Friday, November 30, 2007

The advent calendar the internet built (or, with friends like these, who needs Martha Stewart??)

So last year, Dawn posted this great little advent calendar idea. I was smitten, and so was Megan. Megan turned me on to the 70% off stockings (meant and sized for gift cards) at Winners after Christmas 2006. She also picked up some little Christmas-themed metal charms for me at a local scrapbook store, and graciously dropped off all the leftover ribbon from her project a couple of days ago. Dawn got in on the action and actually mailed me old-fashioned peg clothespins all the way from New Jersey, since I couldn't for the life of me find any around here. Then Andrea posted a list of what she's stuffed her advent calendar with - many being ideas I have now stolen. How would I ever get stuff like this done on my own?

My advent calendar got finished off tonight, when Chad was away at a funeral visitation and after I stayed up with Liam to watch (most of) The Polar Express. Nothing like leaving it for the last minute, eh? Hopefully some of this mess on our dining room table will get cleaned up over the next couple of days. Some of it is advent calendar business, some of it is a holiday minibook, some of it is holiday ornaments and gifts. All of it is a lot of good holiday craftiness. I've been enjoying the cutting-and-pasting this week.

Needing an old photo album

Chad took one look at the photo of Mallory on Santa's lap and blurted out, "Oh my God... now that I see her in an old lady cardigan... she looks like my Gramma Cook!"

I never knew Gramma Cook and I take it he doesn't mean the gray-haired-and-glasses'd variety of Gramma Cook... but now I am curious to see some photos of Lily in her youth!

Holiday activity #4: meeting Santa

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and I am the perfect case in point. Liam spent some time with gramma and grampa earlier this week, and Mallory and I engaged in some holiday activities, such as shopping for the last of our gifts, starting on the gift wrapping... and having some time to kill that afternoon,venturing down to the mall to meet Santa. I was torn between doing this as a joint photo with Liam and doing it alone, and in the end, alone won out. She had a beautiful little outfit on - a raspberry red velvet dress and matching cardigan, candy cane striped leggings, and her shearling boots. Besides wanting to show off the outfit in the photo, I also thought that Baby's First Christmas was worthy of a photo of its own. And I figured it would be easier to get a good smile out of them one at a time rather than together.

Of course I came home disappointed. The photo, taken by a local portrait studio, is TERRIBLE. They always are, aren't they? - at least, here they are - and yet I keep going back, year after year, expecting something to change for the better. The setup is nice but the photo is totally blurry and you can't see half of what she's wearing. She didn't cry - at least, not initially - she did get spooked when Santa shook his bells in her face when he said goodbye. The scan here is a little inferior to the original, but I'm telling you - the original sucks, big time.

No more trips to the mall. No, really, I mean that. This weekend we have a Breakfast with Santa event and in a few weeks we have our company's children's Christmas party. Both should be opportunities for a photo with Santa, taken by me with my own camera. And I'm telling you... I'm sure I can do much, much better than this. And it won't cost me $6.99 to do it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday activity #3: prime time television specials

'Tis the time of year for all the great old stuff to be on TV... and some new stuff, too. Last night we had a family movie night... well, three of us did; Mallory is almost always in bed before 8 p.m. We watched "Shrek the Halls" and did it up with popcorn, hot chocolate and some of those Shrek 'fruit' snacks (there are so many character-licenced snack foods on the market; finally, a valid reason to buy some!) Liam enjoyed the show, but was puzzled each time it disappeared when the commercials came on. (He is used to watching Treehouse, which is commercial-free.) We DVR'd it and I'm sure we will watch a few reruns before the season is over. Earlier in the week, we watched the old "Charlie Brown Christmas", and we have "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on DVR for our next movie night.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I should add...

I always need to add a lot more flour to get the dough roll-able. Like, maybe another 1/2 cup.

Chilling it before rolling it out helps, too.

