Giving and Giving Again: One for One Shopping

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I’m hoping to keep the spirit of giving thanks alive as we enter the true giving season.  I was grateful for the opportunity to share this giving opportunity on NBC Connecticut on Sunday.  I will share the TV clip as soon as I get it!  Until then, please enter the giveaway below for a few extra gifts this season.

“Buy One, Give One”  or “One for One” shopping is making a major impact this holiday season.  For every item purchased by a consumer, participating companies are committed to making a donation of a similar item or the cash equivalent to those in need.   Far beyond TOM’s Shoes and FEED bags are a myriad of carefully designed products, inspired by their creator’s desire to better the world.  It may seem like a corporate gimmick, but when you read the companies’ mission statements and their founders’ bios, choosing to make these purchases is a simple, easy way to give during the holiday season and all year round.

“Buy once, give twice.”  Baby Teresa Clothing

“Show the World You Give A Shirt.” You and Who

“We are a part of a movement to help consumers turn their everyday purchases into acts of generosity towards people around the world.” Smile for the People

“When you make a (one to one) purchase, you give some kindness to someone you know, and someone you’ll never meet.” WINK Bags

“Our mission is to empower change by spreading the most fundamental need for happiness and prosperity — health.” Kutoa Bars

FOR THE TRAVELER/BEAUTY QUEEN: WINK Bags (http://winkbags.com)

Wink Bag 5

Inspired by one mother’s stay at the Ronald McDonald House, WINK (When In Need of Kindness) sells stylish toiletry bags with luxury products from Soap & Paper Company inside. When you buy a WINK bag, one bag (filled with important travel-size basic toiletries) is donated to Ronald McDonald House Family Rooms across the U.S. so family members staying with their critically ill children don’t have to worry about these necessities.  Each adorable chevron-printed WINK bag contains a custom all natural WINK lip balm, a 4 oz. shea butter soap and corresponding solid perfume. $36 each.

FOR THE HEALTH FOOD LOVER: KUTOA BARS (kutoa.com)

Kutoa 1

In Swahili the word ku-toa means “to give.”  For every KUTOA health bar purchased, KUTOA donates, through a partnernship with the World Food Program, a nutrition pack to a child suffering from malnutrition, providing them with the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.  The KUTOA bars are made with all natural ingredients including organic oats, fresh fruit and nuts.  My husband snacks on bars daily and he gave these two thumbs up.  The bars come in four flavors: cherry cashew, peanut butter and jelly, chocolate banana and blueberry almond.  $25.99 per dozen

FOR THE NEATNIK: Smiles for the People (smilesforthepeople.com)

Smiles for the People 1

Smiles for the People’s Original Adult Brush is a premium toothbrush made from 100% biodegradable bamboo. The brush has an ergonomically curved design that makes it comfortable and beautiful. For every toothbrush you buy, Smiles for the People gives the cash equivalent of ONE toothbrush to one of their partner dental charities.  These donations enable Smiles for People’s giving partners to design locally appropriate interventions for their communities’ unique local needs. $5 each.

FOR THE NEW PARENTS: Baby Teresa (baby-teresa.com)

Baby Teresa 1

Baby Teresa was founded by two women who wanted to do something that would allow them to give back.  Rather than simply profit from their organic baby clothes and accessories, they decided to set their company up under a one for one giving model.  For each baby outfit they sell, another one is donated to a child in need somewhere in the world through one of Baby Teresa’s many charity partners (http://baby-teresa.com/donation-sites/).  All of the socially responsible clothing from Baby Teresa is made from fabulously soft cotton that is 100% organic.

FOR THE T-SHIRT LOVER: You and Who (youandwho.com)

You and Who 1

You and Who markets original design t-shirts and for every one sold, a matching shirt is donated to someone in need in the city of the artist who designed the shirt through local charity partners. Through this model, You and Who is not only helping those in need, but also the very artists who design the one for one t-shirts, providing exposure for their work and paying them $1 from the sale of each of their one for one t-shirt designs that is sold.

