Well, for Halloween this year I decided to do costumes that were going to be easy and cheap (free, actually!)

When Ella was Finn's age, she was a skunk. It was the most adorable costume, gender neutral and really warm, plus it really seemed to suit both my kids personality - you know, little stinkers! Finn's costume - done!

Now, for Ella. One of our friends has a daughter a year older than Ella and the last year she was a can-can dancer. She had offered to let Ella borrow the costume. That was great, but Ella can be very opinionated and picky when it comes to what she wears. So, I had to use a bit of cunningness . I knew she had ordered the costume from Costume Express, a catalog that we get every year. So this year, when we got the catalog I found the can-can dancer and "ooohd" and aahhd" and told Ella how beautiful it was and that it was my favorite. She totally fell for it and asked if she could please, please be a can-can dancer for Halloween. What else could I say but "of course!"


Fall Festival

This weekend Grandpa Gary & Grandma Sheila (Jeramy's parents) came for a visit. They got here just in time to catch the last half of Ella's soccer game. Unfortunately, they missed the best part of the game - Ella with an amazing breakaway and a great kick sending the ball right into the goal.....ummm - the WRONG goal! Poor thing, she was so excited to score a goal, I hardly had the heart to tell her it didn't really count.

After her game, we grabbed a quick bite of lunch then headed over to the Littleton Historical Museum for the fall festival. They had a lot of fun things to see and activities to do. Jeramy, Ella & Grandpa went on a wagon ride. They also had a clothes line and wash tubs with a whole bunch of clothes. Ella had a great time pretending to wash clothes on the washboard, then hang them to dry on the clothes line. One of our favorites was the stilts. I thought since I could do them as a kid, that I'd be able to jump up on them and take off. Not quite!!! Still, they were a ton of fun to try. They also had a little hay-bale maze for the kids. What a fun way to spend the afternoon with Grandpa & Grandma!

Jeramy and Ella on the wagon ride

Grandpa & Grandma enjoying
some warm apple cider.

Fun on the stilts!


Laser Treatment

As some of you know, Finn was born with a birthmark on his chin. Our pediatrician had told us that over time it would go away on its own. Then a few months after he was born a small spot that looked like a cluster of broken blood vessels developed on his cheek. Our pediatrician was concerned about the spot on his cheek and referred us to a pediatric dermatologist who specializes in birth marks, etc. So in July we took Finn to the specialist who told us that the spot on his cheek would, in fact, go away on its own. The birthmark on his chin though, actually a port wine stain, would not and would actually keep getting darker and darker and recommended that we consider laser treatment. He said that Finn would need at least twelve treatments, two months apart and that starting before he reached his first birthday would produce the best results.

So now finally, three months later after dealing with the frustration of our insurance company and the fact that the doctor moved to a new location, we were finally able to have his first treatment done.

The doctor moved to the brand new children's hospital which has only been open a matter of days. What a gorgeous facility! As soon as we arrived we had to put some numbing cream on Finn's cheek and chin. The doctor recommended that after putting the cream on that we then put Glad Press'N Seal overtop to keep it from getting rubbed off. Well, keeping it on the puddle of drool on his chin was pretty much impossible, so we kept applying it to make sure it would help him out.

Before the laser treatment. Notice the piece of
Glad Press'N Seal stuck on his cheek!

Finn and Ella having a wagon ride while waiting to see the doctor.
Poor little guy looks so happy - he has no idea what's in store for him.

The actual procedure took less than a minute. Finn was so mad that everyone was trying to hold him down that he was already screaming before they lasered him, so I'm not sure how much it actually hurt. They just did about 7 or 8 quick zaps on his chin and one on his cheek and we were done! He calmed down very quickly and seemed just fine the rest of the day. Instantly the areas they lasered turned red and then a dark purple - almost black. I'll be curious to see how long they take to heal.
Immediately after the laser treatment. The areas they
lasered instantly turned red. Poor baby!

About one hour after the treatment. The areas
went from red, to dark purple. I think it looks
worse than it is because he seemed really happy
the rest of the day.


Family Bike Ride

An activity that our family has really started to enjoy is biking. Jeramy got a mountain bike this year for Father's Day/his birthday and this is my first summer really using mine since I bought mine last summer when I was pregnant. Some of our friends are really into it and we have kind of caught the biking bug, too.

One of my favorite things about where we live is all of the many trails outside our front door. In addition to all of the paved trails and parks, there are also two single-track bike trails that are about a 15 minute bike ride away. They aren't too difficult or technical (yet I've still managed several wipe-outs!) but they're fun and great practice for us newbies.

Anyway this weekend we borrowed our friends trail-a-bike for Ella to try. We do have a double Burley that attaches to my bike but Finn is still a little young so I like to keep him in his car seat buckled in the Burley, which essentially takes up the whole seat. Also, Ella is getting a little old (ie - heavy) to ride in it.
Finn just chilling in his carseat in the bike trailer

We tried out the trail-a-bike on Saturday afternoon but it was so incredibly windy (think Southern Alberta) that it wasn't a lot of fun. So then Sunday afternoon between conference sessions we thought it would be nice to get out of the house for a little while and get some fresh air. It ended up being really cold and a storm started blowing in, so once again we didn't get to go as far as we had wanted.

Despite the weather challenges we still had a great time! Finn absolutely loves the Burley and usually ends up falling asleep. Ella loved the trail-a-bike and begged to keep going, despite being freezing. We will definitely be buying a trail-a-bike for her. I'm so happy that we found another activity that our whole family enjoys and can do together. Hopefully we can get a few more rides in before the snow comes.
Ella had the best time on the trail-a-bike!


Pierced Ears!

I know. Before I even have to say anything, I can feel some criticism and judgment coming on. Ella is only 4, an age that apparently most people feel is way too young to have her ears pierced. I'm kind of surprised how strongly some people feel about it. I was 4 years old when I got my ears pierced and I vividly remember begging, and begging to get my ears pierced. I wanted it so badly! I think I finally probably just drove my mom crazy, so she broke down and let me get them pierced. So when Ella started asking and asking and asking I said "sure" because I remember being there. Also, I really don't think it's a big deal. There are so many other things that I do feel strongly about and that are a big deal and pierced ears isn't even in the same league.

I took her to Claire's at the mall. I called ahead and made sure that there were 2 girls there so they could do both ears at the same time. So we drove over, I filled out the paperwork, opened up my purse to get my ID and my wallet was not there. I remember earlier in the day getting it out for info I needed on the computer and I left it on the desk. Ella had been waiting so patiently and excitedly for today that I couldn't disappoint her. We turned around and drove home and I got my wallet. The only problem was when we got back to Claire's there was only 1 girl there, so that meant she had to have her ears done one at a time. She said she still wanted to do it. Based on her very dramatic, violent reaction to getting a flu shot last week, I was almost positive that we would be leaving with only one ear pierced, but I promised, so we proceeded.

She did great! She looked a little surprised and panicked after each ear was done and her little lip started quivering (isn't that the sweetest sad picture) but she held it together and a few seconds later was all smiles. She was so cute after we were done she walked around holding her hair up in a ponytail so everyone could see her pierced ears! Seeing how excited and happy she was just melted my heart and made me so glad I let her do it.