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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Cookie, the Elf - the Sequel

I had a feeling about writing "the Elf 2", so here goes:

The other day Colin asked whether I remembered why we called our Elf Cookie

Me: Ahem, nooo?

Colin: Because we played Make Cookies for Santa on your computer last year!!

OMG, he is right! They let you choose a cookie, frosting, decoration and icing - when you are done, the cookie goes into a box which gets a stamp: to Santa

They even let you print out your piece of baking art. It's really neat, go ahead and try it! I especially love the confetti sprinkles! 

Then Colin had the sweetest idea: why not ask the Elf to take the cookies to Santa over night? After all she's flying up there anyway?

No sooner said than done: he put the cookies in front of the Elf before he went to sleep.

The next morning the cookies were gone, and Cookie, the Elf, brought a note that said "Santa loved your cookies! Many thanks, Colin!"

On the morning of the 24th Colin got up early as usual looking for the Elf. I was half asleep and heard how he started opening and closing drawers and cabinet doors. After rummaging for a while he came back to the bedroom and whispered "Mommy, Cookie is gone! Wasn't she supposed to stay for another night? She didn't even say goodbye?"

What a joy to eventually find her sitting in the sled - next to two Disney cars! After ripping the packaging open and racing the cars around I said "poor Cookie, she is all alone in her sled now!" What did Colin do? Decided she may be hungry and put some - actually our only - Christmas cookies in for her.

Wait a minute: did I teach him that? Are you lonely, stuff your face???

One day - maybe sooner than I would like to think - he will hate when I tell him how sweet he was being to our Elf. For now I am enjoying how much he is into it!

Let's see the places he found his Elf in the mornings:

Sitting in number 6 of our measuring "tape" countdown. 

Here's five a day for you!

Playing with Planes

Important meeting with red M&M and Playmobil Santa

Who did Cookie call on the 13th..?
We never found out. 

Hiding out in mommy's bathroom cabinet

Slurping Colin's strawberry shake
He wasn't overly amused about that one
because he (thought he) knew that it was
the last one from the fridge ;-)

Don't forget to brush your teeth!
Scrabbling away
Hugging the friendly gingerbread man

Hockey Elf
Gone fishing
Cookie brought a Christmas tree!

Thank you - blowing a kiss 

The Elf thought she had the last word

But then Colin told her she could take one of his
stuffed animals to the North Pole

With our goodbye picture 2013 we let her go back to North Pole and look forward to welcoming her next year! With my declining memory I am glad I took pictures, so she won't land on the same spots in 2014 again. I might forget, but Colin won't!

PS: Remember how I said I didn't have a cute little bench for the arriving Elf to sit on? Just found this tutorial on how to make a chair.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tagged and Jingled

December 23. 

Regular people are doing last minute shopping, cleaning their house, wrapping gifts, baking cookies or attending a holiday party.

Bloggers are getting tagged and jingled. Karen at Baking in a Tornado thought I might be bored on the night before Christmas and sent a couple of questions my way.

Here goes, I've got to answer 10 questions:

What do you love the most about Christmas time? 
These past days I have struggled to get (back) into the Christmas spirit. 
I guess it's that at least once a year people actively care about others. Toy rides, angel trees, soup kitchens, visit a senior. 

Otherwise - unfortunately it hardly ever happens - I love snow at Christmas time.

Do you celebrate the holiday in style or is it a Bah-Humbug for you?
Even though "Humbug" is a word within the German vocabulary I had to look up this expression. So Christmas and New Year's Eve are definitely celebrated in style at our house. Decoration, nice dinner, music, wine, champagne, gifts, the whole nine yards!

Are you anything leaving out for Santa this year so he remembers to leave your presents?
No. In Switzerland Santa and his donkey visits on Dec 6 - also our chimney might be too narrow for old Saint Nick. 
Anyway, I have been such a good girl all year long, I am sure he will not forget about me ;-)

What is the one gift you are most looking forward to giving?
Ice hockey table game for Colin

What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie?
When Harry met Sally - touches my heart every time. And I have seen it countless times!
Followed by the Coca-Cola truck commercials. Don't laugh! I get goosebumps!

What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?
I can't limit myself to just one. There are so many that I totally like:
  • John Lennon: happy Christmas (the war is over)
  • WHAM! last Christmas
  • Chris de Burgh: the bells of Christmas
  • Mariah Carey: all I want for Christmas is you
  • Frank Sinatra: let is snow, let it snow, let it snow
  • Chris Rea: driving home for Christmas
Oh, and jingle bells rock. And winter wonderland, and, and, ...

