Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Candy goodness


We survived Halloween. The kids were all loaded up with sugar, even Seth had some, and sent off to bed. I truly love Halloween. Maybe it's the found memories of stuffing my face with candy when I was a kid but whatever the reason, I love it. So many of our neighbors really get into the spirit of the holiday and decorate their houses and come out in costume.

The Fall Festival went off today without a hitch. We got our pretend pumpkin patch spread out in the soccer field and got all the decorations done in about an hour. Not to shabby. I went back home and got Dan and Seth so they could see the costume parade. There were so many cute costumes but by far Dan and I liked one the best. A girl had on fat suit on and she was carrying a sign that said "Lost Puppy". When she walked by you could see her lost puppy stuck in her butt checks! So funny!

After all the kids had lunch they all got to come out and get their own pumpkin to take home with them. Some kids searched for the largest they could find, some the smallest, and a select few had to be yelled at to not kick or drop the pumpkins.

Once all the grades had come through we were left with quite a few little pumpkins, close to 40 I'd say. We kindly dropped them off in the teachers lounge. I ended up taking home a few corn stalks and bales of hay. It was garbage now or garbage when I get some more use out of them.... hmmm.

This evening we had so many trick of treaters come by that Dan had to get more candy. We went through 9 bags! Amazing. There were kids everywhere.

Well, it was a successful and long day. I am rather tired but I had a good time. I hope you all had a great Halloween. Here are a few more pictures of the costumes. Even I was dressed up today.
Yes Susan, I have worn this farmer costume before.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween is crazy...

...in a good way. I just find myself enormously busy right now. My office in all covered in plastic. Thankfully Dan didn't unhook all the computer parts and I could just plug my computer back in. I had missed a few important things because I didn't check my email, like getting the MOMS club calendar out. Ah. I hate it when I mess up. I know, I know, no one is perfect, least of all me.

What have we been doing for the last few days.... Lots.

Painting. I hate painting. I'd rather scrub toilets than paint. My room had to be painted though.
See, it needs to be painted. They had some built in desk here and apparently painted around it. Eew.

The color I bought is too light. I wanted a warm blue and this is well, baby blue. Yuck. It's all pastel. Today I went and bought two sample cans and am much happier with the these than the original one I bought.
I think I will go with the color on the right even though Dan and Hannah both like the one on the left the best. Which one do you like?

Friday night we had Hannah's sleep over. All went well. The only thing they argued over was who got to sleep on the air mattress. Really? Yeah. I did tell them if was a big deal and they fought about it I would let them all sleep on the hardwood floor. They worked it out. They had pizza, chips and soda for dinner. I let them decorate their own cupcakes.

Then on to manicures, followed by dress up, pj's and movie with popcorn, and in bed with lights out at 11 pm.

Yesterday we did laundry and painted mostly. We had originally planned to go to the Central Park Zoo but it was all rainy. We did carve our pupkins though.
I had to finish Hannah's for her. She wanted a complicated pattern, which I warned her about, and she got tired of doing it. Grrr. Oh, well. That's what mommy's are for, right? I toasted the pumpkin seed too. Yum.

Today has been busy. I got Seth's costume finally. When I got the other kids theirs I didn't like what I saw for him and they were expensive so I put it off. Anyway, I had limited options shopping 3 days before Halloween for a costume but I found one Seth wouldn't let go of and it was 50% off. Doesn't get much better than that. He is Elmo this year. He actually won't take the costume off.

After all my shopping we wolfed down lunch and ran over to the field to join in the annual Halloween Costume Parade. It's one of those cool things that make me love where we live. We did get there late so we didn't participate in the best costume judging but let's face it, we wouldn't have won with our unoriginal store bought stuff anyway. Hannah is a vampire, Simon and knight (he just wanted the sword), and little Elmo.
It was a long walk for Elmo and he fell asleep. I'll get good pictures of all the kids in their costumes for you to see.

Once we got home I had to bake cookies for Hannah to take to school so she can share on her birthday. I made my friends scrumptious pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

So, I am off to dinner with Tiff tonight. We were going to do our won moms night out and go to Great Adventure for Fright Night but we decided not to when Misty couldn't come. We are too old to stand around freezing our butts off while waiting for a roller coaster ride. I haven't been on a roller coaster since about 18 and I really don't mind waiting till next summer. I think we'll have to get passes next year.

