Friday, October 31, 2008


It was a great night for Trick-or-Treat, not too cold, and it started with a neighborhood party to kick things off.

As we were heading to the party:

My daughter's friend dressed as Mrs. Dracula;
My oldest dressed as a hippie;
My youngest dressed as a dinosaur


My 5 year old crying because his older sister took the treat bag that HE wanted to carry. (As if it matters! What is more important? The treats or the bag???)

After the party my husband took the kids Trick-or-Treating (or Halloweening as we used to call it when I was a kid) while I stayed home to hand out candy. We started out with 125 pieces and ran out of candy at 7:30pm so I guess I need to buy more for next year.

My younger daughter went Trick-or-Treating with a friend so I took this pic when they came by for some candy.

My daughter is supposed to be a campfire. Note the flames, twigs and marshmallows. Unfortunately, the sweater somewhat obscures the effect of the outfit. Also, she took off the red/orange wig that looked like fire. I have to give credit for this costume to Bec, it was her idea and indeed her costume at one time. (Bec is the campfire, Phil is the girl scout, how clever is that?!)

After Trick-or-Treating for a while, we switched. My husband stayed home with the boys (who were tired) to hand out candy while I took my oldest daughter and her friend back out to get more candy. My daughter kept getting mistaken for Pocahontas, even with the Peace Symbol on her face, so I decided to take the braids out of her hair. Once I did that, people seemed to realize right away that she was a hippie.

When we got home, my daughter weighed her candy bag and it came in at over 6 pounds!!!!! Can you IMAGINE???? Here is just SOME of the loot:

And A Partridge In A Pear Tree . . .

In October (this would sound so much better if it were December):

5 pediatrician visits
4 kids
3 rounds of antibiotics
2 ear infections (3 ears infected, split between 2 different kids)
1 bout of pneumonia

Let's hope November is a healthier month!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Head Gear

I've written about the orthodontic appliances so I thought you might finally like to see what it looks like. The photos below are self portraits:

Check back over the weekend for updates and pics: Halloween parade and parties at school; Halloween party at our neighbor's house; Trick or Treat; and a soccer tournament. Should be a fun and sugar-filled weekend!

You Know You're Really Tired When . . .

. . . you fall asleep sitting up in the middle of the afternoon . . .

Poor guy has given up his afternoon nap (months ago) but sometimes he just runs out of steam and falls asleep at a moment's notice.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Home Alone

We had Family Movie Night recently and we watched a family fav: Home Alone.

Now my boys are obsessed with setting traps for would-be robbers:

I have tried to get over/under the tangle in the mudroom, to no avail, I've been stuck more than I'd like to admit. So then I tried disassembling the "trap". But it reappears again within an hour or so. As I type they are setting up a "pumpkin trap". This involves taking all of our pumpkins (8 or so) and assembling them on the floor in an obstacle-course type manner. Oh, and the other morning when I went to the gym at 5AM, I went out the back door but attempted to come in the front door. MISTAKE! There was a trap set and I banged right into it and woke the whole house. At least I know my house is somewhat burglar-proof now!

In this photo Emma is sniffing the "trap" because her leash is part of the trap and she is trying to figure out if this means she is going for a walk or not.

And on a Completely Unrelated Note: I am SO TIRED of Political People coming to my door and asking me who I am going to vote for! I am now telling them that I refuse to answer. My grandmother used to tell me that there are 3 questions you should never ask anyone, and if you are asked, you should never answer:
1. Your political affiliation.
2. Your religion.
3. Your age.
I can't say as I am bothered by talking about any of the above but I do resent it when a stranger comes to my door demanding to know who I will vote for.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And Baby Makes Five . . .

Yes, you read that correctly! BABY! We are expecting our 5th child to arrive in May!! May 8 to be exact. However, I have been late with every baby so I don't expect this child to arrive until at least May 15.

The kids are SUPER EXCITED about having a new baby! Here's a sampling of the comments from them when we told them the news:

Oldest Daughter: Yay! Are you going to have the baby at home? Please say YES, Please say YES! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! (I had home births with my middle two children so she wants me to have another home birth since she is now old enough to want to participate.)

Younger Daughter: (Looks at both my husband and myself with a look of almost-disgust) and says, "That is just weird. I mean WEIRD. Well, I guess its good but its just weird."

Older Son: After jumping up and down and cheering and shouting and going nuts says, "Dad! Stop! You are tapping your foot and it is going to wake our baby! Our baby is sleeping and you have to be quiet!"

Younger Son: Is I going to be big brudder? (We tell him yes) and then he shouts, "Yes!" while doing a triumphant arm-pump. (He does not like being the Littlest Guy so he is VERY excited about becoming a Big Brudder.)

