Monday, December 28, 2009

And a good time was had by all

We had an awesome and busy Christmas break this year.

The girls were off last Wednesday from day care, so we had another "girls day" where we went swimming together at the gym and had lunch. Madeleine felt that she had put her face in the water enough during swimming that she had earned ice cream from "Berry's," so we stopped at Goodberry's on the way home despite it being only 50 degrees out.

For Christmas Eve we watched "Elf" and went to the 3:30 children's pageant Mass and then over to my parents for snacks and presents. Lily loved her new sweater.

Madeleine preferred the opening of presents to the gifts themselves.

Christmas morning the girls stayed in bed until 7, like we ask on other days. Then Lily rushed upstairs because she said she wanted to know what different types of wrapping paper Santa had used. Here Madeleine gets her princess on:

Lily shows her new favorite pajamas. We had outgrown all our other footed pajamas some time ago, and she has been sad about it for a long time.

Then after presents had been opened, we headed off to Oak Ridge to visit the Goodman grandparents. We spent two days there and had plenty of time to play princess, throw snowballs, and try out our new scooters.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stir Crazy

Two major things happened this weekend. #1 - We are super-excited for Christmas. Our school party was Friday, and we were very, very excited to go and dress up for it. #2 - We didn't go anywhere or do anything Saturday because the weather sucked.

So - here we are looking pretty for our school party:

Then on Saturday, the girls decided to play surfer girls for most of the afternoon.

Sunday the weather was chilly, but sunny so we ventured out. Lunch at Bear Rock followed by the Princess and the Frog. Just before bed we visited the live nativity at Ephesus Baptist Church, and the girls had a great time.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The girls went to see him with their day care class at the mall today.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

OK - slow with the blogging these days.

Too much going on. I'll try and catch up some this week. I promise ;)

Today the girls and I did some holiday baking, something I'd been trying to do for years. I saw this decorating kit in Martha Stewart Everyday and knew I had to have it. Found out today Williams-Sonoma makes one too.

So this morning we rolled out the sugar cookie dough. Lily was very into ths shapes once I let her pick out Halloween-related cutters. Christmas Witches were more exciting than bells and candy canes. Madeleine was more interested in eating the dough of course.

Then this afternoon we did the decorating. I used the Royal Icing recipe that came with the set. Aside from the girls putting on way too much icing, the I'd say it was a hit. I had to do the other million cookies after they got tired, but they lasted much longer this year.



Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Kick-Off

We kicked off the Christmas activities with a visit to Santa at the TMOTT Christmas party. As you can see, Lily came prepared with a list and a song she wanted to sing.

We had picked out their first live tree together the day before, and this is the first year the girls really got involved in decorating it. It was Madeleine's turn to put the star up on top.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chuck E. Disease?

The girls got invited to their first Chuck E. Cheese birthday party on Saturday. I had no idea what to expect since I hadn't been there since the early 80's when I was in the 5th or 6th grade.

It was more geared toward little kids than I remembered. There were tons of games and rides for kids their age. Lots of things gave out tickets to redeem for a trinket at the end. The girls ate the pizza and enjoyed the animatronic show and dressed up mouse.

Madeleine is worn out after 2 hours.

Friday, November 27, 2009

We belong in the zoo

The weather was nice the day after Thanksgiving, so we headed out to the NC Zoo in Asheboro. It's always a longer drive than I think it is, but the girls did great watching Madeline on their DVD player, so I didn't have to worry about them getting antsy.

In the morning we almost had the zoo to ourselves. I had just gotten a new zoom lens for my camera and was having a blast trying to take pictures of all the animals. The animal favorites were the polar bear, the chimps, and the elephants. Madeleine liked the playground best of all though.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We took the girls to the Raleigh Christmas Parade yesterday. We had gone two years ago, but last year it was just too cold. We got a little bit of a late start, so we were in the 2nd row back, but we were lucky to have some room in front of us where the girls could at least walk around some.

We usually park on West street and walk up that way by the Roast Grill. That way we're kind of at the beginning.

Madeleine loved the floats where they had the pageant princesses and queens. Lily liked the color guards and cheerleaders that walked along with the bands. Stormy the pig, "farmer" Santa, the guys who pick up poop behind the horses, and the clowns were also a big hit.

We bailed a little bit after 11 to head to soccer practice. They didn't seem to mind, and I liked getting out of downtown ahead of the crowds.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good Luck Charms

We took the girls to see the Carolina Hurricanes play the Minnesota Wild. We had a voucher we needed to use from our 12 pack and thought picking up two extra tickets for an afternoon game might be fun. The last time we went to a game with them was in the spring of 2008, and we sat in the nosebleeds then.

