Monday, October 29, 2007

So many parties, so little time

We at the Libutti house had a jam packed weekend, full of fun and exciting events! Our weekend kicked off with the arrival of the Winterhoffs- our former Pastor and his wife Linda- to my parents' house on Friday night. We were sooo happy to see them and the girls had a ball talking and playing with them. We ate yummy snacks made by my mom and the girls polished off all the red Lindt balls (red= milk chocolate) and left all the blue ones (blue= dark chocolate... not as pleasing to the unsophisticated two and six year old palate) from the bowl my mom had put out. We visited and laughed and generally had a great time.
The next morning was supposed to be Michaela's last soccer game but since it was pouring out, the game was cancelled and we just had our end of the season pizza party instead. The players were thrilled to get their trophies- a soccer player kicking a ball and the joints really move! The kids had fun running around afterwards (helped by the Popsicles, cupcakes, cookies and lollipops we gave them) while the parents talked and then we all wished each other well until next season. By April, when the Spring session starts, two of the moms will have new babies so we are all anticipating that.
After the party we went back to my parents' house to spend time with the Winterhoffs. Michaela read a Curious George book to Linda and Pastor showed the girls magic tricks to their great delight. "How do you DO that???" For dinner we all met with about 15 other people from church at Mercato's and had a nice dinner. One of the couples at the dinner offered to have dessert at their house so the plan was we three would go home and M would stay with my parents, having weaseled her way into a sleepover. As we were walking across the parking lot, Jenna started wailing, "Gammie... wait for me!! Wait for me!!" and sounded so pathetic that we decided to go to the dessert party as well. We had lots of fun... the girls loved checking out a new house, Danny watched football and baseball games, and I talked with friends. Perfect.
Sunday brought Sunday School and church and Sara and Moe's baby boy Ryan was baptized during the service. I love watching baptisms- such a special event. Ryan was perfectly behaved and didn't say a peep. During the service, I was able to look over and see Pastor and Linda there and it felt so comfy and nice!! After the service, we went to a beautiful luncheon at Normanside, where we had my dad's surprise b'day party and Beth's baby shower. It was so fun and yummy, too... as soon as we walked in, there was a huge tray of chocolate chip cookie bars. That's my kind of party! We had a great time and the kids were all having a blast together. The only sad part was saying goodbye to Pastor and Linda. :(
We brought Michael Strauss home with us for a playdate and made brownies and did some Halloween drawings in the afternoon while Dan raked leaves outside. At one point, all the kids were jumping in the piles... you know, 'helping' Dan. Then the rest of the Strauss clan came over for a quick and child-friendly dinner of hot dogs and tater tots (I didn't say it was healthy) and then we all went to the Annual Kleinke Barn Party!!
Michael was Superman, Aidan was a knight, and Michaela was a black cat... Jack and Jenna chose to go costume-free. The Barn Party is something we look forward to every year... we have pictures of Michaela and Michael as toddlers all dressed up. They have goodies and face painting and games and cider doughnuts and a hayride around their cornfields (complete with scary grandchildren who hide in the corn and say "Boo!") and lots of fun Halloween-themed decorations and toys. It's just so much fun.
By eight o'clock, we were totally pooped so we headed home to warm baths and our jammies. The kids were dead asleep by 9:30pm. I took tons of pictures, of course, and I will post some highlights soon!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pumpkin picking!

These are pictures from a few weeks ago, when Dan and I took the girls to a local farm that sells beautiful pumpkins. The farm is a mile or two up the road from our house and when we go there it is hard to believe we live so close to such a pretty place. It is run by an older man, seen in the pictures, who hand-washes each pumpkins he sells to you. The girls had a great time running around and preferred smaller pumpkins to larger ones. We have gone for a few years now and get excited when we see him put his signs up around town in the fall saying the pumpkins are ready!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Costume- First Attempt

This is Jenna as Elmo... a costume she picked out and has obviously changed her mind about. I think we're going the Princess route instead. I think it's the hood that freaked her out.

Language Development

After listening to Geoff and Giselle's wedding CD for about 9 months straight, the girls have finally branched out in their car- riding music. We did listen to The Roches' Moonswept CD for a few months and now are in the interesting mix of songs from the Disney Princess CD and Dan's Jock Rock CD. (Sometimes the transition between the Aladdin and Jasmine's "A Whole New World" and James Brown's "I Feel Good" can be a bit jarring.) Jenna likes to request songs as well and sometimes it is a challenge to figure out what she's saying. She uses y for l, can't say s, k, and uses the d sound alot. She really likes the Jasmine songs and will say "Dammin!" when she wants to hear one. For the longest time, Dan and I thought she was saying "Dammit! Dammit!" in the back seat and couldn't understand what she was so upset about.

In a similar vein, Michaela overheard Dan say a bad word that starts with s and ends with t while watching a Yankees playoff game (who can blame him?) a few weeks ago. She promptly went downstairs where he was ironing and said, "Daddy, shickt is not a nice word."

