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Month: October 2010

A Halloween First

Would you believe that in the five years that I’ve had children, we’ve never carved a pumpkin?  I think maybe it was the idea of big knives and tiny little fingers that didn’t sit too well with me.  We usually buy pumpkins, but have painted, drawn with markers, and plastered them with Halloween stickers in previous years.  For some reason, I decided that this was the year we were actually going to do some cutting.


We ended up with three pumpkins big enough to carve, so Evie and Zach both picked out their own designs and I left the third one for Hubby. Evie wanted a “sad face” and Zach picked out a haunted house design from a template book we had.


Evie was quite happy with her sad face pumpkin, even though we had to leave the nose out because there wasn’t enough room.


Zach’s haunted house came out pretty good too, although my hands were cramping quite a bit by the end (I still am not ready to hand the knives over!).


Then we waited and waited for Daddy to finish his spider web design. When they were all finally finished, we took them outside and lit them up. The kids really enjoyed this part.




I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing this every year from now on.



Apparently, this is what I get when I pick the kids up and surprise them with a quick trip to the park:


IMGP3173(I don’t know why his teeth and lips are blue! He came home from school like that.)

I also have realized that I’m getting much more comfortable shooting my camera in manual mode.  Twice in the last week I’ve tried to use the little point-n-shoot that I carry in my purse and I’ve been completely frustrated because I couldn’t change ALL the settings to get what I wanted.  Out of the 20 or so pics I snapped this afternoon, only about five turned out okay and even those needed a good amount of editing.  I’m finding more and more that I just wish I would carry my good camera everywhere with me.

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The Happy List

There’s been a bit too much negativity and whining around here lately, so today I’m only thinking happy thoughts…well, trying anyway.  In order to give more space to the happy and less to the depressive woe-is-me, I’ve come up with this list of 10 things that make me truly happy.  But, the best part is, I want you to tell me in the comments what makes you happy!  List 1 or 10 things that make you truly happy so I can share in your joy!  Here’s mine:

  1. Taking photos of my children, coming home to scan through them on the computer, and finding that one absolutely perfect image.
  2. Listening to my daughter talk, using words much bigger than her 2 1/2 years should allow.
  3. Finishing a knit, crochet, or sewing project and finding it came out better than I thought it would.
  4. Cooking an amazingly delicious meal for ALL of my family (even though I really hate cooking).
  5. Snuggling in my chair with my son while we watch a movie or look at pictures on my computer.
  6. Sleeping in on Saturday mornings, on the rare occasions that it happens.
  7. Hugs and kisses as I tuck my kids in at night and tell them I love them.
  8. Spending rare kid-free time with my husband.
  9. A perfectly sunny, yet not too hot, afternoon at the park watching my kids have fun together (and snapping photos, of course).
  10. The first drink out of an ice cold Diet Coke.

Ok, now it’s your turn.  What makes you happy?


Just Keep Swimming

I’m not sure why I always seem to think that things will calm down in the Fall, because the opposite seems to happen instead. Between school activities, soccer practice and games, church activities, the usual errand running, and visiting with family we just keep going and going and going. Weekends are packed so full that we have very little down time. By Sunday night I end up cranky and exhausted. Add that to the fact that my allergies are insane right now and I’m stressed and not sleeping well at night. So yeah, I’m really pleasant to be around. Just ask my husband and kids.

I’m still wading through this book and trying to figure out what an SPD diagnosis might mean for Zach.  I’ve made an appointment to get started with the evaluation process, but the first available appointment isn’t until December 9th, so we still have a wait on that.  Parent/teacher conferences are this week at school, and I plan to discuss this more with his teacher during that time.  The director of his before/after school program is making some accommodations for him as well and I’m really hoping that this will make the school day easier for him.  Right now the unknown is the hard part.  His behaviors have gotten worse instead of better lately, but I question everything.  Is that behavior because of a sensory thing or just a 5-year-old boy reacting to emotions he doesn’t know how to handle?  It all leaves me frustrated because I don’t know how to handle his behavior.  I certainly don’t want to punish him for something that he really has no control over; yet, if it is something he can control, I don’t want to just let it go.  I wish I just had someone to tell me – when he does this, you do this.  Guess that’s not going to happen though.

In the meantime, I’m just trying to keep my head above water.  My body is feeling the stress for sure.  I’ve been eating like crap, let my running schedule slip into once a week, if that.  I know that it is the exact opposite of what I need right now, but I think if I could sit around eating chocolate and sipping Diet Coke all day long I would.  I just kind of need a break from everything, but that break is nowhere in sight right now.

