Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Round Up

We have been having so much fun that I haven't had time to get it all written here.  So I am going to attempt a little round-up on the past few days.

Saturday:  We spent the day lounging around the house and enjoying some down time and then went to a living nativity at a local church.  Little Man wanted to stay and watch it over and over again.  He wanted to see every aspect and make sure he got all of the details correct.  There were 2 people at the entrance to the inn saying that there wasn't any room and he didn't think that was historically accurate.  Peanut and Sweet Pea loved Baby Jesus and the angel in the sky.  Sweet Pea and Peanut also enjoyed the sheep and donkey and kept hearing "neigh neigh" being exclaimed in my ear.  It was very cold so we didn't stay as long as Little Man would have liked but this is something we will add to our must-do list each year.  It was a good reminder of the real reason behind Christmas and it was a great way to reiterate the story in a way the kids understood.

Sunday:  Tita Michelle, Uncle Mark and Mee-Mom came for a wonderful visit.  The kids were in heaven with some of their most favorite people all paying attention to them.  Uncle Mark was part jungle gym for the boys and part pillow for Sweet Pea.  Tita Michelle was all playmate for the kids as she got down on the floor and played "armor" as Peanut calls playing knights and castles.  Mee-Mom was full of smiles and joy as she has all of her kids and grandkids in one room which is all that it really takes to make her happy.

Monday:  We spent making Christmas cookies, cakes, baking bread and cleaning the house.  Then we went to our 2nd Annual Christmas Eve dinner at our very good friends house.  The kids watched movies, played games, ate a lot of sugar and ran around while the adults attempted to talk over the joyful noise.  We finished the night by spreading reindeer food on the lawn and tucking in some very excited small humans.  Papa Bear and I had planned well enough ahead that all the presents were wrapped and food prepared so we got to go to bed early too since we expected to be woken up with the sun.

Tuesday:  Christmas morning was everything we wanted it to be.  Peanut started crying when he opened his first gift and it wasn't the rocket ship he has asked for but was mollified as soon as he opened his second gift and it was a rocket ship and then had to be lured back repeatedly to open another gift as all he wanted to do was play with his rocket ship.  Little Man was kind and gracious as always and after opening a gift from us he declared that he loved it and was so excited about it but he actually didn't know what it was.  (It turns out that it because his favorite gift of the day once he figured it out).  He also hasn't taken his tie off since opening that gift and plans on wearing it every day which is adorable and fine by me. Sweet Pea loved her dress up stuff especially her finger nail polish and after getting her fingers and toes painted insisted on painting Papa Bear's nails too.  We had wonderful food of spinach and bacon quiche, lasagna and a wonderfully perfectly cooked prime rib (for me and Papa Bear). 

Wednesday: Christmas overload.  Stayed in our pajamas and enjoyed our gifts!

Thursday:  Shopping and shopping and returning broken/missing toys from Santa. 

Friday:  We went to a puppet show about a magic toy shop and visited the farm and saw cows, pigs, sheep and most importantly to Peanut, tractors.

Photo Dump from the week:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve Eve

There is so much to say about our wonderful visit with Uncle Mark, Tita Michelle and MeeMom.  But it is 11:35 at night and I am exhausted from another perfect day in our holiday staycation.  So I will add more later but for now, I will leave you with pictures....

Little Man's First Phone Call

The phone rang yesterday morning around 10:00 and as is typical, the kids ignored it and I picked it up.  They always ignore the ringing phone because it is never for them.  Until today.

The sweetest little voice was on the line saying "Hi, this is J, can I please speak with Jackson?"  It was adorable and I told Little Man that his friend was on the phone.  They proceeded to have a conversation like little adults.  They discussed their play date scheduled for tomorrow, what they are asking Santa for and how it is so cool that they have each others phone numbers.  These are boys that sit next to each other in class every day so I imagine that they talk to each other a lot.

Papa Bear was thrilled that friendship was blossoming.  Little Man confides in Papa Bear a lot, especially about the mean or hurtful things that the other kids on the playground and Papa Bear confides in me how much it upsets him that little 5 and 6 year old's can be cruel to one another.  This friend, J, is the one that Little Man tells us is nice and he is the only other boy that doesn't make fun of kids or say mean things.

Now Little Man is obsessed with making phone calls to his friends and has started looking up all of their phone numbers so we are going to start working on the proper way to answer the phone and what to say when someone calls for him.

