What Moms Really Want for Christmas

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In a recently conducted, extremely reliable, incredibly scientific poll done by–um–me on my social media, researchers (also me) have discovered what moms truly want for Christmas.

The question posed to moms was simple: “If Santa could bring you anything, real or imagined, what would you ask for?”

The responses came and a trend overwhelmingly presented itself. While Santa might have a hard time filling the requests exactly as hoped, I took the liberty of offering up a few, slightly more realistic, alternatives.

CHEF
Every evening around 6:00, these people who live in our houses want to eat. Again. Which means we’re supposed to feed these tiny humans. Again. There are only so many times we can get away with frozen nugget-shaped meat product and leftover shells and cheese. Believe me. I’ve tested those limits. So if Santa could bring moms a chef to do all your menu planning and shopping and cooking? Dream come true. A personal chef is sadly out of reach for most of us. But what about these alternatives to make mealtime a bit easier?
– Meal Subscription Service that could deliver fresh ingredients and detailed recipes right to your door. No thinking required. Which is great because I have zero brain cells left by dinnertime.
– Grocery Delivery or Curbside Pickup is now a thing at several major supermarkets. Not having to become the People of Walmart twice a week sounds heavenly to me.
– Menu Planning and List Making Service would at least cut down on the time it takes to plan the weekly menu and shopping lists. This would save us all from being stuck in a repetitive dinner rotation.

To discover the next four must-have gifts for mom, please click through to Atlanta Area Moms Blog. Because while Santa might have trouble gift wrapping a maid, there are some great alternatives waiting to go under the tree! http://atlanta.citymomsblog.com/mom/what-moms-really-want-for-christmas/

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A Few Favorite Places to Get Back to Nature

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With the cooler temperatures and the gorgeous leaves, I find myself giving thanks daily to live in north Georgia. Especially during this time of year. I want to be outside all the time. For all the things. Hayrides, pumpkin patches, family hikes, bonfires, farm tours. Autumn is my jam.

If your family is like mine and you love being outdoors during this season, family camping trips are awesome adventures. Whether it’s a dream come true or your worst nightmare, memories are sure to be made and they will last a lifetime! I grew up in Florida and we would spend our vacations camping in north Georgia. Some of my earliest childhood memories include sleeping bags, mountain air, and grumpy geese.

So if you’re ready to add some solid points towards that “Mom of the Year” title, here are a few of my favorite campgrounds. They’re so much fun, you won’t even realize you’re roughing it.

Please click through to read about my top three choices at Atlanta Area Moms Blog. Offering tons of activities in gorgeous settings (along with some alternatives to roughing it in a tent), you’ll want to add these places to your list! http://atlanta.citymomsblog.com/mom/favorite-places-get-back-nature/

 

Play and Learn with Sid the Science Kid

Hey, Atlanta, there’s a new kid in town!

Children’s Museum of Atlanta just unveiled their newest feature exhibit and it is all kinds of awesome. Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit was an absolute hit with all three of my kids (ages 2-11). This fun traveling exhibit brings to life the award-winning PBS KIDS TV series, Sid the Science Kid.

The exhibit recreates Sid’s kitchen, bedroom, backyard, and classroom, allowing kids to become “science kids” themselves! Kids can step into Sid’s world and investigate everyday science questions through the use of scientific tools and hands-on activities.

Check out our favorite parts of Sid’s world!

Click through to Atlanta Area Moms Blog to see how great this new exhibit is! You can find photos and more info about the latest and greatest at Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

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Could the Old Wives’ Tales Really Know?

I’ve been pregnant three times. And each time those two little pink lines popped up, I had about five and a half minutes before I started obsessing over whether baby was a boy or a girl.

I needed to know all the things to plan all the things. It was my very poor attempt at feeling any amount of control in a completely unpredictable situation.

Google became my best friend and told me approximately eleven million ways to tell if your baby is a boy or a girl. Each method was totally backed up by the completely trustworthy folks of the internet and all their extensive lack of scientific research.

But because our first born’s ultrasound tech happily announced we would have a girl and we prepped for said baby girl (in the totally neurotic way only first-time parents could) just to finally birth a handsome baby boy? I spent way too much time during my next pregnancies trying to beat the system.

So I’m gonna take one for the team here and share some of these theories and how it applied to my last baby, complete with excerpts from my pregnancy journal…

Click through to Atlanta Area Moms Blog to check out my experiments with the most popular old wives’ tales for gender predictions. See which ones were correct and which were wrong! 

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Facing Down Your Gorillas

One of the benefits of homeschooling my kids is that once I’ve recognized my sanity is at the breaking point, I can spontaneously declare a field trip day. On one such day, when nothing seemed to be going well, we ended up at the zoo for the afternoon. It seemed all the baby animals were also over it and the mamas were reaching their own breaking points.

When we came to the gorilla enclosure, we were treated to a show. Two juveniles were having the time of their lives. They wrestled, threw dirt at each other, and chased each other in circles around their mama. My kids loved this big game of mischief and could not be happier watching those two get into trouble.

After a few warnings, mama gorilla had finally had enough of their antics. (Solidarity, mama.) The big silverback jumped up from where she had been trying to get some peace and quiet and lunged after her rowdy kids. Everyone thought it was hilarious—except my two-year-old.

All Abby could see was this angry gorilla charging full speed right toward us. Terrified, she pointed and screamed, “IS COMIN’!” She called out for her daddy and instinctively reached for his hands, practically climbing up his legs, trying to get to the security of his arms.

