Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick-or-Treat!

Halloween night was a little crazy this year because Brian had to work. :(
 
Thankfully, our sweet Mary & Lauren came over and took the kids for a trip around the block. They said that Noah was the star of the show and everyone thought that they were a precious little coordinated group!


Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Haven’t you always dreamed of a self-cleaning baby?

 
Me, too. It took us three kids to finally figure it out, but I think we’re on to something.
 
But seriously, this is Noah’s new favorite thing. It cracks him up.
 
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It cracks us up, too.
 
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Princesses & Super Heroes

Noah & Grace had a Princess & Super Hero party at their school today.
 
Gracie had quite the selection of dresses to pick from.
She decided on Snow White.
 
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Noah doesn’t have any Super Hero clothes (not even a t-shirt). I could have made him a cape, but I was a teeny bit over my sewing machine at the moment because of this.
 
What to do, what to do? Oh, we’ll just put him in Ben’s Spiderman outfit and roll up the sleeves & legs. That’ll do it.
 
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The muscles crack me up. Go get ‘em, Spidey!
 
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It looks like he has a crime fighting partner in Snow. Solidarity.
 
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Second star to the right and straight on till morning…

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Happy Halloween! I love planning for and creating my kiddos’ costumes ~ it makes me giddy each year. This year was a bit of a challenge because I had to plead my case with my kids to do a theme. We’re talking multiple conversations over dinner with me saying, “but honey, EVERYONE is going to be dressed as Batman” while Brian sits next to me, shaking his head. I did some research and came to the table with a list of 8-10 trios and we finally decided on a group that everyone agreed on. Whew. The themed Halloween lives on (at least for one more year!).
 
Once we picked a direction, I looked around online to find some inspiration and tried to figure out what I would buy versus what I could make. In the end, I decided to make everything except Grace’s wings and Ben’s pants. Here was my costume inspiration board:
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So fun, right?! This was actually my plan for last year, but we ended up doing this instead. I’m glad we saved this one, because Noah is pretty stinkin’ cute as a toddling raccoon (as opposed to a raccoon that just lays in a stroller – which is what he did last year.)
 
Anyway – on to the costuming fun. I tackled Gracie’s costume first (because the tutorial I read said that it took two weeks!) It ended up going a little quicker than that. I referenced this tutorial and changed it up a little bit because I didn’t want to mess with glue and flowers. I LOVE how it turned out. My favorite part is the little bells that tinkle when Gracie moves. A Tinker Bell that tinkles = PERFECTION. Gracie was my hardest sell for this Halloween theme, but she quickly got on board once her costume was done. She loves it. Can you tell?
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She cracks me. She wanted to wear her wings around the house the day after they came in the mail. This was our conversation:
 
G: Tan I pway wif my wings?
Me: Well, honey, how about we not play with them until Halloween so they stay nice and safe… after that we can play with them anytime we want.
G: But Mommy, I NEED to fwy!
 
So, Gracie’s been wearing her wings. You can’t argue with that. Sometimes a girl just NEEDS to fwy!! :)
 
Noah’s costume was next up. I wanted him to be one of the Lost Boys (the ones that look like they’re wearing animal jammies – from the Original Disney Peter Pan). I bought this pattern at a 99¢ sale.
 
I took the body of the dinosaur and the head of the mouse and tweaked them a little bit to get this:
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I LOVE how this came out! The hoodie with ears, the tail, the slouchy body suit. I just want to EAT. HIM. UP. Noah’s natural mischievousness adds that little something extra and puts this one right over the top for me.
 
The final (and pivotal) piece of this puzzle is, of course, Mr. Pan himself. Ben was excited about being Peter. (His favorite parts are the dagger and the feather in the cap.) For Benji’s costume, I started with a pair of green leggings that I found at Wal-mart (yay for not having to make something from scratch). For his top, I bought a men’s XL t-shirt from Jo-ann’s. I used Ben’s Aggie football jersey as a guide to sketch out a pattern because it had the fit and length that I wanted. This was the first time I’ve made my own pattern for something, and it was actually easier than I thought. I followed the tutorial here. (I also used one of her tutorials for his belt and his hat.) I adjusted the neckline to mimic Peter Pan’s and added a collar (that I sort of did wrong – but you can’t really tell). There’s actually a pretty good diy collar here that I should have paid a teeny bit more attention to. Live and learn.
 
At the end of the day, all that matters is my not so little man is pumped about his costume!
 
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He can fly, he can fly, he can fly!
 
So that’s it. It’s two days before Halloween and the costumes are complete! I love finishing early and getting pics before the “Big Day”. Wednesday will be all about spending time with neighbors and getting hopped up on sugar, and not about appeasing the Momma-razzi. Plus, I just love getting a sneak peek of how cute they all look together… kind of makes me want to dress them up every day of the year!
 
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A special shout out to my hubby who pretty much took over everything having to do with the kids this weekend so that I could get these done. He is the ONLY reason that I can do these fun “extras”. Love ya, Babe. Sorry I didn’t have time to make you a costume. You would have made a very handsome Captain Hook (and I guess that leaves me with Smee?).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Game day at Kyle Field

Yesterday we took Ben to his first game at Kyle Field. (We took him to the 2011 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, but that’s not exactly the same thing).
 
Grace and Noah spent the night at the Heistands on Friday, because we had to get on the road at FIVE A.M.!!! That is too early for this Mama! It was still pitch black when we left SA Town, so Ben caught some extra zzzz’s. He woke up to see the sun rise, which gave us all a little burst of energy. :)
 
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Ben has been interested in taking some pics of his own lately. This is him capturing his sleep-deprived and crazy excited Mommy!
 
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We took turns selecting tunes. In honor of his sister, who had to stay behind, Ben chose her favorite Taylor Swift ditty.
 
