We started the month with Christopher's 4th birthday celebration. (Is there such a thing as the terrible fours? Because Christopher has been very cranky lately.) Anyway, we went out to dinner at the Rainforest Cafe on his birthday. (His choice. His local grandparents joined us.) On the following Saturday, we had a small party with all four of his grandparents, a great aunt and uncle, Josie, Aunt Katie, Uncle Andrew, Aunt Meg, and his godparents and their two kiddos. We ate pizza and he was spoiled with many lovely presents. He was definitely into the presents this year in a way he hasn't been in the past.
We also went to an apple orchard that weekend. It was a warm day, and the kids had a great time in the corn maze and on the pony rides. My parents came with us and paid for the tickets, which was great because otherwise it would have cost a small fortune to do all of the activities at the orchard. The fall colors have really been beautiful this year, too.
The following weekend the kids and I went to stay at my friend Chelsea's cabin on Lake Vermillion. Her cabin is beautiful. It is really a house, not a cabin. My friend Cindi and her husband were there, too. We had a great time kayaking (I only fell partially into the lake) and hiking near a waterfall. And drinking lots of wine. (Me, not the kids.) I can't wait to go back next summer.
October also means my birthday, so I thought I'd check in on my 40 x 40 goals. Yeah, I haven't made a lot of progress this year. Maybe I'll do better next year. My actual birthday celebration was great, though. I got kidnapped by my friends and taken out for dinner and drinks (along with my friend Kerry, whose birthday is just four days after mine). Ben had me convinced I was going out to eat with him, so I was pretty surprised when my friends showed up at my door. It was a great night. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful friends.
We took our annual fall camping trip to Cascade River over MEA weekend. It was fun, despite a little rain. We go with a group of close friends, and I hope we can keep the tradition going. The kids had a blast running around the woods. I always enjoy sitting by a campfire. Something about being in the woods and spending some time staring at Lake Superior was very therapeutic. Too bad it didn't last long.
We had a bonfire night at Clare's school last week, as well as her annual fun run. I volunteered this year, and it was great to meet some other parents at the school. I hope to get more involved once I am no longer watching Josie and I have a few free mornings while Christopher is at preschool. Clare has a new best friend at school, Natalie, and it was so fun to see them running around together.
Christopher continues to entertain us with his many jokes, funny comments (which he makes even in his sleep), and dance moves. When we were camping, I shined a flashlight on his face to check on him after he'd gone to sleep. Christopher: "Stand aside!" The other night at dinner, we were discussing why Clare might not be allowed to have a pajama day at school. (She thinks it is the greatest of injustices that she is not allowed to wear a Halloween costume to school or have a pajama day, both of which Christopher gets to do this week. I told her she could ask her teacher about the pajama day, and she wanted us each to say one reason why he might say no.)
Me: It might be against school policy.
Christopher: That's what I was going to say!
School continues to go well for both kids. I am so happy with Clare's teacher this year, and she is doing great. She is in the most advanced reading group, and her teacher said it is the first time he's had a first grader in that group. (She is in a combined first-third grade class.) We just finished "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." She is reading the first Harry Potter right now, which I am so excited about. I plan to giver her "A Wrinkle in Time" and "Charlotte's Web" for Christmas. She does well with math and science as well, but needs to be pushed a little more in those subjects. She doesn't like math problems that are challenging. She and I have been getting along well lately, too. We do much better when we don't have to spend all day together. Christopher is also enjoying preschool. He is still getting used to having to go three days a week. It is a big adjustment for him, since he's never gone to daycare.
And now it is somehow the end of October and Halloween. The kids are very excited about trick or treating tonight. We are planning to go down our block, and then meet friends at one of the block parties nearby. They close the street and the houses go crazy with the decorating. The kids got to wear their costumes on Saturday at the Highland business trick or treat event, and then again on Sunday at my friend Heather's annual Halloween party. (Although Christopher refused to wear his Batman costume because he declared it to be "too sweaty.") I am going to leave a bowl on of candy on the porch with a note that says, "Take one. Do you know what karma is?" We'll see how that goes.
Many pictures ahoy, some with very poor lighting!
|School picture time! What a cute chipmunk she is.|
|Three generations hamming it up at Rainforest Cafe.|
|Christopher's Batman birthday cake, baked by Ben, decorated by me. (Can you tell I spent a lot of time on it?)|
|Me and the birthday boy.|
|At the Orchard.|
|Corn maze fun. Our group got separated at one point and Christopher climbed to the top of one of the viewing spots and screamed "Clare! Clare!" at the top of his lungs. "No answer," he said, disappointed.|
|Very accurate measurements.|
|Clare kayaking. She did all the paddling herself. Photo and French braid by Cindi.|
|We hiked by the waterfall while Christopher slept in the car. (With Chelsea for company in case he woke up.)|
|Rest stop in Duluth on the way to our camp site.|
|Hiking at Cascade River.|
|Our camping crew.|
|Clare is the only one who posed for this photo. Christopher refused. I don't know what Ben's doing.|
|Batman and Supergirl.|
|Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Superman and Supergirl.|