Mommy Panda Blog

I may not be super crunchy, but I'm no softie either!

What We’re Currently up To: Week 53

This past week, we’ve been…


The Bean has started dancing on his own a little bit, and it’s so cute. If he hears a song he likes while he’s sitting somewhere, he’ll start swaying back and forth, jamming to the music. I love it. We went to a burger place with some friends for lunch and a Michael Jackson song came on the overhead speakers. You would have thought it was the greatest thing he’d ever heard. So good.

This past week, we were cooking some cake pops. Or, I guess we really baked them, but that wasn’t the prompt. And actually, I only used one set of sticks, so we kind of made doughnut holes? But you get the idea. The boys really love helping me bake, and I should really do it more often, but I’m not exactly a baker. They like mixing and pouring though, so I should get over myself and work through it. Maybe I’ll become a baker!


I was stressing about The Munchkin losing one of his beloved Gabbas (and of course, NOT one of the ones we have extras of…) and was about to buy another one online, when our friends came over, Toodee in hand. I was so relieved. I knew he couldn’t have left her in a store or something! Normally, if the Gabbas come out with us, they stay in the car. The only exception is when we go to a friend’s house. I should have known.

I have been clearing clutter out of the rest of my house, and putting it into either my bedroom, or the craft/guest room. This needs to stop. I need to stop being satisfied with the rest of my house being clean, and start focusing on my bottomless pit/disaster zones of those two bedrooms. For reals. My mother in law is going to be here in eleven days. This will not do.


I’ve been sharing my elf on the shelf pictures on facebook, mostly so John can see them. I’ve been surprised at how many adults have commented to me (in person, no less!) about how much they love the pictures and captions though. One FRG friend said that she looks forward to it the updates like a blog, ha! It’s pretty cool to think that people actually care about our little deployment elf, and it makes me want to up my game a bit!

Pictures: The boys decorating cake pops | The Bean & his BF coloring | When we met Prancer! (He’s real!)

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Tank, the Deployment Elf / Elf on the Shelf Ideas


Meet Tank. Tank is our elf. What’s with the camo uniform, you ask? Well, he’s our deployment elf. He tattles to Santa AND to Daddy. I made him out of an old uniform of John’s, and a vintage doll head that The Munchkin picked out. He has wire in his arms and legs, which is super helpful. This is the first year I’ve done any kind of elf on the shelf, and I wanted to use it as a way to keep John in the boys’ holiday season. Every so often, maybe twice a week, Tank does a “Daddy-related” thing, and then the rest of the time it’s regular “Elf on the Shelf” type stuff. The boys think it’s awesome, which is awesome.

  • Day One: Tank arrives! He climbed up the sliding glass door with a letter that explained his existence, as well as some dog tags in his ruck sack. The dog tags read “With Love From Dad, U.S. ARMY KUWAIT 2014″ I got these from our FRG a while ago, and have been holding onto them for just this reason. The Munchkin loves his “Daddy Necklace” and wants to wear it every so often.
  • Day Two: Tank gave the boys a book from the Dollar Tree that sort of explains Santa, and another letter that updated them on his reports to Santa and Daddy.
  • Day Three: Tank lead a caravan of toys to the boys room to wake them up.
  • Day Four: Tank hung upside down from the ceiling fan. It took me a while to make the fan allow me to position him so he was facing the boys’ room. I turned the fan on and off until Tank was facing the same way, instead of just taking him down and re-positioning him. Lazy.
  • Day Five: Tank rode Rudolph. This was the first one that The Bean found, and he was SO. EXCITED.
  • Day Six: The minions had enough of Tank’s crap, and taped him up in one of the kitchen cabinets. Thank you, Pinterest.
  • Day Seven: Tank got trapped inside my mason mug. Was it the minions again? Maaaaybe!
  • Day Eight: Tank got stumped on a puzzle. (The boys helped him out in the morning.)
  • Day Nine: Tank decided to sleep in. The boys didn’t find him until The Munchkin was putting his coat on, getting ready for school. He marched over to the little bed, said “NO TANK!” Then SLAPPED TANK OUT OF THE BED, sending the elf and bedding flying everywhere, and continued “NOT SLEEPING! IT’S TIME TO GET UP!” I was dying. If that wasn’t enough, The Bean then calmly walked over, and made up the doll bed. So far, this day has been my favorite “reaction” day.
  • Day Ten: Tank decided to deliver his latest package by hang gliding: A Santa/Daddy report update, as well as a picture of him and John, (I had John take a selfie, and then I photoshoped an “elfie” over it) and another photo of John in his office with holiday decorations up. Tank may have taken credit for the decorations.
  • Day Eleven: Tank opened the package that Grandma W sent us the previous day. The nerve! He couldn’t even wait for us all to wake up?! (Those are his feet sticking out of the box. He dove in head first to get the presents.)
  • Day Twelve: Tank tried to go sledding down the stairs railing. This was pretty cute, but The Bean found it while I was still sleeping. Whoops. I heard noises, and found him munching on the candy canes. I guess I didn’t really think that one through…

For day thirteen, I’m taking it kind of easy, and he’s swinging on a toilet paper roll from the ceiling fan. I have Christmas ornaments that he’s supposed to deliver “from Daddy” but ugh I’m too tired tonight to set something cute up. Basically a reinvention of day four it is, then. At least it’s up high so I’ll be awake for when whoever (whomever?) finds it.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why his name is Tank, it’s because sometimes I’m not very creative, and like to play it off like I’m clever…

Hey Google, what does “Panzer” mean?
pan·zer (ˈpanzər) noun

  1. a German armored vehicle, especially a tank used in WWII.

Yeeeahup. (Except I didn’t have to google it. I know what my last name means, even if I married into it…)

What’s your elf doing these days?

PS: I’ll post  the contest winner to my Sassy Steals $50 gift card giveaway tomorrow! In the meantime, I’m going to bed!