Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oktober Fest

I love fall and contrary to what he might say, Bryan sure seems to enjoy this season too. It just seems like everything people do in the fall is more fun. Even the chores are better...splitting wood when its 62 degrees is much more fun than mowing the grass when its 108 or shoveling snow when its negative two. The holidays are better too...Halloween and Thanksgiving are more fun than Easter and New Year's Eve. Here is the evidence to support my claim.
Remember my blog a few a few months ago when I revealed Lilly's German dress and promised you that you'd see it again? Well, here it is. The dress is too cute and Lilly liked wearing it so much that we had to build a Halloween costume around it. Luckily for us, it wasn't really that hard. After a little bit of a shock when I googled 'milkmaid' without being specific that I was looking for a child's costume, it was pretty easy to figure out what we needed to add to the dress. All we needed to make Lilly look like an authentic German milkmaid was a button hat and a milk bucket. We found a silver bucket, wrote 'MILK' on it and I channeled my inner Martha Stewart (and called my grandma for help) to make Lilly the button hat. She was the cutest little milkmaid ever.
So cute in fact, that she took Honorable Mention at the Boone Village Halloween Party costume contest. We think Lilly should have beat the (store bought) pirate and fireman, but Woody's mom deserved that trophy. His entire costume was home made.
Two days later Lilly and Grandma left some apples out for the deer that pass through this time of year. They looked for them today and found they had been eaten! Very exciting. Lilly thought she should play on the wood pile while it was still there. (see below)
Splitting wood (when you have a splitter) is a really fun fall chore. Bryan complained when we were done that his back hurt, but I didn't find it hard at all. I stood, and later sat, in the same place for three hours and operated the splitter while Bryan lugged the logs over, maneuvered them into position and then stacked the split wood.
Lilly checked on her apples and then played in the sandbox. She spent the morning mentally preparing for trick or treating that same night.
Lilly had a great time trick or treating. We left early and made a few visits that required a car ride then came home to set out around the neighborhood. Tiki and Papaw joined Lilly, Bryan and I for trick or treating while Grandma made dinner and Wes handed out candy at our house. This worked out great, everyone got to see Lilly in her costume (without us having to drive all around and make ten stops) and we came home from trick or treating to find meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy ready to eat.
Lilly's favorite part of Halloween was ringing doorbells. She loved running onto the porch and pushing the button. We were very proud that she said "trick or treat" and "thank you" loud and clear at each house we visited. There was one house where things didn't go as planned. We couldn't help but laugh when Lilly approached the house, rang the bell and smiled at the woman who opened the door. Then, instead of saying "trick or treat" Lilly politely asked the woman if she could please come in and see the kitty that she had spotted just inside.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Great Pumpkin

It just wouldn't be October, Halloween, or childhood, for that matter, without carving a pumpkin. Lilly like any other kid was eager, and a little confused, to carve her very first pumpkin.
Lilly drawing a face on the pumpkin. This is where the confusion set in. She kept asking for other colors. I think she thought she was just coloring on the pumpkin, not drawing something that was to be cut out.
Waiting with excitement while Daddy removes the 'lid'.
First experience with pumpkin goop. She called the seeds 'beans'.
Really getting into it now.
Me outlining the face while Lilly tries on her sunglasses.
Bryan cutting out the face while Lilly eats a cookie.
Lilly and her pumpkin. While I was taking this picture she coached the pumpkin by saying, "Say cheese, punkin!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lilly the Model

Bryan and I had some pictures of Lilly (and a few of us) taken on Saturday morning at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The grounds are beautiful and it was the perfect place to capture Lilly on film. The photographer, who happens to be my cousin Kelly, took over 300 hundred pictures, edited them, added some creative touches and sent me a disk with 615 images. These are just a few of Bryan and I's favorites.

My favorite.
As I said, my cousin Kelly Applegate is the photographer that took these great pictures for us. He had lots of ideas and was able to get Lilly excited about getting her picture taken. I think she thought we were there to play, not do a photo shoot. Kelly encouraged this and turned it into a fun morning with the result being pictures that are not only full of life, but really capture Lilly's personality.
Check out his website at

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Last Hoorah

As most of you know, or have figured out, we are expecting baby #2 in mid November. Now that we are seasoned veterans in baby care we know what to expect out of life for the next few months. So, to celebrate the fact that we probably won't be able to go out, spend any time alone together, or possibly even eat at the same time until mid summer Bryan and I enlisted our trusted babysitters (Grandma and Papaw) for Saturday night. We made a reservation at our favorite place, The Melting Pot, and planned on living it up. We didn't. We dropped Lilly off, swung by Costco for some bulk laundry soap, took Bryan's new suit to be fitted and then stopped at a Halloween store to kill some time. Dinner couldn't have been better, and we both left stuffed. We then proceeded to debate our options for the after party. Dave and Buster's? No, I want to sit down. A bar? Too smokey. Comedy Club? Show starts to late. A movie? Seats are too uncomfortable. Home to watch 'Saturday Night Live'? Oh yeah! Too bad I fell asleep on the couch before it started. But, we both really enjoyed our night out and sleeping in on Sunday morning was priceless!
When we went to pick Lilly up this morning, around noon, we thought it would be fun to head straight for the Pumpkin Festival at The Country Market. If you haven't been, you should go. It's cheap to get in and everything execpt food and pony rides is included. Lilly had a blast, as always, and we did everything that was offered.
Playing in the 'corn box'.
On the giant slide after a costume change. It was much hotter than I anticipated. Lilly first rode down the giant slide with Bryan, then decided to brave it on her own. For some reason she didn't go quite as fast...
Riding on the cow spotted train. Bryan gave Lilly specific instructions: Hold on and don't stand up. She was holding on so tight that she wouldn't even wave at us as she went by.
Of course: A pony ride.
Picking out a pumpkin. This took forever. She would pick one up, tell Bryan that it wasn't perfect and then toss it to the ground only to repeat the process again with another pumpkin.
Corn Maze. Wish I would have sat this one out. Bryan thought it would be fun to just let Lilly lead the way without giving her any suggestions. The corn maze takes substantially longer this way.
Picking out a carving pumpkin. This time Daddy found the perfect pumpkin, much quicker than Lilly, and we made our way to the exit. Check back soon for the pumpkin carving blog.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Indiana Girl

