Monday, November 24, 2014

a weekend: food, family, and visits

*Update ... in case you were wondering, the mouse is dead! We caught him. Saturday morning was the best because he was trapped. And I don't have to tiptoe around my kitchen any more. 

On Friday night Landon's parents and youngest sister came in for a little visit. We were all pretty excited to see them. When they come in for a visit we've fallen into a little pattern of ordering pizza for dinner on Friday night, it's a nice treat for us and for me -there is very little to clean up!

The last time they were in I had told my mom-in-law that I wanted to get Emerson a Little People Nativity set. Funny enough she had been wanting to get him one too. So this time when they came to visit she brought the Nativity set with her, after checking with me that it was okay. Emerson loved [loves] it. He played with it nearly all weekend. If we were in the living room, he was playing with it. He got really excited about when I put some batteries in and the angel played a song. I love that he is already learning the Christmas story.

Because the weather is not ideal for being outside we did something a little different and went to Sam's Club. We don't have a membership card, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to take advantage of their card. Also, I really just wanted to go get a few items in bulk. Turns out, they didn't have either of the things I was looking for. It wasn't a wasted trip, we still got a few things, even some Christmas gifts, but I was sad I couldn't find a box of 20 plus of the strawberry milk I was looking for.

I'm sure you don't remember, but Emerson doesn't like milk. Ever since I weaned him, he hasn't cared much for milk. I've tried all kinds, but nothing. Until now. The only kind of milk he will drink is strawberry -with the cow on it. Silly boy. Maybe it's not good that I'm giving him extra sugar in his milk, but hey, it's milk right? So that has to count for something. Sadly they only had chocolate and that just wouldn't do.

For dinner we tried a new restaurant and agreed that it was so good. It was fancier than most we eat at [there were white cloth tablecloths -though they thankfully had a sheet of white paper on top too, so Emerson couldn't ruin the whole thing :] and the food was so good! Landon and I might have to go back there on a date sometime. Dressed a little fancier than the hoodies we were wearing ... eh.

On Sunday Emerson was again, spoiled with attention and got to do anything and everything he wanted to. Lucky duck. It's always nice to see the in-laws and have them come to visit. And it's always quiet and sad when they leave in the afternoon. But we'll see them soon for Christmas!

Friday, November 21, 2014

shopping, toys, and thanksgiving

Just a few things on this day ... 

one. I took both babies on an outing to the grocery store. I'm sure this seems like no small task to those of you with two children or twins [or to those of you with both twins and additional children!], but for me it took a while of building up the courage to actually do it. Yes, I've taken them to the library a few times now, but the store? I needed to get a few things and wasn't sure what this afternoon/evening would look like time wise, so I loaded up the munchkins and off we went. After bundling them up, walking them inside, plopping them into a shopping cart, we managed to shop for a little while.  Four hours later and that outing seems like it was forever ago. 

two. Much to my extreme dismay and disappointment, we still have a mouse in our kitchen area [probably living behind the fridge ... ]. This morning we saw droppings in Emerson's little play shopping cart. Good gracious. And there were books and toys in the cart, so that's even better. I have yet to work up the courage to clean that cart out, but I know I can't let it sit there much longer, because, well, gross. 

three. Landon's parents and youngest sister are coming to visit us this weekend. So that's happy. This will be the one time the guest/half bath is not cleaned and prettied and tidied up before we have visitors. I just can't bring myself to go in there, let alone clean where I know a mouse could be lurking .... This thing needs to die. 

four. On a happy note I'm excited to make some Stuffed French Toast for breakfast tomorrow. I've been thinking about it all week and I just can't wait for breakfast in the morning! It's one of my favorites. I always try to make something tasty for breakfast when we have guests/family visiting. Since my in-laws come about once a month I try not to make the same things over and over [even though I'm not sure they would remember what I made for breakfast for them a month ago...] and I think it's been long enough since I've made this dish for them. Happy. 

chess pie. source

five. Next week is Thanksgiving [though I'm sure you all already knew that], and I am just so excited! I love seeing family and spending time together, especially when a really good meal is involved. We usually visit my sister in Minnesota and it's usually one of a few times I see her during the year. There are several things I love about visiting her for Thanksgiving, one of which is the food. We make the food we had for Thanksgiving and Christmas growing up. Food that I love: green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top, stuffing, a really good shredded cheesy potato dish,  creamed corn, frog eye salad, surprise rolls, chess pie . . . oh, they are all so good. And they are foods I never get to eat which makes them even better. When we celebrate holidays with Landon's family the food is always very good too, but it's a different good. They make different dishes from what I grew up with and love and always miss around the holidays. So it's just a little more reason to love Thanksgiving with my sister. 

