Manic Motherhood at it's FINEST!!

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, December 13, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday- Gift Cards For Christmas?

Touchy Topic Tuesday:
Gift Cards For Christmas?

Gift giving is the name of the season.

Many people love to scale the malls and the sales, searching for that perfect gift. A lot of people have something specific in mind when they think of a person.

In my family, we draw names each year. If I choose my mom, my sister, or my oldest brother, then I know exactly what to get them. If you asked me to make a list of things they might like, it'd take me just a second to jot down a page full of ideas for each of them. The HARD part is picking ONE.

If I pick out my dad's or my youngest brother's name...well, I'm at a loss. I know my dad is very practical. He'd prefer shoes. Or tools (if you can find one he doesn't already own) or a bill paid. It's very hard to be creative there. And it's also difficult to get him to tell you what, exactly, he needs. My brother is a great big dork- in the most entertaining and wonderful way possible. But he already has every single movie known to man downloaded to his computer. He already has just about every xbox game there is. Heaven knows what to get him.

Recently, I read a list of the 10 worst Christmas gifts you can get someone. On the very top of that list was a little piece of plastic, it can be as valuable as the buyer prefers, but only to precise stores, and, it's called a gift card.

Gift cards, according to MSN Today, were named as the absolute worst gift one can give. And cold hard cash actually came in further down the line. Apparently, a gift only is actually a gift if it took a lot of thought and knowledge of the person receiving the gift and their inner most desires.
So....basically, if you don't know a person well enough to buy them something specific, and be sure that it's exactly what was the main characters in their very own personal visions of sugar plums, then you'd probably better not get them anything at all.

All or nothin'.

Honestly, I just have to say that I disagree with this. Now, it's not something that I am very seriously passionate about, as I have been about some of my Touchy Topic Tuesdays, but I do still have an opinion, and as it seems to be something that people have viciously varying opinions about, it's up for debate.
I am not a hard person to buy gifts for. I'm sure that if any of the people I mentioned were easy for me buy for drew my name, they'd have a very simple time picking something out for me that would just make my heart flutter. Particularly my mom. And my oldest brother has a knack for getting me into fits of giggles.
But there are people who just don't know me that well. And when it comes down to it, if someone were to ask me what I wanted or needed this Christmas, i would tell them that I really need some clothes for after the baby is born. You know, like things I can wear that aren't maternity clothes? I need new jeans as I wore my old ones to threads. I need nursing shirts. I need things that are going to help me feel pretty and cute and stylish instead of frumpy mommyish. But if i were to tell someone that, I would probably be pretty terrified of what I might receive and have to wear in order to NOT make them feel bad. Not to mention, I have absolutely NO clue what size I'll be right after i have this baby. I'm HOPING that I'll do what I did with my last 3, and go back to being my old size 4 pretty quick. But there's no guarantee. And I want things in MY SIZE.
How to get around that?
A gift card sounds lovely.
Not only that, but I am a very very crafty person. I am always creating. If I am not making something, my life feels a bit empty. It's just a habit and obsession of mine. Would it be acceptable and even appreciated for someone to go out to a craft or fabric store and buy me supplies? Probably, because I'm really good at taking stuff that I had no previous affiliation for and throwing it into something awesome. (Yes. I have a big head about this.) BUT, it would, admittedly, be much more satisfying for me to be able to buy the things that I already had in mind for my ongoing projects.
Once again, a gift card would be delightful.
So, really, if you're one of those people who is just an amazing gift giver, and you seem to just always be able to foresee what someone would be thrilled to get, then DO THAT! Because it really IS always awesome to get something and think "WOW!!!! You really know me so well!" - and it's also such an excellent feeling to GIVE that kind of gift. When you can see on a person's face that you did so incredibly well that it left them speechless. BUT, if you don't have any clue, then don't shrink away from the gift card. It has much more meaning than just "I don't know you very well."
Okay, everyone!!!! Let us all know how you feel about gift cards for Christmas, both giving and getting!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Welcome to Mommier-Than-Thou Mondays!!!!

Please, if you are an exceptional mom (and you know you are!!!) Link up below, grab the button, and join us in telling the world why YOU are a better mom than anyone else!!!!


I have exceptionally smart kids.

I really do. That's really 100% not just me being a mom who wears rose colored glasses while looking at my children. I mean, they're no Einsteins, but they ARE very smart.

And while I am well aware that most of that is their own merit- their own little brains are what is exceptional, I DO have to take a bit of credit here.

I have spent countless hours reading to my children. I have spent countless hours with them going through flashcards of the alphabet to help them remember so that they could learn to read. I have spent much time doing homework with them and answering impossible questions with actual pictures and definitions found off of the internet- no half baked or mediocre answers here!!!

Also, I never ever talked to them with baby talk. Brandon and I both have pretty decent sized vocabularies. And we actually know how to form a complete sentence. We don't use double negatives, and as a result, our children have picked up on much of our vocabulary as well.