Find more buy one, give one products:

Thanks for checking out all these great products and wonderful companies.   To get the giving going, I will be giving away a One for One Holiday Package, including one WINK cosmetic bag, six Kutoa Bars and two Smile for the People toothbrushes (a $60 value).

Love Them Madly One for One Giveaway

How To Enter:

1. Comment on this post by sharing below your favorite way to GIVE during the holiday season.

2.  Next, do one of the following: subscribe to Love Them Madly (fill in your email, top right corner of this page) or LIKE LOVE THEM MADLY on Facebook.

3. The contest will close at midnight on December 10th. All entries will be entered onto www.random.org on December 11th and a winner will be randomly selected.  THE WINNER IS AMY DEUTSCH!
WINK, Kutoa and Smiles for the People provided me with free samples of their products to review.  I was under no obligation to review them, nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the products I received.

Spot It: Hanukkah Style

We unpacked our holiday bin this week.  It felt a bit like a Lifetime movie; the boys helping me slide and unstack boxes in the attic until we found the right one, then squeezing down the stairs alongside me and the big green bin, jostling to get a glimpse of the contents.

The highlights – a Curious George Thanksgiving book, last year’s homemade dreidels and menorahs, Hanukah window gels and our holiday version of the Spot It! card game.

My kids (especially Noah) love Spot It!, the fast-paced matching game from Blue Orange Games. If you haven’t played, try the free demo here. The circular tin includes 57 symbols, 55 cards, with 8 symbols on each card. By creation of some mathematical genius, there is only one matching symbol between any two cards in the deck.  The recommended age is six, but Noah has loved it since age 3.  The decks are themed – Alphabet, MLB, NHL, Spanish, French, San Francisco and more – and at ten to fifteen dollars each, make great little gifts for all ages.

Last year, our local Learning Express toy store gave out mini Holidays Spot It! sets with a Spot It! purchase.  Like many “holiday” editions, this one was pretty Christmas-y, save for a snowflake and an (arguably) secular snowman (why do snowman so often don Santa hats and green scarves?).

Spot It Xmas

Noah loved the new game and learned a pretty good Christmas vocabulary – from ornaments and jingle bells to Rudolph and cookies and milk. I was glad for the chance to explain the symbols to him to give him an idea of how many of our friends celebrate this time of year, though I can’t imagine what it’s like to take in all the American traditions of Christmas, all at once. What was he was thinking when I explained each symbol as they arose in the game — kids who get coal in their stocking, Santa coming down the chimney, leaving presents, having cookies and milk and driving away with the reindeer. I’m not sure if I made Christmas sound wonderful or terrifying.

Of course, he asked when we could get the Hanukah version of Spot it.  There isn’t one. So…you can imagine where this is going, right?

Hanukkah Spot It with Pup

We pulled both our Hanukkah and Christmas Spot It out of the box and played last night.  I was surprised that (1) at this time last year, I managed to find the time to make our own Spot It, and (2) our version played as well as the official. With Hanukkah just a little over a week away, playing the game was a fun way to remind the boys of latkes, gelt and the letters on the dreidel.  Since you have to shout out the match as soon as you spot it, their Hanukkah vocabulary was quickly refreshed.

Ry noah cards

ryanhandsondeck

miracle card

Spot It Cards

You can print your own set of our Hanukkah game by downloading this file: Hanukah Spot It 2013.  As the PDF is formatted for Avery #22807 2-inch Round Labels, you can print on sticker labels and then adhere to pre-cut cardstock circles (we used a two inch hole puncher). If those supplies are unavailable, print onto cardstock and use scissors and a 2 inch circle guide to cut out.

Not Jewish? Try it anyway! We like Christmas Spot It and hope you’ll like our version too, including this Hanukkah Spot It Guide to the holiday symbols on our cards.  You can also check out Sesame Street’s Hanukkah story on YouTube.

