STOP the holiday CHAOS! Pt. 2

Are YOU caught up in the holiday CHAOS?

Last time, we focused on the holiday stress of Dinner and House Preparation. We talked about ways to minimize your holiday stress when it came to cooking and house cleaning for the holidays, if you are hosting a party.

Today we are going to focus on a stress that most people must handle during the holiday season.

The second category I want to talk about is

Presents and Gift Giving


Throughout the year, you often have to buy gifts for birthdays, baby showers, weddings, etc. But nothing throughout the year compares to the lengths most people go to for the holidays. Gift giving can be stressful. There is the stress of picking out the right gift, then there is the stress of finding the right price. For Moms, who end up doing most if not all of the holiday gift buying for family members, it can be very difficult indeed. So let’s discuss some ideas and tips that can help to alleviate your gift-giving stress.

The biggest stress I have when it comes to gifts and presents is my budget. If you’re smart, you will budget throughout the entire year to allow a gift budget for the holiday season. I know a few people that do this, they allot an amount of money per month to be held just for this time of year. However, if you’re like me, it’s basically a mad scramble to collect gifts, just about as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is digested. Sometimes, I don’t get down to really buying things until the first or second week of December! So, obviously, our budget isn’t exactly prepared for a large subtraction! So, over the years I have developed a few things that allow me to get by with minimal spending!

My first suggestion: Budget all year

Now, I know I just got through talking about how horrible I am about budgeting and saving. But, if you can do it, I highly recommend it. One option would be to make a list of the all of the people for which you plan to buy gifts. Then, select a price range for each person. Add up the total amount needed and divide that number by 10. Each month from January to October, you set aside that much money in a different bank account, piggy bank or wherever you keep your savings! Then by the time you reach November, you can successfully shop for all of your gifts!

If you can’t manage to save money all year long, like me, you can still plan a short-term budget. All you have to do is set a spending limit a few months ahead. Then, you can collect larger increments for fewer months. However, with this style of budgeting the best idea would be to set a standard, that each person gets a certain amount. What I tend to do, is break it down into categories: Each niece/nephew gets the same amount, each sibling gets the same amount and each parent gets the same amount. This keeps me from over spending on each person and also keeping everybody from getting envious! lol

My second suggestion: Minimize Presents

Much like the idea of assigning a certain amount of money to each person, you can easily employ a few options for minimizing how many presents are given during this time. One option is to adopt a “Kids Gifts” only idea. Meaning, the only people who get multiple gifts would be the younger people within your group. Then, for the adults you have a few options for how to limit it. You can play a gift exchange game. This year, with the adults in my family, we are doing a “White Elephant” gift exchange. To learn more about this game and others visit: “28 Ideas for exchanging gifts”  from By playing these games, not only do you minimize the cost of buying 1 gift versus 10-15, but you also get to create a new holiday tradition. One that I know, personally, can be a lot of fun! Another option would be to do a “Secret Santa”. Where everyone buys one present for one person. Though this way would have to be done in advance, it has the perk of allowing people to get more expensive gifts than they would with the games.

My third suggestion: Make it, Don’t Break it (the bank, that is)

This suggestion happens to be one that I use personally just about, if not every, year. Making your own gifts can not only save you a ton of money, but some of the best gifts I’ve ever given or received were homemade. There are so many different projects and cute things you can make for any age, male or female. A good place to look for great ideas would be Pinterest. It’s free to sign up and you can collect ideas all year long for not only gifts, but decorations and meals! Another great suggestion is taking a family photo and distributing them in homemade frames. For Family Photos, there are many options. You can easily check out any of the major photography companies, but in my opinion the best way to go is with a local photographer. Using a local photographer allows you to incorporate familiar scenery, to have a wider variety of prints and ultimately, in my opinion, a more comfortable and cozy photo. You can easily look up local photographers online. If you are near my area (Dallas, Tx), I have two photographers that I personally recommend.

AprilPintoApril Pinto with April Pinto Photography


JenniferPritchettJennifer Pritchett with Jennifer Pritchett Photography

Both of these photographers are especially good with children. Capturing wonderful and magical moments in nicely edited photos that will amaze you, all at decent prices! Don’t forget to mention that Wild Mommy sent you!

Using family photos as a present can easily cut down on your total budget. If you decide to frame them, you can easily purchase bulk frames online. Or you can wait until a craft store like Michael’s or Garden Ridge (Which is now: At Home) is having one of their regular frame sales. And you have options with the frames as well. You can either get bulk frames, then purchase paints and paint each frame specifically for each person and/or family. Or you can buy different and specific frames for each person and/or family.

