Category: Kid Stuff

Scooby Doo Cookies – Averie and Mommy’s

Averie LOVES to make cookies alongside of me.  Often I don’t have enough time to make extra cookies or icing, but I try to make it a point to make blank circles whenever possible so that she can play while I work.  I had been asked to make some Scooby Doo themed cookies for a friend of mine, and since it’s Averie’s favorite show, I knew she would want to participate too!

Averie Decorating her Scooby Doo Cookies

Averie Decorating her Scooby Doo Cookies

I think she did a pretty darn good job in the end.  It’s definitely amazing to see her decorating skills improve over time.  She’s going to be one amazing cookie decorator if she keeps this up!

Averie's Scooby Doo Cookies

Averie’s Scooby Doo Cookies

I almost think hers turned out better than mine!

Scooby Doo Cookies

Scooby Doo Cookies

Am I finally getting patience??

I’ve had this puzzle for years.  It was a gift from a boyfriend in high school.  I’ve NEVER managed to put it together, try as a might.

I think parenthood has actually had an impact on my patience…

Finally Conquered!!

Finally Conquered!!

I want to be an animal doctor… …and a clown!

If you ask Averie what she wants to be when she grows up, she’ll tell you that she wants to be “an animal doctor”.  Then she’ll pause for a second, and add on “and a clown”

"Animal Doctor" Averie

“Animal Doctor” Averie in her jacket from Grandma

The best part is, it completely fits her personality.  She loves animals – completely adores them.  I know it’s fairly normal for kids to like bunnies and puppies etc, but she’s moved beyond just liking them to being completely enamored.  Forget the dolls – she’d rather play with stuffed / toy animals!

She’s also a helper and loves to make people happy.  She will be playing with a group of kids, and if one kid starts to cry for any reason she will walk away from the group to go find the source of the cries and try to talk to them to cheer them up.  Definitely full of compassion!

We were at Buffalo Wild Wings earlier in December and she spotted a stuffed puppy in the crane machine – it was one of those ‘sad’ puppies with the big droopy eyes.  She BURST into tears when I wouldn’t give her money for the game machine, at first I chalked it up to her just being upset she couldn’t play the game, which is pretty standard for 4 year olds to do.  But she kept wailing about the sad puppy and how it needed to get out of the machine so it could go home and be a happy puppy.  Talk about breaking my heart!

There was no way to get it out, it was buried, so I did the next best thing I could think of…  I told her she should pray that the sad puppy finds a nice home, and that she could ask Santa to help her if she wanted.  Of course, she didn’t forget this, and that was the FIRST thing she told santa she wanted.  Santa seemed to be a bit confused that this little girl wanted a “Sad Puppy”, but he made it through.

And with a little help from Amazon, Santa was able to get Averie her very own “Sad Puppy” for Christmas.

Averie and her "Sad Puppy"

Averie and her “Sad Puppy”

You can get your own Sad Puppy here:

Building Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas.  I mean, what’s not to love?!  There’s so much magic in the air and so much love in general.  Christmas songs are all so happy and a nice welcome break from the ‘pop’ music that’s out these days (saying that makes me feel old!)

People everywhere are celebrating, and not just celebrating Jesus (though that’s important too!).  They’re celebrating that they get to see family that they haven’t seen in ages, they’re celebrating the promise of a new year approaching, celebrating the days off of work that allow us to cozy up by the fireplace and watch festive movies armed with a cup of hot cocoa (and maybe even some peppermint schnapps).

Perhaps my most favorite thing to celebrate is traditions.  Growing up as a kids we didn’t have much in the way of traditions for holidays – at least not that I can recall.  In our early years I remember being home for Christmas morning.  Sometimes we were at Grandma’s in Sioux City too.  We did get Christmas stockings to open as well.  Sometimes we would go to church.  But we didn’t have any major traditions of our own.