Linking up here

Have a cozy and bright weekend! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

eeekkk! there's a mouse in my house

Our house has two and a half bathrooms. One of which is off the kitchen, it's not ideal and I wouldn't choose to put one there, but it is what it is. Anyhow, the other day I was in the downstairs bathroom about to clean it up and as I was throwing something away in the trash can I noticed little black things in the corner around the base of the trash can. 

Huh. What's that? I thought. It kind of looks like droppings . . . or maggots? I hope. I'll ask Landon to have a look when he gets home. And not clean it up. 

So that's what I did. Only, I forgot to ask Landon to have a look. 

This afternoon around lunch time Landon went in the bathroom and said, "What does mouse poop look like?" 

And that's when I knew.

There was [correction: is] a mouse in our house - kitchen and bathroom to be a little more precise. 

I tucked my feet up under me and shivered and shook.   

See, I can do and handle lots of things. Smooch a spider. Kill a cockroach. Chase a gecko away [mostly]. But rodents? No. Never. 

When I was nine it was discovered that a rat was living in the box spring of the mattress my brother was sleeping on top of. The rat nibbled on his hair while he was sleeping one night. He didn't sleep in that bed again, but with my sister and I. And we all slept with our sleeping bags closed around our heads. And ran past that room. We got a cat even though my mom is extremely allergic. Finally that rat was caught/killed/died.... 

We had other rats. But since we had a very good and faithful cat they stayed out of the house. For the most part. 

Because of that I have an extreme fear and hate of rodents. 

I can't function. I run. I hide. And don't come out. I clam up. I can't breathe. I tip toe. I hyperventilate. I stay away. 

They freak me out. 

Landon just laughs. Smiles. And says I'm being overly dramatic and putting a show on. A show for who?! 

This is real, people. 

So now we have a mouse in our house. Kitchen. Where I cook. And Emerson plays on the floor. And where we eat [smart mouse I suppose...] 

We have two traps set up, one in the bathroom where the droppings were. One by the fridge where I also saw more droppings. 

Landon said, "He's probably staying behind the fridge."

Oh, lands sakes. 

This thing needs to be gone. Dead. Killed. The sooner the better. 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

a cup of cocoa

Hot chocolate is a nice little treat sometimes. Especially on cold snowy days. So the other day there was nothing else I wanted than a nice hot cup of cocoa. With marshmallows. And whip cream. Because it's better with both, right? 

I don't have a special recipe for hot chocolate or anything. Well, actually I do think I have one, but that's not what I used. I just added a few scoops of a hot chocolate peppermint mix [yum] to some hot water and enjoyed. 

Special made hot chocolate [not from a mix] tastes much better I'm sure, but most days I'm not patient enough to make it from scratch. That or I'm too lazy. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

some favorite things

I've seen this link up around a lot today and thought it would be fun to join in. I know I'm not getting much for Christmas [I already got my present], but it's still fun to have a list of favorite things, right? Right. 

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

A new winter coat is an absolute necessity. It is freezing here and my one good, warm, winter coat is worn out and old. And I need a warmer coat, with an extra lining in it for the winters here with the freezing wind and snow and all that. I really do hope someone loves me enough to get me this coat [or one quite similar to it].

The pretty nail polish and Jamberry wraps are all ideas from one of my good friend. We were talking a while ago about both and now I not only want to try the wraps, but I also want the nail polish she was wearing that day.

Slippers are something that I wear out. I've gone through countless pairs of them and these ones are the only brand I have found that is able to withstand my extreme slipper wearing habits. They lasted me three years, as opposed to the usual three months. Plus they're cute and comfy. Jess mentioned this sweater and I love it, so I had to add it to my list.

A fun mug would be nice, I like a different one every now and then and all my much look the same. There is something about having a special mug, right? And you can't go wrong with candles. Oh, I love the candles. And also mittens, to you know, help me survive these freezing winters.

Anyhow... those are some of my favorite things [and things that would make nice Christmas gifts, for me at least ;]. I'm linking up here today.

Monday, November 17, 2014

a Chinese Thanksgiving and a weekend

We started celebrating Thanksgiving a little bit early. Sort of. The students in Landon's research group had a little pre-Thanksgiving dinner. After some other plans were cancelled we decided very last minute like to go. Thankfully I had made some mini raspberry cheesecakes [similar to these] already made up for our cancelled plans so I just took those with us. 

