The Zoo

We went to the zoo today with our friends.

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We’re talking about the letter Z is for Zoo this week in school, so what a perfect opportunity to take a fun field trip to a small local zoo? Plus “Go to the Zoo” is on our summer list, so we had to go.

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I had never been to this local zoo before. In years past, we’ve gone to the place I fondly refer to as the Dirty Weird Zoo, which is closer to our house (plans to go there next week). This little zoo was delightful (except for a few stinky moments, unavoidable at small “up close” zoos).

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I just loved how much the girls enjoyed seeing the animals and hearing all the smart things they had to say about them.

One of the first animals we saw was this guy:

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I said, “Hm, is that a meerkat?”

Miss said, “No Mama, that’s a ring-tailed lemur.”

Well.

Though there were many, many really cool animals to see, one of the favorites was this pond with big bright orange fish (maybe koi?):

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When we went to the Nature Center with my Mom a few weeks ago, Lass had no interest in stopping to look at the various animals. She just kept saying “Keep. Walking!” She wanted to get to see the opossum that day I think. Today she kept asking to go back to see the fish.  Over and over and over.

Similarly, her sister kept saying, “Mama I want to save my allowance for: insert every single type of animal we saw today here”. The whole time we were there. My girls are nothing if not consistent/persistent.

Anyway, the fish were a big hit.

They both said they really enjoyed seeing the zebra and the baby giraffe too.

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But they didn’t seem nearly as excited about those as they were about the bird house (Ew).

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They all loved it, but the bird house totally grosses me out.

As does the petting zoo, which was also a huge hit amongst the short crowd.

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I will say that, though I usually don’t much care for the petting zoo, this one wasn’t too bad. The animals were relatively clean and all very docile. Aside from one near disaster involving a two-year-old trying to manage a bunny while the staff member looked on and freaked out but didn’t really help, it was quite nice.

The other favorite with the kids was the playground.

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It was a heck of a playground, with tons of huge play structures and several of these amazing merry-go-round things:

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I loved these things. The merry-go-round was my favorite playground staple when I was a kid (though we never had one as cool as these!), followed closely by the teeter totter.

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Considering that there are no merry-go-rounds or teeter totters to be found on playgrounds anymore, I was really excited for my girls to get to enjoy these.

My other favorites of the day?

This guy, who sat right up at the fence and made funny faces at us:

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And this next little guy, my fave for two reasons:

1. Obviously he is adorable.

2. Several months ago Miss told my Mother-in-law that she wanted to look on the computer for a picture of a fennec fox. I had never heard of this type of fox, but my MIL obliged, and I walked into the office at the Farm to see her and Miss scrolling through photos of little critters that look just like this:

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A fennec fox.

I was more excited to see him than Miss seemed to be. Apparently she’s so over the fennec fox.

And I was just thrilled to see this hummingbird up close and personal.

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Hummingbirds amaze me. They almost never stop moving and yet they always look perky and graceful at the same time. Don’t they ever get tired?? I kind of feel like I’m a hummingbird wannabe some days.

Today was a great day.

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Super Friends

Super Friend and her family came over last night. The kids ran and jumped and explored and chased. We had a cookout and made s’mores. Then the kids got into jammies and watched 3 Veggie Tales movies while the grown ups sat outside around a fire. It was so nice.

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I got to thinking this morning how important friends are, and how lucky I have been to have had many true friends during the various stages in my life. True friends who remain so to this day, in spite of many miles between us and different life circumstances.

I have Cousin, who was my original BFF. I have a few friends from high school with whom I’m still in touch. I have one dear friend from college, a few from graduate school, and one from internship. And of course I  have stayed close with some special women from my years in North Carolina. I even have a few good online friends.

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All of these friends have been so important and have brought richness to my life. They still do.

But since having my kids I have learned about the absolute necessity of having a Mom Friend. Not just friends who are moms, but at least one friend who is at a similar stage in the journey that is motherhood, and who is nearby so that we can get together regularly to share it.

Seriously. Every mom needs this.

