The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: December 2008 (Page 2 of 2)

The 12 days of Christmas

Today we start our 12 days of Christmas for a neighbor. That is when we give them a little gift every day that loosely correlate with the song. This year we picked a couple that doesn’t have little kids at home, so some of our stupid toy gifts may have to be changed. Here’s a run down of what we did last year. So, I think we’ll do pears or something with pears or partridges or trees or something like that for tonight. Too bad I don’t have a partridge family lunch box, and we could put pears in it. But I don’t, so it’s time to do something creative.

But in blog land, there are several people doing 12 days of giveaways contests.

There’s one at

Design Mom has some contests going on HERE.

Alpaca Farmgirl has twelve giveaways on her blog, too.

So, even if you aren’t doing anything special to count down the 12 days until Christmas, you can always enter some fun contests!

N is for…

As we were looking over John’s homework, we have to find something to put on the M and the N pages.
“Mom,” he said, “N is for……Not gonna happen.”

Well, dear, I guess it is.

But how do we draw that?

I finally did it!!

I’ve been reading Money Saving Mom and a few other frugal gurus lately, trying to get the best deals I can. These people are amazing, matching sales with store coupons and manufacturer’s coupons, and rebates to get items for free, and actually make money. In the Walgreens tutorial, I learned that after I use my coupons and get my gift card from my rebates, I should “never have to spend any money at Walgreens out of pocket” or some other ambitious claim. Well, today I did it!

I don’t have time to go into my whole receipt and the specials I got, but using their mid week sale coupons, coupons I clipped and coupons I printed, and $10 in Register Rewards I got last week from their specials, I got $26 worth of “stuff” for $1.45. Then she handed me a $5 Register Reward that I turned around and used to get the rest of my items. That one came to $18.95 after the $16.89 savings using coupons and specials. I used my Walgreens giftcard, to pay that $18.95, and then they handed me another $5 to use next time I shop. So, for $1.45 out of my pocket, I got $50 plus dollars worth of groceries, candy and household items, and $5 off my next purchase! I feel like I won the lottery, or like I did something dishonest, but really, it was all on the up and up! Take that, corporate America!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Oh, I love Christmas! I love the lights, I love the putting up the tree and decorations. I love listening to Christmas music, and love picking out the gifts. I even like wrapping the gifts! I love our traditions of the fun things we do at Christmas time. We decorate our gingerbread houses,and we make sugar cookies and other yummy treats. We like to read our Christmas books, and we deliver our secret gifts to our friends in the neighborhood. I love to go and see the lights at Temple square, and see the lights at Thanksgiving point, get our pictures taken with Santa, drink hot chocolate and go caroling.

I love EVERYTHING about Christmas! I love to sit under the tree and look at the sparkly lights, and think about the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love being a part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert. It’s a magical experience, and I can’t believe I am so lucky to be a part of it.

And then there’s the parties! We’ve got work parties, choir parties, church parties, family parties, preschool parties, class parties, birthday parties, friend parties, and youth parties. And the concerts! Band concerts, bell concerts, choir concerts, class programs and plays, the Gingerbread festival, etc.

The only problem is that all these things take time. There’s no possible way that one family can do ALL the things I would love to do to celebrate at Christmas time. And my family gets burned out with all the things I drag them to. I just wish we had more time!

How do you squeeze all the wonderful Christmas things into just the time you’ve got? Multi task?

OK, Kids, let’s all decorate the gingerbread houses WHILE we wrap the presents! And then we’re getting in the car to go look at lights, and while we’re driving, we’ll roll down the windows and sing Christmas carols to all the other people driving by! That’s it! Sing louder, kids!

Or we could just wait until school’s out, and then do Christmas things ALL day long for those three or four days before Christmas. Or even after Christmas, right? We can still do those fun things after the actual holiday, right? Or is that just wrong?

Or maybe I have to be all right with letting one or two things go if we don’t have time.

Oh, no. Now the library hates me

I just checked the library website to see when our books are due, and lo and behold, they are due on the 8th. Well, most of them are due on the 8th, some of them were due some time last month. And I have fines. Not knowing if I’m going to get to the library today (hey, it’s snowing outside! I may not leave the house ever again), I clicked on all 24 items to renew them. But lo and behold, I got this message:
Renew failed: Unable to renew, maximum fines exceeded.

What? You’re going to block me out for a lousy $6.25? Oh, come on!