(Update: we had the playdate and the boys played wonderfully.  I think that they will be good friends for a while!)

I Believe I Can Fly

It must be a rite of passage that every child at some point jumps off something high thinking that the umbrella/hat/magic words allow them to fly.  Little Man came home from school a few days ago singing "I believe I can fly" and them jumping off of the couch, coffee table etc.  It was adorable until he went into the playroom with Peanut and all of a sudden we heard a crash and crying commenced.  Little Man came upstairs saying that he shouted I believe I can fly but he could 't and then he just fell to the ground hurting his arm.  I was just thankful nothing was broken and we again explained that he couldn't actually fly by just saying those words.  He went back downstairs and we overhear him telling Peanut.  Ok, you try it now. Just get up there and yell "I believe I can fly" and then jump.  I was on my feet in seconds trying to get downstairs before Peanut could be convinced to try the flying maneuver and then I hear Peanut simply said "No, I don't think I can fly".  Thank goodness he knows his limits, at least when it comes to flying.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Peanut is so expressive, his little hands gesture and his posture changes for declarative statements.  You just never know what is going through his mind until he tells you and a lot of times is is surprising and a total crack up.

For example, he comes into my room holding two different Christmas tree ornaments that are tangled up on each other and says "Mama, I am so sorry. I took this off of the tree. I am so sorry I took this off of the tree.  It is not nice to touch the tree.  This one is stuck on this one.  The sleeping snowmen are tangled on the other snowman's wings. (pause) Mama, I don't know about a snowman that can fly."

We were on our way home from the rec center where we spent time playing in the soft playroom.  He is rambling away in the back and then he says "Mama, next time we should go to the smooth playroom.  Yeah, that sounds like fun.  Mama, we should not go to a hard playroom.  That would be no fun at all.  Nope, no fun at all"

Waiting for the bus in the afternoon.  "Mama, I can go on the bus when I get bigger, right?" I confirmed that he could and then he paused a minute and looked up at me.  "Ok, Mama, I am bigger now so I will get on the bus.  Don't be sad, I will wait until Jackson gets home so you won't be lonely.  (pause, sigh)  Mama, I'm not big enough yet, am I?"  I shook my head no and he sighed again, seemingly resigned.  Then about 5 minutes later, in loud shouty Peanut voice "How about now Mama?'  It was a long bus stop wait.

Once he starts on a topic he doesn't stop and you just never know what he is going to say.  I love it.  I eat up every single word but more than that, I learn so much about how he thinks.  The kid is an absolute crack up.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Caroling and other busy holiday activities...

This week has been a busy one.  Getting last minute things ready for Christmas week, trying (and failing) to clean the house, keeping Sweet Pea and Peanut busy since Peanut is already on Winter Break, teacher gifts, Papa Bear continuing to work longer hours and of course fun festive activities.

Little Man and I went on our neighborhood annual caroling event.  Every year we have attempted to go to this but I have always been pregnant, or nursing or both or had a small infant in my arms to just generally so overwhelmed with life that walking around in the cold singing songs just didn't fall in the realm of possibility.  This year, Peanut and Sweet Pea would still be a bit too much to manage, but Little Man was at just the right age to start.  So he skipped winter swim team practice, bundled up and headed over to our neighbors house for some pre-caroling adult beverages and kid craziness.  Then a large group of us went house to house singing from a repertoire of about 8 songs.  We had a few rain showers pass through and we just kept on going.  The 5th grade girls took Little Man into their group and walked around holding his hand, making sure he got to hold the flash light and ring the door bells and teaching him the songs.  At first I tried to stay near him but it soon became clear that I was redundant in that group and sought more adult beverages and conversation.  Afterwards, we ate pizza and the kids watched Rudolph in the basement.  We got home late but it was well worth the extra crankiness the next morning.

Peanut and Sweet Pea might not have been able to take part in the caroling but we have made this week extra fun to stay busy.  Parks, soft playrooms (and Peanut wants to go to the smooth playroom next time) playdates and fun errands shopping for mom's who lost all of their possessions in Hurricane Sandy.  We have made the most of this week even if that meant a messy house and a grumpy Mama Bear.  My favorite moment was when Peanut was helping me pick out "mom stuff" for the mom who lost everything because of the "crane".  I couldn't convince him it was a hurricane.  He insists that a bad cranky crane (Thomas the Train reference) took all of this mom's stuff so we had to get her legos and chapstick.  I put the legos back when he wasn't looking.

