Fall Pumpkin Festival

Halloween is one of mine and Dustin’s favorite holidays of the year.  We spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about it, waiting for it, and getting ready for it, but for some reason this year it has come and almost gone without us evening realizing it is already here!  Crazy.  Last year we had a costume for Alex, a pumpkin to carve, decorations all over the house – this year we just barely managed to put together a costume, we don’t have a pumpkin, and well, decorations are out, but we’ve barely had time to enjoy them.  Sigh.  But that’s okay, because Alex got some really fun new gifts from his Grandma and Grandpa Evonick, Grandma and Grandpa Johnson, and Great Auntie Jane and Neva, and I’m pretty sure he’ll get a special treat or two when he goes trick or treat “ing” at Grandma and Grandpa Belcher’s tonight!  And we did have lots of fun at the Fall Pumpkin Festival in Elgin earlier this month.

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Completely unrelated to Halloween…yes, that is Alex with a pancake on his head and him saying, “hat, hat!”

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The Camping Trip that Wasn’t

Yep.  You read it correctly.  We were going to camp, but then we didn’t.  Actually it went something like this:

Me: (months ago) I think we should take Alex camping this Fall.

Dustin: Okay.

Me: (earlier this month) I think we should try camping with Alex in the backyard first, to make sure he’s okay with the whole camping thing before we get stuck in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night with a screaming kid who won’t sleep because he doesn’t want to camp.

Dustin: Okay.

Great.  So we got out our very large, ten person tent (yeah, yeah, I know.  We’re only two people, plus one very small person, plus two pretty small dogs…but you don’t understand, we don’t actually CAMP in the true sense of the word) and set it up in the backyard.  We inflated our double layer queen size air mattress and set it up in one room of the tent, along with my inflatable nightstand, and then put Alex’s crib mattress and a blanket for the dogs in the other room.  We hung a lantern out in the yard, set up our backyard fire pit, and got ready for the “big night”.  I even bought marshmallows for roasting, Hershey bars and graham crackers for smores, and we picked up hash and pancake mix for breakfast the next morning.  Here are a few pictures of our backyard campsite.

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We played outside that afternoon.  Alex loved playing on the air mattress and laying on his mattress to look up through the mesh ceiling at the sky, the dogs were more than happy to cozy up with whoever was laying on the bed…it seemed perfect.  Until night time came.  First, there was the running around and checking out everything in the backyard in the dark (because usually it’s light outside when we play and of course everything is different in the dark). 

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Then came the overwhelming urge to touch the fire pit and the mesmerizing yellow flames (of course we expected this from a child, but after 45 minutes of trying to keep him away, it almost seemed easier to just put out the fire).  This led to screaming, and a lot of “no, no, no…” which in turn led to a temper-tantrum, which we thought wore him out, but in fact did not.  And then we were back to the running around again.  Once we finally lured him into the tent, looking up at the stars from his bed almost lulled him to sleep until the neighbor’s dog started barking because the kids across the street were making so much noise.  That started a riot with Hanna and Indy (our two dogs) which of course meant Alex had to get up and check it out himself.  At 10:00 p.m. we gave up and traded the joys of camping for a nice warm bed inside.  We agreed to try again in a couple of nights.  I’m not even going to pretend we tried again.  We did think about it though.  It went something like this:

Dustin: So we should probably try camping again tonight, because we need to take down the tent tomorrow before we kill the grass.

Me: Yeah.  Okay.  It’s a work night though.  Will you be too tired in the morning?

Dustin: Good point.  Don’t forget Hawaii Five-O and The Event are on tonight.

Me: Well, I don’t want to miss our shows (of course we could have recorded them and watched them later, but conveniently that feature is all but forgotten when making excuses), and there is no telling what time Alex will fall asleep…if he even falls asleep.

Dustin: Well if the other night was an indication, it could be a long night.

Me: We don’t want to kill the grass.  Maybe we should just pack up the tent for tonight, but we could keep it ready to put back up later this month and try again then.

Dustin: Okay.

(Final note, the tent has now officially been relocated to its storage space, and I’m guessing we’ll “try again” in the Spring!)

Austin Sports Arena, Soccer Cubs

Finally!  While we sit here trying for a nap today, I thought I would get the pictures from Alex’s first Soccer Cubs class posted.  I was very impressed with how organized everything was considering the age group.  To be honest, I expected a bit of pandemonium – they are only 18 months old after all – but surprisingly, they all participated in each of the activities (Alex included).  They played Red Light, Green Light, Yellow Light, practiced knocking over cones with their feet and standing them back up with their feet, used the soccer ball to knock down pins, kicked the soccer ball from one end to the other and tried putting it in the goal, they used a jersey as a flag and stuck it in the back of their shorts and chased each other around (Alex actually chased Dustin instead of anyone else), and at the end they each got a balloon to play with.  I’ve probably forgotten an activity or two, but I’m sure I’ll get a chance to see it all again this next Saturday!

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A New Toy, McKinney Falls, and Daddy’s Shirt

Today is one of those days.  You know, the kind where you’re late for everything, nothing goes according to plan, and yet it turns out to be a great day.  I’ve had a fantastic week with Shaklee and my business is slowly growing, Alex had a wonderful time at the park with Grandma today, and although I didn’t get any more cleaning done around the house, I did manage to get the kitchen ready for breakfast tomorrow morning, and that always makes me happy!  It’s the little things…and speaking of little things, although Dustin hasn’t been feeling well this week (yes, I think the cold going around finally caught up with him) he’s spent some time in the evenings playing with Alex, and it just makes me so happy to see how much Alex loves spending time blowing bubbles or singing silly songs with his daddy.  When he leaves for work in the morning now, Alex runs to the door and cries, and when he hears him come home in the evening he says, “dad, dad…” and waits on his tiptoes for Dustin to make it through the door.  Hmmm….smiling even now!  Anyhow, on to pictures.

Here is Alex with his newest toy – a mega blocks pirate ship (it even has a manual-operation cannon that shoots a big cannon ball).

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Here are a few from the first day in Austin, Texas that it was cool enough to actually wear long sleeves.  It was awesome!

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(I should note that it is amazing I have any flowers at all growing.  As soon as they pop up, Alex picks them.) IMG_1374

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Here are some pictures from our trip to McKinney Falls State Park today with Grandma.

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And finally, here are some pictures of Alex’s first attempt at wearing one of his daddy’s shirts.

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