Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Best Day {Mrs. Heather’s and Oktoberfest}

After a late night out at the Boo Bash, Kenny and I scrambled around the next morning to get ourselves and both kids up, fed, and dressed. We had planned to be in the car by 9am, but we didn’t leave the house until almost 9:45. Typical these days.


I had invited Bridget and her kids to join us at the pumpkin patch on Tuesday afternoon, but she declined since her family had plans to go to Mrs. Heather’s in Hammond on Saturday. I checked out their website and decided Riley would love going there too. And since we were in the middle of a really nice stretch of weather, that sealed the deal. So that’s where we were headed on Saturday morning.

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We had never been to Mrs. Heather’s before, so, even though I saw some pictures online, I didn’t really know what to expect. But it was fantastic. There was SO much to do spread all throughout the farm’s four acres.


There was facepainting. There was a corn maze. There were two slides made out of giant culverts. There were two huge hay piles to jump in. There was a round “cornbox” tub.  There were old-fashioned carriages scattered around for photo ops.



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There were swings and a zip line made out of old tires. There was a merry-go-round, a see-saw, and a sand pit. There were even two huge “jumping pillows.” The possibilities were endless. Riley simply ran from one thing to another, an expression of pure glee never leaving his face. And Rory seemed to enjoy sitting back and watching all of the action.





Oh, and yes, there were pumpkins. But those really were an afterthought, although I did get some cute pictures of the boys in the pumpkin field, after Rory got past a minor freakout. And, as part of their admission price, each of the boys got to take a pumpkin home. (All adults got in free but no pumpkins for us.)




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Up until now I have neglected to mention that we also had unused tickets to Oktoberfest. And Saturday was the last day of the festival. Granted, we wouldn’t have been out much money at all, but Kenny and I both wanted to go.




So, on our drive home from Mrs. Heather’s, with Rory luckily napping, we thought, Why not just go straight there? If we go home, it’s likely we won’t leave again. And there’s beer to be drunk. And German music to be danced to. And bratwurst to be sampled. And buttery, salty, soft pretzels to be savored. To Oktoberfest!



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We saw a bunch of our friends out there, including Scott, Jacque, Brouss, Kat, Ryan, Josh, and Amy. Danny and Becky were also there with Hope, who is just two weeks older than Rory. The chicken dance apparently really wore her out because she slept the whole time we were there.


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As we were leaving, Riley even agreed to take a picture with two members of the Deutches Haus, all decked out in their lederhosen. The gentleman on the left is actually originally from Munich.


We finally arrived back home a little after 5pm. We got the boys fed, bathed, and into PJs, and they both crashed in no time. Kenny and I actually weren’t too far behind them; the day had caught up with us, too.

Being up so late the night before and doing so much in one day…..let’s face it: it could have been an awful, cringe-worthy, disaster of a day. But it wasn’t. Both kids were such champs, and Kenny and I so enjoyed all four of us being together.

I really do think it was our Best Day. And I’ll remember it for a long time.


Happy Halloween! May everyone have a wonderful, safe, and fun-filled spooky night.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

No School, Lunch Out, and Boo Bash

Riley was off of school last Friday on account of parent-teacher conferences and teacher in-service. Ms. Amanda was unfortunately sick so we couldn’t meet with her, but we’ll hopefully be able to reschedule sometime soon to chat about how the wonk potatoes is doing.

QP was thrilled when I told her Riley didn’t have school, so she delayed her weekly visit by one day so she could see him. And, since Nola and Nopsi had Kate that day, we all actually went over to their house for a fun morning.






After QP left and Kate was picked up by Kel-Kel and Rory napped, we decided to make the most of the beautiful day and go to Velvet Cactus for lunch. We sat outside on the patio, where Riley colored and Rory people-watched. Oh, and, thanks to Nopsi, Tortilla Boy was born.

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After lunch Nopsi took Riley back to his house for a nap while Nola, Rory, and I ran some errands. Then that night was Riley’s all-school Halloween party, or “Boo Bash.” Part of the main parking lot was blocked off and participating families brought in tents, tables, and chairs for a fun and safe Halloween tailgate.



We shared a spot with Kelli and Steve and collaborated with them on food, drink, and some fun decorations. Rory stayed at home with Nola and Nopsi, but Riley, Julia, and Jack were all decked out in their costumes (a pumpkin, a flapper, and the Hulk, respectively). Kelli and I even got into the Halloween spirit with DIY bat headbands that I made using cardstock and craft wire.




All of the families were set up around the perimeter of the parking lot. The kids trick-or-treated at each one and also had a huge open space in the middle to run around in. The school supplied music for the duration of the event, and the kids loved dancing all night long. Riley barely stopped moving the whole time we were there!




Then at one point Riley found Jack’s Hulk mask that he had refused to wear and decided to put it on.

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Jack was not happy one bit. He took it back from Riley and stowed it safely next to him on his chair. Too funny.



We also saw a few of Riley’s classmates, and they were all so cute with each other. While the two of them were walking around trick-or-treating, Kenny said a little girl came running up to Riley and gave him a big hug. Later, Jack gave a fellow PK3-er some candy, and then Riley, Kolston, and Alcee got together for a few pictures. Precious.


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I was surprised by the number of parents that dressed up, but there was definitely one standout. The most impressive costume of the night was the 8-foot tall preying mantis, complete with lights, glow-in-the-dark paint, moveable mouth parts, and silly string-shooting arms. Super cool. Nopsi, consider yourself challenged.


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When the boys started attempting to escape, we knew it was time to pack it in. Three hours of eating, drinking, trick-or-treating, socializing, and dancing was enough to make everyone tired.


Riley got into bed after 10pm that night and slept until a little after 8am the next morning. The Bash was such a fun event, and I do believe we’ll make it an annual thing. I’ll be so happy to have Rory with us next year!


Despite three of us being up late the night before, our Saturday would prove to be a hugely jam-packed yet fun-filled day. In fact, I would go so far as to say it was our Best Day yet as a family of four.

Come back tomorrow for the details!

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