Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

We have had a busy and fun Halloween weekend but it seems that all our weekends lately have been busy and fun so life is good!  I did though realize and learn a few things this weekend.  First, I realized how much I love Maisie’s sweet and sassy haircut and how, in my opinion, long hair is overwhelming and too much for her to really carry off.  I also learned having my hair with bangs is a bad choice as is black hair and maybe even straight hair…oh so not good!

IMG_3511Saturday morning Maisie and I worked on a Halloween house together and it was good fun.  I love these foam houses, no messy frosting or tempting candy to eat.  This is the third foam house that we’ve made and we always have fun together making and decorating them.  Our two previous foam homes were both made in 2009, a Valentine’s Day house and an Easter house

Andrew birthday partyClaire (front), Katie & Maisie having fun swinging together at the birthday party.  (Photo by Katie’s Mom, Ann) 

Saturday afternoon Eammon took Maisie to Andrew’s birthday party which allowed me some time to catch up on a few things around the house and do a bit of cooking.  Once they got back home we all headed out for a teppanyaki dinner with Steve, Anne, K & A.  It was good fun and the children were having so much fun together we decided to continue the evening together and watch a movie.  The children played and watched a movie in one room while the adults were in another room relaxing and watching Finding Neverland.  By the time the movies ended and we walked home it was 11PM.  After a busy day and late night Maisie fell asleep quickly.  I thought and hoped that she would sleep through the night and late in the morning but it was another night of not sleeping though the night as she awoke at 4am.  Thankfully she was only up for about 40 minutes, compared to her usual 2-3 hours.  This morning Maisie “slept in” until 7:40 and tired me had prepared again so that when she awoke I handed her a box of cereal, some water and a book and she was happy until I was ready to get up. 

Once up Maisie and I headed next door where she played with K & A and I helped Anne cutting and chopping as she was making chili for a Halloween dinner chili bar.  Before we knew it, it was time to head up to the pool for our neighborhood Halloween party.  Last year for Halloween K & Maisie wanted to dress the same, both as gymnasts and this year again they wanted to dress the same but as Asian princesses, such cuties.

IMG_3525Maisie, K & A ready to go to the neighborhood Halloween party.

IMG_3526See what I mean about my hair.  Black is not a good color for me, bangs do nothing and the straight hair…not quite working.  One other thing I learned is that there’s no way I could ever pass for being Asian.  Though Maisie looks cute with the long hair…shoot the girl looks adorable no matter what, I think that her short little sassy wedge cut suits her face, size and personality much better.

IMG_3529K & A with their pet cat Anne. 

IMG_3534The neighborhood organized a really good party.  Maisie had fun winning lots of prizes and eating doughnuts on a string, popcorn, candies and so many other treats.  I enjoyed seeing some of our neighbors whom I haven’t seen in ages and it was great to catch up with them. 

IMG_3548All the little games were fun and geared towards the little kids.  They also had a witches walk which I thought Maisie might be frightened by but she adored it and went through it probably four times.  

IMG_3556K, Maisie & A lined up and ready for the parade of costumes.

After fun times at the neighborhood party we headed home and then it was time for the party at Steve and Anne’s to begin.  We of course had fun with all the neighbors, the food was great and the children had fun playing.  Once it started to get a bit dark all the Dads took the children trick-or-treating while the Moms hung back passing out candy.  It was a fun day and Maisie had a blast this year with her friends, dressing up and with the entire Halloween experience.  Tonight was another late night for Maisie but thankfully tomorrow is a teacher’s work day and Tuesday is election day so I have until Wednesday to get her back off the sugar and back on schedule.  Hope that everyone had a great Halloween.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Free lunch

This has been another looooong week here at Chez Maisie.  Maisie’s been suffering with bad allergies and though we’ve tried switching her meds nothing seems to work so the poor little thing is snuffaluffagus all the time.  She’s also still having some major sleep problems so to say the least, she hasn’t been quite herself.  Overtired and not feeling great… a brutal combination.  Each night Maisie wakes somewhere between 11PM and 1am and is wide awake, completely coherent and talking to me for two or three hours until she decides that she’s ready to fall back to sleep.  Of course I don’t fall back asleep as easily so I’m up for three, four or even five hours before I finally sleep.  A couple of nights this week I was so sleep deprived, exhausted and completely frazzled that got into bed with Maisie at her bedtime and I think that I was asleep before her.  I’m hoping that this pattern ends soon because the lack of sleep is doing us both in. 

