Our Family Christmas Recap

I don’t know about all of you but I am worn out by all the holiday madness.  December 26th is always bitter sweet.  I’m thankful that there is soon to be a bit of relief in our family’s schedule but I’m sad that the festivities are over.  Down will come the lights and the tree and the house which looked great before the Christmas decorations went up, will now seem bare and lack luster.

We had 3 1/2 different Christmas’ this year which is a record for us.  It is always so great to catch up with family and friends that we rarely see but I don’t have to tell you Mom’s how hard it is to be that busy during Christmas.  I can admit, that the demands (mostly placed on myself BY myself) and the expectations of others can quickly kill my Christmas buzz.  Eventhough we had 3 1/2 Christmas gatherings, we held firm to our nap times and I’m so thankful we did (though I’m sure there was at least one relative who was not happy that naptime delayed us).  But, Zeke had a great week. Not one meltdown (a few “MINE!!” moments but those were quickly resolved with the shiny distractions in any direction).  He was showered with love and attention and of course too many gifts.

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Zeke did a little baking with Grandma and his cousin.  He was assigned sprinkle duty.  (Maybe not the best task to give a 19 month old but hey…what Grandma says, goes.) Luckily our family more interested in the hands involved with making the cookies than how pretty they are.  But, if you ask me, they were a beautiful mess!  He and I made salt dough ornaments for the grandparents.

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We also gave Santa one more try.  Despite what you’re about to see below, Zeke loves Santa.  He’ll give him high fives, “knuckles”, waive to ever man who has any significant amount of fair colored facial hair and yell “HI SANTA! HOHOHO!”  I guess it’s just the pressure of the picture that is enough to induce a meltdown.  That’s okay.  We captured one decent picture of the family with Santa and one more of those classic cry faces.

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Being a working Mom on her week long staycation, of course I had to pack in as much activity as possible.  Besides christmas baking, crafts, and putting on our jammies, grabbing some cocoa and climbing into the truck to go check out some neighborhood lights we thought it was the perfect time to get Zeke on the ice.  His Daddy has played hockey since he was 6 years old so this was a dream for him and I’ll tell you what, Zeke is a natural!  I know, he’s 19 months, whatever.  I’m telling you, the kid is gonna be a skater.  He didn’t want to get off the ice.  He skated himself into “no bones” land, where his legs couldn’t possibly keep him up any longer.  It was AMAZING.  It was seriously the perfect day. Perfect.

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Until this fall, I didn’t even know they made hockey skates so small.  These are a size 7 and I picked them up at a second hand sale for $10.  They are a tad big but they worked great and he didn’t seem bothered by them at all.  I remember learning to skate when I was about 7 and I couldn’t keep my ankles straight to save my life.  I went home crying after my first lesson because my feet hurt so bad.  Not this little dude.  He was walking on skates with no problem and dragging us back onto the ice for more.

I hope you and your family had as much fun as we did without losing your sanity!

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Elf on the Shelf and Scary Santa

I have been looking forward to using our Elf on the Shelf this year.  Zeke is still a little to young to really understand it but that doesn’t stop him from loving that elf to pieces.  As excited as I was for Patty’s arrival it is actually quite the task.  Just remembering that Patty needs to move has been a pain but then Zeke sees him drawing on his “mananas” or taking a marshmallow bath and he lets out that sweet giggle.  It’s totally worth it.  Plus, it’s kind of fun coming up with elf shenanigans.  What has are Patty been up to?  Well, Mom Patty is a bit lazy so he likes to keep things simple.  Check it out.

 

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From Top Left to Right…

  • Having breakfast with Zeke.
  • Building a house.
  • Just “hanging” with the snowman.
  • Adding some character to the Bananas.
  • Testing his new bendy arms by swinging on the chandelier.
  • Play duck hunt. (No duckies were harmed)
  • Getting in his spa treatment.  Peppermint bubble bath.
  • Getting the buddies together for their Christmas card photo.
  • Bedtime story.  About Elf, of course.
  • Changing the oil on the work truck.
  • Reporting to Santa.
  • No snow?  No problem. How about a “cutie”man?

