Because Stopping is Not an Option #unstoppablemoms

I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

I have to confess that this past weekend kicked off one of the most nerve-wracking times of the year for me: first of all, daylight savings plunges us into way too much darkness, and November kicks off the really busy holiday-birthday-palooza that goes nonstop from now until Christmas. We have Sophie’s birthday November 16, Bobby’s on the 26th, Thankgiving, Jonah’s birthday on December 17th and then Christmas.

So basically, I should’ve started shopping 2 weeks ago. Hey, I am just happy to have already booked Sophie’s big bday bash at the bowling alley!

The truth is during these next 8 weeks, I have more to do than humanly possible – working, birthday + Christmas shopping, party planning, Sophie’s two birthday parties (one for friends, one for family) along with the other weekly activities that won’t stop like church, house church, and swimming lessons. But I have done it for years past, and I will do it again this year. Because I’m unstoppable! Here are a few ways I keep it all together during the holidays.

Unstoppable Moms

1) I shop online almost exclusively. Ain’t nobody got time to run around to a billion stores to get all these presents. With two kid birthdays and a husband birthday AND my mother’s birthday and Christmas all between November 16 and December 25, THAT’S A LOT OF PRESENTS. Amazon and Kohl’s.com are my friends. I don’t have time to lovingly pick out each gift at the store and I am not handmaking NUTTIN’. So. I shop online, when I have time, and it saves my life.

2) I delegate. I do make Jonah’s birthday cake because he’s gluten-free, but I let someone else (bakery!) make Sophie’s cakes (although of course I make sure Jonah will have a gf cupcake to eat at her party as well). I ask my mom or sisters-in-law to bring extra chairs or chips to go with the pizza we’ll order. I let my husband wrap the presents because he is WAY better than I am at it and he likes doing it (although the sheer volume of Christmas presents for all our family members is so large that we do that together). I keep our family parties casual. We have lots of fun, but not a lot of frills. Nobody is going to pin pictures of any party I throw and that is A-OK with me!

3) I ask for help. I guess this is kind of like delegating, but much more pointed. If it’s a couple days before a family party and my house is DEFCON-4 level messy, I ask my mom, or my sister-in-law, or a house church friend if she can take Jonah for a couple hours so I can power clean. If I have more places to be that I can possibly be, I ask for help. Sometimes I just cannot do it all, and when I can’t, rather than fail, I ask for help. And luckily I have lots of family team players who will help out in a pinch.

The Birthmaspalooza is on it’s way, and I. Will. Survive. I might even ENJOY it, celebrate my wonderful kids, hubby, and mom, and try to impress the wonder of the Christmas season and God’s amazing gift to us upon my kids’ hearts – whew!

I can do it, because I’m unstoppable! Stopping, my dears, is simply not an option.

What makes you unstoppable as a mom? 

The makers of Children’s MOTRIN® would love for you to share your unstoppable tips over on the Motrin Facebook page. Because one of the best ways we can help each other be unstoppable is to share what works for us! And what’s awesome about that? For every tip shared, they will make a $1 donation made to Safe Kids. Your tip might also win you $100 just for posting (all details on the Motrin Facebook page)

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES & D.C., 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Promotion ends 11:59p.m. ET 12/28/14.  Sponsor will donate $1 for each approved Submission made as part of the promotion, with a minimum donation of $30,000 and a maximum donation of $50,000.  For Official Rules, and complete details, visit www.unstoppablemoms.com. Sponsor: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc.  To learn more about Safe Kids Worldwide visit safekids.org

Go give the unstoppable moms who have  inspired you a big shout-out today, and share your tips to help other moms, too!

What makes you UNSTOPPABLE during the holiday season?

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Christmas still happened even though I forgot to be neurotic about it.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the fact that I had forgotten to be neurotic about Christmas this year. I wasn’t in my usual state of panic, for whatever reason.

You guys are never going to believe this. Christmas still happened anyway.

And it was actually pretty great.

The kids didn’t flip out because we didn’t do Advent activities every day. Our Christmas cards arrived before Christmas (the day before, but who’s counting?).

Sam even got the Legos he wanted.

image (20)

It was weird. I felt like I was less prepared than usual, but everything went much more smoothly. I kept my wrapping supplies on the dining room table, and instituted a wrap-as-I-bought policy. I wrapped all the kids’ stuff on Monday, and I didn’t have to stay up half the night on Christmas Eve doing it. That’s a first!