To find out what happened next and read how we all have to face down our own gorillas sometimes, click through to The Glorious Table here:
http://theglorioustable.com/2017/05/facing-down-your-gorillas/.

 

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That One Time Pinterest Made Me Poison the Teacher

 

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We’re all friends here, right? I hope so. Because, mamas, I have ten years worth of motherhood mess-ups and cautionary tales to share with you. I always hoped that one day these all-too-true stories could bring other mamas some encouragement because I’m selfless like that. Okay fine. Not really. I just want my pain to count for something and if it makes another mama laugh or feel less alone in this crazy world of motherhood, then it’s all worth it!

So lean in close, friends, and I’ll share with you the reason I won’t be on Pinterest ever again. Ever. Amen.

It was time to buy the preschool teacher a gift. And this wasn’t just any teacher. This woman had most definitely achieved sainthood in the year she spent shepherding my sweet, precious angel. Saint. Hood.

Now what she probably wanted was a long vacation or a gift card to the nearest package store, but I wanted a gift that would adequately convey the depths of my love and appreciation for what I knew she had been through with a whole class of sweet, precious angels.

Also, I wanted it to stand out among all the other parent gifts because I’m the oldest child and a perfectionist and we can get into all that some other time. So I scoured the list of favorites we received at the beginning of the year. I googled like my life depended on it. And then, like every other good mother would’ve already thought to do, I turned to the one true source that has never let me down before–Pinterest…

To see how it all went wrong, click through to read the rest of the story on Atlanta Area Moms Blog! See you there!

Ho Ho No – 5 Reasons We Don’t Do Santa

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** You can now click here to read a version of this post on The Huffington Post! There are so many ways to do Christmas and I love that no two families celebrate in exactly the same way. Whether you skip Santa completely or you go all North Pole in your home, I’d love for you to click through, like, or share this post to spread some Christmas cheer. **

The tree is trimmed. The stockings are hung. The gifts are ready. And by that, I mean the gifts are ready for me to find them at the store, buy them, hide them, wrap them, and put them under the tree at approximately 1:37 a.m. on December 25th. It’s okay. I’m good at other things.

The only thing that’s missing is a jolly old bearded guy in a red suit. And his reindeer. Oh, and that creepy elf dude.

Yes. We are one of THOSE families. We don’t do Santa at our house. I know, I know. It’s okay to go ahead and roll your eyes. We get that a lot.

It’s not like we’re marching indignantly on the North Pole, picket signs in hand, but it does come up a bit during this time of year. The reaction is generally one of disappointed surprise mixed with polite disapproval. “Oh, is that so? I didn’t realize. Well. I guess the children will find other ways to have a childhood.”

In an effort to reclaim some of our parenting points in the eyes of society (not that I was already in the running for Mother of the Year), here are some of our reasons for sacking Santa.

Santa’s unlimited resources don’t match our very limited budget.
As much as I love the idea of writing a letter listing all my dream requests to someone with the hopes of them being granted (wait–Ellen, are you Santa?), this would only set my kids up for disappointment. Because while the elves might have some back channel connections, Mama isn’t paying $250 or arm wrestling a trucker for a Hatchimal. Sorry, baby girl. Mama still loves you.

We don’t want to share credit with a cartoon.
Okay, so this one is admittedly a little selfish. But over the last decade of Christmases, we’ve worked really hard to scrape together enough money to be able to put a couple of modest gifts under the tree for the kids. It’s not much but ohmygoodness when they open those gifts and we see those huge smiles? I didn’t really want to hear, “Thank you, Santa!” I wanted some hugs.

For all my kids, but especially my literal-thinking aspie, it’s kind of creepy.
If I told my kid that there was a man out there who sees him when he’s sleeping and knows when he’s awake and knows when he’s been bad or good with the thinly veiled threat of “be good for goodness’ sake,” he wouldn’t sleep for a month. It does make Santa sound less like a jolly philanthropist and more like an unsub profiled on Criminal Minds.

It only takes one child in need to make you question the whole system.
Once upon a time in a world far away, I was a 2nd grade teacher. I will never forget the day an eight-year-old broke my heart wide open. I was on playground duty just after winter break when I spotted a student playing alone and decided to keep him company. We started chatting about his holiday and I asked him if he had a good Christmas. He looked up at me with confused eyes and said, “Santa didn’t come this year, Mrs. Pooser. I don’t know why. I tried so hard all year to be real, real good. But he didn’t come anyway.” That moment took my breath away. I just couldn’t bring myself to pass along a tradition that has the potential to make a child feel like his behavior is somehow responsible for his family not having any gifts under the tree.

Our holiday is less cluttered.
When we shifted our attention away from the material side of Christmas, we were able to focus more clearly on what we’re truly celebrating. The long-awaited Messiah, with Calvary already in mind, born to a desperate and dark world, bringing with him the light of hope, joy, peace, and love. And with the love of Jesus in our hearts, we do talk about St. Nicholas and how his spirit of kindness and generosity can live on in our Christmas traditions. We try to think of ways to spread joy to our neighbors and our community. Whether we’re able to sponsor a whole family from the Angel Tree or if we can just swing a few dollars to leave a Starbucks gift card on a stranger’s porch, there are lots of ways we can spread Christmas cheer. We’ve learned to step outside ourselves and think of others.

So even though we don’t do Santa Claus with our kids, there is still plenty of room for St. Nick in our Christmas.