I cherish all of my friends. But at this point in my life, I really couldn’t do without a Mom Friend. I think maybe for some people this role would be filled by a sister or other nearby family member. I don’t have those. So of course for me, the Mom Friend is Super Friend.

I do have several other good Mom Friends in town now, though I don’t get together with them as often or know them quite as well as Super Friend.

I mean, she’s Super Friend.

There is a certain comfort that comes with similarity and familiarity in a good friend.

Super Friend and I have some similarity. We both have multiple young children close in age (between us we have seven under six). We have similar values and strategies for parenting. We enjoy some of the same things, like reading a good book, visiting over coffee and/or ice cream (usually and), and watching our kids play together.

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A while ago I read this article about how making Mom Friends is like dating. Basically it goes like this: First base, talking while your kids are in activities together. Second base, getting together with kids at a park (or other neutral ground) for a play date. Third base, having a play date at one of your houses. Fourth base, hanging out without the kids.

When I read the article I laughed and sent it to Super Friend. We are so beyond Fourth base.

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Yes, there is something beyond Fourth base for Mom Friends. I guess it’s kind of like sisterhood, because Super Friend and I have a great familiarity too. It’s a kind of knowing that comes from being in a similar place in life and spending quality time together.

When we have play dates at each other’s houses we seamlessly work together to care for seven small children, getting lunches, soothing babies, wiping faces, cleaning spills… All while barely even needing to speak. It doesn’t matter at whose house we are or whose kid needs something. We know, so we do. (I’ve written some about this before here).

If I’ve had a crappy morning trying to get my kids out the door to get Miss to camp on time, I can glance at Super Friend during drop off, and she just gives me this look. She knows from looking at me exactly how my morning has been. And I know she knows. And that makes it just a little bit better.

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We can sympathize and then laugh together about the insanity that is sometimes mothering small children (like running through a furniture store with diarrhea dripping from your two year old onto the floor and all over your clothes, while your husband runs behind cleaning up the floor and ends up using all but two of the wipes… um, one for the kid, one for the mom??). We can give advice without sounding judge-y. We help each other whenever we are able.

I wish this kind of friendship for every mom.

When I was a new mom, I had some good friends (still have them), but no one living near enough to me to be The Mom Friend. So I know how it is to be a new mom without a friend like this.

Super Friend has been a huge blessing in my life.

And even more than having the great fortune of having my own treasured friend, I am thrilled that my girls have made some truly special friends in her kids.

Because like all moms I want my girls to have good friendships with good kids.

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Whether or not our kids remain close (and I hope they do!), I am comforted by knowing that my girls will begin learning about good friendships with Super Friend’s Super Kids.

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Field Trip – Elephant and Piggie Style

A few days ago, I started our morning by telling my girls we were going to the children’s museum to see Elephant and Piggie.

I case you don’t know, Elephant (Gerald) and Piggie (who doesn’t have another name) are the characters in a series of books by Mo Willems. We were introduced to Mo Willems recently by my Super Friend who gave Baby Sis the book “The Duckling Gets a Cookie?!” and a Duckling stuffed animal for her birthday. My girls loved Pigeon and Duckling, so the Easter Bunny brought them some Elephant and Piggie books. And, wonder of wonders, they love these too!

Needless to say, they were very excited when I told them we were going to see Gerald and Piggie and hear a new book “Elephants Cannot Dance.” They immediately rounded up all their books and started reading them (they have them memorized).

DSC_0547I managed to tear them away from the books so we could get dressed and make the 30 minute drive to the children’s museum with time to make several parking errors, fill a parking meter with most of my quarters only to realize that it had a 30-minute limit (you’re welcome red car that pulled in after me), finally find a place to park, and get inside, with time to spare before the program started.

The girls killed time with some construction vehicles,

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mirrors and squishy toys and

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vegetables.

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It wasn’t planned this way, but we ended up meeting Super Friend and her husband and their kids for the show. Super Friend walked in with her kids, and her kids and my kids exclaimed simultaneously, “Our friends are here!!”

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There was so much anticipation before the entrance of Elephant and Piggie.

