Is your holiday calendar empty enough?

Today’s crafty moment : Glass “bracelets” so we can tell whose is whose. This time of year can be utterly chaotic, with the invitations and obligations tripping over each other to make a tangled web of shoulds and coulds.  It can cause tension and drama, but I hope that’s not happening to you?  My life has changed enough in the last couple of years that it’s now easier to follow the KISS principle, mostly thanks to homeschooling.  We have a cello party this week, and our own holiday party next week, but other than that the calendar is pretty clear of obligations on our part, and has left room for family and friends to come visit which I’m really looking forward to :).
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Combining My Single Friends with My New Mommy Job (guest post by Sarabeth R)

(Escaping with a single girlfriend last year — SaneMom)Being a new mom is both exhilarating and exhausting.  Between trying to get the hang of a new sleep schedule, learning how to take care of baby and maintaining a somewhat sane household, there isn’t much time for you.  Add in new mommy friends to the mix and you’re left with little time for your pre-baby friends.

But, just because your life has made a major change doesn’t mean that you have to break off your relationships with your single friends.  In fact, maintaining those relationships can be healthy, reminding you that you are a multi-dimensional person and there is more to you than your new “job title”.

Here are some tips you can utilize to help combine your single friends with your new mommy job.

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Breathe Coaching deadline approaching ...

Just a quick reminder mamas, Heather’s Breathe : Group Coaching for Moms signup deadline is this coming Friday the 29th … get your mojo on and give it a whirl if you’re anywhere near Baltimore!  Deets here, hope you can make it!


Happy Easter and Passover too, may your weekend be a relaxing one :). 

Leaving Our First Home For A New One, Unexpectedly (by Christina Simon)

A mom’s mixed emotions about leaving her family’s first home 

We’re moving to a new house.  I’m excited, nervous and anxious.  After almost 11 years in our first home, we’ve decided to move.  It was a sudden decision brought on by a next-door neighbor who has become unbearable.

Just three years ago, we completely remodeled our current house.  I never thought we’d move.  Suddenly, that changed.  The house next door went into foreclosure and our longtime neighbors moved out. In moved a couple with six sons.  Within a month, their house caught on fire and was rendered unlivable by city officials. Did they move out?  No!  Despite financial offers to move, they have stayed, turning the house into something that resembles a burned out, junk-filled, scary mess.  Last week, they covered the entire house in a huge blue tarp.

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Q of the Week : How do you set personal boundaries?

I’m amazingly bad at setting boundaries.  I bite off more than I can chew, and then have little left for what I really want to do.  I say yes and then regret it, hating to disappoint people.  I pick up the phone when I should be working, and then fail to tell the caller I can’t really chat, feeling antsy half the time I’m talking.  I say no when I’ve planned badly, and have to skip out on something I really wanted to do because I didn’t set good boundaries elsewhere. 
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When is it too much?

We all have our escapes.  One of my favorites happens to be reading mom-blogs as I’m sure you know if you’ve been around here much.  I don’t have that many that I follow regularly, and I’ve slowed down my reading times, but I still use them as a real escape/pleasure several times a week. 

One of my favorites is P-dub aka The Pioneer Woman, and I recently referred my house-mate “A” to one of her recipes that I thought she’d love, thus introducing her to the site.  At dinner the next night, we had mutual friends over and were all sitting around the table chatting.  A had made a dessert she found on p-Dub’s Tasty Kitchen, and the subject of mom-blogs came up as we were devouring it’s pear and ginger crispiness.  Being my philosophical self, I tried to analyze why P-Dub and dooce, the two most-read blogs I was aware of, were so popular.  Things like transparency, honesty, great photography, and belches-and-all reality were tossed around for a minute or two. 

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Q of the Week : Holiday burnout tips? Pretty please?

Fynn’s list for this year, conceived and mostly executed by his older brother. Coming home from my run this morning, I had to weave around huge stacks of artificial christmas trees lying on the sidewalk, and dodge the man trundling them slowly into the store.  I shuddered a bit.  The Holiday Season is upon us, and every year it seems to get a bit crazier and even less sane.  The shopping starts earlier, the sales are more desperate, and travel frenzy messier, and the expectations harder to manage. 

I’m not a scrooge, but I think we take the holidays easy.

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Sane Grandmas too

While doing my too-often perusal of The Women’s Colony, I came across this gem.  It’s about grandma being grandma and herself too, and not always being ready to watch her grandkids at the drop of a hat.  She has a few things of her own to do also!

A wee sample …

Tonight my beloved daughter called to see if I would babysit her two children on Saturday night. I love my grandkids (ages 3 and 5) to pieces, but if I said yes, it would be the third time I’ve watched them in one week. I declined and told her I had already had plans to see a movie and have dinner with her dad. I could hear the irritation and disappointment in her voice. I rarely say no to her frequent requests to watch the children so that she can go out to dinner with my son-in-law (love him too), go to her book club or go out with the girls for a night on the town.

Guess what? Grandma’s tired. Grandma has a life. Grandma has places to go and people to see.

I was so glad to see this this grandma’s perspective aired, and enjoyed the comments on it also.  I get the very occasional babysitting from my father-in-law, but hesitate to ask much and know he’s got a lot going on.  I don’t live near any other family really, and often wish I did (not just for the prospect of free babysitting!).

How much kid-minding do you get from family?  Ever feel guilty about it or sense that they feel taken advantage of?  Curious. 

Tip of the Week : Set Your Holiday Limits

Set your holiday limits now, if you haven’t already!

How many trips?  How much money to spend?  Where will you spend them?  Simple rituals to start?  Perhaps you’re a great advance planner and have everything nailed down, if so please share your tips!  If not then set aside a half hour to get some thoughts and numbers and dates down on paper, with your partner.  Plan a menu.  Divvy up responsibilities.  Start making multiples of an easy gift.  Make SURE you make a budget, and stick to it!  Piggy banks are not for just the kids, get yourself an envelope or jar and set aside for your holiday spending.
If you’re like me, you’ll need to get your plans on paper, and repeat it 3 or 4 times, for your partner to get it straight!  So repeat it early and often :)

Any tips on how to make it easier?  Please share!