Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Today is the one day of the year when we teach our kids to take candy from strangers, as long as they threaten them with malicious mischief first. I guess that's better than Christmas, when we encourage them to sit on the lap of a big bearded stranger.
After Liam was good and sugared up at his "Pumpkin Party" at school, we headed out in costumes: Liam the monkey, Sara the banana, and Mommy the animal trainer (it's my usual job - no need for a costume).

Rhonda at the Trib had a big goody bag waiting, then we headed out to Grandpa Bill & Grandma Elnora's. On the way, the monkey spilled his chocolate milk... but Grandma was ready with the stain stick and swiped it all away. Then Liam sneezed with a mouth full of chicken nuggets, and (as we have taught him) made sure to aim for the inside of his elbow. Thanks again, Grandma, for clean-up #2. Their neighborhood nearly filled up trick-or-treat bag #1 (Yes, he got so many goodies we had to have two bags. Don't worry, Daddy will help him dispose of the candy.).

Then it was off to Grandma Cindy & Grandpa Pete's, where Liam got goodies too big to fit in his bags, and Sara got a container of Cheerios (yay!) to entertain her and keep Liam busy feeding her while we drove to the next place... but first we got pictures with Princess Jaidyn.

We popped in at the home office of Randy Fleming Photography ( for the Halloween open house. Professional pics of our duo, to be posted up on the website tomorrow under a special link. Great promotional idea, Randy! Finally we headed to the Harvest Festival at NCCTK where the monkey was fed yet MORE candy and goodies, and the banana was happy to chew on some non-edible goodies and hang out with Elias & Anna for a bit. And Liam got to hug on Princess Jaidyn a bit more.
John offered to drive the kids home if I'd take his truck. Knowing how long the night had been and how tired/wired/sugared they were, I jumped at the chance for 20 minutes of uninterrupted music. Now they're all tucked in and the bags have been properly raided. You know, to make sure there's nothing dangerous in there. Like sugar.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The More Things Change...

Liam has always been a pretty healthy eater. Because he spent a couple hours every week at each grandparents' home, he was exposed to a variety of different foods. But when he finds something he really likes, he dives right in. One of my favorite toddler-aged pictures of Liam is the one attached in the blue chair, when he went gonzo on a plate of spaghetti at my mom's. He was about 15 months old. Liam is now almost 5 1/2 years old. We had homemade lasagna tonight, and I'm attaching a picture of the aftermath. See if you can spot any similarities.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cheeri-Oh My!

Finding time for a shower can be difficult with an 8-month-old around the house. I've tried putting Sara into her exersaucer in the bathroom, but she screams when I'm behind the shower curtain. Her own bath time is one of her favorite things, but mine? Not so much.

So some days the only time I can get in a shower is when Liam hangs out in the living room with Sara, safely in her exersaucer. Usually I put down a few Cheerios to keep her occupied, and give Liam permission to give her a few while I'm gone. When I popped back in today before getting into the shower, I learned that I need to be a bit more specific in my definition of "a few". Though this does explain why she's so content to have me disappear and leave her with Liam...

After we'd gone out to run errands, I left the kids with John while I brought in groceries. Like a moth to a flame, those Cheerios called Sara back again... and she climbed up into the bottom of her exersaucer to eat her fill. Liam started hauling some of the Cheerios away in his plastic dump truck, but you can see she found that, too. Oh well, at least they're not a sugary cereal!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Movie Stars

We finally got around to downloading our home videos onto YouTube so that family & friends can check in on our kiddos, especially those who aren't in the area and are unable to make it to Liam's thrill-a-moment soccer games. I cannot recommend our video camera more strongly - it's a Flip digital video camera, made by Pure Digital Technologies. It retails for not much more than $120 or so, is amazingly easy to use (both Liam AND I could figure it out, with no instruction manual), and then plugs directly into your computer to download videos. Plus it's about the size of small-ish digital camera, so we can easily grab it & go.
Enough free promotion. If you want to check out our videos, go to and search for "4swedbergs". Happy hunting!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chili & Pumpkin Guts

Thanks Gordon & Tracie, for having us over this weekend to play in your barn, sample yummy chili, and dig up pumpkin guts with our kiddos (and our friends & their kiddos)! We always look forward to a party at their place, because we know it will be entertaining... if for no other reason than to hear over a dozen kids blowing their whistles at one time (thanks again Gordon & Tracie. Liam's whistle has "disappeared" somewhere...).

