Monday, October 6, 2014

News & Notes - The "It's October already?!" Edition

So...October is upon us.  That means I need to start worrying about Halloween costumes, finding a weekend for the pumpkin patch, and pondering what backups I need to ensure that Jacob's second gluten-free Halloween goes smoothly.  I can't quite fathom that it's already almost the end of the year, that the nice weather is winding down, and that it could snow pretty much anytime now since the nights have been downright frigid already.  I just can't figure out how October got here so darn quickly.  And while I love all of the fall stuff--the foods, the colors, the celebrations--I detest what comes after (well, the early cold and snow, and then all of winter after Christmas).  I like my flip flops, I like daylight, I like not having to deal with coats and boots, and I like walking out into beautiful weather at the end of the work day.  And this year I don't even have the gorgeous view of the colors from my window at work, nor do I have a convenient view to spot the glorious sunsets we used to love so much.  Those things usually got me through this time of year a little more easily, so that's a bummer.

Just a quick update on my dad...he's doing pretty well, all things considered.  It's still a long haul, and keeping both him and my mom sane while they're more or less homebound most of the time is going to be a challenge, so keep praying for that.  He's got an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow, but aside from getting a lot of questions answered, they're thinking it should be pretty routine.  If you're interested in siphoning off any prayers to other causes these days, just send up a prayer for babies in general.  I've had some pretty crappy news all around since late last week involving babies (one from a terrible local news story, one from the sister of one of my favorite singers, and another today involving the health of the three-week-old baby of a friend of mine), so please just send up some prayers for those folks, for comfort for the first two families, and for answers and healing for the third.  All of them have been heavy on my mom heart, for sure.

We had a pretty good weekend.  Friday night Jacob had his first lacrosse practice of the year, and despite some nasty rain, I guess he did really well.  He pulled off at least one really great move, and because he's now one of the older kids (and the previous older kids have mostly moved up), he should have a much more involved season.  We grabbed a quick dinner out afterward, and Carter finally got the bloody (though not fat) lip I've been waiting for him to get when he tripped running on the tile floor after we ate.  That kid falls flat on his face multiple times a day and generally avoids injury, but he did get a bloody lip that time!  He handled it really well, though.

Saturday morning I headed out early to help my cousin Lori move into her own apartment.  She lived in a townhouse with a friend after college, then moved back with her parents when that friend got married.  She just felt it was time to get out on her own, officially, and a small army of us moved the big stuff from her basement setup to her new place in a nice little complex.  Craig and the boys played back at home and I came back to a napping Carter and Craig, at which point I took Jacob out for some shopping.  He needed more pants and I had a coupon expiring at Kohl's.  I also had a little list that had built up for Walmart, and while it wasn't the most fun trip ever, he was a trooper for most of it.  We had dinner out that night (again, expiring coupon) and I think that's when both kids started to drive me a little nuts.  Jacob was complaining about his dinner (which he normally loves) and Carter's little temper and tendency to throw food and his sippy cup as hard as possible were driving me batty.  That pretty much continued into Sunday, as Carter dumped every bin in the house at least once and Jacob spent the day begging for new songs for his iPad.  They were part of his latest behavior reward, but I had to research them a bit first.  But as the night went on and things kept going wrong (i.e., one of my favorite shirts apparently got caught in the dryer door and started a major corkscrew that twisted most of the clothes really badly and eventually ripped my shirt), I gave up on that for the night.  I organized seven months' worth of photos instead, putting winter and spring into an album and pulling out a few dozen photos I printed for Carter's baby book (sorry second child...I am woefully behind...thank goodness for this blog) and a couple frames I want to bring into work.  That felt good...even if I still have summer to sort through!

Have I mentioned, by the way, that Carter is totally into Daddy now?  I think it started while I was gone for my dad's surgery.  Ever since, he's always saying, "Dada" and seems interested in where he is.  He really wants to be one of the boys now, and doesn't like when the big boys are outside and he's stuck inside, or they're downstairs playing Legos and he's not allowed to join in.  He still loves his mama, though--he ran to me when we both came to pick him up tonight, for example.  His temper and tendency to destroy the house are a little disconcerting at this point, though.  Tonight he was so frustrated when I had to bring him in from outside that he had a total meltdown, complete with a new feature, crazy screaming that was totally for shock value.  Not sure which one of us he learned that from, because God knows around he we have plenty of that--be it Jacob losing his temper or us trying to get either one of the kids to instantly stop what they're doing and listen to us.  It's so hard when they don't have the language or logic to listen to what you're saying.  I can sit Carter on the step in a timeout, but does he really get it?  When he dumps out yet another bin of toys, I can't physically force him to help me pick up.  I hate you, early-onset terrible twos.

Now here are a few pictures from the weekend.  It's been a while since I randomly took out my camera and took pictures while Carter was just playing.  It took a couple tries, but I got a doozy...
Oh, that face.  Pure sweetness right there. 

How did my tiny little baby turn into this big kid?
As any parent of an elementary school kid knows, this is Fire Prevention Week, and our local firehouses had open houses yesterday.  Every year I'd intend on taking Jacob, and it just never happened.  Usually one naptime or another got in the way.  This year I was determined.  Of course, I was then helped along by a crappy first half of the Bills game and Carter waking up an hour into his nap (I think because he had to poop).  So, we all shuffled off to the fire house.  When we got there, the trucks were out but no one was out there to talk to us.  We did get a look at the fire boat... 

A couple minutes later, we heard all these noises.  Suddenly four firefighters came out and started loading onto the truck.  Three left with the big truck and one guy was left behind to talk to us.  So, unfortunately, that meant we didn't get the full lowdown on the big truck, but we did get to see how quickly they loaded up and took off, which was cool.  We also got to see the guts of the remaining fire rescue truck, and Jacob got to sit in the driver's seat...

We got a tour of the firehouse--living room, kitchen, gym, offices--and got to ask some questions.  Mine were mostly about the additional smoke detector I need to install, as well as the task of testing them (I've heard that sometimes you should test the full mechanism to make sure it can detect smoke, not just sound an alarm, but the firefighter said we're fine testing the alarm and replacing them after 5-7 years).  We didn't stay long, but it was still pretty cool...and by the time we got back in the car, the Bills had tied it up en route to a major comeback win!

Once we were home, I made it my mission to take a picture of Carter with his new fire helmet.  It took a few tries, but finally I got one!

Got him mid-chase!
And now another week starts and I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to start chipping away at my to do list!  Here goes nothing...

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