I heart Christmas

Standard

I totally heart Christmas. It has always been, hands down, the greatest holiday ever. This is not up for debate. So every Christmas I want to pass this love on to my little ones. Last year I started writing down a list of the fun things we did that I wanted to become tradition.

1. When my in-laws got married, apparently they discovered they had absolutely nothing to decorate a Christmas tree with. Not wanting that to happen to their kids, they started the tradition of giving ornaments every year to their kids that were labeled with their name and the year. I love it. They have done it now for our kids. So every year at Thanksgiving I have started giving our kids an ornament with their initials and the year.

2. After Thanksgiving we decorate the house for Christmas. We crank the Christmas tunes, start a fire in the fireplace and decorate the tree and everything else. When we’re done we sit around the fire eating various snacks that so far have included popcorn, hot chocolate, s’mores,and brownies in a mug. (the brownies in a mug we did this year and they turned out pretty good. The girls loved them! See picture at the end if you want to know how to make them.)

3. Advent Calendar. I love this. I finally found one this year…it’s not a fancy permanent one, but it still helps the kids count down to Christmas. I still hope to find one where it has the pouches and you put chocolates in it…cause anything with chocolate is automatically awesome.

4. Drive around looking at Christmas lights and the stopping for hot chocolate and/or ice cream.

5. On actual Christmas morning we open the things in our stockings. We have a stocking for Jesus where we write our goals of what we want to do for God this next year. We read the ones from last year and write down ones for the next year and put them in Jesus’ stocking. I make Monkey Bread and we read the Christmas story. Then we open the presents under the tree. Later that day during our Christmas dinner we have a birthday cake for Jesus and sing him Happy Birthday. (Yeah, yeah…I understand that this isn’t technically Jesus’ birthday and used to be some pagan holiday that the early church changed…blah, blah, blah. You know what? I don’t care…it’s the date we now celebrate his birth so this is just a fun way to do that. I could do it in spring but let’s be honest…that just gets too confusing. Plus, how can you turn down cake?)

So those are some of our traditions. What traditions do you have with your family?

20121129-125156.jpg

First World Problems: Kids Edition

Standard

Now for the sake of fairness I would like to first say, my initial thought was to have a first world problems: mommy edition. Because if I’m honest, I am just as whiney as my kids. I just use bigger words and less screaming. (there’s still screaming but I also use these things called words when I am unhappy about something.). But the awesome ladies over at Rants From Mommyland already did one and there is no way I am topping them.

20121126-194624.jpg

So…here is a list of various tantrums and meltdowns from my kids that definitely goes along with this whole first world problems fad that’s been going around…

My dresses were all dirty…so I had to wear shorts.

I wanted Mac and Cheese but my mom made chicken enchiladas instead.

I wanted the red vitamin but I got purple instead.

My little sister took MY spot on the couch.

I wanted to scribble in the hymnals at church and mommy wouldn’t let me.

My sister got in the van before me and I wanted to go first.

I have to pick up my toys after I play with them.

I wanted to wear flip flops but my mom made me wear shoes.

I HAVE to take a nap!

The grocery store didn’t have the Lunchable I wanted.

My mom only lets me watch ONE movie a day. (yes they watch TV every day…don’t judge)

What are some of your kids first world problems?

Get the guns ready

Standard

I went to the park tonight. It was gorgeous out, right around dusk and there is a really nice park. In our old neighborhood we had a park…where the gangs liked to hang out and you had to comb the sand for needles and broken bottle bits. But this park is awesome in comparison. Some little rock climbing areas…small and big playgrounds…swings of all sizes…the clientele is much nicer too…and most importantly there are bathrooms and water fountains. Anyways. I am mainly hanging out with King Toot to make sure there is no consumption of dog poo or sand. I was (mostly) successful. He played on the swing, and then proceeded to terrify me by taking off and climbing all the stairs to the top of a slide. I took him down the slide and then back up he went. We did that for a good half hour. While this is going on the girls are running around climbing and sliding. Sasquatch made friends with a little boy her age. She would run around and he would follow her having a grand ole time. When it was time to leave I went and gathered my children. As I approached the little boy looked at me and announced loudly, “this is my girlfriend!”. My outward response: “Oh really?” Inside my response: “Good gravy, she’s not even five.” I was half amused and half terrified. The terror sprang from a rare glimpse into the future. When she will actually be some guy’s girlfriend. The thought is terrifying. I managed to regain my senses and come back to the present when the boy happily introduced himself as Ryan. Sir Smiley better get his arsenal ready, boys are already after our oldest. I wonder if there is a spot in the baby book for “First Boyfriend”?

Thanksgiving: The day I am least thankful

Standard

I must confess, every year I attempt to keep a thankful heart during Thanksgiving. But I am often thwarted at every turn…this year being no exception. For a day set aside to be Thankful…it usually seems to be just the opposite. So I have decided to take the string of fiascos this year and put them in a new perspective.

