Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 15 - 25 Days of Christmas

Today Scoot played with a little Christmas Tree counting activity I made for her earlier this week.  I made a chart with the numbers 1-10.  Each number had it's own row and I placed the correct number of velcro pieces in the row next to the number.  I used small foam Christmas Tree cutouts with velcro on the back as the counters.  Scoot put the trees on the velcro in each row as we counted together and pointed to the number. 

It was WAY over her head, but she did like playing with the little trees.  Her favorite was sticking & unsticking them over and over again.  At least it gave us something to do while we counted to 10 a bunch of times.  I figure it couldn't hurt to jump into something that is too hard - especially since I'm sitting right there talking to her about it the whole time.  It will be perfect for next year I think. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 14 - 25 Days of Christmas

Today we went and let Scoot pick out her ornament for the year.  I just *knew* she would pick Elmo, but wouldn't you know they didn't have a  single Elmo ornament in the entire store!  I was shocked!  Of course she ended up picking out a Tinkerbell ornament that they were completely out of.  I think she liked it because of the music it played.  Being the overly accommodating parents that we are, we went to 2 more stores looking for this Tinkerbell ornament that she had gotten obsessed with in our 10 minute visit to the store.  But both of those stores were also out.  Secretly... I was just fine with that!  I ended up "talking her into" getting an ornament that I'm much happier about!  She got a Guess How Much I Love You book & bunny ornament.  I feel like that will have some meaning to her since we read the book often and I tell her that at least 320508365802 times a day.

 (I would have been fine with Elmo since she is actually obsessed with Elmo right now in her life.  But the Tinkerbell just didn't sit well with me since she has never shown ANY interest in Tinkerbell until she saw this ornament that played a catchy little tune.  I really think it was the music that drew her in.)

I also got her a photo ornament with the year on it.  I think that kiddos should have an ornament with the date on it (bought or better yet home crafted) until they are 10 or so.  I just think it makes getting the ornaments out every year so much fun.  Scoot has several with last years date since it was her first Christmas.  I couldn't let this year go by with no dated ornaments!! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 13 - 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight I put together a little game for Scoot to play with.  I took an empty parmesan cheese container and stuck some candy canes inside.  Scoot could dump them out of the larger opening or hang them in the holes of the other opening.  We practiced counting them.   And she even chewed on one.  I took the paper off so she could really try it.  At first she was giving these great big grins every time she sucked on it.  Then she accidentally bit a piece off and got scared.  She did not like having the pieces come off, but she still liked the flavor.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 12 - 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight we finally got our Christmas tree out of the attic and set it up.  Scoot is thrilled with the lights.  So much so that the ornaments are a distraction to her.  At least that's what I'm figuring since she keeps taking them off and laying them on the floor across the room!  Its a good thing we only put about 20 on the tree so far.  This year most of our ornaments are staying safely boxed and only the soft, non-breakable, hook-less ornaments made it onto the tree at Scoot level.  I'm also kinda sorta afraid that she's going to topple the tree over completely, so we will leave it at that.  I can only imagine what our tree will look like next year with a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 11 - 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight we went to the Yankee Candle store.  On the surface, this doesn't sound all that exciting.  But the Williamsburg store is a flagship store which means it is HUGE and has tons of Christmas stuff out year round.  It snows there twice an hour and Santa is even hanging out.  Of course they have all the candles you could ever want, but they go extra heavy on the Christmas scents this time of year.  They have Christmas trees everywhere decorated in a bunch of different themes.  It is a pretty cool place to visit.  We were excited about taking Scoot since she seems to really like lights and trees.  Surprisingly though, I think her favorite part was the train they have running through all the Christmas rooms on a track a couple of feet above your head.  Whenever it would come into the room we were in, she would YELL "chooo choooo!"  It was the cutest thing!  We didnt stand in the LONG line to see Santa, but she did watch him for a few minutes.  I hope that she won't completely freak out when we take her to see Santa... but we'll see. 

I forgot my camera (even though we had to go back home to get Aaron's wallet after I had remembered that I left it... doh!) so all the pictures are from my phone and not the best quality, but they are better than nothing!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 10 - 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight we had some fun with Scoot's dessert.  I made her a funny looking little snow man using whip cream and M&Ms.  I'll be the first to admit it doesn't look much like a snowman, but Scoot loved it anyway.  She's a big fan of M&Ms and whip cream so this was a perfect little dessert for her!  We also read a book about snowmen. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 9 - 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight Aaron and I went to his Christmas work party and Scoot got to stay home and have her own little party with LaLa.  It was not exactly what I wanted to do for our 9th day of the 25 Days of Christmas, but it was a super busy day and we didn't have time to fit anything else in.  To hear LaLa tell the stories when we got home, Scoot must have had a good time though! 

