Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to make the very best pumpkin cutie pie:
Or, how to piss off a baby.



First, you need a pumpkin.
A great, big, round, pumpkin.

And then, you need feet.
Chubby, wubby, baby feet.



There there, Evelyn June. I know it seems bad right now, but-
...no, yeah, you're right.

Mommy shoved you inside of a pumpkin.
It doesn't get much worse, does it?
Cold, and wet, and-



But gosh, you're adorable.
And it was only for 5 minutes anyways.
Totally worth it (for me at least).

Happy Halloween!!

Flashback Friday: Baby Zebra

Friday, October 29, 2010


I know I said that I was maybe going to re design Flashback Friday, to look all hip and now or whatever, but- yeah I watched 3 episodes of Greys Anatomy instead. So we'll just leave it at "coming soon", shall we?

I wanted to share a picture of myself, wearing an old Halloween costume, but I don't have any (not a single one). I do remember my first Halloween trick or treating, though. I dressed up as a devil. I think my Grams took me down to my cousins school, to trick or treat at his school with him (this was before I was in kindergarten, so I must have been 4 years old?), and I remember dressing up again the next day, and going door to door in her neighborhood. Well, I don't remember all of the doors that I went to- but I remember the very first door that I ever knocked on, and very vividly. I was terrified.

When Eleanore was freshly 1, we lived in apartments. It was pointless to go trick or treating (she didn't eat candy), but we still got her a costume. We didn't have any particular character or theme in mind, so we just grabbed something off of the rack. It sounds kind of lame when I put it that way, but in the end it didn't matter, she was happy, and so were we.

And doesn't she look so cute?



I let her stomp around out on the balcony dressed up as a Zebra. She wore the costume around the apartment for a bit too, but with the still in the 80's temperatures in Texas, warm costumes (which are hard to avoid when shopping for little ones) don't stay on very long.

I think I still have this costume locked up in the Halloween bin out in the garage? Maybe next year we'll live somewhere cold, and Evelyn will be able to wear it.

Maybe.


********************************
Flashback with us! Go through your polaroids, scrapbooks, old crappy cell phone pictures- whatever you've got. Scan them, upload them, get them onto the computer somehow, and then share them with the world! Or... with us at least. Post them onto your blogs, write a little bit to go with them- tell us your story. When you're all finished, grab one of our buttons from down below (wayyyy down there at the bottom of our page) and put it somewhere inside your post (or link back to us the old fashioned text way). Come back here to this post, and add your link to the photo list below!

And if you've got a minute, maybe go poke around some of the other flashbacks posted, and leave a comment on another blog or two?


Our Babies- October 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The babies are growing faster by the day, and I just can't keep up. In the morning, it seems like I'm just rushing through the motions, trying to get breakfast served, diapers changed, hair and teeth brushed- and then by the end of the night, I'm wondering how we flew through story time, and what caused our 4:00 tantrum to go down so epically. And somewhere in all of that... my babies grew one day older, and I most likely missed it. Unless I caught a new word or imaginary friend out of the corner of my eye, I had to go on living life, and as much as I would have loved to sit around staring at their changing faces- I just can't.

So I'd like to take a few minutes to just think back to a few changes and developments that I've noticed over the last month. Likes, dislikes- things like that.


Eleanore:

You are just over 4 years old. Your favorite toy to date, is a beanie baby kitten, sent to you in a care package from a wonderful friend named Tina.

Your smile is big, and bright. Your laugh, even when forced, is full of energy.

Your imaginary friend Piglet seems to be on vacation, on most days being replaced by "Ollie" the bunny or "Rosebud" the puppy.

You hate meat, you never want to eat it. You'd rather throw it at your Daddy, and end up eating it off of the floor. You love applesauce, popcorn, and pancakes. If we'd pile all of those things onto your plate, you'd never go to bed hungry.