With the Canes on a 14 game losing streak and playing a western division team, it wasn't super-crowded either.

They had a tailgate party in the parking lot, so we got there early so they could enjoy the inflatable bouncers. They only had two, so the girls got bored pretty quickly.

Lily had gone grocery shopping with me in the morning and had a great time picking out snacks for our lunch. The big hit was the apple/grape/cheese tray.

Inside we lucked out when the whole row in front of us was empty. Lily quicky figured out the Jumbotron thing and was constantly looking for ways to get on it. (They both managed to get on it twice). Lily went to town on some nachos while Madeleine begged for pink ice cream only to not want it when she actually saw it.
The game went into an overtime shoot out with the Canes finally winning.

Afterwards families could go down to the ice to have their picture taken on the bench, so we waited for that for half an hour. But the big treat was meeting Stormy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Madeleine and I were talking this morning about why they're off for Veteran's Day. I explained that it was a day to rememeber people who were in the Army and all the other soldiers. She asked what Grandpa Dave did while in the Guard, and I was like, "I have no idea."

So I remembered a picture of my uncle Ken jumping out of a helicopter. So I told her that Grandpa Dave's brother Ken was in the Army, and he jumped out of helicopters. I figured she could wrap her mind around that.

She thought about it a minute and said, "Was the driver mad at him?"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Survival

We made it. It started last weekend with the "Spooktacular" at the gym, and wrapped up last night with trick or treating. We wore our costumes for approximately 5 different events, and no one changed their mind about what they wanted to be. Madeleine did change her mind about her witch hat by Saturday though and only wanted to wear mine. By Saturday night, Lily was still annoyed every time someone called her Spidergirl.

The Spooktacular at the gym was pretty fun and geared toward kids slightly older than them. Lily was more scared by the haunted house than Madeleine, and somehow they both sat still for an hour long magic show.

They're not bored in this picture. They're mad at me for wanting to leave.

Then for the fourth year in a row they came with me to work for the Global Knowledge Halloween festivities. Keeping them from getting bored this year was the "Wizard of Oz" show put on by accounting. The poor girls stalked Dorothy and were super excited to raid their treasure chest of gifts.

Then it was off to daycare for the annual parade. We marched down to the Tree of Life church again where they handed out some candy and then around the pond at the retirement community. It was only in the 60's, but the humidity was so high all of us were sweating by the time it was over.

Friday night we carved our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. The one on the left is their teacher Ms. Rebecca. When I joked about doing a pumpkin of her, she thought I was kidding.

Saturday morning we hit the TMOTT party at 10. Madeleine promptly settled in to the coloring area and would have been there all morning. Lily got bored fairly quickly, so we covered her in tattoos and let her play pin-the-face-on-the mummy. I liked seeing all the little kids in their costumes, but it was really crowded, so I didn't get to check everyone out.

Trick or treating itself went well. We went up to the other end of the neighborhood first. Quite a few kids were already out, which was new for us. We'd always been the first ones. Lily decided she liked "girl" houses better than "boy" houses. But we did my whole parents' street before doing a couple houses on our own. They liked to say "Happy Trick or Treat!"

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Down on the farm

Okay - so Hill Ridge Farms doesn't seem to be a farm in any way. I didn't see a barn. Or things growing. There were some animals behind a double-layer fence. The pumpkins all had stickers on them that said "Appalachian Grown." But all my kids cared about was that it was their first field trip at day care. I went a little bit crazy with the picture taking because it's very rare I bring out the nice camera, and I knew some of the other parents either didn't bring theirs or didn't get the chance.

Eric and I took the day off to go with the class. About an hour's drive north of Raleigh, the "farm" is really a collection of fall-themed kids activities. Even with a 1-to-1 parent to child ratio, the trip was definitely a handful. There were tons of other day cares and school classes there without the benefit of parents, and I really don't know how those teachers stayed sane.

We left EPLC around 9 and got to the farm around 10 am. We hit the train ride first and took two laps around a big empty field. Then we split up to do our own thing for about an hour before our hayride to the picnic location. Most of this free time we spent standing in line for the big slide. After about 40 minutes we were about 20 people from the front when we barged ahead since we were going to miss the hayride otherwise.

Tons of bees at the picnic site, but luckily no one got stung.

We got 4 small pumpkins at the patch. Picking them out w/ kids means you want to make sure the kids can carry them themselves.

After 1pm, the place seemed to clear out, so it was back to the play area again. The kids played all together in the sandbox and then split up for the corn house and slide again.

We learned that Lily will not pee in a port-a-john where she can see if someone else has gone. So she went all day without peeing. Madeleine would use it but wouldn't let me in there with her. Awesome.