Still trying to decide if we want to brave the crowds, traffic, and frigid temps to go to a parade tomorrow morning...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 8 - 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight we gave Scoot her very own Nativity set.  This was originally going to be one of her Christmas presents, but we talked about it and thought it was better for her to get it early and spend the Advent season playing with it.  (Target also had a deal where all Little People sets were buy one-get one 50% off.  So she'll still get some Little People for Christmas.)

She really loves the Baby Jesus, Mary, and the animals.  Now I just need to know what a camel says.  She holds up the sheep and says "baaa," the cow and says "mooo," and the donkey and says "eeeohhh."  But when she gets to the camel I have no idea what to tell her! 

We also read the book "Christmas in the Manger" by Nola Buck

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 7 - 25 Days of Christmas

Wednesday is our busy night, but before we left Scoot took a few minutes to color a page in her Elmo Christmas coloring book.

-mommy helped-

And we read a quick little Christmas board book. 

It wasn't our most inspiring Christmas moment, but we had fun and we all spent a few minutes together.  I think that's what matters and what these 25 days of Christmas are really about. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 6 - 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight we watched Charlie Brown's Christmas.  It was on TV last night after Scoot's bed time so we recorded it.  Scoot cuddled up with Daddy and her blanket on the couch and watched while I made dinner.  A great time was had by all! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 5 - 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight Scoot played with play dough for the very first time.  We got out some green play dough and 3 cookie cutters (star, snowman, and tree).  The very first thing she did when I took it out of the can was put it in her mouth! HAHA But after I took it out of her mouth and told her no, she didn't try that again.  I bet it didn't taste too good!

She liked taking it in and out of the container and making finger prints in it.  She didn't really get the cookie cutters, but that's alright.  She did a good job of keeping it on the box.  Overall I think she liked it.  Every time there seemed to be a dip in interest and I ask if she was all done she would say no and play with it some more.  I've got some red to try next time and a bunch of other shaped cookie cutters.  

We also read the book "The Christmas Baby."  It's got a ton of animals and baby pictures -her two favorite things- so she was thrilled with the book!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 4 - 25 Days of Christmas

For Day 4 I made a Christmas Sensory Box ... well I started one.  I couldn't get all the little trinkets I wanted, but I got enough to get started. 

*side note* when I went to Michael's they were in the middle of a 5 hour sale and the place was CRAZY!  The Christmas stuff was already picked over and the lines were super long! I'm going to try to get to Wal-mart to see if they have the rest of what I wanted to get. 

I started with an extra plastic storage box we had laying around and dumped a bag of cotton balls in as the "base".   Then I added 6 small wreath ornaments, 2 small nutcracker figurines (plastic), 4 winter erasers, 6 huge jingle bells, 4 gingerbread boy stickers, 4 gingerbread girl stickers, 6 foam tree cut outs.

The pieces I started with.

 Scoot was pretty excited about it and dug right in.  She started taking out the little pieces but left the cotton balls in the box.  She didn't love the way the cotton would stick to the wreaths or glitter bells and then stick to her, but she did like to pull the pieces apart a little.

 There are a ton of different textures in this box already.  When she was holding 2 different textures at once, I could just see the little wheels in her brain spinning.

Scoot definitely found a favorite.  The huge jingle bells were a big hit.  She took them out and put them back in.  We counted them.  She closed the box and put the bells on top.  She matched the 3 different pairs.  She even tasted them!

I can't wait to add a few more things if I can find them!  She seems to like it already and I'm excited about making more of these boxes for other holidays and themes!!

We also read the book, Snowbear Countsdown to Christmas.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 3 - 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight Scoot used foam ornament stickers to decorate a quick little tree that I cut out of green scrapbook paper.  She liked picking out the stickers, putting them on, taking them off, and rearranging them.  I waited a little too late in the day to do our activity today - note to self!  Then we read the book "Bear Stays Up for Christmas" by Karma Wilson.  She liked all the animals in the book. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 2 of 25 Days of Christmas

Tonight we went to Christmas Town and Busch Gardens.  I've enjoyed going for the last 2 years, but this year I LOVED it!  The first year I was pregnant with Scoot and then last year she was just 6 months old (and it was FREEZING!) so while it was fun and beautiful, this year was so much more special because she is really starting to enjoy stuff like this! 

We got super lucky and got discount tickets for only $5 (normally $24) so we plan on going one more time before they close up over New Years.  It was nice to be able to take our time and only do half of the park since we know we'll be going back.  That made it so much easier on Scoot too. 

