Saturday, October 31, 2009


For Halloween my sister threw a fantastic Halloween carnival for the little kids. There was lots of fun games and delicious food.
The cutest little devil ever. When he looked in the mirror for the first time with the costume on, he laughed and yelled, "I a bat!" He thinks he's a little red bat and loves it, so we just went with it.

Appalachian black bear and the fairy.

Little dark princess. Cutest dress ever when you can see all of the detail.

Sweet little pumpkin.

The bunny and the raccoon.

Little Mermaid.

Wingless fairy. I think.

The lion.

The bear.

The pirate.

The super creepy mullet sporting Batman.

The owl cupcakes I made. Calvin loved hooting at them and ate about 4 in one day.

Story time.

Pin the nose on the pumpkin.

Sack races.

Andy was scary. He was determined to win, and barrelled over anything in his way. He took the entire competition. I was so proud of my man.

The kids.

Calvin looked darling in his sack, but instead of jumping, he liked to stand in place and cry as all of the other kids raced to the finish line.

After the games we ate pizza and drank homemade root beer. Calvin fed a mangy dog through the fence, and then licked his fingers and the dog's nose. So gross. All in all it was a really great time.

Thanks Alicia for such a fun party!

A few hours later....

We decided to Trick-or-Treat at Grandma's house first. I thought she was going to cry, she was so excited to see him at the door. I guess she's still happy that we moved closer. We hooked up with my brother and his kids to make the rounds in the neighborhood.

Darling little devil. Err, I mean darling little red bat.

The witch and the devil.

He loved saying saying Trick-or-Treat (he kept saying it all night at home when he wanted another piece of candy. He caught on quickly that we thought it was so cute, we couldn't say no.)

The End.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Decorations

A sample of our creepy house...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Party

Tonight we attended a Halloween party at the house of some friends. It was a wig party, so we had to wear a wig with whatever costume we chose. It was a lot of fun. We played games, ate food, and mingled with our neighbors. It was our first "grown-up" Halloween party as a couple and we had a fantastic time.
My own little Mad Hatter. Isn't he handsome? He stole the show with his costume...

My mom snapped some pictures when we went to pick up the boy. Aren't we just a darling couple? Some guy at the party asked me if my stomach was real. Yeah, that's not really a costume accessory that I'm into.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Cruise

Tonight Andy and I had my family over for dinner (have I ever mentioned that Andy is the best husband ever? He hates my parties, but he always helps me clean, cook, set tables, clean up, keep people's plates full, etc. He's the very best). We had hot chili, wild rice soup, and bread sticks to warm up our insides before heading out to a Halloween cruise. It snowed a couple of inches today, but instead of canceling we just bundled up and took some big quilts.

On the edge of the local river, they have a ropes/climbing course with a set up for canoeing. I've been there several times (a blind date, a family reunion, and a few youth activities), but I've never been there during the holidays. They have thousands of lights up and down the river, with dozens of carved jack-o-lanterns and different decorations. You board a barge type thing with seating around the edges and a pirate rows you up and down the river while telling scary stories. About halfway through the ride a pirate yelled from the shore, and swung on a rope to land on the boat. He kept missing and finally just chased us in a canoe. When he caught us, he handed out Halloween candy, told some Halloween/pirate jokes, and then left us for the rest of the ride.

It really was a lot of fun. Calvin and the other kids were enchanted by the lights reflecting off of the dark river, the funny pirates, and the entire experience in general. I tell MR that it was cold and miserable because she's bitter that the whole family went without her, but really it was wonderful and we'll definitely be going again next year.

I took our crappy camera because it's smaller than our good one. I forgot just how bad it is at taking pictures in the dark.

Waiting around the camp fire until the pirate came to lead us to the boat.

Calvin was throwing a tantrum because we wouldn't let him play near the fire or run off alone into the dark woods.

A post-cruise photo with the pirate who drove our boat.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cats and Leaves

Calvin has latched onto this cat I've had since I was kid. His name is Figaro. I'm glad he likes him so much, but he even insists on taking him to church and the cat is old and filthy. I've been trying to pry him away long enough to wash him, but so far haven't succeeded.

Always wearing the rain boots.

Last night Calvin and I went outside to play in the yard, and it was the first time he discovered the magical world of leaves. He ran around in piles, laughing at the crackling sound they made as they crunched under his feet. He would then scoop up handfuls and throw them all over the place, ducking underneath them so they would fall on his head. Tonight when his daddy was finally home from a long trip, we all went outside to play and the boy was in heaven. There's nothing better than fall.

