Sunday, November 17, 2013

fall family fun

Fall is always a busy time of year for us. We have a bunch of fall traditions that we try to squeeze in each year, and at the same time I am working to get the girls Halloween costumes ready and plan for Olivia's birthday. I look forward to the seeing the leaves start to change and the cooler weather, but most of all I look forward to seeing my girls smile as they enjoy all of our fall activities.


Last year we started the tradition of visiting an apple orchard and picking our own apples. We made the mistake of going a little late in the season last year and the pickins' were slim. This year we went early and we had a ton of delicious varieties to choose from.





The cool thing about this particular orchard is that they do not mind if you sample while you pick. That alone makes this orchard a hit with my girls. We spent lots of time searching for our perfect apples and doing lots of tasting in the process.




It was a warmer fall day so the bees were out in full force. There isn't anything a bee likes more than following the sweet smell of juicy apples, which meant they were all over Cece. I did my best to shoo them away but one eventually got her. Poor little thing cried hard but handled it like a champ. She spent the rest of the day holding out her finger and saying, "a bee bit me!".


Bee sting aside, we had a fun trip to the orchard. We left with a ton of yummy apples and more wonderful memories. Can't wait to go back again next year!


With the arrival of Fall comes the close of the zoo for the season. We made our last visit to the zoo just days before it closed. The weather was perfect and they were starting to decorate for the annual Zoo Halloween. During our last trip to the zoo each season I let the girls pick out one thing from the gift shop, another tradition we started a few years ago. No surprise that they both picked stuffed animals.


On our way home from the zoo we stopped at our favorite little pumpkin patch to pick out our little pumpkins for the season. We used to live close to this pumpkin patch which is why we would visit it each year. Even though we moved further away we continued to visit each fall.




The girls searched diligently for the perfect little pumpkins. Cece insisted on carrying hers up to the register to pay for them. Before leaving I begged the girls to pose for a cute fall, pumpkin picture. It is beyond difficult to get a decent picture of these two these days. Let me rephrase that by saying that is is difficult to get a decent picture of Cecilia these days. The goofiness just takes over!



With Fall in full swing it was time to turn the focus to Halloween. Our first official dress up event was the Fall Family Festival at the girl's school. The weather was not ideal for this event, especially when you have two kids dressed as Hula Girls. They still managed to have fun playing games, running around with friends and partially displaying their costumes in the costume parade.




Cece is experiencing these events as a student at the school for the first time, but Olivia has been doing this stuff for years. I have watched her grow up at this school and build some amazing friendships. I can't wait to see the friendships Cecilia will build during her years at the school that has given us so many great memories.




Continuing with the spirit of Halloween we took the girls to the Zoo Halloween. It is another chance to show off their costumes and of course, collect more candy! It was a little warmer on this day, but jackets were still required. The sun was shining though and the girls were having the best time!






One big difference between Cecilia and Olivia is that Cece is not afraid of mascots and people in costume. Olivia is obviously over her fear, but Cece does not shy away from a photo op with a scary looking "good witch". Zoo Halloween 2013 was a hit...can't wait until next year!



With all of the anticipation of Halloween, when the actual holiday arrived it was met with less than ideal weather. It was a day full of storms and wind. Around 6pm the rain stopped and the sky cleared, but only briefly. It lasted long enough for the girls to get a solid hour of trick or treating in, which was plenty.




Cecilia was old enough this year to grasp the concept of trick-or-treating. She was excited to run up to the neighbors houses and ask for candy. Occasionally she felt like sitting it out, but she would count on her sister to collect candy for her. The past few Halloweens have not been the best when it comes to weather. Maybe next year we will have better luck. All I know is that despite the weather the girls still managed to collect a ton of candy!




So that sums up our Fall family fun. In between all of the fun activities and traditions we had some average every day things to take care of. On the top of that list is Cecilia's therapy for her tip-toe walking. Since the day she started walking she has walked primarily on her tip-toes. As cute as this may be it could lead to long term problems for her physically. We found an amazing physical therapist that has been working with her on strengthening her legs and ankles. She has therapy once a week either in the pool or on land.



In the short time she has been in therapy her therapist has seen improvement in her muscle tone in her lower legs, but in order for the tip-toe walking to be corrected permanently a more drastic measure will need to be taken. Just this week Cece was fitted for foot orthotics. These small braces, once she receives them, should almost immediately begin to train her to walk flat-footed. It may take awhile for Cece's leg and feet abnormalities to be corrected but her therapists seem to be very hopeful. Although this is something I wish we were not having to deal with I am grateful for the fact that Cecilia is a happy, healthy little girl. And not to mention FULL of energy!



Olivia has also been her normal, busy self filling her weeks with school, dance, soccer and ukulele lessons. Yes...she takes ukulele lessons. We received a very pleasant surprise a few months back when Olivia was asked to do some modeling for Matilda Jane, a local girls clothing company. She modeled for this company when she was a baby, at a time when the company was just getting off the ground. Now that they have grown into a hugely successful clothing company it was an honor to be asked back not once, but twice in the past 2 months.



We were lucky enough to get some of the shots from the first photo shoot. Between the two shoots she modeled a ton of gorgeous clothes and she had a blast showing them off. By the time we were asked back to do a second photo shoot I think Olivia had the modeling thing down. The photographer nicknamed her "one and done" because it really only took a few shots to get the pictures they were looking for. I wish I had some photos from her second shoot because they were simply amazing! My girl has a natural beauty about her and fails to take a bad picture.


So as you can see we have been incredibly busy. Even after Halloween things kept on rolling. We just celebrated Olivia's 7th birthday which seemed to last a full week. Things are constantly busy and crazy but I wouldn't change a thing!