Made it through

Well, I made it through yet another year of NaBloPoMo managing to post every day. This year I definitely thought about it less than usual and there were a couple nights I almost forgot. I guess I really am busier with 4 kids. Shocking.

Anyway, I think I generally do a “what the kids are getting for Christmas” post, so here goes for this year. Mostly I can sum up Kalena and Will’s gifts in one word: LEGOS. Legos have been a huge hit around here lately and I’m a big fan, so there will be many new lego sets under the tree this year.

Will is especially obsessed with Chima Legos, so he’s getting several of these speeder sets:

chima speedorz

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I don’t even know if he’s getting that exact set, but sets like that. I found them at Target for 50% off back in August or something and bought a bunch.

He’s also getting this storage bag to store them all in. (He’s kind of obsessed with the storage bags Brian has for his models, so I’m pretty sure he’s going to love this.)

speedorz bag

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Kalena is getting some random Lego sets, because she doesn’t have one specific obsession like Will does. So!

A princess set:

lego jr princess

a Lego Friends set:

lego friends

a Lego Movie set:

lego movie

and a Ninjago set:


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She’s also getting a My Little Pony, and a little learn to stitch set (because she watches me cross stitch and wanted to learn.)

The two of them are getting an Angry Birds Go board game, because the love the app and I came across this on clearance for like $7. Plus they’re each getting an extra car for it as a stocking stuffer.

angry birds go

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They’re also each getting a $20 gift card to the Disney store, because I had enough Disney Movie Reward points to get them. How could I say no to free gift cards?!

And because *I* needed it, they’re getting the Research Institute Lego set too.

research institute

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In fact, maybe I should just put that under the tree with my name on it.

Daniel, because he loves Elmo, is getting an Elmo stuffed animal, Elmo book, and an Elmo spoon & fork. Plus some bristle blocks. Oh, and because she’s the best, my sister is making him a “basic skills” book- the kind where he can zip a zipper, button a button, put something in a pocket, that sort of stuff.

Lydia needs nothing, but no presents is no fun! She’s getting some stacking cups, a couple soft books, a twisty teething toy, and, because sometimes I’m sentimental, a glow worm. (I had one I loved as a little kid.)

Oh, and all the kids are getting pjs in their stockings. I know lots of people do new Christmas pjs on Christmas Eve, but 1) I’m not a fan of opening gifts before Christmas morning and 2) only Lydia’s are actually Christmas pjs. Kalena’s are My Little Pony, Will’s are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Daniel’s are bears. Anyway, there you have it! I still don’t know which gifts will be from Santa and which ones will be from us. And I may get each of the big kids a book. I usually do (because books are the BEST) but I haven’t yet. Also, I ordered a couple movies from Disney Movie Club recently, and I’ll probably just wrap those up and stick them under the tree too, because why not?

Typing this all out it feels like a lot of stuff. Is it? I didn’t pay full price for any of it (okay, except the Disney movies) but staying in budget doesn’t mean it’s not a lot of gifts. Maybe it just feels like a lot because it’s everything for four kids? I DON’T KNOW. What are your kids getting?



Christmas gifts this year

I did a post like this last year and had NO trouble finding pictures and links for the stuff the kids were getting. This year? WHOA. I don’t know what the deal is, but some of this stuff I couldn’t find pictures of at all. Anyway! Here’s what the kids are getting this Christmas.


From Santa:

doll furniture

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This isn’t the exact set we got, ours has a bouncy seat instead of a pack-n-play, but you get the idea. She’s been wanting (and asking for) a doll stroller and furniture for a while.

In her stocking she’s getting a plastic giraffe toy (she’s got a thing for giraffes) and the movie Epic. (Those are also from Santa.)

From us:

Cinderella doll


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The Cinderella “toddler doll.” This was a specific request. Why Cinderella I’m not sure since it’s definitely not her favorite of the Disney movies.

And a book.

lady bug girl book


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We have 2 other Ladybug Girl books and she’s a big fan, so when they had this one as one of the $5 deals at her school book fair I picked it up.


From Santa:

dinosaur mountain


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A while ago Will saw some kind of dinosaur mountain in a toy catalog and he WANTED IT. Which would have been fine except that it was $70 and really didn’t look all that fun. (Definitely not $70 fun.) Anyway, I started googling around and found that there’s really not much in the way of dinosaur landscape type toys. But then! Then I found this toy from Imaginext. Exactly what I was looking for! Except they don’t manufacture it anymore. Thank goodness for eBay. (And for kids who are still too young to know/care if they’re getting used toys.) I found it other places new (the Sears website, for instance) where it costs hundreds of dollars. No. I paid less than $40 on eBay. It’s probably missing a few pieces, but nothing you’d notice. Anyway, it’s awesome. I’m very excited for him to get this.

In his stocking he’s getting a plastic dinosaur (one he doesn’t have! I didn’t know there were any!) and the movie The Croods.

From us:



{crappy picture from: my phone, 5 minutes ago}

You can’t really tell from the picture, but it’s a little bucket of dinosaurs and dino landscape pieces (rocks, trees, etc.) The dinosaurs are the perfect size to go with the other toy so when I saw this I knew he needed it. (We bought it at walmart. I couldn’t find pictures of this anywhere online.)

And a book.

Reptiles book


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Will’s Christmas really has a theme going on, doesn’t it? This was another $5 book I picked up at the school book fair.


Here’s where I tell you that I’ve finished shopping for the other 2 kids and have purchased nothing for Daniel yet. Whoops. He’ll probably only get a couple things since a) he doesn’t care and b) we’re about to move.

