Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Joy

Here are some fun pics for our wonderfully joy-filled holiday season.  We ate way too many sweets, celebrated constantly, and stayed up way too late.  Just what I call a successful way to end the year.  I really struggled this year with trying to keep all the gift-giving under control.  Lila is especially prone to "the gimmies".  But, overall, they were gracious about what the received (which was still abundant).  I made the girls each a costume- Lila a cheetah and Maggie a zebra.   They are pictured below with only the hats on, but it is a full-body costume that Lila wore to church and subsequent celebrations claiming it her "favorite gift".  Yay Mommy!  However, she also received "Princess Celestia" which she "wanted her whole life" and when she first saw her "fell deeply in love"

Mag's zebra hat

Lila's "favorite Christmas gift"

Lila and Delphi

The girls also got kittens which thoroughly pleased them.  Lila named hers "Lily" (even though its a boy).  Maggie named hers "Zebra", then something I can't remember, then she finally settled on "Delphi" because Delphi and Lily are the character names from a beloved book Opa reads to them.  

Cousin snuggles while watching cartoons on Nana's bed
Maggie sporting the Nana-made bonnet

 We spent Christmas Eve Eve with Nana, Opa, and the cousins.  There was much giggling, music-making, and playing.  As a gift, I made my niece, Dorothy, a bonnet like Laura from Little House on the Prarie following this tutorial.  It turned out great and she seemed to really like it.  Lila and Dorothy often play Mary and Laura.  Dorothy put on her bonnet and of course Lila needed one.  So, clever Nana came up with a make-shift bonnet by stapling together some scrap material.  However, once Lila and Maggie had the Nana-made ones, Dorothy insisted she needed one!  My lovingly-crafted bonnet was left on the table while the stapled-together scraps traipsed around the house atop "Laura 1", "Laura 2", and "Carrie".  What a laugh. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Freebie Fun!

I stumbled upon some great *FREE* activities in southern Indiana this year. The first one we attended was held at The Carnegie Center in New Albany.  We got to make gingerbread beanbag people.  You can see how Lila's turned out above.  Maggie needed a lot of help, but she enjoyed it anyway.  Later that day we went up to Bass Pro Shop and took part in some of their free activities including a carousel and an indoor "snowball" fight. 

Afterward, I tried to get a good shot of the girls for our Christmas card, but the one above is the best I got, which was not card-worthy in my opinion.  I ended up using some photos I took earlier this fall at Mt St. Francis.  

Merry Christmas!  I do hope your holiday had as much fun as ours did!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

hay fun

We took a ride down to Old Glory the other day to drop off some hay in the barn.  It was such a beautiful day, I couldn't resist taking some pictures of my super little family.  Enjoy.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Deer me!

This year Cam got one of his deer right across the road from us.  He came home, got the girls, and we tracked this dude as a family.  When Cam got home to get us, Maggie squealed with glee yelling "we going to have a deer to eat!  We going to have a deer to eat!".  The girls thought it was great fun to look for the blood drops.  When we found him, the girls wanted to watch Cam field dress it.  I couldn't believe how interested they were.  We inspected the contents of the stomach, identified organs and their function, and talked about the sacrafice this animal had made for us.  They were so fascinated.  It was a fun time and a great lesson for the girls.  We have since started reading the Little House series and it strikes me how much the girls have in common with these pioneer children and I love it.  Cam has been dusting off his fiddle more these days as he identifies with "Pa". 

My good friend Bonnie's birthday was this month.  She just got hitched and got a new set of Fiestaware turqouise dishes.  I thought she probably needed a new matchy table runner and matching napkins.  I found this beautiful hummingbird fabric at Joann and it called Bon's name.  I do hope it found a new happy home in California. 


