Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkins and Marathons

Playing in the hay at the pumpkin patch/apple orchard
Aiden on the left and Luke on the right. AJ calls it the "b-bus"
One of the many pictures we tried to take with all the pumpkins
Liam picked a green pumpkin (his favorite color)
Corn Maze
600 lb pumpkin
Jumping on the "jumping pillow"
Cow Train
Let the fun begin!
We made our annual trip to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch recently. I imagine that the boys and I will go back again before the season is over, but this was our big trip with Daddy. We were trying to take advantage of some very nice weather with warmer than average temperatures just in case it snows in October. The boys really loved it this year and were very excited to pick out their own pumpkins, ride on the "cow train", pet a few animals, and play in the hay. We also managed to get a few pictures, although none of them seem to have everyone looking at the camera. I need to invest in a photo editing program or something.
In other news, John and I will be running the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday. In case anyone is interested in checking out our progress, you can go to the Twin Cities Marathon website and then to spectator information then athlete tracking. You can then use our bib numbers and/or first and last names to track us during the race. John is #8586 and I am #F1270. In years past, it seems I have always decided to participate in a marathon for some specific reason and I had to think about what my reason was for running this one. I love running and love training, but unlike many people, I am not as much into the hype that surrounds racing. I don't need something to train for to get me to run, I do it because I love it (and it relieves a lot of stress). My first three marathons (Chicago, Charlotte, and Philly) centered around qualifying for Boston. I finally ran Boston in 2006 and then we had three boys and my marathon running and training was pretty much nonexistent. Last year, John convinced me to train for the Twin Cities Marathon (7 months after having a baby?!) so that we could perhaps qualify for Boston and run it together. We achieved that goal and ran Boston this past spring. So, why run another one? That is the question I have been asking myself and will probably be asking once again when I wake up on Monday morning. I decided that the reason I will run another one is simple....Because I CAN. Sounds simple, but a lot of people cannot. Our babysitter, who kept the boys while we trained for Boston, is currently battling breast cancer and can't even consider training for a marathon. We are thankful to have this opportunity to try once again to run 26.2 miles because WE CAN!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our week

My most efficient way to push three kids on the swings at the same time-keep them close together.
AJ's new mower
Liam and AJ at the playground before the temperature dropped this week
Riding the pony
This pony is TIRED......
A little Mixing
And a lot of cooking going on in here
It is amazing to me how easy the boys can be entertained. And, it never fails, that they will play so well together right before nap time or bed time. Seriously, I can walk out of the room for an indefinite amount of time and never hear a fight break out. The boys love playing outside and will spend hours searching for "cool rocks" or mowing the yard with their pretend mowers (we recently added a third mower to our collection). They love to help with anything, especially cleaning. I let them clean the table off after breakfast the other day and then "dust" the furniture in the den and they were in heaven. They fight over who gets to "help" vacuum, plug in the vacuum cleaner, and turn it on or off. Who knew?
Here are a couple of random funny things from this week:
1. Luke and Liam have Spanish class at school one morning each week. We were a little late getting to school one day this week so I heard the beginning of Spanish class. The teacher began by asking the children to say "Hello" in Spanish and they all repeated "Hola" several times. So, after school, I asked Luke how to say "Hello" in Spanish and he looked at me and waved. We are in so much trouble because he thinks just like John.
2. We were on our way to a restaurant the other day for dinner and John and I were talking about getting a milkshake and giving some to the boys. When I turned and asked Liam what he would like to drink at dinner, he said he wanted some of that "shake milk."
3. Aiden is crazy about electronics. I have said this many times, but he is. He picked up a piece of bread at dinner the other day that was kind of in the shape of a telephone receiver and he put it up to his ear and said "Hello, its AJ."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Football Pajamas for this winter...Picture #1
And again...
Good enough. Super excited about pajamas
Singing "Happy Birthday" at a recent birthday party
AJ diving into his cupcake
Liam at the trampoline park foam pit
AJ checking out the playground tunnel
Riding scooters on a beautiful fall day
Look at this, Mom!
As the daylight hours are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping, we are starting to get back into some of our fall and winter activities. We are fortunate that Minnesota compensates (or at least tries to compensate) for the long winters with lots of really neat indoor activities for kids. We have a church that opens their nursery to infant and preschool age children and allows us to play there for a few hours each week. We started that this week and Aiden has a lot to learn! He can get away with not sharing very well with his brothers, but not with other kids. He is quite bossy for his age and he has no problem taking toys away from kids that are twice his size and then telling them what he thinks. Needless to say, we have a lot to work on.
We also attended a neighbor's birthday party at an indoor trampoline park in the area. I have never heard of such a place, but it is literally a room full of trampolines and kids are bouncing off the walls. It burns energy so it works well for us.
Lastly, as the temperatures start to drop, we began to break out some of our fall and winter clothing and bought some matching pajamas that the boys were so excited to wear. We probably could have waited a little while on pajamas that warm, but they wanted to wear them so I am sharing a few pictures.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall is coming

