Mom blog: Because I Said So! The Christmas craziness aftermath

Mom Blogger JacquelynIt’s Friday morning, and our small world is settling down from the excitement that is Christmas. I wrote a story last year for Canadian Living on how to reduce children’s stress at holiday time (December 2006 issue), and this year was one of the most stressed yet! My guys started with Santa’s gifts at our house, then we packed up and made our annual trip to the haematology/oncology ward at Sick Kids (more on that later), then the dad came to pick them up to go to his house for lunch and gifts, then I grabbed them and we headed 90 km to my parents’ house and Christmas dinner with them and my littlest sister’s family. I had a huge headache and slept through the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, and more, waking, oddly enough, in time for dessert. Continue reading

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Mom blog: Because I Said So! Cheap camera+talent=holiday snaps

This is Jacquelyn’s daughter, Tessa, and I’m guest blogging for her! Why? Because she cooked and cleaned and baked and decorated and now she’s run away from home, on strike. Only kidding! I’m guest-blogging because I was the camera woman for the holidays this year, and I have plenty of good pictures to put up! These are outdoor photos, mostly of the grounds off the south side of the house (HAHAHAHA), no really, actually from all around. The ice on the trees is so pretty. Meanwhile, I have to get permissions to put up photos of people—my brother is holding out for cash. Mum’ll be back tomorrow to tell how Christmas was—Luka was singing as loud as he could:
“Deck the halls with poison ivy,
Fa la la la la la la la la,
Tis the season to be hivey,
Fa la la la la la la la la!”

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Mom blog: Because I Said So! Only 4 days left—help is here

Mom Blogger JacquelynFour days of shopping left: a major problem for many of us! Here is the best I can offer for last-trip-to-the-mall-shopping presents, gifts from little guys, and homemade bath salts (guest blogger Annie MacFarlane supplies the directions) for everyone on your list who needs to relax. Be absolutely sure to check back Monday morning, when I’ll post the Norad Santa-tracking site and a whack of other fun Santa-based stuff for kids on the first day of the holidays.

shopcrabtree_1978_4998741.gifGoing to the mall
There is one store I always buy gifts from every Christmas. Crabtree & Evelyn, my fave of faves, store where I actually mourn the passing of product lines (Susannah, spelled somewhat like that, a line of little girl toiletries that my little girl loved), go back every time I have a baby to get my supply of Tom Kitten stuff, buy myself a treat when I really need one. So, here are my faves, and I dare anyone to give any of these as a gift and not get top marks.

This is Christmas in a spray bottle. When I had to write a christmas story in August, I sprayed this around my desk area and I was instantly transported to Christmas is a country manor. Works even better at Christmas. Comes as spray, candle, oils, potpourri, etc. Continue reading

Mom blog: Because I Said So! DIY Sugar Houses

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It’s time for my second entry into Works for Me Wednesday, a blog carnival hosted by Rocksinmydryer.typepad.com. After you’ve read my post on the making of Sugar Houses (and commented, please comment), click on the link and you’ll go to the host of Works For Me Wednesdays and a list of 150 or more links to bloggers who are also posting things that work for them—recipes, parenting ideas, easy crafts, crafty tips, you get the idea.
And comment there too!

One thing this blog is leading me to realize is how many of our Christmas traditions are food or food-related. Friday’s was the constructing of sugar cube houses. Some years the kids have made two each, which made for very limited space on the kitchen table for the rest of the holidays. Other years we’ve had the kids’ friends in to make houses to take home. This year, my 16-year-old daughter had her two best friends over for The Three People Christmas Party. She stayed up until 3 in the morning the day of to clear the kitchen table, make the place presentable and even hang snowflake lights and white crepe streamers. It looked so Christmasy!

Click on for tons of photos! Continue reading

Mom blog: Because I Said So! Snowflakes

Mom Blogger JacquelynNot a lot of things say wintertime like cutting snowflakes out of super-white paper. On the weekend, before the big kids got up, Luka and I sat on the living room floor amid the Bionicles and Bakugans and Bidimons (I believe I have those spelled close to correctly) and got busy making tiny little pieces of paper all over the carpet. I remembered how it always takes a while to get into the snowflake groove, to decide if angular is better (easier) or curves and arabesque shapes rule. You have to turn out a few three-pointed snowflakes before you realize you have to fold the whole thing over again to get six points. And so on. Then I remembered as I was ripping around the web one early morning I’d sent myself a cool snowflake-making site, where you can cut virtual snowflakes, and do your experimenting in a fraction of the time, and with no teensy-weensy paper scraps. The site comes complete with a catch-a-snowflake game of sorts where you can catch snowflakes and read the messages from the people who made them. Luka loved that. And there’s a counter too—it’s up to 5,634,236 snowflakes created, with 477 flakers online right now, I just checked. So cool. So go play.

Mom blog: Because I Said So! To H*** in a Handcart

Mom Blogger JacquelynThis weekend the wheels fell off the cart. We got the tree, Graydon recut the base, we put it up and by the time the branches fell we realized it had to be the most deformed tree on the lot. No amount of decorating will fix this thing. We face a decision tonight.
Daughter Tessa had her Three People Christmas Party, took lots of photos for the Mom Blog, and can’t find the right cable. So no pix of sugar houses today, sorry. Try again tomorrow.
It snowed all weekend. Our wonderful happily married neighbour, Scott, blew the driveway clear, thank you, thank you, but the snow kept coming and my children are shovel-phobic. The garage is therefore inaccessible, and it’s garbage day.
Christmas cards are arriving, none have gone out. Continue reading

Mom blog: Because I Said So! Feel-good gifts

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Fight dirt and cancer at the same time

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I hope you played Works for Me Wednesday yesterday. These blog festivals are the best! Where else can you get such good info in one place, from so many funny, talented, engaging people? (Except, of course, from Canadian Living!). I’ll be playing it for a few weeks, so we can all decide.

So today I bring you feel-good gift-giving again, this time in the form of luxurious, hand-made soaps from Nakee Handcrafted Natural Skincare. Candy the owner and creator, Continue reading