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Wednesday, October 31, 2007



If I had only known...

I decided a while ago that Lauren was going to dress up as Blue from Blue's Clues for Halloween. I even ran the idea passed her. She was all for it. Daddy was going to be Steve. Mommy was going to be Magenta.

But as Halloween approached, she wanted nothing to do with her costume. When I came home tonight, I put on my traditional Halloween attire of my black t-shirt adorned with jack-o-lanterns and my blinking devil horns. Well, as soon as Lauren got sight of my horns, she wanted to wear them. This from the kid who hates to wear anything on her head. So it became obvious to me that she should have dressed up as a devil. Oh well.

Mark eventually convinced her to put on her costume (after much kicking and screaming), although by that time, it was too dark to take any photos. She was a little hesitant about the whole trick-or-treating business, but eventually she got the hang of it and started to enjoy it. In the end we visited five houses in our neighborhood and had seven trick-or-treaters at our door. It was a light Halloween to say the least.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scrapbooking: Green is good.

Green is good.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought Lauren some new Play-doh. The set came with a green can which she proceeded to carry with her everywhere she went throughout the day.

Green Play-doh:  the must have accessory for fall.

This example of Lauren's fixation with the color green inspired this page. As I was planning the layout, I knew I wanted to make a grid out of photos and patterned paper, but otherwise, I didn't know where I was going with it. The arrow was a last minute edition as I was originally going to have the title run along side of the page. This was definitely the better choice though, because I'm finally putting my chipboard collection to good use. But what I especially like is that although the page is about the color green, green really doesn't dominate it. Instead, it has a nice balance of different colors. And although you can't tell so much from the scan, the corners are rounded to match the pattern on the orange paper.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shakin' and bakin'.

What can I say, she's a pro!

I got this crazy idea that letting a two year old help bake cookies would be a good Sunday afternoon activity. I had originally tried to coax her to put on her Halloween costume and "practice" trick-or-treating outside (My real motive was to get her outside in order to take photos), but she wouldn't have anything to do with it. She said, "No, I just wear my coat." So these may just be the only Halloween related photos taken of Lauren this year.

Lauren making cookies.

I figured that since she loved playing with Play-doh so much, that cookie cutting would be a natural progression. She was a little unsure at first, but once she got going, she was a real pro! I think I have my helper lined up for Christmas cookie baking.

Halloween cookies cubist style.

Here is the end result. This was the first time that I made icing, and I struggled a bit with the consistency. Also, Frankenstein's monster could be a little greener.

After I had finished decorating the cookies, I went into the kitchen to clean up and made the mistake of leaving them unattended in the dining room. When I came back to retrieve them, some of them were missing noses and eyes.

I wonder who could have done such a thing?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fall decorating.

Dining room mantel Halloween style.

Besides carving jack-o-lanterns for the doorstep, we've never done much decorating for Halloween. But with Halloween becoming a bigger and bigger holiday each year, we're becoming more compelled to give it a try.

This is our dining room mantel. The "Boo" was yet another idea ripped off from Pottery Barn. The main difference is that my version was practically free to make. The mirror had been languishing in a corner of our basement, until one night I dreamed of painting it black. This is the first time ever that I had a creatively inspiring dream. Usually, I dream about being in high school again and I've forgotten my locker combination or I have finals to take but I have no chance of passing because I've skipped class all year. Anyway, I think my subconscious had a really good idea for once.

Apothecary jars.

This is the second year for using apothecary jars to store candy. I bought a few more because I think that they're really fun. Mark keeps complaining that the opening of the jars are too small to fit his hands through. I guess style over usage won out.

Who needs orange?

Lastly, here's what our mantel at our previous house looked like a couple of years ago. That year, the orange pumpkins that Mark planted fizzled out, but the white ones flourished. Blue and green are my favorite colors, so I just love this photo.

And in case anyone had doubts, yes, I already have plans for Christmas.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Fun with peanuts.

When the new chandelier that Mark purchased for our stairwell arrived packed in a huge box of styrofoam peanuts, Lauren needed little convincing to jump inside.

The best kind of recycling.

Maybe I'll take a photo of the new chandelier once it's installed, though I highly doubt it will be as cute.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Leaf peepin'.

Fall foliage.

This morning, we went for a hike at Fall Run Park, which is located about a 2 minute drive from our house.

Dry creek bed.

The park gets its name from the waterfall located in the middle of the trail. Unfortunately, due to the drought, the creek beds were dry, which didn't make for much of a waterfall.

Mark and Lauren at the top of "the falls."

