Saturday, November 30, 2013

December Daily - Nov 30, 2013

I know, it's not December yet. But there aren't enough days between December 1 and December 25 to get everything done...especially anything involving both kids since Anaya will only be here for about 4 - 6 days in there, depending on the days that you count since she gets her so late on Fridays.

This morning Claire & I went to Bass Pro Shop and took a picture with Santa. I specifically wanted to go today because they had a special, if you donated a toy to Toys for Tots, you got a free photo package that included the digital file. And then Claire enjoyed looking at the fish, and roaming around looking for "wildlife". And we were lucky enough to get there early while there wasn't much of a line for Santa. They also let you take your own pictures of your kids with Santa which so many places (like the malls) won't let you do. I can't decide if I like their picture or my picture better.

Later, I dragged everyone out in the backyard for another attempt at a family picture. I need to figure out someway to tell Justin & Anaya to act like they like each other...and the rest of us. They just stand, stiff, I'm usually attempting to put my arm around Justin and holding Claire's hand (partially to keep her from running away) and then they are just standing there...with about 3 inches between them. I did get a couple of good pictures and I ordered my Christmas cards so I'll actually post the family picture when I do my December Daily page about our Christmas cards.

This afternoon, I also took both girls to Hallmark for our annual buying of a new ornament. I love this tradition because I used to do it with my parents, I have a box in my Christmas closet of all my ornaments from when I was a kid. I also kind of dislike this tradition because Hallmark ornaments are getting SOOOO expensive. We walked out of the store and Anaya was like, "Really, FOUR ornaments cost that much money." To which I could only say, "Well, yes, at Hallmark..."

We also set up our Christmas tree and hung the new ornaments. We didn't get out all of the old ornaments because I just didn't feel like it. I'll probably go dig them out of the closet in a little bit so that we can do them first thing tomorrow morning. I probably won't do any other decorating until Tuesday/Wednesday since we're getting carpet installed on Monday. I know, setting up the tree probably should've waited, but Anaya and Claire wanted to and Anaya really wants to help us decorate it. It isn't going where there is new carpet being installed, but it is where some of the furniture was going to be stored WHILE the new carpet is installed. Oh well, it'll all work out.

And while Claire's outfit today was super adorable. And she managed to wear it ALL DAY without peeing herself. I kind of wish I could've changed her at some point since I have so many different "events" and she is wearing the same clothing in all of them. Oh well.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Menu Monday

It's Thanksgiving week! Yay! I went to the grocery store yesterday afternoon so we should actually be all set until hopefully Sunday. Unless we run out of milk between now and then...which is possible since for Thanksgiving with my family, I'm in charge of making the dinner rolls and they take an entire 4 cups of milk - they are so delicious.

Monday - Hot Dogs
Tuesday - Steak & Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday - Pork Chops & Rice Pilaf
Thursday - THANKSGIVING!!! (w/ my family)
Friday - Freezer Casserole (probably Tex-Mex Chicken Casserole)
Saturday - THANKSGIVING!!! (w/ Justin's Family)
Sunday - Leftovers or Sandwiches (egg, deli, pb&j)

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Project Life : Week 41

Week 41: October 7 - 13

Anaya had this Monday off school and then wasn't feeling well so she ended up going to the doctor on Tuesday - sinus infection. Justin blew a tire which we had been needing to replace anyway, so it just made that a little more urgent. And then it was the weekend! I played board games with my brother & parents.

I have an insert (the top two sections of a Design J photo pocket page) for some pictures of Claire & me at Deanna Rose Farmstead.

The last page is mostly about Sunday. I was planning to do some family pictures at a local park, but we still haven't gotten them done due to our crappy weather. My mom & I took Claire to look around the park to find some fun places to do them. And Claire played on the playground.

I have all my layouts completed through Week 44 (October 28 - November 3). I need to order my next set of pictures from Persnickety, but it sounds like their servers have been overloaded A LOT recently. So I may put it off until after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


I'm not sure how Claire ended up as cute as she is, because Justin and I...we're not that cute. But Claire is adorable. She's other things too, like smart...and funny...and stubborn...and fearless. But she was just being particularly cute this day.

On Tuesday, we had another OB appointment and an ultrasound. The baby boy is definitely a baby BOY. I'm measure big again. I have 22 cm of amniotic fluid. The normal range is 5-25 cm, so while I'm still in the normal range, I'm in the upper normal range which means they want to keep an eye on it. I had extra amniotic fluid with Claire too, so I'm pretty sure it's just the way I am when pregnant.

