laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

On This Day (I Thee Birthed)


I had been having inconsistent contractions for a month. My mom had flown in to join us as we awaited our little man, unknowing it would be weeks of waiting. I had to sit in a very awkward position just to breathe, as his little legs were jammed up in my ribs. I went in for a baby check and my dr. wanted to induce  in a couple days. Fluid levels and everything looked fine. I even packed my bags and headed to the hospital a few days later for the induction. I never had a sense of “this is the day my baby will be born,” but I probably had just always imagined being in labor when I came to that conclusion. After being checked and hearing a brief summarization of what their plan was… I packed up my bags and went back home. I was told they’d “give me” another week but no more. (To which I stubbornly stick out my tongue and say pbbthhhh.) And it didn’t matter. A couple days later, after a full day of walking the beaches, picking up shells, and doing some shopping along one of the cutest little seaside towns you’ve ever seen…I had regular contractions. In fact, I sat down while my mom and hubbyman browsed in the final shop of the day. This was 9 days after my due date, they both had pretty much given up on the idea I’d ever have this baby, but I just knew this was the start of the path that would lead me to my baby.

the "bump" is him sticking his little booty out

Almost 24 hours later, he arrived. And life has never been the same. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My dearest firstborn,

I love you. I love the way your eyes dance when you laugh. The way you furrow your brow when you’re trying really hard or trying to figure something out. I love the way you give hugs- especially your bear hugs. Even if I don’t always appreciate that they knock me over. I love the way you talk to your siblings, at least most of the time. Besides, who else would show them to tell them how to be an animal that jumps like a frog, roars like a lion, and whimpers like a puppy?  Or how to scale furniture and then leap off? Who would show them how to make the biggest  fort? Or teach them not to be afraid of the dark, because you think the dark is fun. Or how to say your prayers. How to use your manners, how to brush your teeth. The things you are teaching your siblings whether intentionally or through example, is amazing, and we are thankful for it. Almost all the time. I am thankful for YOU all the time. Your sweet spirit, your love, your cuddles, and even your sense of adventure. I am so proud to be your mama.

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The Boy That Named Me Mommy


Tomorrow, my biggest boy, my oldest child, my Big E will be turning 5. There has been so much fit into such a tiny time space, so much that it has flown by in the blink of an eye. Just another thing you can add to the “Things My Parents Were Right About” file. It does go by in the blink of an eye. His pregnancy felt like it took forever, while we were waiting his arrival (thank you hyperemesis gravidarum for months spent on the bathroom floor and ER rooms). Once he was in arms, it was as if the pregnancy had flown right by.  Before I knew it he was crawling, then walking, talking, climbing, destroying (he was formerly known as The Master of Disaster). And here I sit, five very short years later.

Here are some of my favorite things about the boy who turned me into a mother:

