A Playful Petting-Zoo Party

The boys attended a birthday party for a six year old at our neighbors’ house in early November, but this was not your average kids affair.

Cowboy Houston takes Toby the horse for a trot around our neighbors’ front yard.

This soiree featured a petting zoo with donkeys, sheep, goats, rabbits, ducks, ferrets, gerbils, pigs, llamas, hedgehogs, snakes and turtles, as well as horseback rides. Houston had such a good time feeding the cool animals that he almost passed up riding the horse.

Granny holds up an apprehensive Zeke so he can get a closer look at the ducks.

I decided to hop up on Toby for a whirl around the yard, thinking that if Houston saw geezer Mommy riding horseback, he might be willing to do the same. And he did — twice, in fact — and was pretty darn fearless about the whole riding-a-gargantuan-animal thing. It was a proud moment.

Gabriel likes petting the fuzzy bunny better than the prickly hedgehog.

Even though it was a cold, dreary day, Gabriel and Zeke got to partake in some of the furry fun before Granny and Daddy took them home for warmth and a nap. They didn’t appreciate the farm animals as much as big brother, but the twins’ interests are usually piqued over any kind of hubbub, which this petting-zoo party definitely was.

Granny teaches Houston how to feed the animals without losing a finger.

To check out all the pics from the boys attending Alyssa’s birthday party, click the above photo of Houston feeding this very hungry llama and all the jealous goats looking on.

Tricks or Treats

A person should choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality,” states Lucy in the 1966 TV classic “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

Your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man is excited about the prospect of filling his bag w/ lots of yummy candy.

Ignoring her advice, we went for costumes that embraced our children’s quirky natures and hopeful spirits. And what could represent the wonderment of this anything-is-possible stage of their lives more than super heroes?!

Daddy, Granny and I took out all the boys for “tricks or treats,” as the Peanuts kids call the Halloween custom, while “Grumpy Ghose” (what Houston named Grumps in his spooky attire) handed out candy at our house. The twins lasted for about a 1/2 hour of fun, and Houston and all his pals begged for candy just shy of two hours.

“I still don’t get why Mommy keeps putting this crazy outfit on me,” thinks Gabriel the Hulk.

Our neighborhood was packed with children and families, and we visited many festive houses, including one that featured a homemade graveyard with a real, live Grim Reaper guarding the dead and pointing kids toward the door. After getting used to Grumps in costume earlier in the evening, Houston wasn’t frightened by any of our neighbors scare tactics.

What he did have trouble with was keeping up with his candy bag. He kept inadvertently leaving it in people’s yards or on their sidewalks or in the road or in Mr. Trey’s wagon. Houston was having such a ball just being Spider-Man and hanging out with friends that, honestly, candy was his last concern. It took a team effort by everyone in our posse to help that boy retain possession of his bag.

“I’m just starting to walk, but w/ the help of my trusty Super Man cape, one day I’ll fly,” says Zeke.

And being that Houston’s diet doesn’t include much candy and that it takes him about 30 minutes to methodically eat one fun-size chocolate bar, I suppose it wouldn’t have been a big deal if he had returned home from trick-or-treating completely empty-handed.

He only consumed a pittance of the yummy edibles once we arrived home and did so at an extremely leisurely pace … what a contrasting attitude to most other kids (and adults) on Halloween. Like Daddy and I say, he is one unique little dude!

This 4-year-old Dorothy guides & instructs Houston in the proper ways of trick-or-treating.

Click the above photo of a serious and attentive Spidey and his pal, Maddie, to view all the cute pics from Halloween 2009.

Twin walking update: Daddy and I agree that 11/13 is the date that Zeke officially started walking. And yesterday, Gabriel took 4-5 consecutive steps toward Daddy — the greatest solo distance he has completed thus far. Keep up the good work, boys!

Rainy Daze

It has been pouring rain here for two days now, and the boys and I are getting cabin fever. We had really been taking advantage of the perfect fall weather, heading outdoors every afternoon for a walk and/or backyard playtime. Sometimes we were even lucky enough to get some fresh air and exercise in the morning, as well. But with the wet conditions as of late, we’re all feeling a bit cooped up.

Houston partakes in carving “Happy Pun-khun” — the name Houston chose for his beloved gourd.

The twins incessant puking has returned for reasons unknown. As previously mentioned, Zeke’s hurling is worse than Gabriel’s, but now even Gabe’s vomiting has reached an intolerable degree (again). I called their doctor today and he made a referral for the twins to go see a pediatric gastro-intestinal specialist.

The pediatrician actually made this same referral a few months back, but I ended up canceling the appointment ’cause the twins’ puking showed improvement by the time the date rolled around, so I felt as if hauling the kids in for yet another appointment was pretty unnecessary.

A grinning Gabriel thinks, “Running over my twin brother brings me great pleasure!” 

Moreover, I felt like our pediatrician (who was always reassuring me that the vomiting was normal and would soon pass) made the referral just to placate this worry-wart mom. Considering that the new appointment isn’t until 12/9 (gasp!), oh how I am regretting that earlier cancelation.

I am worried that there is indeed something amiss with boys’ stomachs or digestive tracts, and that it could have been corrected months ago, enabling them to gain more weight than they have. I guess we’ll find out in December.

Focus & concentration are what drive Zeke to master his Charlie Chaplin-style walk.

Don’t fret, though. We won’t let a little rain and puke dampen the good times we have around Clan Dillingham, where love and happiness abound!

To see all the cute additions to the October – Part 2 gallery, click the above photo of Zeke pushing the racer. To view all the late October pics (minus Halloween shots, which will be up soon), click the top photo of Houston and Happy.