Monday, October 31, 2011


There will only be a few words tonight as I am coming down off the sugar high and am ready to crash. 

Our weekend went by fast but we did manage to get the pumpkin carved...

Dad was in charge to the knife.
Only six pumpkins to choose from at the Co-op...just large misfits were left but we did find this gem!

We're not particularly crafty around here, but I've seen these guys all over pinterest and thought, "now there is something I can manage."

Here is the magic formula...
Cellophane bag  +  Mini marshmallows + Tied with black ribbon + Sharpie marker eyes and mouth =
Cute little Halloween ghost treat bags for the kids at preschool.

Callie tried on the costume that I ordered from eBay.  This girl decided months ago what she wanted to be...and never once wavered from her decision.  Callie was crazy excited to see Buzz Lightyear come out of the box.  And just so you know, there was a lot of jumping off the arm of the couch.

That sticker on the of several Toy Story stickers that have been on my bedroom mirror for so long that I hardly even notice them anymore. 
  And there was a lot of flying around the living room to infinity and beyond...

What Callie didn't know was that there was supposed to be wings with this Buzz Lightyear costume but the eBayer forgot to include them in the package.  I contacted the seller as soon as I noticed but as of Sunday evening...there were no wings.

Jon called me at work today just before I went to pick up Callie from daycare to take her to her preschool Halloween party.  And if she was crazy excited about the Buzz costume, she was near speechless when she saw the inflatable jet pack that arrived in the mail today just in the nick of time.

And Lexi, she wanted no part of trying on her costume or wearing it to daycare today.  But when it was time to hit the streets I said to her, "You put on Hamm costume, you get treats."

She replied, "cheat! cheat!"  And on went the costume.

Before I tell about tonight's trick or treating adventure we must first visit Halloweens of the past.  The last four attempts at trick or treating have been minimally successful.  There have been tears.  There have been refusals to knock on doors and say trick or treat.  There has been hiding behind mom and dad's legs. There have been times we maxed out after two stops and headed back to grandmas to hand out treats instead.

So this year we tried a different approach.  Instead of heading out, just our family, we hooked up with some friends and trick or treated in their neighbourhood (since our neighbourhood is a little short on neighbors).  A group of kids, some older, some younger went door to door collecting buckets full of sweet treasures.

And I just have to say.... it was awesome!

Buzz could not stop smiling.  Or running. 
And Hamm followed along, eating her "cheats" as fast as she could collect them.

Maybe today was a success because the girls are a year older.  Maybe it was because we were with friends.  Maybe it was because the weather we had today is completely unheard of for October 31.  It was just like in the magazines or like a made for TV movie.  Children dressed in just their costumes. Parents strolling along, supervising from the sidewalk, chatting about the days events.  What is most evident is not what is but what isn't present.  No winter jackets shmushed under costumes.  No windchill.  No snow, slush, or sleet getting your feet wet. 

Buzz helping Hamm up the steps.

Whatever it was, I could not get enough.  I love, love, LOVED watching Callie grinning from ear to ear, having a blast.  Finally figuring out that this trick or treating thing just might be OK after all. 

And kissing my little Hamm's cheeks, stained with smartie juice, carrying her tired little body for the last few blocks...

...the best.  Good Night.

Friday, October 28, 2011

It Goes Fast

It's Saturday morning, coffee is in hand and The Cat in the Hat is dancing around on the TV.  Daylight is just breaking and oh, is it dark in the mornings when we head out the door.  So sitting here in our jammies, watching the night transform into the day from the comforts of home, is divine.

Lately it feels like the days are disappearing with each blink of the eye.  The standard comment that comes from people with grown children is, "enjoy those girls, it goes by fast."  And I can tell you first hand, that I feel it.  It seems once the days start gaining  momentum with their routines and activities, there is nothing short of a brick wall that could possibly slow things down.

This week, in an effort to slow down the rolling ball of routine, we went to visit grandma at work instead of going home to make supper.

Big sister loves to" help" grandma at work.

Lexi likes the little desk full of goodies in grandma's office. 

