Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Girls

I know, I know, Christmas is 40 days, 10 hours, and 53 minutes away, but I like to get things together ahead of time.  You might call me OCD, my husband does.  As I have mentioned many times before, I have three daughters ages 2, 7, and 9.  It has been my recent (as in this year recent) to keep the stocking stuffer price down, I am keeping it to $10 per child (minus the piece of jewelry that I put in their stocking each year).  Christmas tends to get more expensive each year, but my children have so many things that they really get too much for Christmas (translation: I get over zealous when shopping).  They are pretty good kids, they only put 10 items each on their letter to Santa, it is usually me who goes overboard with the presents.  However, this year, I am trying to be more frugal.  Also this year, I am done with all of the cavity-producing, lifetime-on-the-hips, sugar-high-inducing, Christmas candy that has dominated my childrens' stockings for the past [almost] decade.  Instead of a bunch of candy, I plan to make their stocking a surprise filled with little things that they were not expecting, but can use (not little things that will clutter up my house and never have a useful purpose).  There may be a few pieces of candy (seriously, like 4), and I will also put a bag of popped popcorn in there as well (what kid doesn't like popcorn?!).  Side note: I do not plan to give all of my children everything on the list below because, as I said, I want to keep each stocking to $10 with the exception of the jewelry (my older two children get two different pieces of jewelry).  I will give them the items based on their ages (which means my 9 and 7 year olds get pretty much the same thing, but my 2 year old gets some of the same and some a little different). So, without further ado, here is my list of ideas for stocking stuffers for girls:

  1. Silly Putty
  2. Nail Polish
  3. Chapstick/Lip Balm
  4. Piggy Bank with Coins
  5. Stickers
  7. Lotion (small)
  8. Shower Gel (small)
  9. Pencils
  10. Pens
  11. Flashlight
  12. Small Puzzle Book
  13. Small Stuffed Animal
  14. Manicure Kit
  15. Snow Globe
  16. Kaleidoscope
  17. Small Cars
  18. Mirror
  19. Earrings
  20. Necklace
  21. Bracelet
  22. Popcorn

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wives Don't Let Husbands Go Grocery Shopping with Friends

I cleaned out the cabinets in my kitchen today (an incredibly boring task that I despise doing).  As I was doing this, I found TONS of spices (that we don't use).  I'm talking name brand spices in the big container that cost a fortune.  I do not buy these spices, these spices were purchased by my husband when he was let loose in the grocery store with friends.

My husband cannot be the only one who does this.  Whenever we have company over, the guys find some reason to go to the grocery story (as if we don't have enough things stuffed into our tiny kitchen cabinets).  This seems innocent enough, but my husband just doesn't go buy something that we are out of, he buys things that we already have only he gets the extremely large, name brand version because he thinks we do not have any of it.  Seriously, black pepper is an example (salt would be another).  These are things that a college kid would have in their dorm room so of course I have it in my kitchen.  It goes beyond that though, he picks up things that we do not use or use few and far between.  Things that we do not need the incredibly large and extremely expensive version (think fennel you even know what those are?  Yeah, neither did he, but it sounded good at the time).  He also loses all sense of portion size.  Suddenly 10 pounds of chicken seems like a good idea to bring home to cook, keep in mind that I nor our youngest eat meat and our two that do can split a piece.

This is where I need to interject and say that this ONLY happens when he goes to the grocery store with his friends, it does not happen when I send him to the grocery store by himself.  When he goes by himself, he uses his cell phone to call home and ask me a question on every aisle to make sure that he is getting the correct item.  So why can he not do this when he goes shopping with his friends?  Why must he spend $80 on a shopping trip that should have cost $10?  Is he the only husband that does this? 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Did Your Election Behavior Teach Your Children?

Today is a new day.  It is not yesterday, and it is not tomorrow.  This election had friends, neighbors, coworkers, family, religions, bloggers, the entire country divided.  There were mean-spirited arguments from both sides just as there were calm disagreements from both sides.  There was mud-slinging and there was praise.  And there were the children of this country that witnessed it all.

