Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Megan initially wanted to be Cinderella this year, but we talked her into Tinkerbell, because Tinkerbell is truly her favorite character.  Jane and I made her dress, we borrowed the wings from Natalie, and I glitter glued her shoes myself.  We had a little fight about her wearing the shoes at the first Halloween party we went to, but by today, she was excited to wear them.  They shed glitter EVERYWHERE.

Amelia always knew she wanted to be Jessie.  Jane and I made her dress, too.  I am so thankful Jane has a serger that she can bring to our house.  :)  Amelia says that next year she's going to be a cat.  We'll see if that changes in a year.

I thought it would be cute to get a photo of a fairy in my garden, but my fairy was being a little shy.  So instead I have a photo of a cowgirl.

Both girls were really good about saying "Trick or treat!" and "Thank you" this year.  Megan even added "Happy Halloween!" this year.  Everyone said how cute they were.  It was 48 outside when we started trick-or-treating at 5pm, but the girls stayed pretty warm with two shirts and two pairs of leggings/tights each.   We spent a half hour walking around our block, and then came home to warm up with some hot chocolate.

After we got home, the girls dumped all their candy on the floor so they could sort through it.  I let them keep all the pretzels, fruit snacks, rings, crayons and stickers, but told them they could only keep 10 pieces of candy.  (That sounds kind of terrible, but they also got candy from Mom & Dad, from our friend in a Boo Bag, from two girls at playgroup, and from preschool, so they really had a lot!)  The rest we're going to take to the toy store in Glen Carbon; they have a candy buy back program where they'll give you a coupon for $5 off a toy purchase in exchange for at least a pound of candy.  Good deal!  I told the girls they could each pick out a small toy and they were super excited.

One lady in our neighborhood handed out ice pops, which I thought was very creative.  We gave out Reese's peanut butter cups, butterfingers, tootsie pops, animal crackers, goldfish and fruit snacks.  I'd planned for the non-candy items to be for the littler kids, but the bigger kids were pretty excited about them, too.  We went through almost all our treats, we only have a few Butterfingers left (which of course are my favorite).  All of the trick-or-treaters we had came between 5:30 and 6:30.  Very different from the Chicago area.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A new way to eat green beans

Megan came up with a new interesting way to eat green beans last night at dinner.  Ben captured an action sequence; can you tell what she's doing?

 Yup, that's right, she's dunking her green beans in milk!

Amelia went through a stage in October where she was having bad dreams at night, and she'd get in bed with me (and disrupt my sleep).  So when I'd had enough of that, I tried a few things to help her.  I immediately would get up and put her back in her bed and try to turn her scary dream into something silly.  I also told her she could draw a picture of her scary dream because that might help her not be so scared.  So the next morning, Amelia had drawn this:

Amelia's Bad Dream (she sounded out the words herself)

Amelia is lying down with a frowny face and a mean man is poking her with a fork.  So sad.  She hasn't woken me up at night since then, though!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Amelia's photographs

I haven't pulled photos off of Amelia's camera in a while, so I was surprised to see all the different things she had taken photos of (mostly during rest time).  I will let her tell you about all these photos in her own words.

That's a banana tree and a whale.  We were putting foam shapes on the window.  It's fun to do that because we can use squirt bottles.

I took a picture of a Fancy Nancy book.  It was Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes.  I like that book because it's about making cupcakes and a bake sale.  I like to make cupcakes because they're a treat.

That's a picture of a Dora book.  And that's my feet.  I took a picture of my feet because I was trying to take a picture of the Dora book.  I'm standing on my bed.

In the middle of the picture is a fishy ball (the beach ball).  We got that ball from a concert in the park.  I drew on it.  This is my room.  My room is messy.  Now my room is clean.

That is artwork that I did in preschool or Sunday school.  I got cards in the mail that I hung up, too, like the Mickey Mouse card.  The rest I drew myself.  I really like the butterfly.  This is in my room hanging on the wall.

This is a picture of Natalie.  She was at our house.  I don't know what she was doing, probably playing.  Maybe Aunt Becky took this picture, because Aunt Becky was there.

This is my flower girl backpack.  I like my flower girl backpack.  I'm going to take it to Aunt B's wedding.  I'm going to put my camera inside of it.  Also a picture of Grandma and Grandpa.  And the cards that Grandma and Grandpa sent me about what we're going to do, like the time we went to Culver's.  I'm going to wear the flower girl backpack on my back.  But I'm not going to wear it while I'm a flower girl.  Then I'm going to wear a pretty flower girl dress.  It's so white.

This is me.  I took this picture myself.  I have a funny face because it has a funny smile.  I like this picture.

That's a card that Aunt B sent me that says "Amelia". I can read my name.  The letters look attached to each other.  That's a little funny.  The A's look funny.  Look at that (first) A.  It has a long tail.  And the little a has a curly tail.

That says Grandma on it.  Maybe it says Grandpa on the back.  I wrote this myself.  The R is the hardest letter to write.  The G is the easiest letter to write - look how I did it really curved.

That's all I want to say.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Amelia sings 5 Little Ducks

We listen to a lot of kids music in the car, and Five Little Ducks is one of the girls' favorites.  Raffi sings it a little differently than I learned it, so Amelia's version is kind of a compilation of the two versions.

