Tag Archive for 'Fun'

Expedition Health at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Last Saturday, the three of us had the opportunity to go check out the Expedition Health exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.  We’ve never been to this particular museum, so we couldn’t wait to go exploring.  And, we had so much fun that we’ll definitely be back!

Claire loves all kinds of science and medical things, so I knew she’d like this exhibit.  To be honest, she’s pretty easily entertained, so I knew we’d have fun.

When you arrive, everyone in your party is given a Peak Pass, which looks like a little blue credit card.  You insert your Peak Pass into a computer at the beginning, and you personalize your information:  Name, Age, Birthdate.  You also choose a “buddy” who will act as your personal tour guide.

My buddy was Trish.  Claire chose Alexis, and my hubby went with Brandon.

Then, when you are exploring the exhibit, you put your Peak Pass into the corresponding computer at each station, and your virtual buddy tells you about the exhibit and explains what to do.  For example, one of the stations was about heart-rate.  Your buddy instructs you to grasp the metal handlebars in front of you, and the computer not only shows your heart rate on the screen with a number and heartbeat line, it records it on your Peak Pass.

There are many different stations throughout the exhibit.  When we were the there, the lines at some of the stations were pretty long, so we needed to pick and choose which stations to try.

An interesting one was the station that recorded your stride.  You inserted your Peak Pass into the computer at the beginning and then walked along a wall in front of a camera.  The computer calculated your stride length, speed and energy and also projected a shadow image of you on the screen!  On the wall, you could see everyone who had gone in front of you!  Claire went before me, and I was right after her.  So, in one monitor, you could see a little computerized version of Claire skipping down the path, and behind her was Momma.  My image was funny because I was carrying my purse on my shoulder, but you get the idea.  As more people went through the line, the images moved from monitor to monitor.

When we were done with that, we noticed that the BodyTrek Theater was letting out and another show was just about to start.  We headed into the dark theater and found some empty seats.

On the screen, when the movie started, was a woman who was going to be hiking up Mount Evans, and we were going with her!  Each chair had a device in front of it that when you placed your finger in it, the computer calculated your heart-rate and blood oxygen level.

On either side of the huge screen in front of us were different things to aid in the presentation:  on one side was a replica of weather monitoring equipment, and on the other was a huge replica of the human body.

The graphics were amazing.  The movie was informative and funny.  As we hiked with her, the temperature and wind speed changed, not only on the movie, but in the theater!  At the top, it was snowing, and real snow fell on us!  At one point in the presentation, they talked about body heat, and then, on the screen was a picture of us!  The audience was being filmed with a heat-sensing camera!  Most everyone showed up in hues of orange or yellow or green, but there in the second row, on the left, was a red blob:  Momma with Claire on her lap!  I always knew she was a little space heater!

This was the coolest thing ever!  The BodyTrek Theater was the most amazing part of the whole exhibit, and we almost sat through the show a second time.  🙂

Throughout the exhibit, there is a wide variety of things to see.  The interactiveness of it is really cool.  Of course, Claire is excited about everything, whether it be a really cool computerized exhibit, or a mirror hanging on the wall at her level.  🙂

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

And, because Claire is three, we weren’t able to do every station.  Three Year Olds come with their own time-constraints and attention spans.  Some of the lines were pretty long, and one of the areas, the Biology Base Camp was for explorers 5 years old and older.  So, instead of doing that, we headed over to Tykes Peak,  and she had a great time climbing and sliding and playing with the exhibits designed for the littler kids.

Even I had fun playing with the exhibits designed for the littler kids:

How can you resist something like this?

How can you resist something like this?

The simplest things are so cool!

The simplest things are so cool!

After playing there, we took off our shoes and stood in front of another computerized camera that measured our height and arm span.

