I've kind of been dreading this blog post because I have so many pictures to put on here and I feel like so much has been going on since I last posted anything. I'm not very good at keeping these things short and sweet, but I'm going to give it my best shot. I've also been writing the post in backwards order since that's how I have to upload the pictures to have them in the correct order, so if it doesn't seem like it flows very well, that's why. As usual, I got started too late on this thing and now I don't feel like proofreading it or anything, so it will just have to be published as is.
Here are the boys trying out their costumes last week. We were lucky enough to borrow these costumes from some friends of ours, and the boys were very excited to try them on. I wasn't sure how Drew would do with the Yoda head, and though he resisted at first, as soon as he saw Zach put on the Darth Vader mask, Drew had to have Yoda's ears on him.
This was the best fighting stance I could get out of them. I was hoping for something a little more theatrical, but oh well.
Moving right along...
Zach got new snow pants, and Drew tried on Zach's old snow pants. This prompted some great imaginative play. Here are the boys as firefighters, wearing safety goggles and their fireman suits. Zach's backpack is also serving as his oxygen pack. I love how their minds work!
The boys helped me make banana bread to send to Aunt Katherine up at college. Zach helped just a little and then disappeared to play in the basement with Mike, but Drew wanted to help for the whole thing. I love their faces in these pictures.
Zach's class did a little Halloween play last week, based on the book The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. Zach was proud to play the role of the pumpkin and delivered his line of "Boo! Boo!" with great conviction.
After the play was done, the kids sang us some songs and recited some poems they'd been working on.
Then they invited parents/guests up to do the chicken dance. I decided to let Mike take this one. He always was a better dancer than me...
Thursday night Sandy, Will, and Anders arrived from the Twin Cities. Friday morning I left Drew with Sandy, Will, and Anders and I went to help out with Zach's Halloween party at school. I wasn't sure if Drew would be good or not, but it seemed like there weren't any problems. It's nice that he's getting more comfortable with other people and that he was better about sharing his stuff with Anders. Zach's party seemed a little unorganized, but it went well. At least it's relatively easy to entertain a bunch of five and six year-olds, and I think the kids had fun. Once the games and craft were done, we filled some time by singing some songs from their program the day before and doing some more chicken dancing.
In preschool, Zach had 2 buddies that were really his best friends. I think these two boys in this picture with Zach are kind of the new best buddies for kindergarten. Drake is the Transformer, and Kade is the fireman. They are the two boys Zach talks about playing with the most, and the three of them seemed to sort of gravitate towards each other at the party.
Here is Zach's whole class after their party. Zach is on the far left in the back row.
Friday morning Will left for Iowa City, so Friday night Sandy, Mike, and I took the boys to the family Halloween event at the Living History Farms. We got this great photo of the three boys as we first got there.
Basically we walked around and the boys trick-or-treated at the various sponsors' stations. Then we got into an incredibly long line to ride on the horse-drawn wagon. Anders, Drew, Zach, and I took a little break from the massive line to sit and eat some popcorn.
This picture cracks me up. Definitely one for graduations/weddings when these two boys are older.
Once we got off the wagon, we made a quick stop to roast some marshmallows, and then we headed out. It was a nice night to be outside and the boys all had a fun time. We decided to make a quick stop at the bathroom for Anders and Drew before heading home. That's where the fun ended, at least for Drew and Mike. Sandy and Anders went into the women's bathroom and Mike took Drew into the men's while Zach and I waited in the hallway. Pretty soon, Zach and I could hear Drew just bawling. Mike and Zach were in there for a long time, and each time a new guy would go into the bathroom, he'd come out with a little smirk on his face, surely thinking something like, "Been there, done that!" or "Sucks to be that guy!" Finally they made their way out of the bathroom, and Drew immediately tattled on how Mike made him sit differently on the toilet (he's still too little to stand at most toilets) and how it wasn't very nice and how it made him so mad. Mike said that while in there, Drew kept saying, "This NOT how Mom does it!" which probably explains some of the smirks. Anyway, it was pretty clear at that point that Drew was wiped out, and the "fun" just continued at home, with Drew having a terrible time following directions and going to bed very upset. We were all exhausted by that point!