By request

The sugar cookies that defy logic... they are soooo good!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream the butter and sugar, and add the eggs and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the milk. There you go... easy peasey! Roll out 'thin' (this came from a Mennonite cookbook, hence the vagueness... I don't like them too thin, I am about a 3/8" girl myself), cut into shapes and bake at 350F for 10 minutes. They won't brown at all, but they do puff up, so it's better to use chunky cookie cutters rather than fussy ones. We iced them with a very scientific recipe of a spoonful of butter (maybe a tablespoon?), about 2 cups of icing sugar and enough milk to make it the consistency of peanut butter. Sprinkly liberally with coloured sanding sugar and presto - you're done. Somehow these get even better with age, but our batch is nearly gone already, so I'll have to make more and let them sit to get the full effect. Easier said than done!

I have spent the past few years making various batches of sugar cookies from Martha Stewart, from Epicurious, from Allrecipes... and none have come close to this recipe. So happy to have them just the way I like them again. :) Even Chad has been devouring them and he's not normally one for cookies that don't somehow involve chocolate!

Today Liam is away with Gramma and Grampa (where he is hopefully still using the toilet like a champ!)... Mallory and I are in a festive mood and spent the morning wrapping up the majority of our Christmas shopping. She's down for a nap now and I am trying to decide between starting the wrapping, catching up on some scrapbooking or making some progress on the advent calendar I've sworn I'm going to get up and running this year. Only three days left to get it done!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday activity #2: cookie baking

I love to bake at any time of year, but during the holidays our freezers are always well-stocked with special things that don't get made during the rest of the year. I need to keep in mind that we don't need twice as much stuff as normal just because there are 4 of us now instead of 2... especially since 1 isn't even eating any of it yet... but having kiddos definitely makes the prospect of Christmas baking seem even more important.

Yesterday morning we were out at the grocery store, and we picked up some fabulous big copper cookie cutters to round out our collection (yay, Superstore, for mass-producing these babies for $1.88 each! - so glad I didn't buy them from Martha years ago for $10.) We brought them home and it didn't take long to put them to use. It was a dreary, wet day outside so I told Liam we could bake some cookies to entertain ourselves indoors. I had meant the chocolate chip variety, but he was appalled that the cookie cutters wouldn't be involved. So I called my mom to get the sugar cookie recipe of my youth, and we dove into making Christmas trees and snowmen and snowflakes.

Liam lost interest in the rolling and cutting pretty quickly, but when the icing and sanding sugar came out - oooh, baby, was he interested. I have to continually remind myself that the beautifully iced and intricately designed cut-out cookies I used to (attempt to) make, a la Martha, will have their place again, but for now it's all about a schmear of icing and as many sprinkles as will possibly stick. I couldn't even get away with doing a realistic white-sanded snowman; Liam took one look at it, decreed that it should have a green face and proceeded to dump a spoonful of green sugar on top.

The good news is that they taste great, and Liam is mighty proud of his creations. I'm sure this is just the first of many batches for the season.

(We celebrated our first public toilet pee this morning, at the library. Go, Liam!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Deserving of a trip to Disneyland. Or a pony. Or maybe even both.

After the poop-on-the-floor episode at lunchtime on Thursday, we made it nearly FOUR WHOLE DAYS without an accident. No problems until a smallish incident this morning... which was totally my fault, because I knew he was going to have to pee an hour after having his breakfast, but I got wrapped up in other stuff and forgot to ask/remind him until he came upstairs with wet pants. HOWEVER... he went right to the toilet and sat down to finish it off. No puddle on the floor - just some wet underpants and jeans. After lunch he actually went upstairs, put his cushiony seat on the toilet and climbed up (with the help of his stool) himself when he felt the urge. I just can't believe how quickly he's caught on to it. I know there will likely be accidents for some time to come but... being 90% of the way there after just a day and a half? That seems too good to be true.

