Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Family Look Alikes

Everyone has always said since Anabelle was a tiny baby how much she looks like me. Which makes me SO happy, because I don't really look like my own Mom, or anyone in my immediate family for that matter. I completely agreed that we were a copy of each other when she was little, and still do to an extent, but just recently I saw a picture of my 7 year old self, and thought "Wow, that looks NOTHING like my Anabelle."

We also hear how much Anabelle looks like her Auntie Carly from people who knew Carly as a child. I can sometimes see the resemblance there, which makes me thrilled because A). Carly is a drop dead gorgeous bombshell, and B). its kind of awesome to have a love-child that looks like a mix of you and your best friend...

I had come to determine that she was a Beth/Carly mutt breed until recently Grammie (Tyson's mom) went digging in her own baby photos and came up with this:

Grammie Ann is the little blondie on the end furthest from Anabelle. You be the judge.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Holly Jolly Christmas

The only part of our holiday that was 'un-merry' was that we were missing a very important part of it... CARLY!!!!! I'm so proud of that girl, she up and moved herself to Washington state a few months back. We knew when she left that we may not see her for awhile, but it was harder than any of us thought to not have her around to share in all the festivities... and shake the presents under the tree with me. ;) Next year, Carly! xo

Tyson and I hit the jackpot of family unity when it comes to Christmas. His family celebrates on Christmas Eve, and my family always does Christmas day. So... we get to be with both of them EVERY YEAR! Its so cool that we can make everyone happy (including us!).

Christmas eve, we got all dressed up and went to church of course. Ann got the kids the most adorable Christmas outfits. I want to dress them up like this every single day.

After church we had an amazing feast at Grammie and Papa Joe's house with Auntie Mary (who flew in all the way from Washington, w00t!), Uncle Gary and cousin Jack, Grandma Violet (who now lives nice and close by!), and Uncle Ryan. It was a nice crowd, and we all ate wayyyy too much of course.
The kids got their traditional new Christmas jammies and a few other treasures from everyone that they were SO happy with.

It was after 9pm by the time we got home to put the food out on the lawn for the reindeer. And freeeeeeeezing cold~!
I had promised the kids we would move their mattresses out in the living room to sleep under the Christmas tree so we could try to catch Santa in the act... I was kind of afraid that it might be hard to fall asleep with all the sugar/Christmas adrenaline coursing thru their tiny veins... but they were snoring in a matter of minutes!
Can't you practically SEE the visions of sugar plums dancing in their beautiful blond heads? I could just eat them up. But instead... I ate Santa's cookies. Heh.

The kids had the most simple lists for Santa. They didn't ask for big ticket items at all (and its a good thing, too!). Dawson wanted a nutcracker that can crack real nuts, a 'lava fire cap gun' (which is exactly like a regular cap gun, in case you're wondering), a snowman, and a thing you can look thru and play Star Wars games. As I mentioned before, we aren't ready for him to have a handheld video game just yet... but Santa DID manage to discover the "Leapster," for a fraction of the cost, and the games are all educationally geared toward math and reading. He couldnt be happier with it, he is already a pro!
Anabelle asked for jammies, and princess dollies, and princess dresses. If you know her, you know this child does NOT need new dress up clothes. Lucky for Santa, again, he found a COMPLETE BARGAIN on an entire set of all the princess dresses that came with the shoes, a purse, and an assortment of 'bling' for $20. Score!

We heard some scurrying around in the living room and rolled over to look at the clock that read a big.fat.4:59am on Christmas morning. Anabelle had gotten up to go potty, I thought FOR SURE she would go back to sleep but once she realized she was among new loot that had found its way into the house, it was all over. She acted SO confused... "Mom! Why is this stuff here? Did you put it here?" I tried to convince her to go back to bed, and she said "NO! I'm waiting up for Santa!..." who of course had already come and gone... she eventually figured it out, and the kids had SO much fun opening their stockings full of band aids, mittens, and all kinds of other practical things. They are SO easy to please, it was heavenly.
When the rest of the world started to stir and the sun had partially risen, we headed down to my parent's for another gift-fest. Im in LOVE with this picture of Kyle on Santa, I mean my Dad's lap. Good to know kids still like a good Christmas snuggle at 15!

