Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Apple picking and the making of a man...

In mid October I took the boys apple picking by myself. Steve was trying to knock out some projects and I needed to get our annual fill of Fuji apples (which last forever!) and also some organic apples for applesauce.

At the organic orchard (love this place!). Collin decided it was too hot and therefore he need the bag on his head.

After this, we went to the orchard with Fuji apples. All the trees were about bare in the part of the orchard we first directed us to, and only the tops had apples. Well, without Steve, that was an issue. I couldn't be up in a tree and leave Collin "the runner/escapee" alone... yes, that is the only reason as I am sure I can climb a tree (stop laughing). As I was thinking out loud on what to do, Ethan said "I can climb the tree mom!" At first I was thinking... hmmmm not sure about this. Ethan has become more fearless lately, but coordinated is not necessarily one of his many strong things. However he said it again confidently, as he started to climb a tree... and up he went... much to my surprise... and a little fear.

The funniest/cutest thing about this was he was so proud of himself. When he got to the top of the first tree, and started "handing" me down apples, he let out a few laughs and whoops in pride. He even said "we got the best apples because some woman's son was brave enough to climb the tree." (I'm still laughing about that one... "some woman's son..." only Ethan...)

My attempt at getting a cute photo in the huge chair at orchard... didn't work so well (in any of the twenty shots I tried...).

That day, as he climbed at least a dozen trees to ensure his family had the food they were seeking, it was clear a little part of Ethan started to find his inner "man" and I couldn't have been more proud (and humored).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Annual Neighborhood Pumpkin Patch Trip

We are so lucky to live in a great neighborhood with many kids and fun neighbors. I think three or four years ago, we started going to a pumpkin patch together with all the kids. Though, as the kids get older, it is getting increasingly harder to arrange a day we can all make it we still manage to do it for the most part and have a blast.

We went to a new place this year, actually the same place as Ethan's class trip. It has a few "draws" for kids: hay maze in the barn, the giant fast "slide" and the huge mound of dirt (ahhh, so simple and inexpensive, yet so fun - not to mention freaking messy). Here are some highlights:

Collin and Oliver were a little intimidated with the giant "slide", so our neighbor was sweet enough to go down with them, which was all it took for them to get the bug. This slide went very fast and you landed with a hard thud at the bottom... the kids loved it.

In the pumpkin patch...
In the hay maze barn...

Big ol' box of corn...

Pneumatic corn cob gun...

The giant mound of dirt...

After that, we all came back to our house for some fall fun. One of our neighbors brought a craft for the kids to do, we also had them paint pumpkins and bob for apples.
Collin and Cameron bobbing. Collin's version was reaching in and getting an apple. Cameron actually stuck her mouth in...
Oliver decided to join Cameron...
Ethan bobbing for apples...
His apple...

This isn't a great angle but one of kids, David, went full gusto and didn't use the assistance of his hand (like the others resorted to after many attempts). David stuck his entire head in the bucket and went to the bottom, actually getting his apple with his teeth only. Wow.
Paining pumpkins. I actually envisioned them painting faces on the pumpkins, but instead they painted them... entirely.

Collin painting his red, of course...
After all that, we had a big pot luck. It was a great day!
Here is a photo of Oliver from a trip we made to the pumpkin patch a couple weeks before this. None of the photos of that trip turned out great, except this one. I love this one. So, I must share it and this seems like a good place to do so.

Oliver, loving on his pumpkin (really, he was telling it he loved it and this was his love nuzzle with it)...

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

I volunteered to go with Ethan's class to the pumpkin patch. It was a beautiful day and the kids had a blast. Here are some photos:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Follow up...

I meant to post this earlier but didn't get to it. As you recall I mentioned that we suspected Collin for a misdemeanor offense of "screwing with us" - taking Ethan's puzzle pieces, hiding them and then telling us he couldn't be bothered with where they were as he was eating.

He, in fact, would not tell us where they were at all. We checked all the normal hiding places, but found nothing. However the next morning Steve told Erin to ask him. When she did, a sheepish grin appeared on Collin's face as he lead her to his highchair.