 

Patty has helped bring the Christmas spirit and now we are in full blown Christmas mode.  Our lights are hung, our tree is twinkling, and our presents are purchased.  Well, most of them.  I am pleased that we have really been able to enjoy the season with the various events, such as Zoo Lights at Point Defiance Zoo, a visit to the “North Pole”, a petting zoo visit complete with a nativity and Santa Clause! I knew Santa was going to be a problem since Zeke is definitely in that stranger danger phase.  He’s incredibly social but if you aren’t one of his people, you may not want to pick him up or you will go full No Bones.  As we were waiting in line he was excited talking about Santa and sipping on his cocoa.  Then the big moment arrived!  So, how’d he do you ask.  Well, he did about this well…

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Santa’s smile can’t be more perfect for these shots!  He was a really sweet Santa.  The visit was unplanned since we have reservations this Saturday to have his pictures done with Santa but I thought why not give him a trial run since the line was short and the price was right.  Free.  Let’s just hope it goes a tad better then this visit!  Classic child meltdown Santa picture. Check.  Thankfully, the minute I picked him up off Santa’s lap we back to his happy self.  He even waived goodbye to Santa as we left.

Does your family do Elf on the Shelf?  If so, what are your elf’s best moments?

 

Happy Christmas’ing

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Signs that You Are a Working Mom

The struggle is real my Mommy friends.  We just celebrated my husbands birthday in November and he really, REALLY wanted to take a weekend getaway. I just assumed that included the kiddo but I was wrong.  After some negotiations we decided to take a day trip that Saturday.  We dropped Zeke off with the MIL that morning.  As we pulled away I saw a sweet, chubby little hand waiving goodbye from the window.  And no, it wasn’t my MIL! We weren’t even out of the driveway before the tears began stinging my eyes.  My poor husband just looked at me baffled.

I’m a working Mom so unfortunately being away from my child is a little too familiar to me.  I start work before Zeke is even up for the day and on a really good night, I get 3 hours with Zeke.  Yep, 3 hours before he goes to bed. That’s it.   On really bad nights, I may get a mere handful of minutes with him.  Literally.  Last night I saw him for 11 minutes.  11!  Needless to say, the weekends are precious to me.  We are a church going family so our Sundays are spoken for and that leaves Saturdays for our 1 uninterrupted day of family time.  So when we took that day trip, I knew I was giving up my one special day with Zeke.  And yes, I gave it up for one special day with my husband.  Like I said…the struggle is real. Whether you are a working mom, a stay at home mom or a stay at home working mom.  Balance, is a struggle.  So to all you working Mommy’s who are struggling like I am, you are not alone and you may be able to relate to the following…

 

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  • You kiss your baby monitor goodbye each work morning.
  • You have done the math and know that exactly 1 quarter of your time spent with your child is in the car commuting.
  • You get a bit jealous when you hear about Stay at Home Mom’s play dates and activities with their kids and other Moms.
  • You have ever prayed that he doesn’t love his child care provider more than you.
  • During the week, you spend more time looking at the picture of your child on your desk than in person.
  • You do your grocery shopping or other errands during your lunch hour.
  • You have ever pumped at work.
  • You have ever cried while pumping at work!
  • You have ever pumped in your car.
  • You have ever cried because you didn’t make it home before your child went to bed.
  • You roll your eyes when a non working or childless friend or relative talks about how busy they are.
  • Anytime you are asked to bring a snack to an event it’s store bought.
  • Ever felt guilty for bringing a store bought snack to an event!
  • When the weekend comes you want to do ALL THE THINGS with you child.
  • You get irritated when you notice all the baby/toddler swim, music, learning etc. classes are held during the work day.
  • You miss your child even though you will see them after work.
  • You forego much needed sleep to wake up early and hit the gym while the kid is still sleeping.
  • Your child care provider has to tell you of a milestone your child hit while you were working.
  • You get a little sad when other parents talk about needing a break from their children.
  • You are conflicted about date nights or weekend getaways with the hubs because you don’t want to give up anymore time with your child.
  • During the week chores only get done after 8 pm, if they get done at all.

 

I could go on, but I’m probably just preaching to the choir.  Oh!  So, how’s this for life…?  Feeling especially overwhelmed last night with being a working mom and what movie comes on?  “How Does She Do It” over course.  Thanks life.