I hope you have found some of these tips and suggestions helpful to your holiday situation! Join me next time when we talk about the third and final category: Guests. Where we will discuss ways to help handle anything a guest throws at you before, during and/or after a holiday event!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC



STOP the holiday CHAOS!

Are YOU caught up in the holiday Chaos?


The holiday season comes but once a year and for most Moms out there, it’s a good thing. While the holidays are a wonderful time that bring family together in joyous celebration, if you’re anything like me, the holiday season also brings on enough stress to be crushed under! So, this season, instead of stressing, let’s focus on some tips to

STOP the holiday CHAOS!

As much as I’d like to deny it, most of the stress I experience during the holidays has nothing to do with outside sources. What I mean by that, is that most of it comes from my anxiety over wanting the occasions to be perfect. There have been very few time that another person is the source of my holiday madness. So, the easiest way to mange that stress is to plan ahead. If you tend to freak out during the holiday season, join me over the next 2 days to see if some of these tips can save your sanity this holiday season.

The first category I want to talk about is

Dinner and House Preparation.

woman cooking and cleaningIf your plans for the holidays are to travel to another person’s home or another location, then these tips may not be necessary for you. However, if you’re like my family, though we travel for the holiday season, we may also have a small gathering for our immediate family and/or friends. And, these tips are helpful when hosting ANY event in your own home as well!

In my case, the first stress I have when hosting in my own home is cleaning. Though your house may be clean (most days, if I’m lucky, lol) and well kept, there is a special kind of clean when hosting a party. I call it “Deep Cleaned”. For me it means scrubbing base boards, washing windows, dusting things I don’t usually dust and basically scrubbing every surface of my home. When it’s holiday season, however, you usually have a lot more on your plate and cleaning seems to be the biggest and most tedious task.

My first suggestion: Hire Someone.

Don’t be shamed into thinking that hiring a local maid service to deep clean your home is not an option. I know a lot of Moms out there who are hesitant to hire someone because of the stigma of

A) Not being able to do it yourself, B) That it must mean your house is disgusting

and/or C) That you are a snob or lazy.

For one, if I had the money to hire someone to clean my house ALL of the time, I would. There is nothing wrong or lazy about allowing someone to clean your house. Plus, there are many Moms out there who are in the business of cleaning houses. That makes it a Moms helping Moms situation! But especially hiring someone to deep clean your home before you host an event is just sensible. By taking that pretty big task off of your plate, you make room for doing the things that you can’t necessarily hire someone to do. Consider it an investment and breathe easy! To help find a maid service near you try

However, I know times are hard and money is tight already, not including the holiday extras, so if you need to cut the cost, hire a kid. It could be a friend’s kid, the baby sitter or a youth from Church or the neighborhood. By hiring a kid you cut your cost, but you also allow a kid to make money for their holiday season!

My second suggestion: Ask for help.

If you’re a Mom to a child basically 5 and up, you already have one volunteer for cleaning! lol But seriously, let your child(ren) help with the cleaning. Give them a task at a time and reward them with something they will enjoy for every task completed. You can even make certain tasks that may be harder or take longer worth a larger reward. And don’t be afraid to ask your family and/or friends to help you either. Find that friend, sister, brother or cousin that wouldn’t mind rolling their sleeves up for a nice dinner and/or movie. Then you get help, plus some bonding time with the person!

The next stress that I have is with the food. Good cook or bad cook, either way, most Moms out there do not have just a TON of experience organizing, preparing, cooking and serving LARGE meals. Sure, we may cook for our family of 5-8, we may make very intricate and detailed dishes and we may have served food plenty of times. But doing all of it from top to bottom for more like 10-20 people can be a daunting task.

My first suggestion: Keep it Simple.

If you’re like me, the holiday season is the reason for new recipes, as well as old favorites and traditions. For example, one tradition/old favorite I have developed over the last couple of years are cheese balls. I began doing it one year and have since perfected 3 recipes and thought of about 15 more. So for me, every year, it’s about making something that is better than the year before as well as bringing back the favorites collected over time. But when you’re hosting an entire meal, it’s a different story. Time won’t always permit you to do ALL things bigger and better. So, keep it simple with some of your dishes. You still have specialty dishes, but make them special. Not every side needs to be an intricate affair. It can be refreshing and exciting to have simple sides, with just a few specialty dishes.

My second suggestion: Plan Ahead.

