Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Diggers and Hoes: Jack Turns 2

On Saturday, November 10, 2012 Jack turned two.  We planned a big party with construction themed decorations, a construction site cake and all of Jack's friends and family. 
But, on Thursday, November 8, 2012, the four of us celebrated Jack's birthday just the four of us with a small celebration that included a a carry out pizza, a cheap and surprisingly disgusting cake from Target, a gift and a late bed time.
Lion cake...that both kids ate, but Bryan and I couldn't quite stomach.
Blowing out two candles.
Getting a little practice opening gifts.
 Jack loved his race track, but instead of racing the cars he just liked pushing them around the track.
Now seems like a good time to mention Jack's best birthday gift:  A baby cousin.
All day on Thursday I was watching my phone and getting updates from my aunt and cousin, who spent the whole day at the hospital, waiting on a baby.  And boy!  Was he worth the wait!
Essek Blaine Muckey was born late Thursday night and welcomed with love by his proud parents, Brecquelyn and Evertt. 
We broke ground on Saturday with a construction themed second birthday party for Jack.
His cake, made by a local baker, was better than I could have imagined!  I was so excited for Jack to see it, and not at all surprised when all he wanted was the 'hoe' aka backhoe off of the top.
 Serving the food was a big job and required a lot of heavy equipment.
 Lilly was probably more excited than anyone about Jack's party not to mention the project manager in charge of decorations.
 The weather, unseasonably warm for November, combined with our good friends, who loaned us their bounce house, kept 16 kids busy and having fun outside.  And, this, was my favorite gift.
 The birthday boy enjoying his party.  Yes, this is his happy face.
 Because what is a construction themed party without a cowboy hat?
Dylan, who practiced all week in anticipation lead that crowd in 'Happy Birthday'.
 And then, Jack blew out his candles.
 Howdy folks. 
 Jack loves diggers (skid loaders) and backhoes (hoes) right now, but his insistence that he wear his cowboy hat everywhere leads me to believe that this would have also been a suitable party theme.
Cousin Samantha helping to open the gifts.
 Choo choos!
 Jack waiting patiently for the gifts to be opened.  He wasn't really into opening them himself, but was sure excited to see what was inside.
 Woo hoo!  Something with wheels!
 Thomas stuff!  Lucky boy!
 And of course, no construction birthday is complete without a couple diggers and hoes.
Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Jack's birthday.  He had a great time on Saturday and I think he knew it was his special day.
And, as always, a special thanks to Tania for capturing all of the special moments on camera.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Peacock and a Construction Worker

