Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Round-Up

Last week, we had a big Halloween party for all the youngsters in our church primary organization.  It's the second year in a row I've spearheaded this shindig, so you'd think it would be a piece of cake this time around -- except that we combined our primary with another ward's primary and now it's approximately a million times bigger.

But that meant that, for the kids, it was a million times more fun!  And fortunately, I had tons of people sign up to help, so it really wasn't that bad.  Still, I'm glad it's over.

The activities we had were:

Pumpkin bowling
Ring Toss
Balloon Ball Pit (We filled up a small room with balloons and hid the treat bucket amongst them, so that kids had to crawl and wade through the balloons to get to the treats.)
A Candy Walk (Like a cake walk, but with candy)
Musical Chairs
Beanbag Toss
Pin the nose on the Pumpkin
A Spiderweb Room (idea taken from the blog of one of my many genius cousins)
Making glow-in-the-dark bracelets for Halloween
A chutes-and-ladders style game where the kids were the "pieces"
Fishing for Treats
A coloring table
A cardboard box maze

The kids seemed to have fun.  We kept Dot up about an hour and a half past her bedtime by the time it was all cleaned up, but she was still so wired we could hear her talking in her crib for another half hour after we put her down.  And we only gave her two tiny pieces of candy!

She's gotten pretty persnickety about when she'll cooperate with picture taking.  I kept not pushing the issue, thinking I'd have another chance to take a good picture of her, and then lo and behold it's November 1st and I have NO PICTURES of her wearing both pieces of her costume and looking at the camera at the same time.

So this one (from Walmart's produce aisle!  CLASSY) will have to do.  Maybe I'll get up the energy sometime this week to put her in it again and get some nice pictures outside.  

The costume is a repeat from last year and it's STILL kind of big.  So I think I have a couple more years still in that thing!   Hurray!  Given how long it took me to make, it had BETTER last.

Next year I may dig out the pattern and get around to actually make the matching hat it's supposed to have.  Instead, this year I took a cardboard ring (that had originally been used in the packaging for a new set of pots and pans I got for Christmas) and used fabric glue and masking tape to attach a scrap of fabric around it.   The ring is too small to stay on her head, so I cut a buttonhole in the top and then pulled her ponytail through it and secured it with a flower clip.  (Halloween, the mother of invention.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The difference a year makes

Here is Dorothy enjoying an easy fall walk to look at the leaves last year.

And here she is enjoying a leaf-peeping walk this year.

Yikes!  It's a good thing I'm already pregnant, or looking at those two pictures would make me sooo baby hungry.  I remember how we thought it was so amazing last year that she would pull herself up to sit forward in the stroller so she could see better.  And now this year she's asking to hop out and push the stroller herself.

Now that the weather's finally cleared up, we've had some good leaf days.  Every year I'm amazed at just how beautiful it gets.  It's even better this year, since I have a really great excuse to pick up every cool leaf I see and talk about the colors.

This morning Dot grabbed an empty oatmeal container (She calls it a "basketball" and likes to throw it around) and we filled it with leaves and then dumped it over her head again and again.  Such good times.

And now some obligatory leaf pics from this year!  There are about a million people on the internet taking better fall foliage pictures than me, but I enjoy it all the same.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It's been raining all week -- and when it hasn't been raining, it's been cloudy and misty and threatening to rain.  And that's the forecast for several more days, too.

I keep putting fun fall things like apple picking and hiking and leaf-picture-taking on a to-do list and then having to put it off for sometime when we won't end up covered in mud.  Hopefully next week will be better. Because the last week has looked almost exclusively like this:

I'm SO GLAD we got Dot some rain boots.  (A rain coat is on the to-buy list, but fleece sweaters do the job pretty well, anyway.)   We still get outside basically every day, rain or shine, but we're still going a little stir-crazy.  This little girl is never quite happy unless she can spend HOURS outside, and I don't have THAT much patience for standing in the rain.

She sure does, though.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Here are some tidbits from my "cute things Dot does" file that I thought the Internet might enjoy.


One night we had pot roast with the usual veggies (potatoes, onions, carrots) for dinner.  We tried to get her to try the carrots and potatoes and encouraged her by saying, "They're soft!" (As in, they would be easy to chew.)  So she gently stroked the potatoes on her plate like she was stroking a puppy and said, "Soft, soft."  

And no, she still didn't eat them.


Yesterday, we spent some time in the afternoon playing with the spices I keep on a low shelf in our pantry.  We took turns uncapping them and smelling them and exclaiming, "Mmm, smells good!"  Later that day, I was working on some stuff on the computer while she played next to me with Ben.  She let out a prodigious amount of gas, and Ben and I commented to each other about how strong the smell was.   When she heard the word "smell" she perked up, and then leaned over to sniff my computer keyboard.  (I guess she thought that's what we were talking about.)  "Mmm, smells good!" she shouted.


One time when we crossed the river, she said, "I see the water!  Whoah."  And it was so cute and unexpected that we made a big deal out of it, so of course now she says that every time we cross over the bridge.


Dot's language abilities have been taking off like bonkers, and it is a lot of fun to hear how things develop.  She's finally figured out "Gramma" instead of  "Gaga", but even though I know she can say "water" she still prefers "wawa".   At night she says "I you" instead of "I love you" because L and V are still pretty hard for her, and I'm going to be really, really sad when she stops saying "Bee-zah-bo" for both gazebo and zebra.  It is too stinking cute.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hey, Dot!

Last night, Dot and I were playing outside after dinner.  I sat down on a bench and watched her as she played with various rocks, leaves and sticks.  She picked up a rock that was vaguely rectangular and said, "Take a picture," while holding it up to her face.  Then she said, "Hey, Dot!  Hey, Dot!  Hey, Dot!"  getting louder each time.

