Letters To My Daughters: Kinley At 3 {and a half}

Letters To My Daughters

Dearest Kinley,

I wanted to write you a little letter to give you an idea of what your life is like at age 3½. This was important to me because you have changed so much since turning 3. Here’s a bit about you right now:

You start to stir around 8:30 a.m. and I walk into your room to see if you’re really awake or not. You need your sleep, so I have to make sure you are really OK with getting up. If you turn into a grump in 10 seconds or less, I know I need to give you some time to wake-up. If you bounce out of bed happy, I know it’s going to be a good morning.

The unfortunate part is that on the mornings where we have plans, you act like you have cement shoes and need to pick out your outfit and dress yourself {always interesting}. There’s a trend in our life most parents of 3½-year-olds will agree is both wonderful and horrible: The need for independence.

Kinley Dressed Crazy

A recent photo example of your interesting personality in the morning: This is an outfit you wanted to wear in public. I felt horrible to squash your dreams, but I had to say no to this one. Sorry. baby cakes.

This age has been truly incredible and a learning experience at the same time. The words you are saying — and using correctly — {“attributes,” “frustrated” and “disappointed” – say what?!} are nothing short of amazing for such a little person. You are highly aware of the environment around you and don’t seem to miss a beat. There are so many pros and cons to this. I can’t hide a darn thing anymore without you finding it!

You are obsessed with the color blue. In fact, the other day you had a full blown temper tantrum until I washed the blue bowl you wanted because heaven forbid I give you cereal in a purple bowl. I have quickly learned to pick my battles wisely. Bless your heart though for pointing out everything that is orange, since you know it’s my favorite color. Melts me every time.

You still wear your Sulley Halloween costume almost daily, but you’ve branched out a bit and will wear some of your dresses on occasion as well. You absolutely love dressing up {though you still hate wearing actual “real” dresses unless you are matching your sister} and I love seeing you come alive and play pretend, whether you are alone or with a friend.

Kinley as Dorothy

I recently took you to see the Wizard of Oz play, so of course you had to wear your Dorothy dress!

During the past few months, I’ve been getting reports of you being sassy with your teacher. You do not like being bossed around — period. However, you adore her. What gives, Kin? You definitely have “threenager” tendencies. That has also come into play in the potty department, but you have come a LONG way there in the past six months – thank God.

You have become much more affectionate these past few months, which I adore. You know you are always welcome in my arms. You have quickly learned how to work me and know I will stay in your room at night and scratch your back and arms if you give me love and say cute things. Such a charmer. How can I say no?

Our nighttime routine is dear to you, and you love reading books, saying our prayers and talking about what we’re thankful for. Sometimes your list is just a few things {grandpa, Owen {cousin} and strawberry jam seem to be tops this past week}, other times you come up with a big list {including Lauren, Jason, mom and dad – ha!}.

Right now it’s clear to me that you see the world as a magical place and are constantly showing daddy and I how to see it the same way.  For that, I am grateful and look forward to your curious and sweet personality continuing to develop.

Hold on to your innocence, and cherish every moment, sweetheart.


Kin and I collage


We sure have a lot of giggles together!post-signature

10 Items To Repurpose For Kid’s Entertainment

10 Items To Repurpose For Kid's Entertainment

It’s EARTH DAY! To celebrate, I thought I’d make a fun list of ideas on how to take items you have around the house and repurpose them for the sake of our little ones and their creativity.

Whether you have kids or not, there is one thought that is universal: Kids can be very expensive! From craft supplies to clothing, toys and more, there are LOTS of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle for kids to save money, and Mother Earth. Here are some ideas:

1. Re-use popcorn tins as toy holders. We use ours from Christmas for all of our Play-Doh pieces, but these could be great for blocks, LEGOS, plastic toys or more.

2. Keep wrapping paper for crafts. Use the back of the paper as an “art canvas.” Because dude — special finger painting paper is expensive and this works just the same. It can be great for sticker artwork as well because what kid doesn’t like sticking stickers everywhere just for fun?!

3. Cookie cutters can provide hours of entertainment! Use them for tracing, Play-Doh and more.

4. Re-use yogurt cups for all kinds of kid-friendly reasons. Our preschool uses them for paint cups, but I love using them for color sorting activities, too!

