Monday, October 29, 2012

Zoo Boo and Party

We're pretty serious about our Halloween fun.  Next up, Zoo Boo and a Halloween Party (Nugget only).

 Octo choosing treats.

 Octo making the koi nervous.

 Tater's ruby slippers.

Octo on a tortoise, of course.

Beavs enjoys some of his loot - goldfish crackers

 Party fun for OctoNugget - swings, scavenger hunt, and cupcakes oh my!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

We've been waiting all month for a sunny weekend day for the pumpkin patch, and Sunday was it!  It seemed like every other family in the area was thinking the same thing - our favorite family farm had a full parking lot and a line at the ticket booth to match.  Despite the Nugget's frustration at having to wait in multiple lines for the activities he can typically just do when he feels like it, we had a great time.

Holy moly, did we have to stage Spork's pictures though.  Beavs was not at all interested in hanging out with the pumpkins.

 Spork at the line of scrimmage.

The pumpkins might be winning.

Spork gets his nose and chin from his Mumsie.

The Nugget was willing to be photographed this time, even with real smiles!  The pumpkin patch was a great distraction while Daddy waited in line for tickets.


 The Nugget hemmed and hawed over the perfect pumpkins for himself and his sibs.

But that's nothing new...the Nugget in 2008 (at Spork's current age).

Our bounty from Tater's perspective.

Hayride with Mommy.  A visual of why at least a half dozen random strangers chuckle, "You have your hands full," when I'm out with the trio.  Makes me wonder how the kids' Great-Grandma did it with 6.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trunk or Treat 2012

As we race through our first calendar year with the babies, there are so many fun firsts!  Experienced another one yesterday - first Trunk or Treat.  The beaver and octo costumes were made by the talented Grammy, of course.  Tater is the lucky recipient of 2 special hand-me down costumes - a fluffy pumpkin from W and a Dorothy dress (also made by Grammy) from Cabbage; luckily she will have plenty of opportunity to wear both.


Spork's Mumsie and her friend J were able to join us for the weekend, so the Beaver had multiple "handlers" to keep him from playing in the traffic.  He munched mum-mums, Pirate Booty, and a cereal bar, but we were successfully able to keep him candy-free this year, which means that next year, he'll have another "first" when he learns that Halloween is really about chocolates!

Octopus on a truck.  

Have you noticed that the Nugget always makes silly faces in pictures now?  I love it; it truly captures his personality...and it'll make for a helluva funny slideshow when he graduates from high school and/or gets married.

 Octo with his stash.  This was the largest Trunk or Treat group we've had to date, so the buckets flowethed over.

Pumpkin feet.

Tater hung out with me and passed out Pirate Booty for the kids and mum-mums for the babies.  As fun as it is having upright walking/running boys, I am treasuring these last times I will have a little soft and sweet tag-a-long baby.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Brothers' Lawn Service

Yesterday while Tater was napping and the Nugget was watching a video, I took Spork out for his first leaf-raking experience.  Kids' rakes are under $10 on Amazon, and they are worth every cent.  If you have a fall birthday child to buy for, this is a perfect gift!  Unlike his big brother at this age, Spork's movements are slow, deliberate, and predictable.  I knew he wouldn't stray far from my side, and he toddled around babbling to the leaves and scraping his tiny green rake on the sidewalk while I made a quick pile.  

The Nugget spied us through the window and could not resist the invitation to "help" with the leaves.

 Turns out little brother is a natural too.

There couldn't be a more perfect way to spend an afternoon.  

This one time, at band rehearsal....

As if autumn isn't awesome enough, it also brings with it the free entertainment of the marching band rehearsal.  Families and fans flock to an empty parking lot lined with port-a-potties, and wait in the chilly afternoon for it to be transformed by the arrival of dozens of talented student musicians.  The sections come proudly decked out in matching shirts and as it gets colder, some sport creative legwear - crazy tights and wild knee socks.  They are all business until the conductor calls for a break, then you can see their shoulders drop, and they flirt, laugh, and chat (I love watching college students, it's a little like a nature documentary, they are so focused on finding a "mate," even if they don't realize it.)  

