Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

We've always wanted to go to the well-known McCalls Pumpkin Patch in Moriarty, but we haven't quite gotten there yet. This year Megan took a field trip with her class there, and then Nathan's preschool class went about a week later. Austin and I went along with Nathan. We took a hayride over to the pumpkin fields where we each picked a pumpkin to take home. Then we went to the petting zoo area: pigs, goats, bunnies, sheep, chickens, cows, etc. There was a fun underground slide that Nathan had fun going down. Then he spent lots of time over at the new fort playground. We explored the old western town and both boys enjoyed playing in the corn pit. Maybe next year will be the year that the whole family goes together....

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Up, Up and Away

This year we decided to go to the Balloon Fiesta on a weekday morning. We got up early on Thursday morning and headed to the park. We got there just in time to get on the field, eat some breakfast burritos and start to watch the Special Shape balloons take off. There weren't as many balloons as the Mass Ascension Days, but there were a lot of fun shapes to look at. The kids wandered around collecting balloon cards. We dropped off Nathan at preschool on the way home (just as his bus was leaving for their field trip to the Air Museum) and then we got home in time for the kids to change and get to school by 10 AM (just a couple of hours late). It was a perfect morning - not too cold or windy. We were lucky we went when we did because that weekend the weather got pretty cold and wet.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Going Bananas

Austin REALLY likes bananas. He'll go to whatever lengths are necessary to get to them.

Day at the Fair

I signed up with a friend of mine who organizes a home school group to get into the fair each year. When you go with the group you get in free. I decided to pull Caelan, Ben and Megan out of school for the day and we all spent a fun day at the fair. The day we went last year was super crowded, especially all the kids events, but this year was perfect.
We had a great time: *Climbing and exploring all sorts of military vehicles (it was Military Day) *Watching the Pig races *Getting a milk shake from the dairy *Watching the White Lion show *Climbing the rock wall (Ben was a little monkey and went up twice in flip flops, Caelan also made it to the top, even when it got kind of hard for her, and Megan made it about half way) *Seeing lots of goats and sheep and pigs and cows *Going into the petting zoo and feeding the animals *Exploring the kids section, "Old McDonalds Farm" *Having fun in the "Agventure Land": corn box, riding little tractors, making coffee filter painted flowers, saddling a fake horse, making your own scarecrow, etc. *All the kids got to ride one ride (Megan, Ben and Caelan all went on the ferris wheel and Nathan rode the motorcycles). *Checked out the craft winners (the kids loved the Lego displays and a couple of the wood carvers made the kids wood owls) *Ate cotton candy and freshly made donuts - good fair food. I honestly didn't think we would last so long (I thought for sure one or more kid would have a melt down at some point), but we were there until after 4 PM and we all left happy.

It's Birthday Week

It's the week of birthdays around here. Nathan celebrated his fourth birthday last week. Monday was Sean's birthday and yesterday was Austin's birthday.
Nathan went to preschool and brought a special treat to share (fish sugar cookies). Then he went to his buddy, Jonah's house for a couple of hours. Tuesdays are our busy nights, but we managed to get dinner in before we headed off to soccer practice and such. Originally he told me he wanted noodles and rice for dinner. I asked him several more times to see if we could get something other than carbs added to the menu. Two days before his birthday he told me he wanted "the same dinner as last night. Only no peppers and no meat and no zucchini." I said, "so you want corn on the cob?" "Yep, just corn on the cob." HE HE HE. I managed to get him to agree to chicken, so we had chicken, rice, corn on the cob and red peppers ("not cooked"). He had been telling me for months that he wanted a shark cake (I'm thinking he got the idea from Jonah who had been saying the same thing). Then about a week before his birthday he changed his mind and said a wolf cake. Then he changed his mind again. The day before his birthday I went through thing after thing (cars, race track, truck, shark, monkey, any other animal I could think of, beach, etc, etc - probably 30 things, showing him pictures of different options and everything). Sometimes he would said yes to something and then a minute later he would say no. Finally I gave up and decided to make my own choice. So I made him a snake cake, which he was happy as could be about. It was a fun day. The next morning he asked me if it was still his birthday. I said, "no, but guess how old you are," and he got a big grin on his face and held up 4 fingers. Nathan is quite the character in our home. He is a real mix between the personalities of all our kids. He is just an all around fun kid - fun and happy. He's smart. We can see the wheels moving around in his head (about all sorts of different things). He is a sneaker. There has been more than one occasion that we have found big chunks taken out of the middle of cakes or brownies during the night (realizing it was him). He likes to ride bikes on the back deck and jump on the trampoline and jump from the couch to the love sac (despite the number of times I tell him not to). He loves cottage cheese, other cheese, most fruits, red and orange and yellow peppers (he will eat them like an apple), anything sugary (he must take after his Mom), chicken, rice, plain noodles, pancakes, and lots of other things. He will ask me if he can help me drive once we get onto our little dirt road almost every morning...and he has some pretty good control. He LOVES his little brother. Austin can make anything better for Nathan. He says great prayers. He finally likes our dog but isn't very fond of most other dogs (well, he likes them....from a distance). He is pretty independent and capable: can buckle himself in the car, put on his own clothes and shoes, take his own showers, help himself to his own snacks and is even pretty good at cleaning up (when it suits him). He says some awesome things. We just love him to bits and can't imagine life without him.
Since Austin is only 1 (and basically has no idea what having a birthday even means)plus it also landed on our busy Tuesdays, we decided to do his cake and ice cream today instead of yesterday. I made the cake yesterday, but we didn't have time before the night activities to do it. I made a cute little lion cake. I was thinking about getting him some kind of little push toy. I went to the Salvation Army and he is the one who found this little push car toy. He immediately started pushing it around the store. It looked a little strange to me and I realized it was because it could also fold down into a little car he could sit on. It was pretty dirty, but I thought I could probably clean it up pretty good. The lady said she would give it to me for $2, and you can't really beat that. Then when I grabbed it to go pay Austin was lurching toward it and crying and wiggling like a crazy dude trying to get out of my arms so he could play with it. So, it was a winner. He was just as excited after I cleaned it up and gave it to him for his gift. Austin's personality is really coming out lately. Sometimes he thinks he is just the funniest kid ever (and since everyone cracks up at him when he acts like that he is pretty much right). He loves basically ALL food, and is quite insistent about getting said food when he wants it. At dinner time he sits in his little Bumbo seat on a chair next to the table and pretty much screams for bites for the entire duration of the meal (not crying - screaming until the next bite gets to his mouth). He loves Bruno, our dog. I'm counting "da" and "br" (with a little bit of a rolled tongue) as his first words (both of which are referring to the dog). He loves to play outside and has recently figured out he can climb onto the big wheels, which he feels pretty big and special about. He is a good little sleeper - has been since he was a couple months old. He likes to walk around in the stroller. He is at the curious stage - aka "getting into stuff" phase. He goes from drawer to cupboard pulling things out. He can stand on his own - for a pretty long time, especially when he is distracted and doesn't realize his is doing it. He is snuggly and loves his binkie and blanket. He also loves the bottle. One morning I could hear him fussing in his bed. I went down and got him a bottle ready. I walked in the room and noticed his eyes closed. I quietly asked, "Austy - you want a drink of milk?" I noticed the slight movement of his lips, but his eyes didn't open. So I said it again and noticed his lips start to go up in a little smile, but his eyes were still closed. I said it one more time and again with closed eyes he broke out into a full on smile. Adorable.
He is a delight to everyone in the family (and pretty much everyone else too).