Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I heard the funniest commercial on the radio yesterday.
This kids comes on and says he's going out trick or treating so everyone needs to stock up on candy because he'll remember "until he's old and 20" which house was the dud and which one had the good stuff.

I laughed out loud, partly because IT IS SO TRUE!!!
I distinctly remember one Halloween when I was about 14 (I know, a little old for trick-or-treating) and I went with my friend in her neighborhood because the houses were closer together and one house in particular had a long driveway through trees but when you got there it was full size candy bars!  I don't know if I'll ever forget that.

We were a good house this year.  I bought way too much candy having no idea how many trick-or-treaters to expect and while we had a good amount, it wasn't gobs.  So everyone got handfuls of candy.
At least I won't be eating it!  (Ok except for the small part that I pulled for my own snacking purposes tonight . . . mmm, Sweetarts!)

Actually one of the reasons we ended up with more candy than kids is that we BOTH took the girls out for their first time early into the evening.  Megan was a doll at every house (except the one where she tripped and you could hear her screams for miles) and Abby insisted on walking (and carrying her pumpkin) up until the very end.  The last few houses I carried her until we saw the door and then she fought to get down and go get her candy.  She completely got it.

And now both girls are totally sugared up and in bed late enough that hopefully they will each (and both) sleep through the night (because last night was horrific and guess who woke up every single time -- 4 total -- and then an additional 2 for my own nightmares -- ick) and sleep in in the morning.

A mom can dream.

But it was a good first "traditional" Halloween.
Hope yours is as happy!

Oh and it's now 4 days (COUNT THEM FOUR) until I leave for a fabulous weekend getaway to the International Quilt Festival in Houston!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Still Reading

Some of you may remember when Megan was first starting to "read" (that adorable video is here).

Well Abby is following in her big sister's footsteps -- of course!  Same book too.  Both my girls have just loved Lunch by Denise Fleming.

You may have to turn it up a little, she's quieter than Megan was:

We are now also reading every night before bed and anytime that I sit down somewhere.  Abby particularly loves the Gossie & Gertie books by Olivier Dunrea, The Bear Snores On, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a few from Sandra Boynton, and Ten Little Dinosaurs which honestly is really annoying to read!

Megan's favorites right now include the Dinosaur books by Jane Yolen and anything that has to do with princesses.

Little Projects

We've had a few fun little projects in the works the past few days.  Of course, we had to carve a pumpkin -- but I did forgo roasting the seeds -- I'm the only one who eats them!

Megan did the designing . . . 

This is her finished face.

Then Chopper translated it into carve-able features and did the cutting.

And there it is!  Unbeknownst to me, the pumpkin doesn't actually sit upright.  So it has to be supported.  But it had a nice smooth face for carving!

In the dark . . .

Our next project was plant a tree!!!!  We are the ONLY house on our block without a tree in the front yard.  The previous owners dug it up apparently, although for the life of me I don't know why.  Anyway, on Saturday we went to the annual Homeowners Association Meeting and won a tree!  Now we're going every year!  No one bothers to go and they raffle off landscaping trees and flowers so we're going to make our HOA dues work for us and provide us with new landscaping!

 Of course the poor thing has to be tied up.  When the Texas wind blows it really gets going!  But hopefully it won't be too long before it can withstand it!

Last but not least, after putting up my wonky jacks quilt and arranging my picture wall, I realized I need another quilt to replace the jacks when they come down after Halloween.  Eventually, it would be fun to have a quilt for each season or holiday but that's not going to happen any time soon so instead I opted for one that can hang year-round if need be.
It was my first shot at a log cabin quilt (which I've always wanted to try) and the blocks are only about 4 inches so they're kind've wonky.  It's hard to sew pieces that small completely accurately!  But I'm very excited about the result and now I can dedicate myself to the (at least) 3 other projects that need to be finished in time for Christmas!  Whew!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Early Trick of Treat!

