Hey there hey! Remember me?!?
I don’t blame you. I barely even remember how to blog anymore… Clearly.
Anyway, I’m here now… It’s Friday… And if this picture isn’t a good enough reason to take to the interwebs again, I don’t know what is…
That’s my precious bumble bee in pink boots and my nephew – in case you thought Sam shrunk or something. 😉 (Sadly, I did’t get a great picture of my little Viking/Knight.)
We had a GREAT Halloween this week – the weather was perfect, we handed out over 2000 pieces of candy, and we had a house full of wild kids and people we love for our annual chili and baked potato dinner. I’m not a big fan of Halloween in theory, but it has really moving up the ranks to become one of my favorite holidays since I’ve had kids. I’ve even gotten into the spirit enough to let Jeff and Sam change most of our lightbulbs to orange and cover everything in spider webs. Sam LOVED it. (You better believe I had those things down on November 1st, but still, it was fun while it lasted.) To be honest, we’re all still kind-of recovering from “Halloween Hangovers,” but it was a worth it. How was Halloween for you? Are you recovered yet?
I’m of the “Thanksgiving before Christmas” camp mostly, so we will hold off on putting up a tree etc. until after we feast on turkey, but my mind is definitely moving into Christmas planning mode. With school programs, work parties, some travel, and lots of fun local activities to do, it’s amazing how quickly the holiday season fills up. I also happen to LOVE shopping for gifts, so I’ve been making my list and checking it twice to make sure I’m ready for upcoming sales etc.
Speaking of gifts, I’m a little torn about “big” gifts for the kids this year. We’ve never really done lists for Santa, and we only do three gifts (plus some books and a stocking), but I like to have at least one thing with some WOW-factor to it when they walk into the living room on Christmas morning. I thought about Razor scooters because some of the kids in our neighborhood have them and it seems like something they might be able to do together… But there are so many choices, and who knows how much use they would really get. Anyone have one? Are they safe? Lame?
I’ve also considered getting them Kindle Fire Kids Editions since Sam’s starting to read some (yay), and it would be a nice alternative to the iPad on car trips etc. But, again, I don’t know… Do we really need another screen in our lives? Anyone have experience with these? Do your kids use it a lot? Would Nora like it too?!?!
Really, Sam just wants ALL the Pokemon (insert eye roll), and I’d like to get Nora an amazing dollhouse (like this one from Sam’s Club) so that I can play with it… Oh, decisions decisions!
Do you know what you’re getting your kids yet? Give me all your best ideas for 2.5 and 6 year olds!! (See what my kids have gotten in years’ passed here and here.)
And since we’re talking about Christmas, Advent starts in less than a month. Does your family do anything special to countdown?!? We’ve done all kinds of things in the past (book countdowns, activity countdowns, nothing at all), but I think I’m going to stick to a simple Jesus Storybook Advent reading plan with our Jesse Tree this year, AND I also really want to get each kid a special “Advent calendar” – probably this Lego City one for Sam, and this one by Playmobile for Nora – just for fun. I hear these sell out fast, so I’m planning to order this weekend. What do you typically do for Advent? (Need ideas? Check out my “Lazy Mom’s Guide to Christmas & Advent” from last year.)
And, last but certainly not least, Jeff and I are sneaking away for a long weekend in New York City together later this month. I am SO excited!!! This is technically a 10 year anniversary trip (our anniversary was in June), and it’s the first time we’ve done anything like this since Sam was born. It feels kind-of luxurious and splurge-ish, but I also know time away like this is SO good for us and important… (A HUGE thanks goes out to both sets of grandparents for making it possible!)
I can’t wait! We’ve both been to New York before, but never together, so this will be really fun and special. We’re staying in Queens, and we have tickets to see Book of Mormon. Otherwise, our schedule is pretty wide open. I’m hoping some Christmas decorations will be up already, but the holiday crowds won’t be too bad yet (we’re going before the tree at Rockefeller is lit up and before the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes starts). Fingers crossed. What are your favorite things to do with three days in the city?!? Has anyone been to Winter Village at Bryant Park? Please share all your tips!! Also, and this is very important… What should I wear?!?! I think I need a nice black coat. Right?
Ok. So, I blogged again.
I still love you all! I hope you haven’t (totally) given up on me!
P.S. I read Little Fires Everywhere, Young Jane Young, Reading People, and The Five Second Rule in October. I recommend them all!! (I have Turtles All the Way Down on hold at the library to be picked up today. John Green’s interview on Fresh Air totally hooked me. I kind of love him now.) I also binge-listened to the Dirty John Podcast and told all my friends about it.
Oh, and I went to Nest Fest and MET ANNE BOGEL!! Nbd. 😉
Ok. I think we’re, for real, caught up now.
We have a kindle fire, but I mostly just focus on putting kids books on it than games. The kids play occasionally with it, but if you already have the iPad…..its kinda overkill.
4yr old girl gifts are usually a play kitchen, trike, doll house etc. Nora might like a scooter that has two wheels in the back, for better stability. Regular razor scooters are nice with how compact and easy to travel with.
6byr old boys can be the start of science STEM kits. Easy one off activities. They vary from very cheap to mid range. Otherwise, legos are usually a safe bet.
Have so much fun in NYC! A nice black coat is perfect, paired with tall boots or booties – you’ll blend right in. 🙂
Bevin Irby says
We had a smaller dollhouse (one from Hape) and I found one of the big ones at a yardsale in perfect condition! I was so excited to have this big, life size, dollhouse for my girls (2.5 and almost 5) but they NEVER play with it and 100% prefer the smaller one. Who knows why, maybe the big size is too hard to disappear into imagination land with? Love your Christmas ideas — keep them coming!!
Amanda K. says
love when you blog 🙂
we did the lego advent last year and i got mary virginia one that was like an advent charm bracelet. they didn’t treasure it as much as i wanted them to 🙂 but the charm bracelet was DARLING!
i’m with you on scratching my head over “wow” gifts. it seems that for a while we were kinda “stocking up” on kid stuff — getting them stuff like bikes, etc. and now i’m not sure what to get. my kids have such different interests, and we already have so much STUFF!
Katie Miller says
1. Razor scooters are awesome! I got one when they’d were first big in the early 2000s, I’m 25 now (15ish years later) and my little brother still uses the same scooter so as far as bang for your buck. It might be a little hard for a 2.5 year old to balance on.
2. When you go to NYC you should go to CW pencil enterprise. It’s an all pencil store! As a teacher I’m sure you can apreciate good stationary haha. Have fun!
For New York: Nice black coat. Fun scarf. COMFY SHOES! (The recommendation for tall boots or booties was a good one!)
If you’re going in November, the Rockefeller tree won’t be up, and you may not see a ton of decorations just yet. (Sorry!)
You should go see the High Line — super cool elevated park on old subway tracks. Eat all the pizza. There’s a lot of great food halls worth checking out — Cheslea Market, Turnstyle, Union Fare, Hudson Eats. Walk around Central Park. So many great museums (The Met, The MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Neue Galerie, the Central Park Zoo).