The Advent Activity Calendar: Year 5

by katherine on December 2, 2016

This marks our fifth year of the Advent Activity Calendar. I love the tradition this has created. Rylee remembers it now and has asked for it for the last 2 years. Reese isn’t there yet, but when she got home from daycare last night and saw it all set up, she was super excited. And Lincoln? Well, as with any third born, he’s still just along for the ride at this point.

My plan was to get it all set up after the kids went to bed on the night of November 30, so that when they woke up December 1 it would be waiting for them. Alas, in true “World’s OKAYest Mom” fashion, it didn’t happen like that. But I DID manage to get it set up during my lunch break yesterday (working from home has such great perks), so it was waiting for them when they got home from school. On December first! So still a win in my book!


Being that this is the 5th year we’ve done this, I tried to mix in some new activities along with the standard favorites. I’m marking the new ones with a * in my list below.

Here’s the list of what we’re doing this year:

December 1: Make beaded candy canes. – Think pipe cleaners and plastic beads.*
December 2: Reindeer Games – Play pin the nose on the reindeer – a game kit I found at JoAnne Fabrics.*
December 3: Deck the halls!
December 4: Go shopping for the local food pantry. – Every year the elementary school does a food drive for our little community. I give each kiddo $10 to buy food.
December 5: Do you wanna build a snowman? – Decorate bedroom doors like snowmen.
December 6: Elf Yourself! – use a photo of your face/head and create a body/hat/etc to look like an elf*
December 7: Gingerbread Dice Game
December 8: Melt Snowflakes – remember those little plastic beads you melted with an iron when you were younger? Those.*
December 9: Giving Tree – choose a tag off the giving tree and shop for it
December 10: SANTA project shopping – SANTA stands for Sharing Among Neighbors Toy Appeal – another local community project. Each kiddo gets $10 to buy various stocking stuffers to donate to the program.
December 11: Go get a Christmas tree!
December 12: Decorate the Christmas tree
December 13: Make popsicle stick trees*
December 14: Winter activity book – whatever holiday themed activity book(s) I can find in the Dollar Spot at Target.
December 15: Preschool Christmas program!
December 16: Paint snowflakes – big wooden snowflakes I picked up at JoAnne’s.*
December 17: Family Christmas movie night!
December 18: Family baking day
December 19: Wrap Teacher gifts
December 20: Decorate a gingerbread family
December 21: Eat snowman pancakes
December 22: Read Christmas books by the fire with hot cocoa – we get a new Christmas book (or two) every year
December 23: Go look at Christmas lights
December 24: Write a letter or draw a picture for Santa
December 25: Time to celebrate!

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Lincoln is TWO!

by katherine on October 12, 2016

Lincoln,

You’re TWO YEARS OLD little man! Holy moly you are so much fun. I’d say that I miss the baby days, and how are you already two, and what happened to my baby, etc. etc. But can I tell you a secret? I LOVE that we’re getting out of the baby stages. You turned two a couple of weeks ago now, and earlier this week you had your 2-year well check. Your birthday was a good one. The gathering was smaller than the usual crew we have, but it was kind of nice to have it that way. We had brunch and cupcakes with the family, then that night for dinner we had spaghetti… your favorite! Your well-check appointment consisted of you not wanting to put on that super cute tiny gown and being extremely skeptical of your pediatrician. I’m actually going to count that as a win, because it means you’re healthy enough you don’t see her very often.

Here’s a recap of your life at two.

The Stats: 34.37″ – 57th percentile, 27 lbs 6 oz – 42nd percentile… Still kind of a little peanut, but gaining in the height department.

Likes: Your sisters, anything your sisters are doing, spaghetti, eating cereal with milk and a spoon, reading books, pretending to vacuum, playing with cars, helping take out the recycle, helping unload the dishwasher, BIG TRUCKS and buses and tractors and dump trucks and garbage trucks (sensing a theme here?), dancing, your Papa, playing pretend.

