Tuesday, September 1, 2009


To celebrate our 2nd annual trip to the pumpkin patch with the Everythings (and in an attempt to get more sleep!), I thought up this fun project to do with Big Sis.

See, we made the mistake of telling her we were going to the punkin patch. And, in the manner of a typical preschooler, she assumed that meant today. Or tomorrow at the latest. The next day, a Saturday, she woke us up at 5am, screaming I'm ready for the punkin patch! Get brother and let's go!
We explained to her that it was something like 42 days away..... we thought she had moved on. Then Sunday morning, she woke us up at 5:30am. (Now, let me clarify... when I say she woke us up, I mean she woke up the entire house. So no one could go back to bed. Over the last 4 yrs, I've gotten used to living on 5-6 hrs of sleep a night... but what I wouldn't do for a consistent 6+!)

We tried counting all the way to 41.... to demonstrate how FAR away it is. We told her we weren't going until it got cold outside (which is likely a lie... for Oct 3 in TX.... and she'll likely remember this... but we'll deal with that on Oct 3!)

When none of this worked, the idea for the Semi-Homemade Pumpkin Patch Countdown was born!

While I cut strips of black and orange construction paper, Big Sis worked on cutting some scrap paper with my fun scalloped scissors!

Then we began making a chain of alternating black and orange links. I just handed Big Sis a piece of tape and she did the links herself - she loved it!

I loved that Big Sis was totally capable of doing this part by herself, while I watched G-man learn how to open the bedroom door by himself (yikes!!!)
And even though we had to make 35 links, it didn't take long.....

I found a fun Halloween font (this one is Necropsy - there are lots of cool ones here) and printed our countdown on orange paper. Then I cut it into the shape of a pumpkin (and added a green stem). I took a paper hole punch to the bottom of it to make way for the tulle, which I used to fasten the chain to the pumpkin topper.

I love, love tulle.... (I know, I know, I keep promising an entire post about tulle and I haven't gotten to it! I promise I will in case anyone wants to get their big holiday tulle order in. It's about time to restock my tulle supply!) I just used it to tie the chain to the pumpkin... knotted a couple extra strips of tulle and.....

Doesn't that look fun? And festive? Big Sis gets to tear off one link of the chain every morning. She loves it and - as a bonus - it's been good motivation to get her to dress herself in a hurry. And I keep reminding her that each link equals a whole day that has to pass before we go to the pumpkin patch. I think I'm starting to get through to her... ;)

As a side note, we're still not getting any extra weekend sleep - not that this is anything new. Big Sis isn't waking up, screaming to go to the pumpkin patch, but she IS still getting up crazy early on the weekends. (She has to get up by 6:30 on weekdays, so I'm not so delusional to think that she'll actually SLEEP IN on the weekends! I'd just love her to sleep to 6:30!)

We've tried the alarm clock route... let her pick out a cute pink one that she was excited about! Told her she couldn't get up til the first number was a 7. ;) She understands the concept, but.... Then we told her she couldn't get up til the alarm went off. When it DID go off, and we'd been up with her for over an hour, we couldn't figure out what that noise was... ;)

Some of you have had other great ideas that we'll have to try.... anyone else?


*kimmie* said...

Adorable!!! And the tulle totally made the whole thing!

Anonymous said...

GREAT idea! SO cute and festive -- and, I have to admit... the tulle was perfection. :)

Seersucker Scrapper said...

I love this countdown idea. I think we may have to make one for our upcoming Disney trip.

Thanks so much!!!!!

(Great pics by the way!)

MissBliss said...

awwwe...this reminds me of how much I love the Peanuts halloween movie!!!

What a great idea!!! I love the tulle, too...

Don't know what to tell you about the weekend mornings, although my nephew has gradually started sleeping later over time :)

we don't even have kids, *Yet*, knock on wood, we will someday, and we both passed out this afternoon with exhaustion...this back to teaching/school thing for us both!

anyway, I did get to that meeting I forgot all about that you asked me about...;)

Megan said...

we do countdowns for school but didn't think about it for such a fun family event! love the touch of tulle as well!

thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing your sweet comments. I appreciate it!

Becky said...

Cute countdown chain! We did one for Christmas last year, but I like the idea of doing it for other exciting upcoming events! It's a great way for them to start understanding how long "a day" or "a week" is.

For the sleeping late on weekends thing, what everyone tells me is "time will fix that". I try to remember that when my kids are teenagers, they won't want to get up. Ever. That's small consolation now, though. This summer, I have gotten in the accidental habit of keeping the kids up late (9:30 bedtime, usually) which is nice because they sleep later in the morning (7:30) and on the weekends, that gets me a couple extra hours more than I'm used to during the week when I have to get up at 5:30. But since yours have to get up earlier during the week, that wouldn't help you much. The other problem with doing it this way is that I get NO free time after they go to bed since I have to shower and go to bed as soon as they're finally down for the night. I don't think there's a way to win the sleep game at these ages. :-)

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