Monday, October 31, 2011

A favorite tradition: The Pumpkin Patch

**Updated: apparently I have pregnancy brain (I love being able to blame things on  my unborn child)...This actually  makes the FOURTH year that Cindi and Cass have taken pictures of our crew in the pumpkin patch- meaning that no one else has ever taken pictures of Lou OR Cbug in the patch.  Just thought that was noteworthy.

I'm sure many of you share my insistence on taking pumpkin patch pictures each year...its a wonderful tradition. 
but JUST taking pumpkin patch pictures is not what makes this every-October-event a favorite tradition of mine. 

 MY favorite part is the official "photographers". 

For three years the amazing Cindi/Cassidy duo (HOW DOES CINDI ALWAYS AVOID HAVING HER PICTURE TAKEN) has shown great patience, shared lots of laughs, chased my rascals, and helped pose the posse all over the pumpkin patch

...and did I mention patience?

I'm not sure anyone else could handle it, and I'm not sure with all the distractions the pumpkin patch entails, my three would cooperate with anyone else.  They love these two friends-turned-photographers and are therefore willing to cooperate (as best as can be expected from little ones who spy  a tractor, popcorn, a corn maze, other children having fun, wagons to pull, etc).

After three years of pumpkin patch together I KNOW that... 
No one else has ever taken Lou's picture with these icons of fall. In all her princess glory. 
(she hates the camera...can't you tell?

No one else could quite understand (and capture the fact) that this IS Cbug.

And no one else could understand the essential nature of nurturing KJ while treating him like the BIG 5-year-old that he is.

 So, I hope it is a tradition that continues for many years of fall. 

Amidst this craziness, though, I did think that maybe next year it would be easier to just throw a bunch of pumpkins out into our front yard and take pictures there with our crew of FOUR adorable punkins! 
 I can hardly even imagine that scene...but I know if anyone can capture it, it will be these two that love us enough to just maybe be crazy enough to try!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

My very first Barbie Party

I didn't think it could get much better than last year's Batman party...but it did. Oh WOW, it did.

My kids, the boys especially, are at an age where you simply can't turn to the next age WITHOUT having a party. They don't necessarily think you need a lot of guests, presents, or a big to-do, but you NEED to have a party. With a theme.

A regular conversation at our house is "whose birthday is next?" and we have to run down the list of family birthdays. When the boys realized that mine was next and coming soon (ie MONTHS ago), they started planning my party. Like last year, I decided to totally let them have free reign. For quite a while it was to be a Spiderman theme, but just a couple of weeks ago, my logical 5-year-old declared "Guys, Mom would probably like something girly. Maybe it should be Barbie instead."  And from then on, Barbie it was.

If you've known me for long you realize the irony of this selection.  The humor in the fact that Spiderman might actually HAVE been a more accurate theme choice.  I'm very certain, in my entire life of birthday parties, I NEVER chose Barbie.  I barely even owned any of the dolls. AND I'm 100% sure I've never had a high-heeled anything atop my cake.  But, I love the fact that my sweet children decided that since Barbie is pink and I am a girl, I would LOVE this Barbie party.  And they were right.  I loved going all-out-pink and celebrating with some of my favorite little people.

For your Barbie party (per KJ)...
You need PINK.
Lots of pink.

So, we started with a pink cake (which equaled strawberry cake...YUM).

Then you need to get some pink Barbie decorations. Have you seen Barbie decorations lately?  Not your momma's Barbie.  The glam, the sparkles, the HIGH.HEELED.SHOES (ok, maybe that part has not changed much).  This may be the first...and last...Barbie party at our house.  Where was the "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" party decor section?

For a little MORE pink, you need some pink balloons and streamers, in varying shades of pink.  By this point I was starting to channel my inner Shelby "my colours are blush and bashful, one is a much deeper shade than the other".  I just dished out tape and let the kids stick streamers around the kitchen to their little hearts' content.  This was a much better alternative in my mind to Cbug's suggestion that we "paint the ceiling pink". Um. No.

And last, but certainly not least...we needed something PINK to drink.  And what's a party without Kool-Aid.  This would make approximately two times that I have prepared this drink for my children. 
I know, so deprived.

And there ya have it.  A Barbie party fit for a queen...or maybe just fit for an indulgent Momma who thinks it is awesome that her children wanted to make her day special. 

Thanks little ones. You always know how to make a girl feel loved. 
I can't wait to see what next year's theme is.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

MMM: Pumpkin People

Another fun Monday activity with my three little amigos- this week we made "pumpkin people".
This is our second year to decorate pumpkins WITHOUT carving them.  This way they can do it themselves
(and may or may not be because I have no interest in putting my hands in that slime)

I will admit that I did have to constantly repeat to myself, "these are their pumpkins, these are their pumpkins" to keep myself from doing it for them or correcting things like uneven eyes or out-of-season stickers.  I know that completely SHOCKS you.

You will also be completely shocked to know that I took an over-abundance of pictures during this little activity.  It was just so much fun to see them create.  So, as a balance, I'll try to limit the number of accompanying words (I know, I already failed).

So, to make pumpkin people...

First you cut some arms and legs.

Then fold 'em.

And attach them.

Next, you make the faces.  This was actually Cbug's idea all by himself.  He figured out how to make eyes and a mouth and his big brother copied him.  I was pretty proud of our "middlest" who usually chooses to just do whatever big brother is doing.

Next, the hair (Cbug's went for some "highlights")

Then, the stickers.
Oh my, the stickers.
This was pretty much the only part that the little Princess was interested in.  So, I just let her "sticker" to her hearts' content.  And, as I mentioned, the kiddos were not concerned at all about the "seasons" of their stickers.  So we had snowmen, valentines and shamrocks all attached to our pumpkin people.  KJ did try to make a connection to fall with his shamrocks.  He said that he was making "falling leaves" going down the back of his pumpkin person.  Ok.  I'll buy that.

As Lou applied stickers above, she had her tongue out to concentrate.  A trait that runs in the family, apparently.

And the finished pumpkin people.  On their own, they each ended up making their people primarily out of their favorite colors which sure helped me in keeping them straight as to whose-was-whose.  Thanks, guys!

So, here is our little lineup of pumpkins.


(which he says is a ninja)

and Lou's

Um, and in case the "we stayed in our pajamas all day" wasn't proof enough that just because we have MMM does NOT make it a perfect Monday....

Yeah, this is the darling princess after she had to be excused from the table for screaming at me about her abilities to use the scissors ALL.BY.HUH-SEF.  Herself cannot even open and close them on her own, but she was determined and I was in.the.way. 
So, yeah.  There was some of that kind of fun, too.  I mean, just in case you needed to a little reality check about our house!

Hope you are finding ways to make the "Mondays" in your life full of good memories that far outweigh the bad!