If given the opportunity would you participate in a "ugly sweater" party and what sweater would you wear?
I would love to, and you could bet I would blog about it - but it would require for me to go on a shopping spree in the U.S. first! Really! Switzerland = quaint, humorless country = no reindeer or snowman sweaters.  Maybe some British folks could help me out, though:

Have you started any Christmas traditions this year that you plan on carrying forward?
Last year Cookie, the Elf, started paying us daily visits. As long as Colin really loves her, we will continue. Also a couple of years ago I started doing advent calendars not only for us but for people who are too grown-up or too busy to have one. This year I found out that Karen - my tagger and jingler from above - grew up in a Jewish home without ever having one. Well, this year she had one all right!

It's Christmas morning - what does it look like outside where you live?
Best case scenario, however, realistically it'll be another green Christmas:

Update: This is what it looked like on Dec 24 at 8am

You just found yourself standing under a mistletoe - who comes up to give you a first kiss?
Probably Cookie, the Elf. Although I wouldn't mind it it were George with a hot espresso - don't you EVER tell my Starbucks friends!!


Now on to the Jingle Game

What's the assignment here? 

Pick five favorite bloggers and say two nice things about them - followed by four things about me (not sure if they need to be nice?) 

PS: It's not that I can't count to five. I just think six is a sexier number. Plus I am not sure Chef John remembers me. Although I have been watchings his videos a lot!

Lorinda aka the Rowdy Baker
We have met over maple leaf cookies, Mapleine and Swiss chocolate and have been in touch and having fun ever since. I just NEED to tag you because I know you have an impressive Christmas sweater collection you  can show off here. I think they are all cute!

Beth who says Writer B is me is not only a mommy to real kids but a naughty Elf called Tommy who is after our Cookie. We may soon be meeting to discuss custody of those emerging little Elf babies. Thank you for your big heart - and for offering ledge counseling. 

Eli aka Coach Daddy has become my daily dose of bubbles - where were you today, by the way? I am in training to learn cutting down sentences to six words. Thank you for a whole new experience - and for putting down your newspaper!

Tanya who is Comic Strip Mama is incorporating a new Christmas tradition this year - of some sort :-) Can't wait to read al about it! Your positive attitude makes you my hero. Good luck to loverman and yourself!

Stephanie at Crazy meets Exhaustion has a son who wants his own iPad - just like mine. I can always relate to your Facebook posts. Just not sure who of us is crazier / more exhausted?

Chef John from Foodwishes-dot-com showed me how to make "broken spaghetti risotto" - yes, that is a meal, and a yummy one at that! Also you make me laugh by saying stuff like  "don't make me do a video on cheese grinding". 

Before I get to jingle them, here's the four things I like about myself. OK, that wasn't so hard now:

  • I go the extra mile, I make things happen, and I won't rest until everybody is happy. 
  • I am a networker. I accept my limits - but I always know someone somewhere who is a genius and willing to help.
  • My imagination and creativeness give me new ideas every day. Now if only the days had more hours to bring them all to live!

Thanks for playing along!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sick days of Christmas

I think I have never been sick before Christmas - only during official time off. 

But there's a first time for everything, right?  And it happened now. Started to shiver on Monday night - but then again I was sitting next to the mall's ice rink. Bet let's start at the beginning.

It began all quite OK. Those who read about my crazy day will understand that this week we had to give the mall's kids place another go. 

After the charity meeting from hell in the morning, I had snacks for the car ready, and as soon as he returned home from Kindergarten, off we went, and with Colin's passport at hand, we marched right back in -  Bingo!

Time to get some lunch. Yes, I had food ready for Colin, but not for me.

Thai red curry chicken

I was pretty sure the guy in the black hoodie you can (or can't) see was Micki Dupont. Successful Canadian hockey defense player and probably sexiest of the Swiss league, too. My day was improving! He was having lunch with a younger and an elderly woman, probably his girlfriend and her mother? I was considering getting Colin out of the kids' place because he would LOVE to meet him again. He uses to approach the players, high-five them and comment on a recent goal they scored (or foul they committed. Yes, it really happened!!)

But then I decided I didn't want to interrupt anybody and moved on to Starbucks. Last week I had been too upset to go there.

Hello Christmas Log Cake!
Got out my notebook and ranted about the meeting and the chief gotten out of control to my friend.  Everything that has been going on within our charity board lately would make for an entertaining - soap opera worthy, even - blog post, but I feel I have to protect their privacy.

