Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Birthday Party

The party was Saturday night. The cooking-themed activities were in honor of Little S's obsession with mixing any substance she can get her hands on in the kitchen (I often find her in there with various vessels full of "soups" - bowls filled with milk, juices, dressing, condiments, curry sauce, shredded cheese, spices from the spice rack, etc.)

The kids each got to decorate a chef's hat, wear oilcloth aprons, and make bagel faces and their own pizzas (I also had sugar cookies to decorate, but we didn't have time). We played food games: 1. a tricycle-marshmallow relay where each kid rode a tricycle while carrying a measuring cup full of marshmallows to his team's cup-o-mallows, dumped the mallows in, and rode the trike back to the next kid on his team; 2. pumpkin bowling with real bowling pins; 3. tortilla toss - D drew a funny big-mouthed face on poster board and the kids tossed tortillas into the mouth frisbee-style. Then there was the usual running around the yard like a little gang of hooligans with Little S often acting as the ring-leader. We had lasagna, salad and breadsticks for the adults. A friend recommended the lasagna recipe on the back of the Barilla no-boil lasagna package and it is quite tasty!

Finally, the cake. We borrowed the giant cupcake cake pan from a friend - I guess there's an infomercial for this item, but you can also get it at Target/Walmart. I made the chocolate cake and vanilla butter cream frosting from scratch - total scratch on the cake, meaning no Kitchen-Aid, meaning I melted bittersweet chocolate over the stove and whisked the ingredients together in various bowls. And it was great! The bottom of the cupcake fell out of the pan in 4 large pieces, couldn't be used for the party, and D was stoked that we had to eat it (I baked 2 small rounds for the bottom, instead). When all was said and done I ended up doubling the cake recipe twice and doubling the frosting recipe twice. About two hours before the party I was wondering why I was doing all of this craziness, but once the party started and we were all having a great time, I didn't give it a second thought.

Aunt L was the first guest to arrive
Her Daddy made this giant card for her actual bday earlier in the week - yes, he drew it himself

Bagel face creations
She ran inside when she thought we were going to sing to her - so we sang without her there
One of the only shots I have with the cousins in it
Tortilla toss
When it got too cold outside, the kids broke inside. So I asked Cousin M to try a puppet show for the young ones - it lasted a few minutes until they all grabbed puppets and tried it themselves.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

4 years old

We went to Disneyland for her birthday on Tuesday. The "get in free on your birthday" gig totally worked on me - we bought season passes. Her friend Nathan and his mom Shelby came along to help us celebrate. Little S was hoping to see Tinkerbell and we sure did - Tink and Terrance have opened Pixie Hollow to guests :) But my camera was on the wrong setting there so no pics (unless I buy one from the Disney photo people). Other highlights of the visit included the Playhouse Disney stage show at California Adventure, the new Pooh ride and the Carousel. There were almost no lines - we literally walked on to most rides, especially at Calif. Adventure, which made for a very pleasant day. She did NOT like seeing the "real life" characters and wouldn't get within 20 feet of them (other than Tink). The street parade at the end of the night was a lot of fun for me but she stood behind me clutching my jean pockets, trying hard not to dance to the music - but she couldn't stop herself a few times.

With only 2 adults to push strollers, we had to make a single stroller into a double.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween 2009

Little S was Madeline - presently her FAVORITE character. We read one of the books at least once a day and she runs around the house quoting lines from the movie (the one she earned her $5 for a few weeks ago). I bought the costume online and we were very happy with it!

Baby J was the peacock that Little S was 3 years ago. I even kept the tights and socks D and I dyed orange one late night when Little S was not even 1. The costume is great, but it is tricky carrying around a peacock with all its feathers. D bought me this wig for Halloween. I've never had hair that long - neither has D.

We had friends and family over to our house to enjoy the evening. Cousin Samantha and her parents were there, D's cousin and her husband came as well. We also had friends from church over to help pass out candy.

The main street at the end of our block with grand Victorian homes lining it is blocked off by the city because there are so many trick-or-treaters. I overheard one of the homeowners saying he gets 3000 kids at his door and this year he spent $650 on candy! We estimated that we got about 1200 kids at our door.

These two came dressed as first-time-homebuyers, because they are!

You must guard your cookies from those cookie-stealing peacocks on Halloween.

Nana and the girls at the church trunk-or-treat the night before Halloween.

Ron Weasley and Madeline at the school costume parade.

Harry Potter, the mailman, and Madeline taking a break from trick-or-treating.