Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey and Cats -- Thanksgiving 2012

As is our family tradition, we had two Thanksgiving celebrations this year.  First we spent time in Salina with the Michel family and served dinner here at home for our family lunch.  It was especially great to spend a little time with aunt Jaime.  Ledger was so excited for her to get here... he kept saying "She's really coming?!"  As always, I wish our time together was longer.  Our lunch was a big success.  We let Locke sample some Thanksgiving foods, but his favorite, by far, was the whipped jello treat that Grammie makes.  He was covered head-to-toe in pink.  So cute.

In order to fit in two families (and two cities!) into one Thanksgiving, we had to try to hurry up and get things packed to head to KC after lunch was over.  It was a tight schedule since we had to leave Salina by 2pm to make it to Emily's house for a 5 p.m. dinner.  We were pretty well prepared and we were getting things loaded and ready to go on time until Jaime heard a little noise in the van.  A meow.  For the next 45 minutes, we tore the van apart looking for the cat that was meowing INSIDE our van.  We finally deduced that the kitten was up inside the van's dashboard and we would have to dismantle it to get him out.  Since we were already running late we decided to just take the little stowaway with us to KC.  Josh's brother, Brad, is a car guy and we knew he'd be able to help us get the cat out of there.  So for the three hour trip to Olathe, we heard intermittent meowing that confirmed that the cat was still with us and still alive in there.  Crazy.  So we finally arrive in Kansas City a little late, but glad to be there.  We had an excellent second Thanksgiving with  Josh's family and the Powell family.  Sometimes combining families can be awkward, but the Perkins clan is great and we all just have a great time together.  After dinner, we weren't able to wait for pie.  (Don't worry, Millie saved me a piece!)  We had to head out to the early Black Friday sales that started at 8pm on Thanksgiving evening.  We hated leaving our family gathering, but it was worth it because we are DONE Christmas shopping for Ledger already!  YES!

After our Black Friday adventure, the boys took apart our dashboard and still couldn't find that darn cat.  We parked the van in the garage, left the windows down, and left a plate of beef jerky on the floorboard to try to lure him out of there.  The next morning, the cat was out in the garage (and had finished off the beef jerky and even dug into the Perkins' garbage can...) so we rolled up the windows thrilled to have a cat-free minivan again.  We opened the garage door so that the cat could escape if he was scared and when we came back out later in the morning to run errands, we couldn't find the cat anywhere.  Assuming he let himself out, we headed out to visit Emily at her office.  On the way, we were stunned to hear another MEOW!  When we got to Emily's office, we opened up the hood and this time the cat was camped out on our battery.  I moved quickly and was able to finally fish the little offender out of our engine.  It turned out to be a pretty cute little gray tabby kitty.  We took him inside and offered him some water before trying to drop him off at the Olathe Animal Shelter.  Unbelievably, the shelter wouldn't take him because I told them the story of him travelling from Salina in our car.  So our little guy was set free to become an Olathe cat.  I'm sure he's found a nice sedan to hide out in... :)

We spent the rest of the weekend seeing movies.  Josh and Chris went to see the new James Bond movie "Skyfall" and the next day, the girls went to see "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2".  We also visited the nearby Bass Pro shop where the kids got to visit the Christmas village.  They rode the carousel and got to sit on Santa's lap.  Both of my kids did great with Santa, but poor Miss Kinley was just terrified.  We also went to Cabella's where Ledger loved shooting in the laser gun shooting range and seeing the BIG catfish in the aquarium.  Lucky for him, his BoomPa, Daddy, and uncle Josh all love doing those things too. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Locke: 8 Months

Can you believe that Locke is 8 months old already?  I can't!  He just keeps getting bigger and seems like he grows every day.
  • Locke is still definitely a Mama's boy -- if I'm in the room, he wants to be with me.  
  • He is starting to develop a little personality and a hilarious little temper.  Whenever a toy or something he wants is taken from him, he has a very angry scream.  If you talk to him or make him laugh, he does a full body bounce with arms and legs waving and a big smile on his face that is impossible to resist.  He can often be found flirting with whoever is nearby.  
  • Locke is still primarily breastfeeding but he is taking more and more table food -- whatever we're eating, he eats a little bit of it too.  He doesn't really like baby foods though and prefers to feed himself with his hands.  He is SO fast and will snag food off of your plate and quickly shove it into his own mouth.  Which results in a lot of choking.  He chokes just about every meal.  Everyone around us panics, but we calmly pat his back and fish-hook the offending bit of food out of his throat.  It's becoming a routine (and I will be glad when that routine is over!).
  • He wants to be standing as much as possible and is working very hard to try to pull himself up... but he hasn't succeeded yet.  
  • We've pretty much given up on any clothes smaller than 12 months size because this kid is just so big!!  
  • In the last month, he has decided that he finally likes bath time and loves to play in the water with his brother. 
  • Right now, Locke doesn't typically sleep longer than 2-3 hours at night.  He wakes up angry, nurses for a minute and then goes back to sleep.  Sometimes he really fights going back to sleep, which makes for an exhausting night.  I keep telling myself that we're going to move him out of our bedroom and into his own bedroom (which we finally fixed up), but that just hasn't happened yet.
  • Locke's favorite toy right now is a straw.  Any drinking straw will usually calm him right down and keep him occupied for quite some time.
I have been pretty awful about taking pictures this month, but here is what we've got...