In addition to the freezer cooking extravaganza that I did last weekend, I also have 3 crockpot meals, 4 dozen homemade cookie dough balls, a quart of chili, and 4 other casseroles from times where I split a casserole (frozen half, ate half for dinner) in my freezer. Perhaps I should stop freezing so much food? That's 27 main dishes that I already have frozen to eat sometime between now and March. But I still wanted to freeze a couple of soups (to have for lunches) and waffles (as an easy breakfast) and cinnamon rolls (just because they are delicious).

For reasons that I can't quite explain, I have been watching The OC again. It isn't available on Netflix which is really sad, but The WB has seasons 1 & 5 available to stream. Season 1 was the best season anyways. But their commercials are really obnoxious.

We've finally started painting the kids' rooms in preparation for moving everyone around to make room for the baby. We also ordered carpet, although we haven't set up an installation date yet. But soon, very soon, we will hopefully have all the kids in their new rooms and a nursery yet up for the baby boy. Anaya gets to have a pink & purple room the next time she is here since we painted it Claire's colors, but we're not moving furniture until after the carpet...I'm sure she'll LOVE it...

Friday, November 22, 2013

December Daily 2013 - Planning

I am planning to do December Daily again this year. I'm going through my previous FIVE December Daily albums and seeing what traditions I want to make sure to include. I'm looking for a color scheme. I'm pretty sure I'll do it as a Blurb book again.

This year I am also participating in 30 Days of Lists - December Edition. I haven't ever done a 30 days of list class, but I figure it might have some good ideas of things to document on the nights when we just don't have much going on. Or I can include those in my Project Life album.

Traditions that have been in other books that I want in this book too:
  • Visiting Santa
  • Baking/Decorating cookies
  • Advent/Countdown Calendar
  • Homemade/Painted Ornaments
  • Going to Hallmark to get a new ornament
  • Looking at Lights
  • Wrapping Presents
  • Church (a musical performance or other special event)
  • Giving

I've been working on a little bit of a schedule of when we'll do some of these things, since some of them include Anaya and she won't be here for very many days between December 1 and December 25. This year will also be interesting since I am pregnant. I was also pregnant in the 2008 December Daily Album that I made so I might look back at it to see how I included my pregnancy in the book.

For my color scheme, I was leaning towards Green, Red, Light Blue and Silver/Grey, but then I realized that is awfully similar to what I did last year. So we'll see. I was inspired by Ali Edwards' Joy & Light words to use those colors...and I may still.

For some history, here's a post about my 2008-2011 December Daily Albums, and here is a collection of posts about my 2012 Album that I posted as I was working on it throughout the holiday season.

I've also been checking out KC Parent's awesome Kansas City's Christmas Fun Guide to get some new ideas for this year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Freezer Cooking - Casserole Edition

On Saturday, I made 22 casseroles.

2 Lasagnas (probably 6-8 servings each)
2 Cheeseburger Casseroles (6 servings each)
2 8" Garlicky Chicken Noodle Bake (4-6 servings each)
1 9x13" Garlicky Chicken Noodle Bake (10-12 servings)
4 Taco Pies (4-6 servings each)
4 Chicken Spaghetti Casseroles (4-6 servings each)
4 Tex-Mex Chicken Casseroles (4-6 servings each)
3 Chicken & Dressing Casseroles (4-6 servings each)

Originally I was going to just double these whenever I made them for dinner, but instead I just did it all in one day. It took about 5 hours and we spent $125.00 on groceries. That does not include ground beef because I still had enough beef left from the cow that we bought from my uncle in February.

I could've gotten the meals all made in a little less time if I would've planned a little better. My ground beef had been in the fridge about 24 hours, but it was still frozen. So before I could start cooking, I had to thaw all the ground beef. I also thought I'd be able to cook all of the chicken in my big stock pot, but it wouldn't all fit, so I had to cook the chicken in two batches. I did use my Kitchen Aid mixer to shred the chicken - it was so easy! Not being able to cook all of the meat as quickly as I thought I would be able to is what really slowed me down since I also needed to cook spaghetti, egg noodles and rice. I thought I would spend about 30-45 minutes cooking meat and instead it took closer to an hour and half.

Only 20 of them are in the freezer. I kept one of the Chicken Spaghetti Casseroles out for dinner that night and the 9x13 Garlicky Chicken Noodle Bake was the lunch the next day (my parents & brother's family were coming over). I ran out of foil pans so one of the Taco Pies is in my Pyrex pie pan.