Dislikes: Getting your hair cut, being told no, being in the car for more than an hour (that road trip to Wyoming may be to blame for that one).

Food: Your eating habits are kind of annoying actually. You can like something one day, then hate it the next. You’re especially hit and miss with veggies. You went a few months without eating black beans or refried beans, and now you love them both again. You don’t really like any meat unless it’s ground beef, ground turkey, or chicken nuggets. You still don’t really like to drink milk… unless it’s flavored by the froot loops you just ate. You love any kind of snack. You LOVE spaghetti. Like… you eat disgusting amounts of it. No seriously, we have to cut you off after the 3rd helping every time we eat it.

Movement: Watching you jump is adorable and hilarious at the same time. You’ve just figured out that you can climb up onto the bar stools in the kitchen. You love climbing into your own booster at the dinner table. You do everything you can to keep up with your sisters. You’re still a bit clumsy though. You have had the most bumps and bruises. After 8 years of parenting, you were the reason we made our first trip to urgent care! It was because you jumped of the bottom step of Auntie Kelli’s stairs and slipped on her hardwood floor. We thought you bit all the way through your lip.

Talking: I LOVE listening to you talk. You speak in sentences, but typically only your dad, sisters or I know what it is you’re saying. Your favorite phrases are “I got it!” when something falls on the floor, “Mama, all done work?” any timeI come out of my room during my workday, “Daddy, all done too?” when you’re trying to figure out if everyone is done eating dinner so you can get down from the table, “No thank you” when you don’t want to do something, “Love you too” sometimes even when nobody says I love you first and it’s often paired with a nice big hug.

Sleep: You are such a good sleeper! You go down, typically with no issues every night about 8:30. Probably later than you should given your age, but life is busy and sometimes we don’t even eat dinner until 7:30. You wake up each morning by 6:15 and you still nap for at least 2 hours a day, sometimes more. You’re still in your crib and I intend to keep it that way for as long as humanly possible.

You have such a fun personality. And you’re so chill. You’re such a character and you love messing with people. Sometimes you’re a bit shy to start out in larger groups or new situations, but you quickly warm up. You have an infectious laugh.

You sir, are one of my favorite people on this planet.

I love you,
Mom



Always trying to be like your sisters. No, I don’t let you actually ride like this when we’re driving. You’re still in a 5-point harness little buddy.

These trains at Grandad’s house kept you entertained for hours last week.

I love your blond hair.

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It’s FriYay! – Dante Edition

by katherine on September 30, 2016

Hi. Hello. It’s been a busy couple of weeks! Last weekend we had non-stop plans with family and friends. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Awesome things from this week:

1. Last Friday night we had friends over for dinner that we haven’t hung out with in a while. It was fun to catch up with them! Good food, good wine, good friends – great night! I was up past midnight, which I never am. I was SO tired Saturday morning!

2. Saturday morning our circus loaded up in the car and headed to K2′s house so the rest of the fam could meet her BABIES! At long last! My sister had twin girls a few months back, and they’ve had a long road in NICU. But they’re HOME! And they’re HEALTHY! And we were SO excited to be able to have the cousins meet. Reese was so sweet, she sang to them when they got fussy. One not awesome thing to add: Lincoln decided it’d be fun to jump off the bottom of their stairs onto hardwood floors. He cut his lip so bad we thought he bit through it. Cue our first trip to urgent care! He was fine. No stitches necessary. Just a gnarly fat lip for a day or so.

3. Saturday night we went over to some friends’ house for dinner! The kiddos all played like maniacs. They have stairs too, so it gave me a mild heart attack again with Lincoln.

4. Sunday morning the circus headed to church! My nieces were baptized that morning and I’m officially a god mother!

5. Post-baptism get together back at K2′s house with lots of family and good food.

6. We got home Sunday afternoon and every single one of us passed out for a couple of hours! The weekend wrapped up with a super easy dinner, a family movie and some popcorn!

