We took the kiddos to the Nisswa A-MAZE-IN Pumpkin Patch on Sunday morning last weekend and had SUCH a blast. Friday night we had gone to the Twins game (got crushed) and got back late ... but originally we planned the weekend to include going to the Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze on Saturday morning... then get back and start potty training with the boys. Didn't go quite like that. Saturday morning MacKay woke up with a pretty bad fever that he couldn't quite shake and just wasn't himself.... and we were still pretty tired from the night before at the Twins game. I must say though, am a BIG fan of Target field. If you sit along the 3rd base line you get to see the Mpls skyline towering above the top of the other side of the field.... very scenic. But back to our weekend.... so we took it easy Saturday and skipped the whole potty training thing as well considering no-one really felt up to the challenge. But Sunday MacKay woke up feeling pretty darn well so we took everyone (Gma Chris included) to the Pumpkin Patch and I am SOOOO glad we decided to do that. The kiddos had a blast there .... we were there for just about 1.5 hours and they were kept busy the entire time. They had a "corn box" (like a sand box only with corn kernels) which they throw $10 worth of quarters in daily for kids to dig through and find - MacKay and Oscar were more interested in using the dump trucks and bucket loaders they had in there to play with AND jumping from the bales of hay that were the border to the "corn box" into the corn. Poor Evie just kept sinking in every time she moved so she was content just to stay put and sit there and play with the corn. They also had a mini/kids maze made out of bales of hay that the kids loved running around in - they would hide and jump out at each other when they would come around corners - so funny to watch. They had a big trailer that you could go for hay rides on and TONS of pumpkins and gourds to purchase. They had so many different types of pumpkins... some really interesting ones - never knew there were so many variations. My favorite was the Swan Necked Pumpkins ... below there will be a picture with MacKay walking in them - they are the loopy green ones. The highlight was the actual corn maze which they put some serious thought and work into - it has no dead ends and no matter which way you choose to go (left/right/straight ahead) it always leads you through the entire maze so that you see everything. They had so many clever displays there too .... skeletons, spiders, head stones (with comical quips or names). It was appropriate for all ages too - other than the giant spider, at least for MacKay and especially Oscar. It didn't help that just the night before Oscar had nightmares about spiders in his bed ... but as we neared the display with the giant (blow up) spider, the boys could see it through the path and stopped to point and said "What is THAT?" very hesitantly. When we turned the corner to see the giant spider with webs everywhere they sorta stopped dead in their tracks. It also didn't help that just about the time they were going to slowly walk into the display area the wind blew and the legs of the spider started to wave around and move ... the look on their faces was priceless. MacKay took a few steps back and Oscar immediately turned around and ran about 20-30 feet back down the path. Since then, EVERY night after we put the boys to sleep we get called back in by Oscar who wants us to turn on the light and check the room for spiders and webs... we keep telling him that spiders aren't in the house, they live outside - wonder how that is going to go over when he finally sees one in the house - that will be a very long night. We were able to get a picture of Evie posing by the spider though - she was brave (or just didn't know any better) :) All in all, even with the spider incident (and post-trauma for Oscar) I think the kids really had a good time there and maybe we'll take another trip there before the season is over. If you are in the Brainerd area and looking for a good pumpkin patch (their pumpkin selection is TOPS) and corn maze - definitely check it out. It is off Cty Road 18 and Lower Clark Lake Road in Nisswa - there are little orange pumpkin signs that direct you there from downtown Nisswa.
