It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…… Said Who?

The more I grow older, the more I start to understand the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge. I have come to really dislike Christmas. I had a whole list of reasons why I hate it but the more I read it the more I realized it sound quite nasty. So yes my feelings towards Christmas have grown to a form of dislike to the point that I am already planning what I am going to do next year so that my hair can stay in my head.

Christmas cards, I send them out every year. This year we nixed quite a few off of our mailing list. Yes we added some but I think we got rid of at least 25 people. It actually felt nice sending cards to under 55 people. I nixed the pretty photo card we usually send for  cards from the Dollar Tree and just a photo print. One of the reasons is that we don’t post pictures of our children on Facebook no matter how much we are bullied or told to. I still cringe at the idea of emailing pictures only because I know it’s floating out there in cyber space and some how it could end up in the wrong hands (trust me, when you have as many scars as I do, there are people in this world that you don’t want knowing you have children). And I just read somewhere that Facebook and Instagram can sell your photos to third parties. Fun right? But next year I have decided that I am only doing 25. I’m chopping that list in half. And that I am not sending the cute little photo. It’s something else that I have to do.  I am the one who puts them all together and addresses all of them. I get no help in that department. Well now that I think about it, I get no help in any of the departments. Oh that always sends me over the edge. But I’ll save that for another day.

We have a lot of siblings between significant other and I. In fact we have twelve but that isn’t all. You now have to add in their significant others which puts that grand total to currently seventeen. Yes seventeen. Eight of us have said screw this and draw names. I like that a lot. Works so much nicer. Some siblings and their plus ones have completely bowed out of gift giving because their money needs to go to more pressing things like that new tattoo. I have one that’s Jehovah Witness so that makes me happy. Then we have six who we have to buy for and ship. This year, it cost more to ship the stuff then what was actually inside the package. So next year, they are all getting photos. That’s it, just photos of their niece and nephew. If they were hoping for that sports car, it’s out the window but the picture of their nephew in the sports car now that could happen.

Grandparents and Great-Grandparents, well they always have to have something. The last few years I have sent a collage of photos to them. I did it this year too because it’s just so easy and with the pictures frames from IKEA that are made with plexiglass, my life is simplified. Not to fear Mimi if you are reading this, that is not your gift. You got something else. Something you will love and cherish. But I have learned that great-grandparents love photos and nice framed photo is the best gift to give them. Grandparents are a little different. I mean after all they are our parents first. I haven’t quite decided what to get them yet. But whatever it is, it will be inexpensive and done. And both SO and I are children of divorce, it’s so much fun shipping everything everywhere. I might just use my Amazon Prime membership to my advantage and just ship everything to them from amazon. Even though I am the type of person that I want to double check the item before I send/give it just to make sure it’s the right thing and I didn’t end up with wrong One Direction CD. Sue me I like them. Very easy listening and my kids love them. I can stand to listen to them and The Wiggles on repeat all day. Oh and Julie Andrews. Some others, not so much.

I could really go on and on about this entire holiday that I think has been blown out of control. Maybe I might just say screw the entire thing next year and take a trip to Hawaii. That would be our family trip for the year. And now that actually doesn’t sound too bad. I have a year to save for it right? Hawaii for Christmas hmmmmm the more I think about it, the more I love it! I guess you can run away from your problems.

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What I Have Learned in my Two Years of Being a Parent

My son turns two very soon. Although if you ask him, he has been two for the last eight months. Terrible two’s started very early. In honor of his second birthday I decided to share what I have learned over the last two years of being a parent. I know I have many years ahead of me, in fact my whole life. I do wish I had a TARDIS to go back in time and tell myself what I have learned and not to freak out. Here goes nothing with my lessons learned.