 It seems impossible that it has been almost a month since Halloween.  I have been trying to blog since then, but my connection seems to have taken a speed nose dive.  I have several things I'd like to share, but on top of my slow connection, I have been working a lot more since Cam's work has slowed down, so there you go.  
We had a great time this year.  Our Halloween tradition has been to have pizza with the grandparents and cousins followed by trick-or-treating in my old neighborhood which is Nana and Opa's current neighborhood.  The cousins weren't able to come this year and we missed them, but the girls really had a blast.  They both really understood how this whole thing works.

Up until this year, my mom and I made the girls' costumes including a cow, skunk, turtle, and pea pod.  This year, however, Lila wanted to be a fairy princess.  (yawn)  Maggie of course wanted to be just what Sissy was going to be, just in a different color.  We ended up buying their wings and wands at The Dollar Tree.   I went into the fabric store to by tulle to make the tutus and found them premade for $8 each and just couldn't pass them up.  We had the pink leotard and the pink tights.  The only difficulty was finding a lavender leotard.  Who knew they were so hard to come by?  I borrowed a sleeveless one from a friend for our trick-or-treating at the zoo a couple weeks earlier, but didn't think it would be warm enough for Halloween night.  I ended up ordering one from Amazon. 

Poppy goes all out for Halloween attire.  I seem to remember him wearing this to one of my elementary school parties when he was unemployed and serving at "Room Dad" with my pal Melissa's dad.  You can't see it clearly, but his tie is a skeleton arm. We all dig it.  

We barely got Lila out of the house.  She was so fixated on watching a movie when we got back (a fairly rare treat) that she just wanted to stay in and skip straight to the show.  However, once we finally dragged her out, she said several times, "This is the best Halloween ever!  I'm having so much fun!".  Geez.  I guess I'm glad I forced her into it.  Maggie stuffed one piece of candy after another into her mouth and ended up sick early the next morning. But, what's the first thing she asked for when she woke up?  Candy, of course.  Ahhh Halloween...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Disney Part 3: the final one, folks. =)

Days 3 and 5 were spent at Magic Kingdom, my personal favorite.  We got to ride all the classic rides including The Carousel, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Small World, Haunted Mansion, etc., etc.  Maggie hung in for all the rides she was big enough for, even through the mildly scary parts!  

Lila was a little adventurer!  She was into the big rides!  She rode Splash Mountain (twice) and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (more than twice!).  She had a blast.  The last time we road Big Thunder Mountain, she squealed and giggled the whole way with her hands way up in the air!  It was so fun to watch her on that one.  We watched the parades (although Maggie slept right through them). Both girls really enjoyed the street shows and music.  Thursday night, the girls donned their costumes again and we did Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party.  For me, it was more crowded than was comfortable.  There were limited candy stops (I think 7 in the whole park), and it was a bit stressful for me.  If I had it to do over, I think I would skip this event which was extra anyway.  But, it was the only parade that Maggie was awake for and the girls did seem to enjoy it.  

Our 4th day was spent at Animal Kingdom.  This was my first time in the park.   My favorite thing we saw was the Lion King live show.  It was really wonderful.  It had a relatively small audience and was done in the round.  The cast members did dancing, singing, gymnastics, and the like.  The costumes were really great, of course.  We also caught the Bug's Life 3D movie, the Finding Nemo show, and played in The Boneyard which was a giant playground made to look like a dinosaur dig.  My little adventurer and I also rode Kali River Rapids which left us both soaked! 

We did get in a couple swims, although it was just a little cool.  We didn't stay in too long either time, but the girls associate swimming with vacation and I couldn't disappoint!  Overall, we had a really great time.  I was quite proud of my mothering that week.  October was a fabulous time to go- crowds were low, weather was beautiful, prices were right.  Thanks for all the fun, Mimi!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Disney Part 2

Our second day was spent at Epcot.  We were really lucky to be able to walk on just about all of the rides without a long wait.  Our longest ride was for the Maelstrom in Norway.  Lila loved the boat ride in Mexico for some unexplicable reason and wanted to ride it first thing.  We did not spend much time at all in the country section, I felt like the girls were a little too young to enjoy most of that.  But, we rode my favorite Epcot Ride- Figment's Journey into Imagination.  They have redone it and, honestly, I didn't like it as well, but the girls enjoyed it.  The first character we ran into was Rafiki, but the girls were not interested in giving him a hug.  Lila responded with a polite "no, thank you'.  But, Mimi went for it! 

