Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A quick FYI...

I changed clothes today. Blog clothes. My title page has changed headings with the help of a little tweaking from a nerdy family member. I used 'nerdy' in the most endearing way of course! Everyone needs a computer nerd in the mix. I'm lucky that way. I have a couple to set me straight. I also wanted to mention that you can now read my blatherings directly on the following websites. No pen and paper required to remember the once too-long URL!
For us regular internet folks.
To be used when in conversation with nerds and geeks alike.
To be used when I'm at the latest PTA or non-profit gig.

Special thanks to my Uncle John & Aunt Mary!

Now back to our regularly scheduled here for the previous post

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What are you doing on Sunday afternoon?

I don’t know if you’ve heard or not, but there’s a pretty exciting NFL game happening this Sunday. I have butterflies in my stomach. I’m fairly sure that most of America has butterflies in their stomach about this game. Even if you’re not a sports fan, you’ve probably heard about it, and your tummy will be fluttering soon enough so don’t worry. How could you not know? You can’t turn on the TV news without hearing about it. I think it’s on just about every US city’s front page of their newspaper. I’m talking about the Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots. Here. On our home turf. Sunday. Ugh! The sound of being punched in the stomach when I say “Ugh!” is a mixed emotion. First, excitement. Of course! It’s the anticipation of the countdown. Giddy with the thought our reigning 2006 Super Bowl Champs having an 8-0 record at the end of the game. Then, the sinking sensation of the butterflies dive bombing creeps up because we are playing our arch rival. Not only have we somehow made these two teams each other’s nemesis – but The Patriots are my former Home Team. And they are good. Good enough to have an already 8-0 record. They are still the Home Team of the rest of my family. It throws a wrench in our family cheering section. It does give us all a good topic to tease each other about though. But on Sunday, somebody has to lose.

On any other Sunday, I’m allowed without getting the evil-eye of my Indiana friends and family, to root for my former home team. My husband Tom even lovingly overlooks the tad of drool that I get when I watch Tom Brady for 60 minutes of game time (that equates to about 3 hours, but 60 minutes sounds less threatening don’t you think?). If Sandra Bullock were in pads and a helmet, I would return the favor by turning the other way for him. We’re fair like that. He should be flattered that the Other Man in my life is a “Tom” too. This is a face only a mother could love. And I... am a mother! But I digress…

Sunday, I will be wearing Blue. Colts Blue. I’m sure I can find a jersey in this house to wear. We have a few to choose from. Will I choose Marvin or Manning? Decisions, decisions! The hardest decision will be for our son Carter. He has a few jerseys, and it’s always a long thought process for him about who’s number he’s going to wear each Sunday. He meticulously lays them all out on the floor. Presses them softly to smooth the numbers, and arranges them in an order that only his little mind can wrap around. This Sunday, it will be even more difficult for him, because mixed up in his sea of Colts Blue, is the lone too-small-now navy & silver #12 Patriots jersey. He loves Brady. Carter’s favorite player changes every weekend, and so he may even choose his #12 to wear. But I don’t know if he’ll be allowed in the family room to watch the game if he is not in Colts Blue attire. So we will discourage him from choosing his Brady jersey on Sunday, and encourage him to choose from his #4, #87, #88, or #18. I will probably push heavily for my Other Other Man,
Adam Vinatieri’s jersey – because it’s a good compromise. He was once the long-time kicker for the NE Patriots, and has since been welcomed with open arms to our Indianapolis Colts team. He’s one of ‘us’ now. It’s the best of both worlds in terms of jersey decisions for Sunday. And our family harmony. Because their #4, is now our #4. Carter got to meet him and shake his hand a couple months ago at our town fall festival. He was standing in line behind us with his children waiting to ride the Sizzler. I noticed him immediately and did the old nonchalant hurried wide-eyed whisper to Tom, “psssst -Adam-Vinatieri-is-standing-right-HERE”. So he turned around and introduced himself and Carter got to meet him. He was dressed in some casual shorts, sandals, a polo-type shirt and wore his Boston Red Sox cap. (Not that I noticed or anything.) Carter told Adam that he has his #4 jersey, and Adam raised his eyebrows in surprise and said “You do? – wow, thanks!”. It was very fun and exciting, and Carter told everyone he knows about his chance meeting with Adam Vinatieri at the fair. So cute. Both of them.

