Pumpkin Carving

Like so many other parents out there, we spent some time this past weekend carving pumpkins. And like some of those parents, I totally failed at taking a picture of both my kids pumpkins...oops! 

The kids designed their own pumpkin faces. Both of them went with rather simple designs. The hardest part was Isla's pumpkin was thicker than the carving knife, so we had to get a little creative. But neither kid had intricate or hard designs. Also, someone mentioned to me that good ole hairspray inside the pumpkin would help preserve it, so I decided to give it a go. So far, three days on, they are holding up...and obviously they are pretty much to the finish line at this point. 

I have to admit, though I have dissed how hot this fall has been, sitting outside in not too hot and not too cold weather to carve our pumpkins was pretty dang nice. Plus, it's given us more time to enjoy the backyard remodel, which we go out and play in everyday since getting the amazing fake grass...I seriously love that stuff. I wonder if they are looking for a spokesperson because I would totally sing them praises

Happy halloween! Have a safe one out there. I know my ninja, witch and astronaut are pretty excited about the day's festivities.

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That Time a Burger King Ad Made Me Cry

And I'm not a cryer, so that is a big deal.

I'm sure all of us have been made fun of or picked on and made to feel like we were nothing. How much I wish someone had come up to me after that happening to encourage me...or even someone coming to stop it! So often, it feels like these mean behaviors are brushed off as things like "well, junior high is an awkward time for everyone" or "it's just a joke, lighten up." I don't care. There is never, I mean never, a reason to make fun of or put another person down. My kids and I talk about this often. We talk about how if something isn't a joke to the person you are joking about, then it isn't a joke at all, it's just being mean. But the thing is, not being mean isn't enough. We need to stand with those that are being picked on. Make sure they know that others have their back, love them and care for them.

And the problem isn't just with kids. Adults are mean. They make fun of strangers for how they look. The made little remarks, or yell out their cars at people. They throw food at homeless people. Yep, this is true. It broke my heart to hear when I brought a homeless guy some food one time and he hid behind his hands because he thought I was going to throw it at him. He said it happens all the time. We then call these adult bullies insecure and say they are jealous, making excuses for them rather than calling them out on their narcissistic and destructive behaviors.

It's time to take a stand folks. It's time to teach our children to be better. It's time for us to model those better behaviors. For us to stand up for people, even if we don't know them. I don't care where you land on any issue, bullying, name calling, physical assault, none of it is ok.

Take two minutes and watch the ad for yourself. It really is powerful.

And in case you wondered, I cried at the end when the people went to talk to the kid being bullied.

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Oh, hey fall

Fall feels like it sort of snuck up on me this year. I really think it was because we had the market the first weekend and Isla's birthday the next weekend. So, I've been left feeling like I'm playing catch up. Gone are the days of me taking my kids to play at the pumpkin patch numerous times a week. Now we are lucky to make it out there once in the whole month. 

Since having kids, fall has taken on a new meaning for me. I used to not like it. It ushers in winter, my least favorite season. Because of that, it landed on my bad list. Whelp, three kids with fall birthdays later, fall is a season of busyness and celebration. It's also a time filled with the "hard" decisions of choosing a halloween costume, pumpkin patch visits, pumpkin carving, halloween parades and more. And, let's be honest, I can get on board with the beautiful leaves. They may be messy, but they share are pretty. 

Fall is now a special season, albeit a busy one in our household...in the span of seven weeks, not only do we have all three of our kids birthdays, we also have three of our parents birthdays and a nephew's. Talk about a busy season!  

I am liking fall so much, next I may try to get on board with winter. That will be a hard sell though. It has nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with the short hours of daylight. I love me some sun! But, I am no longer going to diss fall for ushering in winter.

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Kindergarten Goodness

Alternatively titled, Kindergartners and ALL their projects. 

Don't get me wrong, kindergarten is such a sweet time. But, when your kid brings home two projects the week of their birthday, which also happens to be the week the stomach flu took down two people in your house, it feels like a bit much. Alas, we survived. 

First up, Isla's letter vest. Every week a different letter is covered in class and one person gets to decorate a vest for that letter and there will be a letter vest parade at the end of the year. The kids all seem to covet the letter vest that starts with their name. So it was pretty cool that "i" was the letter the week of Isla's birthday and that she got that vest. Her and I went online and looked up various things that start with "i" and she picked the pictures she liked best. 

^^ This girl and her poses, I tell you! This is the back of the vest, but she didn't want to just turn around, so she turned the vest around. 