The Thanksgiving dinner was a very Chinese one, as most of the students in the group are from China. There was good fried rice, pork, and other dishes, though I can't tell you the names of them for the life of me. Everyone kept insisting that we eat more and more.  It was a fun way to spend our evening, all squished in a tiny over heated apartment. It's been nice being able to spend a little more time with the students Landon sees all the time. 

The rest of our weekend consisted of grocery shopping, some basketball, a little bit of football, snow, a new church, and naps. It was quite nice. Landon had to work all weekend long, so Emerson and I hung out while he worked away. 

In other news, I just realized that next week is Thanksgiving. How is that possible?! Where has this month gone? This also has me thinking that I really need to get my Christmas shopping done. I have nothing yet. Not one thing, and after a few years of having my shopping done in advance I am realizing just how much I like having it finished before everyone gets in the Christmas crunch mode. I need to get a move on it. 

Oh, what fun!  

Friday, November 14, 2014

snow, soup, naps, and Christmas

It's Friday! We have a few fun things planned for this weekend, but mostly it will be pretty low key with a little of this and that and chores and what not. I thought I'd join in the fun again this week and share five things...

one. snow. Yesterday it snowed all day long, and it was wonderful. Sadly the snow didn't pile up into big beautiful piles, but it did stick, so at least there's that. These days are getting cold. While I will miss being outside, I do like the cozy feeling of being warm inside knowing that some fun holidays are coming soon. And oh, how I love the snow... I learned very quickly that Emerson LOVES it. We went outside to catch some falling flakes and that boy did not want to come back inside. Though, playing outside for those few minutes did give me an idea for a Christmas gift for him: a new warm coat and some snow pants ... and maybe boots? I'm not sure how much we'll be outside.

two. soup. The falling snowflakes made me really want some warm and yummy soup. Thankfully I had planned in advance for this [making soup that is] and had all the goods I needed for some soup. While the munchkins ate their lunch I started a pot of potato dumpling soup. It's pretty much the best soup ever. I froze some for me to enjoy later on this winter too, as I am the only current fan of soup in my house. It's really quite sad as soup is so good, there are so many kinds, you can make it on the cheap, it lasts for a while, and it's filling. I don't understand what there's not to like about soup, but my hubby is one of those people who just doesn't like it. It pretty much kills my soup spirit each winter. This year I'm determined to enjoy it though.

three. an outing with two. On Wednesday I gathered up my courage and took two little munchkins to the library's story time. An hour before it started I started getting ready to go, getting them ready, getting their things, snacks, water, books, toys .... whatever I thought might be helpful for a less stressful trip to the library. We made it almost right on time. And then we enjoyed some stories, a craft [kind of], and we joined my friend and went for pastries and coffee afterwards. I wouldn't have gone if she hadn't been there, she helped so much, at craft time, walking the littles, holding hands... Even though I didn't really get to chit-chat with the other moms, it was an outing and it was so nice to be out of the house during the day and feel like a real person. And the munchkins did great, even though they were doing things when they normally slept. The successful outing gave me the courage to do it again next week!

four. new nap time? The other day the little turkeys were playing and reading and running around like they always do, being as jolly as could be and before I knew it it was nearly 11 o'clock [usually they are napping by then]. So I just decided to feed them lunch and put them down afterwards. And I tell you what, I quite liked that afternoon nap. For some reason I felt like the day was more broken up and the night/evening hours didn't last as long as it usually does [even though there are the same amount of hours?]. Maybe it's because he was a little more rested closer to dinner time, which makes a big difference. So, now I'm thinking of making this a daily thing. Thoughts?

five. Christmas decorations? I love Christmas. It's my favorite. Every little thing about it is so special. One thing I really love about it is enjoying the Christmas tree. Growing up we always put the tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. But since we've been married we've kind of done the decorating on different days. We usually spend Thanksgiving with family and it's always nice to come home to a Christmas decorated home. I was thinking about decorating next weekend... but now I'm thinking about starting a little earlier, like Sunday. You know, since Thanksgiving is so late this year and all. Would that be crazy?

Anyhow. I hope you have a cheerful weekend! Maybe with some snow? Or not, if that's not your thing.

Linking up here with Darci.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

little adventures

Staying inside all day long can make for really long days. It's not fun to always be indoors, a little daily adventure or outing is always something that helps break up the day and gives us something to look forward to. It's harder to get out of the house every day in the winter, so I'm not sure what we'll do when these chilly days stick around. We can only play outside in the cold or snow for so long [or not at all depending]. Here are some of our favorite things to do and some that we're just starting. 

this picture is from a warm summer day :) 

- going on walks. We love to be outside and walking is such a fun way for us to exercise together. Need I say more?  

