Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween at our house!

A nasty storm was expected on Halloween this year.  So the powers that be moved Trick-or-Treating to Friday night.  Frankly, that was just fine with me.  The kids won't be so awful for their teachers at school on Friday because they were up too late and way too sugared up.  That's fine for us to deal with, but they don't get paid enough for that.  So since Trick-or-Treat got bumped, and weather was awful - wind and horizontal rain.  So we stayed in, and had a pizza party while watching old Disney Halloween shows on youtube.  The boys all live for a good old fashioned floor picnic!  Happy Halloween to you!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy trees

Did you know the reason redwoods only thrive in that small area of northern California?  It's because of the fog.  This warm fog comes through and the drippage from it waters the trees.  Unfortunately, with our development of the land, not only are there less trees, but less fog.  We went to Muir woods in 2001, before we moved from California, and Eric and I almost bought a little redwood seedling, but we realized Indiana isn't moist enough.  Anyway, about 60 years ago, they discovered the Dawn Redwood in China.  It's a  cousin to the giant redwoods of California, so it grows big and tall, but it drops its needles.  And it doesn't require the special fog!  I literally came across one at our local art museum, and thought, what's a Redwood doing in Indiana.  I googled it, learned it was a Dawn Redwood, and ended up buying one for Eric for his birthday for the new house, the year we moved in.

So this is our Dawn Redwood 2 years later.  As the needles are beginning to turn colors for fall.

And it's a Foggy Day.  
That has got to make redwoods everywhere happy. 

The rain and the fog literally condensed on the needles of the redwood.  

One of my favorites.  

Then I realized that there were some spider webs caught up in the branches. I hadn't gotten a chance to get out here and take a good look.  I love the way the web moves, but the droplets are on the branches. 

More webs and branches in the fog.  

Then I had to hit the road, do a bit of shopping.  It was a Costco kind of day since Sam just started doing attending another class at school.  But nature's beauty didn't stop at my front door.  As I circled around behind Eagle Creek Park, the trees just jumped out at me with their Gorgeousness! 

This was my favorite, the golds, the greens, the Awesome.  

The road into Eagle Creek Park was just as lovely as I was coming home to get Sam from school. 

Still Foggy, hours later. 

During 'naptime' I went back outside.  The fog had lifted, but it was Still Gorgeous. 

The raindrops still clung to the needles of the Dawn Redwood. 

I even captured a little bit of our house in the background.

But this was my favorite. 

OK, OK, the last 'nature' shot - the pumpkins on our porch, all set and ready for the Holiday to begin!


Last year, I was pregnant and tired.  I didn't make a trunk for our church's Trunk-or-Treat.  
This year, I wasn't planning on it.  It was going to be on a Tuesday night, which traditionally are tricky for us, because we're cramming dinner in before Eric has bell choir.  This year, my friend Lori, who runs them, wrote, very worried, she only had about 4 cars signed up by Saturday.  She asked (begged) me to participate.  I said Sure.  Luckily (?) Eric's bell choir got cancelled, because Chris had a piano lesson (bumped for Halloween) to Tuesday night at 6. Oy.  So we split up.  Eric took the boys to piano, with their costumes, and Jake and I headed to the church to set up.   I gotta tell you, that's the key to parenting with 3, Divide and Conquer! 

Check out my Extra Special Helper - Super Baby!  

Chris thought we should have won because of Super Baby's cuteness.  

Just after the sun set, I had a couple sweetboys come Trick-or-Treating to my car.  

That was all I saw of them.  Jake was cold, so I passed him on to Daddy, and I manned the car.  There was candy, and games, and my boyz disappeared.  I guess they had a Wonderful time; we had fully loaded meltdowns when it was time to go home.  Christopher was concerned why we didn't win a prize for best trunk, I told him, throwing down black blankets, which was all I had time or motivation to rustle up, wasn't really enough to win.  Some trunks went all out, with carved and lit pumpkins, and/or blacklights, music, the Works.  I really enjoyed sitting at the car and having all the cuteness come to me.  I parked at the end though, and it wasn't lit well, a lot of people didn't see my dark car in the dark.  Next year, Christopher promised to help me really decorate a trunk.  He wants lights...and next year, he wants to win. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sweetboy Sunday

We got a case of Pull-ups and Diapers all in the same Awesome size box. 
The boys decided that it was a Spaceship. 
I hear Sam running through the living room, saying "This place is nice but I want to get back to Erf."

