Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Out on the Ice

With my husband having a full week off from work between Christmas and New Years, my goal was to spend meaningful family time with the girls and to do something memorable together. While we knew it would be an undertaking introducing our 4 and near-6-year-old to ice skating, we decided to take them to their first skating rink today.

One of our biggest 'fears' was how to layer our constricting clothes-phobic girls in warm clothes without making them miserable. Thankfully they trusted us (for once!) when we explained that having extra layers would not only keep them warm and dry, but also protect their body parts if they had a fall on the hard ice. We managed to suit them up and put on their skates without a single whimper. :)

They truly had a blast! We did spend the first few rounds holding them up on their feet with all our muscle strength, but they did get the hang of it enough to hold just one hand and go around some more. The skating session was 2 hours long, and aside from the 10 minute Zamboni break, we were out on the ice the rest of the time.

Then to top off the afternoon, the girls came home to cocoa, a warm fire and a viewing of a recent favorite film, "Ice Princess" from Disney. The movie has its own website where you can learn about skating moves, view clips and hear music from the movie :

We were so proud of our little 'ice princesses', and the biggest compliment to the sport: both girls are ready to go skating again tomorrow... We can't wait for the Vancouver Olmpics in February, 43 days from now in case you're wondering!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Stay Princesses

Christmas morning at home was one to cherish, and included a genuine squeal of delight from B on her way down the stairs.

If only Hello Kitty lipgloss, Pez, and plastic "bling" would keep them happy forever.
Merry Christmas to all. Hoping you have made some lasting Christmas memories, too.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wreaths were Hung on their Doors with Care

I invited two of M&B's neighbor friends over last week, as I needed some extra help tackling the enormous cookie pile remaining from Tuesday's cookie swap. While they were here, I pulled together some supplies I had been gathering for a simple project I saw on Ramblings of a Crazy Woman:
(She was also the muse for our Halloween wreath, too.)

Pretty basic stuff, just paper plates, paint, holiday muffin cups and glue for the main part, then a hole punch, some ribbon and a shiny bell to give it a little something special. (M wanted a green ribbon and a red bell, while B wanted a green ribbon and a gold bell.)
With four kids to watch over, I didn't take any 'before' or 'during' photos, just the finished product, which they wanted to display on their bedroom doors. I told them that was a good spot, so if Santa comes to look in on them on Christmas Eve, they'll be able to hear him peeking in.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

With B's early December birthday accomplished (a future post, I hope), we can now move on to decorating for Christmas. Hubby brought in our tree on Sunday morning, and the girls couldn't wait to get started. It didn't matter that the lights weren't strung yet or that the ornament box wasn't open, they were compelled to decorate this blank canvas.

Their ornament of choice? Slices of a pink swimming noodle still left from a party game last week. The perfect circle center made for easy hanging. A hot pink Christmas tree? Maybe next year.
(Please also note the formal attire chosen to decorate: wings, crown, necklace, Cinderella poofy sleeve caps and tulle skirt. Wings, necklace and skirt are notably coordinating in pink!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bubbles and Balloons

While at the grandparents in SC, we visited a small farmer's market in Port Royal. Aside from the $2 whole watermelon and she-crab soup, we bought artisan bread and a killer herbed cheese. The girls' favorite part: a woman singing with her accoustic guitar, accompanied by a man intermittently playing steel drum and tambourine. My favoite part: watching them in their balloon swan headdresses, blowing bubbles and dancing "like no one's watching" (even though everyone was).

Another special feature of the farmer's market that really upped the charm factor was that it was surrounded by a grove of Live Oak trees draped in Spanish moss. Made for a wonderful warm, sunny fall afternoon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Other Things to do with Halloween Candy

Even though I LOVE candy myself, I am doing my best to teach the girls that you can have control over the massive loot and limit yourself to one piece a day. This, unfortunately, makes the enormous stash of candy seem to sit on the sidelines for weeks and weeks.

To use up the candy in different ways, I propose a "Taste Test". See if your kids can identify each candy by divvying them up into little bowls or a deconstructed egg carton. We conducted our own tasted test a couple months back and the girls made me re-enact the test for their friends over the days that followed.

Of course you can do this "Taste Test" with any sorts of food (this picture show a selection of salty, fruity and sweet items), but I'm sure that doing it with nibbles of snickers, sweet-tarts and skittles would be a lot more fun.

Blindfolds are optional. ;)

Another unorthodox use for Halloween candy I read about in Family Fun magazine is to conduct science experiments (which will melt fastest in water or in the microwave, etc.). I couldn't locate that exact article online, but they had some other cool ideas (like 'reverse trick-or-treating' and setting aside some leftovers to decorate a gingerbread house in December!):

And lastly, my own sweet moment of the day:

Waiting in carpool line can be a balance of wait, wait, wait then rush, rush, rush. So this morning, just to be on the safe side, I asked B for a kiss "before you run out." Her response: "I'll never run out of those kisses." I sure hope not!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween aftershock.
M woke up, climbed into our bed for 10 minutes or so, until we were ready to get moving. She began to make her plea. "Can we go downstairs now? I want to see my candy."

And B was in on the candy oggling and sorting through the smorgasbord:

"I got two "essy S's" (that's what they call the the fruity counterpart of "emmy m's"). Oh my gosh - lollipop! Emmy m's. My favorite. Every candy is my favorite. I just love candy."

And boy, does she ever. About halfway through church today, I hear a candy wrapper crinkling, followed by a sighting of one of Bailey's cheeks mysteriously bulging. Wish I had my camera then!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween, Wet but Wonderful

Halloween 2009.

A rainy day cancelled our original plans to get together with my MOMS Club friends at an outdoor town-sponsored celebration, with a pizza and potluck gathering that has been SUCH fun in the past. Instead we had an imprompru small gethering at Stevarino's, still toting our treats to share, the "Witch's Hat Cookies" (from

Then at home, we worked on paper loop wreaths (idea from Ramblings of a Crazy Woman :

And the girls' all time favorite: filling trick-or-treat bags. M told me I was too slow in tying them, and that she and her sister "were like a machine." Together they sucessfully packed 58 bags, plus we had an 'emergency bag' of Kit Kats, that DID get depleted!

At the end of their own trick-or-treating, B began taking stock: "Nerds! My favorite!"

And M made the full count: only 73 pieces this year (as opposed to over 100 last year). Again, walking the neighborhood in the rain curtailed the trick-or-treating a bit.

All's well that ends well. The girls were very pleased with the great fun we had, both Friday night at a neighbor's party:

and today with all the Halloween festivities. Rain be damned!