Have you finished (or at least started) your holiday decorating? I had a blast this year decorating with Lil Man. Everything was 'wow' and 'neat'. He loved putting up the tree and the ornaments. However, keeping the ornaments on the tree has been a challenge.
"Follow these basic safety guidelines to help prevent serious electrical and fire hazards as you decorate your home and yard this season:
• When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree.
• Cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk immediately before placing the tree in the stand and filling with water to ensure water absorption.
• Because heated rooms dry out live trees rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water by refilling daily.
• When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” This label indicates that the tree is more resistant to burning.
• Don’t use electrical ornaments or light strings on artificial trees with metallic leaves or branch coverings.
• Place your tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources, including fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters.
• When trimming a tree, only use non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.
• Avoid using candles when possible. Consider using battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles.
• Never leave an open flame unattended. Keep burning candles within sight.
• Place lighted candles away from combustible material such as other decorations and wrapping paper.
• Take care to place candle displays in locations where they cannot be knocked over.
• Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other greenery.
• Extinguish all candles before you go to sleep, leave the room, or leave the house.
Did You Know?
160 home fires per year begin with holiday lights and other decorative lighting, causing an average of 8 deaths, 14 injuries, and $8.5 million in property damage (NFPA)." (above info from ESFI)
I've never used battery-operated candles, but this year I gave them a try. And I have to say that Lil Man loved them and so did I. I of course wouldn't have an open flame where he could burn himself or knock it over. But with these battery-operated candles, I didn't have to worry about that. I also tried out some battery-operated lights. Those were also a big hit. Now, I don't leave them on constantly. So I'm not sure about battery life. But so far the batteries are holding up to how we are currently using them.
All lights are battery-operated
In addition to battery-operated candles, we also utilized a surge protector, and LED lights. LED lights last longer than traditional incandescent lights, and they generate less heat.
This holiday season we enjoying decorating while trying to be aware of safety. How are you staying safe during the holidays?
Full Disclosure: ESFI provided me with a decorating safety kit free of charge for the purpose of providing a review. My opinions are
completely my own based on my experience.
For all my moaning about Thanksgiving, it turned out quite nice. Lunch, well, in my opinion, lunch at the Casino near the race track with TVs blaring on every table, was NOTHING like Thanksgiving. And for me, this year,that was what I needed. Because I think if it would have been more like Thanksgiving, I would have been more upset that I wasn't cooking for my family like I had wanted too (Happy Holidays My ...)
And I miss my family - not just my immediate family, but my grandparents. I'll look at Lil Man and sometimes my heart will just ache because I know they would have loved him so much. And I know they would enjoy the funny antics that we've gone through (and will go through). And I ache that he won't get to know them like I did. And the holidays, well the holidays can make the ache a little deeper. It can make the loss feel a little greater. And it's hard not to let the sadness overwhelm the happiness sometimes. So as most holidays, I shed some tears. But I also tried to focus on the happy moments.
All Lil Man talked about was chocolate cake (or chocnit cake as he calls it). I'm not sure why since he's never been a fan of cake. But when I mentioned Thanksgiving, he mentioned cake. And he definitely got his cake, along with his brownie (and mine since he took it off my plate), and a chocolate chip cookie.
The day after Thanksgiving, we went and got our tree. I'll admit that Lil Man and I were super excited. He wasn't really sure what we were getting into. But I think my excitement was contagious.
We got to the tree farm, and picked out our tree. The actual walking around and choosing the tree didn't thrill him. But helping Daddy get the tree down the hill to the truck seemed to peak his interest.
And he was totally into putting up the tree, the lights, the ornaments and the star on top. He bounced up and down and talked during the entire process. Hubby and I couldn't help but smile at his enthusiasm. And I got a glimpse of him last night just standing and looking at it.
And here comes the personality of my Lil Man. I have this little M&M ornament. He kept wanting it and kept saying "open please". I kept telling him that it wasn't M&Ms, but just an ornament. He dropped the subject.
But then an hour or so later, I saw him drive by in his little coupe car. He took the ornament off the tree and sped off. Ha....
Oh how my heart aches.... at the love for this little boy... at the love for my husband who loves us in return, for my family who keeps in touch daily through technology, and for the loved ones who are no longer with us. My heart is full... abundantly full.. and for this I am thankful.
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I'm not very 'crafty', but it's a secret desire of mine to be. I was one of those kids (and now one of those adults) who can't cut a straight line. Seriously, I wish I was exaggerating.
And then came Pinterest - sigh - a crafty person's heaven and a non-crafty person's hell. But now that I'm a Mom, I feel even more pressure to try to somewhat be crafty with my son. Just because I can't draw or cut paper properly doesn't mean that he shouldn't get to try it. So I came across these cute (and supposedly simple) ideas. I mean, surely we can't mess these up too much right?
I'll have to do a 'follow-up post' once we've attempted to completed some crafts.
