Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick-or-Treat III - The Real Deal

As has become tradition, we went over to Shrike's parents' house this evening, had pizza for dinner, and then went out trick or treating in their neighborhood.

It was probably about 40 degrees out, so we layered Peeper up as best as we could (tights, sweats, long john shirt, turtle neck, witch dress), given that she wasn't going to let us put a coat on her, and hit the road.

She wanted to be carried between houses, but went up to the doors with her cousin, S, who reported that she said "Trick or treat" and "thank you," to the people.

That lasted for about four houses, then she declared that she wanted to go back to Eena and Papa's house. We explained that her other option was to keep going and get more candy, but nope, she was done.

Which was fine. It's not a forced march, and it's not like there wasn't plenty of candy back at the house. (Much of which mysteriously found its way into her trick or treat bag, thank you, Papa!)

So, back we went, where she changed back into her comfy clothes, and we had a nice visit with Shrike's grandparents, dad and nephew, who were handing out candy, until her mom, sister and niece came in (freezing) an hour or so later.

Peeper with her cousin, Satan.

And her other cousin, Candy Dude. (Notice Glinda in the background.)

Fake trick-or-treating for the camera. 

Heading up to a house with S. 

Back at the house - S and Aunt Shrike.

Peeper adores S. 

And the feeling seems to be mutual. 

Peeper's Bear Party

Since at least as far back as July, Peeper's been saying that she wanted to be "The Wicky Witch" for Halloween, and have a "bear party" for her birthday, and today, she made both those dreams come true. 

This morning was her birthday party, which was technically a MOMS Club playgroup, but with cupcakes and singing.

Here's the whole table, all ready for the party to start. Wait, the party had actually already started before I had it all ready!

Bear cupcakes, courtesy of one of our MOMS Club friends, who has a cupcake business.

This is Peeper's special cupcake, on her birthday plate. You can't really make it out in this photo, but it says "Happy Bear-thday!"

These chocolate bear "pops" were sort of the inspiration for the whole thing. Someone donated them for the spaghetti dinner bake sale, back in May, and when we had a bunch leftover, T and I started brainstorming about how we could use them. Thus was born the idea of the Teddy Bear Picnic, which I'm pretty sure gave Peeper the idea of a bear party. The picnic turned out to just be a play date lunch and we only ate a few of the bear pops, so T offered them to me for the party. We gave them out as favors, and still have a handful left!

That mug, with our family photo on it, was one of the "big reveal" gifts from my MOMS Club "Secret Sister" last spring. She got the picture from M, the photographer. How sweet is that?

The yellow and orange peppers that you see here were actually the pepp-o-lanterns from Friday night, with the dip scraped back into the packages, and then washed off. The dip is what was leftover. Is that wrong?

These cookies, icing and sprinkles were also leftover from Friday, and Peeper and I decorated them yesterday. The orange icing is what I made on Friday, and the purple was from a can of white icing that someone else had donated Friday, but Shrike brought home. She told me later that T had handed it to her and told her to throw it away, but she knew that I'd kill her if I ever found out she'd thrown away an almost-full can of icing, so she brought it home. Peeper and I colored it purple, and she was just as impressed with that as she was with the orange the other day.

Gummi Bears, of course. Somehow, I managed not to get a photo of any of the four flavors of Teddy Grahams that I served. There was also some cheese, and at the last minute, I added Goldfish, because Peeper wanted some. Of course.

I swear, we could skip all the gifts and just sing to her a hundred times, and she'd be just as happy.

Here she is with her special cupcake, right after the singing.

Peeper's plate, with her cupcake and ice cream cup. (I stole that idea from BabyBro and His Genius Wife. They served ice cream cups at the twins' birthday party and it was so much easier than scooping and serving for everyone.)

What you can't see here is that when I opened Peeper's ice cream, it had a smiley face on it. Actually, if you look closely at the inside of the lid, at the top of the photo, you can almost see it there. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Well, not too, too, lazy, I guess, in that we did do some last minute cleaning for Peeper's "Bear Party" tomorrow morning. (But not panic cleaning, it actually wasn't too bad, believe it or not.)

We started with some leftover mac and cheese for lunch. Peeper requested "a hotdog with dips" so I decided to liven it up a bit.

This was supposed to be a spider. Yeah, not so much. More of a crab, maybe?

That "cocktail fork" came with our corndog nuggets the other night, and she had the best time stabbing them with it, so we decided to hang onto it. I might buy some real ones, just for the fun factor. 

Evidently, she got a hollow leg for her birthday. I swear, she's eaten more in the past four days than she has in the past three years!

Of course, for her, that still means that she left a couple of bites behind for the doggies.

And, of course, we went outside to play in the snow a couple of times. We figured we couldn't say no, since it's not likely to last much longer, and it may be a while (I hope) before we get any more.

She had a great time swinging, until we made her stop because she was about to fall asleep, at five o'clock!

I think I understand why she keeps referring to her panda hat and gloves as a "costume."

I even cooked real (not from a box!) food for dinner. I've got a whole post coming up on that!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snowtober (Octsnowber?)

As predicted, we got a significant snowfall today. Our four-or-so inches (according to the tops of the cars) was considerably less than the eight to twelve they were calling for last night, but I'm seeing photos on Facebook of as much as nine inches not far from us.

