Sunday, November 30, 2008

wake up happy

I think I will be waking up with a smile everyday from now on... thanks to Alli.

Yes, that is a happy face on the sheets.  Yes, it is permanent.  I already tried washing it out... this is a post-washing picture. 
Here is a better look at the happy little sprite.

I am a little irritated.  This is our really good set of sheets.  My favorites... crisp, yet soft and smooth. 

I can't help but smile though.

She said she was hiding under our covers and couldn't see what her pen was doing. 

Alli's art is just below where my pillow lies.  I will see it often.  And I will smile often.  But I hope Alli doesn't see this post too soon... I don't want her to get the wrong idea... so here is the moral of the story...

Drawing on sheets is a very bad choice!

But thanks for making me smile!

oh so thankful!

I am thankful for a wonderful week.  Here are some of the highlights:

Alli had pajama day at school.  Always a highlight.  I took the girls to the zoo for Mr. Singer's music time.  We stayed to feed the cows and watch them be milked.

I got a haircut!  Andy came home a bit early on Wednesday, so I took off to the salon for a much needed trim.  My hair looked great until Sunday, when I finally washed it.  Also, the 34+ week belly (a better picture than last week... it must've been the sweater)...

We had a lovely Thanksgiving Day feast with some friends nearby and the missionaries.

We all pitched in to make some yummy food.  And we all pitched in to eat the food.  Despite our best efforts there were lots of leftovers.

We put up our Christmas tree Thursday night.  (I know, we are jumping straight from one holiday to another... as evidenced by Alli's turkey hat and Ruby's Santa hat.)  The tree is tall and skinny (and fake).  It has brought magic to our living room.  Most of the decorations are hung between 2-3 feet high except the breakable ones which are near the top of the tree... not all the breakables... we have broken two ornaments so far.  I love having the Christmas tree up, and I love all of our mismatched ornaments.  Old, new, beautiful, "special"... we've got them all.

I took Alli to a Christmas ballet show on Saturday.  We went with some friends for a girls' afternoon out.  I loved watching Alli and the other little girls dance like ballerinas in the aisles during intermission.

Andy and I took Alli and Ruby to the zoo on Saturday night to see the lights.  We left the camera at home.  It was lovely though.  Hearing their "oohs" and "aahs" never gets old.  They sat on Santa's lap at the zoo.  There were no tears this year, only smiles.  Unfortunately, we left the camera at home.  These pictures are from the cell phone.

Andy was home all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!  This was
the best treat of all.  He finished the toe kicks in the kitchen.  I
love having that project done!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Could THIS be IT?!

Ten minutes.  A tripod.  A timer.  Good light.  A handful of m&m's ("smile medicine").

This just might be the Christmas card photo!

Or this one.

I know, the vignetting is a little strong.  I might tweak that.

Which do you prefer, color or black and white?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

girl clothes

Girls are sure fun to dress.

And the internet makes it even more fun!

Check this out!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yesterday. Today.

Yesterday had a promising start.  I made the bed.  That's always good.

Can you tell which side of the bed is mine?  Four pillows.  Four!  And I need them all!
The bed was promptly unmade by two little monkeys.

This is why we bought an elliptical.

Good exercise.

While cleaning the girls' room, I collected most of Ruby's shoes for a quick picture.

I will be a little sad when Ruby outgrows this batch of shoes.

It was cold, so we stayed inside and made art projects. 

Alli and Ruby glued googly eyes, pom poms and felt scraps to the sides of a broken set of earmuffs that I was about to throw away.  Monsters!  (Why didn't I think of that!?)

We may turn these monstrous beauties into Christmas ornaments.

Last night we had breakfast-for-dinner: whole wheat blueberry pancakes, sausages, and omelets.  I let the girls pour syrup by themselves... from a teeny-tiny pitcher.  Baths were necessary afterward.

Both girls were asleep by 8:30pm.

This morning started promising as well.  Andy wore his suit and wool coat.  Andy looks smashing in his suit and wool coat... especially with a crisp pink shirt and his stripy winter hat.  I might take him to court sometime just to see him dressed up.
(Sorry, no picture.)

