Tuesday, November 25, 2014

kickin' off fall

I hardly know where to begin. It's my fault for letting so much time pass between my blog entries, but these two girls keep us busy beyond belief. This is also a super busy time of year for us, which means I have a lot of catching up to do. Let's get started!

So back in late August we took Cecilia to Sesame Street Live. We took Olivia to the show when she was little, but she was deathly afraid of mascots. She enjoyed the show but from a distance. Cece does not have that fear, and was super excited to be so close to the action. We had great seats which gave her the chance to get up close and personal with the characters and even do some dancing during the show. She brought her little Elmo with her and was patiently waiting for the show to start.

There was nothing better than watching the amazement in her face as she soaked in all of the excitement. It was a great show that kept her entertained throughout. During intermission she got to pick a souvenir, which was the highlight of the evening for her. She choose a stuffed Zoey, and held her tight through the second half. She enjoyed the show so much that she cried when it was over. Until next time, sweet Cece.

By late August the girls were both back in school and adjusting to a new year. Cecilia had a bigger adjustment with a new teacher and a new classroom. Olivia fell right into place in 2nd grade, but it took a little while for Cece to feel comfortable. In fact, for weeks she would cry when getting dropped off. I was assured by her teacher, Ms. Linda that the crying stopped within minutes each day and she would spend the rest of the morning working happily. She always came out of school with a huge smile on her face, but the next school day would once again start with more crying. It has been difficult for me to see Cece not wanting to go to school, but her teacher has been so great in helping me to see that she does in fact enjoy being there.

With our recent cold temps it seems like ages ago we were visiting the zoo in shorts and t-shirts, but back in September we were squeezing in some final zoo trips before it closed for the season. We made many trips to the zoo this summer, making lots of fun zoo memories. Can't wait to go back again in the Spring!

Olivia's soccer was still in full gear throughout the Fall with lots of weekend games and tough competition. Their little team would put up a fight in each game, but rarely come through with a win. It's tough when you are younger and smaller than the teams you are up against each time, but the losses only help to improve their skills and their teamwork.

The best part of it all is the friendships. Olivia's soccer buddies are some of her best friends. They have so much fun together on and off the soccer field. What I love is watching these girls get stronger and more competitive, the longer they play together. They are tough little cookies and even though most of their games end in a loss they still have a good time. That's what it is all about!

So my favorite part of Fall is prepping for Halloween, and that means a trip to the pumpkin patch. Each Fall we take the kids to pick apples. The day we chose to pick apples the orchard was closed so we ended up visiting their pumpkin patch instead, and picking our own pumpkins.

The patch was great and the girls had a great time picking the perfect pumpkins. It was a gorgeous Fall day and this really got us into the Halloween spirit!

The other pumpkin patch we like to visit is close to our old neighborhood. Even though we moved 6 years ago we still visit each year because it's a tradition. The girls pick out their tiny pumpkins at this little church-run pumpkin stand. We call them "spookies".

It was a day full of picking out pumpkins...large and small. Fun was had by all and we were ready for more fun fall activities.

A few weeks after picking our big pumpkins we went back to pick apples. This was our second year enjoying doing this, and we love it! This year Todd was busy, so my Mom tagged along. Olivia was really into finding the perfect apple, while Cecilia was into seeing how many apples she could devour.

We walked around filling our bags full of apples until we could no longer feel our fingers because of the cold. This has become one of my favorite fall activities to do with the girls. They really enjoy it and we get to enjoy yummy apples for weeks afterwards!

This apple orchard/pumpkin patch really helped us get into the spirit of season and get excited for Halloween. Can't wait to go back again next year!

We kept the Fall activities rolling with a field trip to a pumpkin patch with Cecilia's school. I rarely get to tag along on field trips so I was really excited to join her and her little friends. The weather was less than desirable, but that did not keep the kids from enjoying themselves. First up, was "pumpkin school". The kids learned everything there was to know about every variety of pumpkin.

Because of the rain the hayride out to the pumpkin patch was scratched. Instead the kids were able to go into the barn and find their perfect little pumpkin to take home. We were able to roam around the farm a bit and check out their ginormous pumpkins before heading back to school. The field trip was cut short because of the weather, but it was still a good time and I was lucky to share it with Cece.

With Halloween approaching we made our annual trip to the zoo for the Zoo Halloween. The girls look forward to this each year. They decorate with hundreds of pumpkins painted and arranged to look like different animals. It's quite impressive!

While roaming the zoo the kids collect their treats. This year we brought Olivia's closest bud, Aleah with us. It was a chilly day, but the sun was shining. Couldn't ask for much more! The girls had so much fun together and got more use out of their costumes!

One final stop before trick-or-treating is the annual Fall Festival at Peace Montessori. The school works to put on a nice festival for the kids each year. Games, horse and carriage rides, crafts and snacks were just a few of the things to enjoy. The girls just love spending the afternoon running around with their friends while dressed in their costumes. We have enjoyed many Fall Festivals over the years and there will be more to come as Cecilia continues her time at Peace.

We were keeping an eye on the forecast in the days leading up to Halloween, hoping for a decent night for trick-or-treating. No such luck. It seems the past few years it has been super cold and rainy, and this year was no different. It wasn't just cold and rainy...it was plain miserable. Rain or shine...my little Minnie Mouse and Princess Jasmine weren't going to let the weather keep them from getting that candy!

I think we stepped outside with the girls, walked about 10 feet while getting blasted with huge wind gusts before deciding to hop in the car and drive them from house to house. I'm sorry but there is something not right about driving around to trick-or-treat. That is just not how it is supposed to work. Olivia was still determined to collect as much candy as possible, while Cece was more interested in staying warm and cozy with me in the car. Who could blame her? I think they still enjoyed themselves, despite the crappy weather. After the past few years we are definitely due for a nice Halloween next year!

We are gearing up for the holidays around here. Just wrapped up Olivia's 2-week birthday extravaganza. Yes...I said 2 WEEKS! I'll update on that next time. Now it's time to get in that holiday spirit!