Next up was Isla bringing home the "birthday bag" from school. It included a birthday certificate, a special birthday book to read and a page to tell about what you did for your birthday. Then you bring it back to school and share it with the class. Isla drew a picture of herself blowing out the candles on her cake. I thought she did a really good job. I included a picture of her with her cake for reference ;)

^^ Isla could have written out what she did for her birthday herself, but she included a lot of detail and I knew there was no way she could write small enough to include it all, so I wrote it for her. But she wrote both her name and the date. 

It felt like the week of Isla's birthday was crazy, but I know she really enjoyed every single thing. I know it meant a lot for her to get the "i" vest, so I am glad she got it. Now I am looking forward to a break in school projects for a bit, haha!

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Museum of Ice Cream

We went to the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco last week. I've been wanting to go ever since I heard about the one in New York City last year. When I saw it was coming to San Francisco, I was over the moon. What I didn't expect was how insanely difficult and stressful it would be to get tickets. Being in a virtual queue and being told there are more people waiting than tickets when you had been refreshing your computer screen every 10 seconds for several minutes waiting for the tickets to drop is just heartbreaking. Alas, I did eventually score tickets. I bought them in August, so we had a while to wait. Finally, the day arrived. And I must say, it really didn't disappoint...though I will also say it would have been easier and more enjoyable to attend without a toddler ;)

I'm going to warn you, there are a lot of pictures and there aren't even pictures here from every room we went through! 

^^ The room that was floor to ceiling magnetic and covered in pink magnetic letters. It almost made me want one in my own house...until my adorable toddler started throwing letters off the wall by the handful. 

^^ Cherry cotton candy with glitter on top, yes please! 

^^ Let me start by saying that Isla asked me to take a picture of her acting like she was licking a giant popsicle...and I'll end by saying that she may or may not have accidentally licked said giant popsicle in the process.

^^ This tiny little mirrored room was a fun surprise. My kids would have stayed in there for days, but there was a line waiting to get in it, so we only stayed a couple minutes. 

^^ Connor LOVED the rock climbing room and we literally had the room to ourselves. No one else seemed interested in it, so would just walk through. But Connor, he kept climbing to the top and jumping down, having the time of his life. 

^^ The sprinkle pool really does live up to the hype. It's really fun to be in. Ian and I got in too. The only bummer is that you can only stay in it five minutes...but it was the only part of the museum they had a time limit on. 

I was pleasantly surprised with how uncrowded the inside of the museum is. I knew that we had an entrance time on our tickets, but what I didn't expect is they only allow about twelve people in every five minutes, so it spreads people out. I think you are sort of supposed to stay together with the group you are let in with, but we only lasted the first three rooms with them, then fell behind. Also, by room three, we had people from the group behind us passing us. But I appreciated that the workers never hurried us along and let us enjoy each room as we pleased. We were told it would take 45 minutes to go through and it took us an hour and a half. The only treat the kids didn't really enjoy was the salted caramel ice cream, but Ian and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The mochi was my favorite, but I just love mochi. Connor said the sprinkle pool was his favorite part and Isla said all of it was her favorite. The swings were at the end and were pretty dang cool. I just love swings anyway, so to have them in fun decorated boxes was just cool.

I am really glad I was able to get tickets because it was something just totally fun and unusual to do as a family.

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Isla's Birthday Party

After going to a main-pedi party for a girl in her preschool class last year, Isla chose to have a mani-pedi party herself. It was a really sweet time, and was super simple for me, given I didn't have to decorate at all or even do any games! I brought doughnuts for the girls to enjoy while the others were getting pampered, as two girls went at a time. Then, when the last two girls were being done, Isla opened her presents.I started to say super simple again, but have you ever seen six little girls pick out a color for their nails? It's serious business, I tell you. One that involves a lot of mind changing, a lot of looking and perhaps even some dropping of bottles on the ground. Isla ended up going with pink sparkles, which most of the girls ended up getting sparkles of some sort. It's popular, I tell ya! The girls laughed, they giggled, they bounced around and talked about crazy things. Isla really enjoyed herself, and for that, I am thankful.

^^ The salon brought out Isla a little cupcake and everyone sang her happy birthday while she was getting her toes done. 

I leave you with what may be the cutest video of all time...Isla squealing with laughter as her feet are being scrubbed because it tickles. 