  • He loooves Chinese food. He refers to sweet & sour chicken as “the chicken I like.” In fact, his favorite restaurant is also my favorite. (Score one for mommy!)
  • He looooves his siblings. He and MissE always climb into bed with me first thing in the morning. (Littlest is already next to me at that point.) And he always says, Can I watch Littlest while you get ready? And while they may fight like brother and sister, they are well on their way to growing up to becoming much like my brothers & I are- best friends.
  • He is a fantastic helper. He was just 18 months old when Miss E was born, and while looking back we feel badly that we missed (and he too, for that matter) the end of his “babyness” and overnight he turned into a little boy, helping to fetch diapers, and throw away dirty ones. He now takes the cups off the table and puts them in the fridge to “save” their drinks for  later. And I have never once asked him to do this, he just does. And he gets them out too. He puts away the “kid dishes” (they have their own drawer within reach to set the table and put them away.) when they’re clean, and gets them  out when it’s time to eat. And he’s frequently found in his brother’s cross-hairs for not letting him get into something (like the toilet) when he wants to. He also is the one who lets the dog out first thing in the morning.
  • He loves learning. Whenever we get his school things out, he is excited and willing. And he catches on quick. It’s amazing to watch him learn to write and grow into someone who’s thinking about why things are the way they are.
  • He is a feeler. Out of all 3 of our kids, his temperament is the closest to my own. He does not like it when you are upset, especially with him. And he is quick to notice if someone is not talking to him, or even looking at him, in a way that promotes smiles and laughter. And his attitude generally corresponds those he’s interacting with. If you’re happy, he’s happy. If you’re cranky, he’s cranky.
  • He is a snuggler. He’s good about bed time, although he needs a long wind down period. But if he had it his way, he’d just cuddle his way to sleep. Just last night I heard him whispering for his sister, when everyone else in the house was asleep- long past his own bedtime. I went in and he was just laying there and simply asked, could we cuddle just for a few minutes. I laid down, and he promptly rolled over, threw his hands around my neck, gave me a kiss, and said I love you, Mommy. Goodnight. And then rolled over and went to sleep. (This is another area we are similar. I want a quick snuggle and reassurance before sleep, and then roll over to my own space.)
  • He has a huge, vivid imagination. We often joke that he is a one kid zoo, because you can never be sure what animal he’ll be at any given moment. He can make up the most interesting stories. (My brother stopped by for a visit during Christmas time and was pulled aside to tell him a “secret” story that included Santa, a dragon, and things turning into bacon and being eaten. I only wish I could remember the details. It was hilarious and so imaginative that when recounted to one of my other brothers, he thought for sure we’d made it up instead of the boy.)
  • While he wants a birthday party (and I’m not sure we’ve settled on an outcome of that), what he really wants for his birthday is for hubbyman and I to take him (and only him) to a movie. So tomorrow we are packing the kids up, dropping Miss E and Littlest off with their Tia (Auntie), and taking him to the place with the chicken he likes and a movie. I think hubbyman and I are equally as excited about this. Or at least I am. While hubbyman and I frequently rotate taking kids on errands disguised as dates (they don’t care where we go as long as it’s one-on-one), I cannot remember the last time we did anything with JUST our biggest boy. Littlest gets those times when the bigger ones go on “dates” with Uncles, or Grandparents, and sometimes we have just Miss E and littlest, because the Big Boy is always up for going and doing something, and is always fine with doing an overnight (in fact, when we go to hubbyman’s parents’ home, he’s disappointed when he finds out that we’re staying too.).

Hubbyman had a “boys’ night” this weekend, and I found myself thinking that it’s so strange to think about the lifetime ago that 5 years was. I wasn’t a mom yet. My idea of a fun Saturday night did not involve playing numerous games of Madagascar or Sesame Street on the wii, nor did it involve strange editions of candy land followed by movies of the cartoon persuasion. But there I sat, after a night of just me and the kids, playing games, laughing, and loving. And thinking about what a great night it was.

the day before he was born we walked the beach, picking shells

5 years ago, I was 41+ weeks pregnant, thinking about how my back hurt beyond belief, my ribs were bruised from the inside, and that the little boy inside me was never going to come out. 5 years ago, I had no idea how my world would be flipped upside down, or that my eyes would see everything in a different light. Just goes to show you the difference one day can make. I had no idea that 24 hours later I would be holding the sweet, perfect little person who not only made me a mother, but taught me how to be Mommy. And to love almost every second of it.

the day before Big E was born

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I Make Donuts. Call Me WonderMom.


So…. I’m pretty behind in posts in general, I know. And food posts, I’m sure I’m behind by like a month. Whoops. I have another confession- this is not going to be one either. Well, not completely. Even though I haven’t been doing posts about food, we still have been cooking, and even eating. Shocking, right? Really, there’s been lots of foodie stuff going on here… for Christmas I got a pasta extruder (you have no idea how happy this made me!).

