Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Tommy was a puppy dog at school and a ghost at home. When I say he was a puppy dog, I mean he wore the ears, and that's it. I didn't know how much the other kids would dress up. It turns out he was pretty under-dressed in comparison, though I noticed they all looked pretty normal by the end of the day. I figured Tommy would want to be comfortable enough to play, so I didn't have him wear the tail, and I didn't paint his face because I figured if he had paint on his face all day long his skin would dry out, as it tends to do, and that would be no fun. I also didn't plan very well. I could have just bought all black clothes to match his ears - and probably could have found a dog mask or nose with whiskers or something. Oh well. He still loved the ears and has been saying "woof woof" since we found them. Next year I'll do better.

The reason I didn't send him to school in the ghost costume becomes clear in the photos (though I didn't post some of the ones where he just looked sooo uncomfortable); it was hard enough for him to see, let alone move around. I finally convinced him it was better if I made one large hole for his entire face, and while it was certainly less ghost-like and not a bit scary, it was far more practical, and he was every bit as happy after as before.

Brian took him out this year. Apparently he and Tommy went to one neighbor's home, and she told her husband they had a ghost at the door. The man then came over and said something about a scary ghost, to which Tommy said "Boo!" and the man jumped back. Tommy thought it was pretty fun to have scared someone. ...I'm not sure whether that was before or after the neighbor we know as "the guy with the Jag" lay on his couch right next to his door and didn't move when he heard Tommy come up, but rather called for the woman he lives with four times before she finally had to run to get the bowl of candy and offer it to Tommy. Light on. Door open. Candy ready. Man lazy. It takes all kinds, I suppose. That's what they say anyway. (Maybe he had a sore back or something. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt, but according to Brain's account, he seemed to be fine. Anywho.)

We haven't had too many trick-or-treaters ourselves. It's a bit surprising, not only to us but to our neighbors, as we live in a community with lots of homes in a small area, but we have been here for three years and have never had more than twenty or so trick-or-treaters in one night. We all buy way too much candy just in case, and then we urge kids to take lots. Tommy wasn't out for long, yet he came back with loads of candy. Tonight we have only had a total of eight trick-or-treaters: three teens that looked way too old to be trick-or-treating (but then who cares - I don't), four more who looked older than the first three, and one little girl. I think maybe the older kids see the value in coming to a place like this. Who knows. I still think it's fun. Maybe some day we'll live in a place where we'll get more. I like seeing all the costumes. And I love the little kids. They're so cute!

I hope you had a fun Halloween!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Movies, Magnets, & Green Yogurt

We watched Curious George last night, and Tommy loved it. He laughed and giggled the whole way through. It exceeded my expectations. Very cute! It wasn't much like the book, but the general idea came through, and it didn't really matter. I got to thinking that Tommy would probably like The Land Before Time too. I don't remember much about it, but I think I saw it when Dallas was little, and I want to say he loved it, but I could be wrong. I added it to Tommy's Wish List, anyway. I'm looking forward to shopping for him for Christmas. He loves games and small, simple toys that allow for pure imaginative play, so I think I can find some perfect gifts without spending too much money. Then again, he would really love this castle...

He's still crazy about trains too. He is playing with them right now, in fact, but while I'm tempted to try to find a deal on an engine shed, turn table, or Cranky the Crane, he does already have quite the collection of Thomas the Tank Engine tracks and trains. We'll see.

Of course there is always the crafty stuff. Last weekend my mom sent me home with my old perler beads set, and Tommy and I made magnets on Thursday. See Tommy's? I was impressed with his patience. He thought it was so cool when he could stick it on the fridge. We will be making more, for sure.

Oh yeah, and green yogurt? Tommy loves it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Photos as Promised

I selected just a few from the Pumpkin Festival to share here. The rest can be found in our latest album.
This was taken the following day:

...Cousins. =)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We're back

from the Pumpkin Festival. I'll add another post with pictures as soon as I get blogger to cooperate (or I find enough time to display them without uploading directly to blogger, whichever comes first).

We had originally planned to walk the streets at night when all the jack-o-lanterns were lit, but I'm glad we went at noon on Saturday instead. It was pretty crowded then, so I can only imagine what it must have been like at night. The paper reported an estimated attendance of 80,000 people--a very large crowd for such a small city, and the largest the festival has seen to date. We saw the long line of traffic on our way home to Nana's and quickly decided not to head back in to town for the fireworks.

