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Welcome: The Mom’s Guide…Blog!

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The MomsGuide is a lifestyle blog for SuperMomISH Mamas sharing candidly humorous “Girlfriend Advice” and survival tips to raising beautifully well-rounded children. The platform was created to discuss the wonderful wild and often crazy world of motherhood by displaying the beauty and normalcy of being a working mom on-the-go while building, creating, and following her dreams.

As a moms we can all attest to the struggles of finding balance between what we didn’t have during our childhood, what we think is best for our children, and ultimately the things we are told are best for them. Lucky for you the thangs shared here will represent the thoughts, opinions, and experiences of an imperfectly flawed, transparent, SupermomISH mama who practices what she yells to her kids all day…Sharing is Caring!

Ultimately, you will read vividly funny stories, being #THATmom moments, and priceless “solicited” advice of all the things we NEED to chat about, wrapped up in one cute little entertaining yet informative mommy blog.

It is my desire to inspire every “WERKN” mama to feel empowered, confident and normal. Because WE are all in this colorful & complicated #MomLife together!

XOXO
TheMomsGuide

No Mom Shaming Please & Thank You!

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All week we have seen the photos of Gabriel Union holding her newborn daughter circulating. Many plagued with negative comments  and to add insult to injury some from women who are also MOMS! Any who, I absolutely love this photo of two bad ass women. Both beautiful, talented, college educated, upwardly mobile career-driven, juggling it all mamas, with a cherry on top. Yes “both” one plays a TV mom who everybody absolutely adores, self-proclaimed imperfections and all. The other just shared a very real-life full transparency moment of how she and husband welcomed a beautiful baby girl via surrogacy.

And as different as the worlds they live in appear the reality is, One is praised for the mom “character” she plays on television and the other condemned for the reality she chose to be transparent about. We live in this motherhood bubble of worshiping those who show us what they want us to see. You know because, none of us purposely finds the terrible picture revealing the stress in our faces or the bags underneath our eyes from being a member of  team no sleep the night before. Hell many of us would not even share a photo where our hair or lipstick looked crazy! Typically we all find joy in posting things that paint us in the greatest light. Things that may make others feel they want what we have OR think we got EVERYTHING we just so happen to post (insert side-eye).

As a mother of three children all born via c-section. I can tell you the mom shame is absolutely real.  Ironically, I was just sharing with my husband the other day how no matter who you are in this mom world, there will be a reason assigned that pegs you as NOT MOM ENOUGH! For me it was and folks actually said this to my face “Well you did not really experience like “Real” labor so that’s why you have all those kids!” Oddly I did most certainly experience some aspect of  it. Because I was in REAL freakn labor for 22 hours. And while in “real labor” I opted out of pain killers or an epidural just so I could feel each and every one of my contractions. The sad reality was like many women, what was my die hard birthing plan (Natural Delivery) did not go as planned, because God had other plans. Thus, my first born had a bowl movement “in utero” which forced an emergency c-section. Followed by my 2nd baby delivered the same way about two years later. Only this time doctors warned that VBAC might be risky and those stats were larger than my husband and I were willing to gamble with. Then same story different reasons when our baby no. 3, predicted to be bigger than both his sisters who both weighed in at 8lbs. was born. Again vaginal delivery was NOT an option due to the very real risk of uterine rupture which can be fatal.

So not only did the comments hurt my feelings it totally got underneath my skin. I would want to respond with “Do you know how much pain endures AFTER a c-section and all the risk/complications that can occur leading up to death.”  But I would just simply smile and change the subject. And of course later cuss them out in my head on the drive home!  But the truth is unfortunately we have all been made to feel insignificant in our truth or decisions, somewhere along the way on this mommy journey.  Because you not mom enough if:

  • You use Formula over Exclusively Breast Feeding
  • Use a Plastic Bottles over Glass ones
  • Used an Epidural vs Natural Measures
  • Delivered a baby weighing 6lbs vs at least 8lbs
  • Decided to be One and Done vs. Juggle More kids than hands

SOOO as you can see not one of us are exempt. We have our reasons, things happen, ISH hit the fan. BUT no matter what don’t let anyone make you feel like crap! At the end of the day each of us are just doing what we feel is best for our children and our families. For some it was a choice, others it was totally involuntary and for many; we want you to be nice or mind your GOT DAMN business OKKAY… LOL!

Seriously though, let’s just be committed to showing love, admiration and respect for all the women inside this mommy circle ⭕️ of ❤️. Because #MomLife is hard enough without the additional layer of hazing and shamming about who IS or is NOT #Mom enough!

