Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Mikey shenanigans

We took a ride to the pumpkin patch with Mikey this morning (please excuse the text on some of these pictures - that's for the school project). Elizabeth was careful to buckle Mikey in:

We got to the pumpkin patch and went right for the requisite "kids in front of fallscape" photos:

We took Mikey on the hayride to the pumpkin patch.

There have traditionally been scary things along the side of the trail on this particular hayride: skeletons, tombstones, etc.; in addition to the occasional random character (like Betty Boop), which makes the ride a little more fun -- but this year, we noticed that the ghouls, goblins, and cartoon bimbos have taken sponsors (i.e., it's no longer just a scarecrow, but the RealtySouth scarecrow). It's not quite as disillusioning as when the Cotton Bowl became the AT&T Cotton Bowl, but it's close.

The kids and Mikey hunted for the perfect pumpkin. Here's Mikey with his:

After that we had fun in the hay maze, and we took turns jumping off a huge pile of hay. It was a blast.





I took a lot of pictures of the kids today, but it's after 11 p.m. and here I am blogging about a stuffed monkey, so I'm going to call it a night and hopefully get to these other pictures sometime before Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mikey's big friday night

Mikey started out the weekend the same way we start out most weekends -- watching Jacob's soccer game:

The girls don't have a great attention span, so I usually end up having to take them to the playground at some point during the game, and tonight was no exception. Mikey is a natural on the monkey bars:

Another place where we spend a lot of time at soccer games is in the ladies' room, because the girls cannot seem to synchronize their bathroom needs, and each girl is adamant that she does not have to go when the other is going.

A typical exchange:

Caroline: I ha' go potty.
Mom: Okay, let's go. We need to walk there, you've got to hold it in until we get there. Okay? You can do it, you're a big girl! Come on Elizabeth, we need to go to the potty.
Elizabeth: I don't HAVE to go potty!
Mom: You need to come with us. Daddy is coaching and I can't leave you alone. You should try.
Elizabeth: I don't need to.
(in stall with Caroline and Elizabeth (and Mikey)
Mom: Okay Caroline, good girl. Now pull up your pants. All the way. There you go. Hang on one second and we'll wash hands. Elizabeth? Please try.
Elizabeth: No!
Caroline: The potty is too LOUD!!
Mom: Cover your ears. It won't be too loud. Cover those ears. See? That wasn't too loud!
Mom: Okay, let's go wash hands. Elizabeth, you too. Okay ready, let's make bubbles. Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! No, that's not the hot water. It's cold, see? That was just one hand - rub BOTH hands together. Rub rub rub. Good! (reaching for paper towel)
Mom (lifting Elizabeth): Okay, just put your hands under the red light and it will come out itself. Okay, just once - let's not waste the paper. (getting paper for Caroline)
Caroline: I wan do it MYSELF!!!
Mom: (lifting Caroline)
Caroline: Noooooooo I do it MYSELF!
Mom: Caroline, you can do it yourself! I'm just lifting you so you could reach.
Mom: Okay, throw the paper towels away. Please don't touch the garbage can. Yucky.

[Eight minute walk back to field. Mom sits in chair. Elizabeth and Caroline run up and down hill three times, and then . . .]

Elizabeth: Mom? I need to go to the potty.

After the game we took Mikey to Jacob's end of the season party.

Then we came home and had a little birthday party. It was extra fun with Mikey around!

It was nearly 10 when the kids and Mikey finally crashed. And we are going to do it all over again tomorrow - is November yet?

Mikey is in the house!

Elizabeth's kindergarten class has a mascot, Mikey the Monkey. Each child gets a chance to be Monkey of the Week, and it's Elizabeth's turn next week, so Mikey gets to visit us this weekend. Her job is to keep a journal of his adventures to share with her class on Monday. She has a BIG weekend planned for Mikey, and we will chronicle it here all weekend long.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Notes to Dad

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, David is a very involved and present dad. But even though David spends a lot of time with the kids, they seem to need to tell him things when he's not here rather frequently, and when that happens (and I don't think it's something that merits disturbing him at work), they write him notes.

This one is from Elizabeth. She wrote some of it, and when she got tired, I took dictation for her:

The problem with a note is is that it doesn't really convey the level of whine with which it was written. Still, a note like this gives David a good general idea of how things were going while he was gone.

But notes aren't only used in this house to share the ways in which we've been wronged. No, we also write notes to David when we need help with our projects/hobbies. This one from Jacob is a nice example:

{Dad, I want to make a list of Olympians. What should I add for each na - god? - Roman name, name - Photo - God of - Children -,other?- symbol - spouse - tempale (sic)-}.

When David comes up the stairs, the kids will sometimes forget to say hello, and will simultaneously launch into the subject matter of their notes (and anything else that may have happened in the time since the notes were written) before he has the chance to take off his jacket. I always laugh when I read the Good Wife's Guide about minimizing noise and encouraging the children to be quiet when dad gets home so that dad could unwind in a peaceful haven. I'm not sure how the 50s housewife pulled that off without medication all around. Oh well, we are nothing if not exuberant, and I think David appreciates that even more than peace. Right? Right?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We saw Rock City.

The big kids had fall break last weekend, and we decided to take a road trip to Chattanooga. It's an easy drive, and a really fun city for kids. Family vacations are what I remember most about my childhood, and I am so excited that we can finally take trips like this with our kids! We were really happy to learn that Caroline is a natural road tripper:

Rock City is a major tourist trap here in the Southeast, and sort of a punchline, when you get right down to it, but it was really kind of neat, and fun for the kids. How can a destination that combines cleverly named rock formations (e.g., "Fat Man Squeeze") with colorful dioramas of nursery rhymes be wrong?

It was Rocktoberfest, which gave the whole experience that little extra something:

I was not afraid of heights until I watched my kids running around the edges of cliffs, skipping across swinging bridges, etc.

Mushroom rock:


Caroline spent a lot of time anticipating loud noises that generally did not materialize:

After Rock City we headed to the Tennessee Aquarium, which was really cool and the perfect size for young kids. You could really see the whole thing in a couple of hours, which suited our attention span just perfectly. There is a great butterfly garden there, even though butterflies are not technically marine animals:

We were all big fans of the penguins:


After we left the aquarium, we decided to take a horse and carriage ride around the city like the self-respecting tourists that we were.

This carriage came with both a horse, Eli, and dalmatian, Jasper.


After our carriage ride, we followed in the footsteps of many tourists before us as we wandered from restaurant to restaurant in search of one that did not have a 45 minute wait for a table, and after 45 minutes of wandering, settled in line for a 45 minute wait at TGIFridays. Our kids generally held it together, which was a miracle, given the long (but fun!) day we'd had.

The next day we road the Incline Railway:

And the Duck Boats:

Drove the Duck Boats:

Dashed over to Ruby Falls:

And then hustled home for a fun 10/10/10 birthday party.

It was a great weekend - we had the best time watching the kids having fun. We're ready for the next road trip!