Picked up Colin and went to the toy store when hubby texted if we were still at the mall. He was on his way back from a client's nearby, and it didn't take long and he joined us. In the meantime a splitting headache had hit me, and I was grateful for the opportunity to go to the bathroom without my notebook case and handbag and without squeezing into a tiny cubicle with the little guy.

They decided to rent skates and race each other back and forth on the rink. It was great to see them spending some quality time. At some point they got hungry, and we went to an Italian place where I got my glass of wine I had been craving. By now I was feeling pretty crappy, and not even the yummiest pasta made it better.

Still I loved the surprise Monday night.

By 9pm I crawled into bed. Wait, I almost forgot to move the Elf. There. Done. 

The night was bad. My headache got worse, I felt cold, then burning up. When my husband came to bed, I told him I kept seeing things - wine stains. "Anything I can do for you? Tea? Meds?" No, just shoot me.

Two nights and two days just about blended into one blurry period of time during which I didn't do much more than sleeping and organizing pick ups and rides to and from birthday parties, daycare and hockey training. One of the Kindergarten teachers got sick as well, and I needed to find something for Colin to do on that morning. 

Thank God for text messages and my mom. And hubby. I only got up to go to the bathroom, so he had to take over the whole morning routine to get Colin ready including preparing the lunch box. At night he even had to move the fairy. 

When Colin came home in the evening I heard how he asked his Dad about how I was doing and if I had any food cause he didn't want me to die. 

"She is still not feeling very well, and I am not sure if she ate today, but she is not going to die." 

Turned out that he was a bit worried about me not being hungry - can't blame the guy, usually I am always hungry - and he brought me those dolphin cookies:

The other night he had asked about Jesus. Specifically he wanted to know what he died from. Hubs and I didn't agree. I said exsanguination, he said dehydration and starvation. Oh-oh, so Colin wanted to make sure I kept eating!!! Now that was sweet!

On day 3 the fever was gone, and the bedding and I needed some serious washing. Can't remember when I ever was this smelly. (I know, I know, I was never in the Army!) I used the nice products I got as one of my advent calendar packages. Had to cut the shower short though. Low blood pressure and general weakness threatened to take over. 

My blood pressure rose immediately when I came down to the kitchen for the first time in two days:

Made me think of a friend's Facebook status I saw the other day. 

  • Crumbs on the counter kill me every time...
  • Yup, you r the only 1, if you are the only grown up female in the house.
  •   No, but you are the only one who feels bothered by it  Glass of wine?
  • yes, yes you are, less FB and more
  • Lol!!! I'm a neat freak & it's starting to tire me out!
  • hmmm...I can think of one person you have to thank for the neat freak's rubbed off on me to a certain extent but I'm still not nearly that fussy LOL

    Trust me girls, the Neat Freak Bug eventually dies of old age....I am old and I know! In the meantime, just keep tidying up, dusting, mopping (btw, complaining about all the work you have eases the

Call me ungrateful. 

Used the rest of the day to clean up and put the bedding back on. It was so exhausting!

I started to worry. We still didn't have a Christmas tree. I had baked only one cookie variety. Gifts were not ready by far. How about the date Colin's Godfather would visit? 

Can't even serve them the way they look?!
But there wasn't anything I could do now. Or was there?

Turned out one of my parents' favorite restaurants offers print-at-home-vouchers on their website. How convenient! 

While I was online I (un)fortunately checked my e-mails discovering a "deadline is today task" my husband had sent my way - if I felt up for it. Have I ever dropped the ball? A nice online friend help editing the 100 words I needed to put together. So grateful!

Another friend came through with a promise she made a while ago and sent me pictures of the gingerbread house contest that was being held at their mall. How nice!

This one even includes a swimming pool!
On day 4 I had to go to work and make sure we all got paid. Once I was there I decided it'd be a good idea to do some power shopping during lunch hour. Groceries plus gifts. In under an hour. I needed a nap, but I had to go back to the office. My colleagues had to take over for me the whole week already. One techie even wrote addresses on envelopes for the Christmas cards! 

Office party / cocktails at 5pm, then off to the village Christmas market. Local businesses offered food and crafts, and Colin was on sales duty with his daycare friends. He could hardly see what was going on beyond the booth counter, but his eyes were bright, and his cheeks red!

By the time we had some risotto and waffles, I was more than ready to go home and call it a night!

While we were sleeping, our dear Elf "Cookie" did something wonderful and brought a miniature fake Christmas tree, decorated it with light strings and some candy ornament but nothing else - because she KNEW that it was going to be Colin's turn for the advent calendar. And that he was going to get Disney Cars ornaments which he hung on the tree first thing in the morning. 

Happy Christmas to all - and to all a good night!