Lauren Wellbank

One mom and her struggle to survive until bedtime

Tag: Gifts

Toddlers Ruin Christmas Carols, But We Love Them Anyway

If your house is anything like mine, your dryer lint has gone from being pink and bespeckled with glitter, to being red and bespeckled with glitter, signaling that Christmas is finally upon us.

Also, that this family has an unsustainable glitter habit.

This is a magical time. Everything is festively decorated and there’s an extra crackle of excitement in the air. Sprinkle kids into the mix, and that excitement gets dialed up by about a million.

After all, most kids spend the entire year in (not so quiet) anticipation, plotting and planning how to get Santa to bring them everything they desire while just toeing the line between naughty and nice.

That is unless your kids are toddlers. Then you can forget about that line all together. There is no pretending to be good with toddlers. You can’t bribe good behavior out of a three-year-old, or threaten it out with the prospect of ending up on the naughty list (trust me, bribery and threats are the backbone of my parenting philosophy, she sobs into her messy living room).

Also, you can’t give a two-foot-tall person approximately three feet of cookies and expect them to have any chill what-so-ever when it comes to anything Santa related.

I mean, my toddler spends every day sneaking up to our advent calendar and setting it to Christmas Eve and then exclaiming that today is Christmas and asking where Santa left her presents.

No. Chill.

It isn’t really much different than her normal day-to-day lack of chill, to be honest. And I contemplated that one day while listening to the holiday station on the car radio while trying to drown out my oldests pleas for ice cream from the back seat. I noticed a common theme among some of my favorite Christmas songs…

I present to you all the Christmas carols that are forever tainted by raising a toddler.

  1. Please Come Home for Christmas, The Eagles – Bells will be ringing? Yeah, I hear them. I hear every single one of them. My toddler just rang each one and ran away, only to run back and ring them again.

  2. Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer, Elmo and Patsy – “IS THAT WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER FACE?”

  3. Do You Hear What I Hear, Harry Simeone – “Do you? Do you hear it, mommy? Mom, mom, do you hear it? What is that? Mom? Mom? MOM?!”


  5. Baby it’s Cold Outside, by like, everyone – “But I don’t wannnnnna wear a jacket!!!”

  6. Silent Night, Joseph Mohr – LOL, JK

  7. All I Want for Christmas is You, Mariah Carey – “I want a puppy.” “Oh, and a firetruck.” “And, and, and a talking Marshall from Paw Patrol!” “And THAT! What IS that? I want it!”

  8. Deck the Halls, Thomas Oliphant – If your kid isn’t “Fa la la la-ing” at full volume is it even Christmas?


Ten surefire gifts for any mom on your list this Christmas

Well, it’s Christmas week*.  I don’t know how that happened (time has lost all meaning since I became a parent), but it did.

wp-1479752905380.jpgIf you’re anything like me you are still adding last minute gifts to your Amazon shopping cart and praying frantically to the UPS gods that they make it here on time.  And if you’re not anything like me, and all your gifts are purchased, wrapped, and waiting patiently for Christmas Eve so that they can be placed underneath your Christmas tree, well… feel free to keep that information to yourself. Continue reading

Ten surefire gifts for any mom on your list this Christmas

Well, Thanksgiving week has finally arrived.  I don’t know how that happened, it was summer about a week ago, but suddenly the leaves are all falling from the trees and I am staring down the barrel of making dinner for 20 on Thursday.

Between mouthfuls of what will hopefully be the most delicious bird anyone in my family has ever eaten, we will inevitably discuss Christmas and what is at the top of everyone’s wish list this year.

wp-1479752905380.jpgUsually, I wait until the last minute to figure out what I really want and hastily throw a list together that includes scented candles and socks (although, between you and me, scented candles are my jam).

This year, I am planning ahead, and starting my list early.  Today, even.  And as I make it, I realize this list may be handy, not just for me, but for any of the moms that may be on your list.

Allow me to present to you a surefire list of Christmas gifts for any mom on your list.

  1. A full night of sleep. One that is done in a large bed, with plenty of pillows, and covers to be distributed however we wish. Oh, and we’d like to be completely and utterly alone. I’d settle for six hours, but the real gift would be 20.
  1. Clothes. Personally, I am on day four of the same pair of pants. I have three that fit me right now, but apparently the other two are currently in the vast wasteland that I like to call the laundry pile. Maybe the mom in your life needs new work clothes, or maybe it’s yoga pants, but I’m sure that she needs an additional something.  And most importantly, something that fits.  For me, this year it will be nursing tops.  I can survive with the same three pairs of pants, but not the same two sweaters when the newborn comes.  Dear Santa, please bring me a shirt that lets me get to my boobs as quickly as humanly possible, with at least two back-ups.
  1. Laundry service for a month. We are only a family of three right now but I do about six loads a week.  Sure, the machines do most of the hard labor in this situation, but for every six hours of work they do, it means twelve hours of folding, hanging, and putting stuff neatly away in drawers for mom.
  1. A family photographer. The White House has a staff photographer that follows the Obamas around 24/7, so I would imagine that Michelle Obama is never missing from any Christmas morning pictures of the family opening presents.  Now, I know that I’m not America’s First Lady, but I am the first lady of this family.  And like most mothers, I’d like some shots of all of us together over the holidays.  A camera with a self-timer, a selfie stick, whatever it takes to be a part of those Christmas morning pictures, Santa!
  1. Snacks that are both delicious and healthy. No, I’m not talking about chocolate that makes you skinny (and if we’re doing big gifts this year can we please do away with the word “skinny”). I am talking about healthy snacks that are already made. As moms we are often running around making sure that everyone else has what they want and need. We often end up famished and grab the closest and easiest thing to eat.  This thing is rarely a bowl of freshly sliced fruit or cleaned and peeled veggies.  An unending bowl of guacamole that is always freshly made and never turns brown?  That would be the stocking stuffer to beat this year.
  1. Someone to do the dirty work. I am not talking about the temper tantrums or scrubbing toilets (but please see number seven) I mean poop and snot bubbles. Personally, I would like a week off from thrashing diaper changes that leave me, inexplicably, with poop under my fingernails. But maybe the dirty work for the mom in your life is spit up or changing a teenage boy’s sheets.  I’m sure we all have that one dirty job that we need a break from.
  1. A cleaning service for approximately one month. This one is pretty self-explanatory.  I’d like my month to be from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, or as I like to call, it “5 weeks of 5,000 messes”, but maybe that’s just me.
  1. A gift certificate for a Mom for Hire (and if that’s not a thing, it needs to be). This can be reserved for any time you are sick or hurt or are in some way unable to mom. It will be good for a surrogate mother for your children, and also one to take care of you, because sometimes a mom needs someone to mother them, too.
  1. A massage. There, this one wasn’t so hard, and it would easily fit into Santa’s sack. Mine can be given to me by my husband, but only if he suddenly possesses the hands of someone that cracks walnuts for a living. A gentle loving touch isn’t going to help these muscles.  I need someone to get mad at the knots in my shoulders.
  1. A way to freeze time. Or more accurately, a way to hold onto these moments. I know sometimes we mothers complain (and some of us way more than others *raises hand guiltily*), but we know how short our time with our kids really is.  Worse of all, the number of holidays that we get to spend with our kids under our roof is even further  I wish I could bottle this time, these feelings, these moments, and hold onto them forever.  Yes, even the high-on-freshly-baked-sugar-cookies-running-from-room-to-room-screaming-at-the-top-of-her-lungs, moments.  I want to hold onto it all, because some day they will be gone.

Happy Holidays!

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