Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Fun

 We are famous! There was a photographer at the library fall festival a few weeks ago and of all the pictures she took, one of the Anthony and the boys made it into Sunday's paper. Those costumes were a hit!

Since we have been talking a lot about Halloween and costumes, James has had days where he insists on wearing a costume all day. One day he wore his Superman costume all day, to the park, to the grocery store, and even out on the boat!

He got so many comments from people walking by. They would act surprised and say, "Look! Superman!" Then James would get his "serious" face on and run really fast so that his cape would fly out. It was so adorable! At the grocery store we even had people talking to him from their cars as they were driving by. I guess when you dress in a superman costume you are officially a celebrity!

Rett liked the swings, of course.
 So James decided to push Elephant in the swing next to us.

That afternoon we all went out on the boat. Rett got to try out the boat seat we used to use with James. He loved spinning around and trying all the new toys.
 James was excited to help Daddy drive the boat.
 Then it was time for some serious fishing. James has gotten pretty good at casting his rod and reeling it in. He gets really focused and determined and will do it for a good amount of time. Of course, with Anthony for a dad, can you expect anything else?

A friend invited me to a fall festival fundraiser at her son's school, so we spent a Saturday morning checking out all of the activities. I decided to bring the big stroller with me this time :)
 The party train was there, so of course it was our first stop. James loved it and didn't want to get out when it was over. I had to promise that we would come back and do it again later.
 Rett waited patiently and watched while James had all the fun. I think he is plotting all the mischief he is going to get into once he can keep up with James.
Another favorite was a large inflatable slide. You paid once and the kids could go down it as many times as they wanted until it got too full. After 10 minutes James got a little too rowdy with the other kids, so I had to put an end to it. He didn't mind though, because he was ready to go on the train again!

 Saturday was our ward's trunk and treat and we debuted our family Incredibles costumes! James ran around saying, "I'm Incredible!"

 It was a great party, but of course kind of hectic trying to keep track of both kids and keep them both happy. Rett was hungry and tired and didn't want to be put down and I lost James about 10 times. There were activities inside and outside of the church and he kept running inside or outside without us realizing it. There was a bouncy house, food, carnival games, a fog machine inside the church with a spooky hallway with a tunnel full of black lights and spiders.
 At the end, everyone lined up to trick or treat at the cars. We decorated our car with pictures of Syndrome (the villian from the Incredibles) and we had nerf guns to shoot at the pictures.
 I even brought a pack and play so that Rett could sit in it while Anthony passed out candy and I took James around to the cars. He was happy in it for a little while, but then got really fussy and Anthony ended up having to hold him anyway. All 21 pounds of him!
 Right after it was over, we packed everything up and I took the boys home while Anthony stayed to help clean up. Since they didn't really eat anything at the party, as soon as we got home I put them both in pajamas and set them at the dinner table to eat some real food. By the time I got them both in bed I was beat!! Halloween activities are fun, but so much more exhausting with kids :)

Fall Soccer Pictures & Search for Elephant

 Last week we got James' official soccer picture for this season. They managed to get a picture with his eyes open!
 Here is the team picture. It always makes me smile because you can totally see the kids personalities in it :)
We have two more games left in the season and then we will be done with soccer for awhile. Doing spring and fall season back to back was a little much for us, so I think we decided to just do one season a year from now on. Next year we will do the spring season and skip the fall season because James will be starting Pre-K in the fall. Can you believe it??

On a quick trip to Walmart, James said he needed to use the bathroom so I took him to the family bathroom. It was my first time in there and I couldn't get over how cute the little toilet was! James loved it too :) I just had to get a picture of it.

James is having a hard time keeping track of his things lately and a few Sundays ago he brought his favorite stuffed animal, Elephant, to church and lost it almost immediately. I mean, we walked in with it and it was gone before we sat down in the chapel. By the time we got home, we all had forgotten if he had even brought it with him to church! Of course, nap time rolled around it we couldn't find it anywhere. I even drove back to the church by myself to see if it was stuck behind a chair or something, but I didn't see it anywhere. When I got home, I posted this on the ward's facebook page:
 A few hours later, the primary secretary (who happens to be the bishop's wife) texted me and said she thought she saw it in the lost and found in the library. Since it is locked, we figured Anthony would just pick it up at cub scouts on Wednesday. The next day, out of the blue, the bishop texted me and said that he was in our area and wanted to bring Elephant to James. Isn't that sweet? He said it was his most important errand of the day :)

James was soooo happy to see Elephant. He couldn't stop hugging him:
 Then they got into a bucket together:
For days, James would randomly say, "I sooo glad the bishop brought me elephant!" Crisis averted!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Visit with Great Grandma & Library Fall Festival

Sunday we drove down to Cocoa to visit Anthony's grandmother. We decided to visit outside in the front yard of her assisted living facility and let the kids run around. The kids had a blast! James loved running around with his cousins, as usual :) Of course, it helps that they often bring him boxes of toys they have grown out of of!! Every time we see them, it is like Christmas for him. This time we came home with a play pop-up tunnel, a box of car tracks, a marble run set, and a bunch of toy cars and planes. They have become the new favorites around here :)
 Anthony ran around with the kids and tried to hide in the tunnel. James took the opportunity to jump on him!
We put a blanket down for Rett to crawl on and he spent a lot of time sitting and playing with some Easter eggs Anthony's mom brought for the kids to play with. He would pick one up, observe it, throw it away, and then search for another one.
This year I started early and made the entire family Incredibles costumes! Yesterday the boys got their first chance to wear them at the library's fall festival. I signed up to volunteer and help out with the festival, so Anthony came to do all the activities with the boys.