Seriously though, it was great to get out, visit with friends, and eat our fill of a variety of chilis (7 different kinds!). Plus we got to carve Liam's pumpkin without much mess to clean up - their pigs took care of that goop, with a warning to the kids to watch their fingers lest they be confused with a pumkin seed.

And now we know that Sara is a fan of cornbread, especially Holly's. I didn't even need to clean up her mess, because Tracie's pups were ready & waiting for all of Sara's crumbs.

We feel really blessed to have such a great group of friends, whose offspring pair up so well with our kiddos. They even offer to tote around my littlest one (see pictures) so I can have my hands free for a meal for once. What a fun, loud, crazy night. Maybe Liam will catch up on his sleep before school tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Small Town, Small Internet?

Okay, so I just told my husband that I'd started a blog but hadn't told anyone yet because I wanted to play with it a while first. Then I peek this evening and I already have two comments! So much for keeping it to myself. :) That's what I get for signing up to follow your blogs, girls! See you both on Friday - Holly, can you bring both the original "Gifts for Giving" and your play-doh recipe? :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkins, Soccer & Fishing for Cat Food

It must be fall. The whole family has the sniffles, so what do we do today? On our way to Liam's soccer game (aka, standing in the cold watching four purple shirts huddle around the ball & kick blindly) we went to pick out a pumpkin at Boxx's Berry Farm. Grandpa & Grandma S. joined us too, so it was okay that I forgot my camera. Grandma S. was armed with two. If you know her, this is no surprise.

We boarded a mini tractor for the short ride out to the patch (Sara's favorite part- she sang the whole way out & back). Liam, of course, wanted to pick out a pumpkin that was at least his size & weight. So I coached Daddy into talking him into a "perfectly shaped" (and significantly lighter) pumpkin. We needed to get a pumpkin for a chili feed / pumpkin carving party we're going to on Friday. This should be interesting because my husband, wonderful spider-catcher, cat poo-scooper, heavy-lifter that he is, has a gag reflex with certain things, pumpkin guts being one of those (This was also part of my argument for a smaller pumpkin - I'm not scooping out a ginormous pumpkin all by myself, because Liam will lose interest quickly). We also got a few of the token family-in-the-pumpkin-patch photos, which I'll attempt to post on here.

Then it was off to soccer. Liam had a blast, burned off a bunch of energy, and Sara got a quick nap in the car. I honestly think soccer at the kindergarten/first grade level is way more entertaining to watch than the older kids, and I love that most of the parents on Liam's team have the same enjoyment of this as we do. I love that the kids' attention spans are so short that they literally forget which goal is theirs, or they will be running with the ball on a breakaway and simply lose interest right in front of the goal. Today Liam was getting ready to do the kick-off and one of his teammates asked (as the whistle was blowing) if he could kick off the ball instead. So Liam yelled over to the coach (after the whistle had blown and the other team was awaiting the ball) that he wanted to trade, and the two boys did a slow-motion kick back and forth, traded spots, then the other boy kicked off the ball. Maybe you have to be a parent to appreciate it, but I was loving it. And I think my kid's the only one who squeals with joy up and down the field. Makes him easy to spot in a sea of purple jerseys!

So after a long day out & about, we were finally back at home and settling down. John & Liam were cuddled up in our bed in pajamas, watching a quick cartoon before bedtime stories. Sara & I were in her room, and I was checking through her clothes to see what she'd outgrown (it happens fast at 7 months old!). I'd child-proofed her room earlier this month, but then spent a day last week cleaning out all the items to go to goodwill or consignment from one corner. As I was finishing up the shirt drawer, I looked over to see Sara in this very corner, chewing with a big grin on her face. I popped her mouth open and fished around with my finger... and pulled out a piece of cat food. YUM. Sorry kiddo, we're working on solid foods, but not of the feline variety. I think that comes sometime after citrus.

It's waaayyy past bedtime and I expect to be woken by my drippy-nosed baby. I'll write again when time (and my family!) allows.