Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Tuesday was Mitchell's preschool field trip to a local pumpkin patch. I was excited to be able to go with him. Chloe's same preschool class went 2 years ago to the same place, but the babies were just weeks old and I stayed home with them and Ben took the big kids.

Chloe and Mitch, October 2009. Mitch is the exact same age here as the twins are now.



We started off our day with a cow train ride. Mitch and Leah shared Bertha.

Lexi shared a ride with a little girl from our ward in Betsy.

It was a bumpy ride and I didn't realize they rode so far away from the parents. I have to wonder if Leah cried... I'll put my money on yes.

The kids then got to play in a big pile of corn. Mitch and Lexi loved it. They crawled back to me when it was time to get out.

Leah did not love it. The feel of the corn and the uneasiness of it under her feet was too much. She would venture out just a few feet then come back crying.

The goats made up for the bad corn experience. Leah loved the animals. Both girls did. They would excitedly say in a high pitch voice "Hello goats!" "Hello rabbits!" And so on.

I assume Mitch loved the animals too, but I didn't get to enjoy a lot of the activities with him because with 2 slow toddlers, we were always at the tail end of everything and Mitch tired quickly of waiting for us and ran ahead with the rest of the group for all the activities.

The hay ride was next. Mitch and his buddy Jacob ran around all day having a great time together.

The kids all got to pick out a pumpkin next. I love the small, kid sized ones they got to choose from.

Leah found a teeny, tiny one that she could easily carry.

Alexis was so excited with her find.

This was the best part of the day for the twins- they are obsessed with pumpkins lately, so getting one of their very own was thrilling. It was my worst part of the day- I did not plan/pack well for this activity. After picking out pumpkins, we had to walk up a big hill. Mitch refused to carry his pumpkin and Leah refused to let me carry hers (meaning she tired of holding it and walking, and was super slow, but still insisted on carrying it herself), so I had 3 pumpkins (albeit small but still took up all my arm space) and then had no hands to help the babies up the hill. Why didn't I bring a back pack?? Lexi, sensing my need for help, found a very sweet friend of mine from the ward and went right up to her and held her hand with no invitation, and then clasped hands with my friend's mother as well, all the way up the hill. I was grateful for that, but felt terrible too because my friend also had her baby and her preschooler. She insisted it was fine and I did think it was cute that Lexi had no fear of finding someone who could help her when her own mother could not (Thanks Melissa, you are wonderful!) We finally made it up the hill, but it was not pretty...

We had a great time and although I didn't see Mitch much, he had a really good time.

And here's a shot from another day of my very own little pumpkin patch. A sneak peak of the twins' Halloween costumes... They love pumpkins, I tell you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mitch 4 year photo shoot

Along with 4 birthdays in 8 weeks at the Andros house, Fall is also the time for every child's new year/age photo shoot.

We came home from church on Sunday and it was still light AND not raining AND Ben was home... a rare combination in the fall and winter here in Seattle. We decided to jump on the opportunity and get Mitchell's pictures taken.

These first two shots portray exactly how Mitchell felt about this unannounced photo shoot... I can see it in his eyes- death to Mom.

Oh the torture.

I actually love this one- very GQ.

And oh, the fake, forced smile. Still cute, though.

This picture depicts classic Mitch- in his own world, doing what he wants even if it's not what he's supposed to be doing. "It's just what Mitch does." I love it.

A real smile from my buddy!

Getting tired of all the smiling, so he really cheesed it up, hoping it would be the smile to end all pictures. (We're just glad none of the bulging veins in his neck exploded).

As handsome as ever, our Mitch-man. Here's to a great 5th year for him.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Toy Story Birthday Party

I let my kids have their first friend birthday party at age 4. Luckily Chloe and Mitchell are on opposite years for having friend parties. With their birthdays only 6 weeks apart, I don't know if I could handle it.