Every year, as the kids get older, holidays become more and more fun.  But, also more frustrating.  In the past I have enjoyed choosing a costume and dressing my kids up as whatever I wanted for Halloween, even last year Lilly and I were able to agree on a costume that was cute, warm and easy for me to make.  So, this year I presented her with a great idea:  Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.
No Deal.
She turned that idea down immediately and wouldn't even discuss it.  I tried to convince her by showing her pictures of elaborate costumes with beautiful red velvet capes, fluffy white tu tu dresses and adorable picnic baskets.  She still wasn't buying it, but during one of these sessions, as I was trying to persuade her, once again, to be Red, Lilly saw a peacock costume.  As this was a vast improvement over the many store bought character costumes that she had previously picked out, I outlined a binding agreement, we both signed it in blood and went searching for peacock feathers.
As it would turn out, Lilly was right all along...rather than being talked into a costume that she didn't want, she waited for the right costume to find her.  And, in the process, Jack was spared the indignity of being dressed in a wolf suit, and instead got a new tool belt and hard hat, that he still wears almost daily.
The construction worker was pretty easy, Jack already had most of the things that he needed to complete the costume, flannel shirt, jeans, work boots, etc.  All he needed were the accessories.  Lilly's peacock, on the other hand, was a different story...peacock feathers aren't cheap, I had to buy a glue gun, and the building of the actual costume really were nothing compared to finding a plain, unprinted shirt in the exact right shade to match the feathers.  But anyway...all of these things combined to motivate me to make it possible for Lilly to wear her costume at every available Halloween event.
We started with an invitation only special event at the Children's Museum hosted by my cousin Everett's company.  The kids got to wear their costumes, tour the haunted house during 'lights on' hours, eat dinner, and participate in other activities and crafts.
Jack got his face painted for the first time.  And, this shouldn't come as a shock, but during the painting Jack sat, stone faced and never moved.  Then, touched his face and said "Spider?  Spider?"
Lilly, of course, refused the artist's offer to paint her face with beautiful peacock feathers, and instead asked politely for a zebra face.
At the end of a fun and eventful night we tried to get a picture of the kids together in their costumes.  This was the best that we got.
Close up of the zebra faced peacock.
Next on our calendar was the annual Boone Village Halloween Party and Costume Contest.  As always, Bryan and I learn from our mistakes, and this time we took our group picture at the very beginning of the evening.  Much better.
 Lilly won first place in the costume contest for her age group and her smile when she got her trophy made it worth the effort.
It should be noted that the trophy was actually a lamp and has become something like the leg lamp from 'A Christmas Story'.  Lilly took to using the prestigious award as a night light, and whenever I would walk into her room I would shut the light off.  Whenever she walks out, she turns it on.
The night before Halloween we remembered that we hadn't carved pumpkins yet and got right on it.  It's messy work, and given my aversion to unnecessary messes, pumpkin carving always falls into Bryan's ball park...recording this event  through photography and clean up usually fall to me.
Lilly was a great helper and made sure to instruct Jack in the finer points of goop removal.
Under close supervision Jack removes some goop of his own.
Daddy carves the face that Lilly drew, taking a little bit of creative license.
After refusing to eat the labor intensive dinner that I prepared for them, both kids tried and ate some of the raw pumpkin rind.  Not one of my happier moments.
The newly decorated porch.
Pumpkins all alight.  The outstanding, clever and artistic pumpkin that Jack and I carved is on the left.  The other one is Bryan and Lilly's.
Lilly requested a purple Halloween shirt with sparkles to wear to school.  Target and I delivered.
 Later that night, after seemingly hours of waiting and a severe drop in temperature, it was finally time to trick or treat.  Jack, still unsure about what exactly was going to happen, Jack chose to ride in the wagon.
 Lilly (impatiently) waited for him to get out of the wagon and follow her up the neighbor's driveway.
Eventually, she decided that dragging him was going to be the quickest way to get Jack to the door.
 Finally, at the door. 
 After Jack was given candy at Miss Eileen's house (above) he wouldn't get back into the wagon and no longer required dragging.
Towards the end of the night Jack left his bucket in the wagon, but was unwilling to give up the hammer.  I don't think he'll require any coaching next year.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Preschool: Round 2

When we got back from our trip to Michigan we didn't have time to rest...it was off to school for Lilly.  She is attending a three day a week preschool at the Ginger Bread House this year. 
This was Lilly's first day, but most of her classmates started the week prior, due to our trip.  We got there a little early to take some pictures, but Lilly got pretty excited when cars started pulling into the parking lot.  I had also promised to paint Lilly's toenails for her first day of school and what color did she choose?  Well, black, of course.
Lilly was ready for school to start and thrilled to see her friends from last year.  She even walked hand in hand with a couple of them down the hall and into her classroom.

Bend it Like Peanut

As you may have heard Lilly played Fall Soccer this year with the Zionsville Youth Soccer Association.  And, when I say she played, I mean, of course, that she was on a team and received a shirt.  I also mean that we went out and bought her the required soccer equipment.  This does not, however, mean that Lilly played any real, actual soccer.  She did, however, pretend to be a kitty, run with her eyes closed, twirl, pick flowers and, in an particularly exciting moment, she discovered a mushroom growing on the soccer field.
Bryan coached, Lilly met some new friends and we learned that her interests tend to lean more towards gymnastics and art.  So, soccer wasn't so bad, after all.
Lilly's team was the Pink Panthers.  Each team got to pick it's own name and at first the five girls wanted to call themselves the Pink Panda Unicorns, but Bryan and Coach Day persuaded them to just go with one animal.
Lilly, super excited about her first game.
Warm ups with Coach Day.  Lilly and Alana, the other coach's daughter, were probably the least interested on the team.  Mostly, they were just interested in the snack at the end.
Waiting for the kick off.
Lilly's throw in.  This may be the only time that she actually touched the ball during a game.
I believe her eyes are closed in this picture.
Picture day.  Lilly was beyond upset that she had to have her picture taken with a borrowed ball because Mommy accidentally left hers in the car.
Team photo.  From left:  Lilly, Coach Daddy, Alana, Cassie, Natalie, Julia, and Coach Day.
Thanks for a fun season guys!  We probably won't see you next year.  But, if Lilly decides in a couple of years that she'd like to try again...well...we'll be game.  Although, I don't know if Coach Daddy will be.