Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treating

Since we've already gone to 2, yep 2 Halloween events already, and since it was a really cold night out there tonight, we weren't real sure that we were going to do much to celebrate this, the actual night of Halloween. But, somewhere along the way (I blame our neighbor girl Savannah) Brianna figured out the whole concept of trick-or-treating. So, the past 2 days or so she's been saying, "I wanna trick-or-treat!" Well, we felt like we would be scrooges not to let her have her fun on Halloween night. We tossed around a few ideas but ultimately decided just to cruise the halls of our own apartment complex. Actually this building is pretty duddy when it comes to Halloween...not very many doors with signs to welcome the candy crusaders. But, we figured, oh well, we don't want her to have tons of candy anways and we really don't want to deal with a tiny, cold, sick kiddo. So we started off pacing the hallways. (I don't think I've ever walked around this whole place...it's huge! I was even getting tired by the end of our walk.) I think there were only about 10 doors we ended up getting to knock on in the whole place. Bree still made a pretty good haul though since every place we went to was really glad to get rid of all their candy and would give huge handfuls of their stash. All in all it turned out pretty perfectly...we stayed warm, Bree got a decent amount of candy but not too much, it wasn't overtiring for her (Daddy carried her most the time) and, most importantly, she had a lot of fun (and looked adorable doing it!).

Here she is, Buzz herself, off for her big night of trick-or-treating.
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Knock, knock! Trick or Treat!
Bree actually did really well at trick-or-treating for a 2 yr. old. When people would open the door she'd say "I'm trick or treating!" which is pretty darn good. Then, when prompted, she would even say thank you after getting her little treat. We were pretty proud parents.
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I had to help her knock on the doors though since she was knocking like a butterfly. :)
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Here she is, tromping along, looking for the next door to knock on...
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Sometimes she would even let me hold her hand as we walked along. It was the highlight of my Halloween!
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That's one happy little trick-or-treater!
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Once we got home Bree immediately raced in and started dumping out the contents of her little pumpkin basket. I guess some things in life need no instructions! :) She was so excited to get to see what all she had gotten in there.
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And here she is surveying her loot...
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Yep, she made a haul..check out this spread!
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Then we had to call and wish our Grammies a Happy Halloween and tell them all about our big evening of trick or treating.
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Naturally, she had to taste a few things. So, we let her have a few of her candies. She liked Nerds okay, but after a few bites of the Laughy Taffy she said, "It's too sticky! Here, you have it!" I think she also opened and licked on about 5 suckers but didn't finish a one of them. In this shot she's really enjoying her mini-bag of M&M's. As for the rest of it, it's going to get rationed out one candy at a time for the next however long it lasts. But, as for tonight she ran around on a sugar high for about a half an hour and we had a bit of a time getting her to bed. Ah yes...the joys of a childhood Halloween!
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Carving Pumpkins

Finally, just in the nick of time, almost too late for the season we carved our pumpkins last night! We've just been so busy lately with all our outings and such that we haven't had time to sit down and do them. (Well, the truth is maybe we have had a moment or two when we could have carved them before now I suppose, but I've been feeling a little bit under the weather with a cold and haven't known if I had the energy to clean up the mess afterwards. Actually, as I type this I still have pumpkin guts strewn around my kitchen yet today, the day after. Guess it's a good look for Halloween. Okay, man! This is getting to be a long aside..back to the point...) But, at last we did sit down and get our pumpkins carved. Bree thought it was pretty great of course. Anything where you can get messy and not get in trouble is right up a toddler's alley. She didn't quit get the whole concept though, while Trav and I drew faces on our pumpkins, Bree was using a dry-erase marker to scribble all over the front of one pumpkin. Then later she ended up trying to put the seeds and stuff back inside the pumpkin while I was trying to take them out. But, it's all about the experience right? She had a blast!

P.S. All right, don't worry family and die-hard fans, this won't be my last post today. Being that it's Halloween and all, I'll be back tonight to update the blog with Trick-or-Treating photos and stories...the things I do for you people! :)

And, here they are! Our pumpkins this year...
ta-da! The big one is Trav's, the kitty one, the smallest, is Bree's, and mine is the middle size, oddly shaped one on the end. (Of course, I really carved Bree's..not a bad kitty face eh?) Brianna thought they were great and was saying "This is the Daddy pumpkin, grrrr, (apparently the daddy pumpkin growls), this is the Kitty pumpkin, meow, (naturally) and this is Mommy's pumpkin." (I guess mine doesn't say anything.)

