Reindeer Food

Every year we make Reindeer Food. Every year on Christmas Eve before the kids go to bed they go outside to spread out the food. They leave it all over the yard, just to make sure the Reindeer find it! They love this tradition. It is so much fun.

edit6

Here is our recipe for (super special, super magical) Reindeer Food.

What you will need:

Bird Seed
Coloured Sugar (A whole mix of colours, or just red and green)
Little Plastic Bags

edit

We get a bag of bird seed and coloured sugar from Bulk Barn. That way you can decide how much of each item you need.

Next pour your sugar into the bag with the bird seed and mix together.

edit3

Make sure you have your bags ready, we make one bag for each child. Pour in the amount you want in each bag.

edit5

Wait for Christmas Eve and go out side and sprinkle the special treat on your lawn.

Enjoy!

~ Michelle

Adoption And The Holidays

Being a Birth Mom is never easy. It is not glamours. It never leaves you. It changes you forever. Your heart is forever missing a piece. Sometimes it is really hard. Sometimes it hits you like a brick wall. Sometimes you feel like you can’t breathe with the missing piece. Sometimes you feel like you are falling apart.

adoption

I am a Birth Mom. My son was placed for adoption right at birth. His mom was at the hospital during my labour, heck, she even stood by my side while I pushed. I ended up in an emergency c-section and she was actually able to see him first and spend time with him before I was. They were always meant to be a family. I love my son. But he was always destined to be her son. But that doesn’t make it any easier. I miss him every day. I think about him every day. I always think “what if?!” Always. All my children are always on my mind, every day, every single day. I sometimes even set a place at the table for him. Its hard.

I am so incredible thankful that he does have the family he has. As much as I miss him, as much as my heart breaks, as much as I feel like I am missing out on everything, I also feel connected. My sons mother has always included me. Sent me photos, videos, visits, phone calls, FaceTime, anything that connects us. I am forever grateful.

Last week she went above and beyond. Although I am not sure she knows just how above and beyond it was. How much it truly meant to me. How much it completely broke my heart, shattered it, and yet made me feel whole all at once. This incredible woman, whom I love so deeply, sent me videos and pictures during his school Christmas concert. It was the most beautiful thing. She didn’t have to. She could have waited till it was over. She could have just told me about it. She could have just enjoyed it for herself. But she didn’t. She included me. She shared with me.

I sat there and cried, I cried sad tears, heartbroken tears, proud mom tears, happy tears, so many different emotions. I held my daughter as we watched together. She didn’t grasp just how important all of this was, but I sure did. It was a moment I will never forget. A moment I am forever thankful for.

I wasn’t able to physically be there, I hardly ever am, but I was and always am there in spirit. This made the connection for me even stronger.

Being a Birth Mom during the holidays is extra hard. When you are surrounded by family, and someone is still missing, a part of you is missing, your mind is always wondering what that person is doing, wishing you could be with them. This little action of her sharing with me made me feel so connected and complete during such a hard time.

It really is the small things that mean the most. Small acts that have the biggest impact.

~ Michelle

 

Depression And The Holidays

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

One step closer to Christmas, and yet I feel like I took 50 backwards. How is that even possible? One of life’s great mysteries, along with were they socks in the dryer go, or where toddlers who don’t sleep at night still get all their energy from.

Last week I did really well with working out. It was much fun to get back into it on a daily base. I was feeling really good. Happy. Then I went out dinner Saturday night, and then out to the movies Sunday afternoon. Hello unhealthy food. So gross. This week is about eating healthy and working out. Which I admit is a bit hard to do before the holidays. All I want to do is drink hot chocolate, and eat cookies and comfort food while wearing comfy clothes and hiding under a blanket. A warm cozy, crazy soft blanket.

With the holidays quickly approaching, depression and anxiety and go into overdrive. I am trying to get a jump on it by staying active and eating right, but like I said, I want all the cookies and junk food. I’ve also started to make a point to have some ‘me time’. Nothing major, just little stuff I can fit in during the day, facial masks, painting my nails, reading, bubble baths, journaling. Anything small that I think can help. You know what they say, its the little things that matter the most.

The holidays are always hard. Mix in everything going on, mix in being a birth mother. I sometimes have to try extra hard to get out of bed and put a smile on my face. Its not that I don’t want to, its not that I’m not happy. Its just that it is hard. Its hard to explain to some who doesn’t understand or has experienced it. I can be happy, but still be so physically and emotional drained that it is hard to show just how happy I actually am.

I have a feeling this holiday season will be the most exhausting holiday yet.

~ Michelle

Getting Back On Track

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

The past couple months have been a whirlwind. I can’t even begin to describe it. Now the holiday season is quickly approaching and I’m not sure where I stand or what was is up. I’m trying to make the best of it, I’m trying to hold my head up high, but it is exhausting. Down to the bone exhausting.

