Monthly Archives: November 2014

Christmas List 2014

Does anyone else love to know what other people are getting their kiddos for Christmas? It’s like the equivalent of the “What’s in your fridge?” amusement. I thought I’d share our gift break down for this year. As always, we stick to three gifts (If it was good enough for Jesus…) We’ll start with the baby:

Cohen will turn one just a couple weeks before Christmas. He loves music, shaking/throwing things, and cause/effect toys. Because he’s the youngest of three, I’ve seen with the others how some “baby” toys are discarded quickly. One of the keys to a good gift for the youngest kiddo is something interesting enough for his older sibs to play with him. With that in mind, we bought him this set of Citiblocs.


Wood toys are almost always a win, but the fact that this will extend the play of the wood blocks we already own certainly helps. Better still for the music-loving babe, they rattle and come in a bucket.


This chomp and count dino is a pretty obvious choice for the young toddler set this holiday. I mean you get to feed him. He sings songs and has a wheel you turn. AND he has a string so you can pull him along.


We have a bunch of the different Green Toys vehicles. They are a great size and have held up to some rough play. Cohen’s going to love pushing this tractor around, especially since it has a bucket in the back for hauling “stuff”.

Landon’s next! He’s three-and-a-half. It’s the first time we’ve given him gifts since he was diagnosed with autism. Which you might think changes things, but I think what makes this holiday the most different from previous ones is the fact that he knows what he likes this year and asked for some things specifically. One thing he was adamant about was that he would like some bridges to go along with his wooden train tracks. Thanks to Mimi and Aunt K, he’s got two bridges coming his way.

If you’re the mama of a preschool-aged boy, you probably have a few monster trucks laying around. Landon is a proprioceptive-seeker, so he loves the feel of the big rubber tires. I found this set over the summer on super clearance, so I’m glad the wait is almost over to see how much he loves it.


After more than a few mom recommendations and an extended play session at the children’s museum, I knew Magformers needed to be on this year’s Christmas list. Unfortunately, they are super expensive. I jumped at a deal I saw a couple months ago and am so excited these are wrapped under the tree!


Because they’re so expensive, it does seem like the kind of toy we’ll have to build onto with time, but I hope the 30 piece set is enough to get him excited about playing with them!

This last toy goes against pretty much every toy rule I have: it’s big, it only does one thing, it’s pieces are fixed and non-customizable, it’s plastic. But, he’s going to LOVE it. And sometimes (sometimes) that’s worth breaking all the rules for.


Lastly, Lucy. She’s turning five in a couple weeks. And she knows exactly what she wants. Oh boy…

We bought her a toy kitchen for her first Christmas and I must say that was the best investment. (This is the kitchen that has stood the test of time. And kids.)

She asked for some food this year so we got this wedding cake and ice cream set. I know that’s technically two things, but by shopping early I found them for a steal and could fit both into the budget.

wedding cake


Lovies and stuffed friends are adored around here so I know this Cinderella pillow is going to be a hit. Since she saw a commercial for Disney World that featured Cinderella’s castle, she’s become a favorite princess. I mean she’s no Elsa, but pretty high up there. ;)


Lastly, she asked for a calendar. The passage of time is so interesting to her and she wants to know what we’re doing every day so I thought this would be perfect. There’s one for older kids that has a month view so we could always upgrade to that one later.


Budget-wise, starting early definitely helped keep us on track. We started out with a budget of $50 per kid. Cohen came in $10 under budget, Landon was exactly on budget, and Lucy was $6 under budget. I used the extra money to add some books to their stockings!


So many stockings!


Parenting 101 As Learned From The Wild West

Lucy and I have been reading through the Magic Tree House series while Landon is at school. It started innocently enough: we found the first book in the series at the thrift store and I started reading to her while she was having a snack one day.

I was immediately impressed with how long she would sit and listen to me read. She asked for more and I obliged. Even better- our library has most of the series available as e-books.

