Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from the Sheriff and Olivia!

I'll post more about this later, but I thought I'd share a little sneak peek of the sheriff and Olivia all decked out before their big trick-or-treat adventure!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

DQ and Mall Love

The other night after dinner, my mom, dad, sister, and I took the kids to the mall for a little shopping, elevator riding, and ice cream.  The last of which was, of course, the favorite.

Baylor opted for a tropical fruit smoothie.  I just loved how his little cheeks sucked in while he was drinking.

Mollie shared a vanilla cone with my mom.

It's always such a bummer when all the dessert is gone.

Okay, maybe not always ...

We were starting to get bundled up and all of our things gathered, when Mollie took off toward the center of the mall, arms outstretched all the way.

It turns out that, while my sister and I were finishing up at Gymboree, Mollie had discovered and fallen in love with the giant pillar near the middle of the mall.

I think she would have stayed there all night if I had let her.

But, sadly, it was soon time to go home.  As I reassured the kids, though ... I'm sure we'll be back there soon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Which Photo Would You Choose?

Alright, I know this might be the cheater's way out of a pickle, but I could really use some help.  I bought a Groupon for a canvas print a while back and it's about to expire (22nd).  And, for the life of me, I cannot figure out which picture to get printed.  The print will be 16"x20" and can go anywhere in our house, but we have a potential spot over our mantel.  Here are the options, all taken by either me or one of my family members.

Option 1: The Duomo in Florence, Italy.

Option 2:  Covered path in Tuscany.

Option 3:  Tree-lined path in Paris, France.

Option 4:  Phlox in Charlevoix, Michigan.  (vertical)

Option 5:  Phlox in Charlevoix, Michigan.  (horizontal)

Option 6:  Window boxes in Venice, Italy.  (horizontal)

Option 7:  Window boxes in Venice, Italy.  (vertical)

These photos have already been cropped to the correct proportions, so they would be printed as-is.  If I was to get one for over our mantle, it would probably have to be horizontal; just something to keep in mind.

So, dear readers, what do you think?  Which one do you think I should choose?  Help me ... please!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

She Likes to Wink and Drink Pink Ink ...

Remember that post I wrote a while back (okay, it was about two and a half years ago ...) about wanting a tattoo?  Well ...

I got a couple last Sunday.  The one on my side reads, "You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."  It's something Christopher Robin says to Winnie the Pooh, and I love it.  (Clearly.)  The one on my wrist - seen above with a protective film over it - says "breathe".  It's my calming word, and I wanted to have it close by.

I love them both, and I'll be honest ... I plan on getting more.  I want to have at least one for the kids, though I have a couple in mind.  But for now I have these, chosen because they were meaningful to me and because their location wouldn't impede my current daily activities (like carrying and caring for the kids).

Happy early 30th to me.

An Autumn Walk with Mollie

The leaves on our big maple tree were starting to turn the other day, but the weather was still pretty warm so Mollie and I headed outside for a little walk.

At first we started out on foot, with Mollie inspecting as many leaves as possible along the way.

But, being so close to lunch and nap time, she soon got tired and we decided to grab a stroller instead.

It was probably the last walk we'll have where we don't have to seriously bundle up, and it was so nice to share it with my spunky little girl.

Rotisserie Chicken: What Passes for Fun These Days

Our kids, particularly Baylor, love going to Costco.  He almost never samples the food, we don't let him walk around much (if at all), and we rarely buy treats there.  So why does he like it so much?  The savings?  The expansive warehouse?  Nope.  The rotisserie oven.  He fell in love with it one trip and has been enamored of it ever since.

Seriously, the kids watch it with the intensity they usually reserve for the small amount of television they watch.

Baylor could seriously watch those chickens spin around and around for hours.

On our last trip, we got an extra special treat; both of the ovens had chickens in them!

The bottom one was clearly close to being done, so when one of the chefs realized we were only standing there to watch the chickens go around and around, he informed us that he'd be taking them out relatively soon.  A walk around the store and they should be done, he said.

He was right.

We came back just as they were opening the bottom oven.  Then the magic happened.

The kids were mesmerized.  It was a trip to Costco to remember.

It's amazing what passes for fun when you have kids.  Gotta love the simple things!


Due in no small part to the calendar in Baylor's room, the kids have become very interested in the moon.  Baylor has been enjoying watching it change, and we've been trying to teach him about how it waxes and wanes.  Mollie is just becoming aware of it and has taken daily joy in seeing it rise in the sky.  

