Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 30

And we've reached the finish line, folks!!!

Today I am thankful to all the people who care enough to read my blog.

Madeline's digital baby book is a fun hobby for Mumma Bear, and it always surprises me that anyone besides my parents,(And maybe Eric's) read my ramblings.

Thank you family, friends, Internet friends, and faceless viewers who swing by my bloggy-wog.  It means a lot.

Rock Me, Rock Me, Rock Me, Baby Jesus!

In spite of the fact that most, okay probably all, of my religious education comes from watching The Ten Commandments and The Passion of the Christ, (Only once, and holy Mel Gibson, what was I thinking!?) I love me some Baby Jesus.

 Every time I hear a Baby Jesus carol on the radio, I weep.  That's why I don't listen to country music.

Therefore, imagine my delight when my sister whipped out this priceless nugget at her house last weekend:

It's my very own Rock Me, Rock Me, Rock Me Baby Jesus!

It seems that my sister's nativity had twin Jesus-es,  (Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she also has two Joseph-es?  Bet nobody every taught you that version of the story.) so knowing about my deep love for the Baby Jesus, she graciously bestowed the spare heir on to me.  Hooray!

I tested out several locations for my Baby Jesus because I wanted to make sure he had a place of honor in my home. He made a great centerpiece on my kitchen table for a while.

The problem?  Madeline is petrified, and I mean petrified, of Baby Jesus.

I can't imagine why.

She won't even go into the same room with him.

I was hurrying around the kitchen attending to some chores the other afternoon, when I noticed Madeline whimpering softly and trying desperately to climb up my legs.  Distracted, I finally looked up from whatever I was doing and huffed, "Madeline?  What's with you?!"  I followed her horrified gaze to the kitchen counter top where the Baby Jesus lay in state.

Ironic considering the name Madeline comes from Saint Mary Magdalene.  Don't you think?

We toyed briefly with the idea of using the Baby Jesus to guard things we don't want Madeline to touch the same way we use our stuffed dog, Bird.  Yet, while I think a healthy fear of the Lord is natural, I don't want to inflict permanent psychological damage on my child.

Then I thought I could use the Baby Jesus like other people use the Elf on the Shelf.  It might be a fun kind of game for Eric and I to play until Madeline got over her fear, and then she could play too.

Each morning we'd wake to find the Baby Jesus up to some new shenanigans in our house.  One day we might find him reenacting the Last Supper with Madeline's toys.  One day we might find him turning our water into wine. (Shyaa, I wish!)  One day we might find him in the freezer eating some ice cream.  Then the Baby Jesus could tell Santa whether we'd been a good boy and girls all year so that we could get our gifts.  

I told Eric of my divine plan, but he hinted that he'd leave me if I tried such a thing.  I guess the idea of waking up to find the Baby Jesus curled up beside him in bed was just too much for him to handle.

In the future, I hope to build him a creche so he can live on the lawn where he belongs.  That way, the whole neighborhood may behold his radiance.  

But for now, the Baby Jesus lives in on the desk in our office.  I am gazing at him with love and awe as I type, and from time to time, I start bellowing, "Come let us adore him!" at the top of my lungs.

"OH COME LET US ADORE HIM!!!!"  (That one was for you, Eric.)  

*If you are a bigger fan of the Baby Jesus than I, I hope this does not offend you.  I take the real Baby Jesus quite seriously...just not plastic ones.  


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 29

Today I am thankful that Madeline finally decided to eat something.

She gobbled up the last of the Thanksgiving turkey and some Stove-top tonight.  It took some crafty trickery on Mumma and Dada's part, but once she tried it, she loved it.

Phew.  I was starting to worry.  My baby was looking a little thin around the middle today.

Mange, Mange, Madeline!

Cousin Love

On Friday, we headed up to my sister's house to help her with a renovation project.

Like a good, traditional family, the men ended up doing all the work while we women sat in the living room with the children and ate leftover pie.  (We may have also eaten some fried Twixt bars and some fried Oreos as well, but shhhh, I'm not going to mention that here.)    

mmmm, Oreos

The best part was that Madeline got to play with her cousin Katie Belle for the afternoon.  Madeline has five cousins, but there's a significant age gap between my eldest nephew, who is 23, and Madeline who is the youngest in the family.  Katie Belle is not only the only other girl cousin, but she's also only two years older than Maddie, so hopefully they will get to be good buddies as they get older.  
Madeline with Auntie Hollie and cousin Owen

Katie Belle was so cute when we got there.  She climbed up on a stool so she could say hi to Madeline, and she lead her to the toys right away.