After a busy weekend, in which a lot of fun things happened that I failed to get pictures of (Bryan's parents came in for a visit. We ate mexican food, went to the Z-ville chili cook off and art fair, had a playdate at the park with friends, played on Lilly's playset with one of Lilly's friends, cooked steaks on the grill, watched Lilly's new 'Beauty and The Beast' movie, spent more time on the playset, practiced on Lilly's new guitar (thanks Grandma) ate fried chicken at Holly Hock and rented a strange movie), we decided to take advantage of an irrelevant bank holiday and Bryan's day off.
We packed some cookies, juice and a couple bottles of water and headed a little north on Hwy 421 to survey the harvest of my family's farm. Lilly was a little confused, I think she thought we were going to a certain friend's house, he and his wife have horses, goats, two calves and a couple dogs and cats. Lilly told Bryan that she was going to ask the lady (aka Danielle) if she could ride the goats. So, to avoid any more confusion I will explain...several years ago my parents bought some farm ground as an investment. A man they know farms it and we occasionally go out and visit. We walk around, pick up rocks and some times burn some brush. Its a typical Indiana farm, all that's there is corn. There is no house, no barn, no animals and very little shade. It is simply several acres of ground. For some reason we thought Lilly might enjoy spending a few hours there exploring. We were right.
We walked around the entire perimeter while Lilly picked up corn that escaped the combine, asked questions, looked for a walking stick and picked up more corn.
This is just some of the overlooked corn that Lilly found. After she filled her arms Lilly started filling Bryan's pockets. O.k, so there was one animal on the farm, Hank. He had a great day too. He ran free, swam in the creek and chased any corn cobs that were thrown.
Lilly's little legs got tired pretty quick so her and her corn got a ride on Daddy's shoulders.
On the walk back to the car more than Lilly's little legs were tired.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Man, A Plan, A Playset

Bryan found a playset on Craig's List for a price that seemed unreal. So unreal in fact, that it was. When he emailed the lady and told her that we would take the two year old playset for the 50 bucks that she was asking for it, she explained that she had over 25 responses and thought she should ask a little more. So, Bryan made a final offer and said he could be there Wednesday to get it. She accepted and a project was born.
On Wednesday night Bryan enlisted my dad to accompany him to Greenwood to take the playset apart and mark all the pieces for easy reassembly. But, reassembly was less than easy. It took two men over three hours to take it took one man (and occasionally a toddler) three evenings and two trips to the hardware store to put back together. But, the end result was a happy little girl.
Day 1:Bryan surrounded by the puzzle pieces. Notice the smile...this is not featured in the later pictures. Found a good spot and getting to work. He's still smiling.
Lilly even helped a little. Not so smiley.
Day 2:
Bryan didn't even have the ladder attached at this point and Lilly was already trying to climb it. Please note that there is no smile at all...not even a little one. Attaching the walls of the clubhouse just before dark.
Day 3:
Getting ready to attach the arm for the swingset. Around this time the smile went from 'fading' to 'non-existent' when the arm shifted and the supporting leg cracked. This is also when I quit taking pictures and went inside.
Daddy the hero attached the slide before worrying about fixing the broken swingset attachment. Notice if you will that the smile has returned. Seems to have a direct correlation with the Lilly's excitement over the slide.
New supports for the swingset are in place and even turned out to be a good thing. Bryan was able to cut the new legs to a specific length to avoid any digging to level the playset.
Lilly was very anxious to try out the swings...before Bryan even had them attached. It clearly ended poorly. If you can zoom in, take a look at Bryan's face. Not only is his smile back, but he seems to be laughing. I revoked his 'Father of the Year' award for this.
After the fall.
Giving the swing another try, this time after it is finished. Now everyone is smiling!
My favorite part of the whole playset adventure: Bryan searched online for the playset. Bryan negotiated the price of the playset. Bryan drove to Greenwood, took apart and loaded the playset and brought it home through Indy during rush hour. Bryan unloaded and organized all the pieces of the playset. Bryan went in early to work so he could be home during more daylight hours to put the playset together faster...and all by himself. And it was Bryan that missed eating dinner with us so he could work up until dark. It was Bryan who worked in the rain this morning so Lilly could play on the playset today. And the best part....When Lilly saw the playset she shrieked with joy, ran up the ladder and went down the slide for the first time. She immediately rushed over, hugged my legs and said, "Thank you, Mommy. I love it!"