This is probably my favorite picture of Baby Rut so far, taken a few weeks ago when Sweet D and I were in a cleaning and house-organizing frenzy. The Christmas decorations are all down and packed away in big storage boxes. I didn't even get high behind on actually putting the decorations up until the middle of December-- it's kinda hard to get into the Christmas Spirit when you're wearing shorts and a t-shirt to go shopping for gifts because the temperatures are well into the 70s! We have vowed to put everything up on the day after Thanksgiving next time!
First a bit of first-time Mama drama: Friday, December 21, Baby Rut and I were getting ready to attend Sweet D's office Christmas Party when I saw that baby's nails desperately needed a trim. I got out my smallest pair of nail clippers and started clipping the nails on his right hand. Suddenly my sweet little man let out a cry and I saw that I'd cut some of the skin off the tip of his right index finger!!! My brave little soldier only cried for about a minute and I managed not to completely lose it myself, but that tiny little nick bled like crazy!! I finally got two band-aids wrapped around the wound and we actually made it to the party on time to see our Sweet Daddy D be named as Salesman of the Year. Yay, Sweet D, we are so proud of all your hard work! I was kind of proud of myself that day, too. Even though I felt horrible about hurting my little boy, I kept my cool by realizing that every parent eventually draws "first blood" and reminding myself that it could have been much worse! Oh, and it also made for good conversation with the other parents at the party, as everyone took turns disclosing their first injury reports.
The holidays were great, though, and deliciously low-key. Christmas Eve was spent at the Rut Household, where we enjoyed Granny's delicious Sicilian-style spaghetti sauce over penne rigate. I made an amaretto cheesecake for dessert, which cracked worse than the ground of the Sahara desert but still tasted pretty good, especially with some toasted almonds and chocolate ganache drizzled over the top. After dinner, the women-folk sat down and watched Little Women, which I remember seeing in the theater with my mom, aunts, and grandmother over Christmas Break in my freshman year of college. Scary to think that was 13 years ago, eeek!
Christmas morning was deliciously lazy in the house of Rut. Sweet D woke up around 7 to feed Baby Rut and opened up his stocking full of festive Christmas boxer shorts. I woke up a little later and hit the ground runnin' to get all the cookin' I had to do finished by 3:00. I made an apricot nectar cake, hash brown potato casserole, and roasted asparagus. Doesn't sound like much, but I still somehow managed to dirty almost everything in the kitchen! I completely ignored my own stocking hanging from the mantel. Not that I didn't already know everything that was in it because I'd purchased every single item myself. It must be said that Sweet D is not a shopper, which is perfectly fine with me. He did try very hard to come up with a gift for me and he threw out some excellent suggestions, but I really didn't need or want anything. Baby Rut, as far as I'm concerned, was the greatest gift I could have ever received this year! Sweet D and I never have been big on gift exchanging with one another, even back when we were dating. It's kind of nice, actually, takes a LOT of pressure off both of us. We did get a cool new 46" TV and DirectTV, though, I guess that should count even though they were purchased in early November.
Christmas evening at the G household was lovely. We certainly weren't lacking for food! For appetizers we had yummy brie with cherries and toasted almonds, some puff pastry and sausage bites , a fruit tray, and crab bites. Then there were all the usual suspects for dinner: a green salad followed by turkey and ham, stuffing, cranberry salad, asparagus, sweet potatos and the hash brown potato casserole, plus Granny Rut's delicious rolls. We opened gifts after the meal and found some lovely checks for padding our accounts and paying taxes. Baby Rut received the Radio Flyer wagon from Granny and Pappa Rut, some cool and colorful toys and his next car seat from Moozie and Daggles, as well as some savings bonds and checks from several family members.
The "boys" (Sweet D, Daggles, and Otis) left for hunting camp early the next morning, but Baby Rut and I stayed on in the Land of Sugar for the next few days. We ate leftovers, napped, cuddled, played, watched movies, and bonded with Mimi. Utter decadence. Hunter returned on Saturday and we reluctantly made our way back to the Land of Pears.
Fast forward to New Year's Eve. Sweet D and I feasted on yummy cheese fondue and toasted with one 'adult beverage' each, then called it a night before 11 PM. We're not big on New Year's, either! New Year's morning was spent watching Gone with the Wind, which Sweet D had never seen, followed by a New Year's feast at G&G Rut's. Black-eyed peas, rice, cabbage, and corn chowder made for a lucky start to 2008. It's important for me to note that we discovered and subsequently announced that Baby Rut was arriving last New Year's Eve/Day, so it was pretty neat to reflect on all the beautiful blessings of 2007.
Stay tuned for the oh-so-exciting events that unfolded the week of my 32nd birthday.
I close, again, with a few pictures:
1. Somewhat enjoying a few minutes of tummy time, wearing his Baby Gapy onesie that mommy purchased on ebay right after he was born.
2. Barely containing his excitement for having received his new wagon from Granny and Papa and cute blankets from Aunt Lori.
3. Sweet D dives into the New Year's Eve fondue, which we enjoyed with pumpernickel bread and green apple chunks. Mmm mmm, good!