Then, while Daddy and Claire ventured off into another area, I waited in line to see myself age.  (For real!  The computer takes a photo of your face and then “ages” it!)  But, alas, the line was barely moving, and I was aging all on my own, so I bailed.  If we go again, I’m going straight to that one to wait it out.  Maybe.  I mean, do I really want to see what I look like as an old lady, or should I wait and be surprised?  😉

When we’d had as much fun as we could handle, we headed over to the end of the exhibit where you insert your Peak Pass and sign out.  It prints a Personal Profile for you:

Personal Profile

Personal Profile

Imagine our surprise at how detailed it is!  On the Personal Profile is a digital image of me standing in front of the height/arm span camera.  You can see my walking shadow.  You can see my heart-rate.

But!  That’s not all!  It also gives you a website and log-in, and when we got home, I logged on, and it’s awesome!  The little shadow of my stride looks a little goofy on the paper, but online, it shows the whole walking sequence!  You can click on the different parts of your profile for even more detailed information.

(My hubby is always the funny guy when his true identity is at stake…so imagine my surprise when his Peak Pass spit out a profile for Merlin.  One of our kitties. Merlin is in pretty good shape…for a human.)  😉

Using your real name or not, I’m tellin’ ya, this is the coolest thing.

If you’re in the Denver area, you need to check out this exhibit!  Be sure to call for reservations; give yourselves plenty of time, and explore!

This is not a paid review, however, we did receive free tickets to this exhibit.

Who knew an old lady dice game could be so much fun!?

So, one of my friends tricked me into playing Bunco, and now I’m hooked.  What is Bunco and how can someone as with-it and on-top-of-things as I am *cough* get tricked into anything, you ask?  😉

Well, it’s simple.

I was duped.  🙂

But, she’s my friend, so I forgive her.  Plus, she reads my blog every now and then, so I should play nice and tell you the whole story.  😉

It all stems back to something that happened years ago, way before we’d ever met.

Years ago, one of my other friends called me, out of the blue, to play Bunco.  I’d never heard of it, and quite frankly, her description of ladies sitting around rolling dice for prizes sounded, how should I say it?…unappealing.  I politely declined and told her I was busy that particular night.  When she kept calling, I finally told her that I was sure it was a great game, and I’m glad she enjoyed it, but I wasn’t interested.  It’s hard to tell people you’re not interested in something near and dear to their hearts, but she seemed to take it well.

She never brought it up again.  Fast forward years and years, and I hadn’t heard about Bunco since.

Then, another of my friends told me she was trying to organize a Moms’ Night Out and wanted to know if I would be interested in joining them.  Yes!  I was!  Then, she told me the date and I told her I was available!  Sweet!  THEN, she told me she was hosting Bunco at her house.


I’d been outwitted.  I couldn’t back out now!  Now, in my friend’s defense, she didn’t know about what had happened years earlier.  And, I don’t think she was trying to be sneaky.  I even joked with her that had she told me it was Bunco before I accepted the invitation, I would have been “busy” (massive finger air-quotes on “busy”) that night.  I mean, isn’t Bunco some old lady dice game?  “I don’t know,” I said with a sigh.  “People seem to like it, so I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try.”

My friend assured me it was fun, and that I’d have a good time.  Either way, I was going to be out of the house for some much needed Momma-time, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I went to the event with an open mind and then tried not to panic when they started to tell us the rules.

I thought this was supposed to be easy??  There were what seemed to be an awful lot of rules.  What do you mean it’s easier to play than it is to explain to someone?

Well, once we got the game rolling, it was!  It was such an easy game to play and so much fun!  I had a great time!  The next month, we all got together again to play.  This time, we had new people joining, and I recognized the deer in headlights look on their faces.

“Don’t worry,” I said, like I was an expert.  “It’s much easier to play than it is to explain.”  And they discovered that it was!

In fact, I had so much fun playing again that I volunteered to hostess the next one.  We played on Wednesday night.  We had a blast!

So, how do you play?  Well, as with anything, there are different rules and variations.  And, it really is easier than it sounds.

