31 October 2009

Trunk or Treat

Tonight, we went to the Trunk or Treat and Carnival at 7th and Beech Church of Christ, which was a lot of fun. Here's Claire and Katelyn, who was an adorable butterfly.

I could not choose between these two pictures; both too cute!

She shoots, she SCORES! Aralyn (in the Cinderella dress to the left) and Jay were both coaching her along.

Bounce house, always a highlight. Claire discovered she could go down on her belly, and did that probably 20 times. Kate Albright, to the right on the slide, is in Claire's Thursday School class, and was Bob the Tomato.

Pumpkin Patch!

Holidays are when you really realize how much FUN it is to have a child! It's suddenly totally okay to be unabashedly thrilled over kids' Halloween costumes, getting free candy, playing cheesy carnival games, and going to an awesome place like a pumpkin patch!

Claire got to wear her Halloween costume four times this year, and we lost a crucial piece to it each time, so that by the end, she was fairly unrecognizable as Abby Cadabby. Her poof pigtails and wand both *poof* disappeared, so we had ourselves one very cute fairy or butterfly.

Since my last post, we've been to the Coleman Halloween Carnival--a total madhouse, definitely no photo ops there--Baker's Acres pumpkin patch in Tishomingo, and the 7th and Beech Trunk or Treat and Carnival (another post on that to come).

Mom, Tyler, Dani Rose, Molly, and Aunt Donola went with us this morning to the pumpkin patch, and it was surprisingly almost empty! We had every attraction almost completely to ourselves, including a private hayride! It was amazing! And this place had so much to do, as you will soon see.

Claire and Molly on the hayride.

This train cracks me up: it was plastic feed barrels with holes cut in the side, welded to wheels and a frame, and attached to a four-wheeler! The seats were 2 x 4 that the kids straddled, so ouch-ee-momma for the mommas who had to ride, like Dani!

Hay slide! Tyler is so good about helping Claire get along, and doing it as many times as she wants. Oh the perks of having older siblings, which we will very soon know!

Huge barrel full of corn, with lots of scoops and buckets to play with? Wow, what an easy, fun thing for little ones, right? Totally, until they get up, and fish HANDFULS of corn out of their underwear. Not surprising for Tyler, but Claire just sat down for a few minutes at the end! We had them throw their bobo corn onto the ground of course, but think of how many kids didn't!

Feeding the donkeys! There were buckets of feed for each set of animals just sitting in the middle of the barn with cups, so we could get as much corn or pellets or whatever as we wanted. The goats enjoyed this a little too much, of course. Enjoyed meaning butted each other out of the way to shove their noses into our cups. There were also bunnies, chickens, calves, and pigs. Seriously, I would have no chance to coo over these adorable--and if not adorable, then funny--animals if it weren't for Claire!

Tyler got into these duck races a little too much. You pump the water down this sawed-off PVC pipe so that a rubber ducky shoots down the stream and into a tub at the other end. Mom showed that we are definitely related when she bent over to pick up a duck and her sunglasses fell off her head and into the tank. Ha! So something I would do.

Neat little race track with pedal go-karts. Ty and Claire were not ready to stop, but for Mom's sake, we promised caramel apples and they hopped right off.


29 October 2009

Fall Fun

We're in the midst of a bustle of Halloween activity--what a difference a year makes! This year, Claire actually understands the concept of Trick-or-Treating, and is excited about it. We went to our church's Fall Festival last Saturday night, where we got to do a hayride, draw pumpkin faces, and do a costume parade. Claire's favorite part of the evening, though? "Playing Ring Around the Rosy with Kim and Katelyn." This lasted like five minutes, and then Claire and Katelyn took up their favorite activity, racing back and forth from and screaming.

That is incidentally the same way that Claire dances when we watch Dancing with the Stars. This past week, half the couples danced the jitterbug, which of course has super-fun music, so she and I would boogie hard for about two minutes, and then wait for the next dance. As soon as the music would stop, Claire would say, "Another dance, Mama?" She still likes to comment on the girls' crazy outfits, saying "Oh, that one's funny" (her usual comment for Karina's ridiculous feathered outfits), "That girl's nekkid!" (a usual refrain on weeks with a Latin dance) or "That dress is pretty." (We're big fans of the ballroom gowns--Claire sometimes calls them princess dresses.)

Today was the Thursday School Fall Carnival, and Claire LOVED it! They had a bunch of little booths set up in the gym, all easy preschooler games, as well as a Bounce House, and pony rides outside! Wowee zowee, was she in hog heaven! She does so well with taking turns and when something is over, saying, "That was so fun!" or "Now I ride the pony!" or whatever else is next. Of course, the good thing about this type of event is that her bucket is full of candy when it's over, so she's perfectly happy to leave!

This weekend, we've got a [last-minute!] trip to the Pumpkin Patch, the Coleman Halloween Carnival, and a church Trunk or Treat. We might go to the trick or treat at the college this evening, too, we'll see. It's in the newest dorm--At least then Claire would get the experience of actually knocking on doors for candy!