I am in charge of the Fall Festival on Weds so I will be busy getting that together. I have to stop volunteering for things. It makes me all crazy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Climate change

I saw this over at Woman with a hatchet's web site. Check it out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkins and apples

I am posting twice in one day. Why? Because I can! It is my blog after all.

I took the kids after school to get our Halloween pumpkins and to get some more apples. We met one of the moms from the MOMS club and her kids there. It was nice to only have a small group. She has 3 kids also so we kind of have a little posse as it is. Allan, her oldest, is in Simon's class.

I took lots of pictures as usual. Ok, I guess usual would be me forgetting my camera for the fun outdoor adventures. Hey, at least I remembered my check book this time. I am still amazed at how much money I spent. Between the huge bucket full of apples, 2 medium sized pumpkins (My rule is they have to carry their own. Keeps them smaller that way), and Seth's small pumpkin, I spent $40! Money well spent I say.

I love being able to take my kids to do fun things like this. One of the best parts is the orchard is like 5 minutes from home.

Here are some pictures from our outing...
Seth liked that the apples were at his level. The poor trees were drooping from the weight of all the ripe fruit.

Simon found a good one... more than once.

I think the pumpkin weighs as much as she does.

He tested all of them out by sitting on them or kicking at 'em. I had to put a stop to the kicking but the sitting was pretty cute.


video

20 months

Today my little guy is 20 months old. It isn't a special birthday or any cause for celebration but I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on what it is he can do at this age. They grow and change so quickly.

He runs all over the place. Tiff says he looks like his feet don't touch the ground. He climbs on everything. Up, over, under, etc. If it could kill him or give me a heart attack he's much more likely to climb it.

We still don't hear a lot of words. He says a few but mostly grunts and gestures to get what he wants. I asked him the other day if he could say "up". He said, "yeah." Umm. Great. He does make pretty cute animal sounds though. He will also gladly yell at his brother or sister if they are doing something he doesn't like. I heard him singing Elmo's World, "la, ah, ah, emo woo." He also likes to sing a small scale over and over and over and over. Cute at first, irritating after 20 minutes. It is broken up by his own clapping at his stellar performance.

He can point to all his body parts. I like it when he shows me his teeth. If you ask him where his bottom is he tries to look behind himself so he can point to it.

He grins and shrugs his shoulders to look even cuter.

He yells "ya!" and kicks just like his big brother does at Tae Kwon Do. Thankfully he doesn't kick his siblings... yet.

He tries to put the leaves that have fallen on the ground back on the tree.

He understands so much and soon the words will come. I am sure there will be a time not to far in my future when I ask him to play the quiet game. I never won that game as a kid...

It just struck me today that he is so close to two years old. He isn't a baby anymore and hasn't been for a while. He is a toddler. But he'll always be my little guy.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Birthday party filled weekend

I decided it was important to get a few good pictures of Hannah up so everyone would believe me that she is indeed, ok. I asked my almost 9 year old to smile for me and this is what I got.



Golly, isn't she cute! I alway knew I made adorable kids or something like that....

So I snuck up on her while she was working on the Eiffel Tower, being built out of an Erector set given to Simon, and got this picture.

Phew, I was beginning to think we made an ogre!

We went to a really fun birthday party yesterday. Amy always has great birthday parties for her kids. I just don't want to put that much effort into a party. Lazy? Yup! No, I guess mostly I don't care if my kids get a cool party that they may or may not remember but I always enjoy seeing what other moms can come up with. All they want is cake and presents, right? Anyway, the kids had a great time at the dinosaur themed party where they hunted for prize filled dinosaur eggs and got to dig bones out of the dirt.

Then after resting at home for a few hours we went to Misty's evening party. I didn't have daddy help for the party because Dan was at a concert getting beat up for fun. (He likes mosh pits.) I won't ever claim to understand men. I was worried about how long it would take for my kids to self implode but they managed to hold it together through the whole evening. Even Seth. I think they were most upset when I took them home at 9:30! They all tucked in nicely for me. I wish they'd cooperate like that every night.

Today my mom is coming over to do a joint party for Hannah and Paul's birthdays. It's quite the party weekend, isn't it? Then next weekend Hannah is having her slumber party. I have to come up with some stuff for all the girls to do so they don't run a muck in the house till midnight before collapsing from exhaustion.... what am I getting myself into!?!?!?

