Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Cookies

My great-grandmother had absolutely the best recipe for sugar (roll-out) cookies.  The dough might even be better than the baked cookies.  A close 2nd at the least.  Seriously, once you taste them, store-bought sugar cookies will NEVER compare.  She should be considered for sainthood.  They're really that good.

So, last year we started the tradition of making cookies with the boys.  Well, with G anyway.  H was only 6 months old and either napping peacefully or watching the controlled chaos from the security of his bouncy seat or bumbo.  Ironically, he didn't even have to be strapped into them at that point.  Which, in hindsight, is a lovely thing, since a few months ago I had to re-thread the straps on his highchair...after I found him standing on the tray.  No lie.  This kid might do me in.


Anyhoo, I decided last weekend we'd get started on them to take to a few of our neighbors.

Did I mention Rich was out of town?  So it was just me against and the boys?  And that our kitchen in this house has limited counter space?  And that Hudson is a crazy man?  Yeah.  Apparently I've lost my mind.

Needless to say, there were limited pictures due to the above factors and my messy hands. 

G helped roll and cut out the first batch.  But, that didn't last long since H was trying to get on the stool with him and then throwing a fit in the middle of the kitchen because he couldn't get up to help.  AHHH!  The injustice!

Once we had the first 2 trays cut out, we moved to the dining room table to decorate.  Where Hudson could be restrained in the high chair.  I swear he is the reason some brilliant woman came up with the idea to put a 3-point harness in a high chair.  We never even used it once with G.  H?  Every. single. meal.

So, we sprinkled.  And chocolate chip-ped.  And sugared.  And sprinkled some more.  And some more. 

Hudson's first cookie...decorated completely by himself!  {and just in case anyone who received our cookies this year ever happens upon this, don't worry...none of the cookies Hudson - and his spit - touched were given away!} :)
Sprinkles, anyone?
After they had baked {and H was in bed! Hallelujah!} we iced the {VERY} few cookies left plain.  G did really well icing, and was quite thrilled that he got to use a knife even though "I'm not 7 yet!".  :) 
The end result was adorable, and delicious.  And of course the neighbors loved them.  So did G.

And the tradition continues.  Next year we'll just wait until Daddy is home to help manage the crazy one!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I have always enjoyed taking the boys' Christmas card picture, trying and trying to get that perfect shot where all eyes are looking, both mouths are smiling, and everyone looks perfect.  Cause, you know, I'm that good and it always happens.  Ahem.

2008 was probably my best, most creative, and most frustrating yet.  Until this year, that is.  But we'll get back to that in a minute. 

In 2008, I decided it would be a wonderful idea to get a picture of a 10 month old Garrett in front of the tree.  And all 3 dogs.  Did I mention my vision included reindeer antlers for the dogs and a Santa hat for G?  Oh...I didn't?  Hmmm.  Must have slipped my mind.  In hindsight, the folder of the pictures I have on facebook is pretty freaking hysterical, and overall, although it wasn't in line with my perfect vision {when is it ever??} I "settled" for this one...and of course now love it!

Around rolls 2009, and I come up with terribly cool idea of waiting an extra 4 weeks {!!!} to announce our pregnancy with Hudson.  The picture itself wasn't an issue this year, as G was 22 months old, followed directions pretty well, and I immediately LOVED how it turned out.  The challenge this year was getting the cards mailed so everyone would receive it on December 26.  Luckily the post office wasn't busy when I took the first batch and the lady was super nice and checked a bunch of zip codes for me so I'd know when to mail them.  And in reality, I don't know if it actually worked out that way, but no one got them before Christmas - which was when we told our families we were pregnant - and that's all that was important.

2010 wasn't terribly hard either...a fairly compliant almost 3 year old and a {NON-MOBILE!!!} Hudson made life easy.

The card was a combination of these 2 pictures...I can't find an online copy of the exact card and I'm entirely too lazy to get up and scan in a copy of it.

Which leads us to 2011.  G is 2 months shy of 4 {HOW is that possible??!!!} and Hudson is a VERY busy 18 months.  Which led to 3 separate photo shoots, countless tears, and my blood pressure rising to what was, I'm sure, an unhealthy level.
Alas, we have a cute Christmas card {the picture wasn't taken during any of our "shoots", for the record} and a bunch of pictures not hardly suitable for printing.  But good for a chuckle.

Photo Shoot #1
Vision: 2 Cute boys in matching shirts in front of the tree, smiling, looking at the camera, looking generally happy.  Oh! And wouldn't a box be cute??!

This was a close second for the card picture.

Wow.  Why didn't I chose this one??!
Annnnnd, we're done.

Photo Shoot #2
Vision: To get a picture with 2 cute boys in their matching shirts.  Looking at the camera.  Hey!  Let's throw in some Christmas lights and see if that will help.

Cute, but H seems to be pleading for his life.
If H weren't looking down, this might have been the one! I love G's expression!

 I think this is super cute, but was afraid DSS would be called.

 This one was totally in the running, but not a good face shot of either.
 G's having a blast.  Hudson?  Not so much.
 ...he's done.

Photo Shoot #3
Vision:  We're going to cut down our Christmas tree!  Wouldn't it be cute with them in front of it!!
Or not.

Impromptu Photo Shoot #4
Vision: We are leaving the Christmas Tree Farm, with a tree {aka: Rhode Island!}.  Last try.  Sit in the grass, love each other and look a the damn camera.  Thankyouverymuch. 

Super cute, if only H were looking up or at G.

So much love.  And H is sooooo not in the mood.

It's totally not my *perfect* picture, but I decided to cut my losses and order it.  And, of course, I love it.  Almost as much as I love them. :)
Merry Christmas from The Evans Boys!

Monday, December 19, 2011

18 months!