Thankfully we have a nice five-day weekend!!  No school on Fridays, Saturday & Sunday off of course and then Monday is a teachers work day and Tuesday is election day.  Maybe Maisie will sleep in a little bit, catch-up and life can return to normal.  

IMG_3507aI do love that Maisie’s school is only Monday – Thursday and that we have Fridays as our day to catch-up from the week, do some home-school work, have some girl time as well as time for fun and play.  I also like that we don’t have to get up and out of bed by 7am…but generally Maisie still wakes at normal time and of course always wants me to get up to get her breakfast right away.  Last night I was over-tired and knew that I wouldn’t want to get out of bed too early in the morning so I prepared.  I put a single serve box of cereal (which Maisie eats dry), a container of water and one of her books on my nightstand so that when she awoke I could let her have it in bed and I wouldn’t have to get up immediately…lazy I know…but I’m t.i.r.e.d!!  Maisie did sleep in a bit, until 7:15 (woohoo!!) and was super happy when I rolled over and handed her everything before rolling back to rest with my eyes closed for another 40 minutes!  She was thrilled and I got to “sleep” in, a win-win in my book. 

Once up we showered and then headed off to see Miss Tina to get our hair cut.  The salon was surprisingly empty but Tina being the perfectionist that she is, took her time so we were there for quite some time.  After we were cut, styled and gorgeous we headed over to the library to return and then pick up some new books.  This coming Wednesday Maisie has to do a 2-3 minute presentation on Abraham Lincoln so we need some books.  Though there wasn't a lot of Abe Lincoln book choices available, we did find on one book about Honest Abe that worked for her.  Maisie also picked a new reading book, Not So Tall for Six which she quickly read to me in the car as we drove to our next stop.  We then made a quick stop at Jo-Ann Fabrics for a return and quick purchase and Maisie said she was hungry and really wanted pizza for lunch.  There was one more stop on our agenda and it was at Costco so I told her that after we picked up our few items that I would buy her a slice…yep, I was going to be a big spender!  I only had three items that I needed but Maisie knows Costco wanted to stroll around the store and see what samples were being offered.  Well geez Louise we timed the samples right, three kinds of pizza, tempura shrimp, cheese & crackers, beef burgers, chicken, lobster spread, crackers with roasted peppers, fancy cookies, fresh baked brownies and Starbucks hot cocoa.  Maisie ate and enjoyed every.single.offering (sans the roasted peppers) and as we were checking out I asked her if she still wanted a slice of pizza and she looked at me like I had three heads and told me that her tummy was full. 

After our free eclectic lunch we headed home for a bit then it was time for Maisie’s swim lesson.  Even her instructor Rosemary could tell that Maisie wasn’t herself but overall Maisie had a good lesson.  Fridays, 3PM, Maisie knows that K & A are home from school so she couldn’t wait to get back to the house so she could see her friends…and that was the last I saw of her until I walked next door at dinner time.  Overall Maisie had a good day and she’s now quietly sleeping and I have fingers and toes crossed that she has a full and restful night…and that I do too!

This coming week we are expecting some nighttime temperatures to fall into the mid-thirties so our garden may soon be done for the season.  Can you believe it though, here it is Halloween weekend and I pull a harvest of eggplant, red & green bell peppers, scotch bonnets, jalapenos, Jimmy Nardello peppers, grape & cherry tomatoes and even some larger tomatoes which I picked green to make some fried green tomatoes.  We have loved the garden and even though I just pulled all of this, there are still dozens of ripe peppers, still green tomatoes and more spinach than could feed our entire neighborhood still out there waiting to be picked!!  As I already have a freezer full of peppers I am trying something new and dehydrating this batch of scotch bonnets & jalapenos and I’ll see how that works in some recipes this winter. 


Guess I should get some some sleep while the wee one is sleeping.  Wishing everyone a great weekend and a fun Halloween.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend playtime

So after our four day busy weekend followed by a rough week, I thought we’d just have a quiet almost do-nothing weekend and enjoy some downtime but we somehow managed to fill every moment and have another busy but also very fun weekend. 

Our weekend started Friday night with the kids Iron Chef ice cream toppings event and though Maisie was up late that night she was still up bright and early Saturday morning.  Our Saturday morning started with some science experiments as Maisie has a test this coming week on matter and needs to know all about liquids, solids and gas and how they can change from one form to another.  After watching ice melt, water boil and steam rise, Maisie was quick to get dressed and head next door to play with K & A.  I spent the rest of the morning cooking and then Eammon and I headed next door and that’s where we spent  the afternoon and evening.  What did we do for the next nine or ten hours?  We ate, we drank, we ate, we talked, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we ate, we carved pumpkins, we ate, we drank, we ate…did I happen to mention that we ate because we ate and ate and ate.  Honestly by the time we finished just snacking and then appetizers there was debate as to whether or not to even make dinner as no one was really hungry.  In the end though dinner was made so we all ate that and then dessert too!  It was fun but I was stuffed, tipsy and exhausted so when it was time for Maisie to go to bed I was happy to be the one to take her as I crawled into bed with her and was probably asleep before her.

It wasn’t long though before I was awoken because in my over-fed and I-drank-half-a-drink-yet-have-no-tolerance-to-alcohol state, I inadvertently locked the door when I brought Maisie home, locking Eammon out.  Thankfully our bedroom is on the first floor so after knocking on all the other doors he was able to knock on the bedroom door and wake me up so that I could let him in.  Maisie thankfully didn’t wake up and I was still so full and tipsy that I quickly fell back asleep which was good because Maisie was up bright and early Sunday morning.   

IMG_3298My little pumpkin Maisie.

IMG_3281Maisie, A & K with their pumpkins.

IMG_3303Ready to start the pumpkin carving.

IMG_3314Some of us worked hard carving the pumpkins…

IMG_3317and getting messy with all the seeds and goo…   

IMG_3315while others enjoyed watching  ;-)

IMG_3323Maisie mimicking her pumpkin’s lopsided smile.

IMG_3326After all the pumpkin carving we went inside to do a bit more eating and while waiting for the next wave of food, Maisie and A played on an iPad.

IMG_3338K, Maisie and A with their carved creations.

IMG_3302Tanya made baked stuffed pumpkins which were yummy.

IMG_3276I made a delicious cauliflower &  parmesan cake which everyone enjoyed (my only change from SK’s recipe was that I used white instead of black sesame seeds around the edge because that’s what I had in the house.)  I also made an apple cake which I thought was shite was thoroughly unimpressed with so no picture or link to that recipe.  I found out tonight that after I left last night some of the other adults found that if the cake was doused with coffee liquor, it was quite tasty…I’ll just take their word for that one.

As I said, Maisie was up bright and early this morning so she and I decided to head up to the North Georgia mountains to an apple orchard to go apple picking.  It was another glorious day today, starting out cool and sunny but then warming up to about 80 with dry air and bright skies.  The drive up north was beautiful too as the trees are all at the peak of fall colors. 

IMG_3344When we arrived at the orchard we were a bit disappointed to find that we wouldn’t be able to pick our own apples as they had been picked out already but that didn’t stop us from having a fun time.  Maisie was in the mood to have her picture taken just about everywhere so I took advantage of that and snapped many, many shots of her.

IMG_3345I love my girl!!  Time for a haircut though.

IMG_3346They had a little tricycle derby area and she was off!

IMG_3350Maisie was quite competitive and though she lapped the boys, she didn’t allow any of them to pass her.

IMG_3355On the run through the orchard.

IMG_3361We took a tractor ride through the orchard.

IMG_3368We next visited the petting zoo and Maisie, though usually one to shy away from holding or touching animals actually wanted to hold one of the kittens.

IMG_3371And she pet the cow… 

IMG_3401And feed the goats too!

IMG_3377Maisie was in a “take a picture of me” mood and looked for any opportunity to have her picture taken and I happily obliged.

IMG_3387On the play tractor.

IMG_3409On the horse tire swing.

IMG_3416Maisie loved the giant slide and since it wasn’t busy she slid down it over a dozen times.  I think that the only reasons she stopped was she got tired of climbing up the hill over and over. 

IMG_3424Maisie took a little ride on the zip line but it didn’t go as fast or as far as she’d have liked.

IMG_3431Maisie took a ride on a little pony.

IMG_3433And then sat on a big bull.

IMG_3441We then pedaled the go-carts round and round the track until my legs were tired and done.

IMG_3442Maisie’s final photo-op, on a tractor.

