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As any normal mother of young children will tell you, life is consumed by keeping the kids clean, fed, occupied, injury-free…you get the idea. Due to the nature of my day (and night) job, my bosses have had more clout on where we end up journeying when a new boss is added to the mix. It has become increasingly more difficult to just get up and go to places that are not child-centric now that I have three bosses.

The result? The kids are really well dressed, and I have found myself in need of some clothing since much of my time over the past several years I have not been my normal size, due to either pregnancy (all-over) or nursing (make room for the girls). Needless to say, I took a look at my wardrobe and some of the tops that were acceptable before children/ when I was a few years younger just don’t cut it anymore. Now I’m at the point where I like my shirts to fall a little lower than just over the top of my waistband, and don’t really want to flash a bit of belly when I reach for something.

Thankfully, I have not had any problems getting back to my normal size, but girlfriend needed some new tops, aside from the fact that I’m not a t-shirt and sweatpants girl. I own one pair of yoga pants, and even those only see the light of day when I am exercising or, very occasionally, tossing something on fast to bring my daughter to school in the early AM. Even then, I get changed once I return home. I always tell my husband that if I ever buy a pair of sweatpants, lounge pants, or anything velour to wear outside of the house or for not-PJs to just shoot me, because at that point I will officially be done. (I used to be asked why I was “slumming” in college on any day I wore jeans. That was before they really became trendy in a not-just-the-easiest-thing-to-put-on sort of way.)

Ahem, I digress.

So, I found myself looking through my closet at all of the things that I would probably never wear again, but I hate to throw things out, especially if I have even a glimmer of thought that I could wear it again. There was a skirt that I had held onto from high school days that came in handy just two years ago for part of the perfect Halloween costume, and my nieces have been able to get some new wardrobe pieces that have come into style again, so it’s not that far-fetched. And I hate having to buy something that I know I already have, so I find myself in what I’ll call, supurgeatory.

I managed to get out for a couple of hours solo last week, though, and scored some cute tops and skirts, promising myself that I would remove at least one item per thing I purchased from my closet. It was harder than I thought…just because of that whole could-I-possibly-wear-it-again thing (see above).

My husband and I cleared out a bunch of things a couple of years ago in a joint effort to clean house. We ended up donating 8 bags between the two of us, and knew we could have probably purged more, even then. Plus, I had the nieces over to “shop” through things before making any donations, so there was even more than that. I have to get on one of those bents again. Clothing? Gone. Shoes? Adios. (Though I do love, Love, LOVE me some shoes.)

Let’s see how it goes.


St. Nicholas and Other Things

My eldest is too smart for my own good.  Yes, MY own good.  Last week on the way to school it was, “is Rudolph real?”  I over analyze a lot, and said that, while I’ve never seen him because he leads the sleigh while I’m sleeping, it only makes sense.  Light bulbs haven’t been around forever, so it wasn’t until fairly recently that Santa would have headlights on his sleigh, and before that, what else could he have done in the fog and snow?  Rudolph is the only logical answer.  I asked if she believed he was real, and she just gave a simple, “yes.”  Maybe I should have asked that first. See what I mean about too much info?

She has also been asking from a very early age, what gifts came from whom at random times throughout the year. (When I say “early age,” I mean very early. As in, she’s only 4, and this has been a regular thing for at least two years.) My husbands diverts all questions to me, as I have a mental file that keeps tabs on every detail so all the magic stays intact for as long as possible.

After we left out shoes, said our prayers, and gave goodnight kisses on the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas, he came after all were alseep, and the filled shoes next to the doors went unnoticed during middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks until not-quite-6am hours of the morning.  The kids were thrilled, to say the least, going through their boots –I was informed that by leaving boots out, they may get more since there is extra capacity. Last year, I was told sandals were the way to go because there are no confines to the space — and then I heard the question:  “Is St. Nicholas Santa Claus?”

In short, a week or two ago I was asked a similar question, and related it to St. Nicholas celebrating his feast day with treats, kind of like when kids bring cupcakes into school, or people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Then, he’s the guy who celebrates Jesus’ birth in a big way come Christmas.  My son said something almost simultaneously, so I was able to dodge the question on the morning of the 6th. Lucky for me, it hasn’t come back up since.


