Baking and Xmas with the Grandkids

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
My "surprise" for this xmas season......and today. Good thing easy child let the cat out of the bag and warned me, or else I'd have not been a happy camper. Nichole came early to help me get ready for it too.

Only one not here was Oliver due to getting his 2 yr molars and teething pain. He stayed home with Daddy to avoid the chaos and make sure he got his nap.

In under 2 mins I realized Katie has never baked from scratch, especially cookies. We've baked with them before but easy child has always pre-made the dough part. High time for kids to learn dough doesn't come ready to roll, drop and decorate.

Let's just say it was controlled chaos because Katie's boys wanted to hog the whole making process. I had to walk away from Evan several times because I was going to smack him silly. They had to measure out the stirring, grease the cookie sheets. It was traditional mincemeat cookies today. Katie's kids wondered why it wasn't sugar cookies cuz they thought they'd get to take them home. Uh, hmm sugar cookies were not even mentioned and no one said anything about taking cookies home. These are for xmas tomorrow. I suppose they did ok. We had some major laughs like with Kayla and Aubrey trying oh so carefully to measure the flour out precisely. Darrin cracking the eggs......but oops some shell dropped into the mixture. Connor filling the measuring cup with shortening......Brandon helping.....Nana helping because shortening tends to stick to the spoon.....that bit was Hilarius and worth letting them try to do the shortening. The look on Alex's face when he tasted a cooled cookie after just telling me he didn't like the ingredients......ect. lol

But while they were baking Nichole had to mix the dough for ornaments and get them going before the kids went wild. Of course we couldn't bake those until the cookies were finished. So again chaos started. Nana whips out construction paper, a huge bag of cotton balls, some googly eyes and glue with some crayons. Then we had kids making snowmen and other xmas themed pictures.

Not long after I tried to sit on the step stool and instead it folded up landing me on the floor and my left thumb getting squashed in the closed stool until easy child freed it. After some ice.......well, I needed to go to the store.

I ask Katie if she had all the veggies she needed for the veggie tray. She says she has celery and carrots. wtf??? I told her weeks ago a whole list of veggies she needed for the tray. (grands like everything) Soooooo, while at the store I also had to pick up all the ingredients Katie had not picked up which was 95 percent of them. I literally wanted to dive over the table at the girl........girl......*cough* "woman" and wrap my hands around her throat. It was the manner in which she said la dee was her behavior the whole afternoon ( present but unaccounted for, she was obviously stoned) was the fact that I'd assigned her the veggie tray because it was the cheapest thing on the menu and the easiest darn thing to do........and she only picked up carrots and celery!!! I will say it is a lot of other things, many small things that are adding up over time. Including the fact that when the girls arranged this xmas baking session no one said anything about either sugar cookies or taking the cookies home to give to santa. Katie "assumed" wrongly and blabbed to her kids this is what was happening. So I had to argue with Alex and Evan nearly the whole time that no, we weren't doing sugar cookies at all, and that the cookies we were making were the family traditional mincemeat that would be served xmas day.......not going home with them. Katie told the kids they'd "bake" when they got home to pacify them. I watched Kayla roll her eyes in a yeah right. I dug my heels in over the taking cookies home. I'm getting sick and tired of covering Katie's rear end when it comes to the kids and their holidays.

So I had to get out of the house fast before it was me pulling a difficult child stunt. It was a very short trip to the store before they closed for the holidays. Nichole kept texting us to hurry, she was having trouble keeping control and her temper. omg

My mom called in the midst of the chaos. She wound up talking to every child and adult except me. lol Those talking to her had to go into the living room so they could hear......supervised by Travis to keep them out of trouble and out of gifts, much to the kids disappointment.

Even though most of the planned cookies to bake were nixed due to Katie's kids ran into supper time. easy child ordered pizza. Alex and Evan could not grasp there was only so much people to feed so many people. I suspect they've not been eating regularly. It is, after all, the end of the month and if they spent any money at all on xmas (this is doubtful as Katie will use every organization she can get away with, always has, to get their xmas for free) well......they're broke. I've dug in my heels and am refusing to cover their rear on this score too. M has lost yet another job, not had it even 6 months.

Despite this undercurrent........and the fact that Evan sprayed hair spray all over the bathroom......there was much laughter and a lot of fun. Except for Katie who was off in la la land and could barely manage to say a few sentences here or there.

