Friday, November 23, 2012

Zoo Day

We had a long weekend with Thanksgiving, so took a trip out to the Richmond Zoo.  It was a good day trip, and we had a good time running around looking at all the animals.  The small monkeys sat right in the window and we were face to face.  Evan and I walked through the bird cage - you could buy "seeds on a stick" for $1 - and had so many little blue and yellow and green birds (parakeets?) land on our arms and head and shoes.  Evan wasn't at all a fan of the birds landing on him to eat off the stick, but he held it together, walking slowly and not crying, until we were through the cage.  The biggest adventure was at the tiger cage.  Four huge gorgeous tigers were in their enclosure, and we stood at the window, watching.  Either something about Drew or my red backpack caught the eye of a huge white tiger, who got up from resting, walked straight to the window, and began pawing gently at the window - right on our faces.  She licked the glass, stared right into our eyes, and pawed several times at the glass with her huge feet.  Incredible!  Another fun time was over at the giraffes - their enclosure is low so you are at eye level with them... and there's no barrier.  You can get (again, buy) a cup of zoo food and the giraffes stand there all day, eating the food out of your hand, or straight out of the cup.  We pet them and fed them, marveling at their long rough tongues.  Evan got brave and fed them a couple times, and Drew tolerated being near them, but wouldn't touch the huge animals.  He was much happier sitting on the merry go round. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat was great this year!  Evan was thrilled to be in costume and excited about showing Drew the Halloween ropes.

We went first to the UVA Lawn.  It's a huge long space in front of the Rotunda, lined with dorm-apartments.  Every student and teacher living on the Lawn has their door open and is costumed, at the ready to hand out massive amounts of candy.  The line is crazy long, but it's the most efficient trick-or-treat ever - you start at the first dorm room, and shuffle down the row, visiting a new door maybe every 15 feet.  Luckily mommy was prepared: we were only a quarter of the way through when both boys already needed to empty their (large) buckets into the overflow gallon ziplocs we brought!  Hundreds and hundreds of people were out from the community and university, with kids, friends, and even pets in tow.  Evan ran into several friends, and we all had a great time people/costume-watching.

Toward the end of our time at the Lawn, Drew decided he was no longer nervous about the throngs of monsters, superheroes, animals, princesses, witches, and more.  He began bravely walking up to the next person and holding out his hand (he'd dump the bucket if he held it), taking the offered candy, depositing it in his bag, and asking for more.  He even began bypassing the offered single piece of candy and instead reaching both hands directly into the bowl.  His cuteness and boldness tended to work in his favor, and he'd often come away with as many pieces as his little hands could carry; quickly Mike or I had to catch him and scoop him up before he walked off with the entire bowl.

Finally, Drew decided he'd had enough of just collecting candy; he wanted to eat some. He got his first real taste of a chocolate bar, and simply LOVED it.  Unfortunately, he sobbed the whole long walk back to the car because he wanted "Moah, moah, moah!"

We left the Lawn to head home and visit some of the houses in our neighborhood.  It was getting dark and cold, but it was perfect trick-or-treating.  We stopped by all our neighbors, and a teacher from daycare who lives down the street, and even at some houses with scary decorations.  Both boys did GREAT!  (Except for when one neighbor was slow in coming to the door so Drew decided to take his little decorative pumpkins off his porch instead of candy... that was a touch embarrassing.) Drew walked the whole way, and was perfectly happy to hold hands while we walked (the first time he's done the 'walking and not running away' thing). We came home cold and tired and happy, and with more candy than we could hold, where mommy and daddy "sorted for peanuts" (and other yummies, hehe).  There was still official trick or treating time left, and Evan thought it was the coolest to sit on our stairs and give candy to other kids who came to the door.

Now... what should we be for Halloween next year?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Red Snappers

Evan has been in swimming class for the last 8 weeks, working on swimming with his face in the water, getting comfortable swimming on his back, and potentially swimming on his own.  He's done a GREAT job!  The timing of him spending most of the summer in the pool then another set of lessons made for a good experience, as we worked hard on doing the basics over the summer, and even got him jumping off the diving board.  To make things even more fun, Evan was in class with his best buddy, Connor.  Miss Caleigh was their teacher, and both boys absolutely loved her.  Evan passed the level with flying colors, so we'll be signing up for the next class in the fall!