It was a proud moment when my then three year old Mahone shouted from the back seat of my minivan "Mommy! Lilly's antagonizing me again!!!!" And yes, by the way, he DOES know what that word means.

As of this very Mommier-Than-Thou Monday, I am here to brag about the fact that my 2 year old Scarlet knows all her letters- uppercase and lowercase- by sight. She also knows their sounds, including both the long and short sounds of the vowels. She has known them for a few months now. I believe it was just before Halloween that she finally remembered the last letter she had been struggling with. And now, we are working on blending two letter words, such as at, in, up, and so on.

YAY for Scarlet, her big fat brain, and YAY for ME! Because I don't care HOW smart your kid is, they probably aren't going to learn very much without support from amazing parents!!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

touchy Topic Tuesday- Have Yourself a Politically Correct Little Holiday Season

Oh man!!! My new Meme, "Mommier-Than-Thou Mondays" totally flopped yesterday!!!

Not only did NO ONE link up, I only got ONE comment!!! Awwwww!!!!

Come on mommies! Lets make it work next week- Grab my button from the side bar, and tell us why you're a better mommy than ANYONE else!!!!

Touchy Topic Tuesday:

Have Yourself a Politically Correct Little Holiday Season

So, maybe it's just my pregnancy hormones that have gone haywire...I don't think so, because I can't really stand disrespect anyway...but I have really been rubbed the wrong way by those people who just can't handle the Christmas spirit and insist on being politically correct about everything.

First of all, there are a lot of holidays happening in December. Many of them are religious. Hanukkah for example, as well as Christmas. And don't forget Kwanzaa, which, admittedly, I don't completely understand as i have not thoroughly studied it.

As teachers of a group of girls ages 9 to 12 at our church, Brandon and I decided that, since we studied the Old Testament this year and will next year be studying the New Testament, our class Christmas party would be focused on learning about Hanukkah, the holiday that Christ himself would have celebrated, and the miracle that happened BETWEEN the Old and New Testaments.

On Sunday, we announced to our girls the theme of the party.

Now, in her defense, this girl was a granddaughter to a woman in our ward and is not regularly in our class, so she was not used to us, or the regular dose of culture, tolerance, and what my husband calls "Gee-whiz information" that we try to emphasize with our girls. However, multiple moments with her ten-year-old sass, crass, and disrespect eventually pushed me over the edge.

"But we aren't Jewish. I don't believe in Hanukkah...why in the world would I want to learn about it or celebrate it?"

Of course, we spent more time explaining why a Christian should care about Hanukkah, and from there, the conversation spiraled into another girl mentioning that Christ's birthday isn't even IN December, and why do we celebrate it then?

Okay, well, this is something i hear on a regular basis, not just from my 10 year olds. Yes, it's a holiday that derived from a Pagan holiday called Yule Tide. Yes, there is evidence that his birthday was actually in the spring. I really have to say that if this is really something that ticks you off that much, you need to look for something else to be passionate about because it's really not worth it. Christmas time is one of those times where people open their hearts, their pockets, and their minds to people who need them. Charity is rampant at Christmas time. Families reconcile and reunite to laugh and enjoy each other's company. People are coerced to think about others while they search for a perfect gift. I don't know anything that sets a bond between people the way holiday food does.

Have YOU ever celebrated your birthday on a day that wasn't your birthday? Like, for example, you had your party on a Saturday instead of the real day because it was a Wednesday and you were in school? Honestly, I don't see how this is any different. If Christ is really who Christ is supposed to be and I suspect he is, then doesn't all that joy, harmony, and charity mean a whole lot more in his eyes than celebrating on his actual birthday? I daresay that yes, it is more important.

As I've mentioned before, my Touchy Topic Tuesdays are posts from which I receive multiple private emails from people who don't care to face ridicule from other people, and I face a lot of virtual tongue lashings and snooty answers from people who email me. One email I received from my Touchy Topic Tuesday about Santa Claus was from a woman who insisted that if a person is the type who can promote Santa Claus, they cannot possibly be the kind who actually believe in Christ, therefore, she had taught her children that if someone talks to them about Santa, they are to reply with such things as "Happy Holidays" or "Merry St. Nicholas day" or the like, instead of Christmas, because Christmas implied that they were Christian, and, once again, a person who believed in Christ wouldn't promote Santa.

Radical? I think so.

Another woman, who did not respond in an email or on my blog, but instead replied to a thread I started about my TTT on BlogFrog said something similar to this woman who emailed me, minus the statements about the impossibility of believing in Santa as well as Christ, has taught her children to say the same kind of things in response to those who might mention Santa Claus: "Merry St. Nicholas day" or "Happy Santa day"- and she said that it left people speechless. The statement seemed like she meant it to be smug. Which stirred a bit of hostility in my own heart.