But, for the sake of explanation, here is the way we play Bunco:

  • Everyone puts in $5 to cover prizes, and you can either play for prizes or cash.  We’ve done it both ways, and each way is equally fun.
  • You need at least 12 players, which are divided into three tables of four players each. (You can have more than 12 people, but increments of 4 makes it all easier.)
  • Each table has three dice.
  • You always have a partner, but your partner changes after each round.
  • The people at the Head Table determine the length of each round.
  • Each player has a score card that they use to keep track of the following things:  Wins, Losses, Snakes, Buncos, and Baby Buncos.

Baby Buncos?
Translation please?

Wins and Losses are self explanatory.  At the end of a round, if you and your partner have more points than the other team, you win that round.  The other team loses.  You mark it as such on your score card.  (How many points you have at the end of the round doesn’t really matter and isn’t really recorded anywhere.  It’s either a win or a loss.)

Snakes are what you call three 1s. For example, a person rolls the dice, and they come up with three 1s.  A Snake wipes out all the points you’ve accumulated so far in the round.  Doh!  So, they’re “bad,” but the more snakes you get the bigger your chance of winning a prize for it.  Still, you don’t want snakes.

Bunco is what you call three of whatever number round you’re on.  For example, we start out our game at Round 2.  The object of the game in Round 2 is to roll as many 2s as you can.  If any of the three dice you throw is a 2, you get to roll again.  (As soon as you don’t roll any 2s, you pass the dice to the next person.)  You get one point per 2 that you roll.  IF you throw the dice, and all three of them are 2s, you have a Bunco!  (You get 21 points for Buncos, in addition to however many single 2s you rolled in your turn.)

Baby Bunco is what you call three of any other number, other than the round you’re on.  For example, if you’re on Round 2, and you throw the dice and all three dice are 4s, you have a Baby Bunco.  You get 5 points for those.

Which brings us to partners, and this was the hardest thing for me to grasp when they were explaining it the first time.

For each round, you have a partner.  Let’s pretend we’re on Round 3, and we’re sitting at the Head Table.  The object is to roll as many 3s as possible.  You are partners with the person across the table from you.  One of you keeps score for your team, for that round.  (Your official score card is set to the side.)  Let’s say you’re rolling the dice first.  You roll a 3, 2, and a 1.  Your partner marks down one tally mark for the 3 that you rolled.  You pick up the dice again and roll three 4s.  Baby Bunco!  Your partner marks an additional five tally marks on the paper and you put one tick-mark by the Baby Bunco spot on your score card, because you’re the one who rolled it.  (You are in this together with your partner for tally-marks only, but the person who rolls the specials gets the credit for those.)  You roll the dice again, and get 2, 4, and 5.  You have no 3s, so you pass the dice to the next person.

Still with me?

They roll a 1, 4, and 6.  Bummer…no 3s.  So, they pass the dice to your partner.  She rolls three 3s.  Bunco!  Sweet!  She marks 21 tally-marks (or writes 21 and adds it up later) on the score sheet and then marks 1 Bunco on her personal score card.)  She rolls again and gets 3, 4, and 6.  So, she marks another tally-mark for the 3.  Then, she rolls a 4, 6, 6.  The round is over, and because you guys are at the Head Table, and because you reached 21-points, you ring the bell, signaling the end of Round 3 for everyone.

A note about the Head Table:  As soon as one team at the Head Table reaches 21, the round is over for everyone.  You get 21 points for a Bunco, so that will do it, or if one of the teams rolls enough tally-marks to reach 21, the round is over.  Some rounds are short.  Others are long.

If you’re not at the Head Table, you play the same way, only you can get as many points as you can.  The team with the most points at the sound of the bell wins that round.  On the score sheet, you mark whether you won or lost for that particular round, and then you follow the directions on the table.

Each table has a card that says, “Losers move to Table 2” or “Winners move to Table 1” etc.  And, you and your partner move to the next table (or stay, as the case may be) and then play with a new partner.