Both girls are all about making art these days.  They love to draw and color, cut and glue, and create masterpieces.  Each day there is a new stack of art...

Lexi has been studying the use of line to create her one of a kind abstract prints.

Callie is more into portrait art.  She usually likes to draw people, rainbows and sunshines but lately there is the odd bat, vampire or pumpkin patch thrown in.
I have a hard time deciding what to do with all these works of art.  They are treasures and I want to keep them all because I am aware that time moves fast. It seems not that long ago that Callie was studying the use of line and now she on to the more advanced use of shapes.  I wonder what's next for us in the world of art?

Moving on...

We haven't seen Jake for months.  But this baby has been hanging around for a while.

And both these babies could use a haircut...

When she's not looking I sneak in a hair pretty.  But the instant she finds is gone.  Along with a handful of hair.  So if you ever see her with a hair pretty... shh, she doesn't know it's there.


and magnet blocks...
  ...were the hot toys this week. 

Now I must move on because time moves fast.  We've got a pump-pum, in Lexi's words, on the counter waiting to be carved and a some costumes to try on in preparation for Monday.  Let our at home days begin.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grey Skies

The sky has been varying shades of grey for the past few days...

The grey skies are a foreshadow to the inevitable.  The beauty that was fall just days ago has given way to stormy looking skies producing moisture that is teetering on the finest point between rain and snow.  The trees are barren, leaving behind the spooky silhouettes that are classic images for Halloween night.  The leaves, brown, crunchy and wet, are no longer frolicked in but merely stepped over as we scurry inside out of the damp, chilly air that we have yet to acclimatize to.

On Saturday we were out running some errands in the cold, October rain. There are no pictures of boots splashing or umbrellas twirling, just a couple of shots of the girls sporting their toques that we rummaged in the bins for before we headed out. 

We ducked in and out of the shops on Main St. while I pushed Lexi in an umbrella stroller that she is too big for...its cheap plastic wheels getting stuck and making it difficult to maneuver... sleet splashing against my cheeks, damp and chilled to the core... after all this we returned to the warmth of our home with a heavy sigh and that overwhelming feeling of gratitude for having shelter from the outdoors.  With the light tapping of rain against the window and the blanket of grey sky above, I bunkered down under a duvet of feathers where I spent the better part of the afternoon attempting to restore my body temperature and fight off the chill.

On our little adventure in the rain, we happened upon a couple of girls selling Girl Guide Cookies.  Little sister can't quite reach the top of the counter yet but she has no trouble enlisting the help of big sister in matters that involve chocolate covered deliciousness.

My little button pusher... always hitting the command start button!
 With the cooler temperatures settling in... so are we. 
Settling into our routines. 
Preparing for Halloween.
Settling in for winter.
Thinking ahead to the Holidays.

The girls had a sleepover with their Nana and Papa on Saturday night.  Jon and I went out together, without our two appendages, for the first time since February.  We went to dinner in a restaurant and then to a performance to see this guy.  We hurried home after the show to do what all married couples with kids do at home alone... we slept.

We are pretty accustomed to getting up several times a night with either of the girls. Our bodies somehow have adjusted to surviving on interrupted sleep.  It is our normal.  So to have an entire night of sleep is like a priceless work of art.  Appreciated.

I did still wake at 5am.  I waited for Lexi's shrills.  And when nothing came I had a moment of panic before my foggy brain pieced together her whereabouts.  Then I rolled over and went back too sleep.  The house is strange and eerily quite in the morning without them.  We don't know what to do with ourselves.  So we grab a cup of coffee and go to pick them up and can't wait to get them back they've been gone for restore some noise and balance into the house.

Girl is back zip-locking only now it's called vine swinging...and she's taking safety precautions.

And now we are ready for our week.  The last seven day of October.  And we are praying the grey skies will hold off on the white stuff... at least until we are in from trick or treating.  Happy Week Ahead.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Brain Power

So, I had full intentions of stringing my words together into a beautiful, poetic post tonight but I got sidetracked and now it's late and a brief update will have to do.

