Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Munchkin Mania

This has been the week of Munchkin Mania around here. See, Maggie's class is doing their annual program this week. They have selected The Wizard of Oz as their program. Maggie's class will be playing the part of the Munchkins. We got a letter home several weeks ago saying that she would need a costume, and to be creative, and get ideas from the movie. Now, I haven't seen the movie in a long, long time, and it's not exactly a title that you can run down to the Redbox and expect to find. Still, I'm thinking something cute, colorful, and not too involved. How hard can it be?

Fast forward to last weekend, when we go to Houston to see Aunt Amy and family, and Maggie gets a copy of The Wizard of Oz for her birthday. We all gather round the TV, Amy puts in the disc, and we begin the journey to Oz. When the munchkins come out of hiding, all the male munchkins are wearing cute, colorful, simple outfits. But look at what the girl munchkins are wearing:
They are all dressed in elaborate dresses with poufy sleeves, peplums and aprons. A feeling of mild panic overtakes me as I look for anyone dressed in sweats with polka-dots. A little help here!?! It's okay - I still have a week, right?

Except I had a birthday party to plan and execute. And a sinus infection. And the laundry piled sky high.

So, it's Tuesday morning, the day we are supposed to have the costume to the school, and I have nothing. Not even an idea.

I got home from BSF and re-read the note. In addition to looking at the movie, they suggested googling munchkin costumes. I did. There are three, not counting anything that had the word "sexy" in the title, thank you very much. But this one gave me hope:

So at 12:30 I headed out - Goodwill, Old Navy, Hancock Fabrics and Hobby Lobby, here I come.

Back home by 2:30. I start out with this:

And my trusty friends - My 1970's (or earlier, not really sure, it's a hand-me-down from my grandma) era Viking sewing machine:

And my handy-dandy glue gun:
Using the classic "lay something on the felt and cut around it" method I create a skirt:
And embellishments for a shirt:

And three hours later, we have this:


Can you tell I love my babies?

The Big One-Oh!

It is hard for me to believe, but Maggie's age is now in double-digits. If you had told me ten years ago that I would be where I am today, and tried to explain to me the joys and trials of parenting a child to ten years of age, I would not have believed you. Yet, here we are. On the morning of Maggie's birthday she climbed into my bed for a snuggle pretty early and we laid there for awhile marveling at her advanced age. Eventually she decided to get up and say good morning to her Daddy, Mimi and Pepaw, who were in the kitchen. As she was getting up she moaned, "I can't believe I'm the big TEN-OH! Somebody bring me a cane!" Poor baby!

I was really blessed that Mimi and Pepaw had decided to come for the party this weekend, for I was sorely behind on party preparations. Maggie had decided a few weeks ago that she wanted a cat party because of some u-paint-it kitty bobblehead party activity in a catalog. The bobbleheads were so expensive, I convinced her that we could find an alternative, but we still got the kitty plates and such. We had looked at several local stores for alternative activities, but hadn't actually purchased them. Therefore, on the day of Maggie's birthday and party, I still had a to-do list as long as several of my arms, and only the two arms God gave me. Luckily, Mimi and Pepaw were happy to lend me theirs. They took the girls to Wal-Mart and one of them took Gracie one way to get her sister a gift, while the other took Maggie to the party supply aisle and finished the party shopping.

Meanwhile back at the house I was making kitty cat cupcakes. I had found a cute kitty cat cupcake idea in a book called Hello Cupcake! at Hobby Lobby. Of course, I didn't snap it up the minute I saw it - I went back home to get my coupon. By the time I got back, the book was gone. I ended up having to go to another Hobby Lobby to get it. Lesson learned - I probably burned more gas than I saved using the coupon. Next time, just get it! The cupcakes were decorated with candy items - I went to seven stores to find the right candy, and finally gave up on black licorice laces and just used icing. I am a dedicated (read: anal) mother! Anyway, here's the resulting cupcakes:

I got to use my cupcake tower, although I couldn't fill it up entirely - the ears kept getting in the way! Still, it was cute. . .
We replaced the bobblehead activity with painting a regular (no bobble) kitty or puppy figurine. As the guests arrived, they selected their figurine and then sat down to paint.

These girls were focused!

After the figurines, each girl decorated a triangle for our next game - Pin the Party Hat on Bad Kitty!
It's our tradition, after all.