While trying to focus on the big picture and deal with everything going on, I need to start focusing on the little things. Taking it one day at time, one step at a time. All that jazz that is supposed to help calm a person. Not sure it really works, especially in times like this. But we will see. Its worth a shot, right?!

So this week I will be setting goals. For me. Not so much for the family. For me, that way I can be there for my family. I’m not so good about taking care of myself. But now its the time to really put in the effort.

1. Wrap the Christmas gifts I have already gotten. Its never too early to start crossing things off the To-Do List.
2. Workout. MUST. WORKOUT. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have fallen so far off the tracks that I honestly can not even see them anymore.
3. Read, draw, or journal. Something. Creative outlet is a must, and I have let it slide as well.
4. Organize the family calendars. Again I have fallen behind on this.

( I should just say do all the things I have been putting off… but thats completely overwhelming… )

5. Meal plan. Eat healthy. Again this goes right back to my moods. Way too much emotional eating lately.
6. Finish decorating. Yes I started early, because of everything going on, I wanted it over with, but there are still a few last things that need to be done.
7. Try to go to bed before 11pm. Oh sleep, how I miss you.
8. Get my holiday card mailing list together and get started on that.

I’m sure there are a million other things I should do and I’m totally forgetting right now. Maybe a second cup of coffee will help me remember.

Now to get over the mommy guilt and focus on me. Stupid mommy guilt.

~ Michelle

Going With The Flow.

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Monday, we meet again. Is it just me or did this weekend pass us by at super speed? The last week has been crazy. My boys took part in a church Christmas play. So it has been crazy around here with rehearsals and 3 performances. I am so proud of my boys. They worked hard, had lots of late nights, were super tired, but kept going with a smile on their face.

This is the last week of school before Christmas holidays. I should be busy with plenty of To-Do Lists ready to go. But I’m not. I will be completely honest, I am on the verge of a burn out. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I’m done. I’m tired of stressing over everything that has to be done, all the things I need to do, I’m sick of having 150 things on my To-Do List and only having time to do 50 of them.

This week I am throwing out the To-Do List. This week I want to be in the moment. I know what needs to get done, I don’t need the To-Do List around to stress me out further. (Funny thing, I do thrive better with a To-Do List).

This week I want to be in the here with everything going on. I want to enjoy every moment of the holiday process.

I don’t need my To-Do List around to remind me of what needs to get done, and what I have yet to accomplish.

The holidays are stressful enough, busy enough, and surprisingly short. I want to enjoy all of it. I don’t want to feel the mountain of Mom Guilt when something doesn’t get crossed off the list in one day.

Holidays are not made in To-Do Lists. Holidays are about so much more.

The holidays will still come and go whether or not I finish my To-Do List. The holidays will still come and go even if I think I am not ready. Here is the the thing, the holidays are about so much more. Most importantly they are about time with family. And I can’t be with my family, truly with my family if I am busy stressing and worrying and running around.

This goes against my nature, but I am throwing out the To-Do List.

Everything will still get done, they always do. And even if something is missing, in the long run, it won’t matter. It is hard to believe, to even try to wrap your head around it, but it is true. I promise. It is a hard lesson to learn, I am still learning.

So this week, I will go with the flow, I will embrace and enjoy the crazy, stressful, busy, wonderful, magically holiday season that is upon us.

This week and holiday season I will be with my family, not running around them doing stuff.

~ Michelle

 

Snowflake Art

My daughter is 20 months and just loves to paint. Any art work that involves paint she is all for.

So naturally with it being winter and the Christmas holiday season, we (and by “we” I mean me) decided to do some snowflake art work.

This is a super fun and easy art work you can do with your little one. (And best part, you can gift the finished product to a proud Grandparent, Aunt or Uncle to add to their holiday decorations.)

What you will need:

IMG_1021

Paint.
Painters Tape.
Paint Brush.
Canvas.
Something to put the paint on.

Next. Draw your design on your canvas with the painters tape.

When  you are happy with your design, pick out your the colours you want.
I went with white, blue and pink. You could pick just blue, blue and white, or what ever other colour combination you like.

IMG_1024

Now the fun part! Painting!

Paint brush optional.

IMG_1026

When your little one is done let their art work dry completely.

IMG_1028

After it is dry, peel off the tape.
You have two options here, leave it as is, or take a black sharpie and outline the snowflakes.

Which ever option you decide, the important thing is to have fun creating art with your little one.

After my two boys saw this they wanted in on the fun. You can do this craft with your toddler or kids, or even yourself. It is a fun craft for all ages to take part in!

Happy painting!

~ Michelle

Mondays Were Made For Extra Coffee

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Monday, we meet again. Let’s hope you are nice to me today.