You play as many rounds as your time allows.  We can usually get through three sets (going from Round 2 through Round 6 and then starting over at Round 2 and going again.)  At the end, everyone tallies up their wins and losses, snakes, baby buncos, buncos, and the prizes are divvied out.

Like I said, once you see it in action, it will click.  Reading about it or trying to follow someone explaining it can make your eyes glaze over.

It only took about one round for me to figure it all out.  And, the hardest part was not yelling Yahtzee!  😉

Day Nine – Held Hostage

Yes, the title of this post is dramatic, but it’s the truth.  It is what it is.  I’m being held hostage, and today is Day Nine.

It started out with the best of intentions.  I decided to walk through the Holiday Aisle at Target one day.  It was a Monday.  Claire was in her Young Preschoolers Class, and it was the perfect time to pick some things up and scratch them off of Santa’s List.

Candy canes?  Check!

What else…what else?

Oh, look!  A Christmas Countdown Calendar!  How perfect!  This would be something fun that Claire and I could do every morning.  Find the day, open it up, see the picture and eat the little chocolate candy.


So, the calendar and my other purchases were hidden downstairs with the rest of the holiday loot.

It wasn’t until the afternoon of December 1st that I remembered I had the Countdown Calendar!  I’d been chatting with one of my friends online, and she mentioned something that triggered my memory.  How could I forget!  Right after Claire’s nap, I got out the Calendar, and we found the little square marked “1” and opened it up.

Claire was thrilled.

I let her eat the teeny tiny square of chocolate with the little picture imprinted on it.

She was beside herself.

And, then she wanted to open up the next one.  TWO comes after ONE!  Let’s open that one!

Uh, no.  I mean, yes.  Two comes after One, but we have to open it up on December 2nd. Tomorrow. We already opened up the one for today.

Let’s open up Number Two Right Now!
What about now?
Or now?
Could we pretend that today is tomorrow and open up the next one now?
But, there’s chocolate in there!
Can we open it now?
Please, Momma, may we open up the next one!?

Such a polite little beggar.  But, the answer was still no.  Until the next day, in which she got to open up the next little door, and the begging started once again.

And, so began my captivity.
We’ve suffered through nine days.
Today is Day Nine.
It is NOT Day Ten.
Tomorrow is Day Ten.
No, we may not open up the next little box.

My husband got a kick out of my predicament…until our captor turned her sights on him.  That’s when he looked at the back of the box and told me that a serving size was listed as 12 pieces.

Thanks, but you’re not helping!  😉

One a day!  That’s the joy of the Countdown Calendar.
Can’t you feel the joy?

In all honesty, the irony of a calendar causing such frustration to a perfectionist who totally digs calendars is not lost on me, and that does bring me some joy…it’s twisted logic, but it is joy.  🙂

I was talking to my sister-in-law the other day on the phone and told her what was happening.  I told her how I’d thought it was such a good idea!  A little countdown calendar to make the holidays fun!

This was not what I had expected!!

She laughed and said that her childhood was full of memories of the countdown calendar and how she and her brothers would not only beg to open more than one door a day, but they would fight over who could open up the next window and who would eat the candy this time.  So, it was good to hear that other parents have suffered before me and that I’m not alone.

I’ll tell you one thing, though.  The Countdown Calendar is working.  I can’t wait for the 25th to get here.  In fact, it can’t get here soon enough.  😉

A shockingly good time

Yes, the height of her hair is directly proportional to the amount of her happiness.

Yes, the height of her hair is directly proportional to the amount of her happiness.


This picture is courtesy of Lori’s camera-phone. This is what happened every time Claire slid down the slide at one of the play areas we visit. Carrying this rubber ball with her down the plastic slide in this dry climate just added to the electric charge!  Thanks for capturing the shockingly good time we had, Lori!

