Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Week

Well as Sophia would say...we have spent much of the last few days at "Pediatrics." That is how little Missy refers to "After Hours Pediatrics." Between viruses, strep, and what I thought was pneumonia....I think I may have talked to all of the nurses and doctors that work there. Good news is that antibiotics have been prescribed and lungs are clear... for Sophia at least. The little guy has had off and on fevers and sniffles but has been hanging in there up to this point. But I hope today's crankiness is not a indicator of more sickness to come!!! I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

We've had a lot of days off of school and many rainy days inside...but even though everyone has been a bit under the weather...my pictures show that we've been having at least a little bit of fun!!! With Halloween right around the corner... I decided we'd better get to carving at least one of our many pumpkins. Sophia chose the biggest one... of course! Here she is giving it a squeeze!

I guess she must have snapped this picture of me... hard at work.

And here is Joe with Sophia taking a first peek at what was actually inside this little guy.

He's not too sure about that ooey gooey stuff! But Sophia was ready and willing to pull out a few seeds!

This was one big pumpkin...it took me so long to carve it that I actually carried it with me through different rooms of the house just so I could continue working on it while the kids were playing. By the time Brett got home.. it was almost to the finishing stages and atop the kitchen counter.

Notice Brett's "doctor" gloves so he could get serious about this pumpkin business.

And here's one last shot of our finished beauty!

We also got to celebrate Yiayia's birthday early this week! Sophia was soooo excited the morning of her birthday that she wanted to call her as soon as she got out of bed just so she could sing her the "Happy Birthday" song! Sophia even pulled out a fancy crown when Yiayia arrived for cake later that night. Here they are together....

And of course the blowing out of the candles. Sophia was adamant that I make Yiayia a carrot cake this year...so I of course did as she asked.... Sophia ate every bit of the cream cheese frosting and NONE of the cake. Imagine that!!

Receiving her finished ice cream bowl that she painted at her friend Paul's Paint, Glaze and Fire birthday party was yet another highlight of Sophia's week. Here she is holding her bowl that she is so proud of!

And here is the thank-you note that Paul hand delivered to our door this evening! What a wonderful thank-note!

And of course we HAD to eat ice cream out of our bowl immediately! YUM!

The week is only half way over and still so much fun to be had. Today we had our annual pumpkin painting at Omi and Papa's house ( a few days delayed due to our weekend sicknesses)! Thanks Omi and Auntie E for all the fun! Sophia was oh so creative with her big pumpkin. Lots of jewels and beautifully painted, of course. She insisted on having some black on her plate to use because black is "Miley"s favorite color....OF COURSE! She also got to make spiders and lollipop ghosts! So much fun packed into one afternoon. Joseph was ready to get out of his chair minutes after getting in....no surprise here! But he did have some fun making dots on his pumpkin and telling us the names of the colors (as best he could:) ) Snack time and running with Papa in the screened-in-porch was the highlight of his afternoon....and of course when daddy surprised him with a ride home in "daddy's truck!!!"

Here are a few pictures of all of our fun! (Thanks for taking pictures Auntie E!!!)

I imagine with Trunk or Treat....Sophia's last soccer game and Halloween all in the next few days....I will probably have some pretty fun pictures to post before the week is over!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dear Brett.....

When do we close????????

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Finally the "no's" are starting to lose their battle.... J has finally decided to include the word "YES" in his ever increasing vocabulary. It's not a yeah or a yep ....it is a definite YES...with an added emphasis on the /s/ and I LOVE it! If you really listen to him...he can carry on quite a "conversation" with you! He loves to be just like his big sister.... and likes to say what she says....so I guess I have to give her most of the credit. She couldn't be a better teacher. I love to watch her read to him. They can fight like the worst of enemies...they are like night and day... but they love each other so unconditionally. It's so genuine.

