Wednesday, October 31

Halloween Fairy

My friend M is a genius.  I think I've mentioned that before.

A few years ago she told me about the Halloween Fairy.

You see the Halloween Fairy trades your candy loot for a toy.  You leave can keep your favorites, at least in our house; and the rest the Fairy takes.  Normally Husband gets all of the sweet stuff, he's got a wicked sweet tooth; and the rest goes to my work or the post-office.

But this year, we went to the Trunk or Treat that the Lions Club puts on.  The high school marching band, also clad in costume and a police car lead the parade around the school then come all the kiddos in their costumes followed by a couple of fire trucks (wow, are their lights intense); and then into the school the parade heads for handful and handful of candy out of trunks.

RR and a long lost buddy.

The band gearing up.

Yes, TT is sick again, on Halloween.

Thinking hard.


Reviewing the loot.
Putting his candy back in his bucket.

The Halloween Fairy's haul.

What the Fairy left.

The Lions Club outing was really cute.  I would take the boys again in a heart beat.  RR was really skeptical about going, but he was raving about how great it was on the way home.  

Monday, October 29

Playing With Knives

Hello, my name is Kate and I let my children play with knives.

OK, I only let the older one use them under adult supervision; but hey it was a catchy opening line.

I've let RR carve his own pumpkin for Halloween for a few years now.

Last year's pumpkin.

And this year it really seems that he has "gotten it".  I don't know if it's the age, the nap he had before carving or the wooden whittlin' badge her earned at summer camp, but it apparently something just clicked for him.

I know... its's the super extra jumbo size pumpkin he got this year.

Sunday, October 28

Dirty Old Man

This morning I dropped RR off at CCD (that would be religious education for all of my non-Catholic readers) and went to McD's to have a peppermint mocha and do some studying for my lactation course.  Normally I hang out in our parish hall, but our community is in the midst of it's French Meat Pie Project, which involves making some 30,000 meat pies in a two week period.

So it's me, and the old folks hanging around the McD's at 8am today.  They are reading the paper and joking with one another and one of the older ones in the crowd comes over and asks me if I'm studying to become doctor.  I tell him, no and let him I am I studying to become a lactation consultant.  He asks "what?" like he was hard of hearing, so I repeat myself a little louder.  This goes back and forth a few times, until he catches on and says "Oh, breastfeeding.  I'm an expert at that.  We were all breastfeed when I was born."  Based o how old he looked, I was inclined to agree.  That's a terrible thing to say, isn't it?   At this point I am thinking he's just being friendly and wanting to chat.

He then comes back three more time to inquire about breastfeeding, and then offers to help me study.  This is where the confusion started setting in and I began to wonder his motives.

His next move is to go and tell some of his buddies about what I am studying.  Then he tries to recruit them into helping me studying, all the while telling me he's an expert on breastfeeding.  *sigh*

At this point I've had enough of my new friend, and thankfully it's time to go get the boy; so I head on out.  As I am leaving one of the old man's buddies is leaving as well and he's sees the cover of my textbook - "Oh, you're training to help other women help with nursing.  That's wonderful.  Good luck to you and try and not let Stan bother you, he's not playing with a full team."

Thank you kind old man for confirming my thoughts that Stan is a dirty old man and I wasn't loosing my mind.

Saturday, October 27

The Witching Hour

No, this is not a post about Halloween.  So if that's what you came here for, I suggest you move along.  Just kidding!!! That was a really really bad seasonal joke. Anyhow....

The Big Boy has put us through just about every sleep disorder: nightmares, night-terrors and sleepwalking.  Have you heard the story about the time he slept-walked out of the house and into the car?

So you would think I am a professional at dealing with sleep disorders by now.  Sadly, I am not.

TT has been having night-terrors 5 out of 7 nights a week, for the better part of a month now.

And it is just now, that I am learning to accept these for what they are.

