This is finals week for Daddy, which means he has a few late nights so that he can do a couple review sessions with some of his students. Thus, mommy is hanging out with the girls all by herself and having a blast!
When we first arrived home the girls both received some mail from Nana F. They were both so excited to receive something that was addressed specifically for them. What was even cooler was that each card came filled with stickers for the girls to play with however they saw fit. Well, that was all the Butterfly needed to know. She immediately started tattooing her arm with the stickers and had a blast! They may have been a short lived gift, but they were thoroughly enjoyed!
Tonight we made some delicious noodles, salad, and fruit for dinner. The Butterfly decided to help me with making dinner. Specifically, she played with and ate some olives while I cut them up to go in the noodles (yup, I know... big help!). What was so cute was what she did with the olives. She found the perfect spot for them... on her nubbin. Gotta love how this girl can now give me a thumbs up!
After cleaning up we played a few games. We did play a few rounds of Hungry Hippos, but the girls' favorite game was the caterpillar/chopstick game (as they like to call it!). All three of us had a blast playing the game and often giggled along the way.
What a fun night. I love spending time with my girls!
(By the way, I am not really sure why the Butterfly has decided that she needs to squint when she smiles, but it is pretty funny and she is very consistent.)
Today we put our tree up and decorated the house for Christmas. I love the lights and the decorations, it makes the house so festive. While the Ladybug and I were completing the finishing touches on the tree, I glanced across the room and found the Butterfly kicking back on the arm of the couch... reading. Love it! She looked so relaxed and thoroughly into the book. what made me chuckle was her one leg crossed over the other to help hold the book on her lap. So cute!
Her choice of book was awesome, "Oliver's High Five." The book is about an octopus named Oliver who only has five arms, but it doesn't bother him! Through his determination and positive attitude, he corrects the misconceptions other people have about physical challenges. Talk about an awesome book for my little girl to be reading. She already has great taste!
What a pleasant surprise. Who knew... I have a little reader on my hands!
Today was my birthday! Yup, another year older. But if you ask my husband he will swear that I am still 29... good man! I awoke this morning with a wonderful greeting from the Ladybug, a great big hug and a homemade present. A special Birthday Hat with candles and streamers all around. A princess-style birthday hat. And with that it was already shaping up to be a great day.
Daddy and the girls headed downstairs to wrap some presents while I got ready to go out. We decided to visit our new favorite restaurant for lunch to celebrate. But, our time there was not just to celebrate my birthday. The bigger event was the celebration of the Ladybug's Forever Family Day.
Five years ago today, we were in Guizhou, China, and the Ladybug was placed in my arms. Honestly, the best birthday present I have ever received! But despite my joy, the baby was terrified. She didn't know what was happening to her, she didn't know that we were her new family.
This tiny, adorable seven month old baby girl affectionately came to be known all of our fellow travelers as "Baby Big Hair."
Just look at those tiny little fingers.
When we move forward just a few months, the little baby was finding her groove in our family. she found her place... right by Daddy's side! She and Daddy have been inseparable ever since. She has grown into such an amazing little girl who lights up any room with her smile and laughter. I feel so blessed that she is my daughter. We are so fortunate she was chosen to be a part of our family. Simply amazing.
Here is a time capsule of the last few years on this special day. Look how much our precious girl has grown in the last five years.
Forever Family Day, November 13, 2006
Forever Family Day, 2007
Forever Family Day 2008
Forever Family Day 2009
Forever Family Day 2010
Forever Family Day 2011
(You will notice how sleepy the Ladybug looks. That is because Mommy totally forgot about our annual photo until I started working on this blog post, so we had to wake to poor Bug up to get the photo. Bless her tired little heart!)
Today was a glorious day. I love my family, and to be able to spend each birthday celebrating not only my steadfast age (gotta love 29!), but also the day when we first became a family. Such a treasure.
Halloween came and went. The girls, as can be expected, had a blast!
Living in the middle of the United States does keep us on our toes. Fortunately, things were on our side on the last day of October... weather-wise anyway. As I drove home from work, I checked the temperature gauge. Much to my surprise it was a balmy 71 degrees. Perfect for trick-or-treating!
I arrived home, got the girls dressed,
added a little makeup,
and took some photos...
Daddy then took the girls for a wonderful stroll around our great new neighborhood trick-or-treating. And yes, Daddy did dress up too... as Dr. Who! Gotta love the bow-tie. Bow-ties are cool!
What a fun night for everyone. I love my girls, I love my husband, I love enjoying this life with them!
The Ladybug is such a loving child who smiles from the inside out...
The Butterfly's joy of life is contagious!
I love my family!
I am also happy that Halloween happened when it did. 24 hours later it was 30 degrees colder and snow flakes started to fall. Yuck! Gotta love our weather (or not).
The girls love to play dress-up, practically every day. Princess dresses are the most common choice (Nana F. lives in Florida and loves shopping when things are deeply discounted!), but the girls love dressing-up in anything that is not... normal school-wear clothing. Thus, as you can imagine, they love Halloween!
OK, so there are two reasons they like Halloween... dressing up and the candy. They are normal kids after all!
The festivities started this year when we visited our favorite greenhouse to purchase some pumpkins. After a fun time of roasting marshmallows, a horse-drawn wagon ride, feeding the chickens and fish, and playing in a hay-bale maze, we found the perfect pumpkins.
The girls finding their way through the maze.
Riding on the horse-drawn wagon.
The girls and their pumpkin loot!
Playing on one of the garden statues.
Now that we had the pumpkins, it was time to start carving! The Baby Butterfly had her own perfect pumpkin, and was so excited that she was going to be a part of the process of cleaning and carving her pumpkin. That was... until... she actually had all of the pumpkin guts on her hands. It truly amazes me that a child who devours her food with gusto, and in the process will get food on her from head to toe and she won't even bat an eye. But, cleaning out a pumpkin really freaks her out and makes her seem like she has OCD. Who knew?
Daddy and Mommy did all of the carving of the pumpkins. Of course Daddy did all of the drawing of the pumpkin faces. I just love that Daddy is so artistic... not a stencil in site!
The Butterfly's pumpkin being devoured by a larger pumpkin!
This pumpkin was grossed out by the cannibal pumpkin!
The Ladybug's... ladybug pumpkin!
Anyway, after Mommy cleaned out her pumpkin, the Bug was more than happy to supervise the carving process. She is a girl who really enjoys being in charge! (BTW, she is munching on freshly cooked pumpkin seeds.)
Daddy came up with a great idea of having the Butterfly's little pumpkin being devoured by one of the larger ones. The little one loved the idea and was so excited that her pumpkin was such a pivotal part of the pumpkin decorations.
Following the pumpkin carving, the Ladybug and I decided to make some special holiday treats... chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes. Yum! You cannot deny, this kiddo has come baking skills!
With all of this fun, I can only imagine all of the fun the girls will have tomorrow when they walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating. This will be so much fun! I cannot wait. In the mean time, here are the girls in their costumes. They had a Halloween party today and I took the opportunity to get some pics of them in their outfits.