Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Babies and Pumpkins, Pumpkins and Babies

Our day at the pumpkin farm...

Babies in bib overalls and jungle gym pumpkins.  Tiny hands petting coarse donkey hair for the very first time and a king turkey who paraded through the people as if he were in charge.  A flannel-clad boy rolling pumpkins that were just too heavy to carry.  Tiptoeing through the corn maze and feeling his hand squeeze mine a little tighter as we passed ghouls and goblins and ghosts.  

Hay rides, hot dogs, and orange frosted cookies shaped like jack-o-lanterns.  Patchwork quilt lined metal wagons with two little sprites squealing in delight as we crossed through orange dotted paths in search of just the right ones.  Underdogs on a horse and saddle tire swing and stroller smiles at passerbys.  White pumpkins and blue pumpkins, boats filled with corn, and slides made with hay bales.  Snuggling baby girl by the fire, sipping warm apple cider and watching the leaves dance off the branches and fall to the ground.  Feeling refreshed, happy, and thankful to live in this beautiful Midwest.     

Monday, October 20, 2014


"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2014"

Cruz: We had lots of bonding time with Daddy working on the house all weekend.  Mila took good long naps Saturday and Sunday and we did some painting, played some baseball, and built some towers.  My favorite part of the weekend, though, was our long leaf walk on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  You told me that your teachers said, "When the leafs fall, that means it's fall."

Mila: The leaves indeed fell this weekend and we had some fun in a big ole pile of them yesterday.  You didn't quite know what to think at first, but soon loved the way crunched in your hands.  You squealed and smiled and I'm convinced you could have sat in that pile all afternoon long.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cruz's 4th Birthday

Cruz turned four on Sunday and I swear he's acted older ever since.  He hasn't thrown a fit yet this week, ate two pieces of pizza and an entire soft shell taco for supper the other night, and says things like "he defeated him in the competition" when talking about superheroes or the Curious George show we watched on stage the other day.  He had his four year appointment this week and didn't shed a tear when he got his four year old booster shots.  Nope, just licked his red sucker, listened to the nurse when she said to just look at mommy, and requested Scooby Doopey Doop band-aids when they were finished.  He's 41 and 3/8 inches tall and 37 pounds of sweet, imaginative, and goofy, and I adore being part of his world.  He has been my very best distraction during these stressful months of selling a house, building a house, and becoming a student again.

We celebrated Cruz with all his favorite things this weekend.  Birthday pancakes were on the agenda for the morning and I took the extra five minutes to divide all the ingredients out so Cruz could mix them up himself.  He cracked the eggs like a champ, used a half container of sprinkles, and watched them bubble up on the griddle while I made a powdered sugar glaze and counted out four striped candles.  We sang the Happy Birthday song and watched Cruz make a wish before blowing out his candles and diving into his breakfast.

Because Cruz opens gifts like his daddy, we decided to drag them out throughout the day so he would take his time and appreciate each one.  This was Beau's idea and it ended up being one of my favorite things of the day.  We let him open a present after breakfast, one outside before heading out for the day, one at Chuck E Cheese, and one before bed.  He loved his Batcave Lego set, his ultimate Lego sticker book, and his very first chapter book, The Magic Treehouse Series.  But his favorite gift of the day was the Frozen soundtrack.  He opened it right before we jumped in the car to head to the pumpkin patch and we listened to it all the way to Waverly.  We sang our hearts out with Anna, Elsa, and Olaf, and Cruz's new favorite song is "Cut Through the Heart."  It's now Cruz's favorite start to every day and I've had Do You Want to Build a Snowman in my head ever since.

We spent the beautiful afternoon at Pumpkin Paradise in Waverly.  It was our first time to this little pumpkin farm and we loved the simple vibe of it all.  Pumpkin patches tend to be a little overdone, a little cheesy for my liking, but this one was sweet and simple.  There were tire swings horses, fat turkeys patrolling the place, a hay ride, and big large patches full of plump orange pumpkins.  I lined an iron wagon with a quilt, let Mila ride inside, and we set out to find our family of pumpkins, a family that grew by one this year.

After naps and frosted pumpkin cookies, we saved the best for last.  The grand finale of them all, Cruz's favorite place on earth, none other than Chuck E Cheese!  Cruz LOVES the place and starts requesting we go months before his birthday.  This year, we happened to run into the manager, aka, Kate, who also works at the kids' daycare.  She hooked us up with hundreds of tickets which helped take the pressure off a bit.  We ate some pizza, squeezed in the photo booth for a silly family photo, and Cruz made sure Chuck knew it was his birthday.  He told him three times. :)

We ended the night with a cup of warm hot cocoa, the start of a new chapter book, and kisses for our birthday boy.  It was a good day.  



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