We had trunk or treat a little early this year.  Our stake has stake conference Halloween weekend.  I know, weird.  But the stake presidency really gets into it and dresses up and stuff.
Just kidding.

Anyway, you've already seen the costumes but I just can't resist more!

Chopper went as a soldier.  A friend told him it doesn't count as a costume if it's your uniform and he's probably right.  But as much as I get wrapped up in the girls' costumes, I don't want to go too overboard for us because we most likely will not wear them again.  I don't know -- maybe if we move to another location or something.  Anyway -- so we went with our standards -- soldier for Chop and poodle skirt for me!
 But my husband is still hot in his uniform!  (Sorry, dad, that you had to read that.  But not sorry enough to delete it!)

 Usually she WANTS to go but doesn't dare with all those kids pinging around so this time we got her in early and then when it filled up -- she was ok!  Abby loved it too.  I had a friend climb in and retrieve Abby when it got too full and she was very upset -- maybe because she got flattened, maybe because I got her out!  Not sure!

I did NOT win best cookies (the missionaries will have a great little surprise for that one when they come to dinner on Thurs. hehe) and I have it on good authority that Megan was barely beaten for best costume for her age group by a ladybug.  It was a darn cute ladybug though!  But we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Megan is FINALLY getting the trick or treat idea and was happy to show (not share) her spoils to daddy when we were through.

Poor Abby.  End of the night, she has a cold, and I gave her to Chop for a picture.  Not happy.  In fact, we're supposed to be in church right now but she's sick enough I don't want her in nursery and since church is 1 to 4 (ick ick ick) I thought her sleep would be more helpful this once.
But overall it was a GREAT evening!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Head Lice Anyone?

A friend who comes to our playgroup called me this morning to let me know her kids have lice.  I kind've freaked out.  My furniture and floors have been vacuumed, I am washing all the dress up clothes and the bedding next, and so far Megan has been checked twice!  I'm a little paranoid that I would miss it though with her light hair but I'm not even really seeing any dandruff so I think we're good.  Besides, I'm sure we'll have this many times in our lives with school and friends and dress up clothes so I'm fine.  Really I'm fine.  And my house is getting REALLY clean.

I just hate bugs of all sorts (I know, who doesn't?).

So on a more positive note -- Megan really enjoyed me taking goofy pictures of her yesterday.  She loved seeing the results on camera.  But I'm pretty sure she'll be really angry about me posting them when she's fourteen! 

Oh and this one is particularly fun -- Megan can roll her tongue at the ripe old age of 3.  I'll bet she'll be able to whistle too.  And snap her fingers well.  Just more proof that she is her father's daughter.  It is kind've funny though for her to come up to me and roll her tongue and then say "but mommy can't do it."  Yep.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

So I Went a Little Overboard

I had too much fun making Halloween costumes this year.  I've been thinking about it for a while but waited a little bit to see if Megan would settle on an idea.  First it was Tinker Bell, then I can't remember what came next -- I think Vidia (another fairy from the Tinker Bell movies), then she wanted to be Rainbow Dash (My Little Pony), and then Curious George.  ??????  Finally, she found out that her "best friend" (not sure if that exists at age 3) was going to be Rapunzel and that changed her mind yet again.  So I decided to go ahead and make her a Rapunzel costume knowing that if she changed her mind, at least she would have another dress for dressing up.  I couldn't go wrong!

Abby on the other hand, is Rosetta -- another fairy from the Tinker Bell movies.  I had an idea for her costume that I couldn't get out of my head so she had no choice.  Not that she cares -- although she doesn't love her costume and tries to take it off every time I put it on . . . 

Today we took Daddy (a.k.a. Chopper) to the Arboretum.  We've gone several times with friends but not him!  I managed to get some cute shots of the girls among flowers and pumpkins and in their costumes but it still took a fair of amount of candy bribery.  This is why I don't pay for professional pictures.  

So be warned -- what follows is really cute, but not only did I go overboard on costumes, I kind've went overboard on picture taking!!!!

