Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Want, Need, Wear, Read

I got a little out of control with presents for my kids last Christmas. So this year, I decided to reign myself in and only buy them 4 presents each (well, kind'll see in a second): something they want, something they need, something they'll wear and something to read

I finished shopping for them on Monday (thanks for all of the sales, Cyber Monday!), and here's a look at what they are getting:

Ella loves to put on shows and has been begging for some puppets, so I thought this would make a great gift for her! Confession: what she REALLY wants is more Paw Patrol stuff, but I refuse to buy anymore of it! I'm a mean mom, I guess. Leaving it to the grandparents to get her that stuff 😉
#YouKnowYourMomWasATeacherWhen... Yes Ella really wanted this! One of her little friends has it, so of course Ella needs it too.
Wear: Rain boots
....because she wants to jump in "muddy puddles," just like Peppa Pig!
Ella has been really into reading her Storybook Bible before bed, and we have read almost all of the stories in it. This book was highly recommended by some friends, so I think it will be a great thing to read every night!

Now clearly an 18 month old can't really say what they want, but Lucas loves anything with wheels and LOVES being outside. So this was an obvious choice for him this year. 
Bless Lucas's heart, he's gotten stuck with all of his sister's old bath toys. And over the years, most of those have gotten moldy (and been thrown away immediately when I see that mold! Yuck!). So this guy needed some new bath toys desperately. I tried to get ones where the reviews specifically said "does not mold!" I also threw in the puddle jumper as part of this, because, water. And he will really need that next summer (plus if we go to the indoor pool at the Y before then)! 
Wear: Romper
I swear, there are no more one-piece rompers after size 18 months! I love these things because they are so dang easy to throw on him in the mornings. I found this one an Amazon, but I am hunting for one or two more to give him!
Lucas is Little Blue Truck OBSESSED right now! We read Little Blue Truck (and Little Blue Truck's Christmas) every. single. night. So we need to add another book to the mix!

If you need more gift ideas for kids of these ages (3.5 years and 18 months), you can check out Ella's Amazon wish list here, and Lucas's here

As for me? I want: healthy kids. Always. I need: a new car. Ha! I can dream, right?! Wear? Ugh no idea...more Lilly stuff I guess?! And read...who has time to read these days, haha. 

Linking up (a day late) with Momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesday...on a Wednesday. Whoops!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving this year, and hope you did, too!

We started our day taking some pictures out front before the kids' clothes got messed up!

My parents had just gotten back form their vacation to New Zealand, so we opened the presents they had brought back while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!

This one was quite a little stinker! He figured out how to climb onto the kitchen table...he did it about 20482 times on Thanksgiving. He also decided to spill the pretzels out everywhere! He is lucky he's so cute! ;)

We had the simplest table ever, mainly because I totally forgot to buy flowers! Whoops. Please notice Ella's candle in the middle there. She made it at preschool and it HAD to be our centerpiece! She was very proud. 

Travis and I made the majority of the food, but his sister helped out a lot when she got off of work (she's a chef)! 

We had:
-deep fried turkey (made by my father-in-law!)
-broccoli salad

Plus dessert! We had SO much food!!

Lucas loved EVERYTHING and ate a ton! Ella, as predicted, only ate a little bit of cornbread. 

After dinner, Ella decided to lead everyone in singing all of her songs from preschool. 

And we took more pictures of everyone!

My mom and I decided to go to Target that night to see if they had any good sales.

They didn't really, but I did get a new coffee maker for 50% off! 

We also hit up the mall the next day and found some good deals there!

After we got back from the mall, Trav and I took the kids to the mountains to pick out our Christmas tree!

Ella wanted to get this big tree! She loved measuring all of the trees with her pole.

They couldn't find our tree (it was SUPER crowded), so we got to go for a ride on one of their tractors to look for it! 

They eventually found it, and we made it back to Charlotte with our tree by 4 PM! A busy day for sure, but so much fun with my little family! 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Lucas William {18 months}

Dear Lucas,

Another six months have flown by yet again! I feel like your first birthday was just yesterday, and we were bringing you home from the hospital like a few weeks ago! Time is just flying by way too quickly...can you promise me you won't get any older for a while?! Pretty please?!

We have your 18 month check up tomorrow, so I'll update your height and weight after that. I have no clue how big you are at this point! You are mostly in 18 month clothes, but some of those are starting to get a little short on you! The longall you are wearing in these pictures is 18-24 months, and its a little big. So I'd say you are in between sizes right now, and gosh is it frustrating getting you dressed some mornings! But you can rock anything, too big or too small, and look super cute in it! 😉 You are still in size 4 diapers but I'm thinking we will go up to size 5s soon.

You receptive language has really taken off over the last few months, and you continue to amaze us with your news tricks. If we ask you to bring us something, 9 times out of 10 you will go get whatever it is and bring it to us. You know Daddy is the remote king around here, so you are always trying to hand the remote to him. And when you want to go outside, no matter what time or the weather, you go get your shoes and chase us around the house, begging us to put them on. 😊 

You LOVE being outside. You could look out the window for HOURS. Last week, we had some trees taken out and you were pretty much mesmerized the entire 8 hours they were here working! You also don't mind getting muddy or dirty one bit either. Such a boy!! Another super boy thing that you LOVE? Watching football with Daddy! It is the cutest thing. You climb right up next to him on the couch and just sit there with him and your snacks. If we say "Touchdown," you say, "GO!" and raise both of your hands up like the refs do when there's a touchdown. 

