lilly was excited for Grandma Anke’s Snowman and Anke was okay with it.

Cullen stole the reindeer riding an ATV from Uncle Jim who ended up with a gold star. Jim was not thrilled, but Cullen was!

Kelly got the frog.

Kath got the squirrel. It’s a goofy pine cone squirrel that I thought was cool but everyone else made fun of it. Maybe I have questionable taste in ornaments…

Nick was happy that Jen ended up with the Santa and Mrs. Clause riding a motorcycle.

And after Anke had the Santa stolen from her she ended up with something crappy. IĀ  don’t remember what it was but by her facial expression it must have been pretty great.

Basically the ornament exchange brought a lot of needed laughs. We’ll do it again next year for sure!


Some shenanigans leading up to our Christmas celebrations


Leading up to Christmas we assembled our gingerbread house.








It would’ve turned out better had I just bought a kit but instead we used the gingerbread pieces I baked and whatever candy we had in the house. Turns out, the kids don’t care about aesthetics and neither do I.









We just care that it tastes good! And taste good it did.





We also made snowmen for a couple of our doors. Thanks, A’me, for the good idea.











We found Beetee for the last time before he went to spend the rest of the year with Santa.

















And we made fresh cookies for Santa and colored him a picture.




















Then we acted like hooligans before going to bed to await Santa’s visit to our house.









Did Santa think they were naughty or nice? Read the next post to find out.

A Santa visit of epic proportions


Do we all recall how the first Santa visit this year went? I’ll remind you. It started with a 45 minute wait in 25 degree weather not wearing appropriate clothing for the cold and ended with the fastest 100 yard dash by a toddler to date. It was hilarious and sad at the same time.

Sunday the extended Bailey Family had brunch with Santa at the Crystal Lake Country Club. Lilly and Odin were so excited for round 2 of Santa and kept peeking around the corner into the room he was sitting in and then squealing. It was entertaining. And then the incredible happened















She sat on Santa’s lap, told him what she wanted and thanked him nicely for the gift. What a 180 degree change. Mama was proud! Odin on the other hand needed daddy’s assistance but hey, they kid is just barely 2. We’ll give him another year or so to put on the brave face.









These girls are old pros at sitting on Santa’s lap. Instead of individually sitting on Santa’s lap, this year they all stood around Santa and took a photo as Santa made incredibly inappropriate jokes. I have video. It was Epic!

What was also epic was:

the amount of chocolate milk Odin consumed in and hour








the entertainment value of my kids pretending to be dinosaurs and growling at everyone in a country club setting









Fiver’s love for lemons without reacting to the tartness









Dena’s tongue story (not a conversation appropriate for a country club which is why it was told. We’re an inappropriate bunch)








And a joking grope that got a little more than expected









You may feel that the word epic is too strong a word for these events but it’s my blog and I’ll say what I want šŸ˜‰

Breakfast with Santa is a highlight every year and this year didn’t disappoint. It was especially nice since it was my birthday and I was able to gorge myself on multiple (I’m not telling how many) plates of food without having to cook or clean. The best birthday present ever for a mom!!!

A new addition to the family…


… Today we happily welcomed Rebecca into the Bailey Family. She’s a beautiful brown haired, brown eyed little girl weighing in at about 3 pounds and 18 inches long. The perfect Christmas present!









Did I mention yet that she’s Lilly’s new American Girl Doll? Minor detail. No, people, I did not have my baby yet if that’s what you were thinking.

Lilly went to Chicago on the train today with her Grandma Maggie and our two good buddies, Rachael and Dena. Poor Auntie Pierce was sick and couldn’t go with šŸ˜¦Ā  It was quite the big girl trip for her and she was beaming as she left this morning and when I picked her up tonight. I swear she grew 4 inches and aged 12 years in those 8 hours. Wahhh!

We had a photo shoot tonight in their matching outfits. Enjoy the pics!




A great start to her Christmas!



Wheeling the day away




What’s better than spending a morning at a cookie exchange gorging on goodies?…









Spending an afternoon rollerskating! (Please notice the holiday shirt with the skirt that Aunt Pierce got Lilly into! It’s a Christmas miracle!!!)











Odin lasted a few laps in the stroller before he told me to bugger off and get him a pair of skates, damn it all. (And yes, I bladed too… gasp!)











He did amazingly well and ditched the tripod for a bit. What a natural athlete! He must get it from his mama šŸ˜‰









What these pictures fail to show is the kiddos’ meltdowns and the lack of attendance from the multiple moms groups that were invited to participate in this Stroller Skate. The owner wasn’t thrilled that there were just 4 moms that showed up to skate but he was a douche, so whatever. We had fun having the rink to ourselves for an hour and a half though I’m not sure we’ll be organizing this shin-dig again.

Baileys Bake… and send ourselves into gleeful sugar comas.












