we picked a winner! 

Can you believe we’ve never tagged our own tree? Sure, living in the sticks of Tiverton we had gone and had them cut down in past years–but never tagged! This year, WE DID IT. My hubby googled and yelped {like he loves doing} and found Henry’s Tree Farm. HUGE SELECTION. Great for kids. Truthfully, I didn’t want to start humming jingle bells or EVEN THINK about the jolly holiday until we ate our turkey, but you can’t help it at Henry’s. It’s very cute. First, you stop in to the little “store” area and chit chat with the gentleman about how it all works. There’s free cider, Christmas music playing, and tons of ornaments and gifts for the kids to touch when they aren’t supposed to. We actually forgot our ribbon, but they sell tagging decorative ribbon for $0.89 a yard–so we grabbed three yards inside the shop before we checked out Santa’s sleigh that’s parked outside!They give out mini candy canes for the kids, which Penelope spotted IMMEDIATELY upon entering the gift store, and asked the guy for 5 of them. 

I really wished I had thought this out and had them wear their Christmas jammies for “cuter” pictures–or atleast outfits that matched! I guess that’s what the Christmas card photo session is for, right?! Hey–we were rushing this morning {obviously} –and we came right from dance class. Munchkin crumbs, and mismatched clothes…could’ve been worse, I guess. Like the photo below. Now that’s “worse”.You would think a free candy cane could turn a frown upside down. Never assume, my friends…never assume. 

who cares about tree tagging when you have a huge rock to climb.
have at it!
strict instructions!
We chose the early pickup for the tree- which is Thanksgiving weekend. We figure Daddy’s a Christmas freak so for his birthday weekend, we’ll do all things Christmas. We called him Clark Griswold the whole “tree farm” visit… well, atleast mommy called him that. Penel just said “who’s CLOCK?”

Next, we took our cute cream & red ribbon and unleashed the kids into the wilderness of Henry’s Tree Farm, where a nice young kid was helping us figure out the tagging process. He had a ten foot pole to give us a rough idea of how big of a tree we were picking and told us to come find him once we picked, photographed {obviously}, pulled a few needles off, had a FEW tantrums, and were ready to tag.  

tried hugging this one and realized the PAIN it caused 😂
 People must come to tag these things in the summer, because every time we went up to a “perfect tree” it was tagged already. We searched and searched and daddy had his heart set on something “chubby, but tall” —I laid off the jokes, as best I could…but c’mon. 
everyone started to melt about 20 minutes into it.
how about one of these? “NO DADDY–DIS ONE!”

Penelope lost interest after the 2-foot tall tree she wanted was declined, and legit POUTED and whined for the remainder of the tagging session. Such a female. We told her Santa was watching and that Daddy was going to call him and tell him about her naughty attitude, and that only brought on the tears. HAPPY TAGGING! Daddy hung onto cranky P, and I looked after the wanderer. 

ollie loved running around the farm and mommy and daddy enjoyed chasing after him. YA. NO.
Here she is in all her glory. I tagged it all by myself since Ollie ran away and Penelope said she wanted to “GO HOME NOW”. Joyful, joyful–we are joyful. 🙄 

The forced smile said it all. “Deck the halls with cranky toddlers, fa-la-la-la-laaaaa-get-me-vodkaaaaa. 🎄 It was the best out of 5 pictures that daddy took, and I was laughing because Ollie had just taken a huge poop, and she was SO DONE with this place. We sent them back to their happy place. THE ROCK! Thanks Henry’s! At least mommy and daddy appreciated you. The grumpiness didn’t phase daddy and I much. Yearly tradition in the works. Let’s see how long the tree lasts once we have it set up in the house! 😉

Halloween Recap.

So far today, I’ve eaten 2 “fun size” milky ways and a Halloween cupcake. #winning. I see why they call them fun size– you can shove the whole thing in your mouth in one shot, and continue to do so every time you pass the bowl. My kids got so much candy, it’s crazy. I wanted to re-cap Halloween for everyone, because we had a blast. It was Ollie’s first attempt at trick-or-treating and he learned the words “tan-choo” {thank you} just in time to receive free candy…and act grateful of course! 

We dressed the little goon up as a celtics player {although he’s wearing Rondo’s jersey, he’s more of a Larry Bird} because he’s obsessed with basketballs. “Backetbaw” as he says. We figured it’d be a perfect costume for the sports fan–and WARM for his little bod. He loved strolling around the neighborhood in the wagon, with his POP!

