Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween! Finally!

Ah, yes. So much build up that the word Halloween has started to lose meaning... But all was redeemed with lovely weather and great trick-or-treating partners! GRQ came over for a pizza supper and then, out for the big night! We were the first treaters at the neighbors houses and were slowly surrounded by other kids out and about. We had a lot of fun, and got a huge amount of candy (including the overload that we bought :).

Q's costume definitely takes the "most inventive" in my book.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ready to Vote?

Know any swing voters? Feel free to send this picture to them...

Daddy + Playdoh + Elmo =

While I was out for the evening, Lilian and Keith watched some YouTube video of Elmo on the Potty. And then played with PlayDoh. And then went to the potty. And then I came home and found this in the bathroom:

Who says daddies can't be uber creative? Not me anyway.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Due to this weekend's visit from my friends C&M, I realized that we have a ton of boxes downstairs that could be put to good use. So, yesterday Lilian and I embarked on a crafty afternoon... We made a doll house out of a small cardboard box! Yes, crafty mommy strikes again. I have been trying to get over my fear of painting with Lili and thus let her (and me) go crazy decorating the house. We have yet to put stickers on it, but I think the googly eyes are a nice touch, don't you?

And yes, that is Nelson from the Simpsons in the top level of the house. He came in a KinderEgg of all things, and a KinderEgg that came direct from Germany! (Thanks, G&C!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Beginning of Halloween Fun

This weekend has been busy and fun-filled. I had a "mommy" weekend with friends from Ithaca, and we luxuriously spent the entire Saturday away from the house, wandering around Burlington shopping and having tea and otherwise enjoying a slice of freedom. It was heavenly and I'm sure we're all glad to be back with our kids today :).

Keith spend the weekend going to various area halloween festivities (she'll have a total of four halloween outings when it's all said and done... What happened to just a simple night of trick or treating?). I think the highlight (besides getting candy, and a rock), was meeting Elmo! I don't think he lived up to her expectations, as he was pretty freaked out by the crowds:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yes, that's right!

This morning, over french toast, Lilian says to me:

"M-n-m's are for my potty. Privacy is for your potty".

Too true.

We've been using small candies as potty-bribes, and earlier this morning I told Lili to remind me to buy some m&m's for her potty when we go out on errands. The privacy thing we've been trying to teach her all along. I'm glad something sunk in!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Perfect Storm: Grocery Edition

The Perfect Storm that creates a (yikes!) $110+ grocery bill:

Haven't been shopping in almost a week
Lots of butcher shop product on sale (hello, freezer!)
Those black hole coupons for things you don't need (actually, only used the Ben and Jerry's one... I totally need that)
Ran out of expensive staples like (King Arthur) flour and butter.
Had to buy some red wine for a recipe (but I love the fact that I can buy wine at the grocery store... we're not in NY anymore, Toto)
Whaaaat? Cheese is how much money?
Oh, and look, I bought half a PC Homo. (Receipt translation: Half Gallon of Price Chopper Homogenized Milk).

Guess that's what happens when you're stocking up. At least I saved about 15$.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My weekend, in a nutshell

I spent this weekend (without Keith and Lilian) in Montreal, visiting my friend G. We had a great time and not enough sleep and can't wait for the next time!

So, I finally got to see:

And went to the gloriously overwhelming place called IKEA to buy this:
And finally, brought home a whole lotta fresh:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is it...

Is it a bad thing that I think I've gone through more than a pound of butter in past week or so? Well, not personally, but let's think about this:

Pumpkin Muffins (wait... did that even have any butter in it?)
Chocolate Chip Cookies (S had to learn how to do it, after all)
Apple Crisp (it has apples in it, though!)
Pumpkin Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting (yes, this definitely DID have butter in it)
There must be more in there that I'm forgetting about (but my hips certainly won't).

The latest? Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. I had to have some way of using up the mashed pumpkin, after all.

And, as Martha would say.... It's a good thing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Punkin' Pickin'

This morning was beautiful weather and we went on a "field trip" (which can be taken literally, because Lili did indeed trip in the field) to Lang Farm to have a hay ride and pick pumpkins. She had a great time and in the end needed me to pick one for her. It was a quintessential fall thing to do and we most enjoyed playing on the playground with friends after our picnic lunch.

Lili with her pumpkin

Lili with her friend Q

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A New View

First home improvement project: Paint the front bay window trim and add some cellular shades. I didn't think of it to do a "before" picture, with the unbelievably ugly curtain rod set up, but here is a during and after picture. The shade of yellow that we picked is a little garish in the night time due to the harsher glow of our CFL halogen light, but during the day it is a lovely butter yellow. Thanks to S for helping us with the painting this weekend!

top down bottom up cellular shades

Things that go Chomp in the Night

So, we had a mouse. We don't know if it moved in with us while the doors were open, or if it was already here or what, but we had a mouse.

Last week, I woke up to the noises of something scratching or munching or something in the kitchen. I woke Keith up and in his sleepiness he proclaimed that it was just the fridge making noise. But after we further investigated, we heard it again after the fridge had turned off, and again on Sunday night. On Sunday it was kind of funny, because it sounded like whatever it was was clanking the hanging pots and pans. As if the rodent would cook us up a gourmet meal.

