Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 2010 Round Up

Click mosaic to biggify. Created using Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
Do tons of catalogs and product reviews on Amazon for Christmas shopping count? (I didn't think so.)

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
* TV Time: Mythbusters started back, which throws a bit of a kink into our schedule, but not too bad. We dropped The Event, and The Whole Truth was canceled (though I did read that they may run the filmed but currently unaired episodes later in the year). The only new show still hanging on is Law & Order: Los Angeles, which we are enjoying.
* New Films: Chess: In Concert was interesting. I had only heard selections from it. Will admit I didn't love it, but Josh Groban is worth watching in nearly anything. Hollywood Homicide was much more fun and enjoyable than I expected. The Young Victoria was very sweet; not breathtaking, but very lovely.
* Old Favorites: Hercules, Ferngully, Quest for Camelot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992 movie), Alice in Wonderland, Fantasia, The Black Cauldron (I'm sure there were others, but these are all that come to mind at the moment.)

What special days did I celebrate and how?
Luke's birthday! He had a mini party with us the actual day of his birthday, followed by a family party a couple of weeks later. Seeing everyone at his big birthday party was the best gift ever.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
Luke's birthday gifts and gifts for our nieces. I also won one of the 31 Days of Halloween giveaways.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
DH was sick for days with what turned out to be the flu with strep throat! You know he is very ill when he stays home from work for nearly a week. Luke also came down with his first ear infection in over a year. I am sensing a return to the ENT. I don't know if I had a tummy bug or just stressed myself into being sick, but I was out of commission for a day or two. Just not a good month in this department.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Took Luke trick-or-treating and did the Halloween parade. Met my grandmother for lunch in Covington. We went to a Chinese buffet, which Luke found totally fascinating.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
Seems like I tried something new at the Chinese buffet, but I can't recall what it was now (only that I didn't like it! LOL). I tried a cheese I didn't recognize at Fogo de Chao. No clue what kind if cheese it was, but it was yummy.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Birthday balloons are always special, since Luke loves them so much. Buying jeans that are 2 sizes larger than last year's for Luke was a bit shocking.

What were this month's disappointments or frustrations?
Work was frustrating. My grandfather also had a GI bleed, which is never a good thing. Took a week to get the kitchen sink fixed after it broke. Had to wait for a proprietary part from the manufacturer (but it was free, including shipping, which was nice). We didn't get a pumpkin carved for this year's Halloween. October just got away from me.

What were my accomplishments this month?
Other than pulling off Luke's birthday party, I'm not sure I accomplished much of anything this month.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?

Turning 6 is a pretty major accomplishment! All else for the month seems to pale in comparison. Luke scored a couple more goals at soccer. He also finally lost his first tooth. It was loose for weeks, but it finally came out while he was sleeping (don't know how he didn't swallow it!). His reading is improving somewhat, but what strikes me as most interesting about his academic changes is his sudden desire to write. We're trying to encourage that as much as we can.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
Don't think so!

Monthly Round Up courtesy of Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

Currently feeling: very late

Happy Halloween 2010

Luke asked to be War Machine for Halloween this year. No, he hasn't seen Iron Man 2; he watches the Super Hero Squad cartoon show (Marvel for little kids).

As is tradition, we did trick or treating at the mall again this year. Thankfully we thought to look up what time it started sometime Saturday afternoon, at which point we discovered that despite Halloween being on Sunday, the mall was hosting trick or treating Saturday night! Oops. We got Luke dressed in a hurry and ran over there.

He got a nice amount of loot. I like that he gets more candy than he can/should eat in a night, but not a whole bucket full of stuff that he may or may not eat.

I was actually not upset that the mall's trick or treating was on Saturday, because that meant that we got to participate in the neighborhood Halloween parade on Sunday! We hadn't moved in yet last year, and though we did make an effort to be here for the parade anyway, they left while we were getting Luke changed, so we went to the mall instead. This year, we got to do both! Luke had fun playing with some of the neighborhood kids. They ended up with 5 total Iron Men and/or War Machines, including Luke. This is the best shot I got of all of them (so hard with that many excited kids running around!). Luke is number 3.