Rett only tolerated the mask long enough for the pictures. As soon as we got into the car, he cried and pulled at it until it came off.
 Rett stayed in the stroller about half the time and had to be held the other half. He is going through a rough stage where he doesn't want to sit or be held, but he doesn't walk yet so we can't let him down or he will get trampled.
 The festival was Harry Potter themed, so I wore my Harry Potter costume and was the professor in charge of the house bookmarks. First you get sorted into a house and then you come and make a matching bookmark. James just picked his favorite color, green.

 They also had a yarn maze that was a "spider web", a bean bag potions game, balloon animals, and bags of every flavor beans. The original plan was for Anthony to take the boys home and leave me there to finish volunteering, but they had such a good time they ended up staying for the whole thing.
We are going to debut the entire family Incredibles costumes at the ward trunk and treat, so stay tuned for some awesome pictures!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Our first staycation

Instead of traveling somewhere, this year we had our first "staycation". Anthony took a week off of work just to be home and take a break. It was so relaxing to have a vacation that didn't involve planning, packing, and dealing with crazy kids off of their sleeping schedules and routines. Anthony went fishing almost every day and I got to plan a few outings for the family to help it feel more like a vacation.

One morning we decided to explore the Ponce Inlet lighthouse that is about 30 minutes from our house. We see the lighthouse all the time when we are driving and James loves to point it out. He was very excited to see it up close!
 Surrounding the lighthouse there are several historical houses-turned museums that used to belong to the light keepers. We walked around in all of them and took a quick look. James just ran around from room to room, so I didn't get to read a lot of the explanations but it was still interesting.

James loved this old bell that was recovered from a shipwreck. He liked that he could make it ring by banging on it with his hand. You're probably not supposed to do that, but if it survived the ocean it can probably survive a three year old's hand.
 James was dying to go inside the lighthouse, so after seeing most of the buildings we decided to give it a shot. The sign at the bottom of the stairs warns you that there are 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse and that children should only go if they are able to climb all the way up and down by themselves (no carrying them). I could definitely see why they made that rule, the steps were pretty steep and narrow. It wouldn't be difficult to lose your balance, especially if you were carrying a child.
 This is the view from the bottom of the stairs when you look up. It seems endless, right? We figured, we just have to keep going, we will reach the top eventually right? Anthony went first, then James, then me so that we could catch him if he slipped or fell either way. He held onto the railings and went up one step at time without any trouble at all. He didn't get tired, the most difficult part for him was that he would get distracted by looking down, around, or up and not watch where he was putting his feet!
 We made it to the top! It was windy up there, but so beautiful! I had a death grip on James' hand because that stinkin' kid has no fear. He kept trying to put his feet between the railings just for fun.
My mom waited at the bottom with Rett, so we had to get a picture with him sitting on the steps. Don't you just love those cheeks??
 James had to stop and smell all the flowers on our way to the car. He even made sure to pick one for me.
 Just one street over from the lighthouse is the marine science center with the sea turtle rehab that we like so much. James was excited to get to pet the sting rays again. This was Rett's first visit and he loved the viewing windows. They were just his size!

 Friday night James had another soccer game and there was more progress! No pushing and no running away this time. Yay!!
 The coach is trying something different this season and is attempting to have them play positions. James usually gets put back on defense by the goal. He has a hard time resisting the goal net and likes to sneak over there and try to climb up it and play in it.
 He does get excited when the ball comes towards him and he likes to run after it. He even got to kick it this time! It was headed out of bounds, so the other kids kind of backed away from it. James took that opportunity to charge ahead and kick it hard over the line :) Afterwards he immediately turned around and ran towards us yelling, "Mommy! Daddy! I kicked the ball!" He was so proud of himself!

Saturday I got a groupon for a corn maze about an hour away from us. I had never been to a corn maze before so I was pretty excited! We brought the double jogging stroller and it was perfect. Those big wheels really came in handy! We decided to brave the big 6 acre maze (they had a smaller 1 acre maze geared more towards kids)
 They give you a big flag to hold up in case you get lost. I hoped we wouldn't need it! James and Rett both sat in the stroller and we let James decide which way to go when we reached a fork in the path. He only led us down a dead end once, if you can believe it :)

They have lots of other fun activities for children, including a 60 ft slide! Anthony went up the steps to go with James but they don't allow two people to go at a time. James wanted Anthony to go first, so he did. Then Anthony had to climb up and retrieve James because he was too scared to go by himself :(
 James wasn't disappointed about the slide for long, the next activity was the big "jumping pillow". It is hard to describe, but it was basically the bottom of a bouncy house that somehow comes up from the ground and is surrounded by sand. James had a hard time staying on his feet until he figured out that he could roll off to the ground, then stand up and run back on.

 While James jumped, Rett sat in the stroller in the shade and ate crackers. Easiest baby alive.
 The jumping pillow fun ended when James stepped on a stick somehow and hurt his foot. He didn't want to wear his socks or shoes after that, so we just put him in the stroller. As we were leaving, the hay ride was getting ready to depart (it only goes at the top of the hour) so we decided to go. It wasn't so much a "hay ride" as it was a farm tour, but it was still pretty interesting. James was eating a popsicle while sitting on Anthony's lap and they both got completely drenched in sticky melted popsicle. It was almost more entertaining than the tour! Anthony was desperately trying to contain the dripping mess with baby wipes while James was working himself up over the popsicle he was losing to the heat. It was a long, sticky, hungry ride home but it was worth it. We had a great time!

It was a relaxing vacation at home and a good way for Anthony to get in more fishing, which he never gets enough of (according to him) when we travel somewhere. Plus, it was easier on me to not have to pack everything for the kids and worry about what to do with them in a new place. We definitely have to do this again!