Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shopping Til We Drop

Pippin is a big fan of Lilli's toddler bed....I know if we didn't keep the gate up at night he'd be asleep with her in her bed.Lilli in her turkey shirt, she also wore it last year. I'm a-ok with her being on the small side and getting two years of wear out of most stuff!
About a week and a half ago we went out shopping on Friday night in Green Hills. We had to hit up our favorite Greek place first.
Macy's had a big thing for you to send letters to Santa.
She can't write, but she drew a big smiley face for Santa and signed her name. You may have to click on it to see the detail,but she really does some amazing faces. She was blowing me away at church tonight with the smiley faces she was drawing. We'll have to scan some in because I think it's super impressive for her age.
Doing a little shopping in the brand new Container Store in town. So glad we finally have one of those!!!!
She and Brent played in Pottery Barn Kids while I shopped in Gap for jeans. Cleanliness first!
This may also be one you have to click on to really see..but this nice older guy was handing out candy samples from his candy kiosk and gave her a chocolate "sucker". Messiest thing EVER. We ended up having to take it away from her in Gap Kids because it was just so gross and all over her hands and face and I knew it would get everywhere in their perfect store. They have a new long sleeve Pippin shirt that of course we went home with!! He is such the fashion icon.
At the end of our night because she'd been such a good listener while we shopped that we stopped at Christie Cookie and got a treat. This picture just cracks me up.
I wasn't actually ignoring her, I was just busy posting a cute picture of her on Facebook!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chuck E Cheese

About two weeks ago, we met Adam, Julia and Ella at Chuck E Cheese for a little mid-week winter break. Lilli loves the "Cheesus" and was screaming as soon as we pulled into the parking lot and she saw the big sign. Some past visits were back in July, August of 2010, and her very first visit on October 2009. I know we've been several more times than that, but I'm way too lazy to figure out where those blog posts may be. Ella was stoked about her first visit to Chuck E. Sadly, the shows are such an afterthought now and they mostly just play cartoons on a sad little TV.
Lilli really wanted to play more games this time than in previous visits. They have a lot of little rides that she really enjoyed when she was younger, but now she's all about doing things so we ended up with a lot more tickets than in previous trips. Especially since we also had the Wrays scoring us more tickets as well!
Gotta ride the Chuck E Car! This one is cute because it also takes your picture with him and prints it out in black and white.
She loooves the basketball games. She is really going to love one of Santa's gifts for her!

Since Ella is pretty underage Lilli had to drive the Stuart Little car. This picture just makes me laugh.
And of course we had to squeeze in the photo booth for a memento! This booth is made for two, but we didn't do half bad getting six people in here!!
At the end of the night Lilli had something like 220 tickets to spend on junk, I mean toys. She got a few things, but the only one she's actually still playing with is this sticky hand thing.
We had a great time and are looking forward to more winter weeknight playdates with friends!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Groceries, Meals and Crafts

A few more of the Thanksgiving crafts we did this year...

Any project involving glue is a home run...The finished turkey family - can you guess which one is Lilli's??
We also did the hand-print turkeys, you trace your hand and then decorate with googly eyes, feathers, etc and then we glued a Popsicle stick on it to make puppets. I had seen a few various variations on it, but came up with that method on my own. This is Lilli's tracing of my hand. Not bad considering her age!
We forgot to get a close up of her turkey. Lots of feathers and creative licensing. And of course she's wearing that awful Jasmine dress.
Pippin is not impressed by arts and crafts.
As far as the grocery challenge goes, I didn't hit my goal this week, I ended up spending $85 pre-tax which is still a huge improvement from where we had been at and just $10 over budget. I did save 18% or just over $19 between my coupons and Kroger plus savings. With it being the end of the month there were a few more coupons expiring that I wanted to use on things we always use. The kicker was $13 for Tide, but it is the best at keeping colors bright.

A few new recipes from over the last week, I did a lot of my menu planning from Plain Chicken this past week.

Chicken Chalupas Casserole was to DIE for. I had some Perdue grilled chicken strips in the fridge I needed to use, so I used that for the chicken in the chalupas. My casserole dish only held half as many chalupas, so I halved the half and half it called for and it turned out perfectly, with enough for our dinner and lunch leftovers. And since all the work is done the night before it was great for a week night meal for us. I'm sure I also snuck in some extra hot sauce because we like it spicy.

Rosemary Ranch Chicken was also delicious. We were out of ranch salad dressing (bizarre) but I did have a new bottle of spicy ranch that we used that turned out just fine. We grilled indoor on the George Foreman due to weather. It was such a pretty piece of chicken that this one would be great to serve when hosting people or taking food to others!

