Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Fall is a busy time around here. We've done so much the past few days, I haven't even had the time to blog about it. First, I taught the girls how to make applesauce. I used to make it all the time when we lived in NY, and for some reason hadn't been since we moved here. I thought it was time to show the girls how it's done.
They had a blast helping, and watching the apples cook.

However, later in the day Tia asked "Can I have some applesauce, the kind from the pantry?".
I guess I shouldn't be too heart broken since it's my fault for not introducing her to the good home made kind earlier. Live and learn.

Then we took the girls to a Halloween Party hosted by the local library. There were tons of activities and crafts for the kids, and it gave them another opportunity to wear costumes.

Although Gia decided she didn't want a costume, and settled for a pumpkin shirt. Hey, that makes things easier for me, so I didn't push the issue.

Tia got another opportunity to dress up at her school party. Since it's a Christian school, they don't call it a Halloween party, and the kids could only dress as an animal. That was just fine for Tia because all she wanted to be was a butterfly. They were all so cute!

Today both girls had dance class and dressed up again. With the amount of candy they received from school, dance class, and the library party, we didn't even really need to go out Trick or Treating! But of course, we braved the cold and wind and headed out. It was so cold that even Gia, who refuses to wear winter gear, asked to borrow my scarf! They had a great time, and I was so proud of them for not being shy and using their manners.

They were worn out and started asking about going to bed an hour before their normal time. Now after all the excitement, we're left with the task of trying to explain why they can't eat all that candy, and real food is sort of a requirement in our family!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I did it again!

Several years ago when we lived in NY, my husbands family and I started a tradition of walking the Breast Cancer walk on Mother's Day morning. It was something fun for us to do together, in honor of my Mother in Law being a breast cancer survivor.

Here in Illinois, the race is held in October. I walked it last year with a couple ladies, and our finishing time was a miserable 55:33! There were so many walkers, that there was a huge bottle neck, and it was hard to keep a good pace.

Yesterday I participated in this race again. My goal was just to run the first few minutes to break away from the crowd of slow walkers. In doing so, I figured I could easily beat my time from last year. I knew it was unlikely that I could run the entire course, since I really hadn't trained much at all.

It was a cold, dark, damp morning. I went by myself, not wanting to take the kids out on such a dreary day. For some reason the race started 35 minutes late, which meant we were all standing at the start line, freezing. At that point I wanted to run just to get warm! I did in fact run for the first 7 minutes, then power walked for a few minutes, alternating between walking and running for the entire race.

Well, I not only beat my time from last year, (when I walked most of the race), but I also beat my time from the Chicago Lung Run in September! I really felt like I ran more at the Lung Run than I did this time, but somehow I finished in 42:30! My theory is that my running pace isn't really all that much faster than my walking pace. When I had to stop running to catch my breath, I walked faster than I ever thought I could walk. So, running the Lung Run actually took longer than a run/walk combo. Go figure!

The bad news is that I seriously irritated a hip problem that I thought was gone for good. I had problems with my hips during my second pregnancy, and for a long time after. Since I've been exercising, stretching, doing yoga, etc., it hasn't been a problem. For some reason, it flared up with a vengeance after the race. I was in horrendous pain last night, but it is starting to ease up today. I guess that's what happens when you're my age and think you can become a runner!

It doesn't matter though. I'd do it all over again. It's a good cause and has personal meaning for our family. It's a tradition I'm proud to keep going, even if it involves a bit of pain.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some things make me feel old...

...others just make me laugh.

A few months back, I was in the grocery store for my regular 'way too early in the morning' grocery shopping trip. I ate a bagel while I shopped. When I got to the check-out, I told the young cashier "oh, and ring me up for a bagel, I ate it already". Then, thinking I was being witty, I said "Breakfast of champions!". She just gave me a blank stare and I realized she had no idea what I was talking about. I decided it wouldn't be worth my time to tell her about the Wheaties commercials from "the old days". She didn't look like she'd be easy to amuse. It suddenly dawned on me that I am getting pretty old! I say things like "the kids today..." and "back in the day...". How the heck did this happen?! Now, all of a sudden I'm the grown up!

D.R. and I find ourselves saying things to our kids that make them laugh, but make absolutely no sense to them. For example, when Tia asks for something to eat, then decides she no longer wants it, we say "You asked for it, you got it, TOYOTA!". It makes the kids laugh, even though they've never heard that slogan on TV.

I guess we're from an era of catchy slogans that nobody under the age of about 28 would remember. This is what our parents went through, at some point, too.

Occasionally I get hit with the "blast from the past" while going through Tia's wardrobe.

Today she chose this adorable pink dress to wear to school, which was another hand-me-down from my God Daughter. However, she didn't know who the little girl characters were on the dress. I explained that they were called the Power Puff girls, and they were from a cartoon that's no longer on TV (again "back in the day"). She said "Oh, I like them. When I get bigger, I want to be a Power Tough girl"! She cracks me up.

