Saturday, November 8, 2014

Riverbanks Zoo Trip

On Tuesday, the boys and I went with my mom to the zoo. We haven't been since school started, so I've been really looking forward to it. I saw that I had election day off of school probably two months ago and immediately thought it'd be a good day to take the boys to the zoo. I think I texted my mom as soon as I realized and we set aside that day to go to the zoo. I actually didn't tell the boys until they were taking their bath Monday night. Anybody with small kids probably understands, if anything comes up, it's really hard to explain that to 4 year olds. Also, I've learned the hard way that they will ask about it non stop until it happens, so I just wait until the last possible minute and then tell them. ;)

We have our zoo trips down to a routine, we leave around 8:00 and get there when they open. We always start with a ride on the carousel.

Then, we always go to the bird sanctuary and feed the birds. It always gets so busy, so we like to do that as soon as we get there. This time, the birds were so crazy. We went in and were immediately covered in birds. I'm thinking maybe they don't get fed as much since it's not busy season at the zoo, but they were crazy, I had them on my head, back, and here's four just on my arm. I was going to let the boys hold the food, but the birds were being really aggressive, so my mom and I held the food.

This is Evan holding out his arm and telling birds they could land on it.

It was so easy to transfer a bird to the boys, we just held their hand and the birds would make their way over. The boys loved it!

I love that I got a picture of Carter laughing as the bird came over, he was so tickled by the whole thing.

I love getting to things when they first open, just because it's less crowded, less lines, etc. Another plus with getting to the zoo when they first open is that we get to see all the animals being active. When we leave, which is always about 12ish, a lot of the animals are already sleeping.

Looking at the flamingos.

They have a walk-about for the kangaroos where you go in and walk around on a path and get to see them up close. I think it's really neat. Evan kept telling one of them to jump, but it didn't happen.

 The boys always seem to spend more time at the Meerkats than at any other animal, but this trip we spent even more time than usual. The boys decided to have a snack and were just happy to munch away and watch the Meerkats. I actually had to tell Evan that we were going to look at other animals, which I never have to do, he is always the first to be ready to move on.

Feeding the giraffes. This is my absolute favorite thing to do. I love it. I love how excited the boys get about the giraffes, I love that they're not scared and it's just really fun.

Carter was feeding one with my mom, so I didn't get any pictures of him feeding the giraffe.

I tried to get one of Evan and Carter with the giraffes in the background. That didn't go so well.

We did the pony rides next. Evan loves the pony rides!

We went by and fed the goats.

We always bring a picnic lunch to the zoo because they have this huge picnic area with big tables right outside the zoo. So, we went and had lunch and then we come in and let the boys ride the carousel one last time.

I don't know what makes the carousel so exciting for them, but they could ride it all day.

I always enjoy our trips to the zoo, probably as much as the boys. The weather was perfect and it's such an easy drive up to Columbia.

After Greg got home, we went up to vote. There was no line and they had a big table with crayons and puzzles for kids, so the boys were thrilled. The last time we voted (in Virginia) we waiting over an hour--with the boys--and there was nowhere for them to sit and so this was really nice. The lady working there let the boys take their pictures home and they got voter stickers, so they were just so excited. While we were eating dinner, I asked the boys if they had told Greg what we had done that day (talking about the zoo) and all they could talk about was voting and how much they loved it. Haha. finally, Greg said 'well, did you see any animals today" and Evan said "oh yeah, we went to the zoo too!"
The boys had such a great day and Carter had been completely fine, but after voting and dinner out, he ended up throwing up in the car on the way home. I thought it was a fluke and that he was fine, not a stomach bug. I even told Greg that I thought he'd be fine to go to school the next day, that I didn't think he was sick, maybe he just had to much to eat or drink. He said in the car he felt better after throwing up and was completely back to normal during bath. Well, so much for mother's intuition because after we put him to bed, he woke up and threw up pretty much for 5-6 hours. It was a long night. Then, he had a fever the next day and was miserable and I ended up taking him to the doctor. (it was just a virus) It was such a sad way to end what had been such a fun day, but he's feeling better now and it doesn't seem like anybody else has caught the stomach bug from him, so hopefully nobody comes down with it this weekend and we can all stay healthy this winter.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014

This is the picture I posted on Instagram of the boys past Halloweens. The bottom picture is when they were about 2 months old, the top left is their second Halloween and top right is their third. Last year was the first year that they went Trick-or-Treating.
Late Friday morning, I met up with two other moms and set up for the boys Halloween party at school. We had a cookie decorating station, one mom made a huge pumpkin and the kids would get blindfolded and have to pin the "smile" on the pumpkin, there was a ring toss and bean bag toss, and a candy corn craft that they did with their teacher. The kids were HYPED up. I don't know if it was because it was a holiday or what, but bless their teacher, I don't know how she does it.

I think the cookie decorating was a huge hit. Another mom made the sugar cookies and I brought the frosting and sprinkles. It was messier than I ever dreamed it could be, but the kids loved it, so that's all that mattered. It took a couple minutes to sweep up and clean off the table afterwards, not a big deal at all.

After the party, the class ended with story time, I had to get a picture of story time.

