Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Turkey Turkey

Iowa State gives an entire week of class holidays around Thanksgiving, so I had lots of extra time at home...right? Well, sort of. To my surprise, we still had one of our weekly research meetings on Monday, so I went to campus during the kids' nap for that. Then I spent all day on campus on Tuesday catching up with a class term project. And then, to my further surprise, we still had one of our other weekly meetings on Wednesday, despite the holiday, so I had to hurry to campus to make that meeting too! Note to self...class holiday ≠ research holiday!

Despite the unexpected meetings and some unexpected sore throats and fevers, it was a pretty good week. We went to the Des Moines botanical center on Monday morning, had friends over for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, and then ventured out for a brief (but productive) Black Friday shopping trip on Friday.

We'll let the pictures tell the story.

Heather really enjoyed the botanical center.

Josh got his first close-ups smelling and touching some exotic flora.

He had a blast.


The fam.

We knew the little devil had horns!

Heather keeping everyone entertained.

Pose much, Heather?

Taught Heather how to use a mouse. Did not want to get off StarFall.

Thanksgiving, post-turkey, post-walk, pre-pie. Playing some games to pass the time.

Heather and Joshua tickling the ivories.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Heather has had a rough week. She has had a high fever for the last 3 days. She peaked at 104 yesterday, but we think that was the worst of it. She was only about 100 today. She has spent the days laying on the couch and wanting held. I have always thought it would be nice to have a couple days where Heather just laid there, didn't get in to anything, didn't whine, didn't scream, didn't tackle Josh...but alas, it is not so great as I would have thought. There were no laughs, no tickles, no bouncing down the stairs, no running, twirling and jumping. I felt so horrible for her. I ended up getting less done when she was sick than I normally do. My poor girl!

She seems to be doing a lot better today, so hopefully we are back to our normal, crazy, happy selves.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Date night: Cars 2

We had a really fun family date on Friday night. We thought it would be fun to watch Cars 2 together, and I (in my craziness) thought it would be a fun idea to have a themed dinner and watch the movies in cars. I spent the afternoon working and this is how it turned out.

Our decor featured: road plate mats (very useful for keeping tots occupied while mommy was finishing up in the kitchen) and tires (you will see these in other photos, we used the tires for our cars later)

About to enjoy our yummy meal.

Reading the menu. Here's what was served:

"Mack" and cheese. Southwest truth, leftovers.

To"mater" pizza. Pizza with tomatoes, spinach, basil, and cheese...actually leftover pizza Margherita.

Mater's sweet tater fries...Holy Sheeeooot! These were good!

Doc's dip sticks. Carrot sticks with ranch.

Winning race tracks. Homemade pretzels.

Stop lights. M&Ms held on by melted chocolate.

The menu. In order to give credit where credit is due, here is the link to the original menu. I actually used photoshop to change it up a bit. AND although I came up with the general idea myself, as I was looking online for ideas I came across this blog. I got the menu, and some of the food ideas and drink printouts there.

Dinoco Oil, and Fillmore's Organic Fuel. Chocolate milk, and crystal light respectively.

Daniel was super excited to be eating this exquisite, well thought out, planned, and prepared meal. ;)

We got the kids bathed and we all got in our pj's then we had races in our cars, and then sat down to watch the movie...we lasted about 20 mins in the cars.

Most of my time during the afternoon was spent painting and cutting out the cars. It was really fun to race and sit in them, but unless you have older kids that would be able to help, and probably enjoy them more, and take car of them better, you may want to just have toy car races on your table mats, or table runner. (that's what they did in the blog I looked up, but because I had already thought of the idea and started cutting, I didn't do it. BTW, I thought of the place mats before I saw the blog. I guess great minds think alike.)

Ahem...Josh likes to eat tires.

Cozy Cones. Rocky road ice cream, covered in motor oil (chocolate syrup), and topped with a cozy and delicious sugar cone.

Casa della tires. Hostess über-greasy, über-cheap (as in cheap ingredients) chocolate doughnuts.

All in all, it was a fun and relatively cheap date. I had most of the stuff, but the stuff I did buy cost me $11.50. You can't get that kind of entertainment for that little these days!

PS. sorry for the long, detailed post, but it was at the request of a dear friend. ;)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Still tired

Yesterday afternoon, I was busy with Josh when I heard Heather wake up from her nap. It was a couple minutes before I went up to go get her. I went in and this is what I found:

She was ZONKED out. I was able run downstairs and set Josh down (which caused a major whine...I was afraid she would wake up), grab the camera and run upstairs to take a couple photos (with crazy flash because her room was dark, and a loud camera) before she woke up.

And she still had a hard time waking up!

Check out those lines on her face! And all that curly crazy hair!
Glad I was able to capture it.

And yes, she asked to wear her pj's for her nap. And yes, I safety pin my daughter in her clothes to prevent undesirable accidents from happening on the floor and because she takes everything off.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Apple Orchard, Pumpkin painting, and Halloween

Beware. This is a long post, but it's mostly photos! 

 It has been a beautiful fall here. One day the kids and I went to an apple orchard to get out for the day. But this was no ordinary apple orchard. They had goats, pigs, horses, chickens, and ducks to feed; a HUGE slide, a bouncing bubble-thing, a corn pool, rubber duck races, tractor trikes, an old school house, a hay ride, a mini maze as well as a FOUR acre corn maze (can you imagine getting lost in that?), and of course they had a ton of apple trees, and a pumpkin patch. Although we took advantage of the little store they had and got some fresh apples and cider doughnuts there, because all of the trees were pretty well gleaned of apples within Heather's reach, and I didn't feel like being macho momma. We went with the plan to only stay about 1 1/2 hours and ended up staying there for 4 hours! It was so much fun! Heather's favorite part was the corn pool and feeding the goats

Feeding the goats

"BIIIG goat!"

Chillin' in the stroller

Climbing up to the super slide

Going down the slide

Bouncing bubble

Hay ride

Hungry goats

Still chillin'

Tractor trike

Zonked out

Un-birthday party

Instead of carving pumpkins, we painted pumpkins this year. It was a lot of fun.

Our happy pumpkin painter

Our happy "helper"


We went to a special Halloween party at Reiman Gardens (a local conservatory) it was a lot of fun.

Dancing with the lady bug

Our little clown

We saw an owl up close. It was neat!

Sticking out her stinger

For Halloween we dressed up as Goldilocks and the Three bears. It was a lot of fun and SO my opinion. :)

Goldilocks and the three bears. (You can also see the finished pumpkins, here)