Archive for December, 2009

My Top 10 Mom Resolutions for 2010!

I thought it would fun, and useful, for us to focus on our Top 10 Mom Resolutions for 2010. I have mine listed below, and I want to know the main things you would like to work on this new year!

1. Be more patient! I get stressed out and then frustrated and mad. I often yell when things or people aren’t moving as quickly as I would like. I need to work on being patient in all areas of my life, but especially with my children.

2. Stay organized. Throw things out. Don’t just move piles around.

3. Exercise every day! I need to do this to lose weight but I truly believe this will affect my mothering. I think it will get me out of the house, make me less stressed and help me clear my head. I think this will assist with the patience goal as well.

4. Go on a date with my husband at least once a month. My plan is to book our sitter for three months out so I have the date to look forward to each month and don’t have to worry about finding a sitter.

5. Get out with friends once a …

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Bad idea or good idea: Setting up your child’s teacher?

I recently met an eligible bachelor that I think would make a good match for one of my children’s teachers.

He’s smart, well educated, good job, cute and seemed very nice. And I just adore my child’s teacher. She’s in her 20s, very cute, very smart and just the sweetest woman ever! Plus she owns her own home. (She’s responsible with money.)

I know she’s not married but I need to investigate a little bit to find out if she’s dating anyone seriously. There are approximately three men in our entire school – all unavailable. An elementary school is not like a regular office where you have lots of chances to meet people.

I keep trying to think of “natural” ways they could meet each other. He could come to school and have lunch with me and my son one day and meet her after lunch. (He’s generally working during the day and works about 25 miles from our school so not that organic.) Another option is bingo night at the school. I bet she would be there and it …

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New Year’s Eve: Family party or time for adults?

As New Year’s Eve approaches I’m trying decide if we should spend it as a couple or as a family.

For the last two years we’ve celebrated New Year’s Eve with other families. Two years ago we had a dinner party with two other couples. The kids ran wild in the basement after dinner and played karoke with the adults later. I think they left before midnight but they were all worn out.

Last year our friends threw a family party at their pool clubhouse. The girls had fun dressing up a little bit and getting sparkly. The dad’s played poker while the moms visited. The kids ran around and did some crafts. The highlight was shooting off fireworks around 10:30 pretending it was midnight. The kids had a great time.

This year we haven’t heard of any family parties, but we have been invited to a couple’s party. We thought we were going to go until Rose asked “What party are WE going to for New Year’s?”

Her expectation now is that we will always celebrate New Year’s Eve …

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How do you teach losing gracefully?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.We’re still recovering over here — toys still downstairs but at least all the boxes and wrapping paper have been cleaned up.

This was the Christmas of games in our house – board games, mini-foosball and of course family video games for the Wii  like Toy Story Mania and the Mario for four players.

So as we’ve played Connect 4, Battleship, foosball and the others we have found that one little member of our family isn’t a very good loser. There’s quitting when the end result becomes clear, there’s crying, yelling and sometimes pouting.

So the question is: How do you teach a child to lose (and win) gracefully?

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Elf on the Shelf: An EPIC BATTLE between Jingles and Coco!

I have written before that I was not a huge fan of the Elf on the Shelf concept, but I have to admit that I am now a convert.

My Godmother sent our kids an Elf on the Shelf for Christmas this year and told us to open it early. The kids have loved it and wake each morning wanting to search him out. Even the 2-year-old remembers. (I’m still not for the Elf messing up my house and me having to clean it.) Plus, even my Scrooge McDuck husband has gotten the spirit and enjoys finding creative places for our Elf to be found.

But even more than our own personal fun with the Elf, I have been immensely enjoying my friends Sue and Pete Fritt’s elves! (Sue was in my original playgroup that I met through Piedmont Hospital. She now lives in Newnan with her husband and two kids.)

Each night this week, Sue’s Facebook friends have been treated to an EPIC BATTLE between Coco and Jingles. (Sue’s husband Pete is the mastermind behind the elf retaliation.)

Jingles is only allowed to visit …

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Four Christmases: How do you handle The Divorce Christmas Shuffle?

We recently saw the movie “Four Christmases” with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. And while the movie was just OK, the premise of the film is very familiar to many families.

In the movie, both sets of parents are divorced so they have to hit four Christmasses in one day.  I call it The Divorce Christmas Shuffle.

I have many friends shuttling kids between divorced grandparents and also between divorced parents. You could be up to six Christamases if the parents are divorced as well.