The parade is lead by local emergency responders and their vehicles and literally departs from *right* in front of our house. See:

And yes, they let the kids climb into the vehicles. I'm not sure who was having more fun, the kids or the guys! Here's Luke inside the HazMat truck.

After that, the kids all lined up for a photo op. Look how many! (Arrow points to Luke in the first picture.)

And off we go!

I thought this spider lawn decoration was brilliant.

Can't help myself, I just love photos of these two from the back.

The parade ended at the local clubhouse, which also has a pool, tennis courts, and a playground. Usually, it is only open to members, but for certain events, it is open to the whole neighborhood (with a small food fee). After the Halloween parade, they hold a pizza party and costume contest (various age groups). All of the kids really had a blast playing on the playground and in the sandbox.

A very busy but very enjoyable Halloween indeed!

Currently feeling: happily haunted

Friday, October 29, 2010

31 Days of Halloween - The Prize

I mentioned a few days ago that I won the 23rd giveaway of the 31 Days of Halloween that my friends Annette and Melissa were running. I won an odd-numbered day prize, so it came from Annette in Arizona. It arrived today!

Hmm, what wonders does this orange wrapper hold?

Looks like a handmade snap bag (has flexible metal bands in the top hem, so it "snaps" closed and holds things securely), a ghost stamp (see first picture), a hand drawn bookmark by Annette's daughter Miss K, a bendable skeleton, a Halloween themed pencil, a wind up pumpkin headed figure (Luke will love that!), a bag of goodies, and this lovely little box, which is presented in close up below.

The inside is lined with great spider fabric, the ribbon ringing the lid is shiny and beautiful, and it even has a cat on the lid. How appropriate for our home! Not sure what I'm going to store in it yet, but it will be sitting on my night stand until I do. Thanks so much, Annette! It was great fun to get my own Halloween treat this year.

Currently feeling: treated

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not the best week or two

A.K.A. why I've been so quiet since before Luke's party:

* The kitchen sink broke the Monday after Luke's party. Couldn't find the replacement part because is proprietary to the company that makes it. Good news: replacement part is free. Bad news: took over a week to get it to us. Good news: part arrived today and was as easy to install as they said! Still, over a week without a functional kitchen faucet has been a challenge. Don't realize how much you use something until you don't have it.
* DH came home sick and was home sick for 4 days last week with some kind of virus, likely whatever Luke started with that lead to....
* Luke's ear infection, diagnosed last Thursday after continued fever following the party weekend. First one in over a year. We're being punished for mentioning that at his appointment just a couple of weeks ago. He has to take nasty medicine again, which is such a dramatic ordeal.
* My grandfather was in the hospital for 5 days last week with bleeding. They did get it to stop and he is home now, but this is the second time in a year, so he will have to come off the blood thinners, which makes a stroke (like he had back in July) more likely, but he can't keep going to the hospital twice a year for bleeding either.
* Work blew up big time just before the party. Worked 10-12 hours a day all week last week (week after party) and still not everything is solved. Things are a little calmer for the moment, but it will crank up again in a week or so. I am not looking forward to the next round of having 3 projects turn up together (this was just 2) early next year. I can't go through this again, because....
* As of today, I either literally made myself sick over it or I've caught some kind of stomach bug (possibly both). Started feeling bad mid day yesterday (Monday), went to bed at 6:30 PM, was sick sometime in the night, and have been nauseous all day today. Not sure if it's stress or what. Both DH and Luke had nausea spells with their recent illnesses. Not sure if it is related. Hoping to feel much better tomorrow, because now is not the time to be sick at work (but my manager(s) have been very understanding).

Hope your last couple of weeks have been better.

Currently feeling: trying to hang on

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I won the 23rd Day of Halloween!

