Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The big day is finally here - the girls are super excited.  It will be the coldest year for trick or treating that we've had since they were born.  Last year it was over 80 degrees, and tomorrow's high will be 57.  Luckily we can add some clothing under our costumes.

The ideas for our costumes came from the Chasing Fireflies catalog this year.  Lily fell in love with the Spiderina costume, and I bought it because it looked awesome.  It's two sizes too big, so maybe we can get some future use out of it.

Madeleine is a bride.  I didn't want to but the $150 one in the catalog, so we got a real wedding dress from a thrift store, and I altered it (my apologies to the original creator).  I bought a girls size petticoat and sewed it to a tank top to make a slip.  I hemmed it up a good 4" so I can let it out if we keep it for a while.

We've been to a number of Halloween events already, which is nice considering how much costumes can cost these days if you buy them.  It's also a good backup in case for some reason trick or treating on Halloween doesn't work out (illness, weather, etc).  This year we went to Rocktoberfest at the Y, the Town of Cary's Howlin Halloween, and the twins club get together.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Fair Time

I contemplated skipping the NC State Fair this year - we have a lot going on this month, it can be super expensive, and I'm not a huge fan of fair food.  But then Lily came home with a notice that her artwork was going to be on display at the fair this year, so that ended the debate.

The weather looked good for the weekend, and I thought Sunday would be our best bet to avoid crowds.  We caught the first bus there Sunday morning and headed over to the Kerr Scott building to find her picture.

Here's Lily with her picture - Tar Beach.  Her art teacher was able to submit one picture for each grade level.  The gold seal means that her picture was the judges' pick for the whole school.

Madeleine was pretty good about it, but we could tell she was a little bit grumpy that she didn't have a picture.  She had her picture at the mall exhibit last year, and I'm sure she'll have another chance again.  They enjoyed looking at the other art submissions in the Kerr Scott Bldg.

By the time we got out of there, it was almost time for the rides to start, so we got tickets and got in line.  The girls went on the swings first and ran into a friend from school.

Madeleine and I took on the roller coaster while Lily rode the merry-go-round with Eric.  Then we waited almost an hour for the ferris wheel.  Then they girls did two fun houses and the giant slide.

Lunch was a few nachos, and then Madeleine wanted her face painted.  We went to one of the booths run by the ride vendor. There wasn't a long line when we got there, but I guess the woman doing the painting was having a rough day.  There was a family with three girls ahead of us who had been by before, messed their paint up, and then wanted it fixed.  Lily picked the "default" design, but Madeleine wanted something else.  The woman was pretty much yelling, and I couldn't tell if it was at the parents, the kids, or the woman taking the money for her.  She spent less than 30 seconds on each kid, and I'm pretty sure Madeleine was supposed to get a ribbon crown with her more expensive design, but whatever.  I was just annoyed because Madeleine had been so excited to get her face painted, and it was pretty much ruined by this lady's attitude.


We went through the two expo buildings and decided to leave around 1.  It was getting super crowded, and the girls weren't all that interested in seeing any animals.  I think we were all just tired walking and people.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What we did for an art party

After two years of gymnastics parties, I thought we would try something different this year.  I looked at doing a party at Wine & Design or something, but it was a little out of our price range.  So, I thought I'd try one at the house.

Food: Snacks and Cupcakes
I did homemade cupcakes with fondant "crayons."


Plates and napkins were tye-dyes from Walmart.

Favors: Smocks
I bought mens shirts from a thrift store for $2 each.  Then I got some iron-on letters, flowers, etc. from JoAnn and customized them with the kids' initials.  Madeleine and Lily picked out their own special cupcake patches.

Activities: Decorate a bag, paint a pumpkin, make a bandana, and canvas painting.
Least popular: decorate your bag (paint too wet to make bags useful)
Most popular: paint a pumpkin


For the canvases I had three easels set up.  I also had hooks on about 5 canvases and just hung them on the wall since we had the party in the garage.  I had put down some paper on the floor (didn't want plastic because I envisioned people slipping in wet paint).  I used acrylic paint I got in the kids section at Jerry's Artarama.  I got two big bags of brushes from Walmart and used red Solo cups for water and holding brushes.  We pre-filled palettes with paint before the guests arrived, and I had a roll of paper towels out for every two canvases.
I also printed out some famous paintings and taped them to the wall above the tables for inspiration.

Games: "Pin the Paintbrush" and TWO pinatas
Lily came up with the idea for the paintbrush game.  People had to stick a paintbrush to her homemade palette and get them in the right spots. It went pretty well.  I was nervous because both girls hit the prize spots first, but they were good hostesses and gave out the three prizes I had to their friends.

We started making the pinatas back in Sept.  Madeleine's was the first one.  We'd put so much glue on it it took a week to dry.  The one that was Lily's had the balloon deflate on the first try, so we started hers on the second weekend.  Lily's ended up being less firm.  On the third weekend, we decorated them with tissue paper.  That took close to 3 hours and 3 bottles of tacky glue.

We did Madeleine's first, and it was tough to break.  We did the first round blindfolded, then I took it off.  We went through 4-5 rounds before I just pulled at the rip.  Later on we did Lily's.  I thought it would break sooner, but it didn't.

Final products:

The party just made it to the 2 hour mark, including cupcakes and opening gifts.  Some kids weren't interested in doing the paintings, so it was tough to keep them occupied.   But the girls had a great time and have something to remember the day.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What a difference 7 years makes

Happy Birthday to the most awesome girls ever!

I was so lucky to spend time at school with them yesterday for their birthdays.  We had lunch together in the cafeteria, then I went to Lily's classroom to hear them sing to her and helped her pass out cupcakes.  Then I went to Madeleine's room and did the same with her class.  It was weird to see the looks on some kids faces in the cafeteria because they didn't even know they were sisters, much less twins since they don't sit near each other at lunch or have the same recess time.