Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Mexico!

This Saturday, at an obscenely early hour, my family and I are off to Mexico for Christmas {my grandparent's are taking all 16 of us to celebrate their 55th Anniversary}. And since I still have so much to do before we go, this will be my last blog post for a couple of weeks.

Therefore, I would like to wish you all a safe and joy-filled holiday! Enjoy the time spent with your family and friends, and be sure to take a moment to reflect on the special memories from 2009! All the best!

Monday, December 14, 2009

To Go Or Not To Go

On Monday mornings I take my son to a Totally Tots class at Petite Beats, a baby/toddler studio located just a few short minutes drive from our house. It starts at 10:00.

Last week we missed class because I couldn't get my little man out of bed and fed in time, and because the little guy said he didn't want to go {he cried when I tried to pick him up out of his crib}. His birthday party was the day before, so he had had an evenful day, and I decided I would rather not take a grumpy child out. Plus, it was snowy and cold out so it was pretty easy to give in and stay in my nice warm house.

After this incident I was on my facebook account updating my status to see what other moms thought about forcing a two-year-old to go when he didn't want to. My theory was that he likely doesn't really understand at his age what he is missing out on by not going, right?

A couple of my mommy friends gave me their feedback, both saying that I had done the right thing by not taking him. One said that she also misses things when her little girl has had a big day the day before, or missed a nap or something and they "lay low" the next day. The other mommy said that it was okay to miss out at this age, since he doesn't truly understand yet, but that when he is older she would make him hold true to his commitments. I agreed with both women, and was grateful for their advice.

This morning was the same problem as last week... I woke Toddler B up this time, and he said he didn't want to go to class. Again, we had had a busy weekend, and a late night the day before, but this time I picked him up kicking and screaming {it only lasted a few moments}, made him eat breakfast quickly, and put him in the car.

Every few minutes while we were in class he was asking when we were going to "go home" and tried to open the door and run away from me. He participated very selectively in the activities. Such a catch 22 really... if I don't take him I feel like a bad mom {mostly because I think kids need to spend time with other kids and I hate wasting money}, but if I force him to go I feel like a bad mom too. But, I suppose this is just the beginning, and it is pretty "normal" to feel torn as a mother.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Best Friends

Yesterday I mentioned a special celebration that is happening on Sunday with my Best Girls... we do it every year, rotating hostessing duties between the four of us. This year my friend Kayley is hosting, and we are doing a Fondue. Yum!

This event is one of the most important ones of the holidays for me because I don't get to see my girls nearly often enough, with all the other commitments that we now have. But, they truly are my "extended" family, and a love them to bits! Females need other females, and I am so thankful that I have these three girls in my life. Love you ladies!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oops, I forgot...

Yep, it happened. I knew it would eventually... I knew that one day I would simply forget to write a blog post, and yesterday was that day.

It was not without good cause though. I dropped off the little guy at my mom's house in the morning because I had a dentist appointment, then took advantage my alone time and went to the mall and finished {jealous, Santa baby?} my Christmas shopping!!!

Today I have already baked banana bread for a special celebration with my bestest friends on Sunday, made some Christmas cookies, and started to decorate the tree.

We are celebrating Christmas with my hubby's family this weekend, then we leave for Mexico on the 19th, so I am going to be a busy lady over the next couple weeks, therefore no promise that my forgetfulness will not continue! Good luck with your own busy preparations!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Capturing the Moment

Yesterday we had Baby B's 2nd Birthday Party... it went really well. Lots of good memories with good friends, and most importantly, Baby B {or should I call him "Toddler B" now?} enjoyed himself!

My one regret? There are not nearly enough pictures!!! We took some pics before the party of the cake, table set-up, and decorations, which I will be sure to share in a post in the coming weeks, but we do not have enough pictures of the party itself.

It's on days such as birthday parties that I wish I had a photographer that followed us around everywhere capturing memories for my family. Of course, it's hard to expect that my husband and I will be able to find time between being a good host and hostess to ensure that a picture is taken of every guest, though we did manage to get all the major moments covered {Baby B blowing out candles, wearing a party hat, opening presents, etc.}. But, the pictures {especially the ones I took} certainly aren't professional looking.

These thoughts, which I was already contemplating this morning when I woke up, tie in nicely with the blog post I read on Simple Mom today entitled "Five Simple Techniques for Enhancing Your Images With Children." It is a guide to taking better pictures of your family written by a guest blogger who is also a professional photographer. Some great tips that will hopefully help me improve my photo taking skills in the future!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Alternative Gift Cards

I have come to notice that more and more often people are resorting to gift cards as Christmas Gifts, especially for the individuals on their lists that they don't know very well, or "that person who has everything." Who can blame us, when the malls are getting crazy busy, and they make it so easy when you can pick up a gift card for just about anything at the grocery store?

I think that some recipients will surely appreciate a gift card to their favourite clothing store or an iTunes gift card where they can choose what they really want {especially teens}.

However, for those out there who, like me and my husband, see gift cards as basically exchanging cash with someone {what's the point, really?}, I think there are some "alternative" gift cards that are a little more personal, and more focused on allowing the recipient to have an "experience."

How about a gift card to a spa for your mom, sister, wife, or mother-in-law? Maybe consider passes to the zoo for your friend who has young kids, or tickets to the theatre/a concert for the couple who might like a date night? That way you are gifting something more valuable then a new sweater, it's time to themselves getting some relaxation, or time spent with those they love creating memories.

Extra bonus? Many of these alternative gift cards can be purchased online and then either mailed to you {or the recipient directly}, or printed right from home! Good news if you are in Calgary today where it is snowing and miserable.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Shocking Confession

Wanna hear a confession? I am an organization junkie, who is perpetually unorganized.

I adore storage containers and baskets of all kinds, and I pick them up wherever I go. The trouble is that I never know what to put in them. I can never seem to take the leap to getting things organized even when I have the space and supplies to do so. I make piles of things here and there until finally they drive me {or my husband} crazy enough that I put them away, or I simply move them somewhere else to bug me at a later date.

There are piles of mail and to-do lists {ironically often listing 'tidy up the to-do lists' on them} in my kitchen; stacks of magazines waiting to be read and manuals for my sons toys in the home office; and school assignments, coupons and other junk in a corner of nearly every other room in the house. I hide these things away when we are expecting guests, but drop-in unexpectedly and you will see my little quirk at it's worst.

I credit this habit to two things. First, genetics. My dad makes piles of stuff too. I love my dad dearly and he has been the most devoted father a girl could ask for. But, yes, he suffers from this affliction as well {do you suppose there is a name for it?}. Weirdly enough, I think it is kind of neat that we have this in common.

The second reason that I think I am a pile maker? I have the worst memory in the world. If something is not in front of my face, left out to remind me that it needs to be done, it will never be accomplished ~ another reason for the bazillion to-do lists. {I know that there are others out there who make lists of lists. I have read about them. They do exist.}

It's sort of ironic that my husband is a bit of a neat freak, and I am a clutter maker, but not really since we are polar opposites in many other ways as well. I know that my bad habit drives my husband crazy, and it torments me as well. I often find myself doing laps around the house looking for a spot to put something only to pile it up on top of some other poor item that is without a place to call home.

A place for everything and everything in it's place. My dream.

Any organization tips to share?