Sunday, October 31, 2010

Let me get this straight. I go up to the door, and get CANDY?

This is the year it is clicking. The year where she is starting to understand cause and effect. This is the year she finally said "Trick or Treat" and meant it.



Okay, she finally said it at the end of the night, actually--before then, she was amazed at the whole process of going up there and getting FREE CANDY!! Mostly she said "Thank you" and "Good Bye" to the nice people.



We went Trick or Treating with some friends in New Hampshire, and Michael and their two little girls blitzed through houses, while we kept watch of Willow.



Her reaction at one of the first houses (you can see Michael as General Grievous and one of our friend's girls as Glinda the Good Witch as they leave the house):







The kids had fun, got lots of candy, enjoyed a really good haunted house, and finally konked out at about 9:30 p.m. Not bad for a Halloween!


Here are some random photos (some taken by Michael) of this Halloween:


One of our favorite Halloween books. (This was taken by Michael--glad to know he likes it!)



I colored my hair for the night.


Michael just before we went out (before getting into his costume).


Our window gels.



I also painted my finger nails black--which meant Willow wanted hers painted too.




Willow's costume being ready to go.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Corn Maze

Pictures from our trip to the giant corn maze. It was children's weekend, so we got a discount and there were lots of extras there for the kids.


Entering the Corn Maze. Last year it was Family Guy; this year, a tribute to Clint Eastwood.


I like that this year, if you get lost, you could TEXT your way out!



Michael was in the lead!



The corn was pretty dead, this late.


Finding our way out of the maze!



Spongebob was the first to greet us outside of the maze.



Willow was both excited and scared by the characters.


A mini-maze with haystacks.


Pumpkins everywhere!


While Willow was intrigued to see Elmo, Scooby Doo was the only one she got this close to. (After I petted Scooby, she then petted him) Oh, but she had no problem whatsoever on getting the CANDY that the characters were handing out!

There was also a bouncy house and a corn cannon. For a dollar you could shoot corn out of a cannon (well, technically they ran out of corn and were shooting apples). Michael got a kick out of doing it. A quick look into the petting zoo, and then a stop into the farm stand to get some homemade sourdough doughnuts...and we were done! It was a very fun way to spend Halloween Weekend.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Carnage

Sunday night we made our Jack O'Latern. As per our tradition, Michael drew out the design, I laid out a mess mat/papers that did not pick up all the mess, I stripped Willow down to her diaper (cuz why have pumpkin guts on her clothes, when she can just be plopped into a bathtub?). This year, dad wanted to do some cutting (he had gotten a nice knife his brother had made for him). And then he proceeded to cut his thumb. After the Marvel bandages were applied, it was determined that I keep the traditional role of pumpkin cutter (with some small assistance from Michael).



Before the carnage.


I like the symmetry on this photo..with Willow and Kif both head down...


Pulling out the guts.



Okay, two things about this. 1. After a while, every time she took out some guts, she would go "ewww" and flit her hands around, thus making my mess mats obsolete, as pumpkin guts flew all over. 2. She picked up a name tag from one of our gaming conventions and was wearing it like a necklace.



Finished product...yeah, its much scarier in person. (the other pumpkin is a free one Willow got for "coloring" a Halloween handout at the grocery store-she drew on it)

Imagination

Spongebob:when you use your IMAGINATION you can do anything!

I imagined this.

We are sitting in his room; he has brought out an action toy set, explaining to me that he has only one figure, needs to spend some of his allowance on another.

She plops right down on the floor, starts playing with the set. Her imagination has blossomed lately and she has little scenes she plays out. She plays, quietly putting words into the action figures mouth, using the toys in ways that only she understands.**

He goes and gets the Halloween Mr. Potato Head that I got him this weekend (he collects them, he has all the Star Wars ones, a Spider-Man one). He shows me the various creations he can make with the Halloween one, and we talk about how Mr. Potato Head has changed from when I was a girl.

And I watch as my two children play before me. All troubles melt away and I remind myself that sometimes real life is even better than we imagine.


**Generally speaking, her themes of play concern “mommy” “daddy” and “babies” and variations on “house”. (well, as far as I can tell) Which means Iron Man has one heck of a complex right now—I have no idea if he was the mommy, daddy or baby!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Family Portrait Preview...

Got a great deal at a portrait shoppe...went today, here are fuzzy cellphone photos...

Willow was great, our hair was messed, we were all a bit dazed--some because we have colds, some because we had no idea what we were doing, some because they had just come to the mall right from karate...

Still, the photos turned out well. I HATE standard posed portraits...I like to see personalities in them. And we definitely have that.




Thursday, October 21, 2010

Show & Tell

For this week's Show & Tell:

The Circus!

The Circus came to Boston last week, so we got some good discounted tickets and went.

Here are some fuzzy cellphone pictures...


Of course, we had to be indulgent and get the $7.00 Popcorn and the $12.00 Cotton Candy (hey, it came with the wizard hat!)


The opening number...

