Fort Christmas.

A new tradition we started this year is Fort Christmas. This year it’s in our bedroom since we all share one, but I hope in the future, someday when Max has his own room, to help him build one each year (for as many years as he is into the idea…). I got the idea from one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess. She builds one each year with her husband in their bedroom, so its a little different than our kid version. I think it’s the sweetest thing! They also started a new one this year- 12 dates of Christmas, which she talks about more on her blog. Obviously Dan and I have no way to have a date each day/night for 12 days before Christmas, but in the future I plan to do a similar countdown with family activities the 3 of us can do, and include family members as well if it works that way. I’ve seen other people do this with an advent type of calendar, where instead of candy, they have something fun planned each day, like drive/walk to look at Christmas lights, make Christmas cookies, go sledding (if there’s snow- none here yet!), decorate for the holidays, etc. I love this idea! I’m really excited for the time when Max is old enough to participate in this sort of thing and we can start all of these new traditions for our family! Anyway, back to Fort Christmas. A few years ago, when I was single and living in a teeny tiny apartment by myself, my mom gave me a little pink feather Christmas tree. It already had lights on it and was only about a foot and a half tall. I kind of thought… This is the tackiest thing ever, but this year I have decided it’s not at all tacky- orrrrr it’s the perfect amount of tacky…either way, I LOVE it now. And I am so glad I saved it! Getting a real tree would mean having to kill a tree and also having a huge mess in my apartment. Max has already proven at other people’s houses that he will certainly pull those trees down if given the chance…so I think it’s a good thing we skipped on it this year, although in the future we will probably do something like this (I hope with a fake one….a tinsel tree or white tree would be my favorite!). I built the fort in a corner of our room between the wall and my dresser by tacking up thrifted lace curtains and letting them drape down to the floor. I stacked some old and pretty books under the tree to make a pedestal. It’s totally kid friendly because Max can hang out in there and pull the tree down all he wants without risk of getting hurt, and it’s aesthetically pleasing to me, too! every time I turn the lights on Max runs over to it and ooh’s and ahh’s over it. Adorable!

Oh, and have a wonderful Solstice! To celebrate we are having a really yummy meal tonight by candlelight.

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Coloring.

We got max a set of nice fat crayons a couple of months ago. He was more interested in eating them than coloring at the time so we put them away for awhile but now he seems to be eating things a bit less (although he still does with somethings and is totally addicted to his pacifier, or as we have called it since he was born, his bon bon) so out they came the other day. Actually…out one of them came, because the only one I could seem to find was the boring old brown one that seems to have lost its box. I have no idea what happened to the rest of them (read:my apartment is a black hole). He really liked it though. Just when I turned my back because he seemed to be really into coloring all over some paper I gave him…he colored on the door to our living room.. Most of the time if I remind him to color on the paper he goes back to it, though.

Music!

Since it’s December, I’m going to share some of my favorite holiday tunes. Oh yes. Starting with this one. And I’m not even joking. I LOVE this one. When it comes on at work it takes everything I have not to dance like a fool and sing along very loudly. I try to ignore it. But I can’t try to hate it. TRY.

 

 

Paper snowflake land.

I’ve been feeling festive lately and I originally thought that with our lack of funds this year I wasn’t going to be able to decorate for winter and the holidays. I realized I have lots and lots of craft stuff pile up everywhere and all it took was a few specific Pinterest searches to put it to use! I got lots of good ideas from my awesome mom’s group, too. This week I’ve made a ruffled felt garland, paper snowflakes, and set up a new tradition: Fort Christmas in our bedroom (more on that another time). The best part of this photo is that you can’t see the disaster that was my living room outside of the frame.

Here are a couple of close ups of my snowflakes (before I realized Max could reach them and a couple of the lower ones…went away…).

In case you were wondering, we were watching Gnomeo (a Max favorite…and mine too, lately), and that’s what the reflection is in the window.

And here is a picture of the awesome mess I made, including when Max decided all of my neatly piled tissue paper scraps would look better all over the floor. Although Max is pretty darn cute and we have an awesome vacuum cleaner, so that last part turned out not to be such a big deal.

It was a fun day! I am already dreaming about next year…

Sewing.

I’m lucky enough to have a sewing machine and even more lucky that someone gifted it to me. The part that isn’t so cool is the part where I tell confess to you that I don’t really know how to use it that well. I tend to jump on the idea bandwagon (the idea, not the actual act of DOING anything- everyone who knows me right now is nodding furiously in agreement). One of those idea bandwagons for me was and still is, sewing. I have lots and lots of crafty sewing books. A few of them were written by popular bloggers I follow. When I got my sewing machine I was all excited- set everything up and read through the manual. I immediately became super intimidated. How is it possible for a person to be intimidated by an inanimate object? I don’t know the answer to that but I know it is entirely, totally possible. It’s so sad! My sewing machine sits there day after day, unloved. I think I need to change this. I know there are tons of classes I could take buuuuuut I can’t exactly afford those so it looks like I need to get out my manual and get in the zone. I started a quilt when Max was about 4 months old. Nothing fancy- just patchwork squares. I cut all of them up and sewed them into rows. I still have the rows and that was a year and a half ago. See? Sad! They are all jumbled up in a bag somewhere in my closet. My mom gave me a wool blanket to use as batting and I am going to thrift a vintage flat sheet for the back. I am vowing to at least sew the rows together by the end of the month. Yes! There are so many things I want to make so I think I should probably start by finishing an old project! I can’t wait til it’s done now and I can have another warm blanket in the house! I think after that I will make a smaller one for Max, maybe out of some of his receiving blankets from when he was a newborn.