Time seems to be flying...and there always seems to be less time to do all that we want to do. Halloween is quickly approaching and though we have been to numerous pumpkin patches for field trips and parties this year.... as of last weekend we had still not made our "family" trip to the patch. We decided to go to the KC Pumpkin Patch in Gardner as we had not been there since Sophia was a toddler. Despite the muddy patch...the kids had a good time finding pumpkins and taking the "hay" ride (though there was no hay involved) to the patch. Joseph loved riding behind the big John Deer and climbing aboard the wooden choo-choo, and Sophia was enthralled with the slides and tricycle track.

Lesson #1
As for pumpkins...it was slim pickins....guess we were a little late this year. But nonetheless....Joseph found his perfect green pumpkin and Sophia found her perfect round pumpkin. She of course thought J's choice of green was rather weird :) It was pretty funny to watch Joseph as he was choosing his. He sat down on every one he came across and just sat for a while.....like he needed to see how comfy it was before he made his final selection! Too funny! We had fun...but lesson learned...never go pumpkin picking after a rainfall...boy were we muddy when we came home....clothes and shoes came off before we even came into the house. Daddy spent a long time washing the dirt of those shoes that night. Sophia woke up the next morning and upon finding her CLEAN shoes...she told me that a shoe elf must have come to clean her shoes over night. :) Wish I would have thought to take a picture of the dirty shoes and muddy bottoms, but I guess I'll have to settle for some pictures of us on our pumpkin search! It was a very sunny afternoon...so sorry about the glare in the pictures!!

Oh wow! I guess I did get ONE picture of someone's dirty little tooshie!!!

Here are a few more pictures of our pumpkin adventures this week:

Lesson #2
Second lesson learned thus far this week: 6 girls plus a toddler for lunch and crafts can equal insanity! It was our week to host the girl's (from Sophia's school) play date. Since the girls are pretty excited about Halloween....I thought lunch and Halloween crafts would be great fun.... oh my....I'm guessing the girls had fun...but trying to keep everyone happy was quite the challenge...not to mention the gigantic mess that resulted in every room of our house. Did they really need to migrate to my bedroom to play...REALLY? We do have toys in every other room in our house it seems.....and I did ask them not to go in our room....hmmmm just wondering if other parents enforce boundaries...am I the ONLY one????

Here are just a few of the questions that are still ringing in my head from these busy little bodies :)
" I'm Still hungry"
"I don't like hot dogs"
"Can we play upstairs"
"I'm still hungry"
"Can we have popsicles too"
" I want some skittles"
"What kind of macaroni is this"
" Can we have another snack?"

Lesson #3... when life gives you lemons...make some lemonade. The easiest thing I did in preparation for our play date today was make some lemonade ...you know just the good ole Country Time Powder mixed with water. The simplest thing....yet it was the thing that was most agreed upon. Everyone loved it, except my Sophia of course (some day she will drink more than water milk and apple juice right? :))

Lesson #4...Boys talk later than girls. The Speech Pathologist in me cringes when I say this....b/c every child is different, I know, and I shouldn't make one statement and apply it to a general population...but I'm gonna break all the rules here....it's true...boys are much too concerned with movin and being all around busy bodies. Talking is not a priority to them... it just does not interest them...until, well, until they are ready!!!! I was so stressed when this little guy hardly said "mama" at a year....and I definitely wanted to hide when our pediatrician suggested he see a speech pathologist ( I hated to admit to her that I had my Masters in that very area!!). And what I hate to admit even more???.....that MY MOTHER WAS RIGHT! He just needed time. He may not be rattling off sentences yet...but he sure does have a lot to say these days! (in his own little way!) He's even becoming a bit bossy..."down mama" (when he wants me to sit and play with him) or ("back mama") when he wants me to put something back. Today he really shocked me and started identifying the colors like "bebow" for (yellow) and "back" for (black). I love how he says "daddy's truck" and "mama's car" and how when he talks to Pappou on the phone he says "hi Boo" and then blows kisses over the phone. He loves to talk about Calliou and Max and Ruby ...and he even told me when he went potty once this week!

