Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let's Get Ready

Madeleine got to introduce her kindergarten winter performance today.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


The girls love to do gingerbread houses and have been asking for weeks when they could make them.  For the past three years at day care they've made graham cracker ones, so we've just done a kit together at home.  This year they wanted their own kits though.

Back in my single days, my mom bought me a kit once "for fun."  Following the instructions drove me nuts.  The icing was runny and I pretty much had no luck gluing the thing together with the icing.  As soon as I'd get a side up, the next side would fall over.  It was pretty pathetic.

So the attitude I've taken with the kits is that they're fun to make, pretty to look at, but probably taste pretty awful and stale after sitting out for weeks on end.  I'd much rather make fresh gingerbread with the girls than have them eat the kit mess.  We usually just throw it of the deck 25 feet in the air and watch it smash into the back yard.  That said, I glue the gingerbread pieces together with hot glue before we even get started.  That way all the frosting can be used on the decoration and not trying to hold the thing together.

 Lily was set on eating hers from the beginning.  Of course she reminded me, "Mom, you know you're not supposed to use hot glue on these."

 Madeleine wanted to "snow" her roof, and was more into creating a pattern with the candy.

Lily was determined to eat something and licked a lot of the super-sticky frosting.

This year we learned we probably need some supplemental candy as well.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday crazy

It seems like 2 weeks before Christmas is always the busiest holiday activity weekend around.  We kicked it off Thursday with Disney on Ice followed by City Ballet's The Nutcracker on Saturday morning.  I'm not ready to commit us to the full price Carolina Ballet production just yet.  The girls' favorite part is always Mother Ginger and the kids that run out from underneath her skirt.

We got a live tree this year and decorated it Sunday morning.  It's the biggest one ever, so we pretty much used almost everything in the box - even both Wonder Womans (but only one of the two Chewbaccas).

We finished up the holiday festivites Sunday by attending TMOTT's Cookies with Santa event.  The girls both asked only for American Girl dolls and were very excited to have one of Santa's helpers make them a balloon animal.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Since the girls started kindergarten this year, we've wanted them to be excited and proud of their school.  One of the things they talk about a lot is the morning news program, WFRG.  Older students read the morning news each day.  I'm assuming it's on television sets in the classrooms.

Here's Madeleine's take on the daily news.

All of it was written out beforehand on her clipboard phonetically.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Then and Now - Christmas edition

We went to the Town of Cary's Santa's Workshop at the community center on Saturday.  The girls love the crafts and the dancing.  Getting to see Santa outside of the mall is a bonus.

Here's Madeleine last year:
 And this year:
A few inches taller - but not too much.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A good reason to be late for work

Today is a school holiday, but Eric and I are working.  So the girls were headed off to day camp this morning.  Madeleine was a little upset that there was no school today because she's been very excited by whatever it is they've been working on in school this week.  They had some sort of a Thanksgiving play yesterday, and she had been busy making a poetry book before bed last night.

Then this morning she wanted to read a story before going out the door.  What's unusual about it is that she asked to read to Lily rather than be read to.  And she wanted to read one of her books - not the readers she brings home from school.  So how can you rush them out the door when your child asks to read to you?


So she read "The Tournament" from this book.  We've had it for a couple years.  She was stumped on only a few words, and Lily was very happy to help her out.  Then we had breakfast, got in the car, and headed on our way.  I still was the first one in this morning, but those five minutes were the best of the day so far.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action!

We hit up the Raleigh Christmas Parade this morning, and I schlepped along the big camera for the first time in a while.  Of course, I was disappointed to learn I'd forgotten the battery.

So once we were home, the girls were eager to show me their rope skipping skills like the Cary YMCA Super Skippers, so I thought I'd experiment shooting in manual with jump ropes.  I think I'll need to up the shutter speed to 1/1000, and the high ISO made it a little grainy.  But for not having tried in a while, not too bad.

Of course my favorites were the more sitting still/tree shots.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo to you!

Madeleine and Lily vampire pumpkins wish you an awesome day.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

 On Saturday we hit up the Town of Cary's Howlin Good Halloween celebration at the community center.  The girls had a blast playing games and trick-or-treating at some of the downtown shops.  We skipped the hayride because of the looooooooooooooong wait and walked it despite the cold.  We finished up with a walk through the haunted house at the new Cary Arts Center.

 We were thrilled to win some vampire fangs after searching for them at stores all day.  You'll see why tomorrow.
 The girls kept pulling their strings back with nothing on them.  Finally the teens behind the screens just threw the lollipops over the top.
Lily patiently waits for a tattoo.