The Clydesdale horses are my favorite!  As soon as Scoot saw them we knew they were her favorite too!  She was pointing and squealing "HOSS" and "NEIGH" - it was ADORABLE!

One of the shows is "A Sesame Street Christmas" and once again we had a squealer!  ELMO! ELMO! ELMO!  This kid almost came right out of her seat and over the rail in front of us trying to get closer to Elmo.  The show was a perfectly timed 20 minutes. 

I wore my Ergo baby carrier and Scoot did enjoy riding in that on the longer walks (to & from the car, on the way to dinner) but for the most part she much preferred walking.  Especially because while she was walking she could reach out and touch the millions of lights on the hundreds of trees lining the walk ways.  It was so pretty!  And she just wanted to express her appreciation by touching as many as possible!  Whenever she was in the Ergo, she would call "Dada" about every 3 steps to make sure he was still there.  SOOOO cute!

We took a little time to admire baby Jesus.  A beautiful Nativity display!

Scoot was ready to walk and touch and did not appreciate me stopping for a photo op or trying to hold her!  

She was starting to fall into the zone (it was WAY past her bed time) and sitting on the polar bear meant that she could reach the tree above her head so she didn't mind when I picked her up this time.  Even without a smile, I love this picture!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days of Christmas

25 Days of Christmas ---- I feel like I'm on the ABC Family Channel here! haha

I'm on such a roll after the month of November that I'm excited about keeping it up!  Since this is the first Christmas that Scoot will have any inkling of an idea about what's going on I want to make it extra special and carry on some traditions.  Starting today (12/1) we are going to try to do something Christmas related every day and read a Christmas book.  This will NOT be very involved this year.  I'm keeping everything very simple.  Scoot is still too young to actually get it and her attention span is seriously limited.  I want the things we do to be age appropriate.  Then every year we can make it more involved and appropriate for a growing girl (family).  I want to keep track of what we do this year so that I won't have such a hard time thinking of 25 things next year!  And maybe if I take a picture of each activity daily we can make a little scrap book that we can get out with our Christmas decorations each year and look back on with Scoot's future boyfriends! HA!

Since tonight was the first day I kept it really simple.  We read "Jingle Bells" and played with a little bracelet with 10 silver bells on it.  (I made it with craft store bells and some left over yarn.) This was a cute little book to start off with since it is just the words to the song with pictures.  Scoot loved pointing to the horse on each page.  And she thought the little bell bracelet was awesome!  I held her hands and shook the bells while we sang the song and she thought that was pretty hot stuff too. 

Day 1 - a success! 

She's got a tight little grip on those bells!  Her face in this picture is so totally her! I love it!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Night Dinners

I'm thankful for the Wednesday night dinners we have with our friends.  These friends have a daughter only 2 days younger than Scoot and an almost 3 year old.  The girls all play well together.  The adults get adult time! We eat pizza (or spaghetti) and then there is always dessert! It is wonderful to have a night in the middle of the week to look forward to.  I'm thankful we have set aside time to grow our relationship with these friends.  It is so easy to get busy with life and forget to take the time to work on our relationships, but having this weekly date really helps keep us connected.  I'm thankful that they feel more like family than friends.  I'm thankful that the 3 girls have 2 sets of adults that love them.  I'm thankful that the girls have each other as friends already.  I'm thankful that tonight is Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Cards

I'm thankful that I got my Christmas cards ordered today!  I'm starting to get into the Christmas spirit little by little.  Tomorrow my job is to gather all our Christmas books to start a Christmas book countdown list.  And I'm going to make a list of something Christmas related to do every day through Christmas Eve and pair it with a book to read.  We don't have any decorations up yet, but that will be part of the list.  I'm so excited about continuing/starting traditions with Scoot as she starts understanding the magic of the season!

Monday, November 28, 2011

car title

I'm thankful that we got our car title in the mail today!  That means that we have NO CAR PAYMENTS! :)  Right before Christmas is the perfect time to pay off the car! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

spiritual family

I'm thankful for our church family.  I've been going to the same church since I was about 5.  I was baptised there, went through confirmation there, got married there, and had my Scoot baptized there.  The people, and the preachers, have changed through the years but it is home to me.  I've missed large chunks of time during college and changed services but the family that we have created there is always glad to see us.  I'm thankful that we are surrounded by people who are so much further in their spiritual journey and are wonderful leaders.  I'm equally as thankful for the visitors and those new in their faith who are welcomed in and nurtured by the members.  The Advent and Christmas seasons are among my favorite times to be a part of this church and I'm excited for the weeks to come!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