 

Take it easy Momma’s!

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Dose of Daddy & Bath Time

DoseofDaddyI actually really enjoy bath time with the kiddo.  I almost never have a meltdown or behavioral problems when he’s taking a bath, plus I get a handful of minutes to either be playful with him or just next to him and catch my breath from my crazy day. But, Daddy on the other hand, is not much of a fan of bath time so I am almost always on bath duty.  Occasionally I do need Hubs to step in and and take care of it.  And when he does I just never know what I’ll find them getting in to.  This time, Daddy needed to multitask and I walked into the bathroom to find a sweet little cherub face giggling at me from over the curtain rod.  I love my boys.  I love them individually and I love them together.  It really doesn’t get much better.

 

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EASY DIY Pillow Lounger


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My son is going on 19 months this month and his personality is really starting to develop.  I have a feeling he is going to be a fun loving, rowdy, energetic ham.  He’s developed his own interests and favorite activities.  One of his favorite things are pillows. He’s really into pillows.  Like really into pillows.  He likes to collect them from around the house and pile them up in the living room and spend the next 30 minutes jumping, falling and rolling around in them.  It’s actually quite entertaining for the whole family though he does get a little territorial of them.  It’s pretty normal to find him trying to steal the dogs beds, or at the very least join them in it. 

So of course, when thinking of Christmas gifts I knew I wanted to give him some awesomeness in pillow form.  I like sewing, I just hate the measuring and cutting it takes leading up to the actual sewing.  So I wanted a project that would not require scissors or measuring tapes.  What can I say?  I can be a pretty high maintenance crafter sometimes.  Well, not only did I NOT need scissors and a measuring tape for this project but it also only took about 20 min. Tops. Here’s what you’ll need…

 

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I got each pack of 2 pillow cases from Walmart for $5.  I probably have some packed away in our storage unit that I could’ve used but who has time to go sifting through the unit when you can get them for $2.50/piece?   It was the same case (yep…I heard that pun too) with the pillows.  I’m sure we have extras stored away while we’re in the middle of construction on our new home but Walmart also had pillows for $2.50.  They didn’t have much selection of design for but my toddler will not care.

 

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I started by turning on the Hallmark channel and grabbing a few Hershey Peppermint Kisses…you know…crafting fuel.

 

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 Then I got to pinning the two long sides of the pillow cases, one on top of the other, making sure to keep the opening of each on the same side.  And, no, I did not iron them first (Call me a lazy crafter).  You don’t want to take up too much fabric for a seam allowance other wise it may be hard to stuff your pillows in.

 

Pillow Lounger How To

 

I repeated this 2 more times until all 4 cases were sewn together.  I understand that I bought cheap pillow cases so I couldn’t expect too much from them but there was 1 out of the 4 that was noticeably longer.  I’m a little OCD when it comes to stuff like that (oddly enough not at all OCD about the wrinkled cases.  Yes, I did take note of that) so it drove me a bit nutty!  But I doubt my 18 month old pillow monster will notice, or care. 

 

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You’ll end up with a seam that looks like this on both sides.

 

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It was at this point when I realized it may have been easier to add the pillow closures BEFORE I sewed the cases together but to be honest (a) I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use ties, buttons, snaps or velcro and (b) I had none of those options on hand.  So I will come back around and probably had a piece or two of velcro to each case so it’s lays nicely.  I definitely did not want to sew them closed because, well you know….dirty, sticky, smelly little boy.  I see it becoming good friend with the washing machine in the future.

Here is the (almost) finished project laid out.

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It folds up really nicely into a squishy chair or a lounger.  I can’t wait for the kiddo to see it.  He’s going to love it!  And to be honest, I tested it out…He may have to fight me for it on movie nights!  I love this age when it’s the simple things that make them the happiest!

 

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Are you crafting any of your kiddo’s Christmas gifts?  I’d love to hear about them!

 

Happy Crafting!