One more day and then the whole family is home for a week. I am so excited to get to more of our bucket list items and enjoy our family time together.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Believe in Santa

This may be the last year that Little Man believes in Santa.  I want to preserve the magic that believing in Santa brings to the holidays, but I also don't want to have to trick Little Man into believing.  He has friends at school that tell him that Santa isn't real, he sees the differences in the many Santa's around town, the ones with the fake beards and he finds evidence of gifts that he asked Santa for in our bedroom closet and then he confides in me that he knows that Papa Bear and I are really pretending to be Santa.  We have gone to great lengths to keep the magic one more year.  Special secret wrapping paper for the gifts from Santa, duplicate gifts to throw him off the trail of what he found in the bedroom closet, planned Santa footprints from soot in the fire place and Zippy the Elf's continued trips to the North Pole. 

But next year, if he asks, which let's face it, he will...we will tell him that Christmas magic is about believing and finding the best in the people around us.  We will tell him that Santa is the magic of loving and giving to others and now that he knows that there isn't one REAL Santa, he gets to be one of the many Santa's.  That it is his job to be Santa for his brother and sister and his friends that still believe. Santa is lots and lots of people who keep the magic of Christmas alive and the spirit of giving strong.  So we will plan our Santa projects together, how to give generously of our love and hearts to bring joy to others around us.  And I know that this will be a project that he will be even more excited than he is about Santa this year.  He has already told us this year that he doesn't want to ask Santa for anything although he hopes he still gets a nerf I know his heart is ready and next year, I will be too. 

But until then I have to try and figure out how to leave reindeer prints in our driveway.....

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Santa Train 2012

We boarded the VRE Santa Train this year with a lot of excitement and anticipation.  Would Santa be the driver?  Would Santa have already received the letters and know what they each wanted for Christmas morning?  Was this really Santa or a Santa helper because Santa was actually making toys and traveling from the North Pole?  Non-stop chatter and questions and general train noises and horn tooting occurred.  So we did what any good parents would do to get a little peace and quiet, we fed them.  They loved having a train picnic lunch and gobbled it all up in no time.  Then the train started moving and this was all we saw....
The boys were in heaven and Sweet Pea kept saying "Santa Train whoo whoo" over and over.  An "elf" came through and passed out candy canes which the kids promptly turned over to me because they have corn in them (with no complaining, they are just used to it at this point) and another elf brought paper train conductor hats, crayons and coloring books.  The hats they put on, the coloring stuff they handed to me and started staring back out the window. 

Then Santa started coming through our train.  You could feel the excitement rolling off of all 3 kids.  It was contagious.  For a few moments, I felt like Santa was coming to ask me what I wanted for Christmas. 

Sweet Pea started saying "All done Santa" over and over the closer he came to her so I passed her off to Papa Bear so that she didn't cry and just focused on the boys.
Little Man quickly told Santa that he wanted a nerf gun and Mrs. Claus, bless her heart, said "Oh Jackson, Santa knows all about your nerf gun".  Then Peanut in his loud Peanut voice announced that he wanted to Mickey Mouse Rocket Ship.  Santa understood exactly what he said and repeated it back to him saying "Oh Logan, you want a rocket ship"  Peanut then said. "Yes, I love you Santa".  My heart melted into a mushy pile of goo at hearing my boy speak his wants so very clearly to Santa.  They took pictures and the boys went back to looking out the window.
Sweet Pea Santa Style

Little Man kept pretending to take tickets and be the conductor

Stuffing his mouth, but we can pretend he is blowing kisses


We sat at the back of the train car and Peanut enjoyed opening and closing the joining door.  His door obsession continues.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2 Year Stats

Sweet Pea had her two year well visit today.  Yes, I know we are a month and a handful of days behind but really it is true what they say about third kids....she was lucky to get in before she turns 3.  So Sweet Pea is a whopping 33 pounds and 36 1/2 inches tall.  She is heavier and taller than Little Man was at this age and lighter and shorter than Peanut.  She still seems like our petite girl because all of her features are so much more delicate than her brothers and she insists on wearing tutu's to home depot.  It was a fairly quick appointment because we ran through the list quickly.  She talks a ton, already potty trained (day and night), running, jumping, eating a ton and generally just being awesome.  She didn't cry for her shots but as all my kids are, was terrified of the band aides (inexplicable, I know). 