Now that the potty training fiasco is hopefully behind us... it's on to bigger and better things! Which means... the holidays! On Saturday night we kicked off the festive season at the Santa Claus Parade. Liam loved it. He sat in his little lawn chair graciously accepting all the candy canes that kept getting passed his way. Small town parades are all about the fire trucks and the big rigs decked out with Christmas lights, and I don't think Liam would have it any other way. After the parade, it was home for hot chocolate and a late bedtime. We have lots of good holiday stuff in store for the coming weeks... more to come soon.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Separated at birth

Friday, November 23, 2007


So far today he has gotten himself on the potty every time he's had to go, and we've had NO ACCIDENTS! - not even when we had to leave the house this morning and a half-hour trip wound up lasting more than an hour. He even woke up dry this morning. I have heard people say that if you take a long weekend to train consistently, you should be 90% of the way there by the end of the weekend. Maybe the third day really is the charm? (Or, maybe I am just jinxing myself by saying that...) I know there are more accidents in store for us but this is really helping to boost confidence for both of us. While out, I picked up one of those cushiony insert toilet seats (and caved and spent the extra $4 when he said he wanted the Thomas the Train one, not the plain white one) and he really seems to like it.
Somebody else has figured out how to climb up in her highchair seat, and look at her giving me attitude when I tell her to sit down. What's worse is the reason why she's climbing up: the TV is on behind her. We flipped from the news to Treehouse at Liam's request and she immediately stopped eating and had to watch. I fear that this one's going to be a couch potato - she can't get enough of the TV.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I totally feel this way, too

No, I'm not about to fall asleep and do a face plant in my dinner... but mentally... I am exhausted. Potty training is definitely the low point of parenthood for me so far. Why is it that a diaper makes a poop seem so much more pleasant?

After our string of accidents yesterday morning, Liam stayed dry for the rest of the day (a drop or two on the underpants here and there notwithstanding). But, this is only because I had the timer on the microwave going off every 25 minutes or so, and when it sounded it would be time for him to sit on the potty for 2 minutes. All in all, between successes in the potty and accidents on his clothes or the floor, Liam peed 13 times yesterday. So by the end of the day I was thinking he was getting the hang of going in the potty... but as far as 'holding it' goes... not so much success there.

Today we got off to a similar start - went through three changes of clothes by 11 a.m. At that point I needed to blow off some steam and get out of the house, so we went for a walk around the block, and Liam managed to stay dry the entire time and then promptly get himself to the potty as soon as we were in the door to pee. Hey, I thought, this is really not going so bad. Then, after lunch, he again took the incentive to get to the potty, and did a poop. Wonderful, right? Ah, but I should have known from the looks of things that, well, the quantity was lacking. He assured me he was done, but not two minutes later he came running into the room with something definitely weighing his underpants down in the back. Ugh. He yanked the underpants off before I could stop him and then there was poop everywhere. Ew, ew, ew.

I guess what frustrates me - ha, frustrated and not even 48 hours into it! - is that there is no motivation for him. He just doesn't seem to care where he goes. Wet clothes don't faze him. I have started making him go upstairs to get dry underpants, bring them down, change, and then take his wet ones up to his laundry basket, hoping the time away from his toys is inconvenient enough to make him stop, but it's not working. He enjoys the Gummi Bears when he gets them, but doesn't mind when he misses them. I've tried explaining that if we go somewhere like the Early Years Centre and he dirties his clothes, we will have to leave and come home early, but I don't know if he's buying that. I know this has to be done but man... it sucks!

Any way I can hit a fast forward button and come back to my life in a couple of weeks?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Despite everything else we have going on right now, we decided to proceed with potty training since we had set this date months ago and let's face it - I'm sure there will *always* be a reason to put it off. We've been talking it up with Liam for weeks and invested in a drawer full of cartoon character underwear, plus a jumbo bag of Gummi Bears, to get him on board. Here is how our day is unfolding:

7:20ish - up, diaper comes off, underwear go on.
8:15 - accident #1, on the floor, pee
8:45 - accident #2, in his underpants only, pee
9:15 - pee on the potty. Major party ensues.
9:45 - accident #3, on the floor, pee
10:30 - accident #4, in his underpants only, pee
10:45 - big pee on the potty
12:45 - big pee on the potty
1:45 - changed into a diaper for naptime.

