Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's not my favorite.

but Happy Halloween.

This year we went with our good friends to Tweite's Pumpkin Patch.
It was more like a village - tons to do and the kids loved it.
Not that you can tell. And that is the only picture I got (because we were on the wagon ride and I could actually keep track of all of my kids for a few minutes and pull out the camera).

Oh wait! Me and Avery were there too, and we look happy : )

For reals though, when we walked in Noah's eyes got huge. Slowly, arms outstretched, he said, "This. Is the coolest place I've ever seen."

It's also the place we got these beauties.

And after they were carved Paul informed Noah that 2 pumpkins a year is his limit - once Avery is old enough, Noah is on his own.
Thanks for doing the dirty work, hon : )

On Friday I had two "Character Parades" to attend in one afternoon.
Alex was totally into it.

She did get a little more animated - and she loved wearing her ballerina costume all day at school. And she loved that her ballet slippers made her feel like she was "just wearing socks."

Noah's was next. Every year it's tricky - because he wants to be something scary for Halloween, but you can't be anything scary for the school "Character Parade."
So it's totally awesome that the kid next to him looks like...something very scary.
Anyways. Noah borrowed a pirate costume.

Except he wouldn't wear the wig of pirate hair to school - maybe because his sister told him he looked like a girl?

Saturday night was our ward party and Trunk-or-Treat.
I got Noah to cooperate for pictures when I reminded him that we couldn't even see his face.

And I made his ghost costume.
I know, awesome, right??

(although eventually Paul had to tear the eye-holes open to make one big hole for his face. so he could see)

Alex was so cute but totally freezing to death - despite the shade shirt under the leo and the fuzzy pink leg warmers.

(she wore a coat)

Avery is not pictured. But she wore a snowsuit. Because it was freezing.
And because I didn't want to buy my baby a costume.

Before the trunk-or-treating started the kids enjoyed some of the festivities.
My favorite was watching them eat donuts off a string.
Alex was cracking up.
And they both came home with glaze all over.

They trunk-or-treated for about 20 minutes, making a full round of all the cars, and they were satisfied. And freezing. So we came home and ate lots of candy. And washed off glaze.

Tonight being Sunday we did not trick-or-treat. When I explained to Noah, earlier this month, that we would not be trick-or-treating on Sunday, but Trunk-or-treating on Saturday I thought he might be disappointed. Nope. His only response was, "OK, but I get candy?"

So tonight they passed out candy. I gave them a few instructions and let them be in charge. Oh man, were they into it. It was hilarious!
They watched for trick-or-treaters for a good half hour before anyone was even out. Then they slowly transitioned from watching at the window, to waiting at the door, to standing on the front porch with the bowl of candy, calling out to trick-or-treaters.
And there was some real teamwork going on. Noah would look down the street and holler to Alex how many were coming their way. Alex would quickly count out the right number of mini candy bars and distribute them evenly between the two of them.
They remembered to say "Happy Halloween!" and "Your welcome."
Noah would run inside intermittently to let me know how many "customers" they'd just had : )

The kids had a good Halloween.
They are cute.
And I am glad it's over.

Now Bring on Thanksgiving!
There's a holiday I can get excited about.
Food, Family, Counting your Blessings. Nothing weird or creepy about that.

Friday, October 29, 2010

just tilt your head to the side

I'm still not used to it...coming around the corner to see Av toddling down the hall. Makes me laugh every time : )

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's a Tough Business

Learning to walk, that is.

Monday, October 25, 2010

While Paul was away

I did not play.
I worked on this.

And tried not to think about our original plan - the one where I was in San Diego with Paul (where he attended and presented at an Anesthesia conference) eating good food, staying in a nice hotel, seeing old friends, enjoying a 5-day break from the kids, and attending parties on aircraft carriers in the pacific ocean. Our original plan got derailed by a few things like money, childcare, a baby not ready to be left behind
...I love this phase, I love this phase, I love this phase...
Really I do though : )

And besides who needs a vacation in San Diego when you could stay home in Minnesota and accomplish something like this??

It turned out so freakin' good I don't even know what to say.

Except that maybe I cried (before during and after)
worked like crazy for 5 full days and into the wee hours of the morning
while simultaneously caring for my 3 young children
and our home

And so I thought you might need 5 different pictures.
That show the same thing.

Oooo and you need to see it like this to really get the full effect:

Could. Not. Be. Happier.

And to Cat:
thanks for talking me into it
working with me every step of the way
and keeping me sane throughout.
Good times, hon. Good times.
I love you : )

So anyways.
It's official. My kitchen is amazing.
And it's done : )

Thursday, October 21, 2010

1, 2, 3...?

3 kids.
Weird. I could swear I have 11.
That's what it feels like when I've got all three of them 24 hours a day like I do for the next 4 days.
(No school Thursday and Friday.)
And... it's only Thursday afternoon. I'm exhausted and half-crazy.
You probably would be too, if my kids were yours.

I mean do you have a 4-year old daughter as sassy as Alex?
The other day when I told her to do something she didn't want to do she snapped at me with, "Okay, fatness!"
I mean really, what am I even supposed to do with that??
Last night it was Paul she was sassing and he finally thought to sit her down with the i-pod and some good old Taylor Swift.
I'm sorry, I didn't realize there was a 16 year old in the house.

At least she still has a sweet side.

A crazy funny side too : )

Then there's Noah.
Who is suddenly a big kid.
When I asked him for a kiss the other day he responded with, "Oh mom, if my friends saw this..."
And the next morning it was, "Girls. They're sooo sensitive."