You can just hear the ‘jingle’ with this one coming at ya! After talking her out of being the JOKER for Halloween, she chose the WWOW. Wicked Witch of the West. Next best thing, I’m guessing?! Nothing “princess” for this peach. She actually saw a 50-something year old guy dressed as the joker while trick-or-treating and went right up to him, saying “did you know DAT I was GUNNA be duh JOKA raw Halloween n’ my mom said no!” {we were shocked that she, A. Wasn’t afraid of this man, and B. Still not over the fact that we didn’t want her being a serial killer for Halloween.  She stayed in character all night as the witch though, with her tricycle–and evil brows of course, and she really enjoyed herself. The legs got tired after pedaling to 4 houses so she ditched the wheels for daddy’s hand about 20 minutes into trick or treating, and returned the tricycle to the truck. My sister/brother in law have the best trick-or-treat neighborhood for the little ones, and decorated their house and yard for all of the trick-or-treaters they’d be getting.  Lights, creepy sounds, a video projector showing ghosts dancing, skeletons, and fog–totally into it–and festive. 

I was asked to bring my guacamole to my sister in laws for our trick or treat night, so OF COURSE I had to give it a face. My aunt taught me a little trick about adding some crumbled feta into my guacamole and I must confess, I do it every time now! Yum. It’s the perfect amount of that salty goodness to the dip. 

Want to make it? Simple and DELISH!  2 large ripe Florida avocados chopped into small squares {they’re about double the size of hass avocados and are also a little cheaper these days}, one small red onion chopped small, about ten-fifteen cherry tomatoes –chopped, 3/4 cup or so of crumbled feta, juice of one lime, salt/pepper/garlic powder/parsley to taste. I save the pit to stick in the center of my dip to keep the guac green.  Mix it all up and use multigrain scoops to “dunk”. YUM. 

I asked Penelope what she thought I was being for halloween with my face paint on– and she said “a cow and a bee togetha ” so there ya have it. MOOOO-BZZZZ
happy witch, happy life.
queen Bee is sad.

The Sunday before Halloween we went to the walk-about in Bristol where the kids trick or treated at all the local shops! Couldn’t make it to Bristol and not stop into Auntie Andi’s salon, where Penel ‘took one for the team’ and helped pass the candy out! 
Auntie Andi was in full spirit with her “teddy bear” gear and Ashley was a lion! very cute. Penelope was the hired help, clearly!
It was a huge hit and there were TONS of kids. A lot of parents dressed up too. I’m thinking it’ll be a tradition for us! We also did the East Greenwich costume parade and all of their Halloween festivities Saturday. Penelope was the wicked witch, Ollie was Cookie Monster, and I was hungry and thirsty, per usual. 
thanks for the shoes, Dorothy!
green face FOREVERRRRR.
this was their get-up for the East Greenwich downtown trick-or-treat event!
Even though it was a crazy busy weekend, we really enjoyed it! Saturday-East Greenwich Halloween day, Sunday–Bristol walkabout and Monday–HALLOWEEN night! Lots of fun for the kiddies and great time spent with friends and cousins! Penelope really enjoyed Halloween this year, and Ollie got shoved in a wagon with a tootsie pop to keep him still. HA! Fun times. Just realized I recapped that BACKWARDS for you. Figure that one out! See ya soon🎃


Just a bee staring across the water. Loved this shot. Couldn’t resist it, although a little nervous with her laying so close to the edge–the sunset, combined with her position of the legs, was perfect. Bristol Bay. So pretty! 

…and i quote…

WARNING: These are word-for-word conversations with my two year old.

photo 5-25
hey guysh…have you sheen my shnorkel?

(Penelope –looking out the window at daddy on the tractor.)
“Daddy? …dad?? BRIAN MORSE…Get out of the street, the cars are comin!”
Mommy does a double take … wait… Did she just call her father by his first AND last name?! YUP. She totally did. In between halfway peeing my pants and dying laughing, I reminded her that she calls him “Daddy” and his friends call him Brian.
She then reminded me that they also call him “Bri” and that mommy calls him “Bri” too… I caaannnn’t. I mean, really…I just can’t with this broad. 

photo 1-44
shortly after playing in the fish tank, she decided to become one.

The very SECOND I forget to latch the bathroom door in an attempt to keep her out of there, she sneaks in and takes the glade candle off the back of the toilet and asks to blow it out. I tell her to “make a wish” and she blows it out…with more spit than air. She looks at me with her pointer finger in the air and says “jusss one more time mommy–n’ thass it!” so, I re-light it and she blows it out again…
I ask her what she wished for and she looks up at me with a big smile and says “MORE CANDLES…HOORAY!” And commences the ‘happy birthday’ song. It’s ALWAYS daddy’s birthday. God forbid Mommy get some cake/and/or recognition of any kind around here. Also child–when you wish for things…how about a maid? How about a trip for mommy to go to Hawaii…alone..!? How about a trip for mommy to go ANYWHERE alone?!  Never mind Dollar Tree birthday candles …just some ideas for next time.

photo 2-48
duck face…nailed it.


photo 4-30
cheapest bib ever… $1 bandana!

