Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My funny children (emphasis on Chloe)

Chloe and Ryan (but mostly Chloe) had me laughing pretty hard this evening.  Neil was working in Sonora until late, so it was just the kids and me.  As soon as I announced dinner was ready, Ryan disappeared.  I didn't notice where he had gone because I was busy getting food on plates.  As I headed to the table and asked Chloe if she'd seen him, she replied,

"He's in timeout."

When I asked why, she shrugged her shoulders and said,

"I don't know.  He heard you say dinner was ready and ran straight to the laundry room." 

I had to laugh, and let me explain why.  Lately, getting Ryan to eat has been gosh darn impossible.  In his own defense, he's had a bad case of the runs for the last five days straight and has been on a liquid diet minus a few bites a day of this or that.  But aside from that, eating issues have been present for months.  Generally when we sit down at the table he's already fussing, "it's too hot!" or "but I'm not hungry."  We coax him, humor him, reverse psychology him, whatever it takes to get him to try a bite and realize that I'm not such a bad cook.  What we've done in the past when he's refused to eat is sent him straight to bed.  Well now when we're sitting down to eat he'll often automatically say, "I want to take a nap instead."  But that's just too easy of an out, and frankly, if it's only 5:30 in the afternoon, that's the last thing I want him doing!  So we've changed our strategy a bit and now send him to timeout for however long it takes before he's willing to eat.

Tonight, Ryan was a step ahead of me.  I'm still laughing at the fact that he put HIMSELF in timeout.  I tried and I tried and I tried to get him to eat, but he would have nothing to do with it.  Even after several attempts, more timeout and a spanking to finish it off, he just wouldn't give in.  He was in bed by 6:25, which is not too early (unlike 5:30).  Thankfully, due to the fact that he doesn't nap anymore (or at least regularly), I can get away with putting him to bed as early as 6:30 and he'll sleep a solid twelve hours, which is perfect since I get up at 7 every day.  Perhaps we'll have better luck with food intake tomorrow. 

So onto Chloe.  Amidst fighting Ryan to eat his potato soup and green salad, Chloe chattered away like always, half the time not even noticing that I was preoccupied with her brother.  One thing she said did catch my attention though, and I just had to share it.

Chloe: "I can't wait to go up to heaven and see Heavenly Father and Jesus."

Me (wondering where on earth this came from): "Why are you excited to see them?"

Chloe: "It's gonna be fun!  They love me so much and I'm just gonna get up there and jump on them and hug them!" 

After a slight pause, she went on: "But  when you die, your body stays on earth, right?  Like a statue?  But the rest of you goes up?!" 

Another slight pause (while contemplating).."So that's called your spirit!  So your spirit goes up to heaven!"

While I found it interesting that Chloe would bring up such a deep and random topic at the dinner table, I was pleased to see that she is beginning to grasp the basics of our mortality and the purpose behind it.  Love the way her smart little mind thinks.

After dinner, Chloe and I were practicing her reading.  Each week she's sent home with a new set of words that all end with the same few letters.  They're called "word families," I believe.  Anyway, this week she's working on the "ot" family.  Well, she whizzed right through the packet of words tonight and I was so impressed, as always.  I swear the kid's smarter than I am.  At one point, in addition to reading the words, she started tacking on an example of how the word could be used.  This is how it went, and again, this is ALL her:

"Lot! a parking lot!"
"Not! 'I'm not going to paint that!"
"Pot! 'I'm cookin' something up in a pot!'"

This one's hands down my favorite:

"Rot! 'rat' in a British accent!'"

The final word in the packet was "Tot," to which she said, while giggling, "I thought that was 'toot' at first!"  Then a few seconds later, "How do you spell 'toot' anyway?"