- playing at the park. Most of our walks end up at the park where we play for quite some time. We could stay there all day and Emerson would be as happy as a clam. 

- going to the library. After our trip to the library for story time last week I decided it was something we needed to do more! It will be especially great for the cold winter months. 
- browsing the aisles of Target. Exciting, I know. But sometimes we just need to get out of the house. And somehow Target is just more exciting than staying at home or going to the grocery store. These trips usually happen once a week. 

That's what we like to do for our little outings. What do you do to get out of the house and add some excitement into your days? Especially during the cold winter months? 

Thanks for linking up with us! This is the last of the series for a bit. Enjoy your Holiday season and the special days with your family. 

What are your favorite toddler outings?  Check out the other mama's blogs for their ideas  And be sure to link up with us below if you also have a post on this topic. 

In the difficulty of motherhood, it's so important to find other mamas to relate to.  Toddlers can be a handful and leave you wondering what to do next.  This series is here to help you navigate through toddlerhood while being able to relate to other mamas going through the same thing.  We may not always know what we are doing but we give it our best shot anyway.  Come back each week to check out our new topic and read along with the other hosts of our One Year and Beyond series!
Oct 2:     Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials 
Oct 9:     Learning to love your post-pregnancy body
Oct 16:   Busy Toddler Activities
Oct 23:   Keeping in Shape While Caring for a Toddler
Oct 30:   Sick Day Tips
Nov 6:    How to Not Lose Your Patience with your Toddler
Nov 13:  Favorite Toddler Outings

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

a sweet little evening surprise

Last night Emerson and I spent most of the evening together, just the two of us. We did a little of this and that, and a lot of playing and reading. Around dinner time I decided to make some baked oatmeal because we had a ton of berries [they were a super deal at the store this week!] and they are the perfect combination. That dinner was the best thing ever. Seriously. I just love me some breakfast.

As we were finishing bath time Landon came home, full of surprises, for both of us. A few weeks ago  Emerson's humidifier was broken [he was helping to put it away and well... it broke], so we've been without one since then. Which is fine, but recently Emerson has developed a cough. And it always seems to be so much worse at night. I took him to the doctor just to make sure there was nothing was wrong. He's fine. But we needed a humidifier to help him at night. So Landon brought one home for him last night. An elephant to boot. Emerson was in love from the moment he saw the elephant on the box. Thank goodness for these guys. 

I wasn't left out of the gift giving either. I was treated to my favorite drink: white chocolate raspberry mocha. Oh, it was such a sweet little surprise and made the cold night all the sweeter and cozier. 

It's little surprises like these that brighten up my day. I never know when I'll get a fun surprise which makes them all the better. What a happy night.

Friday, November 7, 2014

a drive and a visit.

It's November. The start of my beloved holiday season. Thanksgiving. Christmas. How I love them so. And the days leading up to them are so merry. I can't wait to get started on some Christmas shopping and have good visits with family.

one. an adventure and a visit. Yesterday I didn't have to babysit [again] and thought it would be nice to do something fun and different from our day to day or just staying home with Emerson. After breakfast I packed up the car for a little day trip to visit my good friend Carrie. I was a little anxious about the trip because I'd be driving alone with a toddler for two hours, one way, and I wasn't sure how it would go. But he did amazing. I got him in his seat, put on a show for him to watch and he just sat back there happy as could be. I really don't know how we would do long trips without a show for him to watch. We didn't have to stop at all for any breaks, I just pulled over a few times to play the show for him to watch. Even on our way home, he was amazing -and it was dinner time. No fussing or whining. I gave him a cup of crackers and he nibbled on those while he watched his show. When the show would end he'd say, "Oh noo! Nonononono!" At which point I would find an appropriate place to pull over as soon as possible.

we had such a good trip and visit that I didn't even take a single picture, this is from a different trip. That's when you know you have a good time ... you're just too busy enjoying life. 

two. the visit. We arrived around lunch time and were able to spend the afternoon with Carrie and her little nugget. The boys didn't play together, they just kind of did their own thing. Though, that's kind of what I was expecting. They were cute and Emerson loved all of the fancy new toys that are so different from his own.

three. nap time. Have I ever said how much I love nap time? I love it. Even though Emerson wasn't acting sleepy at all and was playing so sweetly with the fun toys, I decided he should probably take a nap. I didn't really want to pull him away from the toys, because he was being so good, but I know what a day is like with no naps, and it's not fun. ... so I hoped that it would be a good one and that even though he'd nap while we were visiting he would still be an angel on the car ride home. He did both: a good nap and a great trip home.

four. chit-chat. One of the best parts about this visit was seeing Carrie again after months of not seeing her. It really had been too long. They boys were so sweet and thoughtful that they napped at the same time so we could talk without being distracted by the little munchkins. It was so nice to be able to talk to a friend and not have to go through all of the "get to know you" type conversations. But to know the person you're talking to and not having to filter your conversation is so nice. Even though it was just a day trip, that visit filled my cup. It was well worth the driving, I'm just glad I had a day off so I could go for a visit. If only we still lived close to each other, that would be nice...

five. an update of sorts. A few weeks ago I mentioned I had the opportunity to babysit another little boy for two months. After talking to his mom some more and discussing the logistics and routine, she decided to go with another sitter. I have a routine for the babies toddlers, one of the big things being nap time in the morning. He son naps in the afternoon, and I just don't have a play place for him if the other kiddos are sleeping -because we play in Emerson's room. I told her I would be happy to watch him if he napped when they did, but that's kind of the only way I could do it. In the end she found a sitter who could better accommodate his schedule. It is a relief, in a way. Two active munchkins are a lot to handle and three... man. I would need a nap time of my own by the end of the day!

I'm linking up here with Natasha today. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

have patience, have patience . . .

Generally, I'm a fairly patient person. At least I think so. Sure there are those times when I'm driving and am stuck behind a tractor, for 20 minutes, on a highway, that I get a little impatient [and late to my destination]. But usually with people I'm pretty patient. Hopefully Landon would say the same thing? 

However, there are times here and there that Emerson is just plain old cranky pants for no reason and has been for a while. Or he whines, cries, and fusses as I continue to give him the wrong thing to eat for lunch or dinner. Or he wiggles and squirms non stop as I try to put lotion on him, get his pajamas on him, change his diaper, or brush his hair. Sometimes it's all of those within minutes of each other. These times are usually at the end of the day and I'm exhausted and tired and just want to read stories, cuddle, and lay him down and then go read a book on my own or something. These are the times that my patience is sometimes tried more than I would like. 

But I know that getting upset does nothing and gets me nowhere. I know that yelling does nothing and only makes me more upset -and apparently it's hilarious as I yelled once and he died in a fit of giggles. 

So, what do I do when need to cling on to the last bit of love, joy, gentleness, and patience I have? 

- count to ten, in my head. 

- whisper my words instead of using my normal voice, let alone raise it.

- sing "Have Patience",  a song I learned as a child.

- ignore it, if possible 

- remind myself that this will be over soon, like within seconds probably, and all will be cheerful again soon [and if not there is bed time/nap time in the not too distant future :] 

How do you keep from losing your patience with your toddler?  Check out the other mama's blogs for their tips.  And be sure to link up with us below if you also have a post on this topic. 

In the difficulty of motherhood, it's so important to find other mamas to relate to.  Toddlers can be a handful and leave you wondering what to do next.  This series is here to help you navigate through toddlerhood while being able to relate to other mamas going through the same thing.  We may not always know what we are doing but we give it our best shot anyway.  Come back each week to check out our new topic and read along with the other hosts of our One Year and Beyond series!
Oct 2:     Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials 
Oct 9:     Learning to love your post-pregnancy body
Oct 16:   Busy Toddler Activities
Oct 23:   Keeping in Shape While Caring for a Toddler
Oct 30:   Sick Day Tips
Nov 6:    How to Not Lose Your Patience with your Toddler
Nov 13:  Favorite Toddler Outings

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

a morning outing

This morning Emerson and I enjoyed a fun and very different morning from our usual one. I have the day off today and tomorrow, so I thought it would be nice to do something with my little buddy. Last night I was talking to a girl I met a few months ago to see if she was up for doing something and that's when she reminded me that story time existed.

After we got ready this morning we headed to the library for story time. We enjoyed a few songs, stories, and even did a little craft. Apparently it's the Library's birthday [140 years, I think]. My friend knew a few other moms at story time, so we did the craft together and afterwards we walked to a little pastry shop, and then to a coffee shop. We nibbled on the pastries, sipped coffee, tea, water, and chit-chatted. It was so nice.