Want to make your own Spot It version? You could have a Spot It themed about your child, your family, your town or a place you are traveling. It’s not a quick project, but it’s worthwhile and you can involve the kids in the creating.  Here’s how:

  1. First, get to know the official Spot It by purchasing one here.
  2. Photocopy the instructions and guide to the symbols. Substitute one of your images for each image on the Spot It guide.  Then use Avery’s design software to re-create a deck of cards with your images instead. Kids can help by brainstorming images and matching the Spot It image to your substituted image to make a working deck.
  3. Print sticker labels and assemble cards as described above.

Halloween Costume Round Up: Royalty to Rainbow Loom

Three days to go and my family has already donned five Halloween costumes for three separate pre-Halloween festivities.  For a last minute girl like me, these early events mean that we are oddly, unusually ready for Halloween and I don’t have to wait until after the holiday to share our costumes with you.

ltm collage halloween

Pete the Cat:

Noah settled on Pete the Cat, one of his favorite book characters, for his Halloween costume.  If you don’t know Pete the Cat, check out the books, videos and songs here. I sewed ears and a tail to a blue super skin suit (which he wore backwards), then added four groovy buttons to his yellow raincoat.  He was such a cute and happy Pete at his buddy’s Halloween party last weekend that I had no idea he’d soon morph into an…

Astronaut!

As Noah set aside my Pete creation for his brother’s old astronaut costume, I decided to go along with the costume change, keeping my cool much more than when he told me he wanted to trade in last year’s homemade Frosty the Snowman costume for a new one at our supermarket’s swap.

Blue Cat versus Foil Wrapped Space Explorer: we’ll see which costume will win out on Halloween night.

Prince William and Princess Kate

My husband often attracts attention as a Prince William lookalike.  No one has ever mistaken me for Princess Kate, but we ran with it for our friend’s awesome costume/birthday bash. We could have worked a bit harder on our hair color, but we accessorized instead.

Rainbow Loom

Ryan wanted to be a human Rainbow Loom, one of the hottest toys in America (and our house).

rainbowloombox2

rainbowloombox

We’ve been working on this one for a few weeks.  First, Ryan took careful measurements of his loom, and together, we calculated proportionate measurements to his body.  We then created a prototype with cardboard and plastic cups as pegs.  This was an unplanned, but excellent, math and spatial exercise for both of us.

rainbow loom detail

To make wearing posterboard as comfortable as possible, we kept the dimensions small and used a 10 inch by 30 inch piece of gray posterboard, wrapped in Saran Wrap to give it a shiny plastic look.  Thanks to Dad’s meticulous measuring and cutting skills, the loom came together without much trouble.

20131028-003850.jpg

Now this is a dad. A Friday night watching Shark Tank and making a Rainbow Loom.

Scott used a penknife and zipties to secure 10-ounce clear Solo cups to the posterboard, in the alternating one peg/2 peg pattern of the original loom.  Blue duct tape made the loom’s signature blue baseplates and doubled as straps to attach the loom to Ryan. Giant rubber bands from Staples and a cane-turned-loom hook finished the costume.

A testament to the loom’s popularity (and Scott’s brilliant workmanship), Ryan’s costume was recognizable to many (only one person asked if he was DNA).

A testament to the loom’s popularity (and Scott’s brilliant workmanship), Ryan’s costume was recognizable to many (only one person asked if he was DNA).

Thank you for visiting Love Them Madly.  Please share this post and visit the Love Them Madly Facebook page to become a follower.

The Greatest Show On Earth: Your Family Circus

Thank you all for the enthusiasm over my Better Connecticut appearance last week.

If you missed it, you can watch the segment here.

THE WINNER OF THE Toddler On-the-Go Package is JENNIFER BENOIT. Congratulations Jennifer!