Let me give you just a bit of background before I share the final conversation of the night (which, I should warn you contains a private body part name).  A few weeks ago, Chloe asked Neil what he does for work. He explained that he watches a lot of surgeries and helps the doctors to know how to use the various instruments that he provides for the surgeries.  In explaining what a surgery is, Neil referenced my c-section and showed Chloe my scar.  When we told her that that's where she and Ryan came out of my body, she naturally then wondered if all babies were born that way.  We answered honestly and told her that while many babies come out that way, most babies come out of their mommy's vagina.  Hey, we are all about using anatomically correct terminology.  Anyway, here's what Chloe said to me as I was tucking her into bed:    

Chloe: "I wish I had a baby sister.  And a daughter."

Me: "Well, you've got quite a while to go before you have a daughter!"

Chloe: "I know.  But I don't want to have them cut my stomach open to get her out.  I want her to come out of my vagina."

I chuckled and kissed her goodnight.  Love her honest, blunt innocence.  May it continue to blossom!

It is currently 12:54am.  Guess who just wandered downstairs?  A certain grumpy boy who refused to eat his dinner.  And what's the first thing he said?

"I'm hungry!"

The second thing? "Can I just snuggle with you for a few seconds?" 

Guess I'd better get to it.  Goodnight, everyone.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The rest of Fall break

Well I had good intentions with my Fall break posts.  Obviously those intentions didn't mean squat though because Fall break was nearly two months ago and I didn't make it past Day 3.  That said, let me quickly summarize the rest of the week.

The kids went to the dentist!  This was Ryan's second time having his teeth cleaned.  The first time he had it done was in April, and it was after watching Chloe have her teeth cleaned and deciding that he wanted to give it a try too.  Both kids did awesome and neither had cavities!  Always good news!

After their cleanings, the office staff took the kids back to a special room containing a treasure box where each was able to choose something to take home.  Um, can we say generous?  Chloe left with a 20-pack of markers and Ryan with a race car!  They don't mess around!  Between their treasures and goodie bags containing new toothbrushes, floss, stickers and a pencil, they were in absolute heaven.

On our way home we stopped at the mall to cash in a coupon I had for a free candle at the new Yankee Candle store.  Naturally everyone was hungry by this point, so what did the kids get?  A cinnamon/sugar pretzel!  Yep, that was their lunch - straight from the dentist's office!  Where's my super mom award?

We took it easy at home that afternoon.  Ryan astonished us by taking a nap, and Chloe played quietly in her room.  At one point she did a puppet show for me...

...which prompted a Christmas present idea.  That's right.  Neil's building Chloe a puppet theater for Christmas!  She loves doing puppet shows or any kind of performing for that matter, so this is really perfect.  We went to IKEA today and bought some new hand puppets to go with the theater.  I can't wait to see the look on her face come Christmas morning!

As soon as Ryan woke up he wandered into Chloe's room to see what we were up to.  I took a few more pictures.

Here they are watching Chloe's puppet show I'd just recorded a few minutes earlier.

I miss lazy afternoons like these.  We don't have them too often anymore.

The following day, the kids made an Autumn window display.  It was super easy and a huge hit!  Original source: HERE.  I'm pretty sure this will become an annual Fall craft tradition at our house.  We all loved it.  In fact, it's still up on our door!  Probably time to take it down.

Who knew coffee filters and water colors could be so entertaining?

While we had originally planned to cut out leaves, Chloe decided snowflakes would be fun as well!

Waiting for the painted coffee filters to finish drying.

The finished product!

 It was a fun-filled week.  I enjoyed not having to set an alarm and just being on a more relaxed schedule.  The kids liked it too.  Less stress, and more time to play.  Now with the Christmas season upon us, we have another break just around the corner.  I can hardly wait!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Funny kids and a mom who doesn't do everything...