I’ve made lots of yummy pastas, some new pasta sauces (including a pink garlic sauce- so good), sugar cookie cut outs galore, and donuts. I bought a specialty cookbook (for gluten free) specifically because it had a donut recipe in it. And I’ve been looking longingly at the donut making machines over the holidays… and then, during some post-holiday shopping, I found a set that had two donut trays. One for your regular circle donuts, and one for long john style donuts!! I was practically giddy. Ok, there’s no practically, I was giddy. You see, January marks one year of us being gluten free. It feels like it’s been much longer, but a year it’s definitely been. And we have come a long way since those first weeks. We were given a lot of discouraging advice, encouraging advice, and a lot of mixed signals. Thankfully, we were able to weed out the good and the bad and trudge on through. We did have some things going for us already. We already ate little to no processed foods, and I was already making/cooking most things… so I ordered some all-purpose GF flour on-line (because you can get it WAY cheaper and in bigger quantities) and just kept on cooking as usual. I really lucked out. This all-purpose mix is still by far my favorite. We thought it might be a fluke that the first brand we tried was so awesome, but I have not been impressed with any other brand we’ve tried.  While we still have our areas that we could improve upon (I need to make and freeze more pasta sheets on a regular basis, so they’re always available in a pinch. I also need to get back into making bread on a regular basis.), but we have certainly come a long way. We now know so much more about the little changes we can make to keep gluten out of the house and home and tummies. We have found new family favorites and ventured into foods we never otherwise would have. Plus, we feel better! We made “Mexican pizzas” (tostadas), we have sandwiches made out of waffles (the kids’ absolute favorite), we make our own pasta, we make our own sauces, we double our recipes so that we can freeze half for an easy/quick meal another night, and we do lots of experiments!

You know what the best part is? Knowing that one year ago, we were trying everything we could think of to help our sweet little girl. Who had awful tummy issues from midnight exorcism-style vomiting, to much less pleasant potty issues that I’ll save you from the details, to hives attacking her face with each and every meal. We’d gone a year trying to figure out what was causing the hives, we’d thrown out processed foods, stayed away from anything with preservatives or food coloring, gave up tomatoes and anything with citric acid… to no avail. In fact, her hives were getting worse. They were no longer just showing up around her mouth with a meal, they were staying on her sweet little face all the time, and spreading to her neck with meals. Now I know there is some controversy in the needing to be tested. But in order to do that she’d have to continue eating gluten for 2 solid months and then undergo a big-deal time of invasion to her body, which is is teeny-tiny. And the test often comes out with a false negative. Yeah, I’m not down for that. Especially, when after being gluten free for only a month, her hives went away. And they haven’t been back. And we’ve been able to add back in some of the foods that we avoided previously. Like tomatoes. Hello, ketchup! She was so excited to be able to have the ketchup that her brother shovels onto just about every food. (Except rice, because apparently that’s gross. But ketchup and anything else is totally acceptable. And I mean anything else.) Really, to me, my daughter feeling better (you know it’s a big deal when you could tell a 3 year old that she can’t have the cookie being offered because it’s one that will make her tummy hurt, and she just says, so what can I have? without getting upset at all. Or when offered something she’ll ask, will this make my tummy hurt? She feels that much better, and that’s sayin’ something.) And the diet change has caused us to look more closely into the things we’re eating and to become more intentional with the things we eat along with where they come from. Plus, now I make my own donuts. My life is now complete.

See that, a real, homemade (by me!) donut... Gluten free, and it's vegan too!

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Mayhem Delight


I have sooo many things I want to share with you… and I wish there were time to do so! I know I am not alone when I say that I am having some trouble not succumbing to the busyness this time of year tends be overtaken by. We’ve had lots of laughs, a few tears, and many prayers. And they’ve all been necessary! We’ve had family come in from China (much to the surprise and delight of my oldest), we’ve had family come visit our home for the first time, we’ve had family health scares, and somehow we had nearly 50degree weather- in Minnesota! In December! All wrapped into a Christmas weekend. Every time I breathe a sigh of relief, thinking things will settle down now, I remember that next weekend is actually Christmas!

But there have been little things that have gotten me through the craziness- a friend coming to help me get ready and calm down before everyone got here, quiet moments with each of my kids when they were feeling overwhelmed by the chaos, and the cuddle/play time we enjoyed as a family once there was some sense of calm in the house again! After a very full weekend with a very full house, today we are doing some vegging. I have not even done the dishes (sorry, honey). But I have held three children in my lap, watched a Christmas movie, sang some Christmas songs, put together and played with new toys, and promised that yes, we should have more play days. Because I like days where I just play with you too. 

And while I may have to try and exchange some things I got the kids (or else they’d have doubles, or very similar), I am happy that they have a family they love and trust and that knows my little ones so well that they knew exactly they would like.