There was a lot of song and dance numbers (most I could have done without). But the tigers and elephants were wonderfully exciting, as were the dancing horses and dog tricks--not to mention the trapeze artists and high wire acts!

Willow was a bit restless during the little production numbers between the big acts, but otherwise, she was entranced.

It had been a long time since I had seen this big of a circus and it was great fun!


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Friday, October 15, 2010

The Meeting

The first one was horrific. My butterflies were gigantic, and I felt like I was to blame. Why could he not be "normal"? Why? What did I do wrong? Blame.Blame.Blame.

The second meeting was after some tests. By then I was more informed, but yet. There was guilt and worry. Maybe if he had a sibling? Why can we not provide this to him? What did we do wrong? Why could he not be "normal"?

A meeting with a doctor, more tests. Testing provided measurable proof of something that we knew in our guts was true.

But.

Meeting after meeting I became more aware of myself, of my son, of my family. Of factors that I could and could not control. Of laws and rules and medications. What is "normal" anyway? Are any of us truly "normal"?

And now today we have another meeting. This time with his middle school to discuss 504 accommodations. And while I still have the smallest feeling like I am going before a firing squad, I am in control and understand much more. I understand that this meeting is not about blame (there is none to place). I understand that we are his advocates, his voice in these proceedings. That what we say can provide his teachers tools in helping him in his day. This is a meeting to help my child. My wonderfully quirky, intelligent, frustrating, warm, kind, witty son. Each time at a meeting we get at least one person complimenting us on what a wonderful child he is.

And we are there to help him as we always have been. And while I don't think I have been the perfect mother, I do know that I am proud of him and know that I have and will keep doing whatever I can to help him become this wonderful young man that I see emerging.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ode to a Kitten and a Toddler

How alike you are

Both so damned cute

Whirls of energy (sometimes exhausting)

Into things I was sure you could not get in to (do you conspire?)

Food—one of you always eating, anything and everything

One of you always eating, demanding almost anything and everything (not sure which is which sometimes)

Both of you know how to plead and beg

Both persistent

One SCREAMS and POUTS and CRYS (tonight it was for a 3rd lollipop after dinner--denied)

The other PURRS and POUNCES OVER AND OVER AND OVER (you put him down—he is up/you move him to another room/he comes back)

Under foot, underneath, under covers (one to play sleepy time—and laugh and “hide”; the other to play “surprise! – let me stab your feet with my claws!”)

Both

Frustratingly cute

And Growing before my eyes

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Show & Tell

For this week's Show & Tell, we go to Williamsburg, VA once again. I was the first one to arrive and the last one to leave the Braces Bunch Gathering...so on Sunday afternoon, before my flight, I went to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum.




I have a fascination with the weird and bizarre, which is something I can share with my son. I have found him reading with the same veracity that I had as a child, all those Ripley's books. I have fond memories of watching the old Jack Palance show...so, when I had found out there was a Ripley's Museum in Williamsburg, I hoped that I could go. I had told my son that I might go there. As I was getting my ticket to go into the museum, my family called...and I heard in the background my son's voice--and my husband telling him that "yes, she is there right now!"

I made sure to take some pictures and video for him.


A ceremonial skull (neat-o!)


Two headed cow (moo! moo!)


A few strands of President George Washington's hair (with certification that its authentic)




All in all, I did not find the museum as creepy as I would have liked, but it was still an interesting diversion and I was glad to share it in some way with my son.



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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Under The Weather; Under Foot

Yesterday, Michael and I both felt rather ill...in those vague symptom-ness ways where you feel achy and sleepy and...well, not well. So, I left work early, luckily, everyone else was home for the holiday. Both Michael and I slept ALOT yesterday. And we both are not feeling 100% today. I think, as usual, he will recover quickly and be well by the end of day today. As usual, I will have gotten the brunt of whatever illness...I think I might be getting a sinus infection...or maybe its just a rough cold...or strep (yes, that was what I was thinking at 3 a.m. this morning).

Willow and Kif made sure to let their presence be known, however. When I got home from my half day of work, her toys were EVERY WHERE. She ate our crackers along with us, she made sure to point out that she needed many, many juice boxes. Luckily, hubs was home and kept her amused most of the time.

Kif likes to try and eat any left overs people leave around the house...and with Willow and my hubs that usually means there is a lot of food around for him to get into. Add in sick people--he was having a field day! Hope its okay for kittens to eat spaghetti o's...

Kif has also become fascinated with the basement--where our laundry is done. So he sits right by the door, awaiting his chance to pounce on past you as you are carrying clothes...so far he has only been trapped down there once.