Oh, life.  Why art thou so crazy?  Truly, I am shocked by how much busier things have become since Chloe started school.  I was so naive to think it would slow down just having one child at home with me during the day.  Now I laugh at my four-month-ago-self.  Then I look at moms of multiple children and wonder, "How?!"  How do they do it?  How do they keep up with dentist appointments, maintain a clean house, volunteer at school, build and maintain relationships with each child and ensure their individual needs are met, enforce scripture study and FHE, keep up with church callings, spend quality time with their husbands, exercise, keep milk in the fridge and meals on the table, shower daily? It especially shocks me when these moms, on top of appearing to have it all together, also manage to always look cute.  They say you just find your groove.  Well (chuckle, chuckle), I'm still looking for mine, and it's likely to take me the rest of the school year to find it.

There's no question I am my own worst critic.  I set high (and often unrealistic) expectations for myself, busting my rear to fulfill them.  And perhaps to some, I appear to have it together.  Some days I do!  But more often than not I fall short, and sometimes, in staying on top of one thing, completely neglect something else.  It's hard to find that constant balance - that "groove."  Recently I stumbled upon this quote. 

What a basic yet profound statement!  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I'm trying to do too much.  Then came another epiphany.  These moms, who have found their "groove," don't do it all.  They focus on the important things and set aside the not-so-important things, even if that means making sacrifices and stumbling along the way.  They know their limits and don't try to cram in what they know they can't handle.  I think it's when I accept that I can't do all the things I thought I could or wanted to do AND, most importantly, that that's okay, my mind is suddenly clearer, my heart lighter and my life simpler.  It reminds me a lot of this talk by Dallin H. Oaks.  I am still learning how to manage my time and responsibilities, but slowly, in changing my focus and pondering the truly important things, I'm getting there.

Speaking of important things, here's a glimpse into the recent madness of our lives.  Oh, the things they come up with. 

This morning, in attempt to convince me that he should clip my fingernails, Ryan said, "If you let me, I'll give you a stickerrrrrr!" (big emphasis on "sticker," probably in an attempt to be more persuasive)

Also this morning, while doing his bathroom business, Ryan said, "My tummy hurts." I apologized and stood with him while he continued to look adorable sitting on the toilet.  Then he said, "I need a band-aid."  I asked him where he needed a band-aid, expecting him to point to his finger or somewhere.  Instead he said, "On my tummy."  Poor kid.  He seems to be feeling better now and has not asked for another band-aid.

Recently (okay, last month), after having lost my voice due to a nasty cold, I was reading Chloe a bedtime story.  At one point she interrupted me to say, "Mommy, I think your other voice is prettier." 

And here's an example of how Chloe's negotiation tactics have rubbed off on her brother.  The other week while in the car just after picking Chloe up from school, she proceeded to grab an apple slice out of her unfinished lunch pail.

Ryan: "Can I have an apple?"
Chloe: "Yeah, you can have one.  But just one, okay?"
Ryan: "How 'bout five?"

Here are some of the words exchanged during a recent Sunday dinner.

Ryan: "Hey, I have a big idea!  Let's turn the lights out and then use a flashlight to see!"
Chloe (raising her hand): "I'm gonna use a bone in my eyeball to see!  Bahahaahahah!"
Chloe was laughing hysterically at herself, which naturally prompted her brother to do the same.  A few minutes later, completely out of the blue, Ryan asked, "Can I be Superman for Christmas?"

Then finally, after telling the kids they could each have a popsicle if they finished their dinner, Chloe, while shaking her head and looking down at her food, said, "Here goes!"

I can't say enough how much I adore being a mother.  Sometimes I miss the easier days of having one child to care for - a child who was not old enough to be in school, and who just hung out with me at home each day.  There are certainly happy moments from that simple time in my life which I'll never forget and always cherish.  But even with how chaotic, exhausting and sometimes out-of-control my life has become these recent months, I wouldn't change any of it.  It's been just another stepping stone toward learning to do away with the less important so I can focus on the most important.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ryan's stats and heart

Ryan had his well check-up on the 16th.  He was a crack-up to say the least, grabbing the attention (and adoration) of many in the short span of 30 minutes we were at the doctor's office.  What can I say?  The boy's a charmer.  Always has been.