Like clock work TT "wakes-up" at 11pm and proceeds to scream and cry until midnight, and there is no consoling him.  You see, night-terrors are a partial sleep disorder; the child appears to be awake - eyes open, moving around; but they are in fact asleep.

And Husband and I have been doing everything wrong when these episodes occur.  We should just be checking on him and letting him be; because the more you interfere with the night-terror the worse you make it.  Instead we are going in and rubbing his back, putting his blankets back on, *gasp* bringing him back to bed with us (where the night-terror really gets out of control).  It's so hard to just let him be during these episodes however.  It's natural for a parent to want to hold and comfort their child when they are distressed; it's like the treatment goes against every thing you feel.

After another night of too little sleep, for mom and dad; because of the night-terrors I decided to refresh my night-terror knowledge; and tonight I am going to try and wake him 15 minutes before the witching hour.  Doing this nightly for a week should solve the problem for the time being for us.  Ah, another thing that goes against you parenting instincts - waking a sleeping child.

But maybe, just maybe we'll actually get a full nights sleep (sometime soon).

Friday, October 26

Fingers Crossed

On the last Saturday in October in 2011 we met our photographer in the park and spent the afternoon taking family pictures.  The day was cool, and getting colder; but it was still October and the trees were covered in leaves.  Snow was predicted for that evening; and because of that RR's Cub Scout camp-out had been called off.  Little did we know it was really going to snow.  A wet heavy snow that would snap trees, bring down power-lines and plug us into a world of cold darkness for a week.

Fast-forward to tonight; and here I sit and wonder about "Now Tropical Storm" Sandy.

Our family photos are thankfully done.

The baby's health is better now, than this time last year.  Oh, yeah, did I mention that he came down with pneumonia while we were without power?

RR's camp-out is scheduled and planned, and from what I hear not getting called off.

Sandy is expected to start making life less than pleasant on Tuesday, October 30.

And I can't help but wonder - Will Halloween get cancelled again?

Whatever will the Halloween Fairy do?

The 8-year old is on pins and needles.  The very mention of the weather puts him in a tizzy.  He's been having headaches, stress induced about missing his favorite holiday I am sure.

Please Lord.  Please.  Let the lights stay on.  Let my 8-year old have his Halloween.  Let all of the kids in this area have what they didn't have last year.  Give me strength to deal with the 8-year old and his mood swings as he anxiously awaits Halloween.

Ok, that's more than crossing my fingers.  I do believe that is a prayer.  And a request.

Thursday, October 25

Whose Afraid?

This evening I took the boys to the Halloween event hosted at the High School.  The evening features kid games, coloring, candy, apples, donuts and lots of fun - including a "Haunted Hallway".

The evening ended with a trip through the "Haunted Hallway".

In form true to any thrill event that lasts about 60 seconds we waited in line for 15 minutes - thank you lolli-pops collected while playing games for keeping my boys quiet while we waited.

Finally it was our turn.  The teenage girl looked our group over - 8 kids with RR (8) being the oldest and TT (1)  being the youngest and passed the word along to the actors inside - normal to a low level of scariness.

We passed through the beaded curtain and entered the hallway and RR was off.  Apparently he was full of confidence and ready to take on the monsters and ghouls that lie ahead.

And then he wasn't.  About 15 feet in front of TT and I (and the rest of the group) he stopped and started screaming "Get me out of here!"  The actors froze, the boy that had been in the box that was banging the lid that set him off dared not to move.  I quickly caught up with him (it wasn't even dark) and took his hand.  TT looked up at him like "Really man?  Have another lollipop."  We quickly moved through the rest of the hallway, a nice girl asked him if he would like to feel her "boogers, brains, or fingers."  "Get me out of here he yells again" and with that we left the school.

"Mom, don't you ever make me go into that haunted hallways again."

Sure thing.... and to think I was afraid of the baby being scared.

Wednesday, October 24

Big Helper

The Big Boy isn't my only helper around the house any more; now the Little One is getting in on the action.

