Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hocking Hills

Cedar Falls at Hocking Hills
Since we were able to have Aunt Mary stay the week with us, we decided to show her some of Ohio's beauty. So after all the shopping mall trips, pedicures, and manicures, we decided to change things up and go hiking around Hocking Hills (Well, as close to hiking as you can get in Ohio anyway). It truly is one of the most beautiful trails I have ever seen and for the most part [to be explained later] we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Calvin taking a breather against some rocks- he preferred to hike at an easy jog's pace so it was a well deserved rest.
(Notice the clean pants and sweatshirt.)

While Noah objected to not being allowed to hike on his own, we felt it best that he was carried.

Our turning point. If you look closely, you can see that Calvin is now completely covered in mud. Due to some unfortunate events, Calvin managed to find and enjoy a mudslide during his sporadic sprints while hiking. As everyone knows, it is extremely uncomfortable to walk in crusted, muddy clothes especially when it is only 50 degrees out and windy. So not surprisingly, Calvin decided that he could go no further and insisted on being carried the two mile trek back to the car. (Never mind us not ever making it to the scenic destination spot at the end of the trail.) So that left RB to carry Calvin, I had Noah who by this time had fallen asleep in my arms, and Mary was left with the heavy pack and camera.

Judging from this picture, it isn't hard to guess if Mary's favorite part of the trip was the nature hike or the shopping.:) Still, she was a trooper and helped haul the heavy backpack and babies all the way back to the car.

Eventually we made it back and though we were all relieved to put down our chubby/heavy loads, no one was as happy as Calvin when he stripped down to his Thomas the tank engine underwear and hopped into the car.

It was so nice to have Aunt Mary stay with us. As always, she was an amazing help to me and the boys just love her. Even Noah, who never talks, learned to say her name- bringing up the word count to a grand total of four. (That's including the panting dog noise that his Dr. says counts because it's a form of language.) Mary, we miss you already!

testosterone spike

Aunt Mary, Uncle Sidney, Uncle Willie, and Oma

When "the bus" rolled in to our place, Calvin was beside himself. He absolutely loves all of his aunts, uncles, and grandparents. They represent non-stop entertainment, no naps, and late bedtimes. Even though it was a short visit, Calvin and Noah made the most of it and are still trying to adjust back to the boring life with just mommy and daddy.

With Calvin and Uncle Willie, it's always hard to determine exactly when the hug becomes a strangle hold.

Calvin was introduced to a new big boy movie- TMNT (the new animated teenage mutant ninja turtles). During an especially loud scene, I came in to find Calvin and Willie frozen behind the coffee table. When I asked Calvin if he wanted me to turn it off, he answered with a shaky voice, eyes still glued to the tv: "No mom, this is a big boy show. It's too scary for you. I'm brave."

Uncle Sid is always a good sport when it comes to playing with the little guys, but RB enjoyed his company too since it meant that he had a xbox partner now whenever he could find a spare minute to play. Sidney's memorable quote of the trip: "Why is it that the only things girls ever talk about are clothes and food?"
Sadly, there was a little too much truth to that for me to really argue the point.

Being around his uncles really brings out Calvin's manly side.
Uncle Willie and Sidney always have lots of helpful things to teach him that I cannot. For instance, Calvin now knows the power ranger stance and what a light saber is and how to use one on an unsuspecting target- like myself or Noah. His new favorite game to play is "Tackle-Wrestle" which is a whole lot of fun when the uncles and RB are around, but not so much when it's just, once again, Noah and me. The other change I've noticed is his fixation on hunting. Normally when I ask Calvin what he wants to do he replies with one of the following: "go to the park," " zoo," or "library." He now says, "Mom I need to go hunting and shoot some elk. Then I'll take out the elk meat and we can eat it." He obviously doesn't understand what this actually entails, because he told RB a week or two ago that he would find an elk to shoot and that tomatoes would come out, and that we'd then have tomatoes to eat. I guess it's sweet that he feels the desire to provide for our family, right?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

get your own pumpkins...

Calvin and Noah have been experiencing pumpkin envy. Every time we go on a walk, they go up and gently touch each one they see sitting on our neighbors' porches, and Calvin mumbles about getting one of his very own. After hearing good things about Lynd's Fruit farm, only "about thirty minutes" away[RB edit - this was passed on to me as being "just on Morse Road" - implying an even closer destination], I decided that we would all have a great time picking apples and pumpkins from one of our local Ohio farmers.

Remaining true to form, complications with a few minor details in my directions took us on a lovely hour-plus long scenic drive through the outskirts of Columbus. After stopping only twice for directions, we eventually made it. Despite the chilly temperature, upon arrival the apples were bright and within reach and the pumpkins were plentiful and plump. Calvin learned that apples really do grow on trees and Noah continued his study on The Edible Outdoors.

I choose this one.

slightly enthused

our harvest

Finding the largest one in the entire patch, Calvin finally gave this pumpkin his seal of approval.

After finally deciding which two pumpkins were the best, the boys put up their guard and kept a wary eye on the potential pumpkin-stealing children circling nearby.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Dream fulfilled... thanks Home Depot

Calvin had the best Saturday morning of his life this weekend. (To Noah, everyday is the best day.) We just discovered that the friendly folks at Home Depot host a free kids workshop once a month. Included are the always cool orange aprons, a ready to assemble wooden toy kit, and snacks. This month's project happened to be a fire engine- Calvin's new fascination- and so they invited the local fire department as well. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of this dream come true for the boys, but it was a fun time for all and we even made it back home for the morning session of conference.

Here the boys are trying to figure out where to start. Noah chose the glue- easiest to digest.
Calvin chose the hammer- greatest threat to everyone's safety.

Concentration at it's greatest... good thing RB doesn't have any future plans riding on those fingers.

Fatigued from the manual labor, Noah sits back and enjoys his well deserved granola bar.

Calvin kept his game face on through to the very last swing of the hammer.

Now to check out the real thing...

Calvin is amazed at the similarities between his newly created fire truck and the real thing. His is better, he quickly informs us.

This truly is a dream come true- every time we pass a fire engine, Calvin always asks if he can drive it. Now I won't have to crash a preschool field trip to the fire station.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Calvin the mascot

Calvin hit the big time when named official mascot of our intramural soccer team this summer. It was a big break for him as he's been trying to latch on to a team for some time now. He spent most of his time heckling opponents, yelling for the "good team" to run faster and not mess up, and stealing whomever's gatorade or girlfriend happened to be in his vicinity on the sidelines.

Coaches/mascots get thirsty, too

It was a long hard road for Calvin, which involved a few late nights, a very intriguing marching band practice on an adjacent field, and one minor collision near the touch line (Calvin quickly let everyone know that he was ok because he was a "big boy").

We, with our favorite little 3 year old prancing along the sidelines, were finally able to nab the league's coveted t-shirts.

Football season is around the corner, and Calvin has been perfecting his stiff arm, spin move, and open field tackling just in case...