Friday, October 30, 2009

Last-Minute Preparations

Tess & I just got back from waiting in line outside for 3 hours for the H1N1 flu vaccine. That nasty flu has started to spread through our ward, and it sounds so miserable. None of the clinics have the vaccine around here, but I found a clinic in Fairfax that had a limited number of doses, so we headed over at 6:30 this morning.

They were only giving it to children under 5 and pregnant women, so you can imagine the impatient, fidgety 3-hour line. The wait finally gave way to a mass Sesame Street guessing game. Someone would describe a Sesame Street character: "He has a big eyebrow and likes pigeons," and whoever guessed the answer, "Bert!" would give the next clue. Kept both toddlers & adults entertained for a good hour or so. We gave all the pregnant ladies a taste of what they're in for.

Tess has made an executive decision that she wants to be a pumpkin for Halloween. Laura sent her this really cute ladybug costume, but sadly Tess is terrified of it. I've given up trying convince her to be a bug for Halloween. We found a fuzzy pumpkin costume that she wears happily, so fine with me.

OK, the Spiderweb Cupcakes are pretty easy to make. I would skip suggested cake modifications and just use a regular box mix. All that added syrup made them too sticky. But the glaze worked well: Just microwave store bought frosting until runny, dip the cupcakes upside down and let excess run off and then cool. It makes a glossy, flat surface for the webs.

The webs are melted white chocolate chips that you pipe onto parchment using a template. They cool and harden in the fridge, then you peel them off the parchment and place on top the cupcakes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Pumpkin

Tess' pumpkin now has a face! Ryan let her pick from several patterns, and she was all about this happy face with a wide grin.

Ryan taught her that pumpkins are filled with seeds--a word she nows uses with great exuberance. She was pretty dainty when it came to scooping out the slimy seeds, though. Apparently that's what moms are for.

So Mom scooped, Dad carved and Tess helped by singing the "Halloween Song."

For dessert, we had Itsy Bitsy Spiderweb cupcakes! We're going to be sad when Halloween is over!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In No Particular Order

Just a few things I've been meaning to post:

Juanita Verma (former Secretary, now Stake Enrichment Counselor),
Camille Meservy (current Secretary), Pam Gauch (First Counselor),
me (Second Counselor), Cherry Bryson (President)

I went to dinner with my Relief Society Presidency a few weeks ago, and I convinced everyone to pose for a picture (ok, I told them that there would be no dessert until they smiled for the camera). We have a really good Presidency and even in the short time I've worked with them, I've learned a lot.

Christan Smith, Chelle Sorenson, Chery Gaush (it was her birthday!), Jennifer Austin, Megan Lattin, Sharon Pomeroy, Carlene Scott, Amy Dance (her birthday too!), Kathleen James, & me. Jenny Bringhurst was blurred out of the photo by our talentless waiter.

This weekend I went to dinner with a bunch of friends and we had a great time chatting it up (didn't get home until after 11:00 pm!). It makes such a difference having good friends. I had to twist a few arms to get this photo too, but I think it's important to take photos of your friends even if they don't like it!.

Another video in the "Getting to Know Tess" series (you don't seem to be appreciating these, Reen!):

And since both sets have grandparents have received their Halloween cards, I can post this video of Tess decorating them. How funny is it that Ann sent Wendy the VERY SAME card?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We went on a fun outing this morning to the D.C. Zoo with lots of friends!

I haven't been a big DC Zoo fan in the past, but it was better than I remembered it. It was the perfect day to go and everything is always more fun with kids!

Added bonus--the zoo was all BOOED up for Halloween. Tess was in Halloween Heaven!

Tess was especially excited to see the elephants. I'm not sure where she learned about elephants or why she likes them, but she couldn't understand why everyone was fascinated by the gibbons when there were ELEPHANTS to be seen!

We'll have to make it back to the zoo again soon!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Getting to Hope You Like Me

Life goes on here at the Higginbotham household.

One more Enrichment night many more to go? For October we did a mystery theater night, which turned out to be more stress than anticipated. We ended up doing a murder mystery, and it wasn't until the end that everyone found out the storyline was based on the murder of the Chief Judge in Helaman 8-9 (those Gadianton robbers are the BoM mob, after all). Everyone had a good time and got into their parts, and I'm glad to be finished with it.

