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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We had a great Halloween WEEK! It was full and busy. I never used to care for Fall very much, and never really cared for Halloween, but now I love both and look forward to this time of year, especially with my own little family to share it with.

The kids had lots of opportunities to dress up this year and they had such a great time. They were constantly begging me to put on their costumes.

Our first opportunity was for the MOPS group we belong to. The kids got to wear their costumes to their MOPS classes on Monday.

A witch and a cow

Mitch looooved this cow outfit. Oh how he pestered me to wear this outfit.

With it on, he would immediately start mooing and be down on all fours, just like a cow.


On Thursday, the kids received a Halloween package from Grandma and Papa Blakeslee with tattoos for everyone. There was 4 pumpkin ones, so they all got to wear one for the day.

Papa also sent the kids his favorite fruit- pomegranates! He first introduced my kids to them and they are now hooked as well.

He decorated the pomegranates with scary Halloween faces. The kids loved it. (This is also the closest thing we had to carved or decorated pumpkins this year, unfortunately.)

Chloe also got to dress up for school on Friday for the Fall Festival party. The Kindergarteners are the only ones allowed to dress up at school for Halloween, too. No scary costumes were allowed, so Chloe went as a princess. A friend at school had dressed up as Snow White, so Chloe then told everyone at school that she was dressed up as Snow White's stepmother, the Queen. (She claims she was a nice queen, not evil like the one in the movie!)

On Friday night, Ben and I were invited to an adult Halloween party, which required that we dress up. We haven't dressed up in years (5 years to be exact) so we thought long and hard about what we could be- something fun, of course, and that went together. We already knew what we wanted to dress up the twins as this year, so we stole the idea and used it for ourselves.

Saturday night we had a ward Trunk or Treat party at the church and we decided to dress the whole family up in the theme of what Ben and I were on Friday and what the babies were already going to be. I had originally not wanted to dress up for the ward party, but Ben talked me into. I was glad he did- it was a lot of fun. What other holiday gives you an excuse to dress up silly and crazy and have that kind of fun?

So here are a few of my favorite things...

Thing 1

Thing 2

Thing 3

Thing 4

Thing 5

Thing 6

Quite the process to get all of us ready... lots of blue colored hair spray and lots of towels to keep our clothes free of spray.

Our inspiration








It's a Family Thing!


And we are extremely proud to say that out of 3 wards, we won the Best Family Costume! We had some stiff competition, too. Gooooo Things!

Thing 3 and Thing 4 with all their Trunk or Treating loot.

On Sunday we let the kids dress up in what they were going to be for the church Halloween party, since we made them switch and be Things at the last minute. They were so cooperative and went with it. What great sports! Chloe, a witch again.

Mitch was a pirate. Notice the orange knife in his hand? It's a plastic kid knife from our kitchen and he insisted it was his pirate knife. When asked what a pirate says he would say, "Arrrr... ladies!" (Instead of Arrr... mateys!) What a ladies man!

We all took long showers Saturday night to get the blue hair dye out- 3-4 shampooings each. After church I was looking at the back of Ben's head and noticed that Ben hadn't quite gotten all of his out. Oops. No one at church noticed (or said anything). That's Thing 1 for you...

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We've had ANOTHER birthday, shout Hooray!

Didn't we just do this... say, 11 days ago? Yes we did. We love a good excuse to eat more cake and ice cream!

Our handsome little boy turned 3 on Sunday. He is our favorite little boy- (you can say that with out feeling guilty with only one boy).

The birthday boy started out his day with a shower, then a shave with Daddy. It is becoming a fun Sunday ritual for the two men in our house.

He knows just what to do, too. (Don't worry, there is no blade on the end of that razor).

Alexis sported her first pony tail in honor of Mitchell.

All dressed up and ready for church. He loves nursery- he got to spend his birthday with his favorite buddies.

After church the birthday boy had a much needed nap.

While he (and Daddy) were napping, I got busy and got things ready for the Monster themed party. Not a Halloween Monster party, but a Birthday Monster party. Mitch loves monsters and lucky for me there was plenty of cute things to use for decorations with Halloween being as close as it is.

The monster clings worked nicely underneath our table top glass.


The monster head fit great on the pop bottle.

Who doesn't love a good monster chocolate?



And a monster cake, of course!


We started the party by opening up his gifts, wrapped in coordinating monster green paper (looks yellow here).

One of his favorite gifts was a monster green broom from Grandma and Papa. He is always wanting to help me sweep, so now he has one of his own! He had to try it out right away.

The big surprise of the day was getting his own bike! He has wanted one forever. These Strider bikes are really cool- we got the idea from my sister this summer when we tried out her little boy's bike. It has no pedals or training wheels. It teaches kids how to ride a bike by balancing and coasting without ever needing training wheels. Mitch loved his cousin's and got really good at it for the few days he used it this summer. Chloe also tried it this summer and was a pro on it in a few days, and then came home and was immediately able to ride her big bike with no training wheels for the first time. So we are fans! Hopefully Mitch can be riding a real bike, training-wheel free by next summer.




video

Here was his reaction when he saw the bike for the first time.

And yes, of course, monster green!


In for monster cake and ice cream.

But this little monster refused to eat even one bite of his cake. We asked why and he whispered, "The monster will eat me!" I was totally shocked- his was a cupcake cake like Leah and Lexi's last week and he devoured those. I did not see this coming. And as the rest of us have slowly eaten the remaining cupcakes this week, he still has refused even a taste of his own birthday cake. Weird, weird, weird.

He loved the monster chocolates, though, and the ice cream too. And the monster head soda. What gives?

It was like de ja vu of 11 days ago watching these two scarf down cake. They ate Mitch's share for sure.

As an extra birthday treat, Mitch got to stay up late and spend some extra time with Mom and Dad. He was so excited to help me clean up after the party and use his birthday broom. I could get used to this!



The week before his birthday we did a few fun things.

Mitch went to the dentist for the first time and did GREAT. He did everything asked of him and even let them get X-rays. He loved it, actually.

When the hygienist asked him where he learned to be so good he replied, "My mom and dad." (That's right, he did...)

The day before his birthday, we went to Red Robin to use his free birthday meal. Of all the choices, he chose the grilled cheese sandwich and melons.

The waiters and waitresses came and sang him Happy Birthday and gave him balloons and a free sundae.

Happy Birthday to our favorite Monster! We sure love this little guy.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Lately

Fall is our busy season with all 4 of our kids' birthdays within a 8 week period (not to mention the holidays), plus school starting and a whole bunch of other new and busy things we've picked up this year. Between all the birthday celebrations, here is everything else in between that we have been up to lately.

I quit nursing the babies at 11 months old (lets just say biting was a BIG issue....) and they went on bottles full time for a month. But once they turned one, I quit formula and bottles and they are now on whole milk and sippee cups and doing great. But they were sure cute and quiet when they simultaneously drank their bottles... They only miss their bottles when they accidentally see one, but I miss that cute stage.

We have been enjoying the last rays of warmth and fleeting sun every chance we can get. Playing catch with Dad is always more fun in the sun!

Lately, the babies are obsessed with the fridge. Whenever they see or hear someone open it, they crawl over as fast as they can to get in it. I never thought I would have to sneak to open the fridge or open it and grab what I need out of it, shutting it quickly, in record time. Sometimes I do leave it open and let them "play" while I cook dinner. It keeps them occupied and happy.


Here is proof of the signing that we have been working on at our house- Lexi signing DADDY. Isn't that adorable? And great form, I must say.

I also have 2 "helpful" dishwasher unloaders, lately. They can unload that dishwasher faster than I can! And by unload, that means throwing it on the floor, not put away nicely in the cupboards. Why did I never think of that?

They can also tear apart any room in a matter of seconds.

They really are double trouble, there is no way around it.

Chloe loves doing silly things with the babies. Mitchell's dump truck doubles as a fun ride. The babies are the perfect size, too.


The laundry basket is extra fun because it fits both of them! This is the only time that Leah will sit still in or on something without being buckled down. They love having the kids push them around.

At the end of September we were privileged enough to celebrate Papa Blakeslee's birthday with him, on his actual birthday- a first for our kids! They were so excited. They helped shop for his gifts and even helped wrap them.

I am officially a soccer mom!! Chloe is doing her first year of soccer through our city's parks and rec department.