I am thankful for my vacuum. Even when the bag blows off and it explodes dust and dog hair and nastiness all over the floor…twice…when I just want to head to bed. I am thankful it was not broken permanently and I was able to get everything cleaned up. Oh, and I am thankful that I even have a house to clean in the first place.

I am thankful for the turkey. Even though it refused to thaw, broke the oven bag causing us to frantically run to the store to buy another one (technically two stores as the first one was out). I have a turkey to eat and that’s pretty awesome.

I am thankful for my mom. My mom who pulls the turkey out and helps me salvage the disaster as she points out I had been baking it upside down. That after flipping the darn bird over and seeing the gray and wilted looking meat, immediately asked for butter and manages to turn the soggy skin into a nice, crispy, golden brown…transforming a bird that looks like it has some kind of bizarre skin disease into something worth feasting on.

I am thankful for my family who waited an extra ninety minutes for the turkey to be done with good humor and grace. Because apparently when you cook a turkey upside down it doesn’t cook very well. But we still all had fun hanging out and no one complained. I am truly lucky to have a family like that.

I am thankful for my husband who weathered the frantic wife, swept and mopped the floors and is at this moment attempting to read “Where the Sidewalk Ends” to our two girls and screaming son.

I am thankful for my health, that I was able to race in a sprint triathlon and still have energy to have fun with my family afterwards.

I am thankful for my kids. Even though King Toot spent much of it yelling for no reason in particular he also took three steps on his own today…in a row. That moment is priceless. Sasquatch and Urpling were both cranky and at points had to be put on time out. But having tickle-fests are also priceless and am so grateful to be able to experience these moments with them.

I am thankful I have pants, even though someone always poops or pees or spills or drools on them within three hours of them being laundered. But I have pants that actually fit and protect my skin from said poop and pee and spills and drool. That too is pretty awesome.

I am thankful for pie…for obvious reasons. Especially pie with ice cream.

So all in all, I am thankful that despite all the bumps and almost-disasters… I had a tasty meal, in a safe place, surrounded by loved ones who are all in good health. Life is sweet.

TBH

Standard

Warning: This is a rant. A confession of my struggles. If you have it all together as a parent, this post is probably not for you, This is the place of unmet hopes…enter at your own risk.

To be honest, there is an image in my head. It is an image of how I want my day to go. I plan and then plan some more. I have time set aside to read my Bible and start the day off strong. I set aside time to spend with each kid so they can have some mommy time. I try to have some kind of craft or activity planned, and have it involve what they’re learning in Sunday School or Awana. I have some time set aside to get basic chores done so the house continues to function. It also includes some time with Sir Smiley and time for myself. I have the meals planned, healthy ones (or at least semi healthy) and plenty of books to read with the kids to help with their language development. But my actual days never seem to match the ones in my head. First off, in my head we are happy. Actually enjoying each other’s company and have lots of fun. I patiently deal with any little squabbles and dish out firm and just discipline.
But this is often not the case. I start off by usually waking up and feeding King Toot. But instead of getting up like a planned and accomplishing some chores and a nice quiet study time with God, I look at King Toot and the girls sleeping and decide that looks pretty darn good. So back to bed I go. I wake up and hour or so later feeling more rested and tell myself it’s okay…I obviously needed the extra rest. At this point, the girls have gotten up and Sasquatch has used her technology skills to turn on her favorite DVD. So right off the bat the girls are watching TV and I have missed and hour or so of the day I had planned to use. I feel a slight twinge of guilt but gallantly push ahead and decide that it is time to move forward and not look back. I do a quiet time, but now it’s so late the kids are fussy and want breakfast. So I speed read and then list off some needs to God and then start to make breakfast. By this point the kids are whining about everything. Someone looked at them funny…Urpling is breathing the same air as Sasquatch and how dare she! I successfully navigate all the spats calmly and get breakfast on the table and breath a sigh of relief. But King Toot has taken to protesting his breakfasts and no matter what I make he nibbles at it for about 3 seconds then starts throwing it and his sippy cup around making a massive mess while screaming and wailing. Usually this is the time Sir Smiley gets up. Coincidence? Doubtful. I have had a few bites of breakfast and then spend the rest of the time entertaining King Toot.
From here things go down hill fast. The kids start acting tired and whiney so then it’s the dilemma of whether to put them to bed early and have a later lunch or try to make them last another couple hours and put them down….for a nap…after lunch. It seems whichever I choose is wrong. The day slowly dissolves into a rush of attempts at various chores that seem to be piling up, getting Sir Smiley out the door for work, and trying to maintain a peaceful demeanor as the world slowly devolves into chaos around me. When the kids are finally quiet, I no longer feel up for finishing chores and instead waste an insupportable amount of time surfing Facebook, twitter, and other such meaningless tasks, or killing various creatures on World or Warcraft. Usually after a half hour break someone is back up needing something. Around this time everyone decides to poop and make the house smell awesome (sarcasm font here). Then I try an activity but it usually is met with Urpling wandering off after her two minute attention span is done, King Toot trying to eat various materials or crying because he can’t reach the materials to eat them, and Sasquatch yelling “No!” any time either of her siblings come within a ten yard radius of where she is…as this apparently means they are plotting to destroy her work. (which, in all fairness, is the case about 80% of the time).
By the time this is done I have no desire to cook and I just pray for the day to be over. I then resort to hot dogs or Mac and Cheese for dinner with some fruit to pretend it’s healthy. Then I feel guilt because I am obviously a horrible mother as I am filling my kids with crap, losing my temper, allowing them to watch TV, and most definitely not cherishing these moments. So I try to capture a few moments on camera so I have something to look back on. But as none of them will sit still long enough or start crying anytime I snap a picture, I give up on that. Then I try to get them to help clean up, but usually end up picking up toys myself while chiding (and by chiding I mean yelling things like, “how hard is it to pick up a few toys to help me?” or “What’s wrong with you? Why do you act like a pack of wild animals?”, etc.) the girls for not helping as they run around and sit on each other (their new favorite game ever). King Toot crawls around next to me and pulls out what I put away and cries if I stand up. I finally read them a book where Urpling keeps turning the pages after three words and Sasquatch yells at her. Then off to bed they go and I look at the disaster of a house and think, “I’ll just go to bed early and then I’ll have more energy to clean this up tomorrow.” So here I sit, typing on my blog while all my kids toys have been vomited all over every surface. I will probably just go to bed without picking up, and then one of the dogs will eat some of the toys and puke all over the floor, ensuring my day starts off wonderfully tomorrow. Thank goodness Sir Smiley is off tomorrow to help preserve my sanity.