XOXO

TheMomsGuide

The Moms Guide to: Preparing for Baby#1

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Hey Mama!

 

First things first, YOU HAVE PERMISSION to OVA DO IT!

Nothing trumps the joy of a first time Mom with an AMEX ready to SWIPE! HA.
However there are a few tips that I’ve found to help you ball TIL you fall without killing your savings account too!

First Time Mom Tips:

1) Use Nursery Checklists As Guide BUT not the Bible.
Stores Like Target, Walmart, Pottery Barn Kids, Google and virtual any Mom Blog will have their own version of a “Must Have Registry or Nursery” lists.  Now, yes the items they highlight are often needed but some of them represent mommy preferences. Thus don’t download the page and feel pressured to get everything or worse feel like you are neglecting your responsibilities if you don’t necessary want something recommended from that list.

2) Categorize Your Wish List
Outline your home thinking about everything, everyone, and each room you envision these folks plus your baby residing in. Then, create “Categories” for each like this for example:

Nursery: Bedding, Decor, Diapering, Lounge/Play or Soothing Items

Bathroom: Bathing, Safety, Storage
i.e diaper genie/baby bath etc.

Kitchen: Feeding& Storage

Living/Family Room: Napping/Lounging

Playroom/Play Area:  Toys, Educational items, Safety etc.

Guest Room: Sanitizer Burp Cloths Covers

Now in addition here are some other “Key” pieces of info I believe is good to know:

1A) It is never too early to Baby Proof your home!

I suggest just getting it out of the way as you are preparing for baby. Why, because as soon as baby gets here, your life is going to change in record speed!!!
You will literally be hitting the ground running. So just go on ahead and get as much out of the way and done as you possibly can; in anticipation for the arrival of your sweet prince or princess.

2B. You don’t NEED everything today!

Babies are like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re gonna get!

Yes you got your coinz together and have a special savings just for this blessing. AND YES between Grandma & Tee Tee the nursery is gonna literally be overloaded with gifts. BUT be very strategic about not only what you chose (Brands) but also the quantity of things. The last thing you are going to want to have is a bunch of un-usable items!?

You might get a super sensitive baby
Or an irritable to everything
Or even an allergic to cotton (YES & YIKES)
OR a Can’t stand the heat thus hates blankets
Or an EYE hate pacifiers and rubery things babino LOL so hmm yeah you get the point!

3C. Lastly DO YOU BOO Boo!

Each Mama has his or her own style so embrace it. Don’t let anyone make you feel some type of way about anything you DECIDE you want to do or don’t want to for YOUR baby 😉

We are all uniquely made in this momlife circle of love thus, the way we approach our Mommy self will not be a one size fits all! SOO Stand in your truth hunty and ALWAYS trust your God Given intuition SHE will never steer you wrong!

AND Remember….You got this Mama💪🏾…So go get READY to Be Fearless as you and the Prince/ss of Cuteness scroll through the city dripping in all those blessings!

XoXo
The Moms Guide~

Black Mom Life: Why #Momlife Appears RSVP For White Women Only?

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YAAYS Girl, you are melanated, educated, and motivated. You’re upwardly mobile, successful, got that  high powered job, sexy ass husband and three beautiful children granting you access to opening the door to the good life. But somehow your combination of all of this gives your #momlife an eternal side eye as it appears that all the world hears is #whitewomanlife

Why does it seem that society continues to peg the goodness of mom life as something only reserved for the yuppy white woman? Like all a black woman should be talking about is the struggle life!

It is so hard to imagine that we still live in a world where there are thousands of expressions of sistahs world-wide breaking glass ceilings, climbing corporate ladders, navigating through academia, running million dollar brands, all while raising businesses and babies. They live in gated communities, suburban and urban utopias, send their children to elite schools, have nannies, housekeepers, financial planners, house managers or chefs on their team. BUT still face the sheer look of shock and amazement whenever any facet of this life of theirs is shared with a #truestory. Ultimately contributing to stereotypical notions that it is somehow unnatural to be a successful nuclear black family unit.

Charity begins at home right? So we must celebrate within showing the world that YES, it is very “normal” for hard work to pay off for black folks too.  As moms let’s agree that we are all women who made choices we felt were best for us. Choices inspired by our desires, driven by our experiences, and fueled by our ambitions. Although we may not all reside in the same zip codes or represent the same industries, to our ancestors we are ALL out here doing the unimaginable.