I started doing the dishes the RR, but once the dishwasher was loaded and he had collected all of the cups from around the house there wasn't much left to do aside from the hand-washing.

And then TT fell down while playing with a toy; and since playing in the running water usually gets him to stop crying I figured he might as well come on over and give me a hand.  

And what a hand did he give me.  He was so helpful.  Really he was.  Seriously.  He didn't get in the way, he didn't slop water all over the place.  He just stood close and helped me wash out the pans.  

OK, ok... he did get soaked and had to take his shirt off.  

Monday, October 22

Corning Around

These were taken when we went on the hay-ride/pumpkin patch/corn maze this past weekend.

The baby.

My mom.

The goof.

Sunday, October 21


Did you notice the new look around here?

Like that fancy new heading?

What about my last page header?

All of these wonderful pictures were taken by the ever talented Karen Geaghan.

We met Karen back in 2008/2009 while we were looking for a wedding photographer.  I don't recall where I originally came across Karen's information - wedding magazine, her web-page, or what; but I do recall the first night we met.  We sat in her living room and looked through samples of her work, we talked wedding logistics and connected.  It was that connection that lead us to decide she was "the one".  She has been our family photographer and friend since then.

It started with engagement photos.

And then on to wedding photos....

Next up where maternity photos, and then baby and RR pictures.  

Last year we started the tradition of doing family photos in October - which is where the photos in both of my page headers came from.  

Karen is an amazing photographer with a great eye for lighting - and she seems to know all of the hidden spots for taking amazing photos.  She does studio and on-site work and is great with kids (read - she is quick and can get just the right shot of a fast moving toddler).

But it's more than that.  It's the connection she has with the people she works with.  Karen has this ability to really read people, to know understand what they are about - and she is able to show that individuality in her work.  She really brings out her subjects personalities.

So really... if you are (local) and are getting married soon or are thinking about getting some really quality family photos done I highly recommend calling Karen.  Really... you should call her like, right now.  OK, ok, maybe not right at this second... but you know what I mean.

You can check out her work and blog at the following places:

Disclosure: I was not asked to provide this endorsement; but rather I felt compelled to give credit where credit is due - as her professional photos are used in this blog.  

Friday, October 19

Last Minute

 Just the other day I was complaining about how Christmas was taking over the entire holiday season.  It seems like once Columbus Day rolls around it's open season for Saint Nick and all of his paraphernalia to show up.

This became more apparent earlier this week as I tried to buy RR's Halloween costume.

He had previously picked out this Fade In / Fade Out Phantom costume; which apparently is all the rage this year as every place was selling it - Walmart, Target, Job Lots, Party City, CVS, Walgreens...literally every store we went into they were selling it.

So I figured we had time; every place is selling it.  So here I was with 2 whole weeks before Halloween and I decide it finally time to buy the costume, I didn't want to wait till the last minute you know.

And then I can't find it.  Well I can find it, in a store, if he wore a child XS or an adult XL.  Lucky for me he was right in the middle of those sizes at a child L... which means no costume was to be found.  I spend lunch periods looking and looking.

As I start to run out of hope; I turn to the internet; realizing I have plenty of time to get it shipped to me.  Except no one has his size in stock on-line.  At last I find it at Walmart dot com and they have one is stock at a store by my work; so I swoop in on-line and order it.

This evening I dashed into my not-so-near-to-me Walmart (in the pouring rain) to pick up the costume, where I had to wait in line for 10 minutes behind a lady setting up - you guessed it her Christmas lay-away - in order to get the costume.

Really - this wasn't last minute.

I think Santa just needs to take a chill and let us enjoy one holiday at a time.

Monday, October 15

20 Months!!

TT likes chili.  Actually he LOVES chili.  

Some how it happened.  I was just going along, minding my business, being super crazy busy and dealing with business like always (gah, the car broke down again)... and TT turned 20 months!!

20 months!!

That's 4 months away from being 2.  Two whole years!!!  Gah!!!  I better go check for grey hairs now.

