Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from my People to yours. 


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Carrying On A Tradition

Growing up Christmas was a big deal to my Mom. She always crammed the house and yard with lights, decorations and music. We had lots of traditions at Christmas time. For example every Christmas Eve we would eat split pea soup (which is surprisingly good despite the similarity to baby poop) and go to the late service at church. Christmas Eve my cousin and I always got to open one gift and it was usually a pair of pajamas. Sometime close to Christmas we would all pile in the car and go drive around looking at lights. During the month of December my Mom, Brother and I always made tons of homemade candy. There were 7 layer bars, fudge, divinity, orange balls, chex mix, cookies, etc. We would pass it out to our neighbors and friends and eat it until we were sick. Every year my Mom would make sugar cookies in all sorts of shapes and then my cousin and I decorated them. We thought we were quiet the artists.
I have always loved Christmas. I don't go all out like my Mom used to. I don't like a ton of flashy decorations. Simple is best in my book. But, I still decorate a lot more than I do any other time of year. When Mr. Mayer and I were first married I used to make candy every year. I have my Mom and his Mom's candy recipes. However, somewhere along the way I have stopped doing that. As I type this I am thinking to myself that maybe next year is the year to pick that tradition up again. I don't force split pea soup on my family, though if I'm honest I do still have a craving and desire for it. Mr. Mayer has threatened mutiny if I ever try to make it though. #2 hates most food in general and I can only imagine what he'd do if I made split pea soup. #1 might pass out from disgust. We are hit and miss on looking at Christmas lights. So far it hasn't happened this year. One tradition I have continued since I had #1 is decorating sugar cookies. I invite some friends over and we have a big ol' messy decorating party. In the past I have made the cookies and cut them out. This year I thought I would cheat and buy premade dough. Easy peasy. No big deal at all. I also decided that the kids were old enough to help cut the cookies out. I needed to let go of some of my control and let them do it.  I got this. I had 4 tubes of dough. Everyone got their own dough to cut out. I pulled out all my cutters. My Mom gave them all to me years ago. Some are at least 50 years old and the ones I used as a little girl. The kids and I spent over an hour cutting cookies and talking about traditions and how old the cutters were. Everything went so smoothly.
I popped them in the oven and let them bake. We had 5 trays of cut out cookies. Our friends will be here at 4pm. 14 minutes passed and it was time to remove the cookies.....I'm sure you can guess where I am going with this. I didn't think about the dough I used spreading. The recipe I use doesn't spread much at all. I didn't consider my fancy premade dough would spread. O. M. G. I pulled out tray after tray of deformed cookies. You can't even tell what shape these things started out in. *Sigh* I'm glad my target audience today isn't picky. Most of them still eat their boogers. Because these cookies are a hot mess. They will decorate just the same though.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#MayerChristmas14

My goal this holiday season was to slow down a little. I have been a little bit successful. I can't really say that we have been totally idle. We are having fun though. We are still managing to stay super busy though! In fact we've been so busy (and tired zzzzz) that we aren't decorating our Christmas cookies until next week! I normally have that done early in the month. Just not happening. Between school activities and family life the holiday season is again zooming by. I am making an effort to breathe and make some memories. This past weekend goes down in the books as the busiest we've had in a while. I let #1 have her very first sleepover at our house. And, one girl wasn't enough, I decided she could have 2 little girls spend the night. Mr. Mayer and I took all 5 kids to see a movie that night. Ugh. What were we thinking?! 3 little girls is a bad combination. They argued and "broke up friends" at least a dozen times. I think the last time #1 came in my room was midnight to say that they had another fight. I grumpily told her it was time for everyone to go to sleep. They would like each other again in the morning. Mr. Mayer left around 4am the next morning to go duck hunting. #3 was in bed with me by 6am coughing. The girls were all up by 7:30. Fighting. Ugh. They still don't like each other. Finally all girls went home and I drug my three to a gymnastics birthday party. After the party the bad attitudes (mine included) were getting the best of me. I forced everyone to lay down and take a nap. Two hours later we all woke up with new attitudes. That night we met some friends for dinner (in our PJ's) and then went to ride the Polar Express. The kids had such a great time. The train ride took about an hour to the "North Pole" and back. Of course, it was another late night. The next day we were celebrating Christmas with Mr. Mayer's step sisters, their families, his Mom and Step Dad- 3 hours away. So I was up before the sun Sunday morning trying to get everyone looking presentable and loaded in the car. We were only 30 minutes later than my goal. Score!! We had a great time with the family. The kids ran and played hard with their cousins. We left much later than I had intended which made us getting back home much later. #1 and #3 fell asleep- hard- on the way home. We stopped for dinner and almost couldn't get #3 to wake up. He. Was. Out. We did make it home eventually and everyone went straight to bed. Including Mom and Dad! This week is full of Christmas programs at school, parties and other celebrations. It's gearing up to be a much slower paced weekend and I am ready! Next week will be full of cookie decorating and Christmas celebrations. Bring it- we are making memories!



Potato Potato

See that sad little face? That little face breaks a Mama's heart. Friday I took the Dudes to a favorite hang out, Bounce U. They have a Preschool Bounce a few times a week and I try and take the boys a couple of times a month. Especially in the winter. It's too cold to play outside and Bounce U burns a lot of energy. They have a particular inflatable that is called a "Cliff Dive." It is #2's very favorite thing in the world. You climb up some stairs and jump off a "cliff" onto another inflatable. Super fun. The boys were there a few weeks ago and #2 got to play on the inflatable. We go Friday and he's told he can no longer play on it because he's too small. They have put a new rule in place stating that the child must be 42 inches to play. 42. Inches. I'm not sure #2 is ever going to be 42 inches. He's a very tiny guy. Needless to say this new rule resulted in a complete and utter meltdown from #2. Straight to an ugly cry. There was no consoling him. To add insult to injury #3 was tall enough for the inflatable. I wouldn't let him go on it though. I figured that would just be too much for #2. So #2 and I sat there at Bounce U while he hysterically cried. An employee came over and asked if everything was okay. I gave him an earful. No. It was not okay. I didn't understand how two weeks ago it was fine for my child to go on the inflatable and today he was to small. The employee got big eyes and explained the new rule to me. He stated that some kids had jumped off improperly and hurt themselves. That's their parents issue. Sorry they got hurt, but it's my responsibility if my child gets hurt. I sign a release saying as much when we check in. And lets face it. It's #2 we are talking about. The kid can hurt himself going to the bathroom. So we sat there while #2 continued to melt down. After about 15 minutes he was not calming down so we left.  I wasn't the only angry parent. There were several Mama's there with upset kids that were leaving early as well. I'm sorry that some kids got hurt, but I don't think everyone needs to be punished for it. As a parent you assume that risk when you take your kids somewhere like that. You sign a release saying you understand that risk. This happened days ago and #2 is still traumatized by it and tears up when he thinks about it. He is currently saying that he never wants to go back to Bounce U again. #3 says he doesn't want to go back because they made his brother sad. Awww....they love each other!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Date Night

Before twins I always had the idea that I would take my kids on regular "dates" and spend all this quality one on one time with them. After twins I felt like if I could keep my head up for air I was doing good. I've always been pretty good about one on one time with #1. Her and I do things pretty regularly just her and I. Mr. Mayer and I try to take her out just the 3 of us periodically as well. The Dudes are a whole other story. Every once in a while Mr. Mayer will take one and go run errands and I'll keep the other one with me. Most of the time it's me and Dudes doing things together. Me and just one of them is very rare. So this week I decided I would take each child on a date. Just the two of us. I had gotten us a sibling group of 3 off the local Angel Tree. I had also taken a child in need from church a few weeks ago. It was a perfect activity to do with each kid and a lot less overwhelming for me than taking all three to pick out gifts together. I decided birth order would be the best and most fair approach. Each child could go on a date with me and we would buy gifts for an Angel.
I started yesterday with #1. Since I had 4 Angels and only three kids she got to pick out for two. Today was #2's turn. Oh #2. I was a little concerned about our date. Today was a rough day. He and #3 whined and fought all. day. long. I wanted to scream most of the day. I was worried he would be whiny on our date and I would go crazy. After dinner I had him put his shoes and socks on and off we went. We stopped at the hardware store and bought carpet cleaner. I had big plans for Mr. Mayer later. Then we went to Wal Mart to shop for his Angel. Every toy the child saw in the store and even some non toys he exclaimed "Oh Mom!! I really really want that!" Every. Single. Toy. Not only did he want every toy he saw he did not stop talking from the second we walked out of our house until I put him to bed tonight. It was exhausting listening to him. I didn't have to talk much. The cashier said to him as we were leaving "Oh my, you're a talker." He looked at her and said "Yeah. I like to talk." No kidding! After Wal Mart he chose Braum's as his special snack (#1 chose that yesterday too. I can't seem to get anyone to want to go to Starbucks!)so off we went. He chose the "orange ice cream" in a cone "that tastes good." After he ate the entire ice cream cone that was as large as he was he looked at me and said "I don't really like this." Whatever kid, I don't buy it. During our special snack we talked about everything. His favorite cartoons. Who his best friends were. What he wanted from Santa (A Max tow truck and a candy maker that you can eat the sticks).  We also discussed what we should get his Dad, brother, Sister, Me and Aunt Betsy for Christmas.
His Dad: Headphones, a TV for his headphones, a stabilizer, glue, and a laser.
#1: An "America Girl" and a Rasta Girl.
#3: A "girl hot wheels track race" and "girl hot wheels" and a toy vacuum.
Me: "Girly stuff. Like a laser, a vacuum and a stabilizer."
Aunt Betsy: "You have to share your girly stuff with Aunt Betsy."
So, I hope Aunt Betsy doesn't mind sharing a stabilizer. Whatever that is.
As we were leaving Braum's a couple a few tables from us said "You sure have a precious little boy" as we were walking out. Yes. I have to agree. He is a precious little boy. I realized that I need to make more of an effort to have these little "dates" with my kids. They are only little for a short period of time and I don't want to miss it. Even if my ears are tired!