The first year we celebrated Christmas with Averie I made it a mission to ensure we had our own traditions.  They’ve evolved a little over the past few years, but the basics still remain:

  • Advent Calendar Craft
  • Milk, Cookies and a Letter for Santa on Christmas Eve
  • PJ’s as a gift on Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Morning Open Stockings
  • Break for Pancakes before the rest of the gifts
  • Open Gifts
  • Dinner – Often with Friends.

Want to see how many of those traditions you can spot in our pictures from this year?  I didn’t get pictures of everything, but I can assure you that all of the above things happened.

Merry Christmas, everyone!!  What are some of your favorite traditions?

Princess Curls for Santa

My kid hates mornings.

But she loves having her hair curled.  Enough that she’ll even wake up early in the morning to have it done.

Pretty Princess Curls

Pretty Princess Curls

The amazing thing is that her hair actually holds those curls most of the day.  I’m jealous.  She has that perfect hair that will be wavy and frizz free if you brush it and put in a light spritz of detangler.  Or it will curl and stay that way with just a little bit of spray gel and a curling iron.  OR if you let it dry naturally (and can keep her from rubbing her head on the back of the couch), she has pretty natural curls that peek their way through.   Yep.  Jealous!

These curls were for her Christmas concert.  They even stayed in well enough to go see Santa the next day at my work in the morning.  They weren’t perfect, but still pretty!

Next Day Curls

Next Day Curls

Later that same afternoon we also made the trek over to the mall to visit Santa there.  Yes, you read that correctly – two santas in one day.  Although I *love* that they have someone dress in a santa suit and give gifts to the kids, I still prefer to get a picture of her with a more ‘real’ looking Santa.

Asking for an electric toothbrush and a tablet

Looking a bit grown up here!

We managed to go early enough in the day that there was barely a line.  She waited very patiently to tell Santa that she wanted an electric toothbrush and a tablet of her own for Christmas.  That makes two years in a row of asking Santa for an electric toothbrush.  I’m sensing a trend/tradition brewing here!!

Proof That Averie Loves Mornings

This is a picture of Averie lying in bed, the rug is on the floor and Aaron and I are leaning in her doorway trying to wake her up and she is screaming “Noooooooooo” while our cats, Moxie and Shanny watch.

Averie's Drawing

Averie’s Drawing

She MIGHT not like mornings. Not sure who she gets that from……..

Sleepy Girl

Sleepy Girl

A Unique Style, All Her Own…

This year for Halloween Averie was going to be Dorothy.

But I’m a BAD, TERRIBLE mom, and I forgot about ordering her costume.  And by the time I remembered, it was too late.  We scoured the stores and came up empty handed.

So I sent Daddy and Averie out one night to get a costume.

Averie came home with a light up witch’s dress in purple and green, hot pink fairy wings and a light pink mask.  Most of which was gigantic on her.

The ‘everything must match’ ‘control freak’ in my had an absolute MELTDOWN when they got home.  I didn’t say anything to her, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t take much for Aaron to figure out I wasn’t happy.  Her preschool Halloween party was the next day, and Averie LOVED what she had picked out.  So there was just no turning back.

Her school does have a ‘no witches’ policy, so the obvious light up witch dress (it had potions and skulls etc on it), was replaced by one of her party dresses and she was suddenly now dressed up as…


I still have no idea what she was.

What are you supposed to be?!

What are you supposed to be?!

I wanted to hide when it was trick or treat time.  Actually, I did – I had a networking meeting that I went to, so I arrived late and Aaron had already taken her around, so I was secretly hoping that I wouldn’t have to walk my oddly dressed child around town and I could just raid her candy hang out with her.

But when I got there she was SO incredibly happy.  She was loving every minute of being whatever it was that she was being.  And her happiness rubbed off on me.  I hauled her off trick-or-treating to a few houses before she decided she was tired of it all and was cold.

It didn’t matter that her costume didn’t fit the standards of what I thought she should have on for Halloween.  It didn’t matter that she was different than everyone else.  It didn’t matter that she didn’t really match.  It didn’t matter that she wasn’t even dressed up as anything in particular.  What did matter was that she enjoyed herself, and got to dress up as what she wanted to be for Halloween.