Every baker needs her own spatula and apron. My Aunt TC got Lilly this for Christmas. It’s got a pretty sweet bakers hat that I can’t get her to wear. If I ever do you’re certain to see a pic of it. I promise!









She helped me make these mini treats. So cute! You just can’t resist popping one of these little buggers into your mouth.










When O woke from his nap they couldn’t resist a Nutella snack. Who knew they made a Nutella snack pack?!? Thanks Aunt TC!

Aside from the mini sugar cookies we made on Monday I also made 4 dozen larger sized Christmas cookies for a friend’s Christmas party and for Lilly’s teachers along with 4 dozen spiral cookies for my MIL’s cookie exchange.









This is my tin of goodies from the exchange. My cookies were the Christmas spirals that you can see in the top left of the tin. I’m having a great time digging through all these goodies. Sorry, baby, for the sugar coma I’m certainly putting you in. I’m sure you’re use to it by now though.









And this, people, is the coolest cookie tin you’ll ever see. Have a better one? Prove it. Send me a photo. I’m kind of a cookie tin freak and would love to see what you’ve got.

Santa…forget it!


So you know how there are times when you plan out an event out in your head and it seems flawless. You figure that all that planning will make for a fun and enjoyable adventure… and then when that event takes place everything seems to fall apart and you’re left wondering where you went so wrong. Well this is exactly what happened yesterday during our Holiday Fun outing on the Woodstock Square. Please, let me explain.











In my head I figured we would take advantage of all the Square had to offer including a Christmas tree walk in the Opera house, a horse drawn carriage ride, a visit to Santa’s hut, some hot chocolate, viewing some sled dogs and the lights lit all around the square. Fun, yeah? What I didn’t figure on was the 25 degrees plus wind and the long ass line to see Santa which was our first (and only) activity. My kids didn’t have boots on. They didn’t have long underwear. They froze. I suck. But we made it to the front of the damn line and miraculously I had revived the kids’ sour mood.









They look thrilled…right?









That’s slightly better. Bring on the fat man!

And then Mrs. Clause open the door to let us in and we all proceeded to walk inside. All of us except for Lilly, that is, who booked it the hell out of there as fast as possible. She ran screaming and crying from the hut before even entering while Odin walked right in with Grandma Maggie and Aunt Kathryn. I started cracking up and yelling for Lilly to stop running and telling her she didn’t have to see Santa. She didn’t give a shit what I said. The girl wouldn’t stop and I wasn’t wearing appropriate shoes to quickly chase down a traumatized child. She made it at least 100 yards before I closed in and took her down. Where the hell is the candid camera when you need one? Laughing, I carried Lilly past the line of gaping parents and anxious children into the hut because I wanted to see Odin with Santa. I missed their interaction but thankfully my SIL took pics.









This is the best we got. “Not too close!” is what I envision Odin’s reaction to be though he did answer Santa’s questions.









Lilly wouldn’t look at Santa or the camera but I made Kathryn take a pic of us anyways. She looks like she’s almost recovered from her freak out by this point. And hey, mom’s having a ton of fun!

Upon leaving Santa’s Hut we walked over to see the Christmas trees but when we walked in Odin had a melt down because he just wanted to go on a carriage ride and Lilly had a melt down because… because… because… In her defense, she was a popsicle and the promises of fun had led nowhere.Ā  I made the executive decision to leave the square and lured them into the idea of going to Grandma Maggie’s for some hot tubbing and dinner.









This is the hot mess that I eventually dragged home. Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

**We’re going to try the whole Santa thing again next weekend when we have Breakfast with Santa at the Country Club. I just love traumatizing my children. They’ll have a lot to tell their therapists one day.

Like our elf, Beetee, we’ve been busy…









Beetee began his shenanigans by rearranging our window clings and getting stuck in the paper chain Lilly made. Odin proceeded to scold him all day long, “No, no, no!”










This is how we found him the next morning. He had a snowball fight with the penguins.










The kids willingly cleaned up Beetee’s mess. Lilly asked, “Why do we have such a naughty elf?!” He’s just mischievous sweet girl. And he gets bored while you’re sleeping.








It appears he also gets hungry for chocolate chip cupcakes.









We get hungry for Christmas sugar cookies!















And goofy gingerbread faces.

Speaking of gingerbread, we decorated foam gingerbread men this week too.


















I think she’s got enough glue. What do you think?

Between crafting and baking and playing with the kiddos my days are long and tiring but delicious and fun. I love the holidays. I just hope I can keep up the enthusiasm without crashing and burning before Christmas! So why the hell am I posting this instead of sleeping…? I guess I just wanted to share our fun with ya. Speaking of fun, today we were suppose to have fun visiting Santa on the Square in Woodstock. I’m not going to go into it now because my bed is calling me and it deserves a post all to itself but I will say that sometimes I wish I had a camera crew following me to capture the hilariously tragic moments of my life. Stay tuned… more to come on this later but for now, good night!