Some days I feel old. Most of the time I just laugh!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Daddy Daughter Dance

Last night was a big night for our girls. It was the annual Daddy-Daughter Sweetest Day dance here in Huntley. Last year Tia went but Gia was too young. They were excited to both be going this year. Since Mom's are not allowed at the dance, I had to take pictures before they left. I told Tia she should tell the people at the dance that she would like to have a Mommy dance, and she told me I was being silly. Oh well, I tried!

Tia was ready first and wanted to take pictures. Gia on the other hand didn't appreciate all the excitement and fanfare, and was refusing pictures. I think she's destined to be a movies star who is always running from the Paparazzi. No pictures please!

I finally got her to smile by being very silly for a few minutes. She couldn't hold back any longer.

Then of course Tia and Dad had to practice their routine before leaving the house!

I think they might have had more fun getting ready than they did at the actual dance. D.R. says they had fun the first hour, then everyone got tired and cranky. When they got home, the first thing Gia said was "I lost my Tia!". Apparently Tia was off dancing with some friends, and Gia couldn't find her. That's all it took for her little world to come crashing down.

Oh well, it was cute getting them all dressed up for their date with Daddy. There's always next year.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Painting Pumpkins

We painted our pumpkins again this year. I am afraid to get into carving while they're still so young. Maybe next year.
The girls really enjoyed this project, and I enjoyed watching their creativity at work. Here are some pictures. Enjoy!

Tia is so focused and detail oriented!

Gia is so happy to be allowed to use the paint
which is not a normal occurrence in our house!

Pretty pastels

A Christmas pumpkin?

Sweet little hands

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our very first School Field Trip

Today Tia's class had their first field trip. I was so happy that parents were required to attend (and siblings were welcome) because we went to one of my favorite places here in Huntley, Tom's Farm. They're a working vegetable farm but they do so much for the kids, especially during Fall. We go to their Fall Fest every year.

For the field trip, they took us on a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch where the kids were allowed to pick one pumpkin, and three gourds.

It was muddy, but boy did the kids all think it was so neat to be traipsing around in a pumpkin patch!

Of course the most important part of any school function is the snack, and this was a very important one to Tia. All week she had been looking forward to having one of Tom's famous Apple Cider Donuts! They are incredibly yummy, and she remembered them from last year. I just had to take a picture of her eating one since she has talked about them so much this week.

After our tour and snack, the kids were allowed to stay and play in the "Fall Fest" area. They had a blast!

This was a big silo full of feed corn that they jumped and rolled around in.
Click on the image to enlarge and see the look of sheer joy on Gia's face!
A lot of fun but needless to say, we had to wash everything once we got home!
Did you know corn is very dusty?

The mountain of hay was another big hit this year.

I took 44 pictures today, and obviously can't post them all. Here are just a couple more that I took and thought were kind of neat.

We all had a fantastic time on the farm, and wish we could have stayed longer. Unfortunately is started to rain so we had to come home and have some hot chocolate!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tia's Birthday Parts 2 and 3!

Tia's birthday is actually October 12. However, we celebrated last month while my sister and brother in law were in town. Now this past weekend the grandparents were visiting, so we did it all over again.
When we asked Tia what she would like to do for her birthday, she said she wanted to go on a boat. In October?! Well, I went on line and discovered a tour boat company up in Wisconsin, just 45 minutes away. We chose the ice cream sundae cruise, which turned out to be the perfect choice.

Tia wore a Princess ribbon so everyone would know it was her birthday!

Both girls loved the view of Lake Geneva. It was pretty cold out but they were dressed in layers.

A nice lady at the next table offered to take a picture of our whole group.

The captain even added Tia's birthday to his announcements over the loud speaker. Her face lit up with a huge smile as he said "And I'd like to wish a Happy Birthday to Princess Tia"! She was so proud. The ice cream and the tour were fantastic. We all had a great time.

Then, the next day, Tia had a couple of her little friends over for a small birthday party. She insisted on getting all dressed up for the occasion.

Party dress provided by Nonna!

The girls made a princess wand to take home.

Tia loved her Princess cake.

You would think after two parties and a boat ride, we would be done celebrating, right? Not exactly. On Tia's actual birthday, D.R. will take the day off from work, and we'll do something special with our family of four. D.R.'s Mom always did that with her kids when they were at home, and now we will continue the tradition for our girls. That will be birthday celebration part 4! Just perfect for a 4 year old.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Magic of Sesame Street

The other day, out of the blue, Tia counted to 10 in Spanish. Sadly, I was not the one who taught her this! I believe she learned it from Sesame Street videos. Regardless of where she picked it up, I'm so proud of her accomplishment. What a great skill to have!
Now that I see how well she grasps language, I'll do my best to continue to teach her more.
Hooray for Sesame Street!