Today I had big hair.  I had to put it in a ponytail.  Ruby had static problems with her hair all day.

Alli went to preschool.  Ruby had music class today with Mr. Singer.  After school we had a play date complete with warm brownies!  Alli and Ruby were sad to go home.

Tonight we had cereal for dinner...Kris Tina's recipe.  No complaints.  I also served smoothies made with fresh fruit and carrots.  Ruby called them "smoozies" and Alli corrected her, "SMOOVIES!"  I will make smoothies more often just to hear them say cute things like that.

The girls got a package from Grandma Utah!  They were delighted with the Thanksgiving surprise!  Of course they ran straight to the big mirror wall in the kitchen to check themselves out.

Grandma made these awesome turkey hats!

Yes, Ruby is naked above.  She did get a little more modest... panties at least.  Then she started to sweep the floor.  I bet you wish your cleaning lady was this cute... and festive.

Thank you Grandma!

Alli and Ruby got into a little tiff over who is Daddy's sweetheart.  (Ruby likes to claim that she is Daddy's one and only sweetheart.  Alli tells her that Daddy has three sweethearts.)  Ruby busted Alli's balloon.  Things turned dramatic.  Alli burst into tears and said the balloon was "her best friend ever!"  She wanted to bury the balloon pieces somewhere special.  I was unmoved, and took a picture of her in the throes of her tantrum.

Sad stuff.

Story time was great... except that Ruby kept turning off the light.  Alli and Ruby were asleep by 9pm.

Here is the belly today.  Sloppy ponytail too.

Am I really that big?  Bad angle?  Bulky sweater?  Sheesh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

'tis the season

Our whole family got flu shots.  The girls got them last month.  Andy and I got them Saturday.  No fun, but necessary. 

Yesterday Ruby got sick.  Luckily she threw up on the floor in the kitchen (easier to clean up than on the couch or rug).  She was only sick for a few hours (one barf)!  I don't know for sure, but maybe the flu shot helped.

In related news, Alli and Ruby were playing pretend with some dolls.  The dolls were being naughty and Ruby was going to put them on time out.  Alli said, "No, let's give them flu shots instead!"  I had to smile.  Alli took the shot as if it were torture!  She needed to be held down.  Two nurses and I had to make the shot happen.  She hollered and cried until the poke came, then she was absolutely silent, until the needle came out.  Much worse than time out!

Not really a punishment though.

PS- I updated my other blog!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful... well, it's coming anyhow

Despite the falling temperatures, Alli and Ruby have had a busy week. 

They spent some time as puppies.

Alli created their costumes with panties and socks (clean ones, of course).  They had strips of fabric for tails too.  Pretty creative.

We bundled up and went to the park.  The tire swing was finally fixed, so Alli and Ruby put it to good use.  Alli likes to push Ruby.  I like that too.

Other fun things this week:

We dressed up as carolers (we put on our winter accessories like mittens and scarves and stuff) and practiced our Christmas carols (Alli's idea).  We need to brush up on those.  The fish really liked the serenade.  So did "Emilia" and "Jonathan" (the wooden pilgrim decorations).  Emilia and Jonathan even joined in for an extra song (according to Alli).

On Friday, Ruby and I went to Alli's preschool to make a craft with the class.  We made magnetic fishing poles and felt fish.  The kids glued on eyes, jewels, fins, etc.  Ruby loves to visit preschool... leaving always requires me carrying her out while she tries to kick her shoes off so I have to turn around and go back.

Two birthday parties!  (Need I say more!?)

We taped a long piece of paper to the mirror wall in the kitchen and drew a mural on it.

We made cookies... twice.  I think I ate most of them... for the baby.

Flu shots for me and Andy!  Alli and Ruby were delighted that they didn't need them (they got them last month).  I guess flu shots are most fun when you don't have to get poked.  They got stickers anyhow... those tricky little cuties!

We decorated some Christmas ornaments.  Ruby ended up with glitter glue in her hair.  Festive.