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We’ve had circus on the brain ever since my three year old’s preschool class put on a circus for their end of the year show. Sweet and kid-made, complete with a tightrope walker teetering along a chalk line on the sidewalk, the adorable show inspired our family circus over July 4th weekend.

tightrope  

Top 8 Reasons to Have a Family Circus

1. The circus is magical and engaging.

We’ve read our favorite circus books dozens of times: Sawdust and Spangles: The Amazing Life of W.C. Coup by Ralph Couvert and G. Riley Mills,  Circus Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina and Chris Van Dusen’s The Circus Ship. 

 2. You can fold in literacy activities for some writing and reading practice.

My circus performers loved designing this logo on the website PicMonkey, along with some great handmade signs.

PROGRAM COVER Sunapee Circus

Using the computer was very enticing – the older kids also worked together to type up our program and a loose script.

3. There’s an act for everyone.

The seasoned teachers at my son’s school taught the kids a bit about the circus than encouraged the kids to develop their own acts and jobs.  The older girls made up acrobatic routines on the monkey bars.  My shy little guy proudly braved the playground’s log balance beams, while others served popcorn and collected tickets.

Letting the kids in our family circus (five kids, ages 3 to 6) brainstorm the acts was hilarious. I spread out some props during our “planning session” and the kids quickly came up with this list of acts.

List of Acts

Our List of Acts and Performers

3. Step Right Up…and out of your usual roles.

My older son is quiet at school and less likely to take charge of a group.  Among the cousins, however, he’s the oldest and comfortable and confident with them and his grandparents. He took the reins as ringmaster of our family circus, taking charge of the script and guiding the cousins through joke telling and the acts.  The younger cousins played an important role too, with acts all their own.  And the starlet most used to putting on shows happily shared the stage with her cousins.

family irc us

4. Anything can be a prop.

A hula hoop is great for the lion and lion tamer.  The rest can be improvised with whatever your players dream up.  I gathered some props and costumes from our toy bins (microphones, animal face masks, knight costume) and a few July 4th decorations from the dollars store.  The wig was fun, but wearing Uncle Scott’s giant shoes really completed the clown get-up.

Milo the Magnificent
Blow-up jousts from our inflatable gladiator game become barbells for the strongman.  At the preschool, they used plastic tubes (pool noodle would work) with boxes on each end covered in black construction paper for the same effect.
lifting

5. Everyone’s Got A Joke. 

The comedy part of the show was a hit with the actors and audience.
We googled some circus jokes:

Why did the clown go to the doctor?   Because he was feeling a little funny!

Why was the clown sad?  She broke her funny bone!

What kind of a key opens a banana?  A monkey!

Which circus performers can see in the dark?  The acro-bats!

Then there were the more organic jokes.

What do you call melted cheese? Cheese fondue.

What do you call melted fish? Fish fondue.

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Dinosaur. Dinosaur Who? Dinosaur knocking on your shoe.

6. Parents Included. (This is a good thing.)

My husband juggled.

I got to be a horse for the brave knight.

me as horse

7.  Circus Snacks Are Delicious.

You can go traditional (popcorn, cotton candy, peanuts or cracker jacks) or get creative here.  To celebrate my son’s school circus, we made these cute cookies I spotted on a blog called Munchkin Munchies.  The blog also features an adorable circus snack mix.

Photos from Munchkin Munchies

       

8. It’s all about making memories.

circus close up

Last weekend, nearly a month after our big circus, my kids sought out our still unpacked bag of circus tricks and reenacted the July 4th show.  And the greatest show on earth continues… Noah has asked for a circus party for his 4th birthday.

WE MISS YOU COUSINS!!!