Speaking of meeting players, Tom was lucky enough to be invited to a dinner and game-watching night with Peyton Manning, Bob Sanders, and Dwight Freeney in early October. Carter probably would have needed resuscitation if he was present. I’ll put some pictures below, depicting a day in the life of a Colts Fan around this house. Sunday will be difficult to watch. I can’t help but root for the Patriots when they play. But this time, I have to be faithful to my 13-year new Home Team. I will wear Blue. Colts Blue.

But, does anyone have a good recipe for Clam Chowdah? We will need to eat while the game is on, you know ….

Carter and Tom before a game....

Carter modeling our newly acquired kicker's jersey...

Here's a sample of how Carter decides on which jersey to wear on Sundays...

Some proof that there are two different color Blues that we do sport on the weekends...sadly, I could not locate a more recent photo of him in his now-too-small #12

And proof that his Colts-bleeding father still loves him even if he is cheering on the enemy!

***Edited to add this picture that my uncle reminded me of! The kids in their Patriots gear sent from the Heart of PatriotLand - care of John & Mary. His loving rebuttal posted here... John's Site

Lastly... Tom's evening with some Colts players...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Miscellaneous Blatherings

Today's topics:
Grandparents Day at school
Misc. cuteness
A visit to 1st grade music class
Halloween preview

A few weeks ago, Carter's school had a special day that all the Grandparents could come in for an assembly of sorts, put on by the 1st graders. The children sang some songs, asked questions and served a snack of lemonade and cookies! All grandparents were accounted for on Carter's behalf, and it was noted that he had the most guests that day. He's a lucky kid to have his 'Special Spoilers' living so close. I cherish my own fond memories of growing up with mine close by to share these special occasions with too. Here are some photos from the day! Grampy (my dad) is missing from these photos because he is behind the lens.

Here's Carter standing in front of his locker in the hall outside his classroom.

This is a note on his desk for his grandparents to read. He also made each person a cute little bookmark to take home.

His teacher is Mrs. Smith - she's the one standing in front with the black/white top. Miss Mobley is his instructional assistant - she's in the black top standing on the left.
And finally, three of his four grandparents for a special snapshot!

Grammy & Grampy stopped by to say hello at our house after grandparents day. We waited for Carter's bus to arrive, and in the meantime got some cute pictures of Olivia and Gram.



I had the opportunity to visit Carter's music class one afternoon last week. I was filled with warm fuzzies as I watched all of the children participate with such enthusiasm! Ms. Hampton had such a captive audience with her students, and they had a ball echoing her, learning to count and read beats, dancing and playing a few instruments. Carter gets so excited when it's music class day. I beam when he wants to sing new songs to me that he has learned, and he's pretty sure he wants to learn to play every.single.instrument!

Here's my Music Man!

Preparing to play the Glockenspiel

Do si do!


Our neighborhood annual S'mores & Hayride event was this evening. We walked down to the cul-de-sac where all the kids and their families were gathered around the bonfires. We enjoyed some hot cocoa, s'mores and the perfect chilly autumn evening for a hayride! Kiddos were in their costumes, so of course I had to snap some photos before we left. Enjoy the Halloween preview!

Presenting..... Mr. Incredible!

...And the cutest Ladybug ever!

Here's my little spookers!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

STATS: 9 - 21 - 28 3/4

Happy 9 month (9 mo, 14 days) birthday, Olivia!
You weigh 21 pounds...
You are 28 and three-quarter inches long...

You are sitting, speed crawling, finding every nook and cranny not babyproofed, & pulling yourself up to a stand. You can clap your hands, point to objects you know in books, say "teddy", (TD) "dadda" (da-da), "kitty" (k-eeee), use sign language for more, hat, kitty, bird, all-done. You have tried all the pureed fruits and veggies and have started to self-feed pieces of Gerber brand carrots, green beans, pears, apples, peaches and Stars. You like yogurt, oatmeal and popsicles that Grampy sneaks you. You are growing out of your clothes faster than I can restock them. Size 12 months is the new size you are fashioning now. My heart is sad when I put all your smaller clothes in storage bins. Doesn't seem possible that you have reached these milestones already. Weren't you just born?

