Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Round-up

This year, we had our most amazing July 4th ever. However, this Halloween will not go down in the annals of history as our best Halloween ever. We had lots of fun things planned, it just didn't come together the way I had hoped. We started Halloween week out with a Sunday trip to the ER, one of Kyle's incisions is infected so we are back on an antibiotic that really makes him feel like crap. We also have some other medical stuff going on that is making my boys tired, cranky, and sleeping poorly. They feel awful and are out of sorts.

The last three days Aiden has asked to go to bed---even on Halloween night when he came home from trick-or-treating with a 102.2 degree fever (I had no idea until after we got home). Today, on this first day of November, everyone is in their pjs on the couch, chillin', at 10 am Kyle asked for quiet naps in the morning it is. Something is off in our house for sure.

Tuesday, we meet our cousins at Gardner Village (a local boutique shopping area with historical/polygamist houses). They go all out on their Halloween/witch decorations. We took pictures there two years ago, and they turned out so well.

 Kyle was not interested in cooperating.

We took a break to call Nana and wish her happy birthday.

Getting toddlers to support Claire's month old baby a word difficult! But boy was she cute.

 Aiden was the only one willing to sit next to this witch.....

Aiden had enough of his cape and mask, this one was only posed under promises of candy from the candy shoppe.

 After the candy shoppe! They were much happier. I was so glad we could do that because it reminds me of the candy shoppe Heidi and I used to go to as children at Cannon Beach.

This is the best picture we could get of all of us. I know that Heidi isn't looking, but the rest of us are---ish :)

That afternoon, Zoie called from the high school--they were doing a trunk-or-treat. We went over to trick-or-treat out of the high schoolers' trunks. Aiden was so into it. He took off his costume just a few cars in, but continued to trick-or-treat. When we were done, we had to walk back by the cars. Aiden kept running back to the trunks. I said, "We are done, Aiden." He said, "I trick-or-treat." As I was carrying him home, he leaned into me and said, "I so, so happy!" 

He is also in love with his plastic blue pumpkin and frequently takes Kyle's too. He fills them with toys and runs around with them. He loves pumpkins, remember his baby pumpkin from the store. He often gets it down from the table and over the month it has received quite a few bite marks all around it :)

That night we were invited to attend Mami & Papa's ward Halloween party. They had sloppy joes, which was a real treat. We love those, but of course my kids won't eat them. We had a good time and it was a perfect one hour visit. Aiden ditched his cape not very long into it :) per his usual. 

There were a few games we played and on the ping pong toss, Kyle won a goldfish. He named her meimei (not sure where he got it or how he is spelling it). Mami had some left over goldfish food. When we feed her before bed that night, Kyle looked at her in her mason jar and said in an awestruck voice, "Meimei you are so cool. I think you are amazing."

There was bowling.

It really was fun. We saw the bishop who married us and caught up with him. It is always such a good time and I wish that our ward did something like it.

On Halloween, Kyle had his preschool party. That was a fiasco in and of itself--when I dropped him off I saw they were decorating store bought sugar cookies. We talked with the teachers about how he couldn't eat them, but he could the frosting.

Evan picked Kyle up that day and when they walked in, Evan said, "Kyle ate some sugar cookie." I asked Evan if he had talked to the teachers about it. He said he had only noticed the partially eaten cookie when he walked in the door. I quickly called the preschool to find out. The director went down and talked to the teachers, they had everyone decorate a cookie (Kyle's was decorated for Evan) and take them out to put on their mat because they knew Kyle couldn't eat his. He was able to put some frosting on an oreo for snack because he wouldn't be able to go home and eat his sugar cookie. I asked Kyle if he had eaten his cookie while taking it to his mat....he said he had. I had to explain to him that when the teachers/parents/mom and dad tell him he can't eat something and not to eat it, he shouldn't because it will make him sick and we are trying to protect him.

Last night, we went to the neighborhood chili/hot dog roast. It wasn't as much fun as I had thought it would be. We then went to trick-or-treat. Aiden made it five houses and then wanted in the stroller. So Evan and Nate took him home. I convinced Kyle to do a few more houses, but he just wanted to be home. He didn't do a lot of houses last year, and he wasn't more into it this year. I wonder if he'll ever really like it.

We had more trick-or-treaters than ever before....but the best part was sitting around talking with Nate & Evan once the kids were in bed. I worked hard to do fun Halloween things with the boys, but it really fell off this week. Earlier this month, we made these lanterns.

