Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Advent Calendar


Last year I tried to do an Advent calendar with Mason, but, well... it didn't quite work out. I didn't have any time devote to it with two new-ish babies. This year, while my time is still not in abundance, I have come up with some activities for us to do. Simple activities. Things I will be able to do with the kids since I am mostly alone with them this time of the year. I found this article spot on when it comes to holidays with little kids.

"Lower your expectations for what is humanly possible in one day. Now think about how many toddlers you have and lower them again."

Words of wisdom, my friends. That advice is good year round, not only during the holidays. Cleaning the house...meals...vacations...it can apply to so much.
So after lowering my expectations a total of five times (I lowered an extra time since it is basketball season and we see very little of my husband), here are the activities I settled on. 

1. Go buy a tree.
2. Decorate the tree.
3. Send out Christmas cards.
4. Donate toys.*
5. Make paper snow flakes.
6. Go Christmas shopping.
7. Wrap gifts.
8. Decorate Christmas morning t-shirts.**
9. Make hot chocolate.
10. Color Christmas pictures and send them to people.
11. Make candy cane ornaments.
12. Make homeless care packages.
13. Make paper plate snow man.
14. Read a new Christmas book.
15. Drive around town and look at Christmas lights.***
16. Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn.
17. Sing Christmas songs together.

18. Make button Christmas trees.
19. Bake Christmas cookies.
20. Our "Christmas morning".

* We have already purchased them, all we have to do is drop them off. And of course talk about what we are doing and why.
** Each Christmas morning at my parents' house we have a dress code. Last year was head to toe patterned outfits, year before was ugly Christmas sweaters, this year is DIY Christmas t-shirts.
*** This may just be Tyler and Mason, the girls hate riding in the car and bedtime is shortly after dark.

There are only 20 things on the list because I don't want to do activities in addition to the travel we will do to visit family and celebrate. That would be too stressful and just unnecessary. As the kids get older, we hope to incorporate a lot more service activities. For now, we just have a couple that are easier to understand.

Do you do an Advent calendar? What does yours look like? Any creative activity ideas for me for next year?


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happenings


Today I will be making a pie or two for the first of our three Thanksgiving celebrations. We went to the grocery store yesterday and you'd think the holiday was today as busy as it was. I've never had to wait in line at that store for more than a minute or two. The kids were ready to get out of there by the time we checked out. Of course it didn't help that I forgot my wallet at home after filling a cart, which meant we had to go out to the car, take off winter coats, get strapped in, drive home, return, get out of the car, winter coats back on, go in, pay.. let's just say I was exhausted by day's end.


The strong emotions associated with toddler-hood have made their grand appearance with the youngsters in our family. Only a couple of meltdowns, but lots of flopping when things don't go the right way. Poor Flopsy and Mopsy, don't even know this is just the beginning of figuring out the inner workings of emotions. We'll help them navigate the way.


We also moved. Yes that is right. Again. But for the first time in our married lives we moved to a different house within the same town. While the big house was amazing and beautiful and well, big, it  was just TOO big. We looked around for a while and were able to find something cheaper to rent, smaller to heat, and best of all easier to clean. Seriously, hard wood and tile floors are pretty and eco-friendly and all that jazz.. but I'm so happy to have carpet and linoleum again. Ha! We aren't quite finished moving everything over to our new house yet, but when we get things looking decent here I will share some pictures of our home for now. We probably won't unpack everything, because, well we love to move obviously. It seems to be our hobby.



Now you know a couple reasons I've been somewhat absent here. We also over the last week and half have passed around a tummy bug, but I think that is now behind us, too. Hoping to get back at it now that I have to spend less time dusting and sweeping. So see you soon, my friends.