And suddenly, today, it feels like winter. I blame the Christmas tree in the living room. And the scattering of pine needles and attic insulation that was covering every inch of the upstairs carpet until about thirty minutes ago. And now, just as suddenly as the weather seems to have turned cold, I feel the necessity to document all that we accomplished in T-shirts, long sleeves, and light jackets, before we busted out the coats, hats, and mittens.
The start of a North Carolina fall often looks and feels like summer. We hit up the greenway one day with some of our besties for a bug hunt.
We spent so many golden days at the park. Some days Everett and I would stop by after we dropped Kade at school. Some days we'd all go in the morning. Some days we'd bike. Some days we'd walk. Some days we'd drive. Some days we'd pick Kaden up from school and stop by on the way home for a short visit. Some days we'd go with friends. Some days we'd let Everett nap, and after he woke up, I'd pretend I didn't have to fix dinner, and we'd go for a glorious hour or two in the late afternoon or early evening.
We spent some lovely afternoons with baby Naomi, our favorite little girl to babysit. I'm pretty sure my boys think she belongs to them. I'm pretty sure rocking her to sleep makes my ovaries scream. We all love her to pieces.
Chad's parents came to spend conference weekend with us, which really means they came to help us with a bunch of projects. I made cinnamon rolls as their consolation prize. My father in law has a gluten intolerance, so I'm not sure how great of a prize it was, but he always says they're worth the itch. They were slathered in cream cheese icing before we devoured them, but they don't look as pretty once smothered in goo.
The goo was good, though. Just ask Everett:
Chad, Bruce, and Kaden put together the swing set while they were here.
And just as day turned to evening, Bruce started cutting our grass. Without being asked. Because he's very serious about keeping his title of best father in law of all time. And because he's the lawn fairy. Love him.
Kaden, Everett, and a handful of neighbor kids spent every allowable moment pirating it up in the filthy playhouse that still needs to be re-stained.
They loved every minute of it.
So glad we snagged that thing.
So glad Chad and Bruce are smart and manly and could put it back together again.
Kaden spent his favorite afternoons playing with Sofia, our darling neighbor girl, while Everett napped. They drew these elaborate treasure maps one day, after coming in from the backyard. I snapped a photo, because I thought the contrast between the two was so adorable.
Everett continued to enjoy things that aren't toys as much as his toys. Pictured below, he is turning a breast pump tube into a musical instrument:
Everett had his 15 month exam, and I realized that I never would have allowed Kaden to explore a filthy floor naked. Perks to being the second child?
Lots of tearful goodbyes were said to Daddy on many different days:
On lots of evenings, our gated balcony made a perfect, safe place for Ev to explore, while big brother played in the backyard, and I cooked dinner:
Chad scored free tickets to another State football game and took Kaden. They had a great time. Kaden now thinks we are State fans, which is mildly hysterical.
I went to a FABRY conference in Greensboro with my mom, cried some, learned a lot, and came away feeling empowered to take control of my health. I was part of an awareness video produced by the foundation that sponsored the conference. You can watch the video here. Knowledge is definitely power, and as a patient with a rare disease, I'm learning no one is going to hold my hand through this process. It was great to be in a room full of individuals with the same condition I have, and to glean some wisdom from a panel of experts.
One of my very best friends from college stopped by with her family to visit us on a Sunday afternoon. They live in Missouri now, and we haven't seen them in years. It was so fun to catch up, and especially fun to have our little boys meet.
We lived in Taylor Hall together as freshmen, and officially became friends when we ended up in the same Spanish class in college. We've affectionately referred to each other as "la otra Katy/Katie" ever since.
We took the boys to Jumping Beans for family home evening/Kaden's marble jar prize one Monday. Everett hated it at first, but warmed up to the idea.
Then the boys stared at the older kids playing indoor soccer on the way out.
We cashed in a few Chick fil-A kids' meal toys for ice cream a time or two.
We took the boys to Pullen Park on Columbus day, since Chad had it off. Got to love banker's holidays. Everett took his first ride on the kiddie boats. He didn't want to get off.
The sure fire sign that Everett is tired: left thumb in the mouth, right hand scratching belly button.
Kaden played soccer. Lots and lots of soccer. We loved the crisp Saturday mornings, the bitter cold ones weren't granted the same feelings of adoration.
This next shot is titled "Little Brothers, a Study in Being the Drag Along"
We went straight from Kaden's soccer game to Chad's one day He happens to play on the field right by one of our favorite parks of all time. And we had friends to play with. Score!
I had a perfect shot of all four kids on the swings, until Kaden saw I was taking a picture and bailed. I still caught him walking away, though. Joke's on you, Kaden Bug.
Everett loves Noah, and I think Noah loves Everett. He seems to cherish not being the baby when Ev is around.
Kaden continued to bring his uneaten lunch home to finish. Everett was thankful. It meant he got an extra snack or two.
