Thursday, November 5, 2015

Scottish Halloween 2015

Day 1
Me: Stella, what do you want to be for Halloween?
Stella: Yellow hat man.
Me: Do you mean the Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George?
Stella: Um. Ya.

Day 2
Me: Stella, what do you want to be for Halloween?
Stella: Yellow hat man.

Day 3
Me: Stella, what do you want to be for Halloween?
Stella: Yellow hat man.

Day 4
Me: Stella, what do you want to be for Halloween?
Stella: Yellow hat man.

Day 5
Me: Ok Stella, I'm gonna order everything to make Man in the Yellow Hat costume.  Are you sure that's what you want your costume to be?
Stella: Uhuh.

Day 6:
Me: Stella, what do you want to be for Halloween?
Stella: Ninja Turtle
Me: Seriously? What happened to The Man in the Yellow Hat and Baby Z could be a monkey for Curious George?
Stella: No. Ninja Turtle
Stella: (singing) Jake and the Neverland a pirateer...
Me: Well, which Ninja Turtle?
Stella:  Ummm. Purple!
Me: Donatello?
Stella: Ya! Purple! With Sword!
Me: Well Donatello has a stick not a sword.  The sword is Leonardo I think.
Stella: Ya. Purple!

Day 7...Day?
Me: Okay I'm gonna order Ninja Turtle costume. Are you sure that's what you want to dress up as?
Stella: Yes. Purple Ninja Turtle with Sword Stick
Me: Ok well after I hit confirm order that's it.
Stella: Yay! Me want to be...I want to be Ninja Turtle!

Ninja Turtle costume arrives. Stella tries it on. It's something like 10 inches too long.  Stella is excited like no other. Loves the shell I've stuffed with Poly-Fill. "Want to be a ninja turtle! Want to be a ninja turtle! I don't want to take my costume off!" Finally does.  I spend 2-3 days altering it to fit my 3-year-old into a costume clearly sized for a 12-year-old, but labeled "3-4 years."

Day Before Halloween
Stella: I don't want to be Ninja Turtle. I want to be wicked witch.

No do-overs at our house...Stella was a Ninja Turtle without a sword or stick, and by the end of the night, without a mask and a shell.

Baby Z needed something to wear while being Baby Bjorned.  I opted for a spider which I made out of 3 pairs of socks and poly fill, and anything else I could find around the house, since leaving the house to go shopping with 2 kids is a far off fantasy.

Believe it or not. Halloween is a pretty big deal here in Scotland. At least close to what it is in the States.  Stella's nursery school was done up fully top to bottom the entire week leading up to Halloween as a haunted house.  Her class had face painting the whole week as well, with dress up everyday, leading up to their Halloween Party.  As I recall, back home we only had one day of it typically at school if at all.

Also, folks carve pumpkins and decorate their homes just the same.

The main differences:
  • Kids are better mannered
  • It's primarily primary kids that go trick-or-treating here. None of those post-pubescent "kids" painting their faces, calling it a costume, taking (not asking for) your candy then complaining that you don't have anything good.
  • Instead of visiting houses that have the porch light on, you only visit houses that have set out a pumpkin or jack-o-lantern.
  • Kids also have to tell a joke before the candy dispensing begins.  My favorite of the night was told by our friends' oldest son who was dressed as an astronaut: 
    • "How do you get a baby astronaut to go to sleep?  You rocket!"
    • That one just got better as the night wore on. Nevermind the fact that by the end of the night, Stella had hijacked it as her own, though not successfully.  She doesn't fully grasp the idea or concept of a joke yet.
Baby Z test drove her costume at the beginning of the week during her JoJingles class.


Spiderman face apparently


Rainbow.  Perhaps Rainbow Brite. I don't know

It was so much more fun and nicer going trick-or-treating with friends.

My favorite pumpkin of the night.

Ya... she was sick for a few days after 3 candies.  Poor thing never really has any otherwise.

Here's a little gift for you, the reader.  Thanks to Aunty Michelle for stumbling upon this gem.  A picture of my kindergarten class dressed up for Halloween.  So it shouldn't be difficult to pick me out.  There are only 3 girls (not sure why) and I'm the one that looks like my children.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Loughborough Round 3 & family visit

Because we're gluttons for punishment, we decided to take our 3rd 10-hour+ road trip since having Baby Z.  The only saving grace was that we just fully expected that she wouldn't sleep at night, so if she actually did sleep, then we were ahead of the game.
PLUS, it was James' grandpa's 90TH BIRTHDAY!!!! and James' dad's birthday, followed by James' mom's birthday as well.  Phew. 
Stopped at World of Wedgwood on our way into Loughborough though admittedly we got lost and went to the wrong location.  Either way they had a great little play area for kids.

There she goes with her watering can.

Not sure what they were both looking at, but it must have been awesome.

So pleased with herself and blowing out the candle.

Four Generations

Thought it was teething...nope just congested little pumpkin

Stella's eyes never shine the same way as when she's with Baby Z.

Grandma Jill's birthday!

Again, with the ice cream

Interesting fashion choices: a one piece jumper with ankle boots?

Provence Southern France, Fall 2015

For our late summer (Read: kids are back in school so vacation spots aren't overrun) holiday we made it to Southern France, Provence & Cote d'Azur.   We spent it with the girls by the pool most days with some really nice day trips to Cannes, Grasse, Golfe-Juan, Monaco, Nice, and the nearby villages.

Arrived on a rainy, soggy day, so no swimming today, but hooray for hide & seek.

Stayed in the village of Callian. Our house with the village church in the background.

Callian Village on the hill

View of Callian from Montauroux
View of Callian from across the way in Montaurouz

Went exploring in Montauroux and got caught in the rain...and why yes! Yes, I do like
piña coladas.

Found shelter in the churchyard in the rain.

Lovely cup of morning coffee with a view of Montauroux

Took a day trip into Monte Carlo, Monaco.  Loved it. Glad we made the drive!

Casino de Monte Carlo; Casino Royale (book version)

Monte Carlo Opera House

Looking at the boats, boats, boats!

Love these two!!

Such cuteness!

Big boat

Rockin' the Baby Bjorn Look

Lunch on the marina

I want what she's got!
Ice cream, please

Pretty huge marina

Prince's Palace of Monaco

Cathedral at Prince's Palace

So excited for the train ride through Monaco.  So we had pretty much walked all through Monaco to get the the top of the hill where the palace was located and this train as well.  We come to find out that the train covered every last bit of roadways we had already walked the last few hours.

Chapelle Sainte Dévote; Named after the Patron Saint of Monaco.  According to the legend, her martyred body was carried on a boat which was beached at the location of this church and where her remains were buried.


Had a little jog down to the abandoned church at the foot of the village.

Stella wanted to try her hand at taking pictures, but mainly wanted to photograph trees.

This one wasn't too bad actually....

a bit blurry...

needs some help with composition...

Tada! Not bad for her 3rd shot.

Ready for the pool!!!

Having a nice relaxing day by the pool.

Baby Banz!



Antiquing in Cannes

Lunching in Cannes

Still lunching in Cannes

Gotta have ice cream everywhere she goes.

Day trip to Golfe-Juan

Let's bury daddy!

Nope. Let's bury me instead.

I'm tired of holiday-making.

Sun setting on Montauroux

Sun setting on Montauroux
Look like they've had enough of each other by this point.