Happy Feast of Saint Nicholas!
Little Bear was almost more excited to see the Saint Nicholas holy cards propped against the Advent wreath this morning as he was to see the shiny chocolate in his shoe. I'm sure that will change as he gets older and learns about chocolate, but I still appreciated getting his enthusiasm. I know it's "supposed" to be chocolate coins, symbolizing the gold Saint Nicholas gave to the three girls, and candy canes, symbolizing his crozier, but... that didn't happen. Maybe next year. At least I used purple-wrapped Hershey kisses (for Advent) and silver-wrapped milk chocolate hexagons that sort of look like old coins?
The shoes are on the kitchen table because Saint Nick went to bed early last night and forgot to set them out, and Little Bear would have caught me if I'd set them up outside our bedroom door (like I usually do) once we woke up and he was running around. I know he's too little for it to really matter, but his surprise and excitement when I picked him up to show him the shoes was definitely worth it.
Yesterday afternoon was a downright balmy 20 degrees above 0, but when the freezing rain started coming down in the evening, we quickly found ourselves wishing for colder temperatures! I haven't had to scrape ice off of a vehicle since we lived in Philadelphia, and it's certainly not an experience I've missed! It feels strange to be saying this in winter, but I cannot wait for it to get colder.
I also can't wait for Christmas. For all of the usual reasons, but particularly because then Little Bear will have his very own broom, just his size, and he will stop trying to sweep with the big broom and whacking us in the shins every thirty seconds. Hopefully, it will also keep him from getting in a snit whenever I use the big broom without sharing it with him---today he ran and hid the dustpan from me, and when I went to go find it, he leaned down and used his hand to scatter my dustpile all over the kitchen again!
Creativity is definitely the most important skill I've cultivated in the past few years of cooking; this evening, when I went to prepare the salmon filets that had been thawing all day, I discovered that I'd accidentally pulled smoked salmon out of the freezer instead. And of course we are out of eggs, which eliminates any kind of quiche, strata, or omelette to use the smoked salmon for dinner... We wound up with broccoli-baked potato-smoked salmon chowder. I threw some buttermilk-cinnamon muffins in the oven just in case the soup was underwhelming, but it definitely met the approval of both Matt and Little Bear, neither of whom is usually the biggest fan of soup for supper. I've never successfully served good soup twice in one week before!
A registration form for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program was in the packet we were handed as we left the hospital with our brand-new Little Bear, and for the most part, we've appreciated the program. If you're not familiar, it's a national program sponsored by local groups which sends registered kids a brand new age-appropriate book once a month from birth to age five. Some of the books we haven't kept, for various reasons, but most of them Little Bear has really enjoyed. The latest book has really been making me crazy, though; called Sleep Baby Sleep, it's just a little too... too. Too glorifying of feminine virtues over masculine ones. Too incorrect in their anthropomorphism--chicks don't strike off on their own right out of the shell, ducks hide out during storms instead of sailing boldly into them, calfs don't laugh. Too full of slant rhymes. (Slant rhymes! Bah!) Too "you are the most wonderful person ever and can be and do anything you want!!!" The combination, but particularly that last one, are just too much for me. I love my son; I think he is wonderful like any parent thinks their kid is wonderful; I refuse to inculcate him with the sense of narcissism and entitlement that so much of my generation is afflicted with. No, he probably can't be and do everything that he wants. That's okay; good, even. Setting realistic goals and working toward them is an important life skill. I know that, at 17 months, he's not likely to internalize a lesson that will warp his psyche for life, but the principle irks me too much. Someone else who doesn't think too much while reading toddler books can enjoy it!
Despite waking up ridiculously late this morning, Little Bear got an early enough nap that he was very ready for bed an hour and a half earlier than usual. He was so sad and sleepy, I just couldn't make him wait to go to bed... Hopefully he wakes up at a respectable time tomorrow morning, and not obscenely early!
Stop on over at Conversion Diary for more Seven Quick Takes Friday posts!