Mommy Mondays: Gift-Giving

I just read an article about being a great gift-giver. Basically, it said to give what the person really wanted, or had even asked for, instead of what you THINK they’d like.
As a parent this is always a challenge for me. I think Emma should love Lalaloopsy Dolls – I mean seriously, those outfits! And the swingy little legs! And you can set up all their little packages and make a little village! And she likes them, a little.
What she loves is Lego Friends. We’ve got a few sets. Christmas would be the perfect time to give her the super expensive, gigantic Lego Friends house, right? But which Lego set is on her list? The Monster house! I guess I collect deep and she collects wide?
And the top of her list… an American Doll. Now, she has baby dolls (four to be exact) but they don’t get played with too often. And she has Barbie dolls, but they don’t get much play either. So why would I buy her an (expensive!) American Doll? Except that it’s what she asked for. Twice. I had her write two lists to Santa, just to be sure, and I’m glad I did because at the end of the second list, she added a “neklis” for me and a “gitar pedl” for my husband. And, as a friend pointed out, she isn’t a baby or a Barbie, but she is a little girl, just like an American Girl.
Now if only I hadn’t waited so long for her to change her mind… guess it’s a trip to the American Doll store for me, since it’s too late to order online.
Next year I’ll know, and start at the top of her list. Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays to you all!

Mommy Mondays: Getting Crafty

Hooray for Pinterest! Even though I think I use it wrong (as in I don’t follow anyone and have exactly 2 boards: arts & crafts ideas and pictures of bed frames I found online while shopping earlier this year and I’m always surprised when I get an email notice that one of these has been repinned…), I have found so many great craft ideas there!

Check out the fingerprint and hand print turkeys Emma and I made as Thanksgiving cards for the grandparents – so cute!

Our next project – and I might even go the extra mile and make it a Christmas arts & crafts play date for a few friends! – is painting these awesome Santa rocks…

Have you done any awesome arts & crafts this year? Lemme’ see!

Mommy Mondays: 15 Minutes

Why is it that no matter how early I wake up, how calm and peaceful I try to make the getting-ready process, the last 15 minutes before dropping my daughter off at school are always crazy?

This morning, for example, I woke up at 5:45 to work out, check emails, make lunches, and get myself ready before waking Emma up at 6:45 (clearly I don’t spend a lot of time on makeup). She woke up bright and cheery. We read a book in bed and then headed into the living room for a bit of coloring and a TV show before getting her dressed, breakfast eaten, teeth brushed, and fish fed. Sometimes we can even sneak in arts & crafts or a walk around the block before we head out!

And then all heck breaks loose. Somehow the 15 minutes I leave to get us to school, which is 3 minutes away door-to-door, is never enough. Grabbing purses, backpacks, homework (which needs to go into the backpack, which is already on the back), and lunches… getting out the door and into the car (why is this so hard? It’s like it happens in slow motion)… driving to school and parking… it’s a marathon exercise, always a scramble, and the ramifications of cutting it short a minute or two—not having any playground time before the bell rings—can turn my happy, cheery girl into a storm of pout and cling.  And so my memory of our calm, peaceful, together-time morning is replaced by the last, pitiful look I get as she walks into class, and this is what I take with me all day.

Yes, my head knows that she’s fine the minute she turns the corner into her classroom, but my heart can’t quite believe it. Has anyone cracked the morning code? Left the drop-off happy and satisfied? Tips are much appreciated.