It was quite the in-depth check-up, including an eye exam and hearing test and NOT including shots, which we were all happy about.  During the eye exam the nurse had me hold one hand over one eye while Ryan identified the various objects on the wall.  It was so cute listening to him say, "That's a boat!," "That's a moon!," and "That's a dar!" (star).  When he wasn't sure of something (like a letter - he doesn't have them all straight just yet), he'd simply say, "I don't know."  Dr. Daley, who was sitting in his office just around the corner from where Ryan stood in the hallway chuckled a few times, which prompted us to do the same.  Cute kid.

Ryan weighs a whopping 28 pounds, which puts him in the 27th percentile for weight, and he measures 3 feet 1 inch, which puts him in the 68th percentile for height.

During his physical, Dr. Daley spent a considerable amount of time listening to Ryan's heart.  I found it a bit strange at first but wasn't really concerned until I noticed him sliding the stethoscope over the same area of his chest a third time.  Turns out he had detected a heart murmur, which Ryan did not have at last year's well check-up.  Dr. Daley reassured me that it probably wasn't serious but definitely felt Ryan should be seen by a cardiologist.  I tried not to worry too much, but let's face it.  Any potential abnormality or problem having to do with your child's heart is naturally going to create some level of concern.  A couple days later I got a call from the cardiologist and we scheduled Ryan's appointment for the 29th, which was last Tuesday.

Here's our boy in the exam room entertaining himself while waiting for Dr. Gratian.  Initially the disposable gown, which the nurse referred to as a "super hero cape" was really cool, but quickly lost its appeal as soon as Ryan noticed the spongy letters puzzle on the floor.

Dr. Gratian listened to Ryan's heart and determined that there were two murmurs but said an EKG and ultrasound were necessary to determine whether or not they were problematic.  Ryan was so good during the tests and didn't complain or put up a fight once.  I was proud of him.  Shortly after we were done, Dr. Gratian came back in reporting that the murmurs were innocent and of no concern.  It was a relief to hear good news.  Hopefully there's never again a need to go see a pediatric cardiologist.  Once is enough for me.  On our way home, while at the grocery store, I let Ryan pick out a donut as his reward for awesome behavior.

He was grateful for the donut, and I was (and am) grateful for a strong and healthy boy (heart and all)!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey trot, turkey bowl and just plain turkey...

About a month ago, my friend, Misty invited me to run the Modesto Turkey Trot with her.  It's a 5k run/walk that Modesto Junior College hosts each year on Thanksgiving.  Without hesitation I signed up, thinking it was the perfect solution to getting my derriere in gear since lately I have been a less-than-dedicated runner.

There was a mix up with the time, and until Tuesday, I had 8am in my head.  It seemed perfect, allowing Neil enough time to bring the kids and cheer me on before heading to his "turkey bowl" at 9.  Unfortunately I learned on Tuesday that the race didn't actually begin until 9:30!  Seriously?!  I know Neil would have dropped football to come watch me if I'd asked him to, but I couldn't bring myself to deny him the enjoyment of getting dirty on the field with his boys.  After all, it's something he looks forward to annually,and considering the events of last year's game, I felt that he was especially deserving of a happy experience this go around. 

Here I am on the porch, ready to rock 'n roll in my cheesy shirt.  Initially I was regretful about having paid $5 for the silly thing, but Neil, who always looks on the bright side pointed out that it was my first race, therefore the shirt was an absolute necessity.  :)  Notice Ryan representin' my Niners.  Too bad they didn't deliver that afternoon.

