Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011



And Carr thought he was on the naughty list...

If you follow my blog you have already seen photos of my Christmas tree.  I have covered the bottom with fake presents.  It is filled of Christmas decorated boxes which Carr has played with for the past weeks.  I know every mom thinks their child is brilliant and special, that fact is, every child is.  They have a way of surprising us by the speed they learn things.  Well, a good friend of mine gave me a present for Carr.  I did not think twice about putting the present under the tree.  How would he tell which one was the real one?
WRONG!
My husband and I heard a shreek and crying come from the living-room. My son had opened the present and seen that it was not what he had asked Santa for.  He was crying because he thought Santa had put him in the naughty list and not given him the present he wanted.  I had to explain to him that during Christmas friends and family also gifted us with presents:  just like Santa.  This was a present from a friend and that Santa's present would get here on Christmas day.

How about that?  I love that my son has the whole Santa fantasy down but I feel kind of bad having to lie to him to keep the illusion going.  Do you have any stories similar to this?  What have you done to get out of sticky situations?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Journaling

Hi Everyone!

One week until Christmas!  How is everyone doing?  Hopefully, you are much more organized than I. I still have so much more to do!  I honestly wonder how most of you do it.  Honestly, it didn't help pulling a muscle at the start of the week, Carr getting sick by Thursday and my husband getting sick by Friday.  Drs appointments and pharmacy runs were not in my plans. But I am very pround that I menu planned for two weeks!  I considered that next weekend wound not be a good time to menu plan or grocery shop for the following week.  I am so proud of myself and hopefully, I will pull it off.

Another thing that I am pround of is that I managed to make the apple butter to give to friends and neighbors, made Beef Stew and Northwestern Beef and Vegetable Soup.  My mother in-law made homemade chicken and rice soup for us this weekend also.  Our refridgerator has not been this stuffed for a good while.  This is a huge blessing from God.

This I still need to do:
  1. Christmas cookies
  2. Stocking stuffers for Hubby
  3. Decorate and package Christmas gifts for friends and neighbors: Mason Jars filled with Christmas cookies and Apple butter jars.
  4. Remind Chip to write letters to loved ones.
  5. Finish Carr's homemade gifts
  6. Vacuum and clean the house
 I am still waiting for some gifts to come in the mail and have to prepare and wrap them.  US Postal Service is not the most reliable at this time of year but COME ON!!!  This is actually the first year that my husband and I promised each other not to buy gifts for one another.  It feels so strange not to go all out and spend a ton.  But we honestly believe that we need to be responsible and not get into debt just because.  It is actually the opposite, we are saving that money to get out of debt, more or less putting it toward it.  What do you do on the present side of things for Christmas?  Can you hold back and not spend tons on your family?  What do you focus on for the holidays?

 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011


Update:  The sickness
Well, I pretty much am the same but taking pain meds. now.  Just when I thought things couldn't get more complicated, my little man's asthma acted up and my husband has a cold.  So we are all sick and achy and grouchy.  While all this is going on the countdown to Christmas is still going and I still have tons to do.  I have at least made menus for the coming week and the one after.  I plan to go grocery shopping tomorrow just to get it out of the way.  My Sunday will be dedicated to baking and making my homemade Christmas presents for family and friends.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011



Sorry about missing a few days but I pulled a muscle.  Yes, right at Christmas time, I pull a muscle right between my left shoulder and my chest.  It hurts so much I can hardly type.  Hopefully, it will get better soon in the meantime please check out what we did yesterday.  Correction, how I watched my best friend deal with the kids while I whimpered in pain.







Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011


 
Holiday Links

Our internet was not working last night.  I apologize for the tardiness but there was not much I could do on a Sunday night.  I work on this offline and I hope that you like it and take advantage of the great posts that I include in this line-up.  These are my very favorite Christmas posts so far!  Hope you enjoy:

December Favorites                Soule Mama

Ten Basics for better home photography      Censational Girl



Craft cinnamon ornaments      Small Notebook

DIY stocking stuffers       Not Martha

Gingerbreads heads         Bakerella

Cookies for Santa             Tatertots and Jello

Christmas books for kids     No Time for Flashcards



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011

 For those that don't know my parents are Argentine and I lived there for 18 years, so I couldn't help myself.  Maradona will always be the number 10!



Christmas Race and Tick Tock goes the Clock!

Whew!  Finally, done with my little ones presents.  Like every year, we were chosen to help Santa with special missions for some friends and family.  This year my little man and I went about town enjoying each others company and working very hard for Santa.  We ran into someone very special to us:


Our city invited the Grinch to come and take photos with all the girls and boys.  They even gave a photo for free!  Awesome!


