Gift Giving…Why Is It So Hard?

I’ve been trying to figure out what to get a few folks on my Christmas list.  I’ve gotten a majority of the list done but I always seem to leave the most difficult for last.  I struggle every year with what to get my parents.  My parents do not ever ask for anything and if they want something they usually go out and get it themselves.

So what do you get someone like that?

Should I consider getting them something funny that they may never use.  I think when my Dad turned 60 we got him a very large remote, it was a gag gift along with a few of his other gifts and I bet it’s in a closet or drawer somewhere.  I doubt he even programmed it.  When I was a kid I used to always buy him Stetson cologne, handkerchiefs and a box of cordial cherries. I still get him the cordial cherries in fact I think he sort of counts on it.  For my Mom, I have always gotten her a piece of jewelry but I know that my Mom has a ton of jewelry and she probably doesn’t wear all of it.  I’ve gotten her things that I have liked that I can see she probably doesn’t.  I gave her a beautiful pink purse a year or so ago for her birthday or Mother’s day and I have yet to see her use it.  I bet she will give it back to me one day.  I knew she would think pink would be too bold but sometimes I like to see if she may step out of her comfort zone a bit.

So what is a girl to do?  Should I opt for a gift card or money that way they can get what they want?  Should I try to make something that could be considered more sentimental.

Gifts are always so hard and it seems to stress me out year after year.

My kids are fairly easy.  For the last two years or maybe a little longer Jacob has given me a list of exactly the things he wants and he always researches them to know the prices.  This year he made me laugh because he asked what the budget was for Christmas. I asked him why he had to know and he said he had a few things he wanted for Christmas but they were pricey.  I told him just give me his list and I would let him know.  So night before last he gave the stuff to me and we sat down and ordered them from Amazon.  He already knows everything he is getting with the exception of the gift from Santa.  I think Santa will bring him something he needs like underwear or socks.  Boring I know but I have a reason for the Santa gift being something inexpensive.

So a few years ago when Jacob was little before Chuy and Christopher were around I had given Jacob a much more expensive gift from Santa.  When he went to school after Christmas break he was asked by his friends what he got from Santa.  He told them he got a Lego set and explained which one.  One of his friends was pretty upset and said he was sad because Santa must not like him. He did not get an extravagant gift from Santa, he got something he needed instead.  I realized his parents probably couldn’t afford an expensive gift and that there were probably several other kids who may feel the same way.  So from that point on I decided that the big expensive gifts should be from Mom and Dad and the smaller ones should be from Santa.  They could either be something they needed, something to read or something inexpensive they had wanted.  No one has to feel bad about Christmas and if I can ensure that my kid doesn’t cause someone to feel that way I will do it.

So back to gift giving, my Mom and I were chatting on the phone yesterday and she asked me what Chuy and I wanted for Christmas.  I told her we had just spent quite a bit of money on a Tempurpedic mattress and honestly didn’t want anything but I did say I needed a few things.  She asked what that was and I said I needed shoes (for work) and bras.  I know that probably sounds funny but I haven’t bought a new bra in a while and I am really needing new ones.  Ladies reading this will know that bras are not cheap and you don’t scrimp on bras.  So she said she would give me a gift card or money.  She said I’m fairly easy cause I usually ask for what I need and in most cases the items are probably something I know I should buy but they are pricey.  One year I asked for luggage.  Luggage is expensive and I like to travel and the luggage I had at the time was ugly and really worn out.  I got a very nice set of luggage and was super happy.  I have never asked for extravagant things and I take care of stuff something Jacob does as well.  My parents had given me a TV when I was a teenager and I had that TV for about 20 years.  It was a small 19 inch tv that I had in my room for years and took it with me when I moved.  My son had it in his room for a few years and I think I ended up giving it away to someone.



Holidays Schmolidays!!!

Holiday Schmolidays!!!

I was spoiled last year.  We went on a vacation for Christmas.  It was awesome!

So why was I spoiled?

Because I didn’t have to shop last year.  We went to Disneyland with my parents and my brother and his family.  We decided we would not purchased the kids gifts because we were spending a lot of money going to Disneyland.  They still got gifts of course but not the usual amount of gifts we give.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of the holidays with the exception of Halloween.  I love Halloween.  I feel like Christmas is so commercialized and I’ve never ever really asked for anything even as a little girl.  So it kills me when my kids ask “So, Mom what’s what our budget for Christmas?”