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We took the shuttle from the mall to get to campus. It was the best set up. Totally free and they dropped us off right on the Quad (just in time for Step Off). We watched the band go by and we tried to find Uncle Brad’s old unit – F2 – but we didn’t have any luck.
 
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From there we set off to walk through the MSC, since I haven’t seen it since the renovations. Things sure look a lot different. I love how they kept the Flag Room the same, but I don’t know how I feel about turning the campus bookstore into a Barnes & Noble. I told Brian that it felt like I was in an airport.
 
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After the MSC, Ben wanted to play around on some of the inflatables.
 
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From there we headed over to the Association. We needed new stickers for the cars and I wanted to ask about getting my ring resized so that I can wear it again. (Thank you, pregnancy, for permanently enlarging my fingers.)
 
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I am hoping that one day we have a picture of a grown-up Ben wearing his own Aggie ring here! WHOOP!
 
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We walked past this pretty little fountain on our way back to the stadium. Ben wanted to toss some change in, so he and Brian made wishes. (Any guesses what they wished for?)
 
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We finally made it to the stadium. We were there early enough to sing the “Spirit of Aggieland” with the team!
 
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After that, the stadium filled up pretty quickly. Look at all that maroon! LOVE IT!
 
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An early action shot.
 
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Sadly, our day took a little turn for the worse at half-time. It was a heartbreaking game. The Tigers didn’t win this one, we LOST it. It hurts so much to lose by five points when we missed 2 field goals and an extra point. Still, I think the Aggies are holding their own in their first year of the SEC. Two losses against top 10 teams for a combined total of 8 points. This while playing with an immature freshman quarterback under a new coach against fresh and tougher competition. I am SOOO excited about where the Ags are headed. We have definitely NOT been the push-overs that all of the smack talkers in the SEC thought we would be, that’s for sure. Both Florida and LSU had to FIGHT for their wins. So, even though our loss was a hard one, I am so encouraged by our young team and their spunk! Gig ‘em Aggies!
 
The most important part of the day was that Ben loved it! He cheered his heart out and, at this point, he appears to bleed maroon! How can he not after spending a day on the best campus on the planet?! :) As usual, I was proud of the Aggie fans that we were surrounded by ~ they are always classy. For the most part, the Tigers were pleasant and gracious, too. (We had a very nice Tiger sitting right next to us – poor thing was all alone in the middle of an Aggie section.) There were a couple groups of obnoxious sore winners on the way out of the stadium, but we ignored them and held our heads up high! Win or lose, we are proud Aggies!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Gator Fest

Ben’s school has a big fundraiser each fall called “Gator Fest”. This was our first time attending and we had a great time. Brian took the kids up there to check out the rides and games while I was still at work.
 
There was a lot of silly string spraying going on. Noah was not amused.

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Hey Noah, you have a little something riiiight…. THERE. Got it.
 
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Grace was getting in there with the big kids!
 
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She was helped along by a little coaching from her brother.
 
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Wheeee!
 
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I met up with them after work and said “hi” before I headed to my volunteer assignment at the photo booth. After that crazy hour, I rejoined Bri and the kids for a yummy pasta dinner. (Dinner plates from Maggiano’s were on sale.)
 
Another fun thing going on was the silent auction. Each class prepared a basket or two. Ben’s class did a family fun night basket and a baking basket. I made a set of Mommy & Me Aprons to include. I think they came out cute! :)
 
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We browsed the silent auction and then the kids used the last of their tickets for an ice cream treat before we headed home – exhausted!
 
I thought it was a really well organized event put on by the PTA. (I am so grateful that we get to do this as a Fundraiser instead of having to go door to door doing catalog sales all year long!)
 
Great job, Gators!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Love Creek Orchard 2012

Mom & Niki came to town for a visit this past weekend, so we had to hit the pumpkin patch for some Fall fun!
 
As usual, the kids ran straight for the hay bale maze first.
 
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How is this for a fun little comparison to October 2007?
 
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For some reason (ok – for three wiggly, squirmy reasons) I had a TERRIBLE time getting a group picture of the kids this year. I must have had 30 shots of the trio and they were all filled with Noah scowls and weird Grace smiles and closed Ben eyes. These were the best that I got!
 
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At least Mom was having a good time!
 
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It’s so much easier to get cute pictures of them by themselves. Maybe I need to learn how to use Photoshop so I can create a group shot of these sweet faces. ;)
 
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Oh, well. What are you going to do? You can't throw your kids in a pond for not cooperating during photo shoots.
 
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After photos, we headed to the apple barrell train. It is always a fan favorite. Noah was pretty excited.
 
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Then the crazy train driver picked up the speed. That’s all it took for Noah to be back to his normal self… concerned.
 
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When our train ride was done, we headed over to say hi to some farm animals.
 
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Then we hopped on a hay ride through the orchard. Ben decided it was high time he learned to use the camera, and he caught this shot for us… not too bad for a first timer!
 
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He also took these of his Daddy & brother and a couple nice ones of the orange trees.
 
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Then he handed the camera back over so I could catch a shot of him snuggling with his Sweetie.
 
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Niki had promised Gracie a pony ride, so that’s where we headed next. While we were waiting, B & G explored the inside of this old hollow tree.
 
Funny side note: Ben pushed Grace in ahead of him… just in case there was anything unpleasant waiting inside.
 
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Gracie was too excited about pony ride time!
Thank you, Niki, for the pony treat!
 
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She is Annie Oakley in the making.
 
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After a quick lunch we made a final stop at the pumpkin painting tables. The big kids got right to work.
 
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Pumpkin painting is serious business.
 
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Sometimes you need a little help.
 
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We were excited to have two cute creations to take home with us at the end of our long, fun day! See you next year, Pumpkin Patch!
 
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