  • There is only two ways the baby can come out. It got in there and it will come out. As much as at the very end when you are pushing you want to yell “I CAN’T DO THIS”, the only way all those pains are going to stop is if you breath and push. It is very very very worth it when you see the human you have been caring for and creating.
  • Studies come out all the time that say “oh this is safe to do during pregnancy” or “avoid that” but do you want your kid to be the guinea pig? Use your common sense. You have become a parent the moment you see those two pink lines.
  • When your baby naps, you nap. Laundry, Facebook, cleaning, and phone calls can wait. You need to be well rested as well.
  • You can read every parenting book, blog, magazine, etc but none of them will prepare you for your child. None of those authors have met your child. You know your child the best. What works for ten children might not work for yours. Reading does give you an idea but nothing can prepare you for that moment they enter the world.
  • Pardon my french but shit happens. There is no avoiding it ever. And be prepared it can and will go everywhere.
  • Don’t expect to be the perfect mother. Perfect doesn’t work. You are going to make mistakes and lots of them. Accept that you are not the world’s greatest mom. Just let June Cleaver keep that title. You aren’t a Stepford Wife. Don’t try to be one.
  • You cannot be a good parent without a good mental health team. I have an amazing mental health team and I honestly don’t think I could make it as a parent without them. Whether it is your therapist, your partner, your mother, or your best friend, make sure someone is watching out for your mental health.
  • Postpartum depression happens. You are not a bad parent for realizing you have it and need to take something for it. In fact it makes you a better parent for recognizing that you need the help.
  • Your social life is gone. No more late nights at the bar drinking till your heart’s content. No more trips to the store by yourself. Your social life is literally gone. Now will you still have friends and get to see them? Yes but not as much as you use to. The movie Friends With Kids illustrates it beautifully. It really does. Well at least the beginning of it.
  • Mommy time outs are the best thing ever. When you are about to lose your temper and do something you will regret, walk away. Take five minutes. Tell your kid you are taking a time out and lock yourself in the bathroom if need be. It’s the time for you to take a breather and be able to deal with a screaming toddler a lot better.
  • Facebook can be a lie and make you feel horrid. You might see your best friend post pictures of the cookies her and her kids made that day and you are still sitting in your pj’s with your kids doing nothing all day. Facebook highlights people’s high points. Would you really want a picture of you unshowered, in your fat clothes, with no make up on their? No you don’t. Just remember when you post the picture of your awesome adventure to Florida, your friend might be having the same day you did when she made the cookies.
  • This is the last one for this post and one I have learned from my sister. Make the effort. She hasn’t met her niece and nephew yet but she puts forth a great effort to be apart of their lives. My son knows who Auntie Jay Jay is. He knows she is my sister and every major holiday he gets something from her. Valentine’s Day he got a Valentine from her in the mail and it didn’t leave his sight for a week. He would hide it under his crib so he always knew where it was. I’m anxiously awaiting the day she has kids because I can’t wait to be the awesome aunt she is already. She has set the bar very high.

Well that is a handful of what I have picked up over two years. To all those parents out their, it is hard, days are long, cherish the good, remember the bad, and know that you are the best parent to your children that you can be. But I’m sure if you are a parent you already know everything I just wrote.

I’m Not the World’s Best Blogger

Mid August and I have posted absolutely nothing. How bad is that? Pretty bad. Well I guess not much has gone on. Well SO and I did have our first date in about a year and a half. I’m not joking at all. It was the first time we were kid free and ate dinner without saying “sit and eat”, “please finish your vegetables”, and “it’s time to go bye, byes.” A night out. We wouldn’t have been able to if not for one of our close friends. She watched our kids for us while we had dinner and saw Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls. Now that was bliss for both us. Although once Matchbox 20 came on stage, I lost my energy and I was about to fall asleep on SO.

Both SO and I took a month break from Facebook for the month of July. We learned a lot from it. We both learned that our stress level went down. Way down. We found out we had a lot of free time on our hands. Much more than normal. It’s amazing how much that crazy site waste our time. Now that we are back on Facebook, I check it like five times a week. I didn’t download it back into my phone. It’s staying off. No need to waste time reading what Jane Smith had to eat this morning or that Bob, Ted, and Phil are pounding down beers at Applebee’s or even seeing Mary Sue and John are happily married and after two weeks can’t take their hands off each other. I would love to say adios to Facebook but for me it’s easy to stay in touch with people. Although there are quite a few on my friends list I would love to kick to the curb. And I know that if I kick some of them to the curb a little thing called drama would happen. Oh what happened to the days when it was more of a hassle to research things on the internet then a book.