This is the same highchair he sat in while basically telling us, "not now, I'm eating" the night before.

See... screwing with us. We are in trouble...


(back to time traveling)

At the beginning of October, the boys had a dentist appointment. This is notable because it was the twin's first appointment (and because I think it all firsts... okay sometimes seconds and thirds and, and, and... are notable).

For Ethan is was not his first time. He did great, as he has done before. However, we did discover in the x-rays that his front top teeth are HUGE (I'm serious) and that his lateral incisors were in fact going to come in behind his central incisors. I don't mean behind as in after, I mean behind as in literally behind them. As it turns out, his palette is not very big and most of his current baby teeth are right on top of each other now. Though his palette will expand some, like everyone's does, they feel he is going to need some assistance in this area... "but we will deal with it when they come in". Yippee!

As for the twins, Oliver did great as we knew he would. That child would basically let you poke or prod anything while he laid there with a smile on his face. It's amazing.
Collin, on the other hand, well... not so much. He fought it. If I was the dental hygienist, I would have needed a drink after dealing with him. In fact I did need a drink after the appointment!

The favorite part? The "prizes" of course. Each picked one Silly bandz, a bug and a sticky hand things (which were conveniently *cough* "lost").

I have to say, our dentist office, everyone in it, is just amazing. Amazing. They are an office for children only and though many have been there a long time, they have patience like no one I have ever met. They show the kids everything they are going to do, let them "play" with the tools, go slowly, talk gently and never ever lose their cool. I do not know how they do it. They are amazing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Not now...

Collin, by far our orneriest child, likes to take things and hide them. In his defense, sometimes he puts the items away where they belong and sometimes he puts them in what he deems to be a "safe place"... sometimes though, we truly believe he is just screwing with us. Normally, when asked, he will show you where he put them. Tonight about eight pieces of Ethan's Star Wars puzzle, that was put together on the kitchen table, were mysteriously missing. All indications pointed to Collin (again, refer to first sentence).

As we were eating dinner, I said "Collin where did you put Ethan's puzzle pieces?"

Collin responded simply, "I don't know. I eating right now."

I asked again and he responded once more, "I eating right now."

I'm going with 'screwing with us' on this one...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bears do what in the winter?!

Tonight one of the books we read to the twins (and Ethan) was Bear Stays Up For Christmas. Naturally the bear's friends had to wake him up so he didn't miss Christmas and then he fell asleep right after the celebration. So, I asked Ethan why the bear was so sleepy. He said that bears sleep through the winter. Then...

M: What's that called... when animals sleep through the winter?

E: Um... I know... um... (obviously trying hard to remember the word)

M: Hi... (giving him a hint of the first sound)

E: Hibrocobia! (shouting it out confidently and knowingly)

HUH??! I think I need to contact Webster's... it could be a new word! Seriously, we (and he) don't know where that came from, but we ALL couldn't stop laughing the rest of the night.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fat lip, Santa and Suckers...

What do all three have in common? They happened today.

On our way to see Santa, Collin fell in the parking lot and got his first fat lip. A big first fat lip as a matter of fact. It was a rough 10 minutes or so, but after that it didn't bother him. Instead we diverted his attention by visiting the Disney Store, as you know one of his few favorite things is Mickey!

This is much later and after his Santa treat.

After that, we headed to Santa.

What did they ask for?

Ethan: Star Wars stuff, a rock set, science kits, books and world peace. okay, I made the last one up, but he did say if he got something he already had he wanted to give it to a boy who didn't have any presents... that's a start...

Oliver: Super Hero Squad (as in anything Super Hero Squad... period.)

Collin: Mickey Mouse and a big kitchen (as in the play variety, however maybe Santa will misunderstand and bring all of us a bigger kitchen... that would be good too!)

