Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treating

 Maddie, Momma, Daddy and Izzie about to go knock on doors.

Maddie and Izzie really enjoyed trick or treating this year. They had a game plan. They discussed it. They knew they were going to knock on lots of doors, say "trick or treat" and then they would get candy. They were vibrating with excitement. Before trick or treating, my mom and Chris came over for dinner. During dinner, there was more discussion about trick or treating. Then Maddie suddenly had the thought that a "boy" might answer the door and she decided that she only wanted girls to answer the door. So we had to tell her that most likely at some point in the evening a boy or man would in fact answer the door. She was only semi okay with that by the time we headed out.

Of course they had to suffer through some photos before we got to knocking on doors. It was like they knew it was inevitable, so they actually did sit relatively still and had pretty good patience. Izzie even smiled. Then John and I headed out while Mom and Chris stayed behind to hand out candy. We took the short block, we were gone maybe 30 minutes. But it was enough. Between each house Izzie would say, "At the next house with a light I'm going to say Trick or Treat!" and then she'd get to the door and just stand there. She had such good intentions at every house! They had such a good time and they were excited about their loot. Good times were had by all.

And my choice of not handing out candy paid off. Most of the kids (and all of the parents) were thrilled that there was other options. The little jars of Playdoh were the biggest hit of all... next year, I need more playdoh!

 Maddie and Izzie

This was the most decorated house we visited.


So far today the girls only have in inkling that it is Halloween. I didn't want to tell them early this morning because then it would be an excruciatingly long day for them. This morning we went about our normal routine. John let me sleep in a bit taking the girls downstairs and fixing them strawberries and yogurt. Then we just played a bit, reading books and such. I did my Sunday morning cleaning of the kitchen before the guys show up for D&D. Then I took Maddie and Izzie to Sprouts for a few groceries. The two main reasons for going were 1.Carrots and 2. Kombucha.

For the past couple of days the girls have been carrot crazy. Like little bunny rabbits asking for a "whole, BIG, tall carrot." It takes them about 45 minutes to power through an entire carrot and it is quite comical watching them chow down on one. Needless to say, we went through the handful of carrots I had in the fridge and since there was a huge upset over the last carrot this morning after breakfast, I figured a trip to the store was in need. I finally resolved this mornings argument by cutting the one carrot lengthwise, convincing the girls that they still got a big, tall carrot that way. I explained it wasn't a whole carrot, they each got a whole half of a carrot. Yeah, that'll probably mess with their heads later in math class but it got us past this morning!

The second item I wanted this morning is my new favorite drink. It's called Kombucha and it is a fermented tea. It's stock full of probiotics, antioxidants and healthy enzymes. I gave up drinking soda a while back and was only drinking water with a very occasional glass of tea. Most people know how I despise fruit juice. Then I was introduced to Kombucha. It takes a bit of getting used to but now I love it. Because it is fermented it has a natural carbonation and a lot of people call it homemade soda. There is sugar in the making of the kombucha but the bacteria convert the sugar in the fermentation process. I have a friend who brews her own kombucha and I'm learning how to do it myself. It sounds like a fun and exciting project and a healthy replacement to soda. So until I get the right equipment and learn how to brew it myself, I've been buying it at Sprouts. If you have never heard of this drink or if you have and haven't tried it, you should!

Back to Halloween... our plans are for Nanna, Popo, Rhonda and Dylan to come over for dinner and then some of us will trick or treat and some of us will stay back to hand out candy. Don't worry, lots of pictures will be taken!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Egg Carton Worms

Izzie and Maddie showing off their worms.

This morning I woke up with the girls and I thought I let John sleep in a bit. But I forgot to shut the bedroom door and their early morning excitement, squeals, laughter and a bit of fighting kept drifting up the stairs and right into John's trying-to-sleep ears. Next time, I'll remember to pull the door shut. When John did come downstairs, he played with the girls while I ate breakfast and had some wake up slowly time.

Then I decided to do a quick little project with egg cartons. There are several variations of this craft from complicated with pompoms, pipe cleaners and glitter to the simple version I choose for today, construction paper and markers. The girls have only played with markers a handful of times so this was a lot of fun for them. Izzie was especially proud of the scary smile she gave her worm! Maddie carefully colored each one of her worms legs and then Izzie followed suit. Now they are reading stories to their worms, so maybe they are bookworms!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Arboretum, Halloween Parade & Pumpkin Carving.

