Thursday, October 30, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 41 weeks & Ava - 1 year, 26 weeks - Halloween is coming!!!

We've made it to the week of Halloween! I think the kids are excited this year.  Late last week, Ava's cowgirl hat arrived in the mail.  My sheer coincidence, Ava was wearing a matching shirt that day and Eli had insisted on wearing his "Woody" pajama shirt to daycare.  I compromised and let Eli wear his pajama shirt to daycare if he wore it with "Woody pants" (jeans).  So when we got home and found Ava's hat waiting on the porch, Eli had to have a hat too. I had bought his hat a month or so ago and stored it away in the attic for safe keeping until Halloween.  Both kids insisted on wearing their Hats immediately... so we bot Eli's hat out and put them on. 

Just getting home... guess what I wore to daycare today???

My cowgirl hat was on the porch when I got home!
I wanted my cowboy hat too!

Eli spent the rest of the night wearing his hat!

Friday night we were still in "hat" mode.  Ava ate her supper wearing hers!  It looked kinda cute with her overalls.

And after we went to the grocery store on Saturday, Eli found his Woody shirt in the dirty clothes pile and insisted on wearing it again.... so we let him and added a bandana to his outfit.

Then guess what came in the mail on Saturday??? Boots!!! Eli wanted his on immediately.  Notice the tag is still on them.  

 Ava wasn't about to be outdone by her big brother.

Sunday morning Brian had to leave for a work trip.  So for most of the week it was just me and the kiddos with some help from Joey.  We got home one afternoon and found Halloween cards and candy in the mail from Grammers.  We had to open them before we could get out of the car. (FYI... yes they are wearing shorts.  We had a regular little heat wave this week with temps in the low 80's... that is going away soon though). 

You know one of the things Ava loves most about Joey visiting... playing with Joey's jewelry.  I don't wear much jewelry, usually just the earrings that Brian gave me for our first anniversary and my wedding rings.  So Ava loves to look at other people's big fun jewelry.   Joey doesn't have her ears pierced so Ava thought it was extra fun to wear the earrings!

Daddy should be home soon and then it will be time to dress up for Halloween.  I hope the kids have fun at their daycare party!  Halloween pictures coming soon. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Christmas Wish List

So folks have begun to think about doing their Christmas shopping... I'm just trying to survive through Halloween first, but I do have a couple things stashed away.  In any event, multiple family members have requested gift ideas for the kiddos as well as request that I update our Disney movie inventory. 

I have just one main request... please keep gifts small in size and reasonable in value. We are a very blessed family so our children do not need anything.  I'd like them to grow up seeing the magic in the Christmas season but also understanding that the joy is in giving not recieving.  The kids share a room which is already full of toys and clothes so storage space is a premium.  Further, remember that our children will have already celebrated Christmas at least 4 times before Santa Claus visits.  If they have already recieved a truck-load of new things, Santa's gifts may not seem as impressive.  For that reason, I'm asking that each set of grandparents do their best to limit to no more than 3 gifts per child.  I don't expect anyone will follow this rule completely, but I can make the request.

Eli - Christmas morning 2013
Ava - Christmas morning 2013

Eli and Ava's Disney Movie Inventory
Here's the latest on the Disney movie listing at our house. I'll do my best to keep this up-to-date if folks will let me know when they purchase something so we'll all avoid buying duplicates... though a couple of the duplicate copies we recieved were life-savers when our discs got cracked or damaged.

We are a movie watching family. The kids are especially fond of the Pixar movies but also watch other things frequently.  They really love movies with good music even if it's just background music or part of a montoge.  Some of the Diney movies that I know they kids love but we only have via the DVR are Aladdin, Wreck it Ralph, Monsters Inc, and The Incredibles.  We also frequently watch non-Disney movies.  Some the kids like are Over the Hedge and Open Season.  Eli also loves Loony Toons and some of the other old cartoons like The Flinstones. They aren't terribly picky when it comes to movie watching and Brian and I will appreciate anything that provides more variety.  Feel free to surprise us with some new stuff as well.   

Eli's Wish List
Clothing - 3T or 4T Shirts, 3T Pants, 8.5 or 9 XW shoes

Eli is going to be a boy's boy.  Baseball, football, monster trucks, etc. 