But have you ever seen a one-year old and a three-year old, neither of whom have siblings their own age, play together?  It's pretty funny.

First, playing fair with a one-year old is pretty impossible.  Trust me, I know...

You'd think that Maddie Bear would know how to share with other kids from her time in daycare.  She does not.  She would rather hog the toys for herself, and she would prefer that nobody get in her way while she's doing it.  If someone does get in her way, she whines loudly at them.  Really loudly.  More like a shriek, actually.  Katie wanted to play with Madeline, but I think Maddie's one-year-old brain only saw someone in the way of her desire to sneakily eat chalk behind her Mumma's back.  Therefore, poor Katie Belle got shrieked at a lot.

Coloring with Katie Belle.

Katie Belle is at an age where she's starting to understand the rules of sharing and playing nice, but is not always willing to do so without knowing why she has to first.  She spent a great part of the afternoon trying to comprehend why it was okay for Madeline to steal her toys when it was not okay for Katie to steal Madeline's.  And then we had to take her chalk away because Madeline kept trying to eat it.  And when Katie Belle tried to hug Madeline, Maddie pushed her away.  This was too much injustice for a three-year old who has obviously been taught not to push to comprehend.  
Madeline hoarding all the crayons so that she may eat them latter while nobody is looking.

Still, I think they both had a good time together.  I applaud Katie Belle's efforts at trying to share and play nice with a one-year old.  It is not an easy task for a three-year old to master, but she did really well.  

Hopefully be next year, Madeline will make a better playmate.  Or maybe her shrieks will just grow louder??  Hmmm...

Grammy with her granddaughters

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 28

Today I am thankful for my watercolor class where tonight I successfully drew traced a picture of our house. I also learned some new techniques that should come in handy the next time I make a block print. Hizz-ahh!

Thanksgiving Weekend Re-Cap

The only thing Madeline got for her Thanksgiving feast last year was breast milk because she was still basically a loaf of bread  with limbs at that point.

Thanksgiving 2010

This year, we were excited to watch Madeline taste her first Thanksgiving meal.  I had visions of gravy spread all over her face, turkey legs being gnawed upon, and pie being squished between tiny fingers.  We dragged her high chair to my parents house in preparation for the delicious mess.

Instead, Madeline refused to eat one bite.  Actually, that's not true.  She ate corn.  Lots and lots of corn.  Everything else?  She refused to even taste it.
Madeline getting ready to feast on corn.

When we slapped some apple pie on her tray for dessert, she cried as if we were trying to poison her.  She loves apples, so I figured apple pie wouldn't be too big of a leap.  Once again, she refused to even try it.  Instead she ate Cheerios for dessert.

Madeline's first Thanksgiving feast was a bit of a bust.  So sad, more pie for me!

The rest of the long weekend was spent napping, eating food and more food, watching A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, watching Elf, worshiping the Baby Jesus, eating food, attempting art projects, doing some online Christmas shopping, and watching football.

All in all, a great Thanksgiving weekend.

You missed out, Maddie Bear.  Look at that turkey!  Look at that Bob!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lessons in Bad Parenting Volume Two

We may or may not be delinquent parents because this afternoon we let Madeline snack on potato chips.  We tried giving her an apple, but she protested the moment she saw the bag of chips.  Our little baby is no fool.  

**I apologize for the poor photo quality.  Eric was experiencing technical difficulties.  Or, we have a ghost in the house who is camera hog.***

On top of that, we ordered Domino's for dinner and let her eat it in front of the TV so that she could watch the football game.  

Madeline loves football.  She always has.  When she was a wee tot we thought she was just drawn to the bright, bold colors.  Yet now that she's older, and ignores the TV most of the time unless it's Super Why or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, she still seems to be enthralled by football.  Maybe she's got a thing for Tom Brady?  I mean, who doesn' I right?

Eric kept flipping to Star Wars during the commercials, and Madeline really seemed to enjoy that as well.  She giggled at that random commander guy who looks like a fish.  I don't know his name.  Does he have a name?  Is it Dumbledore Calrissian?  

