Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Superman, Batman, and Scooby Doo!!!

John's office had Halloween Trick or Treat party for the children of employees and the boys had a blast going to Daddy's office AND getting a lot of candy. 

Daddy had a spider that went up and down and the boys are still talking about it.

Let the fun begin!

Scooping out the pumpkins

Luke was probably the most interested in carving the pumpkins and scooping out the inside

Grrrr.....The pumpkins mouth

Liam and I did a portion of his pumpkin and then John finished it out

Rawr.....the skeleton's mouth

The boys standing in front of their pumpkins.  Liam has a skeleton, Aiden has a slightly different skeleton, and Luke has a pumpkin of sorts with a funny/scary mouth.  Not sure exactly how Aiden ended up without clothes on, but he was busy with several different things while John and I were carving.

Movie night with popcorn!!  John is introducing the boys to "Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on the ipad. 

In previous years, John and I have carved the pumpkins for the boys during nap time, but this year was different.  For the first time, we involved the boys in the whole carving process and they loved it.  John let them each pick out or describe what they wanted on the pumpkins and then he found a template of sorts for us to follow after we verified with the boys that we were on the right track.  Luke assured us that his pumpkin was the biggest one and he wanted a normal pumpkin face with a kind of scary mouth.  Liam quickly decided on a skeleton face and Aiden went along with Liam's idea because I am pretty sure he wasn't totally sure what we were talking about.  Aiden quickly lost interest and got into several other things including a little time on the iPad while John and I finished up the pumpkins for Luke and Liam.  Overall, I would say it was a big success and the pumpkins turned out pretty good.  The boys were pleased and that's all that really matters.

Batman, Scooby Doo, and Superman ready to go!

Walking to the parade
The boys with our neighbor friend, Jack (Power Ranger)

Just a few of the kids in the neighborhood.

Our neighbor's dogs, Batman and Superman, with the boys.
This year we had a Superman, Batman, and Scooby Doo for Halloween. These were all choices made by the boys. We started talking about what we wanted to be for Halloween probably around the time we finished trick or treating last year. No, seriously, they have been talking about Halloween all year long. We have talked about being a rainbow dragon (Cousin Calvin's costume last year), various super hero costumes, a couple different animals, an astronaut, and a few other random things. But, we finally decided on Superman for Luke, Batman for Liam, and Scooby for AJ. I am not exactly sure how AJ decided on Scooby Doo. We have watched a few cartoons, but not a lot. 
John and I both agreed that trick or treating was a breeze this year compared to previous years.  The boys knew the routine, they can maneuver steps much easier, and the move a lot faster.  Liam seemed to quickly learn that the faster he went, the more houses he could cover and that meant more candy.  Luke and Aiden were their typical speeds of slow and slower, but overall it was a great night. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Annual Halloween Party and the Arboretum

 Check out these amazing cupcakes!  We have a new store that opened in Maple Grove and the owner was once on the t.v. show Cake Wars.  They were quite tasty and good looking!

We are missing a few kids in this picture, but we got a decent picture of a few of them at a Halloween party with several of our friends.  This was our 5th annual party and they keep getting more fun every year!

O.k., everyone look at Mommy!?

Silly Boys

Hey, where is him?  AJ showing us that his worm fell out

Liam's worms

"Working" on the house.  I am taking volunteers to help John build one of these in our backyard.  Anyone?  We could have several hours of adult conversation and relaxation if we could reproduce this little house for the boys. 

Walking on the tree

More "painting" the house with water and brushes

And more "painting" with beautiful fall colors in the background

Boys love dirt
Fall Leaves (Day 2 at Arboretum)
We have several Halloween parties coming up this year and recently had our first one for the year.  The boys are so excited about these parties that I have learned not to tell them until right before we go to the party so that they won't ask me 1,000 times when they can put on their costumes.  Our first party was our annual get together with several of our twin and play date friends.  Our group has gotten together for Halloween for 5 years (since Luke and Liam were 9 months old).  Each year the group has gotten more spread out (some people have moved, some can't come due to school, work, or other things) so we have gotten a bit smaller over time.  It is sad not to see some of our other friends, but this has been a good thing to have fewer people since the boys have gotten bigger, louder, and more active!  We had a smaller group at our recent party, but it was just the right amount of people and we had a great time.
We had a much warmer than average weekend for October in Minnesota so we took advantage of this and spent a lot of time outdoors.  A few people have recommended taking the boys to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum at various times, but I never thought it seemed like a great place to take them.  I just pictured a lot of delicate flowers, meticulous gardens, and things that we really should not pick, touch, or walk through.  Well, I was wrong about the Arboretum.  It was beautiful.  There were lots of fall colors, several pumpkin and scarecrow exhibits, an outdoor play area for kids, trails, a maze, etc...It was a fabulous place to spend lots of time running and walking outdoors on a gorgeous day. John and I much prefer being outside to spending time indoors so this was definitely something we enjoyed as well.  In fact, we all liked it so much that we went on both Saturday AND Sunday afternoons!  The bonus to going back on Sunday was that we somehow misplaced Aiden's favorite green "monster" hat so when we went back on Sunday, it was in the lost and found!  So thankful to find that hat! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When Mom's Away.....

