Counting down to Christmas

Since December 1 the kids have been receiving nightly visits from Billy the Elf. It has been a blast! Billy is not an elf on the shelf. In fact, the kids never see him. Elves are far too busy making toys to hang out on our shelf, at least in my opinion! Billy brings us an activity, craft, or treat every day that we can enjoy together. We’ve made gingerbread trees, snowman faces on paper plates, foam gingerbread men, pipe cleaner candy canes, ornaments for the tree… Well you get the point! The elf also changes our ‘days til Christmas’ board so the new number is showing every morning.
I have LOVED doing this with the kids. I love how Nick is recognizing the numbers, how Zoey’s fine motor skills have improved putting the perler beads on the pipe cleaners, how Alex is starting to get an understanding for the concept of time… But most of all, I love hanging out and doing Christmas activities with the kids. I’m looking forward to Christmas Eve, when Billy leaves them pjs and dvds so we can have a pj party and green and red pancakes for supper.
Christmas is magical.
From our home to yours, I hope the magic of the season finds you and brings you the joy its bringing us ❤
Love hugs and more to come later!
Lynn

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Christmas Traditions

Its December!! And with that comes Christmas! I love Christmas. The togetherness, family, lights, traditions. This year is a little different for us then most years since we are living close to my family which means we won’t be spending the holidays alone, like we usually do. Which is going to be absolutely fantastic!
Last year I introduced the concept of Billy the Elf to my kids. Billy isn’t an elf on the shelf. Elves are too busy making toys to hang out at our house all day everyday. Billy is an elf who pops over every night while the kids sleep to leave them a Christmas activity for us to do together.
Of course that means that I spend November cruising Pinterest for a bunch of Christmas crafts and activities and then go through our craft supplies to make sure we have what we need. Our elf leaves everything we need to do a craft or activity in our ‘elf bag’ which is just a crocheted bag that I made and he changes the number on our countdown to Christmas board. Sometimes, when he has time, he leaves a letter for the kids.
I love making memories and having traditions for the kids to grow up with! I can’t wait to enjoy the holiday season with them! Our elf bag is just one of our many traditions. What are some of yours?

Love, hugs and more to come later!
Lynn

A New Adventure

Today marked the beginning of a new adventure in our chaotic house. Hubs, after 8.5 months of being on parental with us, went back to work.

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To say my day was exhausting, would be an understatement. It was a long, chaotic, exhausting, messy, hilarious, fun, adventurous kind of day.

It got off on a good foot. I got the boys eating breakfast (Zoey was still sleeping) and I sat down with a coffee. It was good. About halfway through my coffee Zoey woke up. And we had a poo-splosion on our hands. I got her cleaned up and left her in a diaper to play on the floor for a couple minutes while I went and got some clothes for her. While I was upstairs grabbing some clothes she scratched her eczema to the point of bleeding. I had her in a yellow cloth diaper, the eczema is on her upper thigh. The blood was on her diaper. I freaked out a little. I got her into a clean diaper, cleaned her up and put pants on her. Now she can’t scratch herself open. Mommy win. Until I turned towards the dining room table…

At the dining room table, Alex and Nick were enjoying a bowl of Cheerios. Well, Alex was enjoying it. Nick was covered. From head to toe. He decided it was a good idea to pour his bowl of milk and cereal over his head. Why? I don’t know. I wish I knew. I wish I knew what in the world he was thinking and why it seemed like a good idea to wear his breakfast. I decided I wasn’t bathing him at that moment. If I put him in the tub, Alex and Zoey will want a bath and I had never bathed all three of them at the same time on my own. So I washed him down with a cloth and got him dressed.

About this time I realized I hadn’t finished my coffee. So I went back to it. I took a big mouthful. Of. Iced. Cold. Coffee. Gross. Disgusting. At about this time I also realized I needed to take a 30 second potty break. After checking on the kids, Zoey was playing quietly on the floor and Alex and Nick were quietly playing trains. Without saying a word, I sneaked into the bathroom. No sooner did I sit down to pee when Nick let out a blood curdling scream followed by Zoey crying hysterically. Alex decided that sitting on Nick’s head would be a fun game. And Zoey was crying because Nick was screaming. And through it all Alex was laughing like a deranged maniac. I looked at the clock. It wasn’t even 10 am yet.

At this point I decided to put one of the kids cd’s on and have a crazy dance party in the living room followed by 30 minutes of TV time to save my sanity. It worked. I drank another 1/2 cup of coffee.

From there we made it through lunch without incident although shortly after lunch the kids were starting to get restless again. This is where one of my ‘great ideas’ came in. I decided we could make some goop. (1 cup cornstarch, 1/2 water and some paint, since I didn’t have any food coloring) It entertained the boys for an hour and a half. It was amazing.

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Of course, I didn’t stop to think about what the clean up was going to be like. Now the boys needed baths. So, for the first time ever, I bathed all three kids, at the same time, all on my own. And then I needed to clean the dining room. But, between the time spent playing with the goop, the time spent bathing, and the time spent cleaning up it led us up to Zoey’s nap time and the boys TV time which I was able to spend lying on the couch until Hubs got home from work and I needed to go make supper.

I survived day one of Hubs being back at work. Only slightly frazzled. Tomorrow is a new adventure, as for tonight… I am going to bed early.

Love, hugs and more to come later!
Lynn

I honestly thought I published this back on Monday when I wrote it. I guess I didn’t. Oops. 

