Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Here's our little cow, getting ready for trick or treating! I've been working on his costume this week - it was very simple. I started with black sweatpants and a white shirt, and hand-sewed black felt shapes onto the shirt (next time I would probably wise up and iron them on). Then I made a simple white fleece hat and sewed spots on it as well. The ears and tail were also made with the fleece and the horns I made out of felt. I think I will keep making his costumes until he tells me he doesn't want me to anymore! It's fun!
Many of you probably know that we have cows for neighbors, and it is a daily activity for us to head over to the fence and look for the cows. That is why I decided Lachlan would enjoy dressing as a cow for Halloween. In the photo above he was doing his hand motion for "where" are the cows?
At dusk we loaded up Mr. Cow in the wagon with his pumpkin and met up with our neighbors, who have a little boy about Lachlan's age. We wandered our street together, followed by a friendly neighborhood cat.
Lachlan went right up to the doors and knocked - not quite ready to say "trick or treat" yet, but he did reach into all the treat bowls and put the treats into his pumpkin. He also quickly discovered that he was collecting something yummy - he probably ate 3 or 4 little bags of M&M's as he rode in the wagon.
We were lucky, the weather was cool but not freezing, and it was a nice clear night. We think our boy did a great job for his first trick-or-treating adventure. Fun was had by all! Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpking Scooping & Carving

Tonight after dinner we opened up three of the pumpkins from our garden to turn them into jack-o-lanterns.
Lachlan was immediately interested in getting in to scoop out the guts. He followed Bill's lead and worked on all three pumpkins with his hands and the scooper tool.
Once we took out all the seeds and guts, Lachlan worked on moving everything from one bowl to another. Then he went to the door to ask for more pumpkins to work on. :)
After Lachlan went to bed, Bill and I got down to carving!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fun times at Disney

We had a great time on our family vacation to Disneyworld. October was a very nice time to visit, perfect weather, not too crowded.
The autograph book got lots of action - I don't know how they sign with those big heads and paws!
There was also lots of cousin bed wrestling and playing. It was fun to watch the three of them together.
We visited all four parks, which involved a little bit of Monorail riding and lots of Disney bus riding. Lachlan's new favorite song is "Wheels on the Bus". Lachlan rode on a few toddler-friendly rides every morning, but he enjoyed people watching and character watching just as much.
Every afternoon I brought him back to the hotel for a nap while everyone else kept riding rides, but it was an essential rest time to make it through dinner and a later bedtime. It worked out well, and I didn't mind the slower pace at all.
I was surprised that he was not afraid of the characters. Mickey Mouse was the only character that he knew and recognized before we went. When we got to meet Mickey, he wanted to give him a kiss and wanted to go back for more after our turn was over.
We picked out some Mickey ears, a t-shirt, and a Mickey Christmas ornament for souvenirs. Lachlan is loving wearing his "hat".
It was a lovely family vacation and a fun break from the every day. Disneyworld is truly like no other place on Earth. If you'd like to see more pictures from the trip, check out my Flickr set.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Disney gifts

We're off to Disneyworld in the morning with Bill's family and I wanted to make our nephews each something special to celebrate. I made the 2 year old a little tote bag with Lightning McQueen on it to carry his special stuff.
For the 6 year old, I made an autograph book that will also eventually hold photos of him with the characters.
Excited and a little nervous about taking an 18 month old to Disneyworld, but it is going to be FUN! Gotta get to bed now, we're going to be heading to the airport at a ridiculous hour!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Bill and I went to see Where the Wild Things are last night. I've been excited to see it for so long, especially since I saw the first magical trailer months ago. I may have set my expectations too high, or the movie may have missed the mark a bit, but I came away from it feeling a little let down.

The visuals were beautiful, as you can imagine. I think they did a great job of showing Max's perspective throughout. Both his home environment and the land of the wild things were completely believable and inspiring. It is really incredible how they brought the wild things to life.

The movie focuses on the themes of loneliness and alienation throughout. There was plenty of crazy roughhousing and shenanigans with Max and the wild things, but there wasn't much positivity or warmth. The wild things seemed a little too sad. Bill said there needed to be a few more sweet and snugly moments, and I agree.

The main issue for me is that it really isn't a kid's movie. Definitely a little dark and scary for the preschool crowd, but even elementary kids may not connect with the story. Maybe the cool setting and creatures would be enough to entertain them, I'm not sure.

That said, I am glad that I saw it and I do recommend it. If you love the book and you would like to see the movie, definitely go see it while it is on the big screen! I'd love to hear what anyone else who has seen it thought.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

gloves + pumpkins

I got my new fingerless hand-knit gloves today. They are from ChristineKnit's Etsy store. I love the feeling of wearing something cozy and handmade. These are very nice, maybe a little on the big side for my hands, but if I need to, I could layer some stretchy gloves underneath. Perfect for navigating the iPhone on the go, too.
I love the color, look at how they match the leaves from our little Maple tree!
This afternoon was actually sunny and not *too* cold, so Lachlan and I lined up all the pumpkins that I grew in the garden this summer for photos. There are 3 more still not quite ripe in the garden, and we lost a rotten one. I think 8 is a pretty successful harvest and they will definitely work great for jack-o-lanterns.
I was hoping for some photos of L with the pumpkins, like last year, but this was the best I could get. Still pretty cute, eh? He definitely has his own plans lately.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Preucil Art Show

This is the third year that the Englert gallery has hosted an exhibit of artwork by our Preucil preschoolers. Helen, our art teacher, collects artwork throughout the school year and summer and curates a great representation of all the great work our kiddos create.
This year I had the pleasure of helping hang the show and it was fun to decide which paintings to hang together, and how to group all the sculptures. There is a wall of sculptures on pedestals that is really excellent.
My class made this dinosaur table over the summer - and it has been a "home" for our classroom dinosaurs ever since. I love that Helen made a board of photos of the class working on it, and the painting behind is "the inside of a volcano".
One thing that Helen did this year was make groups of paintings that had something in common. My favorite is this grouping of three cakes. All so cake-like, but all so different from each other.
We had an opening for the show on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday night while Bill and my dad were at the Hawk game, mom and I made chocolate covered pretzels to bring to the opening for treats.
It was a great turn-out for the opening. It is very special to see the kids showing off their artwork to their families and admiring everyone's work. It makes the work seem even more wonderful when it is framed and displayed so nicely. But really, it comes down to the creativity of the kids and the great variety of work that Helen was able to collect. You should check it out if you are in the Iowa City area. It will be up through the rest of October, and I think the gallery is open in the afternoons.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

wrist warmers

Dreaming about a pair of handmade wrist warmers for this Fall. Seems like the perfect plan for cozy hands + easy access to my iPhone and the ability to zip little zippers and tie little shoelaces. Here are some of my Etsy favorites, what do you think?



Oktoberfest '09

Sunday we had our 2nd annual "Oktoberfest" party. It is Bill's concept and he takes on all the planning and decorating, but I have to admit it was lots of fun. Not to mention that it was the absolute perfect October afternoon. Sunny and crisp!
This year we added our family to the invites, in addition to coworkers/friends in Iowa City.
There was lots of brat & giant pretzel eating, dark beer drinking, and this silly bags game, which I can't really get excited about.
We also celebrated my dad's birthday with an ice cream cake.
And Lachlan was his usual social self, taking it all in - and then he decided that he had figured out where everyone was getting those drinks!