Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Birthday

No doubt about it, as we age, our birthdays become less and less exciting, and the day becomes more and more dreaded - unless you are a 5-year-old and your mom's birthday serves as an excellent opportunity for you to eat cake that is. Seriously, you would have thought it was Claire's birthday with how excited she was. The entire day she was planning my "surprise" party, which would include party plates, napkins, party favors, party hats (Disney's Cars, no less), cake, and candles. It also had to include a moment when everyone would turn off the lights, hide under the kitchen table and yell "surprise!" when I walked into the room. All of these "secret" plans were shared with me throughout the day, and I even learned that I was to go to my room and shut the door until the "surprise" party was ready.

At the "surprise" party. Don't I look "surprised"? I practiced my "surprised" face while waiting in my bedroom. Claire and Ben were under the table, waiting for me to come into the room.

Modeling our Mater party hats.

This picture cracks me up. I look like I'm afraid the cake is going to eat us, but really I was just trying to wrangle two kids who both wanted to be the one to blow out the candles. Despite my efforts, we ended up relighting the candles after the first go around, so that Ben could blow them out on his own. He felt he got gypped the first time.

I think Claire needs to add party planner to her list of potential future careers. It will fit nicely with the other possibilities under consideration: landscaper, dentist, pilot, and Ben's teacher.

The Zoo

Last weekend we took advantage of the rare (these days anyway) but beautiful weather and took a trip to the zoo. The last time we went, Claire was Ben's age, so she doesn't remember it at all, and Ben was but a fetus. They both really enjoyed themselves, and didn't seemed too phased by the over 4 miles we probably ended up walking.

It's a great zoo because all of the animals are in very natural environments. Well, it's great for the animals, but not always great for the humans who may or may not get to see an animal that day. Because the habitats are so large and so spread out, animals can really distance themselves from the viewing areas. We got lucky with the elephants, however. They were right up close.

This giraffe is supposedly one of the oldest female giraffes in the world.


Great picture of Shawn, right? HA!

At the zoo playground

She was determined to climb this rock and was very proud of her accomplishment. (don't tell, but she just walked around to the back side and climbed up about a foot.)

Girls wore hats

Eating ice cream (with sprinkles!) with grandma, arguably the highlight of the trip for her.

"Hi mom, I finally settled on riding the dolphin since it was the only animal that didn't have scary teeth."

Fun day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Egg Hunt!

Claire and Ben have been practicing for several days; we hide the eggs around the house and they race to find them. They were all warmed-up for the annual egg hunt at the local park. Not only do the kids get to find the eggs, but they get a goody-bag, and there is a prize for each child as well. Ben came home with a plastic fishing pole, and Claire has a brand new sparkly baton.

See my basket?

Now where did that egg go? Oh right, that huge kid, way too old to be over here just ran and snatched it right out from under me. Darn!

The spoils!

Enjoying the beautiful spring weather. It was a perfect day!

Scoping out the landscape

Love this one

Whew, that egg hunting is hard work!
One final shot with mom actually in front of the camera this time.

Family Movie Night

We've joined the masses and now have a Netflix subscription. I have to say that though I was a bit skeptical of its value at the get-go, I am now sold on the idea. I love getting movies in the mail, not having to load up the family and go to the video store, and being able to keep the movie is invaluable when you have a 5-year-old who likes to watch a movie at least 15 times before moving on to a new one.

Since joining we have also started a new family tradition: Family Movie Night. This involves: early dinner, early bath, pjs, popcorn, sleeping bags, movie and late bedtime. The kids are huge fans.

All set up and ready to go.

Totally enthralled with Kung Fu Panda