Everyone did SUCH a great job shopping this year with not going too overboard. The kids each got thoughtful things they were SO happy with, it was not an overwhelming amount at all. KJ and Jess got them ADORABLE disney jammies they try to force me to wash every day so they can wear them all the time.

And Anabelle's favorite I think would have to be her creepy Snow White doll, which was WAY overpriced (so Santa tells us), so its nice to see her getting some use out of it. My only complaint... on ffffrreeeeezzzzing cold Christmas morning when we headed out to my Mom and Dad's I told Anabelle walks out of her room "all ready to go!," in her new princess dress... with nothing underneath. Usually our dress up rule is that the dress up clothes go on OVER your regular clothes, but Anabelle has a new argument for this case: if baby Snow White's mommy lets her show HER panties with HER dress, Anabelle should be able to match..."
Hmmm. This is going to be an uphill battle, I can already tell. But mark my words, it will be fought...
After presents at my parent's, KJ and my Mom and I headed out for our Christmas day run/jog. Not gonna lie, it hurt. Must be all that Egg Nog french toast we've been enjoying....
Which is exactly what we had for a nice Christmas Day brunch back here at home when we got back. Delish.
Christmas afternoon, we took the kids to see The Princess and the Frog... which I wouldn't recommend for little kids, but it was still a fun outing. We were SO tired by the time we got home (remember, 4:59am!), so we fed the kids, put them to bed, and were in bed watching Christmas movies ourselves at 6:30pm!
I am so thankful for 2 amazing families that Tyson and I have, and for the beautiful children we have together. The holidays have started to seem so overwhelming the last couple years as time is going by faster and faster, and it seems impossible to fit it all in and make everyone happy. But this year, it felt like we got to do a little bit of it all, and still have time to enjoy ourselves and our loved ones. Maybe we have the recession in part to thank for that... a little less money but a lot more time. So incredibly worth the trade.
Hope you all enjoyed a great holiday as well.
Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and goodwill toward men.

Monday, December 21, 2009

At Least She's Unbiased...

For those of you following along in the "Anabelle Sass Saga of 2009," I just thought I would share an excerpt from this morning's captain's log which targeted my sweet mother who was spending time out of her busy day with her dear grandchildren.

Anabelle: "Grandma! You're standing under the mistletoe!"

Mom: (leans down for a kiss...)

Anabelle: "Nope. You have germs."

Sorry, Mom. I know you understand having a sassy daughter better than most, and please, please tell me it ends at some point...?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I'm trying to tell people as I see them, but for people I don't run into regularly that read my blog, just wanted to make a public service announcement so nobody gets hurt feelings....

The McDermotts aren't sending out a family Christmas letter/card this year. Its one of the things I've crossed off my to-do list in an effort to simplify the holiday season a bit and be able to relax and enjoy a bit. I figure I also have the blog now, which makes it easier for people to come check in and see whats going on with us, and now that the kids are both in school my holiday 'to-do' list has grown as we now have 2 classroom holiday parties to contribute to and 2 sets of teachers to appreciate, and so on.

I'm kind of bummed not to do a card this year, I really do enjoy sending them out. Hopefully next year I'll be in a better position to be able to plan ahead and make it happen, but for the time being...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!, from the McDermott Family, who still loves you even tho we aren't expressing it thru a piece of paper that costs an arm and a leg to mail down the street. :)


Monday, December 14, 2009

A Series of Festive Events

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Does is slow down the McDermotts?


Here's a few things we've checked off the holiday cheer list so far this year:

1. Steph and Jerad had us over for dinner the first of the Month. It wasn't actually a 'Christmas' event, but they DID have their house all decorated and beautiful, and our church was hosting a parents night out (for all the super organized Christmas loving parents who actually want to get a head start on their shopping and not wait till the last possible second...). Steph had tasty snacks and wine, and looked beyond adorable sporting her baby bump, and Jerad made a gourmet feast of Salmon and asparagus, which Tyson ate and liked! The power of man-love. I'm SO glad they're friends.