They finally came in and…

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Sat down.

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Apparently the costumes they were wearing didn’t provide them with much ability to see, because both of them needed to be guided to their seats by a “handler,” and they did not get up again for the duration of the story time. At least Piggie waved a few times.

The girls were so excited to see them, they didn’t care one bit. I was the only one who was disappointed I think, becasue I thought E and P were actually going to read/act out the book.

The woman who did read it did a great job though and had the kids up and dancing and spinning and having a good old time.

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We got to “meet” the immobile, mute Elephant and Piggie afterwards. It was a very stimulating experience…

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The girls got to do a craft, making hula skirts out of paper afterwards.

While we were crafting, Miss got wise to the fact that it wasn’t really Elephant and Piggie there at the story time when she looked hard over at Piggie next to us and saw a gap in the costume at the neck. Some guy’s hairy neck was showing, and my girl figured that one out right smartly. Later she told me, “Mom, I don’t think that was the real Gerald and Piggie we saw today. I think it was just someone dressed like them.”

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Afterwards the girls had lots of time to run and play with their friends and explore some of the rest of the museum.

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We don’t go there enough. It has been about 2.5 years since we were there last, so neither of them remember being there before, but they’re already asking to go back.

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We used up all of our usual school time to go there, so after we got home Miss asked when we were going to do school. Surprisingly she wasn’t that thrilled when I told her that our trip to the children’s museum was our school for the day.

It was a great “field trip.”

 

Would You Reschedule a Doctor Appointment for a Play Date?

I have a three-word answer to this question:

In. A. Heartbeat.

I also have a longer answer to the question, which qualifies the short answer.

All play dates are not created equal.

I would not reschedule a doctor appointment for just any play date.

I had routine, well-child appointments scheduled for Sis (one-year checkup) and Miss (four-year checkup) for this morning. I rescheduled them for a play date.

Oh yes I did.

I usually try to get together with a very good friend of mine and her kids for play dates once per week or so. But she just had a new baby about two weeks ago, and though I visited her and her new sweet baby girl in the hospital briefly, we haven’t had a play date in about three weeks. She has had family visiting, so today was the first opportunity we’ve had to get together since her baby was born. And it’s the last opportunity we’ll have before we leave for a week to visit my family in Kentucky. And it’s spring break for her kids so we could all get together instead of having one of her kids not present because of being at school.

This fortuitous coming together of circumstances to allow this one morning for a play date with some special friends was too much to pass up.

I’m so glad I rescheduled the appointments.

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When we have play dates with these friends, our kids read together.

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They also chase each other, play dress up, and do everything else kids do during play dates, but I just love that they regularly, and for a significant portion of our play dates with them, sit down together and read books. That is just like play date heaven for me. That and pretty much everything else about our visits with these friends.

We even have had evening “jammies, movie, and pizza” play dates with them when Daddies have worked late.

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I’ve been to many play dates. Some great ones. A few, um, less than awesome ones. Most would not prompt me to want to reschedule an appointment for my kids.

But today, this time, I missed my friend. I missed her kids and wanted to see her precious new little one again.

Appointment, schm-appointment.

I never really understood the treasure that is an awesome play date until I discovered this friend and her kids (and also experienced some not-so-good play dates). These play dates are no fuss, no muss, no worries. Our kids play well together, and my friend and I practically read each others’ minds as we chit chat and help each other with holding kids, making lunches, wiping mouths, pouring milks.

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I love that my girls have friends like these.

I love that I do too. Every mom needs at least one awesome go-to Mom Friend. Truly, it is a must-have for maintaining sanity.

I’m so glad I have my friend.

Simple

This weekend I’m enjoying simple things.  Lilacs in mason jars on my counter and table.  Big smiles and hugs from my girls.  Playing outside in amazing, warm weather.  Watching imaginations bloom and sister games develop.  Great times with wonderful friends.  Date night.  Some lovely real snail mail notes from my Grandma and a sister in law.  We’re not doing anything extravagant or big this weekend, but doing simple things together is exactly what makes me happy right now.