A post is a post no matter how short. And, I posted twice yesterday!  Plus, a picture’s worth a thousand words. Looks like I have all the bases covered…  😉

Today is Day 20 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! Check it out and/or join in the fun! A post (albeit a short one!) for Day 20? Done!

A smashing success

The Moms’ Club we’re a part of has decided to create their own Music Class. I’d volunteered to host the first one.

The concept is simple. Everyone brings any instruments they have, and they all go in a clothes-basket. We take turns playing with different instruments, singing, and dancing with scarves to music.

Because Claire was so into all of the music stuff, we’d purchased a nice musical instrument set that included a triangle, tambourine, maracas, cymbals, hollow wooden scraper-thingy, and a longer-handled clacker-dealie. (I may have been the Music Class Leader this time, but that doesn’t mean I’m required to know all the technical names!!) 🙂 She also has a nice xylophone to add to the mix. There would be plenty of instruments to choose from and share. It was going to be perfect!

Neither one of us could wait for Tuesday’s Music Class.

Monday morning, Claire had her Young Preschooler Class. Every Monday, as I’m signing her in, she picks her name-card off of the table (she finds it herself!) and takes it over to The Question of the Day poster on the wall. The teacher then helps her read the question, and Claire answers it. She then puts her name-card in the slot indicating her answer. The question is different every week and always simple. (i.e. “Are you wearing red?”) It’s something they do every time, and it helps with early reading skills, recognition, etc.

It’s fun, and she loves it.

But, what does this have to do with Music Class we were going to have on Tuesday?

Well, here’s the conversation we had on Monday night:

“Claire! We need to label your instruments for tomorrow’s Music Class! If you help me gather them all up, I’ll put your name on them.”

“Oh no! Momma, you can’t!”

“Why not? We don’t want them to get mixed up with anyone else’s instruments, so we need to put your name on them.”

“We can’t, because we left my name at school!”

She was quite relieved that we didn’t need her name-card from the school to label her musical instruments. I thought it was hysterical that she thought we’d left her actual name at the school, but I did a great job of not laughing out loud.

We got the instruments labeled, everyone showed up, and all the kids had a great time playing with the instruments, singing and dancing. All in all, the Music Class on Tuesday was a smashing success…

Quite literally, I’m afraid.

...quite literally, I’m afraid.

This was a “while being put away” casualty and not a “while being played” situation.  No musicians were harmed in this incident and thankfully, this isn’t a fatal injury. “Says you!” cries The Tambourine. 😉 Forgive her. She’s just a little short-sighted right now. As soon as I get her fixed (I’ll probably just remove the ripped paper – I may or may not re-cover her), no one will be the wiser.

[Edited to add:  Check out the update!]

Today is Day 19 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! Check it out and/or join in the fun! Instruments requiring repair? One. Days completed in the NaBloPoMo Challenge?  Nineteen!

The Build-a-Bear Birthday Party

On Sunday, one of Claire’s little girl-friends had a birthday party. We were invited to a local Build-a-Bear Workshop to help her celebrate. It was a great idea for a party!

Claire was extremely excited to go to this store, as she’d never been inside one yet. (Years ago, I had gone with some friends, but I hadn’t been in one recently.) Before we got to the store, I’d tried to explain to Claire what we would be doing, but I could tell she didn’t really understand.

No worries.
She’ll figure it out when we get there.

Or so I thought…

As soon as we walked in, she was overwhelmed. Our friends had paid for a special birthday package that included stuffed animals for each attendee. And, with the birthday package, each child was able to choose from a ton of different stuffed creatures on the display wall. We weren’t going to be doing voice-boxes or clothing, which are features you can add on if you choose. Honestly, just the stuffed creature was a fabulous and generous treat!

So, we told Claire to pick which one she wanted to make, and we made our way down the display wall. She kept trying to grab the finished example off of the wall. “I want that one!” she’d shriek with joy as she grabbed a hold of whichever precious creature had her attention. She wanted nothing to do with its empty equivalent in the bin below it.

