1. Ponies! Our dear friends Kate and Jay invited Z and A on a pony ride along a lovely wooded trail to celebrate their youngest's first birthday. No, the birthday girl didn't get to ride a horse, but she whooped and hollered when I put her up on my shoulders. I've forgotten how relaxing it is to commune with nature, so I've decided I need to prioritize finding more parks and trails in the area.
2. Halloween! My kids have donned their costumes twice and it isn't even fright night. No matter, the Montessori "Harvest" party was a ton of fun. It was better organized than in years' past, and I got to catch up with parents I know and meet a few new faces. I even called one of the moms I met in the balloon animal line and had her daughter over for a playdate with A this afternoon.
3. Bargains! The Oak Park Temple Rummage sale didn't fail to disappoint. I bought each girl a set of cozy all-cotton flannel sheets ($5 a set), picked up a few size 6/7 clothing items (Gymboree and Talbots Kids for $1 each), a vase (50¢), a handful of American Girl paperbacks and a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Naturally Z finished all 3 American Girl books this afternoon--right after plowing through the third Harry Potter book (that she'd started just yesterday morning). Total spend: $15.
4. Food! And friends! A and I baked and pureed a pie pumpkin and made a big batch of muffins, but Josh outshined us by far, cooking up a gourmet storm this afternoon. We had Jani and Steve and their kids over for an amazing smoked fish stew and homemade carrot cake. Z was in a lousy mood, refusing to eat and fighting with her friend, but after the kids had eaten I put on a movie for them. My chair at the dining room table offered a great view of Z--first by herself on the love seat, then kneeling by the ottoman, then on the couch with her sister and friends. And finally right next to her friend and A--with A's legs across her lap.