So let's see... 4 accidents, 3 successes so far. Is this pretty typical for Potty Training Day #1 and just how quickly do you get to an accident-free day? We are going to lay low for a few days, but I want to know how long it will be before I feel comfortable venturing out for groceries without a couple changes of clothing. At first I thought I was going overboard getting the Shrek AND Diego AND Curious George AND Bob the Builder underpants, but we've already gone through 5 pairs today, so I am thankful now that I stocked up.

I've warned Liam that if he poops in his underpants, they might just have to go into the garbage... so hopefully that is deterrent enough to get him on the potty when the time comes.

Thank goodness our whole house is hardwood/tile... I'd be having a hernia right now if we had wall-to-wall carpeting. Good thing we are getting this out of the way before we move and that is plenty of incentive to try to get Mallory trained by the end of next year!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bye-bye, Naked Playtime; hello, Leg Warmer Playtime

I got on the Babylegs bandwagon just thinking they were cute... little did I know they'd be so functional! With winter on its way, they're great at keeping Mallory's legs warm while her bum still gets a chance to air out. And now that she's crawling up a storm, they stop her poor knees from taking such a beating, too. (Frog girl)
(Monkey walkin')

Thursday, November 15, 2007

T minus 6 days and counting. Maybe.

This morning I endured the fun of trying to reason with a 2-1/2 year old. Last week we didn't go swimming, and next Wednesday is the date we chose a while ago to be The Official Start of Potty Training. As in, take off the diaper the minute we wake up, put the underpants on, and see if we can keep our furniture and floors clean. I'm thinking we'll stick around the house for the first few days, so we won't likely go swimming next week, either.

So this morning I asked Liam if he wanted to go swimming today, and he said yes. And then half an hour before it was time to get ready to go swimming, I asked him again, and he said yes. And then I started giving him warnings, you know, "Ten more minutes until we have to stop playing to go get ready for swimming"... and he was agreeable. And then it was time to go get ready for swimming. And he wanted to play trains some more. And he wanted to put all the Mr. Potato Head pieces (there are a ton) back in the boxes so he could vacuum the floor with his toy vacuum. And he wanted to read the Curious George lift-the-flap book. Finally I said, you win - we're not going swimming.

Then we did some leisurely cleaning up of the breakfast dishes, and got dressed, and I had a shower. And when I stepped out of the shower, Liam was standing there with my tube of chapstick, and he said, "Me want some chapstick on before we go swimming." And I said, "But we decided not to go swimming. We're going to stay home today." And, of course, he started to bawl. By now it was already later than it normally is when we are backing out of the driveway.

So then we went though the flurry of getting Mallory fed, getting Liam a snack, throwing together our swimming stuff, and getting out of the door. In the end, I was glad to go. Liam swam the entire time without me. (He wears a lifejacket.) He did so well. We ran into our doula, Lisa, and said hi. We listened to the all-Christmas radio station on the drive out and back, as is our custom in November and December. It was really a lot of fun.

And, hopefully next week we will be in the throes of sitting on the potty every 20 minutes all day long. Recent events might change that, but I hope not. If not, the pool won't be an option next week, so it was good to get out there today.

(Mallory was up about 5 times last night and has occasionally been a witch for the past couple of days, so I was glad to find another tooth poking through this morning - at least she has an excuse. I know there should be a photo of Liam accompanying this post, not Mallory, but Liam conked right out after lunch and Mallory was the only subject I had handy. Besides, we just got some new Babylegs - look how cute!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One of those magical days when I get pics of both kids that make me fall in love with photography all over again (and want about six more cuties, too)

Things are crazy busy here... hence the lack of posts as of late... but hopefully it will all be worthwhile in the end. Story to come when things die down!

