I'm not ashamed to say it.... I am SO glad to be done with October and happy to be back to our normal, boring, uneventful weeks at the Hoglund household. The last week in October was C-R-A-Z-Y like no other. I'll even lay it out day by day to make sure I don't miss any of it .... but after it was all over I rolled out of bed on Sunday (which was Halloween, so it still wasn't over at this point) and said.... this is what it is going to be like at this time of year for the next 10+ years isn't it. The look on Chris's face when he realized what I was talking about was priceless - though I really don't think it affected him quite like it did me, considering I am the planner in the household and he sorta just follows my lead when it comes to this sort of stuff. :) Luv ya honey!
Wednesday (10/27) AM we went over to Shawna's house to have a play date with Jack and Wyatt, then we headed home when I got the call from my mom that she had pulled into town. She was coming up to spend the weekend with the boys for their birthday...but came up early to help me out with the chaos at preschool/ECFE we were going to have on Thursday morning. (Gotta love mom's eh?). We spent the greater part of Wednesday afternoon and night "fixing" the boys' dinosaur costumes so they would fit better. Mind you, I had already brought MacKay's TRex costume to a tailor to add more material to the crotch to elongate the torso as it was SUPER short and pulling there. Come on... I read all the reviews online when I bought it that told me to buy up a size, which I did. MacKay is three years old .... and the costume is a size 4-6. Please tell me, what 4-6 year old would fit in this if my 3 year old son cannot? WOW. But they did a fantastic job on it ...... we just needed to add some Velcro onto the backs to since the necks shut a little more as they were falling off their shoulders. We also needed to work some magic on Oscar's Triceratops head piece as it was so heavy it was falling over his face. We messed with it here and there, trying to take it in and cinch it... to the point Oscar would hide every time we tried to come at him to try it on to see if we had gotten it right. And wouldn't you know it..... it came to me at 2 o'clock in the morning, that I should have him simply wear a ball cap under the head piece to keep it from falling forward. All that work to cinch it in here and there, sewing, tormenting Oscar to try it on again for the 42nd time etc..... and all it took was wearing a ball cap underneath it.
Thursday (10/28) AM we headed to ECFE (Evie's Mommy & Me class) and Preschool (boys' drop off day). The reason my mom had come up was because the boys' preschool class had booked both school pictures AND Halloween (wear their costumes in class) on the same day.... which also happened to be a drop off day (no parents). So while my mom took Evie to her ECFE class (which I jumped in and out of) .... I sat and waited in the parent room to help with school pictures and getting kids into their costumes. School pictures went okay ..... MacKay went first and wanted to hunch up his shoulders every time he smiled (shyly) so that was my challenge with him. Whereas Oscar wanted to shyly look at the ground and turn his eye balls up only to look at the photographer. Eventually we got him to put his chin up.... but I'm none to hopeful that these pictures will be worth the money we paid for them. But hey..... it will be fun to compare to the pictures they have later in elementary school etc. Then with 15 minutes left in class they finally got to put on their costumes. It was like a mad dash trying to get all the kids in their costumes so the teachers could see them and take pictures. We got all the kids lined up for a class picture too.... and funny enough there was one girl in class who was reluctant to join the rest of her classmates. Apparently she was afraid of the "dragons." My mom overheard that and quickly pointed out MacKay and Oscar's faces peering through their head pieces... trying to show they were just costumes. But eventually she settled for sitting as far away from them as possible when my mom pointed out a nice friendly butterfly she could sit next to :) Then it was the mad dash to get them out of their costumes and ready to go home.
Thursday (10/28) afternoon we carted the kids into town to go Trick or Treating at Cub Foods (open from 4-6pm). Because of the costumes we choose (Evie's bulky lady bug, and the boy's costumes with tails coming out the butts) we couldn't dress them before we went... instead we had to dress them in the car once we got there (which we eventually got pretty good at). They had a ton of stations set up for the kids to do different activities and then win different prizes. And they were all healthy and fun prizes like cheese sticks, coloring books, pints of milk, granola bars, snack packs etc. Evie just hung out in a cart we pushed around (which also held their buckets of winnings) .... though she eventually got sick of being strapped in and wanted some freedom and tore through Cub like a bat out of hell. The boys were insistent that they wear the dinosaur claws (mits) ... which made it a little hard for them to partake in some of the games there. We would take off their mits so they could do the activity and they wouldn't take one step until we put those mits back on .... like their costume just wasn't complete without them. They had a good time though and got some good use out of their costumes.....which we got MANY comments on.