Let's do some updates on Evie. Evie started her ECFE classes last week and did so well. She was a bit leery when I first brought her in and tried to put her down in the gym to play before we went to the classroom... but it only took her about 3-4 minutes to finally warm up and check things out. During circle time she was excited when we did the Choo Choo Song (name all the kids in class) .. and when the teacher turned on the music to sing along to she got right out of my lap and started doing her dancing (shaking her rump, twisting, swaying etc) which was the entertainment for everyone. THEN teacher Dawn brought out Mr. Mouse. During every class, Mr Mouse shows the kids what they are going to do for the day (crafts) ..... and when Mr Mouse came out, Evie shot back out of my lap, walked right up to Dawn and Mr. Mouse and stood there staring at Mr Mouse with this HUGE smile on her face (pure excitement she just couldn't contain) and then started hugging and kissing Mr Mouse. Mr Mouse wasn't too successful at explaining the crafts for the day that day... too busy getting hugs from Miss Evie .... but again, she was entertainment for all. She played really nice with the other kids ... and even the other moms. She was constantly bringing toys to different people to show them and share. At one point it finally hit me..... I finally got what it is like for most moms when they go to these classes with their child - they key word there is CHILD (vs children). Because it was just Evie and myself I got to enjoy it so much more, got to do things with just her and focus on some skills I don't get to at home. It was really nice to experience that - I'm so used to having to cram in crafts and activities for 2 kids (in time allotted for one), it was nice to take it at a much slower pace and enjoy it. I think this is going to be really good for her too. Some other notes about Evie ..... I think I forgot to mention this in all her 1 year stats... but the girl is growing like a weed. She is wearing 12 month pants (which are getting tight and short now) but 18 month and 24 month (2T) shirts. The 24mo/2T shirts are a little long in the sleeves but otherwise fit her quite well. And unlike her brothers (and her mother), she has small dainty little feet - wearing size 4 shoes (the boys were wearing 5.5 when they turned 1 year). I think she's working on yet another bicuspid (one of her top ones) too .....as she is chewing on everything... including ME. I don't know why it is only me .... she runs over to everything else and kisses it... but runs over to me and cuddles in, but then digs her teeth into my shoulders or arms and bites. She's gotten a few light tweaks on the mouth for it and pouts for a while .... hopefully this phase is short lived. She also has really started on the tantrums. If she gets told no, or doesn't get her way she will throw herself on the floor and roll around and kick and scream until she finally realizes we aren't caving or even paying attention (other than to just giggle at it each time). My mom practically needed to leave the room every time cuz she was laughing so hard at her antics. She's definitely got some personality developing... maybe even a little attitude.
They boys are still doing well in their Preschool Plus program ... though I noticed today that MacKay is almost always one of the last to leave the circle and line up at the door to go outside to play (or to go to the gym)... after paying a little more attention I noticed it is cuz he cannot sit still and stay put on the carpet like he is supposed to. Has to constantly be asked to go back and sit down until he is called ... every time he sees another kid get up he tries to sneak into the line too. unnnghhh. He's gonna take some work, I tell ya. Even Oscar got a little defiant with one of the teachers today when they came back in from outside and he wanted to play with the guitar instead of go sit on the carpet to do some sing along songs. Every day on the drive into school I remind them (multiple times) of their two rules for school: 1) Listen to the teachers and 2) No pooping at school - wait til we get home. :) Looks like rule #1 needs some more attention. We are starting to hold them more responsible and accountable now though. Just today we started implementing a few new things for them: cleaning up after themselves if they make a mess at the table (they clean up spills and their messy places), wiping off their own faces after meals (something I usually did, as well as wipe off their hands) and then going to wash their own hands in the sink. We've also implemented (I should say RE-implemented) the use of the naughty bench - I think they need to see more consequences for things they shouldn't do (like hitting sister or each other, talking back, yelling etc). I set a timer on the oven and when it goes off they know that they can come back and play. We also use that timer when they fight over a toy - they know when the buzzer goes off they need to hand the toy over, if we have to set the buzzer again, we do. I'm hoping to really stick to this and hopefully will maybe see some changes... especially in the defiance in both of them. MacKay's defiance is more the yelling and being adamant he isn't going to do something. Oscar on the other hand is more whiny. I'll keep ya posted. Other than that.... I have to say they are SO sharp. They are learning SO much. You can read them a book or point something out to them in one of their shows, and the next time you encounter that (book, show) they can tell you all these new things they learned from the last time. MacKay keeps wanting to learn more and more about dinosaurs, and Oscar's dialogue/conversation keeps getting better and better - I swear I am talking to a 6 year old sometimes. And they are both getting SO well with counting and numbers - specifically making sure that they give one number to each object they are counting. They also know they have a birthday coming up.. and when I asked Oscar what he wanted he said he wanted a birthday cake. I offered him up some ideas on what should go on it and he wants trucks ..... garbage trucks, tractors, dump trucks and helicopters.