Walking to Soccer Practice: Part II

On Friday the weather here was not great... threatening skies and cold, damp wind. I checked a few times to see if the soccer practice would be cancelled, but since it's run by men, it was still on ( shot! But I did discuss this with a friend of mine and she agreed AND had proof: their son's t-ball league was run by a woman and they would not play if the weather looked bad).
We trudged out there, Michaela and Jenna and I, with jackets and chairs and water bottles and blankets. After forty five minutes, it was raining pretty hard... hard enough for 6 year olds to put their hands up in front of their faces to shield themselves from the cold rain. We packed up our stuff and headed back.
This is the scene: I am carrying my chair on one shoulder, holding Jenna so we can make it home before sunrise, holding the umbrella which twice blew inside out like you see in cartoons (I didn't know umbrellas really did that!) in between my chest and Jenna's chest, carrying two full water bottles in my front pockets of my sweatshirt, carrying a fleece blanket, and every 15 steps or so picking up one of Jenna's shoes that had fallen off. Yes, Jenna had chosen to wear her Dora the Explorer play clogs which are too big for her, so every time we took a big, hard step or swerved to avoid a puddle, I and the umbrella, blanket, chair, waterbottles and 25 pound child had to bend down to retrieve it. After this happened twice, I shoved the shoes in my pockets as well.

Needless to say, I brought the BIG stroller to the game on Saturday morning. Lesson learned.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tall tales

As many of you know, Jenna was very delayed in her speech and language development... at 18 months she only spoke three words: Mama, No, and yum (for food). Now, 10 months later, this is what she told us at dinner tonight:
"Hear my story... Once upon a time, a little tiny baby fell down and her bumped her head like this (thumps own head) and says "Waaa!""

I asked her, "Did her mommy help make her feel better?"

"Yes... her mommy said, "Oh, baby, it's okay" and gave her kisses. That's all done! Your turn, Mom!"

Interestingly enough, Michaela still says to us, "Hear this!" (with the emphasis on the 'this') when she wants us to listen to her. She has said it to us for years and even though she probably knows to say, "Listen to this!" it is a phrase that has stuck with her. When Jenna started tonight with "Hear my story" it reminded me of this phrasing of Michaela's.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Author's note

Hello, faithful readers of the Libutti Family Blog! I posted a bunch of things in the last few days so make sure you scroll down to see them all. I also re-posted the pics of Michaela's party so you can actually see the whole picture and not just the left side.
Thanks for reading!!

Michaela's 6th Birthday Spectacular- Take 2

Awesome, awesome, awesome story

Please check out a story I found on a blog I came across by accident - I think God sent it to me- about the job of being a mom and what we are working hard at every day. It is really powerful and uplifting and perspective-building at the same time. Go to : and look at the October 3rd post "Why we are Mothers."
Ain't the Internet great...I can read stories from a woman in Oregon that I've never met!

Cupcake Fun

I was feeling a little antsy yesterday afternoon and so I suggested to the girls that we make some Halloween cupcakes and decorate them. This was met with lots of enthusiasm by Jenna and a "Tell me when you're ready to decorate" from Michaela. Jenna, my little helper, wanted to do it all- crack eggs, mix, pour, and especially stick her fingers into the batter as often as possible. My overwhelming thought as we were making these cupcakes was not "Ooooh, how yummy they are going to taste!" or "Awww, I hope the girls remember doing fun things like this together!" but more like "Eeeek! I hope we don't both get massive salmonella poisoning!" (It is now 14 hours later and we appear to be salmonella-free.)
I had bought tons of Halloween-themed food decorations (sprinkles, candies, stencils, etc) but we just broke out the sprinkles. Michaela was a highly efficient decorator and did a great job. Jenna sat, watched and licked frosting. Here are some pics of the evening.
After we cleaned up, we kept the creative juices flowing and did some scrap booking together. I worked on two pages from Michaela's first day of school, Michaela drew a few nice pictures: one of a jack o'lantern and one of herself getting off the bus, and Jenna scribbled on some paper and tried her hardest to use my personal picture trimmer (it's child safe- I'm not going to give my kid salmonella AND cut her finger off on the same night!).
Eat you heart out , Martha Stewart!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Two peas in a pod...

Jenna wanted to be just like MiMi... wearing a hat and backpack as we all walked to the bus stop in the morning. Too cute.


We are recovering this week from a VERY busy week last week leading up to Beth's baby shower on Saturday and Michaela's sixth birthday party on Sunday. Both events went off without a hitch and were lots of fun. Beth posted pictures from her shower on her blog so check it out :
It has been so much fun to watch Beth go through this process and give little bits of advice. Doesn't every woman love to tell anyone anything about her pregnancy and birth experience? (Though I have refrained from giving any gory or scary details about labor and delivery...) Beth and Brian have a wonderful road ahead of them and we can't wait to meet our new niece.
So Beth gots tons of clothes and blankets and supplies... all pink, of course, and we had a ball organizing it all later at my parents' house. Her next baby shower is in a few weeks and I know she's looking forward to celebrating all over again!
Michaela's party was the next day and I have tons of pics that I will post soon. It was a Litttle Mermaid theme and quite adorable. Michaela was a great little hostess and even read aloud all of her cards. We were really proud of her. All the other kids watched very patiently as she opened her gifts- us parents commented how that would not have happened a few years ago. All the kids there were older than 24 months and I think the parents were able to relax and have fun along with the kids. One of the benefits of surviving infancy!!
Side note: Jenna's new favorite song is Queen's "We Will Rock You"- she wants to hear it over and over again in the car and says with increasing urgency:"We will rock you! WE WILL ROCK YOU!" You can't make this stuff up.