Chalk it Up for Father’s Day

After school yesterday, I showed my kids and our neighbor a few Father’s Day crafts I have been admiring on-line.  Despite some drizzly rain, they couldn’t wait to create these pavement chalk art photos. I’ve seen plenty of these on-line but none starring my kids.  This was totally delightful playtime as the kids happily focused on making something special for dad.  There was talk of angles and how to get the photographer (me) higher than our four foot ladder to capture a larger drawing area.

rynodad

I love backing out of the action and watching the kids brainstorm and divvy up responsibilities.  Ryan quickly started with the rainbow frame (the Crayola chalk rake is irresistible) while his friend Maggie started on the bubble letters; then Ryan colored in the letters while Maggie decorated the scene.

magry

I like good regular play that becomes part of gifting for someone special.  Just order some photo prints and frame ‘em up or glue them on paper for a homemade Father’s Day card.

noahdad

The rain interrupted the kids’ next plan to make a giant scene and have me take photographs from our second story window.  Somehow I think we’ll be going through a lot of chalk this week.

For some more great chalk photo art inspiration,                                                                                                           check out Burgh Baby and Craft, Interrupted.

For more Father’s Day craft ideas, check out my 2012 Father’s Day Post.

I Loved My Birthday Madly

A few weeks ago, I bid on and won a yoga and picnic package at a charity auction for our local children’s museum.  On Friday, I hosted a dozen friends for yoga in my backyard and a lovely lunch (catered by someone other than me) while the kids were at school.  It was my 36th birthday — and one of my happiest mornings.

At 10:30 a.m., the yoga instructor arrived, as gentle and soothing as her expertise implies.  We picked a flat shaded spot of my yard for class, then chatted about kids and friends and birthdays.

By 11 a.m., my kitchen was filled with the hugs and smiling faces of some wonderful friends, along with lots of lovely birthday cards, plants, flowers and some unauthorized gifts (no presents means NO presents, people).  Strong sun (on a ninety degree day) had enveloped the recently shaded area of my yard, but my guests willingly set their mats out anyway.

I’ve been in my yard hundreds of times and most of these friends have spent considerable time there as well.  Never have we paused to listen to the rustling of the leaves and make out the sounds of our kids at recess just down the hill.  We definitely never lay in the wood chips beside the playscape, focusing on our breath.

yoga reverse prayer

See that teeny-weeny bit of shade over there??

Yoga forward

I felt so fortunate to be surrounded by such flexible friends. I also felt that I should do yoga a little more often.

yoga - me

Me: Letting it all hang out. Thanks RA for taking the photos!

My preparations for this party included making some energy bites and mini yogurt parfaits, brushing the pollen off my deck furniture and getting dressed in exercise clothes. Oh, and I also bought two six-packs of fancy bottled water at Marshall’s.  Thankfully, the donor of the yoga/picnic package went to some extraordinary effort.  While we were enjoying our backyard yoga, she slipped into my kitchen and set up a small feast, complete with a personalized menu.

bday lunch

I promise to pay this forward someday, and make a lovely lunch just appear just like magic.

Never much of a barfly, I was grateful when the twenty-something days of meet-me-at-the-bar birthday celebrations gave way to going out for thirty-something birthday dinners with the girls.  Now, I’m simply over the moon to be back on the party circuit.  Last month, I attended a friend’s 40th, where local caterers taught a cooking class as they prepared a four course meal for us.  AWESOME!  Next week, I have another 40th birthday party to attend; this time, at a local farm and vineyard.  HURRAH!

My kids have all sorts of parties to go to: bounce houses, video game trucks, science museums, nature centers, art studios, karate dojos, you name it.

I think it is our turn, ladies. Manicures, movies, photography lessons, paddle-boarding, ropes course, cheese-making. Whatever Groupon offers, let’s just book it and call it a birthday party.

“Oh, there are so many possibilities. I can’t wait to get started!!”

- Eric Carle,  A House for Hermit Crab

It’s Never Too Late: Last Minute Mother’s Day Crafts

The boys have been taking art classes with a wonderful teacher.  Each week, Tara introduces the kids to a different artist and they work on a project inspired by the artist’s work.  My house is covered in decorated soup cans (Warhol), painted collage (Chuck Close and Gustav Klimt) and sculpture.

After the kids filled a notebook with some Warhol-like drawings in marker, Tara created personalized notepads for each artist, using a scanned in image of one favorite drawing (for Ryan it was Spiderman shooting a long line of webbing).