Maisie and I then ate some fried apple pie and apple ice cream with caramel sauce.  On the way out we taste tested freshly made apple cider doughnuts as well as various varieties of apples.  We then purchased some of the apple cider doughnuts, our favorite varieties of apples and some fresh apple cider to bring home.  On the drive home we made a stop at the North Georgia Outlets and did a little shopping.  We didn’t buy much but I did get Maisie two plaid skirts for school next year and new avocado slicers for both myself and Anne.  Once home I was happy to sit down and relax a bit and soon it was time for Maisie to go to bed.  We snuggled in bed together and Maisie read a book to me, did a little bit of nighttime story with Eammon and quickly fell asleep.  I then wandered over next door where I enjoyed a dinner of leftovers and some time visiting.  Another fun weekend and though it was busy, we’re ready to take on the week and we’re hoping for a good one…or at least better than last week.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pictures from the week

I did oh-so-well taking pictures and posting them four days running over Maisie’s birthday weekend but I knew there was no way for me to keep up that pace.  Sure enough as soon as that sugar frenzy ended so did the daily posts and now it’s been five days since my last post so here’s yet another catch-up post.  I do have to say that after such a busy weekend with so many activities and so much junk food and sugar it was a difficult week for both Maisie and I.  Both of us have been detoxing from all the sugar and where for me I’ve felt awful, achy, edgy and exhausted, it has caused Maisie the same problems but she’s also had difficulty focusing and her whole demeanor and personality have been off but now that it’s the end of the week I’ve noticed that things are starting to return to normal, for both of us.

IMG_3243aEach morning this week when Maisie awoke the first thing she’d say was that she was still oh-so-tired but it was never long before she was my happy little bed-head girl eating her breakfast.  

IMG_3253aThursday after school K came over to play and she and Maisie disappeared into Maisie’s room where they huddled together playing Cooking Mama 3 on the DSi.

This morning I took Maisie for her five-year-old check-up and the doctor only had good things to say.  Maisie weighed in at 34 pounds and is now 42-inches tall.  Interestingly, starting with the 5-year-old visit, our doctor’s office gives you their BMI number.  Maisie just squeaks into the bottom of the “normal” range with a BMI of 13.6 which is right at the 5th percentile.  When I say squeaks in I mean it because if she weighed just an half pound less she would be considered underweight.  The doctor said that Maisie is just petite and extremely muscled so no worries. 

Thankfully Maisie didn’t need any injections but while we were at the doctor’s office both she and I got the flumist.  Prior to this year I’ve been immunized for flu only twice with not great results on either occasion.  The first time that I got the flu immunization, just days later I got a horrible case of the flu which lasted for over two weeks.  Then in 2008 when I thought sure, Maisie’s getting immunized and I should too, well that didn’t work out so great either as just days later I was very sick with what I thought was the flu and  landed in the hospital not just once but twice!  I’m sure, or at least pretty sure that the flumist didn’t precipitate my trip to Hades but after two bad experiences I’m a bit wary and keeping my fingers crossed that after today’s mist I stay healthy!!

After Maisie’s doctors appointment we went to the farmer’s market to get some groceries and then she and I went out for lunch.  I have no idea what happened though as after lunch I felt horrible so we skipped our other errands and came straight home where I crawled into bed as my blood sugar crashed.  Maisie was so good and got her doctors bag and did a full exam and then sat in bed reading books to me and keeping me company.  I got my sugar stabilized and after a bit of a rest I took Maisie to her swimming lesson.  Maisie’s favorite part of the day though was after swim lesson when she ran off next door to play with K & A.

Maisie, K & A were having so much fun playing and Steve had already made dinner so he invited Maisie to stay which of course she wanted to do so Maisie had dinner with her friends.  Then once Anne arrived home she decided to do a Kids Iron Chef event with the secret ingredient being ice cream toppings!  Anne lined up about 15 topping ingredients and gave the children the choice of vanilla or chocolate marshmallow ice cream.

IMG_3259aReady to start the competition.

IMG_3263aBeing told the rules, one scoop of ice cream and the addition of 8 toppings!!  I think that Anne said that they were being judged on presentation, compliance with the 8 topping rule, taste and creativity.

IMG_3268aMaisie presenting her vanilla ice cream sundae, telling about which and how she chose her toppings.

IMG_3270aK not only added her eight toppings to her ice cream but also decorated an extra plate.

IMG_3272aA was the only one of the three that added real fruit to his sundae. 

