Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree...

So, last week we bought our first live Christmas tree! We chose a beauty, a 3 foot little thing. It was the only one we could fit easily into our car, and the price was right, $9. We were so excited to have a tree that we decided to go ahead and spend some money on decorations. We bought an $.88 box of candy canes at Walmart. Mysteriously enough, there was not a trace to be found of them by the second day, only plastic wrappers littered throughout my house. Can't figure out for the life of me where they went to... :D Needless to say, I'm NOT buying anymore candy canes for that tree.

This is a picture of Claire in her awsome fort she built, with our little tree in the background.

I'm sad to announce that after last night, we no longer have a need to decorate our little tree. I noticed yesterday that I had little bug bites on my arms and legs. I've heard before of someone getting a flea infestation in their house thanks to a live Christmas tree, and at first I thought that was my problem. Then however, I realized that there was no earthly way the fleas were biting my arms, hands, legs, and tummy all at the same time without me seeing them at all. After a few hours and a mammoth breakout of hives, I realized that I was having an allergic reaction to the tree!!! I guess it kicked into high gear once the tree started drying out and the needles were dropping everywhere. We disposed of the tree immediately, vacuumed, and emptied the bag into our outside trash. Happily enough, my rash hasn't progressed, I'm still rather itchy though. I'm hoping I wont have a repeat of last night--waking up every hour or so because of unbearable itchiness! I love real trees, I love the look and smell of them, but I think we are going to be an artificial tree family from now on. (It's definitely not worth the great smell!)
Well, it was fun the first 2 days we had it. :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fall Fun

We were playing outside with some friends when I had a brilliant idea. I made a bed of leaves right at the bottom of our slide so they could slide right into it! Yes, that is the extent of my great idea (hope you weren't expecting more). :D The kids loved it, it was fun. We buried each other and had leaf fights too.

Claire saw that I had the camera out and begged me to let her take some pictures. I, feeling exuberant and a bit reckless from our fun play, decided to turn her loose with it. The following slide show is composed entirely of pictures taken by Claire. I think she may have a photography career ahead of her...I'll have to send her up in a few years to train with Johanna. :D

Hair Cuts!!!!

****This is a break from my catch-up posts. This is something that happened this past week.*****

After seeing my friends give their little girls hair cuts, I decided it was probably time to do the same for Claire and Cady. But then when I actually looked at Claire's hair I thought, man, this hair is too pretty to just throw away! I then hit upon the idea of getting it cut professionally and then donating it to Locks of Love. Seriously, this decision was one of the best I've ever made!! The day after I had Claire's hair cut, I took Cady in to get hers done as well. Claire and Cady both had 10 inches of hair cut off. I no longer have to bribe them with TV to do their hair---all it takes is a quick 2 minute round brush session with the hair dryer to poof out their bed head hair. I'm really enjoying this new look for my little girls.

Before pictures. Claire had slept with her hair in a braid the night before.

Cady's before pictures

Cady holding her hair! (I didn't bring my camera when Claire's was being cut)

Funnily enough, this was the first time Cady has ever had her hair cut, and she fell asleep in the chair! That's the same thing her sister did during her first "real" hair cut.

After pictures!

This week I was busy sewing the girls new dresses. They helped me choose out the fabric and embellishment. It was such a fun project! I really enjoy sewing, I'm so grateful to my mom for putting me in sewing classes year after year when I was young. :) I wasn't very good back then, but it did give me the feeling that I could sew if I so desired. Well, these were by far my favorite dresses I've made. I just loved seeing them in their new dresses with their new haircuts!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bryce's Induction to Med School

Bryce is currently in med school and Mayo recently had an induction ceremony where there was a speaker and then each student walked across the stage to receive a framed Hippocratic oath. This ceremony reminded me a lot of Bryce's white coat ceremony in Dental school. I made it through 5 minutes of the program before having to leave due to the girls being too loud. Claire discovered that the chairs squeaked when she stood up and then sat down really fast and Cady had (has) yet to fully master the concept of whispering. :) I did sneak back in briefly to snap a picture of Bryce crossing the stage. It was a nice ceremony, but I was glad when it was over and the girls could be their normal chatty, noisy little selves.