5. Egg cartons make the perfect paint palette. Just plop in your colors and go to town. If you’re kids are like mine, they will mix them until they all turn brown, but that’s OK ;)

6. Use your postpartum bucket for sensory activities, or activities with a lot of little pieces. {Or, just a tupperware container.} I just love this little bucket for so many reasons. But kid crafting is the best. IDEA: Let your child take an old golf ball and cover it in paint. Tape paper to the bottom of the bucket and let the child roll the ball around to make some fun, abstract art!

10 Items To Repurpose For Kid's Entertainment

Kinley “painting” snow with drops of food coloring in my postpartum bucket from the hospital

7. Re-use those big, decorative boxes from Jo-Ann’s for books. I have a few of these from presents I’ve received. We used to have a bookcase in Kinley’s room and it drove me crazy because she loved to pull all the books out and my organizational-freak self hated it {I love them arranged by size — cut me some slack!}. Now, she can pull them out all she wants and it makes for easier clean-up — I just throw them in the bin at the end of the day.

8. Baby wipe containers ROCK. We use ours for craft supplies and things like crayons and puzzles, but I’ve even caught Kinley using them as a bed for her small plastic junks. IDEA: Use one for all the little items us parents all like to keep in the car: Napkins, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, sunscreen samples, etc.

9. Use old curtains/shower curtains them as a crafting tablecloth or as a big canvas for your kids. Or, make a road on it for them to drive their toys with wheels on.

10. Boxes can make ANY craft. Seriously, give your kid an empty diaper box and see what they can create. We used one awhile back to make Kinley a robot costume, which was very well-loved when it finally went into the recycling bin for good! We’ve also made candy shops and a pet shop for all our stuffed animals. The options are endless.

10 Items To Repurpose For Kid's Entertainment

What are your favorite items to repurpose for kid’s entertainment?


Bookstock: Ultimate Book Sale Happening in Michigan April 27-May 4, 2014

Bookstock Used Media Sale in Michigan April 27-May 4, 2014

I was selected for this sponsored post by Hay There Social Media. All opinions expressed are my own. It is no secret that I have an immense passion for literacy, which is why when I learned about Bookstock, a GIANT book sale that benefits non-profits in Michigan, my heart starting racing with excitement. I am […]

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5 Reasons You Need A Fitbit Flex #VZWMidwest

5 Reasons You Need A Fitbit Flex

I am testing the Fitbit® Flex in partnership with Verizon Wireless Midwest. All opinions expressed are my own. The time has come…It’s time for me to send back my precious Fitbit I’ve had for the past four months. You guys, I am SO sad. This is definitely a purchase I will be making in the […]

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Downtown Milford’s Ladies Night Out Returns April 24, 2014

Milford's Ladies Night Out - April 24, 2014

Looking for an excuse to shop and dine with your girlfriends? I have the event for you, southeast Michigan gals: Milford’s Ladies Night Out! If you’ve never visited the Village of Milford {just north of I-96 in southwestern Oakland County}, you are missing out. It is by far one of the area’s most charming downtowns, […]

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My Ode To Flip Flops

Guatemalan Stargazer from Reef.com

The post below is sponsored by Reef.com. All opinions expressed are my own. Here in Michigan, we are just now being blessed with above-freezing days {with the exception of today’s snowy randomness!}. With the help of this blog, I try to give you all the reasons to move here and why I love it so […]

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Delicious Eats With Blaze Pizza in Royal Oak {+ Giveaway with 5 WINNERS!}

Red Vine Pizza at Blaze Pizza Royal Oak

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet-up with some fellow fab local bloggers for a great event at Blaze Pizza in Royal Oak, orchestrated by my friend Metro Detroit Mommy. If there’s anything I can tell you about bloggers in general, it’s that we LOVE to talk and we LOVE to eat […]

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24 Weeks Pregnant

24 Weeks Pregnant

Oh man! Time is starting to fly and I am trying to squeeze in every possible major task I can before baby comes. We have been SO busy turning our home upside-down and purging things, painting all of our kid bedrooms and taking adventures as a family! Speaking of adventures…We are heading to Myrtle Beach […]

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