Sooo YAAYS my sistah worked hard, killed the game, bore children, took care of business, had a plan, executed flawlessly; while out here living her best life & shining bright though that #Momlife. AND NO she is not out here tying to be a “white woman” 🙂

XOXO
TheMomsGuide

 

Disney Family Vacay: The Most Magical Day Eva, Doesn’t Have to Be The Most Expensive One!

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This weekend my family and I went to Walt Disneyworld and had the best time!

Our children are ages 7, 4, and 4 months thus it was quite an exciting journey for them. As a resourceful Mama you already know I did months of research before planning our trip. From mom blogs, travel sites, word of mouth, and frequent musketeers; I was all ears for what and how to do this Disney thang and the one theme I continuously stumbled upon was it’s super EXPENSIVE!

Although this was not our first time as my husband and I went about 5 years ago with our then only child Addy about 2 years old and I 8 months pregnant with baby #2 at the time…YUP I was foolish AHA! We stayed at a Disney resort and it was amazing. She received a personalized phone call from her favorite character at the time, Goofy and we ate at the café daily. However, we didn’t really see the resort. There were shows, poolside movies, family game nights, shops, food and just DISNEY stuff on steroids all around the hotel. BUT we got up early, hit the parks, and returned to our hotel TIRED and worn out. We paid about $450 a night for a resort we barely were in.

Needless to say this played a major factor in our decision to try a less expensive non-Disney resort this time now that we went from family of 3 to family of 5. The funny thing is in total our trip (2013) nearly the same amount of $ as (2018) trip. The Disney 2018 Crew included Mommy Daddy Auntie and the (Triple A’s). How much you ask (coughs)* less than $1,500.00 (Lodging & Parks) for a 4 day trip. Close your mouths with awh and listen to how we #DidThat!

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10 Mama Tips to Doing Disney

  1. Book A Non Disney Resort, Condos or VRBO
    Our Stay: Blue Herron Beach Resort $175night The resort is an actual Condo sits off a residential street. With this it is surrounded by a Walgreens, Dunkin Donuts, CiCi’s Pizza, Dollar General AND Starbucks!The rooms at this place are huge, hotel is about 20 years old, and very clean! We stayed in a 2 bedroom & bonus room unit that included a full kitchen, washer and dryer, master bedroom, guest bedroom with two twin beds and a bonus room set up with bunk beds. In addition there were two full bathrooms and a living room about 850 sq ft. The property had a great pool, fishing off lake, and a tiki bar with great food and drinks. AND it was literally 3 miles from all of the parks!
  2. Don’t Pre Pay for Disney Park Tickets or Meal Plans Orlando hotels often sell tickets in their lobby so you have access to them at any time I found that it was less pressure to just grab tickets at the park. Who knows you might even run into a FLA resident who gets discounts.
  3. Don’t Waste Money on Park Hopper! The parks are so much fun and so big that by the time you all get all your fun stuff in you are NOT going to want to hop on over to another park. In fact doing so or trying to be on a schedule so that you can get it in, is going to be stressful and take away from fully enjoying what each park has to offer. With this it gives you all more of a reason to come back. It also makes it easy to not feel compelled to stay for a week! We woke up at hit the park when the gates opened at 9am, returning to our rooms around 6pm spending about 8 hours at the park.
  4. Only Eat “ONE” Meal at the Parks This is why it is important as a family to stay in a resort/condo that has a kitchen or kitchenette as it takes the pressure off eating while you are out all day. The meals at Disney can be expensive however each part has a mix of fine dining options and American on the go food like burgers fries pizza. The on-the –go “diner like options range about $12 per person. The fine dining about $45.00 per person. We did one day of fine dining as those normally include character experiences and the rest of the trip we did the diner type spots. This frees up money to eat ice cream and all the other yummy deserts your children are GOING to ask you to get along the way!
    Also eat Breakfast at your hotel/condo, lunch at park and dinner at resort or in the area fast food restaurants. All and All save money by limiting food purchases at Disney!
  5. Travel In-between Holidays
    Our family traveled the weekend prior to the 4th of July.
    With this the parks were themed and things were already in alignment to Independence Day. The great thing about Disney is that they do Fireworks DAILY LOL so no matter when you go you can definitely experience the fireworks show
  6. Consider Extended Weekend vs Week
    My family and I arrived on Thursday and departed on Monday.