We were lucky enough to keep our power on through it all, although I'm also hearing reports of lots of outages around the area from trees down on power lines.

Since the temperature is right around freezing, this is a very wet, heavy snow, and most of the trees still have their leaves on them, which greatly increases the amount of snow-catching surface area. All that adds up to a lot more weight on the trees than in your typical winter storm, and a lot more downed limbs.

We lots a few branches - including a couple of big ones - on one of our lilac trees, but its low and has nothing under it, so that will just be an inconvenience to clean up, no harm done.

When we saw that, though, I did go out and move my car from underneath the big tree in the front yard, just in case!

Despite the forecasts, we really didn't believe it was going to happen until we saw it coming down this morning, so we hadn't told Peeper anything about it ahead of time.

I was so torn this morning, when she whispered to Shrike, "I want to get up. Wet's wet Mama sweep." because I really wanted to stay in bed, but I also really wanted to see her reaction. I figured Shrike could tell me about her reaction.

Of course, she's loving it. She's been outside to play in it four times, I think. I managed to avoid two of those trips, once because I was still in bed, and once because I was cooking lunch. Thank you, Shrike, for taking the cold, wet duty!

Four inches on the cars.

This just does not seem right.

This is the lilac tree with the downed limbs. Some of the ones that are touching the ground are just weighted down and should spring back up when the snow is off of them, but a couple are broken off.

She had a great time in the snow.

Giving her "snowman" (such as he is) a kiss.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween, Part 2

(Update 10/30, 1:30 am: More photos added. Thanks, T - I stole them from your Facebook album.)

Tonight was the big MOMS Club family Halloween party. Somehow, I managed to get myself signed up to take both cookies and a veggie tray (or two), so this afternoon, Peeper and I baked and decorated some cookies, and left some "blank" to take with us.

You know, the first time she helped me decorate cookies was for this same event last year. I was looking at a bunch of old posts last night, and it is just amazing what a completely different experience it is now. Of course, the most striking thing is that she can now hold a whole complex conversation about the cookies, but also, I didn't end up having to vacuum and mop the entire kitchen after we were finished!

After we made the cookies, I did my veggie trays, both of which were based on things that I've seen on Pinterest. This is actually why I signed up for veggies in the first place.

The inspiration

My version

When I finished making this, Peeper told me, "Nicwy done, Mama!"

Another inspiration

and another

And mine

I considered trying this one, too, but decided that I wasn't quite up to it.

My veggies seemed to be a big hit, in that they were almost completely gone by the end of the evening. Of course, that means that all my hard work got messed up pretty quickly, but I guess I had to expect that, huh?

Of course, we all dressed for the occasion, and when T posts or sends the photo that she took of the three of us, I'll steal it and add it in here, but in the meantime, here are a couple of the littlest Wicky Witch at our house.

Yes, that is a knife in her hand. She's icing a cookie. And licking the icing off the knife. We tossed that one when she was finished.

And licking the icing off the cookie. I think we ended up tossing the cookie itself, too.

Of course, you can't have a Wicky Witch without some flying monkeys. 

And, finally, one of the whole coven family.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Part 2 3

Part two of Peeper's birthday celebration happened last night, when she went to hang out with Eena and Papa for a few hours, while Mama and Mommy went out to dinner and ran some errands.

We thought she was just going over for a typical visit, but evidently they had quite a little party - she came home with balloons, and new clothes, and tales of ice cream and candles!

We also hear rumors of a stuffed horse, big enough to sit on, that lives at their house now. I can't wait to check that out when we're over there for trick-or-treating on Monday!

Today, we had our own little family celebration, just for the three of us.

Shrike is on an early day shift this week, so we were able to actually go out to dinner, rather than grabbing a quick lunch before she has to go in, which was nice.

First we went to Red Robin, where there was singing and ice cream, and she ate about half a (big!) bowl of macaroni and cheese, with is a lot of food for her. I guess three year olds need to eat more.

When we got home, she opened her gifts from Mommy and Mama. It really wasn't as much as it kind of looks like here, or at least not as much money as you might think. There were several things that we'd bought quite a while back, including lots of Halloween things that we got on clearance last November. Also some dollar aisle things and a couple of necessities.

But she doesn't know any of that . She just saw a big pile of gifts, with cool stuff inside.

These duckies were clearance items. The Nutcracker book was a buck, and will better prepare her for the Candlelight Nutcracker performance which is in a couple of weeks. (It's ridiculously early this year.)

As luck would have it, I saw this hat and mitten set the other night while she was napping in the cart, so I was able to try it on and buy it without her knowing. I'm not sure she realizes that it's supposed to actually keep her warm this winter; I heard her referring to it as a "costume."

"Scientist" set for a buck! Microscope, flasks, bottles, droppers, magnifying glass, "smart" glasses, forceps, scissors (all non-working and very fakey, of course) - all for a buck! She doesn't quite "get" the microscope, though. She keeps using it to pour things.

Monkey panties!

Other gifts that I didn't get photos of include a Halloween (clearance) Mr. Potato Head, The Very Hugry Caterpillar matching game, and a bag of Halloweeny cheapo things.