The notepads seemed a perfect Mother’s Day gift.  You can work with artwork your child has already created, instead of “forcing” the creating in time for the holiday.  I love working with my kids on most gift projects, but it certainly moves things along to be able to crank a project out after their bedtime.  All you need: a scanner, printer, paper, glue and some of your child’s artwork.

****NANA BONNIE AND GRANDMA BARBARA****

**IF YOU LIKE SURPRISES AS MUCH AS ME, YOU SHOULD REALLY STOP READING THIS POST**

1. Select a few of your child’s drawings and scan them into your computer.  Insert the scanned drawing into a Word document and resize the picture to fit.

Noah Bright

For Noah’s gifts, I used this pretty watercolor painting he made and faded the colors a bit to use as a background on every page.

ducks in a row

Ryan has been drawing lots of Mo Willems-esque ducks.                                                                                     He drew and cut these out of an 8.5 by 11 piece of paper and I scanned into a JPEG.

For smaller notepads, you can make columns to divide your page – 2 up, 4 up.  Select a fun font and type in the recipient’s name, a saying or a quote to the image.

notes together

I used a free graph paper template as a background for my mom’s full sheet notepad as she is building a new house and will be spending lots of hours planning the space.

3. Print (10-30 pages for binding) and cut to size.  We use a inexpensive sliding paper cutter, but if you don’t have one, you can use a scissor or borrow a paper cut from your local copy center.

4. At this point, you can leave the paper loose and have an adorable stationary set.

Image 8

If you wish to bind paper into a notepad, stack pages neatly, carefully lining up the tops.  Add a piece of cardboard to the back (I used nice patterned tab divider and file folders).  Add an extra sheet of paper to both front and back to keep glue off your pages as you work.  Then clip the sides together to hold in place.  I used waxed paper under the clips to avoid creasing.  Apply rubber cement (I’ve read gel glue or gorilla glue works well too) along the top, then clip along the top to hold together (or use heavy books).  Let dry a few minutes and repeat 5 or 6 times, until the pad stays together.

Image 2

Image 4

5. Package with a cute note, pretty pens, folders or other supplies.

Image 3

Wishing you a wonderful Mother’s Day and some peaceful time with your loved ones.

Need More Ideas?  

Check out Love Them Madly’s Shopping ideas, Fingerprint ArtLotion Bars and Word Cloud Art, and more great kid-made ideas at Homegrown Friends and All for the Everyday.

Mother’s Day Shopping

This is always so tricky.  My mom, mother in law, grandma and sisters are just about the biggest blog fans I have.  You know I like surprises, so I can’t very well go showing what I’m buying this Mother’s Day.

Let’s just go with some items that that have caught my eye that I wouldn’t mind receiving for Mother’s Day… Not that I am hinting to my family, from them, I am hopefully anticipating a replacement of the gold necklace charm I dropped in the toilet a few weeks ago.

This is the actual present category.  Homemade gift ideas coming soon.

Click on the photos for pricing and details.

I’m not sure why I started receiving the Olive & Cocoa catalog, but it is one I probably won’t ever cancel.

 

These peonies and cabbage roses are so lush and stunning I may never even notice tulips again.

Custom pillow case, in a few colors, from Red Envelope (now just $29.95).

This is a practical one (I once received a compost bucket for my birthday), but how awesome for gardening and washing little boys hands as you hear the jingle of the ice cream truck.  Gardening Sink and Work Station, by Improvements.

This slackline looks like it is for kids, but I’ve wanted one to play on (with them, without them, whatever) since I saw it on the beach in Rio last summer.  REI sells some more adventurous looking ones, but the training rope on top looks right for my family.

 

 

 

Last, but certainly not least….clothes, play clothes, fun clothes, working out clothes.  I mean to shop and update my wardrobe, but I rarely do and I know plenty of moms who feel the same.  Actual stylish clothes someone intentionally  selected (ideally from somewhere she can swap if they don’t quite work) would float any mother’s Mother’s Day.