After we left school, I had to go straight to the grocery store, so the boys wore their costumes. They didn't mind at all and got several comments through out the store which they loved.

When we got home, the boys took a nap. I was afraid that they wouldn't but they really needed it since we were going to be up late, so I was so relieved when they did. They were so excited to put on their costumes and go trick or treating when they woke up.

We went over to their friend, Cooper's house. He attended their old preschool and has been on both their soccer and t-ball team. His mom is so nice and after getting together for a few play dates, she invited us to come trick or treating at their house. I knew the boys would have so much more fun going with a friend. We tried to get some pictures before going to Cooper's house.

This is what almost all of them looked like. It's a shame they weren't excited, huh?

We had a little bit of time when we got there before going trick-or-treating, so all three boys played and played. Cooper actually has some of the toys that the boys play with at Kohl's when we go. They had a blast playing.

There was a good size group of us, our family of four, Cooper's family of four, his mom (andrea)'s parents, and also her cousin with her 1 year old and her husband. We all decided to try and get pictures before we went trick or treating because it would be too dark when we got back.

The boys were so hyped up, the sugar from their school party, the excitement of it being Halloween, and the excitement of being around their friend, they were just insane!

The three friends before trick-or-treating. We had a 12 month and 14month old with us they pulled in a wagon.

The first house of the night.

These sweet boys holding hands!!!

After trick-or-treating, we went back to Cooper's house for dinner and after eating, we all went and checked out a haunted house in their neighborhood. It was so much fun. The boys had a blast trick-or-treating with their friend and I know I had more fun doing it this way too. It was so sweet of them to invite us.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Chick-Fil-A and Cards

Thursday, after bible study, the boys and I met Caroline at Chick-Fil-A. Going to Chick-Fil-A after bible study has become our routine, sometimes we meet up with other moms for a play date, sometimes it's aunt Caroline, and sometimes, it's just us, but we love going to CFA after bible study every week.

The boys playing before Aunt Caroline got there.

The boys are such goobers. They try and talk to me through the glass, no matter how many times I tell them I can't hear them. So, Evan decided to start using hand signals. haha.

Caroline brought the boys Halloween cards and they were so excited. They love getting cards, they love seeing their names on the envelope. They had Caroline read them out loud.

I love the age the boys are at right now. They get so excited about such small things and are so appreciative of things like this. They can fight like crazy, not listen very well and get sassy, but the sweetness outweighs all the negative aspects of this age.

I was glad that Caroline got to see them open the cards.

Evan looking at all the details and stickers that she put on there for them.

After Chick-Fil-A, the boys and I had several errands to run. It was a long day, but they were troopers. They were being very sweet in Target. This is Evan giving Carter a hug just because.

We went to Kohl's to use a coupon and the boys played with the display toys for a long time. I had to get  home so I could go to my class, but we stayed as long as we could.

That night, after the boys went to bed, I made little treat bags to give to their classmates at the Halloween party they had at school. Me and two other moms planned the Halloween party and one of my duties was making treat bags. These were so simple to make (I only had to make 13) and they were cheap. I already had the bags and ribbon, I got the ghost peeps for 70% off at Michael's and the chocolates and graham crackers didn't cost much.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Holiday Tree and Crafts

Last weekend, I got a holiday tree for our dining room. I'm planning on leaving it up year round and decorating it for each holiday/season. I didn't think I'd put it up until Christmas this year because I don't have any Halloween or Thanksgiving ornaments to put on it, but the day after I bought it, Michael's put all their Halloween stuff  70% off! So, I went by there and stocked up for my tree and for next year.

I got this wreath for my kitchen. I like to have a wreath hanging on my pantry door all year round. I need to spray paint my wreath holder white, but haven't had time to do it yet.

The garland I got for my tree matches my wreath in the kitchen. The boys and I love our Halloween tree.

I'm going to leave the orange ornaments on there for November and buy a big container of brown ones to put on there for a Thanksgiving/fall look.
I'm going to put a witches hat on the top next year, but since I didn't have one, I just used one a little trick or treat sign that I found for a topper. I also put some little cauldrons, that were supposed to be treat buckets, as ornaments. They were the perfect size. I got a little 6 pack of Halloween ornaments at Kohl's for super cheap, they were marked down 55% and I had a 30% off coupon. I'm excited to do my Thanksgiving tree, but I think it's going to be a lot harder to find stuff for it, but I'm definitely up for the challenge.   
This week the boys have been doing some Halloween crafts. They made their mini pumpkins into mummies. This was the hardest thing to do, I used party streamer and it was so difficult on the mini pumpkins, I think gauze would have worked better.

The boys painted their small pumpkins green.

They loved this project.

I was impressed with how well the boys painted the pumpkins, they made sure to get the entire thing painted with the green.

After they dried, we put orange party streamer and googly eyes on them to make them into Ninja Turtle pumpkins. They didn't look anything like the ones I saw on Pinterest, but the boys loved doing it, so that's all that mattered.

We also took streamer and put it around toilet paper rolls to make little mummies. These also look like a hot mess--nothing like Pinterest. The boys were so proud of them, though. They couldn't wait to show my mom when she came over and they actually played with them, so I definitely consider this craft a win. It cost next to nothing and was super easy.