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Wednesday, November 6, 2013


***WARNING: this blog post is possibly the world's longest blog post with possibly the most pictures ever included in a blog post.
But this is me.  Is anyone really surprised?***

***Liz's recommended blog post reading method: click on one picture and scroll through the plethora,
then go back and read the text.  May the force be with you.***

Before it slips away from me, I want to record all the fun things we managed to do together as a family in October.  This is especially significant for me to remember and celebrate because October was the first month I was feeling well again after being in bed for two months straight.

Sea World
The first thing I tackled in October, with Dan's help, was a trip to Sea World.  The kids were in serious need of a good family excursion, though Granny brilliantly kept them busy while she was here with little things close to home like daily swimming and running errands and she even managed a trip to the beach with all three big boys by herself!  My boys needed to see their mama functioning like a normal person again.  I think they were starting to be afraid that I'd be a moaning, groaning zombie forever.  Sea World was so fun.  It was an overcast day and there weren't too many people there since it was a school day.  We hadn't anticipated the boys playing in the splash pads/spitting fountains at the Bay of Play, but they ended up getting soaked, which circumstances prompted three rounds on the Tidal Wave ride that we had never done because we never wanted to get wet.  Since they were already wet, Dan very bravely volunteered to take the big boys while the Littles and I parked the stroller on a bridge overlooking the river, munched snacks, and snapped pictures as they passed.  Both parties loved it.  Despite their attempts to dry themselves in the exorbitantly-priced family dryer, Dan and the boys remained damp all day long.  But, apart from a little leg chafing, they didn't seem to mind too much.  Other highlights from the day were Anders riding the Manta roller coaster with Dan and the Littles tearing around the foam pit with Mama looking on. The adventure was a great success and we were all happily exhausted when we came home.

Pumpkin Patch
For our second great adventure, I also dragged Dan along.  This baby seems to insist on drawing out my morning sickness and every day I struggle with nausea at some point in the day.  Never like in the first trimester - not as bad nor as long - but annoying nonetheless.  And I depend on Dan a lot.  And he is a perfect gentleman about it, helping out where needed and gamely participating in my spontaneous excursion suggestions that I cannot carry off on my own.  So, activity numero dos?  A pumpkin patch.  Specifically, Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center. Funny thing about this escapade is that Dan and I actually had to convince ourselves to do this.  I had a terrible experience last time I came to this place four years ago, it was swelteringly hot and I was pregnant with Karsten and I had no Dan to help me with our boisterous big boys.  It was just miserable.  I don't do heat very gracefully (or pregnancy, for that matter).  So, I was kind of hesitant to come here again, but I sucked it up and met the challenge head on.  I felt like three things were on my side this time.  First, it wasn't supposed to be nearly as hot as that dreadful day so many years ago.  Second, we were going on a holiday that wasn't a school holiday (Columbus Day) so I imagined there wouldn't be too many people there.  And third, I had Dan.  I HAD DAN!!  Well, I struck gold with the first, was totally wrong about the second, and prayed fervent prayers of gratitude all throughout the day for the third.  And back to my faulty assumptions about attendance ... the place was packed!  What were all these people doing taking their kids out of school on a non-sanctioned holiday?  Seriously!  The nerve!!  We almost turned right back around after the 40 minute drive out there.  I do crowds just about as well as I do heat ... and pregnancy.  Which is to say, I'd rather find a shady nook to hide my lumbering self in and do some quality people staring watching while someone else takes charge of making memories for my kids.  But anyway, I'm getting away from myself with all this hatin' on weather and people.  The truth is, we ended up having a great time. The place was big enough that once we got out there it didn't seem as crowded as it did from the road leading in.  The kids charged through the corn maze, chattered excitedly through the tractor ride, and hovered seriously through the pumpkin patch as they each picked out THE PERFECT pumpkin for our pumpkin carving tradition.  Karsten spotted the pony rides as we were coming into the attraction and talked about having a pony ride non-stop all through the day's activities before we finally relented and let him have his pony ride.  His reaction to said pony ride made the expense totally worth it.  Anders, feeling very left out as the little guys rode the ponies, begged for a ticket into the petting zoo. Dan is disgusted by petting zoos and wasn't too keen on giving up this fight, but eventually he relented there, too.  It's hard to deny your children such a simple pleasure in the name of saving a few bucks.  These are special excursions.  You only live once.  And these are all things we said to convince ourselves of the worthiness of the purchase as Anders took off for the petting zoo pen.  And guess what?  It was totally worth it.  Anders spent a good hour in there chasing little farm animals all over the place.  His favorites were the huge Angora bunnies and the wily, slippery piglet that was so hard to catch.  After the Littles had their pony ride, we threw financial caution to the wind and bought tickets for the whole fam damily to check out the petting zoo (all the kids, anyway, we adults are exempt from admission fees as we are simply mere picture clickers).  It was crazy fun and I took way too many pictures of my kids.  Oskar is hilarious around animals.  Karsten is tender. Anders was proud to show us what all the animals were; he'd had enough time to make life-long friends with them, after all.  And Soren was greatly amused with the voracious sheep and the mini goats playing king-of-the-hay-bale.  Good times were had at the pumpkin patch this year.

Trunk or Treat
Our third grand adventure last month was our ward trunk or treat, which I blogged about back here.