Next the girls played Cranium Cariboo. My only regret is that our sleeper sofa is so heavy, we didn't have enough room to spread out without moving it, but moving it is almost enough to give three grown men a hernia, so it stayed put. It didn't hamper the girls victory "funky dance" moves:

After that it was time for cake and ice cream. Here's Miss Maggie after being serenaded and blowing out the candles:

After that, they were off the charts on their sugar highs - while Maggie opened presents the rest of the girls carefully shredded the wrapping paper and tissue into confetti and. . .
Let loose with a wild tissue fight!

Maggie said the tissue fight was her favorite part.

After that we took one last picture, and then everyone's parents arrived to take them home.

All in all, it was a successful birthday party.

For her now-mature, sophisticated palate, Maggie chose Cici's Pizza for her birthday dinner, followed by yogurt at the Orange Tree. She said that it was a wonderful birthday, and it was. All good, no meltdowns, no drama, and not even any bickering about whether or not her sister could touch/look at/play with the new toys. Is this what double-digits brings? Life is good!

Now I wonder what the next ten years holds. . .

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Questions from the Backseat

One thing Jerry and I have learned is that we always need to be on our toes when it comes to questions from the girls as we are driving down the road. For instance, on a recent Sunday, Gracie's voice pipes up from the backseat:

"Momma, what's hail?"

"Well. . ." I start, formulating my best answer on meteorology when she continues,

"You know, where you go if you don't go to heaven."

"Oh! Well, first off, I know we've been in Oklahoma for awhile, but the word is hell, not hail. Rhymes with bell, like a jingle bell. Okay? Well, the Bible says it is a lake of fire. . ." and we are off, briefly discussing all her questions about hell in the two miles we drive to church.

After church we get in the van to go home and Gracie's inquisitive voice comes again from the backseat:

"Can I ask you a question?"

"Sure." I reply, taking a deep breath and waiting to see what weighty subject we have now.

"What color is a burp?" Gracie asks.

"Ummm. I don't know. I guess I imagine it's a greenish-yellow color." I reply, hesitatingly.

"No," she says gleefully, "It's BURPle!!!"

You just never know what's coming next. . .

Monday, February 1, 2010

A New Year. . .

Well, here it is, 2010. And not even the first month of 2010. Somehow, the first month has already passed me by. Sigh. So much for slogans like "Blogging again in 2010!" or "A Blog Entry A Day Keeps the Boredom Away!" or any other such nonsense.

Usually I love the beginning of a new year. It's such a great time to take stock of the last year, and have a fresh start for whatever you want to accomplish. This year, however, was somewhat different. Normally I start the year out by looking at the results of last year - seeing how I did on the ten resolutions that I made for the previous year, re-reading my journal for the last year, and usually those activities make me feel pretty good. Not this year. This year I did not accomplish even ONE of my resolutions for last year. And lest you think I was too hard on myself, some of my resolutions were: To do something for myself (massage, manicure, etc.) once a quarter. Or how about this toughie: To try a new restaurant once a quarter.

Since I didn't even manage those I certainly don't want to tell you what my ambitions were for my exercise program or scrapbooking or keeping up with my correspondence. Let me assure you though, they were doable, I just didn't do them. Then there was looking back at the past year. I must say, where I am this January looks remarkably like where I was last January. Depressing. So, here it is, February 1, 2010, and I have not made a single resolution for the new year. Zip. Zero. Nada. Zilch. And you know what. . . I think it's going to stay that way. How's this for a slogan: "2010 - The Year I Give Myself a Break!" Hmmmmm.... Catchy!

Now to catch you up - Christmas was good. We were in Texas at my in-laws, where they got several inches of snow on Christmas Eve afternoon/night. The first white Christmas DFW had seen in 80+ years, and we were there to witness it. Even though the snow wreaked havoc with uncle Aaron's travel arrangements, Santa managed to find us in Texas, and brought the girls scooters and other things. Maggie lost no time diving into her "Do It Yourself Diary of a Wimpy Kid":

And Legos hit Gracie's happy button. You could see the joy in her eyes. . . if only you could see her eyes. Oy, it's taking forever for these bangs to grow out!!!

