small things

December 10, 2010 |  Category:   family holidays life

14 more days. We’re chugging along, putting our heads down and working quickly. I put together 50 gift boxes in 3 hours last night, which might be a record. I’ve said this before, but when you’re faced with repetitive, tedious tasks such these, it helps to challenge yourself and see just how fast you can do things. I can now wrap 120 brownies in 40 minutes – that’s less than a minute per brownie. I think Mark’s personal record stands at 2100 cookies baked in 6 hours. Mind games. Whatever gets you through, right?

Claudine is done with school for the semester already and is home as of today for Christmas break. Things just got more intense. Sometimes I feel guilty that we can’t do more holiday activities with the kids so we just try to do small things like string up twinkle lights in the living room. I hope hope hope we have time to get a tree this weekend. Last year our neighbor was kind enough to get a tree for us when he went tree shopping. We *have* to get a tree, but Mark’s been leaving the house at 6am to get to the kitchen, coming home in the afternoon and working till 1:30am every day this week. My hours are only slightly better so I’ve been on school drop off and pickup duty and it’s been COLD, people, cold. Winter just came and kicked us in the ass.

But you want to hear something really special? Mark’s sister put together this amazing advent calendar care package with all these amazing little wrapped gifts for the girls to open each day. Thanks Lara for making December a little more brighter for the kids.

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  • THE SHEEP IN A BOX December 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Advent calendars are the BEST. I remember those, the fun and excitement each day. I think there was one year I couldn’t wait any more and I opened all of them.
    Special little things make the holidays AMAZING for the kids 🙂

  • Lakshmi December 10, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Lara is a lovely aunt to have… 🙂

  • Justine December 10, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks to advent calendars, I actually know what the date is all thru December! Truly a miracle.

    Can’t believe Claudine is ALREADY off from school. Argh! (My kids go right until Dec 23rd!)

    Since I can’t be there to help you get a tree, here’s a holiday activity that occupies the kids while you work, but also gets them in the holiday spirit. It’s obvious but: stringing cranberries. Heretofore, I would never dream of equipping my kids with a needle. But then I went to Concord, MA, this fall where some colonial reenactors were stringing beans. Oliver was immediately intrigued, but I steered him away. Then the colonial lady informed me that stringing beans (is this where they got their name?) was a young child’s chore in colonial America, so I let Oliver try. He loved it. So this year we strung cranberries for the tree. He did it all himself. I was at the table doing something else (probably writing a comment to you!) but it was really hands off. And it’s so cute on the tree!

  • Laura December 11, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Thank goodness for family. Especially the ones that understand!

  • Karen December 11, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Stringing popcorn works too. The trick is to pop it and then let it sit for a day so that it gets stale (and soft.) If you try to string it when it’s fresh, it breaks apart too easily. One year, I had my nieces and nephews cut out pictures of everyone in the family and make ornaments out of them. We hung them all on a small tree – a real “family tree.” It was a real hit and I spent time telling them stories about the people in the photos, including my grandparents, who weren’t alive when my nieces and nephews were born. They all sat at the table while I was working, but I got a ton of things done and the ornaments got made and everyone learned a little bit more about their family. Win-win all around (except that some of the work I turned in the next day had pink glitter sprinkled inside!)

  • Selkie December 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I love the commenter ideas: stringing of cranberries and popcorn, family tree ornaments… You commenters are awesome! Thanks to each and every every one of you, including you big time Jenna, who make each day richer for yourselves and others.

  • Lecia December 12, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Lara rocks! I wish I were closer so your girls could hang with my boys, and I could help you with the boxes. Then it would be fun.

  • adriana December 12, 2010 at 4:07 am

    hello jenna –
    i am worried – it started a few days ago, i am not able to see your wonderful pictures anymore, its like they have never been there. did you change something on your blog, maybe settings etc.? i am helpless and i would be grateful if you could shed some light on this.
    thanks so much!
    warm wishes from switzerland, -adriana

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