Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas

Christmas brought good things to the Goodman household.  First up:  Christmas jammies.  Santa had left the boxes in the girls' room for them to open and put on.  But instead we found the girls upstairs Christmas mornings with the boxes in tow.  They were waiting for us.

Santa also brought he much-asked for Kindle Fires.

And a chemistry set

Boredness did set in, so they did head out to the YMCA camp for a few days.  It's been nice to get a chance to clean up some without them running around.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Note: this post is not Pinterest-worthy

Lily and I made baklava today.  It may not be authentic, it may not be pretty, but it worked for us.

Last weekend when we went trick-or-treating at Waverly Place, Taziki's was giving out samples of baklava.  Madeleine was having none of it, but Lily tried it and liked it.  She asked if we could buy some at the store.  Of course I didn't see anything at our local HT.

So this weekend I had a coupon for puff pastry and thought we'd try it.  Well, first of all "puff pastry" isn't the same thing as phyllo.  So a phyllo recipe isn't going to work the same.  Then I would have had to remembered to thaw phyllo 24 hours ahead of time.  Which I hadn't.  So I visited and luckily they had a baklava recipe.  And the dough had to be thawed only 40 minutes ahead of time.  Winner!

So Lily and I set to work shelling pistachios.  I think I have shells and errant nuts throughout my kitchen.


It gave us some good time to chat.

Then we got all our ingredients together.  By then the dough had thawed enough to roll out.
She loved chopping the nuts with the food processor.
Lily paints on the egg wash.
We combined the nuts, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a sauce pan.
Baked pastry.
The tough part was splitting the pastry in half to fill with the nut mixture.  The outside was crisp and wanted to flake off.  Sometimes it was hard to pull apart.
The honey/sugar glaze has been applied.
Lily with her final product.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

So this happened today

After only about an hour

Monday, October 28, 2013

You go to school to learn, not for a fashion show

Thanks for letting me get that out.  It's been stuck in my head since I signed the girls up to participate a couple of weeks ago in a small, informal fashion show.  Sponsored by a local baby boutique called Green Pea Baby, I saw their call for models on Facebook and thought it might be fun.  I don't usually shop there since we're on the upper end of their sizes, and I don't know many folks with wee ones anymore.

The clothes fit great.  If we needed anything more this season, and they carried anything higher than a 7, I would have bought something.


I was surprised at how confident Lily seemed.  They really enjoyed themselves.


After it was their turn, they hung out in the tent some and talked to the adult models.  I managed to snap a few more pictures in there.


But *this* is my hands-down favorite.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Goings On

October is always a busy month - first with the birthday and then the Halloween-related activities.

Instead of going to our old standby pumpkin farm that we've been going to for years, we went to Green Acres in Cary.  It's more about the corn maze and less about the pumpkins.  But what I was really there for was the horse rides.  It was only $10 a rider for a fairly decent ride around their trail, so Lily, Maddie and I all went for a ride.

Here's Lily's horse.  She "named" her Midnight.  I have no idea what her name really was.


Then on Sunday we hit up the North Carolina State Fair.  It was CRAZY crowded, but I wanted to make sure Lily got to see her photograph hung up for display.  She only got a participation ribbon, but I still think it's a great picture.

I spent the same amount on ride tickets that I usually do, but since I bought them online before the fair, I had a lot more tickets this year.  Combined with the long lines, the girls tired of rides before we could use all the tickets.

So Eric took the last slide with the girls.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Today you are EIGHT!

I know we parents say it every year, but THIS year you are both so grown up.  When I help you get dressed, I can't sit on the floor anymore.  You're too tall.  You have distinct ideas about how you want to dress.  The picture above is the ONLY time you will dress alike this year.  You get frustrated with me when I forget to "sign and return" the things marked "sign and return" by your teacher.  You have had BOYS call the house and ask for you.

We had some new things this year - you really liked our Myrtle Beach trip in April.  You had your first grown up concert, even if it was Barry Manilow.  You went to summer camp at the Y instead of a day care setting.  You have adjusted to a lot of changes at school this year remarkably well.

Things you love right now:
  • Gymnastics
  • Rubber band bracelets
  • Any kind of art
  • The "cups song" from Pitch Perfect

Favorite foods:
  • Tacos
  • Burgers (but not fries?)
  • Ice cream
  • Buttered noodles
Looking forward to fun times this year,

Your mom

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mommy's a slacker

Did the summer just fly by for anyone else?  It did for us.  The girls finished up camp the end of July, spend a week with grandparents and a couple weeks at home before school was right up again.

For their week at home with me, we called it Camp Mommy.  Each girl picked a day's worth of activities, and I tried to throw in some stuff around town we never got a chance to do because it's more crowded on the weekends.

In no particular order, some of the highlights:

The new Nature Research Center downtown:


Defy Gravity trampoline park:

FIVE hours at the beach out at Jordan Lake:


A day of play at Three Bears Acres:


Professional mani-pedis


We were all ready for school to start.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

There was this time at Dance Camp...

The girls spent this week at the Y's dance camp, which is part of their summer sports camp.  So I spent the week driving them out to way west Cary every day.  They were off Thursday for the holiday but back at camp Friday.  It was great because they had an end-of-week performance, and I was able to attend since I was off work.


They did know some of the girls at camp from their elementary school, which was nice.  The group did eight dances for us.



And here's a video.  I had a few camera issues, so I pasted the clips together.