You're forgetting your basic manners. We've taught you well, but when you're angry, as you often are, you seem to let them slip your mind. I'm constantly reminding you to sit up in your chair, chew with your mouth closed, don't push past your brother up the stairs, look at me when I'm talking to you, sit with your knees closed so we don't show the entire neighborhood your Tinkerbell panties- but for the most part, you're a good little girl.

I know that I need to spend more one on one time with you. And believe me sweetheart, I'm trying. I woke up at 6:00 this morning, to get my personal blogging and photography time out of the way, just so that I would have a clear mind to sit down and play ponies with you after breakfast.


Charlie:

You're 22 months old.

You've been through so much, since your baby sister was born 2 months ago. You went from being the baby, to being the middle child. I can't say that I know what that feels like, but I know that your heartache is slowly turning into love and acceptance.

You love trucks, trains, cars, tractors- anything with wheels.

You understand how to remember things now. You've started saying "Remember tractor? Remember fire station? Remember pumpkin patch?!". You're constantly asking Me and Daddy if we remember our adventures, and you won't settle for a simple "yes". You want us to go into the full story, with details. So we do. And you love it.

You have tubes in your ears!

You're a very picky eater. You hate to sit in your high chair, you'd rather run around and play, coming back to Mommy and Daddy's plates for bites. You love meat, the opposite of your older sister. Chicken, hamburger, fish, bacon bits- you'll pick the tiniest piece out of a bowl of homemade gravy, leaving a biscuit mushy mess behind.

You cry for your sippy as soon as you wake up in the morning, and its the end of the world if the straw isn't in your mouth before you get to the bottom of the stairs.


Evelyn:

You're 2 1/2 months old.

You're asleep in the swing behind me as I type this, your brother and sister asleep upstairs in their beds. I take you everywhere with me. I never leave you in another room.

You're starting to follow things across the room. Rather than staring blankly at whatever it is that baby's stare at, you'll watch Mommy or Daddy walk away from you.

I caught you talking to your sea animal friends on your swing mobile earlier. Hello turtle, hello fish, hello whale! Cute little baby noises, that I hope we'll hear more of as you grow. You have a beautiful voice, speak up.

You're almost sleeping through the night. You wake up once or twice for half feedings, only nursing off of one breast instead of two.

You're getting better at holding your head up. You're not as strong as your brother and sister were at your age, but you'll get there. I'm trying to make it a point to give you extra tummy time and bicycle your legs regularly.

You hate it when you wake up and you're in the sleepy wrap. You scream at me. You scream so hard that you sweat. And then you pass out, because you exhausted yourself. I know its hot in there, and you can't move, but- Mommy has three babies to take care of, two of them much more mobile than you are. Its not a torture device, I just want to hold you close to my heart.



I can't say it enough.
I love you all, my babies.

Bye Bye The Bob

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last Friday, after Charlie's pre op downtown, my friend Carrie and I drove down to the tow lot, to release The Bob (our broken van) to the insurance company for assessment.

Well- turns out they had already come and gotten it? Can't they not do that?

Wait, so... how do I get our stuff back?!

Go that way on Pine street, merge onto the highway, take a left at the big gray building that says "High Expectations", take the access road down until you see the big white fence, and you can't miss it.

...got all that? Great, lets go!



They brought The Bob to me on a fork lift.
It was sort of awesome.


We found the place, obviously.

But um... based on the report that Christopher had given me after the accident had happened, I was kind of expecting them to present me with a murder scene. This was no graveyard on wheels. Damaged? Yes. Death bed? No.

To be fair though, it was Christopher's first car accident (and hopefully his last), and I'm sure the scene of the crime looked much worse than the bandaged version of The Bob that they brought to me there at the lot.



Totalled, poor Bob. Crumpled up and weakened in a bad spot.

After I circled the scrap metal a couple of times, it was time to collect our things out of the inside. We had left the babies in the car (Charlie and Carrie's son Levi), and randomly I'd hear a "gooo hooome!" peep out of Carrie's open car window, over our giggly girl laughter. Its not that we were laughing at The Bob, just- well wrecking yards are fun!

