Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Perfect Post . . . Missing In Action

A few nights ago, while lying in bed, unable to sleep at around 2:00 in the morning, I had a post about my struggles with depression this past year all figured out.  I had it all planned, word for word, in my head.  I could even visualize it, typed and published.

This is not an easy subject for me to write about.  I have been wanting to write about it.  I think it would help me to write about it.  However, every time I try, the words won't come.  But this time, it all just came to me when sleep wouldn't.

I almost got out of bed to write it down or type it out so that I would remember the perfect analogies that I had formed in my head.  But I didn't.  And now, as I try again to actually write a post, all my thoughts and feelings are a jumbled mess bouncing around in my brain.

Imagine a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle, dumped on the floor that was already strewn with hot wheels cars, train track pieces and a dozen different types of blocks and you've got my living room a good analogy of what is going on in my brain.  The puzzle pieces are the the bits of this perfect post, mixed in with everything else that lives in my head.

Some of the pieces will be easy to find and fit back together.

Others will jump out at me but no matter how hard I try, I won't be able to make fit with the rest.

Some will resurface, days, weeks maybe even months from now and will become the beginnings of new posts as depression is a struggle that will always be a part of me.

And still others will be lost forever.

I feel that it is time to write about my struggles.  

Time to write about my feelings.

Time to write about how I hope to move forward.

Today is not the day.  I need to find and piece together at least some small corner of the jigsaw puzzle in my brain.  But soon, very soon I will be back with a post about how, in 2012 I am going to figure out how to control my depression and not let it control me like it did in 2011.

Christmas in Photos

I couldn't help but do one more post of Christmas photos!  I love taking photos and can never find enough places and ways to share them!

Christmas And A Birthday - December 25, 2011
Our new Christmas Eve tradition, baking and decorating sugar cookies for Santa!

"I told Santa I wanted a train set . . . and he brought me one!"

"What did you get Daddy?"

After the gifts were opened, Liam played with EVERYTHING he got!!  He was a happy boy!

A Christmas Day Birthday Boy means birthday cake for Christmas dinner!

Blowing out the candles!

Showing off his goofy smile and his daycare birthday crown.

"No, I'm not tired.  I want to stay up and play, really, I'm good!"

Christmas Part 2 At Grandpa J and Grandma L's House - 
December 27, 2011

Liam and Grandpa J.  Liam sat at the table with his Great Grandparents and ate lunch like such a little man.  Made mommy very proud!

Playing air hockey with cousin Denver.

Playing air hockey with Aunty Danny.

Aunty Danny and her boys, Denver and Liam.

"More presents!!  Awesome!"

"Thanks Aunty Teanna and Denver, now I can be a rock star!!"

"Is this a reindeer?"

Hanging out with Uncle Matt.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day, Hourly Photo Style

Andrea, over at A Peek Inside The Fish Bowl posts a Challenge on special occasions such as Christmas and Thanksgiving where the day is documented with a photo taken every hour on the hour. Participants are encouraged to tweet or blog their photos through the day.

This is the second time I have participated in the Hourly Photo Challenge. At Thanksgiving, I used Instagram to tweet my photos. Yesterday, I did the same but have decided to post my photos here as well.
8:00am. Ripping paper.

9:00am.  My new coat.

10:00am.  Making stuffing.

11:00.  Playing with new play dough on a new table.

12:00pm.  Turkey, ready to go in the oven.

1:00pm.  Birthday Cake decorating time.

2:00pm.  Still decorating Birthday Cake.

2:15pm.  FInished Birthday Cake!

3:00pm.  Taking advantage of early Boxing Day Sales to order computer parts.

4:00pm. Grandma and Aunties are here with more presents.

5:00pm.  Please can I have some turkey?

5:00pm.  Darn, I forgot to make the cranberries.

6:00pm. Happy Birthday Liam!

7:00pm.  The aftermath.

8:00pm.  Trying to convince Mommy that he's not tired.

9:00pm.  Mulled cranberry and amaretto and then bedtime for the grown ups!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

For the past month or so, Liam has been obsessed with Christmas.  He is constantly talking about decorations, Santa and presents.  We've been doing everything we can to satisfy his need for all things Christmas.  We've been to see Santa, we've written to Santa, we've been to Christmas parties where he got a gift from Santa, we've done Christmas baking, we've decorated and we've watched Christmas specials on TV.