If she wasn't so afraid of Eric's tuba, I'd say she was following in her good ole' Dada's footsteps...
Or maybe her Mumma's...

30 Days of Thanks: Day 27

Today I am thankful for Christmas lights.  Our neighborhood is starting to look like a sugarplum wonderland.

I'm busily trying to convince Eric to grab a staple gun and a ladder in order to bring our house some festive spirit.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Days 25 and 26

Yesterday I was thankful that my sister bestowed me with the gift of the Baby Jesus.  More on this later...

Today I am thankful that it's officially Christmas season and I can start to celebrate with the best of them.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Thanksgiving Day!

Today I am thankful that I will have a warm, delicious meal with the people I love most.

I am thankful for my beautiful daughter and my loving boyfriend.

I am thankful for my mom and Bob for cooking for us and keeping us company.

I am thankful for my family and friends near and far.

Most of all, I'm thankful that the people i love are free from want, healthy, happy and secure.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 23

Today i am thankful for our warm, comfy house on this cold, rainy day. And for cuddles with Madeline while we watch Tangled and drink hot chocolate.

Raking Up is Hard to Do

Eric and I have been spoiled by living in an apartment for too long.  We've gone years without having to shovel snow, mow lawns, clear branches, capture squirrels, and rake leaves.
(P.S. My parents had flying squirrels break into their attic this year.  Who knew flying squirrels lived in New England!?  Not this little red head.)

Now that we're homeowners, the golden days of calling maintenance whenever we have a problem are over.

Which is why, as of three days ago, our lawn still looked like this:

I'm not big on lawns.  I don't particularly care if my grass is green or not.  I don't even particularly care if we have grass as long as Madeline has someplace to play, and I have someplace to plant things.  If it were completely up to me, I would probably just let the leaves rot happily in my yard.

As a homeowner, however, I'm quickly learning the pressure of being a good neighbor.   As of two weeks ago, our neighbors' lawns all looked like this:
(Minus the William and Kate unfortunately.)

The guilt bubbled up inside me as I watched the wind carrying our leaves onto their previously pristine lawns on Saturday afternoon.  It's not like any of our neighbors complained, (unlike a friend of mine who came home from work to find her neighbor blowing all of the leaves from her newly-raked property back onto my friend's yet-to-be-raked lawn.) but we're new to the neighborhood.  I don't want everyone thinking, "Those new A-holes across the street haven't raked their lawn yet!  Let's shun them at next Labor Day's block party."

Therefore, Eric finally took the initiative and raked up all of our leaves on Sunday.  We have a tiny yard, and it didn't look like we had a lot of leaves, but we somehow managed to fill over 12 leaf bags.  Still, I didn't think it was soooo bad.  
Of course, this could be due to the fact that Eric did most of the work, and I only came out to help at the end once all the piles had been formed.

 Madeline did not help at all.  I guess babies are too young to rake, or something....

Instead she spent most of her time playing on her swing set, giving her Mumma heart attacks every five seconds by doing things she wasn't supposed to do, and rolling around on the unused leaf bags. (Which, she was also not supposed to do.)  

Still, it's nice to know that someday raking the lawn will be partially her responsibility as well.  Teenagers make great manual laborers.

Eric declared raking as the worst of all yard maintenance.  Still, I have a feeling he'll be saying the same thing about shoveling come the first major blizzard.  And who knows how he'll feel about weeding and planting once I attempt to get my gardens in the ground this spring.

It's a good thing we're not farmers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Exploring with Nana and Poppy

When I asked Madeline why the year 1776 is important in American history, all I got out of her was, "Baby!" followed by, "All done!" so I figured it was time for her to brush up on her studies of the Revolutionary War.

Since Nana and Poppy visited us last weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to bring Madeline on an educational field trip to Minuteman National Park in Concord, MA.

We went last year as well, but since Madeline slept most of that trip, I guess she didn't learn much about the birth of our nation.  
One year ago...

But this time, Madeline was able to explore the battlefield on two legs instead of via Mumma's chest.

 Madeline was very excited to go for a walk with everyone.  Seriously, the girl could not stop smiling.  She's so proud of her walking abilities.
 And this adorable little boy Minuteman, offered to pose for a picture with us.  (I blurred his face in case he's part of a witness protection program, or in fact, the ghost of a real Minuteman.)  