We spent two solid weekends cleaning up/repairing damages to our rental property in Kinston. I saw many roaches. I shed many tears. I loved watching this man replace window panes from my perch inside the bug-infested kitchen.
Everett decided he was too cool for his high chair. We still manage to trick him into sitting there most days.
He also decided to boycott bread crusts. I can't convince him to eat those most days.
At some point, Kaden got a haircut. He had to be bribed, since he is very attached to Ms. Alison, his Kinston stylist.
Everett spent a lot of time in his favorite ensemble: a diaper. Close to naked, without the pee on the carpet risk.
Play dates were enjoyed on occasion.
There was playdough. Lots and lots of playdough.
I survived Kade's first visit to the dentist. He loved it of course and can't wait to go back. I'm so glad I decided to go with a pediatric dentist. I wish they saw adult patients!
There was so much puke in October. And then again in November. It was awful.
At least when my kids are sickos, they like to snuggle.
Here is Everett starting on the B.R.A.T. diet, minus the rice and toast, plus crackers.
Here is Kaden holed up in his room, after I picked him up from school, where he vomited. I took him to school even though he was complaining that his tummy was hurting. I was thinking he was constipated, since we'd already done the stomach virus two weeks before. Bad mom award. Poor kid.
Not pictured: me sanitizing every inch of my house four times. And washing all the sheets in the house. Four. Times.
We explored the Durham Museum of Life and Science. For free! Thanks to the generosity of a friend.
Everett took the most stellar nap in the history of naps afterwards. And my amazing, awesome, fantastically fabulous friend Jamie let Kaden stay with her for an extra bazillion hours at the museum, even though I had to go home early to put him to bed. My house was the quietest it's ever been. And I'm pretty sure I wasted time on facebook or something instead of doing anything productive.
There was lots of spontaneous writing going on:
We crammed as much costumed cute as possible in on the days surrounding Halloween.
We started out in last year's costumes at a free festival at The Factory in Wake Forest:
In true Kaden fashion, he protested all attempts at photographs:
Jumping with his best buddy Mr. Smee (AKA Mark) at Jumping Beans.
The dinner entree enjoying a granola bar (AKA distraction to prevent him from wanting to jump).
There was a magic show, where Mia really caught the spirit.
And Everett bummed a few M&Ms off of Mia after the show ended. These two share a special bond. They both love a good snack.
The next Halloween celebration on the agenda was library story time, where Toothless and his viking made their debut.
Margie, Kat, Everett, Liam, Kaden, Jack, Mark, and Mia:
Everett was sick the night of Trunk or Treat, but Kaden was dying to go, so I went as his viking and we hit up the rained out celebration. I've decided a trunk or treat is not cool when packed indoors.
Kaden had another Halloween carnival at his preschool. It was darling, and he had a great time! I would have had more fun if I hadn't locked myself out of my house right before we left and was preoccupied worrying about how I was going to get back in. Luckily, Jamie assisted me with a quick break in. If I'd only known about her secret skill set beforehand, I could have relaxed and enjoyed the party!
We broke out the big guns on actual Halloween night. We managed to get Everett in his full Viking hair for at least a few photos:
Our awesome neighbors threw a Halloween dinner party. Then we all went trick-or-treating together. It was so fun!
We ended up with way too much candy, and I ate most of the chocolate when Kaden was asleep or not looking, which I am prone to do.
We met up with friends at the science museum downtown one afternoon. We managed to have a great time, despite the massive field trip crowds.
Chess came to visit. Oh, and he brought Lauren and Tyler, too. But Everett was mostly excited about Chess. Just being honest.
He cried when he left and ran to the door at least a million times asking, "Dog?! Dog?!"
The Primary Presidency, while usually perfect in every way, produced an epic fail when they sat these three together on the Primary Program seating chart. Mischief and mayhem were apparent even in the rehearsal phase:
Kaden's Sunbeam teacher moved out of our ward. This was their class on her last Sunday. Bless poor Alice. The only girl in the class. The circumstances will be more in her favor in about 10 years.
Kaden did an awesome job delivering his part during the actual Primary program (and yes, we broke the rules and filmed him, for the sake of family who live too far away to come):
Chad and Kade had a bowling night right before the kids and I headed to Utah for Thanksgiving.
And, lastly, because I like to go out with a bang, this was the gem of a sunshine report that Kaden brought home in his backpack one day. Not exactly sunny. (It made more sense when we talked about it. Kade said it was because Gladiol followed him into the bathroom stall and didn't leave when he asked him to. Gladiol is learning to speak English, so I'm guessing this was a big miscommunication. They seem to be friends again.)
And now I am going to bed. Please don't judge this old English teacher if there are grammatical errors in this post. After the nightmare that was uploading all of these photos to Blogger, I'm too tired to care about proofreading.