I think the cold weather has me in panic-mode preparing for winter.  Chicago winter means we will be cooped up for a few months doing indoor activities... especially with baby coming!

What will you be doing this winter to stay sane?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ruby's 'do.

My friend Marjorie posted some pictures from a babysitting "party" at her house.  While watching six kids, she was somehow able to do Ruby's hair!  Amazing woman!
Check out her braiding talents here!

Just for comparison, Ruby's hair usually looks like this...

And it sometimes looks like this...

Seriously, Marjorie has talent!

independent women

I guess I should take some comfort in knowing our girls could take care of themselves somewhat if they were ever stranded home alone (not likely to happen). 

Last week I got to sleep in a little bit.  When I came downstairs, Alli and Ruby had helped themselves to cereal and milk.  Big bowls.  (There are always consequences for sleeping in.  *Sigh.*)

I mix marshmallow junk cereal 50/50 with Kashi or Cheerios.  That adds nutrition... and stretches out the marshmallows. 

To make up for the scarce marshmallows, Alli and Ruby had heaping bowls of cereal... and by the time I found them, the marshmallows were all gone.  All that was left was a heap of mushy, nutritious, whole-grain cereal goo.

Ruby has turned extremely independent lately.  She wants to do everything all by herself.  Sometimes this is completely adorable (when she pulls her own pants up or buckles her own shoes).  Other times (when she wants to pour her own milk from the jug) it is not so cute.  Last week  Ruby got herself up on the counter and helped herself to an unknown amount of raisins in the cupboard.  The snack wasn't a big problem... the resulting diaper was though.

I keep some art supplies way up high to prevent mishaps like this and this.  A few days ago, Alli brought me an art project she had done with some restricted materials.  The art was great, but I was surprised at the supplies she used.  Upon questioning, she revealed that she got the markers, etc. down by herself with the aid of a tall stool.  Yikes.

Our girls are growing up.  And I love their independent spirits.  But it sure is sweet when they want me to sing them a song or kiss a boo-boo. 

Why did we not take more pictures this weekend?!

My sister Janis came to visit this weekend.  She had some artwork in a big show here in Chicago.  I had fun hanging out with her at the opening for the show.  (That was an evening of fine art and great people-watching!)  The people who work at Janis' gallery are so nice.  The other artists were fun to talk to. 

Janis cleaned our house... even the fish tank!  Sisters are awesome.

My parents came too.  They brought all kinds of treats and stuff for Alli and Ruby.  The girls were thrilled to have some grandma and grandpa time. 

The weekend flew by.  When I downloaded our camera card this morning I realized that I didn't get any pictures!  Oops.  Grandma and Grandpa took pictures.  Check their website if you want to see what happened.

My dad snapped a few family photos of us.

I bet you can't wait to see our Christmas card photo!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

the belly at 31+ weeks

Here is the belly.  (Alli took this picture.)

Is it really November?!

On this beautiful morning, the girls woke up bright and early.  We had oatmeal for breakfast... with chunks of apple, raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar.  Fall food.  Yum.
We walked to school accompanied by our camera.  (Some days are so beautiful it's almost a crime NOT to take a few pictures.)  Ruby and Alli shuffled through the leaves, crunching along.

Ruby was reluctant to leave preschool.  She lays herself out flat every time we drop Alli off.  She can't wait to be a big girl and stay at school.

I took Ruby to music class today.  She couldn't stop talking about music class... until we got there and she turned shy.
Ruby and I had lunch with Andy today.  She loves to see her daddy, and she wanted to go to work with him after our lunch date.  Not today.  We went downtown to pick up a new lens for our camera!  (The rest of the photos used the new lens.)

After school we walked past this lovely mural.  Alli and Ruby weren't really cooperating, but I snapped a picture anyhow.

Next time I will come to this spot when the girls are wearing clean clothes, without toys in hand, and without crusty faces.  I will bring candy so they will smile on demand.  I will take some amazing photos.  Stay tuned.

The leaves are brilliant right now.

I just can't get enough of this color palette.

So many beautiful leaves... and berries.

