Category: Parenting

Preschool Graduation

Someone please stop time for me.  PLEASE!?

My little girl graduated from preschool last week.  It can’t be almost time for kindergarten already, can it?!



She was so proud of herself, and I was so stinkin’ proud of her.  She’s grown so much in the last two years of school, and we’re going to miss her preschool teacher dearly!  After graduation was over they had a reception.  Averie told me she needed to tell Miss Becky something, so we walked over and she thanked her for being the best teacher ever.  She also thanked the Miss Mary (their classroom helper), I believe it was thank you for always bringing me snacks or something along those lines – not entirely positive, as I was out of earshot.

I sure hope she keeps her attitude of gratitude in the years to come.  It’s part of what makes her so special.  Here’s to moving forward and on to *gulp* Kindergarten!

It’s OK to play in the mud once in a while…

I *hate* messes, which is pretty funny if you’ve ever seen the state of my home after a busy cookie week…  So sometimes, it’s hard for me to let go and just let Averie be a kid and make a mess of things.  Being an only child, and my child, Averie’s pretty attentive to being clean too – she washes her hands without being asked, and keeps her toys (mostly) picked up and put away where they belong.

Her dad isn’t quite as meticulous as I am.  I came home today to someone playing in the rain, in the mud, in the backyard.  I almost had a meltdown, until I realized how much fun she was having.  Instead, I just calmly asked her to stop digging holes in the yard, snapped a quick picture, and ran a quick lap around the yard with her.


I’m not going to convert to a ‘mess lover’, but I will admit that it was a little refreshing to run around in the rain, even just for a few minutes.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember that kids need to be kids, kids need to make messes and sometimes  you just gotta let it happen.  Even if it goes against ever fiber of your mess-hating self!


Snowy, Wintery Ick!

What do you do when it’s snowing outside?

You come home from school, put on your PJ’s and play ‘Go Fish’, of course!

Go Fish!

The best part of playing with a four year old?  She gets excited and yells “YES!” when you tell her to “Go Fish”.  I don’t think she quite has the game figured out yet…


Time for some girly pampering!

Averie and I spent Friday night at a hotel with a friend and her kids.  The girls had an absolute blast in Iowa City at the Children’s Museum and swimming in the pool.  Bedtime cracked me up – Averie was the most adult out of all of us!  The other girls were talking, us two mom’s were giggling, and Averie was pulling a pillow over her head and telling us to be quiet because it was bed time.  To be fair though, I couldn’t help but giggle at her – It was pretty hilarious!

Saturday morning we parted ways and I took Averie with me over to Coralridge Mall.  We had lunch, did a little shopping, and then decided we would get pedicures.  When she wasn’t giggling because her feet were ticklish, Averie was carrying on a conversation with the woman next to her about everyday life.  I swear, it felt like a flash forward into my future.  I sure hope she keeps her outgoing attitude and friendliness throughout life!

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?

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…. 🙂