They had already cleaned out The Bob for us, piling everything in the very back. I went around and double checked under the seats and in the glove compartment, just to be sure. I didn't find anything, so ...farewell The B-

...wait, what the heck?!
I wish I would have gotten a picture of the arm full of stuff that Carrie walked emerged with. Eleanore's toy cat, a changing pad, a Home Depot pencil, a CD. Apparently I'm blind, as are the guys that cleaned the van out before us.

Alright, now its really time to go, The Bob. I love you. I'll miss you. Thank you for keeping my husband safe when he was too busy thinking about work, rather than focusing on the road and stopping at the stop sign like a good roadway participant should.

On the way home, the boys fell asleep. It had been a long morning, and once one set of eyes closed, the other set followed...



Can't see Charlie? Oh hes there, behind Puppy Lovey.
Whats Puppy Lovey?
Yet another thing with a dog face on it that we have to lug around everywhere we go. The full story is coming soon.

So that was that. We went and found The Bob, got our stuff, said our goodbyes, and we were done.

And we got a really rad picture to remember it all by...



RIP The Bob
2007-2010

How Mom Stole Halloween

Tuesday, October 26, 2010



I'm the worst Mother ever.
My kids are going to hate me.
I ruined Halloween.
I love my babies.


Yesterday, Charlie got tubes put into his ears. A years worth of ear infections were indication that we really didn't have much of a choice. You know what else a years worth of ear infections did to him? They tore apart his stomach.

One bad diaper every couple of days, turned into two... turned into a never ending cycle of digestion nightmares for the kid. Not my favorite topic of discussion, but by now I'm good at it, and- lets be real for a minute- when your kid hasn't had a solid poop in 3 months, something isn't right.

It had been mentioned to me in the past, "oh it could be yeast, cut out sugar". And like most of us do, when we hear something as astronomical as "cut out sugar", I did. For a day, maybe.

When it got to the point of my son's bottom being a solid sheet of red raised rash, broken and bleeding-

After the last double ear infection, after another double round of antibiotics-

When Charlie's body stopped digesting literally everything, and he cried and screamed and begged, anytime we'd go anywhere near his diaper-

I put my foot down. I put on my Mom pants, I took a deep breath, and I said the words that I had been meaning to say for months...

We're cutting sugar out of our diets.
We're detoxing.




I had been doing my research. I had been collecting my courage. I had had enough. When I said that we were cutting out sugar, a sacrifice that none of us were going to be prepared to make, I meant it.

And then, I realized that it was October.
My heart sank. But sunken heart or not, I couldn't take back my words. Not this time.

Really? Did I just take away Halloween?
You bet your candy bucket, I did.




What kind evil beast takes Halloween away? What kind of terrible monster denies even the worst behaving children the joy of fighting over the last pumpkin shaped peanut butter cup?

Wait just a minute, now.
I'm not a monster.
I'm not a beast.

I'm a mother. And I love my kids.


I love my kids so much, that I'm going to let them hate me.
This is what being a Mother is all about, right? Teaching them, and doing whats best for them? Even if it means that they hate you for it?

So I did what I said I'd do. I made my demands. I pleaded my case to Christopher, and he willingly stuck by my side as I threw away the freshly baked ghost shaped brownies on the counter. There wasn't going to be a "we'll start tomorrow" option, it was now or never. Next went the candy from the parade, followed by the marshmallows- "rest in peace, sugar", we said, "feed somebody elses yeast and overgrowth".

If you're wondering what sugar has to do with my sons stomach problems, well let me try to explain it to you in the cutest way possible:

Imagine a game of pacman. Everyone knows what pacman is, right? Well picture a nice round circle (the tummy), filled with those little colorful balls that pacman eats (the balls are yeast and bacteria). A few balls are ok, no big deal, right? And then you've got pacman (the good bacteria), zooming around in there, eating the balls (the yeast, remember?) one or two at a time, tra la la, keeping things in check. Well, along comes a ghost (antibiotics), and he tries to kill pacman! And soon, more ghosts (more antibiotics)! Pacman dies. The good bacteria is gone. So then, what do you have left? Just a whole bunch of colorful blinking balls. And you know what those blinking balls thrive on? Sugar.