To ZooBoo

This year, we decided to get down a little early and run all three boys down to the Zoo for Zooboo yesterday before the 2 o'clock rush kicked in.  My theory was to get there early, and if Jake and I needed to skip out to nap. 

We had lunch before hitting the road, resulting in some very happy sweetboys.
We just didn't take the COLD into consideration.  Such that as soon as we arrived, all the boys started smack talking about the cold. Jacob was the only one I had been prepared for.  He was Superman, so I grabbed the Superman blanket, and his hat.

So when Sam started complaining about being cold, first I put Jake's pumpkin hat on him.  That didn'twork so well.  His head is too big. 

Initially, The Flash didn't want to keep still. 
Running + Red Gloves = one happy boy! 

My hat and gloves made Sam warm and happy, so that he started running around too, joining the Flash.   Eric and I were laughing so hard, because he was just hysterical.  But Eric had it right when he said, "What's really funny, is that the pink gloves are not the funniest thing about this picture. "

But here are my sweet three Superheroes all at the Zooboo. 

It was quite cold that day, so we went into The Oceans exhibit to warm up.  
Green Lantern and The Flash had fun checking out the fishies. 

Green Lantern loved finding the Green Moray Eel!

My little superheroes had fun seeing sea lion swim by. 

And the Polar Bear was out and about too.

Of course he was happy, it was 40 degrees outside, ideal polar bear weather, yes, he was pretty happy. 

We went around to the top viewing area, to see him walking around.  

Before the boys made it up the hill, I got an extra special view.  The polar bear pooping. Bet you didn't know he was trained enough to dump over the edge of the viewing area.  I found this hysterical - Eric didn't, and luckily the boys didn't notice either, or we would have been living with polar bear poop jokes for ages.  

After the Oceans, Jake started to lose his mind a bit. He was getting tired, so we decided to head home.  We'd taken two cars just in case this happened.  But on our path to splitting up, we found a few nifty 'garden' items.  First I found these pretty flowers, I think it's a double cosmo, but I'm not sure. Some other garden items we found, were more of the Halloween Festivity variety. 

My sweet boys found a field of minions.

And a Giant spider.
Eric thought it needed some roller skates. ;)

I love how wary Sam was of the spider.  It was cute the way he watched it, yet went up anyway, trusting Chris and checking with big brother to make sure it was ok.

It was shortly thereafter that Jake and I hit the road.  

Fear of Spiders - Yes.  But No Fear of giant tigers.  
They are so much braver than I am, you won't catch me with my face right up next to the glass. 
But they go right up there.  So after Jake and I left, the boys visited the tigers and the lions and trick-or-treated with Daddy at the Zooboo festivities.  They came home with a nice haul, and once again, the people were nice enough to give Sam the chance to pick the greener candies.  Green things for Green Lantern.  

I mean, come on, look at the size of those feet?!  
That kitty wants some Sweetboy snacks!

Boyz - I don't think putting on the masks is going to save you from the giant tiger. 
But it sure made the day a fun one! 

A Princess Indeed

Yeah, poor, pitiful, neglected puppy.  She's got it so rough.  We had to put her on fat dog dog food, she's got it so rough.  And the boys tuck her in for her afternoon nap, so rough.

New Gifties

OK, here's a preview of Halloween costumes.  While we were out with Grandma this past week, she mentioned wanting to help out with the boys costumes.  I'd bought red (the Flash) and green (Green Lantern, part 2) sweats to make the boys costumes.  I'd even bought felt so create them.  But Chris started bugging me for a Flash mask.  I looked online, and there was no way I was going to be able to make one of those fancy things with ear wings, and covering his whole face and eyes.  So I looked at purchasing a mask.  But the average price of the mask was 20$, and in some instances, for the same price we could get the whole costume!

So yeah, I totally caved.  

And of course, what's right for one, is right for two.  

They arrived on Friday, and the boys were so excited, they couldn't wait to try them on. 

They couldn't wait to model them.  I think they're big enough to wear for a while.  :) 

Snow in October?

Yes.  Snow in October.  

But hey, it's Indiana.  What do you expect?

And I got a little practice in shooting in Manual Mode. 