Keith went out and bought some mouse traps and we set them last night hoping that it was all just my imagination. Lo and behold... at 3 am I awoke to a noise. And actually, I think I've become a light sleeper since having Lili, and I think the noise I woke to was a SNAP, followed by some twitching. Seriously. So then I proceeded to have nightmares for the rest of the night about mice and traps and giant rodents seeking revenge.

In the morning, I was able to inform Keith that I was pretty certain there was a surprise in the Kitchen for him. But I was careful how to word it because I didn't want Lili to think there was a REAL good surprise in the kitchen, because of course I don't want her to see it. And yes, there was a little mouse. In the trap. The trap did it's job. It's sad, but neccessary. And now I've gone on a morning cleaning binge which always sucks but ends up feeling really good.

Here's hoping the 2nd trap isn't needed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Burlington By Taste

This weekend we have had a FUN visit from our good friend S. C couldn't come (for which we were sad), and we are very much looking forward to visiting BOTH of them in CO in January. But in the mean time... We ate our way through the greater Burlington area and had a blast doing it.

Friday night... dinner at Pacific Rim Restaurant. Wasn't great, but was still eating out which is always a great treat. Percy Pigs for dessert!

Saturday... Cinnamon swirl french toast. Sampling at Lake Champlain Chocolates. Free slices of bread at Great Harvest. Apple picking (and eating) at Shelburne Orchards. Plus cider donuts and apple cider. Roasted local vegetables and Quinoa for dinner. And Chocolate Chip cookies for dessert.

Sunday... Apple Crisp for breakfast. Ride downtown, and stumble across the 1st annual pumpkin regatta at the downtown waterfront. Pizza and wings for lunch (due to a Bobby Flay wings episode the night before). Asian noodles for dinner, and more crisp for dessert.

I think my tummy needs a break.

Lili sampling empire apples at Shelburne Orchards

Pumpkin regatta at the waterfront. 900+ lb pumpkins hollowed
out and then used as boats. No capsizing occurred!

Visiting with friends ROCKS!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Obligatory Pizza Making Post

So it seems that there are a LOT of toddler pizza-makers out there. At least in the blogosphere. And since this week has been the kitchen education of lilian, I (for once) remembered the camera for the flour and fun filled afternoon we had. In all, it was way less messy than the muffins, and way more fun for Lil.

We tried a new dough recipe that was more time intensive than our usual, but since it came from my favorite Baking Illustrated, I thought I'd give it a go. I'm always trying to find a better pizza dough recipe. It helps me feel like I'm saving money (over the 1.69 pizza dough at price chopper...). Anyway! The recipe was wrong (can you believe it???) and made a way too gooey mess, so Lili got to have the all important job of adding flour. And more flour. And more. So that in the end, we have an extra ball of pizza dough in the freezer for next time. Which is a good thing. Nay, a GREAT thing since this was the best homemade pizza dough we've had in a long time. Credit goes to one of many things: King Arthur Flour as opposed to the cheapo store brand, hand kneading (because it is FUN), and longer rise time with less yeast... Whatever it was, it was YUM.

flour... and a sponge. you know why.

lili got to have her OWN dough ball (of course!)

topping off the masterpiece with daddy.

thoroughly enjoying the end result (by completely deconstructing it as toddlers do)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Orchid Mania

The first time my grandmother came to visit Lilian (when we still lived in Ithaca, when Lili was very young), she bought her a beautiful orchid in a pink pot. The orchid bloomed for a long time and then lost all its flowers, one by one. When we moved, we gave all our plants to my dad, who has the greenest thumb you've ever seen. Now that we are in a house again, he is slowly bringing back all the stuff we left with him, including the beautiful orchid.

I'm serious when I say my dad has some kind of special ability with plants. Just look at the thing:

and, a view out our front window.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Occupy with Water

This weekend, I went to Lowes and spent a significant amount on cleaning supplies to clean the new house (I cannot believe that people walk around in their houses with their shoes on. It's just gross.). I also bought Lilian a step stool so that she can help me cook, bake, wash dishes, and also wash her hands on her own. And by "help" I mean... eat the food and threaten to make a big mess, and by "wash by herself" I mean... support her own weight with her own two feet so that we don't have to hold her over the sink.

This leads to some major new discoveries, such as... being able to see the entire countertop up-close, and while washing hands this morning: discovering that the water-filled dirty dishes in the sink are ridiculously fun to play with.

So, after she helped with the dishes, I set her up to play with the water, admonishing her every 2 minutes to not spill the water. And before anyone freaks out about the medicine dropper set... It's from her vitamins. And it's empty (except for the water).

And for some reason, Lili has started calling Keith and I by our first names (as opposed to Daddy or Mama). For example: "Please don't spill." "Okay, June" Or, "Is that your sweater, Keith?"

It drives Keith nuts. I think he must think it is disrespectful. I tend to think it's more of a phase that she is experimenting with. Besides, we call her by her name, so why shouldn't she?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Compost Kid

We bought two backyard composting bins from our solid waste dept today (Lilian and I went, and she got a lollipop there!), and set about putting them together this evening. We did it as a family and Lili was a great tool manager. She handed us nuts and bolts and wrenches, and loved being in charge of sorting the small items.

And, after we put them together, we discovered that they make great kid-forts, and Lili spent a good half an hour before bath going in and out of the bins.