Monday, November 12, 2007

For Uncle Darin and Aunty Jenn

The onesie, which was a gift from said family, reads, "In my dreams I will
sleep like a baby" and it's a Peacemakers item. I think it would more appropriately read "In my mom's dreams I will sleep like a baby" but I understand that they do have to mass-produce this stuff! Thanks again guys!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Seven months

Dear Mallory,

You’re seven months old… and I’m exhausted! And for once, no, I don’t mean on account of your sleep issues. Because you know what? Letting you cry for those few nights… it’s done wonders for us. You still consistently wake up just once at night for a quick feed, a vast improvement over the half-dozen awakenings prior to that. (You have taken to getting up at 5:30 a.m. this week, but I think that’s just a side effect of the recent end to Daylight Savings Time… at least, I hope it is!)

Nope, the reason why I’m exhausted now is this: YOU ARE A HANDFUL. You are totally on the move, crawling everywhere, pulling up on everything, starting to stand on your own momentarily and cruise along the furniture. You are into everything, pulling books off shelves, digging through the pots and pans, unrolling the toilet paper. You jump up and down in your crib, you take CDs out of the stereo in your room, and you scurry like a crab up and down the hall in your walker. You are just so active. You would rather crawl over my legs to cross the room than go around them; the obstacle makes it that much more fun for you. There is no way you won’t be in gymnastics in a few years’ time. You, my dear, are one physical little girl. You fooled me, the first half of this year, into thinking you were a calm and complacent little person. But before you were even born, I had suspected you might be a firecracker – and I think I’m beginning to see that prophecy come true.

For someone so active, you need surprisingly little sleep. On a normal day, you are up at 6:45 a.m. You take one catnap in the morning – maybe 15 or 20 minutes, if you’re in the car or in the stroller; otherwise, you don’t even take this nap. You do go down after lunch for a nap but it is generally less than two hours long. By contrast, at 2.5 years old, Liam still sleeps for at least 2 hours and usually 3 in the afternoon. Bedtime for you is about 7:30 p.m. or so, which is an hour before Liam. You do use the days when Liam isn’t home as rest days… you’re much more likely to take longer naps then.

A natural consequence of all this activity… you have a real tendency to get into trouble. Does your nose look a little red and swollen in today’s photo? That’s because, a couple of hours before taking it, you pulled up on the stool and then fell right back on it, cracking your nose on the way down. There was blood everywhere. This is your first real injury, and I’m afraid to say I see many more of them in your future.

We were able to clean up the mess and get out the door to a weigh-in clinic right before they closed this morning, and I am happy to say that you are now 17 pounds 2 ounces and 28 inches long. We could tell you had really beefed up since starting the solids, but I was still surprised to learn that you gained more than 2 pounds this month. At six months old, you were in the 92nd percentile for height but only the 22nd percentile for weight; now, it’s the 90th percentile for height and 44th for weight. You eat like a horse, and now have a wide repertoire of cereals, fruits and vegetables under you belt, as well as meat, cheese, yogurt, crackers and bread. I’m trying to think of some new finger food options for you because you seem to enjoy feeding yourself… and it frees me up to attend to other things if I don’t have to spoon-feed you! We have started you on a sippy cup, though it’s taking some work to get you used to it. You have 8 teeth now, to assist with all this eating business, though sometimes I think there may only be 7 in there… and the bottom front left one is just incredibly saw-edged and not through your gum fully enough to let us know that it’s all in one piece. Only time will tell.

This month we celebrated your first Halloween, and you made the most adorable little fish in your costume, which you wore without complaint. You stayed in a hotel for the first time. You graduated from the baby tub into the big tub, and sometimes take a bath with Liam (but only when we can convince him to start getting ready for bed that early!) You sit up in the shopping cart. We got you a new car seat, and are ready to install it for you if only you will gain a little more weight (you need to be at least 20 pounds to go in it). Until then we’ll have to make do with your feet flopping over the end of your baby carrier… because you have certainly outgrown it from a length perspective!

The days are shorter now… maybe that helps explain why they seem to be flying by faster than ever before. Up next: your first Christmas. I am so looking forward to spending the holidays with you.