I remember when I was young and the Grinch actually scared me but not my little man, he loves the Grinch! I ran into a few mommy friends there and we decided to have a quick breakfast before starting on our crazy list of errands.  Fun times had by all!

My son's preschool has a curious tradition, they have a Christmas celebration amongst themselves and exchange gifts.  So the parents, us, have to buy presents for all the kids in the class.  They must be the same and gender neutral and not be gist wrapped also.  So here I was in a pickle not knowing what to do and not prepared to spend a whole lot.  Thank goodness for small miracles, I decided to go to the party store instead of the dollar store and bought the children ornaments that they get to color themselves.  This is not an ordinary throw away gift or something that will be a choke hazard.  It is something that mommies can keep and put on their tree for many years.  I plan to decorate lunch brown bags and not close the bag.  So glad that I got that done!

After that I ventured into Toys r''us.  Yes, craziness and insanity on my part but I have a nephew and two of my child's best friends to buy gifts for.  I also needed to check for Santa what stocking stuffers and pow pows that were available for pick up.  I cannot believe that I got it all done and I mean all of it.  By then I was hungry and exhausted so you can imagine the little one.  We treated ourselves to McDonnie's and then spent the rest of the afternoon at the library.  I will show you what I got from there tomorrow.

I am so grateful to have the privileged to share my days with my little man and have the time and money to spread some Christmas cheer.  HO HO HO!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ham I am

So my little one requested a photography shoot today.  He wanted to have more photos of himself by the tree.  How about them apples?








 Do you see this pose?  Oh my goodness!  I love my kid.  He is so happy about Christmas, about the decorations, about Santa, it is getting hard to put him to bed at night.  I can see it now having to confine him to his room and not sleep a wink because he will be waiting for Saint Nick to arrive with presents. 
While I am writing this he is passed out beside me.  He finally fell asleep after about an hour of talking and reading.  How do you calm your children with all the Christmas hype around? 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today, I am making it short but sweet.  I want to wish my husband a Happy Annniversary!  It has been the best 6 years of my life.  I am so glad that we chose to get married in December, by far my favorite month of the year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011


Nostalgia...
It is hard to fully enjoy this time of year without feeling a pang of longing for my family and friends in Argentina.  There is no other way to say this, I miss my mom and grandmother.  I wish they were living closer to us. I don't have my mom to phone when I need to cry or have a question.  I don't have my mom and granny to spoil Carr.  Christmas makes me miss them even more. They are missing so much of Carr's life, it literally hurts.
My childhood Christmas was very different from how I celebrate it now.  For us the big day is Christmas Eve,  big get together and special dinner then at midnight we got to open our presents.  As a mom now, I really do not know how my mom did it.  I would be a wreck if it were 12 am and Carr was still awake.  He would be a wreck!  Our main and side dishes were different as well.  But what I most miss is my mom putting on different "records" (for those that are younger: records were made of vinyl and were played much like a cd) sing along, made us dance and made Christmas a true celebration.  My granny was always in the kitchen cooking and reminiscing about how much things had changed from when she was a child.  Once everything was prepped and ready, we would all go to mass.  Like I said my Christmas now is much different.  I just wish they could have come for the holidays like they had planned. During my years in Argentina, my Christmas was the direct opposite.  You see it is summer in Argentina so the whole feel of Christmas is different.  Just picture Christmas during the summer, add a pool party to it and stay up until midnight...yep very different.
I woke up this morning thinking about my two ladies, wishing they were here with me.  I miss their voices and smell.  I miss the mother / daughter fights that last about 10 minutes.  I hate that they have to spend it all alone in Argentina.  I also wish the round trip tickets to Argentina weren't so expensive.  It's Christmas time and maybe my wishes are closer to coming true.  Do me a favor this Christmas, make this special occasion about you and your family, let the gifts, food and travel be something to look forward to at a later date.  Make this Christmas about being together because you never know when you simply will not be able to.

This is my Abuela.  Best grandmother that ever existed.


Christmas Journaling 2011



So Carr received this email...


video

I wish you could have seen my son's face.  It really was priceless.  If you haven't done this you should consider it.  Also, I know I am 26 minutes past midnight so this makes this post officially a day behind, sorry, I fell asleep.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011

A Christmas Tradition

I will be sharing with you our family Christmas traditions during this month.  My first post introduced you to our first family tradition: the celebration of advent.  Another important family tradition is reading Christmas stories by the tree after dinner.  Carr enjoys having quiet time with both his parents and is always eagered to re-tell the story to us.  Both Chip and I are big on emphasizing how lucky we are to have one another and how we are all a team.  We make this our December theme for the little man.  We try to make Christmas more about sharing than about acquiring. 
Tomorrow, I get to share with you one of my favorite December traditions:  Baking!  I will be sharing recipes and ideas.  I can't wait to start getting my hands dirty! 

