Thursday, November 29, 2012

Being in the Moment as a Parent

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Having 3 young kids I often get unsolicited advice/opinions from people I know as well as complete strangers. My oldest is 4 years old so I'm fairly used to this and although it can be annoying at times I also know that most people have good intentions and take it all with a grain of salt.

By and large the most common advice I get from folks who have older children or adult children usually goes something like this: "Savor every moment.", "It goes by so fast.", "The days are long but the years are short." I seriously hear this from kind older ladies at Target at least once every couple of weeks!

Funny thing is I know how fleeting these days are and I know that they will be gone before we know it! I think this is why I take so many pictures, I'm trying so hard to capture all the details of our lives so when the day comes that I can't remember those details there they will be, waiting for me to pour through the albums.

Although I know how important it is to "savor the moments" with my children there are definite days where I struggle with this. Probably more often than not if I'm being honest. When the baby is screaming, my toddler spilled cereal all over the floor and the dog peed on the new carpet in the living room it's hard to remember and believe that I will miss these days. When I'm going through the bedtime routine with the kids it's often hard to think about anything other than the silence, cup of tea (or glass of wine- depending on the day) and quiet uninterrupted conversations with my husband that will be had 'If I could just get them to bed".

This past weekend we were at a wedding and a distant family member came up to compliment me on our "beautiful family".  She then said the usual "It goes by so fast" comments but then also added her kids are out of the house and all grown up and "The silence is deafening!" She said it with such conviction and I'm not quite sure why it struck me so much but it really got me thinking about being better at REALLY being in the moment with my kids. I like to think of it as a goal or maybe a journey...something to always work on and continue to get better at.

How do you stay in the moment with your kids? Any advice you'd want to share?  I'd love for you to share in the comments!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Traditions with Ornaments

I'm a sucker for family traditions and especially ones that occur around the holidays. There's just something about creating memories for my young family that I hope will not only continue throughout my children's childhood but maybe just maybe will be carried on to their children. At least that's the hope, the vision in my head while we participate in these simple customs. That is until my 4 year old drops a favorite ornament smashing it into tiny pieces all over the floor and decides tree decorating isn't for her and my 2 year old's adorable plastic Santa cup unbeknownst to me leaks and the hot coco spills all over the couch!! True stories, but I digress.

 I've posted about a few of our family Christmas Traditions here Advent Calendar and here Hot Chocolate Bar.

This past Sunday we put up our tree....

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 and enjoyed our hot chocolate bar...


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I wanted to share another simple Christmas family tradition we have while decorating the tree. Each child has their personalized first Christmas ornament from the year they were born. Every year these are the first ornaments put on the tree, each child puts on their ornament. Just a fun way to get the ornament decorating started!

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Do you have ornament traditions in your family? I'd love to hear about them!

Have you done the hot chocolate bar? I'd love to see photos!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey Art Project

Here's a fun little turkey project we did the other day with my girls!

Materials needed- coffee filters, markers, spray bottle with water, glue, scissors, and construction paper.

First color the coffee filters


Next spray the coffee filters with water and let dry between two paper towels.

While waiting for the coffee filters to dry cut and glue the turkey head, beak and eyes with the construction paper. Then once the filters are dry glue the turkey body onto the filter.

And the finished product!

I love that this art project has an open ended element(coloring the coffee filters- there's no right way or wrong way- color however you'd like it to look) yet still has a finished product aspect to it. Sometimes my girls enjoy open ended projects but also like to create "something" in this case the turkey!!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free Facebook Timeline Templates From Album Cafe

Have you seen these new and FREE holiday timeline templates from The Album Cafe?

I just replaced my timeline Facebook photo for my personal profile as well as for Imprints From Tricia Facebook Page with these adorable templates!

I LOVE the Album Cafe and have purchased there collage templates for my blog(s). They have super cute choices and very reasonable prices! Just wanted to share a free find that I thought others might enjoy as well!!

Head on over to The Album Cafe and download them for free here: The Album Cafe

Oh and if you like what you see here don't forget to "Like" my Facebook Page here: Imprints From Tricia Facebook Page
Thursday, November 15, 2012

Advent Calendar for Preschoolers

A recent trip to the dollar store inspired me to start collecting items for our Advent calendar so I'm not rushing around like a crazy woman on November 29th! I picked up some simple and cute treats including Christmas coloring books, cute ornaments, Christmas chocolates, and Christmas silly straws!
All in preparation for our Advent Calendar starting December 1st! I dusted off the one from last year purchased at Target. It's nothing fancy but I've seen some really adorable and cute ones on Pinterest if you're up for being creative.

I compiled our list of activities/treats for the month of December. This year I included some ideas from last year that I found on Pinterest (Yes, I love Pinterest!) as well as coming up with some of my own.
I tried to fill the calendar with a combination of activities, outings, getting fun treats/little gifts, and giving back. To make it easier on myself the "outings" listed are ones we would do anyway. I simply wrote the outing down on the date we were going to do them.  So Dec. 1st is go on the Polar Express (an outing we signed up for through our Park District), and Dec. 2nd is go on a horse drawn sleigh ride which we will do at our neighborhood Christmas Party.

I thought I'd share our list for the month of December:

1- Go on the Polar Express
2- Go on a horse drawn sleigh ride
3- Read a new Christmas Story (I ordered the girls new cheap Christmas books through Scholastic book club from my 4 year olds preschool class)
4- See Santa at the mall
5- Buy toys/clothes for Wish Tree Gift
6- Write a letter to Santa
7- Pick  2 toys to donate to a shelter/hospital
8- New Christmas coloring book
9- Christmas chocolate treat
10- A new ornament to put on the tree
11- Go see the zoo lights (Lincoln Park Zoo)
12- Decorate foam trees (Art project found at Target)
13- New silly Christmas Straws
14- Make cookies for neighbors, firemen, community helpers
15- Family movie night (Christmas Movie)
16- Go see Rocketts Christmas Show
17- Go to library and find Christmas books
18- Make a Christmas Candy Cottage
19- Donate to Salvation Army
20- Birthday Party for Daddy (Hubby's birthday)
21- Read Christmas stories and drink hot coco in front of the tree
22- Go see Christmas Lights (Christmas light show)
23- Make cookies for Santa
24- Spread reindeer food and open 1 gift (every year they open 1 gift on Xmas Eve and it's matching PJ's to wear to bed that night)
25- Santa comes- Santa chocolate treat

I'm certain this will be altered through the years, some things we'll keep to stick with tradition and others will change to correspond with he ages of our kids.

What's in your Advent Calendar? Anything I missed that's a big hit for your family?