Dinah's birthday has come and gone and she is very much a two year-old now. We threw a party for her at our house with friends, family, and neighbors invited. We ordered pizza for lunch and Sarah made cake and cupcakes for dessert. Dinah really loves pizza so she had no complaints about our choice of food. Her cake was shaped like a frog (one of Dinah's favorite animals) and had plenty of frosting for all concerned. Dinah isn't much for the cake itself but she always enjoys frosting.

Her party was on the Sunday before her birthday and then we had another very, very small party on her birthday itself where we sang Happy Birthday to her again and lit a couple of candles on a cupcake for her. All those celebrations had a happy side effect—she still sings "Happy Birthday to Dinah" quietly to herself weeks later. It's incredibly cute. Like Garrison at the same age, she is having a hard time letting go of being the birthday girl. She really wants it to be her birthday again any minute now.

The kids enjoyed going trick-or-treating on Halloween. Garrison was a butcher and Dinah was a frog; Sarah made both of their costumes. Garrison ended up with more candy than Dinah did, but that's OK. She's only two and wasn't nearly as aggressive as her older brother when it came time to grab candy out of bowls.

Now that she's two, Dinah also is trying to become more independent. You can't be around her very long before you hear, "I do it" or "Me do it". Sometimes, that's fine. At other times, however, waiting for a two year-old to do something just isn't practical or pleasant.

We had a parent teacher conference with Garrison's 4K teacher last week and he got a glowing review. He was given extremely high marks for his good attitude—his teacher commented on how much she enjoys the way he says "Good Morning" to her every morning, completely unprompted. He also got high marks for his language and math skills, his symbolic reasoning, his imagination, his physical strength and his coordination. She did acknowledge that he has trouble with self control (which we already knew) and that he has the loudest voice in the classroom (which we didn't know, but suspected).

I got the Christmas lights up on the house a couple of weeks ago when we had a stretch of nice weather on a Sunday and I'm glad that I did. The weather since then has included some snow, a weekend full of rain, and some very cold temperatures. With the lights up all I have to do on Thanksgiving is plug them in and turn them on.