I thought it would be something the kids could help me with, but it didn't end up being. However, we made so many and they helped pick out some candy, we filled them and gave them away to lots of our friends. We also had friends over and made cinnamon ornaments for Thanksgiving, then got back together to decorate them. Now, I need to get this Halloween stuff down and put up our Thanksgiving decor.

I just think after a month of preparing for the big night, it is just never as fun as the lead up.

P.S. After all our Halloween fun, we probably saw 8 other boys dressed in the exact same Spiderman costume. Luckily, I made Aiden's so he wasn't as copied...and the cape is reversible and can now go into the dress up box.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Perfect Monday

Today was a good day. I have new swimming gear, so my workout this morning was a blast.

I was feeling energetic and ready for the day (although a little aprehensive as I had 3 stores to hit shopping this morning and the boys had been up since 5am) we offered to take Evan to work. There was a massive pile of leaves from the windy wind (ever seen Dora) this morning.

After letting Kyle know all the things we had to do, we had an unexpected surprise: new children's carts at Smith's!

Yes, he did run full speed into my ankle three seconds in. But after showing him how much skin he removed and telling him emphatically how much that hurt, he stayed a good distance (some times too much). He told me he needed to go potty instead of peeing his pants. They were fully stocked on my soy milk and we found..... Baybee Punkins!!!

Aiden would not leave that thing alone. It consoled him because he is not responsible enough to push a mini cart. He was distraught about leaving the baybee punkin in the car at every other stop.

Kyle got a giraffe gourd (he picked that one) and they also each got one little mini white pumpkin.

We bought our Halloween candy. We went to Costco and looked at all the new Christmas toys with no incident. It did get a little trying at the end when I dropped/lost my Costco card while in the store. Luckily, it was replaced no problem.

We got things unloaded and put away. There were just so few melt downs and issues today. The boys played well together. Aiden even took a 3 hour nap! And Kyle had a great length of quiet time. It was so blissful that I got more done on a sewing project while watching a WHOLE movie.

For our FHE: the boys played in the car while Evan changed a brake light. I restocked our soy milk.

Then Evan joined in on the action. Pretty soon we were all inside our space ship going to Mars.

Kyle and Daddy hopped in the back seat. Kyle had Evan buckle in his "invisible friend." It was the first time for that...he is a boy, he is a robot boy, and there was some other defining characteristic. He came to play and drive the space ship too.

After that we took an hour long walk in the gusty wind, with the blowing leaves, but warm temperatures (Evan and I held hands the whole time---which hasn't happened in a while). We saw several neighbor friends and had nice pleasant chats with all of them. To top it off, we grabbed Zoie and went to Red Robin. I found my new favorite dish there---Ensalada Platter. Delish!

It was just a gorgeous day, that was ordinary, perfect, and so fabulously balanced with productivity and sweet family moments. My boys righted their previous fussy, whinny, horrific behavior as of late....and we had very little medical drama (although still a little--it is our family that we are talking about :)-

On days like this, I can imagine the celestial kingdom.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Out of the Mouth

Kyle has been hysterical lately. What he comes up with stops me dead in my tracks so frequently and I wish I wrote more of them down, maybe I need to start sending myself text messages when it happens.

He has started to sing to himself and Aiden songs he must be learning in preschool (cuz I don't know them). I don't know the words except one ends in a loud BOO! with jazz hands.

Kyle keeps asking when we can move to China. Today he said, "we should move to China and live with Ekitzel. We can be a big family."
Me: I like that.
Kyle: And when we get there we should get another daddy.
M: Like for Ekitzel.
K: No. Like Daddy should stay here and live with another family. And we'll get a new Daddy.
M: (Trying not to laugh). No, Daddy is part of our family. We can't go anywhere without him.
K: Okay.

At our last feeding therapy appointment, Helen, our therapist, said that he could call and leaver her a message each time he eats a new food.
The next day, I said to him, "Look you ate cabbage, tofu, lettuce, and peanut sauce. Let's call Helene and tell her."
Kyle: "No, I want to email her, not call her."

One night before Nate left, he spread his change from his pocket on the floor outside the boy's room. He made me promise that I would tell Kyle, Nate pooped and it turned into money over night. I did promise. In the morning:
Kyle: Mommy, there is money on the floor!
Me: Oh yeah, Nate pooped and it turned into money.
Kyle: I think, Nate put his hand in his pocket, got the money and put it on the floor.
Me: You're probably right.