I guess I must spend a lot of time holding up a camera or iPod and trying to get her attention.  Let's look in the last batch of photos I uploaded and see if there's any evidence of that.

"Hey, Dot!"

"Hey, Dot!"

"Hey, Dot!"

"Hey, Dot!"

"Hey, Dot!"

THERE we go.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Summer

Well, I've had to put a sweatshirt on for our morning walk  for a week, now, and Ben's sneaking out of the house at 5:30 in the morning again to teach his seminary class.  The leaves are already starting to turn and I'm feeling the urge to bake again.  I guess our summer must be over.  I'll miss it, but fortunately early fall is delightful around here, too.

I feel bad for not blogging all summer.  There were at least a dozen times when I composed a little blog post in my head, but never got around to actually writing it.  A lot of this is due to the fact that it is just SO HARD to get pictures from my picture-taking-devices to the computer.  (I mean, I have to FIND A CORD in order to do so.  What century is this?!??)  (Also, I designate a new drawer the official drawer-to-hold-cords every couple of months, and then forget to put the cords back into the drawer until they're all scattered around and I have to designate a new one.)

Anyway, here are some thing I enjoyed about our summer:

  • Summertime playgroup with friends.  Dot started out fairly hesitant and would just hang out by my knees while I talked with the other mothers, but figured out halfway through the summer that playgrounds are actually fun!  Now she asks me pathetically almost every morning, "Friends?"  (If the answer to that is no, she presses her case and asks, "NEW friends?")  I'm going to have to get busy scheduling playdates so that this poor child can actually have some social interaction now that summer is over and most of the playgroup families have kids in school and so regular playgroup is no more.
  • Going to Virginia to see my parents!  We stayed for two whole weeks and got to play tourist in D.C. and enjoy watching my parents be grandparents.  We also got to hang out with my youngest brother Roland, just freshly back from a mission in Texas.  Sadly, we missed the big family reunion in Utah, but it just wasn't in the cards this year.  Hopefully next year.
  •  Lots and lots of delightful sleep.  Dot finally figured out that sleeping in until 6:30 or 7:00 is way, way better than waking up at 5:00, and results in a much happier mama.
  • Having the cutest child just keep getting cuter.  I thought for sure when she was just about a year that there was no way that this child could get cuter -- and I was so wrong!  She kept getting cuter all summer long, and there's no end in sight.  She sings and talks and asks questions and plays and is just a barrel of fun.  I'm starting to keep a file titled "cute things Dot does" that will turn into a blog post one of these days.  (Really!)
  • Being pregnant!  (OK, for certain values of "enjoyed.")  The first trimester was not great, but Dot was a total trooper about playing on the floor next to me while I groaned and whined, and now I'm into the second trimester and loving life.  Except for the part where none of my clothes fit and I'm convinced I just look waistless instead of pregnant.  But we're very excited to add another to our family.  Baby #2 should be along in early February of 2013, and we find out whether it's a boy or a girl at the end of the month.

Hopefully by the time winter rolls around I'll have a great list like that about our fall, too.  I have all kinds of plans for fun things like apple picking and leaf-peeping, etc., but we'll see how many of them actually come to fruition.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

16 months!

Time has been flying by so fast these days. Every day is a new word or new funny expression or just a new pile of dirt to play in. It seems like in a matter of weeks our little Dorothy transitioned from being a baby to a little girl. It used to be that Ben would give Dot her bath, get her into her pajamas, and then carry her to me and I'd do the rest of the bedtime routine. Now as soon as her pajamas are more-or-less on, she's running out of her room to find me on her own. It's just so NOT-BABY of her.

She is developing quite the little personality. She loves balls, dirt, rocks and books, roughly in the order. She's very social and talks and talks all day long, enthusiastically pointing at and naming everything she can. Ball! Dot! Gaga! (Grandma) Bowl! (etc. etc.) Ben and I tried to list all the words she knows before her doctor's appointment last month and we decided to call it quits after we hit 60. She can count "Two, three!" ("one" eludes her) and once handed me two sticks on the playground and told me, "Two tick." (I think that might have been just a fluke, but I'm still totally claiming it as evidence that she's a mathematical genius.)

I'll counter my bragging with a little reality here: She also can express her will VIGOROUSLY with lots of "no no no" and the occasional full-blown tantrum. It's fairly easy to calm her down, but she winds up fast and hard. And she has bitten me a few times, when she's gotten really mad. I really hope she won't try that on anyone else. Sometimes she just gets so overwhelmed with all the emotions she's feeling. We're trying to teach her to bite instead on a blanket or a teething toy, and that seems to be working. We hope! I do not want the other kids coming out of nursery with Dot's bite marks!

We are very excited for nursery. Dot sits through sacrament meeting pretty well, but by the end of that hour she is DONEZO. Ben got to attend like six minutes of the last two hours of church this week.

Another thing we've been working on is getting her to eat more. She's getting fairly picky. She'll let me put almost anything in her mouth, but then spits it out right away. We keep trying, though. I read that it takes eight times for kids to be willing to try a new thing -- we're at try number thirty or so with broccoli, but it'll happen EVENTUALLY, right? In the meantime, she eats lots of oatmeal, bananas, crackers, strawberries, sweet potatoes and yogurt.

And now, some pictures! Isn't she just the cutest thing?

The sad face. I can't help but find this just as cute as her happy face.

The happy face! She gets all red like I do when she's hot -- but she's just flushed, not sunburned. We went to Niska-Day and got some free sparkly streamers from ShopRite that made her oh-so-happy.

Playing on the piano after a bath.

We tried to take some Mother's Day pictures, but it was a little too sunny out.

She had fun anyway.