Very cute reactions. They are so sweet, always wanting to know what the baby is doing right now and how the baby is growing. They even talk to the baby even though he or she can't hear yet (and they know this) but they still like talking to and kissing my belly.

In addition to getting a new brother or sister, my children will also be getting a new cousin because my sister is due to have her second baby at the end of April. So it will be pandemonium at family holidays with 7 grandchildren under the age of 10.

My oldest daughter really loves babies and kids and wants to have lots more. Today she asked me how many more I think I could have. I was sort of being vague because I think that five is probably enough. But she kept pressing me. She asked if I could have 18 babies like the Duggar Family on tv. I told her that I definitely could NOT have 18 babies. So she said how about 12? Nope. 10? Doubtful. But she was pretty much set on 10, figuring it wouldn't be so hard to get to 10 if we have some twins. While I don't think I can give her 5 more siblings, I'm really happy that she wants to share everything she has with her current and future sibling(s)!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween Parade

Tonight we headed out to the Annual Halloween Parade. This is a MUCH ANTICIPATED event. Not only is it a sugar-rush, but it is a trial run for the Real Halloween Costume.

My little guy kept asking, "Mom? What is I again?" He couldn't remember if he was a dinosaur or a dragon . . . in case you can't tell . . . he is a dinosaur. My daughter's costume needs some explanation. She looks like Little Red (or Blue) Riding Hood but she is actually a Princess. It was cold so she is wearing a sweater over the costume. The Princess thing was last-minute. Her Real Halloween Costume is not ready yet so she had to settle for wearing last year's Princess costume. Tune in next week to see pics of her oh-so-unique Halloween costume that we are (or will soon be) working on.

And next we have the Power Ranger and the Hippie.

My daughter was too cute. I'm not sure she really knew what Hippie meant because she kept telling people she was going to be Hip Hop. Then Hippie Hop. In the end, she was mistaken for a Mexican Dancer. We most certainly need to work on this costume before October 31. A trip to the Salvation Army for some authentic 70s stuff should do the trick. If all else fails, I will paint peace signs on her cheeks.

We went to the parade with our next door neighbors, how cute is this little guy????

And his little brother is just as cute. He is dressed as a "Nurse In Training" which is pretty clever since his dad is a nurse.

My daughter was very proud of herself for doing her own make-up for the evening.

Don't you just love Halloween costumes that are warm and fuzzy and have built-in gloves? I guess you would not love that if you lived in a warm climate but I can't think of anything better for October in the Northeast!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Back to School

My oldest daughter has finally returned to school after 6 days off (7 if you count Yom Kippur but there was no school that day.) Long story, short version: she developed a fever that just wouldn't go away. On the third day of the fever I took her to the pediatrician and they said it was viral, "just wait it out." So the poor child laid on the couch for DAYS, not moving, not eating, just sleeping and watching TV. I took her to the doctor AGAIN on the sixth day of the fever but they still couldn't find anything wrong so they sent her for a chest x-ray and it turns out that she had pneumonia. So she started on antibiotics but it still took another 36 hours for the fever to go away. She has been resting and taking it easy and seems to be recovered.

So she went back to school on Monday. She was really anxious about returning after missing 6 days. She gets sick to her stomach when she is anxious so she was having stomach pains but I had no choice but to send her. She ended up having a GREAT DAY! She came home and was upbeat and enthusiastic and not at all stressed about missing schoolwork. Her teacher called me that afternoon to tell me that my daughter worked super-hard to get caught up and said they (classroom teacher and learning support teacher) had a plan for her to get 100% caught up and gave me a few things to follow-up on at home. Her teachers were amazing at getting her back on track and helping her feel good about the work she doing to help herself get caught-up. I cannot even believe this is my child! My daughter never feels confident about school but she seems to have matured recently and seems to be taking it all in stride. I am so very proud of her.

Anyway, sent her back to school on Monday only to get a call from the school (and of course my first thought when I saw it on the caller ID was that someone had lice!) later in the day. The secretary told me that I needed a doctor's note because my daughter had missed so much school. Fine, whatever. I told her I'd call the pediatrician and ask for the note. I explained that they would mail it because it is a 20 minute drive to the doctor's which is too far to go to get a note. The secretary asked if I could have the doctor fax the excuse. Ok, whatever. I didn't really see why the school needed the note ASAP. I mean its not like I was going to fabricate one. It's not like I took my daughter to Aruba for a week and now have to figure out a way to procure a doctor's note. But I said I'd ask them to fax it; afterall, I don't want to get a reputation as a Difficult Parent. So I hung up and called the pediatrician's office and explained the situation. They said it was no problem to write an excuse note but said it IS a problem to fax the note because it violates the HIPPA/privacy laws. So I had to then call the school and explain that they would have to wait for the note to be mailed as the doctor's office would not fax it. Is my doctor the ONLY one who refuses to fax these things???? Why would the school ask to have it faxed if it violates privacy laws to do so? Beaurocracy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

