Why bother with a table cloth?

Let’s be real, none of us have time for pretty just for fun. (Well some people do I guess. Just none I’ve ever met in the flesh)

 

I think of all the things that get weird looks in my life, the table cloth in the middle of my home is one of the most common. So here are my reasons.

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  1. It catches all the food- I don’t know about you but I have one kid. Yep that one kid who cannot eat without dumping food everywhere. And he is by no means my youngest. I think most dogs eat with less mess than this guy. So it catches everything and he can go take the table cloth outside and shake it after every meal.
  2. It makes clean up faster- without all the crumbs to encourage fighting over who wiped and needs to help with the floor, a table cloth contains the mess and stops the arguing. It also sops up most wet spills.
  3. It’s pretty- there are not a lot of things that make me take a deep breath, but a pretty table reminds me I am doing okay.
  4. Reminder of good manners- the table cloth also serves to remind the kids that this is a place where we can have fun, but must observe some manners. We don’t put our faces in our bowls, we sit up, we pass things, we say please and thank you. We are not animals.

 

So, yeah, a table cloth, and sometimes a runner down to hold the hot stuff.

The therapeutic smells of Christmas

I wish you could smell my kitchen.

It smells like Christmas.

img_0022For me that doesn’t mean evergreens, but the living room and stairs smell like that. It smells like mulled cider. It smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, oranges, and awesomeness.

I’m not saying I was a rockin’ Pinterest mom today, I wasn’t. I yelled, I fussed, I got up late. I had a headache. I indulged in a few mean words.

However. None of that is the smell. None of that is a complete measure of my parenting. We all fail. But the smell of peace eventually worked its way into all of us.

Smell memories are the most powerful in the world. I can prove it. Any of you who grew up going to a public school know the smell of teenage boys. Pubescent teenage boys. I think that is the nastiest smell in the world. You know it because it lingers in all gyms, all weight rooms, all lockers. And it wrinkles people’s noses when they think of it. Most of us recall a shamefilled time that came with that smell. I know I remember more than a few.

So back to my kitchen, which only smells like the one teenage boy in it right now, and the overwhelming smell is still cider. For me that smell means gifts, love, time with my mom, quiet moments under twinkling lights. It means peace, love, kindness. (I know I said love twice. I meant it a few more times) it settles me when my head hurts in the morning and I want to crawl back under the bolster, with a book, and a hot drink.

It gives me courage. It is beginning to do the same for my kids.

We don’t do a lot of Christmas because it wasn’t a happy thing for the kids at first. Too much sensory input, too many expectations of great behavior. The list goes on. So I focused on one thing. The smell. What do I want this holiday to smell like. How can I teach their hind-brain (The part that listened during PTSD) that this smell means it’s okay to settle.

Now we do 3 gifts each (With one Dad always buys the week of Christmas) we eat sweet food, we listen to the same 3 albums, and we sit closer together. That smell reminds them of what’s coming.

Here is the recipe so that you can try it. It might take years, but we are growing mighty trees out of our little saplings. We have that time. Even if this year falls apart. Make you house smell one way from now until Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and do it again next year. The idea will seep in so deep they won’t even know how it appeared. Other holidays need other smells too. But we will talk about those as they get closer.

Recipe for Christmas Holiday Smells

 

One pot of water, the biggest you have. Make sure not to let the water get low. And do not leave it on when you leave the house.

2 Oranges. Slice in half, squeeze over pot and drop each piece in.

1 Lemon. Do the same thing as the Orange.

2 apples. Cut and put into the pot. Quarters is enough.

2 cinnamon sticks or 4 Tbsp. of cinnamon

2 tsp. Nutmeg

Boil. Refill with water as needed. That’s it.

Best Halloween Tradition

For four years now we have enjoyed a great Halloween tradition. Which was the brain child of Beck Realty Group (#BeckRealtyGroup). The site of Cornbellies, a fall carnival, is something we look forward to every year. We get to catch up with friends, paint faces, roll in the corn, get un-lost in the maze, buy pumpkins, race plastic ducks, and generally enjoy the mayheim.

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It is one of the few events the children don’t face with stress and follow with resentment. It is a time we lean into joy, and love one another. And frankly I am beginning to love the holiday again, which is a big deal for me. We need to create this kind of tradition for every holiday. It took four years, but now it is a known happy time for the WildScottKids.

So enjoy some of the fall fun from us to you. May the beginning of the holiday season bring you less stress, more joy, more family, more friends, more peace.

