Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween Costumes

Once again, I can't wait to share the costumes with you!  Our church Halloween party was last night.  They had carnival games, trunk or treating, and some prizing winning pumpkins on display.

Sam was, of course, Samwise.  I think he's ADORABLE!!!

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Jack has been cycling through many costumes.  Michelangelo was rejected when the store-bought costume didn't fit perfectly.  Then he got a cheap plastic disguise set at the dentist office.  With the eyebrows, glasses, nose, and mustache, he declared that he would be "Gwampa" for Halloween.  I didn't think the set would last that long, and he didn't like any of my other ideas for clothing for that costume.  Then he found his old pirate set and decided he wanted to be a pirate.  Sensing a theme, I decided to trick Jack.  I secretly made him some chain mail and a knight helmet.  Sure enough, once I showed it to him he declared that he wanted to be a knight for Halloween.

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Ha!  Perfect!  He already had accessories and cut quite a dashing figure.

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Ben and I got crowns and made capes to go as king and queen (or "Princess Mom" as Jack calls me).  Amanda attended too, in a thrown together but still stunning fairy godmother costume.

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Ben took a little video of the boys.  So stinking cute. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

After shots of the yard

I didn't mean to leave you in suspense about our yard makeover.  Life got really good and fun and blogging slipped by the wayside.  It's super fallicious out here.  Crispy leaves and cooler days, pumpkin and apples everywhere, Halloween costuming, and lots of other fun things for me.

Anyway, here's our stupendous new yard!!!!

Expanded back yard, rocks removed from this large tree and replaced with sod. 
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Rocks removed from two front sections surrounding porch, replaced with mulch.
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Front tree area rocks removed, replaced with mulch, and front view of our new expanded backyard.
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We are in love.  I play out here with the boys every day, even though we have to stay off the sod.  I was worried about the lack of privacy with our city code mandated style fence.  Instead I enjoy waving to neighbors and seeing a wider view.

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Lastly, here is a proud man.

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Do you see the grass?  On the right is the sod.  On the left is the grass Ben has nurtured.  He thinks his looks better, and he was beaming.  Then I asked him to do a Hank Hill impression for the picture.  Contextually appropriate, but doesn't convey his giddiness. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

GJ, Speech, Illness, Dentist, Climbing, Fences

Pictures with titles don't really keep a good record of the Mason home.  Let me take a few minutes to give a real update on the last few weeks.  

Last weekend I schlepped the boys off to Grand Junction for a short visit.  No reason really.  Just wanted to say hi.  Jack had been asking about visiting and the weather couldn't get any better for traveling.  We played, ate lots of pizza, and endured a blackout.  It was "special rules" galore, to use Jack's phrase. 

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Below is how you track a toddler in a black out.
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Saturday I had the pleasure of being a speech judge for Amanda's home meet.  This was my second time and it's still a little nerve wracking.  There's a lot to keep track of: the times, the codes, the comments, and rules you only learned 10 minutes prior to starting.  But I have a really fun time at it.  I like to leave thorough and precise compliments and critiques, leaving my hand quite cramped at the end of each round from all the lightening speed writing.  My nurse-note-taking skills have faded.  Days go by without me hand-writing anything as a stay at home mom.  Kind of strange to realize that. Anyway, Mavi kindly joined me as a judge, so I had pleasant company on the drive.  My folks also came up to help Amanda, and we all shared an early birthday cake when the meet was over. 

Sunday I had a relatively mild case of food poisoning (I think the source was from something at home).  We had to abandon our Primary class so Ben could take care of the boys while I convalesced.  Bathroom trips aside, it was a relaxing day for me.  I spent a lot of time lying down and reading.  I've been re-reading The Name of the Wind and got through nearly half of it in one day.  Such a good book.  Another positive note, this illness marks a week without anyone being sick.  Woohoo!

By Monday I felt completely better and took Jack to the dentist.  Sadly, his teeth two front teeth have decided they are done with this world and are slowly dying.  Dr. Strange (yes, his dentist is named Dr. Strange) said this is common, that after trauma to a tooth it will seem fine for years, then suddenly the nerve decides to die.   There's inflammation now and a little bit of abscess forming.  We get to watch and take him back in for removal when it gets worse.  The dentist said they would "just wiggle it out."  I thought maybe that was a special thing they can do with baby teeth, but internet searching only results in that phrase as a euphemism for yanking the sucker out the good old-fashioned way.  It's actually both front teeth that are bad on x-ray, though the chipped one is worse.  However, last night Jack fell out of bed while trying to get down to go to the bathroom.  Big crash, lots of tears, no major injuries.  Then this morning at breakfast he complained his tooth (the non-chipped one) hurt from falling.  Uh oh.

Sam continues to climb whatever he can.  I'm extra worried about chipping teeth with him now.  It's inevitable and unavoidable, right?  I mean, I spend about a third of his waking hours feeding/changing/dressing him, a third playing, and a third chasing him down from high places.  HA! I just took this photo while typing that sentence:

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Here's a sample of other times he was caught in the act.
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The gym has become a regular part of our life.  I exercise there 3-4 times a week.  The kids love playing there, in fact Jack often asks if we can go!  Since buying the membership I've lost 12 pounds, bringing me below my pre-Sam pregnancy weight.  I love having strength and energy again.  My back aches are less frequent too.  My goal is to get to my pre-Jack pregnancy weight, but honestly, if I can keep steady through the holiday indulgences that would be good enough. 

Today our backyard is beginning it's transformation.  After installing a stair railing, then painting the house, we decided our next big improvement would be the backyard.  We have a wonderful side yard with lush grass under an ash tree - perfect for climbing.  But it's all outside of the fence.  After getting several estimates we settled on Highlands Landscaping to do the job.  Not only are we going to amend the fence, we will remove all the useless rock and replace it with mulch.  That way we can plant it on our own time/budget down the road. Here's some hastily taken "before" pictures. 

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I didn't realize Marko, the owner, was Russian.  I think that's what he was speaking to his team.  He also introduced me to the team leader for fencing, named Dragon.  Ben was very happy with that :-)

Friday, October 10, 2014