The last few days I had a sort of adrenaline rush with getting things done. I had energy, I got a lot of stuff done, I accomplished a lot of things I wanted to do. Now however, I’m not sure if it is because it is Monday and gloomy or I am feeling the crashing of my so called adrenaline rush from the past few days, but I feel so pulled down today. Which doesn’t make me look forward to the week ahead.

This week I want it to be as productive as the last few days. A girl can dream, right?

So its time to put on my big girl pants and get started. Regardless of how I am feeling I am determined to have a good week. The holidays are quickly approaching and I want them to go as smoothly as possible.

My goals for the week:

Home:

1. Organize calendars. I missed an event last week because all the calendars were not updated and coordinated.
2. Meal plan! And stick to it. Last week while I got a lot accomplished, cooking was not one of them. This week will be even more crazy as my kids have 3 nights of dress rehearsal for a Christmas play they are in.
3. Meal plan the holidays, and get shopping done for that! I hate having to run out day before Christmas Eve for something I forgot. I would much rather be able to know everything is done and ready so I can fully enjoy time with family.

Family:

4. Get pictures with Santa. Its a yearly tradition. My boys don’t care so much for it anymore, they used to get super excited about it, but now they are more excited about missing school to get it done. Kids, they grow up so fast!
5. Quiet time. Just in that I want to make time to be with my family with no distractions, tv, phone, computer.

Personal:

6. Start the learning process for Meditation. I have always wanted to learn how to meditate. It has always intrigued me, but I have never gotten around to actually doing it with any sorta of routine. I have tried to just go ahead and do it, but never actually stuck with it or learned anything about it first.
7. Read. Journal. Colour. Anything that allows me to unwind and relax.
8. Don’t be afraid to say no. Its ok. Sometimes it is needed. “No” is not a bad word, or a scary word.

Work:

9. Push past my comfort zone. This is a tough one so it will be my goal for a long time, but I hope to accomplish it and keep going.
10. Organize my desk and work area. I bought some new organizational things, now I have to actually set them up and use them.

What do you hope to accomplish this week?
Are you all ready for the holidays?

~ Michelle

25 Christmas Books

This is a tradition we started last year. I love it. The kids love it. I wrap up 25 Christmas books. Some we already owned and mixed in a couple new ones. It is the boys job to pick one each night and then read it to their sister. Everyone has so much fun. I love creating life long memories with my kids like this.

IMG_3951

What Christmas and Holiday traditions do you have in your family?

Do you have a Wordless Wednesday post? Link up below!

~ Michelle

Favourite Holiday Movies

IMG_0955

One of my favourite parts of the holiday season, besides family, food, and Christmas lights, is Christmas movies!

I LOVE Christmas movies.

I remember when I was little cuddling up and watching “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” every Christmas Eve, and we can’t forget watching “A Christmas Story”.

Some of my favourite Christmas movies are

1. How The Grinch Stole Christmas. (The original cartoon, although the Jim Carrey one is funny too.) I remember laying on my grandparents bed in Florida and watching this moving. Such precious memories as they are no longer with us.

2. Scrooged. Bill Murray. Enough said.

3. A Christmas Story. Classic.

4. White Christmas. All time favourite. I was lucky enough to go see the broadway show with my mom it was amazing.

5. Frosty (the original cartoon).

6. The Santa Clause. (All 3 of them. Who doesn’t love Tim Allen?)

7. The Polar Express. Mostly because my boys love it, and every time I watch it with them I am brought back to the first time I watched it with them. We watch this every year and cuddle up. Such great memories with this movie.

8. Home Alone. (Only the first one.)

9. Elf.

10. Miracle on 34th Street.
What are some of your favourite Christmas / Holiday Movies?
~Michelle

Cotton Ball Snowflake Craft

My toddler loves crafts. We try to do something every day. So naturally with winter upon us and Christmas quickly coming up we decided to do some snowflake crafts.
We did an easy and fun cotton ball craft.

Here is what you will need:

Paper
Cotton Balls
Glue
Optional: You can either just simply spread the glue on, or use a paint brush. In that case you will need a bowl and paint brush.

Next draw out your design with glue.

ChristmasCraft3

Next fill in with cotton balls. My daughter thought this was funny and so much fun. After she had to squish some of the cotton balls and throw them around the kitchen.

ChristmasCraft6

And done!
It’s that simple!

After we finished the snowflake she ran to the living room pointing at my snowman decoration. So we attempted to make a snowman after. It pretty much turned out like a lump of cotton balls on the paper, but she had fun, and that is what matters.

So here is our lump of cotton balls, I mean snowman!

ChristmasCraft5

Hope you and your little ones have as much fun as my toddler and I had making these fun cotton ball crafts!

~ Michelle