Anne and I were the judges and taste tested each sundae.  The children all had fun and  imagine this, they each managed to win one aspect of the competition!  In the end they gobbled up their creations and quickly ran off to play.  Maisie and I didn’t get home until 9PM so I was quick to get her into bed and I’m hoping that she sleeps in a bit tomorrow morning. Compared to last weekend we have a much more laid back weekend planned but it will be fun.  Happy weekend!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Maisie turns five!!!

IMG_3217Today my beautiful Maisie Miao Miao turned five years old.  It’s difficult for me to think that she’s five years old already but in so many other ways when I see how smart, talented, athletic, independent, self assured, feisty, opinionated, demanding, lovable and such an all around great child she is, I wonder how she can be only five.  No matter how old, she’s the best daughter I could have ever imagined or hoped for and she’s the light of my life.  I look forward to every day with her, experiencing life with her and I look forward to seeing what her future holds…but not too quickly mind you.

After our busy day yesterday and a bit of a late night it was nice that Maisie slept in a bit…until 7:15am!  Maisie awoke in a great mood and the first thing she told me was that she was five years old and to look at how much bigger she was, she was so animated and funny.  Then we snuggled in bed for almost an hour just talking and spending time together.  Once we got up I made breakfast and while she was eating she got a birthday call from my parents.  So while on the phone with Grandma, Maisie opened the card and gift that they sent and was in love with the Beauty & the Beast DVD but that sort of ended the call as Maisie couldn’t wait to call K & A to have them come over to watch it with her.   Before I called Anne to see if K & A could come over Maisie did open her other presents but that was a quickie as seeing her friends was top of her to-do list.

IMG_3068A was involved in his own thing but K came right over, still in her PJ’s and she and Maisie cuddled on the sofa together and watched the movie.

By the time the movie ended we just had enough time for the girls to have some pizza for lunch and then we were off to the gym for Maisie’s party.  This is the third year that we’ve had Maisie’s party at the gym and since they do such a good job with the children and it’s Maisie’s favorite place to be and it’s no work for me, it’s win-win-win all around.

IMG_3070A princess cake for my little princess.  Another winner for us is the Costco cake, gotta love a chocolate cake filled with cheese cake mousse and sweet frosting and how kind of their designers to have five points on the crown, a perfect place for five candles for my little five year old!

IMG_3075K & Maisie before the party started.

IMG_3076Best pals!

IMG_3081Briana, K, Maisie and Aspen.

IMG_3084Lining up for the obstacle course.  Maisie, K, Aspen, A, April, Mara, Katie & Briana.

IMG_3109April bouncing high.

IMG_3114Briana, Katie & Leah waiting for their turn on the trampoline.


IMG_3123Aspen, Maisie, K, Savannah, Caroline & Mara.


IMG_3138 K ready to vault.

IMG_3139A at the vault.

IMG_3165Maisie love, loves, loves the rings but since it’s not a girl’s event she almost never gets to play on them so when she has the opportunity she takes full advantage of it and has a blast.

IMG_3162Leah spinning on the rings.


IMG_3173Johnny helped to lift Maisie out of the foam pit! 

IMG_3181Maisie up for a straddle dismount.

IMG_3186All the party-goers in the foam pit.

IMG_3195Maisie with her birthday medal doing her gymnastics salute with attitude!

IMG_3201All the children with their medals.  Back row:  Caroline, Leah, K, Aspen, Mara & Savannah.  Front row:  Gracie, A, Andrew, April, Maisie, Katie & Briana.

IMG_3222After their time doing gymnastics it was time for cake.  Maisie was adamant that she only wanted cake this year, no pizza, no “real” food, just cake, so that’s what we had.  Aspen and Maisie decided that they were going to share a chair together so the two of them blew out the candles.

IMG_3237My princess birthday girl.


IMG_3226Gracie obviously enjoyed the cake!

IMG_3227Leah and her toothless grin.










After the party we came home and Maisie was immediately over playing with K & A so Anne and I visited as the children played.  Anne fed them all a dinner that was thankfully free of sugar and then it was bath and bedtime and my very tired freshly minted five year old was sound asleep just minutes after 7PM.  We had a great four days of celebrating and Maisie enjoyed everything that we did but we’re all keyed up and on a major sugar high so tomorrow begins the detox, no sugar or candy until Halloween…that sugar was fun while it lasted!!   And for the record, at bedtime tonight Maisie let me know that today was another awesome, spectacular day.  Love my big five year old girl!!

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