Lila and I went in to see "Captian EO" starring none other than a 20-something Michael Jackson as a spaceship pilot with a crew of dim-witted aliens who bring the gift of music, dancing, and beauty to a dark and trashy planet.  It was the first 3D film at Disney, I think.  I remember seeing it as a kid.  It's not as great as I remembered, but Lila thought it was fun.  She turned and asked me during the movie, "Is that a man or a woman?" (referring to Michael, of course) 

 Does the guy Maggie is holding look familiar? That would be Daddy. He decided not to come with us, but I wanted to bring him anyway, so I felted a Daddy doll and brought him along. He rode strapped to our backpack, so he could see where we had been. =) 

This giant Shark was found in "The Sea".  The girls enjoyed checking out some beautiful aquariums and exhibits.  My favorite was "Turtle Talk with Crush" which was an amazing interactive show with an animated Crush from "Finding Nemo" that would talk to and interact with the audience.  It was very impressive! 

My favorite meal we had all week was at The Garden Grill in "The Land".  It was a character meal with Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale.  The girls' Opa has shared Chip and Dale cartoons with them, so they have a special affection for them.  Mickey, as you can see, was dressed as a farmer and looked eerily like Daddy Doll.  ha ha.  The food was delicious, but the reason it was my favorite was because it was the quietest, most relaxed, and calm character meal we had.  The restaurant revolved very slowly so you got a view of parts of the boat ride in The Land, which was neat, too.  Maggie bragged for a month or so before our trip that she was going to give Pluto a kiss, but when push came to shove, she was a bit leery.  Each of the characters came around a couple times to our table and gave high fives, hugs, and kisses.  By the end, the girls were into it.  It was a fun night. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Disney part 1

We went to Disney World!  My mom, the girls, and me.  Cameron, not being a Disney guy, stayed home to hunt and take care of critters.  I have been planning and preparing for this trip for months.  Knowing I would be without my husband, who I rely on a lot in the parenting arena, left me a little nervous about being away from home for six days.  So, I did everything I could to help me prepare.  We did a lot of talking about the trip.  I tried to anticipate things that might cause problems, I tried to think of ways for the girls to feel more in control of their time.  This was all stemming from a bad experience I had on a day trip with the girls and my mom.  That bad experience was before I realized that Lila being hungry led to some very unpleasant fits.  I was bound and determined for this not to happen on our Disney trip, so mom and I loaded up our cart and later our suitcase, carry-ons, and bags with snacks for the week.  I also made daily visual schedules for the girls with the general way the day would play out, including rest times, meals, etc.  Lila, like me, likes to have an idea of what her day will look like and it seems to help her have a feeling of control.  So, after doing everything I could possibly think of, the day came to go to Disney.  Day one was a traveling day, but we were also having dinner with the princesses at Epcot in Norway. 

Yes, here are my princesses. 

We first got our picture taken with Belle and the photographer got so tickled by Lila's wig, he could barely take the shot.  The wig and the mermaid costume *with* a tail were very important to my Little Mermaid.  This wig was chosen because it had "the swoop", just like Ariel!  She was so pleased when it all arrived in the mail. 

Maggie's costume was chosen at the Disney Store in Louisville.  It really was a beautiful little costume.  She looked adorable in it.  Adult Snow White was wonderful and  interacted with Maggie so sweetly. 

Although we were all tired from our travels, the girls had a fun time at the dinner. The food was delicious!  There was even a princess parade that the girls got to walk around the restaurant with a princess (and a room full of other little girls).  It was a busy place, and I much preferred some of our other meal environments better (more on that later), but this was a fun way to kick off our Disney vacation.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A breastfeeding Scarecrow!?