 This is Megan's "big hair" (I swear that's what she calls it!) in all it's glory.  By the way, if you're using Simplicity's Rapunzel pattern, ignore the measurements for hair and make your own -- I went through a lot of yarn because they were too small!

 Not bad even I do say so myself!

 I LOVE THESE PICTURES!  She looks so sweet and innocent -- must be the bribery!

 Now if I only had Photoshop I could make that lollipop look like a magic wand and then no one would ever know I bribe my kids . . .

 Ah yes, hugging the pumpkins.  If you tell Abby we are going to the Arboretum she says "punkin, cow, sheep" over and over.  (When we go on Tuesdays they have a petting zoo that she LOVES!)

 We eventually took the costume off to preserve it from . . . well from being herself (you know, falling over, running into things, trying to climb into the fountain -- you think I'm kidding but I'm not).
 AND THEN SHE STARTED SMILING!!  Actually what happened is that I started reciting one of her favorite books that she "helps" me read and whenever she said the animal sound, I snapped the picture.  Many animal sounds make you look like you're happy . . . 

 Please ignore the CSI: Miami head -- I don't know what I was thinking.

Megan in Rapuznel's house.  Perfect.

Oh and in case you're wondering, on the way home Megan told me she wants to be Tinker Bell for Halloween.  Figures.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Let Me Explain

It seems as if funny or odd things must be genetic in our family.  Either that or Abby is a fast learner and Megan gets way too much quality time with her.

Since she was very young, Megan has done this funny / odd thing where she's "chilly".  She gets rigid and shakes on purpose.  Get it?  Chilly?  Anyway, Abby's picked it up -- it's kind've funny.  Megan is also trying to teach her various words and they're pretty good too.

Ah the benefits of older siblings.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Completely Blame Chopper

So it's "V" week in the Whittacre household and I decided I wanted to do the science-experiment-volcano thing.  So on Monday, Megan and I make the play dough.  Well, I make the play dough.  Megan dumps ingredients in the pot and Abby eats some when it's all done and promptly bursts into tears because despite being edible -- it's really gross.

Anyway, then I build the volcano form around an empty soda bottle and leave it to dry.  And the rest of our day goes something like this:

Megan -- "mommy take the play dough off the bottle."
Me -- "we have to let it dry before we paint the volcano"
Megan -- "but we need to take it off."

Then she refuses to go in the dining room where the volcano is and asks me to put it in a closet.  At this point I'm starting to think there's a fear issue and then it dawns on me.  Chopper (my darling, YouTube loving husband) has shown her countless videos of volcanoes erupting.  And told her about lava.  And how dangerous and hot it is.  And this is the girl who runs across the kitchen when I open the oven door (unlike Abby who gets closer to see what's inside).

Ding ding ding!
So I explain to Megan that this is a PRETEND volcano and that it will be full of BUBBLES.

No go.  Monday night she has a nightmare where a shaking volcano laughed at her (that's what she said, I swear) and doesn't go back to sleep for THREE HOURS!  We talked some more.

Regardless, when we set the thing off today for playgroup, I was in the dining room surrounded by excited toddlers and Megan was in the living room staying as far away as possible.

I blame Chopper absolutely.  And I worry.  This girl has so much fear about so many things.  And she's angry all the time and so easily frustrated.  I just don't understand what's in her head.  Or how to help her feel better. Hopefully someday I'll figure it out.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall is in the Air

In the Whittacre household that means certain things:

More baking and cooking (as the weather cools down . . . wait a minute . . . )

Getting costumes ready for Halloween (please disregard my half-naked child.  She's getting better at taking her own clothes on and off).

And of course quality time with daddy means football.  Thank goodness you can only get so much football with a bunny box!

Other than that, no crisp air, still wearing shorts, and the leaves haven't changed yet.  But I did start adding soups to the dinner menu.  I love soups!  And warm, crusty bread.  And apple crisp.  And I'm getting hungry.
Yes it's fall.