Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Weeklong Birthday Celebration

Todd was in Japan all last week for work so it was just me the girls and even though it was really cold out last Friday, I wanted to get out of the house and take the girls somewhere.  Mount Carmel was having a special employee only night at the zoo on Friday for a sneak peek of the Wildlights before it opens up tomorrow for the holiday season so I bundled up the girls and we headed a couple miles down the road to the zoo.  The event officially started once the zoo closed to the public but you could go anytime on Friday and we decided to go around 4:30 PM.  It was perfect because the zoo closes to the public at 5:00 PM so there was hardly anyone there and it was just starting to get dark.  Lucy loved the lights and the Christmas music playing throughout the zoo (I really should've taken a video of her singing, skipping, and dancing as we walked around) and she kept saying that this was the best day ever and it was super fun (super is her new favorite word).  We rode the carousel (and were literally the only people on it), rode the train, saw the polar bears, checked out a lot of Christmas lights, and popped inside a few buildings to stay warm from time to time.  We were there for a couple hours before we drove home to warm up and to eat dinner.

Posing by the lights at the pond

The penguins aren't out right now but that didn't stop Lucy from wanting a picture with Pepe

She was so excited to get the carousel to herself (besides me & Cece) and it was the first time she was willing to ride the horse by herself without Todd or I standing right next to her 

Cece & I sat on a bench next to Lucy's horse

We walked around the whole pond to see all the lights 

Riding the train

Inside the building up by the polar bears where Santa will be (he hadn't arrived yet)

The girls & I didn't do anything to exciting on Saturday--we went to the Y, ran some errands, and Lucy & I started making Todd's birthday cake. Todd arrived home on Saturday evening just as I was putting the girls to bed and that was definitely the highlight of the weekend!

Lucy helping me make Todd's cake (notice the big chocolate ring around her mouth, yes, she is my daughter and I'm pretty sure she only wants to help so she can lick the beaters & spoon)

Since Todd's birthday this year falls in the middle of the week (his birthday is today!), we are able to extend his birthday celebration into a weeklong event.  On Sunday morning, we went to breakfast at Anne's Kitchen in Powell and it was great!  We don't go out to breakfast very often but we will definitely have to go back again.  Todd's fried green tomato omelet was amazing!  I took a couple hours to myself on Sunday afternoon to get a pedicure and go to Target while Todd stayed home with the girls.  I needed a few hours to myself and felt refreshed and ready to start another week after that.  My parents came over that evening for cake & presents for Todd's birthday.  I made him a Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Cake which turned out really well.  It was definitely a little bit more time consuming than I anticipated (I had to make part of it the day before so it could set up in the fridge) but with how it turned out, I think it was worth my time.  Plus, Todd loved it which is really what counts since it was for his birthday.

Outside Anne's Kitchen

Todd & his girls (who were very excited to have him back home)

Todd's fried green tomato omelet was so good (as was the sausage) and I had said I wish they had a sandwich on the menu with the fried green tomatoes (like a Fried Green Tomato BLT)

My parents came over after dinner for cake so we already had the girls in their pjs (Lucy picked out these matching pjs--they have cupcakes & donuts on them!)

Blowing out the candles
 

Reading Lucy's handmade card and opening presents

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Todd's birthday celebration continues today with donuts from Der Dutchman for breakfast (the girls & I stopped there yesterday after work) and then our family of four is heading to 101 Beer Kitchen tonight for dinner.  On Saturday, Todd & I have a babysitter booked and will get a date night to Brewdog Brewery & Taproom in Canal Winchester.  

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hanging Out Indoors--COSI & Polaris Mall

We spent quite a bit of time indoors this weekend, heading to COSI on Saturday and the Polaris Mall on Sunday.  Now that all the Halloween & fall activities are behind us, we finally had a free weekend to head to COSI.  Lucy was pretty excited especially since she's been asking me for weeks if we could go.  I try to save COSI for more of the colder months since there is so much more to do outside during the warmers months but with nothing on our calendar on Saturday and it being a little chilly outside, we went to COSI.  We started with the Thomas the Train exhibit followed by Little Kidspace and the Progress exhibit.  Last time we went, Cece wasn't mobile so this time was a bit more interesting as I was on my own with both girls.  We survived though, the girls had fun, and Cece took a nice long nap that afternoon.