Playing Board Games

For Christmas, we bought Alex his first board game. We went with Hungry Hungry Hippos, thinking it was a good place to start understanding the structure of a game and Nick would be able to play as well and it wouldn’t be a battle of small pieces, dice, cards and all those other fun things that come with most board games. It was the best thing we decided to get him.

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Now, when you buy Hungry Hungry Hippos, it comes with a yellow marble. Which it never did when I was a child. But I like it. It’s an easy way to see who wins each round without trying to count everyone’s marbles. Which is easy to do with a 3 yr old, but not so easy with an almost 2 yr old who isn’t really patient.

Playing such a simple game as taught the kids so many things that I am glad for. Alex used to get mad if we played a few rounds and he didn’t win. Now he knows that we can be happy for the person who does win, as long as we have fun it doesn’t matter who wins or loses. Alex and Nick always want to play the same color hippo. Now they are understanding how to take turns with the different colored hippos. They have learned that after each round we need to collect all the marbles in the bowl before we can start again. Throwing them around the house, or trying to hide them in your pocket, means that we can’t play anymore.

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Anytime I pull the game out to play, the kids are always excited to see it. They are learning that getting upset when it’s time to put it away doesn’t get it brought back out. They know that they can’t push each other to try and get to the color they want. They can’t try and pull the game out of my hands. It all seems so simple, but it makes me so proud to see them growing.

Love, Hugs and more to come later,

Lynn

You know it’s going to be a good day when….

Once a week, a couple ladies and I get together for coffee night. Last night we decided that wine night was a better idea. It was. Of course, after almost 3 glasses of wine, I was feeling pretty good. 

When I got home last night, Hubs agreed to get up with the kids through the night since I was obviously in no shape to get up with them, assuming I even heard them. 

The kids had a pretty good night. Zoey was up once (which for how she has been teething is good) And Nick was only up twice (which based on how he has been sleeping lately, is awesome) 

I slept through them. I didn’t hear them, at all. It was the best sleep I have had in a long time. I woke up at 6 this morning with the kids feeling good. I told Hubs that he should go back to bed and I would stay up with the kids. After I got the kids all settled and playing, I decided that I was going to have a cup of coffee. 

Having a cup of coffee in the morning while all three kids are up and Hubs is sleeping is impossible. If anything I get about half the cup before I get busy with the kids and then when I get back to my coffee it’s cold. Since I know this is going to happen, I just don’t care. I pour the coffee knowing I am likely only going to get to enjoy half of it. 

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But this morning wasn’t like that. This morning I poured my coffee, sat down, turned on the computer and drank my coffee while catching up on some reading. With no interruptions. The kids all played together. I drank a whole cup of coffee. While it was hot. 

And that is how I know today is going to be a good day. 

Love, Hugs and more to come later!
Lynn

Wine Night!

Tonight is wine night. I am excited. Tomorrow is weigh in. I am not excited. But here are a couple awesome pictures the wonderful T did for my family not long ago. I love them and wanted to share how adorable my kids are. Also I haven’t had anytime to write anything and I don’t want anyone to think I am still in the wonky frame of mind I was in with my last post. I shook that pretty quick thanks to some awesome friends!

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Lots of pictures I know. My kids are my pride and joy. As cliche as that sounds. And I am sure all parents out there feel the same way I do! Nick still isn’t sleeping right. Alex is picking up on everyone being tired and stressed. And Zoey’s teething. Looking at their pictures helps me remember that time goes fast. I am trying hard to enjoy them everyday, but, my goodness, cranky kids are difficult! Happy Monday!

Love, hugs and more to come later!
Lynn

There Is No Place Like Home For The Holidays

I am really home sick today. I don’t really know why. It might have something to do with my Facebook feed being filled with friends who are going to see their parents. I miss my Mom and Dad. And I know the kids do too. Which makes it that much harder. 

I find it adorable when the kids want to go visit their Nana and Papa. I share the stories of them trying to pack a bag and put their shoes on, of them telling me they are sailing the ‘potion’ to visit Nana and Papa, or trying to rescue them from pictures. I do it with a smile, loving how close my kids are to my family even though we are so far away. 

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But honestly, it makes me want to sit down and cry. 

Maybe I am feeling a melancholy because of the serious lack of sleep I have been experiencing. I don’t know. I do know that right now I am wishing with all my heart I could take my kids home to my parents for Christmas next month. But, it’s not feasible. Christmas is still going to be great, being here with Hubs, the kids, and a group of great friends. But, there is nothing like being around extended family, sharing in the love and spirit of Christmas. 

I have been working on crocheting a blanket for my Mom for Christmas. I will share it here when I am all done. (Mom doesn’t follow my blog, I chose not to share it with many people in my real life.. it enables me to be more open and honest when I am writing) 

Once I am done Mom’s blanket I am going to get started on crocheting the kids new advent calendar. I decided to do something different with them this year and I am going to have an activity/craft for each day from Dec 2 until Christmas eve. I am throwing my all into Christmas this year to make it as awesome for the kids and us as I can to fill that void that family normally fills. 

I am truly counting myself blessed and lucky right now to have friends like K and T (Both of whom follow this blog) So to them, I want to say: Thank you both. Thank you and your families for always being there for me. The two of you have been the constants there for me through everything I have been going through. Supporting, encouraging, helping, listening, laughing. I don’t know if I could do this without you guys. I am truly blessed to have the two of you to always depend on through everything. Thank you guys for being the family my kids are missing out on! 

Love, Hugs and more to come later!
Lynn