A trip to home depot isn't complete without a tutu

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Bucket List 2012

Each year Papa Bear and I make a bucket list for the holiday season so that we can make sure to enjoy this month as a family and keep the focus on experiences rather than gifts.  It all begins on December 1st when we decorate the house, have the return of Zippy the Christmas Elf and put the tree up.  Next comes family Christmas movie night every Friday evening and we have already watched Frosty the Snowman and Elmo Saves Christmas.

This weekend we also made Gingerbread houses with the boys (an activity best left for when Sweet Pea is napping).  It was our first go at making them and we took it easy on ourselves using graham crackers for the house.  I whipped up some homemade royal icing and used some of the stash of corn-free super expensive but totally worth it candy like jelly beans, licorice, gummy bears and chocolate.  Papa Bear was in charge of Peanut and his house construction and I was in charge of Little Man.  Mee-Mom was in charge of alerting us to when Peanut (and Papa Bear for that matter) was putting candy in his mouth instead of on the house and of trying to take pictures which was hard because she was laughing so much that all of the pictures were blurry.  It was a raving success even if more candy ended up in Peanut.  Papa Bear was a little upset that his house was not symmetrical and the walls weren't load bearing.  He did have a over hang off of the roof to reduce water damage in the siding and trimmed the crackers by nibbling as needed.  Little Man wanted to cover every single inch of his house with candy/icing and was very focused on the decorations.  Peanut had icing in his hair and took a handful of candy and shoved in his mouth for every one jelly bean he put on the house and Papa Bear wasn't paying great attention because he was still trying to figure out how to make the roof to scale with the rest of the house.  (Note to self:  Give Papa Bear his own supplies for an architecturally correct gingerbread house next year).  

It was fantastic Christmas to add to this years bucket list.
Still to come:
Santa Train
Bull Run Lights
Neighborhood walk for lights
Making reindeer food and dessert with neighbors
Christmas Eve celebration with our great friends
Christmas cookies
Mee-Mom Christmas (aka spoiled rotten kids day)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Mama - where the nicknames went wrong

Sweet Pea's actual name is Alexa but it is rare that she hears that.  Papa Bear calls her Bear, I call her Love Bug and her brothers call her Lexa.  It is so rare that she doesn't actually know that it is her name.  We were looking at pictures of the family and I asked her to name everyone she saw and she started with herself and said "Me!"  I agreed and said, "That's right, that is you.  Alexa" then she pointed at my picture and said "A Mama" and then at Papa Bear and said "A Papa" and then added A before both of her brother's names too.  Apparently she thinks her name is Lexa and that she is a lexa like I am a mama or that is a toy.  Little Man was even sounding out her name to spell it the other day and I hear him saying "LLLLLLexa".  So the lesson here, we need to start to use her full name more often and break the nickname habit. 

Some of her other nicknames are:
trouble (she actually answers to this)
baby girl

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Little Man's First Tooth Fairy Visit (Updated)

Little Man and Peanut were playing their games, up to their usual antics when I hear everyone yelling for me to come downstairs.  The crisis was that Little Man had lost his first tooth and then had actually lost the lost tooth.  Papa Bear and I were on our hands and knees realizing that our floor desperately needed vacuuming when we finally found it.

The Story:
Little Man was pretending to eat a picture of marshmallows (in a magazine) to make Peanut laugh when he felt a pop and out came his loose tooth.  No fuss, a little blood and now a much anticipated visit from the tooth fairy.

The marshmallows/magazine he was pretending to eat when he lost his first tooth!
The Toothfairy:

Papa Bear and I had a lot of fun being the tooth fairy.  We also think that the tooth fairy has a harder gig for kids with loft beds that are light sleepers.  Just sayin'.  The tooth fairy left a tiny tiny little note and $2 for the first tooth (inflation?)  I am fairly certain we will be awakened in the middle of the night by Little Man's joyous declaration when he rolls over and finds his tooth booty. 

The Building Museum

Another family fun trip into the city to visit a museum, although this time we skipped the bus and the metro ride despite Peanut's protests.  We wanted to get in and out easily and so we drove in and parked, huddled in the wind and off we went.  Mama Bear and Papa Bear sanity restored!