“Well, sweetie, that’s a great choice!” I’d say, as I tried to wrangle the stuffed example toy away from her and hand her the empty shell.

“Nooooooooo! I don’t want that!” she’d scream, shoving the limp, lifeless hide away from her. “I want that one!” she’d beg, pointing to the stuffing-filled finished product.

I tried explaining that we would be filling it with stuffing. It will look like the one on the wall when we were finished! Honest…it will!

She thought I was insane. How can that useless and boring piece of faux fur even compare to the wonderful, glorious stuffed toy on the wall? And, why are you pointing to those things and asking me to choose if you won’t let me take the one I want? What kind of trick is this?


Claire wasn’t the only one who didn’t get it. Other confused little girls in our party were distraught over the horribly inadequate choices we were forcing them to make.

But, it didn’t take long for the Party Coordinator to get the party started, and soon, things were on a roll.

If you’ve ever been to a Build-a-Bear Workshop, you know that you put a little heart into each animal. Well, for the Birthday Girl, they had an added bonus. Each child picked two hearts. The Party Coordinator then had the kids take one of their hearts, kiss it and make a Birthday Wish for the Birthday Girl. Then all of those hearts were sewn into her bear. The remaining heart was put into their own stuffed animal.

Then the lifeless shells were stuffed with fluff. Finally, the creatures started to take shape, and the party goers understood that we weren’t completely crazy.

In fact, they were ecstatic.

A little word of warning, though…the stuffing of the fluff machine nearly scared the stuffing right out of Claire! It’s rather loud, and as soon as that thing turned on, she shot over to me in a flash. When it was her turn to stuff her animal, she held my hand, and insisted that I be right there to help her, which wasn’t a problem, but it wasn’t something I’d expected to be an issue.

After the stuffing of the animals, the kids were able to “wash” their creatures at the Washing Station (no water is involved, but there is air that shoots out of “sprayers”)…pretty cool! Then, from there, the girls went to the Cardboard House Station and got to color houses for their new best friends.

So, what did Claire finally choose?

After manhandling practically each and every toy, she finally decided on a hot-pink leopard, which she named Jasper. Yes, we have a real Jasper here…and now he has a sister.

“This one is a girl-Jasper, Momma!”
Obviously. 😉

Click photos to enlarge.

After the party, they were both ready for a nap!  Here they are sound asleep.

After the party, they were both ready for a nap! Here they are sound asleep.

Build-a-Bear-Jasper came with a printed Birth Certificate, a Cardboard House, Stickers, and a Coloring Book.

Build-a-Bear-Jasper came with a printed Birth Certificate, a Cardboard House, Stickers, and a Coloring Book.

As you can see, Claire loves her new best friend.

As you can see, Claire loves her new best friend.

All in all, it was a wonderful idea for a party. It is one that I may actually consider doing for one of Claire’s birthday parties in the future, because she had so much fun! Plus, the store handles the decorating, the clean-up, and how can you not have a good time?

Well…once you figure out that you won’t be forced to play with an empty shell of a creature, the more fun you’ll have! 😉

Note: This is not an official review of the store. This is purely real life turning itself into blog fodder. 😉

Today is Day 17 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! Check it out and/or join in the fun! A new best friend AND a post for Day 17? Chosen, stuffed, and complete!

Maddy Gascar & The Giraffe Who Doesn’t Listen Very Well

Last week, Claire and I went to a prescreening of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. We loved it!  Because we’d never seen the first one, and because we liked the second one so much, I put Madagascar (the first one) in the Netflix Queue.

Well, one of our friends loaned us a copy in the meantime!

So, earlier this week, after Daddy got home from work, and after we’d had our dinner, all three of us settled in downstairs to check it out.  We loved it!  All three of us laughed ‘til our sides hurt!  This is actually one of our favorite kid movies so far.

We had just as much fun watching the first one as we did the second, only it wasn’t on the big screen.