The dogs were literally exhausted from playing with all the kids and all the attention. Maggie was falling asleep on her feet and Rufus had to be crated to give him a break. They slept until morning after everyone left. lol

easy child is picking them up today. Ought to be interesting. Kayla and Alex are about to discover that growing up isn't much fun. Kayla got some nice things but the bulk is makeup (to tick off Katie because I think it is a stupid unnecessary battle she's decided to ride the child about) Alex got nice things but not really toys per se, not at 12......and also because he so so obsessive over batman / spiderman he already so much of the stuff we've no frigging clue what to get him. Yes, the boy in his head is about 6 (at best), but still. I'm thinking Katie is hoping we'll pick up their slack. We pretty much didn't. We paid little attention to what she said they wanted (which means what she can't afford to buy) and got what we thought they'd enjoy in our price range.

I'll be able to tell from slips ect what went on at home this morning. I know M bragged to sister in law that he bought two of the newest gaming systems and all the current available games.....betting it was on layaway and they lost it........betting any xmas they actually bought with their money was as well. Not my problem. I can't wait to find out how their "baking" went. lol

Yup. Not picking up Katie's slack anymore, not even with holidays. Her kids are all old enough now to learn what happens when you can't/refuse to manage money. (with M not working they still have plenty) And they will never truly do without. Know what I mean?? Katie will never learn, but perhaps her least Kayla will.

Our xmas day won't begin until 4pm as easy child and Nichole have in laws to spend the day with too. Katie's mom has supposedly opted out. I can deal with that......I invited her in person, so if Katie is excluding her she knows where the guilt lies.

Maggie and Rufus were thrilled with their stockings that Santa filled just for them. They're currently defluffing the crinkly penguin. LOL

I'll let you all know how the rest of the day goes.


Well-Known Member
I dont do cookies...simply am not good at that. I seem to be cookie dyslexic. I did do the salt dough ornaments this year with Monkey but cookies were either store bought or those pre-cut sugar cookies.

I also know what you mean about picking up slack. I know Mandy was expecting me to go all out for Mouse and when she saw some of the things I bought off eBay, she wasnt thrilled. She was mad that I got Monkey the electric scooter and didnt get something like it for Mouse. Well Mouse got a minnie mouse car for her birthday party which was held the first week of Oct. I do have to admit I am wondering where that car is because both Tony and Monkey have told me it isnt at Cory's house. Either they sold it or Mandy has it with her. Personally I wouldnt doubt they sold it. Mandy only took home the brand new things I bought on Black Friday. Left me with one heck of a mess of Fisher Price toys all over my living room. Oh well, Monkey is actually playing with some toddler Today I am trying to get the toys all picked up...boy is that gonna be a job!


Active Member
I love frozen cookie dough - just take out what you want and bake what eating then. Funny thing was I got a few requests for recipe for those great cookies I sent out in tins last year - I used frozen choc chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin & sugar cookie dough thrown together in a bowl and cut in with metal spatula with a little red & green sprinkles on top.

So do I confess to everyone that the secret recipe they loved is just a bunch of frozen dough that went from freezer to oven with like a minute prep time?

people rave about my apple crumb pie but fact is never rolled out a pie crust since I was 12yo - pillsbury makes a wonderful pie crust I just unfold it and work on what goes into the pie without all the hassle & mess.

I do lots of combination mixes too like mix a cookie mix w brownie mix or couple different cookie or muffin mixes combined with- brown sugar on top, have had people ask what bakery I get this stuff from and its all just mixes with a twist... still get to play in the kitchen with the kids and turns out some great munchies without all the work or mess.

Years ago I found life just too overwhelming (I just had too much on my plate) and simplified every single area of my life that I possibly could so I could start living my life instead of constantly stressing to get everything done right.



Well-Known Member
I love to mix up things and come up with yummy original goodies. My kids and the grands have dubbed them Nana's famous throw togethers ...nothing turns out the same way twice.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Not everyone is a baker, Janet, and that is just fine.

I want, especially Kayla, to learn to bake from scratch (and that not everything you eat comes out of a package) in order to teach her frugality......not to mention that usually it tastes so much better. Also helps with math, some

Xmas day? Well, let's just say there will likely never be baking on xmas eve again. Having a house full of kids.....especially 2 very LOUD ones....was too much sensory wise for me.

I knew from last year that we can no longer all fit into the living room to open gifts. So I planned ahead. Kept the dining room table folded down and out of the way. When easy child went to fetch Katie's family I had the other grands help me sort gifts and set up chairs in a circle (diningroom is pretty huge). I didn't want to deal with the gift sorting chaos with Alex in super excited holiday mode.

Unfortunately we were still crowded. But it worked.

Problem was mainly timing. Due to schedules.....our gathering was set later. Bad idea that also won't be repeated.

