Monday, December 14, 2015

I'm Perfect and Other Lies my Santa Pictures Tell You

I feel like if you've read my blog long enough or if you know me in real life then you know I have "issues".  There are many and some are hard to explain.  I put a lot of high expectations on myself and I like things "just so."  Admittedly, I am a perfectionist and I think sometimes that has shown in my kids.  Stay with me here as I explain.  

When it came to seeing Santa.  Everyone was perfectly coiffed and matching.  

2008 Ella is not impressed!  

When my kids were little, they wore what I wanted and they looked adorable.  If I do say so myself!

I mean Nicholas does have a t-shirt here but it's a Christmas t-shirt and we did live in Texas.  Let's be real, Ella is wearing ruffle socks with patent leather Mary Janes, it makes up for the t-shirt.  Ha!

Even if it was PJs, they matched and were festive.  My brain couldn't compute otherwise.  Wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle pajamas on the Polar Express would never be allowed.  Ever!

I look back now and I've probably spent thousands of dollars on matching Christmas outfits and pajamas, but it honestly makes ME happy.  I don't know if I can explain it, it's just how my brain works.  Remember I said... issues.

Perfectly presented children.  I've spent so much time "worrying" about it.  When Nicholas was little I never even let him wear a shirt with a character on it.  Light up character shoes?  Forget it!  It makes me feel bad really.  I mean does having a Thomas the Train on your shirt make you any less perfect and is perfection what we're even going for?  


So when I got in line today to see Santa, I didn't give it much thought until behind me came a mother and father with their 2 "perfect" children.  They were decked out in their matching plaid, son in a bow tie and daughter with her patent leather purse.  They really did look great.  I looked at Jack and told him to lick his finger and then I used it to wipe dirt off his face.  I felt bad.  I felt like I'd slipped, I was less of a parent... less of the perfect mom I strive to be.  I decided right then to hold my head high in that line full of perfect children with their perfect outfits.  Don't judge me.   

Guess what?  I'm not perfect.  Neither are my kids and I'm finally ok with that.  

There's perfect and there's real.  While I don't think I'll change my perfectionist ways ever, I'm definitely ok with accepting what's real in my life, Stanley Cup Champion shirt and all.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

How to Host a Gingerbread House Making Party for Kids

People always say, "You're so creative," and "You have such great ideas."  The truth is I'm actually just REALLY good at stealing other people's ideas.  What?  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So if you really want to know how to host a party, head on over to Libbie Grove Design and this post for all the details.

The truth is, I thought I copied her party quite nicely.  Right on down to the decorations.  Thanks for the beautiful idea Libbie Grove, the girls had a great time.  Here's how I pulled it off.

I thought about making homemade gingerbread.  I even bought all the ingredients, but when I went on a run with some friends and they more or less told me I was crazy I rethought my idea and decided to use graham crackers. 

In hindsight I'm not sure if that was smart or not.  Cutting and the graham crackers and getting them to be the shape I wanted proved to be kid of difficult.  After three houses, I finally got a system that worked (sorry to the girls who got the first three houses).  As you can see, I did use hot glue to hold it all tougher.  That might be cheating, but it's just smart.  

Also key to the success of the houses were the boxes underneath.  Per Libbie, I used cupcake boxes which I found VERY cheap on Oriental Trading.  I glued the handle boxes together to help form the shape of the roof.  It worked out great... once I figured out how to do it.  

I covered up my hot glue with a little bit of icing so the houses looked like this when the girls got here.

I bought some candy ahead of time and also had a lot of sprinkles and stuff already.  I asked each guest to bring a decoration candy to share.  That lightened my load and help to make sure there was plenty of candy to go around.  And there was!  I also filled icing bags for each girl.

I didn't have enough small tips to go around, so I just cut off the end of the icing bags and it still worked great.

I love my little milk bottles.  I use them for every party I have for the kiddos.  I save them and use them over and over again.  They are sooooooo expensive and I didn't want to pay the high price so I bought Archer Farms frappacino bottles and pealed the labels off.  Easy peasy.  I'm not sure Archer Farms (target brand) makes the frappacino anymore (couldn't find them online) but Starbucks does.  You might be able to do the same thing.

They definitely make me happy.  Little things.  Little things make me happy.

I managed to have 11 girls at this party and they were really all self sufficient.  

I planned 2 hours for this party, but they were easily done in just one hour.  They even took their time and made them look really nice.  I was impressed.  

And you might be asking why I do all this.  Well they say a picture is worth a 1000 words, but I only need one.  Ella.  I do it for her!