Finding Fall Foliage
Adventure #4 was a simple walk around the block during which we happily stumbled upon Fall in San Diego.  Hooray!  The purpose of our walk was initially to see the "spooky" or "creepy" house just up the street from us.  Every year these people go ALL OUT.  And I do mean all out. Their house is perhaps even a bit of gruesome overkill (pun intended).  But the boys absolutely ate it up this year and were determined to trick or treat at this house on Halloween night (which we did, by the way, and it was awesome).  We also stopped to snap a few shots of the "cow house" which graces our neighborhood with its white paint, black trim, and countless cow shrines littered about its property.  I particularly appreciate the mailbox.  :D

Pumpkin Carving
October event #5 was pumpkin carving.  We decided to make this as easy a clean-up as possible by doing all gutting and carving outside on the back patio.  We laid out strips of paper and when we were finished, we simply scrunched everything up in a ball and tossed it all in our big garbage.  Brilliant!  The plan was to keep Oskar occupied with markers while the rest of us played with scrapers, scoopers, and knives.  It was a good plan with a good effort made toward its success.  But it failed.  He was too interested in our carving implements.  So we spent a lot of time running interference and enticing him elsewhere.  Everyone had a really good time.  The boys each designed their own pumpkin faces and then Dan and I helped them carve.  Soren and Karsten did a lot of their own carving.  Soren nearly finished his entire pumpkin by himself, but it got late and the teeth would have kept him up past the time when the rest of us would have been snoozing peacefully in our beds.  So, I helped with the teeth, though it was somewhat of a difficult concession for Soren Boy.  The trickiest part of the night was getting pictures at the end since it was so far past their usual bed time.  Note the drama at the end . . . . :)

Halloween Homeschool Co-op
After pumpkin carving for Family Home Evening, our next fun outing was to our homeschool co-op's Halloween gathering.  It was fantastic!  It was held in the most magical backyard ever, with tons of stuff to do - swings, a zipline, trampoline, chickens - and there were crafts galore, followed by some spooky Science demonstrations that the kids LOVED.  It was just so awesome.  I love these courageous mamas and their endearing kids.

Painting Pumpkins
When the timing was right (meaning, when baby boy was napping), we finally got around to painting our carved pumpkins.  The big boys were very thoughtful and methodical about painting their pumpkins and I wish I had video of Karsten just gleefully attacking his pumpkin with every single color on his plate, using a different paint brush for each daub.  Of course, he inevitably ended up painting himself, all the way up his arms, but he was absolutely in heaven.  Such a zesty kid.  I only lament that I didn't get a picture of him with his paint sleeves before we washed them off, but my first reaction upon discovering them was to preserve the carpet as much as possible.  I don't know why; we have no great love for this carpet.  It was just my reaction.  Boo.  :)

Trick or Treating
And last, but not least, we took the boys trick or treating on Halloween, accompanied around our neighborhood by our best friends, the Cranes. It was a fun night.  Initially, I was contemplating keeping Oskar at home with me to pass out candy, but I'm glad I went in the end.  I would have missed out.  And Soren, Anders, and Karsten fulfilled their dream of trick or treating at the "spooky" house.  And at night, with all the moving parts going and all the creepy sounds and all the crawling mists . . . it really was pretty spooky.  It freaked out Amanda's kids.  In fact, Amanda came out with Malia clinging to her side, squeezing her eyes shut tight.  As they emerged, Amanda, not knowing that Malia's eyes were closed, innocently pointed out a giant spider next to them.  Malia opened her eyes and the giant spider chose that exact moment to violently launch itself at them.  Malia went into hysterics.  She was screaming and crying and Amanda was chuckling and shaking her head as she hurried them down the rest of the driveway.  I wish I had a picture of it, it was so perfect!  Ah, gotta love Halloween.  None of the little kids (my Karsten included) could stop talking about that spooky house and how they didn't want to go back there.  :D  Dan carried Oskar in the backpack until he got antsy enough that we let him out to walk for a bit.  He had a great time, but it was pretty late for him and when we got back, he went down super easily.

Now, I know this is a pathetic grand total of eight activities that we are so proud to have accomplished last month, but it really was an accomplishment for me.  I think I might also have harbored some fears that I would be a moaning, groaning zombie for the rest of this pregnancy and it was nice to have the nausea lift somewhat as it usually has done so completely by this time in my other pregnancies.  Here are a few random pictures from the "inbetween" moments during the month (hey, I warned you this was possibly the longest post in history).

Watching General Conference

Playing in the dirt

Playing with water

Goofing around

Playing in the rain!


Playing with our neighbor friend, Zaeryk

Rockin' Malia's pink butterfly boots

Wrestling with Daddy

Loving on Baby

Hangin' with neighbor, Debbie

Playing Soren's original board game

Admiring Anders' creativity in building an original Lego Pelican to go along with the book he's currently reading

Bumping around town in our mechanic's behemoth of a car while our dear Buster got a very expensive engine makeover

Welp, that's all folks!

No really, I promise that's all . . . for October, anyway.  :D
post signature


Daniel said...

WAY too many awesome photos to comment on. I love Dan's Law School "Athletic Department" shirt. Too funny. Oskar's face on the little horse is priceless. What a blog, Lizzie! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This blog is asking me to type out the word I see in order to prove I'm not a robot. Guess what the word is. utesCyb

I'm disgusted that I have to type the word "utes" in order to comment on your blog. :)

Samantha Ogden said...

It looks like you guys have had way too much fun! :) The pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing Liz!

lindsey. said...

Yay for epic blog posts! They remind me of how much I love your family. (Not that I could ever forget!) I love, love, love that pic of you all in the wood cut-out thing at Bates. We have a pic of Marina sticking her tiny month-old head out of that tractor and it makes me laugh every time I see it. Are you growing your hair out? You always look beautiful but I love it short. You totally pulled that pixie look off! I think I had something else I was going to say but I forget now. So I'll just say that I love you and I miss you!