Miss has had some trouble with a bit of eczema.  We discovered it was probably largely being caused by her frequent wearing of her “ballerina costume.”  So I have had to tell her she can no longer wear it and explain why.  I was worried this might lead to an all out screaming fit.  But to her credit, Miss has taken this in stride and is now just working on expanding her dress up repertoire.  At a play date on Friday she was a doctor.  Yesterday, she was a princess.  She had been wearing high-heeled play shoes and carrying a Snow White purse in addition to her tutu and crown, but in preparation to go outside to play, we discussed every princess’s need for real shoes and sunglasses.  She chose boots.  It’s a good look.

I believe this stick was supposed to be some sort of weapon for fending off the “Evil Queen,” her sister.

The weapon of the Evil Queen?  A watering can.

Miss chose this rock as her place from which to defend herself.
“Here she comes!!!”
Terrifying, eh?

The battle.

It was epic, of course.  Miss alternates between enlisting her sister in the roles of “Monster,” “Evil Queen,” and “Prince Charming.”  Lass plays along happily.  It’s so fun to watch.

Last night I think my husband and I finally reached real “grown up” status.  We had a grown up night and play date in one.  It was awesome.  Our friends came over with their three kids, my husband cooked ribs, the kids played, no one got hurt or threw a tantrum, my friend and I chased kids around and had a some great grown up conversation (as only moms can do while managing five kids running and climbing all over and one newborn), and our husbands consumed a couple of grown up beverages while talking about manly things and occasionally bouncing a baby.  Good food and good company led to a supremely enjoyable evening.

The four oldest kids all crammed into our tiny sandbox.  This thing was the entertainment hit of the evening.  They all played in there, even dumping sand over each others’ heads, and never once was there an argument amongst them.

It was beautiful.

This little munchkin was the star of the show.  She loves to be outside, and she rocked the bouncy seat when she wasn’t eating or napping in her swing inside.  A good time was had by all.

Today we’re having a lazy Sunday at home.  The big girls are outside playing with their daddy.  Our garden is starting to produce a few items ready to be eaten (radishes and lettuce).  We have lots of leftovers from dinner last night, so I won’t have to cook.  This is the life.  Happy weekend to you.

Membership Has its Privileges

For months now, I have been saying that I want to rejoin the YMCA.  My husband and I were members when we first moved here, because we lived in a rental house and didn’t have a good place to exercise at home.  When we bought our current house, we set up a nice garage gym area and let our Y membership lapse.  Miss was too tiny to do any activities there and we could exercise at home, so we let it go. BUT, now Miss is bigger.  She’s old enough to start getting into some of the little classes they have at the Y and I really need to keep up with swimming lessons for both of the girls. There are so many good activities for families at the Y.  Plus, there isn’t a whole lot else to do indoors in our town during the winter.  So, this week I finally got myself in gear and went to the Y to renew our family membership.  We started taking advantage of it yesterday by going to “Wiggles and Giggles.”  Our Y has an indoor soccer field, and they open it up twice a week in the mornings for little ones to come and play.  They pull out ride-on toys, balls, big mats, and various other things for the kids to enjoy.  Not to mention there’s lots of room to run.  The girls had a blast.

 (Quick snack break)

I’m so glad we joined.  The girls ran and danced and got to blow off some steam.  And we met some other moms and kids there, so I got to visit with some grown ups.  
And speaking of visiting with grown ups, my husband and I had a great date night last night.  We went to a new sushi place, and it was pretty good.  Of course the best part was just being able to hang out and chat with my hubby.  Before dinner we went to Miss’s school and met with her teachers for our little parent-teacher conference.

It was great to hear all about what she has been doing in school and to see how thorough they are in their assessments of her.  And it was pretty cool to hear someone else describe her spot-on and know how much time and attention she must get there for them to be able to really “get” her so well.  I loved when they told me how much she likes to sing at the top of her lungs and to shake it when they dance.

No one needs to tell me how much my girls love to dance and that they’ve got some moves.