My nephew's class recently passed a bill to make the pumpkin the New Hampshire state fruit, so his class lead the 12:00 parade, wearing their orange shirts with the bill on the back. They have been lobbying and working hard to get the bill to pass for quite a while. I think I first heard about it was last fall or winter. I found a few articles about it to share with you all, in case you're interested. I couldn't find anything that went into much detail about the true amount of work that went into it, but that may be because one needs a subscription in order to search the local paper. Here, those I did find:

Portsmouth Herald (March 9)
NH Public Radio (April 20)
boston.com (January 5)
boston.com (May 11)

I am sure it's nothing the kids will ever forget.

In other news Tommy started going to a new day care center Monday. His program follows a pre-school curriculum and is quite different from the in-home environment he was used to. He has been very excited, as have we. So far (knock on wood), so good. He already went on his first field trip, and he starts swimming lessons next week. He has been off the wall silly and excited at home. I'm taking that as a good sign. :)

On the other hand, Brian's car is back in the shop. We are less than one year away from finally paying it off and hoping it isn't too expensive! :(

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Magic Stripe Socks

I have officially completed my second pair of socks.

When I started I was looking to try a sock with no cables or lace. I'm not sure why. I suppose I thought it would be quick. Instead it took me longer than any other thing I have made with yarn - ever (understanding that ever, for me, doesn't mean much). I was terribly bored with the pattern. (Maybe I should not ever attempt my first full-size sweater.) I admit I do like the way these turned out, but what I enjoy most is that they are done.

I am still up for more socks (using softer yarn & a more interesting pattern). I even signed up for Socktoberfest, as evident by the fancy little button to the right. I liked the way it was set up and how the rules were written. Plus it has a good name. You can't go wrong with a good name, right??

We'll see how long this continues. =)


Thinking Ahead

Tommy's sitter needed today off, so we are enjoying a stress-free day at home. We went out this morning to buy PJ's and a couple of light sticks for Halloween. My plan is to make Tommy's ghost costume today too, so I may be posting pictures soon. I am trying to think of a way to make it at least a little creative, but then I know that only matters to me because I want to have fun making it. Tommy just wants to be a ghost, plain and simple.

Here, a sneak preview of what's coming up this weekend:

Photo courtesy of The Keene Sentinel

More details in a few days. I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Looking Back

Tonight I was going to write about the birthday party Tommy attended. After all, he had a great time, and he and the birthday girl were very cute together. Neither would go anywhere without the other. However, I also had about a gazillion, yes a gazillion, other things about which I wanted to write, and I did not have time for all of those things.

I instead decided to keep tonight's post simple and look back on Tommy's previous Halloweens. (How did I get from all that other stuff to this? I dont' know.)
...First, a frog.

...Second, an elephant.
...Third, a monster.

...Fourth, a pirate. (Very threatening, isn't he?)

This year he wants to be a ghost, though there has been some recent talk about a possible mummy costume... (The whole idea of wrapping oneself up in toilet paper -I blame Brian for bringing it up while reading a Halloween bed time story- brought some very bright eyes to our very imaginative little four-year old.) We'll see.

Here, the pumpkin I carved on Tommy's third Halloween. I admit to being a teeny bit proud of my design. -It isn't all that great, but I hadn't seen it before, so it was completely my own-at least to me, and all my other ideas were SO bad... (In case you can't tell from the photo it was a Patriot's helmet. Kids were coming to the door telling us their parents had asked them to relay the score. We won't mention how that game turned out, though the season ended on a much higher note, what with winning the Superbowl and all, so I think I can handle it.)

I thought I might do something girly and decorative/elegant this time around, but I don't know. That would take a long time. I'll think of something.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

October... quickly becoming one of my favorite months

I am really falling behind on my Saturday Sky posts. They seem to be getting away from me all too quickly, and I am not sure quite how. Hopefully my last post will somehow make up for it. The harvest moon has been out each night since, including tonight, and it is, and has been, very bright. Hopefully I will remember to take a photo next weekend.

This weekend was filled with good company and fun times. As always, a visit from Nana was special - and much appreciated. I enjoyed the chats and shopping, and all the little stuff. The dinner theatre was delicious and entertaining, and Brian and I enjoyed having a night out where it was truly that. We dressed up just a little and enjoyed a nice meal. I think the best part was that we knew it was solely for us.

We made another trip to the cider mill & farm on Friday, and Nana bought us each a gourd-shaped pumpkin to decorate. Here, our creations (Nana's, Tommy's, and mine - Brian didn't quite make it in time to decorate).

I won't go into great detail about today but to say that the good company theme continued with family, neighbors, and friends all day. I loved holding baby Grace in my arms and thought about how her innocence now will only last so long, and yet I still look forward to a time when she can jump and play. I love babies/kids. They're just so cute and sweet and innocent and fun. Maybe I should never have grown up. (I do remember saying for years that I didn't want to grow up and would always be a kid. Maybe I never did.)