Friday (10/29) we decided to forgo the usual plan of going to the Wiggle-a-While Play Gym in the morning and just relax for the first portion of the day. But Friday afternoon we again rounded up the troops and headed to the YMCA for their Halloween Carnival. Yet another opportunity for the kids to play some games and win prizes.... and for us to have to remove and put back on their "claws" before and after each event. Again, they had a good time.... even got to have a professional picture taken by Jon Arenz (the photographer I took classes from last year) of BlackLine Photo that we can pick up this Friday at the YMCA. Evie was in prime form again for this and just tearing around. She basically needed to have one adult assigned to her the entire time, which made it hard when Chris had to leave to go meet someone at our house ..... my mom and I agreed, Evie wasn't getting enough out of these events anyway, and it would have been a lot more pleasant of an experience if we just would have worked it where we took the boys only. But hey..... this will be the predicament for us for the rest of our lives, being outnumbered by our kids. I think next year she will get more out of it and be a little more controlled. But if you asked her (and she could tell you) she had a great time running all over the place with us chasing her the entire time) :) Friday night we got everything in order for the big birthday plans for the next day ... got bags packed and organized etc.
Saturday (10/30) AM - MacKay & Oscar's Birthday: That morning we got the kids up and fed and immediately got them out the door to go to the Comfort Suites Water Park. Once we got everyone changed into their swim suits (which took a good 20-30 minutes) we headed into the pool and you should have seen the looks on their faces. They were just overwhelmed with all the stuff they were going to play with. The kiddie pool there is just amazing with a big fish skeleton with water squirting out as you walk through, and a big tree thing where you can climb the steps to go to two different kiddie water slides, a separate section for very little kids with slides and water bubbling up all over the place ..... and the highlight of the kiddie pool ---- the hoses they had for spraying others. The boys were constantly playing with those. And we had a lot of others join us in the fun. Shawna and Marc Williams brought their twin boys (just 1 year younger than the boys) - Jack and Wyatt, and Hehir family (John, Jolene, Kelly and Brandon) and their other cousin who was in town for the weekend Tyler. BIG THANKS to Tyler, Brandon and Kelly who played with the kids in the pool and helped us watch all the kids. They were able to free Chris and I up so we could take the boys on the big tube slide REPEATEDLY throughout our time there. The saying "Let's try it AGAIN" came out very often from both of the boys (especially Oscar) .... I think we went down that tube slide with them about 8x each, and the kiddie water slides with them equally as much. They would no sooner get done and want to go right back up for some more. They really had a blast there and I hope we can arrange to go there again soon.
Saturday (10/30) afternoon - we headed back home in time to have some lunch at the house (the Hehir's and Tyler joined us ... then John, Brandon and Tyler left to go do hunting stuff, but Jolene and Kelly stayed a while longer). Then Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean Hoglund arrived and we dove right into having the boys open their presents. They got SO much fun stuff, I fear if I try to list it all I will leave something out and upset someone, so instead I am just going to list some of the highlights from all the different people we got things from. So.. with my disclaimer: among other things ......They got a Thomas Tent, Thomas Shaky Bridge Take Along Tracks, and a lot more dinosaurs from Gma Chris. New PJs (Buzz Lightyear and Dinosaurs) from the Hehir family. Tonka Bulldozer & Crane, and Melissa & Doug building blocks/bricks from Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean. Remote Control Dinosaurs from uncle Dennis. Hot Wheels Race Track and pack of Hot Wheels cars from the Williams family. Remote Control Cars from Gma Diane. Dinosaur books from my friend Heidi and family. Books from my uncle Greg, Aunt Claudia and cousin Sarah. And we got them their John Deere Gator a couple months back and a Tonka front end loader and bulldozer. A pretty good haul considering they already had more than enough toys to begin with. After all the presents were opened we moved onto the dinosaur themed cake. We sang Happy Birthday to them while MacKay got embarrassed and shy, and Oscar smiled and looked longingly at that cake. We put three candles into the top of the volcano that was on the cake ... and they had so much fun blowing them out that we relit them a couple more times to do it again. Three years old.....Three candles..... three chances to blow them out - makes sense eh?