father - daughter bond

I'm thankful for the special bond between my hubby and my sweet girl.  I love watching them together.  I love the way they curl up and read books or sprawl out and build towers.  I love the way he whispers to her every night as he puts her to bed.  He's just loud enough that I can hear little whispers over the monitor, but not loud enough that I can tell what he's saying.  I love that they have that special time together.  I love the way she runs to him when he comes home from work - squealing the whole time.  I love the way she looks at the screen saver on my phone and says "dada." I love the way she snuggles up to him early in the morning when she gets up before we're ready to start the day.  I love the way she listens to him with just one warning.  I love the way she stands in the window and waves every morning until his truck is completely gone from sight.  I love the way she tickles him, steals his hat, and helps with his shoes.  I'm so thankful for all the love I get to experience just from watching these two together!

Friday, November 25, 2011

black friday

I'm thankful for all the deals that we scored during black friday shopping today.  This year, with me not working, we are really focusing on the real reason for the season and trying to get away from the overly commercialized gift giving part.  I've wanted to do this for several years because it just feels silly to scrounge around to come up with something to give someone who already has way too much stuff, but I always felt guilty for some reason.  This year - we have no money - so I don't feel bad at all! 

Even though we came home last night after dinner and did NOT go back out for midnight madness (or earlier since some places opened as early as 3 pm around here!) and we slept until after 7 this morning, we still had plenty of time to go black friday shopping.  And we got some great deals!  That means the small gifts that we are giving to family and friends this year didn't break our thinly stretched bank account. 

I'm thankful we got plenty of sleep last night and still got to be part of the crazy black friday fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Today I am thankful for all of our extended family.  We had a wonderful time enjoying their company today and eating way too much yummy food!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

step back - breathe

I'm thankful that for the most part, even through crazy pregnancy hormones, I can see when I'm being unreasonable or getting angry over nothing.  That doesn't necessarily change my feelings in the moment.  But I can recognize that I need to take a step back, keep my mouth shut, and approach the subject again when I've had time to cool off and think rationally.  Sometimes I can see it but don't care.  I'm thankful for forgiveness in those instances.  Today I am thankful that I kept my instant anger and disappointment to myself, because in the end it wasn't a big deal and not worth getting into an argument over. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

24 weeks of perfection

I'm thankful for a baby that is perfectly healthy and growing quickly.  Baby Roo had a 24 week check up today and everything looks wonderful.  The little one is growing a bit ahead of the curve, but that's not completely unexpected.  My blood pressure and blood sugar are both looking good for now but are being watched carefully.  Our ultrasound tech was really good and even gave us a little 3-D glimpse of Baby Roo's face.  It's a cute one for sure!!  Now if I can get the scanner to work, I'll upload a picture soon! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

2 hour nap

I'm thankful for 2 hour naps that little miss decides can not be taken anywhere but on me!  It's been probably 8 or 9 months since Scoot fell asleep on me and I hadn't realized how much I missed it.  I love to cuddle with that little butterbean!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

weekend escape

I'm thankful for the weekend we just spent with my family.  On Friday we packed the car and drove 3 1/2 hours into the mountains to my sister's house.  My parents and uncle met us there and we celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday.  It was a blessing to be able to spend 2 whole days with family.  Just talking, eating, napping, playing, walking, and enjoying each other's company.  I love this tradition! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

twice a week

I'm thankful that a friend of mine lets me watch her little guy 2 days a week.  Jacob is 4 months older than Scoot and they get along really well.  It is so cute how they play together, dance, chase each other, "read" to each other, and just sit together watching Elmo.  I love that Scoot still gets some toddler interaction even though she's home with me.  I'm thankful that those extra few dollars a week help me feel like I'm contributing to my family. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

help wanted

I'm thankful that I can find things to laugh about in the simple everyday things. 

This morning I went out to the car to get dog food.  Scoot was following me until she was distracted by the newspaper.  She made a bee-line for the paper, picked it up and walked back in the house.  She went straight to the bathroom and laid the newspaper by the toilet. (It's especially funny since no one at this house reads the newspaper in the bathroom!)

When Scoot woke up from her nap she walked right into the bathroom with purpose, picked up the newspaper and took it to the living room.  She took the whole thing apart like she was looking for something specific.  She settled on the "help wanted" section and laid down on the paper looking at it intently for more than 5 minutes.  I told Aaron that she must be tired of spending all day, every day with me but I don't know if she was looking for a job for me or her. 