The start of the race was crazy chaos, and Misty and I were about trampled.  Things quickly thinned out as several people ran ahead of us and several fell behind.  We kept a good pace for the first two miles and I felt surprisingly energized.  I think we carried on a full conversation for at least the first mile and a half, which I never thought I could do.  Around mile 2.3 I started to feel like I might die, but a slight burst of energy (and I mean slight) hit me around 2.8 and I was okay until the final stretch when it all became mind over matter.  Even seeing the finish line didn't push me to go faster like I thought it would.  By that point my legs felt so weak and jiggly, that all I could do was tell myself to keep going.  I had to laugh when I crossed the finish line and saw the clock.  Going into this I had both a hope and a goal in mind.  My hope wasn't realistic and very unlikely, but my goal was within reason and very possible.  Well, as expected, I did not fulfill my hope.  But I did reach my goal with about 20 seconds to spare.  And that was good enough for me.  I checked the results page the following morning but didn't see my name anywhere, so I'm wondering if my number was covered up as I crossed the finish line and the camera therefore couldn't identify me.  Oh well.  3.1 miles really isn't far at all, and compared to you crazy marathoners who read my blog, I'm sure the above paragraph sounds pretty pitiful.  Nevertheless, I'm really proud of myself and would definitely be interested in doing another race in the future.  I'm by no means pumped to try for even a half marathon, but a 10k doesn't sound too unreasonable.

Here we are after the race, looking oh-so-gorgeous!  We ran side by side the entire way.  I loved having Misty with me.  She was such a great distraction and truly made it go by so much faster than if I'd ran it alone.  I think I may be in the beginning stages of understanding the concept of a running buddy.  I still prefer doing it solo, but I am definitely open to running with Misty again any time!  She actually did this 5k last Thanksgiving, 5 months pregnant.  What a girl!

When I got home I ran next door to relieve my neighbor, Christie, who had my kids.  Within twenty minutes Neil and Richie got home from their turkey bowl.  And I am pleased to announce there were no broken fingers this year!  From what they said it was an awesome turn out.  They had four teams of eight with two games going at a time.  Richie's team won two games, including the championship, so he earned a trophy.  Neil's team, on the other hand, won one game and did not earn a trophy.  Luckily, Richie was nice enough to allow Neil to be in the picture.  :)

Neil was so quick to take off his obnoxiously bright yellow knee high socks, claiming they were soaking wet (boohoo), that I was unable to get a picture.  It's really too bad because they were the epitome of picture worthy, and easily the same pair of socks he's worn to every turkey bowl for the last ten years at least, so you can imagine the magnificence of which I speak.  In place of the hideous(ly awesome) socks are Neil's (crap) slippers, which are covered in paint and falling apart.  Not quite as classy but close.  Richie was sporting his wife's girly slippers, and literally had just taken his shoes off and slipped these on when I asked to take their picture.  While it all seemed like a pure coincidence I'm now wondering if they planned it out this way beforehand.

It was a really nice (and active) Thanksgiving morning.  I am thankful for great friends who made it even more fun for both Neil and me.  We have been very fortunate in the friend department since moving to Ripon.

Early that same afternoon, we headed over to the Ivers', a family we know from church.  Tammy is the second counselor in the Young Women's presidency and so we work closely together in our callings.  She invited us last minute and while I was prepared to cook our own little feast at home, we accepted with gratitude.  We had a nice time, ate well and hung around until halftime of the 49ers game.  On our way home we stopped at Toby and Tami's (also very last minute) and ate pie while the kids played for a few minutes.  It was a great day from start to finish.

In keeping with the Thanksgiving spirit, I asked each of the kids to tell me what they were thankful for.  Chloe said, "I'm thankful for flowers, my blanket, my family and my whole house!"  Ryan said, simply, "Elephants!"  So profound.  My silly, sweet children.  I love them to the moon and back times infinity.

They were watching a movie together yesterday morning and I suddenly caught them cuddling and had to capture it. Naturally once they saw the camera the calm and sweet turned to rowdy and silly.

"Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." - William Arthur Ward

It has been a rewarding experience this month taking more time than usual to ponder the many reasons I am thankful. It has been humbling to recognize that the things that make me the happiest often seem "routine" and "ordinary," but truly are the biggest, most significant things.  Love my life, and am so thankful for it.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ryan turns three!

