Dec 30, 2013

Not the present I asked for!

It is the season of giving, making merry, spending quality time with those we love, spreading cheer, and waiting with wonder to see what is under the tree.  


Did you really have to bring the flu for Christmas?   Socks, yes socks would have been fine, but the flu.  Really?

Maybe I can't blame Santa.  I was feeling rough before Christmas Day, but it was a just cold.  After all, I took my Flumist like a good girl so it couldn't be the flu. 


Hubby, on the other hand, skipped his vaccine this year. When he came home from the doc in the box on the 23 rd and crashed on the sofa with a diagnosis of flu, I wasn't shocked.  He rested while I went to the pharmacy (read that as 2 trips totaling a combined wait of 50 min.) to get his Tamiflu, then the grocery store to get Gatorade, NyQuil and other sundries.  

Early Christmas Eve, I found myself with a fever of 102, body aches, sore throat, fatigue, and chills.  Nope, couldn't be the flu.  I'd been vaccinated, so it has to be a sinus infection.  A really miserable, exhausting one.  

Christmas Day came and Santa with it.  He brought gifts for all including a nice new train table for our youngest. 

Lucky for us, he assembled that at the North Pole and magically got it down our chimney all set up and perfect.  Can you just imagine how miserable it would've been if two sick parents like us tried to put it together.  Horrid I say!  Like 7th level of hell type stuff, hacking and wheezing over poorly written instructions, while wrangling runaway screws.  Installing parts to near completion only to find  they were done incorrectly.  Re-installing them, then doing it again because in our exhaustion we still didn't get it right. I'm fatigued just thinking about it.  

I am so glad Santa had that job instead of us.  What a trooper he is!
The train table in question.  Image from toys r us
By Christmas morning, hubby and I were even more fevered, fatigued, and miserable than the night before.  The twins woke at 5 and drug us downstairs to see their haul from Santa.  Afterwards, at the urging of my husband who was doing slightly better,  I collapsed back into bed waking up later only once our little guy stirred.  

Meanwhile, my dear sweet husband popped a batch of Callie's frozen gourmet cinnamon biscuits in the oven to warm.  The biscuits were part of a package, that I found waiting on our doorstep on Christmas Eve.  It was from a very kind and generous friend,  who won some serious brownie points from me that day.  

image from Callie's website 
Never has a gift been more appreciated, and as such I dub it Best Christmas gift ever!

For about the same effort as making toast,(which is what they'd have been making for themselves if it had been left to me in my near delirious state), we had a scrumptious breakfast fit for a Christmas morning.  The kids were so excited, and happily spent the rest of the day playing with their toys despite the near comatose state of their parents.  I even managed enough strength to make dinner, albeit simple and eaten huddled on the couch under blankets instead of at a table with fine china.  

With dished left in the sink, toys and wrapping papers strewn across the floor, we accepted our imperfect Christmas.  Sick, but filled with love .....and mucus.

The next day, it was my turn to visit the doc in the box, where I was officially declared  infected after a positive flu test.  Type A if you're keeping track.  Since then, it has made its way through all 3 kids, who incidentally all had their flu vaccines this year.  

Dec 17, 2013

Relatively Easy Minecraft Cake

My little guy, William, just turned 5.  Yay Will!

O.K. technically, he turned 5 about 3 weeks ago, but in mommy land that's pretty recent.  In an attempt to keep things "even Stephen" with his older siblings who had a big birthday bash when they turned 5, we rented out Kidventure, one of those kids play places, and invited his preschool class, plus all our friends who have little ones. 

Of course Will choose the theme of his cake.  True to his current obsession he chose Minecraft and was very specific. It had to have land, water, dynamite, a creeper, and be chocolate.

I tried to keep it simple, since his birthday is right before Thanksgiving and we had family coming to stay with us for the party.  Some parts didn't turn out exactly as I wanted them to, but all things considered, it isn't awful and he was delighted.  

Two  9x13" chocolate cakes cut and stacked, with some chocolate icing, and a bag of crushed Oreo cookies later, it looked like this:

I know, it doesn't look like much, but pipe a some green stars on top, add some Krispy treat cubes for stones and a tower and it's starting to get there.

Next, add some blue raspberry Jello Jiggler cubes for water.  I put Swedish fish into the Jigglers before they set completely.  It looked really neat, but I don't recommend it as the texture of the fish changed in a weird way.

Finally, hand it over to hubby, big kids, or anyone else just standing around doing nothing and let them do the final placement of toys and candy "jewels".  Add a sign made from a dowel and some card stock, top it off with a candle and for the effort that went into it, or lack thereof, it looks pretty good.