    Okoli Disney Itinerary Plan:

    Thursday:     Explore Orlando/Disney Board Walk
    Friday:          Epcot Theme Park
    Saturday:      Cocoa Beach
    Sunday:        Magic Kingdom Theme Park
    Monday:       Breakfast at local Orlando JewelMy advice to you, Be strategic! Try to map out your park day ahead of time. By getting one park in a day your kids will be worn OUT! Only to return to the resort tired and hungry willing to eat anything LOL. Once naps or chill time is over head out to the resort pool and enjoy the evening spending ZERO more dollars (Ha)

 

  1. Utilize Disney Mom & Baby Area Magic Kingdom
    THIS RIGHT HERE WAS THE BEST PART OF MY TRIPLMAO Okay I am exaggerating but Moms if you will be traveling with an infant or little ones under the age of 3 this is a must pit stop. As you know it is hot at that park, tons of walking, tons of people hell just tons of every thang. And those little feet will get tired, and those little babies will get restless. So to keep baby happy drop into this FREE spot at the park.My baby boy is only 4 months old thus my husband and I deliberated hard on if taking him was the right thing to do. BUT thank God Walt had a plan because baby and I was not forced to weather those extreme conditions as we were relaxing inside an A/C filled building with tv, snacks, changing and nursing area. YES ma’am you heard me it was FREE, Clean, and totally necessary! On top of that it was minutes away from two fine dining spots, so I was able to eat adult food, enjoy a nice adult beverage, listen to nice adult music while enjoying a steak salad in PEACE.
  2. Purchase Disney Souvenirs OFF Site
    Now of course you will want some “authentic” Disney items because hey its just not the same without grabbing those encrypted with those words. However, for the little stuff that you know your kids are going to love the hell out of today and toss in the nearest toy bin tomorrow, grab em at a local gift shop. For example mouse ears $7.99 vs $16.99. If your kido anint being selective about what they want and just want something make this your go to!
  3. Leave the Pool Toys at HOME! If your kids are like mine they want to be thoroughly entertained in the pool. They want floaties, noodles, bubbles, you name this that and everything else. However, if you plan to drive to Orlando I don’t think you want to make what is probably a long ride a stuffy one. As such leave those things at home as the hotels/resorts/condos have these things available. Some are at no charge (borrow) and others are inexpensive already blown up less than $20 floats.
  4. Grab Your BEST Credit Card Close Eyes and SWIPE!
    Leave YO stressed, cautious SWIPer mindset at home! Yes I said it throw the whole damn mindset away LMAO. I say that because the last thing you want is be at the “happiest place” on earth worrying about money and how much you have spent. Cause guess what you is gona look crazy! AHAAHAHaWith this, budget accordingly check things out before you get there so you already have a pretty good idea of what each day will cost you. Let me tell you now, the way them park tickets are set up… your mouth will still be wide open once you engage in that first swipe don’t care how much you budgeted for it. There is just something about spending $600 plus dollars on a day at a theme park!

 

golden keyAll and All Keep the kiddos in mind as you move through your time at Disney. Because Yes it is Hot & Yes it is Expensive BUT to your children it is MAJICAL… and that alone is PRICELESS!

XOXO
TheMomsGuide

 

Third Trimester=Nesting While Shopping

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Congratulations You Made it to the final leg of your pregnancy!!!!

God know’s you are ready to POP literally…right?? And now that the Baby Shower is over, the husband is tuning into the local handyman, the moms are worried you STILL doing too much working, and the girlfriends are over the moon with excitement; Your clock is ticking in FULL volume all while you’re obsessing over having it all together! Why, because that baby may literally arrive somewhere between today and 6-8 weeks from now!?

Does this sound familiar??? I bet it Does (Virtual Hand Raised)

At this stage, most of your must haves are checked off the list, many wants shipped in from AMAZON or Pottery Barn PLUS your momma and them already told you “whatever you don’t get at the shower we gon buy”. So why are you STILL in and out them stores LADY?  Why you still got 3 shopping carts saved online…Because you’re nesting!!!

What is Nesting Again…Well it’s suppose to look a lot like this:

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Instead it looks like thatwhite road arrow sign

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Or maybe this was just ME…NAH it’s also you LOL! As soon-to-be’s we overly stress about having everything in place the minuet that baby enters the world. We pack insanely stuffed hospital bags when half the stuff in it will already be at the darn hospital. We stock up the house with every nook and cranny filled with some I MUST have baby item. Only to get home and realize DAYMN I probably didn’t need all of this stuff!

Yes Girl, I totally over did it with babies #1 and #2 but I am proud to say that with my third child and final child, I got the gist of why my husband had an eternal side eye with me during them final weeks before D-DAY… HA!