Cutie Pies

This was one of those mornings when I looked at my girls and just sighed with happiness. They are so precious to me. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good picture of them both smiling at me because they were trying to finish their show on TV. (I bribe them with a show in the morning so they will sit still for me to do their hair). I know I'm a nuisance with my camera, but these moments are so worth it to me!

This is Bryce being brave one evening and sharing his laptop with the girls. He was teaching Claire how to use the fingerpad while playing a Backyardigans game. I love their time together.

Fall Afternoon

These pictures were taken on a warm and windy fall afternoon. The only thing that I want to point out to you is that they are wearing authentic Jean Leavitt dresses. :)

Believe it or not...he's there!

This is one of the girls favorite pasttimes, pretending the couch is their boat and then proceeding to load up every possession they own onto it. The funny thing about this time is that Bryce is buried beneath their things. :) He chose a rather unfortunate place to nap this afternoon.

Claire took a gymnastics class this fall, and it was awesome! I got the biggest kick out of her, she just looked so cute and was so very excited about going. She got to do this class with two of her friends as well. This was definitely one of our favorite community ed classes. Claire learned how to do front rolls, a bear walk on two parallel bars placed on the floor, jumped up and down a long trampoline, jumped into a sponge pit, and even attempted a back roll. Lots of fun stuff happening. Cady had a hard time sitting out and watching Claire. Next fall she'll be old enough to do it as well. We can't wait!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Flower Fun/Soup Sunday

So, I don't think I've told you, but we've realized that this world is smaller than we had previously suspected. Bryce discovered a few months ago that his chief, Dave Webber, is a distant cousin of his! And actually, not all that distant either. I'd tell you how close they were if I could only remember. I think they have the same great great grandfather (something along those lines). We really like spending time with Dave and Dawn. He and Bryce came up with a great idea, Soup Sunday. :) We had our first one in October and had a nice time chatting afterword.

Earlier that day, Claire and Cady had fixed my hair with their flower clips. I kind of like this look on me. :D

After dinner the girls started playing with their flower clips and the boys soon joined in on the fun. After looking at the pictures you can see why I call them boys. :) Good times.

Claire's Squirrel Party

Claire had her birthday October 4, she turned 4 years old! Another golden birthday. She was very firm on her desire to have a Squirrel Party this year. I tried suggesting Dora, Backyardigans, Wonder Pets, but no, she wanted a squirrel party! :D Where she came up with this idea, I have no idea! I think it may have been because she went to Saffi's party which was a bear theme. At any rate, I used all of my creative juices and think the party turned out really well. It was surprisingly fun. Here's what we did:

We put on squirrel headbands and painted little whiskers on their faces. We played outside while waiting for everyone to come. And of course, while outside I simply had to lift them up and let them sit in our tree like little squirrels. :) I couldn't resist.

We then decorated little squirrel pictures and put them on paper bags. I told them fun facts about squirrels (did you know that they find the acorns they bury by their sense of smell? They don't remember where they put them).

When they were finished, I told them about my poor little friend Sammy the squirrel who had a cold and couldn't find his acorns because his nose was stuffy. The kids then went downstairs to hunt for acorns. I had hidden about 500 real acorns (thanks to Elizabeth who had gathered them off the ground from a kindly neighbor's yard). Having so many acorns was awesome, it was like a never ending Easter egg hunt.

After they finished finding all of the acorns, I pulled out a poster that I had made of my friend Sammy and they then took turns tossing the acorns into the holes I had cut in it. I was rather proud of how that poster turned out. And here I've gone all of these years thinking I have no artistic talent...

We then went outside and played puffy bunny, pretending that we were ground squirrels stuffing our cheeks with nuts. Yes, I was very careful with this game and closely monitored how many marshmallows were in their mouths.

We then went inside and ate some chocolate cake I had tried to make look like acorns. Claire then opened presents, and when we were done I discovered, to my chagrin, that we still had an hour left until the parents were due to pick our guests up. Take it from me, 3 hour birthday parties are still a bit too long at this age. :D Well, we survived and the kids all had a blast. It was a surprisingly successful squirrel party. I think I will keep this party theme on the list for potential parties with my future children.