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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Every Halloween, for the last five years or so, we’ve spent the afternoon trick-or-treating on Main Street where the merchants pass out candy throughout the afternoon or until they run out of it. Middlest (3) calls this “daytime Halloween.”

We started the two block walk to Main Street with quite a few more costume pieces than we had on by the time we got there.

One of my favorite moments of the day was eavesdropping on a conversation between a young teenage girl and her father in which she was explaining to him what my girls were dressed as. “Well, the little one is Strawberry Shortcake and the middle one is Crumbs from Lalaloopsy Land and the other one is a Barbie Princess.” Impressed.

This Barbie Princess kept needing me to remind her what her name was. (It was Kiera, according to the packaging.)

These two discovered that plastic jack o’ lanterns are for bonking into other plastic jack o’ lanterns.

Still no candy in there.

Here is where the boots came off (that’s the driveway next to ours).

Oldest (5) loves to ride the carriage still.

Halfway down one side of the street, we met up with Daddy who walked with us the rest of the way for our “daytime” Halloween.

Then it was time to head home for a little rest and baking before nighttime Halloween fun began.

This morning I overheard Middlest say, “I’m going to pretend it’s Halloween, that it’s always Halloween and never a Monday or a Sunday.”

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This Halloween is a little scattered for us so far. I usually like to make our girls’ costumes for Halloween, not because I try to do everything, but because I can usually enjoy doing it. This year was not going to be one of those years. With the upcoming move and downsizing and sorting and general life chaos, this was not the year to be pulling out the sewing machine and taking 12 trips to the fabric and craft stores. Sooooooo, off to Toys R Us it was.

Oldest (5) had said she wanted to be a cat again this year, but once we got to the store she saw this dress Barbie Princess gown and…Fell. In. Love.

And when we got home and she saw that her younger sisters’ costumes had come with wigs, I saw that longing look in her eye and knew I had just the thing to top it off.

I’ve had this wig for ages, well, at least a decade. It was quite tangled and even matted in some places, so we took out some fabric softener and soaked it for a little while and then brushed it like crazy.

It only took a few minutes for it to dry after we finished brushing.

And then she was ready for photos.

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We’ve been sick now for almost two weeks. Its been rough at times, but we’ve found plenty to keep us busy. On the toughest days when we’ve been stuck mostly on the couch and in bed that has included quite a bit of Dora, Diego and Bob the Builder. I’m trying to be okay with that.

We’ve also played dress up. Here is our 4yo in one of daddy’s old beanies, bunny ears, finger-less gloves, with a tutu (off camera) and a flower tail (also off camera). She’s also fully accessorized, as you can see. I think she was combining Christmas, Easter and Halloween into one outfit.

Our 2yo has set up several picnics over the last couple weeks. She is very fastidious about it and guards her set up from her siblings even though they are invited to her party. She’s very particular about what they touch and what they “eat.” She remembers exactly where something goes if someone, say a 1yo who’s learned to tease, snatches an item without permission.

After beginning this painting, I found our 2yo sitting on the floor in the playroom with her head between her knees. I asked her what was wrong and she answered, “I can’t paint anything lovely.” I asked her if she wanted to come try again and walked with her back to the craft table where we sat down, got a fresh paper and tried a different brush. She ended up being much happier with her second, third and fourth attempts.

She wants to give these to specific people for Christmas.

This is how I kept sane with paints. I was even able to place another sheet of wax paper over the remaining paint and save it for the next time (which was later that day and then again the next day). We had a lot of fun discussing and trying out how to combine colors to create new colors.

The girls like to use the barstools for their pretend cages. Lately we’ve been on a Dirty Jobs kick in the evenings and their favorite episode has been one where Mike Rowe visits an animal sanctuary with kangaroos, camels and lemurs. There has been a lot of lemur activity and a lot of lemur questions around our place this week.

We’ve also decorated and redecorated the tree, made several batches of scones, made giant snow flakes, read many books, danced quite a lot of stories, wrapped gifts, learned how to spell new words. Of course, the list would have been longer if we weren’t so sick, but life can still be full during these down times.

We’ve taken care of each other over the last couple weeks. Yes, these girls even take care of me by bringing me water when I cough even though I’ve never asked them to do this. They pat my head when I’m laying down. They share their favorite blankets with me. They hang up their art to cheer me up. 

We’ve also had a lot of practice being kind even though we don’t feel well. Sometimes that is hard to do even for adults. But we’re learning and practicing and getting better at it.

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The Christmas tree has become a bird’s dream downtown high-rise apartment building. The beaded strands (my “tinsel”) nests are moveable, and these bird families like to move. The night we put the tree up, our 4yo asked me to move the nests from branch to branch for her and when she had trouble with the little wire bird feet, I was asked to move those too. Eventually, rather quickly I think, I tired of that and she taught herself how to do all of these things herself.

The next day the girls got out one of their craft bins and worked determinedly at decorating the buffet drawers. It was their surprise for me. We were able to keep this up for a few days until I needed to get into the drawers and one of the strands of tiny green beads snagged and snapped.

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Happy Easter everyone!

I just wanted to give an update to our Natural Dyed Easter Eggs post.

Here is how our blueberry dyed Easter eggs turned out. I thought they looked quite black, so I took a photo of them on one of our chalk board pieces.

In case you would like to replicate these, we filled a small tupperware with canned blueberries and simply let them sit in the refrigerator for several days. No vinegar needed!

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My cousin, who teaches at a Montessori school, sent me this link last week, so we thought we would try it out.

Here are our results:

Um, yeah, natural.

I think that’s mostly because I forgot the vinegar and partially because the hibiscus tea I bought was brown and I think that there are pinkish rose colored hibiscus teas out there and that that was the kind to which the writer of the article was referring. See, no vinegar…

…completely forgot.

But, it was lots of fun! And, I totally recommend trying it out, as long as you aren’t expecting any vibrant easter-y colors.

P.S. I’m actually trying out the blueberry suggestion at the bottom. I’ll post again if that turns out well.

P.S.#2 We did it! See the blueberry dyed eggs here!

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