I’ve been typing while I put my littlest to sleep for nap time, and nap time is now in session. And I spy some “bigger” kids who are looking as if they could use some playtime with their mama, or the “bad tiger” as they commonly request me to be. Which means I will be chasing them and growling until my voice goes hoarse and my knees are sore. I am thankful neither of them know how to take videos yet.

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Nativity on Safari


I debated writing a post at all today…I’m tired, yes. But that’s basically normal. I don’t know why I threw in the basically, it is normal. But I’m feeling determined and motivated (that is basically unnormal*) and wanting to finish up some things. And then I remembered how important it is to stay thankful in life. That can be a big attitude changer. Maybe you wonder why I always post a few blurbs (sometimes more) of things I’m thankful for every week. The answer is really very simple. I need to. I have a tendency towards melancholy and can so easily get lost in the life of a stay at home mom, with 3 still little ones. The very act of typing out even just three things I am thankful for, even when -maybe especially when- I’m feeling unthankful, can change my attitude, or at least my focus. It can take a morning where every toy in the house has been dumped out, yet again, and switch my focus back on to things to be thankful for: my little mess makers, and the fact that we are in a place where we can provide for them, and that they have family that loves them so much they’re always bestowing new and messier toys for them. These are real things to be thankful for. And I am. Sometimes I just need the reminder. Thankfulness shouldn’t just occur on Thanksgiving. It really should be a way of life.

*Yes, I know it should have read ABnormal… but as you can see, an italicized ab doesn’t have the same  je ne sais quoi as the UN. 😉

 

And here they are-

  • health. We all had some virus or cold last week and it was sooo annoying. In the scheme of things, I am thankful that colds are the extent of our health worries.
  • Sometimes I get frustrated with all that comes with protecting my little Miss and her gluten allergy/Celiac disease. I am thankful that we discovered it when she was young so that these things are a way of life for her, and normal. And that we figured it out before it did permanent damage. I am also thankful this is our greatest health concern for her! As there are families with far bigger health concerns for their children.
  • I am thankful for girlfriends to unwind with, bitc…..um, complain to, and laugh with!
  • I am thankful for a husband who respects this time. And that he does things on his “honey do” list while I”m gone!
  • I am thankful for our families.
  • I am thankful for my monkeys. Who are currently behaving like children. I love them and the sound of their sweet laughter.
  • I cannot believe I’m saying this, but… I’m thankful for Christmas time. I am thankful for get togethers, and decorating (minimally), and seeing the magic in my children’s faces. And the fun crafts and baking you get to do!

Chocolate covered strawberries that are decorated so they look like Christmas lights! Except for the ones with roasted coconut- those are just because they're delicious!

The 2ft tree the kids got to decorate- complete with small stuffed animals and keychain toys.

No nativity is complete without a footless goose, a puppy bigger than the people, and a panther. Yesterday the nativity had gone on safari with a plethora of giraffes, hippos, and a rhino.

Happy Friday!!

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Simply Delicious


Now if you’re anything like my husband, you may be a little bit afraid of things (foods) you haven’t tried. Especially if you’re a visual person. I completely understand how the way something looks can totally throw you off, but how many times have you judged a person, a store, or a book by the way they looked only to find yourself completely surprised? This is especially applicable to vegetables.

Anyways, so I have been stocking up on veggies (the ones that are hard -or non existent- to come by during the winter) and cubing, pureeing, and freezing them! Last week I got a bunch of different squashes, along with some brussel sprouts (they are so good for you!). Now I love squash and hubby merely accepts them as good for him, but I finally found a meal chock full of veggies that my family loved and ate!!! I should really word it to say that I finally found a meal chock full of veggies that HUBBYMAN will not just eat because it’s good for him, but because he likes the way it tastes! (my kids already love vegetables, their favorites being spinach and broccoli.)

Now for the meal! It wasn’t totally meatless this time (I was trying to warm my hubby up to the idea of brussel sprouts, which he adamantly claim to dislike), but it had little meat, and we’ve since had it without. I took one spaghetti squash and about a l-2 lbs of brussel sprouts and made a delicious dinner!!

That’s right.. the way I convinced my family they loved brussel sprouts after all, is by using bacon! Want to convince your family (and maybe yourself too) to eat brussel sprouts? Try it this way!

