Thursday, December 02, 2010

The start of Advent

This past week has been a blur of toddler messes and fights, of Impatient Mommy Yelling, crazy baby business...Jonah 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 Lavella about 12 times (or maybe 25 -- I lost count), and I found him carefully painting the toes of my leather slippers with diaper cream.  Lavella, 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.

I could certainly use a little laugh today.  You too?  Well here you go -- Andrew brought a Thanksgiving project home from school yesterday, and I've kept it close ever since:  "My Thanksgiving Wish.  I wish nobody diyde.  I wish my bruthr did not kick me.  I wish thar was no wars.  I wish animals did not eat people.  I wish blind people did not exist."  I'm pretty sure the last was meant to be "I wish blindNESS did not exist", but I had dissolved into helpless laughter with tears in my eyes by the time I finished reading this yesterday.  I want to laminate it and put it on my wall.

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?


Dani Greer said...

Definitely the "Advents Kranz" having been born in Germany! I may do nothing else except bake cookies, but my ceramic candleholder comes out and lives on the dining room table until New Year's Day. And I do light a candle for each Sunday and we have tea and cookies to feel the spirit of the season in a quiet, contemplative way. With German choir music in the background. I have fish on Christmas Eve, too, it being a fast day in my religious tradition... but that's another story, and maybe one nobody wants to know about. ;) Merry Christmas!

Mom2Zoey said...

Each of the girls made a paper chain and drew on it something Christmas related. We tear off a link of the chain everyday. They love it.
We also read either Christmas or winter themed books before bed every night. ~Alicia