It started to rain while we were jumping on the trampoline, so Andy threw him over his shoulder and ran into the house. Calvin thought it was hilarious.

Beautiful view from our back yard. See the snow hitting the tips of the mountains?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rain Boots

Today I was doing dishes and from across the room heard a little chirping voice saying "Hi! hi! hi!" so I finally looked around the room, and he giggled when I noticed him perched on the back of the couch. He played up there for quite some time, driving his cars over the couch and along the picture frame and thinking he was very clever.

Last week it was raining and we introduced the boy to jumping in puddles. His shoes were soaked and we decided the kid needed a pair of rain boots. I looked at Lands End, and they happened to have toddler rain boots on clearance, so we picked up this snazzy yellow pair. Calvin loves them. He slips them on with whatever he's wearing, and wanders around the house saying "rain boots" over and over.
Later that day he found his swimming trunks that I had not yet put away from our trip to VA. He said "beach pants!" and insisted that I put them on him. He was wearing his black and orange Halloween shirt, his blue shark bathing suit, and his yellow rain boots. He's going to be a snappy dresser, just like his mother.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

DC Trip

Earlier this month (15th - 20th) I took a trip to DC to make a final appearance at the office before I go on maternity leave, and also to attend the bridal shower of my good friend Amber. I took Calvin with me so that he could spend some time with his grandparents in PA, so I stayed with them at nights, and drove back and forth during the day.

I had planned to leave for the airport right after class, and of course it was the one day that I lost my keys somewhere on campus. I had to bail on class early, found my keys in an office where some nice girl had held them for me, met Rebekah and Calvin, and drove to the airport. We got Calvin his own seat this time, which was wonderful. He was great on the flight and loved the airplane. When we went into the back of the plane to use the restroom, Calvin made friends with the flight crew. They loved him and brought him treats from first class for the rest of the flight.

We landed at 11:30pm, picked up the rental car, and then Bek went with her sister, while Calvin and I drove to PA. At about 2:00am my cell phone with the GPS I was using died. I was lost in the middle of nowhere. I had no way of calling my in-laws without my phone, so I pulled off into a familiar city and looked for a payphone. I finally found one (strangely, they're just not as common as they once were), but it had no phone book and their number was on my dead phone. By this point it was 2:20am, it was pouring rain, and the only open place was Walmart. Calvin was sleeping, so after deliberating between being a good or bad mother, I locked him in the car and ran in. I asked several people how to get to their city, and finally found one woman who gave me excellent directions. We pulled up at about 2:45am, and Calvin was beyond excited to see his grandparents so he went straight for the toys and wouldn't go to sleep until almost 4:00am. He finally went to sleep with me.

I woke up early, but didn't want to leave Calvin alone to wake up in a strange bed, so I stayed with him until he woke up at 9:00. Then I started to get ready, but then Andy called me from Japan. It was the first time he had been able to call me in a week, so there was no way I was passing up the chance to talk to him. We talked for half an hour before I showered and got ready. By then it was 10:30ish, and when I went downstairs to leave, my father-in-law had run an errand with my car keys in his pocket. I decided me making it to the office was just not meant to be. After I was ALMOST there, I got stuck behind the slowest truck ever on a one lane mountain road. It took me 30 minutes to do what should have been my final 1o or 15 minutes. I showed up at the office at 12:30, just in time for lunch. Brilliant planning on my part really.

My sister-in-law and Bek and my two great work friends, Amber and Monica went to our old haunt, a delicious Indian restaurant close to the office. It was so fun to catch up with everyone and fill up on spicy food. Back at the office, I had a few meetings that went very well. Afterwards, I started the 1.5 hour drive back to PA. It took me much longer because of Friday traffic, but it was good to see Calvin again instead of staying away for the night. He is incredibly spoiled by his grandparents and has the time of his life at their house. They have endless amounts of toys that he loves and they indulge his every whim. He couldn't be happier.

Left early to drive down to northern VA for the 9:30 bridal shower. We had delicious breakfast pastries, and then headed up into the hills outside of Leesburg to this gorgeous old farmhouse. The couple that lives there are so creative. The husband is a photographer and has a pottery studio in the basement, while the wife has several published cookbooks and teaches private cooking classes in her kitchen. Their house is packed with interesting books and accessories from all over the world, and manages to feel comfortable and quaint instead of cluttered. They are artistic and wonderful.