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Isla {six years}

Isla has done a lot of growing up and maturing from five to six. She is very girly, loving to put makeup on all the time...even has surprised me a couple times and put it on right before we walked out the door for school, so wore it to school. Thankfully her teacher gets a good laugh out of it and is totally cool with it. She loves Fancy Nancy and Pete the Cat. She loves to color and draw. And sounding out words is her jam. 

Here's a little interview with Isla. Some of her answers made me laugh, like choosing her favorite movie as one she has never even seen. But that's what makes interviews with kids fun, right?

What's your full name? Isla Grace Grimbleby
How old are you? five...um, six
How tall are you? I don't know
What color are your eyes? blue
What color is your hair? brown
What day of the week is it? Saturday? Sunday? Monday? Tuesday?

What is your favorite:
    color - all of them
    food - miso soup
    drink - cotton candy milk and strawberry milk
    ice cream - rainbow sherbet
    toy - my little pony mermaids (she doesn't even have any!)
    book - Fancy Nancy
    song - drops in the ocean
    tv show - My Little Pony and Word Party
    movie - My Little Pony mermaids (she hasn't seen the new my little pony movie)
    thing to do - go to school and spend time with my family
    game - my little pony chutes and ladders
    sport - swimming
    animal - cats and reptiles

Who is your best friend? Ally, Aubriella and Pierson
What is your favorite thing about yourself? I like myself because I just be me

Three things that make you special:
    1. I help others by caring and helping them up if they are hurt
    2. I am a good artist
    3. Because I praise God

And a couple questions Isla wanted to add:
Where is your favorite place to go? the ice cream museum (she hasn't been yet)
What do you want to be when you grow up? artist
What is your favorite thing to do at school? spend time with my friends

Isla loves going to school and is great and remembering people's names. She even remembered her teacher's birthday...apparently Isla asked her at the beginning of the year and Isla remembered the date! She loves drawing and coloring and really doing anything that is arts and crafty. She loves anything little and trinkety. Her stuffed animal collection is out of control, but she loves each one of them and really does. She loves reading books and going to ballet. Tomatoes are still one of her favorite foods, followed closely by anything smothered in cream cheese. She is generous with her smiles (as long as I'm not trying to take her picture) and loves playing with friends. 

Isla has always been my child that will sleep in. She is the last one awake in the house every day, having to be woken up most days. She doesn't like to eat breakfast right after she wakes up. She doesn't like to be cold and will wear a jacket to school on days that mostly everyone else would consider nice. She still prefers her tricycle over bike, though in her defense her tricycle is super cool and not like normal ones...I mean, I can even ride it! She loves otter pops and will help herself to frozen waffles as a snack. She can play by herself for hours. She likes one of us to lay down with her for at least a couple minutes each night and generally comes into our bed in the middle of the night every night. These are just some of the things about Isla that make her her and that I want to remember. 

In case you want to look back, like I always do, Isla at 5 years, 4 years, 3 years, 2 years, 1 year, 6 months, brand new. If you are going to look at any, look at Isla at 6 months. I mean, who can resist a toothless smiling Isla?!

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To Sum it Up

To say that this past week has been crazy feels like an understatement. It started with me getting the stomach flu on Friday and ending up in the ER...and as the nurse said, some fluids and meds go a long way. It allowed me to rally and show up at four friends market on Saturday. Of course, I wasn't fully better and didn't even start eating again until Monday. Then Ian got sick. Not the flu, but more of an extreme exhaustion. On Monday night, Connor got the stomach flu and threw up every 30 minutes to hour all.night.long. This kind of threw off my whole week. I went into sanitizing mode and literally cleaned everything in my house to stop the spread, after all, it's Isla's birthday week. Then, I worked in both kids classes all morning on Wednesday. Yesterday, Callum woke for the day at almost 5am (so still in the 4:00 hour) and NEVER NAPPED. Needless to say, yesterday was fun. But today. Today is Isla's birthday!!! Woot, woot! So we rally. She has a school celebration in the morning and her grandparents are coming over for dinner. Then, her party is tomorrow morning. It's a mani-pedi party at a local salon. Should be nice and girly and lots of fun. Enough about my crazy week. 

Here's some things I came across this week:

If I wanted to spend a lot of money, I would buy one of these dresses

Average grocery bills. I always find this kind of thing fascinating. 

"Body safety" tips for kids. I found this full of great ideas. 

And if you are sarcastic and want a good laugh about motherhood, look up Sanctimommy on facebook. Amazing. 

Alright folks, have a great weekend! We will be celebrating an adorable six year old, so it should be a good one over here.

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