Everyone brought spooky treats, so I whipped up witch-finger breadsticks w/ "bloody" marinara sauce. The fingers went fast--I was surprised anyone was willing to eat them!

In other news that I should have posted by now, Ry received this spiffy award at work (along with a nice little bonus). We sure love our Ry Guy!

Tess is still gearing up for Halloween (though she doesn't really know what that is yet). She had fun decorating cards for her grandparents. Have to make sure everyone is feeling the Halloween spirit!

We've had amazing fall weather the past couple days. Tess and I spend long hours at the park, not wanting to go home!


I was talking to Reen recently and she lamented that she doesn't really "know" Tess. Have I not been doing an adequate job of conveying her personality through this blog? I know it's a limited medium--or maybe I just have a demanding sister!

I'll try to post more Tess-esque moments--be careful what you wish for!

These are the same 2 CD's, over and over again.
One is her lullaby CD, the other is a CD she's simply titled "FUN!"




Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting in the Spirit of Things

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nana Dress

We've been waiting for Tess to fit in this dress from Nana. She even left her bow in for all of church! (I snuck it in, and she pulled it out the second she saw herself at home in the mirror.)

She wasn't in much of a modeling mood. So instead of one good picture, here are a bunch of not-so-great ones.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dipsy Visit: October 2009

I don't think I've ever seen Tess as sad as when we dropped Dipsy off at the airport this afternoon. Tess has been on airplanes and she understands what they do: take people far, far away. Tess was sobbing so hard, she couldn't catch her breath. She was heartbroken to see her Dipsy go.

Mom had a nice, long visit this time, so the pace of our activities wasn't as frantic as it has been in the past. Still, we managed to pack a lot in.

Tess loved having another doting adult at her beck-and-call. A well-worn word in our house is "P-w-a-y, p-w-a-y?," which is Tess' way of asking you to play with her. She usually makes this request while pulling you by the finger toward her desired activity. Tess loved showing Dipsy her favorite ways to play.

Slam dunk! No, that man is not Tess' father.

Mom treated Ry & I to some free babysitting time, so we took the opportunity to skip town for a few days! We headed to the Shenandoah Mountains for a fall getaway at the Jordan Hollow Inn. We've stayed there before Tess was born, but it seemed really quiet this time. I guess were just used to more noise now! The quiet was nice though. We picked up some good reads at a used book store, watched movies, took naps when we wanted, and ate lots of good food.

While we were gone, Mom become close friends with the GPS, played "beauty parlor" and went shopping with Tess, and played "Monkeys" over and over again on Tess' toes (for some reason, that's what Tess calls "This Little Piggy Went to Market.") Mom also got to hear Tess' VERY favorite word, "pun-kin," about 150,000 times.

Tess is all about "Huh'ween" these days--as long as it's not too scary! She points out pumpkins everywhere we go, but she's terrified to walk down the Halloween aisle in Target (it kind of scares me too!).

Halloween, Halloween!
Lots of FUN on Halloween!
Black cats and ghosts, skeletons too,
Bats, and witches all say...

We couldn't resist taking her to the Halloween Festival at the Nursery by our house. Tess wasn't quite sure what to make of it all, but she joined in once she saw the other little kids having fun.

This little boy loved Tess and offered to show her how to play on everything. We weren't sure what he meant when he wanted to show us the "potty ride."

Oh, of course, a motorized commode. Why didn't I think of that? Well, this ride sure made a big splash with the kids (bad, bad pun)!

Tess picked out her own pumpkin to add to our collection. They had big pumpkins, but apparently that's not what she had in mind.

A Mom-visit wouldn't be complete without manual labor. We undertook a few less-than-glamorous projects that I knew I would never want to tackle on my own: stripping paint off my kitchen counter ledge, painting baseboards and painting the ceiling. Woo hoo! The ceiling was a big job (and my neck is sore from looking up all day long!), but it really looks nice. My mom was an encouraging, enthusiastic trooper--as always!

I know you wanted a close-up shot of my ceiling!

We miss you already Mom! I'll think of you every time I eat apple crisp or look at the ceiling--neither of which I plan on doing again anytime soon! We love you!