Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

For New Years we decided on a new look. For the youngest member of our household. It was time for a CUT!

Before - long and shaggy in the back and all over the place in the front.Getting glammed up -
She got moussed and diffused. It looks like she'll still have curly hair.
All done!
And curly in the back, just much more kept!
Happy New Year everybody!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Birdseed Crafts

Here's a pic of one of our cookie boxes ready to be delivered - We made marshmallow fudge, stuffed Snickers cookies, and sugar cookies. We also did Puppy Chow in little treat bags. We gave away tons of cookies to church teachers, school teachers, coworkers, etc.

For her classmates, I wanted a fun little craft that would give them something to do over the holidays. I found this birdseed craft on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect. It takes a while for them to dry, so we did them on Sunday afternoon after church before nap. Not ideal timing.
She started out pretty strong helping me stir it all up, and then she remembered her boo-boo finger. And sadly she could no longer be of help to me.
You mix bird seed up with a few different things and then spoon it into cookie cutters and level it out. We let her pick out all the various shapes she wanted to do.
When she got bored she went and found bubbles. And proceeded to blow them in my face while I did her project. Just a sign of all the homework I will complete in the future, no doubt.

You also poke part of a straw through so you can have something to hang ribbon through in order to hang your ornament outside for the birdies.
They dry in the cookie cutters for a few hours and then on wax paper overnight.
The next night I filled a Ziploc baggies with some ribbon paper and decorated it with some stickers and included a note telling them what to do with it. I think they turned out really adorable! She got to put them in each friend's cubby the next day and pick one out for herself.
She came home with the firetruck and we put it out for the birds. By birds I mainly mean the squirrels made off with it, but we still had a lot of fun putting it out and watching them try to figure out how to nab it!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Baking Christmas Cookies

The last full weekend before Christmas we made our annual batch of Christmas cookies and all kinds of treats for our friends and of course Santa. We started doing this in 2009, kept it going in 2010, and this year she pretty much did everything herself! The goal is to get (at least) one great picture each year to frame in the kitchen. So lighting and the "scene" is taken very seriously!The finished product:
We make sugar cookies for pretty much every holiday, so she knows exactly how to roll them, flour it out, etc. I usually make the dough the evening before and keep it in the fridge until we use it the next day. It really needs to get fairly stiff, especially with my little "helper" pounding on it so much. Otherwise it gets warmed up too fast and the shapes won't stay formed.

When it starts getting a little too soft I stiffen it up with flour. My assistant looooves to sprinkle and spray some flour all over the place.

Poking finger in the dough also = fun.
Anytime she's concentrating her tongue it out. It's hilarious. I even noticed it in some class pictures they posted of their latest lessons in Cooking. They've been making all kinds of treats at school - yogurt Popsicles, individual pizzas, pigs in a blanket, cinnamon twists, and more! She has loved this learning module.

These little hands are so cute. I think also want to frame in a triptych her hands year over year. Little hands are just so cute, it also reminds me of Becky's recent post about hands!

If this were a recording it would pretty much read "I do it all myself" about a hundred times. And she did.

She's moved to more of a "less is more" attitude with the sprinkles. And she'd rather eat them anyway.
But she will share. Only if she can feed them to you one by one.

I'm not sure if we ever got any final pictures of the iced ones, but I know in my next collection of photogs we got some of them all boxed up and ready to go out to people!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Finny!

Even though it's been about a week and a half (my normal delay), it's pretty appropriate that tonight's post is of Finn's birthday party. Today when I picked up Lilli they had cupcakes in his honor, and yesterday was his actual birthday. His poor mom is always faced with the dilemma of when to plan his party!!

She had his party at Shipwrecked Playhouse down in Brentwood. It's a really cute indoor play place with all sorts of things for the younger kids to do. Traffic was awful getting to it since it was the last weekend before Christmas and near the mall, but once we got in the kiddos had a blast.

Finn is one of her top three friends at school, easily. She just loves him, calls him "My Finny", and talks about him all the time. I think they play really well together. It was funny to talk to his mom and hear about all the things he also says about her at home. She said on their most recent vacation, in the middle of the trip, he asked when he could see Lilli again. So sweet! True Story - I'm pretty sure the brand of her outfit is called Krazy Pants. It was a fantastic Zulily find.
They had lots of cars, slides, ball pit, trains, dress up, grocery store, etc. I greatly preferred this place to a previous party we had been to earlier in the year somewhere similar. The facility was private for the party, meaning only the kids for Finn were there. So there was no worrying about them getting mixed up with older kids, or it being overpacked from walk-ins. Nice and relaxing.
The ball pit was a huge hit for the kiddos!!
She and the birthday boy disappeared for a minute and I saw them running down the hall together. Knowing they are both quite mischievous I poked my head out since his mom was busy keeping everyone entertained. I caught the two of them in the party room working as a team, about 15 seconds away from pulling down the entire box of cupcakes. I was able to stop them and by then his mom had also noticed him missing. Apparently he had asked if it was time for cupcakes and she had told him just a minute. "Just a minute" to this age is best interrupted as "Go ahead and do it yourself". So they tried. The other little boy at the table is another one of her daycare buddies. She also fell in love with this little Minnie Mouse costume and did not want to take it off!

Riding around in cars with her buddy Sebastian
She has never liked "enclosed" tube like slides and would never go down until she was basically forced by two of her friends, near the end of the party. Then she decided she loved it!
The ball pit was the most popular attraction. By the end of the party they realized you could stand of the side and jump way in. After that we never saw Lilli again. She kept getting so much air she'd nearly hit the wall. She LOVES to jump.
When the party time is up they pretty much tell you you have to leave. Cue screaming, crying, and fits from ALL the kids. That's a fantastic sign your party was a success at this age. She had big hugs for her buddy before we left.
Happy Birthday Finn! Thanks for inviting us to your party!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Dress

Little Miss just did not want to be photographed in her pretty Christmas dress, so that was a major Fail this year. I think if we told her we didn't want to take pictures of her it might work better. A lot of times we start taking pictures of Pippin and the jealousy monster kicks in, but nothing worked on this day.I even bribed her with a princess lollipop and still had terrible results.
These are at least pretty from a backlighting angle, with her pretty blue eyes and curls.

At least I only paid $5 for the dress at consignment!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The End of Christmas

Christmas vacation is almost over, it's back to work and school for us tomorrow, at least for a couple of days. Minus the getting up early and actually having to work part, I think we're all a little ready to get back in the routine.We had a great Christmas and there's lots more pictures to come. I doubt I will ever get caught up here, anytime this century. Lilli had a fantastic Christmas and has enjoyed all her new toys and most of them end up in her bed, mysteriously, every night. I think her new Barbie car has been there every night. The new trike is up and down the hallways and the streets of East Nash daily, and she's worked a billion puzzles and played with Barbie from sun up to sun down.
We spent the last day of our vacation at the Opryland Hotel checking out the lights and Shrek stuff. I think she's probably a year too young for Ice, she whines about being cold when it's 60 degrees outside so I think she'd be pitiful. Particularly considering the price. Since we always park for free at Opryland (we laugh at people who pay $18 to park, seriously people!!! That's ridiculous) besides lunch we just sprang for a ride on the "River". It was really a lot of fun and Lilli was still free. Score!
She loved it, although she most certainly did not pose for our camera shot. She was amused and we clearly felt no obligation to buy it.
More pictures and tales from the last of our break to come, not the least of which will be the tale of the horrible hour we spent crammed in line to get "free" seats to the Holiday Shrektacular.
But our seats were totally worth it!!!!