Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Christmas Countdown has begun

This past week has been a blur of toddler messes and fights, of Impatient Mommy Yelling, crazy baby business...Billy learned to open the front door, flush the toilet, and open the child-proof locks on the cabinet doors.  On Tuesday I found him standing in front of the kitchen sink, having just sprayed his shirt with bleach, and holding a can of Raid.  No less than 10 minutes later, I discovered him coloring wildly on the wall with a ballpoint pen, and then found a large patch of colorful marker art on the rug in the front room. 

Today, he has dumped a bowl of cereal (with milk) (of course), pounded the heck out of Daisy about 12 times (or maybe 25 -- I lost count), and I found him carefully painting the toes of my leather slippers with diaper cream.  Daisy, for her part, has been working on a project called "coloring the piano keys with pen", and "drawing on Mommy's sheet music".  Today she painted the kitchen counter with red paint (caught this one early enough to clean up!), and flipped the coffee table over on a whim.  This has been one rockstar of a week thus far.  I need a little lie down just thinking about it.

But look!  Two finished Christmas gifts!!

A hat for my dad.  If it fits this soccer ball, it'll fit my dad.  He's got a pretty big head, and the 2x2 rib is stretchy enough that it will (hopefully) fit him in a snug-but-comfortable way.  I'm sure he'll let me know.


Hat and mitten set for my 2-year-old nephew.


My local yarn shop was out of the original color used for the hat and most of the mittens, but I found a complimentary navy in the same yarn, and I actually kind of like how it looks.  Quirky, but not too clashy, I think.

Every year, I've wanted to make a special advent calendar for my children, but each year instead, we've just bought the chocolate ones from the store, because I can't seem to pull it together in time.  They love it, of course, but I've always felt like there could be something better... This year, I found this adorable sticky-note Advent at Giver's Log, and knew that, for this year, I had found my answer.

I had to play around with the size of the PDF a little and ultimately trim my sticky notes down just a bit, but the fussiness was totally worth it, and MUCH less time consuming than any of my other supposed plans.

I printed this out twice so that, when we take a sticky-note off the kitchen blackboard each morning, I can put the note on each of my boy's sandwich containers, as a special little reminder of the Christmas Countdown in their lunches at school. I think I'm going to add a little treat to their lunches every day too, starting tomorrow (only because it hadn't occurred to me until just now), as part of the Advent fun, so that they won't miss the whole "popping out chocolate" part of the other kind of calendar they've had in years past.

When we were in Germany, I had always wanted to buy an Advent wreathe, lighting one new candle each week.  I could probably find one here, or make one myself, but I don't know if I'll manage to get it done (once again) this year.

What are some special things that you do for Advent?

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