23 October 2009

Fat girl acting skinny

...and finding that skinny I ain't! I'm officially in the uncute stage of pregnancy. Say what you will about a glow, being "all baby," or looking "so cute," I don't feel any of it!! The third trimester last time was when all of a sudden, everyone thought I was due any day, and the idea that I was still a month or two from my due date was simply ludicrous. At 28 out of 40 weeks, I'm already getting this reaction. Getting up and getting comfortable are already becoming difficult. Lifting Claire is a challenge, and hiking from my car to my third-floor office three days a week almost kills me.

So suffice it to say, I'm not one of those crazy girls who loves being pregnant, but I've certainly been blessed to have an almost-completely complication-free pregnancy, with no morning sickness or strange cravings. I guess I'm more like one of those vain girls who gets tired of having a body that doesn't feel like her own.

On our schedule for this weekend: one of my little brother Tyler's basketball games (third and fourth-grade ball, always a show), a birthday party for a dear family friend, and our church's fall festival for the kiddos. Not sure where Claire's nap is going to go in all those Saturday afternoon/evening activities. Jay, meanwhile, is all in a tizzy because muzzle-loading season starts tomorrow, so I've been busily washing all his hunting clothes (which have been crammed into a camo duffel--UNWASHED--since LAST hunting season) in scent-block detergent.

Next week, we've got my 28wks dr. appt, a birthday tea party, Thursday School Fall Festival, and of course, Halloween. Claire's going to be Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street, but it's a homemade version, so really, she'll just like a super-cute fairy in a blue-and-pink tutu, wings, and a *poof* wand! (Abby's trademark phrase and hairdo: Poof!)

Somewhere in between all that and prepping for my classes, I've also got an Oklahoma Today deadline looming--another Dining Guide, in which I call 20-25 restaurants and get really hungry. Seventeen interviews down already, but still got the writing to do next week!!

14 October 2009

Naming Baby Sister

We have obviously been talking over baby girl names a lot lately: not enough to satisfy me, and too much for Jay's taste. I like to run names past Claire, not that she will actually have any hand in choosing the name, but it's funny to see what her reactions are. So far, her suggestions have been Marabelle (the doll name of one of Claire's favorite book characters, Fancy Nancy), Annie (she's a fan of the movie musical), and Moto. I don't know where she got that last name; she named a robotic dog that, and then started using that name for lots of things, including baby sister.

11 October 2009

Life is good!

We had a great weekend of family and couple time! Jay and I have not been doing a very good job of making time for just us, so this couples retreat could not have come at a better time. Date nights have fallen by the wayside in the past few months!! We only got to go to the retreat on Friday night, but it was still so great to just be around adults talking about strengthening our marriages for a couple hours. The drive to and from Pettijohn gave us some good talk time, too. My favorite thought from the night was that Ephesians 5:33 can provide us with a good guide for our feelings toward each other: "...each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." If the husband doesn't love his wife as himself, the wife has a difficult time respecting him, and if wives don't respect their husbands, men can't love them as they should. I feel like for me anyway, the love part is intuitive, but the respect takes a little more work. So it's important to remember that a husband really needs to have respect from his wife to be able to love us the way we want to be loved.

Mom, Grant, Amanda, and Tyler kept Claire for us Friday night, and we went ahead and let her spend the night with them, since we were going out for the Coleman Centennial Saturday morning. That was only her second night without both of us in her life, and her first night at Mom's house without us! So needless to say, Claire stayed up verrry late and ate lots of sweets! We arrived Saturday morning before nine to find her sitting on the Highway 48 Church of Christ parade float with a Tootsie Pop in her mouth! The parade had a total of three floats, a handful of antique tractors, ten or so kids riding decorated bikes, a bunch of local fire trucks, a dozen or so horseback riders, and a swooping helicopter! The Community Center was all decked out with Coleman history displays, yearbook photos, and a slide show, so that was pretty cool. Between my mom's and dad's families, and people at mom's church, it seemed like we knew people in almost every graduating class! Mom's grandpa was in the second-ever graduating class from Coleman, and his sister I believe, was in the first. Mom's grandmom had the coolest graduating picture, a full-body group shot of her and three other girls wearing these super-cute flapper dresses with pearls, patent shoes, and wavy hair.

It was great to see so much of our family and schoolmates, even though it was SO much colder than I thought it was going to be! I don't mind cold weather if I'm dressed appropriately, and I definitely felt in need of another layer! It makes it even worse when I know Claire isn't dressed any warmer than me! We ended up eating an early lunch at the community center and then going back to Mom's house for an early nap. Jay pulled on a hat and another layer and then took our car to go fishing with his cousin while I stayed to hang out with the fam and watch the OU game. Go Sooners! It's kinda sad when we have to be so excited about a win over Baylor, but it was good for the old Sooner morale to see Sammy B back and in fine form.

We've spent today just being lazy. I was a "feeder" at church this morning--four women share the fellowship meal after church every Sunday, and I was in charge of veggies and salad this week. So after making corn casserole, cooking frozen green beans, and putting together broccoli slaw and a tossed salad, and then helping serve, clean up the church kitchen, and then coming home to clean up my kitchen, I was pretty tired! So of course, I didn't start getting stuff ready for school tomorrow until 10:30 tonight!

Here's to a week of love and respect!!