I should blog more but I’ve been noticing that at the end of the night, I’m done. I curl up with my Kindle, watch some tv shows on it (currently it is Eureka) and pass out. Maybe it is because I’m stuck in a low and I need more sleep or maybe it’s all the running around and chasing children that after 8:30 when they are both passed out and in bed that I’m ready too. I rent a DVD from the library last week to watch after the kids went to bed, yeah never even made it in the DVD player. Oh and those episodes of Eureka, I never finish. I’m so tired that I can’t keep my eyes open. Maybe it’s just me getting very old.

I will try to get back to blogging about the fun crafts we do and the activities we laugh at but for now I leave you with this. It is way past my bed time and I still need to get a few things ready for tomorrow.

It’s Christmas in July!

I’m the crazy person who starts Christmas shopping in July. Well I come from a big family and honestly I don’t like the fact that around Christmas time I might go into debit. As it is I won’t be making Shutterfly Christmas cards this year. Even though I get them very inexpensive and it’s an easy way to show family and friends our children, this year I’m going to save that twenty dollars. Everyone gets a Christmas card from a pack from the Dollar Store. I’m already planning out what I think my kids should get. Although if anyone has a toddler or had a toddler you know their interest change faster then the speed of light. Last Christmas DS was all about Spider-man. Now he could care less about Spider-man and wants everything Lightening McQueen. DD will be easier since she will only be eight months old. Not planning on getting her stacking rings as we have at least four sets of them already. I’ve already started my budget and buying things already.

I honestly like getting Christmas shopping done early because once it comes, we have to ship everything across the country in different directions. The sooner the shopping is done, the better for our wallets. Shipping everything from the west to Pacific and Atlantic gets pricey after the first two packages. The shipping price sometimes cost a lot more then the actual items in the package. Although I am grateful it is easier to ship them there then sending my family of four out east for holidays. For my little family to go east anytime of the year cost over a thousand dollars. It’s cheaper for us to go to Disneyland for a vacation then to fly east. Disneyland is including food and airfare as well. I’m sorry but I’d prefer to go to Disneyland then spend time sitting around with relatives talking about memories that I have never heard of and people I have not met (and thanking my lucky stars that I don’t). We looked around the holiday season to go and see family but the cost is outrageous. If I was some huge hot shot CEO then it would only be pocket change and I would have no problem. But alas I am just a stay at home mom who gets paid in hugs, poopy diapers, and throw up. At least I can ship a package for $16.95 and make my family happy with some presents then paying $1,695 for me to deliver them personally.

On a side note, I honestly do want to blog more but sadly due to two under two and still recovering from surgery that I had three weeks ago my energy level is about as high as well more like below sea level and that’s with coffee and Fall Out Boy’s new album (yes I’m a Fall Out Boy fan and I survived the hiatus!). Was told I’d be out of sorts for two weeks then back to normal, if only that actually happened. But now I should actually turn in and go to sleep instead of listening to Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley (no I didn’t look up their names that’s how much I like Fall Out Boy). SAVE ROCK AND ROLL!!

What Would I Do Without IKEA?

My favorite store use to be Target because you can find everything you need there. I mean everything, diapers, wipes, strawberries, batman legos, bath towels, and all the candy I can eat. But once I experienced IKEA, well Target became my second favorite store. I adore IKEA. Love the food, the ice cream, the products, and the nursing lounge. It’s a maze getting through it and I love that. It reminds me of Stew Leonard’s in Connecticut where I grew up. That is the best grocery store ever!

Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard’s (Photo credit: gallant_charles)

Only thing I miss about the east coast. Well that and my sister, my dad, and grandparents. But it isn’t enough for me to move back there. Don’t miss the east coast and all that snow and rain and humidity. Eww. Stew Leonard’s is a maze and it has talking animals and little shows and it’s a children’s paradise for going to the store. And their ice cream could never ever top IKEA’s.

Everything I ever need is at IKEA. Vases, ice cube trays (which I use for baking as well), DD’s crib which converts into a toddler bed when she gets older, and things to organize my kiddos room! I am not the queen of organization I will be the first to admit it. Like right now I should be organizing my clothes and putting away the clean ones but I decided to blog instead. It is nice that IKEA has showrooms and ideas to help with organization and every so often they offer a workshop or two to help with that. Yes I should take that but unless someone wants to watch my kids for a good four hours, I can’t. I was able to pick up some awesome soft bins that fit perfectly under DD’s crib so I can finally get rid of the broken dresser.

