Friday, December 24, 2021

one more sleep til christmas

Going to see the Christmas lights at the zoo is our longest-running family tradition. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Dan and I getting engaged there! We decided to go on a drizzly, cloudy Wednesday this year and arrived early enough to see some animals before dark. The zoo was EMPTY. It was almost like a private tour. Dan and I liked the new light up jellyfish decorations. Mae liked the LED trees timed to music. Colin liked the train and the manatees. Colin did NOT like sitting on Santa's lap.
We've had one minor dusting of snow so far. After 15 minutes of bundling the kids, then unbundling Colin to mop up his face after he fell inside and split his lip, and then rebundling, we had about 15 minutes to play before taking Mae to school. There wasn't enough snow for sledding or snowmen, but they had fun running around anyways. Mae's favorite thing to do is eat snow.
Of course Colin had to mow the snow.
Our gingerbread house was much more successful than last year's (which collapsed within an hour of being decorated). I'm not sure if the failure was due to underbaked gingerbread or too-soft frosting. This year, I think I used the Sally's Baking Addiction gingerbread recipe, which was just barely enough for my gingerbread house cookie cutters. I baked them a couple extra minutes to make sure they wouldn't be too soft. I used an eggless royal icing recipe so that it would set strong but be safe to eat. I assembled it while Mae was at school, and afterwards we decorated with canned frosting, M&M's, candy canes, and spice drops. Mae could not resist a little taste.
Mae is all ready for Christmas tomorrow! She wrote a letter to Santa asking for a Playmobil Castle and surprises! I think the little pictures are a Santa hat and a reindeer pulling a sleigh.
She reluctantly wrote to Santa that Colin has been good also. She was understandably hesitant since Colin has entered full-on toddler mode (opinions with not enough words to express them, tantrums, and just generally pushing all of Mae's buttons - literally and figuratively). If he wasn't so darn cute, he might have to worry about getting coal.

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