Willow is doing pretty good with the toddler bed. Once she is down to bed, she if fine--no getting up in the middle of the night and she is keeping her normal sleep patterns (not getting up before us). HOWEVER, getting her down to bed has become trickier. Last night it took 1 1/2 hours to get her to finally stay asleep.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Borrowing from Suzy...

outside my window... it is dark, cool, almost time for bed.

i am thinking... that my stomach hurts (I think I might be a little lactose intolerant), my head hurts and its time to go to bed soon.

i am thankful for... a sleeping toddler--we converted her crib to a toddler bed today...and so far, she is sleeping away!

from the kitchen... I did not cook dinner tonight, was going to, but someone (HUBS) put the chicken roaster in the freezer, and we had promised the kids ice cream...the day was just that weird that yes, we went out for ice cream before dinner; came home and I prepared meals for the kids cuz my husband and I were not hungry any more, then my tummy started hurting...so, yeah, its 10 o'clock at night and I have had no dinner, not going to have any...(um, well, I guess the one scoop of pumpkin and one scoop of apple pie cheesecake ice cream ended up being my dinner...)

i am wearing... blue sweat pants, blue shirt and my robe (even tho its not that cold)

i am creating... nothing at the moment, although I am hoping to scrap book soon.

i am going... to go to bed soon--but first--T.V.!

i am reading... a memoir; a fiction book that was on my son's summer reading list; and a fictional book that I have read before.

i am hoping... that my stomach quits hurting and that Willow stays asleep in her toddler bed all night.

i am hearing... a pretty quiet night...husband is in the kitchen studying for a technical exam he is taking on Thursday.

around the house... Hubs in kitchen, Willow in her toddler bed (I hope), Michael in his bed asleep (I hope); Kif and Gabby are sleeping on various chairs near Hubs in kitchen, me I am on the computer, not the laptop.

one of my favorite things... fall leaves and their crunching noise--still waiting for that around here...any day now. :-)

i don't understand... why I can be in a bad mood on a beautiful fall day...

i wish... this weather would last longer. (Here ya!)

a few plans for the rest of the week...Tomorrow I go to work; hubs has off with the kids (may haps they come and visit me at lunch?); Thursday night is gamer night; Friday morning we have a 504 meeting at Michael's school; Friday night we are all going to the Circus; Saturday we are going to a friends house to "play".

and a photo to share...HA!



Ooooh, okay, here are some photos...

Michael in his Halloween costume; Willow in her new pjs...



Thursday, October 07, 2010

Show & Tell - Braces Bunch Gathering

Last week, I went to Williamsburg, VA to meet up with some Braces Bunch Gals and had a very nice time.

I arrived on Thursday and hung out with Amy from A Somewhat Ordinary Life, who was a very nice host. She opened up her house to us and we even got our kid fix with her wonderful son, Smooch.

Everyone brought some snack foods...SeussGirl brought "puppy chow" (a mixture of melted chocolate/peanut butter and crispix--YUM!). She also brought some nice goodie bags for all of us.

JJ had an adventure driving to our gathering, but finally was able to join us safe and sound.

I was indoctrinated into the world of Grey's Anatomy and other shows I don't watch. (I think it was more fun cuz they were there!)

Friday morning we got up and decided to go to Colonial Williamsburg. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed a good meal at a Cheese/Sandwich shop. It was a very busy place, but the sandwiches were worth the wait! While there, we saw a Santa Claus...and then another. It seemed that there was a Santa Claus gathering that weekend too!

That evening we went out to a nice restaurant to meet with Hannah. The atmosphere was wonderful, the conversation fun. The food great.

Saturday was a slower day, especially when JJ learned that she would have to leave our gathering a little earlier than expected. We still made the best of it and met up with Erica and Hannah for a relaxing lunch at a nice Mexican restaurant! We stayed long after our food was finished...just talking and enjoying each other's company.

Things I have learned this past weekend at the BB Gathering:

SeussGirl loves games and is ruthless with her trains.

JJ does NOT like pizza.

Amy is a great listener.

Hannah is as adorable in person as she is on her blog.

I can swear in front of Erica.

I found that we all love books (talk of a book exchange), that we all love Mexican food.

That carrot sticks don’t travel well (they were forgotten until I got home—they were more like carrot juice)

That people may be different, but they can be alike too. And that life’s unexpected turns can make us all turn to each other and find that support that we need in the most unexpected places.

I hope to be able to meet up with these wonderful ladies again!

Some pictures...


Hannah and Erica


Braces Bunch Logo JJ created at dinner.


Colonial Williamsburg



Me, JJ and Amy - a shout out to another BBer...



Please stop over to participate!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Scattering of Moments

Conversations with women from various points of views; good food; good drink; good laughs.

Calls from home with pleas to come home, bringing tears but also joy to realize that there is a little one there to come home to.

Sights and sounds of a different town; more friends to meet and greet as old friends off of the battlefield.

Intimate conversations into the night; playing a game coyly, laughlingly.

Bunking down on air mattresses, a girls sleep-over.

Chocolate.

Coming home to "Mommymommymommy!! You are here!!" (as she pokes me to just make sure); the boy giving me a silly grin and smiling eyes that show me how much he missed me than mere words can say.

Snuggling on the couch after they are to bed and falling asleep in his lap...like I usually do.

Ripple Effects 2

"Do you ever feel dead inside?"  -- this is what she said to a teacher in the hallway.  Promptly got a call from a counselor.  For...