Ok, ok, I'm back.  Did you miss me?

So what is TT up to now that he's 20 months?  Everything.

He's till nursing.

He's eating everything insight.  But we recently learned he doesn't like apple pie.  How can he not like apple pie.  Especially mine.  I make a killer apple pie.  I may have to tempt him with it ala mode.

He has just learned how to walk backwards, and has started learning how to climb on the couch.

Right now he favorite game is to chase after balls.  He then picks them up, sometimes with his teeth, and runs around the house with it in his mouth.

Speaking of teeth, he sure has caught up on teeth... I think we're just waiting on his 4 canines (and then 2 year molars but let's not get ahead of ourselves).  Notice I said "think"... because he won't let me in his mouth to see.

TT is getting so tall.  Crazy tall.  Typically he's wearing a size 3T on the bottom and a 2T on top.

Because he is getting so tall we need to think about converting his bed to a toddler bed; a step we (me and daddy) are so not ready for.

And speaking of sleep, he is currently transitioning from two naps to one nap a day.  This is going to take a while I can tell you.

All in all, getting so big.

And now... what you've been waiting for... pictures!!!

Apples = good.
Apple pie = bad.
I don't get this.  But no complaints.

Tackling his big brother.
I fear my furniture when they get bigger.

Playing.  He loves playing in his tents.

Showing off his pumpkin shirt.

Playing... with ALL the toys.

Running around with the ball in his mouth.  Silly baby.

Sleepy big guy.

Modeling his Halloween costume.
Yes, we need to break the nook addiction.

Modeling his too small pants.  

Friday, October 12

Um sure....

I have my cell phone programmed so that it "translates" my voice mail messages into text messages.

Wonder why I put translate in parenthesis?  Wonder no more... look at these gem from earlier today; this was a prerecorded message reminding me about a doctor's appointment RR has on Monday.  

Hello. This is the Wayward Memorial Hospital. The Griswold family is son Rodney King's lawyer's office, calling to remind you that Rodney, has an appointment on Monday M, Please bring all of your victims. Over the counter and prescription medication containers to each denial visit so that we can create an accurate list, of your mediation. Also bring your insurance card in canary if required by your insurance company. If you did not here at the complete pre recorded message or wish to change or cancel your appointment, call or Medical Center and speak to one or appointments staff members. Thanks. Thank you. An goodbye. 

Classic.  I wonder how Clark and the family know Mr. King.  Perhaps from when they all drove to Wally World.  

Wednesday, October 10

Forget the Turkey

Last year, around early November, I was preaching about respecting The Turkey.

You know, thank THANKSGIVING Turkey.  That holiday that happens before the fat man, er Santa, takes over.

I was all about respecting The Turkey and putting off Christmas jazz until after Thanksgiving.

Now don't get me wrong, if you're done with your holiday shopping in July - good for you.  I just don't want to see Christmas being shoved in my face before Thanksgiving.

Well forget that.

I don't want to see Christmas shoved in my face before Halloween.

Respect the Jack-O-Lantern... respect!!!


I went to the store this weekend to pick up some small Halloween odds and ends... mind you it was October  6th.  Well before Halloween; and all of the Halloween goods had already been consolidated to one small section and the Christmas goodies were taking over.


Monday, October 8

Big Helper

Yeah, yeah... I've had a lot of tales lately about my boys growing up and getting along better and playing together more... sure, you're getting tired of them; but what the heck here's another one.  

After dinner I sent RR upstairs to go shower.  Husband and I were going to play with TT in the living-room.  Well TT wanted nothing to do with us, he kept trying to climb the stairs and when we blocked them off he cried and cried and cried.  I had decided enough was enough and he was going to go to bed a little early.   So we get him upstairs and he makes a bee-line for the bathroom.  Ah ha!!  He had heard the shower and wanted in on the action.

