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Entries in christmas (9)

Monday
Dec212015

A Very Kaufman Christmas 2015

Thanks to some forward thinking on my part, I snagged a few $3 crafts at Target at the end of November and got to work with the girls making decorations.

Lyra made this beauty. She isn't even three years old yet. I was so impressed with the time and focus she spent on it. Look at that color and spacing.

Uncle Rich really helped with the final touches to make Christmas happen. He brought us a mini tree and hung lights and decorations.

Soon, the whole place was appropriately festive.

Next up in my forward thinking (hey, sometimes you gotta pat yourself on the back) was considering gifts for the various teachers and important people in the girls' lives. As a former teacher, I remember the holiday gifts I received that were either passed on or thrown out (sweets, sweets, sweets) and the well-intentioned gifts that I couldn't use. Gift cards and presents that showed they actually knew my tastes were the most appreciated.

I numbered 10 fabrics and asked the teachers to rate their top three faves. That way I knew I'd at least be making something for them that they actually liked. 

Bow down to the organization!

Lyra helped a bit more than C during this process. It was fun to do a big project with just this rascal.

I saved  cans of various sizes throughout the year. With pliers, I pushed down any little metal sticky-outies from the can opener and then cut out the fabric to match the sizes. Mod podge was what made it all come together.

Darling little organizers for their classroom or home. These are adorable, am I right??!!

This year I decided to collect all the Christmas cards we received and keep them in a stack, unopened, until just a few days before Christmas. We don't focus on receiving gifts for this holiday (Santa only brings everyone one present each). I thought opening all the cards at once might make things festive and indeed it did.

To all our friends who sent well wishes, thank you!

Sadly, on Christmas Eve day I started to feel sick. I was quickly flat out in bed for the entire day but Eric made sure that Santa and his reindeer received a snack from the girls before they went to bed.

By Christmas morning it was very obvious I was suffering from the flu. I tried to be there while the family opened presents and their stockings, but everything was a blur. C documented that I actually made it down the stairs to see that Santa had come.

I've never had the flu before; I hope I never have it again.

I'm still sick, and still recovering. Eric spent all of Christmas break taking care of me and hanging out with the girls. My miserable spate of days were accompanied by the jovial backdrop of children laughing and playing downstairs. 

The girls have always been very good friends, but there has been something magical about their play lately. I think as Lyra approaches three and is better able to communicate they can truly create mutual imaginary worlds together. 

When people say 'you'll miss these days', let me tell you, THESE are days for sure that I will look back on and cherish. Even through the fog of flu, the delight of sisters enveloped in a world of play is something I'll remember and forever miss in my home once they've grown.

And to Eric who has taken care of us and the household with a gorgeous smile on his face, I love you. The girls are lucky to have you as their dad. I'm lucky to have you as my husband.

Santa brought the girls S.T.E.A.M. toys, in this case, Goldiblox! Eric and the girls have been busy putting them to work!

I hope your holidays were wonderful and may your new year bring much awesomeness as well.

Friday
Dec262014

A Very Kaufman Christmas ~ 2014

Christmas Eve day was a day to play make-believe. The girls had a "party" and the centerpiece was this incredible, hand-made quilt from Michelle at Sea Baby Quilts.

Quilted by hand. So lovely.

Cora spent a lot of time carefully folding it and caring it around in a hug. I think she liked (and likes) to immerse herself in the colors and in Elsa and Anna on the back.

Our day was relaxing, and our Christmas Eve was quiet. Nothing exciting, but we were happy and cozy, and I don't write this blog to entertain, but to chronicle our life for our girls when they are older.

This was the first Christmas that we watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, well, half anyway before the kids got too sleepy.

Cora dictated a letter to Santa and we left him and the reindeer this:

That's right. A glass of milk, some wine, beer, and carrots. Because apparently Santa is a drunken vegetarian. And yes, those carrots were for the reindeer AND Santa.

Every year Eric reads 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and this was the first year that Cora was truly fascinated by it.

"He could hear the reindeer on the roof? He peeked on Santa bringing the toys?!"

After we tucked them in for the night we could hear Cora admonishing Lyra, "Go to sleep, Lyra Estrella. We have to go to sleep or SANTA CLAUS WON'T COME!!!" (Over the last few weeks, Cora has taken to consistently calling Lyra by her full name.)

