Thursday, December 5, 2013

21 Days to a Simple Christmas: Day 3


Today is Day 3 of Money Saving Mom's 21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge.  On Day 1, I created a mission statement for the season.  (Mission statements remind me of college projects, not Christmas!)  You can read about it here.  On Day 2, I worked on a budget for Christmas gifts this year.  It's going to be a huge challenge to stick to a budget.  I may end up just budgeting per person; we'll see.  You can read about it here.

For Day 3, I created a list of gifts to give this year.  Nearly all are for family, and for the rest, I'm excited about making some homemade goodies!  I'm so tempted to spoil my little Baby President, but I have to keep reminding myself that he won't remember this Christmas and that he doesn't need anything.  I have a little more than half of my shopping left to do, and I will admit that I'm having trouble this year deciding what to give a few people.  And I'm not sure when I'll be able to get my shopping done.  There may be a lot of boxes arriving on my front porch in the next few weeks, I suppose.

How is your Christmas shopping going?  Just 20 days left to finish!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

21 Days to a Simple Christmas: Day 2

Today is Day 2 of Money Saving Mom's Simple Christmas Challenge.  As I mentioned in Day 1, I'm seeking balance between simplicity and making the holidays extra special for Baby President's 1st Christmas.


The task for today is to create a budget for Christmas gifts.  I've been working on a feasible budget for my family in the last few months, but budgeting for Christmas is a whole different animal.  Money Saving Mom's suggestion is to start allocating gift money from the budget about 6 months before Christmas.  Too late for that, now!  But, instead of allocating funds from the budget ahead of time, I often purchase Christmas gifts throughout the year when I find fabulous deals.  Another suggestion from the e-book, Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas is to use gift cards earned from places like Swagbucks.  I joined Swagbucks a few months ago and have earned enough for a single $5 giftcard from Amazon.  Not much, but everything adds up, right?  In addition, sometimes I take surveys through I-Say, and I'm planning to redeem some points from there for gift cards to add to the Christmas budget.

So, my Christmas budget is in the works, but I already have several gifts taken care of for this year!  And I'm on my way to a fantastic, yet simple Christmas.

Baby Prez: 26 Weeks {1st Thanksgiving}

Dear Baby Prez,


All bundled up & ready to travel!




Weight:    According to a different bathroom scale this week, you still seem to be about 18 pounds.  


Health:   You are a healthy boy.  Now it is Mommy's turn to get a cold, but hopefully you won't catch it! 


As of Sunday, you are officially teething.  Drool is your middle name, and you chew on anything and everything you can get your hands on.  Unfortunately, you have started getting fussy.  You haven't been fussy very much til now, so I guess Mommy and Daddy just had it coming.




Sleep:  The story here is still the same.  You wake up about once a night if you don't have a dream feed.  Your schedule was all mixed up this week because we were traveling for Thanksgiving, but now that we are back home, we are trying to get to back into your routine.  

Social:  You were pretty much the star of the show at both of our Thanksgiving celebrations . . . as usual.  More on that later.











Diet:  This week, you tried mashed potatoes for the first time since it is such a quintessential Thanksgiving food.  It is pretty much the only food that you didn't like very much.  You didn't hate it, but you certainly did not love it much.  Otherwise, you are eating three meals a day, plus breastmilk bottles in between meals.  


Likes:   Toes, people, your walker, jumping, walks around the neighborhood


Mommy's cousin, Jacey, brought a Johnny Jumper to Grandma's house for you.  We set you up in the kitchen doorway, and you jumped and jumped and jumped.  You probably spent a whole hour jumping!


This week you learned . . .

To help Mommy put your clothes on.  You will push your arms and legs through their respective holes; Mommy just makes sure that you are all lined up.  

Milestones:  

First Thanksgiving

This week we traveled far and wide to see family for Thanksgiving.  First, we headed over the river and through the prairie to Grandma Vicki and Grandpa Tom's house.  We let you sleep until the last minute, and at about 6am, we transferred a sleeping Baby President to the car, and we left for Oklahoma - Mommy, Daddy, Baby President, and all three puppies (in Mommy's Honda Civic.  Yes, we looked like a clown car.) You visited Eskimo Joe's for the first time when we arrived and Daddy tried their famous cheese fries that have been endorsed by both President Bush #1 and President Bush #2.  Then, Grandma got to show you off to her office friends!  You smiled at everyone and told some very interesting stories!  The rest of the day we hung out with Aunt Kiley, Grandpa, and Grandma (once she got home from work).  They all love you so much and miss you so much!  Aunt Kiley especially enjoyed cuddling with you while you slept.  And Grandpa Tom and you took some naps together in the recliner...classic sleep photo.  (Doesn't everyone have these?)  I'm pretty sure we have this exact same photo with me and my sister when we were babies.  Unfortunately, Mommy can't find the picture she took of this.  But, it happened.  Twice.

On Thursday, Grandma's house was full of family for Thanksgiving.  You got to see everyone!  Your little cousins were enamored by you.  They wanted to see you and play with you and bring you toys.  It was just adorable.  Next year, there definitely be chaos when you are walking and can play with them more.  We will have three little boys under the age of 5 running around!  You enjoyed the day and were happy to hang out with everyone!  Later Mommy and Daddy ventured out to do some Black "Friday" shopping (even though it wasn't Friday yet) with Grandma and Aunt Kiley.  


The "young adult" table: Jagger, Jacey, Josh, Elise, Kiley, Alex, Jared, & Jay








Birthday Celebration for Jay & Jagger



Jay & Jagger loved you!
"Secrets"
 After breakfast at IHOP, it was on the road again back to Nebraska to have Thanksgiving with Mimi, Grandad, and Chanel.  We also took you on a walk to the park, and you got to play on the swings for the first time.  You thought it was so much fun...until you didn't.  You got to sit up at the table like a big boy and you liked being a part of everything, but you weren't a fan of the potatoes we made you.  You got to hang out with Chanel and Mimi while Mommy and Daddy went to a birthday party for one of Daddy's high school friends.  Mimi reported that you were a very good boy while we were gone.



Current Nicknames: Lincoln Log, Linky Blinky, Monster Man
Love,

Mommy





Missed a week?  Watch my Little Prez grow!

Monday, December 2, 2013

21 Days to a Simple Christmas: Day 1


I'm taking part in Money Saving Mom's 21 Days to a Simple Christmas challenge.  Christmas is without a doubt my favorite holiday, and this is Baby President's very first Christmas, so I really want to make it special.  But, having a baby during grad school has been a huge challenge in terms of making progress on all of my papers and assignments.  In other words, I'm behind.  I've been tasked by my graduate committee to get caught up by January.  Yikes!  Thus, my participation in a challenge to help me and my family have an amazing, yet simple holiday.

Day One of the challenge is to create a mission statement.

This Christmas season, I want to remember what is important about Christmas - Jesus and family, and minimize the excess that comes with the season.  I want to make my first Christmas with my husband and son to be special without going overboard.

You can sign up for the challenge here, and don't forget to check out Money Saving Mom's newest book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.  I'm thrilled to be part of the launch team for the book, and will be reviewing it here on Harvey Ever After soon.