Mortifying Moments : Acne

Standard

I have decided I need a new section on this blog. Mortifying moments. Those little moments where your kids do something that every (honest) parent has experienced, yet that knowledge brings you no comfort.
This particular moment is brought to you by a bad case of acne and the check out line. I was loading groceries onto that fun little conveyer belt whilst also trying to prevent King Toot from grabbing and ripping apart groceries, signs, credit card machines, etc. In the background, I hear Sasquatch talking to the young clerk as he is ringing all these groceries up. I didn’t pay much attention at first because Sasquatch is quite verbal, usually polite, and old enough where she likes to talk to people. Compared to destructo baby and the wandering three year old who at that point was a couple aisles over doing a little “window shopping”, she was the least if my problems…or so I thought. Then it registered what she was saying. In an obscenely loud voice, Sasquatch repeated the same question over and over again…”What’s on your face?” I will tell you what he had on his face…zits. He was putting a good effort toward pretending he couldn’t hear her. I tried to subtly grab Sasquatch and tell her to stop asking that. It didn’t work. (shocking, I know). She instead turns and asks me what is on his face. I turn away from the clerk and tell her we’ll talk about it later. But no, instead she decides she will have more success by asking him again. Three more times. I started tapping her every time she said it and mouthing no, but four year olds have never been the greatest at picking up on subtle hints and this was no different. I couldn’t even look at his face for too long after that as I flee the store. I think what made the whole thing worse was how obviously uncomfortable the entire thing had made him. I may need to find a new store to do my shopping for the next couple months…or years…

Top Ten Inventions

Standard

Here is another Top 10 List. This is the Top 10 Inventions that someone needs to invent.

10. Friendly and angry car horns. My horn always sounds angry. Which is fine when some jerk almost killed myself and my progeny to save three seconds of travel time. But in those moments where I just want to send a friendly hello or to let someone know the light turned green I need a happy sounding horn.

9. GPS for everything. Not just my phone…but my keys, wallet, credit cards and kids. I lose everything.

8. All purpose doctor’s note. Cause I never have one when I need one.

7. Back to the future Hover board. Oh, and where’s my bathroom fax machine?

6. Van intercom. My kids constantly try to talk to me from the back of the van and I never have any idea what they’re trying to say. They are louder than anything on the planet until we get in the van and then they mumble. An intercom so I can hear them clearly would be awesome.

5. Dog roomba. Doesn’t vacuum or sweep but goes outside and picks up dog poop every time they do their “business”.

4. Mute button. Like the easy button but puts up an invisible sound barrier and gives me blessed silence whenever I so desire.

3. Husband/wife translator. Just turn it on, say something and let it translate to your spouse for you.
Wife: The kids are driving me crazy! Translation: You need to take the kids and let me take an uninterrupted shower that lasts longer than 5 minutes or we will make the evening news.

2. Personal Assistant. Not a PDA. (did that date me or what? Maybe iPhone smartphone or something like that would be more up to date…). I never remember to enter things into my phone. This needs to anticipate my every move. It should hear me make appointments and enter them without my asking. Basically, it needs to be smarter than me.

1. Rosie. Really, many of these would be unnecessary if I had Rosie from the Jetsons. Now that would be awesomesauce.