Hudson, you are

18 months old!!!

How are you already 1 and a half??!!!

What you're up to these days:

* You are 34 1/2" tall {95%} and 24.9 pounds {25-50%}.  And I just're 1/2" taller than your brother was at 18 months, but 4 pounds less!!

* You wear a size 5 diaper, 18-24 month clothes, and a size 6 shoe.

* You are so busy.  The only time you are still during the day is when you're A) getting into something or B) sleeping.   

* Speaking of, you're still an awesome sleeper!  Most nights we get at least 10 consecutive hours and recently you've been taking a 3-4 hour nap.

* Your speech has really taken off this past month.  You can say: ma-ma, da-da, ball, football, car {any automobile}, thank you, yeah, yes please {ah-pee}, Miles {Mi-al}, Mallory {Mah-ee}, cold, hot {da}, I don't know {no-no}, hi, bye-bye, nigh-night {nigh-nigh}, no {probably your favorite!!!},  tickle-tickle {in a super-cute, high-pitched voice!}, dog {any animal}, you "moo" at a picture of any animal standing on 4 legs, baby, Ow!, good, and shoe {youuuuuuu}.

* If we ask you "Hudson, can you say ___________?" you always try to repeat it.

* You can run!  Like a little boy run...not even the wobbly toddler run anymore.  But if you get going to fast, you still fall flat on your face.

* You have NO FEAR!  You climb on anything and everything and I frequently turn around to find you perched somewhere.

(This was in the 38 seconds it took me to put some more wood on the fire.)

* You are a wild man!  You will do anything for a laugh, and often egg your brother on. 

* You LOVE your brother!!  And you guys really do get along well.  You play together all day and {most of the time!} are playing nicely.

* You LOVE your Daddy!  You get so excited when Daddy gets home from work and you just run up to him with your arms spread saying, "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!"

* You love bath time, and I've found the only way to keep the bathroom semi-dry during baths is to close the shower curtain.  You find this hysterical.

* When you slow down enough, you are quite a cuddler and so super sweet.  It just usually doesn't last long because you're off and running again.

* You still love your first 2 fingers, and almost exclusively suck your left hand fingers now.

You are such an amazing little ball of energy and I am amazed at what you learn every day!  You definitely test our patience when you're un-doing what we've just done {picking up the 120 balls we own, for example!} but I try {reeeeeeally hard} to remember this is how you learn and eventually you will know not to tip the basket of balls back over.  {and, until then, I'll continue to grit my teeth!}  I pray you never lose that spunk...or your mischievous little grin that never fails to melt my heart.

Happy 1/2 Birthday, little man!  I can't wait to see what the next 18 months holds in store for you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This post is solely for the memory...which I'm sure I will forget in mere hours.  Much like my very first blog post where there was growling involved, tonight I had a 'visit' from a different animal.

I was putting G to bed tonight.  Prayers had been said, books read, sound machine was on and lights were out.  I was laying - facing him, as usual - with my eyes closed.  I felt him move, but didn't open my eyes.  Until.....

I. was. licked.

From my upper lip up onto my nose.  A small, wet tongue slid up my face.  The following is our conversation.  {my eyes are now open, in case you're keeping track}

Me: G! Eww!  That's gross!  You don't lick me!

G: Why?

Me: Because we don't lick people's faces!!

G: But Miles licks my face.

Me: Yes.  Miles is a dog. And dogs lick.  People don't.

G: Woof-woof.

He seriously didn't miss a beat.  And I laughed for a good 3 minutes straight. 

I swear.  This kid's a comedian.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Childproofed Christmas

This is our 4th Christmas season with children in the house.  And yes, this is the first Christmas I've actually had to modify the decorations. 

In 2008, G was a mere 10 months old, and only crawling, so it wasn't hard to keep him out of trouble:

When Christmas 2009 rolled around, we were the proud parents of a rather obedient 22 month old, who knew "no" and was happy to play to touch the ornaments with "ONE finger!"

2011 brought a 6 month old cute, non-mobile Hudson and an almost 3 year old.  No modifications needed.
Look at those cheeks!!!

Which brings us to 2012...

                                          ... and these crazies cuties.

Garrett, of course, at almost 4 can follow directions and knows not to pull Rhode Island over on himself.  Hudson on the other hand?  Not so much.  He undecorates the bottom 2 feet of the tree multiple times a day...and by "undecorate" I mean "grabs hold of an ornament and yanks as hard as possible until it comes off".  It's a lovely game. 
So, needless to say, there are minimal decorations out this year.  Except, for one love-ly area.  My mantle.  {cue Hallelujah Chorus and a drum roll here} ...

It's taken a few weeks to complete {and by "complete" I mean I'll be digging our stockings out of a box soon!} but I absolutely love it!
The "trees" {cones} are our Advent Calendar this year.  I like cute, but not cutesy, so when I saw this idea {somewhere!!} I knew I had to do it.  The only problem being once I had purchased the scrapbook paper, got home and put all boys in bed, I couldn't find the tutorial {with patterns} A.N.Y.W.H.E.R.E. on the great world wide web.  Urgh.  So, I winged it. {And other than the circles on the bottom of the cones not fitting perfectly, I really do love it!}  And the best part?  It's out of reach to all humans under 5'10"!  Yay!

 I love how the wreath turned out.  Especially the E!  And the cute little trees in the little urns?  Yeah, they were an impulse-ish buy at Michael's.  But for $7.49 each, how was I supposed to say no??!  {they were originally $19.99, thankyouverymuch!}


 Complete with the fire burning, taken tonight.  Once the stockings are located hung, we'll be in business!

I'm linking up to these Linky parties:
Alamode's Mantelscapes
Christmas Cheer
Tip Junkie handmade projects