Megan does NOT like Raffi's version, and she insists that the last stanza should say "Daddy duck says "Quack, quack, quack'", so we have to turn off my phone and Amelia has to sing it the right way by herself.  I am not allowed to sing with her anymore.

If you are curious, their other favorite songs include:
"Jingle Bells" sung by the Bare Naked Ladies
"How to Believe" by Tinkerbell
"The Green Grass Grows All Around"
"Moose Tracks"
"Mickey Mouse Club", the old version

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Picking Pumpkins

We didn't get to a pumpkin patch this year because the nice weather never seemed to coincide with our free time, but the girls and I did go to the farm stand down the street to pick out pumpkins to carve for Halloween.   They each wanted to pick out the hugest pumpkin there -- does that sound like anyone you know?  But the ginormous pumpkin was $20, so I talked them into choosing smaller ones. 

Megan did NOT want to have her picture taken; here she is giving me a little two-year-old attitude followed by some much more fun two-year-old silliness!

 And finally, both girls are laughing at their very silly mommy!

We carved their pumpkins last night; the girls chose the faces they wanted from our felt pumpkin face game, Ben carved Megan's and I carved Amelia's.  I encouraged Amelia to help scoop out the goop, but she wasn't a fan.

We all thought the face Amelia picked out looked like a pig from Angry Birds.  And Megan wanted her pumpkin to have only one eye so that it would look like Mike Wazowski.

And of course we had to be silly by putting pumpkins on heads:

We lit the candles just before bedtime so that the girls could see the pumpkins lit up.

We separated out all the pumpkin seeds and roasted them at 250 for 30 minutes then 275 for 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Ben tossed them in olive oil, then seasoned them with kosher salt and ground black peppers.  Both Ben and Amelia really like to eat pumpkin seeds.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Moments of Silliness

Amelia found a package of stretchy headbands and was having a hard time getting them on her head the right way.  Doesn't this hairstyle look fun?  We should remember it for crazy hair day at preschool.

Amelia and Megan have started wrestling, but at least they take turns pinning the other person down.  While you might not be able to tell in the photos, they were laughing hysterically the entire time.

Megan was hamming it up in her big black dress-up hat.  This is a rare photo of her natural smile.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Very Foggy Day

When Ben got home on Tuesday, we were under a dense fog advisory.  So while dinner was in the oven, we all went on a fog walk.  The girls thought it was really fun to get to walk in the fog.  Amelia ran ahead on the walking path, and would then turn around and yell "Mommy, can you see me?" and I would pretend I couldn't see her in the fog.  Occasionally, Ben and I would shout out "Where's Amelia?  We can't see Amelia anymore!" and she would turn around and laugh

Megan ran just about the entire time, trying to follow Amelia.  She held our hands a few times wanting us to swing her through the air; now I make her count to eleven before I let her swing.  It's good counting practice and forces her to walk a little bit, too.

Amelia took her camera on our walk, although she was concerned that we would forget to put it back in her flower girl bag.  She took a lot of photos (way more than I took) and got some interesting shots:

Some of her photos she took while running down the path:

And it looked like she was trying to get photos of the fog itself:

I'm trying to embrace going outside and enjoying all kinds of weather, and this turned out to be great fun for everybody.  We'll have to do a night time walk sometime this fall before it gets too cold. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Summer in October

It got up to 75° today, so we skipped naptime and headed to the zoo.  It was a perfect day at the zoo; so many animals were active and it wasn't crowded at all.  Amelia and Megan both said their favorite thing at the zoo was riding the carousel; Amelia rode on a tapir (but she thought it was a warthog) and Megan rode on a poison dart frog.

We rode the carousel first thing when we got to the zoo, and then we played in the park.  It worked out well to do those things first, so then the girls weren't pestering me about wanting to play; instead, they were happy to go look at all the animals.  Megan got a little nervous climbing up the rope ladder this time, but Amelia climbed it lickety-split.

Amelia's favorite animal was the river otter, who was doing backflips off the wall into the water.  We were so excited that he was out playing, because the girls always love to watch him.  I think Megan probably liked the otter the best, too.  She didn't want to leave his exhibit.  Can you see the otter mid-backflip in this photo?

The girls always love to watch the prairie dogs and the meerkats:

 And they wouldn't leave the zoo until we had stopped in the reptile house.  We had the house almost all to ourselves, so the girls got to see the animals as much as they wanted.  They are looking at the box turtles in the photo below, but they also liked looking at the anaconda, the poison dart frogs (Amelia) and the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (Megan).  Those are right next to the tarantula and the huge millipedes; those things creep me out!

They had to stand behind all the cutouts, of course!

They got pretty goofy hanging on the bars outside the camel exhibit:

And they loved climbing on the giant tortoise statue.  Megan was really having a good time giving the tortoise hugs and kisses, and she didn't want to get down.

This trip, Amelia wanted to get a map of the zoo, so we spent a lot of time looking at the map to determine where we were (thankfully a lot of the animals had photos as labels) and figurning out which way we needed to go to get to the next animal.   She was pretty good at following the routes on the map, but needed some help to translate that into walking directions.

 On the way home, we spent some time talking about how to spell different words.  Amelia's preschool teacher is starting to work with her on that (she spelled "rnbow" today in school) and Amelia is loving it.  She spelled taco, and was thrilled that she knew it ended in the letter o because "the word tells you the letter.  tac-O!"  She also spelled cat, bat, hat, mat, pat, sat, and vat.  I love how excited she is about learning!