One More Thing

I just want to point out that we have passed the 1 year anniversary of getting lice. That was a dreadful experience and I hope to NEVER have to go through it again. Thankfully we have not been plagued by them yet this year, despite plenty of other kids getting them. I am checking their heads DAILY and using Tea Tree Oil in their hair to ward off the lice. It seems to be working, but that could just be coincidence.

School Pictures

It's that time of year again! This year's pictures seemed to turn out much better than they have previous years. Not sure why, but it is nice to have a decent picture, for once!

My 2nd grade daughter:

My 4th grade daughter:

You can see how much they have changed since last year's photos by clicking here. You will probably be able to tell that my oldest daughter is now conscious of her looks, ie, the up-do in this year's photo versus wearing glasses in last year's. Just wait, she will be asking to wear make-up in next year's photo -- to which the answer will be NO!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Magnificent Planet

Ok, I know this might seem random, but sometimes I look around me and see so many beautiful things that I just can't help but feel thankful that we live on such a magnificent planet. Especially when things in the world seem like they are out of control, it is nice to appreciate things that don't cost money, you can enjoy them just by looking at them.

These photos were taken yesterday at the orchard. This is one of my favorite trees EVER. I know, most people don't have "favorite trees" but I do. This tree is unusual and really stunning when you see it from a distance. I am not a photographer so I know this photo does not capture the beauty of this tree. But I love it and enjoy driving past it and have been wanting to take a picture of it for a long time.

Another stunning sight yesterday were these mums:

And now that I have pondered the loveliness of life, I am going to go do something mundane, like laundry.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

The kids were home from school today (Yom Kippur) so we took advantage of the warm, sunny day and headed to the pumpkin patch.

But after mucking through the pumpkin patch,

they decided that they'd rather choose pumpkins from the bins:

Then, a group picture:

And then another, this time with me:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ortho Update

The expander has been re-inserted into my daughter's mouth. Head gear is back in use and everything seems to be going smoothly.

The orthodontist told me that if I ever need to be out for the evening, rather than have my husband insert the head gear -- well, he said we should just give her a night off from the head gear rather than risk another problem! He also told my daughter "to just let Mom, not Dad, put in your head gear."

I was explaining this to my husband at dinner and he scoffed and said he knows how to put in the head gear and can do it just fine. Just then my 5 year old son (who was at the ortho with us) pipes up with, "Dad. The Doctor said to ONLY let MOMMY, NOT DADDY put in the head gear!" Too funny.

I think he is secretly happy to leave the head gear to me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Broken Appliance

I have so many things to blog about: soccer, Florida, etc. but today I'll blog about our broken appliance. Not just any appliance, but a DENTAL APPLIANCE. A dental appliance is a metal structure that fits into one's mouth (in this case, my oldest daughter's mouth) in order to expand the jaw to accommodate future teeth. A dental appliance costs as much as, or in some cases, more than, a kitchen appliance.

My daughter has been wearing her appliances (yes, she has two, one on the upper jaw and another on the lower) since July. Last week she received delivery of her third appliance, which is Head Gear. Her head gear sort of clips into her upper expander and then attaches around her head while she sleeps. The purpose of this appliance is to correct her overbite.

The first night with the appliance seemed to go ok, just a little bit of discomfort. Friday night, however, was another story. I was going out for the evening so I showed my husband how to install the Head Gear. He practiced and all seemed well so I left it in his capable hands.

A couple of hours later my daughter called me and told me that her mouth was really hurting. I told her it was probably time to go to bed, rest her mouth, etc. So she did. When I came home later, she was asleep and everything seemed fine. Until 3am. She came into our room crying, saying her mouth REALLY hurt. Then she said there was metal sticking out of her mouth. I tried to get a good look but it was dark so I used my hand to feel instead . . . and I could feel that the head gear had come loose and was sticking out of her mouth. So I unhooked the head gear and told her it was ok to take it out. Except when she took it out, the whole upper expander came out too!

I have no idea what happened to precipitate this is. I am blaming my husband. All was fine until he started messing with the expander/head gear. We have an emergency visit to the orthodontist this afternoon to replace the expander. She was scheduled to have the expander removed in March -- the upper jaw has expanded enough and was in the process of being "stabilized". I have a feel it will no longer be stable and wonder if we will have to go back to expanding again?