I do plan to have another batch cooking extravaganza, but I have to wait until I forget how much I hurt and until Justin forgets how annoying it was for me to be in the kitchen for 5 hours. Next time I'm going to whip up about 3-4 crock pot recipes.

There are a few things I should've done differently. I should've cooked my rice and/or spaghetti and/or egg noodles while I was waiting for my beef to thaw - I reached a point where I needed at least one of those things done and it wasn't done (or even started). I should've put my lasagna's in smaller pans, same with my cheeseburger casserole since those are in the same type of pan. I should've planned my freezer space better - I used circular pans for quite a few of the recipes, but I probably could've used 8x8 square pans, I could've packed them into my freezer better. I should've made Anaya help more. I should've had a better plan for what to do with Claire, she really wanted someone (preferably me) to sit down and play with her and no one was doing it. I should've washed more dishes as I went, although then in exchange for letting Anaya have a sleepover tonight we made her do all the dishes anyways!

Things I did right: I got started quickly (even with the frozen meat set back; I had a hair cut scheduled for 7:50 am on Saturday, as soon as I got back, I started pulling things out of the fridge to get started. I made a master shopping list, checked my pantry and managed to get all my groceries in one trip (YAY!). I used my mixer to shred my chicken (that was seriously awesome). I just did it, and now we have 20 meals for the next couple of months.

Recipe Links:

Lasagna, Cheeseburger Casserole, Tex-Mex Chicken Casserole and Chicken & Dressing Casserole all came from The Shabby Creek Cottage's freezer cooking post.

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole came from Pioneer Woman.

Garlicky Chicken Noodle Bake came from my Not Your Mother's Make Ahead & Freeze Cookbook.

Taco Pie is a mixture of a bunch of different recipes, basically it is 3 layers of tortilla, refried beans, taco meat and cheese. Top with another tortilla, pour about half a can of enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with more cheese. Then bake it at 350 for about 30 minutes or until it's all melty and yummy looking. And I make it in a pie plate, so it's a pie...not a casserole.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Menu Monday

We had two casseroles this weekend, so first we need to finish those up (or freeze them)! On Tuesday, we have an ultrasound, so we'll get to see the little boy again. But otherwise, it is a pretty lazy week.

Monday - Homemade Pizza
Tuesday - Taco Pie (from my freezer!)
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki
Friday - Red Robin burgers & fries
Saturday - Breakfast Casserole
Sunday - Sandwiches (egg, deli, pb&j)

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Project Life : Week 40

Week 40: September 30 - October 6

I love this project. I love that all of these pictures are off my computer and in an album.

On Monday, we got a couple of new fishes. I haven't written out the whole story yet, but we had two fish (well, we've had way more than that, but we'd kept two alive for a while) and Justin had decided we needed two more fish. So we went to PetCo and bought two fish. And one of our original fish was being aggressive (they are all mollies or platys, so not normally aggressive fish) and managed to kill off one of the new fish within two days. Instead of just leaving it at that and having three fish, and since the jerk was attempting to kill off the other new fish, Justin went back to PetCo and bought another new fish and another fish tank. Now the jerk is in his own little tank and we have three fish in our old tank.

I had a busy weekend, that hardly involved the children at all. On Friday, I took a half day and accompanied Claire's class to the pumpkin patch. It was a lot of fun, although very tiring, particularly since I am pregnant. Then I went home, rested for a little bit, got Claire off the bus because it was Anaya's weekend with us so Justin was gone getting her. After they got back, I had to go pick up my brother and we went to the American Royal to eat BBQ. The company I work for has a party tent and Justin isn't really into BBQ or walking. Claire and I made a test batch of cookies (the actual cookies won't be needed for a while, and it was a new cookie cutter...), we made some halloween shaped cookies too that I let the girls decorate. Then, I went to a co-worker's wedding at this really neat event space downtown, The Guild. It was really nice.

And that was our week!

Friday, November 15, 2013

30 Weeks - Maternity Pictures

When I was looking through pictures of being pregnant with Claire, I realized that I didn't have any really GOOD pictures of me pregnant. Now, admittedly, back in 2008 I was working with a MUCH different camera - a point-and-shoot instead of my current DSLR. But I still wish that I had some better pictures of me pregnant with Claire instead of the only ones being snapshots from some other event or my occasional look how big my belly has gotten pictures. I really wanted to get some good pictures this pregnancy; I wanted some profesional-ish maternity pictures.