2. Kari's annual Christmas Cookie Exchange get-fat-fast-fest. Highlights of the evening included wine, women, appetizers to die for, Kari's amazing hospitality and hot cider, and a GIANT spread of Christmas cookies ive never had or heard of before, which is HARD to do, because... well. Frankly, I've eaten a lot of cookies. Tiffany, keep your comments to yourself. ;) I didn't take pictures, dag nab no camera... but if you would like a recipe to win friends or influence people in the near future, hit me up. I've got a few new tricks up my sleeve.

3.. My mom took Anabelle to see the Nutcracker. Dawson has something else going on, I'm sad we all didn't make it, but it was SUCH a great occasion for the little Sugarplum Fairy wannabe and her Grandma to hit the town. I had her outfit all planned out the night before. I chose a satiny formal-ish dress that she hadn't every worn before (she ended up with 2 Easter dresses last year). I was SURE she would be over the moon about it... but when it was time to get dressed, she fell apart, insisting it wouldn't match the other ballerina's there. It occurred to me that perhaps she thought she was IN the play... I had to explain that a little, but in the end it didn't matter she was absolutely insistent on wearing a selection from her dress up bin that actually belonged to another little Nutcracker wannabe not so long ago... her mother. How could I say no?:

Side note, since this blessed event, the child leaps, twirls, spins, plie's, and pirouettes thru every inch of her day. We get a lot of knowing glances from other veteran mothers we pass out and about on the town. Thankfully no one has tried to sue us yet for any of the mishaps she has caused in her attempts at gracefulness (sorry to the old man in food4less who almost lost his walker and his remaining good hip...).

4. We went to the Christmas Caroling Around the Lake last Friday night. I whipped up some snickerdoodles and home made hot cocoa, we bundled the kids like something right out of A Christmas Story, and braved the frosty elements. We got there later in the evening, the crowds had thinned quite a bit. We found ourselves getting the last handouts of every one's popcorn and cider in their makeshift stands on the foots of their driveways, which meant no lines! The kids LOVED it. They don't understand why we can't just go back and get popcorn from friendly neighbor people every night of the week. We ended at the Zoo, and followed the lighted path where we were handed hot s'mores and let in to see the (sleeping) animals free of charge, and they made the gift shop into Santa's house. He was just sitting there all alone, waiting for my kids to arrive! It was AWESOME. Dawson immediately locked eyes and drifted in a trance like state straight to St.Nicks jolly old lap (good to know where he stands on the stranger-danger issue...). The second he settled in, he got a look of terror on his face and could NOT SAY A WORD. Total stage fright. Part of me hurt, and part of me melted. Quite an awkward/adorable moment. When Santa asked what he wanted he barely managed to choke out... "Uh. I don't know." We promised him another chance at Santa once we left, and assured him that this time, we would be good and properly prepared with a list in hand!

5. We already made our annual "Viewing of the Lights" round. We just ate some grub, popped some popcorn and hopped in the car for an hour so of driving around town just for the sake of "oohing and ahhing" over the annoyingly zealous display of Christmas lights around town. Don't mind my negative tone there... I'm just jealous that we have the WORST luck with Christmas lights in this family. I think we have yet to see a year that we don't have at least one strand out after they are all put up perfectly. Humbug.

6. It poured on Saturday, so we shut ourselves in and trashed the kitchen making Gingerbread houses! I'm actually pretty proud of myself, I've never done this with the kids before mostly because I remember doing them as a kid and seeing the mom's of friends I had burst into tears and obscenities when their masterpieces caved in on top of themselves after hours of trying to keep us out from underfoot at the promise of unlimited candy. Since I opted for graham crackers, it ended up being SO fun (and dare I say easy?), even though their houses look like a kid got sick on them after eating the contents of an entire pinata. Dawson wants to enter his in the school decorating contest (giggle). You're welcome, judges, for this amazing wonder to behold.

Rachel and her kiddos spontaneously joined us toward the end, it was great to get the kids together and spend some time catching up. It had been TOO long.

7. So we finally made our lists, checked them twice, and headed down to round 2 of Santa visits, this time planned and prepared. This year Anabelle's list includes dollies, princess dresses, jammies, and anything Nutcracker. Dawson asked for 'a thing that you can look thru and play StarWars Games...' (I can only imagine hes talking about a DS, which will happen over my dead body at age 5... sorry, Santa). Also, he would like a cap gun with 100 caps, and a Nutcracker that can crack real nuts.