Waiting in line to check in at COSI

Lucy & Thomas the Train

They re-did part of Little Kidspace and now have a "fire truck" the kids can drive

Lucy taking a turn behind the wheel

Lucy was driving and showing Cece which buttons to push 

Playing with a microscope

Such a big girl riding on this

She was loving it as she scooted around

What can I say?  She loves to dress up and it doesn't matter if it's a horse costume!

So excited when she figured out which button opened the cash register drawer

Water table fun

Packed a lunch to eat; this picture sums up my girls perfect too--Lucy is posing and Cece is too busy eating to even look up

Sitting in a buggy in the Progress exhibit 

Daylight savings was Saturday night/Sunday morning and with kids, you never quite know what to expect.  I feel like so many parents dread this weekend but honestly (and don't hate me), our girls aren't even phased by it.  They were both awake around 7:00 AM which is just a little earlier than normal on the weekends (we have to wake them up during the week between 6:30-6:45 AM) and both went to bed at the same time on Sunday night.  Anyways, since the girls were rested and in good moods, we went to Polaris on Sunday afternoon to play (it was raining on and off most of the day) and so I could check out the Made Local Marketplace vendors set up around the mall.  I might have bought the girls more headbands from Nora Jean Handmade which are my favorite.  Always such cute designs and they're so soft!

So happy to climb up and jump off this repeatedly

And Cece was content crawling through all the tunnels

Vendors set up all inside the mall for the Made Local Marketplace

Lucy wanted me to take a picture of her with her mini Santa hat that she wanted from Bath & Body Works--it's supposed to be a decoration for your soap dispenser (I think?) but she wanted it for her bitty baby

The weekend flew by and it's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks! Todd's birthday is coming up so we'll be having some birthday celebrations (with the girls and a date night) in the next couple weeks that we're looking forward to.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Halloween 2017

We had so much fun celebrating Halloween this year, despite the stress of trying to carve a Jasmine pumpkin a couple hours before trick-or-treat was starting.  Todd took the day off and was able to go to Lucy's Halloween performance at school where all the kids were in their costumes and sang Halloween songs that they'd been practicing the last few weeks with the music teacher.  We carved the pumpkin in the afternoon after I was home from work, had an early dinner, and got ready to head out for trick-or-treating.  All four of us went out for the first 15 minutes or so and then Todd & Cece came back to the house to hand out candy while I took Lucy out for a bit.  Once we made it down to the end of our street and back the other side, Todd & I switched and he took Lucy out for awhile.  Trick-or-treating ended at 8:00 PM but Lucy was back home around 7:15 PM.  Her bucket was pretty full and she said she was getting cold and tired.  Even though Cece only went out for a short bit, she couldn't have been happier standing at our glass door and watching all the kids walk by and come up to our house.  Of course, she also enjoyed the small chocolate bar I gave her too!

On my way home from teaching in the morning, I stopped at Krispy Kreme to surprise Todd & the girls with Halloween donuts

Cece had no idea what to do with it

Todd & Lucy poking holes for the Jasmine template

 Getting to the fun part

Starting to pull out the insides

Lucy loved cleaning out the pumpkin--she thought it was so squishy in her hands

Todd hard at work on the actual carving

And a couple hours later---we have a Jasmine pumpkin!

Jasmine & Abu ready for trick-or-treating

And another one outside with the pumpkin

With the girls (my hair is actually straight because I had got a haircut after work and I got a blowout afterwards)

First attempt as family picture with the tripod and self-timer was a success!

Heading to the first house

Our next door neighbors had set up these headstones earlier in the week and Lucy was excited all week to go check them out

Trick-or-treat!

Meanwhile, back at home with our little monkey...

Watching all the kids go by

As soon as Lucy got home, Cece took her bucket and dumped out all the candy

Checking out her loot while Cece ate a piece of chocolate

And one more of the pumpkin lit up since Todd spent so much time working on it