Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Nashes

As predicted our weekend was so chaotic that I didn't get one camera shot in. So instead you'll have to settle for pictures of our nice and quiet Christmas Eve. Just the three of us plus one big baby belly.

A new piano for daddy was quite an unexpected surprise!

And one for William too! Here he is teaching Cookie Monster how to play. I love that last year's gift (Cookie Monster) is still one of his favorites a year later.

Proving that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Classic! A Mr. Potato Head.

I'm really going to miss these years when his favorite gifts are under $5.

Christmas family portrait. Not bad for self-timer.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Where I'll Be

13 adults + 7 kids + 1 house + 5 bedrooms + 4 cribs + 3 bathrooms + 4 days =

Pray for me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Irony of the Christmas Season

Today I spent hours cooking delicious dinners for all the relatives to enjoy this Christmas weekend. A spicy baked macaroni dish with spinach, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella. I've made ahead the batter for the special cranberry and walnut muffins for Christmas morning. Tomorrow I will pick up two pounds of king crab legs from the most expensive grocery store in town. I'll serve that up with some homemade creamed corn with red peppers. I've made six batches of cookies all waiting patiently in my freezer.

Yet, even though I've been to the grocery store no less than six times the past few weeks, the dinner menu tonight includes mac and cheese, a hot dog or two and, if you're lucky, a frozen pizza. For if any fingers should go digging into my hard work they should be prepared to be slapped.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Cookies Take 6: Chocolate Mint Wafers

No time to write. Christmas is just around the corner! If you're better off than me then maybe you'll have time to make these Chocolate Mint Wafers. They taste just like the Girl Scouts' Thin Mints. This is my last batch of cookies. Now I'll be boxing them up and giving them away. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 134

"By this time in your pregnancy, your practitioner may recommend that you reduce your level of exertion at work or even change job duties if your work involves strenuous lifting, bending below your waist, carrying, or climbing ladders or stairs."

Or so said my daily pregnancy journal last night.

"I'll have to talk to my boss," I said to Brian.

"Yeah, but I don't know if William is going to be very accommodating," he replied.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Cookies Take 5: Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs

This is a Christmas cookie classic. I tried a different recipe than my usual this year and I've gotta say, it's not my favorite. On the plus side the dough was very easy to roll out and the cookies are definitely yummy. But on the down side these cookies spread a lot more than your average sugar cookie which means they don't keep their cute shape as well. I was also only able to put six cookies on a sheet at a time otherwise they spread into each other or the sides. This made for a very time consuming process. If I haven't scared you away entirely here's the recipe I used.

The Classic Santa Picture

Our visit to Santa was pretty uneventful. William was neither overly excited nor frightened by his presence. He very matter-of-factly said, "Hi, Santa." He then sat on his lap and was all business.

"Um, toys please. Trucks, please."

Santa said, "Have you been a good boy?"


And that was pretty much it.

But the real story of the night was how well-behaved William was afterward when we went to an upscale adult restaurant for dinner. Brian received a gift certificate to Palomino for his birthday and although our sitter for his birthday dinner isn't lined up until Friday night we decided to give it a shot.

You could see the looks tossed our way by the other patrons as the hostess led us to our table with highchair in hand. I, too, was apprehensive but I came armed with Cherrios. William isn't normally terrible in restaurant settings. He's just two and he's impatient and when he's hungry or bored he lets everyone know about it. But this evening he was quieter than some of the adults in the room.

A few times I didn't think it was my son. Or perhaps it was my son but he was getting sick? At any rate our presence was barely made known which is just how I like it. An older woman even complimented us on our young gentleman as she was getting up to leave.

For at least one night our family felt prim and proper. It was a perfect family birthday dinner for Brian. But I have a feeling I'll still enjoy our toddler-free evening on Friday night a bit more.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What About Brian

Birthdate: Today!

Eyes: William doesn't get those marvelous blue eyes from me.

Hair: A brown curly wonder I'm still praying one of our children will inherit.