He is really into "Minja" Turtles right now (the Teenage Mutant variety of turtle).  We don't let him watch the new cartoons because they are too scary, but we do let him watch the early 1990's movies and cartoons (look for the 1990 timeframe copyright) and are okay with the toys.

Eli loves anything having to do with the movies Cars, Toy Story, and Monsters Inc/Monsters University.  We have tons of toys from those movies but Eli wouldn't be opposed to duplicates.  Eli's favorites are the smaller ones that he can carry around in one little hand.  He takes two toys to daycare everyday to share with his buddies and it's easiest for us and him if he can carry both toys in one hand or one in each hand without things dragging the ground. 

The remainder of Eli's wish list is found by watching commercials between shows on the Disney channels.  Eli is at the stage where he says he needs/wants any and every toy that he sees. 

Ava's Wish List
Clothing - 18 mo. - 24 mo. Shirts, 18 mo. Pants, 5 M or 5.5 M shoes

Ava is very easy going... so much so that she really doesn't have much of a wish list that we know of yet.  Ava seems to be enjoying playing with the classic baby toys (stacking rings, blocks, etc.) lately.  She is a bit of a tom-boy and basically wants to play with whatever Eli is playing with. But she could probably use some of those wooden puzzles with the knobs and she is beginning to find a love of books.  Ava loves balls as well and might really enjoy a soft first baseball mit.  Ava is also an animal lover and really enjoyed the petting zoo part of the pumpkin patch.  I'd bet anything having to do with animals would be a big hit as well.

Ava's real love is shoes!  She wants to wear her shoes all the time and wants to be sure that the rest of us wear our shoes at all times.  Ava would probaly love to have some cute little shoes to add to her wardrobe.

So I think that about does it.  I'll do my best to keep adding to these if I think of anything else that the kiddos would like. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 40 weeks & Ava - 1 year, 25 weeks

So after our surprise trip to the pumpkin patch, we had a really fun weekend ahead.  Eli and Ava got to spend Saturday playing with their cousins Brady and Harley.  Grammers and Granny Reba came too.  The house was wild!!! There were kids and toys everywhere, the kids were constantly running and yelling, and our home was filled with as much joy and love as it could handle.  (Any more joy and the floors would have caved in... haha!)  It was a wonderful day!

The kids were completely wiped out Saturday.   About the time I was finishing up supper I walked through the living room and found Eli like this. He'd been watching a movie on his little DVD player while Brian and I watched football and had passed out sitting up.

Sunday was a little less exciting.  We carved pumpkins with the kids Sunday afternoon, but they weren't really interested in pumpkin carving.  So Brian and I finished up our pumpkins as quickly as possible and we called it a day. 

Then the work-week started and, like usual, it was a tough adjustment for the kids to get back on schedule.  Early in the week they are always tired and cranky when we get home.  Tuesday night Ava was downright "hangry" (so hungry she's angry).  She saw me making spaghetti and couldn't wait to get her hands on it.  I tried giving her other things before the spaghetti, but she didn't want anything else.  By the time supper was ready she had worked her self into such a tizzy that she cried/screamed through supper.  This was the view from my chair.

Why my toddler is crying -- Mom couldn't cook the spaghetti fast enough.

After supper, everyone was a little happier... Especially Ava with her permanent spaghetti face. This picture was taken after I cleaned her up. 


Eli even modeled his Monsters shirt.  It is a size 3 and he finally wore it for the first time.  He was super excited.

Ava had some fun making silly faces with Mommy... she tried to make whatever face I made. 
 And, as usual, Ava wanted to pee outside like her brother.  She routinely chases him out the front door to "pee outside".  When she gets out there she'll either squat like this or pick up the front of her shirt and stick out her pelvis like Eli.   I don't know how I'll ever potty train Ava since she can't just run outside to go like Eli does.

 So that about covers it for this week.  Things are getting busier and busier with Halloween fast approaching.  I still have to finish both kids' Halloween costumes and have tons to do to get ready for the Bridal Shower next month the day after Halloween too.  Hope you're not as busy as we are!

Surprise! We're Going to the Pumpkin Patch.

Last Friday morning, Brian and I were surprised with the gift of 59 minutes from our colonel at work.  Colonel Ruch is the highest ranking person in our building (the boss).  It was his birthday so he was feeling generous... I think the building of people singing happy birthday in the lobby as he entered the building helped too!  59 minutes means that we get to leave work about an hour early.  It was a nice surprise. 