In my part of the country, we have a fall festival called "Harvest Homecoming".  This year, the lovely ladies from Southern Indiana La Leche League put out a call for help with their booth, which would provide a place to nurse and change your baby, as well as having a raffle to raise funds for the organization.  
I am a big proponent of breastfeeding and I kind of like all that organizing stuff, so I offered to help.  They put me in charge of decorations.  I was trying to think of something fall-like that could be adapted to LLL's goals and came up with this:

She will be standing outside the tent, beckoning people in!  Her shirt says "I make milk. What's your super power?"  It was really a lot more challenging than I thought.  Getting the baby in the right position was tough!  Funny, it mimics real life!  I hope it makes people take a second look at the booth and it's reason for being there.  
LLL serves a wonderful mission- providing free breastfeeding support to moms.  When I gave birth to Lila, I really struggled at first.  Had I not had the support of my husband and family, I'm not sure I would have stuck with it and would have missed out on a wonderful thing for my baby and me.  
If you stop by the booth, buy a raffle ticket or two!  Support our local chapter of hard-working mommas who accept calls and host meetings to help other mommas figure out how to have a successful breastfeeding relationship with their child.  If you are an expecting mom, introduce yourself and make some contacts so that if struggles arise, you know just who to call. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Music-making and merriment

While the nation remembered the 9/11 attacks, our family was lucky enough to have a happy diversion.  September is a month full of birthdays of friends and family.  Cam's birthday was that week, as well as my dad, Cam's grandad, his uncle, our good friend Terry and his daughter Laura.  We gathered today to celebrate all the special people who celebrate the day of their birth this month at Nana's house for some soup, music-making, and merriment.  It was a fun time to get together, relax, and enjoy the company and music.  

 Opa got out his accordian for some polkas!  My sister-in-law showed me all about her knooking- knitting with a crochet hook- fascinating!

 Our buddies Sonny and Terry joined us for some great pickin' and grinnin'. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The "worst day of my life"... according to Lila


I know, it looks pretty terrible.  ;) But, those words honestly came out of my four-year-old's mouth.  Granted, it was before the hat making and playground playing.  My mom and I took the girls to Art in the Park in Sellersburg last weekend.  We got caught up several times chatting with people we hadn't seen in awhile, which, I have to admit, is no fun for kids.  I think we turned her day around with a craft project, some play time, and Graeter's ice cream. =)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Frogs... two specimens

 Specimen #1:

For my birthday this year, I asked Cam to make me some frogs.  He was a little perplexed.  But, when I showed him a picture of these,  he thought he could fix me right up.  A circular piece of chicken wire and *voila*! I had a great way to keep my flowers from falling to the sides of the jars.  I created this beautiful bouquet from flowers I picked around the farm and Old Glory.  It's interesting to me the way flowers come out in limited colors.  That week, every flower I saw was either purple, yellow, or white.  But, I thought it made for a really nice display.  

Specimen #2:

 Tonight Cam found a couple frogs swimming around in the water formerly belonging to pigs.  He called the girls out to catch them.  They then proceeded to put the in the kiddie pool, push them down the slide, and generally cause the frogs much anxiety.  Don't worry PETA, these critters are safely back in a puddle.
 I love how curious the girls are and how excited to touch, look at, and interact with critters.  That is totally their daddy's influence.  Don't misunderstand me, Cam has brought out my curiosity, too.  But, the man knows a ton about wildlife.  The girls are so lucky to have such a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips.  He is constantly bringing home one critter or another.  Not only that, but he will know it's name, habitat, lifespan, mating habits, often the genus and species, etc., etc.  My mother-in-law tried her best to be patient with her son growing up, but I think one of the secret (or maybe not so secret) reasons for having a farm, is being able to find and bring home a menagerie of reptiles, amphibians, and all things four-legged.  Now that he has girls, you never know what he might come home with.  In case your wondering, these were green frogs we had the pleasure of meeting today.