I don't have your head circumference written down, but Dr. W says it's growing perfectly - so that's all that matters. I can tell you though, it's shaped just like mine was; round and bald! Mine is still very round, but far from bald. Some day, you will have hair my sweets! In fact, I just found some pictures of myself labeled 8 months old, sitting in a highchair that I'm sure is not even CLOSE to be considered "code" these days. Some shiny metal doo-dad covered in lead paint that was probably all the rage fashionably speaking, 34 years ago. I have to say, we look exactly alike at this age. Carter was quite confused when he saw it. He is having a hard time learning that I was once a baby - he can't quite figure that one out. To him I'm just Mom - couldn't possibly have been a baby, or little girl. Kinda cute, isn't it?

So today Olivia had to get shots. I hate those appointments. She hates those appointments. The silver lining to it though, was that I thought she had to get 4 shots. Turns out she only needed 1, then I opted for the flu shot for her also, so she only had 2 pokes. I asked to see the package that the shots came in so that I could verify that there was no (widely controversial) Thimerosal preservative used in either. She did say that the flu shot for 3+ does still contain it, but is available without. I never vaccinated Carter with the flu shot, so this is new to me with Olivia. She has to get another one after 30 days. At her 12 month appointment, she'll get her 3 other shots. Ugg... just the thought makes my tummy turn. It would be foolish not to vaccinate though, so I have to roll with it.

I snapped some pictures of the Queen today after her 9 month appointment. I bought her this really cute hat at Target this week and think she looks delicious in it! So I had to include the new winter accessory in her photo shoot! Maybe if I make her wear it every day, she will become used to it being on her head by the time she actually needs to wear it outside. She's at the age that wants no part of a bib, socks or hat. Frankly, she'd prefer no clothes either, but I don't want to clean the carpets after accidents she might have in the buff. I'd get a puppy if I were up for that challenge. I'm not. I want a poop-free zone. So we'll keep her clothes on, and continue to visit the Humane Society to get our fix.

Here she is!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fall... what's that?

NINETY. Yep, nine-zero. That's what the temperature was on Saturday, and Sunday. And again, today.... The pool has been closed since September 17. It is supposed to be Fall. Now, I think it's hot when it's 80 degrees. I know it's hot when it's 90. But even more so, do you know how I know it was hot this weekend? Well, because my Mother-in-law was hot. Dare I say it out loud? She. Was. Hot ! You will rarely hear her say it's hot. She prefers the windows open instead of the air conditioning in the summer. She's happy as a clam in the wide open golf course in July. And she's got the beautiful bronzed skin to prove it. Not me. I prefer pasty-white. Those that know me well, know that I am always hot. I am even hot in the winter. I rarely wear a coat, even. So there's no surprise that when it's 90 out, I'm complaining that it's hot! My mother-in-law however, is my polar opposite. (Love you, Judy!) I've been told one could hang meat in my home because of the central air conditioning settings. We joke to each other about our opposite internal body thermostats. Now, I'm not just picking on her, because others get a chill in our home as well. In fact, my husband does too. But he's from the same gene pool that my MIL (we'll shorten this mother-in-law to an acronym) was blessed with. So an occasional "Brrrr!" from him doesn't surprise me. So we compromise. He wears a sweatshirt.

Anyway - so we had our annual trip to the Stonycreek Farm with my in-laws this weekend. We love this excursion. We look forward to it every year. But you never know what weather you're going to get in Indiana in October. So we've braved The Farm to get our pumpkins in the cloudy, raw October chill, to the nasty, sticky October heat over the last 6 years. We all agreed that this year was by far the hottest we've faced at The Farm. When the van came to a stop and we slid open the doors to get out, it felt just like when you open an oven to check on a pie. Ew. There's something oddly wrong with this picture in my mind of how the trip to The Farm, in October, is supposed to go. It didn't include sunblock which I slathered on both unwilling kids before we left. It didn't include wrestling with Olivia to keep a sun-hat on before we left (she won). It didn't include shorts and t-shirts. It didn't include having to run from the bees. I had the cutest Fall outfits picked out for the kids to wear while snapping my annual Pumpkin Patch photos. I was daydreaming about a crisp day, a slight breeze, the gentle warmth of the sun to keep my mother-in-law from freezing. It didn't happen.