 We admired the view...
 Got some fresh air...
 Browsed the visitor's center, and then headed back down the hill.  Going down was easier than going up.
And the next time I ask Madeline about the Revolutionary War, hopefully she will have a better answer for me.  

30 Days of Thanks: Day 22

Today I am thankful that Eric stayed home with Madeline so I didn't have to miss another day of work.

And while I'm not thankful that she's sick again, I am thankful that it seems to be blowing over quickly this time.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 21

Today I am thankful for my health and the health of my family and friends.

The Twilight Saga Continues

The last time there was a Twilight movie in the theaters, I was pregnant with Madeline and contemplating baby vampire names.  I know the name Madeline is not nearly as cool as the name Renesme, but she'll just have to get over it.

Upon seeing Breaking Dawn yesterday afternoon, I'm really glad the only thing in my tummy this time was a burrito.   It's probably the scariest movie for pregnant ladies everywhere since Rosemary's Baby.

!!!Spoiler Alert!!!

Edward has to use his teeth to rip the baby from Bella's womb in an effort to save both of their lives.  You see, apparently birthing a baby vampire is not an easy task and their demon spawn's super-human strength breaks Bella's spine in two only moments before.  Um, ick...

I think Stephanie Meyers may take full credit for the recent decline in teenage pregnancy.  Well, Jenelle Evans probably deserves a little of the credit too.  

Meanwhile, poor Bella dies after a completely agonizing birthing experience.  (And no, she did not have an epidural.)

Luckily, Edward just happens to be a vampire.  (Life-lesson #1:  Do not have unprotected sex with the undead...apparently they can still reproduce.)  Therefore, he is able to change her into a vampire as she lies dying, which means??? there gets to be a Breaking Dawn Part 2 in a few months.  I must admit, the part where they showed Bella's transformation from a broken new mother to a smokin' hot vampire was pretty bad ass.  It almost made up for the part with the talking wolves....almost.

In short, it was as terrible and as inexplicably awesome as I expected it to be.  Oh, Twilight...responsible for unhealthy teenage relationships since 2009.  

Best part? The Hunger Games trailer before the movie started. The nerd fest never ends.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 19 and 20

This weekend I was thankful that Madeline got to see her Nana and Poppy! She had such a fun time with them.

I am also thankful that Madeline seems to be getting over her irrational fear of her grandfather. She sat on his lap and even ga e him a few kisses. Huge progress!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Living Room Plans...Again

Instead of doing some household chores I've been neglecting, (**cough** laundry) I made these on Wednesday night.

It's so fun to daydream about our future living room.

I like the second one the best, but I really wanted a lot of very vibrant colors, so I'm leaning toward the third one as well.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

30 Days of Thanks: Days 17 and 18

Yesterday I didn't get home till after nine, which in teacher-world, is unheard of, so I did not get to share my thanks.

But I was thankful that Eric signed me up for a watercolor class that starts...gasp...on Monday.  Two whole hours to myself a week to make happy, smiling, watercolor trees?!  Bliss!

Today I am thankful that it's Friday.  Which sounds lame, but no, seriously, I'm really, really thankful.  I can't wait to squeeze the Maddie Bear, drink a glass of wine, read a book, and fall asleep on the couch by 9:30.  Friday nights are awesome.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Moral of the Story: Eat More Kisses!

Sofia Vegara came to me in a dream this week and told me to lay off the eclairs.

"Seriously, Summer, you get beeeeger and beeeger every year that I know you."  This is what the Sofia Vegara of my subconscious actually told me.

I was in mid bite when I realized she had insulted me.  I wiped the cream filling off my mouth in shame and sat there like an idiot, torn between finishing my delicious pastry and dying of embarrassment.

In my waking life, I took this as a sign that maybe I really should lay off the eclairs.  So instead?  I'm eating Hershey ma bathrobe.

Damn you, Gloria!  The only thing that gets "beeeger and beeeger" on you every year is your bodacious chest.

Moral of the story?  Eat fewer eclairs, but eat more Hershey Kisses.  Also?  I'm hot.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

You know Madeline enjoyed her dinner when....

 She looks a tad too Lord of the Flies for my liking....

