Monday, October 29, 2012

Daybook for Late October 2012

Outside my window... a beautiful crisp clear fall sky... much improved over yesterday's dreary skies and wind that ushered in the first true fall temperatures for the year!  The temps are a bit low, though... we may have skipped fall temperature-wise.  I hope not!

I am thinking... about our upcoming All Saints celebrations.  Caroline's Saint Kateri costume is finished except for her necklace and "moccasins" - she's stringing some beads and cutting fringe to attach to her brown boots.  Cecilia is being Saint Clare again, so all I need to do for her is to pull last year's costume out, yay!  I'm thinking Lucy will just be baby Jesus with a pipe cleaner halo and I will be Our Lady of La Leche.  This year, we get to attend the All Saint's vigil Mass at our parish dressed as saints, followed by "trunk-or-treating" in the church parking lot.  On Friday, our informal Catholic homeschooling group is having a party.  I am thinking about a few games to bring and which kind of cupcakes to make for our cupcake walk.

I am wondering... if things will ever slow down around here... we had to deal with a neighbor reporting our backyard chickens and going before the planning board and city commission requesting a special use permit to keep them, and it still isn't over -rather than ruling on our request, they are asking the planning board to come up with guidelines and see if they can agree upon reasonable rules for chickens in the city limits.  Hopefully those guidelines will be ones we can meet, but it won't be decided until December, most likely.  And we still need to write letters and send resources to help guide them in constructing reasonable rules.  This got much bigger than ever anticipated...  the Facebook page I set up has over 300 members, and that was over a two-three week period!

I also have to finalize a letter to send to our (former) pediatrician practice.  They will kick us out if we don't fully vaccinate all our kids, yet they are allowing other families to continue to come there without getting any vaccines if they so choose.  The inconsistency and the poor communication methods (hitting parents with this at office visits in front of their kids rather than sending out a written policy) has me done with them.  But they will be getting a letter detailing exactly why we're leaving.

Other things keeping us busy have been a trip to Florida to attend my new goddaughter's baptism, homeschooling, daytrips for apple-picking and our niece's birthday party, and other day to day tasks.  The chicken thing has been mentally draining on top of the things we have been busy doing.  And I do plan to post photos of the baptism and the apple orchard at some point!

I am praying... for this snotty nose Lucy developed last night to pass quickly.  It took me an hour and a half to get her down last night, and I really have been counting on using the evenings to finalize All Saints costumes, games, cupcakes, and getting things ready in general.  At least the party isn't at my house, so I don't have to clean it, ha!

I am thankful... that my mom could come babysit after the girls were all asleep on Friday night, and trhankful also that my favorite musician actually came to do a show in our small town!!  It began at 10:30 at night - so, since Lucy typically stays asleep at least until 1am after I get her down in the evening, I figured it was a good chance for us to go, at a perfect time... so of course, the baby who for the last ten or more days has not woken up before 1am other than one night... yes, you guessed it, the night she decided to wake up was while we were at the concert, of course!  She knew my mom was here and was apparently excited, at least that's what I am telling myself caused it.  At least she didn't give her a hard time... and in the morning, Lucy only wanted Gramma and was sad when she left.

Anyway, it was loads of fun to see Emerson do a solo show - small venue, lots of song request opportunities and audience interaction.  He played "Hallway" at my request and told us that it is going on his next album.  We got to meet him afterward and get an autograph and photo and thank him for coming to such a random place, ha.  And I got to observe that apparently he likes the same kind of beer as me. :)

This is the song I requested... it was the second song of the show.  At then end when he says "for you" and motions towards the camera, he's talking to me.  I'm such a dork with my rock star borderline obsession, ha.

I am hearing... Lucy's stuffy breathing as she naps.  I was going to write this post last night, but then it was after 10pm when I finally got some downtime...

Learning at home... trucking right along with second grade.  We're really enjoying the Burgess Animal Book and learned about beavers and muskrats most recently.  Hoping to plan a trip to some local lakes to see some for ourselves!  We're hoping this afternoon to have some animal crackers and hot cocoa to go along with the most recent poem Caroline has memorized... do you know the poem??

We have also been taking advantage of the fall leaves for our nature studies:

From the kitchen... hoping to make an apple pie and pumpkin cake for the weekend... must make cupcakes on Thursday first.  Oh, and dinner.  I'm thinking pulling from the deep freeze might sound good tonight or tomorrow...

I am reading... For the Children's Sake.  Very slowly, as always.

To live the liturgical year... All Saints celebrations as previously mentioned.  St Martin de Porres has a feast day this weekend, so I am hoping the picture book about him is available at our library for us by then, and maybe we'll make the Martin's Mice snack to remind us of the story...

One of my favorite things... pumpkin recipes!

I am creating... a Saint Kateri costume.