I have been terrible and have not mentioned The 31 Days of Halloween, the month long giveaway that my friends Annette and Melissa are running. It's been all I could do to remember to enter each day (and I know I missed at least a couple). Yesterday, I thought of it during Luke's soccer game and knew that if I didn't enter right then, I'd forget. As Wil Wheaton likes to say, living in the future is awesome. I just whipped out my phone and was able to post a comment to Saturday's drawing while sitting on the side of the soccer field.

So glad I did, because I won! I never win anything, so I am quite shocked. Even my email inbox knows I don't win stuff, since it automatically funneled my notification email with "winner" in the title into my spam folder! LOL But thankfully, they announce the winners on the blogs, which is how I found out.

If you're a cross stitcher, you'll probably want to run over and enter! Even numbered days are hosted by Melissa, and odd numbered days by Annette. You can read about all of the different ways to enter and check out the rules at either site. Good luck!

Currently feeling: giddy!

Friday, October 22, 2010


And there it is! The tooth that I thought would *never* come out (it took 7 weeks) has finally decided to turn loose. Of course, it did so in the middle of the night while Luke was sleeping. I don't know how on earth he didn't swallow it! Apparently, he woke up in the night, realized it was gone, found it caught between his lip and his gums, and put it under his pillow.

First thing Thursday morning, I was told "Mommy, my tooth came out but the Tooth Fairy didn't come!" (Note: he learned about the Tooth Fairy at school, not at home.) Um, well, see, she has a schedule each night that she has to keep, and since your tooth came out in the middle of the night, it was too late to get on the schedule. Plus, you put it under your pillow you were sleeping on instead of in the special tooth pillow we got for you, so she may not have known it was for her. Let's put it in the tooth pillow so we know you'll be on tonight's schedule.

We also went to the doctor on Thursday, since he was still running a fever several days after his birthday party. Turns out he has an ear infection (first one in over a year!). Since he was home from school, he went in his room several times to make sure the tooth was still there! LOL "She comes at night when you're sleeping!" And sure enough, the tooth was gone this morning, with a $5 bill in its place. Made his morning. Combine Tooth Fairy money with birthday money, and it won't be too long before he can buy something nice!

Currently feeling: relieved it's finally out

Monday, October 18, 2010

Luke's 6th Birthday Party

It was supposed to be a busy but very straight forward weekend. I was supposed to be off work Friday to prep the house for company (most of those coming had not been to the new house yet). Mom would drive up Friday as soon as her morning meeting finished, arriving mid to late afternoon. We would finalized the cake design, then do dinner and pick up Dad at the MARTA station after his flight came in (he couldn't leave until after school). Mike and Jennifer (DH's brother and his wife) and the girls would also arrive late Friday evening and spend Friday and Saturday at our house. Mom and Dad would stay at a nearby hotel Friday and Saturday, and Mom would come and help cook breakfast for everyone Sunday morning before all of our guests headed back home. Busy, but not complicated, right?

The first kink in the plan, though we didn't know it at the time, was when Luke woke us up at 2AM Friday morning complaining that his neck hurt. I finally figured out that he meant his throat hurt! He had a bit of a stuffy nose, and the air has been really dry lately, so I chalked it up to breathing through his mouth all night. We turned on the humidifier and decided to check him in the morning before school. He seemed fine, he said his throat was fine, so off to school he went. I had realized earlier in the week that I would only be able to take a half day off work at most (two projects started crumbling on Wednesday), but since Mom ran a little late and traffic was horrible on the way up, which delayed her further, it worked out okay. I actually ended up working the whole day, which put me behind on cleaning, but I could do that while she decorated. We thought we were still doing okay, until we picked up Luke from after school care.

He was burning up with fever! Great. Mike and Jennifer were already on their way from North Carolina. In fact, they would be arriving in just a few hours. It was really too late to do anything, but I didn't want to expose the girls, ages 2.5 years and 6 months, to Luke's fever, especially when we had *no* idea at that point what he might have. I talked it over with Mom, and she agreed that they would donate their hotel room to Mike and family, and my parents would stay here at the house. We met the van in the driveway when they pulled up and explained the plan. They were reluctant to take the room (we insisted that they not pay for it), but they also didn't want to expose the girls, which I complete understood. We decided they would stay there Friday night and we would see how Saturday played out.

After all that and the other craziness going on, we didn't even start decorating the cake until after we had the hotel thing straightened out. The design wasn't overly intricate, but it still took time. (The figures are plastic toys, BTW, not modeling chocolate or something crazy like that.) Cooking and cleaning went even slower than I expected, I hadn't been grocery shopping for the rest of the party food, and I hadn't wrapped a single present. Mom went to bed around 2 AM after finishing the cake, and I thought I would follow shortly thereafter, as soon as I finished wrapping. Instead, I caught a second wind and Dad woke up (he'd been sleeping in the chair for a few hours by then), so we started talking, and I didn't lay down until 5 AM. My own fault, and I don't get to talk with my father like that very often, so it was worth it, but needless to say, I was NOT well rested when 6 AM came and it was time to go the grocery store.

We got the groceries done and the spaghetti sauce for dinner cooking on the stove. Luke seemed better, so we hoped it was just some sort of 24-hour thing. However, he was flatly exhausted and still having trouble breathing through his nose, so we skipped his soccer game. We would have canceled the birthday party if everyone coming had been just local friends that we see often, but that wasn't the case. Half the guests were coming from out of state. Only one person was traveling less than 4 hours to be there, and that one person is 77 and driving an hour to be there. Unless he was just deathly ill, we did need to proceed with the party, and skipping the game was the best way to ensure the fewest meltdowns in front of company.

Mike and Jennifer decided Saturday morning that it was safe enough to attend, so they came over in time for lunch. We just ordered pizza and continued getting ready for the rest of our guests to start arriving a little before 2PM. Except that they started showing up around 12:30! We were still trying to fit in showers and such, and I just gave up cooking anything more at that point to get out there with our guests. As I said, the party itself went really well, and the cake turned out even better than I imagined (my design, Mom's execution). Everyone loved the house and seemed to have a great time.

Around 4PM, I could not keep my eyes open and had to go lay down. DH woke me at 5 to say that some of our guests were leaving. Everyone remaining (my parents, DH's mom, Mike and Jennifer) tucked into dinner around 6:30, and it was time to put Luke to bed around 8. Mike and Jennifer also started trying to get their girls down for bed around that time, but older niece N was coughing, and younger niece M had had a good nap, so she wasn't sleepy. Both girls were just getting over colds, and they hadn't been exposed to Luke long enough to have caught whatever he had. Maybe they were relapsing? We stayed up with them as they tried off and on to get the girls to sleep, but we all decided it was best to turn in around 11 PM and see if they would sleep better with their parents in the room.

I remember someone knocking on our bedroom door in the middle of the night. I let DH get it, and I promptly fell back asleep. I knew if he needed me, he would come get me. Next thing I knew, DH was waking me at 8:30 to say that my parents had arrived to start cooking breakfast. "Oh, and Mike and Jennifer left last night. That's why they were knocking on the door." What?! Apparently the girls were just getting sicker and sicker, more coughing and running fevers, and since no one was sleeping anyway, they went ahead and packed up and went home around 2 AM. I felt awful about it, but I also know that we would have done the same thing in their position. Probably a good thing, though, since Luke was still running a low grade fever Sunday morning. My parents left not long after our (late) breakfast, and we all settled in to try and recover from the long and crazy weekend.

Turns out, it was probably best that Mike and Jennifer went home. A Monday morning doctor visit revealed that both girls had ear infections in *both* ears. Just like it happens with Luke, they had a cold or something that caused nasal congestion. They seemed to be getting over it, which is why they went on and came to the party, but the bacteria had already started growing in the ears, causing them to feel awful and spike a fever just a couple of days later, the night of the party. No wonder they were both crying and miserable! And as selfish as it is, it also makes me feel better knowing it wasn't a result of being around Luke. Ah, the joys of young kids! At least they all seemed to have fun while they were here.

Thanks to everyone who came to the party! I know the weekend was a little nutty, but it really was so great to see everyone.

Currently feeling: in need of a long *quiet* weekend