Sunday, September 29, 2019

Falling It Up

"We're falling. It. Up. today mom," said by my youngest as we enjoyed a day of our favorite fall activities. We began our day early at the Beaverdale Fall Fest parade. Typically we have to go extremely early to reserve a spot, but with the impending rain, the crowds were low. We arrived just as the parade was starting, the kids got their spot while Hubs and I were able to sit back and enjoy our coffees. It was probably the most laid back Fall Fest parade I've experienced. We offered to take the kids up the festivities after the parade, but they were cold and opted for lunch at Grandma's (my parents house, which is walking distance from the parade route).

Elizabeth: "I'm just going to sit here and I want people to bring the candy right to me." Sadly, most people did bring the candy right to her. Speaking of candy, the minis ended up with more candy than they get on Halloween!

Hanging with the dog-phew, Jack.

After a filling lunch of chicken noodle soup (perfect for the rainy, cloudy day), we went to our favorite farm, Geisler Farms. I went for their wonderful (and wonderfully priced) hay bales, corn stalks, and pumpkins, but the minis talked me into playing at the Pumpkin Patch. How could I say no? Much like last year, we went on a drizzly day and pretty much had the entire farmyard to ourselves! We spent longer than anticipated racing on the carts, jumping, laying in the corn pool, and timing ourselves in the new maze. This Farm isn't as huge as some of the other patches in our area (ahem, Howell's, Center Grove), but it's our favorite family run farm to visit.

Laying in the corn is surprisingly relaxing.

The minis were super excited to have the minivan full of hay bales and cornstalks.

We had thought about going to see Andy Grammer at Adventureland, but after a few hours at the pumpkin patch in the rain, none of us felt like going to the amusement park, riding the rides in the rain, and being at an indoor concert. Instead we opted for Mexican food and costume shopping (and buying) at the Halloween store. It wound up being a fantastic fall Saturday!

The boy's favorite chori-pollo. It's a huge portion so the three of us split it.

Only my daughter asks for a to-go box and fills it with the chips and salsa to bring home.

There's always someone THIS close to me. Even when I'm on the toilet. If this looks fun, then motherhood is right for you. 

Sunday was our Chili Day at home. We watched football, indulged in Pizza Chili (really good!), and finished up our Halloween decorating. We are ready for spooky season!

We have a mixture of fall and Halloween.

Monday, September 23, 2019

They May Not Remember But You, Mama, Will

My seven year old talks a lot about the mountains in Miami. If you've ever been to Miami, or looked at a map, you know there are no mountains in or around Miami. A whole lotta ocean, but no mountains. I correct her every time with a smile across my face because I know she's confusing two different times, places, and vacations.

The mountains from our trip to Yellowstone stick out to her, but she doesn't remember details of the trip. Our next big vacation after Yellowstone was Miami. I'm guessing she confuses the two vacations because though they were months apart, in her eyes they were back to back. There's many times, many things like that. My oldest doesn't remember countless hours spent at the wading pool during his toddler years. He doesn't remember a very pregnant momma lugging him a few blocks in the stroller to play at his favorite park. Just as my middle child remembers nothing about life without his younger sister in it. They don't remember these things, but I DO.

These moments so small, yet so big. I made a comment to a friend recently about how we do things for ourselves that make them (our children) better. My children vaguely remember their first horse ride (to see Santa), but I remember the whole thing. I remember my oldest tensing up and telling me he didn't want to go on the horse. I remember encouraging him until he went. I remember how excited my middle child was and how he wanted to be a horse trainer afterwards. I remember my youngest running towards her horse so she could do what her big brother's were doing. They may not remember, but I remember all the details.

There's so many of these memories we have with our children. Hiking, random pukes in public that made us want to die, happy squeals when we did something fun with them, lugging strollers with us to events, etc. Sometimes, especially when they were younger, it seemed like more work getting everyone ready and going some place than what we got out of it. However, now that my children are older, I know that's not entirely true. 

My kids grew up going to pools and swimming so they were comfortable with water. We took them hiking at a young age and taught them proper trail etiquette and safety. As a result they knew exactly what to do when we encountered a bear hiking this past summer. We've taken them to restaurants, nice and casual, since they were babies. They can order for themselves, confident in their behavior when we go out to eat. We took them grocery shopping with us. For every disastrous grocery trip was a successful experience that resulted in the minis helping get food from the shelves, how to pick a good piece of produce, knowing how to make a grocery list and crossing each item off as they're put into the cart. We take them on vacations that they may not remember, but I forever will. I will forever remember the minis hugging me and kissing my cheeks as they thanked me for their day at Disney World while we watched the night show. All of these things we have done for them, with them, haven't been for nothing.

Just because they don't remember their first vacations, pool days, walks, hikes, road trips, snuggling with books during snow storms, etc. doesn't mean they have been for nothing. I remember them and I can see how these experiences have shaped them into the kids they are. I strongly feel certain aspects of their personalities and how they handle life has come from our constant doing from the time they were babies.

As you leave the house with your young child(ren) or babies and head to whatever storytime, errand, play group, or grand adventure you have scheduled, just remember they won't remember those times, but you, mama will. And it will help shape the very person you want them to become.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Football Weekend

We're taking our Football and Chili Weekends very seriously. At least the oldest mini is (especially since it was his idea). Saturday was the Iowa vs. Iowa State game and the oldest requested that we switch Chili Sunday's to Chili Saturday. Done! That meant Sunday was Family Fun Day....but the minis requested another stay home day instead of a day at the amusement park (like, what??!!?). So we spent two days watching football and eating chili.

Saturday morning we fit in a quick trip to our local apple orchard, Iowa Orchard. We didn't pick apples, but instead opted to grab bags of freshly picked apples, apple cider, and our favorite apple cider donuts.

Max was our official goody holder as we drove home from the orchard.

We had grandparents over to watch the big game. Max made a chicken chili, my mom brought goodies (and more chili), and waited through two game delays for the game to get underway. There wasn't a lot of football watching due to that. The minis played outside, the adults drank. It was a good day.

The above picture was taken as the minis asked to stay home for the day on Sunday. Staying home turned into coming with mom to run errands and shop for Halloween costumes. We came home with LOTS of new crafts, daycare activities, and costumes.....although the boys have yet to find their "perfect" costumes. We had a lot of fun shopping for costumes!

The cat was really happy I got him this empty box to sleep in.

Most of this came from Dollar Tree. They were putting out their Christmas items, so I had to snag a few of those before they were gone!

Mom and Dad got a day Walmart. After shopping for crafts and costumes, we dropped the minis at home and went to Walmart for a little kid free time. Of course, Matt watched football on his phone the entire time and got lost repeatedly because he wasn't paying attention. So really it probably would have been easier to take the kids and not the husband!

Yes, I had to take a picture of him trying to get a selfie of us.