Friday, December 30, 2011

Half-finished Projects

Advent Calendar 2011
Sometimes I just can't follow through.  I have many half-finished projects to attest to this fact.  Though it's much more fun to write about and feature the stuff that I do accomplish, it's definitely more realistic to let you in on (at least a few) of the things that don't get done.  I mentioned here in late November that I was using Pinterest to inspire my Advent Calendar for Beansprout this year.  It looks great!  I used old socks of Beansprout's and filled in with a few socks bought at thrift shops, the dollar store, and Superstore.  I printed pictures to represent  the activities we would do each day, cut small pieces of scrapbook paper, added a number sticker, and stuck them into each of the 24 socks.

Counting Down 2011

Little Stocking All in a Row
Oh, how I had big ideas!  I thought I'd take a picture of each activity we did and feature them weekly to show all that we'd been up to in December.  Big ideas.  The truth is, we probably only did 3/4 of the activities and somehow the recording and posting of the activities dwindled out of sight.  I guess it's a lesson learned?  I now realize that a mixture of small gifts and activities would probably suit us better.  Luckily, Beansprout is really just too young to actually grasp the concept of counting down everyday, and so this year the Advent Calendar was more for me.  I also realize that prioritizing "me" time is difficult.  When things get busy and hectic, photographing and blogging are the to-dos that get cut.  To look on the bright side, I guess I have some built-in resolutions for the New Year!

Thanks for reading!  I love your comments and would love to hear how do you handle finding "me" time.  Also, are you able to balance the big ideas with realistic follow-through?  Share your secrets!

Wishing you love and joy as you ring in the new year!  All the best in 2012!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. 
                                                                                                        ~Edith Sitwell

Thomas the Train Christmas Tree!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

A little perspective, like a little humor, goes a long way.
                                                                      -- Allen Klein
Children's Hospital Allergy Clinic 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Talking about Santa

Picture with Santa 2009

Our Beansprout has really been interested in the Santa aspect of Christmas this year. Since he was born, I've been wondering how we'll approach this topic with him.  Luckily, I have the examples of others to take in as we continue to work out the what and why of who Santa is.  My favorite post is actually a mom's letter to her little girl, who wants to know the truth about Santa; it's a real heartbreaker and definitely worth the read!  I've also read some really great blog posts about how different people describe Santa, and I especially like this one and this one from Not Just Cute.  At this point with Beansprout, I've sort of let the books we read do the explaining - it's easy now because he doesn't ask a lot of questions.  I love hearing how he sorts it all out through his limited language and have to share our most recent conversation:

Beansprout: I go to North Pole.
Me: That's right, what that actually means is that you're going to have your picture taken with Santa.  Do you want to sit on his lap?
Beansprout: I talk Santa.
Me: You can talk to Santa when you're on his lap.  You know, you could tell him what you want for Christmas.  *long pause*  What might you tell Santa you want for Christmas, Beansprout?
Beansprout: Ba-bars.  (snack bars)

We've been talking about Santa, but Beansprout has yet to sit on Santa's lap this year.  I've been trying to prep him and show him pictures from previous years, because I really think this is the year he'll boycott Santa when it actually comes to getting the picture taken.  I had made "Visit Santa" an activity in our Advent Calendar, but that's another story I will have to share soon.

Is anyone else astounded at the fact that Christmas is one week away?!?  I would love to hear your stories about Santa!  How did you find out the truth?  What are your thoughts on Santa now that you're an adult?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Christmas Cookie Baking

How did it get so late so soon?  It's night before it's afternoon.  December is here before it's June.  My goodness how the time as flewn.  How did it get so late so soon?
                                                                                                                     --Dr. Seuss

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent Calendar Traditions

Advent Calendar 2011

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was working on a Pinterest-inspired Advent calendar!  It is (finally) complete, albeit a few days late.  I hope you'll come back for a weekly post showing all that my little Beansprout did to countdown and prepare for Christmas!

Counting down the days 'til Christmas is such a wonderful tradition.  I can remember having the paper link chains and my fair share of the chocolate window variety, but it was my year studying in Germany many years ago that opened my eyes to a whole new way of approaching the Advent calendar.  My "German Mom" sent me a fabric calendar with 24 little gifts affixed to round red rings.  I was in heaven.  I learned what Raffaelo candies were, gave walnut cracking a try, and learned that sometimes the simplest gift can make your day.  A new tradition was born.

Upon returning home, I began to gift one to a family member or friend every year.  It was so much fun thinking of little gifts that would fit and to imagine the delight of the person who got a nice treat throughout most of December.  In recent years, I have only had the energy to create them for our niece and nephews, and as more nephews came, I decided I had to have an age limit.  This year the two youngest of the group get to keep the tradition going.  I pulled out the flat rate shipping box, the Santa treat bags, and some tissue paper, wrapped everything up and sent them off via USPS.  I hope the little guys are enjoying the socks, Christmas crafts, stickers, and books that will help them count down!

Do you have any Advent Calendar traditions?  Do you remember counting down until the big day as a kid?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

The Little Blue Truck
"Now I see a lot depends on a helping hand from a few good friends."
              -- The Dump, in The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle