Monday, October 31, 2011

Sugar High

Yes, we did manage to carve pumpkins this year.  You would think that with all the years of higher education that Daddy O and I share between us, we would factor in the warmer temperatures when timing the carving itself.  It was not to be.  Two weeks before Halloween we visited the pumpkin patch and in our enthusiasm,  kept the ball rolling and didn't think of the consequences.  I'm not confident that I could completely capture the look of queasiness on Daddy O's face as he disposed of the blackened, rotten jack-o-lanterns with a large snow shovel, so I'll show what they looked like in their heyday.

The beginning:

Let's carve them now!  It's only 90 degrees out...

The rule at the pumpkin patch is that you have to be able to carry it out.  Baby O was the smart one. His survived.

Original pumpkins: Not rotten yet.


The costumes were bought weeks ago and I only wish I could have snapped a picture of Boy O creeping into my closet each day to look at his man of steel costume.  Once again, I don't think I would have been able to capture the halo of light that seemed to befall the red and blue unitard and certainly not the look of pure joy on his sweet face before I would turn off the light and shoo him out of our bedroom. The superhero theme is still going strong in our household and Boy O was quite disappointed when Baby O's train fixation took hold and he decided to be a conductor (okay...I did 'help' encourage him, but it didn't take too much).

It seemed to be a sugar high from the moment I woke them both up-Boy O wore his costume to school, meaning that Baby O also wore his and there was just so much chaos ENERGY.  All the students paraded around the school hallways in the afternoon before school let out and the excitement was tangible.  The space between school letting out and trick-or-treating was close to impossible.  The boys were so excited.

 Almost time.  Note: new pumpkin (no carving needed).

Not quite sure what to make of the skull....

Time to go?  No feet on the ground needed.

Suffice to say, both boys had a grand time.  We let them stay up, celebrate, organize candy and eat four pieces each until...get this...8:30 pm (for the record, I know Boy O was downing candy as he was passing it out as he so nicely offered to do after we came back-so maybe 50 pieces for him).   I know, I know,  tomorrow won't be the same.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

On Busyness

As I mentioned in my previous post, October is busy.  Baby O's birthday begins the madness in late September and there are at least four more family birthdays this month alone.  Throw in a funeral, endless Kindergarten celebrations (I'm the room mom!), Fall Festivals, book fairs, collecting box tops/labels for education, cookie dough fundraisers, Daddy O traveling twice for a week at a sounds hectic, but it's just busy.  And I like being busy, but it doesn't leave much room for blogging.

We did have some time to build a scarecrow earlier this month and although the end result was (in my opinion) quite mediocre compared to what I had thought it would look like, we had a lot of fun.  Boy O had decided beforehand that we would build a Harry Potter scarecrow, so Baby O and I picked up all the scarecrow fixin's at the Goodwill one morning.

Baby O still loves to wear the hat and it was hard to separate him from the glasses.

Panty hose served as the head and although this may look slightly strange, we all took turns stretching it out and wearing it over our faces.  Good times.

 Boy O was in charge of stuffing the head.

Boy O applying Harry Potter's lightning shaped scar.

Like I said before, it didn't turn out exactly as I had first thought, but it was a fun activity and it has to count for something that every single time I walk out the door and catch 'Harry Potter' out of the corner of my eye, he manages to startle the stuffing out of me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Birthday Truck: Year Two

If your Mother is sending you messages expressing that she is tired of the coffee cup picture, it's time for a new post.

Is busyness even a word?  According to google, dictionary dot com and thesaurus dot com it is and more on  Family O October busyness soon. Seriously.  Now for some back blogging.

The birthday truck has been making frequent stops at our house recently, it is a crazy month for birthdays and special events for Family O.  Unfortunately, Boy O doesn't get to enjoy the arrival of the packages as much as he used to now that deliveries usually occur while he's at school but he has certainly been eyeing the growing mound of packages in the living room.  Daddy O and I doused the house with balloons, spiderman streamers, green lantern rings, and carefully placed batman place mats and other superhero party favors on the dining room table.  Boy O had a fun-filled day starting with a waffle breakfast and then onto school, where not only did he get to wear a special birthday hat all day, the annual kindergarten pet parade took place early in the morning.  I was slightly concerned that we didn't have any actual pets and sent him to school with a stuffed animal.  Luckily, this was the 'norm' and he was flanked by stuffed bears and even an ostrich.  Some students proudly showed off their live dogs, cats, ferrets and chinchillas (the parents had tied the cage to a rolling chair...hilarious).  The best was  a girl who carried her goldfish around in a Britta pitcher.  All in all it was extremely entertaining for Baby O (who kept pointing to the poor ferret on a leash, calling it a mouse) and myself.  We had a great time. 

Daddy O surprised Boy O by joining him for lunch at school and then we all (MeMe included) brought in cupcakes for his classmates later in the afternoon.  And it doesn't end there....we came home, opened presents, had a special Ethiopian meal, Superman was a full day of celebration.

A letter to my eldest son on his sixth birthday:

Dear Boy O,

So much has happened in one year.  You have gone through at least 13 pairs of shoes, two bicycle tires, countless pairs of jeans and grown six + inches.  You have learned to swim, read, add and subtract.  I don't think there is one thing in this world that you cannot do or accomplish if you set your mind to it.  You are that rare person that is just good at everything you try.  It is an amazing gift that not everyone has and I truly hope that you learn to appreciate it later on in life.

You have this wonderful ability to make friends everywhere we go.  You are always the first to go up to a person and ask if they want to play.  Sometimes they respond immediately, sometimes they have to think about it for a minute, and one time you even tried hard to engage an 87 year old great grandfather to join in your game of tag.  He laughed and laughed at your invitation, and I had to have the don't-talk-to-strangers-talk afterward, but that is you to a tee.  You love to play and don't mind making the first move to introduce yourself.  Believe me, I have been taking notes and trying to follow your lead. 

You are a good natured, kind, gentle and happy six year old boy and every one's best friend.  Your Dad and I are always watching and learning from you and love you so much.  We are proud of you, look forward to watching you grow and are so thankful to be your parents,

Much Love,

Mommy and Daddy O

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One of Those Mornings...

Have you ever had one of those mornings where...

your grouchy toddler refuses to take a bite

and in desperation you put fruit gummi bites on top of his cream of wheat so he will eat for sure

and after the entire bowl has been ingested and you are giving yourself a pat on the back for your brilliant idea

the cream of wheat + fruit gummi bites is promptly regurgitated on the table, wall, floor, highchair and clothing

as you rush your toddler to the bathroom and place him in the shower fully clothed

your kindergartner comes in to announce that Dad is now vomiting in the sink in response to cleaning up the mess

Whew.  If you have...I'm right there with you, having one of those mornings...

photo from:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shades of Green

When I first found out we were moving, I spent months anticipating how amazing life was going to be once we relocated.  I focused on warmer weather, being within reach of family, better schools, and of course, warmer weather (for the amount of time I thought about the sun, it deserves to be mentioned twice). 

Along the way, my focus turned into something different altogether.  It didn't take long for 'amazing' to morph into 'everything' and our lives *according to me in my head* seemed to take off and expand everywhere.  You name it, I thought it.  Complete strangers would open their arms and embrace me upon our first meeting, I envisioned myself surrounded by a tribe of women that I could have coffee and run 20 miles with.  We would all have amazing play dates at the park and live on the same street, watch each other's children when needed...In other words...I became a parody on Saturday Night Live- affirming to myself that yes, I was smart enough, I was good enough, and doggone it, people liked me! 

Is there such a thing as too much positive thinking?

Admittedly, much of my thinking was pretty out there and I awoke to a hard dose of reality when we arrived.  Geography may change, but life remains the same and familiar problems pop up sooner or later.   It's not all unattainable though.  It just takes a little more work than I had thought. Finding someone to run 20 miles with might take awhile.  A girl can dream I guess...

So next time I start my Stuart Smalley routine, I'm going to try and remember not to concentrate on whether the grass is greener, but recognize that it will just be a different shade of green.  Or in our case, a light shade of brown due to the lack of moisture! 

This shade-whether it's brown or green-is still pretty awesome even on a normal day beginning at breakfast.

Each morning, Baby O and I run to the 'retired' caboose down by the train tracks-he loves it!  Please note that he is also holding his favorite Thomas the Train book.

The Kindergarten Johnny Appleseed parade was a big success.  They all wore pots on their head and spread imaginary seeds to all the students who stood in the hallways cheering them on and giving them high fives.  Boy O felt like a million bucks.

Stuart Smalley/Al Franken photo obtained from: