I have a disorder and it presents itself massively during this season. I've named this condition "Gift Giving Impatience".

There is just something inside of me that finds it impossible  really, really, really hard to wait until a predetermined gift giving day (such as a birthday or CHRISTMAS) to give someone their present. Seriously - it takes the majority of my self control reservoir not to give it early.

I've been reflecting on this condition as of late and trying to analyze it a bit. I'm starting to see a trend that I "self medicate" by at least talking about the gift.

For example, during our first few years of marriage I bought Dean an awesome sword for Christmas. He loves swords and didn't own any at that point. It was a thing of beauty and I made the mistake of purchasing it a good two months before Christmas. Not wise when you have my condition.

It was just so pretty and he was going to love it so much! I started "medicating" by just telling people about it. Yeah, he's gonna love it. Then it escalated to showing one or two people the sword because I was just so excited about it! Before I knew it I had shown a lot of people the sword.

This one right here. Cool right?

Finally I was able to give it to the tall one for Christmas and he LOVED it! He was so excited to show his friends when they came to the house. Much to his surprise, most responded with "Oh yeah, Mo showed us it last month."

Oops! Sorry love!

It's no surprise that Gift Giving is one of my primary Love Languages but I wonder if this condition is normal in people like me?

It's really hard for me to buy birthday presents in advance even for my kids friends. One of their friends adores Cars (who doesn't?) and knows all of their names and where they appear in the movie and their most quotable line. I got him the Disney Cars Encyclopedia and instead of waiting until his birthday I gave it to him the day it came in the mail. Fail.

His birthday is in another 2 weeks and I've had to hide his present in my unused vehicle so that I don't cave and give it early. Seriously.

Mom's birthday is Oct.29 but I made it all the way to Thanksgiving! Yay me.

For the most part I manage this condition by not buying or making gifts until the last possible moment. It usually works pretty good but grates seriously with my pre-planning nature. I always like to be done something well before it's due. It's a tough balance ;)

And now I'm approaching what is sure to be one of my largest challenges yet. The tall one had been obsessing over this Fisher Price Dune Racer for months. He researched all the details, concluded that the design would be ideal for our lanky kids.

So we ordered it. Initially thinking they could have it for Christmas and then thinking that it'd be a cool
joint birthday present (as their bdays are 5 days apart). It would also fit in well with their camping themed party we are planning. Great....... erm except for this silly CONDITION I have!

I'm not sure I can wait 2 1/2 months. Already I find myself flipping to pictures of it on my phone and showing my son. "Oh Kai, isn't this a cool dune racer?"
"Maybe you could ask for something like that for your birthday?"

My son may or may not be referring to it as "his new jeep that's still at the store". 

So... I've got a problem. Thankfully on this one it's from the tall one too so he can help keep me strong. Though I wouldn't recommend that he leave me at home with this ginormous box that we could easily stumble upon and if they see it, well then they may as well have it, right?

Sigh... just a little glimpse into the weird head that is mine. Feel free to make bets on how long I'll last ;) Ha.

~ Monique

I Just Can't Wait!

by on 12:25 PM
I have a disorder and it presents itself massively during this season. I've named this condition "Gift Giving Impatience". T...
Last year I had so many grand intentions of filling the Christmas season with adorable crafts for my kiddos that I found on Pinterest. I think I maybe did 20% of what I wanted to do.

The main reason we didn't we didn't get around to all those crafts: In the day to day of raising toddlers I don't have time to whisk away for 20 minutes to do all the prep involved for a craft or we had time for the craft but didn't have all the supplies on hand.

This year I was determined to relish in the season's craftiness so I started early and prepped a "Christmas Craft Station".

I think part of the ambition came from my newfound role as a Kindergarten teacher. (If you know me you know that I'm wired as a junior high teacher and wouldn't survive a week as a K teacher but shockingly when you decide to homeschool you all of the sudden become a Kindergarten teacher!) 

I started by scouring Pinterest for the crafts I wanted to take on that were somewhat age appropriate for my kids. (I'll share that list at the end). 

For each craft I listed the materials that I would need.

Then I started prepping packets. If I needed little squares of felt cut for a mini wreath, I cut a hundred little felt squares and stuck them with a pipe cleaner in the envelope. 

Paper chain craft? I cut a few dozen paper strips ready for little fingers to glue into chain links.

It took me at least a week of sporadically adding to my craft bin. I wrote out what each craft was on the envelope.

Now, when we're in the midst of our school time and it's time for a Christmas craft I can just grab an envelope from the bin that I feel most suites their moods and we can craft. It's so easy! No running around the house gathering supplies or wondering where the heck the tall one put those light bulbs I was saving for glitter snowmen! It's fabulous!

