Monday, October 31, 2011

Tricks, Treat, Snow, Mummies, Zombies, Oh My!

Happy Halloween!

We started the celebrating this weekend. Michael went to a Halloween Dance at his school. I was impressed with his bravery to go there on his own and without a group of friends. I don't think he really knew what to expect, it being his first "dance". I think he was thinking about the word "Halloween" versus the dance part. Especially since he called me 1/2 hour early to pick him up because he was bored. He did have a good time, enjoyed showing up in his costume and told me about the costume contest (there was someone who won that was in almost the same costume as him).

Before the dance, a light snack...

Ready to go!

Then on Saturday night, Michael had a Halloween sleepover with one of his best friends. Everyone dressed up in their costumes...

And we wrapped everyone up at as a toilet paper mummy...

We had pizza and chips and CANDY...a jello Brain (best served during Zombieland). After Willow went to bed, the boys went out and played in the snow (first time we have had snow in October in a looong time). Then it was time for scary movies, and [gulp] bed.

In the morning, they went out and made a snow golem (which lasted for most of the day--by the end of the day the snow had melted).

Michael's friend went home and we went to the annual Halloween Parade. We were worried it would get canceled because of the snow, but while it was cold and there were some slippery spots and patches of snow, the city had cleared everything up enough for us to go. We live right down the street from the parade route, so we bundled up and walked over with our chairs. It was really fun! Willow got a free face painting--by her request a pink spider in a web. She got to hug Blue from Blue.s and Michael was a champion grabbing at the thrown candies. My feet were soaked by the end (having to step into piled snow to help Willow grab at candies or to meet Blue or When we got home 3 hours later (its a big parade!) we were chilled to the bones--we all snuggled on the couch under a blanket and watched---well, Willow's newest obsession, Winnie the Pooh.

And now for the tricks or treats....

Michael decided to go out with a couple friends for a bit, so we went out with just Willow for the most part.

She got into the zombie make-up before I could make her up--but I think we (meaning mainly her) did a pretty good zombie job:

She did a great job at Trick or Treating and was complimented on her costume.

Michael joined us towards the end:

Then home to look at the loot.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Three and One Half

This weekend out on a walk.

Today you are 3 1/2 years old. My mind can barely grasp that you were once so small--yet it was not that long ago that you were not even here yet.

Three and one half years ago I was awaiting your arrival and was happy to see an end to a journey that took us six years to fulfill. An ending that was happily filled with you entering this world.

And now the world has you to contend with. You are still a whirlwind. Stubborn as only you can be...yet sweet as syrup when you want to be. You surprise me with your tenderness and caring that springs up out of nowhere.

To count your accomplishments now is innumerable.

You go to the bathroom on your own (night time is still pull ups, but I have a feeling that will change soon). You are so accomplished with this task that you have no problem whatsoever in going up to complete strangers while we are out and asking them were the bathroom is. Being your type of stubborn, you will NOT go into the boy's bathroom unless mom is not around to escort you to the ladies. Lately you have taken to singing while doing your bathroom duty. Loudly. While swinging your legs. And washing your hands--an art form with lots and lots of water.

You have recently found out how to turn doorknobs--I tremble in fear. Already my privacy has been invaded three times and you are not one to take no for an answer (we will work on this, young one).

You can count to ten, sometimes to twenty. You know most of your colors, your favorite being purple. You know your A,B,Cs, although you can't quite sing the whole song (you get lost after "P"). You know that "W" is a special letter because it is the letter that begins your name.

You like to help me cook, and just the other day you helped breading fish. Your hands were so crusted with flour and egg that I barely could see your fingers. And the mess you made "helping" me was more than I would have wanted normally--but I did not mind.

You pretend play that you are a teacher in preschool and ask us to answer you when you take attendance. Or you pretend that you are a mommy with lots of "babies" to cuddle and put to bed. You have put a cat leash on a stuffed reindeer and called it your dog.

You love and are loved by Kif, your oft partner in crime.

And every day I notice that take something new from this world, and that you bring a little bit more into this world.

Thank you for being you.


Perfect Moment Monday - Oct. 24

On the 4th Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. The next Perfect Moment Monday event will be on November 28.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

Follow Write Mind Open Heart.
Between the Sunday night before and the Sunday night after, write up your own Perfect Moment.