Stephanie and Matt made a very clever cake for Brian's birthday too. See all the little mice? Isn't that creative? How cute is that?!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

An Evening in October

Tommy and I took a walk tonight after dinner and stayed out until the moon was high. I tried to capture a few glimpses of autumn in New York. It was a beautiful night complete with that infamous crisp fall air and a colorful sunset. We live in a large neighborhood, and everyone was out. There was enough of a chill in the air that my fingers froze a bit, but I held Tommy's hand with one of my own and kept the other in my pocket, as did Tommy. He talked about the cracks in the road the whole way, and about how the road was going to break and make a big hole, and that would not be good. Then he said the moon was following him, and he asked why it was. As soon as we rounded a corner and could no longer see the moon he would say, "Now where did that moon go?" There's always a new adventure brewing in Tommy's mind. We came home for cupcakes before finishing up the night with a game of Candyland and a story. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my kiddo? Oh, yeah. I suppose I have.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Happy Birthday Brian!

Ok, I know Brian doesn't read this. And if he did he would be really wierded out by the fact that I call him Brian here. Anyway, I just realized this is his tenth birthday that we have celebrated together (or at least while we have been together - it was a little difficult to celebrate together when we were ten hours apart throughout college). I don't know whether that makes me feel old or just reminds me how young we were when we met. What I like about it is that I still feel the same way about him as I did when I was 16. No, better.

Enough with the mushy stuff though. We didn't do much tonight - just cupcakes and a small gift. We did light a candle, and Tommy and I sang. Tommy blew out the candle too. Doesn't something like that make your wish come true twice - or sooner - or something?

Of course, there are three of us, and I made 24 cupcakes. I might be taking some in to work tomorrow. Either that or this family is going to gain a LOT of weight within the next few days. Yeah, I think I'll take some to work.

This weekend happens to be my first weekend out with Brian in forever. You might remember me mentioning eons ago that we were going to a dinner theatre. Well, this weekend is it. We have been holding on to the tickets for a while and are really looking forward to it. If it's anything interesting I'm sure I'll have details to post.

I was a little crushed yesterday when I checked my E-mail to find two messages from a local radio station. The first said to reply to the E-mail that day and have a chance to win free tickets to see Blueman Group. All you had to do was get the E-mail yesterday and reply before 4:00. Something like 20 winners were selected at random . Of course by the time I checked my E-mail I had also received the second message with the winners. We have been wanting to see Blueman Group since we first heard of them.

But... we are going out this weekend. And maybe some day we'll see Blueman Group too.

I can't wait. Fall colors are out in full force, my weekends starts on Friday, my mom is coming to visit, Brian and I are going out, and football returns on Sunday. Does it really get any better than that? (I had better be careful or I'll jinx myself. Perhaps I should stop.)


Oh. I should also mention that I just completed sock #3, and the magic stripes are definitely growing on me... The idea of starting the fourth sock, however... Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Autumn at its Best

One of my favorite things about living where we do is a terrific little cider mill & farm not more than five minutes away. They make sandwiches on their own bread and serve fresh cider doughnuts just outside. I drove over this morning while it was pouring rain, and it was still busier than a supermarket. They had apples, potatoes, corn, peppers, homemade bread, pies, and many different kinds of local salsas, cheeses, and more. I planned my trip specifically for the fresh cider, but I also came home with corn on the cob, a loaf of Italian bread, and some mulling spices. I had to hold myself back from purchasing gourds and colored corn for my (lack of, so far at least) autumn decorating. There is always something about the atmosphere there. One family walked in from the rain today, and the mom looked up and said, "Look at all the beautiful healthy food!" I wondered whether her children cringed or agreed. Of course they hadn't yet seen all the candy on the other side of the vegetable display.

I came home a different way than I usually do, driving past the lake to see all the season's colors at their best. Our area hasn't quite reached peak colors just yet, though I think it will by next weekend. By the lake, though, I saw more red and orange than I have seen since this time last year. I thought about how funny it is that I experience fall every single year and yet, somehow, when the season sneaks in again I always feel the need to savor every bit of it, knowing it will only last a week or two at a time.

Of course, once the trees are almost bare again there will still be plenty of hay rides and pumpkin picking ahead of us, and after Tommy's Halloween costume goes back into his closet and his endless candy supply is forgotten, I'll be caught up in the excitement of the upcoming holiday season.

In any case, if you're from New England, like me, I'm sure you already understand. If you're not, and you ever come visit this time of year, I'll take you over to the local cider mill and you can experience it for yourself. =)

Happy Weekend-in-Autumn!