Thursday, November 08, 2007


We're having one of those days today... when everything seems to be way harder than it should be. Mallory didn't want to eat breakfast... Liam didn't want to get dressed... we were on our way to Deanna's house to do some photos, and were half an hour late getting there. Liam played with Ryan well enough and kept out of trouble, but Mallory was trying to tear the house apart. Luckily Deanna lives two doors down from Gramma and Grampa! - so I ran her over to take advantage of some local babysitting. This was enough to get us through the photo session, but then Liam wandered back into the room and immediately noticed that Mallory was missing. And when I told him she had gone over to see Gramma and Grampa, that was all he needed to hear - he grabbed his coat and said he was ready to go see them, too. *sigh* Sorry our visit got cut short, Deanna, but there are some good shots nonetheless! Look how cute: Deanna is expecting - TWINS! - and we're doing monthly shoots. I was also lucky to do some family shots on the weekend for Christmas for the MacBarr family, so it's been a fun week for me, in spite of the wrangling of the children that's been involved. (I won't post any MacBarr shots here lest they be intended as a surprise.) We also got a Christmas shot of our own out of the deal... so nice to have that crossed off the list so early on!!
In other news, I've been struggling lately to try to find some finger foods for Mallory... spoon feeding her takes forever because she is so darn distracted watching everything Liam does... it will be so much easier once she can self-feed, and I'm trying to help that along as much as possible. Today I gave her goldfish crackers, and she inhaled them. Again, it seems early to be giving her that kind of stuff, but as long as she's getting it down and enjoying it, it's all good, right?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Trying to maintain some control over the treat bag

A couple months before Halloween - you know, probably back in July, when the stores first started stocking this kind of stuff - I picked up two super cute Halloween treat bags for the kids. Liam's is a jack-o-lantern, and Mallory's (which was not used this year but no doubt will make its debut next) is a ghost. They both have a button on the handle that, when pressed, make noises; Liam's laughs, and Mallory's makes an eerie ghost-appropriate noise.

Liam's treat bag, now about 2/3 empty (thanks to some help from Chad and I), is currently sitting on the dining room table, and believe you me when I say that I lurk around the corner and watch when I see him heading into the dining room. I have to give him credit; he has a lot of restraint. Often I will find him looking through his treats, but he really doesn't ever take anything without asking. However... when it comes to this candy necklace, which came from Cindy... it's got some sort of hold over him. One day after he'd first received it, we let him hang it on the armoire doorknob in his room. You can guess what happened - ten minutes after I put him down for a nap, I heard footsteps, and went upstairs to find him wearing the necklace and chewing happily.

The funny thing is that Mallory's treat bag tends to sound off almost indiscriminantly - the slightest brush will send it ooo-ooo-oooing. Liam's bag used to require a good hard button-pressing to get it to work, but I think the wires in his are headed for the same fate as Mallory's; because several times over the past couple of days I've heard the bag laughing and gone into the dining room to find him looking sheepish with candy in hand. Unopened and uneaten, but I get the sense that he knows he's been busted. While some may see this as evidence of poor workmanship on the treat bags, I kind of like it. It's a built-in candy alarm. No harm there.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

You can't go home again

I've been feeling lazy with respect to posting lately... hence the lack of content... I find it hard to believe I've had as much to say for 2.5 years as I have... maybe I need a break to recharge my batteries. Sometimes I wonder how long this web page will keep going - will I still be posting cute naked shots of the kids when they're 10? (Ha ha. No.) Or will I run out of steam long before then? Am I running out of steam now? One thing is for sure, as soon as Blogger starts charging for bandwidth... that will be the beginning of the end! But I digress...

Today I schlepped Mallory down to baby group again, and while she seemed to enjoy herself, I can't shake the feeling that it's just not as much fun as it was the first time around. Partly I think this is because, when I was there with Liam, I made some good Mommy Friends who I looked forward to seeing every week. I have yet to make the same personal sort of connections this time around. Partly I also feel less pressure to take Mallory, because she is around Liam all the time, and sees his little daycare friends twice each Tuesday, and gets out to a baby swim once a week too; she just has exposure to other kiddos already, without me having to force it. And partly, I'm just lazy. The other stuff that doesn't get done all week - sometimes it just seems easier to stay home on a Tuesday when I don't have to worry about Liam, and do it then. I get that same sense of relief from Mallory - if I let her, she sleeps a lot on Tuesdays. I think keeping up with Liam the other six days of the week wears her out and she needs to recharge, too.