Saturday morning we got up at a decent time and got the boys all ready to head to the pumpkin patch. It was a beautiful day- a bit chilly, but sunny and not windy, so that's good in my book. I wasn't sure if the place would be packed, what with it being nice weather and the day before Halloween, or if it would be dead, since it was already the day before Halloween. We got there a few minutes before they officially opened, and much to my pleasure, the place remained relatively quiet the whole time we were there. I guess everybody else went to the pumpkin patch weeks ago. As we were paying our entrance fees, the boys were admiring the tractor and I told them they could look but not get on it. Just then the tractor driver came up and said that sure, they could get on, and he helped them up.
Here are Zach, Aunt Sandy, and Anders on the wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch.
Mike, Drew, and me. Not the greatest picture of us, but it's not bad.
When we left the Living History Farms on Friday night and told the boys we'd be heading to the pumpkin patch the next morning, Drew immediately said he didn't want to go there because of the tall grass. Drew had never been to the pumpkin patch before, so I wasn't sure where he got this idea. We convinced him that there wasn't tall grass there, and if there was, we'd stay out of it, and eventually he was ok with that. Well, as we rode on the wagon from the farm house out to the pumpkin patch and came upon the corn maze, Drew said, "SEE? There's the tall grass!!!" It was hilarious. Thankfully he was ok with going into the corn maze, and we all had lots of fun in there. We didn't even attempt to make our way through the whole thing- it seemed pretty elaborate.
Next to the corn maze there were go-karts that you had to pedal, so we each took a kid and took off on the race track. With this pregnant belly it's getting tough to fit a kid on my lap, let alone fit a kid and pedal a go-kart. Amazingly, Drew never fell off my lap, but you can see from this picture that he may have been close a few times.
Anders looks only slightly more comfortable on his mom's lap than Drew looked on mine.
The pumpkins were pretty much picked over, but we did manage to find a few big ones that were good enough to take home. We wanted to get a picture of the three boys by some pumpkins, but basically they were too busy to sit still for that long. Instead I got this one of Anders and Zach.
I really like this photo I snapped of Mike and the boys heading out of the pumpkin patch.
There was goat feeding by everyone but me, I think. I can handle my dogs licking me, but I don't want farm animals licking me.
This was what the sign above Sandy, Anders, and Drew's heads said. Reason #2 why I don't feed the animals.
Despite how it sounds, I'm really not a germophobe, but I always feel kind of icky letting my kids play in public sandboxes or in places like this giant corn bin, but I let them do it anyway. It is always amazing to me how all this dried corn can intrigue a five year-old and a two year-old for so long. I'm still finding corn kernels in my mud room.
Anders got a little help from his mom walking up this huge log. Notice the concentration face- tongue out and everything! I love it!
Zach especially loved these giant hay bales, and Zach and Drew liked climbing to the top and sliding down, but it was tough to get a good picture of all three boys up there.
Once the boys were up, we got the pumpkins carved. The boys helped a little with scooping out the seeds, and then they told us what they wanted. Drew and I had picked up a Lightning McQueen stencil to carve into his pumpkin, and man, that was a pain in the butt. I was part way through getting the basic outline on the pumpkin when Drew decided he wanted a regular jack-o-lantern face instead, and I was more than happy to turn the pumpkin around and carve a face on the other side. This was how his pumpkin turned out.
Sandy carved Zach's to be a scary face, per his request, and then, instead of doing a tigerhawk like first had planned, she decided to do a bat. It's sort of a deformed bat, but cut her a break- it was her second pumpkin!
After carving the pumpkins we had a quick pizza dinner and took the boys trick-or-treating. They had a fun time, and thankfully it was a beautiful night for it. It's nice to be able to just go around the block with them. I know it won't be long before Zach especially wants to go to more houses, but until then, we'll keep it short and sweet.
Whew! It's done and the pictures are all here. Hopefully they show up this time. And maybe I'll be better about posting shorter bits and pieces here and there. Don't count on it, though.