Definitely was one of those lessons in letting things go, and relinquishing control.  Those darn kids sure do teach parents a lot of things!  I’m still secretly hoping next year we go for something a little more ‘normal’ though…. 🙂

Blank Park Zoo

We went to Des Moines to Celebrate Grandma Elsie’s birthday – after the family all departed the hotel, we decided we should do something in town.  After a few minutes of debating what to do, we decided to head over to the zoo, luckily for us we were already only a few blocks away!

I always knew they were a couple of egg heads! :)

I always knew they were a couple of egg heads! 🙂

We managed to make the trek around the park in such a way that Averie was able to arrive at the Giraffes and the Ostriches just in time to be able to feed them both!

Giraffes have LONG black tongues

Giraffes have LONG black tongues


Ostriches are FAST eaters

Ostriches are FAST eaters

Averie was also able to feed some birds as well as go on a camel ride!

I had the 'sally the camel' song stuck in my head for ages after seeing the camels.

I had the ‘sally the camel’ song stuck in my head for ages after seeing the camels.

Blank Park Zoo Feeding Birds

It was a great experience, especially for the little girl who is currently aspiring to be an ‘animal doctor’.  She’s well on her way — she really wasn’t scared of any of the animals, and was excited to learn different facts about each of them!

Blank Park Zoo Kangaroo

When all was said and done, we came home to this:

TP'd HouseBut thankfully we knew exactly who was to blame (clues were left behind for us).  Someday we may have to repay the favor!

Yes, My 4 Year Old Wears Makeup..

I have a number of friends who are pregnant these days.  Most of them are pregnant for the first time.  I have a really hard time not bursting into laughter when they tell me how sick they are about getting ‘advice’ and feeling the judgmental looks they get when they indulge in a treat etc.

Those of us who have been blessed enough to go through the first child already know – the ‘worst’ is yet to come.  Before I had a kid, I passed under the radar of most people.  I didn’t stand out in anyway, I blended into the crowd.  Nobody really gave me much of a second look.

That all changes once you have a kid.  They attract attention to even the most under-the-radar types of people.  They make noise, they touch things, they ask questions, they introduce themselves to strangers.  They are mini-representations of you and your belief system that do not have filters on what to say and when it is appropriate to just THINK something and not say it out loud.

Sometimes they don’t have to do anything.  Sometimes you can be quietly walking through the store with your kid and attract attention because of the way they look.  Unbrushed hair, holes or stains in their clothes (all things I SWORE up and down my kid would never have – HA!)

This past week, Averie attracted attention because she was wearing makeup.

Yes, my four year old had on eye shadow.

Averie in Makeup

Some people looked at her and seemed to think ‘how cute – she wants to be like mommy’ (which is funny, since mommy never wears much make up).  The majority, however, looked at her and then looked at me with disgust – as if it was absolutely wrong for me to allow my child to wear makeup.

And WHY was my child wearing makeup?

Because she’s been having meltdowns.  Crazy tantrums.  Screaming, spitting, drooling and unable to form a coherent thought tantrums.  I think it’s part of adjusting to the new school schedule…  not quite sure.  But when she has make up on she doesn’t do that.  She has a much more calm attitude about it – because if she cries, she will “cry her makeup off” and she knows that Mommy won’t give her more.  (and the dirty looks multiple ten fold when she mentions this in the checkout line as I’m telling her ‘no’ to buying more candy.)

Perhaps it’s manipulative.  Perhaps my child is a little bit of a diva and likes her makeup a little too much.   Regardless, it works.  She uses her words instead of intangibly screaming and we reach resolutions much faster.    It’s temporary, and it’s not EVERY day.  In fact, she only gets eye makeup in the mornings if she gets out of bed and starts the day with a good attitude.

So yes, my four year old is wearing makeup, and now that I think about it – perhaps I should start wearing it more often too…  but that would require ME to get out of bed with a good attitude.  Not sure I’ll ever earn that reward!!