I dislike decorating.  I will never be that person that has their house all pretty and decorated in every room with 20 trees through out the house.  Nope, not me.  My Hubby is into the holidays more than I am.

There are things I feel like I have to do because their sort of traditions:

  • Put up the Christmas tree.  This is something that has to happen but we always put up an artificial tree. I have never ever had a real tree and honestly it’s fine, I’m allergic to everything so do not want to risk it.  This year we got a new tree, it’s pre-lit and awesome.  I found some ornaments from Goodwill and my tree looks like a tree this year and not a hand me down tree.
  • Make a gingerbread house.  We have done this every year since little one was born and we have to do one every year.  I find that Hubby and I tend to do more of the decorating and building and the kids do all the eating.
  • Christmas lights- this is my Hubby’s wheelhouse but every year we are seriously the Griswold’s.  We are the brightest house on the street.
  • Christmas music- little one loves the music so we have to play it while we are putting our gingerbread houses together, wrapping or just hanging out.
  • Baking.  This one is a tough one because I cannot bake to save my life but little one loves to cook and bake so I grab the premade stuff and we bake.  It’s still a way for us to get together and create more memories.

Things I’d prefer we’d skip this year.

  • Sending out holiday cards.  I am the worst at this, often times I don’t even want to do them.  It feels like work.
  • Wrapping gifts.  It was hard enough picking out the gifts now I have to wrap them.  I am not super mom, so my gifts are drab and boring.  No pretty bows and ribbons.
  • Baking- Did I mention I can’t bake to save my life.  Of course I have to have a kid that loves to bake and cook.  I have tried to make a few things from scratch and it never ever turns out good.
  • Buying gifts…I know my kids love the gifts but honestly the older they get the harder it is.  I don’t even know what to get my nephews who I never see and are growing like weeks.  I send them money, that’s what I do cause it’s easy.

Please understand that I love Christmas, the whole reason we celebrate is not about giving gifts to others and Christmas trees.  It’s about Jesus.  It is his birthday but Hallmark has created a not so fun holiday for most of us parents.  I love the family getting together to eat, laugh and be merry.  And of course who doesn’t love all the food and treats.  I do know a lot of folks that are super talented when it comes to cooking and I will always accept anything they bring over.

Here’s to hoping that Christmas is going to be pretty chill and that the kids get everything they want.  I sure do like seeing their smiling happy little faces open all of their gifts on Christmas day.  My goal is to rest, eat lots of food and spend time with the most favorite people in the world.


Parenting is Not Easy

I wish I was a super mom.  I see other Mom’s who have all their crap together, they post regularly about their kids getting great grades and even hitting honor roll.  I have not ever seen an honor roll certificate from my kids and I don’t know that I will any time soon. I love my kids, they are awesome but sometimes it is really hard to be a parent. There are times I just want to strangle them but I don’t.  Sometimes I just feel like I am the only Mom out there struggling with bad grades and learning problems.

Little one truly has trouble learning and our oldest one is just well…lazy.  He is a very good kid, he really is but he has no motivation for anything.  Wait, let me scratch that…he has a love for playing guitar.

He told me recently he doesn’t want to go to college.  I hate to say it but with his grades his chances are pretty slim any way.  The biggest issue about this parenting thing is that I know he is super smart, I know he is far smarter than I ever was at his age.  I struggled in school.  I had to study, I had to work hard to get good grades.  He turns in a project the that he worked on the day before and gets an 88%.  Seriously, imagine if he had actually put time and effort into the project?  He probably could be an honor roll student.

Little guy wants to go to college and wants to be a food critic.  He says he has to be a chef before he is a critic.  So funny to hear him say this.  So he says he has to go to cooking school first.  Let’s hope that happens cause I am a horrible cook.  I truly hope that we can figure out what is going on with little one cause between the stuff they are teaching now and not being able to read well it’s hard.  I hope that one day something with just click and he gets it.  Right now we are all struggling.