What you’ll need:

Brussel Sprouts

3 strips of bacon

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350. Cut the brussel sprouts in half and throw in a pan (the recipes all call to throw them in a bowl for this step, but really it’s not necessary and just adds extra dishes). Drizzle with olive oil (over all of it!!), sprinkle on the salt (more than you think is necessary, like it’s popcorn of french fries!) and some pepper. I added some Lowry’s seasoning salt, because I know that’s a flavor my hubby likes. Stir in up, toss it, coat it! Make sure they’re all well-coated in the olive oil. Then make sure the halves are all faced down. I only used 3 pieces of bacon because eventually I’d like this to be eaten without! But you can use more or less (it’s good even without!). Anyhow, I just cut the bacon into  small pieces and layered in randomly through the sprouts.

Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Stir/shake every five minutes after until they’re nice and crispy, browning but burnt! Mine took about 30-35 minutes total They’ll be a little crunchy, but trust me, this is a good thing!

I actually did this part before the sprouts… I took one large spaghetti squash and cooked it until soft. (you can do this a variety of ways from crock pot, to oven, to microwave. I used the oven- it takes about an hour, but all you have to do before hand it wash it, cut it open, scoop out the seeds and stick it in. So you can have it cooking well ahead of time.) While the brusell sprouts were a’cookin’ I threw some olive oil in a skillet, threw in some peas (my kids -and I- love peas), some chopped spinach, a little bit of chopped garlic cloves, and just a little onion and sauteed. Next I added the spaghetti squash.

All you have to do is take a fork to the squash and it comes out all stringy and spaghetti noodley like (hence the name). I only used one half- the other half I scooped out and froze for a quick, easy, gluten free spaghetti night!!) I sauteed, then threw in my homemade spaghetti sauce! Hubbyman likes spaghetti to have a good amount of sauce so I used a whole jar! I added a small amount of pepper, seasoning salt, and basil. Stirred it all up, and voila! It was delicious! And best of all, you could really throw in whatever veggie you like best!

I also made a super yummy fruit salad! Yum! This was a delicious, healthy meal that my whole family loved!! And those brussel sprouts? Hubby and kids ate them like candy! MissE declared them, Really nummy!

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There Are No (Appropriate) Words


Today I’ve been feeling a little sub par, and it seemed like no matter how I tried to pretend I was feeling good and could be productive (we’ll have around 13 adults and 6 children under 5 in a week and a half in our home to celebrate Christmas!), every time I turned around, I’d run smack into something to remind me of how crappy I was feeling, along with unproductive. Like how I heard Littlest scamper down the stairs to join his siblings in play, and thought it would be a good time to throw some things in the laundry. By the time I’d switched out clothes from the dryer and the washer and reloaded the washer… I came upstairs to this pleasant surprise. We had girl cheese (as my MissE pronounces it) with tomato soup for lunch only minutes earlier, and the table had yet to be cleared. Littlest found a spoon and was feeding himself a slurp from every cup… unfortunately most of it ran down his front and onto the table, where he discovered he liked the feeling of it squishing between his toes. Needless to say, a bath ensued as he had tomato soup from head to toe and a plethora of places in between. And as this is just one example for the day (he also pulled over the Christmas tree…), these are all the words I care to say out loud. I hope you can understand, and maybe even sympathize. If you can babysit, that would even be better

Just in case you couldn't clearly see the mess

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Christmas Magic


Despite yesterday’s post about Santa, (and the fact that I’ve admittedly been a little grinchy about Christmas-time growing up) being a wife and mom, with a home of my own, has changed things. And for those of you who are on the fence about Santa and what to say to your kids, know this: Christmas is a magical time with or without Santa. We never said one way or another about Santa, until directly asked. And then we shared, and also shared the story of the “original story,” and talked about families who don’t have all the things that they are so accustomed to. Which prompted them to show great signs of heart. After talking with my Miss E about it, I gave her a dollar and said she could use it to buy gum or something (she looooves gum), but on the way in she asked about the man ringing the bell next to the red bucket. I told her what it was and what the money went for. And that’s right, my three year old decided she’d rather help out a family in need than get some gum. And Big E has helped pick out a toy for a boy who would possibly not get any others. They frequently go through their toys and leave me with a pile they say they don’t love anymore, to give to kids who are in need of some toys to love. (Granted if I don’t get them out of the house quickly enough, eventually they’ll be rediscovered and magically back in love with…but c’mon, they’re under 5!) As I was saying, there is magic in the season, even without Santa bringing it. There’s magic in their faces watching the snow, watching them decorate their own tree (it’s just their size!), hearing the oooohs and aaaahs (And “Mooom, look! They’re just so bootifull“) over houses and trees lit up with lights. Hearing them recount to each other all the special traditions and meanings of Christmas. Listening to them reenact the Christmas story with the nativity set. Baking cookies, making fun crafts… there’s magic in all of that. Even without Santa.