Alex was soooooooo hyped up, as was Evan, and both were so LOUD they managed to drown out everyone else. I'm not really a drinker. In less than 5 mins I slipped into the kitchen and spiked my pepsi. Seriously. I don't do loud well. After the first round of gift opening.......I saw that little ones were showing the signs of being sleepy and over stimulated. So I changed tactics. As we went around the room youngest to oldest the person who's turn it was opened everything in one shot. It got it done a bit quicker but I didn't like it very much......nor did most everyone else. I had hoped it would quiet down the boys some. It didn't work.

Katie was stoned again and pretty much off in la la land most of the time. Which is likely why the boys were so loud and stayed that way. Not bad. Just shouting to talk instead of actually talking. M was fine, but he carried on as if the boys talking several notches above everyone else was normal, so he was of no help.

I tried to keep the meal simple. It didn't work out that way. easy child did the ham, augratin potatoes and from scratch rolls. Katie showed up with just carrots and celery with peanut butter. I was trying to hold out and make the woman actually cut up all the veggies I'd supplemented for the veggie tray but easy child interfered and it didn't work out that way. Somehow we ended up with a ton of food.

Good thing. Katie's kids were behaving as if they'd not eaten in days. Same as they had xmas eve. For kids who don't "like" fresh fruits/veggies, they certainly dove into them along with everything else and went back for 3rds. Katie and M were doing the same thing. Now I don't give a hoot how much someone eats......the less leftovers the better........but it was the expressions on faces and body language that stood out. Know what I mean??

I'd asked Katie's kids what Santa brought. Alex and Evan spouted off some video game. I'm guessing they're sharing it. Nothing else. Which I dismissed at first because of their excitement over the game. Kayla said "stuff". It was the way she said it. It was the look on her face. It was the tone of her voice. It caused me to pause and really look at her and rewind gift opening earlier in my mind. It didn't matter how big or small the gift wonderful or insignificant.....the boys went totally bonkers and were truly heartfelt thankful for them. Not that the other grands weren't was just a totally different level. Like through the roof. Yet neither Alex or Evan are capable of "acting" so it was genuine.

After the meal, due to the loudness and little ones needing bed from an overexcited prolonged day......I basically pushed people out the door, Katie's family first. I'm not sure yet if I feel guilty about that.

But I know I sort of feel like I got short changed on xmas.

Now a couple of days later a friend request from Kayla pops up on my her own name. Of course I accept. Then I find a message from Katie (whom I've not heart from since xmas) that she'd been thinking about the talks we've had concerning "picking her battles" with Kayla and had decided to relent and let her have her own fb acct.

We all know what happened the last time Kayla had an fb acct............and the last time she had a myspace acct.


Kayla pokes me yesterday. (someone explain poking to me cuz I don't get the point) I poked her back cuz I didn't want her to think I was ignoring her. Then she messages me. After a little chatting I ask again what santa brought for xmas. Again she was vague and stated "stuff". (out of character for Kayla) I replied that such things happen when you no longer believe in Santa. (we had a deal with her telling the boys he's not real) But Santa is part of the xmas magic.

She stated: Santa doesn't visit kids who have nothing.

Those weren't her exact words but that was the jest of it. It came across angry and resentful. It stunned me because that is not normally how Kayla is. I didn't push it as I don't know if Katie has her password.

I'm thinking 3 kids didn't have xmas at home except for a video game the boys shared. It appears the tablet her parents bought and gave to Kayla early Nov was declared Kayla's gift. Which ticks me off as I'm pretty darn certain it was bought because Katie is the one who broke it AND the rest of the family uses it as much if not more than Kayla does.

So the only real xmas the kids got was at Nana's house.

During the day........Kayla let it slip that the boys no longer have a bed either. They're sleeping with their parents. Which means the bed sets I bought will likely be returned for cash with a promise to replace them later down the road that will never actually happen. So now none of the kids have beds. Kayla slipped to Nichole a while back that she's been sleeping on the floor for a long time now.

Katie announced to me prior to xmas that M supposedly has been out of work for some time. While I don't doubt he lost his job....... I'm sorry but there is still no excuse. Even without a paycheck there is more money going into that household (by quite a lot) than mine with no outgoing bills except rent, which is now lower due to him not working.

Katie is in for a rude awakening next year. Due to the crowding I'm giving each person ONE gift. A special gift, but just ONE.

Nichole tells me that Kayla keeps bugging her asking if she thinks I'll turn her down for a sleep over at my house. Nichole keeps telling her to ask, that she is sure I'd love to have her over. Nichole has an odd feeling about it, though she can't put her finger on it. So it looks like before I return to work I'll be having Kayla over.