I didn’t bake nearly as much as I normally do, and I don’t think anyone noticed. I made a few batches of cookies (including these, the best cookie recipe ever. Just add crushed candy canes and only bake for 9 minutes. You’re welcome.), but that was about it.

But, despite my lack of freaking out, we had a great Christmas.

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I think there’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

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Christmas was Merry. And then the puke started.

cross ornament

Happy Boxing Day! Whatever that means. One of you can educate me in the comments, I’m cleeeaarly not British. But I am hoping that you & yours had a Merry Christmas and made some awesome memories with your families. Ours was good on the whole, but all did not go exactly as planned. Saturday night, the 21st, Jonah started puking his guts out, and had to sit out our family Christmas on Sunday with my side of the family. Bobby stayed home with him while I took the big kids to my parents’ house for presents, grandparents, and cousin time. Unfortunately, this was also going to be Jonah’s family birthday celebration (along with my nephew Alan whose birthday is tomorrow), but Jonah had to miss that too. WAAH! Nevertheless, we had a great time with our family, and when we got home, Jonah was feeling much better and enjoyed opening his presents.

He had fully recovered by Christmas Eve, so we went to our church’s Christmas Eve service, which was awesome, and reminded us all again that the true wonder of Christmas is that God became flesh – can you imagine? To be in HEAVEN, where everything is bliss, and then to all of a sudden be in a dirty world where your bed smells like cow breath and probably worse? It is truly amazing…I enjoyed helping my kids understand this miracle by doing the Truth in the Tinsel advent crafts with them every day in December (ok, we missed a few days of crafting, but we did read ALL the lessons!) The last craft we made on December 24th was the cross ornament above, reminding us that Jesus came not only to be born, but to die as well – for us.

We hustled the kids to bed after Christmas Eve service, and they were SO EXCITED! Here’s Joshua and Sophie on their way up to get in their PJ’s:

Excited about stockings

 

and Captain Underpants making sure the stockings were hung with care.

Jonah stockings

 

The Bobby and I wrapped presents, and he ran out to the corner store for bread and chocolate chips (natch) and settled into bed as soon as we could, although we had made the big kids promise to stay in bed til 7:30, you never know how much self-control they are going to be able to exhibit.

Christmas morning they did make it until 7:30 and Jonah woke up at 7:45 so we could get started with presents. They loved their something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read, and bonus gift from their siblings.

Joshua's "something to wear" was this Ironman helmet that makes noises, lights up, and shoot projectiles at you! Awesome.

Joshua’s “something to wear” was this Ironman helmet that makes noises, lights up, and shoot projectiles at you! Awesome.

 

Sophie heartlake high

Sophie’s “something you want” was LEGO Friends Heartlake High School set.

Jonah was pretty much worn out after stockings though. He liked present-opening on his birthday when it was JUST HIM opening presents and not everyone else, too! So, he did what any aggravated 3-year-old would do: took his pants off and curled up in the fetal position using his stocking as a pillow.

Jonah fetal position

This kid’s life is ROUGH.

After taking forever with presents, we had to eat a hurried breakfast and scramble to get ready to go to my Grandma’s for lunch, and then from there to my other Grandma’s for dinner. This is were we got to meet up with Emily and her family as well as her sister Anna & her family. My oldest brother, sister-in-law, and nephews were there too. (Which BTW? I have really started to enjoy harassing my 16-year-old  nephew on Twitter. Good times!) It was great fun  - more cousins, more presents, more cuteness, Jonah pooped his pants, and then we finally headed home super-weary about 7 pm.

I wasn’t feeling too great at this point, so I went to bed about 8 and my sweet husband put the kids to bed. All was well until 1:15 when Joshua woke me up with “Mom I just had a yucky poop and I feel sick.”

“RUN to the bathroom!” I commanded.

He barely made it in time. And from then on it was up-down, up-down with him until 3-ish when Sophie also came in and reported that she had just puked in the toilet.

Then Joshua was back in, then Sophie again…Bobby bore the brunt of it, and then had to get up for work. I was exhausted, and had to get up and deal with it in the daylight – and hopefully keep Jonah out of it! Today has been pretty rough, I hate seeing my poor babies feeling so miserable.

I’m thankful we got through Christmas and had a great day, but I sure hope my big kids recover QUICK so we can all enjoy their break, and that Jonah doesn’t get it again.

Did YOU have a merry little Christmas? What did your kids get? Besides the stomach flu, mine are both loving their NERF bow & arrows!

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