With love, the Scotts.

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To Halloween or not to Halloween

As parents we are faced with so many choices, and so much input on what is and isn’t good for our kids on Holidays, and let’s be real, I dread a lot of holidays.

halloween-2009We have to think about sugar consumption, over-stimulation, allergies, appropriate costumes, road-side safety, etc. Isn’t it a heavy burden? So let’s simplify.

For the last four years we have engaged in two awesome traditions. The first is Team costumes. We made Halloween a chance for attachment and belonging. So for the last few years we pick costumes out as a team. So here are a few versions of team costumes by us.

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But for me all the holidays bring up the issue of being enough. I know they shouldn’t I know none of these days are really about me. But it is so hard to face holidays without some comparison. Did I make enough treats? Am I still a good mom if I don’t make it to even one of my kids Halloween parties? Is it okay that I bought all my costumes on Amazon because I don’t have time to sew them? I want to move through this day with a little grace, and if I fail am I still okay?

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On days like today when I fell out of bed at six, kissed the little kiddos who climbed into my bed, got my daughter going on breakfast, and got in the shower. Only to realize I forgot a towel, and conditioner (Because it was out and I hadn’t refilled it), then growled through breakfast, and mended a few costumes with hot glue, before running out the door to work, it is hard to think that is enough.

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I want to be the mom who made cookies, warmed cider, read stories, cuddled them closer, shared romantic smiles with my husband around the teenage eye rolls.

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I missed the costume parade. That one hurts the most. And it’s stupid that it hurts.But I know they wanted me there. And I have honestly only ever helped with One, yep just one, school party in my whole life. And I loved it. But I have to be at the office, typing these things on my breaks, to take care of my little people. They forgive me. I just don’t as well.

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So to myself, and to you working mommies out there, and you stay-at-homes who are swamped, it’s okay. We didn’t make it this year. WE ARE good, we love our kids, we hope the best for them. They are our team. And even if I never make it to another class party, I am good enough. Even if I only get to make warm cider for my grandkids, it’s enough. Even if I growl more than I should, we will laugh about it later.

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For now, let’s simplify, they went to school in a team costume, knowing they belong together, with us. And that momma is enough. That is extra ordinary. I don’t care how much sugar they eat today. I will feed them good food tomorrow. And give them vitamins, because I am a good momma. Extra-ordinary is enough for me to love myself. And by loving myself, and forgiving me for what I haven’t done, I will be a better mother, and a better person.

Our First Adventure!

 

We purchased our big red van, and of course dad wanted to take it out for a spin over the holiday weekend. So of course we did, with mild panic on mom’s part for the lack of planning, but we got it sorted. We didn’t have a good plan of where we wanted to go, or where we would stay. But we all climbed into the van with enough supplies for two days worth of adventuring, and were off.

The kids love hotels more than anything. I swear we could stay at one a few blocks away and they were be perfectly content. So when we got to the next town, dad called it. He got us adjoining rooms and everyone went to sleep with promises of pool time in the morning, and a fun drive afterward to sights unknown. I shook my head. If all of us were so easily pleased the world would be better place. But that made me think I needed to focus on the joy of the moment like the kids.

So I snuggled down with Jason and we fell asleep to the roar of the wall air conditioner. Granted I am not the best sleeper in strange places, so I got up a few times to count noses, and take people to the bathroom, but it was a decent rest.

In the morning, we ate as the kids woke up, and tossed everyone in the pool, then packed and drove to Zion National Park… Which was a nuthouse. Nope. Okay, lets go look at fun things just outside of the park instead. Having a year pass makes a lot of sense for days like these, because I can have no guilt saying we will come back another day. We can. We will. So we stopped at rock shops, our kids favorite places, and picked out, you guessed it, rocks. Then we checked into our hotel and swam. Yes. They just wanted more pool time.

We engaged in the great art of Dad Surfing, and a made a low quality, mom video. I promise to do better next time.

Dad Surfing Video

Then we packed up again and were off to a historic site. Because, why not? Cove Fort is one of the few stone forts constructed in the 1800’s. It is important in our state because it protected travelers. It was also built by a family with 7 kids… So we headed there.

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Of course the kids needed to try out the wagon.

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And check out the rooms.

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And when we were all done with our tour they sent us home with Veggies from the garden, and one really tired boy, who didn’t make it through lunch.

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For more information about Cove Fort, you can go see it in person, or check out this link. Cove Fort And we sang on the way home…

Thanks for joining us on our first Big Red Van Adventure.