30 Days of Thanks: Day 16

Today I am thankful that Eric has decided to make dinner all week so that I don't have to. Love him!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 15

Today I am thankful that the Internet gods taught me how to fix my computer.

It would have been really embarrassing to bring my computer all the way to the mall only to have them tell me to unplug it for awhile.

Hooray for working computers!

P.S.  Not-so-interesting side note:  On the day I bought my computer, they were filming Paul Blart, Mall Cop right outside of the Apple store at my local mall.  It was the scene with the giant ball pit.  In my infinite wisdom, I decided I didn't need help carrying my computer to my car. (I did. My computer is about ten times bigger than I am.  I also weighed about ten times less than I do now when I bought it.)  Perhaps if one were to watch the movie really closely, one might be able to see a redheaded idiot struggling to carry a giant computer through crowds of spectators in the background.  Of course, that requires that you watch Paul Blart, Mall Cop really closely...and honestly, who wants to do that?  

Fourteen Months

Dear Madeline,

Yesterday was your official fourteen-month birthday. Somebody recently asked me why parents continue to count months after a baby turns one instead of simply stating the year. She had just finished listening to me and another person comparing the ages of our children. I tried to explain that there's a huge difference between a twelve-month old and a sixteen-month old developmentally, so I think that's why parents continue to use months as markers of their one-year-old's life.
Madeline also makes very important
phone calls from Mumma's phone.

At twelve months you weren't walking yet. You couldn't take your shirt off yourself. You couldn't say "Mumma.". Now at fourteen months you can do all of those things. In fact, you run circles around this joint.

You've been a complete Mumma's girl recently. You call for me all the time. You stick close to me, you cuddle with me, you turn to me when you need comforting. Sometimes I feel bad for Dada when you push him away and run to me instead, but I know it's fleeting. In a few weeks you'll be back to loving Dada most. Then someday you'll be a teenager, and I'll bear the brunt of most of your adolescent loathing. I'm going to enjoy being your favorite person for as long as it lasts.

You like to climb on everything in sight. "Up! Up!" We bought an ottoman, and the first thing you did when you saw it was climb up one side and slide off the other. The stairs need to be monitored closely so you won't try to climb them without us with you. You were playing on the porch while I unloaded the dishwasher two weeks ago. When I peeked around the corner at you, you were standing on the seat of the rocking chair. You don't play on the porch unsupervised any more.

You've started eating better again after a period of pickiness. We were surprised to find that you like tacos. You still love apples as an afternoon snack. You also love fish sticks and cheese and blubbery bagels. You don't like meat most of the time. You prefer pasta, fruit and veggies.

"Talk to me."  
Words are coming rapidly these days. It seems that you try and repeat everything you hear. You've said your first phrase, "All done!" You've added turtle, banana,(more like nana) nose, and bum to your daily vocabulary.

You are also able to point to various body parts like your eyes, nose, mouth and ears when prompted. The day you discovered that you have a belly button may have been the happiest of your life. We often catch you lifting your shirt to gaze at your navel in wonder.

Meanwhile, you're becoming very strong willed and short tempered. You are easily frustrated when you don't get your way. You got in trouble at school today for being mean to the other babies. I don't know exactly what you did, but I imagine you got mad when they were playing with a toy you wanted, or were in your way. Your teachers had to keep reminding you to be gentle, and we're doing our best to make sure you behave at home as well. It's not easy teaching a baby right from wrong, but you'll get it eventually.

You're so sweet, and so eager to please that I don't think you're destined to be a bully. You just don't understand yet. In the meantime, try not to smack the other babies, please. Not because you feel bad for them, because I know you're not capable of empathy yet, but because your Mumma told you so.

We love you, our brown-eyed beauty.



Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 14

Today I am thankful for my beautiful, happy, loving, smart little Madeline. She never ceases to amaze, challenge and awe us.

She is officially 14 months old today. Oh, how time flies! We love you, Maddie Bear!

Dog Days

This is our fake pet dog, Bird.

My parents got Bird for us as a joke gift after Eric revealed that he wants a dachshund. There's nothing particularly funny about a dachshund alone, (although they are pretty funny.) but it's funny to think about a big, tall guy like Eric owning a dachshund.

Our fake dog, Bird, is a big part of our family, but sadly, Madeline is afraid of him.