Soooo Moms… I would like to personally save you the headache, because I’ve already had one just for you literally three times over! Here are 3 tips just for you:

Three Tips to Modestly Prepare for Baby

  • Baby’s are like a box of Chocolates you never know what you’re gonna get

Make sure you have the list of “top’s for newborns” but only grab a few of each. Why, because you may end up with a bunch of diapers your baby is allergic too OR bottles he hates to suck on, a breast pump that you cant use because things didn’t go as planned or a bunch of newborn clothing for a baby who is born well over 8lbs contrary to what your ultrasound estimate predicted (happens all the time).

Morale of the story here, is some things you just cant call it on so don’t get stuck with a bunch of stuff you cant use or take back to the store.

  • Stay your BUTT off of the baby aisles and websites ONLY selling baby items.

YES! Girlfriend you already know ALL itty bitty newborn stuff is dangerously cute AND you are gonna AWWE and Ouuue yourself right into another credit card bill! Trust me the flesh is weak and mommy’s with baby bumps are even weaker. Thus you will 10000% be tricked into talking yourself into grabbing something you probably don’t need or already got.

Also note that gifts literally come in up until a few months after baby is born. My son is 9 weeks old and it seems like there is a packaged delivered to our home or a gift given by one of my husbands patients at least every other week.

Morale of the story here, items may trickle in from various sources, your momma’s church memeber, your old middle school teacher, your uncles girlfriend, a “missed your babyshower” guest or a “saw this and thought of you” friend. Not implying that you should wait on folks to gift things but what I am saying is, GIRL hold onto to your horses and stay out them storeZEs (LOL)

  • Stop Bugging That Man….You don’t have to have EVERYTHING done TADAY!

NO! YOU DO NOT NEED EVERYTHING PUT TOGETHER, PIECED TOGETHER, OR WASHED TOGETHER…LIKE YESTERDAY. NO, you absolutely do not need each and every star and moon to align PERFECTLY in that baby’s nursery before D-day.

Morale of the story here, that baby will NOT be able to get into that crib, bouncing chair, high chair, bathtub, or walker for a few weeks even months down the road.

PSA: Just Relax and Whosa
Please try to enjoy the downtime you have because that feeling of being “well rested” will be gone before you know it. And whether this is your first baby or last baby you must devote some me time for mental preparation. Understanding that this time is truly God’s blessing and the lesson is, it’s the calm before the STORM!

XOXO
TheMomsGuide

 

I’m BACK: Maternity Leave Lessons

 

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Hey Yall,

Sorry I’ve been gone for soo long BUT I was just bringing this beautiful human into the world…..

Meet Dr. McCheeky, Ari William our newest addition!

As many of you know the final trimester of pregnancy can be a beast literally. On top of him being BIG (8lb 9oz), BREECH, and on my BLADDER; I was still waddling around, working full time while building a budding brand & a jewelry business YIKES ~

Now I’ve been absolutely enjoying “NewbornN” a phrase I’ve coined meaning a mommy doing that newborn life. AKA very little sleeping, eating, or fraternizing! This is a time when we are suppose to just chillax and bond with the wonderful blessing bestowed to us from God–Feeling compelled to do nothing ESPECIALLY WERK!

With each of my children I took time beyond the ridiculously standard 6-8 weeks. I strategically saved leave time and time of year to have (this baby) so that I could maximize time off enjoying not just baby, but my other two children as well. It still baffles me that in the U.S maternity leave lacks practical comparison to other comparable countries. It also baffles me that soo many women are either made to feel or feel they must rush back into the hustle and grind!? No ma’am sit yo butt down as it’s NOT that serious AND I don’t care what level of the corporate ladder you are own even if you the damn CEO! #Bloop

My grandmother use to always say, sit you but down before the lord SAT’s you down. By that she meant don’t be soo focused on standing up in your pride or insatiable desires that you are not modest enough to relax for a bit. BUT for the bossmom who prides herself on her ability to GET IT DONE this is no easy thing.

AND guess what… I totally get it and believe you me this is a “work in progress” pep talk convo that I constantly have with myself. BUT in a world full of glorified #supermoms and #wondermoms I really want more moms to aim for #MVPmom. OKKAY you heard it here first! LOL

In all Seriousness– please take your time, checkout of the office physically and mentally, put email on Do Not Disturb, and give that job the temporary duces (peace sign). Imagine how much more they gon miss and need you when you come back. And not only will you go back refreshed, well rested (hopefully) and happy to return (maybe)…. You will also go IN BADDER than ever!