Lesson #5.. BE PATIENT... Something I must admit is very difficult for me... But patience, I have a feeling, is something I will need a lot of in the next few weeks. Seems Sophia has come down with a bug and is probably passing it to the little guy. Poor kids. She has just not been herself lately....and she's such a trooper... hardly ever wants to admit she is sick...b/c she doesn't want to miss out on anything! Hope they are back to their little wild and crazy selves soooooooooon!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday thoughts.

I miss the sun.
I have been on too many hayrides (in the cold and rain) this week.
Joseph can now identify three colors....blue, green, and black.
Sophia is a Daisy now! I wonder how many boxes of cookies she will sell this year?
Sophia had her first bus ride today....J cried because he couldn't go on the bus.. :(
I love to watch Sophia run into school every day....I hope her love for school continues.
I finally watched PART of "Marley and Me" this week...but am not yet "brave" enough to endure the ending.
Our neighbor's "blow up" Vampire is finally up again, and we take many walks throughout the day to watch him move up & down.
I love how Joseph blows me kisses and how all of his responses to my questions end with "No, mama!"
I am grateful that we have made it this far in the school year without any major sicknesses (I am knocking on wood right now).
I love how Joseph says good bye to everything he sees "ba-bye pire....(for vampire of course)
The "M" word is now considered a bad word in our house...."mean, " that is....Missy has been using it way too frequently.
Sophia to her bus partner today: "We should hold hands so we don't get lost" :)

Our week in pictures:

Saturday: Family picture day....awwww the kids looked so cute...but getting them to sit still for a picture was near to impossible!!!

Monday: Sophia already painting the pumpkin she got at Johnson's pumpkin farm during a birthday party over the weekend.

Tuesday: Joseph preferred to play with this trucks...but Sophia scheduled him for an appointment at her salon, instead.

Wednesday: Joe cooking for his baby!

Wednesday night: I love Halloween cookies and frosting them when the little munchkins are fast asleep!

Thursday: Mason and Sophia at the Cider Mill and some of Sophia's kindergarten class. And in the next picture, the three girls on the left in the front row are all named....you guessed it... SOPHIA!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dream Big

"American Girl celebrates a girl's inner star-
That little whisper inside that encourages her to
Stand tall, Reach high, and DREAM BIG"

Since our Sophia was a tiny baby, her Yiayia dreamed of taking her to the American Doll Store. Both myself and my sister grew up loving our dollies...so I guess it was already in her blood. Sophia loved organizing dainty tea parties and dressing her dollies in their finest pretties from the time she was just a wee little toddler. Her very first doll (given to her by my Nouno Tommy from Chicago) was in fact an American Doll,.... Bitty Baby, and later appropriately named "Itty," by Sophia. She LOVED this baby and still does...but has also graduated to finally liking babies with hair, including Samantha, my own American Doll that Yiayia still has at her house!

When a new American Girl catalog arrives at our house in the mailbox...it is more than a momentous occasion. Sophia sits down and studies each doll and accessory from the front cover to the back..... and often tears out pages so she can add them to her wish list. So, we were more than excited when Thea suggested a girl's weekend in Chicago (she was going to be there for business) and a trip to the American Doll Store. Pappou, without hesistation, of course...quickly made arrangements for our "gooney girl's only" trip!

Between myself and yiayia...we took more pictures than I could possibly post... so I guess I'll have to pick a select "few" to illustrate the fun we had!

Not only was Pappou our personal travel agent...but he was also our chauffeur. Here he is picking up the first "gooney gal," Thea!

And here's a picture of the whole gang...had to include Pappou on this one...he was our chauffeur to the airport and all! Thanks for organizing our fun weekend, Pappou!

Not only was this our first official "girl's weekend" but it was also Sophia's FIRST airplane ride. I was worried that she might be scared...but she was quite the little traveler. I can still hear her squeal with excitement as the plane's speed increased to begin taking off..... I'm sure the entire plane can still hear her squealing! It was too cute to see how excited she was! She loved her new "pull" suitcase (pink of course) that Yiayia bought her especially for the trip. I, of course, tried to put a lot of thought into some fun goodies to accompany the bag....but I think she had already done each of the activities at least once by the time the plane took off.... Go figure! Anyway....she spent much of her time on the plane coloring and laughing with Thea, and of course showing Itty the ropes too!