But then there was last night.
He was describing to me a girl in his class with "golden hair."
So I said, "What color hair do you like girls to have?"
And without hesitation he said, "Brown, like yours."
Yep, still my little boy : )

And Avery.
Well, we've really out-done ourselves this time.
She's our most stubborn kid yet.
And she's got something of a bad reputation. Who knew a 1-year old could even have a reputation??
But she loves her mama like crazy and I'm wrapped around her little finger.

I wouldn't trade any of'em for the world : )
(But do you really need to ask me why we're done?)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Big Event

Paul got back from a 5-day trip to San Diego (more on that later) just in time to celebrate Avery's birthday with us.
(Luckily, she remembered him.)

I don't know who was more excited about the "party"

or Noah and Alex.
Probably Noah and Alex, but Avery picked up on everyone's excitement and had a great time too.

She loved her new toys and the kids loved showing her how to use them.

Avery loooves music and will dance to pretty much anything.
Battery operated toys included.

I even caught some of her moves on (low-quality) camera.
Although Noah laughing in the background might be the best part.

Avery got a super cute cake all to herself, with delicious cupcakes for everyone else - all from our favorite local bakery.
Ya know, per Avery's request : )

Dad thought she might need some help with a spoon.

But she got in there with her hands anyway.

And then took over with the spoon.

She savored every last bite : )

I think we had to pry the spoon and cake from her hands.

At least she got to take a bath afterwards, which happens to be her most favorite activity.

All in all, a great first birthday.
Fun for the whole family.

And in honor of our newly-turned one-year old here are some pictures from a recent photo shoot, done by my talented friend, Jolene Reed.

And don't forget to click here to see the rest of them on Jolene's blog - she posted a few of my favs.
Love our baby Av.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

it's October 19th

And I can't stop thinking about what I was doing at this time one year ago today.
Right about now (12:30am) I was in labor at the hospital - half watching a movie, half trying to get some sleep.
(Pretty sure Paul was OUT.)
I remember it all so well...
And if you feel like reminiscing with me click here.

Avery, you're growing up fast.
But you'll always be my baby girl.

Love you bubbba

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It takes talent

My kids find something to fight about no matter the circumstances. Just this morning, they were running around dancing to one of their favorite songs, Jai Ho, from Slumdog Millionaire. And then I heard this:

NOOOO! I'm Jai-ing ho!
NO! I'm Jai-ing ho!
(repeat 10 times)


My kids play this song everyday. Paul hates it.
How could you hate this song??

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A long time coming

Last month my parents came to visit. Having been to Rochester on more than one occasion they've pretty much been there, done that. I mean as much as we love the place, admittedly there is not a whole lot to do on "vacation."
So we met them up in Minneapolis and spent the next 4 days exploring, keeping the kids busy, and having fun (and maybe getting lost, because can you believe not one of us has a smart phone??)

My mom came with literal backpacks full of gifts, including Dr Bear, Alex's constant companion for the duration of the trip.

The kids were so excited to see Grandma and Grandpa again.
And Avery...well, she slowly warmed up.

Day One was spent at Como Zoo. Small, free, fun.
And I now have pictures of Alex, just like this one, with every statue in the park.

Noah will not be pictured much, but we did catch him "training fish" in the gardens at Como Zoo, which were amazing.

We ended the day at the hotel pool - and luckily the jacuzzi was the size of a small pool because that's where most of us wanted to be.

Paul joined us Friday night, and Saturday morning we headed over to the Mall of America. Because you can never run out of things to do at the Mall of America.

Noah was finally tall enough to do every ride in the park - and that's exactly what he and Paul did. And let me tell you there are some crazy insane rides in there. Brain Scrambler, Avatar. I mean for reals.
I was slightly nervous about what Noah's reaction would be to his first major roller coaster experience...needlessly. I've never seen a kid so excited as he tried to describe every twist and turn - and his descriptions were hilarious, complete with facial expressions and hand and body movements.

My mom and I took Alex to do some tamer rides and I'm not sure who had more fun. We were laughing our heads off at her reactions. This mini-drop zone was the best. Eyes getting bigger and bigger as she rose to the top, then hysterical laughing all the way down (and she inherited Paul's laugh, which if you've never heard I just feel sorry for you).
Alex really knows how to put on a show.

Then Alex sat next to this stranger on the roller coaster and they immediately became best friends, holding hands and giggling the whole way. So funny.

That afternoon, while the boys (and the baby) were still at the mall my mom and I took Alex to the Children's Theatre. It was quite the adventure just getting there, but Alex's first theatre experience was priceless. She really did not know what to expect, and when she realized the actors were real people she thought the whole story was actually happening. Alex was so cute with her comments and reactions through the whole thing, it was so much fun! She loved it and so did we. We're definitely going back.

Sunday morning we found a random ward where we could stand in the hall with all of our naughty children I mean attend church.

Then we took a boat ride down the Mississippi River. The whole weekend had been gray, rainy, and cold but Sunday was a beautiful day.

With beautiful views of the city.

And funny faces of Avery.

And family pictures minus one certain child.

Paul had to head back home that night but we were glad he had the weekend off to play with us.

My parents were flying out Monday afternoon, but Monday morning we found an awesome toy store with really cool toys that the kids can play with.

They had an art room where Noah and Alex got to do all kinds of cool stuff, including decorating these flip-flops for kids in Darfur. Noah thought it was pretty awesome, that a kid in Africa would soon be wearing the sandals he decorated.

And then it was time to say goodbye, always too sad.

And although three kids in a hotel room (and eating out with them for every meal) is not always the easiest or most pleasant experience the trip was so much fun and well worth the sleep deprivation they caused.
Thanks for coming out to play with us Grandma and Grandpa!

p.s. we also managed to squeeze in a movie in the hotel room every night with the kids (complete with room service ice cream sundaes) and I had a nice dinner out with just my parents (has that ever even happened before??)
Good memories : )