With all my love and sincerity let’s commit to supporting and pushing each other to focus on self-care and leaning on our villages. In the wake of one of my favorite designers, Kate Spade’s untimely death an Aha came over me. And that is, we must ring the alarm on the unrealistic standards both society and US place on one another. Check on a mom friend today and plan a visit to see her and her bouncing new bundle of joy. Throw in some babysitting hours to help her get some me time!

XOXO
TheMomsGuide

 

12 Tis The Season Momma Tips For A Simple Yet Meaningful Christmas…

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Moms,

I know firsthand how hard it is to reel in all the to-do’s we have on our list to ensure our children have the absolute best Christmas ever!

Now as a not-so-veteran mom (subjectively speaking) I must say that in my 6 short momma years I’ve learn one valuable BIG OLE LESSON …

“Have a Simpler Christmas & You will Have a Seamless New Year!”

With that through trial and a whole lot of error….scratch that a whole lot of “side-eyes” from the Husband is a better description of what actually occurred….Sooo here are 12 things I found useful in helping me keep it SIMPLE & Meaningful!

12 Pieces of Momma Advice For Christmas :

  1. Modest Gift Giving to your Children
    Yup they gona ask for everything but show them how far modestly goes, they will get use to it over time.
     
  2. Make More Memories Not More Money
    Take off work for a few days in between your “company given time off and use these days to spend uninterrupted time with the kids. Don’t let that time and a half be the devil on you shoulders LOL!
     
  3. Take Time to Adventure During Winter Break
    Use this time to do some fun family oriented things and not all the normal stuff—take an ADVENTRURE in your city!
     
  4. A Family Day of Volunteering
    Locate an organization and sign your team up to giving back!
     
  5. Encourage Charitable Giving
    Create a family ritual where the kids donate their old toys to charity AND even a few new ones, celebrating the ultimate reason for the season.
     
  6. Sponsor a Family Resembling Yours
    Kids are super literal and often make connections based on things that are similar. Find a family from an “angel list” who resembles your own i.e Mom Dad Sister Brother or Mom Dad Sister Sister. Let the kids shop with you to pick up the wish-list gifts being requested for the children their age/gender.
     
  7. Make Handmade/Homemade Gift For School
    We know that infamous question is coming “Mommy can we buy ALL my friends gifts?” With this try visiting a craft store together and committing to making handmade items vs store bought OR keep it simpler and bake cookies wrapped individually for gifting.
     
  8. Read Christmas Books & Watch Movie Version
    Children love this—they love reading and love to see what they read even more come to life before their very eyes.
     
  9. Visit a Christmas Tree Farm
    Not all families do live trees BUT that doesn’t mean you all cant go and enjoy all the fun stuff that come along with it. Enjoy the apple cider, hay maze, or witness tree coloring sure to make the kiddies happy.
     
  10. Collect Family Themed Ornaments
    Each year there is something super funny or pivotal that happens in our family. Like, Preston finally got over his monster fear or when grandpa came to visit his teeth fell out LOL.
    The key is to find an ornament that represents whatever that something was for all. For my family our ornament this year is a globe focused on “central America” as we vacationed in Costa Rica, our first international vacation together!
     
  11. Wear Holiday Coordinating Gear
    TRY IT! Grab matching socks, ugly sweaters, or Christmas themed pajamas. With whatever the choice you are sure to get some good laughs and great pictures.
     
  12. Get into Elf of the Shelf!!!
    Saved the best for last…One of my favorites, having a 4 year old and 6 year old. I feel this really gets them excited about Santa while preserving their innocence, taking some much needed pressure away from those tiresome Santa Secrets. And yes mom, you and dad need to commit to moving that little thing all around the house to make it SUPER exciting!
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    All and All there is nothing wrong with simple and meaningful. As, with a sprinkle of moderation you will allow yourself the ability to t

    hink beyond Christmas Day. I know I know, it is so easy to get carried away with making our list and checking it twice, even harder to do this and stay SANE & IN budget! But you must remember it is all JUST for one day.

    Try to redirect by looking toward the new  year and all the things YOU know are coming down the pipeline….like those plane tickets to your in-laws family reunion across the country, or your nieces college graduation OR even that lovely JULY family vacation to Disney the kids been praying for.
     

    Come on now—you and I both know the new year will be filled with a bunch of stuff that hit your pockets DEEPLY and guess what you will not be able to claim they were unexpected expenses AHAHHA! The Moms Guide