Monday, October 13, 2014

Now THAT was a weekend...

I figured heading into this weekend that even though we didn't have a ton planned, we'd probably have no issues filling three days.  Craig and the kids all had off today and I took a vacation day so we'd have a full three-day weekend.  Today ended up being our "down" day, but the past couple days ended up being very busy!

Friday afternoon Craig called and asked if I was interested in going to the Amerks' home opener.  We could get tickets in the Knighthawks' suite, and since we don't go to many hockey games anymore, I thought it would probably be fun, especially since it's been a while since Carter saw real hockey in person.  He's still not much better about sitting and watching, but he did seem to enjoy the experience.  But mostly he just wanted to run around, up and down the suite level hallway!  Jacob enjoyed playing knee hockey in the suite, and when Carter joined in near the end of the night, this is pretty much what it ended up looking like...

We had a lazy Saturday morning as usual, and then I ended up going out to the mall during Carter's nap so I could buy Jacob a new winter coat and do some shopping for myself (woohoo, $8 worth of clearance finds at JCPenney.  I apparently have no idea what my style should be, particularly right now as I'm carrying around five extra pounds that don't want to go away).  I made a pretty long afternoon of it, adding a stop at Walmart, because once I'm out on my own, it's so much quicker to get things done without my little companions!

That night we ate an early dinner and bundled up to head out to Sahlen's Stadium, the same stadium we were at two weeks earlier for a wedding, but this time it was for high school football.  Craig's cousin, who plays for a school in Buffalo, was playing against a team from Rochester.  We were happy to go see him play and spend some time with Craig's aunt, uncle, and a couple other cousins.  It was a chilly night, and Little Mr. Stubborn (not to be confused with Big Mr. Stubborn) refused to wear a hat or mittens.  I finally got Carter to put on a hood, but his little fingers were awfully chilly.  All his running around probably kept the rest of him warm, though! 

Jacob kept warm with some hot chocolate, and I couldn't resist this picture of him with his legs crossed looking oh-so-grown up with beverage in hand! 

Despite the cold, we had a lot of fun catching up with family and enjoying our first high school game ever as a family.  We decided, by the way, that we need to groom Jacob as a kicker, as apparently all high school kickers are terrible (they go for two-point conversions all the time) and someone has to get those college scholarships and make it to the NFL.

Sunday we went to church, stopped at Wegmans, had lunch, and got Carter down for his nap.  We watched the Bills game and spent some time outside in the lovely weather.  Carter really loves going outside now, and we often catch him saying his own version of "lawn mower" because he loves Jacob's old bubble mower...

The big boys were playing lacrosse...


...and Carter decided he wanted a wagon ride, so we took a short one of those...
Oh, that tiny little smirk...
And then he wanted to push around the big wheel for a while.  Hopefully next year he'll reach the pedals....and unlike Jacob, figure out how to actually pedal.

Craig has been trying to get the pool closed, one step at a time, so that's kept him occupied on these pleasant days.  At one point the boys brought balls into the backyard to play, but eventually it turned into both of them digging in the dirt under the swing set...
A rare moment of closeness where they're not battling...ahhhhh.
We had big plans for the night, so we went out for a quick dinner and headed back into the city (again) to go to the Strong National Museum of Play!  A church-based investment company that I have an investment through (thanks to my grandma) was having a night there for only $5 per family.  That was amazing since it's normally about a $40 visit.  Even better, the butterfly garden was free for the night, when that's normally an extra charge.  It was only 2-1/2 hours, though, so we had to prioritize. 

Interestingly, this was Carter's first visit, at nearly the same age as Jacob was for his first visit. You can see that post here.  We had quite a challenge that day, and while this visit just had a different setup, I can tell that we'd have similar results if we tried the same kind of exhaustive visit that we did with Jacob that first time.  For all the things that are different between our boys, the mind of their own is quite the same! 

Another funny coincidence is that the special exhibit that was there that day was back...the Lego Castle exhibit!  I have a picture of Craig and Jacob that looks a lot like this...
 
Seeing all of the cool castle builds took on new meaning now that we have Lego Central in our basement...
 
This is quite impressive for Duplo!  Ironically, I think this is the castle that Jacob was fascinated with during our last visit to this exhibit, and I was so beyond annoyed with him that I don't think I even noticed that it was Duplo!
 
 Jacob loved the jousting...

I tried to get a picture of the boys on this fancy bench, but this was the best I got...

But the big boys cooperated...
That "stained glass" window behind them is one of my favorite macro photography subjects ever.  I took a couple more shots this time while I had the chance.  The close-up view is really cool.
The boys built for a bit, and I tried to get Carter on the little castle slide, but he wasn't quite ready to do it alone when I couldn't be at both the top and bottom of the slide.  It's really a cool exhibit.  The one bummer is that all of the cool artsy builds that were part of the exhibit last time didn't make it this time.  At least we got to see them once, though.

The next item on the priority list was the arcade section, where Jacob loves to play bubble hockey, air hockey, and old-school video game basketball and football.  The boys settled in with some tokens while Carter and I wandered around.  We checked out this mini-pinball game...

And then stumbled upon his favorite thing ever...the car racing game.  Who knew?  He could have spent the whole night here, I swear, no money needed.

I had a heck of a time getting him away from it, twice.  We tried to check out some other things, like this lighted game floor, but nothing excited him quite like the racing game!

We met up with the big boys by the bubble hockey game, which Carter decided he wanted to get in on...

And eventually made our way back down to get in the line for the butterfly garden.  I must add here that I do not like butterfly gardens.  I almost had a panic attack the first time I went in one in Niagara Falls, and I've definitely had to control myself the one time I went in the one here.  They're pretty, yes, but when they start flying or you look too close, they're just another bug.  I don't like worrying about stepping on one or having one land on me.  It's weird.  But since it was free, Jacob didn't remember the first time he went, and I was armed with a camera, I figured I should really brave it.

I did shriek a little when they flew too close to me, but they were really majestic...




By the time we finished up there, we only had a few minutes left to catch the last couple priorities.  Good thing we were just there not too long ago and this night only cost us $5, because it made only hitting up a few things not as guilt-inducing as usual.  Jacob really wanted to go to the mini-Wegmans, and after he did his quick shopping, he really wanted to use the feature he discovered the last time, the store intercom!

On our way out, we snapped one last picture with one of the Lego knights...

...and we headed home.  What a crazy, fun night. 

Like I said, today was much more relaxing.  I did promise to make Jacob real cinnamon rolls for breakfast, which was clearly more complicated than cereal, but not too crazy.  They fell apart a bit, and they're not really flaky like the ones out of the pop-open can, but they were good!  I didn't feel great for part of the day--just tired, I think--and I struggled with coming up with meals.  Jacob was a challenge, mostly with his homework, and Carter was his usual self, tearing apart the house and tormenting his brother.  I took a nap this afternoon and Craig and Jacob built Legos and played outside.  Carter took his turn outside after his nap, and then it was back in for dinner, playing, and bed.  I love time at home, but truthfully, I'm looking forward to getting back to our usual routine and not having to manage multiple meals and wrangle two energetic kids all day.  Jacob was actually upset that it was a long weekend, as he really likes school right now, so perhaps we'll all be happy to get back in our groove.

But what a weekend it was....

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