 

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Candy Cane Rice Krispy Treats

Candy Cane Rice Krispy Treats messingupmotherhood.com


Once upon a time, in a land far, far away away known as Pre-Zeke, I loved chocolate.  If it had chocolate in it, I’d eat it. Any chocolate containing peanuts or peanut butter would disappear particularly fast.  Then one day, girl met boy.  Girl married boy. Girl and boy became pregnant and girl gained an aversion to chocolate.  Every since my pregnancy I have not been able to stomach chocolate.  Just the thought of it grosses me out and the smell..<gag> oh,the smell makes my stomach turn.  Now with the holiday season upon us, chocolate is <gag> everywhere.  Every holiday party there’s chocolate cookies, pudding, cake, hot chocolate (though oddly enough I don’t mind hot chocolate).  I lost the love of chocolate but gained a love of white chocolate, specifically Hershey’s Candy Cane kisses.  I seriously stock up on them this time of year.  Santa better have a few these bags of them in my stocking this year!  

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What does this have to do with Rice Krispy Treats you may be asking.  Well, adding these bite sized pieces of Christmas to your Rice Krispy Treat recipe is what makes these so good. If you like Rice Krispy Crispy Treats and you like peppermint white chocolate, you’ll love these Candy Cane Rice Krispy Treats.

 

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Butter your baking dish and set aside. Chop about 6 oz of unwrapped kisses into crumbles and set aside. crush 2 candy canes in a sandwich bag and set aside.  In a large pot, melt butter and marshmallows on med-low heat.  Add Rice Krispy cereal 1 cup at a time until you get the consistency you like.  Less for more gooey treats, more for the stiffer treats.  I think I used about 5 cups but honestly I never measure.  Mix in the crumbled kisses as evenly as possible.  Spread the mixture into your buttered baking dish.  I just butter my hands and press it into my dish.  Melt some of your left over kisses in the microwave until runny.  I heat them in 20 second interval because I hate burning chocolate!  Use a spoon to drizzle  it across the top of the treats.  Sprinkle a layer of crushed candy cane.  Repeat the drizzle and top with the rest of you crushed candy cane.  Let set.  I was in a rush when I made mine and popped them in the fridge for about 10 minutes to harden up the chocolate before cutting.  Though I wouldn’t recommend putting them in the refrigerator for too long or the treats themselves may get too hard. 

 

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Have you all started your holiday baking yet?  What are some of your favorite holiday treats to make?

Happy Baking!

Building a Snowman

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Happy December friends!  Oh, I’m so happy Christmas season is upon us!  For one, I can stop feeling ridiculous for listening to Christmas music and two, um…Every thing else about Christmas.  I have a list of Christmas crafts (in which I’m sure I will barely make a dent this year now that we have a todzilla running around!)  So to kick off the season we had ourselves a little craft party and made up these adorable wood snowmen.  I love snowmen!  It’s usually the one thing I buy every year at our local annual holiday bizarre so I was really excited when my mom asked if we would want to make one of these adorable men.  

This is a craft that really takes no skill to make as long as you are or have someone who is able to cut the wood for you.  My Mom was awesome enough to take care of that for us.  She had the handy fella’s at the hardwood store cut the boards to size and she used her own muscle hand sawing out the side notches in the snowman.   She rounded up some scrap wood to finish the hat brim and roof, and found some small pieces for the nose and buttons from the craft store.

 

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We had all our pieces ready and waiting for us so we got to work painting (after a few holiday appetizers.  Priorities ya know?)  Once we had all of our pieces painted and dry we started on the fun of assembling them.  We used gorilla glue since we just had some handy.  A tip when working with gorilla glue…use very little.  It’s very strong so it doesn’t take much and it expands…a lot.  (Wood glue works great too.  If you use wood glue I suggest using a couple small nails, or screws through the back of the snowman and through the bottom of the stand.)

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With some scarfs and embellishments they really started coming to life!  (As you can see by the bottle, we were totally doing the mom hustle.)

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Here are our frosty friends waiting to be glued down.   There really are cute, don’t ya think?  I love how they turned out! And I especially love how you really need NO artistic or crafting ability to create them.

 

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Here’s my finished product enjoying the glow of the Christmas tree.  I think he needs a little something still.  Maybe some mistletoe in his clothespin.  What do you think? You can get really creative with embellishments and details.  I think a little snow on this brim or nose would be adorable too.  

Have you started any Christmas crafting?  What are some of your favorites?

 

Happy Crafting!

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