What's the going rate in your house?
What's the going rate in your house?
And there you have the cutest gnome on the block! :)
What is it about the combination of having a new baby and it being the holidays that gives everyone in your life permission to suddenly tell you what to do, how to do it and where to be for each and every minute of a holiday? I know that when Moses was born there was great assumption born with him. Certain family members had already planned out where we would be for both Christmas and Thanksgiving, when sleepovers would occur, how we would handle Santa and where we would wake up on Christmas morning.
The truth is, when it comes down to it, if you want to have an enjoyable holiday season you have to learn one thing: how to say no.
I mentioned before that you and your spouse need to discuss NOW before it gets crazy how you, as the nuclear family unit, want to spent the holidays. If you want to spend it at home, great! Know that now so you can inform those who might be expecting you to do otherwise. Want to state hop all over? Great! Let the people you plan to visit know so that they can be better prepared to host a young infant.
The important thing is to keep the important things the important things. It doesn't matter if your mother is happy with you if you husband isn't. The holidays are not the time for you to revert back to middle school and play the baby of the family at your parents' house; now is the time to establish traditions for YOUR baby. By talking out your plans with your spouse it will be easier on you to let others know why you won't be at their home Christmas morning. Your come back can start with "Well, Doug and I have discussed it and decided that..." It let's people know that you have already made a choice.
I'm not saying people will be happy with you going off and making plans with your new baby and all that don't include them. If people are anxious to see your new little one, make alternate plans that don't fall on a day that is important to you and your husband, especially if you have decided together to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving alone. The most important thing is to stick to the plans you and your husband have decided on together and don't back each other into corners based on family members being unhappy with your choices.
Knowing what will make you happiest during the holidays starts with knowing what kind of baby you have...one that will be OK schedule-wise with short day trips, guests coming to you or long out of state journeys. Each baby is different and some don't care where they lay their heads...others only want home. Know the workings of your little one and you can start to plan from there.
Just keep in mind, that while your family may push for your time around the holidays it's your spouse and children who you have to live with year round. You don't want them to build memories over mom and dad working to make everyone happy but themselves. It's OK to put your family first.
Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app and find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.
If we lived in a world where everything was perfect, where there was no war or dishonesty, where no one was ever wronged, babies never died before they were born, where marriages stayed strong forever, no one ever lied, cheated or stole...where you could count on one another to pull their own load and help you when you needed it...then what would be the point of God? If we could pull off perfect on our own, there would be no need for a savior. A rescuer. A helper or an intercessor.
Problems exist to remind us of why we need God in the first place. If no one was ever sick, why would we need a healer? If no one ever got lost, why would we need a shepherd?
God's grace is in every bad situation, whispering to us our need to run to Him. Nothing in this world can sooth our savage hearts like the one who created it in the first place.
Speaking from my own experiences...which are just as dark and deep as the next persons...I have found no easier place to cling to Jesus than in the dark. There has been no where else I want to run in times of trouble than straight to the one place I know can bring me peace.
If you are alone in the dark, it's by choice.
Since we have moved home, life has been pretty amazing. Moving home was a lot like that scene in "The Wizard of Oz" where Dorothy steps out of black and white and into color. Everything seems bright and happy here. Minor issues remain minor, we spend excessive time with each other and family, Doug has off for every single holiday, vacation days are allowed and he has nearly every weekend off.
Life is about as good as I could ever imagine it to be. But even here in this place of technicolor wonder there are challenges. Ways the Lord nudges us to remind us of our need for him. Even here bad exists. Even here we are hurt and struggle at times. All that to say that even if you are exactly where you belong, doing just what you feel you are supposed to, even there in that perfect place, bad will exist. You can't escape it you can only choose to use it.
Use it to run to Him. Use it as a tool for sharpening your faith. Use it as a longing for Heaven and His presence. Use it as a way to cling to the only person who can and will one day diminish bad forever.
Bad is not an absence of His presence but the ultimate reminder of our need for a Savior.
