Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spooky Veggie Tray

We don't get too into Halloween around here, especially the freaky stuff, but I'm all about trick or treating in cute costumes and the chance to meet and greet your neighbors.  When it comes to festivities, I usually stick to pumpkins and all things fall.  This year, we even got the chance to talk Reed through a short and sweet version of the "pumpkin gospel" as he and Daddy carved their first pumpkin.

I would imagine as Reed gets older he will get a big kick out of bats and eyeballs and bugs and whatnot.  Keep the witch and goblin stuff away, and I can roll with gross and silly.  I saw this taco dip picture the other day and thought the spider web sour cream was super creative:
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I was putting together a veggie tray for a youth event the day before Halloween, and thought I would to try to recreate the concept with sour cream ranch dip.

Probably should have gone thicker and more intricate, but I was crunched for time.  Nevertheless, a fun idea to bookmark away. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Recap

Ahh, Fall!

A family picture at Sanctuary on Sunday.  We decided to tag along with our friends the Ballentines to a pumpkin patch after church, and it was big fun!

October was a busy month!  (Is there such thing as a not busy month??)  But it was full of beautiful things...

Our newest niece Evelyn Paige Fader was born to my sweet little sister Brianne & my braves-loving bro-in-law Stephen on October 2nd.  Happy Birthday, Evie!

Evie is six months younger than Molly and her big brother Cameron is six months younger than Reed.

So that's fun!  You would think we would play together all of the time, but with our child-bearing pattern it seems like one of us is always big and pregnant or in the tiny baby stage, and we live an hour and a half apart. :(  Reed does play with Cam a lot when he visits Grammy and Papa.


Molly hung out with some other baby girlfriends in October too!  Our church nursery is full of little girls that will all be in the same grade with Molly.  I love that!  I had a few of the mommies and baby girls over one morning to have coffee and make hairbows and spend some time together.  We mostly just talked, but I think someone did make a bow. :)  Here is a picture with Molly and two of her gal pals:

Saylor (on the right) is 2 months older than Molly, and Olivia (on the left) is a little over 3 months younger than Molly.  Molly's other girlfriends are Wynnie, who is also 3 months younger than Molly, and Kelly's daughter Ava, who is just 5 weeks older than Molly!  (Remember A & M had a baby shower together?)  Girls, girls, girls!

Here is Molly practicing sitting up like Ava. :)

Brooklyn (3 1/2 months older than M) and Molly and Reed cheered on the Dawgs in October!



Speaking of gals, two amazing ladies at church hosted a legit tea party for our senior girls small group... it was some fancy fun!


We also potty trained Reed in October, which was a cake walk thanks to his having buddies a few months ahead of us.  And Reed got a new "Country Bears" guitar for being a such a big boy!

(And also because an unfortunate bare-bottomed incident led to the demise of his previous guitar).

I am pretty sure Reed enjoyed wearing his Mickey Mouse underwear! ;)



We had a special day dedicating our sweet Molly at church on October 19th.

We were a mess.  See Molly's shoe on the ground. :)  Here is a quick video of us sharing the verse we chose to read over Molly (Zephaniah 3:17):





Daddy and Reed had fun working together in the yard.

Matt started participating in a 2-year CLC group this fall, and has really enjoyed the time spent studying God's Word and growing together with other men.  He leads our family well, and I appreciate that he is always seeking to grow.


We cheered on the bulldogs at the Waldron's annual Pumpkin Palooza.  Go Dawgs!



We hit up the zoo a couple of times!  The kids and I went once with our buddies Max and Jack and mommy Lauren, and Matt and I took the kids once on "family friday."  Both times we got sublime donuts on the way.  Mmmmm.  (See bottom right picture).


In addition to our other costume adventures, we had a herd of zebras visit us to trick or treat. :)


What else?  Here are a few pictures from the cell phone archives...

Here is Molly enjoying some fall fashion and breaking in her boots during a stroll at The Avenue.

The ladies at lenscrafters had a ball fitting Reed with some frames (just for fun) while daddy picked out new glasses.  So cute!

And Reed got to touch a lobster when we met Papa and Grammy for lunch at Red Lobster.