None of it went as I had thought it would. It was better. The pumpkin crop was bursting with all the best colors, shapes and sizes. The hayride to the Patch was the perfect blend of parents and kids smiling and laughing at the lumpy-bumpy ride. The sun was shining, and there was no mud (a plus for sure!). Carter got to use the sling shot to send some pumpkins into the pond. Climb in a bouncy house. Go in a 'haunted house' with his Dad. Swing and slide on the playground. Ride the train 2 times. Choose a pumpkin for himself and his sister. He ate their fresh cooked Kettle Corn and enjoyed a giant cup of fresh-squeezed lemonade. And we got to delight in Olivia's first trip to The Patch and see her touch the pumpkins. There's something special about seeing your kids laugh and smile, and experience all the things we so often take for granted because we're 'grown ups.' It's nice to have an annual outing with family and have a little fun with the kids. Even if the straw from the hayride sticks to your skin all day because of the humidity. It's worth it. We had a great time - and it helped to know that for once, I was not the only one complaining that it was hot. My mother-in-law and I were soul sisters that day. We were One with the miserable heat. Misery loves company, they say.... it was perfect.

On to the photos!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cub Scouts, & Bugs & Dirt - oh my!

So I've officially been sucked into the world of blogging. Not that I think my writing is at all interesting and you should all check here daily for some profound reading.... but I send enough pictures out to friends and family of our mundane happenings, that this actually started to make sense. Bear with me and my typos, here we go!

Camping. The dictionary says this:
A place where tents, huts, or other temporary shelters are set up, as by soldiers, nomads, or travelers.

Tents, check. Huts, heck no. Temporary shelter - thank goodness! If I had to pick from this list, I would say I was a soldier this weekend. Yes, a soldier. #4 in the dictionary says this about a soldier: a person who contends or serves in any cause. I went camping with the cubscouts. I served. The Cause. And I hope it doesn't happen again soon, because my body is going to need a good year to recover from the lumps and bumps of the 42-degree ground that I had to sleep on. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration (the year for my recovering body, that is) but my mind doesn't think so. It will remember. For a long, long time. A woman's mind never forgets.

I think I could be a camper - as long as I could sleep in a hotel at night. I could handle all the other stuff up until that point. The set-up. The hiking. The fire. The cooking. The cleaning. (yes, cleaning, I didn't want a dirty tent and someone about 4 ft. tall kept going inside with muddy shoes... grrr!) The bugs. Ok, some bugs. But I think I sprayed myself with enough Deep Woods Off that I could have repelled small woodland animals in addition to the bugs, so it wasn't so bad actually! But, the sleeping part - not so much. Why didn't someone mention that the New Age Camper now brings along an air matress? Not me. I had the kind of gear that Real Men, (or women!) use. A sleeping bag and the earth. I know, I know. Don't gasp in horror. I'm a rookie! But this rookie learned a valuable lesson for the next time I am a Soldier. For the Cause. Next time I will be prepared - I promise. How, you ask? Because it will be Tom's turn to camp for the Cause.

Now for some pictures of my Tiger Cub in action!

Here's Carter taking a break for lunch. He was tired out from watching me set up the tent and get settled.

Here's a shot of Carter and Henry. And Henry's dad, Kurt. Kurt is our Den Leader!

Here's a shot from our hike. Ever use a walking stick? Me either, but the boys sure enjoyed shuffling through the poison ivy to find the perfect size for them. Do you know what walking sticks become when the hike is over? No, not firewood. Weapons! Gotta love boys... Here's a few shots from the activities we did. Sack races, tug-of-war, and shooting potatoes from this really cool home-made potato launcher thing. Just add hairspray and push the igniter and BOOM! Into space (or the woods) it went. This sort of 'sport' makes a Mom nervous. Boys don't quite hear when someone yells 'step back!' They think it's more fun to see if they can look down the barrel of the launcher if the potato hasn't come out yet.... I had my fingers on the 911 button on my phone just in case.

Finally, after a long day, Carter asked to go to bed at 8:15 pm after S'mores and fireside stories. He got into his Patriots fleece pajamas and knit hat and agreed to sit outside for another 15 minutes. We listened to a few more knock-knock jokes being told as well as a 7 yr old can tell 'em and then turned in. The other kids stayed outside our tent around the fire for about 2 more hours. I think I checked my cell phone clock every 10 minutes until it was time to leave the next morning. My little man slept like a log though. At least one of us did.