Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015

"I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!!" 

Unnamed Character from Lord of the Rings or Hobbit 

...or in other words, what you can throw together when you won't tell your mom what you want to be and change your mind every other day... 

Bunny Tail 

Are you a witch?? 

Black Cat

"Drumpy" Witch 

One smile

Mr. Sanchez

...or in other words, I just got back from a trip to Texas 12 hrs ago and threw this costume together in 5 mins. 

Nanny Nanny Boo Boo 

Two cats

A guy, a witch, and a cat

Thorin Oakenshield

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Happy 3rd Birthday to our "Pwetty, Pwetty Pwincess"!!

After watching, waiting, and wishing, Adele finally had HER birthday. The poor girl had to wait through one Mother's Day, one Father's Day, and four siblings birthdays for her special day to get here so we decided to do it up right. I made a list of about 12 potential little friends that she could invite, then remembered how crazy parties get and started to agonize over the friend list. Finally, I took the list to her and named off kids. Anyone she could actually tell me about got an invite and that was that! It turned out only 3 of her "fwiends" could make it that day and I think this was the most lowkey birthday party we've ever had. It was perfect.  

The Beauty and the Beast

For Nanny's birthday I borrowed a big cupcake pan and Adele helped me make it, so she was convinced she was getting the same cake, just pink instead of purple. But since she is such a "pwincess" little girl who loves dresses, girly things, sparkles, and princesses, I decided to try my hand at a castle cake. 

 The night before her birthday I was about to kill every kid that was still awake at 11pm, critiquing my cake decorating skills. I have a love-hate relationship with cake decorating. I think most require a good dose of time and patience, neither of which I am particularly blessed with in life right now (ok, never really on the patience but...).


such twerps!! 

  So attempting to build a pink, sparkly castle out of shortening, sugar and pink food coloring was not my favorite. But the pictures kinda hide that so that's my love part of the relationship. Hopefully, that's the only part that really gets remembered...hopefully. 

Ava was a little girls whisperer and lead them all around a game of ring a round the rosy. She was planning on dressing up like a real princess that day but wasn't able to round up an outfit in time and, so sad for her, none of the dress ups fit 11 yr olds. 

Cora, aka "Tora", the bouncy ringlet girl 

All Adele "fwiends" - Addy, Cora, Adele, and Natalie

  We had no planned activities, except a bin of dress up princess dresses that I scored at a yardsale so now we have them overflowing our lives. All guests were required to take one home with them as our party gifts. 

Hurray!! 3 year olds can blow without spitting!! 

Adele was determined everyone needed birthday hats, even if they were tight enough to strangle anyone over the age 3. 

Luckily, someone was smart enough to put them on backwards and make unicorn hats out of them. Elias was a perfect model. Ha. 

Since it's birthday season over here (all the kids birthdays fall within 9 weeks of each other..yikes!), I've been yard saling for presents all summer. Presents for little girls are a dime a dozen so Adele ended up with present overload, even though we asked her friends not to bring anything. She was thrilled. 

Sweet Grace

And sweet Grace's sister, Sweet Addy (with a poor swollen eye from the mean mosquitos!). Photo credits to Ava, who is becoming quite handly with a camera! 

Sweet Dell-Dutz has grown leaps and bounds in the past few weeks. She loves singing and knows so many songs that she is even able to mix them up to create her own versions, complete with new lyrics. It's adorable and we all try to catch her singing to hear what she might say. To go along with her singing, she skips and hops anywhere she can. She's adventurous and hasn't met a little girl in the age range of 2-8 that she doesn't think is her friend. At the park she finds anyone meeting that criteria and she's stuck to them like glue, stranger or not. 

 She's a wonderful big sister to her "Nanny-nanny boo boo, you can't get me, with a pill-dow" (no idea where that saying came from but she says it often!) and is often letting me know when Nanny is getting herself into trouble. She is definitely the bossy pants of the family, but when we tell her that she looks at us funny and says "No, I have p-int pwants on!!" 

She's not a fussy eater and some of her favorites are chicken nuggets, hamburgers, chocolate milk, ice "tweam", taco salad, avacados, watermelons, and nectarines. Just tonight she moved into a big girl bed and will hopefully not wake up Annie anymore when she wants out and into our bed about 3 in the morning (which is pretty much every night).  Potty training has been talked about for months but she has never really been interested until about 5 days ago, when I hung up a ballerina dress and a sticker chart in the bathroom as an incentive. Within a day she was using the potty all by herself without me reminding her and has only had one accident in the past 3 days. She'll be starting ballet in a week so this is just in time! Every time after she uses the potty now she looks at me so sweetly and says, "You pwoud of me, Mama??" Yes, Baby Dell, I am pwoud of you and love you to pieces!!  

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Perfect Rappahannock Saturday Evening

When we first moved here, 10 years ago (!!) last month, one of my favorite things quickly became all the laid back, cool, straight out if s fairytale, lazy summer evening tent parties we were invited to as honored guests. It seems John's status as manager with ties to a large chunk of land brought with it a certain status symbol and I was happy to get to dress up country casual and tag along with my one adorable toddling baby. Fox hunt balls, land owner appreciation dinners, gala fundraisers with $100 a seat, guests of honor at parties with the hosts being Golden Globe winners and the other invitees members of Clinton's cabinet. Small, intimate dinner gatherings with local artists, business men, gentleman farmers - it was so fun to hob-knob with these folks who stroked our egos and played peekaboo with our sweet baby girl while letting us know how happy they were that we had come to their county. Who cares that we were younger than all the other guests by 30 years and a whole lotta money? Sometimes it's super fun to put on a smile and pretend along....

But somewhere along the line I think we got figured out. I think it was the fact that we kept having more and more and even more babies. When I got pregnant with Nathan just a few months after moving here, it was so exciting and everyone was thrilled for us. Then along came Eli just shy of 2 years later and I had all the interesting remarks, including "Is that all you do over on that farm, is make babies?!" By the time Adele came along, we weren't the cool, fresh and young newcomers but instead were the crazy family that was obviously trying to fill up the huge farmhouse we were living in. Dinner invitations were reserved for only John, or maybe me too but definitely not bringing the whole crew. 

So a few days ago when the fox hunt called to let me know there was a land owner appreciation dinner tonight at the kennels, I just leveled with them. I let them know that John was probably not coming as his plane from Russia was supposed to land an hour before dinner started and I was home alone with 5 little kids for going on a week.

 I was pleasantly surprised when they encouraged me and reinvited me to come on out with all the kids even if John couldn't make it.

 Free dinner, with good food, less than a mile from my house on the last meal before John came home from a week long trip? 

Yes, please, I'll definitely be there, even if it requires some kicking and screaming kids since they had to put real clothes on. 


Sitting out in the field tonight, watching the sunset on the gorgeous blue hills, playing with another beautiful, chubby, curly headed baby brought back so many memories of our first few years here in Rappahannock.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I absolutely love where we live. Feels like home to me for sure.