The kids played in the Building Zone where they got to use backhoe type diggers in the sand, play in a kid sized house with real windows and couches that fit them perfectly, play with doll houses and oversized legos and trucks galore.  The kids really seemed to enjoy themselves even though there wasn't anything there that they hadn't been able to play with at other places. After we left the Building Zone there were some fun things spread out in the lobby.  There were cushioned blocks that if stacked properly would make a perfect arch.  This project started with a bunch of kids and was completed by a bunch of dads.  I am not sure who was having more fun.  We played and built houses and then had snacks in the car on our way home.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Invisible, Under God

Little Man and I were working on his homework together and his task was to list things that were invincible.  He immediately perked up and said, "Oh I know! Air and God."  I hadn't yet caught on to the fact that he thought I said invisible not invincible (even him saying "air" didn't clue me in) and then he launched into the Pledge of Allegiance.  "....One Nation, Under God, Invisible with Liberty and Justice for All.  See Mama, God is invisible, we say it all the time at school."

Now his list of things that are invincible reads:
Superman (but not Captain America)

His list for the things that melt is a little more comprehensible (and will be clear to his teacher that he helps me a lot with baking):
Lava Rocks (they melt into lava)

His list for things that are soft yet strong:
yarn (he explained to me that the cotton isn't strong at first but when it is wound into fibers together they are very strong.  Thank you episode of Curious George)
bears (no explanation needed)

I learn so much about how his little mind works when we get to work on his homework together and I have to admit that I am not sure I could come up with better any better answers than my kindergartner.  I am a little terrified for the homework that is going to come home in 3rd grade!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Public Transportation and a Museum

This past weekend we decided to have a family fun adventure day.  It was an adventure for Papa Bear and I in the sense that Sweet Pea is newly potty trained and we decided to have a go at a stroller-free adventure.  So we packed a backpack with snacks, changes of clothes for Sweet Pea, camera and our metro cards.  We felt like we were traveling light but it was a stretch to be going so far from home without back-up. 

We made one mistake that worked out will for the kids.  We didn't check the metro schedule for the weekend and the track was closed and we had to take a shuttle to a different metro station before boarding a train.  We should have just turned around and driven into the city when we discovered this but Peanut's love for public transportation overrode our desire for sanity.  So we took a bus to the metro and a metro into the city.  This took about 1 hour and 15 minutes which is about 45 minutes too long if you ask me and about an hour too short if you ask Peanut.  Then we headed the Air and Space Museum.  Peanut was ready to get back on the train as soon as we got there but Little Man really enjoyed himself learning and walking around.  Peanut was our MVP while on the bus and metro as he was so focused on everything going on around him.  Little Man was our MVP at the museum as he was truly interested in some of the concepts and aircraft around him and Sweet Pea was our MVP in using the potty!

All in all, it was a success and an adventure.  Peanut has finally stopped asking to go to another Pumpkin Patch and now frequently asks if we can go back to the museum so that he can take a bus and a train. 

I love our family adventures and I love that we can now do them stroller free.   The days of having to pack half the house just to be able to go anywhere are receding.  It is a diaper-free, stroller-free world we are venturing into and I am so excited.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Civic Duty

Today we voted for the next President of the United States.  Papa Bear and I don't overly discuss politics in the house but we do discuss the process, the reason that we are voting, the democratic process and any other questions spurred on by the zillons of political signs, commercials and phone calls.  Little Man has staunch political beliefs that he isn't afraid to share.  (* disclaimer: this is not necessarily the political beliefs of the voting members of this family.)

Little Man is not shy about the fact that supports President Obama in another 4 years in the White House.  His reasons range from the fact that President Obama is fancier that Mitt Romney and that Mitt Romney is going to bring change and he likes things the way they are.  He also said that if your President asks you to vote for him, you should because he is your leader. 

While we all stood in line waiting for our turn to vote, Little Man asked his typical non-stop questions.  Can anyone be President?  How do you know who to vote for?  How many times do you get to vote when you are an adult?  I answer each question even going into explanation about the requirements that have to be met to be eligible to run for President.  The sweet woman behind me leaned forward and said "Boy, he sure does ask a lot of questions!"  I smiled and said that he sure does and Little Man said "That's because I want to know everything and my mama knows almost everything".  I am a little sad that there is the 'almost' qualification.  Then a pollster asked Little Man if he knew how he was voting.  I groaned knowing what was coming and Little Man informed everyone in hearing range that he clearly would be voting for President Obama if he could but that he thinks his mama is going to vote for Mitt Romney and that makes him sad. 

