Sunday, October 28, 2012

More Birthday and Some Early Halloween Festivities

Birthday celebrations for Landon continued this week. While he was at school, Mike put together some storage units and stocked them with thousands of LEGO bricks.
Each drawer is labeled with a different color or type. Hallie got the idea from a couple of blogs she reads. 

Mike got a chance to see Landon at karate on Monday.

On Tuesday, we took the birthday boy out to lunch at Smashburger. We let him open his gifts there, and he treated the other customers to an impromptu guitar recital.
He got the crown from his friends at preschool. 

The new Leo. He is a lavender scented toy from Scentsy.

Afterwards, Mike watched Eliza at her speech therapy session at Kaufman. She has made huge strides and is now routinely using one and two word combinations such as “Mommy up!” when it’s time to get out of bed and “I too [my turn]” when she wants her turn. She loves to help clean up and has a very clear sense of what she wants, which lately means her pacifier and a blanket (she will climb all the way upstairs to her room to get them). She will let us know when she needs a nap and when she wants something to eat with both words and gestures.

Hallie took Landon trick-or-treating for a Mom’s Club activity.

Eliza had a Halloween parade on Friday. 

Later that evening, Mike and Hallie celebrated the 14th anniversary of when they first met. We got home at about 8:30 and couldn’t keep ourselves awake to watch the movie we rented. Maybe it’s because we’ve been staying up late watching baseball and making Secret Santa handycrafts (we gotta get started early—the holidays will be here before you know it!).

We had made plans for Saturday morning, but neither parent was feeling well, and the weather was gloomy, so we ended up putzing around the house. By the afternoon, we’d had enough of each other, so Mike ventured out into the chilly fall with the kids. He persuaded Landon and Owen that raking leaves was play, not work. They pretended the leaves were Halloween candy they were hoarding.

We had our branch Halloween party at church in the late afternoon. Eliza, who earlier had dressed festively, suddenly had a meltdown when we tried to dress her up as a frog. She went in her onesie and leggings as a little fluffy cloud instead. Landon dressed as a pirate again, and Mike had the sudden inspiration to use his tan trench coat and fedora and dress as a hard boiled private detective. He was aiming for this:

But more people asked him if he was this:
 or this:
 or even this:

Hmph. At least he dressed up.

On Sunday, Landon sang and Hallie directed our branch’s Primary program at church. The kids sang beautifully, and Hallie is glad the program is over for another year.
Our little diva ready to brave the elements in her hounds-tooth frock. Tres chic!

Landon kept asking questions this week about what would happen if lots of toilet paper were flushed down the toilet. Well, he found out when the downstairs toilet began to overflow and leak through the wood floor into the subfloor and down into the basement. Could have been worse, but we hope Landon has now learned firsthand what happens when you stuff the toilet. Grr.

We have let Landon stay up a little later than normal to watch the World Series. We stayed up to watch a disappointing end to a great post season. Oh, well. Better luck next year.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Celebrating Teeth, Tigers, and a Big Boy's Birthday

Eliza had her first trip to the dentist today. She has perfect little teeth, all well spaced. We got Landon a haircut after his trip to the dentist (perfect teeth too!) and before his karate class and basketball tryouts.

Dad got his haircut, and Mom got her hair done on Tuesday. Don’t worry. We are not touching Eliza’s luscious locks any time soon.

On Thursday, Hallie was running errands and driving down a local road when the driver of a municipal garbage truck opened his door and took out her passenger side mirror. Very sad. Fortunately, the city will pay for the damage.

We have caught Tigers fever, and Landon insisted that he and Eliza get dressed in their Tiger blue and orange to watch Detroit sweep the Yankees and go on to the World Series. Go Tigers!
First try: Cute girl, goofy boy

Second try: Cute solo shot

Third try: Well, we tried anyway

We spent Saturday celebrating Landon’s birthday with his and our friends next door. After Hallie and Doreen went to a mom-to-mom sale, the rest of us met them at Chuck E. Cheese’s and played games. We then had lunch at Olga’s before eating Cars-themed cupcakes and ice cream at home. Landon received dart guns, and he and Owen played with those in the backyard until we parents finally had our fill and had the boys take a rest.
Mike spun 100 on the Showcase Showdown and got 100 tickets. Jackpot!

Ride-em, Cowgirl!

You'd think he won the lottery. 

Such a big boy!

Later on the party continued over next door as the kids ran around like banshees before finally collapsing into bed. Landon has felt ill for the past few days, so he really needed to tone it down. We had a much more low-key day on Sunday.   

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pig Tails, Tree Trimming, Lego Fest, and Bike Theft

Hallie got the kids a pre-Halloween treat in the form of Franken Berry cereal. We know by our experience with Lucky Charms that Landon does not like the dehydrated marshmallows. Eliza has no such problem, as she showed when she snuck a few extra when she thought no one was looking.

Eliza’s hair is getting long enough that it’s starting to get a bit unruly, so we are trying to get her used to the idea of wearing rubber bands in her hair. So cute!

"What're you looking at?"

Fall is really reaching a peak here, and throughout the neighborhood we see trees displaying their varied shades and leaves littering the ground in giant piles. Last week, a couple of guys had come down the street looking to trim back trees for a modest fee. Hallie has attempted to get the city to trim back our locust tree, but as the city continues to drag its bureaucratic heels, she decided to take the opportunity as it presented itself. Unfortunately, when the men came back, Hallie was out picking up the kids. They claimed to have finished the job, wanting nearly double what they’d offered to do it for, and they didn’t bother to clean up a significant portion of the litter. Oh, brother. The city is still coming to finish the job within the next few weeks, but we cleared out the mess, which we’ll use in the fire pit.

Hallie had wanted to take Landon to see a movie on Thursday, but Landon decided not to behave so well, so she kept the babysitter and had her own outing. Landon may have learned his lesson, because he managed to behave himself well enough on Friday to attend the Lego KidsFest out in Novi.
Note that he is using the awesome Lego camera he received a while back from Grandma and Grandpa. Every time Mike wanted to take his picture, Landon wanted to take one too. 

The Lighting McQueen sweatshirt was a nice touch. 

Landon put his little piece of the giant US map visitors put together in Texas. Very interesting. 

Ahoy, matey! 

Hallie and Eliza had their own girls’ night out at IKEA, where Hallie bought some organizational materials and Eliza pretended to play in a kid-sized kitchen. We’re really happy to see her beginning to chat and engage in imaginative play. She’s becoming quite the little mimic.

After we came home and as we were getting ready for bed, Hallie happened to look down at the garage (it’s detached and faces the back alley), and she noticed that the light was on. Mike went down to check, and he discovered that Hallie’s bike had been stolen. What’s peculiar about the situation is that whoever stole the bike took the time to remove the wicker basket hanging on the front of it and leave it behind. What? You can’t fence a basket as well as the rest of the bike. It appears that Hallie’s bike was the only thing stolen, and everyone else’s bike plus all other equipment remained pretty well untouched.

Landon played his last soccer game until April on Saturday. Rain threatened the whole time, but we dressed warm, and we managed to avoid getting wet. As goalie, Landon stopped two shots on goal. Good job! Later on, the grown-ups did some chores around the house while they watched the Tigers win a nail-biter over the Yankees. Should have been a shutout, but we’ll take the win. 

What with General Conference last week and all, we forgot it was Fast Sunday this week. We must have been too excited to try out Hallie’s super duper French toast. So delicious to our tummies. . . .