The beat of drums, the trill of piccolos, and the clatter of cymbals fill our ears, and the crisp air and scent of fallen leaves fill our noses, and the children's feet can't help but tap, spin, dance, and stomp.  It's the perfect kick off to a weekend.  Despite that we're halfway through the season, it was the babies' first rehearsal - too cold and rainy the other Friday nights, but last Friday delivered.

Tater loved waiting and watching the spectacle until the drums surprised her.  The Ergo saved the day.

 Spork practiced his bubble blowing, and waddled around the lot like he owned the place.

The Nugget was a perpetual movement machine, spinning with the pinwheel he borrowed from Tater, shaking the pom poms (pom pons?), and conducting.

Monday, October 8, 2012

How do you like 'dem apples?

I'd be hard pressed to name something I love more than u-pick farms.  Maybe u-pick farms in the autumn.  It always feels like it won't be worth it when I'm spazzing about packing for 4 human beings, and stressing how we're going to get there and back, keep the kids fed and dry and back before naptime, barking at Hubby to please start loading the car and mapping 2 different restaurant options (because where we stop depend on what time we actually manage to leave the d@mn house) can't possibly be worth the hassle...until we're there, and's worth it.

 The tractor ride remains the Nugget's favorite part.

Tater was too little to pick this year, but little sister dressed the part with a themed outfit.  And cabled tights!  I love dressing the boys, but...cabled tights (swoon)!!

You know what's great about family traditions?  Nostalgia takes over in 3, 2, 1....

Nugget 2009 (not to be confused with Spork 2012)

Nugget 2010

Nugget 2011

Nugget 2012: "When we get there, I'm going to taste one.  First, I will say, 'Crunch!'  Then I will say, 'Yum!"

What's old hat to the Nugget was brand new to Spork and Tater.  Spork was big enough to enjoy the full harvest experience.

What is this?!

 Nom, is edible.

Must gather more.

And though big enough to join in the fun, Spork was still little enough to demand a ride from Daddy when the excitement was just all too much.  Not such a tractor enthusiast, this one.

Enjoying fresh applesauce and pie, I'm sure neither will last the week.  Feeling energized and psyched to hit the pumpkin patch next. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

10-4, good buddy

October 4 marked a year from when our lives changed for the better, when my heart was irrevocably opened to something scary and amazing.  It was the the chilly morning I frantically pulled flannel blankets and long sleeved onesies from storage, the day the Nugget and I crammed into the car with the infant car seat, the suddenly hot and sunny afternoon we met a wide-eyed little boy who had no idea what was happening or why he was coming home with a nervous woman and a giddy four year old.

It was the day Noodle came careening into our lives, his round fuzzy cue ball head and squeal-y peals of laughter forever engrained in my mind's eye.  Now he's older than Spork, and what happened here just a year ago seems so distant yet...not.  The pain of saying goodbye has morphed into a happy peace of knowing he's in good hands and thankfulness that we get to see pictures of him growing healthy and happy.

Our family has changed so much since he graced us with his presence.  His stay here was the start of something awesome - the start of his new life and the start of ours, we just didn't know it yet.

10-4, Good Buddy.  We will always love you.  Over and out.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Falling Back

Sometimes life gives you a curveball that you didn't know you needed.  Over the past few weeks, we've had some growing pains.  Literally.  As in a combination of one baby waking at night with teething complaints, and the other not napping during the day without a fight.  Consequently, I've had to take a hard look at my energy output and scale back what is not truly necessary.  I'm still tired, but just reducing my Facebook time has made a huge difference.  I'm also giving myself permission to make one cop-out meal a week now, like grilled cheese or frozen lasagna.  Swim lessons ended for the season, and we're going to skip the next round so we can go apple picking and playground hopping instead.  Probably this is a "duh" moment for my introvert friends and readers, but for an extrovert with a bad case of the people-pleasin', it's like a revelation.  Welcome back, sanity.

 Tater, I "like" that you play football while wearing a corduroy dress and stripey tights.

Spork, I "like" that you climb to the top of the swingset only to call me for a prompt lift down to solid ground.

My internal clock is set with an autumn start-over, perhaps remnants of school years past, as if arming myself with snappy new binders, looseleaf paper, and "a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils" would give me a fresh start in life.  It's like my new year's, so I guess scaling falling back (pun intended) is my resolution.   With my newfound energy, I even found time to organize a shelf that's been driving me nutty all summer!  Got any fall resolutions of your own?