Mostly just pictures tonight. Lots and lots of pictures.
Morning at the Dallas Arboretum with friends:
 Sydney Davis, Madeline Dittlinger, Isabelle Dittlinger and Madison Davis.

 Maddie, Izzie, Sydney and Madison playing Ring Around the Rosie, around a tree.

 Friends. Sydney, Maddie, Izzie, Madison
 Maddie... as you can see it started out cold, but warmed up quickly!


PAMOM Annual Halloween Parade:
 Maddie is of course the purple butterfly, Izzie is the pink butterfly.

This is a group shot, although I did cut off some of the kids in the foreground.

Carving Pumpkins:
 Izzie, Maddie, Ripley and Momma

Izzie and Momma

Finished Jack O'Lantern

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let's Pretend StoryTime

Today was "Let's Pretend Storytime" the politically correct way to do Halloween! My elementary school way back did something similar. We weren't allowed to dress as anything scary and we had to represent a character out of a books o the school could say it was about literature instead of Halloween. Whatever, I had fun! The girls were very excited to be able to wear their butterfly costumes to storytime. They wanted to show Ms. Ophelia and Ms. Dea their beautiful butterfly wings. Along with story time this time they got to decorate a little bat finger puppet. The books were about ghosts and pretending. I know they had a good time this morning!
 Izzie and Maddie

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Morning at the Park

Yesterday was gymnastics day for the girls. After a few bad weeks, things have finally turned around and the girls are really enjoying their class. I'm challenging them to try one new thing everytime they go to class and so far they've done pretty good with the challenge. Two weeks ago they attempted the "bear craw" across the parallel bars and we found out that Maddie is a natural pro at it! This last week Maddie tried "strong arms" on the single bar, it's where you push up with your arms and lay your belly on the bar. This leads to other tricks. Izzie did strong arms that turned into a flip on the bar. She really liked that! I am so proud of how far they are progressing in gymnastics, it's worlds apart from where they started a couple of months ago! Not only with the tricks, but with the participating, listening and sense of adventure to try new things.

This morning we went to one of the bigger parks in the area and met up with Melanie and her girls. The temperature was perfect for a morning at the park and we really had a fun time. Melanie really got into chasing the girls around and everyone was laughing so hard at the silly game. My girls taught her girls how to turn their t-shirts into collecting baskets. The look of horror on Melanie's face was SO worth me teaching the girls that trick! Maddie and Izzie were digging through the dirt, sticks and leaves to find treasures like acorn lids, little (inedible) berries, and special rocks. We also taught all the girls how to swing on the swings by laying your belly in the swing, which they all loved since they could do it by themselves.

After that we went to Red Robin for lunch. It's a good hamburger place, but the service was incredibly slow today. The girls were very patient up until the end when we were waiting to pay. Maddie got a case of the sillies and she was really testing my patience. But I got her calmed down and we were able to pay and leave with no upsets. Now I've got the girls down for a nap and I'm about to start some cleaning.

*A word about photos. I bought a new camera which works differently than my old camera. My old camera I never had to worry about charging, since it charges through the USB. I'd dump the photos and then I'd leave the camera plugged in and it would charge. My new camera you have to take the battery out and charge it. If you leave it hooked to the USB it DRAINS the battery even faster. So for the past few days I've been without a battery since I cannot seem to remember to plug it in. I've added a second battery to my wishlist, hopefully a second batter will solve the problem!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tutu Cute! - My Little Butterflies

 Izzie Buttefly and Maddie Butterfly. (This photo was taken with a cool application on my cell phone, called Retro Camera!)
 Maddie and Izzie. (Also taken with my cell phone, just the "regular" camera on it.)
(More pictures tomorrow...)

It has been one of the longest days we've had in awhile. But it sure was a lot of fun! We started the morning off getting ready for Melanie's Halloween Party. The girls were both very excited to see the butterfly costumes I'd been making for them. I gave them a sneak peak of Izzie's wings a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't let them see the entire costume. This morning, I assembled all the pieces and John and I got them dressed. The costumes came out so great! The exactly matched the image I had in my head. Maddie didn't want to see my vision all the way through, but we managed to come to a compromise. In the end, they both loved their costumes and had fun wearing them for most of the day.