Santa gave them each a sucker after he spoke to them, which thrilled me more than I can say (yes, you know the tone). Since it was too late, it was in their hands, and Collin was staring at me with his giant fat lip... I just opened the packages and let them go. Yes, I am saying... this was Collin and Oliver's first time eating a sucker. What? Is that child abuse? Collin didn't even know what to do with it... I had to tell him to lick it. Before we could even tell Oliver, he had taken a huge bite of it (it was one of those semi hard ones)... he was like the tootsie pop turtle... three licks and eat it... it was gone that fast. Collin's on the other hand lasted over an hour... as he savored every lick of his red delight. Ethan was somewhere in the middle.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fall Soccer

Ethan was in fall soccer this year and the added excitement was Steve was his assistant coach*. Steve was a little hesitant at first, but the head coach was amazing! She, Coach Dee, was a college professor and coach of soccer, and a player herself. And Steve was a great student and in the end a really good coach. The kids loved him.

Ethan really improved this year, being more aggressive and in the game. There was a lot less picking picking blades grass and holding hands and a lot more interest in soccer. Don't get me wrong, there was still some of the other stuff, but just not as much as past years. Though I can't say he is a die hard soccer player, he definitely is identifying himself with this sport more than others. Most importantly, I think he had fun.

Here are some action shots of Ethan:

All in all, I am very proud of both of my men.

*yea, it is still a little hazy on how Steve volunteered to be coach, but I think it involved me answering the mandatory question "which of these would you be willing to do" with a check next to Assistant Coach and then typing in Steve's name... rather than the check in the Team Mom box... or something like that... maybe... hey, it was mandatory and I had to travel out of town a few weeks during the season... I couldn't be team mom.... and it's not like it's the first time I checked the box with Steve's info... it's just the first in the the last three seasons that they actually took me... er... him up on it. Yea, that's probably how that all happened... Further in my defense, Steve was always walking around smiles and singing after the games... he liked being coach more than he knew he would... and I knew that all along... yea, that's it... maybe...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Sixth Birthday Ethan!

We interrupt the backlog to bring you photos of Ethan's birthday (a day late).

Yesterday was Ethan's sixth birthday. I have no idea how six years have passed, but clearly they have and I am so proud of my son.

I took the day off to spend with Ethan, which started with being the mom class volunteer for his room (which he has been asking me to be for a while). Though I was kept very busy by his teacher, it was fun to spend the day with him. He got to wear a crown during school and we brought in smiley face cookies (which went over big).
Hard to see the crown... especially with my camera phone.

After school, I took Ethan and two of his neighborhood buddies out for lunch and whatever Ethan wanted to do. So, you ask, what did Ethan want to do? I'll tell you...

First we went to Noodles for lunch (one of his favorite places of course).

Two words: Stinking cute. Two more: Stinking happy.

Then we went to the park.

We tried several times for me to time it right to get them mid jump off this wall, but my phone camera was too slow... they gave up on me.

After that we went for ice cream... actually sundaes!

Then we went to the library (this one threw me, but so fitting for him actually).

They really made me laugh here. They were all so excited to get books, instructing me on what to look up and when I couldn't find it, off they went to ask a library employee. They then plopped down on the floor, each of them with their own book pile and looked through them (I am really upset I didn't get a photo of this!). I think it was a largest (by far) check out from the library EVER.

Next, we went to the playground behind the library, where they played Star Wars with the two sets being ships. I was Princess Leia. (no comments)

After that, we came home only because we were taking Ethan out to dinner (otherwise he would have kept picking new things to do).

At the restaurant, they brought his dessert (an apple crostata - his choice) with a candle in it and sang Happy Birthday to him (even though they apparently stopped doing that kind of thing a year ago, they made an exception for us). He was very happy.

Then came presents.

The mother of all presents (for a Star Wars fan): the Millennium Falcon. (this is where it REALLY helps to have a dad that A) really enjoyed action figures as a kid... and still does and B) knows his way around ebay quite well (to get great deals)).

All and all, Ethan said he had a great day.

Happy birthday my sweet little one. I love you whole, whole bunches!
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