She enjoys it and it is fun to see her play, although this is one sport that this sports crazed mom doesn't know much about. Good thing her dad is an avid soccer fan/player.

My favorite shot of the soccer year so far- Chloe celebrating after a goal. She didn't even make the goal, but she is a great team player and loves when anyone on her team scores.

We have 2 standers and 2 cruisers, but no walkers yet. I know it's too early to worry, but if these little ladies decide to be late walkers like their older brother (18 months), I may go crazy. After a certain point, it is no longer advantageous to not have your baby be walking. And having said that, neither one of them has any interest in walking at this point. They will cruise furniture and will pull themselves to stand next to everything, but the minute we try to get them to walk with our help, their legs turn to jello and whining can be heard. Sigh...

One of their favorite places to cruise is under the table. If I hear any crying or whining in the kitchen, it is mostly likely because they have gotten stuck or trapped under the table.

Help!!

A really neat thing we got to do lately was go to our first ever Boeing Family Day. With Ben working for the government on top secret government projects, we are never allowed in his office or building (or even beyond the gate of the parking lot). When I was pregnant with Chloe, I was allowed in the building for a few hours for a work thrown baby shower, but I had to get a special badge and be cleared by security to be let in, and everyone was alerted to my presence and any important work had to be covered up on their desks. (Like I would understand anything antenna or electromagnetic inference-related anyway...)

I haven't been back inside yet, until this day- almost 6 years later. The kids and I (and my parents, who were in town) got to see the building where Ben works, his desk, and all over the Boeing campus. We were provided with a free lunch, and then were able to look at the planes that Ben works on and the buildings where the planes are built and assembled. Pretty neat.

Made me even more proud to be married to a Boeing Engineer/nerd.

Lately, the babies have become quite fond of dum dum suckers.

This was the first time they had ever had one and surprisingly they knew just what to do with them. Great way to keep them entertained in their high chairs if I need to get something done.

Nana and Papa Andros came at the end of September and brought Leah and Alexis their birthday gifts.

They were much more excited about opening these presents than they were on their actual birthday.

They each got a baby doll in "their" color (Lexi- pink, Leah- purple)

And these adorable little stroller walkers. Both girls have successfully walked behind the walkers, but it doesn't last long and if we help them do it, they whine! They do NOT love to walk...

Nana and Papa also brought Mitchell his early birthday gift as well. Here is Mitch with his gift and his best attempt at smiling for the camera...

He loved the golf cart, balls and clubs. He practiced all evening.

The same weekend Ben's parents were here, we randomly decided to do a little house project. We have been wanting to knock out our high counter that separates our kitchen from the dining area for a long time, but Ben's dad suggested, with a hammer in his hand, that we do it this day. Ben is always up for a fun project, especially with his dad.

After convincing me (with promises that they would have it done by the end of the day), they started hammering away to get that wall down. Mitch and Chloe each got to take a few swings too. Only when Papa is here do the kids get to hit the wall with hammers.

Peek a boo!

And off comes the counter!

As if one project wasn't enough, they decided while they were ripping up stuff, they might as well replace our hard wood entry way with tile, something else we have wanted to do for awhile. The soft hardwood that came with the house was never my favorite and we wanted to have our entry match the rest of the tile downstairs.

Mitch was an excellent helper!

Didn't get a before shot, but the after looked GREAT. Ben and his dad are quite handy.

Ben's mom is also a trooper- she has been here for all of our house projects as well and does just as much work as the men.

The two men that have saved us LOTS of money over the years by doing the home projects ourselves rather than hiring it out. I think it is awesome.


BEFORE & AFTER

We LOVE this latest project. It has opened up our kitchen tremendously and makes our whole kitchen/eating area feel 4 times bigger.


BEFORE & AFTER

BEFORE AND AFTER




Ben has held up to half of his promise- the entry way is completely done, but the kitchen wall still looks like this, 2 weeks later... Just a little mudding and sanding and a quick paint job and it's all done, but it wouldn't be an Andros project if something was left just slightly unfinished for a few weeks. (I knew this going in to the project, thus why I had to be convinced to start it). Despite that, I have been loving my "new" kitchen.

That is what we have been up to lately.