7. Monday I got to take Dante to the vet. It was time for his rabies vaccine and his normal check up. 10 years old, and other than some arthritis in his leg, he’s super healthy! 74.2 lbs. His steel blue eyes have turned a bit cloudy and I was expecting to hear that it was cataracts. I has so happy to hear that the cloudiness is normal in aging dogs and his eyes are actually perfect!

8. Rylee had her first soccer game of the season on Tuesday night. They won 1-0! She had some serious hustle. It’s so fun to watch her play a sport when she actually tries. Homegirl is FAST.

Photos from this week:

Lip in question… totally fine by the time we saw the doctor at urgent care. Of course.

I actually think this one is from last week, but it’s too funny not to post it. Lincoln got his dinner taken away for feeding food to Dante while we were eating. That’s a no-no. He spent the entire rest of our meal side-eyeing the dog. It was hilarious.

We made dessert to take to our friends’ house on Saturday. Reese has happy to help.

Yesterday was national coffee day.

Lincoln and I had some alone time earlier this week while everyone else was at Ry’s practice. I love it when I get one-on-one time with my kiddos.

Tried to get a pic of Lincoln, Dante and me. That worked out well. At least Lincoln thought it was funny!

Pretty boy Dante.

Things I’m looking forward to next week…

1. Lincoln’s birthday is tomorrow!! TWO! Family brunch to celebrate in the morning.

2. I need to do a final fit test over the weekend. My fitness challenge group ends today, so now I need to compare my results and track my progress!

3. I have some ideas floating around in my head for sprucing up this space… hoping I get around to it next week!

Oh and I still haven’t made it to Costco. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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It’s FriYay! – Lame Photo Edition

September 16, 2016

Let’s be real here… that will probably not be the only time I ever need to use that as the title. Meh. Chock it up to another point for the world’s okayest mom. Awesome things from this week… 1. I totally killed it on the workouts this week. 2. I’m thanking my past self for […]

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It’s FriYAY! – Bye, Bye Summer Edition

September 9, 2016

Ok so let’s see here. Last I left off on this FriYay thing it was early July. I had a good run. Basically? We were too busy have fun all summer. We had an awesome summer, with some really great adventures and a lot of family time. We hit the coast for a few days, […]

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Reese Said What!? – Stinky Linky Edition

August 19, 2016

On our road trip last week, I turned around to the back seat to take off Lincoln’s sandals for the next stretch of road. I had no idea he had such stinky feet! The second I removed the sandals the car filled with smelly-boy-feet-stink. Andy and I looked at each other, kinda laughing he rolled down […]

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Pro Tip on Feeding Babies

August 11, 2016

I’ve been texting with some mom-friends this week about the challenges of breastfeeding and pumping and the guilt and resentment and “OH MY GOSH WHY AM I NOT MAKING MORE MILK I AM SO SICK OF THIS” of it all. After 3 kiddos, I’ve been there done that. Ironically enough, world breastfeeding week just wrapped […]

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Reese Said What? – FaceTime Edition

August 7, 2016

I’ve been in Ft. Worth for work over this weekend and was able to FaceTime with the girls Saturday night when they were spending the night at my sister’s house.  Me: “you being good for auntie?” Reese: “yep.” Me: “what’s your sister doing?” Reese: “Ry, come here! I’m facing time mom!” Facing time. I’m still […]

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Reese Said What!? – 4 year old edition

July 20, 2016

Yesterday Reese turned 4. Hard to believe, but I guess that’s how time and math work. We had a pretty low key day because I had a softball game that night so her family party is tomorrow night. The first thing she said when she woke up yesterday was, “IT’S MY BIRTHDAAAYYYY!” {Seriously, how a […]

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It’s FriYay! – Pacific North WET Edition

July 8, 2016

It was a short work week… why do short weeks always screw with me so badly!? I can’t believe it’s Friday. If you remember last week, I was looking forward to planning our first camping trip as a family of 5! But now it’s raining and it’s supposed to continue all weekend. So we’re not […]

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