At least while we’re going, going,  going on the weekends we are having fun.  I really need to learn to slow down and think more when I’m taking photos because a lot of these didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to, but at least there were a few keepers from the weekend.










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CD Review: KT Tunstall's Tiger Suit

September and October have bombarded me with new music from some of my favorite artists and KT Tunstall’s Tiger Suit (released October 5th, 2010) is no exception.  KT has gone a bit more in the dance/pop direction with this one, but she still retains some of her rock guitar-driven style that I’ve come to love.

I’ve been listening to this album pretty much non-stop since I got my hands on it and I have yet to pick out a favorite, although “Fade Like A Shadow” and “Come On, Get In” are the ones that keep getting stuck in my head.  The upbeat songs make me want to dance, while the the slower, heavier songs have me digging into the lyrics booklet for understanding.   Each time I listen I pick up on something I didn’t hear before.

If you haven’t had a chance to hear Tiger Suit yet, you can check out a preview of the album on KT Tunstall’s web site by tweeting or sending a link to facebook.  If you like what you hear, I suggest following KT Tunstall on Twitter or Facebook as well.  She’ll be touring this fall (10/31-12/1) and you don’t want to miss out if she comes near your town!

The not-so-fine print: I received a copy of KT Tunstall’s Tiger Suit in exchange for posting this review and was not compensated in any other way.

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I Need A Weekend To Recover From My Weekend

Well, that last post was a bit of a downer, eh?  I really didn’t intend for it to be all “woe is me” but I guess that is what ended up coming out.  Life can’t always be happy, I suppose. Things really aren’t that bad.  I’m happy that we’re finally figuring some things out with Zach, just frustrated that it is going to take some time to really get the help that we want/need for him to be a little more successful.  In the meantime, we’re trying to cram in as much fun as we can.


Zach’s school had a school carnival Friday night, which promised plenty of bouncing and climbing on inflatables. While the kids were extremely excited, I was not. Then Hubby called to say he was going to the doctor to have his shoulder checked again (relating to his accident last week) and would be home late. So, it was just me and the kids. I really have no idea why I was dreading it so much, because we ended up having a really good time. Really, how can you not have a good time when your kids are laughing, hugging, and just having a really great time together? It was also nice to see so many of the other kids there that were genuinely excited to see Zach. He claims to not have any good friends at school, but these kids proved him wrong.


Saturday morning Zach had a soccer game. He just wasn’t in the mood to play. Then, just after we got there, something upset him and he refused to play – at all. His coach finally convinced him to go in as goalie for about the last five minutes of the game, but he spent most of that time playing in the net and not paying any attention to the game. The whole thing was pretty frustrating to all of us. I just hope he’ll get back in there and play for the rest of the season.


That evening, we attended a dinner/bonfire for the children’s group at our church. We had a fun evening socializing with some of the families from church, and the kids had a great time playing games and then roasting marshmallows in the fire. Zach was a little too excited about the fire for my taste, but I’m glad he had fun. Evie even surprised me by being way more social than she normally is. I expected her to stick by my side all night, but she went off and played with the other kids, and even snuggled up to a couple of the adults there.

Sunday morning we got up and went to church, then grabbed a quick lunch and headed to the zoo. Hubby decided to stay home and rest instead of going to the zoo with us since his shoulder was still hurting, so Grandma decided to come along with us instead.


The highlight of the day for Zach was getting to meet Iron Man and have his picture taken with him. He barely squeaked out a “hi” when he got up there, but it was pretty cool that he got to meet his favorite super hero.


Evie’s favorite part of the zoo was the hippos. She loved watching them peek up from under the water they were swimming in.


Eventually, we made our way to the Discovery Barn, where the kids discovered the Squirrel Monkeys. These little monkeys were hilarious! They kept jumping at the glass right in front of Zach’s face and would chase the kids back and forth as they ran along the glass. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my children both squealing in delight the way they did with these monkeys. It was so fun to watch them.


We didn’t make it all the way through the zoo before closing time, but I think the kids had had enough anyway. We were all absolutely exhausted when we got back home. We had such a good time though that it was definitely worth the exhaustion. Now I just have to spend the rest of the week catching up on the laundry and housework that got ignored over the weekend!


P.S. Don’t tell Evie that it’s after Labor Day. She LOVES this outfit!

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