Happy Shopping for the women in your life!

April Fools’ Day: 2013 Edition

Do you remember that amazing steamboat museum I took Ryan to in Kansas City last year?  You don’t? Neither does he. Thank goodness I keep a blog as proof of major life experiences – you know, like viewing 200 tons of  a virtual time-capsule from the remains of a ship that sunk in the Missouri River in 1856.

You know which memories of his six-plus years Ryan remembers best?  The times I was just plain silly.  The times I surprised him.  Like when his brother Noah was two and insisted that “nobody” give him a bath.  I donned a shower cap and fleecy bathrobe and pretended I was a Mrs. Doubtfire-lady figure named “Nobody.”

“You want Nobody to give you a bath,” I said, channelling Robin Williams channelling Mrs. Doubtfire.  ”Well, here I am, my darlings, I’m Nobody.  Nobody is here to give you a bath.”

Ryan giggled, while Noah just stared at me.

“I know, I know.  You want Nobody to give you a bath.  Well, Nobody wants to give you a bath.”

“You want Nobody to wash your hair.  Well, my love, Nobody will.”

The schtick went on and on.  A year and a half later, the boys still request Nobody at bath time.

I love any excuse and reminder for us to be totally silly with our kids.  I wish I remembered more often that you really don’t need an excuse.  Still, April Fools’ Day is Monday.  Tomorrow!

Don’t let it pass you by.

This year, I’m planning to start the day with these “undrinkable” juice cups with breakfast I saw on village.  I’m going to try this natural vegetarian take on Jello mixed with cranberry or orange juice.

If I find a small enough box (no idea where I’d find a matchbox in my house), I will pack the boys a “micro lunch” or snack like this one from Family Fun magazine.

I picked up these fake lottery tickets at the dollar store a few weeks and plan on slipping a few in Ryan’s lunchbox with a coin for scratching off.  Is it mean to make him think he is a millionaire from lunchtime to 3:15 pm?

Inspired by Homegrown Friend’s Happy Birthday Nobody party, I think April Fools’ Day might be the perfect time to have an after-school birthday party for nobody.

As my husband (a very good prankster) has often shown, the best jokes are not so elaborate as just completely unpredictable.

For more April Fools ideas, check out the 2012 April Fools’ Day post.

Tooth Fairy In The House

If you remember, Ryan’s big goal for his sixth year was to lose a tooth.  I am pleased to report that all his wiggling (plus a shovel to the mouth and a recent skiing wipeout) paid off.

I thought I was ready.

I had asked around about the going rate for a tooth (anywhere from a buck to -gasp- twenty for the very first).

I helped Ryan make a pillow (which led to both boys making pillow after pillow – sewing with boys is simple awesome).

Tooth pillow

We read this wonderful book by Robert McCloskey (Blueberries for Sal, Make Way for Ducklings).  So delightful to see Sal again; this time, on the day she loses her first tooth.  It’s a perfect read to soothe anxiety and answer questions about losing that first tooth.

Still, I wasn’t entirely prepared for this.

TF Note

To celebrate this big/small milestone, we went out for frozen yogurt. Before we left the house, Ryan penned his note to the good fairy (she might visit while we were out), asking if he could keep his tooth for “one more night.”  At the yogurt place, our neighbor shared how her girls were able to keep all their teeth, simply by asking nicely.  Within minutes of coming home, Ryan managed to white out the “one more night.”

Happily, T.F. obliged, leaving his tooth and:

tf response

xoxo

Tooth Fairy envelope printable by Handmade Charlotte and kisses inspired by Maya Made.

Before breakfast, Ryan preemptively wrote this note for the occasion of his next fang falling out.

tf note 2

Front: Dear Tooth Fairy, Can I keep my tooth? I love you. Love, Ryan
Back: Keep your tooth clean. I love you Tooth Fairy. Love, Ryan

May the milestones continue to be this sweet and the parental responsibilities this simple.

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