Halloween 2011

This year, for the first time since Claire was a baby, we actually did trick-or-treating in our own neighborhood.  In the past, Claire has preferred to go trick-or-treating with friends in their neighborhood, but it did not work out this year on account of it being a Monday and not having time to get something like that together.  Claire handled the disappointment of trick-or-treating in the neighborhood with her family pretty well. ūüôā

The dynamic duo working a house

Accordingly, it was the slowest, most low-key Halloween we have had in a long time.  Instead of running and giggling wildly with her friends, Claire, dressed as a fairy-Barbie, paced slowly along with us from house to house, keeping in good spirits but not getting to crazy.  In fact, Claire was so slow that she wasn’t even keeping up with Kit and me, and I was walking slowly from an injured knee (trampoline injury).  We think Claire was tired, maybe from the recent carnival.  Molly, dressed up as a ladybug, didn’t know quite what was going on, be whatever it was was pretty fun.  She and Claire go to go to each house together a team, where Claire would ring the doorbell, and they would wait someone to come.  While waiting for the candy, Molly tended to turn around a make sure Kit and I were still there waiting behind them.  Molly didn’t necessarily know she was even candy, but she did enjoy the process of collecting nice, wrapped objects in her little bag.  She did not actually eat any of her candy.  We do actually want to fatten her up, but not on Snickers and Blow Pops (yet).

This being a late night close on the heals the carnival, Kit and Molly pealed off around 7:30 to get Molly to sleep and hour late.  Claire and I kept going for a while.  Once home, Claire got to answer the door for some trick-or-treaters and distribute some candy, a duty which she seemed to prize.  Claire strategized about the order in which to consume her candy, two pieces per day, and ten went

Molly got to wear her costume to school

Claire’s very favorite treat was some crazy vampire teeth

Claire (and Kit and I) decorated a pumpkin
as Cinderella for a school project

The Opposite of a Diet

This weekend, we stocked up on the following items at the grocery store.

  • Evaporated milk
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Croissants
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Corn syrup
  • Something called “ghee”, which apparently is even more buttery than butter
  • Pudding
  • Super-fat milk
  • Super-fat egg nog
  • And whole-fat “baby” yogurt, which has always been a staple
And I’m sure I left several more uber-fat things off the list.
We purchased these items on the recommendation of Molly’s gastroenterologist, who suggested we try pouring them on, or mixing them into, Molly’s food, or just let her drink them straight in some cases.  The goal is to see if Molly can be fattened up in the next month for her next visit to the doctor.  This is the least intrusive (and indeed, the most enjoyable!) way for Molly to try to get back on the growth chart.  Molly has been hanging below the bottom of the growth chart, around negative -3-5% (is that even theoretically possible?), since she was born, and has even dropped off a bit in the last few months.  Thus the gastroenterologist.
Hopefully with all this gooey fat, Molly will put on some weight in the next month and even hit the 21-pound mark!


We all got to go to our first carnival for Claire’s school tonight! ¬†This was a big, crazy shindig to raise money for the school. ¬†After weeks of volunteer forms, raffles, meetings, and contests, the carnival finally manifested itself tonight between 5:30 and 8:30. ¬†Usually Molly starts to bed at 6:30, and Claire at 7:30, but we went wild tonight and let them stay out for the carnival until about 8:30!

Claire had lots of fun doing a giant, bouncy slide and basically just jumping around and giggling with her friends.  Molly also had fun, but she did not get to actually do a whole other than watch other people have fun, but that was still pretty good.  Molly loved watching the aforementioned giant, bouncy slide, and she yelled and cheered like a cheerleader as each kid come down the slide.

The end of the night included some meltdowns from out tires, weary carnival-goers, as expected for a late, exciting night. ¬†Claire’s happened when the haunted house was closed and we could not go into it, even though lots of people were still in the house at the time. ¬†They had stopped taking in new customers since the wait was an hour, and the fair was going to close before that. ¬†To Claire, this did not seem quite right. ¬†Molly didn’t care about the haunted house, but she was getting tired and cranky in her own right. ¬†So we got home and tossed the kids in bed and discovered that we were exhausted too. ¬†But we had an awfully fun night and pitched in a little bit of money for the school in the process.

Getting Clean by Getting Messy

I missed this misadventure personally since I was off working, but apparently Molly and Claire discovered the whiteboard cleaner that had been sitting by their art/whiteboard easel.  The first thing they did was clean the heck out of the whiteboard.  Logical enough, right?  They sprayed it and wiped it, sprayed it and wiped it, until it was absolutely spotless.  Then they decided to clean the floor.  They used up so much cleaner that eventually a small puddle of it formed on the floor beneath them.  By this time, they were giggling and feeling extremely silly, and Molly was sliding around in the cleaner and having trouble getting on her feet.

This was just too much fun, and since they still had some cleaner left, and Molly had the bottle of cleaner, it was up to her to decide what to clean next.  What do you think would be the next logical thing to clean?  A window?  A countertop?  Well, Molly thought her own face would be fun to try.  She pointed the sprayer at herself and repeatedly sprayed the non-toxic cleaner all over her face, much to the delight of herself and Claire.  Apparently there was lots of giggling.  Kit had thought all the giggling was just from playing around, but at this point she went over and had to take the cleaner away.  Molly’s face was clean very clean and, I assume, completely free of dry erase markings.