Here’s some of our magic that’s very easily duplicated…

This was really easy and the kids thought it was really fun. I found a book of Christmas stencils among my decorations, but you could easily hand draw some simple, Christmas-themed things (tree, bell, star, santa outline, stocking outline- they’re all pretty basic) and then had the kids color them in. Next they’ll get cut out and used as gift tags for grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. You could do this on green or red paper and make it even more festive! I didn’t think about that until after!

I got the idea for these from pinterest, which lead me to this lovely blog. Mine is a little different, but definitely the same premise. I just filled 8 clear bulbs with some white glitter, stuck an index finger from each of them into some glue and them put it on the bulb. Then we covered the finger prints in glitter! After they dried I used a permanent marker and made little black hats for their heads and three black dots for buttons on the belly. I also added a red scarf with a red permanent marker. These were so easy and turned out really cute.

And these gems were really just because. I’d gotten some ornament shaped…I don’t even know what to call the material, kind of like a thin foam, maybe? Anyone know what I’m talking about? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?  Whatever, they’re cute and they were on sale. I figured these could either be gift tags, or I could glue pics of the coordinating kids on the back and make them into ornaments (probably payback to our parents for all the child-made ornaments my grandparents had to have!) This was another glitter and glue project. Dip the whole hand in, put it on the “paper” and shake the glitter! Easy-peasy. Oh, I did Littlest E’s feet instead of hands because on anyone under 2 years old, this is the easiest way to go without doing it in their sleep. (When the kids were babies I’d use a finger paint and sign footprints on all their cards- to daddy, grandparents, uncles, etc.) I don’t even care that these are blatantly “chintzy,” I like ’em!

I saw a few posts about 25 days of crafting, where you do a new and different craft with your kids each day. I am not going to be doing that. I’d be digging myself out of the glitter by day 4. But I liked the idea, and we are doing lots of crafts. Today will be chocolate-covered strawberries, made to look like Christmas lights. They are gonna be cute!! (And delicious) Unfortunately, MissE has been unable to help herself, and she’s already eaten half the strawberries I bought for this, so we’ll just have enough for a post dinner snack. I’m really excited about them anyways (I always get excited about food!) and look forward to posting pictures of our work after!

I have no idea what's on his face... but he looks happy at least!

This is not craft related, or maybe it is… I can’t remember what he’d gotten into! I just like it! And since he wasn’t really a part of the pictures or post, there you go. And here is his contribution into today’s laughter:

Our dog is a huuuge baby. (Have you ever heard of a lab who gets tired of playing fetch after maybe 5 throws? And he’s only a year!) When I’m diligent about it, he gets better, but normally, anytime he hears a noise, he sits at the window, with his head stuck behind the curtain. Barking and/or growling at all the little old ladies that go a-walkin’ through our neighborhood. (Obviously, they are the most threatening of the passerbys.) Today was no exception. Lady walks by, puppy begins to growl. I turn around, tell him to Stop that! And then shoo him to go lay down. A moment later, I hear more growling. I find myself rolling my eyes as I head back to the window, only to find that the growling I heard was coming out of my sweet, littlest boy! The dog, of course, quickly sidled up next to him. And there they stood, growling in unison at the sweet neighbor-lady (that they both know). *Sigh*Headshake*Eyeroll*

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Santa: The Good, The Bad, and The Creepy


Santa-lovers beware, this post is not for you. My husband hates Santa. Simply put, he creeps him out. I’ve tried to reason with the man, but for some reason my arguments never seem as valid once they become audible. None the less, these are a few of the statements we’ve each spouted to prove our own thoughts’ validity.