Ryan turned "fwee!" on the 9th of this month.  What a perfect day, spent with and reminiscing about my sweet little boy.  The morning prior when Neil asked him, "Is tomorrow your birthday?" Ryan said, "Yep!  And I want green cupcakes!"  The birthday boy kicked things off just right with the birthday morning ritual of racing through balloons on his bedroom floor and streamers in his doorway - a tradition we started a few years ago.
This was actually taken the night before just after I'd blown up the balloons and hung the streamers.  He remained sound asleep while I snuck around his room doing my mommy birthday duties.

Sooo happy was he!

After breakfast, dropping Chloe off at school, and "helping" me vacuum out my car, I asked Ryan what he wanted to do for his birthday.  Naturally, he said, "Go to McDonald's."  That's always what he wants to do.  When asked which friend he'd like to take, he said, "Grandma Jill!"  When I told him that, as honored as she'd be to accompany him on a play date to McDonald's that she was a little too far away and that he'd need to choose a more local friend, he said, "Umm, how 'bout Josh!?"  Well, the birthday boy got his wish.  Lunch and playtime at McDonald's with the second pal of his choice!

Can you tell they both had chocolate milk with their happy meals?

Every time I'd ask Ryan how old he was he'd say, "four!" and hold up four fingers.  Silly kid.

Not long after we finished our lunch, it was time to pick up Chloe from school.  When we got home, I somehow convinced Ryan to take a nap so that he'd be rested and happy for birthday festivities later that evening, and also so I could make his cake!  Success!  He got up from his nap just as I was finishing.  We ordered a Round Table pizza, and shortly thereafter, our next door neighbors, Richie, Christie, Ariana and Gabby showed up bearing gifts and waiting to celebrate with us.  We sang to the birthday boy, helped him blow out his candles, ate cake and watched him open gifts.

Shortly after Ryan suggested green cupcakes for his birthday, he changed his mind to chocolate cake. Done! I made a simple bundt cake with drizzled frosting. The "red" turned out to be more of an orangy-pink, but I ran out of red food coloring along the way. Spider-man was from Josh. Ryan loved it, though if he'd had his choice I'm sure Superman would have been atop that cake. We searched and searched for a Superman figurine with no luck. Spider-man did just fine though, and Ryan is still loving him.

So many presents!  Where to begin...

Opening the gift of the night. 
So just a little background on that there cape.  A while back, after observing the kids using dish towels as super hero capes, playing "hero" and "victim," and watching plenty of old Superman and Spider-man episodes on Netflix, I decided that handmade super hero capes would make great birthday presents for both kids.  I immediately knew what I wanted them to look like and found some inspiration online, then got to work.  Neil, who had planned to help me, ended up sewing the actual capes because everything else (ie, cutting out letters and circles, stitching them together and to the capes and making the masks) took waaay longer than either of us anticipated.  It was all pretty easy but surprisingly time-consuming.  Neil and I were up until 2:45am the night before Ryan's birthday.  It was all worth it though when we saw the excitement in Ryan's eyes upon pulling his cape and mask out of the bag.

Pausing for a moment of silence before heading off to save the world.

More fun being had.

Chloe was so excited to get Ryan Buzz Lightyear for his birthday.  Last year she got him Woody, so it only made sense.  He was very happy with his gifts and his special day all around.  He also informed me at the end of the night that next year he wants a dinosaur birthday party!  Gifts from Grandpas and Grandmas showed up over the weekend and he was thrilled to get to do the presents thing all over again!  Here he is showing off two of Grandpa David and Grandma Susie's presents.

What a great football season this has been for us!!  Go Niners and Geaux Tigers!!

And here's a cute outfit from Grandpa Roy and Grandma Jill, which he wore to church on Sunday!

