Welcome to The Entertaining House. We do hope you'll pour yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine and linger for a while!

It doesn't seem to be getting any shorter. And as soon as I cross an item off another one or two or three must be added. It's life... parenting and this time of the year!

I still need to mail my Christmas cards that have been filled out and addressed since Friday afternoon. But it was too cold outside! And even though I live in New England, once you factor in wind chills and they use the words feel like to describe the temperature I know I can't be outdoors! So my finished cards have sat upon my shelf for several days. And I hang my head in shame.

We have been to get our trees. We picked up two trees over the weekend. In the cold and rain. But the good thing about shopping in the cold and rain is that not everyone else is out there with you! And we picked out our eggnog. And all of our groceries, Stew Leonard's, for you Connecticut and Westchester residents is the place to go! We came home that afternoon frozen and dripping wet and lit a fire and got all cozy.

But my husband and I had a party to go to that night. And it's very hard to motivate when you are relaxing in front of a comfortable and roaring fire. And the heavy rains show no signs of slowing down! But we did. I hopped into the shower, perked up and dressed for the occasion -- my off white boucle (a la Chanel) jacket, pink shirt, 3 strands of oversized faux pearls, black dress pants and black mules.

As I was doing my hair (putting it back -- no sense in having it down and pretty in the torrential rains) Alexander came up grabbing his ear and crying. Shit. Shit. Shit. I gave him some Motrin and felt his forehead. It certainly felt warm. I toyed with the idea of taking his temperature and decided against it. I knew it was related to the ear. Once the medicine kicked in he would be bouncing off the walls again. No need to alarm the sitter. No need to alarm myself. I would keep calm and carry on. (It's amazing how much more you mellow with age and with each subsequent child!)

By the time our sitter arrived Alexander was as predicted, bouncing off the walls!

We headed out to our dinner party just around the corner. (About 3 miles away) The party was at one of our favorite restaurants, Barcelona, a tapas and wine bar. The food is extraordinary and you really want to groan with delight after each and every bite of food. We wanted to groan with delight at the wine too. The selections were fantastic.

The children were up and well when we arrived home.

The following morning (after a much needed Excedrin!) Alexander came over to me in tears. "Mommy, I'm just too hot!" Poor little baby was burning up. I kept him home from school with what I knew was an ear infection.

While I have no time in my schedule for sick children Alexander has been fighting something since Rebecca became ill with her Piggie Flu. Alexander has been battling a cough ever since. Despite our attempts to dry up the fluids with decongestants and allergy medicines (Zyrtec) nothing was touching it. I am fairly certain this led to the ears...

So as I was dropping the older two off at school I called the pediatrician and got a 10:15 appointment. This was a perfect time as it would allow for me to drop a few things off at the dry cleaners and run to Trader Joe's to pick up my pointsettia plants (in pink and red) and some greenery. I ran home for a quick minute and then headed off to the pediatrician's where we ended up waiting an hour to be seen which totally sucks and so rarely happens that I oughtn't complain. Then off to CVS -- the one with the drive-through to pick up our steroids and antibiotics only to have to wait on line there (at least we were in the car) for 20 minutes only to learn that the meds had only just been called in and would we like to wait another 15 to 20 minutes while they fill the prescription? Um, no thanks, especially with a sleeping Alexander in the car.

I was able to transfer him inside and he slept another two and a half hours which gave me some time to try to get caught up on getting caught up!

I rolled out the dough and cut out about 5 to 6 dozen shortbread stars. I also baked 2 dozen strawberry muffins for the preschool Christmas breakfast on Friday morning. They have been tossed into the freezer for safe keeping. Cream cheese frosting still needs to be made. Stars still need to be decorated.

But I have time today as Alexander is back in school.

And I need to get to the post office. But for some reason the post office is one of those places I hate to go to. So my cards have been sitting on my desk ready to go since Friday. One might say I have an aversion to posts offices. Which is really silly. But I may wait a tad longer. I've just come home with some invitations for a party we will be holding on New Year's Day. We have a great many friends we were close with before we had children, and while we are still all in fairly close proximity most of us do not get together on a regular basis. And so this is a great way to ring in the New Year with close friends of ours from way back. And their children are invited so they do not have to scramble to find a sitter on a day where most sitters are likely recuperating for a a very long and late night. Since most of these friends have children a good bit younger than our older two we keep the party fairly limited. (Little children do make for very big messes to be found the following day!

I still have a fair amount of decorating to do... and baking and now all the prep for the party. Nevermind the fact that I have not purchased one thing for my darling husband yet. The pressure is on... but I will not succumb. I'll put my apron on. I will keep calm and carry on!

Oh! And DON'T FORGET TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY posted below! Last day to enter is Thursday!

Vaseline and Sharpie Save This Fashionista's Day!

Christmas Edition of Getting to Know your Friends!