Even though part of me was dying a little bit inside because Emerson's nap time is 10 and that's when story time started, I still went. And then I went for the pastries and coffee, pushing him even further from his nap time. And I loved every minute of it. I'm pretty sure Emerson did too.

Now I'm just trying to figure out a way that I can make this a weekly thing ... with two toddlers. I'm hoping that I'll build up the courage to try it again with both of them. I had forgotten how refreshing it is to get out of the house and see people! This morning may have been just a little trip to the library, but it so much more than that to me; it was was a breath of fresh air.

I am so thankful for the little things like this morning that bring extra joy and sunshine into my life.

... And when we got home, at noon, two hours past his nap time, I debated of how we should spend the rest of the afternoon. Should I feed him lunch? put him down for a nap first? I asked if he was sleepy and he said no. So I tried to feed him lunch. It wasn't happening. Nap time it was. Before I even finished reading him a story he was out, cuddled up against me. The sweetest thing. Oh, how I love that boy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

rainy day

This morning I was greeted by raindrops falling on my roof. I love these days. They are the perfect days for sitting at home and sipping tea or coffee. For reading a book. For cozying up under a warm blanket. If I could do that all day long, I would. Regardless of if I'm snuggled up or not it's the perfect way to start November. And it makes me glad I can stay at home and enjoy it and not have to brave the cold and rain. 

Enjoy your day! And Happy November.

Monday, November 3, 2014

a happy halloween

On Friday evening we enjoyed a very happy Halloween together. I'm pretty sure I had some fun Halloweens when I was little, but this one has to be the best one I've had since then ... maybe even better.

While Emerson took a little afternoon rest I got a few things together for our evening activities: a lunch packed for Emerson, a yummy treat plated up to take to the pumpkin carving, camera, snacks, books, and a few other things. Although it felt like I was leaving with the whole house as I was loading it up into the car.

Our first stop was Landon's office building, several of the secretaries were doing trick or treating. After getting Emerson dressed up we went inside and met Landon. We walked around and Emerson enjoyed his first ever trick or treating. He was so good about it too. I'd tell him to take one candy from the basket, he would look at the candy, then gingerly reach his dimply little hand in there and pick just one candy. He was always sure to say sign "thank you" to the giver of treats, after I asked him to. They didn't know what it meant, but we did, and we told them that's how he says thanks. Each time he was so shy and sweet about getting candy and saying thanks.

We walked around the building for a while and made sure to hit up all of the participating offices. It was so nice that we were able to go trick or treating. If we hadn't have had the option of trick or treating at the civil building, we wouldn't have been able to go. It was freezing outside. It was nice to enjoy the safety and warmth of the inside while still having some Halloween fun.

Even though Emerson is still so little, and didn't really understand what was going on,  I think he still enjoyed himself. He loved running down the long hallways and then turning a corner to keep on running [maybe we should go play there more often? ;]. A few ladies gave out cookies or a little bag of snack bunnies, and he gobbled those up fast.

We got to explore most of the building and Emerson lead the way for most of the night, only being a little more shy when people were around.

It was the perfect way to go trick or treating. I think he'll have even more fun with it next year. And the loot he got was pretty good too. No bad stuff at all. Just the good things like Twix, Snickers, Milky Way, Reece's Cups, M&Ms ... things that he can eat and enjoy .... or maybe not? I'm sure that even if he doesn't eat them, someone around here will enjoy the tasty treat that they are ;)

After trick or treating we had a little bit of time before the pumpkin carving event started. And it was dinner time. So we went across the street to enjoy a little meal out as a family. Emerson ended up choosing something off of the kids menu [really, he pointed to what he wanted to eat] and ate it. He's getting so big! It was such a sweet and relaxing time as we ate dinner together. Even though it wasn't our usual Friday night - it was better. It was fun going to that particular restaurant for dinner. We had eaten at that same one when we came to visit Illinois when Landon was looking as schools. It was February and snowing like crazy. Emerson was just four weeks old. It was a little different going back this time, but just as fun.

After dinner we went to the pumping carving contest. It's an event done by one of the organizations in the department. We went last year and thought it'd be fun to go again. While we didn't carve a pumpkin, we did get to visit with some of the students, eat yummy treats, enter Emerson in the costume contest [he won :], and what not. We didn't stay the whole time, but it was fun for a bit and the students always seem to love seeing E and playing with him. Apparently there aren't many babies in the PhD program....

After the pumpkin carving we stopped to trick or treat at Bee's house. We stayed and talked/played for a little bit and then headed home. It was a super full [but not crazy busy] Halloween evening. I hope you all had evenings just as fun!