Giving Dora a big hug at the Mall of America.  John took all three boys to the MOA for a few hours after dropping me off at the airport (they are only a few miles apart).  Neither John nor I are "Mall people" and neither of us do much shopping.  Just to provide an example of this, when John was telling the boys about what fun things they were going to do at the Mall after dropping me off, Liam asked "Dad, what's a Mall?"


Liam on the rings at gymnastics

Luke doing a ride at the Mall of America

Luke on the rope swing at gymnastics. 
When Mom's away, the boys will play....that's what Luke, Liam, AJ, and John did over the weekend.  As a big surprise for our 10th anniversary, John gave me a ticket to fly to Arkansas for an extended weekend.  I have not been back to Arkansas since last Christmas and I have not been on a trip by myself in nearly 5 years!  This was also John's first time to keep all three boys for an extended period of time without me around to help at all.  We split up a few years ago and I took Aiden back to Arkansas while John stayed in MN with Luke and Liam; however, my most recent trip was completely ALONE!  Big bonus points for John on that one.  I had a very nice time visiting with family, eating out, relaxing, running, and sleeping.  On the home front, the boys played and had a great time with Daddy.  The highlights of their days together included a trip to the Mall of America, open gymnastics playtime, swimming, church, play dates with friends, and lots of pizza!  I am pretty sure they had a great time and didn't miss me too much so I am already thinking about my next getaway. 
In addition, I have a few random pictures from this week (see below).  Aiden loves to put on his cape and his backpack.  He usually likes to say he is "going to work" or "going to school."  On this particular morning, he added the spiderman mask.  He often uses the Captain America as well.
Spiderman with his backpack
 We frequently say that we wish Aiden had a little more personality because it is so far from the truth! 
Luke was so excited about finishing his "continent project" at school.  If you read the blog regularly then you might remember Liam's continent project a few months ago.  Great job, Luke!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Twin Cities Kids Marathon

Getting ready to Run!  The race took place at the state capitol grounds.  Yes, it was COLD for this race!!

Pre-race fuel...popcorn, of course, in a heated tent!

Liam and Luke lining up for their 1/2 mile race with Daddy

 On your mark, get set, GO!

Mascot Race

2 year olds lining up for the toddler trot.  Not sure if you can see the top of John's head (black ear band) in the top of picture to the left of the "2 year olds" sign.  Aiden is crying with his head on John's shoulder (orange hooded jacket) and didn't want to do the race.  Aiden was pretty much done with any of the races by the time we got to the toddler trot.

Aiden rallied after he figured out what he needed to do!  He told his entire class at school about his medal and his race so I am pretty sure he enjoyed it.

For the first time in several years (4 years for John, 2 years for me), we did not run the Twin Cities marathon this year.  We opted, instead, to do the "shortcut to the Capitol" or the 10 mile race.  In past years, we have always needed to "rest" as much as possible on the Saturday before the marathon so we have never done any of the festivities for kids.  This year, however, the boys are slightly older and we are not doing the marathon, so we signed the boys up for races.  Luke and Liam ran the 1/2 mile race and Aiden ran the 2 year old portion of the toddler trot.  All three boys seemed to enjoy the race despite the sudden drop in temperatures at the end of last week.  We went from highs in the mid to upper 70's to highs in the 40's with a brisk wind and even a few snow flurries!  Yes, it was cold.  MUCH colder than we were ready for this quickly in October.  Each of the boys got a medal for finishing the race and lots of free handouts, t-shirts, treats, etc...  John and I also enjoyed our race and the minimal amount of training we had to put into doing it.  It was nice to be able to walk away from the race without the soreness you have from running a marathon.  It makes it much easier to keep up with the boys if we can get around decently.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


The boys

All of us

We had some great seats at the game this year.  They were really close to the field and much easier to access since I am not sure we really sat and watched all that much of the game itself.

The boys were so excited when they saw TC Bear.  Aiden saw him on the field and wanted to go down and say hello.  After our encounter with him at the birthday party, I am pretty sure the boys thought that TC would remember them.

You can't see much from the picture, but Aiden has cotton candy all over his hands and it got worse after this picture.

Liam loved his cotton candy too!

The boys were so intent as they painted their pumpkins.  I am pretty sure Aiden worked on his for nearly 30 minutes.
We waited until the final home game of the year, but we made it to our annual Twins baseball game with all three boys.  We have been doing this since Luke and Liam were around 6-8 months old.  Each year we seem to be able to sit a little longer and we are a little more interested in watching the game.  These are baby steps and I really did not expect us to last the entire game this year, but we cheated a little.  We brought our iphones and when things started going downhill a bit, we got treats and then played with the iphones.  We were asking for treats around the second inning before we had even finished lunch, but we somehow waited until the 7th inning.  The boys loved seeing TC Bear and we managed to get a picture with him.  Luke wanted to get choclate ice cream with MM's in a baseball hat for his treat and Liam and Aiden both picked cotton candy (specifying even the color of cotton candy they wanted, of course).  We stayed until the end of the game even though the Twins lost to the Detroit Tigers.  We were hoping to run the bases since it was "Kid Appreciation Day", but walking a pretty long distance to the other side of the stadium and then standing in a fairly long line didn't seem like such a great idea by the end of the game.  The weather was amazing, really one of the best days we have had in Minnesota all year long!  Hoping the Twins have a better year next year!