The funniest thing about the evening was Claire looking for the character named Maddy.  You know, Maddy Gascar.  She didn’t realize it was a place, and not a creature.

“Which one is Maddy, Momma?  Can we watch Maddy again, Momma?  Can we watch Maddy Gascar again?”


As I mentioned before, along with the tickets to the prescreening, we got a lot of schwag.  One of those items was a free Happy Meal™.  Well, I gave in and we went through the drive-thru the other day.  And, who should appear in our Madagascar Happy Meal™ but Melman, the Giraffe!

Once you click him on, if you jostle him, he repeats three phrases, all in the voice of Ross.  I’m sorry, Ross…you’ll always be Ross to me.  😉

“What are we gonna do!?”
“Ow!  Ow!  Ow!”
“You guys REALLY need a doctor!”

Those are the three phrases that I’ve been hearing on repeat ever since.

Granted, it’s really funny to put Melman in situations where he will answer with an appropriate phrase.  (We accidentally knocked him off the table right before he screamed, “Ow!  Ow!  Ow!”)  But, as with any repetitive toy, my brain is about ready to explode.

And, I think he’s starting to annoy Claire as well, but for different reasons.

Last night, she started arguing with Melman.

“You guys REALLY need a doctor!” says Melman.


“What are we gonna do!?” says Melman.

“Well, you said you wanted to be the doctor!  Remember?” says Claire.  Clearly, Melman doesn’t remember what happened in the second movie, or he wouldn’t have asked.

“Don’t you remember, Melman?”  she asks again.  Melman is silent and refuses to answer.  And, that’s when she becomes a little rough with the poor giraffe.

“Ow!  Ow!  Ow!” says Melman.  “You guys REALLY need a doctor!”

“I ALREADY TOLD YOU!” she yells at poor Melman.  “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!  Momma!  Melman won’t listen!  He can’t listen very well.  He keeps tellin’ me we needs a doctor!  AND I ALREADY TOLD HIM.”

Poor Claire.
Poor Melman.
I’m not sure their relationship can withstand these communication issues.  😉

I’ve tried and tried to explain to Claire that this Melman is a toy.  He can only say three things.  And, he can’t hear her.  And, he won’t remember the answers that she tells him.

But, she’s just not getting it.  She continues to have conversations with a giraffe that doesn’t listen very well.  I can only remind her so many times to be gentle with the poor giraffe…and, if Melman isn’t careful, he’s the one who’s gonna need a doctor.  😉

Today is Day 14 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! Check it out and/or join in the fun! A post for Day 14? Done!

Without the pointy hat, it would have been a typical Friday Night


Okay…maybe not EXACTLY like a typical Friday Night.  We normally don’t eat this much candy.  🙂

This year, for Halloween, I had grandiose plans of being The Fairy Godmother to Cinderella Claire.  (Last year, I dressed up like a Queen to her Princess, and I didn’t want to do that again this year.)  I even had an old sheet that was the perfect color for The Fairy Godmother’s cloak.  As time ticked on, my enthusiasm and motivation to create my own pattern and make a cloak without ruining the sheet (we use that old sheet for so many things!) started to dwindle.  I looked in various stores to see if I could be tempted to spend an outrageous amount of money on a cloak, but no one had the right style, so I wasn’t forced to make a responsible decision.

I needed my own Fairy Godmother to step in and help with the task.

But, she never came.  Apparently she’s really busy this time of year.

So, one day a couple weeks ago, I decided to go to Plan B.  As Claire and I were looking through my closet, I found one of my trusty witch’s hats, and I looked at the plethora of black attire in my closet.

I told Claire my plan, and she was so excited!  “Don’t be Ursula, the Sea Witch, Momma!” was her only request.  She had a blast helping me pick out the outfit.  (Every day with a preschooler is Dress Up Day, so none of this was out of the ordinary for our house!)  😉

And, as you can see, I held up my end of the bargain:  There are no tentacles in this picture.  (Click photos to enlarge.)