He calls the University of Utah the "football school." He tells everyone that "when I get big, I'm going to the football school to play football." He sees the signs, clothes, bumper stickers and point the U out to me everywhere. He is slightly obsessed :)

My son is also wise beyond his years. He said to me two days ago, "When are we going to take this out [referring to the button] and not put a new one in and have the skin grow back?" I asked him where he had heard that, and he didn't know. I don't know where he got that idea, but he is dead on in terms of how the process works.

Adventures in the Fall

This is just a conglomeration of pictures from the last few months, random moments from our daily lives.

My mother sent Kyle a game for his birthday. It is an Eric Carle game. It has dominoes, bingo, and match all in one game. It is high quality and we just love it. This was our first go, and even Aiden can play.

She also sent a paint set (see left in this picture). Kyle is very into painting and and being crafty lately. I don't love the design but it is still fairly cool and it is an all in 1 system which is nice.

Aiden gets to water color paint because he is somewhat messy with normal paint and it is not worth his short attention span :)

We took a beautiful fall stroll around Silver Lake up the canyon. Elliot, an old roommate of Evan's and a close friend, was able to come and enjoy the leaves and antics of small toddler boys. Kyle did not want to participate in pictures that day.

We bought some Costco sushi for a quick meal added to our leftovers one night. Neither of the boys have enjoyed sushi in the past---and to be honest I did not think about the fact that it had cream cheese in it until several hours later. However, with only 1 piece of sushi each, we avoided any major reactions. And they got to experiment and practice with chop sticks.

Because Evan and my official marriage anniversary is Leap Day, we don't have a huge celebration most years. Just another normal dinner date. But it also allows us to celebrate other things more fully--our sealing date, our first hangout (we've been together ever since then), and other special dates. Because my way to show love is gift giving and Evan is to get gifts---he got new head phones this year for the celebration of 5 years of being a couple.

Aiden models them frequently. And they look precious on him!

This was my vantage one day during some family bonding while watching some TV show.

One day, we drove to visit Nate, who was not there. His amazing amount of leaves was....he has a tree that basically vomits them in the fall. Aiden is obsessed with leaves right now. We have a huge pile that has been blown into the corner of our driveway (we still have half on the tree, so I haven't raked yet :) every time we go to get in the car he runs through the pile. Multiple times, until I'm chasing him to get him in the car. It is just the biggest joy in his life right now. 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blood in the Corn

Yesterday, we went with Evan's mom and sister, Zoie, to Cornbelly's down at Thanksgiving Pointe. I have never been. It was a lot of fun, although even with our $2 discount, it was not cheap. It seems like most of the good corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and other outdoor October activities are down in Utah County or way up north.

They have a ton of stuff to do like a trampoline pillow bouncy thing, bounce houses, mazes, corn/pumpkin cannons, hay rides, haunted stuff, lots of play structures (shaped like tractors, trains, castles, and arks), and pig races.

We did the pillow bounce thing first. Zoie came with me, while Mom and Evan sat and chatted on one of their millions of benches.

Aiden loves to run and then just throw himself down. He doesn't do a ton of actual bouncing.

Kyle really just wanted to slide down the side.

Then we did the maze. This year it was shaped into pick your president with a trail through each one of the candidates heads. There was a little bit of dissension on which head to do, but eventually the correct candidate was chosen (by the majority, as it should be) and we were off. Even though this was really the reason we came, it was the lamest thing we did. The corn was all dead and not very high, it was walked through in lots of spots that weren't trails, and the exit was the same as the enterance. It just seemed kind of pointless. I think if the kids were older, it might be more fun in the dark, but I could see Evan's head over the corn and I am not that tall.

There were also two instances of blood. Kyle cut his finger in two places on a corn stalk. Aiden tripped and busted his lip. Lovely, right.

Then we watches some pumpkin cannon and corn blasting. Aiden screeched and whimpered every time they went off. Evan slipped on some gravel and cut a pretty good scrape that actively bleed so we had to get an employee for some bandaids. We walked around and looked at some cool carved pumpkins in a tree like display and made our way to the hay rides with some play structure time thrown in as we walked and waited.

I was the only one who really wanted to go on the hayride and the kids did not care. Kyle only looked at his map and Aiden fussed the whole time (much like the whole rest of his life as of late). And Mom told another mother that her child would most likely not get e coli from the dirt (based on a true story of a kid on her unit at the hospital). Mom was horrified at how dirty the child's hands and face were. I was horrified that she told another mother that. I bet the other mother was horrified that she was being critiqued. I think everyone was fairly uncomfortable after that, it was a funny awkward situation :)

All in all:
3 incidences of blood
2 fussy, crying children when we left
1 funny, awkward hay ride
Lots of priceless family time

Red Paint

Last Friday, I was trying to clean my house. Hopefully, we all know where this is going because every time we try to be good mothers and try to be productive, right? Oh no, it's only me....well I'll still share my story.

