I've developed a wicked sinus infection and cold, so we've been staying inside for the past two days. To fill our morning we played with ice cream shop play-doh. After making pretend treats was finished the little guy decided to make wires for the ice cream machine. This wire-making has been happening more often in his pretend play. I wonder if he'll show interest in being an electrician or electrical engineer someday. Or a cable guy!
Thanksgiving was great here with lots of fun and good food. All of the cousins got together and had a blast playing and trying new food. My turkey turned out great and we are still eating leftovers! I made Sweet Potato Knot Rolls, a recipe I found on Pinterest, that were not only fun to make, but delicious! Even the picky eaters gobbled them up. I did not add the butter to them after baking, as directed in the recipe, but left out some cinnamon sugar butter on the counter for people to use if they wanted. I will definitely be making that recipe again!
This week we need to steer away from turkey, I think! (Although my son surprisingly liked it!)
Monday: leftovers from Sunday (more turkey, in the form of tetrazzini)
Friday: Homemade pizza night! I usually buy dough at Trader Joe's or a local Italian market. Lately my dear child asks for his own dough to make his own "plain pizza" which is actually just dough with cheese on it. He no longer likes sauce. Oy.
I also will be making banana bread this week. I made a loaf of orange cranberry bread last week that was a hit, depsite the child picking out all of the tiny pecans. It makes an easy breakfast.
While technically we love Santa, "we" are quite leary of him. It's the whole stranger in a funny outfit fear, I think. Last year we never made it to get a photo with him, but we did stand very close to him briefly. Here is a little journey down our Santa memory lane: First Christmas, 3 months old
No tears or fears. Santa was really nice and loved holding a tiny little baby. Cute, right?
Second Christmas, 15 months old
Here we clearly do not like strangers, especially in red velvet suits. Not understanding the role of Santa certainly contributed to the extreme fear/anxitey. I felt really bad for him! The top photo was taken at my husband's office holiday party by volunteers that really didn't care about waiting for the baby to stop freaking out!
Third Christmas, 2 years old
Here we are feeling a bit more comfortable, but only as long as we were close by. Another fun visit at the holiday office party with a great Santa.
Fourth Christmas, age three
No, he wouldn't go near Santa that year, but a giagantic walking peanut butter cup presents no problems!
Fifth Christmas, age four
We tricked him this year and didn't tell him we would be seeing Santa at Sesame Place. They had a toy workshop in the North Pole set up where we waited, with Santa in a different room. They took four photos of him, this was the best one! It really reflects where he is at in personality at this age. He did smile a bit, but was really bashful. With some new people he is completely relaxed and silly, like with the tech who repaired our heater. He actually put on a musical performance for that guy. At least he is reserved with strangers for safety's sake! There will be a Santa at my husband's holiday party in two weeks. Maybe we'll get another photo there?
So while I'm writing this my son came over to see the photos. I asked him if he likes Santa now. He said, "not really." Why? "Because he is weird looking." Ugh.
With Thanksgiving over we are left with exactly a month before Christmas! My little guy is really into the holiday this year and keeps asking questions about it. I'm working on planning a variety of activities leading up to Christmas to keep the excitement in check and have fun with it. Our first big activity was a trip to Sesame Place's very first Christmas event, A Very Furry Christmas. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the media event and received three passes to enter the park. To say this event was a hit with the kiddo would be putting it mildly. He asked to go again before we had even left the park!
Entering the park we saw those beautiful trees, which was just the start of the merrymaking! The park had been transformed into a Christmas wonderland, covered in festive garlands, lights, and very merry Sesame characters. We saw Cookie Monster greeting guests donning a cute winter hat. Instead of the topiary characters just inside the main entrance, there was an enormous decorated Christmas tree that was beautiful. During the day it looked like this: And at night for the 1-2-3 Christmas Tree Show it was lit up and had seasonal music along with characters from Sesame Place adding to the joy: The show was fun and led my son and husband right to Grover's Vapor Trail roller coaster, which they went on twice! My son has become a bit fearless with rides this year. Talking to Santa is still a bit scary though! We visited Santa at the North Pole where while waiting to see him we got to chat with a sweet elf and write a letter of wishes to Santa. After checking out his toy workshop, we got to meet the man himself! Santa was great with my shy guy who eventually broke out a smile for him. (I'll save our Santa experience for another day!)