Melanie's party was a lot of fun. She had a "Fish" game that the kids got to go after small prizes. She also had a Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin game and Izzie came in first place! There was an adult cake walk and a craft area for the little ones too. I know that both of my girls had a really good time at the party. I think Melanie is the ultimate host and her parties are always perfect.

After the party we went straight to Jackie and Tom's house to visit and hang out. I'm glad that Grandma and Grandpa got to see Maddie and Izzie in their Halloween costumes too! Maddie especially was Grandma's shadow and stayed by her side all day long. I think both girls missed them, since it's been awhile since we've been over there. It was just a fun, relaxing day. Both Grandma and Grandpa read books to the girls and then Grandma let Maddie and Izzie help make dinner. They were excited to get their first Halloween treats too. By the time we made it home this evening, the girls went straight to bed and fell asleep pretty quickly!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Picnic at the Lake

 Playing in the back of the van while waiting for the library to open.

 Izzie really had fun playing in the car.

 Playing at the park next to the lake.

Nanna and Popo setting up for our picnic.

 Izzie and Maddie wanted to picnic on the blanket.

 Maddie, Popo and Izzie walking out to the lake to splash.

Maddie and Izzie splashing in the cold water.

I think I got a big over excited this morning about getting the day started. Not only did the girls wake up an hour earlier than normal this morning, which threw off the "flow" of the morning. I was also aiming to go to an earlier storytime than usual. I get us going and out the door, thinking I'm running late when I drive up to the library and see no other cars in the parking lot. Then I noticed that I got there thirty minutes early. I let the girls out of their carseat and they played in the back of the van for a while, which they thought was pretty darn fun. Something different.

Storytime went really well with both girls participating more and more. They actually sat in the front row today which really excited me. The letter of the week was the letter O for Out of the Oven. The stories were about gingerbread cookies, pizza and owls. I love our storytime program, but their letter of the week don't match up too well with the stories a lot of the times. From library we drove over to pick up my mom and Chris for our lake picnic.

Mom and Chris had found this perfect little spot just last weekend and Mom wanted to share it with the girls. She wasn't kidding, the park was very close to her house. The girls were excited to see a new park. We played, ate and splashed the early afternoon away. By the time we left the girls were almost falling asleep in the car. It was a very fun morning!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making Biscuits with Mom, Dog Biscuits that is!

I wanted to make cookies with the girls this morning but since we rarely eat cookies, I didn't really want to make them and waste them. Instead I thought of making dog biscuits. Same sort of steps involved and no waste! Both Maddie and Izzie were very excited about the idea. Izzie ran over to Ripley, gave him a big hug and said, "Ripley, I'm going to make cookies just for YOU!" While we were making the cookies, Maddie kept saying, "These are for Ripley, not for Maddie and Izzie." She wanted to taste them, actually they would have been fine to eat, but I didn't want them thinking they could eat the Pupparoni we keep around for Ripley also!

The girls took turns measuring, counting and stirring the ingredients. It was a very easy recipe to make. We mixed the dough together and formed it into a big ball. Then it had to rest in the freezer while the girls went to play for 30 minutes. And while the dough wasn't technically a cookie cut-out type dough, I made it work that way without too much hassle and the girls got to cut out stars, hearts and other cute shapes. When the biscuits came out of the oven they wanted to give one to Ripley right away, but they told me they were too hot and Ripley would have to 'just be patient and wait!' Finally they were able to give him some of the treats and he was a happy dog indeed.

Recipe: (I half used something on the internet and half made it up myself.)

1 3/4 cup flour
2 tbsp wheat germ
1/2 cup brown sugar
lemon zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup creamy peanutbutter
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4-1 cup water

Just mix everything together until it forms a ball. Freeze for 30 minutes. Either scoop out 1 tbsp cookies, or roll it and use cookie cutters. Bake 375 for 12 minutes.

 Izzie stirring up the ingredients.

Izzie measuring out some brown sugar.
 Maddie pouring in some brown sugar also.

 Maddie and Izzie discovering the batter was very thick and hard to stir.
Giving Ripley his treat!