I’d like to get him a walker like this one:

playskool walker


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But it’s not being manufactured anymore. (We actually had this same one for Kalena, but the kids totally wore it out by the time Daniel came around.) I’ll still do a walker of some kind, but I haven’t decided on one yet.

I’d also like to get him this toy drum.

toy drum


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When my nephew had his birthday here back in September he got one of these and Daniel LOVED it. It’s been on the list since then.

And he’ll probably get a book 🙂

Do you know what your kids are getting for Christmas?


What the kids are getting for Christmas

I love hearing what other people’s kids are getting for Christmas, so today I’ll tell you what our kids are getting. Kalena first.

From Santa:

The Rapunzel tower with light-up-hair Rapunzel. She played with this at a cousin’s house last summer and loved it. So when I found it on clearance at walmart I picked it up.


Rapunzel tower

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From us:

This actually worked out really well since I had already purchased her this set of Rapunzel toys and they’re the perfect size for the tower.

rapunzel toys


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This book, which I picked because she loves the “Frog and Toad” books so much.

owl at home

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Lyra Heartstring to go with her other my little ponies.

my little pony


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Next, Will’s gifts.

From Santa:

An Elasmosaurs play set. Will loves “swimming dinosaurs” but we don’t have any. Yet!




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From us:

A set of Toy Story 3 figurines. This is the same style of set at the Rapunzel set we got for Kalena.

toy story 3 toys

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This set of three classic Mercer Mayer stories. It includes “There’s a Nightmare in My Closet” which he loves, as well as “There’s an Alligator Under My Bed” which I assume he’ll love since he’s obsessed with alligators/crocodiles.

There's something there

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Speaking of being obsessed with alligators/crocodiles, we got him this alligator to go with his Little People zoo.


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And Daniel’s gifts. We didn’t distinguish a “Santa” gift here, since he’s not old enough to care. I’m a little surprised I managed to find this many baby toys that we don’t already own some version of.

An activity triangle. I picked this one in particular because one side has a mirror, and Daniel is very into mirrors right now.

activity triangle


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A first words board book. (Not the nook version, which is where the link goes. I don’t know why they don’t have the board book on the website.)

First 100 words

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This suction cup flower. You can stick it on the high chair tray!

stick and play suction toy

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An oball rattle. Daniel’s still working on grasping, so easy to grab toys are good.

Oball rattle

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These activity blocks. Good for working on his fine motor skills.

stacking action blocks


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Kalena and Will are also getting stockings for the first time! We got basically the same thing for each of them. The stockings each have a dollar bin dinosaur puzzle, a handful of tiny dinosaurs (leftover from Will’s potty training bribes), M&Ms, a coloring poster/book, and a pair of the dinosaur chopsticks from this post. (Both t-rex, of course.)

And there you have it! I’ll tell you what they’re getting from my parents too, if you’re interested, but this post got a little long. Oh, and I doubt the prices on most of these links are what I actually spent. We spent about $50 on each kid, plus stockings for the older kids (about an additional $5 each.) So, what are your kids getting for Christmas?


Gift guide for a dinosaur lover

I finished Christmas shopping for the kids on Wednesday (minus a couple stocking things.) I’ll get around to posting about what they’re getting, but for today, some dinosaur ideas! (I’m always hyper-aware of anything dinosaur related. I’ve caught my kids’ obsession. I didn’t even know it was contagious.)

First, these dinosaur flashcards from Flash of Brilliance. Kalena got these last year for Christmas, and they’re awesome. They’re card-stock so they’re more durable than just cards. They have lots of info on the back, but they’re also color-coded on the front (so you can tell the sauropods from the theropods, etc.)

A jumbo T-Rex from Toys R Us. Will has one of these, and he’s getting another one, because he loves it so much. (Toys R Us only has two jumbo dinosaurs online. Both T-Rex oddly enough.) I don’t know why they call these “foam.” They’re plastic. 20 inches tall and made of awesome soft plastic.

Melissa &Doug dinosaur puzzles. Four wood puzzles in a nice storage box, pieces labeled on the back in case they get mixed up. Can’t go wrong here.

One of these awesome dinosaur hats from Daisy Brains on Etsy. It is a shame we don’t have any of these. We really should.

Some squishy dinosaurs from Oriental Trading Company. These are tiny and stretchy and squishy and really fun. We bought a 4 pack of them in a museum gift shop, but I might still need to order the 48 pack of them. The kids love them. (Plus, $6! Less than 15 cents each! Doesn’t matter if the kids lose a few!)

For older kids (well, maybe you want to deal with stamps with kids under 5, but I do NOT.) this Melissa & Doug stamp set. (P.S. Melissa & Doug stuff is pretty awesome in general.)

An Ultimate Sticker Book: Dangerous Dinosaurs. These books are great and available for pretty much anything your kid might be interested in.

The book “Ten Terrible Dinosaurs.” We don’t own this (WHY?!) but we’ve checked it out of the library several times. Very cute.

Looking for something a little more practical? How about some dinosaur pajamas. We have several pairs around here, including these from Carter’s. Will loves to point out all the different dinosaurs there are. It’s really cute, because he always sounds a little surprised. Like, “Hey! Did you know these have dinosaurs on them?”

And no dinosaur lover’s life is complete without dinosaur cheater chopsticks! (No? Just my kids?) Kalena and Will LOVE to use chopsticks but they are bad at it. We’ve been talking about getting them some cheater chopsticks for awhile, and then I found these at our dinosaur museum gift shop. In the stockings they go!

I could probably go on forever, but I’ll quit now.