Saturday (10/30) PM - we were going to make my favorite birthday meal - Chop Suey. But we were all so stuffed from the lunch we had, so we decided to save that for Sunday and just nibbled our way through dinner. Everyone had left late Saturday afternoon, but then uncle Dennis came up to visit and stay for the night. He got to see the boys in prime form as they were obviously over stimulated from all the events earlier in the day and were cranky and whiny ..... really ready for bed when that time came..... and so were we. But we stayed up and played a few games of Scene It (Music and Movie editions). My mom and I did a pretty good job schooling the boys :)
Sunday (10/31 - Halloween) AM - Gma Diane, Dave, Dani and Devin came up to celebrate the boys' birthday. They opened more presents (listed above) and we had yummy burgers, chips and more cupcakes for lunch.
Sunday (10/31) afternoon/evening - when Gma Diane and crew left we packed up the boys (left Gma Chris home with napping Evie) and took the boys to the Brainerd Westgate Mall to go Trick or Treating one last time. This was more the true Trick or Treating (vs playing games etc). They got to walk around the mall and repeatedly say their lines "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You" as we hit different stores. We saw a lot of people we recognized from work and ECFE classes so it was fun. When we got back we started making up the Chop Suey we had meant to make the night before. Basically wanted to watch my mom make it and take notes so I can make it on my own for now on. Throughout the night we got many visitors at our door and MacKay and Oscar would JUMP up and run to the door so they could open it to see what was there. Half way through we put the boys in their costumes so they could join in and show off their dinosaur costumes. We watched the Peanuts' Great Pumpkin Halloween special and then got the little ones to bed and we all pretty much crashed.
So there you have it - my reason for being SO thankful that Halloween festivities and the boys' birthday is over. Makes it hard for me to even enjoy my own birthday (which was yesterday - election day). Now we move onto hunting season..... yay for me, the wife of a hunter :)
Some updates on the kids. Evie is the same.... busy busy busy.... and eating us out of house and home. She is so good - always willing to try new things, and actually devour them. She even loved Chop Suey (boys weren't a fan). She's full of questions.... always pointing at things and saying "Wasss dat?" She's much better at following directions than the boys too...... she will gladly (trying to please) do what I ask of her and put things away etc. Very lovey and loves to give kisses and hugs to everyone and everything. Not a fan of the shower (vs bath) though... we tried that for the first time last weekend and she did not like it one bit. You can really tell she's trying to learn more and trying to talk.... she will ask what something is and when you tell her she pauses and really tries to say the word. She's even said Grandma (GahMa), Rock (Rog), Juice (Jooz), No, Kiss (Ki), Shoes (sooz). She walks around pointing at things and saying "Waz Ziss?" or when you ask where something/someone is she will point and say "Der izz!" She knows who MacKay is vs Oscar... and loves to bring them their juice sippys when they aren't holding them. She will grab one and come to me as if to ask "Whose is this?" and I tell her whose it is and she goes straight to them. Sometimes she gets them mixed up but it isn't often. She seems to prefer or gravitate more to MacKay .... and most of the time MacKay is totally into letting her hug or kiss on him or will entertain her. But just the other night she went over to Oscar who was lying down on the floor and laid right over him hugging him.... and for once Oscar didn't try push her away and wrapped his arms around her and kept saying "I love you Evie". It was so sweet. Usually Oscar pushes her away when she tries to get cozy with him ..... but for some reason he had a change of heart that night. They kept hugging like that for a good 5 minutes or so. She's also growing a lot lately, starting to move into her 18 month pants now (though a bit big) and wearing a lot of 24mo/2T tops. She's a little peanut but she's tall so she's growing out of her older stuff. I hate saying good-bye to so many cute outfits. With the boys it was all separates - so maybe a favorite pair of pants or cute shirt I had to part with.... but with girls it is whole outfits that are just so adorable. Oh well, onto new adorable outfits, right?
