Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Playdough, Pumpkins and some Gratuitous Costume Shots

I'm giving up on chronology for a while so today I'm going to work backward for a bit :-)  Right now, we just dropped Matthew off at preschool and Catherine is sitting next to me playing playdough.  She got to pick everything so it's sparkly black, a decision I will probably regret in about 2 minutes.  When I get my one on one time with Catherine we try for a nice balance of special projects and alone play.  She enjoys her toys and playing a thousand times more when Matthew is no where near to advise, guide or steal :-)

She also has been "developing" this knock knock joke all morning :-)  

Much of the rest of our excitement of course revolves around Halloween at the moment.  The excitement started a few weeks ago when we got out the Halloween boxes and the kids wanted to help decorate.  It turned out we don't have as many decorations as we thought so we ended up making some.  We started with some marble painting:

that we turned into spider webs for some handprint spiders:

James took the kids out for Dad's night and they carved pumpkins and/or drank beer and jumped on the furniture depending on who you are talking to :-)  Either way it looked like a ton of fun!

Oh yeah, and speaking of pumpkins, we made two trips out to the pumpkin patch this year.  Fall isn't nearly as 'romantic' in Montana as it is on say, the East Coast, but when we get a nice bluebird day it's nearly impossible to stay inside and do chores (or maybe that's just me!).  This is from the park the kids and I walk to a lot:
 Waiting for the hayride:
 Picking out the perfect pumpkin:
 Both kids really wanted pumpkins they could pick up themselves:
 Catherine spent a good 10 minutes walking around sitting on different pumpkins and saying cheese, making nearly this exact face each time:
 Hayride back:
Once we put the pumpkins in the car, it was time for playing on the haybales:
 And under the haybales.  Catherine loves these tunnels:

 You would think my kids would know how to look at (or at least near) the camera by now, but alas.
 Our kiddos are generally pretty squeamish around petting zoos but they really enjoyed these goats:

 Which was good because the second time we went (on a weekday) the goats weren't nearly as fat and sated and were pretty aggressive over the feed cups!  They had also nearly run out of pumpkins and/or they only had the little school group pumpkins around!

 The pigs were also very active which the kiddos enjoyed.  If you get a chance to ask Matthew he'll share all the nitty gritty details.

Let's see, what else have we been up to, oh yes, Halloween costumes.  So, for about two months Matthew wanted to be a praying mantis and Catherine was going to be a ladybug.  Admittedly, Matthew's praying mantis obsession stems from his Ghostbuster costume of last year:
When I got the idea for this costume, we decided Matthew was old enough we'd need him to buy into the idea if he were to really sell the costume.  After attempting to show him the Ghostbusters movie (which was too scary about 5 minutes in) we found some of the old Ghostbuster cartoons.  The one that features the Marshmallow man also features a character, Murray the Mantis, and thus the obsession began.  

HOWEVER, when we were on our last road trip Matthew's happy meal came with Batman glasses and thus, a new obsession has begun.  Sadly (or preferably) all Matthew knows about Batman is what I've told him, so if you ask him about it he'll probably answer: "He gets angry people" "He climbs buildings" and "He has a hook" so we've been educating him about Batman with the old Adam West TV series.  I'm guessing now he's even more confused :-)  We convinced Catherine to be Robin and their costumes ended up turning out pretty cute and versatile!  Here are some gratuitous shots of the kiddos showing off:

 And of course we needed a funny face photo:

 I don't know what he was doing here but this one cracked me up!
 And of course, superheroes LOVE to run!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Space Racing, M Hiking and General Mayhem and Mischief

A few weeks ago we ended up at the first annual Space Race and Science and Engineering Festival.  The kids started out with the Mercury run which was supposed to be 65m from Mercury to the Sun.  Due to some logistical issues it was the only portion of our day not to scale, as they had the kids run from Pluto to the Sun and back.  Matthew was a bit old for this race but a bit young for the 1k.  He did much better than his last race and "won":
 Catherine needed a little coaching:
 Then it was time for the 5K Run/Walk.  We had intended on walking but were pretty much the only ones with that plan, so we did a very fast walk.
The run was scaled to actual solar system measurements and we ran from Neptune to the Sun, with Haley's Comet and this asteroid belt (of bubbles) thrown in for good measure:

 The kids rode in the stroller most of the time but got out at Mercury for the last short stretch. 
Matthew and I raced to the Sun but Catherine did it at her own pace, while my phone upgrade decided to hipster up my camera:

Then it was time for some learning and exploring.  First up was the Van de Graaff generator:
 A bounce house:

Some time to roll around as viruses and red blood cells:
 We headed into the stadium to watch the balloon launch:
 Matthew made a water filter:
 And what good hands-on science day can go without oobleck?

 There were some smoke rings to be made:
 And a stomp rocket to launch:
 That evening we took the kids for a bike ride to the nearby pizza place.  Matthew was most ecstatic about the pop bottle we got so now we can make our own rocket launcher!

The next day we decided to make it up to the M one more time.  Since we have to discuss hiking it every time we drive anywhere in Bozeman and the kids spot it, we figured we may as well get another trip in before the snow flies.  We also decided it was time to do some geocaching along the trail.  I was super excited that the local paragliding company was up there until James told me about this story (http://www.kbzk.com/news/para-glider-collides-with-hiker-at-m/)that had happened less than 24 hours before!  Luckily we were well on the other side when they came down:
 Matthew has become quite the speed racer while Catherine still likes to stop and smell the roses a bit more, so most of my pics are while waiting for her to catch up:
 Matthew taking a water break on the rocks.  I had a simple goal of getting a picture of both kids in their Niagra Falls shirts from Amma and Papa at some point during the hike, but couldn't get them near each other at the same time and I doubt the shirts will ever be clean on the same day again :/
 We made it to the M and then hiked beyond it a ways to find our second geocache of the day.  The first two were only big enough for log books but the last cache of the day held some great tchotchkes for the kiddos:
We were racing a rain storm on our way down the mountain so that's where our pictures end.  Matthew decided he wanted to start trail running.  As one can imagine this involved one stubbed toe on a rock and a faceplant.  However, Matthew recovered fairly well and kept "running" down the mountain.  Our greatest tragedy though was the grasshopper who hit him in the face.  That took a LOOOOONG time to get over. It was a very active, very fun weekend. 

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...