Did that make sense? Are you following?
I know there isn't any sugar in the game of Pacman, but-
I tried.


Basically. My son took so many antibiotics over the last year, that his belly filled with yeast and bacteria, and his digestion stopped working properly. Take away the sugar, and theres nothing left to feed the bacteria. Throw some probiotics in there, and you've got an all out war on your hands. Believe me, you do not want to be around when the yeast/bacteria start to die off.

We're two weeks into being sugar free, and after it got worse (poor Charlie, Mommy loves you!), it got much better.

After months and months and months of awful diapers and tummy aches- we went from 4 runny stools a day, to 1 or two solid stools. Did you read that right? Cutting out sugar, worked! Taking Halloween away from my babies, worked!

Ok, so I didn't really take Halloween away. We're still going out trick or treating. We're just not going to eat any of the candy. Instead, the kids are collecting it for the Halloween Fairy, who will in return bring them the bath time Disney character and super cool motorcycle toy that they've been wanting. (And pajamas for Evelyn, since if you don't tell the Halloween Fairy what you want, so Mommy can run out and get it, you get pajamas. Sucks not being able to talk, huh Evelyn?)



And, because I'm not pure evil (even though the kids think I am)- I slaved over a hot double boiler -boil boil toil and trouble- and made the kids stevia sweetened Halloween chocolate (seen above), which by the way, is not an easy thing to do.

A thorough detox will take 6-8 weeks. We're sticking to it for the full duration, and then some. I'm doing my best to make meals, snacks, and treats for all of us, while still sticking to our other dietary restrictions (which vary from person to person). I can't promise that everything will taste amazing, but... I'll gladly sacrifice my taste buds for the sake of my family's well being.

Charlie Gets Tubes In His Ears

Monday, October 25, 2010

Its been about a year now, that we've been dealing with Charlie's chronic ear infections. I really can't even remember the last time that he wasn't sick.

When we left Charlie with the babysitter, to go deliver his baby sister back in August, he had a double infection. I remember being nervous about how he'd react to us leaving him, since he was extra grumpy because of the pain, but- he did fine (for the most part). And then when Evelyn turned a month old, he started showing signs of another infection (gagging on anything he put into his mouth, laying his head on the floor- all the same things that he did with the previous infections). Finally, seeing how close together his infections really were, we got him in to see a new pediatrician, who sent him to an ENT, who scheduled a surgery to have tubes put into his ears right away.

That day was today.



Putting on his hospital gown


Since we currently don't have a vehicle (in case you missed it, Christopher got into an accident last week and wrecked the Van- hes ok btw), my good friend Carrie offered to take us to his appointment. Thank you Carrie! We were running late, and got there just 2 minutes before his scheduled surgery, but- we made it! They called us back as soon as we signed in, so... hope you're ready, kid!



A very nice nurse took us back into a chilly yet warm room, with a blue-ish sort of tint to it. Christopher's sweater, Charlie's pants, Lovey, the sheets, the gown- the way that the colors reflected off of the walls filled the air with an overall feeling of calmness. Kind of perfect, how it turned out that way.




Charlie was a champ, really. He shed a few tears, and said the words "go home" more than once. Surely he hated being in the cold room, with two socks on one foot, and strangers zooming in and out and about-



In between our distracting him with songs about his Loveys, (because we've gained a new one on top of the one that he already had) it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. I think somehow he had known that it was coming.



Before we knew it, Miss Debby came in, a friendly nurse with the very best smile, and said it was time to go. I kissed my baby goodbye, reminded him over and over again how much I loved him, and then followed him with my eyes as he rode on Debby's hip all the way down the hall, and around the corner into the Operating Room, both Loveys in arms.