Then today we attended the Children's Matinee of the Brenda Angiel Aerial Dance Company at the American Dance Festival in Durham. The girls really enjoyed the performance and were just dying to get home and try some of the stunts in the backyard.

Luckily they had some activities in the lobby so they forgot all about swinging from ropes by the time we made it home.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Little Inventors

Back in March, Madeleine came home with a flyer from school in her backpack.  It was information about a camp to be held at school during the summer called Camp Invention, and it pretty much decided for me what we'd be doing for child care this summer since I'd have to find other things to work around it.

I saved up a box of recycled materials, and they each took a "take-apart" item to explore and see how it worked.  Maddie had my old desktop computer, and my brother's house flooded last week, so he had a dead one to spare for the cause as well for Lily.

They came home each day super-excited about their activities and wanting to go back the next day.  Lily points out registered trademark symbols *everywhere* we go and tells me what they mean.  They were excited about using real tools.  I've heard a few more big words this week, and I know they'll want to go back next summer.

It was from 9am - 3:30 pm, so I had to enlist my parents to do drop offs and pick ups.  Dad also attended their presentation of their duck launchers on the last day.



Sunday, June 16, 2013


This past weekend we attended the Maker Faire NC at the fairgrounds.  Madeleine has been interested in inventing for years, so I talked it up as a way of seeing what other people are doing.  She has a lot of ideas and ambition, but not so great on the follow through.

Luckily there was space available at the weaving table when we walked up.


That got them started and we were able to take home the looms and project with us to finish.

They were also excited to see the Scrap Exchange booth, but since we'd been up there last weekend it wasn't quite as exciting.


It was very crowded, so we probably only were able to see about 50% of the exhibitors and didn't get to watch any of the combat robots.  Lily did like one of the robots wandering around that had cameras for eyes.   They liked the giant marble contraption in the middle but didn't want to help in construction.  They just kept picking up the dropped marbles.


We did finish our weaving when we got home though!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Performance Highlights

Lily and Maddie had their first grade end-of-year performance today.  I asked them to select which songs were their favorites, and I've posted them here so as not to bore you unnecessarily.  This is their first concert that they were close enough together where I could zoom in and get them both.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

These boots were made for stomping

In case you don't know, we have a creek in our yard.  With no fence.  The girls have never wandered near it or messed with it without asking us.  All week Madeleine has asked about going walking in the creek on Saturday, so after helping us weed the side yard they did.


I was unable to find rain boots for Madeleine this year, so she's wearing a women's size 7 garden boot from Target (the smallest they had).


Guess who got deep enough the water went in over the top of her boots?




Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Young Author's Day

Today was Young Author's Day at school.  This year the girls prepared facts about an assigned animal.  They showed us their facts and then we attended a presentation in their classroom where they'd done a slideshow with voice overs.




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weekend Getaway

A couple of months ago, when I was looking at the YMCA site for information about summer camp, I came across the link for Camp Kanata, the YMCA's closest overnight summer camp. Not ever having been to summer camp, I was curious and clicked to see what it was about. On their page they were advertising a "mother-daughter weekend" camp in April. I wasn't sure about it since the girls had not been camping before, but it seemed doable since we'd be in a cabin and the camp staff would be providing meals, etc. A coworker's daughter had been a counselor at Kanata for years, so I'd only heard good things about it. So we signed up.

Given the events of last week, it was the best trip ever.  Just to be able to get away from the world for a few days with the girls and do activities together was the best gift.

We did archery.
I taught them volleyball.
We did arts and crafts.


We canoed.
We played music.
We were just together.

My only wish would be for more sleep!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Can't Smile Without....

my girls.

Last week's other big activity was the school talent show.  They went last year and immediately started planning what they wanted to do.  Mostly it involved gymnastics/dance, but once I explained to them that it had to be a repeatable routine, they leaned more toward singing.

I was kind of hoping they'd forget about it.  We had 5 more years in elementary school to take on this challenge, and most kids appeared to be older anyway.

Fast forward to this year.  Notices about tryouts were sent home, and they came home all excited.  We talked about the best kind of act that they could do, how much they'd have to practice, and the tryout/rehearsal schedule requirements.  They assured me they were up to the challenge.

We picked Barry Manilow's I Can't Smile Without You.  With mostly a chorus, they knew all the words.  I would be able to buy an instrumental karaoke version for them to sing with.   Forty acts tried out, and only 18 were accepted, and the girls were thrilled to make the cut.

Rehearsal went well, and they couldn't wait to go shopping for outfits.  Lily picked these out at Old Navy.  What you can't see is that they're wearing their first heels.

They were the first act of the night and did great.  I think they had a hard time hearing the music (as they get ahead of themselves at the end), but as one of only two first grade acts, it was awesome.

They're already plotting next year.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Last of the beach trip

Saturday the weather finally cleared and was nice - of course our last full day at the beach.  We headed out early to check out WonderWorks at Broadway at the Beach, and it was better than I expected.  No line at all, and practically empty even.  We had plenty of time to check out the exhibits without feeling overcrowded.

Lily on a bed of nails.


Astronaut Madeleine

The highlight was the indoor ropes course.  I had figured Lily would be too scared to go up, so we'd hold down the fort while Madeleine and Eric were above us, but she ended up going up as well.  No pictures because we had to lock everything up in a locker so nothing fell off.  Super proud of my brave girl.

We walked around Broadway at the Beach some more before heading back to the hotel for more swimming.  The girls loved the pirate ship playground by the beach.


And they loved learning to play shuffleboard.