I got sidetracked because I listened to this guy all day and I wanted to learn more about what he had to say.  I like people like him... people who challenge the way you think, who not only believe that you have the ability to do better, they actually inspire and require you to do better. 

Although it was a conference for work, I couldn't help but think about how my new knowledge will be applied to my work with these two...

I learned a lot about "brain state" today.  I learned about paying attention, being "awake" to the world around you, the importance of doing things consciously and about living in the present.

Presently, my girl is a nail biter...

And presently, all of my pictures are of the girls in their jam-jams because it is after the chaos of getting home, making supper, cleaning up, and bath time that I think to grab my camera and live in the moment.

Today during the usual four o'clock to six o'clock chaos we did something different.  We listened to our new brain boosting music.  And maybe I just have a tendency to want to believe in things but I definitely felt like the house had a different vibe tonight.   Jon walked in from work and with a raised eyebrow asked, "what's with the music?" 

I respond by saying, "It's making our girls geniuses, my dear".

And his response... "Oh".

I smiled on the inside because this is one of the many reasons that I love him.  Because along the way he has learned that I am always going to be trying new things or that I like to make changes or that I'll say I've read this or that and I'll ask him what he thinks?

He lovingly calls me crazy...and he trusts me by keeping his mind open.  So tonight, over dinner, we rocked out to some Baroque music (music that I hadn't really listened to since my fine arts class in first year of university) and I filled him in on what I learned today.

Do all kids watch 50 inch TV screens from this distance?  I don't even want to know what this is doing to her brain development!

If you want to talk about crazy, little sister is climbing and jumping off everything!
Now I am tired and want to do something not so mindful... look at pinterest boards, shop online, watch HGTV... anything that results in internal brain functioning.  So, not as beautiful and as poetic as I would have liked, however, I am a genius.  Publish post.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Monday

I love weekends.  So much of life happens on the weekend.  The standard Monday morning opening line is, "How was your weekend?" And the responses are endless...but some of the old stand-bys include good, alright, not too bad, busy, exhausting, the usual, too short, uneventful and finally, pretty quiet.  Just like ours. 

When all was quiet in the house, here is where I found Lexi...

We haven't officially started to potty train yet but we got the little potty, that sings when you tinkle, out of storage to see what Lexi would think of it.  Little sister seems to be a natural at pulling down her pants and sitting on it with her diaper.  We've been reading potty books and have started saying, "Tell mom and dad if you have to go potty."  No one will be more excited than Callie when Lexi actually performs on the potty.  Callie has been teaching and encouraging Lexi in that gentle, high-pitched, grandmotherly type voice she uses when she is loving her little sister completely.  She even has a make-shift chart that she has taped to the bathroom wall just waiting for its first check mark.

The David books - still Lexi's favorites.


The girls and I spent Saturday evening with friends.  And I got to fill my bucket with baby snuggles, baby sounds, and oohh that baby smell...

I wasn't the only one who couldn't get enough of this blue-eyed beauty.  Lexi was intense.  Wanting her for her own, personal, real life baby doll.  Demanding that she be put in the jumperoo so that she could bounce her, demanding that she be put in the swing so that she could push her, and demanding that she be put on the floor so that she could maul her!

Callie preferred to play with big brother.  This boy likes to play dinosaurs, buzz lightyear, and soccer...all Callie's favorites.  And the mention that they could possibly go skating together...well now it has to happen for sure because her heart is set on it.
The definate highlight of this visit, Trix.  A ginormous rabbit that was staying with our friends for the weekend.   The sign on the door said it all, "Welcome to the Zoo."


Lexi was just a little off this weekend.  Not sleeping well.  Needy and clingy.  Wanting to be held and carried.  I dug out the hip hammock that we haven't used in over a year and I strapped Lexi in to see if it would help soothe her cries for affection.  She only stayed in it short time but I realized that I miss wearing my baby. 

I don't carry her around much anymore but I still get plenty of early morning snuggles.  She may like to sit on potties and torment tiny babies, but sister wants nothing to do with sleeping all night. 

Our weekend was pretty quiet.  How was yours?

Happy Monday.