But since I am decent with my camera and cheap, I couldn't bring myself to PAY someone else to take maternity pictures of me. I probably could've asked my dad or my mom to help me out, they both know how to work my camera - particularly my dad since he's had his DSLR longer than I've had mine and was big into photography way back when I was little. But I would've felt silly. So I decided I would just take myself, and my camera, and my dad's tripod out to a park and set up a little photo-shot alone.

My camera has a timer, so the hardest part is getting the focus right. My portrait lens (Canon 50mm f/1.8) is a little persnickety about its focus. In fact, I attempted to take some family pictures for our Christmas cards about a week ago and the focus was all over the place. I really need something that I can focus on while I set up the shot and then move when I run into place. But I didn't plan far enough ahead which is why all my best shots ended up with me leaning on something (or near something) that I used for focus (a tree, a bridge, a bench). The one where I'm not leaning on something, I focused on a tree, changed it to manual focus to keep that setting and then counted the steps from my camera to the focus point. Then I turned my camera a different direction and counted the same number of steps to where I stood for the picture.

Now I have some good pictures of me pregnant. And I have a little bit more experience with my lens and getting it to focus where I want it to focus. And some more practice running to get in the picture, which is getting harder and harder the more pregnant I get! The only standard maternity pose that I tried and failed at getting involved sitting cross-legged in the grass...I probably could've done it once I thought of the focusing & counting and then moving the camera, but getting down into a cross-legged position was too hard. Not to mention how hard it was to get back up just to see the results and then having to repeat so that I was sure I would end up with a good one.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fun with Glucose

Last week, on Monday, I failed my first Gestational Diabetes test - the one hour, where I drank the 50g glucose drink and then got a finger prick after an hour. My glucose level was 155, and I think it had to be below 140 or maybe 130. I forget now.

When they went to schedule the 3 hour test, I told them to go with the first available morning appointment. I didn't care about what day, I just wanted to do it in the morning since I had to fast for 12 hours. Two days later, Wednesday, I was at the lab hanging out for 3 hours while they stabbed me in the arm four times to draw my blood. It was just as exciting as that sounds. I got there about 15 minutes early and they weren't busy so they got me started a little early. First was the fasting blood draw. Then I downed the little bottle of 100 grams of orange flavored glucose in less than 2 minutes. I just wanted to get it over with.

Then I waited and waited and felt like throwing up and waited and got up and walked around (down the hall, outside, went to the bathroom, etc). I attempted to read part of a book during the first hour, but whenever I started reading, I felt even sicker. I really wanted to throw up at one point, then the lovely lab tech guy named Michael reminded me that if I threw up, we'd have to reschedule and start the whole thing over again - and then he told me that I could walk down the hall and go outside if some fresh air would help. Finally after an hour Michael took my blood again - from the other arm, to keep it fair.

After the first hour was up, I started to feel a little better. I sat around the waiting room, watched part of a movie on my phone, read some of my book (James Patterson's Gone), texted with Justin and a couple of friends, etc. Then it was time for ANOTHER blood draw - back to the first arm again.

Somewhere around now is when I got REALLY hungry, but then it went away once my body realized it wasn't getting any food. I could drink a little bit of water, so I did. I saw some interesting people come in to get blood drawn for various things since it appears all Michael does in that office is draw blood. Ended up reading about half of my book.

I had my last blood draw approximately 3 hours & 15 minutes after I got there. Then I hurried on out of there and across the street to McDonald's where I consumed a crispy chicken club and a medium french fry.

I finally got the results on Friday afternoon - no gestational diabetes for me! Woo-Whoo!

Although I'm still eating fairly low carb because I don't want to gain 50 lbs like I did when I was pregnant with Claire. I'm currently fluctuating between 20-25 lbs gained with only 10 more weeks to go! By now with Claire I had gained at least 30-35 lbs. Not that weight is the most important thing, but I'm mostly just trying to eat fewer carbs (particularly sweets) and more vegetables (salad for lunch almost every day).

My actual results were:
Fasting: 79
1 hr: 125
2 hr: 122
3 hr: 112

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Justin & I have now been married for 8 years! EIGHT YEARS!

Our family has grown from us & a 6-yr old to us, a 14-yr old, a 4-yr old and a new addition coming soon! We're about to be out-numbered by the children!