We recently finished “Ghost Town at Sundown”; the tenth book in the series.


After I finished reading it to her, I could not get this one part out of my head. The book is set in the Wild West and like most of the series, one of the main characters, Jack, does a little research to help them as they’re visiting an unfamiliar place and time. For this book, he has a list from a cowboy about how to treat a horse. They’re hoping to settle some wild mustangs. According to the notes Jack took, “Horse Rules” are as follow:

-Soft Hand

-Firm Voice

-Sunny Attitude



That’s exactly like parenting!

Learning to parent Landon through his special needs has really stretched us this year. Autism builds patience through routines that can’t be broken. It is a mirror as your kiddo tries to show correct emotions by mimicking yours (which is why spanking doesn’t really work for us). It spurs compassion when you step outside on the first very cold day of the year and watch your kiddo twirl their hands in wonder, trying to catch the cold air that feels like it’s pressing on their exposed skin. Your heart explodes when they learn or do things for themselves.

I can honestly say this has been the hardest year for us, which made this reminder all the more sweet. Parenting might be messy, but it can be broken down simply.

God even broke down the Bible for us, “Jesus replied, ‘Love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matt 22:38-9)

My goal for the week is to remember those uncomplicated horse rules.

Lucy Lately

I put this picture up on Instagram today and it reminded me that I haven’t done one of these in a while. This kid makes me laugh SO much. All the time. She likes to ask what I love about her and it’s so hard to choose just a few things. But- her spirit and sense of humor are definitely at the top of the list. She brings joy everywhere she goes.

And then she said, “Mom. Did you vote for Jesus for King?”

“I’m making something that’s too incredible. It’s going to knock your eyes off.”

Me: “Don’t tell, it’s a secret.”
Lu: ” [whispering] Okay. I’m going to put it into a secret closed area.” [zips her lips]

“Mom. I need Cohen to watch the show I’m putting on, not be engaged in it.”

Lu: “Let’s have a contest to see who can put their shoes on the fastest.”
[I win.]
“Well. The rules say you have to be four to win.”

Lucy: “Mom. Smell my breath!”
[from across the room.]
Me: “Peeee yoo. Stinky.”
Lucy: “Are you sure?”
Me: “Mmhmm.”
Lucy: “That’s weird ’cause I just brushed last night. I think all the toothpaste escaped!”

[Making her a sunbutter and jelly sandwich.]
“Mom. May I have the honor of putting the two pieces of bread together?”

Lu: “Hm. That’s weird.”
Me: “What’s weird?”
Lu: “My wish didn’t come true.”
Me: “What did you wish for?”
Lu: “I wished I would become a fairy. Maybe it just takes a long time for wishes to come true.”

He’s been super fussy so she prayed, “Jesus, please help Cohen get teeth.” This morning his two bottom teeth popped through! So we start talking about answered prayers and she says, “I can’t believe God hears my prayers! I’m asking for a baby sister next. Sorry Cohen!”

“Is it so weird that in Jesus’s day they wore flip flops!?”

“I am a queen! And I oppose my own policies!”

“There’s a bug in the car. But I don’t know if I’m dreaming it.”

Cheerleaders: “Defense push ’em back, sack that quarterback!”
Lu: “Did they just say Jesus?”

Lu: “So did you ever hear of the cow that had a hundred chickens?”
Me: “No?”
Lu: “That’s because it didn’t happen! Bahahahahaha.”

“Oh, Mom. You look so pretty when your hair falls in your face… Oh and now you’re back to normal.”

Lu: “Anyone heard that a mountain grows? Anyone heard that leaves fall?”
Chuck: “Have you ever heard about the kid who ate all their vegetables?”
Lu: “That sounds terrible.”

Shopping isn’t really my thing. I’m a kid.

[Chuck adjusting the radio]
Lu: “Dad, can you turn it to my jam?”

“Dear Jesus. Please help me to never grow up and have babies so I don’t have to have shots and get hurt.”

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