That's Mark and Lauren on top of the falls. Yes, that's the waterfall. Seriously.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mary Higgins Clark has more money than God.

Book sale booty!

That is, if you go by the number of her books available at any given used book sale.

Today was the last used book sale of the year, thus concluding a very successful season. And if it sounds like I'm describing a competition, well, you'd think of it in that way too if you've ever seen the people lining up outside before the sale starts or the way people pillage once they're inside. Given that the cover price for new hardback books is around $30, I guess the furor is understandable.

Anyway, even though our library's sale actually has some of the more expensive prices (3 for $2.00), we still ended up with over twenty books for around $15. The vast majority of these were for Lauren, although I did find a brand new hardback copy of The Golden Compass for myself.

By the way, the Woo! The Not-so-Scary Ghost book in photo is absolutely adorable.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall!

Bah - the only fall thing around here is my Boss's Day gift. Okay, the leaves *are* finally changing, but this warm weather has got to go! It just doesn't feel right.

Earlier in the week, Mark had spotted some cheap pumpkins situated outside of an country store in North Park. So in order to kill time until our pizza was ready for pick up, we decided to stop there tonight.

The cart contained three price levels of pumpkins - $1.50, $3.50, and $6.50. We assumed that the smaller, pie making pumpkins were $1.50, while the big pumpkins were $6.50. That left the medium, mid-range pumpkins which were just right for us. We picked out five and brought them up to the counter.

Then, the lady attending to the store asked Mark, "Are those the $1.50 ones or the $3.50 ones?"

Mark replied, "I think that they're the $3.50 ones."

After we finished loading the pumpkins into the car, Mark hands me a wad of cash and says, "I think she charged me $1.50 anyway."

Five pumpkins for $7.50. This almost beats the time we bought a Christmas tree for $5.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hangin' with Baby Noah.

Baby Noah is almost 5 months old!

Tonight, we spent the evening at Mark's parents house to celebrate our sister-in-law Beth's birthday. Not even five months old, Noah has already taken a keen interest in the performance of the New England Patriots.

Chillin' and watching the Patriots.

Lauren is really good with Noah. She stacked blocks for him so that he could knock them over. Then, she'd comfort him after the blocks fell on top of him. I've often wondered how Lauren would take to a brother or sister. She pretty much has the undivided attention of one of us (and sometimes both!) at any time, so having a sibling to contend with would be a pretty big change for her. But at least it seems that she isn't completely opposed to the idea.

Playing with cousin Lauren.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lil' Picasso.

lil' Picasso.

Or, as I prefer, lil' Renoir.

With the weather turning too cold to play outside, we're challenged to keep Lauren occupied with indoor activities. One night this week, I dug out some alphabet blocks that she hadn't played with before. Another night, I gave her some Halloween cookie cutters, and we sat and made pumpkins and bats out of Play-doh. However, the big hit of the week was painting.

Given that she can't stand to get her hands dirty, Lauren has never been much of a finger painter. But hand her a foam brush, and she's suddenly channeling her inner Impressionist.

Ten! Thanks everyone!

In other news, I was excited to find that as of this week, I've had ten photos appear on Flickr's Explore pages. It's so fun to challenge myself to come up with ideas for photos that may be deemed interesting by a super secret algorithm.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Got wood?

Got wood?

Last week, a guy from the electrical company stopped by to scope out the trees on our property. The old oak tree at next to our driveway needed to be trimmed in order to make way for the new electrical lines that were going to be installed. Since they were going to cut off the two largest branches, which would likely cause the already sickly tree to die anyway, Mark requested that they just cut it down entirely. Given that the tree was likely over one hundred years old, he made this decision with a heavy heart.

Well, the event has become the talk of the street, as all of our neighbors are now coveting the free firewood. Which is fine by us, because now we don't have to pay someone to haul it all away.

One of the nice ladies of our neighborhood even baked us a Bavarian coffee cake to show her gratitude.

Bavarian coffee cake.

Nothing like crushed pecans and cinnamon to wash the guilt away.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A little somethin'.


Sometimes you don't become aware of your own idiosyncrasies until you become a parent.

For example, I recently noticed that I have a tendency to overuse the word "something." The habit is probably pretty annoying, but it wasn't until Lauren started saying oddly familiar things that it was brought my attention. Like...

"Let's do somethin' else."
"I have to go get somethin' first."
"Let's go watch Scooby Doo or somethin'."


A couple of days ago, Lauren and I spent the evening sitting on the couch together playing games on the iPod. When I tucked her into bed that night I asked her, "Are you my little friend?"

To which, she replied, "No, Mommy, I'm your BIG friend!"