Cooking several dishes, several additions and a large hunk of meat can be overwhelming. However, there are ways you can plan ahead that can help you keep your dinner running smoothly.

For instance, prepare your table ahead of time. Set out plates, bowls, cups, utensils, etc. Have it all done before you even begin to cook, that way even if you happen to need more time on your turkey or ham, you can allow guests to sit and begin on salad, rolls or even sides. For suggestions on easy holiday food, check out “25 Tips for an easy holiday” from

Another tip is to prepare as many dishes as possible a day in advance. Many dishes that are served during holiday season can be made and stored over night. Then all you have to do is put them in the oven the next day for heating. For this, I suggest buying the disposable aluminum pans. They come in just about every shape and size, most often with lids for storing and they are obviously, oven safe. And, you don’t have to clean them afterwards!


My third suggestion: Ask for Help/Hire Someone.

Now, there are two ways you can ask for help with preparing the holiday meal. One way, is to just ask a friend or family member who will be attending the party to come early and help you with the food. If you don’t have anyone that can be available, try hiring someone to be your Sous Chef. Basically, a person that can do the more tedious aspects of the cooking, like stirring and mixing. You could, again, hire a teenager you know or you could place an ad on CraigsList. There are MANY chefs and/or caterer’s that would be willing to help for a few hours for extra cash.

Hopefully, you found at least one tip that can help you eliminate some of your holiday chaos!

Join me tomorrow when we talk about the second category: Presents and Gift Giving. Where we will discuss ways to minimize spending and eliminate gift-giving stress!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC


Boo’s Kingdom

Tonight, My daughter, Boo, and I created a neighborhood and a town with ALL of her doll house items. It ended up being pretty neat.

Pictured here in:

The Neighborhood is:

The Family:  Daddy, Mommy, 2 Strawberry Shortcake daughters, 1 Minnie daughter and 1 Mickey Baby Boy

The Workers: 3 Minions, 1 Plumber, Handy Smurf, GIJoe, 1 Scarecrow, Squirrel and the Worker Trucks

The Fairies: Beach Minnie, Smurfette, 2 Ballerinas, 1 Fairy, Unicorn, Boots, Pooh and all of the Sea Creatures

Princess Castle: Rapunzel, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, 1 Strawberry Shortcake and Woody

And in The City is:

The Doctor: Albert Einstein and his Minion Assistant

The Park: Alligators and Birds

Walmart/Gas Station/Airport: Pilot/Checker

The Farm/Zoo: Country Girl, Country Boy, 1 Scarecrow and all of the Animals


Needless to say, she was   quite happy And we had a REALLY   good time.

(Some of these photos aren’t too great, but I figured I might as well include them all,

Since I didn’t get to take too many before Boo told me to go away and let her play. lol

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Mommy Blues: Trouble with Trouble MAKERS!

So, the votes, finally totaled, had “Misbehaving: Acting Out” as number one.


So let’s begin by talking about the different kinds of “acting out” that our kiddos do:

1- Tantrums- Crying / Screaming

2- Fighting others / Bullying

3- Mischievousness

Each of these 3 types can be handled in a MULTITUDE of ways, but I have suggestions on how to handle them with the LEAST amount of conflict and the MOST amount of character development in your child and deepening of respect for your word, alone.

Now, what I want to address FIRST is what I have come to call the “Counting Technique”.   A LOT of people will tell you “DO NOT COUNT”. BUT, they are WRONG! There really is only ONE policy that, if not in place, makes this technique fail. YOU MUST FOLLOW THROUGH! At the end of the count, 3, 5, whatever! You have to follow through with the severest of punishment. Mine is spanking when younger, time out incorporated when a little older. Then, as they get even older is becomes “You have such and such minutes to do this or…” you’re grounder, lose your phone, car, tv, xbox, ps3, laptop, WHATEVER! But ALWAYS you MUST FOLLOW THROUGH.

Now, we begin with

#1- Tantrums- Crying / Screaming

Now, obviously, there are TWO settings…

  • At home
  • In public / With company

So, I’ll address BOTH.

At home, it’s VERY SIMPLE. If your kid disobeys and they begin a TANTRUM. I mean, kicking screaming, flopping on the floor, the works. You pick them up, place them in their room and say “When you’re done throwing your tantrum, you may come out and apologize”. Then walk out and shut the door. Do NOT allow them out, do not talk to them. If they try to come out, you put them back in whatever spot they were before (It’s called a “RESET”) and walk out again. Keeping doing it, but never speak to them unless it is “No”. Continue until they stop. Believe me IT IS TIRING!!! But it is the EASIEST WAY to make a BEHAVIOR not just a temporary fix!