I like my crib... unless you want me to sleep in here!

His room is cleaned up and ready to be slept in.  Any day now...

I like this blankie... it's warm and purrs.....

Mohawk! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Parade of Lights 2012

Once again, we went to the Parade of Lights on Santa Fe with our friends Jarod and Briana.  (Shawn couldn't make it this year.  Boo!)  We even met the Pogues there because they were in town for a short visit and Ledger and Conner sat together to watch the parade.  I love this little tradition and it really marks the beginning of the holiday season for me! :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend fun

This weekend we have had fun at home watching the ksu football game, eating soups, cleaning out the garage (we can park both cars in there now), and playing in the backyard. 

Locke has started standing supported for extended time and is getting closer and closer to crawling and pulling up.  He is so big!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


(Long post...)
For Halloween this year, we asked Ledger what he wanted to be.  He said Batman.  So we went to Walmart and bought a Batman costume.  A few days later, Chris was trying on his costume to make sure it was coming together well and Ledger realized that he actually wanted to be Jack Sparrow.  Oh boy.  Chris has been working on his Capt. Jack Sparrow costume for more than a year.  Oma donated probably 80 hours of her time sewing an overcoat for the costume.  Chris bought leather belt blanks and hand dyed the leather for his belts and baldric (sword holder).  The rest of the costume was pieced together from individual artisans.  Seriously... How was the rest of the family going to live up to that?  We found a costume for Ledger over the internet that was actually pretty detailed for a kids costume.  Chris made him a junior baldric to match his own and we bought him a pirate sword (naturally).  So Ledger looked pretty awesome.  We decided it would be funny for all of us to dress like Jack Sparrow since there is a scene in the movie with multiple Jacks...
... so we found a super cheap Jack Sparrow costume on ebay for me and bought a K9 costume that we converted for Locke.  So the family was all set to be multiple Jacks.

And then on the day before Halloween, I woke up early to get Ledger dressed for his preschool costume party.  "I WANT TO BE BATMAN!"  Good thing I never returned the first costume.  So we dressed him like Batman but calmly explained that for real Halloween he would have to be Jack Sparrow.  lol.  It's actually a good thing... as it turns out, most of the boys at his preschool were superheros and the girls were mostly princesses.  Go figure. :)  They did a little costume parade around the front yard of the preschool (How cute is it that they are all holding hands?!) and then came inside for everyone to get a turn to tell us about their costume.  Ledger was playing shy, but whispered loudly that he was Batman.  But when his mask was off, he was Bruce Wayne.  Cutie. :)

On Halloween Eve, we squeezed in carving our pumpkins.  I knew that carving would be too much for Ledger, so I asked him to draw a face on his pumpkin and I would cut it out.  He actually drew a GREAT jack-o-lantern face and I cut it pretty much exactly how he drew it (except I evened out the eyes, with permission from the artist). He was very proud!  Chris made a "gourd monster" this year, and it turned out pretty cool too...
Check out that drawn on face!

Ledger helping me carve.

Locke... too little to carve.  So he's just watching the action and eating a cookie.

Gourd monster!!

Ledger's finished pumpkin.  We lighted them with glow sticks.

Halloween morning was crazy.  Daddy woke up early to get into all of his garb.  It took him more than an hour.  (He had dyed and shaved his goatee the night before.)  So once we got him out of the house, the rest of us had to hurry up and get ready to go to Daddy's school costume parade.  It's tradition for us to go and watch and then take lots of pictures!

I took the afternoon off of work so that we could get out on the town and trick-or-treat.  As per tradition, we went to the downtown Boo-Rama and walked along Santa Fe street to collect candy from businesses.  Grammie and Papa went with us and strolled Locke around in the stroller.  We love that the kids' grandparents are able to come and join us for so many fun activities!  We ate dinner together at ARRGGH-bys (Arbys spoken in pirate... get it?) and by this time, I thought Ledger was ready to be done.  He had his costume off and acted like he was tired.  After dinner, we had to stop at a few special friends' house, starting with Jarod and Briana.  So we put the costume back on and Ledger noticed that other kids were going door-to-door, which made him very excited to trick-or-treat again.  He got his second wind.  So we saw the Simpsons and got special gifts including pajamas (Thanks Jarod and Briana!) and then went door-to-door on their street.  Then went to Lynnda and Warren's house... and all of their neighbors.  lol.  We stopped at a church trunk or treat and then went on to see Grammie and Papa.  Special gifts from them including an awesome interactive Batman toy that you use with the ipad -- Ledger didn't have time to stop and check it out though... he was on a candy mission.  We also stopped to see Judy and Phil Mitchell.  They gave Ledger a whole set of Hot Wheels!  Highlight of the night for him.  On our way home we stopped to see the Workmans and Faith took Ledger to trick or treat at her neighbor's house too.  So we finally got home at 8 p.m. and I thought we were ready for bed.  But no!  Our new neighborhood was filled with kids going door-to-door and Ledger didn't want to miss out on the fun.  So Ledger, Locke and I went door-to-door on our block while Dad de-costumed.  (He was dressed in full costume from 6:30 a.m to 8 p.m. and he was ready to be finished!)  Ledger was so super excited to be with other kids running from door to door.  I was just filled with Mommy pride watching my kid have such a great time.  So much fun!  I think this might have been one of my favorite Halloweens so far and I can't wait until Locke is big enough to enjoy the traditions with his big brother!