So my big project tomorrow is organizing their room and getting things under control in there like all the book in a nice order on the bookshelf instead of thrown everywhere. Hopefully it will work since SO is home on weekends and we have no plans at all tomorrow. Fun, fun, fun Sunday. All that is missing is a nice glass of wine while doing it. Ah that would be nice but no wine. I don’t drink when breastfeeding. Just my preference.

What store could you not live without?

 

Would You Like to Send Your In-Laws Toilet Paper?

If you have kids, you have them. The Other Family aka your partner’s family (or if you are married the in-laws). Need less to say neither my SO or myself are huge fans of the Other Family. For example, my son’s first birthday came and how they wished him a happy birthday was on Facebook. Facebook!!! Since when has Facebook taken the place of calling, sending cards, or gifts on people’s birthday especially for a one year old. I don’t think that is appropriate at all. My family all gave him presents and a party (yes we did invite them but they all had other things) before we went on our first family vacation for his first birthday. My sister has a knack for things arriving on the day of. Not sure how she does it but I think that is awesome! The Other Family didn’t send anything. Just happy birthday statuses on Facebook. Nothing else. One our son doesn’t even have a Facebook, two we don’t even post photos of him on Facebook to protect him.

Where am I getting here? Well lately the Other Family has been wearing on my partner a lot. We always send cards on Other Family’s birthdays and a gift as well. He is at the point that he doesn’t want to send them anything at all. I don’t blame him. But instead of being “that family” I suggested doing the best idea ever!

BIRTHDAY TOILET PAPER!

Come on, best idea ever right? I give credit to Gives U Can Make for coming up with this awesome idea! The poem reads:

Happy Birthday to My Sister!

This is your Birthday and to show I care,
I wanted to get you something to wear…

I wasn’t sure of your size, and money is tight,
and buying the wrong thing just wouldn’t be right…

So, I’m giving you something I know you can use;
It’s almost as useful as a new pair of shoes.

Now every time you sit to pee,
I know that you will be thinking of me!

So, use this gift to dry your tush,
Then make a wish before you flush.

Obviously you can change sister to fit whomever but is that not the best thing or what? I told my partner and he laughed and laughed. Yes the Other Family can get under your skin and sometimes even deeper but because you share family they will always be there. Even if you want to pull your hair out and they create grays, you have to teach your children to respect them.

Well now I spoiled their birthday presents for next year. Oh well. I’ll think of something else now.

BTW it is all done with humor.

Never Realized The Two are Very Similar

I had one of those days. You know the day that doesn’t seem to end at all. Yup I had that. Thank HERA it is done! Motherhoodontherocks.com put it perfectly of how I felt today. She blogged about how toddlers are like drunk people in her post 20 Ways Toddlers are Like Drunk People. Yes she went there and I’m so glad she did.

Her list of ways are: (If you are too lazy to click the links above, I know I would be)

  1. No personal boundaries
  2. Falls over A LOT. Gets up, yells “I OK!” and keeps going
  3. Poor decision making skills
  4. Spontaneous vomiting
  5. Speaks gibberish
  6. Gets belligerent if you take away their beer [insert favorite toy here]
  7. Cries for no apparent reason
  8. Streaking (see #3)
  9. Philosophical conversations with inanimate objects
  10. Short attention span
  11. Argumentative
  12. Poor short term memory
  13. Zero inhibitions
  14. Loses everything
  15. Will pass out anywhere
  16. One track mind
  17. Demanding
  18. Getting them undressed (or redressed) is like wrestling an alligator
  19. Runs into things that haven’t moved…ever
  20. One volume setting – LOUD!

I would like to add to this list these comparisons between the two especially after my day.

  • Feeling completely embarrassed by their behavior in public
  • Never knowing what exactly is going to come out of that mouth
  • Create a scene and make sure everyone has their eyes on them
  • Throws whatever they want on the ground
  • Thinks that behavior is totally fine

That’s what I would add to the list. Do you have any you would add to the list? And have you ever thought about this at all?