I was very excited for Mitch to have a friend party. As the middle child (not really in terms of number, but his position- an older sis and the twins if you count them as one) he gets over shadowed a lot. Chloe has lots of "Chloe only, oldest kid" only activities and privileges- soccer, piano lessons, lots of fun school activities, etc. And the babies are so needy, especially with two of them and so they require lots of time and attention, so Mitch often has to wait his turn for attention and help the most. (One of the most used phrases heard in our house is me saying "It's not your turn. You're next. I'm helping so-and-so and I'll come help you next.") So for Mitch to have something just for him was exciting for him as well as me and Ben.

He asked every day for 2 weeks if it was the morning of his party yet. And for 13 days I had to say no...

His best buddy Jason moved away this spring- not super far, but far enough that we don't see him very often. Mitch misses him like crazy and constantly asks when he can see Jason again. He is down right obsessed with him. When I told him a few days before the party that Jason was coming to his birthday party, he was ecstatic, and then proceeded to ask me every day "Is today the day Jason comes?"

On the morning of the party, starting at 8 a.m. he asked "Can I start watching for Jason now?"

Lucky for Mitch, Jason was the first guest to arrive and the two buddies were happily reunited for the first time in months.

The party was a Toy Story theme, going along with Mitch's latest obsession. The invitations were Toy Story and most of the games as well. We first had the guests sit down and color a Toy Story coloring page. The sweet girls at the party sat so quietly and colored so nicely. In the background you can see the boys pulling out all the toys.

Before anyone got too rowdy, I had them all sit in a line as a group. What a cute bunch. Mitch is sitting in between Jason, his BFF and his little friend Brynn from church, who I'm pretty sure he has a BIG crush on.

The first game we played was "Pin the Sheriff badge on Woody." We spun the kids around 4 times (one for each year Mitch is) and off they went.

None of the kids even tried to feel for where the paper was on the wall. The first place they touched, that's where they stuck it.

I turned around during the middle of the game to find 3 of the boys wrestling. Mitch, Jacob and Jason used to be in nursery together and their nursery teachers tell hilarious story after hilarious story of these 3 animals wrestling and tackling and jumping on each other.

Here is the wall after all the kids had placed their badges. Woody is right in the middle of the page. Only one star made it fully on the paper and one other was touching. Pretty funny.

The next game we played was a relay race. We split the teams in to an even four on four- boys vs. girls. The girls got Woody and the boys got Buzz. When I said go, the kid holding the toy ran to the front door, then back, handed off the toy and the next person went.

Mitchell and Kylee were the last legs of the first race. Mitch was more worried about Buzz's flying form than he was about winning (classic Mitch). The girls won. Both races.

The next game was a Toy Story jumping game. They all got on the couch and while jumping off yelled "To Infinity and Beyond." The boys absolutely loved this game (it was Mitchell inspired).

The girls enjoyed it too, but most of them would either quietly whisper something or not say anything at all.

Next we played "Telephone." The first phrase I started was "There's a snake in my boots," a saying of Woody, but that was too easy for them. The next phrase was just a random one but when it got to Mitchell, he changed it and whispered to the next person "There's a snake in my boots." He thought he was hilarious by doing that. He tried doing it a third time too but I caught him.

Telephone is particularly funny with 4 year olds who are still mastering speech and words anyways.

Garrett & Mitch
Next we opened gifts. I was super impressed with all of his gifts- such thoughtful gifts and Mitch was so excited about all of them (and so were the babies when they saw them all later).

Mitch & Brynn

Mitch and Jason had to hug after opening the gift Jason brought

Abby & Mitch

I loved how enthralled the kids were with watching Mitchell open the gifts. And how mature and sweet they all were about them being all for Mitchell. I've noticed that at all my kids' parties.

Mitch & Eliza

Mitch & Kylee

Mitch & Jacob

Then it was time for cake. I made each of the kids a Toy Story alien cupcake.

We were especially excited that Jason could eat one. Up until a few weeks ago, due to allergies, he was not allowed to eat anything with eggs in it. He was the first one finished with his cupcake!

We then put on the movie "Toy Story" (naturally) to let the kids watch while they waited for their parents to pick them up.

Such a sweet group of kids. Everyone had such a fun time and it was a great afternoon. To infinity, and beyond!