Here are some links that I think you will enjoy:

Gingerbread heads
Pumpkin Carmel Macarons
How to freeze cookies for Holiday Baking

Have a great night !

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011

Hi!  I finally finished decorating the apartment today.  It took two days but it was totally worth it!  I love how everything looks for Christmas.  Here are some photos:







I am missing photos for the kitchen and Carr's room.  I am too tired tonight to take more photos but I will post them soon.  Too tired to write inspired I apologize, hopefully tomorrow I will have something better to write.  Enjoy the photos!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011

Today, I spent the day decorating with my little man.  I suppose if my child weren't three I could have taken some great photos but alas, he is three and was so hiper that it was a feat to finish the tree today.  Poor little man he woke up so early and already excited.  I can see it now, he will be one of those kids that refuse to sleep on Christmas eve because of the excitement. 
I focused on getting our Christmas tree finished.  We have quite a collection of ornaments, reminding me of an occasion or memory.  Chip and I have celebrated at least 9 Christmas' together since we started dating and we have bought a special ornament every year since.  This is our little tradition.  More on that later!  My house is still a wreck but it's late and I need to relax, tomorrow we'll finish the rest of the house. 
Here is a very poor photo of the tree.  Sorry, I took it on my cellphone and haven't edited it but I hope to take better photos tomorrow.  Take my word on it, it really looks very nice.  Have a great Saturday night and enjoy yourself doing something special, T'is the season!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011

What is your favorite Christmas book?

Tonight, I have been researching and preparing for our weekly biweekly trip to the Library.  These are some of the books that I want to check out:


What do you read with your child to prepare him or her for Christmas? 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Journaling 2011


Planning Christmas sometimes can become a full time job, the secret is to not forget what is truly important to you.
 
John 8:12
Jesus said to the people,
"I am the light of the world
If you follow me,
you won't be stumbling through the darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life."

 I am planning on making an advent wreath and do some coloring pages with little man at this website:

There is lots to do and be merry!  Here is my preliminary list, I am sure to change or modify it at least 10 times before Christmas.

  1. Start celebrating advent.  Dedicate bedtime reading to selected verses and talk about Jesus.
  2. Christmas Decorating with my little man:  which takes much longer but creates long lasting memories.
  3. Planning and prepping homemade gifts:  Little man and I love our time in the kitchen baking.
  4. Preparing preschool gifts.
  5. Menu planning for Christmas Eve and Christmas
  6. Last minute Christmas shopping and grocery shopping
I am a little nostalgic looking through old photos.  This one is your first Christmas Dec 2009.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Potty Training

I don't know about you but nothing has stressed me out as much as potty training my little man.  He is 3 and 1/2 and I thought it would never happen.  Most people were understanding, most remembered, but there were some that always were there to give their unsolicited opinion.  They're the same ones that hand out parenting advice without bothering to ask if you want it or need it.  I am here writing to tell you this:  YOUR CHILD WILL NOT GO UNTIL HE/SHE GOES.  This does not mean, that you or anyone has to decide whether the child is ready or not.  Follow these words, let him or her go when they want to.  Have pottys available, let them know that you are ready to help them when they need it.  

Also make sure that you choose a method that complements your child.  My son is big on security, he needs to feel safe, so starting out with our toilet with those covers for children was not going to happen.  Only you know your child so go with your gut. My husband and I had a few different styles of training pottys, but I knew that my little man would go with this one.  The splash guard is wide enough to not get him wet or spray all over.


You should also go to the library and looked at the books they had about potty training.  Choose a book that your child can relate to.  My son loved these two: 




Next, know what your child really wants.  Mine wanted a video game called SONIC and he also wanted his father and I to let him play it.  I sincerely don't know how it happened, how I came up with it but when the commercial came on for the game and our little man started on how much he wanted it, I told him that we would get it for him if he went pipi in the potty.   Well, within a day, guess what?  HE DID!  That took care of the first time, but how to keep it coming?  Well, every time he went he was allowed to play it for 10 minutes.  We even went on a long road trip, we took his potty and he kept going with the promise that we would deliver.  Today, my little man went number two for the first time.  This is just the begining, like every parent that has gone through this before.  We will have our ups and downs but we will keep at it with positive reinforcement and lots of love.  Good Luck!