Miss got new ballet shoes yesterday.  The ones I got her for her Halloween costume had cut into her little heels and one shoe had totally split on the side from being worn so much, so I told her she couldn’t wear those anymore.  She was so upset and asked repeatedly for them for several days.  When I pulled out the new shoes yesterday, I was relieved to find that she loves these just as much even though they’re a different style.  She immediately asked, “Momma, can you play some music so I can ballet dance?”

So I did.  What better for ballet than The Cure??  

I got a question in a comment about organizing photos, related to my last post about taking at least one photo a day.  Unfortunately, I’m not really great about organizing my photos.  Mostly I just dump them into iPhoto.  I do “flag” my favorites when I’m going through and editing them, which is how I select the pics I’m going to upload to a blog post or use for something else.  Just in the past few days with the start of this new project I have begun putting photos into folders by month, so I will have a little bit better organization of them that way.  I also have set a goal to start deleting photos a little bit more so I won’t have such an overwhelming mass of pictures.  And few years ago I set a goal to make photo books for each of my girls for each year of their lives.  Unfortunately, I’ve only completed Miss’s first year book.  So making the rest of the books needs to become a priority, and I’m hoping to get my photos more organized that way too.  I will make folders for each girl, each year in my iPhoto in addition to making the books.  That’s it.  I don’t have a great system yet.  Anyone else have a good way of organizing digital photos?

Did I Say I Thought Pink Eye Was Yucky?

Yes, I did.  When Miss first started school I typed this post, which I stupidly titled, “Bring on the Ickies” (why would I ever type such a statement?).  At the time I was grossed out because I thought she had pink eye, which she actually didn’t have, by the way.  I was writing about how I knew she would bring home lots of germs now that she had started school and blah, blah, blah.  Yesterday I got a much better sense of the truly icky.  Picture it.  I wake up at 4 AM to Lass’s crying.  It was a “something’s wrong” kind of cry, so I went in to get her thinking maybe she’d had a bad dream or something, and I’d just rock her for a bit.  Instead I found that Lass had puked all over herself, her bed, her floor, and then me as soon as I picked her up.  Okay.  I got it all cleaned up, put both of us in clean jammies, and began rocking her to try to get her back to sleep.  Naturally, she puked all over both of us again before I managed to run her to the bathroom and get her over the sink.  Again, I get it cleaned up and go back to rocking her.  And that’s not even the really icky part…
Rewind about 8 hours to Wednesday night.  I had received a text message from a babysitter telling me that her roommate had just found out she has scabies.  Oh yes.  I thought pink eye was gross?  No.  No, scabies is gross.  Gross as in make-my-skin-crawl-give-me-the-crazy-heebie-jeebies kind of gross.  Unfortunately this babysitter had been to my house three times in three days, including Wednesday afternoon for a little while while I took Miss to gymnastics.  At first I wasn’t too worried about it, since this babysitter didn’t even know if she actually had it, and I hadn’t seen any signs that my girls did, but still.  I did vacuum every room where this babysitter would have been, rugs and furniture.  And then as I was sitting there at 4-something AM, rocking Lass again after changing both of our clothes for the second time, I couldn’t help but imagine a little bit what yesterday might have had in store for me.  I pictured two puking girls, perhaps being sick myself, and needing to scour and sanitize my house and medicate my girls to get rid of little tiny mites that had burrowed under their skin and gotten into all of our clothing, bedding, furniture, carpets…  Perhaps this was a bit melodramatic, but I was sleepy and my mind was wandering on it’s own.  And really it wasn’t really too far fetched to imagine that could have been my day.
Amazingly, Lass went back to sleep (though I never did – see thoughts running through my head, above) for a little while and when she woke up she had no additional symptoms of a stomach bug.  She kept down everything I gave her to drink and eat and was her cheerful happy self all day long.  Miss never got sick, nor did I.  Score 1 for Mama!
Unfortunately, I did get a text later in the morning that my babysitter does in fact have scabies.  Even more unfortunately, I couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment until 4:30 in the afternoon to find out if my girls or I had it.  So, though I tried not to worry about it, I was kind of freaking out that we were infested.  There were no real signs that any of us had it, but I started imagining that every little red spot on my girls or any itch I felt myself was a little mite trying to find a home.  I started stripping sheets and doing laundry.  And then I did the most appropriate and merciful thing yesterday afternoon.  I let my girls watch a rare bit of afternoon TV and I called my mom to whine.
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It was quite therapeutic.  My mom did what all good moms do.  She listened.  She sympathized.  She made me laugh.  What more could a girl ask for (other than having said mom living nearby so she could have come over to help with the laundry, which my mom would have happily done, of course…).