That’s it, kids. I’m tired of the library fines! No more reading! I’ll be like the book Nazi: “No Books for you!”

Or I guess maybe we WILL be going to the library today.

Hello? Is anyone out there?

I was all excited to update my blog with this cute Christmas look, and then waited anxiously to hear from all my readers how much they loved it, and then……nothing.

Maybe they don’t realize where to click to comment. Well, that is a bit different, it’s up at the TOP. You have to click on the “comments” or, more commonly, the “no responses” little button. To read the comments, you can just click on the post title.

So, let’s all try that and show Paige that there really is someone out there reading her blog and you haven’t just abandoned her because she hasn’t had the time to get on FACEBOOK yet. I’m telling you, my life slows down significantly after Christmas, and then I’ll try to do that whole newfangled facebook thing, and then maybe I can have friends again. Because apparently you can’t have friends unless you click on people and ask them to be your friends. Can’t I just have OLD FASHIONED friends? Or people who leave comments on my blog so I know I’m not all alone? -snif-

But in real life I’ve actually been really busy. Friday I finally got all my reflections things done and turned in, and let’s hope that’s the end of that. And I’m done with my PTA responsibilities until the spring book fair. Are you kidding me? I signed up to do the spring book fair? Why would I do that? Well, I guess I did, and that will be fine. I’ll drag all my neighbors and friends (even if they don’t love me enough to read and leave comments on my blog, they’ll still help out at school when I ask them) to take a shift, and we’ll all spend lots of money on books. Friday night Megan and I went with all the young women in her class up to Kingsbury Hall to see It’s a wonderful life. It was a great show, and we enjoyed seeing our friend dancing in the show.

Anyway, I was talking about the business factor here. Saturday I had a lovely long rehearsal, which involved an awful lot of running up and down the stairs at the conference center. Change bells, line up, squish in there backstage with about 70 other people in the stairwell, run up the stairs and play a song, repeat. It’s fun. Really.

After I got nice and sweaty and disheveled, I walked over to the Garden Restaurant in the Joseph Smith Building for lunch with my dear friends. It was our annual Christmas party, and we decided to do lunch today. Since I had this rehearsal downtown, they were nice enough to plan around my schedule and have the lunch close. I was actually going to go underground through the tunnels to the restaurant, but funny thing–my Thanksgiving point membership card won’t open up the doors like my tab choir ID badge does. I guess those two are NOT interchangeable. Silly me! I’m going to have to find the correct id card next time.

Lunch was SO much fun! I love these ladies with all my heart. We laughed about how old we are, as our discussion turned to the cost of insuring a teenager and how to deal with our boys and their silly not turning in assignments habits. But then we also talked about Kindergarten teachers, our parent’s health and other issues. The food was great, we ordered lots of desserts, and we didn’t feel like we were burdening anyone by staying at the table so long talking.

After lunch, I came home and took Jenna to get her hair cut. She’s been wanting to get her hair cut shorter for a while, and so off to Great clips we went. I could use a trim, too. On a whim, I got my hair cut much shorter than it’s been in a long time, and even though it’s kind of a shock, I like it. And Jenna’s hair looks darling, too. Maybe after a shower and hair curl, I’ll take pictures.

We came home in time to make dinner, throw in a load of laundry, eat dinner, and then it was off to the concert of the week!

I had entered a contest for tickets to this show, since this is Cole’s favorite band EVER! On Thursday night, a lady called and said, “I’ve got some extra tickets to the show, would you like some?” When I told her I’d need seven, she said that was fine, and they would be at will call for us. Cool! So, Cole did get to go, even though he’s not worked himself totally out of the doghouse yet, but he’s making progress. So, we all went last night and enjoyed a fun and energetic concert.

So, yes, it’s been busy around here, and it’s going to get busier this week. So, kids, if I haven’t yet wrapped and put under the tree all the presents with YOUR name on it, you’ll have to be patient with me.

And you–yes, you. The one reading this right now–do me a favor and leave me a little love in the form of the comments. Just so I know there’s at least ONE person out there reading this.

Warm and fuzzy

I am almost through my mountain of refl***##**s papers, after calling all the parents who didn’t bother to include the d*** media release form. If I don’t have their form tomorrow when I turn the stack in to the council person, then….oh well. I guess that entry won’t move on. Nothing more I can do, right?