I mean, first off, I have NO idea why a kid saying something like "Happy Santa day" or "Happy Holidays" or "Happy St. Nick" day would leave anyone speechless or shock them. If a kid said that to me, I'd likely just respond with the same, or another holiday greeting- likely "Merry Christmas" because that's what I celebrate (and yes, I believe in Santa AND Christ) and think nothing of it. Never would it leave me speechless OR shocked. I mean, I suppose if I knew it was SUPPOSED to shock me, then I probably would be shocked, but not because this woman has any kind of a valid point- in my opinion, she doesn't have a broken leg to stand on- but because I just can't wrap my brain around this "sock-it-to-'em" mentality that some people relentlessly employ. Who the heck cares if someone celebrates something different than you do? Who cares if they're a different religion than you are? Who cares if they believe something else? Why is it so difficult to just smile and say something -heaven forbid- NICE back?

I haven't ever actually, in real life, been on the receiving end of any blown out of proportion conversation or lashing by saying "Merry Christmas" to someone, but I have seen many many discussions and debates on the internet about it. You'd be surprised by how many people are either 1. Irritated by religious greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah", and prefer generic greetings like "Happy Holidays" or "Happy New Year" or "Seasons Greetings" because they feel that someone who spouts a religious greeting is forcing their belief on them (yeah- I think it's a stupid assumption too.) or 2. they always say the generic greetings when out and about because they fear that they will offend someone or they fear that they will receive backlash.

THIS IS WHAT OFFENDS ME THE MOST: When people get offended because I say Merry Christmas.

I'm sorry, but I'm Christian, and I celebrate Christmas. And newsflash: Even if you aren't Christian, even if you don't celebrate the holiday, it's still actually CALLED Christmas. And I still just don't see why it's such a horrible thing for someone to wish you a Merry Christmas in passing. Why must people adopt an offended attitude because they don't celebrate? Really? Is it so hard to just smile and nod and move on? Is it really so difficult to just wish THEM a Merry Christmas? I mean, obviously someone who wishes you a Happy Hanukkah is someone who DOES celebrate that particular holiday. Would it kill you to wish them a happy day in something they find very satisfying and joyous? I guarantee that no one who gives a religious greeting is doing so specifically to offend that person. On the contrary, a person who extends such a greeting is probably doing it because they are in high spirits and feel good at the moment.

Furthermore, I am NOT Jewish, and I don't celebrate Hanukkah, though I am a person who respects other people and other cultures and other religions very much. If someone wished me a Happy Hanukkah, I would very readily wish them the same, despite my religious preference, and go on without even thinking about it. Never in a gazillion years would I contemplate stopping the person to explain that they're being rude because I am not, in fact, of their same belief. Never in a millennia would I consider responding, instead, with a "Merry Christmas" with the sole intention of giving them a hint that THEY are wrong.

In short, I don't care what you say. I don't care what your religion is or what you celebrate. I think that the holidays, whatever that happens to mean to you, should be a joyous, happy time, and one cannot be joyous or happy when trying so desperately to be offended.

I won't ever be offended when someone wishes me any kind of Holiday greeting, be it religious or generic- but honestly, you probably had better chill out when i wish a Merry Christmas...and a happy whatever you believe in to you.

Join in the debate, friends!!! Keep it decent, blatantly rude comments or personal attacks will be deleted immediately without discussion.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mommier Than Thou Monday

Link up friends!!! Grab the Mommier-Than-Thou Monday button on my sidebar and join us in bragging about how great a mom you are!!!!


My children are great eaters. My son is a bit picky, but mostly he eats pretty well. And my girls will eat just about anything.

Actually, I have been to Lilly's school twice this year to have lunch with her. Both times, I have been shocked and pleasantly surprised. I don't remember what we had the first time, except that I know she chose a whole bunch of cucumbers and ate them all. The second time, we had chef salad, peas, peaches, a roll, milk, and pumpkin spice cake with our choice of 2% white milk, chocolate milk, or strawberry milk.

First, Lilly chose the white milk, took her little cup of peas, peaches, roll, and her salad and went to the table. I, of course, drenched my salad in ranch dressing, skipped the peas, and grabbed chocolate milk while swiping the biggest piece of cake I could find. (I'm pregnant. Don't judge me.)

At the table, i tried to switch my cake with Lilly's, because mine was bigger and I was trying to be that good mommy who gave my girl the best one. Lilly caught me though, and insisted that she keep her own- apparently orange sprinkles are more appetizing than yellow ones.

From there, I watched in awe as she ate her entire chef salad without a drop of ranch dressing, ate the peaches, and drank their juice, scarfed down the peas, nibbled her roll, and then, ate a grand total of 2 bites of her pumpkin spice cake (which I gladly finished for her) before she gulped down her plain white milk and jumped up to show me where to put our trays.

Furthermore, I was completely impressed with the way she helped wipe down the tables, sweep the floors under the tables, and then mop up any spills. They ALL did! All the 5 year olds in her class did it!!!

Well, I guess I'm doing something right by making my children clean up their own dishes, and eat what we're having at dinner without the option of a different dinner.

And that's why I'm MOMMIER-THAN-THOU!!!


Once again, friends- link up! I wanna know why you're such a wonderful mom!!!

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