Construction Paper Advent Wreath

Construction Paper Advent Wreath

This year’s version, complete with extra bedazzle…notice how the candle on the left has a “gumdrop hat.” They were also all given one or two polka dots this morning.

Let It Snow

When my daughter went to bed last night, I told her she could wear her new snowflake outfit to school if it snowed this morning.

It did.

Now, the sun is shining, and no one would know that a dusting of white covered the grass just a few short hours ago.  But it’s still cold, and, while I can’t wait to take them out in the snow, these plain ol’ cold and damp days where the wind cuts through you aren’t my cup of tea.  Add a newborn baby to the mix and I’m set for doing something to keep them busy indoors. And so we begin our next Advent activity. 

When I was growing up, heck, even now, I always had an Advent calendar.  Always.  Even as a single gal, I’d have one on my door, and write to my now-husband each morning when I got to work with what was behind that day’s door.  And I never had the ones with candy, just the simple ones with a manger scene and 24 doors, all leading up to the magic of Christmas.

In continuing the annual tradition with my children, they have had the standard Advent calendars like when I was growing up, but this year, besides having a hard time finding one without candy and a picture of Santa, we’re making our own.  And that is what will keep us all busy for at least a little while this afternoon. 

I have a ton of glass baby food jars that I saved for someone’s art class that were never picked up.  They’re still in my basement, beckoning to be used, but, silly me, I volunteered them to be used as craft supplies for a community group.  I still have a bunch of the plastic ones, so we’re going to see what can be done with those.

The older two picked out small treats (tootsie rolls or 1-bite candies) and stashed enough aside from Halloween to use for just this purpose, so each day, they’ll open a “door” and be rewarded with a little something, not to mention a verse or something Christmas-y written inside.

I hope this turns out like in my head, otherwise, I’ll have some junk sitting in my house for another month, and lord knows I don’t need that.  But I’ve recycled (“up-cycled” seems to be the popular term now) a bunch of destined for the heap plastic containers for the kids’ crafts before with great results, and I’m sure this will be no different. 

To the basement to gather the junk…er…supplies for our afternoon activities!

The Start of Something…

I’ve dabbled in several blogs before, but never on a personal level.  With Advent just beginning, I figure what better time to start, you know, without it being some sort of New Year’s resolution.

I keep busy with my three children, all age four and under, probably more for my own sanity than theirs.  But out of that comes a lot of ideas and good memories that my family will [hopefully] cherish as they get older.  A lot of crafts, outings, cooking, and anything else we can think of makes things really buzz around here.  The first installment of the season?  Our Advent wreath.

When my oldest was one-and-a-half, we started making an Advent wreath on our back window, “lighting” a candle each Sunday after the one was lit at church.  Complete with holly leaves and berries (or cranberries, as my daughter calls them), it made, and still makes, a nice little decoration for the sliding door, and keeps the kids occupied for a bit.  Added bonus:  I let them put up one cranberry on the holly leaves for each good deed that they do throughout the week, with the goal of having the whole thing filled with berries by the end of Advent.  They get such a kick out of it, and it has become a nice little tradition.  I’ll have to post a photo of this year’s version, 100% cut out by only my daughter, except for the flames.  Pretty nice!

In accordance with Murphy’s Law, my son just woke up from his nap.  In the one minute that he’s been awake, I’ve been asked if we could get the Michigan flag from the basement (me:  the Mexican flag?  him:  No, the Mich. A. Gan.  Flaaaag! PS:  He’s 2.), been told he’s so hungry, and notified that a Christmas tree fell down.

I feel the need to clarify a few things.  1.  In honor of the OSU vs. Michigan game this weekend, my husband decided to emblazon a white elephant gift (read:  a 4′ x 6′ Michigan flag) with a duct tape “X” and hang it out our window.  2. If you have a boy, chances are you know they are ALWAYS hungry. 3. I’m not sure what Christmas tree he referred to, because we have not bought ours yet.  Near as I can tell, he’s just talking about some of the decorations sitting in the hallway waiting to spruce up the house.

Until then…

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