She was indeed concerned that Santa would pass our house by if they didn't get to sleep pronto.

She needn't have worried. They fell asleep and Santa did come.

We kept to our rule of one gift each for the girls. There were other gifts under the tree sent from family and friends, but the girls will grow up getting one gift for Christmas; first it will be from Santa, and when they no longer believe, it will be from us. Their gifts were second-hand because they don't need new things. Thankfully, they don't need much at all.

At Christmastime we focus on making gifts for others and finding joy in the winter season.

Lyra got a balance bike sent to us from a friend in San Francisco. Her present was significantly bigger than Cora's (a binder full of Frozen-themed coloring page print-outs.) I was worried that Cora would feel this disparity in gift-size would seem inequitable but Cora was the first to shout out, "Lyra got a bike from Santa!"

And she reveled in her binder of coloring sheets, never murmuring about the difference in gifts. High-five, Cora. Way to be awesome, kid.

Here is Eric helping Lyra with a doll sent from her Bella. The look on Eric's face pretty much sums up how he feels about toys in general. Bwhwahhaahahaa. The girls were thrilled with their little dolls.

The book on the left was sent from our friends on s/v Lilo. If you have little kids, and don't own this book yet, get it. It will make them howl with laughter. Thank you, Bethany!

The girls spent the whole morning outside, Cora patiently explaining to Lyra how to walk on her balance bike. She showed her how to lay it down as well and they both took turns ringing the little bike bell.

Cora modeling her hand-knitted hat from our friend, Katherine.

It was a wonderfully small day. Small in the sense of being close-knit, low-stress, and family-focused. I put Christmas dinner in the crockpot and in the afternoon my brother, Rich and his roommate, Jesse came over. Along with our friend Joseph, we all sat around eating Mexican food and talking about politics, because who doesn't talk about politics at Christmas time?

After the year we've had, a tiny, calm Christmas was a good way to round out the season. I hope your holiday was wonderful too.

Friday
Dec192014

Apparently, this matters. Also, Christmas decor, 2014.

Remember when I made those awesome custom mattresses, mattress covers, waterproof sheets, and custom bed sheets for the girls' bed in our studio apartment? 

The girls loved that bed, and so did we. It was the perfect way to give them their own space in a tiny-living footprint. But, apparently people were genuinely concerned when they heard we had moved to a new house. I got six private messages, two emails, and half a dozen people who asked me in person about why we moved.

The gist of their concern, "but you spent so much time making their beds!"

I'm a bit flummoxed, I have to admit. I love sewing for our girls, and at the time I worked on their bed, we weren't sure we'd be moving into a new space. Doesn't everyone want to make the place they are living in feel comfortable for their family? Even if you plan on moving later? We had had enough uncertainty for the year. The last thing I wanted to do was throw some blankets down and tell the girls, 'hey, stick with that for awhile. We might move again..." 

Plus, I love sewing and creating things. Especially unique, custom jobs like their little bedroom.

Our new place has more room for me to spread out and work for Sew Sew Sew Your Boat.

It also has a safe, enclosed yard for the girls to play outside in, and it is small enough so we can keep our minimalist life style alive and kicking.

While the bed project at the old studio was time-consuming, I can't imagine using the work I put into the bed as a reason to not move to a place with a safe yard and a floor plan that lets me do canvas work.

Lo, if you were one of many of the concerned, be ye not worried any longer. Yay, for I have gone forth and conquered our new space and I shall present you with a multitude of images that showeth this abundance.

Damn, I'm good with scripture talk. (Ye can take the girl out of the Mormon, but you can't take the Mormon out of... the girl?)

Also, the mattresses I made for their bed are now temporary "couches" for us until we get around to making a custom couch.

Someday.

Eventually.

I think.

We are keeping things simple, as always, chez Kaufman. 

When we first moved in, a friend gave us an old, dirty ladder. 

Perfecto.

The girls and I cleaned it up and used it to make this:

Bonus? When Christmas is over we have a nice, clean ladder for use around the house.

I'm so enamored with the ladder tree that I think I may never go back to a regular tree again. It's the magic and warmth of the lights that really makes it work. Plus, no pine needles, no dead tree to dispose of afterwards, and I can move the ladder around if I need access to that space.