  • He watches them while they’re sleeping! I’ve always wanted a way to watch them when they sleep and actually get some sleep myself- now I have that! Now I’ll have someone awake and watching, in case some old creep would try and break in. (hey, wait a minute…)
  • He knows when they’re awake- I’m pretty sure neighboring countries know when our children have awoken. So really, the North Pole isn’t that much of a stretch.
  • You can get your children to behave by spouting a simple, harmless lie. Behaving children? Check. Tricking them? Check! Lying to them? Double check! All the parently attributes I’d hoped to pass down to my young, impressionable children.
  • Bringing your most precious gifts (your children) to sit on the lap of a strange old man with a beard, who may or may not smell like a liquor cabinet is not weird at all. It’s flat out creepy.
  • Santa (and his consumerism) helps the economy! Your kid whispers what they want most in this world to a “santa.” Leaving you to buy every toy it could’ve possibly been, just so you can keep the faith alive.
  • I’ve always wanted my children to find good role models in life, you know someone that will teach them useful tools for their life. Santa does that. If you want your kid to have the best teacher for B&E’s- he’s your guy. Same goes for if you’d like your children to reach expert-level in the Peeping Tom world.  (Seriously, all the facebook status updates in the world are not enough, he actually has to see you.)
  •  I googled Santa and came up with TONS of websites dedicated to pictures of creepy Santas. And they were definitely creepy. I think I could smell rum on a couple of them.
  • There’s a Santa and Mrs. Clause speedo run all over the country every year. I think we can safely add Mrs. Clause to the do not watch list.
  • He turns sweet, wild reindeer into prancing, flying slaves who perform his manual labor.
  • When asked if he’d like to meet Santa, this was Big E’s response: He’s not real. Me: So you don’t want to meet him? Big E: It would be kinda creepy to meet someone who’s not real. (He’s got a point.)

Case adjourned.

If Santa would just hook up with social media things could be different. We’d be way less freaked out by someone who just twitters your tweets and pokes your posts… eh, maybe not.

photo credit: ilovecoffeeyesido

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It Came!


We have a layer of snow on the ground! I’m hoping there’s more in the forecast! There are lots of reasons to not enjoy all the winter we get here… like the fact that it lasts longer than the rest of the seasons combined (we had snow for 8 out of 12 months this last year. From October thru May!), or the fact that it gets so cold you don’t want (and sometimes it’s not even safe) to take your kids outside in it. Or the times you do dress them up to go outside, end five minutes after they get out there, even though you spent close to an hour to get them all ready. See, I get it. I am well versed in the reasons to wish away the white, powdery stuff. But, as I was born in this frozen tundra, I do have some favorites about this weather.

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  • The first snowfall is magical. Especially to children. Being the one to show them the yard full of fresh snow is like being the first one to introduce them to chocolate, or ice cream. It’s priceless.
  • Every fresh snowfall brings excited squeals from my Biggest E. (As I type this, I overheard him say to his sister, I have a surprise for you. -I’m assuming he then pointed towards the big window- and he squeals, jumps up and down, and says, Aren’t you sooo ‘decided’ [excited] to play in the snow?!). Seriously, every time it snows. I can cover his eyes, bring him to a window, and he lights up brighter than a Christmas tree. (or brighter than mine would be if I actually had it set up. Sigh…)
  • I love the look of fresh-fallen snow. I do. I just love it. When I was little we moved from the frozen tundra of Minnesota to the powdery slopes of Colorado, and I can still recall the way I thought the mountain passes, covered in fresh-fallen snow sparkled like diamonds. I love it every snowfall. And we get a lot of those here (back in the frozen tundra). Every. Single. One. The more snow, the better.
  • I love winter sports. Ice skating, skiing, hockey, snowshoeing, snowman building, sledding, snowmobiling…. love it all!!
  • I love the way a snowfall can make the middle of the night look as bright as day. (Ok maybe not that bright, but certainly not as dark as the middle of the night!)
  • I love winter foods- all warm and cozy.
  • I love winter clothes (see reason above^^)
  • I can get away with making my family (or at least my children) be all matchy
  • I looooove boots. And have at least 3 pairs that I deem cute enough that I wish I could wear them year round!
  • Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this is the only time it is acceptable to throw something square in the face of those you love! Long live snowball fights!
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