Thursday, December 24, 2009

The unfairness of my birthday (for my siblings)

To my parents credit I have always loved when I was born, I never felt slighted at all. I thought it was very exciting that my birthday coincided with the day Santa happened to pop down our chimney and leave loads of presents under the Christmas tree. It was one of the reasons it took me so long NOT to believe in Santa Claus, I really feared it would ruin the birthday magic.

However, for my siblings the date of my birth was very inconvenient, at best. Just when the anticipation of Christmas was nearly too much there was one major hurdle for all my siblings to overcome: watching me open MY presents when they had so many under the tree. To irritate me they only referred to Christmas Eve as Christmas Eve, never mentioning my birthday. They also managed to convince our parents that they should get to open, at least, one present. This charge was led by my older sister, who by Christmas Eve knew all of her presents because she had unwrapped and re-wrapped them all, so she headed to the best present. She still can't stand to be surprised on Christmas and her husband has to go to great lengths so that she is surprised. One of my younger brothers', Tim was just grumpy, so anything he could do to irritate me on my birthday was fun for him. (Ya know, how a younger brother is supposed to act) and Andrew my youngest brother would go along with the majority, which never happened to play out in my favor, I might add. When everyone else was celebrating exciting things having to do with Christmas Eve, my siblings were forced to sing Happy Birthday and spend many Christmas Eve dinners at the only restaurants open: Chinese restaurants, Thai Restaurants and Indian restaurants. Is it a coincidence that these happen to be some of my favorite international cuisines? In our house, tradition states that the birthday kid gets to pick the restaurant, and needless to say my options were limited.

I apologize for unfairly getting more presents due to the timing of my birth and therefore having new toys to play with a whole twelve hours before you guys! I apologize for having an extra stocking that the hospital bundled me up in due to the timing of my birth. Sorry that I made my entrance into the world nine days late, and not listening when Mom told me that I was to "stay put" until after Christmas. And...I apologize for enjoying all the teasing that I put you guys through because I gleefully got to open presents, and eat my cake, and not let you guys open any presents (except for pajamas), and I made you guys wait to truly enjoy Christmas until my birthday was over...on Christmas day. And sorry for tattling on you guys to mom and dad when you referred to Christmas Eve as "Christmas Eve" instead of my birthday. I also apologize for threatening to write "Happy Birthday" on your Christmas present if you even thought of doubling up my present as a Birthday/Christmas present. I wanted TWO presents, thank you very much! So, thanks for putting up with me, your Christmas eve sibling or as they refer to me in German a "Christkind" ("Christ child" that definitely would have inflated my ego!)

So, to Tracy, Tim and Andrew- I love you guys with my heart and soul. You are free to celebrate Christmas Eve as you so choose this year! Tracy, you can open the biggest, bestest present (which won't surprise you in the least), Tim, please refer to the day as "Christmas Eve" ALL DAY LONG and Andrew...follow in Tracy and Tim's lead and do a little of both. I wish I was there to remind you all that it was MY birthday and not Christmas yet. Miss you and love you!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


He loves his books. He loves being surrounded by his books. He loves stacking them. He loves organizing them in the bookshelf. Do we have a future reader on our hands? I hope so!!

Jameson cannot wait for Kevin to wake up in the mornings, so most days he runs into our room with a book in hand requesting Kevin to read it. I just love this pic of my boys. Doesn't Kevin look a wee bit sleepy?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our future graffiti artist

You might have to click on the picture to appreciate this masterpiece that greeted me when I woke up yesterday morning, but I was happy the medium of art he chose to create this beautiful picture was in pencil. Contrary to my belief, pencil was not much easier to remove then, say, pen, especially on the slick paint. Crayons would have been an even better medium for him to use when graffiti-ing my door. After much scrubbing with a washcloth, so as not to remove the paint Jameson (and I) got it pretty well clean. Too bad the cleaning part was a lot of fun to him. Hopefully we won't have a repeat of this in the near future as he knows he is ONLY supposed to color on paper. However, the temptation is great, as it is to all children, for him to see how it looks on walls, tables, doors, you name it. How can I manage to foster his creative streak without allowing him to color all over my house?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

O Tannenbaum

Kevin suggested last week that we get a Christmas tree and I was really surprised, but excited, considering both of us can be a bit scrooge-y we must be missing our families. I even purchased a classic Christmas album from iTunes. I was about two seconds from getting the Amy Grant complete Christmas Collection. Oh, how I love Amy Grant's Christmas songs! Jameson has been dancing to those old classic voices, and I love having the songs playing in the background. Jameson is quite the gentleman when it comes to dancing. If I am sitting on the sofa watching him he comes over extends his hand for me to dance with him. I kneel down and he "slow dances" with me, swaying as only a man can. Love it. His favorite song to slow dance to is Silver Bells.