After we lit the pumpkins Brianna got all excited. (I don't think she remembers her last Halloween so...) Here she is peeking inside them to see their "pumpkin fires." (Apparently, we've missed adding the word candle to our vocabulary so far.) :) Oh, wait, you could probably see the pumpkins better if I turn the lights off...

...there! That's better! Oooh..aaah.

Counting the pumpkins that makes 4 big grins in this picture. Check out Bree's Halloween shirt she's wearing special for "All Hallow's Eve." It's got a jack o'lantern, a witch, and a black cat on it! She's not wearing pants though since she decided those were optional for a messy pumpkin carving session.

Here's Bree doing her Vanna White impression: "See our lovely pumpkins!" Really though I think she was patting her kitty pumpkin on the head. The monkey sitting there on the daddy pumpkin was a gift from Savannah, who had come over to visit last night.

Sharing a mischievious smile with Jack (O' Lantern).

Just before bedtime, Bree helped blow out the "pumpkin fires." She went off to sleep talking about Halloween, pumpkins and candy. (Which as for the latter is odd since we're not big candy-for-kids fans and we haven't even talked about that much as a major component of this holiday. But it's something she seems to have picked up on anyways. I guess the whole candy-kids combo is inevitable this time of year, oh well!)

Monday, October 30, 2006


Brianna has recently discovered her daddy's binoculars. He has a very small pair that he keeps with all his outdoorsy gear. They're the pocket kind you can tuck away and then pull out when you see something far off that needs a little extra scrutiny. :) Well, Bree found them the other day and went crazy for them. She calls them her "scopes." (I suppose because she's thinking of a telescope, which I think she's seen on some of her TV cartoons.) So, she'll walk up to one of us and say, "Hey, have you seen my scopes? Where'd my scopes go?" Once they're located she'll sling them around her neck and go marching around the house, holding the binoculars up to her eyes and examining the apartment up close. (Actually, I'm a bit grossed out by exactly what lovely things she might discover that way. I mean, I clean the house and all but toddlers do seem to find all the little bits you miss...esp. with "scopes" to help eyeball all the knee to ground level parts.) It's a bit of a different activity for a 2 year old I suppose, but keep in mind her science nerd Daddy who peeks through "scopes" all day. :) Oh well, it's gotta be pretty educational and, she likes it. So, no harm done and it keeps her occupied for quite some time. She does look pretty funny though creeping around the house staring around through her "scopes."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Back to Basics

Okay, so I know that the last few posts have been a lot of pix and not a whole lot of content. My excuse is that the past week or so has been super crazy-busy and I've had a lot of fun pictures I wanted to post. But, it's time to get back to the Brianna basics and give you a few fun toddler anecdotes and Bree-isms. So, here ya go:

The other day while at the park, Brianna and I saw a puppy go by, which, is nothing new. And, as usual Bree pointed and said all excitedly, "Oh look Mom, a puppy! A cute puppy!" Then she added something new she hasn't said before, "Mom, I want a puppy. Go to the store and get me one okay?" Aack! The great kid vs. parent puppy debate has started already! At least while we're still living here I can use the excuse that the apartment doesn't allow dogs. But, I might have to get more creative once we move.

Travis, Brianna, and I decided that pizza sounded good for dinner a few nights ago. We found this place nearbye, Marcello's, with the best pizza! So, Trav was carrying Bree as we were walking into the restaurant and he asked her, "What kind of pizza do you want? I think a pepperoni and mushroom sounds good." Then Bree looked and him and said, "Zackly (exactly), zackly Daddy." I guess she thought that sounded just about perfect too. And, she really did enjoy it. About a half and hour later while she was chowing down on her pizza she was going. "Mmm. Mmm. Yummy peppi-ownees (pepperonis)."

