Monday, November 19, 2012

Halloween 2012

This year's Halloween celebrations seemed to stretch out F-O-R-E-V-E-R. The fun all started the Friday before Halloween, with our church's Trunk n Treat. The following Tuesday Delaney had her preschool's Halloween party and parade. And then, of course, Wednesday was Halloween. So really, my kids were on an almost week-long sugar rush. It was fantastic!

As for the costume selection this year, both kids dressed up as parrots. Yes, this cat-loving, bird-fearing gal allowed her children to dress as parrots. You can blame Delaney and her outside-the-box thinking. Initially, she requested to be a princess. Seeing how she dresses up as a princess daily, I said no. I'm in the business of crushing dreams. Not really, but princesses are a dime a dozen on Halloween. Later, she asked if she could be a school bell and Jude could be a post office bell. Really?! What does that even mean or look like? When I nixed that odd request, she settled on an owl. Delaney said that she'd like to be a sister owl and that Jude should be a brother owl. I got behind this idea 100%. Later, when I asked for further details, Delaney told me that she wanted to be a pink, red, blue, green, and white owl. I told her that those were parrot colors, not owl colors. So we landed on the parrot idea. Thankfully, my dear friend Taryn had made a parrot costume for her daughter last year, and I was able to stuff Jude into the costume, complete with a turtle neck onesie and girl leggings. Poor Jude. He was called a she-parrot by a few well-meaning elderly folks on Halloween night. His mullet didn't really help matters either.

Let's get to the pictures, shall we? For all of the activities we participated in, my photo selection is a bit sparse. Sorry. I was busy wrangling a couple of parrots.

This was our Trunk n Treat night, and the only picture I managed to get. Yep, we were rolling in the Squareback!
Jude and I were able to "help" in Delaney's classroom during her party. Jude did more mischief making than help, but it was great fun.
During Halloween story time, Jude was actually fairly attentive. Go figure!
This was our attempt at a class picture of everyone in their costumes before the parade.  There was a lot of energy in that room!
OK, this was the "parade." I use the term loosely, because really the kiddos just marched around in a circle  a few times, but it was adorable. After they circled twice, they stopped to sing their Halloween songs. You'll get to see the parrot perform her songs shortly.
Mrs. Carrasco, Miss Stalder, & Delaney. Our girl is so well loved by these two, and they really are celebrities in our family's eyes.
On Halloween day, we took a trip to Target. Gramps and Grams sent treat money-- can you believe how spoiled these kiddos are? 
Crazy parrot girl, on Halloween night.
Jude the BOY parrot and Daddy. 
After we had passed out candy on the porch, eaten dinner with Nana, Papa, and friends, toured the neighborhood and trick-or-treated, I finally got around to taking a few pictures of these two. So yes, they weren't at their best, and just wanted to eat candy.
Delaney was more into the picture taking than Jude.
And, as promised, I give you the parrot and her Halloween songs:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Adventures

Fall came to Riverside the other day. Then it left and we had yet another week of 90-100 degree weather. But it's coming! I can feel it!

So, regardless of what the thermometer reads, we've been celebrating the coming of autumn with fun activities with fun friends.

We joined the Heun and Ramirez families for a fun Saturday of pumpkin patching. I'm a self-diagnosed pumpkin patch snob, what with my grandparents' farm and Pumpkin Funland being a part of my childhood. So it takes a bit to impress me when it comes to pumpkin patches, but I enjoyed myself at Peltzer Farms. It was great to spend some time with my teacher friends, Heather and Jessica, whom I don't get to see much anymore. It's so fun to see our kiddos play together, because golly--it feels like just yesterday they were all babies!

Brother and Sister 
Delaney with Gillian and Anneliese Heun
In line for the pig races: Jude, Julien, Nya, Gillian, Anneliese, & Delaney
The dudes 
The dudettes 
All the kiddos. This was the best shot that I could get!
 We also had a fun farm play date at our friend Jenny's house. However, I really didn't get any good shots of the kids, moms, or animals. But here's a shot of the kids before the play date. Delaney's protective arm around her brother pulls on the ol' heartstrings!

Sibling love 
This weekend, our little family visited the Hurst Ranch Harvest Festival. This is the third year in a row that we've attended this event, and I'm really enjoying this fall tradition. My former student Tabatha's 4-H group hosts the petting zoo, and I'm pretty certain that Tabby LOVES chasing my kids around every year. 
Jude meets an alpaca.
Tabatha, Delaney, and a silky chicken 
Papa living it up with the grandkids in the craft barn.
Delaney, at the magical fairy garden. This is her favorite place every year. Check it out: 
October 2011
October 2010
Of course Jude had to join in on the magic! Boys can hang out in magical fairy gardens too!
Selecting their pumpkins
Nana and Delaney churning butter.
Dunlap men

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Delaney's First Day of Preschool

Our girl Delaney is finally a preschool kid. She's hit the big time. School is sort of a big deal around here (you know, having two teachers as parents), and Delaney's first day of preschool was long awaited by all of us. Delaney is attending First United Methodist Preschool (FUMPS), which has proven to be a wonderful environment for our girl to thrive. FUMPS has been around since 1949, so they've had a few years to figure out what works. Delaney's teachers, Miss Stalder and Mrs. Carrasco, are so loving and kind. Plus, Delaney's classroom has a pet bunny rabbit named Marshmallow. Marshmallow is a daily topic of discussion with Delaney. All in all, Delaney loves being in preschool, and we couldn't be more pleased with the learning experience that FUMPS has provided for her.

Daddy read The Night Before Preschool to Delaney the night before her first day...obviously.
Oh gosh, I can't believe she's old enough to be a school girl. 
Backpack, i.e. mochila
Brother and mama with our big kid
Finding her name tag outside of her classroom, the Pooh Bears. 
Yes, we brought cupcakes to Delaney's teachers on the first day. Steve accused me of brown-nosing from the get-go. But seriously, how great would it be as a teacher to get cupcakes on the first day?
Finding her cubby and meeting Mrs. Carrasco 
Getting ready to join Miss Stalder and the other kiddos at the craft table.
Delaney Marie Dunlap, Preschooler

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Delaney, version 3.5

On September 10th, Delaney turned exactly 3.5 years old. And true to our tradition, we visited Casey's Cupcakes once again. And, you guessed it, Delaney went for the pinkest cupcake available. Someday this phase might fade, but for now the pink is going strong.

This 3.5 year old is a pretty cool kid. I know that some folks really like the baby stage, but I prefer this big kid stuff. Delaney says funny, insightful things daily that crack me up. I know that she was a tough baby, but her larger-than-life personality and imagination almost make up for all of the crying and sleepless nights of her first year. Almost.

Delaney, I love you. You're my favorite daughter ever.

Striking a pose!
Delaney, 3.5 years old
Delaney, 2.5 years old
Delaney, 1.5 years old
Look at how long her hair is getting!
The dudes
The Monster thoroughly enjoyed the cupcake celebration.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Labor Day & Papa's Birthday

Sometimes I forget to blog about our everyday Riverside life. Nana, Papa, Uncle Monkey, and Auntie Beans are minor celebrities in our kids' eyes. We had a little family get together on Labor Day to celebrate Papa's birthday and I thought that I'd share pictures.

Papa, the King for the day, gave his boys a little lesson on table tennis.  
J. Billy is one of Papa's biggest fans. 
I don't really remember why this kid was wearing headphones in the swimming pool...
Delaney painted a little something for the Birthday Boy.
Jude's full of these mischievous looks! 
Nana couldn't resist the chance to school her boy!
Girls! Arlene, Karen, Delaney, & Marsha