Tuesday, August 31, 2010

end of summer geography

We wanted to paint the outside of our house this summer.

While we've painted numerous interior rooms in three different homes, we've never done exterior painting.

Let me tell you, prep work is a ... (female dog).

Papa is doing the most of the work. The first day we sat there with putty knives and scraped loose paint off the house.

There was a lot of loose paint.



Me: Look I'm making Germany!

Papa: I've got Illinois over here.

This project is taking a lot longer than we thought.
Make me feel better, what home projects are you working on?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

quiet time fun

Found this site via Rice Babies. Katie and I had a blast playing around with it during Mo's nap this week.

Check it out -- love to see your pics if you post them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

finally!

After weeks upon weeks of frigid foggy weather the sun has belatedly made it's way to our little beach town.

School for the big girl starts next week, so we've been hitting up the beach a lot the last two weeks.

It's even been hot enough for Maddie to venture into the water.

She's actually catching a little air these days jumping into waves.

okay, maybe that's more of trickle than a wave.

Katie and Dylann are all about whispering to each other and chatting about heavens knows what.

I think Katie was trying to learn the words to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Dylann during this particular exchange.

Dylann started kindergarten this week. Katie won't start until next school year.

I do hope these two remain good friends - they can be so darn cute together.

Monday, August 23, 2010

card shark

Katie is loving the new deck of cards we just purchased. She loves to play "go fishing" as she calls it and "war."

Song taught her how to play Blackjack, not entirely sure how appropriate that is, but I suppose we can put it in the "learning math" category.

I need help. What other card games do you play with 4-year old/little one?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

reduce, reuse, recycle

Fact#1: Katie is obsessed with coloring right now.

Fact #2: Maddie is a crayon wrapper peeler (which is the bane of my existence these days, wrapper peels being every where seemingly all. the. time.)

However, together these two facts made for a good project this week.

I had been saving crayon bits for awhile, but had forgotten about them until I saw this post over at small burst.


(The cookie cutter in the cupcake pan so did not work btw)

While Katie was initially enamored by our new crayons her excitement quickly faded when she realized these new crayons did not have a point.

She is all about coloring in the lines which is difficult to do with a Reese's-shaped crayon.



So we tried making crayon bark instead in attempt to create better points.


There should be a crayon mold for this specific purpose. It would be like a candy mold, but metal so it could go in the oven.

I looked online and didn't see one for sale -- perhaps I should invent this and it will secure my goal of never having to go into an office ever again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

a burnt papa wickie

Spent the day at the water park today with the family.

Maddie napped on me in the shade for awhile and then we had a little photo shoot.



Papa, on the other hand spent all day in the sun with Katie and got burnt pretty bad.

Anyone have any good sunburn remedies?

Friday, August 13, 2010

$0 spent

Last year we took the kids to opening day of the fair with the goal of doing minimal damage to the pocketbook.

Today, the girls and I went back with the goal of spending $0.

That's right: $0 spent.*

There is actually quite a lot to see and do at the fair, and if you get their early it's not insanely busy.

we had ring-side seats for pig racing, the highlight of the day

I had to make sure Kaitlyn understood the rules before going. She begrudgingly agreed.

Apparently a fair without rides, is better than no fair at all.

We headed out early to get a free parking space in downtown and walked to the fairgrounds.

Baby pigs at the fair were a big hit with the girls


It was really nice because we weren't rushing around to see everything.

We did things like stop to see the Amtrak train go by.


We sat down and watched the livestock auction.

Katie was captivated. We ended up staying and watching this for longer than I would have ever expected.

And of course there was Muttin' Bustin' -- kids under 6 and 60 lbs. trying to ride sheep.

I asked Katie if she wanted to try. She declined.

Our friends Zach and Dylan did it earlier in the week. I so wished we could have seen them do it.

I bribed the kids to walk back to the car with some cookies.

We're actually headed back to the fair again tomorrow if you can believe it. Katie has a tap performance. Also, we'll be with Mr. Pork-Chop-on-a-Stick (a.k.a. Papa), so I'm guessing it won't be a free day. But oh well, at least today was.

* While kids under 6 are free, adults are not so here I have to thank the VCF and my editor for a courtesy press pass.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

it's raining cookies

Feeling a little under the weather + lots of time in the house with the Little Wickies = mad baking in our house this week.

It's also been an exceptionally cool summer making turning on the oven not a big deal.

It was like a perfect storm.

We made the perennial favorite cowgirl cookies.




We use Martha's cookie and royal icing recipes (haven't found a better or easier one yet).


I love our cowgirl cookie recipe which I've adapted somewhat through time. It has a lot of cinnamon and I use part whole wheat flour (you can't even tell).

Cowgirl Cookies (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip)
1 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 C. oats
1-1/2 C. chocolate chips (we probably end up using 2 C. b/c that's how we roll when it comes to chocolate)
1 C. raisins (optional)

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Beat butter & sugars
3. Add eggs & vanilla; beat well
4. Mix flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl
5. Add flour mixture to wet mixture
6. Stir in chocolate chips and raisins
7. Drop rounded tablespoons
8. Bake approximately 10 minutes

I hope I feel better soon so I can run some of these cookie calories off otherwise I'll be in trouble!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

mo the next sally ride?

Maddie is a non-eater.

Her daily intake often consists of something like:

- 5 Puffins for breakfast
- 1 piece of deli meat (the thin 10-calorie kind) and 1 cracker for lunch
- 1/2 yogurt and a 4 good mouthfuls of rice for dinner
- milk

The only thing she will eat regularly are these.


She will eat anything in a pouch. (Yes, the green one in back is broccoli, peas and pears.)

I've been looking for a pouch with protein in it -- maybe a pate version?

Perhaps I need to explore purchasing astronaut food. Anyone know a good place to buy astronaut food cheaply?

I've also been exploring how I might make my own pouches 'o food because these things are pricey.

Oh little Mo, just eat something...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

from the land of fried & frozen food

In what is fast becoming tradition, we were at the gates of the fair on opening day -- actually opening minute -- last week.

And, I'll say it again.

This girl...

loves rides.
The only possible way to make rides more fun?

Friends.



I was possibly most pleased with the fact that she met the minimum 42-inch requirement which meant I didn't have to go on rides like this one.

She has been on ump-teen carousels by now in her short life, but it never fails to please.

Katie swore up and down that she remembered from last year the humongous yo-yo ride had a 40-inch minimum requirement.


I kept telling her, "I'm not sure honey, it's awfully big."

Alas, we reached the ride this year and the minimum height requirement was 44 inches. (Thank goodness, because that thing is BIG and goes up WAY high.)

Instead she got her swinging fill on smaller versions.


And, what is better than a girl who won a stuffed panda in a game?

Two girls who won pandas in carnival games of course.




For more details of our adventure you can check out the article I wrote for the local paper here.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

maddie's circus party

A circus party ensued in honor of the baby turning two this weekend.


We borrowed parachutes from friends to give the illusion of being under the big top.

There were games.

I had to convince Miyo to help me make the lion game toss because I cannot draw worth a lick.

Miyo: It's just shapes, you can do it.

Me: Just get over here and draw me a lion.


And, of course there was circus paraphernalia for all.





My attempt at a carousel cake.


Maddie really liked the singing of 'Happy Birthday'.

Love that happy little face.


Happy faces eating cake.


And, we were treated to Mica's juggling talents.

He asked Katie to toss him a pin which we all thought was a bad idea hence Mica ducking for his life...


More pics from the photo "booth."