Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!!!


Happy Halloween to All!

From The Cheerless Leader, Spiderman and Chicken Girl!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Atticus's "Skeer-y" Haunted House!


Once upon a time, October 2002 to be exact, my sister Stephanie (lovingly referred to as "Aunt Sesame" by Atticus) took Hatfield for a Saturday afternoon and created a fabulous haunted Halloween gingerbread house. While constructed of mere gingerbread and held together by frosting, Hatfield's haunt has the strength of a nuclear bomb shelter, thus surviving four Halloweens and two moves without so much as a scratch.

Atticus, upon viewing Hatfield's treasure, declared "No fair. . I want to make a Halloween gingerbread house." So I took it upon myself to purchase a kit and declared today as Construction Day.

I have a newfound respect for my sister. . .

Good lord, you really need an engineering degree to build one of these things. They throw a whole bunch of gingerbread pieces in a box, instructing you to "use a ruler as a guide and shave them so that they have straight edges." Then, after shaving them, they tell you that "the 3 x 3 1/2 inch piece is the right upper roof. The 3 X 3 1/4 inch piece is the upper left roof. The 2 7/8 x 3 1/4 inch piece is the left side wall. Make certain to not interchange the pieces or the structure will collapse." With such a small difference in sizes and zero margin of error, it was so obvious to me that the manufacturer had small children in mind when creating such instructions.

Fortunately, for a liberal arts graduate such as myself, I had my dear friend Melanie the Architect over for coffee at this point in the building process. With her great patience and professional guidance, I was able to construct a sturdy structure.

During Paloma's naptime, Atticus and I decorated his Spooky Ghost House. He was so proud of all of our work, and the best thing about working with a four-year old is that no matter how bad your frosting-decorating skills are, they think you are FABULOUS! "Mom, that's Awesome!" "Mom, it's beautiful!" "Mom, great job! I love it!" My ego seriously needed such boosting after the instructions made me feel like such a moron!

The job is done and now Atticus's home proudly stands next to Hatfield's for all to see. In the meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out what relative I'm going to dupe into making one with Paloma in 3 short years from now. . .

Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Go Gamblers!






Last night we took Hatfield and Atticus to their very first hockey game: the Green Bay Gamblers' Season Opener at the Resch Center!

We attended the game with our dear friends Matt and Nola and their oldest son, Alec. Nola and I met nearly 5 years ago in Lamaze class when we were pregnant with our boys. Our due dates were barely 2 weeks apart, but Alec came two weeks early on May 1st, and Atticus came quite late on June 4th. We have been close friends ever since, and last year we experienced the joy in having another set of babies, Paloma and Jake, born mere days apart in August 2005.

Hatfield, Atticus and Alec all LOVED their very first hockey game. It was a fast-paced, exciting game, complete with a good fight or two. We sat behind one of the goals and were often treated to the loud "Crack!" of the puck hitting the safety glass, which the kids thought was the coolest. Green Bay won the game against Indiana 7-4, and as such Atticus and Alec were able to show off their smooth dancing skills to Gary Glitter's "Hey!" song every time our team scored a goal. Hatfield took the game much more seriously, opting to sit out on the dancing (and even a concession run with Dad and Atticus) to watch the game unfold; her experience and love of soccer really helped her to grasp the game of hockey.

We look forward to many more hockey games and fun times with our great friends in the months ahead!

Away to the Chocolate Factory



Yesterday afternoon I took Hatfield and Atticus to see a children's theatre production of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" at St. Norbert College. The play was set in one of the smaller theatres, and we were lucky enough to have 2nd row seats which put us on eye-level with the actors.

Prior to the play's beginning, the director came out and explained to the young children in the audience that they shouldn't talk during a real play, because unlike a movie theatre, the actors in a play can hear the audience members and become distracted. However, he was quick to note, actors LOVE it when the audience laughs and LOVE it when the audience claps.

The entire audience, my kids included, did really well with these guidelines except for one moment involving Mrs. Teevee and Atticus. At one point in the play, Mrs. Teevee becomes so exasperated with her son Mike that she says, "Oh just shut up!" Atticus loudly gasped and proclaimed, "Oh no, that's a naughty word!" I quicky clasped my hand over my son's mouth and whispered "Shh!" to him while members of the audience chuckled around us. For a moment I was a bit embarrassed, but then when it sunk in that they used such a phrase in a children's play, my only thought was, "Well, it serves the director right."