Annnnd that's a wrap!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Costumes Galore

Phew!  In the words of my sister-in-law, I've sucked at blogging lately. :)  Suffice it to say life around here has been a little cra cra.  And I don't have one of those legit blogs that makes money or changes lives, so blogging is just for fun and is always the first thing to go.  Which is good.

Anyway, for a few minutes tonight I'm back to share some of my favorite Halloween costume ideas from this year's search!

First up, a couple of favorite family costume ideas...
How cute is this!?
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I also thought this race car team was creative, and considered putting Molly in a bjorn-turned-trophy.
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The idea I really wanted to run with was a "rocker family."  I thought it would be really fun... Matt with a big 80's wig, Reed all tatted up and with gelled hair, and Molly with some fingerless gloves and a microphone rattle.  Something along these lines...

Alas, we already had a monkey costume in Molly's size, and access to several animal costumes in Reed's size, so in the end we costume partied as zoo animals and zoo keepers! 

You can't tell in the picture, but we both had cage keys attached to our belts, and we carried a bucket as a prop.  I also made us some id badges so that we looked "official."  Matt came up with our titles. :)

Molly was the monkey by default.  We already had the costume, and it fit with the zoo thing.  I did stick a pink bow in her hair after someone said "he" was cute. :)

I should have done something really sweet and girly for Molly's first costume, but once Reed announced he wanted to be a princess for Halloween, we really started playing up the animal thing.


Somehow Reed ended up with a whole lineup of costumes to try on this year, just like last year.

We started with an elephant and a giraffe that Reed's pediatrician let us borrow.  (Yes, you read that right, and we love and recommend our doc office.  It has a friendly, personal vibe and we really feel known... which may or may not have anything to do with my frequent phone calls.  I think the lent costumes were in pity after Reed told the staff he was going to dress up as a princess.  Embarrassing well-check moment.)  Anyway, we tried them on last week and were rolling on the floor laughing at Reed in the stuffed elephant costume.

The rear view was too. much.

Even though they said size 2-4, both costumes were a little tight, and I was worried about ruining them since they weren't ours.  We had already planned the zoo thing, so Lauren brought us a tiger at the last minute.  In the end, Reed insisted on the elephant for the party (as you saw above).

Lauren also gave us a chicken costume just for fun, and Reed wore that one trick-or-treating.

And Molly was still a monkey.

So, we had an unlikely duo strolling through the hood.

I wonder what Reed and Molly will want to be next year!  What was the best costume you saw out there tonight, or floating around Pinterest this month?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Party Playdate

I have been absent for a little while, and before fall passes us by I'm popping back in today to share some simple, fun PUMPKIN ideas.

Last week, Reed and I got some pals together for a low-key pumpkin party at Lauren's house.  We played outside, ate lunch together, and painted pumpkins with our tots.


Pumpkin Party Food...
Lauren prepared a super cute and festive table for lunch. :)  (I snapped this picture early on, so as you can see not everything was ready to roll).

Here are a few favorite pumpkin-y food ideas from my pinterest search. :)

Pumpkin Pinwheels- These look so cute, and would be toddler-friendly with just turkey and cheese.
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Jack-o-Lantern Fruit Cups- Quick, easy, and fun.  We used these for our lunch.
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Pumpkin Eggs- I haven't made these deviled eggs, but thought they were so creative.  It looks like the linked recipe is all fancy, but really just the shaping, paprika, and chive stem would pumpkin-ize your normal recipe.
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Pumpkin-y Snack Mix- Candy pumpkins (and/or candy corn) add a festive touch to your favorite sweet snack mix recipe!
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Veggie Tray- Quick and Cute.
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Pumpkin Party Painting...
We went for a take 2 of last year's pumpkin project.  You can see the step-by-step on the previous link, so I won't go through the how-to.  But here are two main changes:

1- Got washable paint this time.  Not sure if it was just poor quality paint or the wrong choice for type of paint, but it showed up on our pumpkin very thin and see-through.  Reed didn't seem to mind though, and maybe we can just say it looks like a spider web. :)

2- This year we had Lauren's exacto knives (as opposed to just using the strips of tape to make a design).  I still just taped off an "M" because Reed was ready to get his paint on, but Lauren covered Max's pumpkin in painter's tape and busted out a baseball pattern!  Fun.


