Once Ryan started working long hours, the kids started asking about the Dadvent. They remembered how much fun they had with it last year and were quite excited about doing it again! They didn't have to ask for too long, because on the day after St. Patrick's Day they woke up to find out that not only had the leprechaun visited, but the Dadvent had returned, too!
Instead of using our advent calendar for this year's Dadvent, we used the easel in the boys' room. Each day, Ryan would write a little note for the kids on the easel, directing them to their surprise/activity/whatever for the day. He also created what became the Dadvent mascot: Poorly Drawn Pig. Poorly Drawn Pig accompanied almost every (every single?) note and soon became a star with the kids. PDP was sometimes accompanied by a friend, such as horribly drawn horse or terribly drawn t-rex. The kids spent a lot of time imagining what animal Ryan would come up with next :)
Day 1: Nail Polish for Jae and Darth Vader light up keychains for the boys! Everyone was pumped. We've painted Lila's nails many times already.
Day 2: Finish the picture. The boys were confused on this one and at first just duplicated what Ryan drew. When I explained what the poem meant, Asher turned his into an old granny lady (left) and Reed turned his into a girl (right).
Day 3: Space pod! This started out as a pile of cardboard. Ryan found it on sale ages ago and bought it secretly with the Dadvent in mind. He might have been more excited than the kids to build it! Luckily, he gave them the pod on a day he was home (Sunday), so they didn't have to wait long to build it! They all had a fantastic time putting the pod together. Since then, they've had many sleepovers and play sessions inside the pod.
Dadvent Day 4: Sand toys to take on our trip to the beach! Ryan couldn't travel with us but at least he could be there in spirit. Apparently his spirit form is sand toys.
Dadvent Day 5: A new movie (The Tale of Despereaux) to watch in the car while we drove to California!!!
Dadvent Day 6: Since he knew we'd be at the beach, he sent the kids a video of him telling a favorite beach memory. The story had to do with phosphorescent plankton and the kids were entranced. Even Lila was reciting bits of the story to me throughout the day!
Dadvent Day 7: Another new movie (Ryan obviously found a killer deal on movies) to watch on the way home--and good thing, too. Our should-have-been 4.5 hour drive took 8 hours. I'm not joking. Neither is LA traffic.