Onto happy thoughts, here is the Fall wall hanging quilt up on the wall.

I am going to have to put off starting a new quilt for a bit because Dan and I are going to paint my office/sewing room. I am excited to get the lime green with two shades of yellow off the walls in here. It's just a bit too much for the likes of me. I am not a fan of painting but I always like the results.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Museum and a birthday

First of all a little shout out to a old, old, old... no wait... dear sweet friend of mine who is celebrating her birthday today!!! Happy birthday!!!! I am not sure how we got to be in our 30's already. Wasn't it just a few years ago that we played with Cabbage Patch Kids? Or maybe it was a few decades ago... who's counting anyway. Well, now we aren't playing grown up games, we are living them. God, mortgages and bills suck.

What have we been up to? Yesterday Seth and I accompanied a few mom friends to a Children's Museum almost an hour away from us. It was fun but a little too over stimulating. Seth was a mess when we left and after he showed Tiff (who we were riding with) his exceptional lung capacity he then slept the whole way home. Silly kid. He had a good time though.

I made a wee bit of progress on my quilt top last night. I got the blocks put together. The rows should come together pretty quickly. I want to work on it a bit tonight if I get a chance.

Oh, better go. It's off to Tae Kwon Do we go.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Weekend activities

Our weekend went by awfully fast. I spent most of Saturday helping with the huge yard sale at school. It was rather cold when we were setting up in the morning but by the afternoon it climbed into the 60's. I did manage to get a bit of a sunburn on my face and neck. Oops, sometimes you forget about being fair skinned. I did score some good books for the kids.

Since I went to bed early Saturday night (I am quite the party animal aren't I?) because I was so exhausted after the yard sale, I got up early on Sunday and worked on the Bento Box quilt. Bet ya thought I forgot all about it, huh? Oh, I need to take a picture of my fall one hanging on the wall don't I?

Where was I... oh, yes...

After cleaning the house a bit we went to Simon's belt ceremony thing in the afternoon. It was neat to see the demonstration team do some spinning, kicking, and board breaking. The teachers did a few demos too. Master Sunny kicks butt! He broke a cinder block with his elbow and he broke 3 cinder blocks with his hand! Don't believe me? Watch this.

video

Simon got his belt. I don't know if we'll be as excited for further belt achievements. He worked his little tush off for this one!
video

Thursday, October 11, 2007

THE SYRINX SHRUNK!!!!!

Yes! Hurray! Yippy! (I am doing back flips off my chair!!!)

The nurse who works with Dr. Storm called this evening to let us know that Simon's syrinx has shrunk down dramatically. He won't need a shunt. He will be monitored by watching his scoliosis and that should be it. Now, Dr. Storm still has to sign off on all this but Debbie (the nurse practitioner) was certain it had significantly shrunk and there would be no need for a shunt.

He's ok. My baby is okay.

News doesn't get much better than this.

Feed the animals

Atlantic Farms was so much fun today. Seth really enjoyed seeing all the animals and feeding them. He also got to wander in their pumpkin patch and check out their cool tractors. Luckily for us the weather held out. It had rained on and off all afternoon but the morning was clear!

Here are some pictures and hopefully the little bit of video I got will work...

Checking out the roosters.
Look another tractor!!!
Which one should I take home?
It tickles.
More carrots for the ponies please!
Throw it at 'em!

video

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yellow belt

Hurray! Simon passed his test today!!! He will officially get his yellow belt at a ceremony they are doing this Sunday.

He did a great job. He was so nervous because he had to break a board with his foot. Something he had never done before. They asked for a parent to come in and hold the board for the kids. Daniel happily went in. I am glad he was there or an instructor would have had to help me. Can't you just see Seth trying to help me hold the board or maybe try kick it himself. Seth does say "Yah," and then kick.... this could be bad, right?
(I wish I could have gotten better pictures than this.)

Anyway, one big kick and crack, the board broke! Simon grinned from ear to ear. He was so proud of himself. As were we. I really hope he can keep up with this because it will be good for him. Maybe along the way he'll actually learn a little self control. Or maybe I am just dreaming again...

To celebrate we got (grumble, grumble) McDonald's for the kids. (The grumble is both my upset tummy and me grumbling about un-food.)