Once we got back from pizza it was dark outside. Now that it's getting later in the fall it gets dark sooner. Still, Brianna isn't outside after dark very often. So, when she spotted the moon in the sky she got all excited. "It's back! It's back!" she exclaimed pointing up. "The moon is back! Daddy, hold me so I can reach it!" And while Daddy held her she did try to reach up and get it..but to no avail. Maybe next time. :)

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Even thought the official day hasn't even arrived yet, it's been all about Halloween around here the past few days. Since Halloween itself actually falls on a Tuesday, since we don't want our 2 yr old out real late, and since we don't want her to have a whole lot of candy, we're not planning to do much that evening. (But, we still want to get our money's worth out of the costume!) So, instead, we've been enjoying going to a few daytime events. We had our own party yesterday and today we joined up with Scott, Hannah, and Kadyn at the MN Zoo for HallZOOween! It was a great time! There were a ton of little kids all dressed up and all the zoo staff were in full costume too. They had stations set up for the kids to "trick-or-treat" at with candy and prizes. So, we strolled around and got to see the animals, and the gals were thrilled with their little goodie bags. All this before lunch and nap time even. :)

Kadyn was a fairy princess. Check out that fancy dress, and the wings and wand!

Of course, Brianna was Buzz Lightyear again. She looked just as adorable and she liked it just as well the second time around. Here she is giving a space ranger salute! (Okay, not really, I think she's itching her ear, but doesn't it look like a salute?)

Buzz and the Fairy Princess got the royal treatment and were carted around in their own personal "carriage" (the wagon).

After awhile, the Fairy Princess decided she'd rather walk (isn't she a pretty princess?)...

...which left Buzz riding in the wagon alone, keeping a close guard on her goodie bag.

Here's Scott trying out the monster teeth Kadyn got while trick-or-treating at one of the goodie stations.

After trick-or-treating awhile, Buzz needed a rest.

But, a space ranger's work is never done. She was soon up and running again...
To Infinity and Beyond! (ZOOM)

One of the last things we did was check out the band the zoo had set up. They were singing a lot of fun kid-type songs. Brianna immediately decided she was a groupie and ran up to watch at the very front of the crowd. In this shot the band was singing "The Bat Rap" and had asked for some backup "rappers." So, Bree was hoisted up on stage as a "rapper." Here she is doing a crossed arms rapper pose that the band helped put the kids in just before the song started. During the song she was jumping up and down and dancing and you could even see her lips saying "bat rap!" Too funny!

Here she is getting down with her bad Buzz self. It was sooo cute. In fact, at the end of the song as the main singer was helping Bree off-stage she said, "Oh, this is what I call BC, which means 'Beyond Cute.'" After cutting a rug on stage though, Brianna was getting pretty tired, and both lunch and nap times were coming up, so we took off soon after. But, Bree left happy with a little bag of treats to show for her morning.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Halloween Party!!

Finally! The day Bree has been long awaiting arrived! Today we hosted a Halloween party in the party room of our apartment complex for our playgroup. We had 16 moms and their tiny, costumed little kids over for some Halloween fun and treats. With all those friends over, there was a very wide variety of costumes to be seen. The kids all looked so adorable! Brianna was super excited to get to show off her costume and the other moms thought it was pretty funny to tell her, "To infinity and beyond!" and send her zooming around the room. Even though the party didn't last long due to afternoon naptimes, the kids still got to play, color, dance, and leave with a few goodies. Overall, a good time was had by all I think.

TA-DA! Here she is in her world debut, Brianna as the girl Buzz Lightyear! It was just as great as I thought it would be! Hee hee! Everyone thought she was pretty darn cute, esp. the pigtails. And, I was pretty pleased with the way my home-made cardboard and construction paper wings turned out. :) Needless to say, she's the only girl Buzz Lightyear we've seen so far. But, I'm actually very glad my little gal knows what she likes and who she is and is not afraid to be herself!

Aside from Buzz, there were lots of other great costumes too.
Take Skylar, who was a clown.

We also had a cow, and a Tigger, aka Colby and Andres.

And this is Ivy as a dinosoar.

Here's Grace, (my friend Becca's daughter) also as a dinosaur, except green.

And here's Raggedy Anne.

A CareBear and a chicken. The chicken (who is Alex, Dawn's son) is looking a little upset in this one though.

This is a shot of the "Bat Bells" we made the kids. At the party we had kind of "stations" set up for the kids to do different types of activities around the room. The "Bat Bells" were for the kids to take and shake. (They're actually just black paper cups with jingle bells suspended inside them, and some jiggle eyes and paper wings glued on to complete the bat look.) The kids seemed to have fun with them. Bree was calling them "Batty Bats" like The Count does from Sesame Street.

Another "station" was "Mr. Pumpkin Head" where the kids used Mr. Potato Head parts to make faces on a pumpkin. Here's a few pix of the kids in action with Mr. Pumpkin Head. Buzz and the monkey especially enjoyed it!