There were four Christmas themed shows offered, along with two parades, the daytime one and the nighttime one. We missed the daytime parade as we were busy playing on the nets, which gave us a great view of the park. We enjoyed Grover's World Twirl (teacups ride) along with Elmo's Flying Fish ride. It seemed that all of the "dry" rides were open. The water rides area was tastefully blocked with decorated trees. As the sun set the park was illuminated with lights everywhere! My son loved checking out everything that looked so different at night. I was so impressed with how beautiful it looked. We decided to stay late at the park, and ended up not leaving until 9pm when they closed the park, so that we could enjoy a few activities at night. My son was great about it and so excited to see the nighttime parade. The lighted Twiddlebugs was a favorite decoration. We have a thing for Twiddlebugs here. (That's a whole other blog post!)
In order to stay late we decided to stay and have dinner in the park at Elmo's Eatery. The menu included Christmas inspired selections, like a turkey dinner or a roast beef dinner. The kids meal includes the famous Elmo plate and a specially designed straw cup souvenirs. (The kids straw cups at Sesame Place are the best. They travel well and withstand the dishwasher. We use them at home all the time! Now we have a Christmas one for our collection.)
My son has always been a bit freaked out by the carousel at Sesame Place. He isn't a huge carousel person in general, but will usually ask to go on them if we see one. He finally agreed to ride the carousel last night, and on a up and down horse at that! I sat on the bench with Bernice the pigeon in front of him to take photos, until I was politely informed that no photos were allowed on the ride (I'm not sure why.) He and my husband looked like they were having fun! We ended the day with a viewing of the Elmo's Christmas Wish Show that featured many of our favorite Sesame characters, including Murray, who was convinced it was "Murray Christmas." We even got the shy guy up and dancing near the stage for a bit. He can't wait to go again! I hope that Sesame Place continues their holiday celebration in the future as it will become a nice family tradition for us while our son is young.
If you want to go, A Very Furry Christmas is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from now until December 31st, when there will be a special New Year's Eve celebration. See the park's website for hours of operation and ticketing details.
Thanksgiving dinner was lots of fun and filled with our families and good food. We enjoyed turkey leftovers for lunch today that tasted even better the second time around.
We spent the afternoon and into the evening at Sesame Place's A very Furry Christmas. The park was beautifully decorated and our little guy had a blast enjoying everything. I'll do a photo filled blog post later this weekend. It is 11:00pm and he is just now going to bed! He was so excited!
Today we are hosting my son's buddy for the day. The boys are busy making messes and having fun, giving me time to catch up on cleaning, blogging, and starting recipes for Thursday's big dinner. This morning I made Cranberry Walnut Relish from the Food Network and my kitchen smells amazing!
This is the recipe that is supposed to be a copy-cat of the one served at Boston Market. I'm not sure that it's the exact consistency, since I think the restaurant's version uses sliced cranberries, but it sure smells and tastes good!
Consisting of very few ingredients: an orange, some sugar, cranberries and some chopped walnuts. It cooked up quickly and made about two cups. I'll still be serving the canned shapped cranberry sauce on Thursday. This relish would be great on a turkey sandwich on Friday!
What kind of cranberry recipe do you like on Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving week is here! I still have to purchase a turkey! Today I'll be running to the grocery store for my final ingredient acquisition, I hope.
Last week I made the greek chicken soup. It tasted ok, but I definitely did something wrong with tempering the egg, as the soup was not as smooth as I would have liked. I would make it again though, as it was a nice light soup and the lemon really added a nice flavor to it.
This week, around Thanksgiving prep, I'll be making some easy meals. I've realized that I focus only on dinner and need to plan more lunches and breakfasts. That might be a goal for next year for me.