Now, if you are in public, there are TWO ways you can try, on is my mother’s way.

“Mama Knows Best”- I threw a tantrum once at Kmart, I believe and my just stopped and announced to the ENTIRE PARKING LOT “Attention, ATTENTION! Christy is throwing a tantrum and she’d like everyone to see, could you all please watch?” There weren’t many people in the lot, but I don’t think I ever threw a tantrum again. lol

Second way, is the “walk away”. You announce to them that you’re not going to wait for their tantrum and just continue on. Just make sure to turn a corner and wait…

Now, if the child is SCREAMING or CRYING, you can use the techniques above, but in addition, there is the “WHISPER techinque”, but it can only be used with a STILL child. You lean into their ear and WHISPER. What I mean is a whisper/yell/growl, whatever, something that sounds angry and disciplinarian like. What you say is “If you do not stop screaming/crying, right NOW, I am going to…” whatever your punishment may be. Then, again FOLLOW THROUGH!!!!!!!

So, onto

2- Fighting others / Bullying

Now, I separate the two because there is a level of FIGHTING that happens among kids. And sometimes, it may be best to let them work it out so long as it stays non violent, and under volume control. But, when it becomes loud or just non productive “mine” arguing. Here are my suggestions…

1- Take it away. If they are arguing over a toy or object, take it away and announce that because they cannot share it, they cannot have it. Easy.

2- Time out. Sit them both in time out but make them holds hands. When the time out is over they can try to share the toy again.

If they get physical and there is hitting/kicking/pushing, I recommend letting all parties share their side of the story, then making every who needs to apologize, do so.

For biting, I personally use the “bite back” rule. If a kid bites, I bite them in the same place. Obviously, not as hard, but hard enough to make the point. You may disagree, but I know this works well. Usually within a couple of bites.

But. If you have a bully… that is different. For one, teach your kids as they are growing to always MAKE FRIENDS with EVERYONE! That can really help develop a good kid. But, if they end up bullying anyways, here are my choices. For non physical bullying I recommend time out. If you can include a CHORE, do so. For PHYSICAL bullying I recommend physical punishment. Meaning, spanking. Of course, many parents disagree, and I can see why. But I know this works, like I have said before, and fairly quickly. If they hit/kick/push/etc. you spank and time out. Bites, of course, in my book deserve return bites and time outs.

And then we have

3- Mischievousness

Now, first I’m going to tell you, the BEST way to stop mischievousness is to WEAR THEM OUT. Make them get physical REGULARLY. Go to the park, dance in the living room, take a walk, WHATEVER! Just get them active and see if they start acting better.

HOWEVER, if they CONTINUE to get into things, start by putting up PERIMETERS or LOCKS. Either lock them out of areas you don’t want them in and lock cabinets, etc. Or, put up fences to keep them in smaller SECTIONS of the house. I don’t always recommend fencing them into ONE room, unless it is a LARGE one. I like to include bathroom for older children, as well. But usually I like to use the bedroom, bathroom and living room so they have options. But if it’s not possible, try putting the fence down the hallway to give them space outside the door, rather than placing the fenced INSIDE the door.

Then, if they get mischievous with something, remove it, or them from it. If they end up in a boring room, tell them it was their fault for using everything the WRONG ways. Give them a time to wait for a second chance and as long as they don’t act out again, allow them 1-3 toys, depending on circumstance, to try with again. Then slowly allow the toys back with good behavior or take them away for bad behavior.


And that is the backbone for all parenting. Following through and being consistent.

Okay, so, join me FRIDAY when we discuss the next topic… BEDTIME BLUES!

We’ll have tips on getting your child to accept bedtime! I swear, they’ll totally be COOL with it. They may even put themselves to bed, after you use this special FORMULA! Join me WEDNESDAY for that special formula !

Wild SICK Mommy


Well, as you can see I have been a little bogged down lately, so my blog has suffered!

Right after my return from a WONDERFUL beach vacation, my daughter and I caught some bug and were sick for the past few days! So, in honor of our illness I decided to do a “Sick Mommy” Blog, all about how to handle YOU sick, but still be a great Wild Mommy!

The first thing we have to do as moms when we’re sick, is ADMIT IT!  This has got to be my biggest issues when I am sick. I hate having to say “I’m too sick to do…” Whatever!  It’s like taking away my red cape! I am Mommy, I am supposed to stay well so I can keep everyone else well!