His wifey, his baby boy, his baby-in-the-belly, all five of his siblings, his mom, his dad, his high school friends and his college friends (the same for different reasons), the Catholic Church, the Pope, most pro-life/family conservative politicians

Dislikes: Pop culture, bad music, most liberal politicians, Home Depot, being too hot especially in the car

Obsessions: Notre Dame football, Wisconsin football, the Raiders, Donald Duck (the old stuff), Arnold Schwarzenegger, his two guitars (one classical, one acoustic), playing the piano, playing shooting (he calls them strategy, I call them shooting) games on our computer, running, lifting weights, good beer, making the perfect martini/Manhattan, snuggling, wrestling with William

What's to Admire: Brian makes ordinary Catholics want to be great Catholics because he practices his Catholicism with a kind of coolness. You know that gospel reading when Jesus says, "When you pray, go into your room...pray to your Father who is in the secret place"? Brian is the epitome of this. He walks the walk without shouting it on the rooftops. I love that.

What I Love About Him: He would do anything for his family. And I don't just mean myself and William. I mean all of his brothers and sisters and both his parents and all his friends. If they ever called in need, he would be there in a flash without hesitation. I also love that he takes out the garbage and empties the dishwasher for me. Two of my despised tasks.

Why He Should be Celebrated Today: Poor guy. First he has to go and be born just 10 days shy of Christmas. All his life he's been receiving the combo birthday/Christmas gift. Then he grows up, gets married and his first born has the audacity to be born just 24 days before his birthday. Now his birthday is sandwiched between two events with which he can't compete. But I have yet to hear him utter a single complaint.

Today Brian turns 27. For three short months he and I will be the same age. I find it ironic that in March 1981 my mom was giving birth to her first born. At the same time, miles away, Brian's mom was finding out she was pregnant with her fourth baby. Indeed, we come from two separate upbrings yet somehow our paths crossed and we found those separate experiences meshed perfectly.

Happy birthday to you, my hubby! I love you!

Somebody Has to Live Here

If you don't live in Minnesota, please take a moment to Google the high temperature here (anywhere in Minnesota) today and then send some sympathy votes our way.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Battle Wounds

We had a big fall yesterday.

Seventy-five times a day William crawls up onto our kitchen chairs and stands on them backwards to see what's on top of the counter. Seventy-five times a day I have to tell him to get down. Last night his mischief finally got the best of him. The chair fell backward and William came down, slicing his head on the edge of the counter.

Brian proceeded to freak out (do all dads do this?) so I had to calm both him and William down. After the bleeding stopped I noticed that while the cut wasn't extraordinarily large, it was rather deep. Almost grotesquely so. But I skipped the thought of stitches seeing as William had already forgotten about the whole ordeal.

And after Brian's blood pressure returned to normal he thought the cut looked rather cool. Gives him a bit of character. As you can see from the picture below, William was extremely traumatized.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Cookies Take 4: Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps

If you like the taste of combining chocolate and coffee than these are it for you. My favorite part is that they are so easy and come out looking very pretty. See? Mine are just as pretty as Martha's. Well, almost. I mean I don't have a whole food picture-taking department so don't hold that against me.

Christmas Cookies Take 3: Nutmeg Sticks

I'm slightly cheating here because technically I haven't made these cookies yet. But the folks over at Faith & Family Live! are hosting a virtual cookie swap and I've got to get in on the action with these tasty little treats.

It's kind of a family tradition to make these cookies every Christmas so I hope I don't get put into exile for letting out this precious recipe. And if you need more of a reason to try this recipe I should also mention that I once won a Christmas baking contest with these little numbers. Yes, I assure you, they're that good.

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. rum extract
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 tsp. nutmeg
dash salt

3 T. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. rum extract
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
2 T. cream

Mix together dough and roll on log forms about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter. Roll in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Frost when cool. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Braving the Hustle and Bustle

I did it! I braved a trip to Mall of America during December. And you know what? It wasn't so bad.

The stars aligned so I guess I really had no choice. We had dental appointments yesterday morning which kept Brian working from home in the afternoon. Thus, I had a watcher of my napping toddler.

I complained and whined about going out until the moment I left. But I held a carrot out in front my myself promising to treat me to a cup of Christmas Caribou cheer. I also felt more confident about the whole trip knowing I wouldn't have to lug a certain 30-pounder with me.

The universe must have sensed my apprehension because something amazing happened. Every stoplight turned green as approached it, every car stayed out of the lane I wanted to be in and there was even a wide-open parking spot waiting for me right in front of the Nordstrom's skyway.

Once inside the stores were even more delightful. It felt no different than a Wednesday afternoon during any other month of the year.

But I have to admit. I did feel slightly guilty in my crowdless delight when I thought of those store merchants struggling in this recessing economy.