Monday, October 24, 2011


 Since we use the YMCA for afterschool care, it made sense for us to join as well as our regular gym.  At afterschool camp, the girls have been talking about Rocktoberfest at the Y for weeks.  Lily has been diligently making posters and working on the banners.  Of course we were all super-excited to attend on Saturday evening. 
 It featured all kinds of outdoor games.
 Face painting.
 And the all-important pumpkin-smashing catapults.

 We had dinner, enjoyed the "Spooky Hallway," and rocket out at the dance party.  I got to meet some of the counselors and "friends" I hadn't met yet.  I love seeing the girls this excited about new things.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Country

 This year we headed out to Ganyard Farm near Durham to pick our pumpkins.  The last two years we went to Hill Ridge Farms out near Wake Forest because we were going with field trip groups.  But Ganyard is so much closer and just as fun.  We first visited in 2007 when the girls were only two, and you can see how much Madeleine has changed in the last four years.

 Madeleine drew a picture of what kind of pumpkin she wanted to get.

 "Milking" a cow.
 Playing in the corn crib
Corn maze with Daddy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 State Fair Wrap Up

We visited the North Carolina State Fair over the weekend.  The weather was perfect, if even a tad warm.  So we trekked out with the rest of the world Saturday to the fairgrounds.  Now that we're big schoolkids, no goofing off and going during the week.

Usually we take the first park-and-ride bus at 8:30 and get there plenty early.  Unfortunately, the people who sell the bus tickets must have not set their alarm, because there was a long line of us there waiting to buy tickets when the first bus showed up.  They let us buy tickets on the bus, but everyone feeding in dollars individually into the meters took a while, so it was almost 9 am before we got there.

The girls demonstrate their hula hoop skills at the PBS Kids/Marbles tent.  I didn't know they could do two hoops at once.

 They weren't really interested in the animals this year.  We checked out the crafts and hobbies building where the girls plotted what crafts they want to submit.  They didn't want pony rides or the petting barn, but we did check out the rabbits.
 As soon as the rides opened at 10, we got in line for the ferris wheel since that was the longest line we stood in last year.  Lily was very nervous the first time around, but Madeleine immediately looked for our house.
 We graduated to some of the more big-kid rides this year, including the giant slide and the swings that make mommy nervous.

 While eating lunch, Lily overheard some people talking about the pig races.  So, we headed up to the "Hogway Speedway."  I knew from previous experience that people get there up to one hour before showtime to claim seats.  The girls patiently waited 45 minutes for the show and really enjoyed it.

 They brought their birthday money and could buy themselves any souvenir they wanted.  Madeleine got a light up sword, and Lily picked yet another cowgirl hat.

We were back in line for the bus by 2pm and headed home for a much-needed nap.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Important 6-year stats

I don't know at what point we stop talking about this, but this year's height and weight:

Lily 45.8 inches tall and 41.5 lbs.
Madeleine 45.5 inches tall and 44.5 lbs.

So pretty much exactly the same height and weight gain since last year.  Madeleine is on the 50th percentile exactly for everything - Lily is 50th for height and 25th for weight.  We've pretty much had a consistent growth pattern since they were 2.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Party Time

The girls had their 6th birthday party at Kenney's Gymnastics on Saturday.  They took gymnastics there last year and had been asking about having their party there ever since.  You get a trophy when you're the birthday kid, and that's what is most important apparently.
 It was Madeleine's year to hear "Happy Birthday" first.  She was most excited to note I put the candles in an A/B pattern.
 A very touching moment when Madeleine decided to hug Lily prior to her blowing out her candles.  I had to ask her to stop so that we could get this over with before everything was melted.
Lily's turn.

We had some new friends from elementary school attend as well as some old preschool friends.  It was kind of hard this year since I didn't know how to go about inviting anyone from school, and I couldn't invite both classes entirely.

For the record, I did invite almost everyone we knew from the neighborhood, EPLC, and Country Sunshine.  Unfortunately, I didn't discover until Thursday that maybe only 50% of the people I sent invitiations to received the emails unfortunately.  I didn't want to look like a jerk at the last minute inviting everyone, so I kind of just let it go.  Hopefully we'll all get to catch up sometime soon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Girlz!

Look how far you've come!You are such big kids now, and I am amazed at how much you learn each day. You love homework and doing what all the other kids are doing in afterschool camp.

You both love meeting new people and make friends easily. We still have to say goodbye to all the counselors and our friends before we leave each day.

I love your projects, dance parties, and how much you still love to snuggle at the end of a long day. Thank you so much for letting me be your mom.