For the bridal shower, we did a private Cooking Class. It was a rainy day, the leaves were vibrant and colorful, and with lots of hot tea, good conversation, and amazing food it couldn't have been more perfect.

After the shower I drove to Winchester to visit my good friend Hannah who I haven't seen in about 10 years. Her kids are darling, her house is adorable, and I love her just as much as I remembered. It was a short visit, but I'm glad I got to see her. I then hit the road for the all too familiar drive back to PA. Got there late, took a short walk with the boy, and then it was bedtime.

Today we took a trip up to Broadtop, figuring that Calvin would love the train so much more now that he's older and really into trains. He was excited when he first saw it, then we got on the train and about three minutes into the ride, he was fast asleep. He slept clear until we pulled back into the train station. It was a cold day though, so maybe it was good that he was just snuggled up by my side instead of running around. Next time I'm sure will be the magic ride that completely captivates him.

Today we hung around some more with Grandma and Grandpa, and then went out to lunch at Texas Roudhouse. It's always a treat eating out with Calvin - he lasts about 5 minutes and 2 french fries, and then wants to be up running around. At one point he and I were wandering around looking at the dead animals on the wall when he saw a picture of Elvis and yelled "Daddy!" Maybe it was the bright blue eyes and dark hair, or maybe it was just wishful thinking. We ran to the store to get some things for our trip home, and then watched the boy play the Wii for an hour. I packed everything to get ready for an early morning and then we hit the sack at about 11pm. I think he's still on Mountain time.

Got up at 3:45 am to drive to VA, returned the car, shuttled to the airport, made it through security, ate breakfast and boarded the flight all in record time. And then Calvin got super hyper. He bounced off the walls the entire flight. Having his own seat makes a huge difference, but it was all I could do to keep him from throwing toys and jumping on seats. We arrived late because the gate wasn't ready for us, and got home just in time for me to drop him off at Grandma's and head for school. It was a nice trip and we both had a great time, but it was exhausting and I think we're both excited to be home.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Andrew!

It's kind of a sad birthday. Andy is in Japan, and we are celebrating without him at his parent's house in PA. When I talked to him tonight, he said it was the worst birthday ever.

Andy, we miss you so much! We can't wait for you to be home so that we can celebrate another year of YOU. You are the best husband and father imaginable and we are sending you happy thoughts and kisses to the other side of the world. We hope you catch them. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Baby Shower and an Early Halloween (Oct. 14)

My sisters have been bugging me about doing a baby shower. I keep telling them no because 1) I hate showers in general, 2) I don't really need any baby stuff, and 3) when I was pregnant with Calvin my co-workers threw me a baby shower, and it was honestly the best shower you could ever imagine. So they decided that they would do a sister shower where just the sisters came, we ate yummy take-out Mexican food, and I got lots of presents without having to invite a lot of people that I felt obligated to invite but wouldn't really want to hang out with. It was so much fun. I love my sisters and they threw a perfect little party!

While MR was in town she wanted to dress up all of the little kids for Halloween and go "trick-or-treating" at Grandma's house since she wouldn't be around for the actual event. Alicia brought over a bunch of costumes for all of the kids, so we each picked one that fit.

First they all ran around like wild animals.

And then we tried to take pictures...

It was absolute mayhem. I could not stop laughing.
David (Dinosaur) and Tyler (Dragon): Kept growling at everyone.
Joey (Kangaroo): Cried every time David and Tyler growled.
Aysha (Snow White): Kept jumping up and down and looking everywhere but the camera.
Madilyn (Chicken): Hated the chicken suit. She cried anytime her mom would try to fasten it up.
Calvin (Pooh): Kept running off. It was impossible to take a picture before he was off again.
Maria (Cinderella): Was holding Miriam (Dalmatian). About 5 minutes into trying to take the picture, Miriam slipped off of her lap and fell face first onto the porch. She was screaming, and Maria was bawling because she felt horrible about having dropped the baby (she was fine, no worries).

We never did get a great picture. Finally we had Grandma and Grandpa sit down with them to hold all of the babies. Uncle Fias sat behind the bench and held Calvin in place. Aysha still never did look at the camera.
After this shot, the kids rang the doorbell, got some candy, and everyone had a happy, fake Halloween.