Some news about me and my EKG stuff from last time. I went to see my doctor and she diagnosed me with something she calls "Artificial J-Point Elevation." Basically, the way I understand it .... on an EKG of someone having a heart attack ("acute MI" like they had noted on my EKG), at the "J-Point" on the graph it will go up/elevate in a sort of hump... in comparison to a normal EKG where it is flat. Apparently my J-Point does elevate so the machine (dumb machine) can't tell the difference and labels it an "acute MI." Though she told me it takes a cardiologists "eye" to notice it isn't heart attack related so that is why no concern was raised. Apparently this isn't something to be concerned over either, it doesn't mean anything is wrong with me .... many young people have this issue with EKG readouts... and it could be something that goes away with age. She even got the cardiologist to look at my EKGs again and confirm that that was indeed the reason for that notation...... BUT they said that in the future I might have problems with insurance (especially if I changed providers) because the way the notes were made. And that they couldn't alter the notes until they knew for sure there were no issues..... so they set me up to have an Echo Cardiogram (ECG). I had that this morning (Gma Chris stayed through the weekend so I could go to these appts... and took the boys to their Preschool class today for me so I could get this over with asap)..... and it all came back clear. So now my doctor told me that I shouldn't have a problem with insurance as they did the necessary leg work to prove I did NOT have a heart attack (acute MI) and that I am just one of those people that will always have an abnormal EKG due to this Artificial J-Point Elevation thing. AND she recommended that I get a copy of my EKGs for future use should I ever have another EKG done somewhere else, so I can show them that that IS my baseline (abnormal). So next time I go in (my physical next month) she will get that together for me to have my own copy. WHEW..... enough medical issues for me now.
Well... just wanted to post a quick update so that I could get all these pictures loaded... and here it turns into my regular novels that I write. My apologies... onto the pictures:
Evie and her bud... she loves rolling around with him on his bed and hanging out in his kennel with him. Constantly giving him kisses too - so cute. And Angus is such a good sport about it all
The boys playing with the "Dinosaur Domino" cards we checked out from the ECFE Library. These cards are illustrated by the same person who does the boys favorite books ... "Dinosaur Roar" .... "Dinosaur More"... "Dinosaur Opposites" .... "Dinosaur Colors". ... the books that they have memorized. So they are familiar with the illustrations and got so excited when I brought these home.
The "Dinosaur Dominoes" must have inspired MacKay cuz after we got done with them he ran and got his "Dinosaur Roar" book and started reading it to himself ... though looking to me for validation he was getting it all right.
Dinosaur Fierce (Velociraptor) .... Dinosaur Meek
Dinosaur Short .... or very very long (Diplodocus)
Dinosaur Spikey (Stegosaurus) ... Dinosaur Lumpy (Ankylosaurus)
The boys and their "pet potatoes" .... Oscar giving his a ride in the stroller, and both of them carefully handling them with their kitchen utensils (MacKay putting it in the play oven to bake). They played with these for days before I finally snuck them away and threw them out.
FUN AT THE PUMPKIN PATCH / CORN MAZE
Pictures sort of speak for themselves, and I explained most of it in the first paragraph above ... but I must say I was SO excited to get a few great shots of all three of the kids together out of this.
Come back again soon... and enjoy this fantastic fall weather while it lasts.