The day was absolutely beautiful.  The weather was warm enough that you didn't need a jacket and there was a beautiful blue sky overhead.  So as we made our way through our workday we pondered what we were going to do with that extra hour we had in our day now... (an extra hour is a lot of time, especially when you have two young kids)... run errands? hurry home to try to clean the house before going to get the kids?  take a nap?  watch our favorite TV show?  OH THE POSSIBILITIES!!!  Then the idea hit me... how about we pick the kids up early and go to the pumpkin patch?

Normally I would have dressed the kids nicely (or at least decently), taken a big camera, and spent a whole Sunday afternoon.  It would take up a large portion of our weekend.  The kids would likely miss naps, we'd all end up tired and cranky, and if we were lucky we'd all survive and make it home just in time to take baths and get to bed. If we're unlucky we'd leave after 15 minutes with two screaming toddlers who refused to cooperate at all having blown $30 for a 15 minute pumpkin patch experiance.  (Think I'm being too pessemistic... come spend a weekend with me and see what our Sunday afternoon looks like.) 

Our children tend to be much happier and better behaved on days they go to daycare.  Unfortunately, we don't normally pick them up until almost 5pm so there isn't normally time to do much before supper and bed.  But today we had some extra time and had made it to work a little earlier than normal so we picked the kids up just after 4pm.  We never even went home, we borrowed an extra diaper for Ava from daycare and grabbed Eli's bag with his extra undies just incase and off we went.

I ignored the fact that Eli and Ava had on T's and Sweet pants.  Sure I felt a little mom shame with I saw all the other kiddos looking cute in their farm and halloween outfits.  I felt even more shame when I realized Ava had some of her lunch in her hair still...  OH WELL!!!   Picture taking and looking cute wasn't the purpose here... doing something fun with the kids and making memories was! 

And you know what??? My relaxing and trying not to make everything perfect paid off.  Eli and Ava were excited to see us early and even more excited when we told them where we were going.  They were also exceptionally well behaved and had a blast.  The other big payoff was the smaller crowd and slightly lower admission fee. 

Eli was reaady from the minute we arrived. We found a parking spot right up front and Eli took off running toward the fun!

After we got a map, Eli became the tour guide the rest of the day. 
First stop was the corn bin!  Eli was a little timid at first and just wanted to sit and watch.  This is typical for him so we let him take his time.  Ava watched for a second or two and then she was ready to play!  Eli eventually warmed up to the idea and came to play over by Ava. 

We then tried to get over to the little train ride.  Eli wanted his map in his "back pack" and this was the only thing that satisfied him.

On the way to the train ride, Eli got distracted by the basketball goals.  Ava wanted to play too!

Then our tour guide found the next thing on the list... the slides and playgounds.

Eli never went much farther than this into this tube, but he sure did like playing in the end of it.
 After the slides and playground we tried to make our way over to the duck races... Ava was demanding to be carried. 
And when I saw this, I was amazed at how she'd grown over the last year...
2014 - 18 months old

2013 - 6 months old

Eventually we found the duck races and Eli loved them as much as he did last year.  And this year he was big enough to help work the pump. 

Ava couldn't work the pumps, but she was happy playing in the rocks... including putting some down into the water. 
 At last it was getting dark.  We decided to ride the tractor out to the pumpkin patch to go pick out a pumpkin (or 2). 

By the way, Eli's grown since last year too! He doesn't have that baby face anymore.

When we got there, Eli didn't want to pick out a big pumpkin, he wanted a little pumpkin.  Ava just wanted what Eli had, so we found her one about the same size. 

The pumpkins from the patch are all $5 regardless of size... so we figure we overpaid by about $7 for the kids' half pound pumpkins, but we had two happy kiddos and we've spent $7 in worse ways. Overall it was a win.

After we picked out our pumpkins there was only a few minutes of daylight remaining.  There was nothing left to do but ride the tractor back to the car and head home. 

It had been a great day and we took two happy kids and four pumpkins home.  We got everybody some quick supper and then it was bedtime.  This pumpkin patch trip was so successful that next year I think we'll just plan to leave work early and go on a Friday night.