Gracie and Pepaw headed out to play in the snow and managed to scrape up a snowman before the snow melted:

It didn't take long for the roads to clear though, and we headed to Granddad and Nana's house where there were several new kids that needed to be bottle fed three times a day. Maggie and Gracie were only too happy to help Nana out with this chore, even asking to be woken up at six o'clock in the morning so they wouldn't miss an opportunity to feed them. Here's Maggie holding the littlest goat - she has a goat coat because it's pretty cold out there!

And here's a bottle feeding in all its glory:

Pretty soon Jerry and I headed back up to Oklahoma City, where they had gotten twelve inches of snow on Christmas Eve, and there was still plenty of it hanging around. The worst of the driving was getting through our neighborhood. The snow had drifted against our garage door, and we ended up using the van as a snowplow to get in. The next day I shoveled the drive using our box blade garden shovel. I hurt for a week. I thought it was finally time to get a snow shovel - so when they were back in stock, we did. I thought this would be insurance against further snow this year, but - as you will see - no such luck.

When the girls got home on New Year's Eve there was still plenty of snow around. They immediately went into the back yard to play with the snow - the only problem was that the snow was so dry, it wouldn't pack into snowballs. We ended up getting a spray bottle to wet the snow so we could have a snowball fight. Maggie persevered and eventually made a very small snowman of her own:

We went back to school, work, etc. and eventually the weather warmed up a bit. We had a good time celebrating Jerry's birthday, and got into the swing of Girl Scout Cookie Sales. Gracie has been particularly gung-ho about this. The first weekend we sold cookies, she was riding her new scooter from house to house when she hit a bump and went down hard. She scraped up her chin pretty good, and let out enough hollers to get Jerry down the street to help handle the situation. Still, she was back on the scooter that afternoon, selling cookies.

Fast forward to the next weekend, when she rings a doorbell, a man answers the door, and his ferocious mini terrier-type dog comes out snarling and barking and bites her on the ankle. Wow! In all my years of cookies, that was a first. Pandemonium ensued, I took her home, we cleaned the wound and realized that yes, she had in fact been bitten, and it did break the skin. We went back over there, and I rang the doorbell while she stood at a distance and I asked the dog's owner about his shots and so forth. Eventually Gracie did walk up (the dog was not there) and asked the lady, "Can't you teach your dog to be nice?" Still, she wanted to go sell more cookies that afternoon. What a trooper!

Last week we got the news - more snow on the way. It was supposed to start on Thursday, late morning, so they didn't have school that day. It rained all day, and then sleeted about 1/2 inch that evening, making things slick for the next morning. The next morning though, it started snowing - and didn't stop until way into the evening. We went out while it was still snowing and sledded down the hills with some neighborhood friends, but it was really coming down - no challenge at all to catch snowflakes on your tongue - just open up and say "AH!" I couldn't even get a decent picture - too many snowflakes:

Once it stopped though, it was just beautiful:

although I'm not sure the herbs will pull through this winter:

I was glad it was a Saturday though - that meant I had help shoveling the driveway, which was a real challenge considering the 1/2 inch of sleet that fell before the snow. It took Jerry and I about four hours to clear the drive and walkway, even with our new show shovel (and the garden shovel, and a pitchfork to break the ice!)

Even though, the streets were still icy enough that they cancelled school today (Monday) and now they've cancelled it for tomorrow. That makes four snow/ice days and one day they closed just because it was so cold. So I guess that means that we will have to come back to school after Memorial Day. Rats! I was hoping to kick off the summer with a nice long weekend trip, but I guess that's out!

Today the birds, specifically the robins, being ravenous from everything being under the snow, found our bumper crop of holly berries on the bushes next to our front walk. There were so many of them, it looked like a scene from The Birds - except with robins. There must have been at least 25 of them. I took a few pictures of the large flock, but my camera was set wrong and they turned out as big black blobs. By the time I got the camera adjusted, they had flown off to my neighbor's holly. Still, I got this one shot:

The other thing that caught my eye were these icicles hanging outside my guest room window. They are right above the dryer vent, and I've been doing laundry all day. I'm not sure if the heat from the vent is the cause of this, but look how twisted these icicles are - they look like little fingers reaching down:

Very interesting. I love to wander around and look at all the snow and ice sculptures that Mother Nature has made these past few days - if only it wasn't so danged cold! Oh well. I guess it comes with the territory.

Well, I guess that's it for now - I better go get ready for a fun-filled day with the girls again tomorrow - but please, oh please, let the sun shine tomorrow!