Oh, since we are on the subject of Simon (you don't have a choice I am the one blogging here), his teacher sent a note home with him last Friday letting us know what his DRA level was. (It's a reading test to assess their level.) He is at 24 which apparently means he reads at a mid second grade level. She is talking to the principal about what to do because there aren't any other 1st graders at his reading level. He is ahead in math too but I don't think he is far enough ahead for us to push the idea of moving him up a grade. Plus, I think his teacher this year will be so good for him. She is so wonderful and really cares. Ok, and I like her. She actually called home this afternoon to make sure he got home okay. My neighbor Maria was working at the school and had offered to bring the kids home for me. She is on my list of people who are allowed to take Simon home. The teacher however didn't have this list in front of her and doesn't know Maria because she is new at the school. She did quiz Maria and Simon said he was supposed to go with her. It was so cute to get a call from the worried teacher asking if he was home safe. See, that's a good teacher!

I know I haven't talked much about my little Hannah lately and I am sorry for that. She really is doing well. She has a good teacher this year and is doing well in school. No surprises there. Her biggest concern right now is who to invite to her slumber party for her birthday. God I am an idiot. I capped it at 5 girls but even then it will be a looong night! Our eldest child will be 9 at the end of this month. 9! It's been almost a decade since I found out we were having her.

I am beginning to feel old. I know I am in my 30's but aren't the 30's the new 20's or something ridiculous like that. It's strange to be an adult. You don't necessarily feel like one, yet you are. There are polite little children out there that call me Miss Ellen and Hannah will, with all the joy in the world, point out my gray hair for all to see. I must actually be getting older. Any wiser? Nah!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Park


Seeing as today was Columbus Day, our kids had the day off... well, I guess that means I had to entertain them didn't I?Either that or let them run wild all day until they complain ceaselessly of boredom and drive me stark raving mad!

I had errands to run today so I ran them to the park this morning before hitting Target and the grocery store. Get all their little wiggles out, ya know. I knew I could have used the park as a bribe but I didn't know how long the errands would take and I wanted Seth to get his afternoon nap in.
Seth was looking at the ducks. I think all playgrounds should be right on beautiful lakes like this one. Nah, then it wouldn't be so cool.


We ran into a few of the moms from the MOMS Club who also happen to have kids in Simon's grade. We stayed a wee bit longer than I had planned but it's hard to say bye to friends.

After Target, lunch, and the grocery store we came home and had some company over. While the kids were out playing they apparently decided to go to a neighbors house without asking. Oops for them. I ended up getting one of the neighborhood kids (yes, children seems to collect at my house) in trouble because I went over to her grandma's house looking for my lot plus our guest. Selene's mom grounded her for not being where she was supposed to be. Yeah, not my fault. I wasn't babysitting, she was just playing outside with my kids who decided to go to Jane's without letting me know. Jane is so sweet and truly, somehow likes my kids.

Once all the kids were located, cleaned, watered and fed, we ran Simon to Tae Kwon Do (last chance to practice before his test). It was very crowded. Then back to get Hannah from Marlena's because Hannah hates to sit around and watch Simon do TKD. If she'd just practice her freakin' violin that she INSISTED we keep for her this year I'd gladly let her do another activity. Am I too mean?

So, then back home, do more laundry, make dinner, clean the dishes, get Seth his bath, brush teeth, read stories, tuck everyone in.... phew.

It's over.

A lot for 12 hours, eh?

Now, now I can sit and watch Hero's and work on the binding....

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Visit, mom and then quilt the weekend away

The kids and I took a short trip up to see my moms new house on Saturday. It suits them well. It has a great yard for the kids to run around in. The best part is how close she is to us now. Dan and I were talking about it and really this is the closest we've lived to mom in a very long time. Like 15 years! Mom was always about 2+ hours away. The furthest being when we lived in Seattle and she was in Cheyenne. I hope we are able to see each other more since we are so darn close. If we don't, hopefully it's because we are too busy and not because we can only stand so much! :)

There is a nice little quilt store not to far from her now.... hummm.....

I was a big slacker today and didn't do much but work on my quilt. I fed the kids and played with Seth some. He spilled most of the bubble juice on the ground but he did manage to make a few bubbles.