We were a little concerned, and we checked on Molly throughout the night, but she was fine.  That stuff really is non-toxic, thankfully.  This was as a good reminder not to leave the bug spray laying around!

Help From a Little Friend

Molly has shown a very sweet, empathetic side lately.  Her sister is still having some occasional jitters from kindergarten, coming hope grumpy and sometimes very sad.  Tonight, Claire had an especially hard time and was standing in the living room sobbing about something we didn’t understand.  Kit and I were trying to comfort her, without much success, when Molly decided to give it a try too.  Molly patted Claire on the back a bit, and then she ran into the play room to grab a teddy bear.  She handed the bear to Claire, and in fact sort of insisted that she take it.  Then Molly clapped her hands and ran off to get some more stuffed animals to deliver to her poor sister.  Eventually Claire was completely covered by stuffed animals, compliments of Molly.  And right about then, Claire finally cracked a tiny smile, also compliments of Molly.  Not long after, the two girls were off playing together.  Kit and I could never cheer Claire up like that!

Molly’s teacher tells us that she has done this routine before for one of her classmates, Lexi, who was sad after being dropped off at school.  Molly patted her on the back until she stopped crying, brought her a toy, and eventually led to her into the room to play.  Molly has this down pat!

Claire Interview #2

One of Claire’s school projects a couple of weeks ago gave me the idea to include a series of “interviews” with Claire.  These are going to be quick Q&A sessions with Claire (and eventually Molly).  Along this theme, I bought a “Kid’s Chat Pack” at a store recently.  The pack is is a deck of dozens of little cards that you can pull, each card containing a random question to ask someone (ostensibly a kid) to start a conversation.

I wasn’t sure Claire would be into this idea, but when I proposed asking her a few questions from the Chat Pack, she loved the idea and asked me to keep going as we got into it.  We did this while driving to pick up Molly from school a couple of days ago.  Below are some of Claire’s answers, at least the ones that I can remember.

Q: Suppose you always had to use the sound of a farm animal to great people, instead of saying “hi”.  What sound would you use?
A: The sounds of a cute duck quacking

Q: What particular quality above all others do you look for when choosing your friends?
A: A good heart, because that’s where their love comes from

Q: If you could bring to life any creature that is now extinct or any imaginary creature, what would it be?
A: A dinosaur
(I was surprised she didn’t say a fairy, but I think she was focusing on the “extinct” part)

Q: If you could choose one item and be guaranteed that it would never break, wear out, or get lost, what would you choose?
A: My daddy!
(This was very sweet, but I had the advantage of being right in front of her as she answered this question!  She often answers based on what she sees.)

Q: What do you think is the worst thing you could eat before getting your teeth cleaned by the dentist?
A: A house!
(She said this loudly and laughing wildly.  This answer was a sign that the interview was losing steam…)

Messy Molly

Molly is not afraid to get her hands dirty.  Or her face, hair, arms, legs, or feet, for that matter.

Molly and her clothes often comes home from school covered in different colors of (washable) paint.  One time she went to school with a blue shirt, and they did a blue paint “activity” that day.  The teachers tell us that during the day, Molly literally was covered head to toe in blue, and she looked like a Smurf.

Molly’s face and hair are often covered in food (usually yogurt) and snot (or “mucus” as they so politely say at school).  Sometimes her hands and then her face are covered in black tire smudge at the end of a walk in the jogger, thanks to her curious hands, which love to feel the tires.  Then there is sweat, which usually provides an outer moist layer all over her body during the warm months.

But enough words.  Please enjoy this montage of Molly’s greatest messy moments (so far) caught on film.

Art Samples #1

Another new recurring idea I just had for this blog is to show regular samples of the girls’ drawings every few months.  I recently got pretty quick with the scanner, so now I don’t mind scanning some art to include here and there.

Claire’s drawing has taken a jump in sophistication lately.  Her recent pictures now include large, complex scenes and a range of ideas and emotions (not just hearts/flowers/butterflies, although those are still quite prominent).  Some of her pictures even have a little bit of a story to them.  Here are a recent few samples, along with Claire’s explanation.

Drawn in Halloween colors, this is a picture
of a flower with a separate picture
contained within each of its pedals.
Plus a bunch of other stuff going on.

The boy has the jumprope.
The girl on the left wants it.
The girl on the right wants to help.
The girl on the right is so nice
that she has a cup of “bug food”
stuck to her head to feed the bugs.

I don’t actually know the explanation for this one.
But it is certainly fun and interesting.

This one is based on the cover art for
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,
an album by the Flaming Lips.
Claire likes the underdog girl protagonist Yoshimi,
but she also likes the robots
because they’re pink, and pink = good.
So it’s a toss-up.

I wanted to include Molly’s art too, but of course Molly just turned two and is not able to do art like Claire yet.  But Molly did recently create a sparse and provocative piece, which I like to call “One Star Sticker, and a Slight Footprint”.

Okay, so Molly is concentrating on other things right now besides art, like honing her talking skills and learning about the potty.  You’ve got to start somewhere, right?