I don't know why. He's been silently guarding our living room since before she was born. She's seen him just about every day of her little life. Yet, one day she looked at him and lost her ever-loving mind in a blur of tears and howls.

Maybe its his beady little eyes. Maybe it's his pointy nose. Maybe it's how eerily real and stoic he is.

Whatever it is, Madeline doesn't like it.

When she sees him, she scowls and quickly scoots as far away from him as possible, glancing nervously over her shoulder to make sure he's not following her.

I suppose the right thing would be to hide Bird away someplace safe until Madeline is ready for a fake pet. But we couldn't do that to our poor fake dog.

The bright side? Madeline had been determined to pull the floor lamp down on herself. Every time we sat in the living room, we had to chase her away from it. But now? Now, Our fake dog, Bird, guards the lamp, and Madeline hasn't gone near it since.

He's a good dog. We are bad parents.

***It seems my computer is broken. I plan on brining it to Apple to be fixed later this week. In the meantime, I am blogging from ye olde I Pad, which is great, except I can't upload pictures to Blogger from it. Boooooo.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 13

Today I am thankful for my friend Everyday A (Amy) for being a good friend.

She came over and protected me from any ghosts or axe murders who may have been looking for a redhead to harass while Eric was out of town.

Thanks, BFF!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 12

Today I am thankful that our house has a porch.

Madeline and I spent a good hour sitting out there enjoying the sunshine and crisp air this afternoon.  It was nice to get some fresh air after being house-bound most of the week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 11

Today I am thankful all the veterans, past and present, who have served our country.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 10

Today I am thankful for my mom/ Madeline's Grammy.

She's always there when we need her.

Today she babysat Madeline so Eric and I didn't have to miss another day of work. (Poor Maddie Bear is still sick.)

She got a flat tire in front of my house too.  In the rain.  So much for good deeds. Luckily, I am also thankful for AAA.

I know Madeline was very happy to spend the day cuddling with Grammy. Thanks, Mom.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day Nine

Today I am thankful that Asteroid 2005 YU55 did not hit earth last night.

As I've written before, I have an irrational phobia of asteroids. (Actually, I don't think it's irrational. Everyone should be afraid of asteroids. Those things are horrifying! Have you even seen Armagedon or Deep Impact!?).

Last night was a close call. Too close, folks.

Perhaps we should give NASA more money so they can work on blowing that thing out of the sky.

Seriously, seriously not cool Cosmos.

I'm also thankful I forgot about YU55 until after it passed by us, otherwise I would have spent yesterday afternoon building us a last minute bomb shelter instead of eating a delicious turkey pot pie with my family.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day Eight

Today I am thankful for my job.

Sure, I hate waking up on Monday mornings as much as the next guy, and my job is not always sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but I really love teaching.

So many people are hurting for work right now. Just the thought of being unemployed makes my insides quiver. (In a bad way.)

I'm thankful I can help provide for my family. Maddie Bear's got to eat after all.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day Seven

Today I am thankful for modern medicine.

I brought Madeline to the doctor's this morning, and they sent us home with some antibiotics.  Hopefully they work their magic lickity-split.

Halloween Strikes Back: Revenge of the Great Pumpkin

Trick-o-treating finally happened in our neighborhood last night! Hooray!

We had been warned by the previous owners that this house gets slammed on Halloween, so Eric went out and bought about twenty pounds of candy in preparation. But then the power went out, and our town "cancelled" trick or, we kinda, sorta, mayyyyy-be? ate about ten pounds of it ourselves.  It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.

So last night, we were those people who ran out of candy half way through trick-o-treating. It didn't help that some kids felt it necessary to take massive handfuls of candy for themselves. (I'm lookin at you, Spiderman. You know what you did.)

When I looked down at the candy bowl in horror to see only two Blow pops left, and realized that there was a group of about fifteen third-graders heading our way, we knew it was time to call it a night.  Eric and I turned off all the downstairs lights and hid in our bedroom till it was over. The shame. Oh, the shame.

Apparently a dark house does not deter children who have had their Halloween postponed a whole week. The doorbell kept ringing and ringing as we hid in our candy-less house. The shame. Oh, the shame!

I was certain we'd wake up to an egged house, but luckily, all seems well.