So I ask RR if TT can join him, and he says sure.  I get TT into the shower with RR and sit down to wait... giving TT a few minutes to play before I need to wash him up.  But the next thing I know, RR is all about washing his brother up for me - he even washed his hair.  I didn't even ask, he just offered.

Sweet!!!  He totally saved me from getting soaked trying to wash the squirmy toddler in the shower.

Saturday, October 6

Thursday, October 4

Old is New Again

The other day I posted about his TT and RR are starting to play together.

This has had more benefits that you can imagine.

Like I can say "RR go play with your brother while I make dinner/fold the laundry/sweep the floor/do other chore I would rather not be doing."  And off they go to play, sometimes with tears because someone got to rough or someone destroyed some layout - but generally they are good.

Playing with his little brother is really expanding RR's imagination . the one I thought he was loosing as he got older.  The crib becomes a pirate ship, the play tents are a carnival game, the possibilities are endless.

And then there are the toys.  The toys that RR discarded years ago as he got older and his tastes changed.  All of a sudden these toys are new to him again.  It's like a trip to the attic is better than a trip to the store, all of a sudden we have all these great "new" toys and they have TONS of pieces... no collections to build up.  Piles and piles of trains, a handful of play tents and tunnles, Duplo Legos (in both castle and Thomas sets) toys toys and more toys.

I'm so glad I kept them all (well, most of them at least).

Tuesday, October 2


The time RR has been waiting for; ever since we told him way back in summer 2010 that he was going to be a big brother, is here.

He know has a built in playmate.

This is the moment he has waited many long years for.

RR will drop to the floor and yell "I'm down, I'm down."
Then TT will come screaming across the room, letting out a war cry, and body slam his big brother.

Or RR will run circles around the house yelling "Get me TT, come get RR".  And TT will gladly chase after his brother, shrieking in delight.  Our house is certainly not a quiet place these days.  

Some days they will take out the Duplo blocks and RR will build TT castles and treasure boxes.

Lately they have taken into playing with the plastic Thomas Train set.  RR will construct these elaborate layouts and TT will run the motorized trains on the track, and chew on the trains, and chew on the other tractors and scenery, and run the tractor through the train wash a dozen time.  Oh and did I mention he'll chew on the trains?  Yeah, he's teething really bad lately.  Poor kiddo.

Sometimes RR has a hard time because TT will destroy the layout (Baby Disctruto anyone?) or they he'll try to play too rough with the baby.  But all in all they are playing together really well these days.  Loudly, but playing well.

Project Food Budget: Grande Finale (Week 52 - late)

Remember this cute little band-aide piggy?  I do.  Even though it seems like I have forgotten about Project Food Budget (PFB) the last few weeks.  But well, life happens and my blog got less attention last month than normal, and pretty much everything with it fell by the way-side.  That being said, this was a great project to participate in, and I look forward to more Emily Levenson projects in the future.

Two of the main themes with PFB were meal planning and budgeting your shopping trips.  Now I have always been a big, HUGE, fan of meal planning.  It's like part of my working-mom-credo.  If I'm at work and I don't know what we're having for dinner that night I can ensure you it is going to be a long night.

Creating the meal plan, and then shopping off the list is great.  To an extent. You need to make sure that your shopping list includes things that you don't plan; but know you will need during the week... you know those pesky little "pantry staples" like bananas, and cereal bars, chocolate soy milk.  The things your kids would be lost without; should you forget to get them.  I've actually been meaning to make a list of items I would consider staples in my house - maybe I'll do that as a follow up to this project.

The next big thing for me was ROUTINE.  I honestly needed to find time to go food shopping; and then to be consistent about it.  This is something I am still working on.  By the end of the last school year (June) I was doing great, and then summer vacation happened, and our day to day didn't have much rhythm or reason... and with that regular shopping went out the window.  So yeah, I'm still working on it.

Am I am expert at food budgeting and meal planning now?  No.  But I did learn a thing or two over the course of this project and I would try and make this program part of my day to day.

When you can, check out these other blogs and see how they did.

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