Due to the holidays our other meals were either at relatives' homes or simple soups and other freezer stuff!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Go Fly a Kite!

If you live in the Southeast you know these pictures aren't from today, they're from two weeks ago. It was another mild day, and super windy, so we thought we'd get out the Batman kite.For some reason really windy days freak her out and she ends up bawling. It did go better this time than last spring when she melted down while we were flying kites with friends. THAT was embarrassing.

She handled it a lot better this time, but still likes the idea of flying a kite much better than actually doing it. But hitting the swingset at the playground was a much better reaction.
Yup, some of my favorite recent pictures of her and she's wearing that awful Jasmine dress.

I took a little turn with Batman as we walked back home.
While she napped I made some pumpkin cupcakes and let her do the decorating. This was the one she made for her teacher Mrs Betty. I didn't think they tasted all that fantastic, so we never sent any to anyone.

Here's the finished look. For some reason the candy corns just disintegrated in the pumpkin icing and looked awful. The ones with tons of candy corns are ones she made for a couple of little boys in her class (uh-oh). She would tell us who she was decorating each one for...
It's been a super rainy Sunday here on this particular Sunday, about the opposite of the pretty one from these pictures! It did make for good afternoon naps for all of us, and Buzz Lightyear the cat has been asleep on the porch all day. Poor thing, it sure would be nice if someone (ahem, Brent) would let the poor cat inside for a little while!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

Home Sweet Home! Over the last few days we've loaded up....
Told Buzz Lightyear good-bye for a couple of days (he was really happy to see us tonight...)Had one family Thanksgiving gathering...Then had another Thanksgiving family gathering...
And in-between spent a lot of times running with the big dogs and little dogs. And apparently dogs of all sizes like to play with Barbies.We've got one pooped little girl and one pooped dog snoring away tonight. I think there's going to be a lot of afternoon napping going on tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy early Thanksgiving, gobble gobble!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Barbie Girl

We've finally hit a very exciting stage - Barbie! A week and a half ago she threw a big fit about leaving school one afternoon because she didn't want to leave the Barbies she was playing with. She loves playing with the Barbies at school and we didn't actually have any Barbies so we made a deal that we'd stop on the way home and get her her very own Barbie if she felt that would help her manage the crushing blow of having to go home.
Even Buzz Lightyear the cat is excited about Barbie!
Hopefully Santa can manage to get Barbie a more size appropriate car for Christmas.
Since our "own the way home" stop is just Family Dollar, and their selection was pretty awful we did go to Walmart and let her pick out one more Barbie, so she has a total of three Barbies now. Of course she wanted the one that came with two little dogs and a stroller to push the dogs in. Barbies are so different now with their bendable legs and one of them has bendable feet. Weird.
We may think about starting an allowance soon. She loves to help, with groceries and also with loading the dishwasher every night after dinner. Even though some items end up in some strange spots and I'm pretty sure most every glass will end up being broken it's awfully hard to refuse someone who is screaming about how much they want to help Mommy.

One more day and then Thanksgiving break time!! We made cute little Thanksgiving cards for her teachers along with some little cookies and "Pilgrim Hats" tonight.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winter Time Blues

One should never have to entertain themselves when going potty.She's also kind enough to share the pictures with Baby Roses. This was Noah's Ark, her version of Noah's Ark goes a little something like "And Jesus said, HEY, all you people and animals get in my boat." The story of Adam and Eve goes a little bit like "HEY, you people DON'T EAT MY APPLE." In her world, it's really a story about sharing.
This time of year is just plain boring. It's basically dark when we get home, and there's only so many stories we can read and toys we can play with. One night we made pudding, just because for no apparent reason I have a ton of pudding, and it's an easy one for Lilli to make pretty much all on her own.
We also made these incredibly easy little turkey faces. Graham cracker + large marshmallows + mini choc chips and add the candy corn after you micro for about 10-15 seconds.
And we also made this little turkey from a kit I got at Michaels. All these things were already 75% off a few weeks ago so I got it for $1. She loves gluing and making little things like this, so it was a big hit.
That was the first of several turkey crafts we've made lately!!!

Another thing we're trying this winter is FlyLady to help us keep our house cleaner, more organized and clutter free. We started this week, with the current zone being our Master Bedroom. The premise is spending 15 mins (or so) a day and working through your house in zones to keep your house clean overall. With the holiday later this week we've accelerated and doubled up on a couple of things, but our bedroom is already looking SO much cleaner and less cluttered in a style more manageable with our limited time to clean! Hopefully having someone give me small projects a day will help us inch towards of goal of getting rid of the junk that accumulates around here.