But the guilt flew out of the window once I saw the ginormous deals at Nordstrom Rack. Seriously. There was about a 30-second period when I hated that I was pregnant because they had designer jeans at unheard of prices. But I just directed that "woe is me" energy into finding a perfect pair for Brian and then I felt a tad better.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Cookie Monster is so vain he even wears his own head on his slippers.

Christmas Cookies Take 2: Buckeyes

Brian requested something with chocolate and peanut butter so my mother-in-law suggested Buckeyes. I made them for the first time today and they were a tad tedious with all the dough-rolling and chocolate-dipping. But on the plus side there's no baking. Here's the recipe I used and here's a picture of them in the freezer bag. The recipe site has a pretty good picture too.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Cookies Take 1: Red & Green Monster Cookies

This year I'm determined to go all out on the holiday baking. I love to bake so this isn't a huge challenge for me. But in year's past all the other holiday to-dos seem to get priority and then suddenly it's December 20th and I haven't baked a single cookie. Not this year!

In honor of Our Blessed Mother's Immaculate Conception I decided to do something matronly and start my baking early. I figure if I average two or three batches a week I'll have a nice assortment for gift tins by the time the 24th rolls around.

In addition I'll be sharing each of my recipes right here if any of my readers dare to give them a try. My first batch is an oldie but goodie. Monster cookies! What's that you say? Monster cookies aren't Christmasy? Well they are when you use those handy red and green holiday M&Ms!

And because no recipe is complete without a picture, here's my first sheet. See? Christmasy!

Decking our Halls

Once again this year Brian and I decided to go against our natural ways and be DIYers. We cut down our own tree. And once again it worked out just fine. The tree was sliding a bit on the roof of our car as we drove down the road but we just held on tight to the twine and we all got home in tact, tree included.

Don't the mismatched snowpants bring back childhood memories? Just grab whatever you can find and make it work. His new snowpants are on their way but didn't make it in time for our tree trip.

The sled was a great addition this year especially since we've been blessed with plenty of snow.

Here it is! Can't you see the heavenly glow surrounding it? I think I hear angels singing.

I love these pictures!

Do you notice the gathered neckline on his turtleneck? Yep, I accidentally picked up this little number in the girls department without realizing it. Just don't tell anyone. It'll just have to be an at-home outfit now.

Crossing his fingers!

Trying to get the lights juuuuust right.

He found the pickle! Have you heard of this German tradition?

Taking a Peek at our Bun

As I may have mentioned before, Brian and I do not find out the gender of our babies prior to their birth. So what say you? Is this a boy profile or a girl profile? See! It's so much more fun this way. I'll let you in on my gut after I hear a few guesses.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

This is the new state of our living room post birthday. Is there anything left for Santa's list?

Baby Belly Bump Watch: 19 Weeks


Please help set the record straight for my husband. Tell me that I'm not the only one who thought pirates were only characters in fictitious books and action movies.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What I'm Lovin' This Christmas Season

  • Christmas music. Now that it's officially past Thanksgiving I don't have to feel guilty about listening to it. Brian and I try to add one new Christmas CD to our collection every year. This year Harry Connick Jr. won out because he was on sale at Target. Tony Bennett and Josh Groban took a close second. What do you think? Did I make a mistake? I still have the receipt.

  • Watching all the old Christmas TV movies with William who is actually interested this year. So far we've only watched The Grinch. William thinks the Grinch is Sam-I-Am. At least he knows a Dr. Suess when he sees one. I've also got the DVR set up to record Rudolph, Frosty and the old Mickey Mouse A Christmas Carol. Oh, and I can't forget my personal favorite, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

  • Getting my Caribou coffee in those holiday cups. Doesn't the coffee just taste better in those cheery green and red twinkling cups? You know it does. I suppose I could have added one more item to "What I'm Thankful for this Thanksgiving." And that would be that my morning sickness didn't coincide with those cute little coffee cups. Can you imagine not wanting a hot cup of a peppermint mocha latte during Christmas? It would have been a travesty.

  • All the seasonal scents of Yankee candles. In case you haven't heard, Yankee candles are the best candles ever. Just remember this when you get wide-eyed at the price tag. But I'm telling you. If you're in need of a candle that lasts until the last wax has melted and one which keeps on fragranting your whole house with Pumpkin Spice goodness (that's the one I got) than this is the candle for you. If you're not quite ready to commit your check book to a Yankee try the Glade candle in Apple Cinnamon. Smells just as good, just doesn't last as long.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © Mama Nash | Custom Blog Design by Lilipop Designs