I’m trying to be more Zen like in my attitude. This morning I went to my favorite yoga teacher. Ryan took the day off because he has to take like one day a week off for the rest of the year. Tough, I know. This is what happens when you don’t take a vacation. Because whenever he plans to take the day off, it seems, he’s got a meeting or a conference call or something important that day and can’t take that day off. So, really, he was going to take Friday off, but there’s a conflict, so he took today off. Why am I telling you all this? Because that’s why I was able to go to yoga today. Because Ryan was home to keep an eye on the little boy, and I was free to go to yoga. This yoga teacher is AMAZING! I do things I never thought I could do, and then I watch other people do things I know I NEVER can do, but I don’t feel bad that I can’t do it. “Let it be ok!” She says. She also said, “The only way to take in a new breath is to let out the old one. How can you expect to take in new things if you can’t let go of the old.” Think about that one. And “The only way to be in the moment is to actually BE in the moment. You can’t think about being in the moment or want to be in the moment. Just BE.” Anyway, it was great, and my muscles were shaking when I left. I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow, but in a good way.

I wanted to also let you know about a little friend of mine.

Parker is a little guy with a big smile. He also has big medical bills, and a family who has no possible way to pay all those bills. Insurance only covers so much, and there are a lot of things that it doesn’t cover at all. Well, some really nice people have set up a raffle for a beautiful quilt.
For a donation of $5, you will get a raffle ticket and a chance to win this amazing Christmas quilt. And even if you don’t win the quilt, there are some other fun prizes, as well. And even if you don’t win anything, you can still have a warm fuzzy feeling that you are helping out a family who could really use a little help. Well, they could use a Christmas miracle, but I don’t know if that’s something we can deliver. But we can help out in small ways.

If you would like to read more about Parker or make a donation, click here. Because we could all use some more warm and fuzzy in our lives, especially at Christmas.

I don’t think I’ve complained enough

For the amount of work I’m doing for this PTA job, I really should have been complaining more. Because we all know that complaining makes EVERYTHING better.

After my horrendously busy week a few weeks ago, I kind of just ignored the pile of reflections entries sitting in my office. Until yesterday, when I found out that they were all due to the council level on Friday. So, I began the long and arduous process of recording and getting them ready. The worst part is calling all the parents who didn’t sign a Media Release form, which they could have easily printed off the internet. Now I have to call them, have them go into the school or bring it to me. Ugh.

I think I need some chocolate and a diet coke to help me get through the morning.

On the upside, though, I won a nice little prize on Monday. I’m not going to say what it was here, but if you go to this advent calendar, and scroll over the number 1 (because I was the first), you’ll see what I won. Even though that’s not the most useful gift in the world and I would have preferred cash (Gosh, how ungrateful I sound! Those reflections must really be bringing me down!), it’s a fun thing, and I’m sure the family will love it.

So, I will go now and plod through some more entry forms, call some more parents, and eat some more chocolate.

Today’s the day

Today is the day that:

1- The repair man is finally coming to fix my washing machine. It’s had a problem for quite some time now, as it doesn’t really agitate. I don’t know what I was waiting for, and why I put it off for so long to call him. Maybe I thought it would just magically start working again! Well, that didn’t happen, so I called over the weekend, and today he will come and hopefully fix my washer.

2- I registered John for the “Teeny Tiny Basketball” class at the local rec center. If you want a good laugh, go and watch a bunch of 5 year olds play basketball!

3- The advent calendars start! I’ve got one calendar with little pockets and the kids get to pick out something every day. Sometimes it’s candy, sometimes it’s a promise of what we will do that day. It worked out so nicely when we had only one or two kids. But now there’s five of them, and try putting 5 pieces of candy in a little one inch by one inch pocket! So, now a lot of them will be filled with little notes, or pictures, or small candy. And they have to take turns picking out of the pocket. We also have a little Advent Kit that a friend gave us. So, we’ll put it together for FHE tonight and get started on that, too.

4- I will finish putting up the holiday decorations. I will, I will, I WILL. Because…

5- The kids are going to school today! Not that I don’t love my kids–I totally DO! But I can’t really get that much done when they are all here messing up the house for 10-16 hours a day.

6- The kids will be repeating such lovely phrases as “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”, and “I double dog dare you”. Why? Because they watched A Christmas Story last night, and even though I think that movie is a little crude and rude, they LOVED IT.

So, what’s on your list today?

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