That moment aside, the three of us had a great time and Atticus was just entranced with the "chocolate river" (a huge rectangular piece of shimmery brown cloth that spanned the back of the stage, held in place and gently shook by two off-stage stagehands). Hatfield loved the three cute Oompa Loompas, one of whom is a 6th grader at her school. We look forward to seeing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever this December, and Treasure Island next spring!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Paloma and Her Baby Doll




Paloma just loves her baby doll. One of her favorite things to do is to push her dolly around the driveway and yard in the dolly stroller. I snapped these cute photos last weekend. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cliff and Sarah Go to White Castle


Just kidding!

Mr. C and I just had our semi-annual date night. Ideally, we aim to have a date night every other week, but throw in a hubby who does a lot of out-of-state travel, 2 kids, 1 baby, the occassional lack of a trusted babysitter (meaning Jimmy had the nerve to leave town, LOL!), piano lessons, dance class, flu bugs, sick dogs, runaway cats and a wife who is sometimes just too darn tired to go anywhere, and date night becomes a semi-annual event. While Cliff would have been thrilled with White Castle, he was a good sport and coughed up a good chunk of change to take me to a great Mediterranean restuarant on G.B.'s east side.

This particular date night was very special because it also included our annual couple photo. Throughout our courtship and 5 years of marriage, we have just a few pictures of Cliff and I as a couple. As it turns out, they have all been taken about a year apart, and indeed, the last one was taken around Thanksgiving of last year.

So here it is! Our blog debut for our 2006 photo! Stay tuned for our 2007 photo ;)

PS- About the White Castle thing. Really, I'm not a totally bad wife. When we lived in Milwaukee, Cliff treated Atticus and I to lunch at Racine's White Castle one day. I went willingly, without complaint, and even tried one of their little supposed-to-be-beef-but-I'm-guessing-it's-something-I-don't-want-to-know burgers (and without calling it such!). Atticus, aka Mini-Cliff, didn't have to pretend. He thought their "O"-shaped french fries were the coolest things since curly fries!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Road Trip!

Saturday proved to be one of those marvelous, textbook fall days: crisp air warmed by the sun, trees showcasing their glorious colorful foilage, and the lure of apples to be picked and pumpkins to be chosen. So what did we do? We packed the kids up in Cliff's car and headed for the Pumpkin Patch Festival in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin on the famed Door County peninsula.

3 miles south of Egg Harbor traffic came to a standstill. A dead stop. Here in Wisconsin, if you're north of Milwaukee, this is virtually unheard of. Unless you're trying to get to Egg Harbor on beautiful weekend, and that weekend happens to be that of the Pumpkin Patch Festival.

45 minutes later we were cruising at our snail's pace through downtown Egg Harbor, just blown away by the throngs of people. That's throngs, people. And we have a huge stroller. And two walking kids. And boy does that all mix like oil and water.

So we just drove right though Egg Harbor and kept on driving north. We stopped at a fabulous pizzeria in Ephraim for lunch and then went on to Sister Bay, where we had a blast at their bayside playground.



Afterwards we browsed through candy shops, bookstores and window-shopped any store carrying "breakables." The kids' favorite part of Sister Bay? Discovering the restaurant with the grass roof, complete with resident goats who keep it nice and tidy for the owners. It's hard to tell by this photo, but Hattie and Atticus are standing beneath the grass roof, and at the very tippy-top of the roof there is a goat.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fright-day



And here we thought the last owner's Fido was buried in the front yard. . . guess her husband wasn't away on that extended business trip after all!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Taco Muchacho, Ole!




On Sunday night our Jimmy and Boppa treated the entire family out to a Mexican fiesta to celebrate my sister Stephanie and brother-in-law Kevin's 2nd wedding anniversary. We went to a newer, family-run Mexican restaurant where the kids can play and dance, and la comida es perfecta. The owner and staff treated the newlyweds to a song and Hatfield was able to don a huge sombrero.

Our Atticus was the most excited about the dinner. Once upon a time, not that long ago, the kid only had 2 food groups. Now he eats everything, and a few weeks back, after a dinner where he ate 4 chicken tacos, we dubbed him "The Taco Muchacho." He gets a HUGE kick out of the name and tells everyone, while doing his hiney dance, "I'm the Taco Muchacho!"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy Autumn!




Greetings!

Autumn is here and we had a great weekend decorating our house for the season. Many thanks to our great Boppa who created a terrifically "Skeer-y" spiderweb on the front porch!