A lot of our friends try to hit several of the grandparents before Christmas day. If you have the time off or can use the weekend before the holiday, this seems to save a lot of frustration and headache.

How do you handle visiting divorced grandparents or parents in your house? Do you celebrate the holiday ahead or after the real date? Do the kids think it’s fun to celebrate multiple times at multiple places or would they be just as happy with one? Could you arrange for everyone to get …

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What are your best and worst spouse presents?

I thought it would be fun today to talk about the best and worst presents your spouse ever gave you or you gave your spouse.

Michael usually does well choosing me presents. I especially like it when he buys me books to read.

However there was one Christmas a few years back where he waited until the day before Christmas to buy me any presents. We went to Northlake with the kids to see Santa and he went off with the kids to pick me out a couple of things. He was panicked at that point and was just grabbing stuff. I ended up with a very ugly track suit and some Snoopy pajamas. It was an odd combination. He added insult to injury by running to Wal-Mart that night for stocking stuffers, and I just remember them being even worse – a pedometer that didn’t actually work I recall.

He left it to the last minute and there wasn’t much thought and that’s why the gifts were bad.

I’m sure I’ve given him some stinkers through the years too.  One year I got him two (not just one) …

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‘Princess and Frog’ a worthy addition to princess pantheon?

Lilina and I dressed as Cinderellas for Halloween. I bought the costumes for me and Rose and we've gotten a lot of use out of them.

Lilina and I dressed as Cinderellas for Halloween. I bought the costumes for me and Rose and we've gotten a lot of use out of them.

She got a little damp as Cinderella so she changed into the Snow White outfit to answer the door with Daddy while the big kids went out for more candy.

She got a little damp as Cinderella so she changed into the Snow White outfit to answer the door with Daddy while the big kids went out for more candy.

We have yet to actually see “The Princess and the Frog” but Lilina is already IN!!

I picked her up a little Golden Book of the movie at the Publix, and she wants to hear it constantly! My biggest problem with the book is that it gives away the ending so I don’t want Rose to read it yet. (She admitted to just flipping through the illustrations.)

We’re planning to take the kids to see the movie this week and Rose is so excited about it. (Walsh — not so much!) Even our babysitter is excited to see the movie and didn’t want to read the book as not to ruin the ending.

Lilina is constantly dressed up in different “princess” outfits. She was two princesses for Halloween – Cinderella and …

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Toys for Tots in GREAT NEED of toys!

UPDATE ON DEADLINE FOR DONATIONS: Gunnery Sargeant Edward Barrett says “Dec 21 is the last day for almost all locations. We are trying to get to all 600+ today and tomorrow with the help of the moving company 2 Men and a Truck. People can bring donations to our Marietta warehouse anytime between now and Dec 23. Our goal is to have all toys that have been donation in the hands of the charities that have requested them by the evening of Dec 23.”

Even though I finished shopping for my kids’ toys several weeks ago, I’m heading back out to Target this morning to pick up some toys for the Toys for Tots program.

WSB reported on Friday that the Toys for Tots charity is about 675,000 toys short this year!!

The Marines who run the program had requests for more than 900,000 toys but as of Friday only had about 225,000. (I assume this number is national. They didn’t specify in the report.)

Obviously due to the bad economy more families are in need and also due to the bad economy …

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Where are the best residential light displays in Atlanta?

This is only part of a house's display near the Smokerise pool in DeKalb County. Cars lines up to see this house.

This is only part of a house's display near the Smoke Rise Elementary School in DeKalb County. Cars line up to see this house.

There's so much voltage in this display they have to warn you not to touch!

There's so much voltage in this display they have to warn you not to touch!

Michael showing Lilina Rudolph in lights. I had to drive because Michael drives too fast to see the stuff!

Michael showing Lilina Rudolph in lights. I had to drive because Michael drives too fast to see the stuff!

This is the house off of Webb Ginn headed toward Loganville. It's blury but you can idea of the volume of lights.

This is the house off of Webb Gin headed toward Loganville. It's blurry but you can get an idea of the volume of lights.

Last Friday night, we piled into the car, threw a blanket on the kids to keep them cozy, listened to Christmas music on the radio and drove around looking at local residential light displays. We had the best time being together, marveling at the creative displays and talking about how much their neighbors must hate them!

The AJC recently had readers comment and vote on the best professional light displays around Atlanta, but I thought it would be useful to talk about your favorite residential displays and give folks ideas of the best neighborhoods to …

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