Ethan decided he was feeling the dinosaur more than the dog when the big day finally came. I forgot to bring Emerson's yellow rain boots home from school for his costume so he looks like some sort of clam digging fire fighter. But all of our practice last week paid off and the boys had a great time making the rounds of the neighborhood this Halloween.
The boys and I carved some little pumpkins for them this year for Halloween. Neither of them was too enthusiastic about gut removal but both enjoyed making creative decisions for the jack-o-lanterns' faces as well as getting involved in the cutting process when appropriate. They were delighted with the end result (viewed with candles in the dark bathroom) though Emerson declared that his turned out too scary.
We went out to Sweetfields Farm today to experience a little fall flavor. Highlights from the trip were fresh-pressed apple cider and kettle corn, pumping water and feeding hand-picked grass to an adorable baby goat. Lowlights...well let's just say "corn maze" is now a dirty word in our family vocabulary.
We practiced trick-or-treating today in West Park Village, where the shops give out candy, balloon animals, glow sticks, skull rings, fake teeth, and uncooked pizza dough (in Ethan's hand in top photo), as well as some candy. The boys loved it and appear well-prepared for the real thing next week.
Yesterday we went to a small-time carnival set up over next to the race track for two reasons: we love carnivals (even small, sort of dubious-looking ones), and it was visible from the road and the children have eyes.
We sampled the rides; Ethan rode the ladybugs and looked absolutely petrified the entire time, but then refused to get off and when given the chance to choose another ride decided he wanted to go on the ladybugs again. (He looked equally petrified the second time.)
In an act of remarkable bravery, Emerson rode a small roller coaster all by himself. It was much faster and lurchier than any of us expected, especially Emerson. He was the only one on it and when it began its sixth or seventh lap around, Emerson started to look truly alarmed and luckily Eric was able to get the ride operator to stop it.
Emerson was also excited to play a carnival game and was actually successful in shooting a cup off a rack with a nerf dart gun. He is now the proud owner of a small stuffed penguin. I am so, so glad he did not win a live rabbit (also an option).
For at least two months now, whenever Emerson makes a wish, he wishes for a canoe. So, finally, we did our first family canoe trip yesterday at Lake Park. The guy taking our money looked incredibly dubious at the idea that all four of us might attempt a canoe ride together, but after Eric and Emerson had a successful reconnaissance trip, that's exactly what we did. Eric sat in back and did all of the paddling, I sat in the front with both boys and tried my best to keep them in the boat. They both loved dragging their fingers in the water and pointing out the lily pad flowers as we went by. Emerson did a great job staying down on his knees in the very front. Ethan kept feeling the need to suddenly pop up to standing and then try to lean way over the edge of the boat to grab at a lily pad or stalk of grass and we had some wobbly moments. I am glad to say everyone stayed in the boat for the whole trip! Below is a video of Eric and Emerson's maiden voyage. No photos of the four of us as I didn't want my iphone to end up at the bottom of the lake.
Post script: At dinner, Eric asked Emerson what the best part of the day and been and Emerson answered, without hesitation, that it had been looking at the big moving blow-up Christmas decorations at Lowe's. So there you have it.
Both boys have been fighting a nasty bug this last ten days (fun times). We took advantage of their lethargy to get the to sit still for haircuts. Here's a few shots of them with their cute haircuts, and our good friend the thermometer. (And Ethan has a dirty face in the first one. Mybad.)
Emerson and I went to the zoo just the two of us. We had a wonderful time and we explored some new parts of the zoo, including a tree that children can climb in as though they were forest animals. Emerson is more grown up every day. He loves school and I will often hearing him singing a new song or rhyme to himself when he thinks I am not listening. He has two friends at school - Elliot and Emmett - with whom he plays, goes on "fishing trips," and has great imaginary adventures. He is also a great big brother, and is very interested in how capable and communicative Ethan is becoming. Emerson loves coming up with games for the two of them to play. Ethan is usually receptive - he pretty much always wants to be doing whatever Emerson is doing.