Children are impressionable, they do as they see and they say what they hear.  If you don't believe this, just ask any parent; things get repeated.  School-aged children repeat at school what they have heard at home.  Toddlers repeat what they have heard whenever it is most embarrassing for a parent.  Think about the things that you have said during this election.  Were they said in front of your children?  If so, were they things that your children should repeat or were they things that you hope that your children do not repeat?  Did you take this election as a chance to help your children grow as compassionate human beings or did you take this election as a chance to teach your children intolerance for other people's opinion?

I do not know the answers that you can give to those questions, but I know the answers that I can give.  I have three children, ages 9, 7, and 2.  My two-year-old will repeat anything, but does not understand most of what she repeats.  However, she can replicate moods.  She understands anger, frustration, and happiness.  I try everyday to teach her when it appropriate to feel each one of those emotions.  When to act on them and when to not act on them.  Sometimes adults need to be taught the same lessons. 

My 9 and 7 year olds are old enough to understand what we say and repeat it verbatim.  The things that they say at school, to their friends, to adults, and to the public in general are a direct reflection on us, their parents.  They will repeat what they have heard at home.  They will also carry the same attitude that they observe at home.  My children knew who we were voting for in this election, and they knew who their friends parents were voting for in this election.  They learned that not everyone had the same opinion, even their friends.  Instead of inciting intolerance in my children, I chose to teach them that people have differing opinions and that it is okay.  We are not all the same, we will not always have the same idea or opinion, but people should not be disrespected or taunted because they do not share your opinion.  I hope that I taught them that compassion and tolerance for other people should always be practiced.  Most of all I hope that I taught this to them not only by saying but by doing.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Children are Blessings Not Burdens

Lately, I have seen more and more advertisements in which parenthood is depicted as something that is an unwanted stress, something that we should complain about, and drink our way through.  This bothers me.  I am sure that may seem like a hypocritical statement coming from me since most of my blogs are griping about one thing or another, but the overall theme is that I enjoy my children and I feel very blessed to have them.  They are three human beings that I love more than anything in this world, and I would never want them to think otherwise.  That being said, there are times where I am stressed out and I gripe about it, but never are my children unwanted or motivate any drinking habits. 

A few days ago, my oldest daughter (who is nine) was watching Nick Jr. with my youngest daughter (who is two).  As many of you may know, Nick Jr. has changed its format in the past few months.  No longer can they boast of having no advertisements because now they do.  They have also changed the TV programming as of 9:00 pm CST to "NickMom."  In the beginning, I did not really see a problem with this until I saw the commercial for this.  Or maybe it would be better put that I did not see a problem with this until I saw the commercial through the eyes of my nine year old daughter.  The commericals for NickMom air during the regular hours of Nick Jr., all day long so that children who are watching Nick Jr. can see them.  These commercials have an anti-children sentiment that my nine year old picked up on.  "Why do you like it better when we are in bed, don't you like spending time with us?" was the first question that she hurled at me.  There were several others, all of them which made me feel terrible.  That commercial made her feel like parents (moms specifically) did not like being parents, that children were a burden upon their parents, and that parents would rather them not be around.  Is this really what we want our children to think or feel?  I am sure that some of you think that I am blowing this out of proportion, but think about this for a minute, let it sit with you and put yourself in your children's shoes.  How would this make you feel?  If it is even questionable, then it probably is not a good thing. 

It seems that today's world has made it ok for parents to seemingly not like parenting.  I know that parenting is not perfect, things happen; I write about those things and I find nothing wrong with that. What I have a problem with is not acknowledging that your children are blessings not burdens.  Today's world is hard enough without parents giving their children a self-esteem issue; parents should lift their children up, not tear them down (even unintentionally).

This is November, a month of giving thanks, and I plan to spend this month finding things for which to be thankful instead of things to gripe or complain about. It's a challenge for me, and I suggest we all challenge ourselves to 30 Days of Being Thankful (and not complaining).  I will go first: Today I am thankful for my family.  Please join me as I post for the next 29 days of things I am thankful for.  My goal is to be a happier, more optimistic person by the end of the month (just in time for the Christmas season!).  Please share with me what you are thankful for either by commenting on this blog post or on the Facebook page.  Also, feel free to share with friends, we could all use a little uplifting every now and then.