Alli and Ruby buried their legs in the colorful foliage.

We couldn't pass up the playground on a day like this.  Ruby took a "fuzzy" that she picked from the park garden... the sunlight caught it and lit it up.  Magic.

The weather is glorious!  I would like to think that winter couldn't possibly be near.  It is hard to believe it is November already... so I guess winter isn't far off.

PS- Congratulations to Andy's sister Betsy (and Jory and Lucas)!  We have a new niece, Lily Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ice Cream American Dream

Did you know that Ben and Jerry's was giving out free ice cream today from 5-8pm in celebration of election day? 

It is 8:30pm, and I just found out about this.

I voted today. 

The news warned of long lines.  Be prepared to wait HOURS!

No problem.  I did not have to wait at all.  The toughest part was communicating the spelling of my last name to the toothless volunteer.  N-I-C...  and she looks up M-A-C.  It took a few tries to get it right, but we found my name and I was handed the most gigantic ballot ever!  HUGE! 

Big ballot.  Tiny booth.  Dim lights.  Small print.  Drawing straight lines.

Seriously though, I am thankful to live in a country where my vote counts. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lots o' Halloween FUN!

Halloween was loads of fun all day long!  Here's a rundown of our day...

I dropped Alli the adorable pirate off at school and ran (well, drove in the car impatiently) to the store for a few last-minute necessities.  I tried to get Ruby's pumpkin costume on her, and she decided that she wanted to be a princess.  Sometimes there is no point arguing with her... especially when we have enough princess gear to outfit the whole neighborhood!  So Ruby was a last-minute princess... complete with sunglasses.  Of course.
The Princess and I (a witch) were back at the preschool by 10:30 for the Halloween party.  I was in charge of the craft.  We made glove puppets with five little pumpkins on the fingers to go with the Halloween rhyme.  Very fun.
Ruby loves hanging out at Alli's preschool.  She played with some of her other pre-preschool friends who were there.

After school, we walked to the King's house for lunch and a play-date.  We saw a cute hotdog on the way. 
I ran back to the school for a quick parent-teacher conference.  Alli is brilliant and nice... and, did I mention, the cutest pirate ever!

I had my 30-week prenatal check-up after that.  (Can you believe I am in the third trimester already!?)  The office where I see the midwives was flooded, so that was an adventure.  My file was flooded... it was somewhere drying out.  Alli and Ruby were with me.  The nurses loved the little pirate and princess (still wearing her sunglasses).  Alli was thrilled to hear the baby's heartbeat... I wish I had my camera to take a picture of her ear-to-ear smile (but that might be weird to take a camera to a OB/GYN appointment).

We rushed home from the appointment ("rushed" in Friday, downtown, post-work traffic) to get ready for a BBQ and trick-or-treating.  We invited a bunch of friends and friends-of-friends to come over for a quick dinner (this was a first American Halloween for some of our friends!).  We made mummy hotdogs (aka- pigs in a blanket) and hamburgers.  I had too much going on to prepare for the party and I blackened the first batch of burgers.  Andy was supposed to be home, but couldn't escape the office as planned.  Ruby spilled a little water on her princess dress moments before our friends came.  She was in tights only when they arrived.  Things were a little hairy at home for a moment or two. 

Our wonderful friends showed up and helped with the last preparations for the BBQ.  Someone took over the grill (and did a great job on the second batch of burgers).  It all came together.  Andy took over as grill-master when he got home.  We all ate and had fun.

Luckily the pumpkin costume was ready to go!  Ruby was a pumpkin after all.

The weather was gorgeous for trick-or-treating.  I wore short sleeves... and cat ears thanks to Ruby.  The parents herded the kids (lots of them!) down the block, door-to-door, constantly reminding them to say "thank you."  The kids were delighted with all the goodies they collected.  I was delighted with the Heath Bar Alli got. 

The evening wound down.  Alli went to bed easily.  Ruby was on a sugar buzz and didn't go to sleep until nearly 10pm.  Fun.

More from Marjorie here.
More from Missy here... if you are in on that blog.  :)