The boys. ..... they have some pretty funny sayings lately. Oscar's favorite thing to say lately is "What you say?" even when you haven't said a thing, he will get in your face and say "What you say?" Meanwhile MacKay's new thing to say is "I sorry... I didn't mean to do that." And just the other day Oscar came to me and said "It's coming out." I asked him what was coming out and he repeated it a couple times more before it hit me "You mean you are pooping?" YES. So we ran to the bathroom but we were too late. So we talked about it while I was changing him... how NEXT time he feels it about to "come out" to let me know and we'll put it in the toilet vs his pants. I thought that was a good step in the right direction though - him actually noticing it coming out vs just coming and telling me "I got poopies." So maybe we'll give that potty training a try again soon and see how it goes. I'm starting to think that potty training one at a time might be the way to go anyway, and Oscar seems just a tad bit more ready for it - so maybe we will start with him. Oscar loves to play with his trucks and cars.... and lately MacKay loves building. He loves blocks, cubes, stackable cups etc.... but his newest favorite he found at Gma Chris's this last weekend .... Wedgits. They are these creative "blocks" or shapes that stack and can intertwine - you can get really creative with them. Check them out here if you are interested, I really think they are a great way to work on creativity and am probably going to buy some more packs of them. He will make us come running every time he makes a tower..... calling out melodically (he has an actual tone/song he uses when he says this, very cute) ... "I made a Tooow-WER!" MacKay seems to have more control over his drawing now too, it isn't just a barrage of scribbles. The other day at preschool he grabbed me and brought me to the painting easel and told me he wanted to make a smiley face.... and he made two very noticeable smiley faces. Maybe they weren't perfect circles, and maybe the eyes weren't lined up quite the same but it was definitely two good smiley faces. I get tons of comments from the teachers about them too.... how agreeable they are to doing things (WHAT???) and how sweet and talkative they are, that they are making a lot of good friends and have come a long way with being patient (WHAT??) and doing as they are told. I always love hearing that stuff. They constantly talk about school, things they have done, things they are going to do etc. They keep asking to go back to the water park and go swimming again - so that must have really been a memorable moment for them. I've recently started them out in their new 4T pants now too - which are SO long on them. But their 3Ts are getting short and really tight in the waist so we have to move up yet again. I'm also starting to look for bedding for them to eventually get them into "real" big boy beds (twin beds). I've been looking for sports, dinosaurs or trucks/construction vehicles. Figure that could be some good material for Xmas gifts this year .... then we can work on remodelling their room - new color/paint and new trim to match the rest of the house. So much on the to-do list these days....
Just got back from Gma Chris's this last weekend too (10/4 - 10/7) .... took the kids to Adventure Park in Ham Lake on Saturday morning. They had a blast... but I think for them to fully enjoy the place I might need to give them another year. They were pretty apprehensive about going on certain things there (mainly the slides where you couldn't see the bottom from the top... they curled all around and were longer than the ones they are used to) .... and some of the netting to walk across to get to various tunnels and platforms. But they had a good time regardless and want to go back.... so we'll just keep going back there and I think they'll get more and more ambitious and confident the more they are there. I have to say though... maybe it is just me, but the parents that go there to just set their kids free and chat incessantly with other parents really bugged me. There were SO many kids there that were completely out of control pushing other kids out of the way (they were bigger) while they chased each other through the play gym. Um parents..... watch your kids or at least check up on them periodically to make sure they are playing nice (vs rough and obnoxious) with others and being courteous of others (specifically those smaller than them). That's not to say all the parents were like that (though, shockingly most were) .... I crossed paths multiple times with quite a few other mothers who were crawling around helping their kids through the maze of tunnels and platforms - we would always giggle and roll our eyes at each other... huffing and puffing trying to keep up with our kids :) Saturday night I got to get together with a bunch of my friends. My friend Heidi had a dinner over at her house and I ran over early to catch up and help her get ready and made a salad. Then everyone showed up (Ellie, Flez, Christine, Commers, Link, Michelle and Nikki) and it was so fun catching up with everyone. Laughs galore, wine, stories, reliving the past etc. I think we might even be getting together again in a couple weeks for a night out on the town (already planning on taxis) so I am hoping I can make it work to go back down to hang out yet again.
Well here is yet another barrage of pictures .... mainly from our chaotic Halloween/Birthday weekend. Wish I had some from this past weekend of the kids at Adventure Park and my girls night out with the ladies..... but I found that once I got to my mom's that I had packed up my cameras (SLR and video) but had forgotten to get my memory stick back in my SLR camera..... unnnghh).
Halloween Trick or Treating at Cub Foods (Wednesday 10/27).
Note: Evie was in awe of the guy wearing the Elmo costume and kept slowly inching closer and closer to him :)
Hope you enjoyed .... come back again soon, I've always got more pictures to post. :)