Well, that isn’t how it always turns out and unfortunately, being on the front lines between children and cleanliness, Moms are SUPER EXPOSED to all those nasty little germs!! So, now you’re sick. You are sick, and what most people DON’T even THINK about is that you CANNOT CALL IN! There are no real “sick days” as a mom. (Nor holidays, vacations or weekends!) So, sick or not, your little one will still need general to specific care, and you are the care-giver. So, again, like I said, first thing is first, just go ahead and admit you are sick.

Hello, I am Wild Mommy MC, and I am a very sick mommy.

Good, now we can begin!

So, not to sound cliche or anything, but the best thing you can do is start off with rest. As a full-time mom, I find that my personal, alone time tends to come after bedtime! Well, when you’re sick, this personal time should be rest! Don’t stay up late like usual, go ahead a get in bed early. Honestly, sleep is the best thing you can do.

But, once you’ve gotten your sleep and still feel crappy, here’s how we continue.

1- Throw out the rule book

Number one to sick mommy days is throwing out the rule book for the day.  I usually will NEVER condone throwing out the rule book because consistency is really all we have with our kiddos, but on sick days, you just can’t handle the rules. I’m not saying your kiddos gets a free pass, but you will need to cut them some MAJOR slack and allow leniency with the rules. Not only will they be more stressed because you are sick, but you will be more likely to OVER STRESS rules if you are sick and tired. So, to keep the peace, just throw the book out for the day!

One of the rules I find I can throw out almost completely is FOOD!

2-Sick Food Ready

Again, realize this is only ONE DAY And that the stress it will relieve is worth the ONE day of bad nutrition. If you feel you are becoming sick and are not pantry ready for illness, stock up! What you’ll want is EASY meals. Something microwaveable (TV Dinner) or instantly “servable” (Lunchable etc.). Also, if you are sick and not your kiddo, another good tip is to treat them more that day. Allow a little ice cream or some cookies. If you include the dessert incentives, you can actually get good behavior out of them all day long just for ice cream! And you’ll be surprised at how much stress it can relieve just to be able to take meals off of your to-do list.

3- Role Reversal

As parents, when we get sick, we often forget that there is someone to take care of us. We get so wrapped up in taking care of THEM, we forget that they can care for us too! One thing I have found VERY helpful when I am sick is allowing Boo to switch roles with me. Instead of me caring for her, I allow her to care for me. Now, obviously you want to begin by telling your child how sick you are, and what to expect of you for the day. Be honest, tell them you do not feel like playing. I know, it sounds like sacrilege to hear me say that here on, but you DON’T feel like playing today, so the best thing you can do is get that on the table! Once they understand your sickness, give them something to do. Like I said, role reversal is great!

So, over the past few days that I have been sick, Boo has helped me clean the kitchen, clean my bedroom, do the daily chores and helped actually CARE FOR ME.

It may sound like she had a bad day, but she actually enjoyed it. Including her in my chores made the chores not so difficult and kept her engaged instead of bored. Because we all know bored kids = annoyed moms. lol

I started by giving her little tasks, like helping me put up the plastic dishes or picking up trash. But as she’s gotten older she’s learned how to do laundry, wash the dishes and she’s pretty good at just caring for me. As I was sick along the way of raising her, I’ve taught her how to care for sick people, too. Watching me, she’s learned to remind me to stay hydrated, rest and take it easy. And that’s the 2nd side to role reversal, letting your babies take care of you. It does wonders for illness to have little baby hands stroking your hair or rubbing your back.

And that leads us to the last tip,


The single most important thing you can do when you are sick is cuddle and love on your kiddos. Now, DON’T EXPOSE THEM IF YOU ARE STILL CONTAGIOUS! lol of course! But, once you aren’t, let them in! When you’re sick, you tend to disengage. and that is NORMAL! The best thing you can do to combat that is physical affection. It will help your child to stay connected to you even though you can’t be involved and it will make you feel a WHOLE LOT BETTER!

So, being a Wild Mommy isn’t all fun and games. Sometimes, it’s about just trying your hardest. And that’s really all we can do when we’re sick. Try hard. Remember, they’re kiddos, and they don’t really have a memory that will allow them to recall what being sick is like. So, when they DO press that last nerve, instead of complaining or yelling try asking for a hug or kiss instead.

And please, please, get better, because tomorrow is ANOTHER day of Motherhood, sick or not…

ALSO, for 40 ways to entertain your kids while lying down check out:



Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC