I had today off, and spent it getting a bunch of stuff crossed off on my pre-baby checklist and just hangin' out with the Emperor. Oh, and we started an attempt to do 3-day potty training. Due to that last item, we spent the whole day in the kitchen (easiest floors to clean; sorry non-kid people, I know that's gross, so just pretend I'm saying it about a dog or something) and while keeping him entertained in there all day was a bit arduous, it meant we more or less did nothing but things that he thinks are really fun.
And that is how we ended up having not one but TWO seasonal celebrations today!
Here's the total list of things we did: made pizza dough, drove cars and trucks on the floor for seriously an hour straight, assembled a train track (but then did not drive the train on it), told stories about what the guys in the cars and trucks were doing, read about six thousand books including four readings of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, wrote out thank you cards for Christmas presents & colored/decorated them, made cranberry oat bars out of half of the cranberry chutney/sauce we have leftover from Christmas dinner, took a bubble bath... that plus meals and nap time pretty much covered our day. Phew.
The Emperor really wanted to get out the art supplies but didn't actually end up doing that much decorating on the thank you cards. I think I'm going to offer them to him again tomorrow and see if he wants to do more. Picture pending after that...
The cranberry oat bars are wonderful, and a highly recommended use of leftover cranberry sauce. I used the recipe for raspberry oat bars from The Joy of Vegan Baking (here is the recipe as a PDF... not sure why this is floating around on pbs.org but there you go) and just subbed in our cranberries for the jam, but I expect you could use any sort of fruit/oat bar recipe and do the same. I did have to use a bit more than the recipe called for to get the entire surface area of the oat bars covered-- perhaps because the chutney is thicker than jam would be. Freakin' delicious, though, and actually not terribly unhealthy when made with whole grain flour. (Which is good. I think all of our digestive systems need a break after the past week or two.)
Here's one up close and personal:
And here's your daily Emperor too. I know I have a lot of variants on this picture (him reading with Josh) but it's just one of my favorite images to capture... this is a new book from Christmas (Little Hoot) and it is great, wonderful art and a funny story to boot.