Another first.... a taxi ride!!! I think Sophia did better than me... Oh my.....those cab drivers make me nervous. The city sure is fun...but I think I may be more of a country girl! :)

The surprises were just beginning. After our arrival at the hotel...Sophia received a special welcome letter...and the letter was even addressed to "Sophia AND Itty!" Along with this special note.... a certificate for a free ice cream sundae, a free viewing of the American Doll movie, "Kitt Kittredge," AND a special bed for Itty equipped with pink satin sheets and chocolate mints, of course!!

All of this traveling made us hungry. Thank goodness Thea had made reservations at a really good Italian restaurant just a short cab ride away. We dined on fabulous pizza and Miss Sophia had her fill of spaghetti and meatballs! One of our pizzas was a gorgonzola and grape pizza....I was skeptical at first...but oh my....I fell in love. So much in fact that I "tried" to recreate it when I came home....it was close, but still not as good! I guess we'll have to make another trip back just for that pizza!

Whew...what a day! Here is our little queen ready for bed. We had two adjoining rooms....and can you guess who Sophia chose for her sleep-mate??? Thea of course! Thanks Thea for making it sooo fun for her....even if it meant losing a little sleep :)

Finally....the day had come....Sophia was soooooo excited to go to the American Girl Store. The weather was cold and rainy, but luckily our hotel was just a hop, skip and jump away! Here are some pictures of Sophia getting ready to head to the American Girl.

Amazing....overwhelming...so much to see...so much to do! Words can't describe the excitement little girls and even adults feel when they walk in this store! Sophia was in heaven to say the least. She oooohhhed and ahhhhed over many dolls, many outfits and of course all of their accessories, before choosing a "just like me" doll. Long blond haired and blue eyed, of course! And almost even more exciting than the doll itself....the sparkly ice skating ensemble equipped with ice skates and a sequined dress to go along with her! Sophia even got to design a t-shirt for her new doll! So fun. Here are a few pics of her as she was admiring all of the pretty dollies.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better....it does! Next came lunch in the cafe! Boy, these people think of everything! There are even special chairs attached to the tables for the girls' dolls, and yes....the dollies have their own teacups. The food was perfect for a dainty tea party! Lots of fun mini appetizers and lunches. Sophia chose the picnic lunch which included a mini hot dog, mini hamburger, and mini bowl of mac and chesse...what girl wouldn't LOVE that? And to top it off...we were all served heart shaped cookies, cake and a mini flower pot of chocolate mousse (the flowers we got to take home, of course, along with the hair bow napkin holders!!!) Here are Sophia and Itty enjoying their lunch.

And of course, Miss Itty had her own tea cup and her own bitty cinnamon rolls!

And I just couldn't resist this picture of Sophia and her best buddy! Can you tell how much she adores her Thea?

Of course... we had to have one last picture by the American Girl Star. I love the quote....and the cute girl next to it!

Sophia couldn't wait to get back to the hotel to dress her new baby in the fun outfits she picked out for her.

Whew...all this shopping at ONE store can really wear gooney girls out! Time for a rest and a bit of the Kit Kittredge movie....a good flick, by the way!

All good things must come to an end.... My heart melted when Sophia was saying good-bye to Thea. She was so sad that Thea, who had to stay behind for her business meetings, was unable to fly home with us on Sunday. Can you see the disappointment in her eyes as we were waiting for our cab to take us to the airport?

I guess she recovered rather quickly...thank goodness for her new buddy that got to come home with her. And this new little friend's name....???? Hannah, of course!

Whew... a quick weekend, but fun!
Only regret....not enough "grown-up" shopping! I guess we'll have to go back!
Thanks Pappou for the fun trip!