So I am upstairs cleaning my kitchen, vacuuming, and mopping the kitchen. I go downstairs to change some laundry and put this away and notice that Aiden is now able to get into our third bedroom (where my craft stuff and their craft stuff is). He has gotten out our paint station and the paint. I put it away, grateful that he didn't open the bottles. Thirty minutes later, Kyle comes upstairs. He has paint on his hands and pants. I realize that Aiden had taken the red paint bottle into the play room and I didn't notice it missing when I put the rest away.

I was not very angry. Although his reasoning was, "I wanted to know what was in it." That excuse did not hold water, he knew what was in it.

Then I found out, it was not only on the Costco sized bear downstairs, but also on my carpet. I thought maybe a few drops, but in reality it was a huge amount of paint. I was livid. After cleaning with resolve and water for 30 minutes it looked like this....

I sent out a desperate text to all the mother's of little boys that I My landlord is vicious and with a huge pink stain in the middle of the carpet I knew was going to be a big part of our massive deposit.

A good friend from down the street brought me some oxyclean. After saturating the spot and leaving it for about 45 minutes, I re-tackled the cleaning. It was tedious work, but it is now just a slight slight tinge of pink if you know where to look. Hopefully it will fly under the radar at checkout.

I was so livid. I told Kyle multiple times that I was extremely angry at him. I even told him that it would be a good idea for him to stay upstairs away from mommy while she worked on the stain. She was too angry. However,  I never raised my voice or yelled at him. That was a huge step for me. Needless to say, this project ended up taking my cleaning time.

When I was done, I had Kyle empty his piggy bank. It has about $30 in it that he has been saving for Legos. I had him put it in another jar to give to me and Evan because he was going to cost us part of our deposit and for the time it took to take care of it.

I felt very mean when I was doing that, I still wonder if it was the right punishment. I haven't decided what we really will do with the money, but I thought it was a good learning experience for him. Bad choices cost. When we were done, he asked me very sweetly, "are you still mad at me?" I told him that I wasn't, which I honestly meant, but that I did want him to know how serious what he did was. Unfortunately, that was the beginning of what has been a very long week with that kid.

Anyone have any good parenting advice? Kyle goes through weeks of fabulous, kind, polite behavior and then through weeks of obnoxious, rebellious, rude, demanding, crying, wetting his pants, aggressive (he has drawn blood on Aiden several times this week) behavior. I just don't know what to do during that time, because I know that he  has it in him to be good. He knows the difference.

Some Shopping, Mostly Playing

During Evan's fall break, which is seriously the best thing ever, we took an afternoon to go to the new sporting goods store in Sandy, called Scheel's.


They have a Ferris wheel in the middle of the store. Does it get any better than that. So we all went, which I believe is the first time for either of the boys. Evan, Nate, and Kyle went in one car.

Aiden and I went in another. Aiden gave me multiple heart attacks, because I swore he was going to slip under the bar and out. He tried very hard one time to do just that.

They also have several game stations around the store---like a shooting game, bowling (or roller ball), and video game simulation sports. They also had several "photo booth" opportunities stationed around the store.

The store had everything sports related, a food court, and the weirdest part was the wax figures of dead presidents (think Lincoln) stationed around the store who would move electronically and talk about history related incidents. Strange, right? It even had large sections dedicated to both BYU and UoU gear, and other sports teams. The boys favorite part was the McDonald's like play land (that was easy for a parent to climb in to get them out) and the huge fish tanks.

It was an awesome outing. And we all enjoyed it tremendously. 

P.S. Evan and I have an old friend, Nate. He was a roommate of Evan's before we got married, a witness at our wedding, and just a good friend. He hasn't been around much while we've been living in Salt Lake because he was gone in Alabama for two years training to be a helicopter pilot, and then other guard related training. Recently, he has been around a lot more. Over the course of the summer, Nate started coming to dinner and FHE, then he started coming to more dinners during the week. We have now gotten to the point where Nate eats more dinners with us than without us. It has been a joy for all of us. The boys probably love Nate more than Evan and I. Aiden is in the habit of asking Nate for things like candy and desert that he knows he won't get from us.

This is proof of how much a part of our daily family life Nate is. He is laying in Evan and my bed with Kyle and Aiden watching TV after bath and before bed :)