So, we'll see how long we keep it up for. I do feel like, if for no other reason, I need to keep it up to keep both kiddos on a level playing field. Poor Mallory already gets the shaft in so many ways. This one, at least, is under my control.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Is it even legal to be this cute? @ 30 weeks

Sunday, November 04, 2007

OK, I lied

...Just ONE more! Found this one on a different CF card tonight. Like father, like son...

Friday, November 02, 2007

One last Halloween jag

Before we move onto next season, I've spent the past day or two wrapping up the last. The Halloween decor is (mostly) put away. I picked up some cool skeleton lanterns on clearance for 70% off. I finished off the October calendar, and did a simple Halloween page for each of the kids' books: And a spread for my Halloween album, too. The left hand side of each spread is a simple montage of photos from that year's Halloween inside a black border - here is this year's:And then the right hand side is the text. Hmmm, can I get my Word document to post as a picture file?? (By the way, I totally stole this idea from a book called Clean and Simple Scrapbooking: The Sequel.)And with all that behind us, it's now full force into the winter holidays (kind of weird when the trees are still hanging onto their leaves, but there's no stopping progress, right?) I have already started my Christmas shopping and have found a ton of cool things I think the kiddos will love - just trying to narrow it down to a manageable amount! I also scored a pair of Christmas PJs for Liam on eBay today to match the pair I picked up for Mallory last year. I can't wait for them to wear them. And, I also made a non-Christmas purchase... I saw these chandeliers and couldn't help but go back to get one for Mallory's room. I don't think we'll put it up now, since our house will be on the market in a few months and we'll just have to switch it out again - it will be a new house item. Soooo loving the girly stuff!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The requisite look how cute my kids were last night day-after-Halloween post

Last night was the first night I have gone trick or treating since I was 13 (and that was the year that Steph begged me to go out and then split the candy with her because she felt too old to go out - like I wasn't??) It was fun because it was Liam's inaugural trick-or-treat, but other than that, I almost think it's more fun to stay home and hand out. Liam did a super job of coming out of his shell to give a good "Trick or treat!" and "Thank you!" at each house. He even had the nerve to go up to those front porches on his own, something I didn't think he'd do.

We had far fewer kids to our house than we did last year (though I didn't actually keep count because, number one, I wasn't home to do it all night; and number two, we're not planning to be here by this time next year, anyway). We had a DJ move in across the road this year, and he had his place done up with a graveyard, strobe lights, fog machines, sound system, you name it - but it wasn't enough to draw the kids. Good thing we made that panicked last-minute just-in-case jumbo-box-of-chocolate-bars purchase, right?

Mallory was pretty baffled by the whole thing, though she was very patient to sit in the stroller while Liam navigated all the steps and took his sweet time stuffing his candy in his treat bag. She got a bit pouty when I put on my costume and she didn't recognize me, but calmed down once she heard me talk to her.

And, the costume prize in our house goes to Chad for turning into a very porn star-esque police man last night (it must have been the mustache). Liam asked him to dress up as a police man but Liam's police helmet didn't fit, so Chad made other arrangements. As for me, I made do with my evil queen costume from last year; though even as I type this, I am perusing my favourite costume site which is having a storewide clearance sale today. I wouldn't trust Liam or Mallory to know what they want to be a whole year in advance, but if I can find a good deal on something for myself, I will stick to my word.

Other than that, though, it's time to clean up the remnants of Halloween, take down the countdown calendar and pitch the half-dead mums on the front porch. Christmas is up next. I bought the supplies for a Christmas project yesterday, and if Mallory ever goes down for a nap, maybe I will get started on it.