I did my best not to cry, as he shouted "Bobby!", which really means "Mommy", as we were walking away.

We went into recovery room 2, a large space filled with rocking chairs and other mothers waiting on, or already holding their little ones- where we sat nervously, having conversations about nothing that made sense at all (to me at least), hoping to pass the time.

Soon, the doctor came out, and told us that he had put up a little bit of a fight (and that they had won, obviously), but the surgery was done and he'd be out soon. Thank goodness, bring me my baby!

About 15 minutes after we had originally taken our seats, out came my groggy little mini Sasquatch, wrapped up in a warm blanket, reaching for me, and quickly stealing the hearts of all of the nurses, and everyone else who happened to be in the room with us.



We rocked back and forth until it was time to go, not saying much, just enjoying the warmth from the blanket and each other. By the time we got home, he was back to his normal self, and ready to watch Space Puppies.

Our fingers are crossed in hopes of no more ear infections, and hey- hearing how things sound above the water (because hes been hearing things through walls of water), will probably be a nice change of pace for the kid.

You did great Charlie, we're proud of you.

Giveaway: The Charm Lady

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How often do you go out and buy jewelry for yourself? Honestly.

I'm one of those people that never indulges in things for myself. If I've got a $5 bill in my pocket, its probably going into the Christmas money jar (which, we need to get crackin' on that!), or going towards a new winter hat for my 2 year old son (ok, better get crackin' on that too). Are ya with me? Maybe you too?

I've mentioned once or twice before, how I own very little jewelry. My style changed drastically since having kids, and I've just never really taken the time to rebuild my accessory box. Because on most given days, I'm wearing sweats and decorating my shoulders with burp cloths, so...

I'm slowly finding things that I like, though. Here and there, little things stand out to me, and- on the rare occasion that I leave the house, I'll dabble blush on my cheeks and string something up around my neck.



Like this fern necklace.

The ball chain feels light around my neck, and looks more elegant than the other ball chains in my jewelry box. I like feeling elegant.


And this monarch necklace.

I liked butterflies when I was 16, and I like them now.

The chain is a little hard to clasp, which gives me confidence that its going to be more difficult for the chain to come undone. Thats a good thing. I hate it when necklaces fall off and are lost forever.

I got those in the mail a week or two ago, and they've become my new favorites. And they look good paired with sweats.

Oh, and guess what? I've got one of each, for you too!



*******
Necklace Giveaway! From The Charm Lady.
2 winners, each wins one necklace.
Yessss!



So here are the rules...



-Go to The Charm Lady's (that was a link, in case you didn't quite catch it), Etsy shop, and window shop! Shes got pages upon pages of beautiful pendants.

-Come back here, and tell us which pendant you liked the most.

-Leave your email please. I don't want to have to track you down if you win!

-Giveaway is open to both US and Canadian residents.
-Giveaway ends next Saturday, October 30th.
-Winners will be randomly chosen (by Christopher, most likely, random number generating) and notified by email.


*Additional Entries*
Leave a separate comment for each additional entry, please.


-Twitter: Tweet "Necklace giveaway! Visit http://tinyurl.com/29h8soy for details. #Giveaway @TiaColleen". This is worth 1 additional entry.

-Facebook: Facebook it! In your own words, something along the lines of "I really want to win one of these necklaces, yadda yadda yadda!", and link back to this post. This is worth 1 additional entry.

-For 3 additional entries: Blog about this giveaway, complete with pictures. You can use our pictures, or you can use the photos from The Charm Lady's shop. Be sure to link back to this post. And be sure to leave 3 separate comments.

Thats it, y'all! Good luck, I hope you win, I hope you win!

********************************************

Winners winners!
You'll be notified by email too, of course.

Flashback Friday: Pumpkin Pie From Scratch Tutorial

Thursday, October 21, 2010


First things first. I'm thinking about creating a new button/banner for Flashback Friday. Don't be surprised if it looks a little bit different next week? I figured a heads up would be appropriate.