Do you have some SUPER easy (and I mean SUPER easy) toddler crafts that you've done? If so, share them with me.
For more Christmas craft and gift ideas, check out my "Christmas" board.
Did I mention that two weeks ago, Lil Man got sick, and because of his asthma, and it was a bad chest cold, and his breathing wasn't the best, and he was all off of his sleep schedule and crying because he didn't want to go to his bed, that I caved.. as in... let him get in bed with us. I knew then that we would have repercussions for this, but at the time it just seemed like the best (and easiest) thing to do. (Insert dramatic music here)
Two weeks later... he's still getting into our bed. At first we had the struggle of him not wanting to go to his bed at all. Finally after a few nights of struggling, we got him to at least start off sleeping in his bed. But every night since that first night he's got in our bed.
Basically if he wakes up, he cries momma or daddy or both and we go and check on him. He of course wants in our bed. We of course are exhausted so we let him. And at first although it wasn't ideal, at least we could get a little sleep. (However, I'm one of those that once I get woke up, I will lay in bed for a couple of hours before I can fall back to sleep. So that was an issue). But it was kindof cute to look over and see him all snuggled next to Hubby, or he'd put his arm around my neck and snuggle close. I couldn't help but think that he won't be little like this long and to cherish it.
But for the last couple of nights, Lil Man has wanted to toss and turn and 'talk' at 1:30am. So the, 'oh he's so cute' is starting to become 'this isn't so much fun'.
I made a little bed for him on the floor in our room with the hopes of getting him to sleep there if he needed to come into our room in the middle of the night, but it's turned cold here. And the floor is super cold. There is no way I can let him sleep on the floor. So basically we have this little bed on our floor that we've been walking around all week because no one has had the time to pick it up and put it away.
I know they make clocks (and I may try one of those). And naptime he sleeps in his bed. I think it's that he wakes up in the night (and the time varies) and once he's wake he wants us.
I'm not really sure how I'll handle this yet. We've done the crying it out thing - not fun - not fun at all. And honestly, I don't think I want to tackle that right now. But then again, if I continue to let this go on and on, won't it just be harder to break the habit?
I know I should have stood firm and once he was over being sick, got him back to his routine. But truthfully, I was really sleep deprived. Hubby and I both were. So we took the easy way out... and I'm hoping we haven't set ourselves up for a very long road ahead.
Sigh, you might want to grab a cup of coffee, get comfy and settle in for awhile.
And let me start off by saying that I know that I am very blessed. I know that I have a lot to be thankful for, and that there are people in much worse situations than I have ever experienced in my life.
That being said... here goes. Is it just me or do you get sick of being 'sold' on the idea that the holidays are this magical wonderful happy time with no worries or stress? And for some people maybe that's how it is.. but for me.. well that isn't the case. And this year they've started out more stressful than most.
Let's just say, this year I'm not getting what I want. For Thanksgiving, I had preferred to cook for my family. And let me tell you, if one more person says "Well it's just the 3 of you" I may lose it. Yes, it's just the 3 of us. HELLO, that's my family. Hubby, Lil Man and I make up a family of 3. Tell me when 'family' was defined by a certain number of people. Maybe your family is 1? Maybe it's 2? Whatever the number is, your family is your family. So I'm tired of people saying that it's really a waste for me to cook when it's only the 3 of us.
Where was I? Oh.. back to cooking for Thanksgiving. Last year I cooked for my family and I truly enjoyed it. But this year, well this year I went from thinking I was cooking for my family to 'we are going out to eat'. Say what?!? Let's just say... instead of spending the day on Wednesday preparing and cooking for our Thanksgiving feast on Thursday, I will be trying my best not to let myself get bitter over the fact that I will celebrating (hard for me to say that word at the moment) Thanksgiving in a way that I don't want to celebrate. But I'm trying to remind myself that it shouldn't matter where we eat, or what we eat, it's being together with my family.
But as all of this was unfolding these last couple of weeks, it just makes me realize how people 'pretend' that everything is just great and wonderful and magical when sometimes the reality is that it just isn't. When people have asked what I was doing for Thanksgiving, I put on that smile (on you know the one, where you pretend everything is fine when you really just want to scream that it really isn't so great right now) and tried to imply that everything was just wonderful and magical for the holidays.
Maybe it's time we all stopped pretending and stopped trying so hard to have the perfect holiday season. Maybe it's time that we all got real. Maybe sometimes the holidays are a little stressful. Maybe they aren't perfect.
But I have to say, they are what you make them. And as I've been telling my son lately. "Do you want to do ____ or ____? It's your choice." So I have a choice. I can make the best of the situation that I've found myself in. Would I have preferred to have done something else? Why sure! (duh, haven't you read what I've written so far). But my choice is either make the best of my new current situation, or stay angry and have an angry Thanksgiving that I'm sure we will all remember.
I've already told my family of 3 that I plan on cooking this year for Christmas. And next year peeps, I'm planning on cooking Thanksgiving.