Tuesday, October 27, 2009

you say it's your birthday...

Monday was Mom's real birthday, but we had her over for a birthday celebration on Sunday that began with Dad painting (yes, my room has been in perpetual painting hell for months now and still is), and us taking a trip to our beloved zoo. 

This was the end of the night, but we forgot to take a picture at the zoo, so I started with this one :)

In addition to taking Mom to the zoo, we also got to meet up with the Bell's (our good friends and Anna's godparents). Kieran has a few idols (our next door neighbor and Cousin Catherine-who will appear shortly), but his main squeeze is Elyse. 

They had a blast together...looking at the otters,

the turtles and reptiles,

climbing the big frog,

hanging out inside the turtle shell,

and riding the tiger coaster.

These two are so sweet together. You know it's "love" when they live 300 miles apart and are two peas in a pod immediately.

Anna fully enjoyed her day as well. It's a lot of fun to take her to the zoo now, because she is taking everything in at warp speed. She wants to do everything that the "big kids" do...

like climbing the big frog...

or walking right up to the glass to get a piece of the action,

or using her zoo key.
She is keenly aware of her surroundings and it is very important to her to say hi to everyone that she sees...

even if it's through a pane of glass. And what you don't see is the people on the other side whom Anna managed to catch their attention :)

She even watched the turtle as he ever so slowly hunted for the cricket that I'm sure had to have filled him up. If it didn't, I can only imagine that it takes forever to eat lunch!

A couple of thousand steps later, dreamland had finally arrived.

Perfect timing to fall asleep, because the sky ride is 20 minutes! Sorry for the blurry picture,  I zoomed in too far with my small point and shoot. I REALLY need to get my SLR fixed!

Still, are they not the cutest?

It was finally time to hit the road so that the B's could embark on their 4 hour excursion, and we could get back to the house in time for the family to come over for Mom's birthday dinner.

Typical boy, doesn't say goodbye to Elyse. Typical girl, Elyse stomps off.

Smart girl, learns that if she pouts (and this is one good pout, I might add)...

she'll get exactly what she wants. 
Way to go Elyse!

I tell ya', it was one happy day for Kieran. The zoo, Elyse, playing Top Gun on Nonno's iphone, and relishing every minute with Cousin Catherine.
And the other items that Kieran relishes?

Opening presents even when they're not his, 

blowing out birthday candles, even when they're not his,

not once, but twice!
And of course, eating the pumpkin bundt cake with rum glaze  (which looks different than the linked one because I used rum which made the glaze turn clear), twice :).

I was even demoted! He was so excited that Catherine read his bedtime story!
A good time was had by all,

all including Mom and Auntie Mary, and for some reason the big fat ZERO pictures I took of Dad, Erik, Johnny and Gina. Not sure what happened with that?

Yes, you already saw this picture, but this picture deserves to be posted a second time. My mom is the most selfless, giving, kind, caring, cool, FUNNY person I know. This woman lives life to the fullest, more than anyone I've ever known. She gets it. She knows that life is too short to carry guilt, hold grudges, sweat the small stuff. She knows that life is so precious, wonderful, that if you can't laugh at yourself, you aren't really living. She knows that life is all about family and friends. She knows that life is helping others, even if they are perfect strangers. She knows that God listens and she listens in return. My mom, my idol, my friend.

You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too--yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.

Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party.

I would like you to dance--Birthday
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance-Birthday
I would like you to dance--Birthday

I love you mommy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

block party

In our neighorhood, it is definitely Fall and definitely October, when it's time for our annual block party. It's a lot of fun, and even though I am generally good with remembering names and faces, this is one event that I have difficulty, because I don't really get to talk long. I am too busy chasing after a toddler! Everyone gathers around the house of the people hosting the party and sets up camp by bringing lawn chairs, bikes, strollers, you name it!

Depending on your address, you bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert, and then everyone has the option to throw in money for either a hotdog (for the kids) or pulled pork sandwiches (for the adults). I just went for the side dishes (Anna too), Erik got a little bit of everything, and Kieran? Ummm...that would be no to the hotdog (He's never had one in his life! He's never even tried it, amongst many other foods, but says that he will spit it out.), but yes to the nutritionally sound Tootsie Roll pop.