And to make a very long story short, the girls napped, we went to the doctor, and we found out that we do not have scabies.  And I learned a lot about scabies that made me feel better all around, like that scabies can’t live long at all in clothing, furniture, etc.  That washing every article of clothing and bedding in our house wasn’t really necessary, though I did it anyway.  That scabies show up fast and move fast and itch like crazy.  In other words, if you have scabies, you know it.  Since we didn’t have it and our poor babysitter had not been around for a while, the likelihood that we would get it was nil.  Score 2 for Mama!

And, since we did not have scabies, our other babysitter, whom we had scheduled to come over so my hubby and I could get out for dinner, was still happy to come.  So we had a nice dinner out and relaxed away the craziness of the day.  Score 3!!  I am still a little bit shocked when I think about how crummy yesterday could have been and then about how relatively not-so-bad it really was.  I feel like I dodged a major bullet!

And to top it all off, since we don’t have scabies and my testimony for this morning got postponed (thankfully, because I wouldn’t have had a babysitter!), we got to go to a much-looked-forward-to play date with some great friends.  My friend had a Christmas cookie decorating play date at her house this morning, and it was a blast.  Lass mostly just ate a cookie and played in the frosting.

Miss had lots of fun decorating the cookies and eating them.  She had a little bit of a hard time though with the idea that she could only eat one of the cookies she decorated and the rest we had to just decorate and save to take home.

Miss made a special cookie for her Daddy.

A good time was had by all.  Hooray for no scabies!

Tomorrow we go to my parent’s house for a week.  I am so thrilled to spend the week with my Mom and Dad.  But, that likely means there will be very little blogging from this girl until we get back, as my parents live in an internet black hole.  I’ll be back in about a week!

A Week??

I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since my last post.  I have had a lot of work come my way and a 2.5-year-old who hasn’t napped all week, so I guess blogging has escaped me for a few days.  I always miss it when I don’t post for a while.  I love sorting through and choosing the photos for a post and then writing about my favorite thing in the whole world, my family.  So, what have we been doing this week?
Going to preschool with absolutely no tears whatsoever.
A little bit of baking and cookie decorating.

A fabulous play date with wonderful friends, where the cookies were gobbled up.

Trying on Halloween costumes.  Miss has been planning to be a ballerina for weeks.  Last night we tried Lass’s bear costume on her, and now Miss wants to be a bear.  I should have known that would happen.  But she is still excited about being a ballerina when I tell her about how we’re going to do her hair and what she will get to wear.  She loves wearing a leotard and has a special fondness for tights.  Plus I told her she can play with Lass’s costume after Halloween if she wants, so she seems happy with the current situation.  For now at least.

We’ve been enjoying fall.  

The weather has been crisp, but we are trying to still get outside a bit before it gets really cold.  The girls love to play with our pumpkins.

 And while showing off her muscles power lifting pumpkins, Miss saw this:

Then she just had to show off her hunting/stalking skills.

Lass got in on the fun for a minute, but seemed to not really notice or not care about the bunny, because she ended up walking on by.

Miss got pretty close to the little guy before he did this funny little stretch and hopped into the middle of this big evergreen tree.

The girls just moved right on to the next fun thing.  Most of the leaves are gone from our yard, and I’ve pretty much closed up the sand box for the year.  I guess mulch is the next best thing to play in.

We’ve just being doing our thing here.  Watching “Go Blue” today.  Happy weekend.