Here are the littles working on their Rudolph Paper Bag Puppets

I pre-cut the girl one's shapes but just drew them out for the boy one (all ahead of time so I could help them during the craft!) and he cut out his shapes. Cutting is his favourite.

So cute. The bells are a must :)

Puppet show!

Mini Felt wreaths. This one is going to take a few sittings.

It can also double as an awesome bracelet.

We are loving our Christmas Craft Station and can't wait to try all the crafts in it!

Here is my craft list so far with links :)

Green paper, red bow, green paint

2) Photo Snow Globe
(I bought plastic snow globes at Hobby Lobby where you can add your picture.)

blue paper, marshmallows (mini), white paint

cardboard circles, embroidery thread

green paper, multi coloured tissue paper, glue

2 paper plates, ziploc bag, glitter, hole punched paper dots, markers

paper cutter, scrapbook paper

8) Bottle Cap Snowman (link to pin as I couldn't find the actual post)
bottle caps, white paint, ribbon

glitter, spray adhesive, twine, black beads, glitter

coffee filters, scissors

cornstarch, baking soda, water, cookie cutters

icing, waffle cones, candy

green felt, brown felt, buttons, glue

glitter, ornament, jar, super glue

15) Rudolph Paper Bag Puppet
paper bags, red pom pom, mini jingle bells, paper 

strips of scrapbook paper, glue

This is my list so far and I keep adding. If you want to check out my current inspiration you can check out my "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" Pinterest board!

I'm inching towards the finish line on the kids shared bedroom. It looks pretty fantastic already and I just need to tie up the last little touches. One of those was throw pillows for their beds and window seat. I wanted something that would be cute, personal and tie the room together.

Amidst my Pinterest searching I cam across adorable custom pillows made by Sarah  & Abraham. They have a line of Olliegraphic pillows where you can pick the face shape, eyes, hair style and then have your child's name embroidered on the pillow. They would be fabulous gifts!

I really wanted to make most everything in the room and wanted the kids to have something from me so I set out to make an even more custom pillow for each of my kids. I LOVE them.

I started out by sketching how I wanted their faces to look in a sketch book. I played around with it lots and tried to keep it simple (not my strong point).

Here was my instagram from the night of my sketching. The top pic is of the Sarah & Abraham pillows.

Next I traced the pictures using separate paper for the face shape, the hair "piece" and the eyes. I then cut out the "pieces" on paper and pinned them to felt and cut those out. (Sorry no pics of this process). I made sure to make the face shape larger than the hair so it would over lap and not leave empty space.

I then hand stitched the felt pieces onto my chosen fabric (already cut to the size I wanted the pillows). Once I had the face and the hair on I used fabric glue for the eyes (because I didn't want stitching there) and embroidered on the nose, mouth and name. I lightly outlined it in pencil first.

To finish all you need to do is put right sides together, sew it all up except for a 4 inch gap for stuffing and viola, you have a pillow slip cover.

The boy one was pretty pumped to receive his. He knew it was him right away. His hair is not "styled" here but it usually does look like his pillow :)

The girl one also knew immediately who the girl on her pillow was. I went with the pony tail to the side as her bangs grow straight forward and thus always need to be pulled to the side. We now also have to pull them to that particular side because of the whole head shaving incident.

The pillows were super simple to create and my kids love them. They would make fantastic gifts and would be so easy to ship as just the slip cover to any long distance kidlets.

One step closer to a finished bedroom!

It's snowing so prettily outside my window and I just want to throw on some Christmas music. It wouldn't even by my first time.... or my tenth. I'm fully in the Christmas mode!

At least once each week during our preschool time I like to give my kids something else to paint with. Up this week - potato stamps!

I have no pics of the actual stamps but I'm sure you get the jist. Cut a potato in half. Cut a shape to "protrude" out of it. We kept it nice and simple with triangles, squares, rectangles and a chevron ;)

I let the kids go wild on a bunch of paper and then created a little project for the boy one where he would have to follow direction and take his time. I had him practice on a scrap paper and then execute it again on the book page.

 I think it makes such a cute little Christmas scene and love it framed!

I pretty much love anything made with a book page right now and so I pulled out our trusty 1943 Cherry Ames book reserved for crafting.

The boy one resisted the pictures but the girl one complied while she drew with glitter glue.

This was the boy one's final project. He did some of the glitter and I held with the rest. It's a gift for someone ;)

The possibilities for these are really endless. Your kids could make various scenes and frame them as gifts for grandparents, aunts and uncles. You could glue the book page to a card and make your own custom stamped Christmas cards... maybe tags for presents?

Merry Christmas season!