Perfect Moment #1: He sits me down with a seriousness that scares me. We had a argument yesterday and I worry that this is about that (which was resolved, or so I thought, earlier yesterday). I sit down next to him and I worry. And then he shows me his lucky gaming die. He has had it since he was thirteen. He wants me to carry it for luck until I get a job. It is one of his most precious material possessions and he is giving it to me solemnly because he knows that I have been feeling downhearted about the job hunt. Well, now I have Luck +20.

Perfect Moment #2: She has gotten the bag of leaves we collected. Not sure what she is going to do with them (I really want to save them for waxing). I reluctantly have given her the bag and I await destruction of the precious few leaves we have gotten this year. And then she neatly starts laying them out on the kitchen floor. She is displaying them and counting them. She is marveling at them. And she handles them as if they are miracles...which I guess they are.

Perfect Moment #3: He makes his way across the cemetery on a cool autumn day. He is tall and lanky and walks with purpose through the old tombstones and he pauses to look at the inscriptions. He is alone even though we as a family are with him. And I am reminded of myself walking through cemeteries and old gardens. His sister runs up to him and he grabs her hand and they walk further up the hill together.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Sometimes you need to be reminded...

Was talking to an old friend via email the other day. She complimented me and I thanked her. I had been feeling a bit depressed. Just a whole bunch of overwhelming things happening at once, the job hunt, etc.

I thanked her for making me feel better on a day I was feeling bad.

She replied to me today (hope she doesn't mind that I quote her):

"Sorry to hear you were feeling blue, but glad if I helped make it a little better. Remember you really do have a great life. You married a great guy who's lots of fun, your son is a super genius and also really fun and a constant source of pride, and little Willow, your miracle baby, is just full of surprises and such a joy. And one of your best qualities is that you don't take it all for granted. You make a point to savor every moment and really appreciate what you have. I admire that about you!"

Sometimes I need to be reminded of that. And what a great friend I have. Thank you again.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Farm Visit

Willow and I went to a farm today. It finally feels like autumn around here, and I was so happy to see some actual colors on the trees.

One of the few advantages of being unemployed is that I can spend a day like today with her. And I was reminded many times of the many such trips I have taken with Michael when he was that age. It is funny, because when they are both around I don't think about those times long ago with him. I guess I am in the moment (and my memory, alas, sucks). But, when it is just me and her--I sometimes get hit with a sudden memory of toddler times with Michael. Usually, it is more sweet than bitter. I am just happy I have a chance to do it all again with her.

Okay, enough of the sentimental stuff...onto the pictures! (cuz, of course, y'all haven't seen a farm before!)

So, we saw sheep:

This is one of the few that got close to us.

And we spent an extraordinarily Long time in the Hen House:

Looking in on the chickens.

A Fluffy Chicken. That black and white stuff--that's the head full of feathers.

A rooster getting ready to crow.

And then a staff member came out with a red rooster. And we got to pet a rooster!

And touch his alarmingly scary clawed foot!

Willow insisted on seeing the pigs. And the cows were very very important to go see.

We got to see one of the new calves getting milk. (And later, as she would tell EVERYONE who asked about it, she saw the calf eliminate said milk)

We ended our trip on an appropriate vehicle:


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fun Concert on a Saturday Night

Last night we went to another Weird Al concert. Last year we went at the beginning of summer, this year it is the middle of autumn. (and closer!--last year was quite the drive!)

I have always liked taking my kids to live performances and I strive to give them different experiences. We have seen silent movies and plays, musicians and comedians. As Michael has gotten older, he has started to have favorites and is starting to be able to go to more mature material.

And his love for Weird Al has started to exceed our own. He listens to his music on his MP3 player, he requests it in the car. We were one of the first people to have his new CD. So it was wonderful to get a sitter and take our first born to his second Al concert. He had his 2010 tour shirt on, he was bouncing in his seat BEFORE the concert even began. Watching him watch the concert was half the fun!

And, as usual, Weird Al did not disappoint. The man PERFORMS and it is a thrill to watch him go through the many costume changes and characters on stage.

Talkn' about CNR.

Of course, the FAT suit!

Not only the audience participated on the Saga...

It was one of those experiences where you can tell the people on stage are enjoying what they are doing and where you feel a part of their joy in performing. And I love having my son feel that joy.

Thanks, Al!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

It is so worth it...

She is a handful and sometimes I am exhausted by her. But often, so often lately, I am so, so grateful to have her in my life.