Happy Fall

Fall is my favorite season.  I love the crispness of the air, the colors of the leaves and their lazy floating to the ground.  I love pumpkins and apples and squash and chilly morning trips to the farmer’s market where all the season’s bounty can be found.  I love open windows through which cool breezes bring the scent of burning leaves.  Fall makes me feel cozy and productive.  Like I want to snuggle up with my Loveys, but also to get out and go do stuff.
Last year around this time, we went to a local farm where they have pumpkins, apples, animals and a big rustic playground.  We had a lot of fun, though I ended up a bit overwhelmed at the end of the day, struggling back to the truck with a newborn wrapped to me, a toddler and a big bag of apples in one arm, and pulling a wagon completely loaded with pumpkins with my free hand.  Thank goodness for the kindness of a stranger who came to our rescue.  Here we are in a photo from last year

We went back to the same farm yesterday.  My how things have changed.  We’ve upgraded our equipment,
and the girls have grown so much.  They were both charged with the task of picking out our pumpkins.
Lass took a relaxed approach to the job.
Miss, on the other hand, was all business.
She searched through all the pumpkins and even hauled the ones she chose toward the wagon.
We met up with some good friends, and had a wonderful day.
Back at home in the afternoon, we took full advantage of the glorious weather and the mass of leaves fallen from our beautiful oak tree.
 

The girls had a blast jumping and rolling in the leaves.  Daddy got down in the leaves with the girls too, and even got buried.

And yes, I got buried too.  I don’t know the last time I played in a big pile of leaves. I was a little shocked by how wonderful the leaves smelled and how the scent transported me instantly back to my childhood.  I had completely forgotten that smell.  It’s a fantastic smell!
Happy fall to you!
 

Finally! Giraffes

Yesterday, I lost my Mommy Mojo.  I was adrift on a sea of preschooler tantrums and disobedience and toddler crabbiness.  I couldn’t seem to do anything right from nap time to bed time. Miss wouldn’t listen to a thing I said.  She didn’t take a nap, so she was cranky and whiney.  My attempts to redirect and/or to discipline her left both of us frustrated and frayed.  I could not seem to find my usual groove with my big girl, and to top it off, my normally sunny, cheerful Lass was a crabby mess.  By the time I took Lass up for her bath, I was in tears.  I managed to rally and get Miss bathed and in bed happily and without struggle, but I ended the day exhausted and unhappy with myself.  I vowed to get it right today.
Today, Mama got her groove back.  Today, we went to the zoo with some friends and had a blast.  Both girls were wonderful.  Lass even sat in her stroller the whole time with minimal protest!

Miss was fantastic.  She listened well, helped with her sister, and was my usual happy, if sometimes slightly mischievous, girl.  She had so much fun.  Of course, there was plenty of goat feeding.

Lots of excitement over the big llamas.  These were thankfully fairly well groomed and free from matted, poo-crusted fur (click hereif you missed the post about matted, poo-crusted fur).

Lass made a new friend.

Miss played chase with her friend all over the zoo.

She was really interested in this tortoise.  The poor thing kept trying in vain to fit through these posts, and Miss was calling to it, “Come here big turtle. Come here so I can hold you.”  It was kind of pitiful.

And then.  After months of asking for them.  Three “zoos” and many animal encounters later, we finally saw the giraffes.

Initially Miss was timid about feeding them.  She wouldn’t do it herself, until she saw Baby Sister do it.  My little fearless girl.

After she saw her Sis do it, Miss gave it a try too.

The tall guys were definitely the highlight of the zoo.  It was a great day with friends.  And to top it off, both girls stayed awake for the entire hour-plus drive home (right at their usual nap time) and took fantastic naps after we got here.  That never happens.  It must have been some cosmic freebie to make up for yesterday.

But really, yesterday probably wouldn’t have been so bad if I had just managed to pick my battles a little more wisely and maybe count to ten a few times.  Yesterday I was not my best Mommy self.  Okay, let’s be honest.  Yesterday I was an ugly mess.  Today, I got myself a little perspective, took a deep breath, and got my Mojo back.