The whole series of events was hilarious to me!  I'm so glad I get to be a part of her funny little world and that I can see the humor in the every day moments.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful on a hard day

I'm thankful for a gracious God and that tomorrow is full of new beginnings!

Monday, November 14, 2011

beautiful weather

I'm thankful for the beautiful weather we are having right now!  I love that it is warm enough to be outside without coats on.  I love that we are not trapped inside, but can get out and walk and play.  I love that my toes have not been stuffed into socks at all yet.  I love that Scoot loves to play outside.  I love that we can enjoy the beautiful colors of fall while being out IN the colors and leaves.  This beautiful weather is is certainly lifting my mood lately!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I'm so thankful that Scoot loves to read!  She looks at books throughout the day.  She brings books to Aaron and I all the time to read to her.  She has books stashed in the living room, my bedroom, her room, the car, her diaper bag, and even the bathroom.  She loves books with animals or pictures of babies.  She has just started a new game where she'll bring me a book to read, but sit a few feet away and look at another book while I read, but I KNOW she's paying attention to me because she gets upset if I stop or skip a page.  I hope that her love of books and reading will continue to grow with her.  I love books and I'm thankful that she does to!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

family photos

I'm thankful that I have a friend who is a budding photographer, who takes great pictures, and is affordable.  Today we had a mini-session photo shoot with my friend.  We're going to use the pictures for our Christmas cards.  I was so excited about our outfits and the location that Maggie chose.  Scoot wasn't very cooperative in the smile department, but she did get happy for a little while.  I can't wait to see what she got!  I'll post some pictures as soon as she sends them to me!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Military

Happy Veterans Day!

I'm thankful for the brave men and women who selflessly spend their time to protect me, my family, and this wonderful country.  I'm thankful for their families who give up time with their loved ones so that I am free to spend time with my family.  I'm thankful for their families who keep things running smoothly at home while they are deployed. 

I'm thankful that I live in an area full of military bases.  I'm thankful that I am reminded of the cost of freedom every time I walk into a store and see a soldier, marine or airman in uniform.  I'm thankful that I often have the pleasure of watching jet practice or listening to jet noise.  It really is a beautiful sound. 

I'm thankful that my husband, while not in the military, plays a pivotal role through his job in the way the military protects our country.  I'm thankful that the military keeps the economy in this area constant without the large fluctuations of other parts of the country. 

God Bless the U.S.A!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I'm thankful for the education I received.

I have fond High School memories.  I had a bunch of great teachers. 

I LOVED college.  At least the last 2 years of it.  I went to a small school where I knew no one for the first two years and then transfered to a Virginia Tech (where I should have gone in the first place).  I'm thankful that we have the time and opportunity to go back several times a year and now Caroline gets to share in the good times!

I am also thankful for my time at Old Dominion University where I got my Master's in Education.  The professors there were amazing and I'm thankful for all they taught me. 

And right now, I'm thankful that my very favorite college football team just went into half time with an 8 point lead.  GO HOKIES!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Girls Night!

I'm thankful for fun nights out with the girls. 

Tonight I got together with some of the teachers from my school (I'm still allowed to call it that, even though I don't work there right now because I love the school and the people there! {That's for Aaron who says its not "my" school anymore.}) for book club. 

Just try to figure out that crazy train of thought.... I'll give you a second...

Ok, ready to move on?

I'm thankful that Aaron is able to have some father/daughter bonding time while I'm at book club.  I'm thankful that going to book club has got me started reading again.  I'm thankful for the good food that everyone brings to share.  I'm thankful that I get to see these ladies on a regular basis.  I'm thankful that while we do talk about the books we read, we also spend a lot of time just chatting and connecting. 

I haven't been posting pictures with every post like I planned, but sometimes there just isn't a picture.  We didn't take a picture of book club tonight. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I voted!

I'm thankful for my right to vote today.  We went as a family this afternoon after Aaron got home from work.  This was Caroline's second time going to the polls with me.  I was going to take an adorable picture of my sweet girl wearing my "I voted" sticker to put up with this post... but my precinct didn't have any stickers!  I guess budget cuts get in the way of everything these days!

Monday, November 7, 2011


I'm thankful for a smooth time change!  Scoot seems to be right back on schedule and barely even notices that anything has changed.  Just the way it should be! Thank you sweet girl for not getting totally crazy with the time change - your "still-easily-exhausted pregnant" mommy appreciates it!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

turning parents into grandparents

I'm thankful for the way my parents love my daughter.  They are always doting on her.  They brag on her like she is the best, smartest, cutest kid in the universe.  They spoil her rotten.  They are always willing to give us a night out and watch her for the evening.  Watching them as grandparents is one of the joys of being a parent.