Liam playing hockey outside after breakfast one morning
Not as dangerous as it looks, but also not my idea
Opening Daddy's birthday presents
Little Stinker. He frequently sits in the hockey goal while the boys are trying to play
Resting on the "bench"
Luke broke his stick playing hockey on the driveway this week. How is that possible from a 3.5 year old with a plastic ball?
Daddy's ice cream cake!
It feels a bit like summer left us over Labor Day weekend. The days are very gradually getting shorter, the nights and mornings are getting cooler, and the leaves are just starting to change a bit. I remember this process from previous falls in Minnesota and while it is beautiful, it is short-lived. Winter is just around the corner. So, while we can still enjoy the time outside, we try to maximize our outdoor activities as much as possible. We play hard and we sleep hard and if anyone tries to ring the doorbell at 3pm on any given afternoon, they will be in serious trouble (there is a sign on the door for nap time).
We celebrated John's birthday recently and the boys had so much fun giving him presents and eating his cake. I have learned not to tell them what we are giving Daddy as a present because Luke is the first the tell John what it is. I am not sure he even realizes what I mean by keeping it a secret. The boys love cake. Period. They love it and are always asking when it will be their birthday so we can get another cake. For John's birthday, we picked out one of his favorites (an ice cream cake). This was the first time that the boys have ever had an ice cream cake and it was certainly a success!
I am posting a few random pictures from our beautiful week of perfect weather and our time outdoors. Enjoy...winter is not too far away!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Great Minnesota Get Together

Luke and Liam learning to milk a cow at the Dairy Barn
Fresh and really YUMMY ice cream at the Dairy Barn
HUGE ice cream cone for Liam
AJ riding the motorcycle and he did not care to get off when the ride was over
Race cars for Luke and Liam
Petting the 2 month old baby goat
Checking out the horses
More horses
O.k., once again, trying to get a picture for the first day of school minus AJ's blanket and paci (he was having a rough morning and wanted them)
He's coming to get them....
Much better, thanks. First Day of Preschool for Luke and Liam 2011
We made our annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair or the "Great Minnesota Get Together" (as they refer to it in MN). I am really not a Fair person and don't particularly enjoy the crowds or all the fried foods. However, I will say that this was definitely our best trip in the three years that we have made a trip to the Fair. Year #1, we took the boys when they were Aiden's age now, I was pregnant with Aiden, and it was brutally HOT for Minnesota. Year #2, we took Luke and Liam at 2.5 years of age and AJ was about 9 months old. This one was probably the most challenging of trips to the fair. This year, however, went pretty smoothly and the boys had a great time. Luke and Liam said that their favorite thing was riding the gondola that went from one end to the other and you could see all the people and rides. They also enjoyed seeing the animals including the horses, goats, cows, chickens, etc...We rode a few rides, sampled some food, and we all came home and took a nice nap before dinner. I might actually look forward to the Fair next year and I know the boys will remember it.
We also had our first day of school this week. The boys have been at Montessori for about 2 years and they go twice a week all year around, but their new school year started this past Thursday and they are excited about a new teacher and new friends. They will remain in the preschool class and continue to grow and learn a lot.