So there are times when I feel like I fail as a parent.   I ask God for help daily with my kids.  I ask him for patience, strength and understanding and often times understanding.  If I push too hard I don’t get anything from Bubba, if I don’t push enough it’s kind of the same thing.  I can’t take anything away cause he doesn’t care. I’ve even spanked him and believe me it hurt me more than it hurt him.  So what does a parent do?  I don’t want to give up but I’m flustered.

When I see friends on Facebook posting their kids pics with their straight A’s, I tend to shy away from even posting anything.  It’s terrible because I am truly proud of my kids but I’m not proud of some of the things they do.  I want to be that Mom that is proud of her kid holding up his certificate stating he is on honor roll and I’d be totally happy to roll around in my mom car sporting a “my kid is on honor roll at _____” bumper sticker.  Who wouldn’t?

Parent teacher conferences stress me out.  They really shouldn’t but they do.  I remember walking into the first parent teacher conference when little one was in kindergarten and the teacher asked me “Did Christopher go to Shining Stars Preschool?” I responded with “Umm, no he didn’t.”  I got the look.  You know the look that says you are a bad parent for not starting him on the right patch to knowledge.  I even got the look from other mom’s when we attended events at school.  So every time someone mentions Shining Stars I shrink.  Teachers always tell me your kids are great kids, they are very nice and polite and respectful but one is too hyper and the other just flies under the radar so he doesn’t get asked to do anything.  So at the end of these meetings I feel terrible.

We work very hard at giving the kids what they need when it comes to supporting their education and teaching.  We spend a lot of time reading with Christopher and helping him with his sounds and words.  We push Jacob to be more and do more.  We ask him daily if he needs help with his home work and every day the same question “Do you have homework?”  He often responds with “I think so…”  Ugghhh, parenting can be so hard.


Welcome to My Blog

This is officially my first post.  As a working mom of two boys our family life can be extremely crazy.  If you come by my house right now it’s a mess.  Tomorrow it may be cleaned up a little but I still have clutter.  We have a small house and four bodies living in this house and it can be messy.  Did I mention I have two boys and a Hubby.

The purpose of this blog is really to just share what is on my mind and believe me there is a lot to share.  I am a very hyper person but most of my energy comes from my creativity.  I love to make things and crafting has become a passion.

I am also an entrepreneur so starting a blog is also a way to “brand” myself and share what I love.  I am hoping that I can develop a larger audience to share my love for all things bling and beauty.  Living in a house of boys doesn’t allow me to get too much girl time in so this blog might end up being all about Mom stuff, girlie things and a few other things that pop into my head.

I’m learning how to blog, how to use the right tools and how to create content that gets folks interested in coming back.  I love visiting other folks blogs, I learn so much by living through others so my hope is that this blog will do a little of that as well.

I am a Mom of two boys, Jacob who is 14 and Christopher who is 7.  I am married to an amazing man, he goes by Chuy, and am so appreciative of all that God has blessed us with.  If you don’t already know God is the center of my life.  Catholic in faith but I truly believe my faith is everything that God is and will be.  I will often talk about prayer quite often and the fact that my faith has gotten me through a lot of hard times.  I am never one to judge and honestly I tend to have a very honest spirit.  If you are my friend you know I have your back.

What I hope to gain from this blog?

  • Learning something new.  I am amazed at how many successful bloggers are out there, folks like Sarah Titus, Mandy Rose from House of Rose, Ellen from That Chic Mom and many others to name a few. Each one of them has taught me a little something about how to live my life.  Sarah has some great resources when it comes to learning how to create a blog for profit, Mandy and her husband are such great spiritual leaders and lead by example and Ellen is all about fashion.  Love her style and how she finds such great deals.
  • Gain new friends- I am a social butterfly and this may be a little strange but I feel like this will help me new friends outside of my circle.
  • I have always wanted to be a blogger.  About 14 or 15 years ago I was single and pregnant and I started a blog.  It is no longer in existence but I ran that blog for about 3 years as a single mom.  I loved it, loved the support that strangers offered me and the advice.  There were not so nice people lurking around my blog too but all in all I was proud of it. I want to get there again.

These are just a few small things but my hope is that every day that I sit here and write that I am helping my brain get a little smarter, I am creating a legacy for my children by sharing our life and reminding them that it is not perfect but we are blessed and I hope that I can gain new friends.

I am really excited about this new adventure and hope that I can entertain you along the way.  If you haven’t already checked out my About page please do.