I mostly spent time in my sewing room and finished machine quilting my wall hanging! Hurray! (Not the worlds best job ever but it'll do!)
I think I'll be able to get the binding on it and then I can plop my butt in front of the TV for a few good shows tonight and work on the binding. I love the quiet time after all the kids are in bed. I can watch TV if I want to, quilt, etc. Quiet is so blissful.

While I was cooking dinner this evening Seth thought it might be helpful to get pots and pans out to use. I know when I am looking for a pot I test them out by standing in them. Don't you? How else will you know what size to use? Silly Seth.

Guess what's for dinner tomorrow night? Nah, I have to fatten him up first!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Um, I don't know what to say....


So, it isn't every day that your dear sweet husband comes home with a life sized surprise. He laughed as he set them up and laughed some more as I told him, "no freakin' way!" I will not shield them from the children. I actually might encourage them to partake in light saber fights with either Mr. T or Rocky himself. How did Dan get his lovely hands on these gems? Work. They had spirit day today because if you watch the news at all then you know Vonage is getting spanked right now in the lawsuit department. How big life size cut outs of Mr. T and Rocky boost morale is beyond me. Yea, yea, they're fighters. Hopefully they will fall victim to a terrible accident courtesy of small, unruly children...

Speaking of the small and unruly, Simon gets to test for his Yellow Belt in Tae Kwon Do! Finally! The poor kid would have tested back in April but as you might recall he had to have a wee bit of surgery that month instead. After taking a few months off of Tae Kwon Do he went back in like August. Anyway, he is very excited to try to get his yellow belt. Maybe if he doesn't fidget the whole time they'll kindly pass him up a level. (No word yet from his neurosurgeon, btw.)

One more gripe out of me and then I swear I am done, for now anyway. Where did fall go? It's is the 80's and will be for days? Shouldn't we be wearing sweaters right now? I love my sweaters! We're gonna skip straight from hot and muggy to winter and then I will complain about the bitter cold because alas, I am human and never truly satisfied!

I made lots and lots of banana bread today. I had purchased bananas at Costco that were way too green. I had high hopes that they'd be edible but as I guessed they went from green to brown. It's ok, I like banana bread. I gave 2 loaves away and then made muffins for us. What the kids don't know and I won't tell is that I made ours with whole wheat flour and I threw in ground flax seed. Tee hee. They like it too!!!

I have made some progress on the wall hanging. I am not a stellar machine quilter but I am making this for myself and not for a show. I'll show some progress pictures soon, promise.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mums everywhere!

Seth and I ventured out this morning with some friends to go pick out mums. It's so hard to choose. There are so many colors to pick from.... the pressure! They also had decorations so I picked up a scare crow and a pumpkin ghost thing. I ended up buying 10 containers of mums and some planter box ones too. Hey, the 9" containers were 5 for $11, that isn't bad at all. I am going to try planting a few of them. Maybe they'll come up again next year. As usual my silly self forgot that Jersey is a cash kind of place and I didn't have enough money on me!!! (Thank you Tiff for paying!)

I got a few hours over the weekend to work on the fall quilt. If I don't hurry it won't be fall anymore! Yikes! I am hoping to get it done this week and get the binding on it asap. I want it on the wall!!! Hey, now I need a Christmas wall hanging too, and a spring one, oh, and a summer one!!! :) I did sew the labels on the baby quilts and run them through the wash. Now to get them to the post office... I need a box...

Things went smoothly with all our activities over the weekend. I gave Winnie a t-shirt that says "Jersey Girl" on it. I figured Drew and Winnie should have matching shirts! I had contemplated getting Drew the Jersey Girl shirt for when he left but I thought there was a strong possibility that he might use it to strangle me so I got him the "I love NJ" one.

Build a Bear was intense as usual (a step below Chuck E Cheese) and thankfully the kids are still happily playing with the bears they made. Ask me in a month where the adorable bears are and I'll see if I can find them in the bottom of the toy box. The kids do have a good time making them though. Seth tried to climb into all the bins while we were there and then didn't want to participate with the group. Oh well. He is only a year and a half after all.

Well, I better get going. I need to get the big kids soon. Simon has Tae Kwon Do today too.

Once again, send us well wishes for the MRI tomorrow. Or maybe just wish for the syrinx to shrink. Ready everyone, chant- shrink, shrink, shrink.