Momma?  Is that you?

Momma? Is that you?

Momma & Claire

Momma & Claire

Yes, I have hidden my true identity in the above photos, but my husband has refused to have any of his photo published in a public forum…and he even had a mask!  Boo! 🙂 (But!  If you check out our family website or my personal Facebook page, you may or may not see that the Phantom of the Opera looks an awful lot like my hubby.)  😉

As Claire and I visited the houses on our cul-de-sac last night, we could see him standing in our doorway, his white mask glowing eerily from the black-light he’d put in one of our outside lights!  The orangish-yellow candle light in the pumpkins on the step dancing with the shadows really complimented the bluish-purple glow from the light.

Without the flash, you can see the complimentary colors.

Without the flash, you can see the complimentary colors.

When we were done showing our costumes to all the neighbors, Cinderella Claire and I took over Door Duty, and The Phantom busied himself with the baking of the pizza.  And this time, Claire provided the dessert!  And, we each only had a couple pieces …okay, maybe one more…but that’s it!  😉

Today is Day 1 of 30 of NaBloPoMo!  Check it out and/or join in the fun!  In the meantime, around here, Day One is…done!

Tree Hugger

Note:  Click on photos to enlarge.  Clicking a second time will show more detail.

Last weekend, the weather was gorgeous.  I was very fortunate to have a chance to play with Claire out in the leaves.  (We also took some shadow portraits…)

She had a great time playing with the Linden.  At one point, she stood up on the little shoots coming out at the base and said, “Look at how high up I am!  I can see Daddy’s flagstones from way up here!”

Way Up High

Way Up High

Keep in mind…she was just mere inches off the ground.  😉

Then, we decided to play Hide & Seek.  She loves this game, and she still hasn’t mastered the “real” way to play, but that’s okay.  I’m cherishing these moments that are so full of childlike naïveté.  It won’t be long before she’ll have all the rules down, and then I’m sure she’ll give me a run for my money.

In the meantime, here are some good shots:

Hide & Seek

Hide & Seek

You can see Daddy’s progress on the rocks in the background.

She's spotted the surveillance...

She has spotted the surveillance...

She’s figured out that the camera is there…

Hide & Seek

...but she hasn't moved.

…but she still doesn’t realize I know where she is.



I see you!  This is my favorite shot of the afternoon.

one... two... three...

one... two... three...

And, then it was her turn to count and my turn to hide.  And, if you must know, she told me to hide behind the tree.  And why not?  It had been the perfect place for her!


My, what a big name you have.

Click to enlarge.
Clicking a second time will show more detail.

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball

This fluffy little blue ball is Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball.  She came home on an art project on Monday from Claire’s Young Preschoolers Class.

That night, Merlin took a liking to Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball and rescued her from the paper pumpkin where she was adorned and batted her into Claire’s room.

That’s where Claire found her.
And named her.
And, she didn’t get a short, easy-to-type name.  Noooooo…that would be too easy.  😉

And, if you don’t get her full name said correctly the first time, you will be corrected by Claire.  Needless to say, I’ve got it memorized.

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball is just lucky Merlin didn’t bat her under the fridge, which is where most everything goes…eventually.

So, even though we’ve only had Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball in our charge for a few days, Claire is totally smitten.  She goes everywhere with us.  She’s a little harder to contain than Baby Piggy, but I’m trying my best.

Thankfully, my jeans have a special pocket designed just for her.

A special pocket just for her

A special pocket just for her

All this time, I thought that little pocket was for coins or something.  But, come to think of it, I’ve never used that little pocket until now.

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball went with us yesterday on a playdate, and she peeked out a couple times and even met some of Claire’s friends.

She also went to vote with us. She didn’t get a sticker.  It was bigger than she is!

In fact, life is pretty interesting when you have a name bigger than you are.  😉