Sunday, October 26, 2008

You just gotta laugh...

Nathan today was playing with his toy guys and one was shooting other. He said that one "killed" the other one. I reminded him that in our household we don't kill bad guys, we put them in prison and give them a chance to make good choices. He just looked at me and said, "It's okay to kill them mom. They will be resurrected."

At least I know he's listening to one part of what I am teaching him!

Oh to be Incredible!

It was a weekend of firsts for us a couple this past weekend. Matt and I went to our first couples Halloween party and, in order to do so, even hired our first babysitter (we have always date swapped or had friends without kids watch them in the past). I had to laugh at myself as I tried to figure out how to find a babysitter (it was a young woman in the ward), how much to pay her (I asked her mom what her going rate was), what the employer/employee etiquette was (you know, that oh so fun polite interaction when you are picking them up, taking them home, and also assuring their parents that you are good people). But, we survived the babysitting scene, might even find it in our pocketbooks to do it again sometime, and had a great time at the party.

The party was a costume party, of course, and so up until two days before the event we couldn't agree on a costume. Matt liked one that had a funny guy role, but a boring girl role (Angela and Dwight from The Office) and I liked one that had a great girl role, but kinda embarassing guy role (okay, so totally embarassing - like loin cloth embarassing: She-ra and He-man - it was an eighties themed party). Finally, we took a cue from our cute little superhero boys and decided on Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. I sewed the costumes free form the night before, so they were defintely imperfect and safety-pinned together in places, but they were way cute and we had fun. Nathan and Carter thought it was pretty amazing that they had "supers" for parents. I had to laugh that Nathan told me that next year he thought we should all be Incredibles and he wanted to be the one that could "do forcefields and disappear." "You mean Violet?" "Yeah, mom I want to be Violet." Oh, to be so innocent that gender means nothing.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

To the Pumpkin Patch!

Thanks to a great tip from a friend (thanks Kari!) we headed off as a family to the pumpkin patch today. Matt and I hadn't been since childhood and Nathan has been dying to go (thanks to the idea from various halloween books and Charlie Brown's Halloween movie). We had so much fun!

First, we went through the "sunflower" maze. Yes, this is the "baby" corn maze - you won't seriously get lost in it. However, I have a bad taste in my mouth for real corn mazes (they had one of those too), probably thanks to a college FHE night at the corn maze in which it was really dark, I truly couldn't find my way out, and, to top it off, they had men running around trying to make girls scream with their chainsaws! So, can you blame me, I don't do real corn mazes any more!

Next was one of our favorite parts of the day - a mountain of hay. We got there and no other kids were on top of it, but Nathan and Carter quickly figured out the great thing about this mountain - throwing it!! Carter was especially gleeful and we had the hardest time taking him away from it. Maybe he had finally found justice in the world! Luke was just too cute sitting in the hay.

Oh, boy oh boy oh boy!
Fire away!

Take that Nathan!

Whee!! Look, I can make a mess and Mommy doesn't care! Freedom!

Hey, Carter, let's gang up on Daddy!

Just too darn cute!

Nathan looking cute too (Carter wouldn't hold still long enough for a "cute hay" pic!)

After that, Nathan was just dying to go pick out a pumpkin. He was convinced he would find the "perfect" one. Of course, every one he saw was the "perfect" one (even a few rotting ones), but we finally directed him towards a winner. Here are our picks, not including the little baby pumpkin we got for Lukie:

Here's our pumpkins!

One of the many, many "perfect" pumpkins
Mom, I can't carry it - it's too heavy! Oh, you mean the wheelbarrow we brought isn't just for me to ride in?

Don't worry, mom, I'll carry this!

And finally, we just took a little more time to take some cute fall pictures, Nathan rode a pony, and we all did a little hay ride. Matt and I drove away feeling like we had done our good parent deed for the week, introducing our kids to fall!

Driving a tractor - Grandpa Dell will be so proud!

My new favorite picture of Luke! Cutie Patootie!

Nathan riding his first animal

Two cute little boys (both finally smiling at the same time after only 10 pictures!)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What IS Zumba?

As of two weeks ago I am a Zumba fitness instructor here at the local YMCA. I certified a month ago and then just started teaching and LOVE it. It's a lot of work to pick up a new type of aerobics like that (and then be able to turn around and teach it), but I am coming to really enjoy it.

So what is it?

Zumba is a latin dance fitness craze that has literally gone world-wide. It started with a guy named Beto, an aerobics teacher at the time, forgetting his music for a class and having to use the latin music that he just had in his car. His class loved it and it just grew and grew from there. His idea is that working out shouldn't be dreaded - Zumba classes are supposed to be high energy and "party-like" (that's a quote from their website), as well as a good work out and a fun way to learn different dance steps. One of the biggest challenges is making it universal - for dancer and non-dancer alike. Dancers will catch on faster because of their experience, but instructors try to build on basic steps so that everyone can do it. The basic steps build on latin steps like merengue, salsa, etc. If you are interested, they have a website that shows you a little more about it. And yes, I wear more clothes when I teach than most of their models do!

I have seen amazing results in the last two weeks from a bunch of people who weren't sure they could do it to regulars who plan on being at every class. I have definitely fallen on my face as I have pushed myself to be a professional instructor (I have been certified since college, but have been wrapped up in motherhood and hadn't made it a priority yet), but enjoy the rewards of helping people have fun and work out. I feel like I have found a part of myself again - I was the energetic (probably slightly annoying) teenager who was not only at every stake dance, but every stake dance within the three surrounding stakes (yes, I was that zelous). I love to dance, I love smiling, and I love working out and this combines all three.

So, if you are ever in the area, let me know - you can Zumba!
Who's who answers: Luke: #1 and #6, Carter #3 and #5, Nathan: #2, #4, #7 and #8 (sorry, first child overdose of pictures sindrome - we just have more pictures to work with from his baby days! Sad!)