Ryan is such a sweet and thoughtful person. Tax season is hard on all of us, and it bums him out that he doesn't get to see the kids for sometimes days at a time. He wanted to think of a way to have a daily connection with them (beyond just our nightly goodnight call)--and thus, the Dadvent Calendar was born. Each day for the last month of tax season, he'll leave a note in our Christmas Countdown Calendar, which we hung on the boys' door. The note might just be a note. Or it might be a riddle that, when solved, leads to a small toy. Perhaps it will be a treat. It could lead them to a video waiting on the computer. Every day is a surprise!
This week was the first week of Dadvent Calendar, and we all loved it so much that I had to document it.
Day 1, 3/17/15: Riddle
"I have a place for your bum
For your feet, your fingers and thumb.
Wheels! Some four, three, some two
Find me and you will find a toy for you.
The solved the clue quickly ("Our bikes!!!!") and raced to see what the toy was. They were overjoyed to find their very own cones for setting up their very own courses.
Long story, but we didn't get to try out the cones until they next day. The cones were a big hit with everyone. I should mention that we also took time to fill our pseudo lake-dam structure, then played in the muddy water and got super gross. (If you're curious about the lake: one day we noticed that our neighbors' sprinkler landed in the rocks, seeped through the ground, and reappeared in our big rocks. We moved the big rocks and discovered a lake! Now we fill the lake weekly at least and play in it. It's messy fun.)
Day 2, 3/18/15: Dinner!
"Food goes in a hole in your face,
How bout you meet Daddy at a lunchie place?"
The kids haven't seen Ryan on a weeknight for a few weeks now, so meeting him for dinner and actually seeing him was a big deal! We ate at Farmer Boy and had a nice time together. During tax season, the kids get super hyper when they see Ryan, so it wasn't their best eating establishment behavior ever and they were super loud, but we enjoyed it nonetheless!
Day 3, 3.19.15: Dad-made Mad Lib
"Let's play a game where you have fun with words.
I hope you come up with something absurd."
Ryan (and I) made a Mad Lib for the boys. We were a little worried they wouldn't get it, but with a little coaching--like telling them the needed a describing word like a color, or hairy, smelly, etc.--they got it. And the result was a lot of fun. They were dying laughing, particularly over the snack of lemon soup and rice and cheese burritos.
Day 4, 3.20.15: A Surprise
"Draw a straight line and measure things
It even has holes for you binder rings.
Go to the place that is dark like a lair
you like to play here while Mom does her hair."
Ryan was trying to lead the boys to underneath the clothes in our closet--the boys like to wiggle their way behind the clothes, then go through like a tunnel. They had to be hinted and prodded, but finally got it--then couldn't find their prize, ha. When they did find the prize, they were pumped to each have a brand new ruler that could clip into their binder! The binders came about as an accident. I was cleaning out the office (like de-junking and majorly reorganizing) and came across a binder full of blank notebook paper. I put the binder on the boys' coloring table, figuring the paper in the binder would save my stash of printer paper that they usually like to use. Reed saw the binder and was super pumped and immediately asked for another binder for Ashie. I cleaned out my coupon binder (I haven't couponed in two years or so....) and filled it with paper, too. They were instantly hooked. They've been drawing special pictures in their binders and making sticker pictures and all kinds of awesomeness--so we knew a binder accessory would be a big hit!
Day 5, 3.21.15: Movie Night
"Let's put in a big ol' tape and watch the wars from outer space!"
We love Star Wars and were all exhausted, so a movie night was just what we needed.
Day 6, 3.22.15: Skip quiet time to play with dad!
Unfortunately, I lost Ryan's poem from this day--so you'll just have to believe me when I say it was a good one. The boys were quite happy to miss their quiet time. They all worked hard on building a ferris wheel together.
Day 7, 3.23.15: Treasure Hunt!
Clue 1: "Paper shredder, paper destruction; there you will find more instruction."
Clue 2: "Go to where the milk would be; there another clue you'll see."
Clue 3: "Secret hide out, full of toys. Hidden clue for little boys."
Clue 4: "The final clue you have just read. Look under the place you lay your head."
They followed the clues and found a new pack of Angry Birds Star Wars playing cards! They were super pumped and immediately went through every card in the pack to see the characters. Then they sorted by character. Then they sorted by background behind the character. I got to play with the cards later when they each chose to play Go Fish during their mommy time!