Monday, October 31, 2011

A Different Sort of Fall Fun....

Can't believe this was October 29th.

But, man oh man, the kids loved it. Especially Colin. He was practically vibrating with excitement. And he was BEGGING to go out in it. Repeatedly.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pedal Power!

After our big birthday bash last Sunday, we skipped nap (it wouldn't have happened anyway) and took our trikes to the park for a spin. AND, look what G did for the first time!

And Colin? Well, he's not allowed on his bike because he won't put the helmet on. So, he pushed his trike everywhere. Grr.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Birthday Party Report!

Last Sunday we had a party to celebrate Colin and Gillian's BIG THIRD BIRTHDAY! All of our guests were family, but we still managed to have twenty people over. Well, make that twenty adults. We need some other kids to invite next year! We were very lucky that it turned out to be a lovely fall day; it was dry, sunny, and just warm enough for the hale and hearty to hang out on the deck for a bit! Our house is just a bit small for that many people!

Daddy and I had breakfast treats laid out for our Guests of Honor to open pre-party.
We had gotten them Cinderella and Thomas shirts to match the party "theme"! I think they liked them. G wanted to wear Cinderella at breakfast!

So, with lots of help from Grammy, Papa, GraGra, Uncle D and others, we were all ready for lunch, cake, ice cream, and presents by 11:00! We kept the cakes hidden until party time to surprise the kiddos. Here's Colin's Thomas Carnival Cake (provided by Giant Eagle).
He immediately wanted to "chuff" the Thomas from the cake. He kept asking and asking for it! I made him wait until after we blew out the candles!

GraGra volunteered to make Gillian's cake after I couldn't find any bakeries in town to make a princess doll cake for less than $70. GraGra then roped Aunt Emily into helping her. And in the end, Uncle Stevie and Papa Greg helped too! It was all worth it though; Gillian's eyes just LIT UP when she saw Cinderella!
They did such a fantastic job! We all appreciated it so much!

So we had a yummy lunch.
(This was obviously the Table of Honor!)

Then goofed around a bit.
(That picture of Colin in the presents cracks me up for some reason)

Then it was PRESENT time!
(Those were some GORGEOUS new coats from Leah. Unfortunately, she was out of town for the party!)

Some fun new games from Dickiedoo and Noonie.

A castle tent and princess dress from Uncle D and Aunt Cedes! Huge hit!

Aunt Cedes and I are obviously very excited about the walkietalkies from Uncle Stevie and Aunt Emily. I'm not sure the kids understood them!

Once Colin got his train, he was perfectly content to be done. Thanks GraGra and Papa Greg.

Gillian had to immediately "princess" herself!

We finished up the fun with cake and ice cream! Colin was funny because he couldn't wait for us to finish singing to him before he would blow out the candles. We tried twice. No luck.

Gillian's turn! She was slightly more patient with us!

The kids had so much fun at their party. They enjoyed it from beginning to end. We are so lucky to have such loving and wonderful family to help us celebrate our two BIG kids!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Birthday Treats: What Did I DO?

The Friday before their birthday, Colin and Gillian were assigned to bring snack for school and they could bring "treats" instead of the usual "healthy" assignment. So a month or so ago, I was looking through my Everyday Food magazine and G spotted a page of chocolate and sprinkle covered cake pops. She wanted them. Colin agreed (goof ball that he is, since he doesn't EAT cake). So I asked them if they wanted them for their school treats. Even though they didn't understand that AT ALL, they agreed.

So, I gathered supplies. And planned. Finally, it was time to assemble! Ok, so I love to bake. And cook. But, my style is pretty simple. I don't do fussy or fancy or decorated. Chocolate chip cookies or brownies are more my style. See what I do for these children? The whole time I was working on them, I was laughing. This was SO not me. I am NOT a Martha!

The results!

(If interested: Store bought pound cake, 1 inch slices, cut with pumpkin cookie cutter, dipped in melted chocolate, and Halloween sprinkles, cool in frig with stick)

We also picked out a barrel of pretzel sticks to go with the cake pops. For Colin. Daddy took the kids and treats to school on Friday since I had to work. So, I didn't get a first hand report on the treats. But Gillian swears she ate one!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Zoo Time!

A couple weeks back, Daddy took the day off of work and we headed to the zoo for the day. It was a lovely fall day; about 60 degrees, cloudy, and dry. And a Thursday. All those things added together made for the nicest zoo trip ever. There was NO ONE at the zoo. And the animals were very active.

So were the kids though. C&G were less than enthused about looking at the animals. They were far, far more interested in crawling in and out of the wagon that we rented to haul our lunch and stuff around! Yeah, we won't be doing that again.

Anyway, we got some cool pictures.

Snow leopard.

Colin's favorites....the flamingos!

Some cool ostrich action. Really, this ostrich was STARING us down.

Sadly, MY favorites, the elephants, were kind of disappointing this trip. But we DID measure the kids with a baby elephant!

We got to explore the "Touch a Ray" exhibit a lot more than we usually do, since we weren't wrestling 1000 other kids to pet the rays. It was cool. The rays were a bit too slimy for my taste. But the tunnels were cool.

Oh yeah, then we trapped the kids.

We did let them out....eventually. Oh look, sea otter!

We stopped for a picnic lunch. That's one of my favorite parts of the zoo; you can bring all your food and drink with you and it makes the day so much more affordable. Daddy and G were enjoying cookies!

In the children's section of the zoo, we ran into one of the docents with a screech owl. His name was Crosby. He had a broken wing when someone found in him in the woods. The zoo rescued him and brought him back to health, but his wing won't allow him to take care of himself, so he stays at the zoo. We liked him!

We looped our way back through the zoo to try to catch the tigers playing. And they were! The zoo has three tiger cubs that are 13 months old. They are HUGE and look just like adults, but they can get quite spunky! We caught two of them in the water, wrestling over a stick! So funny!

Then they hopped out of the water and sprinted to the looking glass window.
(That's Colin's head right there next to the tiger!)

So incredibly beautiful.

We also caught the leopard next to his/her glass too. We love big cats. It was an incredible way to see them!

On our way out we had to pass back through the tunnel. Colin had been telling us for weeks that the next time we went to the zoo, we had to get a picture of the tunnel. He likes it. So we got a picture!

Great day!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Happy Birthday, Gillian Jane! You're three now! Daddy and I hope you love being three. We love seeing you pretend to be a princess or a baby horse or Ruby or any number of other things! You are so strong and smart and funny. We can't wait to see what's up your (rolled up) sleeve next. You make us so proud.

Happy Birthday, Colin Xavier! Our three year old man! Daddy and I love seeing your grow and become YOU. We love your WOOT WOOTs and your love of everything with wheels! You are so sweet and tender and funny! And smart as a whip! Oh man, we are so excited to see what you show us next!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Fun

I don't think these pictures need many words. Love a warm, sunny October day with JUST enough leaves to rake into a pile.