Sunday, October 31, 2010


After an afternoon of negotiations about when to begin and end trick-or-treating on a school night, the parade of trick-or-treater's settled the matter in the boys favor at 5:30. Apparently, that's when our neighborhood gets the first wave. We hadn't even lit the pumpkins yet!

Bayley's cub scout den got together to carve pumpkins and had a great time. Hayden had a free form design...Bayley tried one of the intricate patterns. I think he pulled off the haunted house pretty well!

After a quick dinner, we headed over to the Hyppolite's so that the parentals would have someone to talk to while the kiddos collected candy. Our boys are so technical about it, it was fun to be with Steven who seemed genuinely surprised that each and every house gave him candy! Talk about an attitude of gratitude!

Our neighborhood has some families who really get into Halloween - there is a front yard graveyard and a haunted house! Last year, the boys weren't interested, but this year they realized the reward -- full size candy bars! Light saber & gun in hand, they headed in...and made it out to claim their reward!

After a bumpy start with Gracie the Tiger, she quickly realized how to trick-or-treat, even saying "Happy Halloween!" in place of thank you for her candy. But, her joy was short lived once candy began to topple out of her witch's butt candy basket. I'll have to snag her a bigger one for next year. We stuffed our pockets with the candy and she was at it again...only to decide she was truly done when more spilled out. So, I jostled her back home and the boys finished their marathon trick-or-treating in record time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Webelos Woods

Way back in October, Bayley had a day-long camp experience with his Webelos den. And we promptly lost the camera!

It was a very long day since it was held at a camp on the coast, but they enjoyed it even with the rainy weather. Bayley's excited to go back for sleep-over camp this summer.

School Pictures Preview

Last night the boys and I decided what they'd wear to school today (collared shirts or sweaters)...but this morning they both woke on the wrong side of the bed and changed the plan. Ah, well. They're still mighty cute (and Hayden did that to his hair on purpose).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Preview

Daddy climbed the big ladder (I'll climb the 6 footer, but the 12 seems...quite high) and got down the costume box for us. The boys had fun looking through their old costumes, and Grace had a ball trying them on!

There was a moment when Hayden was torn between the race car driver and Jengo Fett, but Star Wars won out. Bayley, being the oldest and tallest...didn't have much choice beyond a repeat as Darth Vader.

Grace was so excited - jumping up and down chanting Halloween! Halloween! And saying oh, pretty costume...except, there is no pretty costume. I never found a girly one I fell in love with enough to shell out the cash. So, she'll be a 2 year-old tiger, just like Bayley & Hayden before her. She was thrilled, practicing her growl already.

She also thought about the fire fighter and the pirate...but they were too big, so tiger it is!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chuck E Cheese!

It was Brennan's birthday, and for the 2nd year in a row we headed to the evil mouse. We hadn't been there since his last birthday, and it was MUCH more crowded this time. Both in the number of kids milling about and the new way they configured the arcade floor. Ah, well.

The place is designed for kids, and they all had a fantastic time in the pandemonium. The new ticket grabber machine for the birthday kid had them all thinking maybe they should Chuck E Cheese their next birthday...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Inner Amish Girl

Paula & I decided to put the 'make' in homemaker ala Ana White of Knock Off Wood. She's a mom with no formal carpentry training who loved the furniture at Pottery Barn, Land of Nod, Brookstone, etc. but wasn't liking the cost of such simply designed pieces. So, she decided to try her hand at making a few things herself...and it worked!

When she realized how empowering it felt, she created a blog and chronicled her building adventures, posting the plans for free. Likeminded moms followed her easy instructions and voila, Knock Off Wood had a following.

There are new plans all the time, most inspired by either necesity or posts on the message board on her website. I love lurking on the site, and have been hinting very loudly that my cub scouts should do a woodworking project with Dad that results in a dollhouse for their baby sister and a table for the entry.

So far...that hasn't happened.