Over the past week, since first watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on TV, Rudolph has been at the forefront of his obsession.  He sings Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer at every opportunity, from the time he gets up in the morning to the time he goes to bed at night.  (I think he's even fallen asleep singing it a couple of times.  He is singing it in his bed as I type!)

On the weekend, he announced, "Mommy, I want to be Rudolph for Christmas."

When his Daddy told him to get a tissue because he had a runny nose, Liam replied, "I don't want a runny nose.  I want a red shiny nose."

And on the way to work and daycare this morning, he sang Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer to me and then said, "When I grow up, I want to be Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer."

I think a trip to the dollar store for some reindeer antlers is in order!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chocolate Surprise

Ever wondered what you would get if you combined chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and rippled potato chips?  No?  Me either, but somebody did!  

And since discovering the recipe a few years ago from a co-worker (thanks Elan!)  It has been top of my list for Christmas baking and pretty much any event where I have to bring something sweet!  Not only are they delicious little candy goodness but they are super easy!  So easy that Liam and Daddy can make them!  (Henry is a great cook, but not much of a baker!)

First you melt a package (300 grams or 2 cups) of chocolate chips and a package (300 grams or 2 cups) of butterscotch chips in a double boiler.  (I've been told you can also do this in the microwave, but have never tried that method.)

While that's melting, throw some ruffles potato chips in a ziplock bag (fill a large ziplock about 1/3 full) and give it to your little help to crush.  You need to end up with about 2 cups of crushed potato chips.  You don't want them crushed to dust, but you do want them fairly small.

When the chocolate and butterscotch is all melted, stir in the potato chips.  Spoon mixture onto wax paper covered cookie sheets.  Put in the fridge to set.

After about 20 minutes, they will be firm enough to remove from the tray.  Try one, they are scrumptious!  

I haven't met a person who hasn't said thought this is a strange recipe, but I also haven't met a person who doesn't love them once they try them!

They are so quick and easy to make that they are perfect to package up as gifts or to make for a cookie exchange.  (We made 15 dozen yesterday for Henry's work cookie exchange!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

We jumped into the Christmas season with a bang last weekend.

First night we attended a community Christmas event called Christmas in the Gower.  It is a great night for socializing, enjoying homemade cookies, music and of course, Santa!  I've been attending this even for years as the North Gower Brownies, Girl Guides and Pathfinders always sing a couple of songs to entertain the crowd.  But what I now realize is that this is the perfect place to visit Santa.  He arrives on a fire truck, you don't have to go to an insanely busy mall and standing in line for hours.  Liam told Santa that he wants a train set and tools for Christmas and we even got a couple of nice pictures!

Saturday night we all sat down together on the couch to write Liam's letter to Santa.  Although he doesn't quite get the concept of writing to Santa, he did enjoy talking about what he wants for Christmas (a train set, tools and a big Bumblebee Transformer).  Daddy and I did most of the composing of the letter, but adding stickers was exciting for Liam!

Sunday was Henry's work's Christmas Party for the kids.  It was held at a bowling alley.  Liam's new favourite thing to do - bowling!  He didn't care if he hit any pins as long as he could keep rolling balls down the alley!  We had to fight to get a turn!

After bowling was lunch and a visit from . . . you guessed it, the big guy himself, Santa Claus, and he had gifts!  Apparently bowling makes little boys VERY hungry because our Christmas obsessed Liam had little to no interest in Mr. Claus or the other kids with their wrapping paper and gifts . . . lunch was much more important at that moment!  When his name was called, he was shocked to get a present!  He got right to work on the wrapping paper and was thrilled to find the big Bumblebee Transformer that he wanted.  (We had to provide the gift.)

Sunday evening, we gave into Liam's pleas for a Christmas tree!  (He'd only been asking for three weeks!)  He could hardly contain his excitement as we assembled the tree and put on the lights!

Then, I couldn't put hooks on the ornaments fast enough for him!  The tree has never been decorated so quickly, but it has also rarely been this fun.  When he couldn't get a hook on a branch, he hung it on another decoration.  When we suggested that certain decorations should go up higher he showed us where to put it.  Now, every morning when we get up and every day when we get home he turns on "his tree" for us all to enjoy.

I love that we are starting to build these family traditions together.  I love that at almost 3 years old, Liam actually gets it this year.  He is so excited for Christmas and it won't get here fast enough for him.