Yes, the picture is blurry, I know. I was having focusing issues. Which just means I get to drag Justin out somewhere again to do another set of family pictures. I'm pretty sure it is his most FAVORITE activity ever! Hopefully next time it won't be so windy. He has also decided that we're not allowed to do fall pictures anymore because it gets too cold...but that's when I need a family picture for Christmas cards!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Menu Monday

Another week with absolutely NOTHING going on in the evenings. Love it. We'll have Anaya this weekend, so the meals have to be a little bigger than when it is just Justin, Claire & I. My mom is having her semi-regular open house on Saturday, so since I had offered earlier this year, I'm having my parents & brother's family over for lunch on Sunday...which means another meal to plan!

Monday - Meatloaf
Tuesday - Ranch Pork Chops (crockpot)
Wednesday - Hamburgers
Thursday - Skillet Chicken
Friday - Corn/Potato/Bacon Chowder (crockpot)
Saturday - Sandwiches or something light
Sunday Lunch - some kind of Chicken
Sunday Dinner - Sandwiches / Leftovers

What are you eating this week?

Friday, November 8, 2013

A New Water Heater

It is amazing the difference a new water heater makes. We knew ours was old - original to the house - so about 18 yrs old. And that we were slowly getting less hot water and the water we did get wasn't as hot, but you know, it was gradual and so we didn't notice how bad it had gotten until it had gotten REALLY bad. Plus we have extremely hard water, so we figured a portion of our tank was full of sediment build up.

As my mom and I started talking about Christmas presents for this year, she asked if we wanted her to get us a hot water heater, which I kind of agreed to and then thought about and then said sure and then thought about, because we needed one but with a new baby coming there are lots of things we need (like a car seat) that are important too. But then I started paying more attention to how much hot water we really got from our hot water heater. First it was the showers in the morning that rapidly cooled off even though ideally it would be full of hot water since none had been used since the night before. Then it was not having enough hot water to fill the tub for Claire's bath.

So, we decided that a hot water heater was necessary. Mom was researching how to get Home Depot to install it but we weren't in a huge hurry because it was only October. Then last night, I was washing dishes and had to heat water in the microwave to get the water HOT instead of half a sink of lukewarm water. After which I called my mom and asked if we could please have our hot water heater NOW.

The installation company had an opening today (Friday), and now we have hot water. Lots of hot water. Lovely awesome amazing hot water. And actual HOT water...not just lukewarm water.

So the lesson is, hot water heaters are not really meant to last 18 years. And when you notice that you can no longer fill the tub before the water gets cold, it's time to replace that thing because it much such a difference!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Things I want to make...

I've been eating low carb for a while now (like two months!). And I have seen a ton of recipes come through Pinterest, or from blogs that I read that I would really like to make...except they are full of carbs and I'm eating low carb. So, just because I feel the need to share, here are links to some things that I really want to make, but I'm not (at least not until I have somewhere else to take it so someone else will eat most of it).

White Chocolate & Nutella Truffles
Homer Simpson Donuts
Cinnamon Roll Cake - my sunday school class is getting this next Sunday when I signed up to bring breakfast
Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Icing
Chicken Stock - this one is fine to make w/ my low carb eating, I just haven't done it yet.
Creamy Tomato Soup
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
Emma's Favorite Chocolate Cake

And those are just the ones that looked yummy enough that I actually saved them to look at again later. I know there have been numerous Pumpkin breads/cakes/muffins that all looked delicious. Oh man, I just want to go bake something...but it is late and I shouldn't eat it anyways.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Menu Monday

On Monday I get to have the awesome Gestational Diabetes test. I suppose depending on the results, it could completely change my menu plan. I don't really think I have GD, but you never know! At least not until you're tested. I'm planning to do some freezer cooking soon, and I have a frozen casserole in my freezer from...not too long ago...but I don't remember what it is, so we're going to have it this week!

Monday - Take Out / Leftovers
Tuesday - Turkey Taco Soup
Wednesday - Applesauce BBQ Pork
Thursday - Frozen Casserole
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Sunday - Sandwiches / Leftovers

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Project Life : Week 31

Summer was almost over this week.

Week 31
We got Claire's haircut in preparation of school starting. Anaya returned to her mom's house after being with us for almost the entire month of July. Claire & I went to Deanna Rose Farmstead and a trip to the pool. Since it was the end of the month, it was time for our monthly pictures of Hudson. And my dad had his birthday.

The Penguins! The Penguins!

Saturday morning, Claire & I got up bright and early (seriously, out of the house before 7:45am) to go to the zoo and see the Penguins. I wanted to go to Friends of the Zoo special morning event in hopes of it not being too busy and because there were free donuts! and coffee! and juice! Although we got there and found out it was free Pancakes (Chris Cakes Pancakes) and sausage and juice! I was sad about the lack of free coffee though. Justin & Anaya had no interest in going with us, so it was just Claire and I. Actually, Anaya thought she might go, to see the penguins...until she realized that we were going so early and walking around the entire zoo.