Deciding to take a quick bath, I realize too late that she is not distracted anymore and now wants to join me. The water is too hot for her, she is dressed already, and I wanted a little soak on my own. [sigh] Quickly, too quickly for me to notice, she is taking off her clothes and after getting the water a little more suitable for her--in she comes. I look at the water on her back and her hair. How she has grown. I inspect her, this amazing being that is her. We play with the bubbles and the water together. I asked her if she liked this. And she says that should like to do this "forever and ever, momma".

A big box to play in. And she snuggles right into it. She calls it a rocket ship and I lift it up every so often and she giggles. Today I got out markers and crayons and we decorated her ship. It has squares and circles and "buttons" and "levers" and all sorts of things on it. And she loves it more because I helped her draw it. And my melancholy about my job hunt is gone because this is time I have with her.

We are going to meet someone for brunch. She hurries to get ready...the backpack with tons of toys on her back and a pink hat to match her backpack. And she has put her shoes on (the wrong feet).

As we drive in the rain, I ask if she wants to hear some music. She says she wants the lady singing "oooohhhaaahhhhhhh"...I know what she wants. "Grove is in the Heart" and Deelite are singing--my daughter and I are both grooving and making moves in our seats.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Time

Mid October and I find that fall seems to just be starting in earnest here. This past weekend it was warm like summer and it was bizarre to feel like that summer I really wanted to hang onto had decided to do just that.

But this week I have just started noticing some fall foliage around here--it is a little late this year and so far not as spectacular as usual. As usual, I look and look for the first sign of fall...and finally see a tree change color--and then there are beautiful colors everywhere!

I am looking forward to playing in the leaves and listening to them crunch under my feet. And I look forward to waxing some leaves with the children and putting them up on our kitchen window. (Reminding me of waxing leaves with my Grammie and putting them up on her kitchen mirror)

We have the kids Halloween Costumes already and I am looking forward to my two zombies (graveyard zombie and zombie princess) haunting our neighborhood soon.

Some Halloween decorations are up and I have been reading Halloween themed books. There is a Band Halloween Party, a preschool Harvest Party and a Weird Al concert in our future. Michael wants a Halloween themed sleep over (the boys watch scary movies in his room).

It seems appropriate that we are continuing with our Buffy marathon, started season three tonight.

Fall is here to stay, I think. And the holidays in all their bittersweet joyfulness are just around the corner.


Monday, October 10, 2011

A Day Off

This week is going to be a busy busy week. I have three interviews (one for an actual job, two others for staffing agencies), Michael has therapy and a band field trip that ends in playing with the high school band during the football game on Friday. And then on Saturday--a Weird Al concert!!

It was nice to have the day off with the kids and just relax. My energy was lacking today, mainly because Willow kept getting up last night (I think that the tours of the many Halloween themed stores yesterday actually had an impact--oops!)

However, we were still able to have a nice reflective time at the pond.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Dress Up

Yesterday, Willow and I went to a cute little museum that has toys, dolls and trains on display. I knew she would like it, but I was surprised that during the dress up station, she spontaneously said that Santa could give her dress up clothes for a present. It was so wonderful to see her having fun with the clothes AND also make a connection about Santa Claus and gift giving.

I have researched a little on line and trying to find something that works as a dress up trunk is kinda hard. One can either find cheap, small wardrobes, expensive ones. I have looked on E.b.a.y and to no avail yet. I think I will try some thrift shops next.

The gloves were the Hardest to get on!!

Note the fashionable Chiquita Banana sticker from her morning breakfast.


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Buffy Moment

It is one of the best episodes of the second season and he is watching it for the first time. I try hard not to inform him in any way about the surprises coming (he is kinda spoiled about the series in general so for him to not know what is coming is different).

Chewy is upstairs putting Willow to bed, and I had to start the episode without him, because we don't want Michael up too late (it is a school night afterall).

But, I make sure to get him to come down before the climax of the episode. And we all watch intently. We watch Michael figure out what is going on and gasp.

And we enjoy watching something special and dramatic with him. It is so nice that he is old enough to really enjoy this with us. It reminds me why we love watching movies with him, to watch him enjoy something for the first time.

And he goes to bed only a few minutes past his normal bedtime.

I love this Buffy marathon.


Past Times

As we deal with new normals, each of us have our new "past times". After looking for employment, I spend my days running errands...