When we moved on board, years ago, I gave my older brother my large-bulb, vintage-style Christmas lights. He kept them. And this season, he gave them back to me. He also kept my box of Christopher Radko ornaments too.

My brother, Rich, is awesome.

 

My attempts at taking Christmas photos of the girls reinforced how much I love professional photographers, and how useless I am at doing anything even remotely professional-looking when it comes to kids and photos.

I turned my back for a second and she had found Scotch tape and was using it to wrap up everything.

TAPE ALL THE THINGS. I tell you.

See those stockings? They are custom-made for us by Good Wishes Quilts

We can officially not have any more kids, because, custom stockings, folks: the next kid would be totally left out of the fun!

See that painting? Anyone recognize the image? (Hint: Cora, circa Christmas 2012).

That is an original oil painting in board by Kelly Paige Standard. One of my next blog posts will be about that painting, and the other work I have commissioned from her. Needless to say, to have that painting as an addition to our home this Christmas season is a true gift.

We are happily surrounding ourselves with handmade gifts from friends like that Rudolf, from our friends Renee and Dan.

And we're using the Christmas cards sent from friends to make the whole house merry. Thank you, friends.

For whatever holiday you celebrate (or don't) this season, I wish you a happy December full or love and hygge.  

Sunday
Dec292013

Gingerbread House Smash | Christmas isn't over yet!

You want me to do what?

So, go over there and eat that thing?

You are sure?

I'm really gonna do this, ma'.

Not sure if serious.

Oh. Oh, that is good.

We should do this more often, ya'll!

And a big thanks to my adorable niece and nephews for providing their gingerbread houses for our amusement. 

And as the Christmas wrap up is almost complete, I give you Adorable Baby Wrapped in Lights.

Oh my baby. And here is my other baby, from Christmas 2012:

To see all of Cora's Christmas lights wrap up, click here!

Wednesday
Dec262012

A Very Kaufman Christmas 2012

The marina connection at Marina La Cruz currently isn't working so we've been internet-less for several days (and don't have the budget to buy the monthly internet connection right now available through Telcel.) Hopefully they'll get the internet fixed but until then, we are a bit hard to get a hold of.

Our Christmas Eve day started slowly. Eric wasn't feeling tip top and I had done not a lick of decorating. Never fear though. We put on Spaceballs and holed up watching movies and talking to Cora about Santa. Once we busted out this Christmas book and showed her pictures of Santa and how he visits little kids and brings them presents, she caught on quick. (Thanks mom for that book!)

Once Cora had figured out the concept of stockings from the Christmas book, then ours went up REAL FAST. As you can see, we're keeping it super fancy aboard Rebel Heart.

As soon as she woke up Christmas morning she spied the stockings and the strange, lumpy gift on the table. Silly straws are now THE way to drink her morning milk.

And the strange looking gift? Her first American Girl Doll, complete with yellow Crocs, just like Cora! A special thanks to my sister Sariah for helping me find this doll and all the accessories.

When I told her to say 'thank you Santa,' she literally looked up to the sky to thank him. I couldn't help but giggle. 

Eric and I got chocolate in our stockings (don't worry, the chocolate liquors were for him, not me :) I don't care how cheesy it sounds to say this, but our gifts to each other for Christmas were being together, on our boat, and starting to live our dream of cruising.

Pumpkin bread was made in the early hours to beat the heat the oven generates.

Millie, James, and Collin, the crew of s/v Jean Marie

Lowe, Ali, Ouest, and Pat, the crew of Bumfuzzle

On Christmas evening there was a cruiser's potluck at Philo's Bar. We headed over with our friends to dance, and dine, and celebrate.

Cora couldn't believe it when she got to see Santa with her own two eyes.

And she softly told him 'thank you' for her special baby doll present from that morning.

Outside Philo's bar, Christmas night

Philo's not only holds Christmas potluck for all the local cruisers and gringos, they also collect toys for the local children of La Cruz. Over 500 presents were given out that night by Santa Claus. Eric has blogged as well about Christmas this year and you can read his thoughts here.

Cora serenades me with 'Twinkle twinkle little star'

If you celebrate Christmas, then I hope you had a wonderful one. We are just happy to be together as a family again. More from us when the internet is working!