But I told you I was working on balance, and this blog is an important part of my life. Since you have to feed the things you love, here I am trying to work on pouring more into here. :)
For now, did you know that you can access all the "What I made for Monday posts" by clicking on the photo over to the right that says WIMFM? :) You can...need some inspiration just click on over!
This week I went with something seasonal and Fallish...pumpkin spice (I could just stop right there right?) whoopie pies. Delightful and yummy and the cream cheese frosting is to die for! You could just make that and eat it by the spoonful and I would never judge you for it.
Want to make some?
Pumpkin Pie Whoopie Pies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin (from the can)
1/2 cup buttermilk
Combine dry ingredients in an appropriate sized bowl. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar together. Once blended add eggs one at a time.
Add flour mixture and buttermilk/pumpkin to the sugar mixture by altering between the two you are adding.
Spray a whoopie pan with non-stick spray. (You can get one at Michael's for about $5 with a coupon. Don't waste your money on the seasonal Fall one...it was a pain in the b u t t to use.) Fill each cavity about half way and bake in a 350 oven for about 7-9 minutes or until pies bounce back when you touch them (or a clean toothpick comes out).
Fill with this amazing filling when cooled:
Cream cheese whoopie pie filling
8oz cream cheese (room temp)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2tsp of vanilla
This recipe makes about 15 total pies.
Adapted from the recipe via Wilton.
Like it or not, the holidays are upon us. For anyone and everyone, that means extra social events, more family visits, more shopping, more crazy and more chaos. It may seem impossible to keep a schedule intact for your baby over the next couple of months, but I'm here to tell you, where there's a will, there's a way.
All babies aside, it's just not healthy for anyone to go all out during the holidays. Who has ever spent a holiday season over committed and come out stress free on the other side? No one I know. Now that you have that little one, it's the perfect reason to slow down this holiday season. This is a season of JOY and that will be hard to come by if you throw out your baby's schedule to attend every party, bake every cookie and sing every carol.
Can you still have a rich and enjoyable holiday experience? Yes!
Step one is to sit and think NOW about what is important to you during the holidays. Is it time at home baking and watching Christmas movies? Is it your family holiday party? Is it making all of your holiday gifts? Christmas eve dinner or your child's Christmas school program? It's important to think of what your favorite things are NOW so you can have a plan in place to make sure you can enjoy them. With an infant in tow you have to keep in mind what kind of baby you have...if he or she is happy to sleep in the car seat then you will have a little more flexibility than if they will only sleep in the crib. Knowing in advance which holiday events are important to you goes a long way with planning your baby's schedule and knowing when and if you will need a sitter or which events you will have to sit out on.
Step two is to come to terms with the fact that you cannot please everyone. It never fails that someone will be disappointed with what you choose to do or not do and that has to be OK with you. In our house, Doug and I put our family (the four of us) first and make our holiday plans around that. For us, it's important to be in our house Christmas morning so we try to make other plans around the holidays to see family at other times. Chances are, with a new baby, everyone will expect you bright and early at their house Christmas morning or Thanksgiving day. Know what you and your spouse want to do with this time and support each other in keeping that commitment. Don't give in to the pressure to please others and be everywhere at once.
Step three...keep in mind that in a couple of weeks, a little disruption to a schedule won't matter at all. Babies are very resilient and if you are good to keep them on schedule, then they are good to bounce back when that schedule must be a little more flexible. I remember more than once stressing over an event and coming out on the other side wondering why I was so stressed out in the first place.
Above all, enjoy this first Christmas season with your new baby! Be sure to take lots of photos, relax and enjoy the little things!
Be sure you read up on all my other Huggies posts HERE! There's some good stuff in there!
Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app!
Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.
Moses is such a great kid. He's happy and sensitive, his teachers love him and trust him with responsibilities. He is loving and protective with others who are smaller than him (most of the time). We regularly hear great things about him from others, just enough to encourage us in this crazy trip known as parenthood. We love him and can't wait to see what he does with all of his awesomeness. :)