Unfortunately, Madeline missed out on the fun again. She's finally caught my plague, complete with a yummy case of conjunctivitis.

We didn't make her dress up, and we kept her a good distance from the front door. We don't want to be the house that ran out of candy AND gave the entire neighborhood conjunctivitis.  We just moved in for heaven's sake.

Madeline watched the trick-o-treaters from afar, and she was quite fascinated with the whole thing.  She seemed to enjoy herself as much as one sick baby wearing a pumpkin headband could.
Oh well, there's always next year, Madeline.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day Six

Today I am thankful for the extra hour.

Sure, Madeline woke me up at 4:30 AM this morning, but I've gotten so much accomplished already and it's only one!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day Five

Today I am thankful to live in a place where the *leaves* on the trees change color.

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day Four

Today I am thankful for this book my parents bought for me:

During the power outage, there wasn't much to do.  The book I'm currently reading (Clash of Kings. Nerd Alert.) is on my Ipad, and it's probably too creepy for someone like me to read during a power outage anyhow.

Obviously, my mind began wandering to the impending Zombie Apocalypse because unless there's something electronic to distract me at night, I'm either thinking about that or the asteroid the size of Texas that will eventually kill all living things on earth except for me and handful of cannibals.

Luckily, I had this guide to keep me sane.  It made me feel like I had some control in an otherwise hopeless situation.

If Zombies decided to strike during a power outage on Halloween, (it's almost like they planned it, am I right?)  I would be prepared.

I now know that in the case of a Zombie outbreak, I should knock before entering any room in case a zombie is on the other side of the door.  They are not smart enough to stay quiet and hide; they will make noise.

In the case of a Class 1 outbreak, one should stay home because your house is unlikely to be attacked.  However, In the case of a Class 4 outbreak, one should head as far away from human civilization as possible.  This is good seeing as the solution to most of my doomsday scenarios involve Vermont.

Boats, in any form, are also the safest way of fleeing a zombie attack.  However, just because one is in a boat that does not mean that they are safe.  The undead can live underwater as well.  Luckily, the book gives detailed instructions on how to "fish" for waterborne zombies.

These are just a few of the many, many, many reasons that I am thankful that my parents gave me this book.  Thanks Mom and Bob.

P.S.  I swear I am not making a mockery of being thankful.  I really do worry about Zombies and asteroids on a semi-regular basis.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Days 1, 2 & 3

I've been seeing this a lot in the Land O' Blogs this week, and I thought I'd jump in...late, of course, cause that's how I roll.  I'm not sure where it started since many people are doing the same thing...but feel free to play along.

The idea is that you share one thing you are thankful for in honor of Thanksgiving for the next 30 days.

I'm going to share my first three items I'm thankful for today to make up for the two days I've missed already, and from now on I will try to update this daily.

Day One: (Tuesday, Nov. 1) 

When I think all the way back to Tuesday, I know I was thankful for electricity since ours came back on the night before.

Electricity is awesome.  It keeps me warm.  It keeps me fed.  I have a hard time falling asleep at night without the TV on.  (I know, I know, the planet hates me.)  Plus, I almost missed the whole Kim Kardashian divorce shockaroo because I didn't have power.  Horrifying.

When the lights came back on I did a happy dance.  Then they went out again, and I cried a bit while I boiled water in an attempt to do some dishes.  (I'm also thankful for gas stoves.) Then they came back on, and I realized that I need to stop taking electricity for granted.

Thank you Thomas Edison, or Benjamin Franklin, or whoever it was that discovered electricity.

Day Two: (Wednesday, Nov. 2)    

I'm thankful that Madeline loves her daycare.  I always feel slightly guilty about Madeline being in "school" all day instead of home with Mumma or Dada, which is why I make Eric drop her off in the mornings.

But seriously, Madeline loves it there.  She loves her teachers.  She loves the other babies.  She loves the endless amount of entertainment and attention that she gets.

After two snow days home with us, Eric and I dropped Madeline off at daycare yesterday morning to try to get her back in her routine.  (Also, we wanted a day for some Summer/Eric time...major guilt trip!!!) When we picked her up in the afternoon, she didn't want to go home.  Although it breaks my heart a little bit when she's not happy to see me, it's doubly awesome that she enjoys her time there so much that she doesn't mind being away from home.