The cloudy days, when the moon isn't visible, are definitely tough on Mollie, but it's really fun to watch her get into something so whole-heartedly.

It's amazing how we take things like the moon's comings and goings for granted.  Thank goodness for children who help you refocus on the small pleasures.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Their First Sundaes

It's tough to believe, but before last week my kids had never had an ice cream sundae.  Determined to rectify that, my parents, sister, and I set out to help the kids concoct the perfect ice cream treats.  We raided their pantry and ended up with some pretty awesome toppings to choose from.  

After the kids had made their treats, I made one of my own: vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and Rice Krispies.  Oh ... my ... goodness!  It was delicious!  It was like an awesome frozen Krackle bar!  I so wish I had taken a picture of it, not that it was much to look at.  So good!

Pumpkin Pickin' 2011

With the weather being so nice in early October, my mom and I decided to take advantage of it and get the kids out to pick their pumpkins before they had to be all bundled up.  Mollie was so little last year that she barely knew what was going on, so it was nice for her to be able to participate this time around.

Under the Pines had a lot more variety of pumpkins to choose from this year, all different colors, shapes, and sizes.  But Baylor and Mollie, being kids, started out by focusing on a pumpkin that had not fared so well overnight.

Baylor was a little all over the place, and more than once we had to scoop him up to keep him out of trouble.  Here, Mom is demonstrating just how tough that is getting.

The kids picked a total of three pumpkins: a white one, a "pear" one (it is shaped like a pear and still a little green on the top), and a more traditional orange pumpkin.  After we got them all loaded into the wagon, the kids got to help Oma push it.

Such helpers!

Back at my parents' house, the kids were still needing a little outdoor time, so we went exploring.  On our way around the house, my mom saw that some of her money plants were ready for picking, so she decided to show the kids how that works.

Turns out they're not quite old enough to handle the delicate plants, but they were happy to put them in the mums.

And leave the shells for my dad to pick up.

There's nothing like a beautiful autumn day with the kids!

A Moment I Had to Capture

You'd want to capture it, too.  I had turned on some Sesame Street for the kids to watch since they had both woken up too early and were a little out-of-sorts.  I left the room for a second to switch some laundry and when I came back I found this ...

A mom-of-two's dream.

Lately the kids haven't been getting along as well as they had been, so for this moment to occur out of the blue and with no prodding on my part was a little glimmer of hope for me.  Hope that, someday, they'll be good friends.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baylor's Second MSU Football Game

We took Baylor to his second MSU football game a couple weeks ago.  Our beloved Spartans were playing Central Michigan University, a game we won 45 to 7.  But who was really watching the game anyway?  There was pizza to be eaten, at first with help ...

... then all on his own.

When the cheese slid off the top of the pizza, he didn't quite know what to do so Bryson pulled it out of his mouth and plopped it on the cardboard pizza slice box.  Baylor, quite unceremoniously, ate it in its entirety later on.  Awesome.

Okay, he did watch some of the game.  But he was even more interested in the marching bands.

It was way warmer than I thought it was going to be that day, so when we were down buying a Melting Moments ice cream sandwich we bought him a short-sleeved shirt to wear for the rest of the day.  (Oh, and that little temporary tattoo on his arm?  Yeah, it's a blow dryer.  He got it after his last haircut at Snip Its.)

It was delicious ... the ice cream sandwich, that is.

We went with my parents, while Christine stayed back to watch Mollie.  The little mover that she is, Mollie was most certainly not ready to attend a game.  Maybe next year ...

We tried to get him as involved in the game as we could ...

... but even stopping for a picture proved a bit distracting.

Eventually I had to break out some of the activities I brought for him.  The lace-up construction vehicles were a hit.

As most three year-olds do, Baylor eventually got a little antsy, so he went to sit up with Oma and Grandpa E for a change of pace.

Then ... *shutter* ... he sat down on the floor of the stands.  Ugggggghhhhhhh.  Thankfully, that didn't last long.

For soon he was on to inspecting the seat numbers.

All that sunshine, friendly competition, marching band music, and curiosity proved to be quite tiring, though, and the little man actually took a nap on the way home.  Yay!

Back at Oma's, Mollie and Aunt Christine had a great day together.

All in all, it was a great day!

Go green!