Before I can start writing about winter (it’s December 27th) here is a blog about our Fall.
Millie started ballet classes through Ballet Met. She is a “Mini Mover”, a class for 3 and 4 year olds. Maw, Mill, and I went to Opening Night, a store that sells dance attire, to try on and purchase her dance uniform; a pink cap sleeved leotard, a pink skirt, white socks, and white ballet shoes. (We got a sequin dance bag and a pink scrunchie, too.) While a sales woman was helping Millie try on ballet slippers, Mill was talking her ear off about the catfish in our backyard. The owner heard Mill talking and peaked out the dressing rooms, “I just had to hear who was saying that!” I was mortified. She must have thought we were such hillbillies. We found out that her feet are two different sizes; a half size difference. Millie leapt around the room when she had on her full uniform on and she was glowing.
1 day a week Millie attends dance class. There are 6 students total, all girls. Her teachers name is Miss. Sarah and they have a pianist that plays their rehearsal music. I asked Millie what the piano players name was and very matter of factly she told me, “Issac”. Come to find out his name is not Issac at all. It’s Gabe. The students are encouraged to wear masks during class. I thought this would be an issue for Millie but she never fusses about it and keeps it on. A month into classes, I asked Miss. Sarah how Mill was doing to which she responded, “Mia has a lot of great ideas.” This told me that Millie is probably trying to teach the class herself. She likes having “Mommy and Millie” time together after class when we get doughnuts or run errands. This ballet season has been really special.
We walked over to the high school to attend a Friday night football game. This was Wells’ first football game. Members of the OSU marching band who were GC alumni performed at half time. The kids enjoyed the music and clapped when appropriate. Wells wanted to sit independently between Chris and me, instead of on our laps. Once the game started, Wells wanted to be up and moving. He made a loop; down the stairs, under the bleachers, up the stairs, through the bleachers. He did this probably five times and when he’d hit a straight away, he would run. We bought a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and snacked on the way home.
Maw took a walk with the kids one fall afternoon and Millie took note of the many houses that were decorated – ours wasn’t one of them. That weekend I took both kids to a farmers market where I pulled them around in a wagon and they got to pick out their favorite pumpkins. Wells loved the mini pumpkins and Millie loved them all. We also got a delicious bag of apples and two bundles of corn for the columns on our front porch. The stalks barely fit in the Jeep; they were probably 7ft long! The kids laughed on the way home as they played with the corn above their heads. They helped decorate the porch and Wells cried when he realized we were leaving the pumpkins outside.
We went took our annual trip to Zassys Vendor Markets and brought Lindsey along with us. The kids tried kettle corn for the first time and they ate it up! Millie flossed to the live music. I bought way too many plants including Millie’s first plant, a pink algaonema that we put on her book shelf. She named the plant, Leafy and sang it Happy Birthday. We came home with way too many kids in the car after picking up Lindsey’s boys.
We took our family Christmas pictures at the end of October. My cousins boyfriend is a great photographer and doesn’t mind coming to us to take pictures. Millie wore a green dress that paired well with mine. The ribbon belt that came with my dress looked perfect around her waist. Wells looked so handsome in his sweater, jeans, and boots. Wells was beyond his nap time so we didn’t get a lot of smiles out of him however, we were able to get a couple shots for the Christmas card. We quickly changed into our Halloween attire and took pictures on the front porch dressed as Wendy, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, and a lost boy (skunk). We like to get into our costumes and take pictures before Halloween because the night of trick-or-treat is always so busy and the lighting is always terrible. Maw and I tweaked Mills costume and I bought Wells’ from an Etsy shop. Millie was so excited to blow “pixie dust” out of her hands and Wells was excited to throw his slingshot around. Thankfully, the pictures turned out super cute and Christmas cards have been mailed out.
On a rainy night in October, we decided to brave the Circleville Pumpkin Show. Neither Chris or his brother, Uncle Nick (who now lives in Ohio) had ever been to the pumpkin show in Circleville. We parked where we could find a spot, a few blocks away from the festivities, then Chris pushed the double stroller down the city sidewalk as I admired the architectural elements of the quaint houses. Wells wanted to walk around on his own so Chris and I stayed close to him as he explored freely. His smile was contagious; he was so happy to be out on his own. At the end of the night we watched a parade with floats, terrible sounding bands, and tons of beauty pageant queens. A man running for Congress asked Millie her name from his float, she told him and he waved back and used her name; she was on cloud nine.