Day Three: (Thursday, Nov. 3)  

Finally, today I am thankful for Eric who just moved my car into the garage so that I didn't have to.  (It's dark in there.)

And who had to take up a gig playing in the pit orchestra for a local production of Annie to pay for our broken garage door even though it meant lots of late nights last week.  Plus he caught my plague, and he had to do the show in a blizzard.  (It's a hard-knock life.)

He also cleaned the entire house today while I was at work...even the office which was a hot mess.  Then he volunteered to pick up the baby from daycare today so I could come home from work and get some alone time for half-an-hour.  Unfortunately, he didn't know that I had already picked up the baby because my phone was dead, so he drove all the way there for nothing. Oops.  He didn't even complain about it either.

And yesterday he spent the whole day window shopping with me.  Then he bought me lunch.

He's quite the guy, and I'm very lucky to have him.  

P.S. As I grew up, my parents would make us all go around the table and state what we were thankful for every year on Thanksgiving before we ate.  I didn't like it much because it was kinda embarrassing and I never had anything good to say.  "I'm thankful for good grades."  "I'm thankful for food."  "I'm thankful for my ridiculously frizzy red hair that won't stay straight even though it's the late 90s and smooth, stick straight hair is all the rage....stupid Jennifer Aniston."  So, I find it ironic that I'm now voluntarily stating what I'm thankful for to the vast amount of people (10) who read my blog on a regular basis.  

Maddie"The Pooh" Bear

Here's a not-so-great quality video from the Halloween that wasn't.  But, Madeline is so darn cute, I thought I'd share anyhow.

Maddie Bear meets Pooh Bear

Also, check out this adorable free download of a Winnie the Pooh quote at Mom Tog.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How the Grinch Stole Halloween.

I've spent the vast majority of my life living in Massachusetts, and we New Englanders are no strangers to snowstorms, but Mother Nature sure did have some tricks up her sleeve for us this Halloween.  Seriously, man, it's October....

On Saturday night, I wasn't that surprised to see big, fat flakes of snow drifting past my window because the weathermen had been warning us about it all week.  What did surprise me, was that the snow stuck, and before I knew it, we had roughly a foot on the ground.

Then the lights began to flicker, and flicker some more...and then they finally went out...for 48 hours.

As I said, in these parts a foot of snow is usually not a huge deal.  And why should a snowstorm in October be any different than a snowstorm in December, am I right?   Wrong!

You see, in October, there are still leaves on the trees.  All that snow on all those leaves makes branches very heavy.  There are broken and fallen trees everywhere!  Along with all those trees?  Fallen power lines.

We spent Saturday and Sunday night snuggling three abed Little House on the Prairie style.  We went to bed when the sun went down, and we woke up when the sun rose in the sky.  Except for the fact that our little baby takes up most of the bed when she sleeps, it wasn't that bad.  At least we were able to stay warm.

Thankfully, our power came back on Monday night, but most of the area is still out.  School has been cancelled the past two days.  Eric's off again tomorrow, and the jury is still out for my school.  Yup, we're going to be celebrating the Fourth of July from my English classroom this year, folks.

The worst part? Halloween. got. cancelled!

Some towns in the area merely postponed their Halloween festivities for another week or two, but not our town.  It's been completely cancelled.

No trick-o-treating this year. Epic sad face.

We couldn't let Madeline's costume go to waste, however.  So yesterday, as we took refuge in a local mall, as all good Americans should do, we dressed Madeline up as Winnie the Pooh.

 At the mall, I realized that we were living in a kind of reverse The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Instead of Halloween taking over Christmas, Christmas totally hijacked Halloween.

Not only is there snow on the ground, not only was trick-o-treating cancelled, but Santa's workshop was set up at the mall already.

Bah Humbug!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against consumer-driven Christmases.  Nothing says Ho.Ho.Ho, Hallelujah Jesus like the sound of muzak Christmas Carols at the mall as I buy everything in sight, but that doesn't mean I want to give up Halloween all together....

La Sigh.

At least Madeline isn't old enough to be disappointed.  I felt bad for all the little kidlets running around the mall yesterday afternoon in their costumes knowing that there would be no real Halloween festivities for them this year.

On the bright side?  We have a whole mess of candy to keep all to ourselves.  Yum.