Secondly- I just did 70 minutes of yoga, and I don't think I could scan a picture if my life depended on it (my arms feel like soggy waffles, if you can imagine that). So, for today's flashback, I'm just going to dip into a post from last year (I obviously had wayyy more time on my hands back then, based on the awesome picture tutorial), and hopefully nudge some of you in the direction of maybe baking a pumpkin pie from scratch, this year? That is, if you don't already...



You can find the recipe for the vegan gingerbread pumpkin pie pictured above, over at the original post (ya know, the one that I'm flashing back to... I'm such a cheater today). Click here , for that. Too bad I can't have ginger anymore. Fructose malabsorption strikes again.



********************************
Flashback with us! Go through your polaroids, scrapbooks, old crappy cell phone pictures- whatever you've got. Scan them, upload them, get them onto the computer somehow, and then share them with the world! Or... with us at least. Post them onto your blogs, write a little bit to go with them- tell us your story. When you're all finished, grab one of our buttons from down below (wayyyy down there at the bottom of our page) and put it somewhere inside your post (or link back to us the old fashioned text way). Come back here to this post, and add your link to the photo list below!

And if you've got a minute, maybe go poke around some of the other flashbacks posted, and leave a comment on another blog or two?


Everything Happens For A Reason

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This post wasn't going to be about this. The photos and content don't exactly flow, but- then again, they do.

Yesterday, just after putting the babies down for their quiet time, my phone rang.
It was Christopher. Christopher never calls me during the day. So rarely, that we have an ongoing joke that if he calls instead of texting- we must have gotten orders.

So today when the phone rang, in the back of my mind, we had gotten orders. And then when he said "I don't really know how to tell you this, but-" ... again, I thought we had gotten orders.

And then, instead of hearing the words that my mind had hyped itself up to hear- he paused, took a deep breath, and said.. "I just got into a car accident".



I thought he had taken his scooter. All I could see flashing through the projector screen on the back of my eyelids, was somebody hitting his scooter and throwing him across an intersection. I imagined him talking to me from a hospital bed, the only part of his body working being his heart and his voice, and I broke down.

I broke down so hard that I stopped breathing. I choked, and choked, and choked. There was air in the room, but I couldn't find it. I held my chest, my knees hit the mat that I was previously standing on, and I panicked.

Christopher was on the phone with me, talking to me, but still- my heart had been attacked by terror, and I assumed the worst. I just couldn't get the image of him being thrown from his scooter out of my mind.

Only. For some reason, on this day... he hadn't taken his scooter.
He took the van.

It wasn't until he said the words "the van is totaled", that the all too traumatizing image in my head started to clear, and the connection of his voice talking to me combined with the words "I'm okay" started to make sense.

He hadn't taken the scooter.
He had taken the van.



My hyperventilating slowed. A switch in my brain flipped from worry to anger, back to worry, back to anger, back to worry. He gave me a few details, and then hung up the phone. In the couple of minutes that we spoke though, I hadn't heard anything other than "I was in a car accident", and after his voice was gone, I went back into a panic.

The air in the room, gone again.

Where was he? Who was with him? How was he hurt? Was he okay?
Come home. Come home to me right now.
Call me back! Please, call me back.
Are you okay?
Thank God you didn't take the scooter. Thank God you're not broken.
Please don't ever scare me like this again.
Are you okay?



I called my Mom. I didn't know what else to do. And I went through every emotion in the book. By the time I got off the phone with her half an hour later, I was calm enough to breathe. She stabilized me. I opened the blinds, and I stared out the window, waiting for him to drive up.

After a few minutes passed, and he didn't come home- the panic came back.
Seriously, heart? Give me a break.
Lungs, breathe.

My best friend called. When we finished crying hysterically, and finished talking about what didn't happen/ what could have happened- she kept me company long distance, and distracted my worst fears from overwhelming me, until he got home.