I decided I needed to channel my inner Amish girl and build the furniture myself. I searched through the 'starter' level plans on Anna's site and found one for a console table that looked completely do-able. I'd been pondering it for the entry...and then I was over at Tina's and saw how she has two TVs sitting on the carpet and another on a broken desk and thought...housewarming gift!

Paula jumped right in with me, picking out the boards and chosing paint colors, even calling in her husband to tutor us in power tools. We built the table in one afternoon...and I must say, we were pleasantly suprised by how good it turned out!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Festival

The boys' school had a great Fall Festival tonight! The boys both said it was the best one they've been to (which makes it best out of four, I think).

We arrived late, right after soccer practice. Some of the kids were in costumes, but we didn't have time to change. As soon as we bought our tickets, Hayden headed outside for the dunk tank. A new teacher took over dunk duty every fifteen we spent most of our time in the line to dunk another one. Really. He dunked 4.

There was great Mexican food, tons of candy, and kids whirling about everywhere I steared Grace's stroller. The boys did the cake walk until Bayley won a pack of chocolate muffins, and then we worked our way around the gym playing games. Hayden loved ladder ball, Bayley thought they should be using real darts, Grace tossed a few bean bags...and I was outvoted on a family picture.

I'm still kinda bummed about it. It's so rare that we're all together with someone else snapping the shot...but Jeff was against it and the boys jumped on his bandwagon.

And the best part? All three kiddos went right to sleep tonight.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Roller Skating

I remember roller skating as a kid, being thrilled when someone had their birthday party at the rink. Bayley was invited to a birthday party there, but he's only been to one school skate-night, so he & I took an afternoon (thank you Miss Tina!) and familiarized him with skating.

The local rink looks much like the one in my hometown...but I don't think they've updated a thing since I was a kid. The carpeted walls were patched with duct tape, the rink floor was worn to the wood in spots...but after I got over my ick factor, we had a good time.

I'm glad we did our warm-up, because Bayley was much more confident when it came to the birthday party. The boys had a fantastic time, some of them whipping around the floor, some inching along the side, others opting for air hockey on the sidelines. They enjoyed the hot dogs and cupcakes, and mostly having the place almost to themselves!

I wish the place had been kept up better. Skating is a fantastic rainy day activity, and with all the rain here... But as it is, I felt the need to shower when I got home and didn't even make to to the van before I Purelled my kid to the elbows.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's Official...

My kids are blurry. Seriously. My kid is the only one who's a blur.

I wonder if they're superheroes...

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Camera

We got a new pocket camera this weekend since ours was refusing to focus...but in playing with the new one (an upgraded version of our last two) I think maybe my kid is simply blurry. (And that telling her to say cheese means she makes a funny face...)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Let's Take a Vote...

Last week Bayley slipped this under a long sleeve shirt and wore it to school. He was pulled aside by the school counsellor and asked to turn it inside out for the rest of the day. So...I was mortified. I didn't get him the shirt and had specifically told him not to wear it and that we'd exchange it for another. He still does not understand why it was a problem...

So should the person who bought the shirt have to explain why it's an issue?

Because I don't wanna. And by the way, those who bought the shirt...when Jeff gives it to you get it the F out of his house. Even if it only goes as far as the trash can. Take it. Lose it. But do NOT discuss it with him. He's only nice on the surface. Beneath that is a seething pool of whoop-ass you do not want to step in.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Indoor Goals

Hayden's friend had a birthday party at Indoor Goals this week. We'd never been, so were excited to find out the straight cheese.

With a full size soccer field and lots of seating for the parents, it's a great place for an active birthday party. One of their instructors directed the kids through soccer drills and a quick game, keepin them moving for an entire hour! Hayden played so hard, one time he ran right out of his shoes. Then it was into the party room for cake, ice cream and presents!

The kids' ages varied widely (1 to 10) and everyone had a fun time. It's a well-used place, not quite as worn as Skate World, but that kind of thing. A great spot for a wet-weather birthday.