This was the first year our family has participated in going door to door for Trick or Treat. Millie helped pass out candy her first Halloween. The weather was awful for her second. Her third Trick or Treat was canceled due to COVID. This Halloween, Uncle Nick came over and passed out candy so that we could take the kids to a couple houses. Beggars night in Ohio is the absolute worst, so of course it was raining. Millie dressed as Tinker bell carried her candy bag and an umbrella. Wells, happy to be walking independently, was a drenched skunk by the end of the night. Millie was very polite to the neighbors passing out candy and Wells was mostly interested in their dogs. Most of the candy in their bags was chocolate so we swapped the candy bars out with vegan candies.
Then Millie turned four. (I seriously don’t know how time has moved so quickly. She was wiping her mouth with a napkin the other day and I was like, “How does she know to do that?” I took the day off of work so we could spend her birthday together. We kicked off the day by icing some of the cookies for her birthday party. Then, we went to see a movie and it was the first time Millie had ever been to the movie theater! We had slim pickings on the movie choices but we decided on The Addams Family 2; we watched the first Addams Family the week before so she was excited to see the sequel. We ordered popcorn, pretzel bites, and fries – most of the food was gone before the movie even started. The movie was showing in theater number four, which of course was super special for the newly 4 year old. We had the theater all to ourselves, I guess no one else wanted to see The Addams Family 2 at one o’clock on a weekday. After the opening credits, Millie asked if she could sit on my lap. I reclined the seat back and we snuggled during the entire movie. What more could a mama ask for? It was the best.
The movie ended and per Millie’s request, we got doughnuts at Krispy Kreme. She picked out her favorites from behind the glass and even got a birthday cake doughnut. I let her eat a mini doughnut in the car and after she finished it, she fell fast asleep in her car seat. She had an awesome birthday and couldn’t wait for her cat themed birthday party with her friends and family.
Millie and I watched the musical, Cats together and were both equal parts mesmerized and creeped out. When I asked Mill what party theme she wanted, she was adamant she wanted a Gabby’s Dollhouse party, a children’s Netflix series about cats. Gabby products were difficult to find with Christmas right around the corner so the party was a more generic, “cat” theme. Kitties on the table, cats on the cake, felines in the flowers, and kittens on the plates! I ordered some decor off of Etsy and had the kids decorate kitty faces onto cookies. Millie got so many presents including a ballerina sleeping bag, a backpack full of craft supplies, new clothes, new crocs, and leg warmers.
We saw two spectacular light shows; Conservatory Aglow at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo. The conservatory had animal topiaries wrapped in lights and both kids were amazed to see their favorite animals, the elephants (Wells) and giraffes (Millie). They both enjoyed the rainbow arch, walking through a candy land house, and playing on the ropes in the children’s garden. We knew it was time to leave when we caught Millie laying down on the sidewalk by the wooden xylophone. We grabbed free cookies and a craft at the exit. The cookies were eaten on the car ride home and the ornament craft was created that night but destroyed by morning.
We went to the zoo lights with Uncle Nick, his new girlfriend Megan, and our engaged friends Dru and Katey. Both children fell asleep on the way to the zoo. We barely made it through the front gate before Uncle Nick bought them both flashy, light up wands. Santa was there but because of COVID, the kids couldn’t sit on his lap (I’m not sure the kids would’ve wanted to anyway). Millie was not a fan of the elf that introduced her to Santa. They continued to ask her if she was from the North Pole and she did not like that at all. When Santa asked her what she wanted for Christmas she very definitively said, “A Gabbys Dollhouse” to which Santa replied, “That’s a very popular present this year”. Wells signed, “thank you” to Santa and then blew him a kiss. It was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen and Santa said he’d be giving Wells a very special gift under the tree.
On Thanksgiving, we ate biscuits and gravy while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Chris accidentally turned off the tv during the Rockettes routine! Millie was excited to see the balloons. We went over to my aunts house and saw my dads side of the family. Then, we went over to my grandmas house and saw my moms side of the family. Facebook marketplace helped us find a Gabbys Dollhouse (triple the retail price) and Chris picked that up while we watched football. After a full day of traveling, we enjoyed a vegan Thanksgiving meal the next day.