I ran outside with the baby in my arms, and looked for him frantically. I hugged him, and then pushed his embrace away, and started touching the right side of his body, asking if my touch hurt. He said he was ok, but I didn't believe him. I still don't believe him. I keep looking for marks. How is he so lucky?

Our van is trashed. His armor, towed away, headed for the junk yard.

My husband is alive.
My babies are alive.
My family is alive.
Thank God, he took the van.

It could have been so much worse.

And at least now we know I play it cool when under pressure right?
...ok not so much.

Looks like for the time being its just the five of us, and a motor scooter. How many cartons of soy milk do you think you can strap to the back of a Ruckus?
We'll soon find out!

Wordless Wednesday: Oct 20th


-Charlie standing on the pillar like Daddy.
-Evelyn exploring black and white stripes and polka dots.
-The very best strawberries of my life.
-A cricket the size of an ape.

A Private Tour Of The Fire Station

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not so long ago, Christopher came home and announced "they're doing tours of the fire station this weekend".

Seriously? Because both of the kids, Charlie especially, and... did anybody just notice how I said "both of the kids", totally forgetting how we've actually got three? Mom of the month, thank you very much.

Wait, what was I saying?

Oh- so...
The fire station!
Tours!
YES!



After brunch, because we had a late start that day- we headed down the street to the station. We hadn't yet told the kids where we were going, so- shhhh.

The parking lot was sort of deserted, so rather than unloading the entire set of us, I sent Christopher (who grumbled and groaned of course) to double check the tour situation. Can you imagine unloading everyone, just for them to be crushed that the tours are no more? ...not this Mama.

He must have stopped to smell every single flower between the van and the station, by the way. My punishment for sending him on his mission, I'm sure.

Oh, and game on!



Not only were they doing tours still, but- we were the only ones there.

A private tour!

Charlie and Eleanore got hats and badges, and suckers that we didn't let the babies see, since we're currently a sugar free family.
.
Despite the airmen seeming to be afraid of children (or maybe just our children, hah), they led us from the kitchen to the living room to the bedrooms to the laundry room (Eleanore's request- figures, right?), to the gym, to...



Really though...

Are there words that can go with the happiness that flooded their toddler hearts? (Hmmmm... I'll try)

Eleanore and her new boyfriend looked through binoculars, measured themselves against the tallest tires, and made fire truck siren sounds in unison while sitting in the passenger seat of firetruck number 4.

Charlie and his new best friend, Airman Awesome Fireman Hero Guy, climbed in and out of every single fire truck in the garage. And Lovey came too.

It was like a dream come true, for the kids.
With sirens and hats and the jaws of life.



One of the guys even went so far, as to put ALL of his gear on, just to show Eleanore what a fireman looks like. The best part about this was, he explained to her that if anyone dressed like that approaches her, not to be afraid- that hes there to help her. Melt my heart, young man.

She lost interest, after only a few minutes.
"I want to go get in another truck!", she'd say.
Shhh, listen to him! Hes doing this for you!

I tried my best to engage her, asking the men questions about their alien I-certainly-wouldn't-want-to-be-the-one-wearing-that gear, hoping that she'd really absorb what they had to say. Which we later noticed that she did, thank goodness.

I can't believe they went through all of the trouble, just for one little girl.
Those suits don't slide right on, ya know?



Eleanore traded in her plastic hat for the real deal.
For a second at least.




Charlie started getting tired somewhere around the demonstration of how to cut people out of vehicles.
I know buddy, I know.



But not too tired to miss driving more firetrucks!!

Right?

Oh, and in case you were wondering...



Me and Evelyn were there too.
Lurking in the shadows, getting sweaty from each others body heat, complaining about how hungry we were (me mostly, heh).

Eventually, nearly two hours later, it was time to say goodbye to the Dyess AFB Fire Department.

Buuuut, not before posing for a family photo first...



Ok, so, Eleanore's new boyfriend isn't the very best of photographers, but- it'll do.



Farewell fire station!
Lets go get lunch.