Hope one or two of these ideas might meet a pumpkin-y need or whim this fall!  Most importantly, enjoy the season with your most precious little pumpkins, props and paint or not. :)


Friday, October 19, 2012

Molly 6 Months

Molly turned 6 months old on October 19th!

Oh my heart.  The weeks are continuing to fly by!

Six-month-old Molly is precious and smiley and cute as a button.  These days she is grabbing at things, babbling loudly (now with a version of "Mama" and "Dada,"each of which are encouraged enthusiastically), and loves to smile at admirers.


Molly's newest tricks are sitting alone (although she still topples), and blowing "raspberries."


And she looooves her big brother.  No one can make Molly cackle like Reed can!  It is so funny to watch. :)


Molly is 24 inches long, and weighs 14lbs, 14oz.  She is 5th percentile in length and 10-25th in weight...  and I have NO idea how she has dropped in those categories since she eats around. the. clock.  When I last left you at 4 1/2 months, Molly had started waking to eat at night after being a solid 12-hour sleeper, and I thought it was related to my efforts to combat pregnancy weight.  You all gave me some great ideas to boost milk supply, but it took about 2 weeks until became evident that the changes in my milk and milk supply were hormonal changes.  (TMI, probably, but I include this in case any one else runs into this experience as a breastfeeding mom- I found this blog helpful).  Anyway, long story shortened, Molly was immediately back on track after those 2 weeks, but another 2 weeks after that we started all over again.  The second time she never bounced back.  I was all over the place trying to figure out why she kept waking up screaming, sometimes hungry sometimes not... Teething? Tummy troubles from solids we'd started?  Hungry or habit?  I took her to doctor, and treated an ear infection at one point.   I guess I've sort of turned into a hippie mom for now. :)  She is just so hungry when she wakes up and I can't resist visiting that sweet little face at night, even if I am tired.  We are working on solids and a good daytime schedule, and my hope is that she will somehow just surprise me and decide she needs more sleep. :)  Oh, and my little diva also decided she is above bottles.  We haven't been successful in getting her to take a bottle in two months!  Good thing she is so stinkin' cute!  No, seriously though, I get all teary eyed watching my babies grow so quickly and can't seem to get them to stop.  We are so enjoying baby Molly, restless nights and all.  What a gift she is!




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Postcard Album (a vacation tradition idea)

Today I wanted to share a quick and easy vacation tradition idea-- a postcard album...

We just got back from a visit to Disney World with my parents!

As I was packing up the van, I had a slight how-did-we-get-here moment.  I remember feeling  "grown-up" when we started having to spend money on things like a new roof or our replacement HVAC unit, or even when we bought the minivan last fall.  But traveling with baby gear oozing out our ears, a travel potty seat, and an entire bag devoted to wipes and (two different sizes of) diapers is a whole new level of times-have-changed.

 And it's awesome.  I'm not sure if it was the full house moment preparing to depart or maybe our iconic destination, but en route to Disney I recalled an idea I had bookmarked several years ago--a family postcard album.  I don't know where I initially came across it, but the idea is really simple: you buy a postcard from each vacation destination, journal some notes and memories from the trip on the back of it (and/or have the kids do this), and keep them together over the years in some kind of a flip album or even a coffee table box.  What a treasure trove of memories!  We will have pictures for sure (I took almost 1000 last week!), but I love that this idea is kind of old-fashioned, and so tactile in a fast-paced digital age.
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I can't wait to record some memories of our visit to Disney World onto our first postcard!  It was so much fun to watch Reed love everything about the experience so enthusiastically. :)  We would never have ventured to Disney at this stage in our lives without the invitation and extra hands of grandparents, so I'm super thankful we got the opportunity to take and enjoy Reed at age 2 1/2.  (Thanks, Papa and Grammy!).  And Molly was on her best behavior, as usual.  Thankful for her smiles too!


I hope to try to fill in postcards for all the places Matt and I have visited together since we got married!  I also thought it might be a good idea to let each child pick and fill out their postcard, so everyone could have an eventual version of the album.  Simple and meaningful.  I love it!  Do you have a similar tradition?  Anything else you would add to the postcard album idea?