Fall Break time with Grandma

I am one of a very few who are Blessed to have a wonderful relationship with their mother-in-law. We have good times together. And she's been gone the last two weeks to Florida.  She just got back, and she wanted to do some playing with the boys and I while we were on Fall Break.  First we were planning on going to The Children's Museum for the Haunted House.  BUT good thing I checked before we left, apparently the Haunted House wasn't open on Tuesdays.  So Mom suggested we all go to Jump-n-Play instead.  It's a room full of inflatables that the kids can bounce and jump, and well, play.  I'd forgotten how noisy it can be in there with that all the fans blowing up the slides. I'd forgotten how little patience I have with noise.   

But the kids had fun. Mostly.

Jake was weirded out by the noises.  But he was most content with Grandma.  He didn't last long.

Christopher on the other hand wanted to Jump all over the place.  He just zipped right up the slide, a long change from the first time I came with him and I had to climb and go down the slide with him.

But Sam wanted nothing to do with it.  Maybe there were just to many big kids there for his comfort.  But he spotted a tv and kept wanting to sit down and watch.

I returned from a restroom run with Jacob to find both big boys watching cartoons.  Yeah, forget that.  

Grandma had a better idea - how about lunch at Chick Fil-A?!  So we went there.  The kids played, ate, played some more.  And about the time Jake and Sam really started losing their minds, we opted to go home for naps.  Chris went back to Jump and Play some more at Jump-n-play with Grandma, since he was the only one interested in jumping.    
Then on Thursday, we gave it a go again.  We kidnapped Grandma and all headed to the Children's Museum.  My pumpkin was sporting his pumpkin garb.  

And the big boys were thrilled to wear their skeleton shirts Again.  When we got to the Museum, we headed straight for the Haunted House, and got in line.  Jake loved the lighting.

The boys loved the 3-D glasses.  Though I found out rather quickly, my vertigo is set off by moving while wearing 3D glasses.  And I couldn't go through the Haunted House without moving.  Luckily, it was still plenty Awesome without 3D glasses.  Jacob didn't mind taking them off my hands though.  

The theme was Time Warp - 60 years of Haunted House Awesomeness, so many of the rooms were retro themed - which was extra awesome for many reasons.  Old School really is So Cool!  
One of our favorite rooms was the Star Wars room.  Forgive the gritty photo - it was quite dark in there and the flash just blew it all out. 

Later, Chris was telling Eric about our trip to the Children's Museum, and I was hamming up all the great retro things, like a star wars and pac man, and Chris butts in, "Remember the really scary part, with the Dancing Zombie Girls?"  What?! - oh you mean the part where they show girls dancing to Thriller!  Funny what Thriller appears to a new generation.

Some sweetboys say Boo! 

After the Haunted House - I would have been perfectly content with just going home.  
But we had Mom with us, and she wanted to see the boys play a bit. 

The racecar sweetboys! 

We took them into Playscape. 
But it seems to become a common theme with Jacob that as soon as we enter Playscape he wants to get a diaper change and be fed.  This is what I did with him while the big boys played. 

Chris went everywhere. 

This was Christopher's first time in the new playscape, and he had a great time.  
Too bad he's a little bit too old to be playing there, but that didn't bother him.  There's an advantage to being petitely built, no one bothered him about being 7 in a 5 and under play area.  

Sam meanwhile stuck to the ball drop and the water stream. 

God Bless Mom for remembering to put a jacket on him.  His sleeves were SOAKED, I'd hate to see how bad he would have gotten if we hadn't had a jacket on him.  He was 'rescuing' the balls that kids had all brought over and thrown in the water.  What a helper! 

Grandma and her Terra Cotta Sweetboys! 

They had a small halloween movie exhibit, which I must say was one of my favorites in a while.  The original Sammy Terry (who did movies that were too scary for me to watch, and yet I remember seeing his narratives and thinking he was so neat) had a whole bunch of stuff there donated by his son, who has revived the role each year after his father's passing.  Very cool.  

The newest Ghostbuster. :) 

After one last carousel ride for the road, we had lunch and left.  
Grandma gets motion sickness so she sat with Jacob, literally bouncing him on her knee every time we circled round I could see him bouncing happily.  I was pretty happy being able to ride around with my sweetboys.  I would never have taken all 3 around alone, so I'm extra Thankful to have had Mom with me for some fall break adventures.