Thursday, October 21, 2010

Party preparations

We're having a little Halloween par-tay here on Saturday so Claire and I have been busy making decorations this week. Decorating the fireplace was first. We made lots of paper bats.

In fact, the bats are kinda all over the house.
And we made watercolor paper lanterns. We've made these every year. They are very fun to make and look so pretty with candles in them. Tutorial here.

Claire and Annabel (who may have played hookey from school today) made these fun paper plate skeletons. I found the craft "here" and they are fun to make and cute to display.

This one is on our front door. Do you remember that my camera is lost? I'm using this terrible one right now...that's why everything is blurry and fuzzy. Bleh.

This one we posed. He's pointing the way upstairs for more games.

These letters are framed in my kitchen. There is this blog out there called "Graphics Fairy" and she has all these great free printable graphics.

The vintage artificial eyeball printables from Graphics Fairy are cool too. We put them on all of our family photos, but Sammy won't let them put them on his. He thinks they are grose.

Then we printed out spooky labels for our apothecary jars. They say things like "bat wings" and "mice dust" and "frog legs". I forget where I found them but now I have to fill them with spooky things like eyeball candy or something.

Then, to be nice, Matt put up these pictures that my mom gave to me that have been sitting in a box for months waiting to find the perfect home. Getting them all straight was a giant pain but he did a great job.

I love them so it's a shame I couldn't get a better picture of them. They are little tiny paintings of parks and buildings in Chicago around 1900.

Some of the places pictured are near our house. St Ignatius is a fancy high school that is close to our neighborhood and then there are places like Lincoln Park, Union Park, and old mansions on South Prairie Avenue (in what is now the South Loop).
My mom inherited them from my Nana, and she was kind enough to give them to me. So they finally found a home in my little pink couch room so I can look at them all the time. Thanks mom!

Wella is getting bigger and chunkier and funnier all the time.

Here she is concerned.

And laughing. Look at the chubs! Blow this picture up and kiss her face. You won't regret it.

Claire and Annabel still can't get enough of her. They use her to play ridiculous games and then they crack up laughing. Today they were playing a game with her where she was getting married to stuffed animals. Hey, she was happy and so were they for long enough for me to get some work done, so I'm not complaining. Hopefully, we'll get some fun pictures on Saturday night of the Halloween party. We're very excited around here. I love Halloween.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Acorn Squash

Wella has been making little mouth noises lately whenever she's around real food. I'm not a proponent of starting solids too early, but I was making acorn squash today and she really was leaning into it so I tried to let her lick it.

She liked it so much she took a big bite off of it! I had to dig it out of her mouth before she choked, but then we decided to puree it and let her have a few bites. She did great! Laura will make fun of me for giving her too big of bites. She always says I give my kids giant bites. Well...I have big kids! ;)

Untitled from Susan Harris on Vimeo.

The pumpkin "farm"

Two things have kept me from posting. 1) I'm sick. And the whole family has been sick on and off over the last few weeks. 2) I lost my camera somehow. I still have hope that it's around, but for now I'm using my digital video camera to take pictures...and they aren't as good.
But basically what we've been up to is being sick (colds/sinus infections/sore throats) and trying to do fall stuff as much as we can when we're feeling up to it. So, on Columbus Day, I grabbed a box of Kleenex and some Sudafed and the whole family headed out to Bengston's Pumpkin Farm in Homer Glen.
There was a lot of stuff like this. Sammy liked it as you can imagine.

And also stuff like this. Everywhere you looked there were large embarassing pictures in which you could stick your head and take a picture. We fell for it.

This one is just fabulous. Honestly, I came out here for a farm fix and a little bit of fall beauty and instead, it was pretty commercial. And it was voted Chicago's best pumpkin farm or something!

Matt in the stocks.

Claire in the stocks.

Some guy carving giant pumpkins to look like Sponge Bob.

Claire's head sticking out of another one of the photo-op posters. Seriously.

Finally, we found a petting farm at least. These tiny goats were so sweet. Sam couldn't get enough of them. You could buy food to feed them (which we did) but they were so stuffed from the other 150,000 kids that had fed them all day that they didn't really eat. The big ones did though.

And he REALLy wanted to ride the ponies.

So, for $5 a kid, they got to walk around in a circle about 3 times on the back of a tiny horse. Claire's legs almost touched the ground. I think this was the official last year for pony rides. These kids need to ride a horse!

Oh, wait, we also got to milk a plastic cow.

Now we can say we're real farmers!

Luella did great, but it was a little hot.

We made the mistake of going into a little haunted barn. The place is made for little kids so we thought it would be pretty innocent, but it was still scary. Matt took Sammy right back out after getting about 5 steps into it (Sam doesn't do scary). Claire wanted to go through but we ended up running through with me covering her eyes.

So finally, we got to the big pile of pumpkins. Not like pumpkins you can pick. Just a big ol' pile of pumpkins. But I did like these blue/green ones.

I need to become friends with a farmer somewhere so I can just go to a REGULAR pumpkin farm once a year, pick one pumpkin, drink some apple cider, look at fall leaves, and then go home. I hate all the commercially stuff. It makes me feel like we're in a big pumpkin mall or something.

But we bought my pumpkin.

And the big orange one that the kids wanted.

And we headed home. We stopped for Oberweiss ice cream on the way home, which made everyone happy for the long drive back to the city.

Oh hello little Wella-Wella. You're still our favorite pumpkin.