Twas the night before Christmas…

December 28, 2007

So, before my daughter goes to bed on Christmas Eve, it was important that we left out cookies and milk (soy – it is all my mother-in-law has) for Santa, and a carrot for his reindeer.

But there was one other important thing – my daughter needed to let Santa know that he should bring an umbrella, in case it rains. So, Ms. Kaz decided that our daughter, just as her family did when she was a kid, should write a letter to Santa.

Now, I was not around when this letter was written, otherwise I would have warned Ms. Kaz to be careful when writing letters to Santa on Christmas Eve. Of course, after my daughter dictates the umbrella advice, we come to the “I want” portion of the letter.

My daughter asked Santa for a “Princess Camera and a very, very long, long, long Princess Dress.” Now, we had already bought my daughter the camera she asked for and pointed to in the catalog, and given it to her a few days before.

Needless to say, the next morning, an hour or so after opening the stocking presents from Santa, my daughter began with the, “I didn’t get a Princess Camera,” accompanied by the pouting and, eventually, tears.

That isn’t to say I am against writing a letter to Santa. I thought the advice about the rain was very cute, and everyone loved the “very, very long, long, long Princess Dress”… I just think we’ll have to try harder to make sure the Night Before Christmas Letter is not an “I want” letter.


December 27, 2007

Whew! We survived, mostly intact, except for my daughter catching a cold.

Over all, though, with the traveling and the excitement and all, the kids did great, and had a great holidays. The boy recently learned to smile and laugh, so he was the hit of the holidays with all the relatives. I’ll have a lot more updates hopefully soon.

As great as it is to see my daughter be all excited about the holidays, and as great as it is to see all our families, I am still glad the craziness of the holidays is over.

Hopefully, everyone had a safe and happy holiday season.

I’ll leave you with a quote from my daughter:

Me: So, what was your favorite gift?
Daughter: Uhm… the books!
Me: Cool. I like books.
Daughter: No, the toys!
Me: Any toy in particular?
Daughter: All the ones everyone got me.

What do you mean, only one week of shopping left?!?

December 17, 2007

Only a week of holiday shopping left. Great. I’ve got, like, nothing purchased. Anyway, here are some random Monday thoughts, while I work on a special holiday post…

  • My daughter is getting better at not spilling the beans about presents. She used to come right in the door and tell the person what was purchased for them. Now, it lasts about a week. Although, to be fair, I am not sure she realized I was right there when she said what my present was. I’ll still act surprised.
  • When I was a kid, we got presents in stockings and presents under the tree from Santa. When Ms. Kaz was a kid, she got stockings from Santa, and the stuff under the tree was for Mom & Dad. The stockings only from Santa thing is what Ms. Kaz wants to do with our kids. I am (kinda) okay with that, although I think Santa should spoil the kids more than Mom & Dad. I told her, though, that our daughter has been telling Santa all along she wants “Princess Stuff”, so there’d better be some princess stuff in that stocking. How do you all do the Santa thing?
  • And it isn’t just Santa she tells. Her first daycare provider, who are surrogate grandparents to her, took her and her daycare friend, “Timmy” to a local garden center to see the Holiday Displays, including the talking reindeer. When she told me about the talking reindeer, she told me it asked her what she wanted for Christmas. “What did you tell him?” I asked. Of course, her response was, “Princess Stuff”. When I asked if it said anything else to her, she told me it asked her what else she wanted for Christmas. Her reply? “Nothing”.
  • Speaking of that trip, when I put my daughter’s car seat in the car, and put her in it, she turned to “Timmy” and said, “Timmy, do you want to hold hands?” and then they held hands. Should we book a reception hall now?
  • I think Ms. Kaz is upset at me for letting our daughter watch bits and pieces of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars last night. Not totally because of the frightening imagery (which she saw none of, btw), but because of the endless series of questions she now asks about it (“What did she want to be with the one she loves?”, “Why they’re hobbits?”, “What are they sand people?”, “Why did they freeze the robot?”). We can both agree that it is cute when she refers to the robot as “Artie-dootoo”.
  • Doodad has tagged me. I hope he realizes it takes me a couple weeks to complete one of these things! I do appreciate being thought of for these things. I haven’t had one in so long, I thought people didn’t like me anymore!

Okay, more later. I’ve got shopping to do.

Bread making for those with kids

December 10, 2007

I’ve always wanted to be one of those guys who makes his own bread. There’s nothing better than fresh, warm bread.

I’ve dabbled in it a bit before kids, making a good beer bread once, but never had the time with kids. That, and I’ve always hated dealing with the dough.

When the No-Knead Bread recipe came out in the New York Times, and it was all the rage a while back, I thought again about trying. It seemed so simple. However, it still required some planning.

When I read about the Quicker No-Knead Bread recipe over at (formerly, I knew that if I didn’t try this recipe, I never would. Kaz: I should say I saw this at the BOTTOM of the OhDeeDoh page. It actually resides on another part of the former apartmenttherapy, known as TheKitchn.

The recipe is somewhat kid-friendly in that, there’s not a lot of work, so you aren’t slaving away all day and not helping out with the kids (okay, maybe this isn’t a negative so much!). However, my daughter was all excited to help, and the dough is so sticky, and hard to work with, there wasn’t too much she could really do.

I just gotta say, though – this recipe was awesome. We had some nice warm, fresh bread for the Curried Butternut Squash Soup we made for dinner. And the smell the bread made was like heaven.

Plus, my daughter was proud of me. “Good job, dad!” she told me.

If you’d like some fresh bread, give the recipe a try. It really is quite easy to make. If you do, let me know how it turned out!

I only wish I took pictures to share with you all…


December 10, 2007

Our daughter already recognizes when we are spelling things. The good news is that she doesn’t really know what we are spelling. Or so I thought…

My daughter brought home a dreidel from school the other day, and convinced my wife to play with her. She doesn’t know how to really play. Heck, I don’t know how to really play. But, Ms. Kaz spun the dreidel, and immediately, my daughter declared, “You lose!”

The next time, she decided that mommy would win and daddy would lose – “You lose, daddy! You have to go in time out!”

After Ms. Kaz lost the next time, I made the comment, “I thought when mommy lost, she had to t-a-k-e o-f-f a piece of c-l-o-t-h-e-s.”

Ms. Kaz rolled her eyes, but my daughter immediately stood up and pointed at me and said, “You’re very naughty! You need to go in time out!”

I told Ms. Kaz that I didn’t know our daughter knew how to spell. I was immediately reminded that there is no talking in Time Out.


December 6, 2007

So, I hate to jinx it, but it seems like the boy is ahead of schedule and inching closer to sleeping through the night. Not this 5-hours-straight, baby-sized sleeping throught the night. I mean, really sleeping through the night.

He usually falls asleep around 8:30-9:30p range. We were ecstatic when he started waking only once, around 2:30-3:00ish. Lately, that’s been pushed to 4:00-5:00ish. Two nights ago, we had to WAKE HIM UP at 6:30a!

Again, I don’t want to curse us, but maybe sleep will start to return to normal again.

Of course, I didn’t mention that, when he slept until 6:30, that didn’t stop us from waking up at 4am and wondering for the next couple hours whether he was okay…

Oh, and he’s starting to smile and occasionally laugh for me almost on demand. This kid is starting to win me over.