They were SO excited and SO cute, skipping up to the house and being all giddy and excited in line as they waited, peeking thru the windows at every chance moment.
Dawson was still a wee bit shy when the moment came, but with his trusty list in hand he warmed up quickly. Anabelle had no reservations. She showed him that list, and made sure he read it. At the end, Dawson managed to whisper to Santa that he promised to make his reindeer some food so they knew where his house was. Santa whispered back that would be great, because those reindeer sure do get hungry with all that flying. It was adorable.

At the end of the visit, I felt almost a little sad and couldn't figure out why. Tyson actually said a few moments later " many more years do you think we have of this...?" And I realized I had been thinking the same thing. This year, our kids were the oldest in line. At nearly 4 and 5... it feels like their days of believing in the magic of reindeer food and the Night Before Christmas might be numbered. What a strange thought.

And last but not least, while we're on the subject of Christmas Spirit, adorableness, and 'God Bless Us, Every One!'...

Sunday morning as we were making our breakfast feast (Eggnog French Toast!) Ty glanced out the window and then jumped so high I almost had to scrape him off the ceiling. The most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen was painted across our front yard, a complete and perfect bright arch, with each color of Roy G. Biv absolutely radiant. The picture does it no justice. It was a great reminder that after the storm, there is beauty in the promise of rainbows that can just appear out of nowhere.
I am really really looking forward to 2010. I think its going to be our year of rainbows.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rotten Little Gingerbread Girl

Forgive my lack of posting. As previously mentioned, our camera was, ahem, inexplicably broken '...all by itself!...' according to all the tiny wittnesses of the incident. Its hard to find the motivation to blog without my muse's posing for visual aide along the way.

My 'Merry' is arriving late this year, but I actually woke up this morning feeling a little bit of holiday cheer in my Grinchy cold heart. I did not scream humbug at the Christmas songbird that was crapping buckets of holly jolly raindrops upon my head... good thing, too. I hear its supposed to pour cats and dogs all week, I wouldn't have a voice left if I started shouting expletives on day one...

ANYways. I just thought on that jingly note I would share a little Christmas story with all-yall (hi, Mom!).

This morning was a slow morning at Apple Valley Daycare (tell your friends, I NEED MORE BABIES TO LOVE, I am bored out of my mind with the only 2 kids I currently have!), so we had Anabelle's friend Addie over and we all sat down for a little Christmas craft aka: trash Mom's clean kitchen with glue and glitter (told you I found my Christmas cheer, now THAT is downright human kindness right there).

We cut gingerbread people out of a paper template we printed off the Internet, then the girls decorated them to match each member of their family and we glued them to a paper and glittered them to death.

Addie wanted a police man hat for her daddy, and a scarf for her mommy... then she wanted to be in the middle of the page, holding her new gingerbread baby brother... awe. Their whole family was holding hands, at her request.

Anabelle Lee also poured her heart into her project, but when it came time to pick the order in which they were to be pasted to the page, she was VERY insistent that she be next to her daddy, holding his hand and Dawson be closer to me. Ok, fine, whatever.

I glued the family to the page as she requested (demanded), but when it came time for me to put Dawson in, holding MY hand, she freaked out. No, no no no, NO!, Dawson was NOT to hold my hand, he could be next to me, but holding HER hand. This meant that she was holding Tyson's hand, Dawson was holding her hand, and I was on the other side of the page, allll alone.

When I brought this to her attention she smiled wickedly, and said "I know."

Then, she glued the eyes on the people.

Daddy got 2 giant happy google eyes.

She and Dawson each got proportionately smaller happy google eyes (smaller people, smaller eyes, naturally).

When it was time for mommy gingerbread's eyes... Welp.

I got one Giant sized bugged googly eye, and one teensey tiny crazy lazy google eye.

I said "that makes me look funny..."

Again, she chuckled to her herself and chimed ..."I know..."

So apparently, I am the crazy lazy eye mom in the corner of the room, and she and Dad and Dawson are nothing short of Christmas awesomeness.

She can laugh all she wants now, but I bet SHE will be the one with the crazy eyes on Christmas morning when Santa leaves her a stocking full of coal...