Even though we were busy chasing after Anna, the nice part was that Kieran was on auto pilot. He was in absolute heaven playing with the big boys. 

Here's Kieran playing with his idol, and our next door neighbor. Notice that he has his helmet on again (remember when he recently raked the leaves?). You'd think that he had an "issue" because you'll see him playing with it on all the time! Haha! I think it was actually easier for him because he was riding his bike in between. I didn't really have a problem with it, made my life easier, so I didn't have to put it on and take it off a bizillion times!

Playing catch with just Kieran went to monkey in the middle (though our neighbor was really nice and made sure that he took turns throwing the ball to Kieran and this other neighborhood boy)... 

which then morphed into an entire group of kids (I'm pretty sure Kieran was the youngest), playing touch football. Yes, that's Anna, trying to get into the action. I thought it was a great sign that she's going to play sports! Yay!
As soon as the words "doughnut eating contest" were said, it took Kieran a fraction of a second to bolt from the flag football game and yell, "DOUGH-NUTS!" Off he went, as quick as lightning. What I wouldn't give if he bolted for green beans!

Waiting for the contest to begin.

"Kieran, honey," I tell him. "You can't use your hands!" He didn't know this at first, and after that tried so desperately to catch the doughnut with just his mouth.

But, frustration, or temptation, or satiation, or all of the above, finally set in. After all, dinner had only been a tootsie roll pop, it was time for the second course!

I'm not sure what he was thinking here, other than my best guess would be, "How the heck to you get this doughnut off this string? I want my doughnut!"

He finally figured it out and just took the doughnut off the string. During this whole event, Anna was screaming and upset because she wanted to participate too. Erik had gone back to the house for a bathroom break, so all of the pictures of Kieran during the contest were taken with Anna in a football hold on my left, camera on the right. This girl will do ANYTHING for food! Her left hand is holding on to the string, her right hand ready to go in for the kill for what little left there is of Kieran's doughnut.

Unfortunately, it was a "no go". Kieran ate all the doughnut. If you look carefully, you can see that Anna is trying to score the doughnuts that have fallen onto the grass.

She would've eaten it too, but she got lucky that there was a half of an unmarred doughnut in the box, that she gladly polished off!

We had a nice time as a family, with our neighbors, and all the neighborhood kids. You don't hear of block parties too much these days. It's nice that there is still some tradition left in today's world. And, it gives Anna something to dream about...that she'll be able to eat a whole doughnut in the contest next year :).

Monday, October 19, 2009

pumpkin patch

This past weekend, we took a family trip to Moore's Pumpkin Patch. We had never heard of it before, until we saw it on the drive home  from the airport! 

I'm sure Kieran would have been fine holding on by himself, but I just don't trust a merry-go-round without straps!

Next, we went in the jumpy, which Anna usually loves, but she ended up bouncing maybe a few minutes. At Weezie's, she can jump on the trampoline, bounce on her bottom, and almost stand up on her feet again! Instead, Anna liked going down the slide, aka the ramp to the bouncy entrance :)

Kieran, on the other hand, lasted the whole 10 minutes, and the only way to get him out short of us climbing in and yanking him out, was to pretend we were walking away and leaving. That is ONE QUICK WAY to get a little boy out of a bouncy, let me tell ya!

Meanwhile, Anna had fun driving in the car,

and riding a bull.

She thinks she's so big, that she was planning on busting through this gate to take a ride on the bees!

So we distracted the both of them and took them on a wagon ride to pick out our pumpkins.

If you've seen pictures of me when I was about Kieran's age, then you know that this "look" was my "look". From first glance, you'd think he was extremely unhappy to be there, but if you look closely, there's a slight twinkle in the eye, just a teeny tiny, ever so slight, upturn in his lips. It's because he's giving the stubborn look, and right after this was taken, he smiled! This look was my look. We may not look alike, but we definitely have parts of our personality that are identical!

Found the perfect pumpkin for his school project!

Trying to eat the crackers through the bag.

Aren't my boys so cute?

Headed to the top of the super slide!

And away we go!

Happy to take home her pumpkin!

We picked out some colorful gourds too!

Bye, pumpkin patch! We'll see you next year!

We had fun riding your rides, sliding down slides, and picking out pumpkins to mark a festive October and November!
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