Mommy: Hey penel…Want to go to the new library soon ?
Penelope: Nope I’m good… I don’t!
Mommy: k…cool…

Mommy: We’re going to eat some kale and corn with your chicken nuggets for lunch today, k?
Penelope:  oh OK so popcorn and mushrooms?
Mommy: yup-exactly.

Mommy: (yawn)
Penelope: We go get cawfee mommy?

“Tickle tickle yittle oyyeeeee” as she’s squeezing the very life out of his foot (pinky toe is purple at this point)

photo 3-36
with toes like these, I’ll be climbin’ trees in no time.

While laying together in her bed for bedtime…“Mommy..ah you a monster?”
No penel… (even though I turn monster-ish when her nap is skipped–as does she)
“Oh…yeah… Just mommy right?!”

“Penelope–did you have fun at the party yesterday?”
“What did you do at the party?”
“I hit kids mommy. It’s fun”
“Yes– you did hit kids, and that was very naughty.  Hands are not for hitting.
“Oh…ya… It’s ok though, mommy…I be nice”

She’s over biting, which is great because mommy, daddy, and Ollie are no longer chew toys.  HOWEVER, she’s moved on to pinching, scratching, hitting, and SQUEEZING. One step forward and 35 back right?? I fully blame my husband for letting her have bites of his whey protein bars and for allowing her to watch UFC. She’s becoming the hulk.

Her hugs are never soft, her squeezes are like a boa constrictor. …It’s really not okay, though–my kids a girl bully (we joke) and was beating boys (and girls) up in the bouncy house at the birthday party we had last weekend. As if I can run in and pull her out while she’s triangle choking her friend in the middle of the inflatable “octagon” … My child was actually pinning boys twice her age to the point of tears, then she would get up and walk away while shrugging her shoulders saying “he cryin’ mommy”.

photo 2-50
this face almost always follows a naughty act.

Well gee, …I can’t imagine why he’s crying– (even though he was literally 4 years old and twice her size, I wanted to crawl in a hole as every parent is probably wondering what the frig goes on at Penelope’s house to make her wrestle like this) … The worst part is, she finds NOTHING WRONG with her actions, and makes a face like what’s his/her problem while she’s “submitting” them to the ground. As I’m yelling “LET GO OF HIM/HER” or “GET OFF OF HIM/HER” she’s looking around as if I don’t exist and laying horizontal over whatever victim struggles underneath her. She honestly thinks its funny to hug someone until they fall down to the ground and she lands on top of them.  I joke now, and “it will pass” they say when I ask my mom/aunts for advice on controlling her rough-neck behavior. Well ladies, (and gentlemen) if it doesn’t “pass” …she’ll be in juvi and we can all go visit her there during the designated hours for doing so! Her random ROUGHNESS and sudden urges to squeeze or attack are much like a shark or venomous snake. Freakin’ great, I just compared my two year old daughter to not one—but TWO deadly animals, humans everywhere would be afraid to encounter. Here’s the thing…If she gets a reaction from a kid (whining, screaming) she treats it like a game where she antagonizes to keep on getting a good scream from the other kiddo…you remember from school…cause and effect! –Honest to God, though–she has a complete smile on her face the whole time she’s doing it.  It could be an evil smile (most likely is) because she knows she’s being too rough–but it’s a smile!  This usually goes on for a few rounds until, of course, she’s distracted by a jelly bean.

photo 1-46
…after mauling several 2-4 year olds in the bouncy house, she found peace and tranquility in the arms of Elmo. 

I swear it depends on the kids she’s with…funny story–we just had a play date today with  3 other 2 year old toddlers and not ONCE did I have to talk to her about hitting. She played great the entire time! …I don’t get the mind of a toddler. Do you?
As her parents, we are proud of her for the GOOD she does do (on occasion). She’s so smart in so many ways, she was chit chatting in full sentences before she turned two, uses manners, remembers what you tell her, learns to do things on the first or second time they’re done, loves to be outside, sing songs, help cook, etc. It’s just that she hugs SO HARD that she brings you to the ground. Literally. It never seems to be out of anger. It’s like playful squeeeeeezing–but in your FACE… And really hard. Hey she’s 2…she’ll learn… “They say”…

photo 3-37
Ronda Rousey Jr. over here. Joking… She doesn’t actually watch UFC. Only commercials, if anything!…However, I AM still wondering how she gets such good form with that triangle choke she was performing in the bouncy house.  Who knows… I keep telling her to squeeze her stuffed animals and pillows if she needs to squeeze something. I keep telling her that humans don’t seem to like her squeezing habits. We will see how long it takes for this phase to end…