When we went to Boo at the Zoo two weeks ago, we didn't see very many animals. We definitely made up for it this time. And since we were there so early the animals were just coming out and getting fed, so we got to some animals a lot better than normal. Of course, it was also pretty chilly, so quite a few animals were inside. Since this was also the first Saturday after Halloween, they also had their pumpkin smashes going on. We only saw the Chimpanzee pumpkin smash, but that was probably one of the better ones to see. I tried to convince Claire to go see the Elephant one, but she really wanted to go to "Asia" to see the red panda.

We got to see the crocodiles, which Claire always calls alligators. We saw the hippos out of the water for once, usually we only see their eyeballs peeking above the water. We walked all over most of the entire zoo - except for Australia - but we saw most of the Australia animals from the train. We even walked through the Tropics building, which we don't normally do, because Claire wanted to see a Toucan and I figured that was the best place to find one (and we did). Although there were a ton of people in that itty bitty building because they were about to let some of the Tropics' monkeys smash pumpkins.

We had a lot of fun at the zoo. We were there for almost 5 hours, which was about 2 hours longer than I had planned to be there.

Friday, November 1, 2013

October Activities (Part 2)

I posted about some of our early October activities already, and it seems like I just found more and more stuff to go do in the second half of the month! And now that October is over, I'll tell you all about what we did!

apple picking 2013
On my last October Activities post, I lamented about wanting to go apple picking but not being sure that we would get the chance. Well, we did. I looked at a couple online, and discovered that Cider Hill Family Orchard still had picking, so Claire & I got in the car on Sunday afternoon and went to pick apples! The only issue we had was the Claire was convinced that green apples were BAD and we should only pick red apples...but the only variety that was available were called Gold Rush and they were green. It took me a while to convince her that they were okay.

enchanted forest
We went to Enchanted Forest in Lenexa at (the newly renovated) Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park this year. I don't think we went last year, but we did two years ago. Maybe we've gone twice, because it kind of seems like I took Anaya with us there once too. It was sooooo much better this year. The last time there was a HUGE line to get back into the "creepy" area and it just wasn't worth the wait. The park has been renovated and now there is a very nice pond that they set it up around and $3 got your under 12 yr old child unlimited bouncing in the bounce houses, a pumpkin to paint and rides on the hay ride (adults could ride the hay ride for free and I didn't actually see them check for kids wrist bands there at all). They also had puppet shows and magicians and other performers set up around the pond and SureWest provided a free face painter. She could've worn her costume, but I opted to not put her in it since it seemed like a good way to get it dirty and it's going to be really hard to clean anyways.

We've been to Mahaffie Farmstead quite a few times. In fact, since I grew up here, I even remember going there in high school to do a community service project for one of my classes. However, I had never gone to their Trick-or-Treat Off the Street event. It is pretty cheap per person ($3 each) and once you're in, everything is free! Claire wore her costume (which everyone LOVED). Claire was possibly more interested in seeing the farm animals than she was in trick or treating. And they had a hay ride, so of course we had to do that!

Claire was quite insistent that we had to carve pumpkins. She saw an Agent Oso episode about a girl wanting to carve a pumpkin, so then she wanted to carve a pumpkin...or two...or three. So the week before Halloween, we bought two pumpkins (a compromise!) and I told her we would carve them on Sunday. Which meant we had to talk about when Sunday was EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of the week. Claire was so excited to carve the pumpkins, until we actually started carving. She picked to face patterns out of a pumpkin carving pattern book we had from a previous year, I cut the tops off the pumpkin - which was the first step according to Oso. Then I tried to convince her to help scoop the insides out and she didn't care much for that and told me so was going to go "Watch Football with Daddy". After I got all the insides scooped out, I had her come back up and we decided which face would go on each pumpkin - but according to Oso only adults can actually carve pumpkins, so she went back to watching football and I carved the pumpkins.

Claire's Class Party

Claire's preschool class had a party. All the kiddos were ADORABLE. I'm not posting a picture because...I don't feel like blurry-ing out all the other kids' faces for their privacy. But Claire had fun and was even okay with me leaving her at school when the party was over. They only had about 15-20 minutes left of their day, but I wanted to run to Target without a 4 yr old...and she is used to riding the bus home.