You're not talking as much as Ella did at this age, but I'm convinced its because you're a boy, and Ella pretty much does all the talking for you (we are working with her on not doing that as much)! 😉 You do say "Mama," "Dada," "Ella" (sounds more like "Aye-yuh"), "go," "some," "shoes," "up," "this," "that," and "baby." You point to anything and everything and say "dis? dis? dat?." You nod your head yes and shake your head no...both are equally hilarious and entertaining to all of us who are watching you! You can also make the animal noises for dogs, snakes, monkeys and cows. 

Speaking of dogs, they are your most favorite thing EVER. You loooove doggies!!!!! Anytime you see one, you make your woof woof sound and get so excited. If there's a dog on tv, you go running up to the tv and point to it excitedly! And I can get you to come to wherever I am in the house if I yell, "Look Lucas! A doggie!" 

You are constantly on the move and do not like to be constrained. I put you in the stroller the other day and you just about lost your mind. The only exception to the stroller-hating is if you are in it if I am running with you in the BOB (you love to wave at the cars!) or if we walk up to the park. You love to run, jump, climb...and give me a heart-attack at playgrounds everywhere when you climb up somewhere super high and then dangle over the edge! You have absolutely no fear, and when you do fall down (which is often because you're a crazy little daredevil!), you cry for .2 seconds before you're up and back at it! 

You have recently discovered Elmo and Mickey Mouse, and you are obsessed with both of them. If you see them anywhere, you start yelling and pointing! You just discovered Elmo is on some of your diapers, so every diaper change now results in you waving the stack of diapers around, trying to pick out the ones with Elmo. Ella has also gotten you hooked on Paw Patrol (UGHHHH) and I'm hoping your obsession is not as intense or long-lasting as hers is. I think she's brainwashed you ;) 
You still enjoy books like no tomorrow, but we can only give you board books because you've ripped up quite a few paperbacks. Whoops! We read Dear Zoo and Little Blue Truck just about every night. You can't get enough of those 2 books right now! 

You continue to eat and sleep like a champ! I'm forever thankful that we called that sleep consultant back in money I've ever spent! As for eating...well, you are a boy. You are constantly going to the fridge and/or the pantry, grabbing stuff out of it, and asking us to open it for you. It's not rare to see you walking around the house with the entire container of animal crackers. Since Ella doesn't eat anything unless its fruit snacks or mac & cheese, I'm enjoying your big appetite for gladly eat all of the food she doesn't want! 

Sweetest joy boy, I can't believe we are halfway through your second year already!!! You are my best little guy and I couldn't ask for a sweeter, happier boy than you! We love you more than you know! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts

Since Ella has been in preschool 3 days a week this fall, we haven't had nearly as much time to do fun seasonal stuff like we did this past summer! But I've been really trying to get out some of my fall/Thanksgiving themed stuff for her to work on after her naps! 

Since Thanksgiving is only a week away (HOW?!), I thought I'd share a few fun things we've been working on!

Turkey Initial Sound Match Up

You can actually buy this game on Teachers Pay Teachers here...but I was too poor when I was teaching for that, so I made my own version! I used turkey cut-outs that I already had (these), and then used pictures from my Words Their Way books (here...scroll all the way to the end of the document!) and glued them on paper I had cut out in a feather shape. 

I used to have this at an independent center, so to keep things simple, I chose 4 letters (sounds that had already been introduced at this point in our kindergarten year) instead of the whole alphabet: S, P, M and D.

Pipe Cleaner Turkey

I can't believe I couldn't find anything like this on the whole internet! Its super easy.

You will need:
-Construction paper: brown, red, orange and yellow
-Pipe cleaner(s) (I only needed one)
-Tracers (optional)
-pencil, glue and scissors

First we traced and cut out all of the shapes we needed: 
-large circle for the body
-large circle again (cut in half for the wings)
-small circle for the head
-2 feet
-4 feathers

Glue the beak and wattle on the small circle. Draw it's eyes with a black marker.

Glue feathers and wings onto the back of the large circle.

Using a pencil, roll each pipe cleaner piece into a spiral.

And attach on head, body and feet!

We chose to spray a little water to make the colors run!

What's The Missing Letter? Game

This is another one I couldn't find anywhere on the internet! 
Just make copies of a corn template....put a letter on each husk, and then a correlating letter on the corn. For example: put A and C on the husk, and then put B on the corn. The kids' job is to figure out which piece of corn goes in the middle of the letters on the husks. 

Construction Paper Turkey

The most similar thing to this that I could find is this paper plate turkey. Pretty much the same thing here, except we cut out a large paper circle instead of using a paper plate!

And last but certainly not least, Pilgrim Hats!

For the bonnet, trace a large uni-boob (don't you think that's what it looks like?!) shape out of a large piece of construction paper (I taped 2 pieces of regular sized pieces of construction paper together).

Fold the bottom up about 2 inches. 

Staple in the back.

Punch holes on the corners and tie around your child's head!

For the boy's hat...

Trace a hat shape on a large piece of black construction paper (again, I taped 2 pieces of regular size construction paper together).

Trace a trapezoid shape onto a piece of white paper. Glue onto the hat shape.

Cut a black square, and glue on top of the white trapezoid.

Glue a square piece of aluminum foil onto the black square.

Using a long strip of black paper for the back, bribe your child to hold still by offering them lots of snacks while you measure their head. Probably wait to take it off of their head before you staple it together ;) 

And voila! A pilgrim hat that your toddler will not keep on their head! :)

Happy Thanksgiving crafting, friends!!