I think I will leave him home the next time I go to the polls even though I love that he has an opinion and isn't afraid to share it. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sweet Pea Potty Training (Update)

In part, this blog serves to help me remember how we successfully did something for one child when we inevitably have to do the same for the next child.  So I go back and read the posts and it helps me remember the mistakes we made and the things we did successfully.

So when we started the potty training for Sweet Pea I knew not to even try to put her in underwear on the first day and just declare a few days of naked booty time because of this post and I knew that giving her any type of droppable/retrievable food while on potty would be a mistake because of this post and I knew that even the impossible can be possible when I reread this post about potty training Peanut even when he didn't have the verbal skills to support it.  I reread the lessons that I had learned and then squared my shoulders to do it one more time, imagining the worst (lots of mess and stress) and hoping for the best.

We are on day 2 of potty training and Sweet Pea is accident free so far.  Let's be honest, she has been asking to potty train for about 5 months by stripping off her diaper and running to the potty.  So she is more than ready.  Yesterday wasn't even supposed to be day 1.  I was just giving her some naked booty time to see how she would do and she was so excited and great at it that I couldn't bear to put a diaper on her.  I expect that this house will be diaper free by the end of the weekend.

They say girls are easier to potty train.  I don't know about that but I will say that I think 3rd children are easier to potty train as the behavior has been modeled for them for so long.  I also enjoy that naked booty time can be done in a dress and baby legs - less exposure.

(I know that the few people reading this blog probably don't care at all about how Sweet Pea does in her potty training endeavors. So sorry!  But this blog serves mostly as a memory book for me and when she is 15 I might want to read about her potty training days and how well she listened to our instruction after catching her trying to sneak out the basement door to meet a boy)

- to update:  Sweet Pea was 100% accident free from day 3 of potty training.  She was our easiest to potty train and we never even have to remind her.  She is already out of pull-ups and staying dry at nap time and wants to be out of them for bedtime (although we are resisting).  I don't know if it was because she was barely two, a girl, our third child or a combination of all 3 but this was a cake walk in potty land.  We are officially out of diapers in this house!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Being Moe

Peanut:       "Mama, I'm Moe"
Me:             "Ok Moe"
Peanut:        "No Mama, I'm Moe so I get to pick the TV show"
Me:             "Huh?"
Peanut:        "Jackson, I'm Moe, right?"
Little Man:  "Yup, Mama, he is Moe.  See Einy meeny miney moe, catch a tiger by his toe, if he          hollers let him go. Einy meeny miney moe.  See he is Moe"
Me:               "Yes, I see now."

In all of the years that I have heard that game played to see who gets picked or who gets to go first, I have never ever thought of the picked person as "being Moe".  This concept is one that I now pull up in my head when I need a smile or a laugh.  I love that Little Man will tell me things like "Mama, I will make sure you get to be Moe tomorrow".  I love that they take turns "being Moe" and that now everyone in this house accepts that the person who is last pointed to IS in fact Moe.  I have no idea if maybe I was slow to get the concept in the first place and that this is widely accepted by others and I just had no idea or if Little Man just reached this conclusion on his own and others will be just as surprised as me.  But in this house, everyone wants to be Moe.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat 2012

 As the kids get older, trick or treating gets more enjoyable (and longer).  This year Uncle Mark joined us and added to the fun.  We went to the 11th annual neighborhood parade which is more of a unorganized walking down one street to a big table of cupcakes and cookies which then sets off the official trick or treating.  We went to a few houses and Sweet Pea was done.  She asked to go home and thoroughly enjoyed opening the door and passing out candy.  Peanut loved the idea that he could ring the doorbell say "trick or treat" and someone would get him candy.  He didn't quite grasp that you only go to each house once and was constantly saying "I think we should go back to that house (point at random house).  Little Man sped along at lightening speed with a friend trying to fill his bag as full as possible and was overheard saying that once it was full he was going to go home and dump it out and go back to refill it.  Uncle Mark followed Peanut around laughing hysterically and thoroughly enjoying himself with Peanut antics of all kinds.  Peanut
"running fast" and Little Man thought that his shield was the best.  (So glad that paper mache experiment worked out!) and Sweet Pea was just adorable and surprisingly wore her hat most of the evening.  We got rid of most of the candy with corn syrup by passing it back out to trick or treaters and giving Uncle Mark a goody back to take with him.  There are a few pieces left that Peanut can actually eat if Papa Bear and I don't get to them first.  It was a wonderful night filled with great memories, funny antics and happy kids.