On Wednesday, AnnaMarie and I took the kids to the free zoo and had a great time, despite the downright frigid morning windchill. At least a lot of it is inside! Calvin loved seeing all the animals and is now in love with giraffes, Ryan was completely obsessed with all of the toys hanging in the animals' cages (milk jugs, stuffed animal hangers, basketballs) and spent the entire time asking the same questions over and over about each new object, so that was fun! Seriously, he never stops talking. Maybe you think I'm exaggerating. I'm not. Also funny was when we were over near the lion and tiger exhibit and a zoo worker lady was showing the kids a display with tiger skin, a lion paw, and lots of informational stuff about the animals. Ryan listened intently for a few seconds and then stepped around to her side of the display cart and very seriously said, "But what I really want to know is, WHAT ARE THOSE FOR???!!!" He was referring to a clipboard holding a chart and a pencil that was on a shelf. I think it was her time sheet or something. What a strange kid.
On Thursday, AnnaMarie came over and helped me make some freezer meals so that I'll be stocked up (at least as much as possible with our freezer space...), so that was great! We made yummy lasagna and cooked and shredded a whole bunch of chicken. I had planned more meals to make but forgot to buy a few things, so I guess I'll have to finish that up later :) Anyways, the kids played well together and it was just nice to hang out in a quiet house while they all ran around the back yard! Thanks for coming, AnnaMarie!
On Friday I headed down to Eagan to hang out with Kelly, Ken, Luke, Evie and Lily. We had a lovely time, mostly just relaxing while the kids ran wild in the basement. Excellent! I am dreaming of the day when ours will be finished and I can send the kids down there to make messes :) Anyways, they all had a fabulous time. And Lily is getting so big and so darn cute. I wish I had taken some pictures. Anyways, then Ken and Kelly took me and the boys out to eat at a Mongolian barbecue place, which was sooo good. Thanks guys! You're the best. Later Friday Katie and Jane came to play for a while so Tyler and AnnaMarie could go out to eat (but I don't feel like it really counted because they only stayed out for an hour...) and the kids were so good! It was fun to just sit and play with Jane (I had the other kids watching a movie, so it wasn't too tough). Anyways, Michael had a scout campout on Friday night so at 9:00 I dragged my kids over to my friend's house and temporarily put them to bed there so we could watch New Moon while the kids all slept. It worked great, and we had lots of fun!
On Saturday we had a great big pile of super special black dirt delivered and dumped out on our driveway! It's for our garden and berry plants, so we got to start moving it all over on Saturday, which was just plain FUN! Ok, Michael did all the shoveling, but I was on rake duty, so I got to rake it all into place once it got dumped. Ryan had his own little shovel and just had way too much fun picking up tiny shovels of dirt and putting them in the wheelbarrow, making grunting sounds all the while. He loves to do whatever Michael's doing, so he was really really happy all day. Calvin loved climbing up the dirt "mountains", also making grunting sounds all the while, and tried to slide down them. I think he was reminiscing about the big snow pile we had this winter. These piles were less slippery...and way more messy. But he had fun! Then on Saturday night we dropped the kids off at our date night group (3 families in our ward rotate with one couple watching all the kids while the other two go out on a date) and got some pizza, did some yard work, and played games and had a great time just talking. It was a really fun day!
Today was a little less fun, since Calvin was throwing up all morning, but it did make me very very grateful for my laundry machines. He's feeling better now, and we ended up having a nice walk around the neighborhood this evening. I love being outside together, and the kids are just so happy to run free :)
So, it's been a successful, distracting few days. Tomorrow I go in for my last doctor's appointment before my scheduled c-section. I'm really hoping to go into labor before the c-section day, so hopefully I hear good news tomorrow! Meanwhile, here are some pictures from the last few days:
The other day, the boys were begging for pancakes for breakfast, so I made some. And of course they started clamoring for powdered sugar on their pancakes. This picture doesn't do it justice, but when I came back into the kitchen, Calvin was licking all the powdered sugar right off his plate and had a powdered sugar goatee (he had licked most of it off by the time I got the camera out). Nice. He sure was happy, though!
Calvin loved the fishies at the zoo:
Katie having fun by the penguin exhibit:
Jane was mesmerized by the fish. What a sweetie!
I love Jane's adorable, chubby smile in this picture:
Katie and Ryan checking out an orangutan up close:
AnnaMarie and the kids at a monkey exhibit. See Ryan pointing and appearing to talk? That's him asking question #42 about the hanging stuffed animal holders in the monkey cages.
Here's Ryan, looking pretty excited about that huge pile of dirt!
And, Ryan helping Michael shovel. He was very effective, as you can see.
Calvin, climbing the dirt mountain, mid-grunt:
Attempting to slide down the dirt mountain:
And the boys just having fun in the dirt:
Calvin on our walk this evening in his Stormy Kromer from Janny :)
Michael helping Calvin learn how to roll down a hill. He was really excited at first, then lost interest once he discovered that it actually took a little effort:
Sophie and me kicking it on a park bench:
Michael and the boys taking a little break: