Oh, you guys who keep coming back to read Penny Carnival after these long breaks between posts are too good to me. Even J has been scolding me.
I'm sorry for my absence. It's been, well, nuts.
Thanksgiving was lovely, though. How about you?
We visited my family across the state and had a fun dinner at my sister's. The kids put on a "First Thanksgiving" play, dressed in costumes we made at the 11th hour (me, anyway).
The play ended with the kids sharing a Thanksgiving feast of rice crispy treats shaped like corn on the cob and a blessing that led us to the dinner table.
You can read more about it on my Kids' Parties site.
I did find time to make myself a pilgrim apron following Heather Bailey's fantastic Daily Spice pattern. I say pilgrim because it had a black bodice and skirt and a white waistband and ties. No pictures yet. I always seem to be behind the camera instead of in front of it.
The plan was to make four identical aprons--one for me, my mom, my sister and her friend who had dinner with us. But I only had time for one and it turned out a bit wonky (you know how it goes when you're using a pattern for the first time) so it's all mine. Maybe I'll try for a Santa style one for Christmas (red, black, red?) ... or maybe not.
Speaking of Santa, we're in the midst of our annual dilemma. J and I feel so strongly about being truthful with our kids. It's utterly painful for us to carry on with the Santa story. We do it, cheerfully, but this year is more challenging than ever because both girls have developed a phobia of the big guy.
It seriously goes beyond a normal fear, especially for Bo, who is 4 now. I think Magpie (who is 2) gets scared because she sees her big sister crying. We tried to go to our city's annual tree lighting, but she wouldn't step foot in the building because she knew Santa would be there. The poor kid was hysterical.
We stayed in a hotel near Seattle last night in a city that throws a holiday parade--totally fun. Fake snow falling from the sky. Toy soldiers on stilts giving out candy canes. People dressed up like reindeer and snowmen and penguins. I don't even know if Santa was there because the girls didn't want to have anything to do with it.
I take that back. Bo was happy to meet the Snow Princess.
My mom was with us and she tried dancing the jitterbug with Rudolph to help the girls get comfortable with the costumes, but it didn't work (and then Rudolph's helper said to my mom, "OK, lady. Let's not get Rudolph too hot in there." If you know my mom, it was a classic Nancy moment.)
I kind of wonder if Bo is so scared because we're so honest with her about everything else. She's in the heart of those years when she's trying to figure out how the world works, and here are her parents telling her that some old guy is going to park his reindeer on her roof and shimmy down her chimney one night. I think I'd be freaked out, too.
I'm seriously considering telling her the truth and focusing on the historical story of Saint Nick, not to mention all the other wonderful Christmas traditions. But here is how the conversation usually goes when I suggest this:
Megan: I don't like being dishonest with my kids.
Friends and Family: When you were little, didn't you believe in Santa?
Friends and Family: And it was fun, wasn't it?
Friends and Family: Then why rob your children of some of the magic of Christmas?
Megan: Umm ... I don't know.
Plus, what if she told all the kids in preschool the truth about Santa. Would we get expelled??!
Advice please. There are four weeks until Christmas and at some point I'm going to need to go into a mall.
In other news, we made our first snowmen of the year:
But it's these snowmen I'm really craving:
(Photo taken at Madeleine's in Spokane)
We enjoyed a recent playdate with a friend:
which resulted in these cookies:
and this sweet moment in Bo's bedroom:
Bo won her first coloring contest, which bought dinner for four so we're happy to report that she's now earning her keep:
And check out this adorable Princess and the Pea toy my nieces' grandmother made for them after seeing the idea here:
Squeal! Don't you love the little pocket for the pea?
Now that your computer has crashed from opening all those photos ... come back soon because I'm working behind the scenes on lots of good stuff. Twelve--count 'em! twelve!--tutorials for Christmas crafts. That starts Dec. 6, but hopefully I'll have something worthwhile to say before then (but don't hold your breath).