You guys sure have good taste!  Thank you for your contributions to a very successful third birthday! Ryan seemed very pleased.  He is such a joyful little boy, and I could never imagine life without him.  I have lots more to share, including Ryan's birthday interview, his well-check up stats and photos and other updates.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Memory lane

Tonight I took a bittersweet stroll down memory lane.  Chloe is the "Star Student of the Week" at school starting tomorrow, and last Thursday she brought home a packet of pages to be completed for the star student wall.  A few of them required photographs of various things like family, a pet, Chloe as a baby, etc., so naturally the old box of photos came out.  I also grabbed the CD containing the website I maintained for Chloe the first two years of her life, since not all of those photos were in the box.  Oh my gosh.  I wanted to cry.  I know that almost six years have passed since she came into our lives, but how is it really possible?  Looking at all the sweet photos of when she was so, so small, I can hardly even remember her that way.  Even looking at Ryan, who tomorrow will be to-the-day the EXACT age Chloe was when he was born, I don't remember her ever being as little or young as he is.
2 months old and already so spirited!
I had to pat myself on the back for my efficiency in and commitment to documenting every little detail of Chloe's first two years.  I wrote detailed monthly updates and several in between, and took a million pictures, even back then before I had my "nice" camera.  Memories came flooding into my mind tonight as I looked and read, and I was just overcome with happiness.  I am so grateful I had the discipline to stay on top of journaling as things were happening and as Chloe was changing.  I wouldn't have remember even a quarter of it had it not been written down.

Poor Ryan doesn't have nearly as much documented as Chloe does, but I suppose that's to be expected after the first child.  Thankfully he's a boy and probably won't care anyway when he's older.  And he does have a heck of a lot more good quality baby pictures than his sister!  I honestly don't even remember the last time I wrote an official update about Ryan.  I don't like that at all because it isn't like me to let things like this go for that long, but I am at least comforted to know I have a nearly four page word document saved on my desktop, basically summarizing the last year of milestones, quotes and sweet things about him.  Maybe I'll actually get around to formulating it all into a blog post before his birthday in nine days.

Between tonight and just this time of year in general, I am feeling majorly nostalgic and tender of heart.  I am so grateful for my children and for the many joys they've brought into my life, then and now.  It's such a neat thing to have something like a photograph or journal entry to remember those special moments by because they really do go fast and are so easily forgotten otherwise.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 3: Count Chocula, the park and more paint

Day 3 was another fun one.  We kept busy but weren't on a schedule, which was perfect.  The kids got up like normal, stumbled down the stairs in their jammies and headed straight for the pantry in search of food.  On this particular morning, they were presented with a new breakfast option!  That's right!  One of the treats I snuck in the cart at Target the day prior was a box of Count Chocula, a cereal only available during the Halloween season, which Neil had recently mentioned remembering and loving as a kid.  Chloe and Ryan were so intrigued by this mysterious box and eager to try it out.

And guess what?  They both approved!

Shortly after breakfast, my friend, Janea invited us and a couple other friends to meet at the park.  Since it was a beautiful day and we had nothing to do, it was a no-brainer.  So a couple hours later, we packed a lunch and headed to Stouffer park.  We were there for a solid two and a half hours, possibly longer.  The kids played on the playground together, took occasional bites of their lunch and even tossed a frisbee around. They had fun, and I enjoyed a nice visit with Janea and Misty

When we got home, we headed right back outside to find some leaves for "Day 3's activity."  Then we came inside and proceeded to make "leaf people."  Chloe was excited about it, but Ryan showed no interest, and instead, painted this picture.

Chloe was initially excited by the idea of incorporating leaves into her creation, but quickly grew frustrated when the leaves weren't sticking well to the paper.  She did manage to finish one "leaf person," but then moved onto something else.

She was definitely more proud of this one right here!  I love all the colors and detail.

Another fun day!  And best of all, both kids went to bed early and without a fight!