Around the house... diapers in the wash, and I really need to swap out winter clothes for the summer ones... I hate that job, because first of all, they have way too many clothes, and then deciding what pants are long enough/fit in the waist and which things that fit Caroline at one age are too long for Cecilia and what boxes to look in and what boxes to put old things in... it is overwhelming.  And then there's socks and tights. Tights that match nothing and dresses that need leggings or tights that we don't have.  I probably need to just get a couple more colors of plain Baby Legs to fill in those gaps... and then I'll have more clothes for them, adding to the problem... it never ends, I guess.  Today Cecilia is wearing a size 6 outfit Caroline wore at one year older than Cecilia is now... whatever.  I don't even know why it is in the box it is in.  Maybe one day I will have time to just purge and reorganize...

A few plans for the rest of the week... 

* Wednesday - All Saints vigil Mass and trunk-or-treat at our church followed by Steak 'n' Shake for dinner
* Thursday - Ballet, bake cupcakes
* Friday - All Saints homeschool party in afternoon; Birthday party for a friend of the girls in evening
* Saturday - Retirement party for co-worker of hubby
* Sunday - late afternoon cookout at our house to thank our friends who have helped in our fight to keep our chickens!  And Chris's mom comes to visit that evening for a couple days - yay!

A picture thought I am sharing...

I have no idea why Snapfish uploads some of my pictures with this line through them... the right third of the photo doesn't have that dark section on it in the original file!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lucy's First Birthday Party!

We celebrated Lucy's birthday with a party with family a couple weekends ago.  This is the invitation I had made and sent out... I have never gotten something like this done for any other birthdays, but I just wanted to do it this time.  I think the more babies I have, the more I find myself thinking, "What if she's the last one?  What if this is the last first birthday party I will give for one of my children?"  Sob.  So I want to do things special, even though I may get a chance to do these things again down the road...

To decorate, I made Lucy a birthday banner from various pretty pink patterned scrapbook paper.  I printed the letters onto cardstock and then used a circle cutter to cut them out.  Then I strung each piece onto a pretty ribbon.  This was lots of fun to make and will be reusable for the other girls if I make sections with their names on it...

I hung it up in the three sections against a white bedsheet which was draped over the china cabinet to make a backdrop.  We spray painted some picture frames pink and put a few recent photos of Lucy in them.

Here's the food all laid out... we had various snacks, including a buffalo chicken dip, a hot corn dip, a cheese ball and crackers, and apple and pear slices with two fruit dips.

Then there was the cake... Lucy got her own special cupcake.  It was made with the same batter as the big cake, a carrot cake, but it had a more basic frosting: cream cheese with just a touch of honey mixed into it.

This one, on the other hand, was full of cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar... lots of it!  Mmm, it needed a whole bunch of frosting to make all those swirly roses!

The birthday hat I forgot to put on her for the whole party... whoops.

A top view of the cake...

Yes, lots of cake photos.  It is hard to get good ones of white frosting, so I took lots!

This is Purely Os, puffed kamut, and those Happy Baby greens puffs

The flowers at the end of the table are courtesy of my mom... she tends to remember flowers for special occasions, and the funny thing is, I meant to ask her if she;'d pick some up and bring them to the party, but I forgot... apparently, she didn't!

Pink strawberry punch... have you figured out the "pink" theme yet?  In the pitcher is a yummy mango iced black tea from Trader Joe's.

Lucy opening presents... is it lame that we gave her something I pulled out of a bin in the closet?  We have enough toys already, so I wrapped up the old Fisher Price phone with the dial and eyes and the pull string...

I made Lucy her own family book using a free code from Snapfish.  I made these for the older girls around this age by laminating photos on cardstock with stiff laminating film... so they were able to read them without hurting them.  This one has to be read to Lucy with assistance so she won't tear the pages.  She is obsessed with this book and cries when we put it away, or if she decides she wants it and is pointing to the desk where I keep it and I don't get it down for her...

A pretty dress from Uncle Mike and Aunt Crystal and the cousins

Lucy and cousin Chloe playing with Grampa

Cake time!!!

I took most of these with natural light so they wouldn't look washed out.  High chair photos with a flash have never looked good when I take them.  We had really good sunshine coming through the windows, so most of the photos came out clear.

Lucy didn't know what to think about the candle... but she didn't try to grab it, surprisingly!  She must be learning from those lessons in church where I show her the candles and say, "Hot!"

The first taste... 

hmm, what's this??

She basically just tore it apart after this.

I love messy eating pictures... Caroline didn't eat her first birthday cake, and Cecilia's fine motor skills were such that she barely made a mess with hers.  Lucy got it pretty much everywhere.  I won't share the photo of  her bib's pouch, into which she oozed mouthfuls of cake when she had too much in her mouth...

The handsome cake distributor

pondering whether or not she should ask for seconds...

Here's everyone eating their cake in the living room.

Cute Little Red

You can see the cake on her high chair seat cover to her left... whoever invented cloth seat covers for high chairs??  Gimme one of those 80s vinyl covered cushioned things, or a bare wooden one!

Happy baby!

Showing Gramma how she ate the whole thing... except about 60% of it that went into her bib, that is...

What a fun party - Happy Birthday, Lucy!!