We got our Christmas tree on Tuesday and it sat on our coffee table since then. We did manage to take the netting off it, but we were quite lazy about decorating it. We finally put the lights up yesterday and after purchasing a couple strand of beads we added the ornaments today. Although I think we actually need garland, because the tree is so fat the beads get lost. I like our little Christmas tree. It is VERY round! It definitely looks rounder here then it did on the street corner! I have to admit it feels a lot more like Christmas around our place now, especially with the snow falling all day long! We have had our fair-share of hot chocolate (Jameo's favorite)and eggnog coffee (Kevin's and my favorite, especially sprinkled with nutmeg) today.

Only a half-smile for me today

Jameson definitely thinks it is very cool having this tree sitting on our table. This afternoon I walked into the family room and saw him "singing" to the lights on the tree. He was holding one in his hand, just singing away. It was too cute. Although I did remark to Kevin, this is the kind of stuff I did as a kid. I was such a space-y kid, always in my own world making up songs, and having conversations with non-existent characters just to hear the sound of my voice in many different accents.
Not very happy, probably because we told him a million times NOT to touch the Christmas tree!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cinnamon Spice Ornaments

Since having Jameson I have been excited to start traditions in our family that will carry him throughout his life. He is finally old enough where he is noticing the lights, the goodies, all the toys in the stores, and he enjoys helping me "cook." I found a project that look easy enough that even we could do it: Cinnamon Spice Ornaments. Simple! 1 cup ground cinnamon, 3/4 cup applesauce, mix until a dough consistency forms, roll out, use your cookie-cutters to make shapes, bake at 150 F for a couple hours until dry.

Simple enough. My first sign that this was not going to go as planned should have been when I was unable to find cookie cutters. What!?! They have tiny linzer cookie presses, but no cookie cutters. Fine, we will free-form them. It will be art.

We had a great time! Jameson loved mixing the dough, adding the cinnamon, rolling it out and patting it down. I formed hearts, Christmas trees, kind of sad looking stars, a candy cane, a wreath, an ornament and then I got the genius idea to trace his hand and cut that out. A keepsake from Christmas 2009 that smells yummy. I had visions of Jameson measuring his hand against it for years to come, just like I used to do each year when our handmade ornaments came out of the box.

I baked them, and the house smelled like a cinnamon stick! While we baked them we headed down to the Christkindlmarkt at Schoenbrunn Palace for an hour. Whew! It was FREEZING cold, but we got hot chocolate to warm us up. Jameson got to run around with the big Christmas tree lighting his way, and I got to look at all the Christmas decorations.

When we got home I took out the ornaments only to realize that the majority of our ornaments were much too thin and broke while I tried to pick them up. Bummer! I managed to save a few and strung them with yarn. I was most happy about the hand, it came out perfectly. With his initials JDA and 2009 engraved in the palm. Happy sigh.

Cut to this morning. It had all the makings of a beautiful winter day. Big snowflakes were falling outside while we ate breakfast. I had plans to make some eggnog and sugar cookies so we could PROPERLY decorate our Christmas tree tonight. While getting out my eggnog making supplies: Eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg...don't all good eats begin with these things? Jameson kept opening our freezer door. It is just his height and has a weak seal, so he loves opening it and just standing there. (I see him as a teenager standing in front of the fridge in my mind's eye.) As I was moving the cookie sheet of our cinnamon spice ornaments out to the family room to finish their drying I tried to close the door with my other hand while telling Jameson not to open it again. Yes, even at the moment I knew I was attempting one too many things with my "steel-willed child." He braced himself against the door pushing back on me, and I tripped and the cookie sheet went flying. My precious baby's hand hit the floor first. Is it bad to admit that I yanked Jameson out of the freezer and closed the door and told him too loudly not to open it again? While mourning over his cinnamon spice hand, I forgot his chubby little REAL hands are much more precious, especially since he was patting my back as I was picking up the pieces. His hand is either giving me "the bird" or telling me to "hang loose." I think I prefer the "hang loose" version, especially since we have a few changes on the horizon that are stressing our family out a little.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Omi!!!

I know its not a recent one, but its one of my favorites, and YOU look the same!! (Definitely not a year and a half older!) We love you!!

Happy birthday Momma! We love you! Wish we were there to help you celebrate!! Just think, this time next year we will be in the Alps celebrating those big "0" numbers. I hope you have a great day!!! We miss you!!

A video of Jameson "making" a cake for you! I thought I might be able to get "itsy-bitsy-spider out of him too, but no such luck!

Love you lots,

Jameson, Aimee (and Kevin too!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Successfully sleeping (at the moment)

It feels really weird not to be blogging today, hence the reason I am sitting here writing this blog. All evening, I have been itching to blog, not for any particular reason, and I kept reminding myself that I didn't need to blog.

Today we had a very successful "sleep" day. I set my alarm for 7:15 am, snoozed it until 7:30 when I woke Jameson up or rather Kevin's presence did, have I mentioned how much Jameson loves his dad? He went down for a nap at 11:45 am and slept until 1:15. This evening he went down about 8:00pm. Its almost midnight and he has yet to walk out and greet me. Crossing my fingers. One day down, hopefully one night will soon be over.

Wishing everyone a happy and stress-free December!!