Monday, November 29, 2010

My Little Pilgrim

The week of Thanksgiving Lily's kindergarten class had a Thanksgiving party. But it's not a little thrown-together type party. They kick it up a notch at this school. The kindergartners dress up like Pilgrims and the first graders dress up like Indians. They meet for story time, games, and then a Thanksgiving Day feast.

While story time was going on, most of the moms waited out in the hall. The third graders had displays out on tables in the hallways and this caused a bit of conversation. Apparently all third graders are assigned a Native American tribe. Then they have to re-create the home of that tribe. And when I write "they" I mean the PARENTS. As in, I will have to do this in two years. Look at these things:
Those are Q-TIPS as corn stalks!! And after talking to the aunt of the student who did this I found out the girl thought of that on her own. Then she told me that the dad actually made his own clay for the Native American home. He actually harvested clay from his backyard. She said it took about two weeks to get it right. Did you read that?!?! Two weeks to make CLAY. This is something that can be purchased in two minutes.

Moving on to the next village-a bark home complete with stream and Native American figurines. Another mom gave me a heads up to head to Michael's early for the figurines. They sell out quickly since all the third graders need them. One unlucky mother said that she had to resort to using Hispanic figurines since Michael's ran out of the Native American's. She said this as if it was a complete failure on her part. I tried to encourage her, letting her know that they really are so small it's hard to tell the difference. But she was not to be comforted.

This is another one made from birch tree bark. I hope Lily understands that she has more creativity in her left ear then I have in my entire body. I'm already thinking ahead and I'm pretty sure her Native American village is going to be made out of Lego's.
Surprisingly, most of the moms said that their kids were really into the project and all they had to do was guide them and help assemble the projects. Two of the moms were on their second child in the third grade and they said that the teacher keeps track of which families get what tribes so that they can't re-use a model. Ugh. That was my other plan but I'm foiled again. So I took these pictures to remind myself of what needs to be done. Maybe Lily will fail second grade and I'll have an extra year to prepare myself. Cross your fingers!

My assignment was to man the fishing stop for the Native Americans (**note** all day we called them Indians because back in the 1600's, they were called Indians. It was less of a mouthful than Native Americans, anyway.) and Pilgrims. Here is Lily's group. Hers was one of the calmer groups. Some of the others were a little crazy with their magnetic fishing rods. It was quite challenging to get the fishing lines untangled while the kids continued to pull on them. They really wanted to fish.

Lily with her friend Sophia. They are in small groups together during the school day as well so they are pretty close.
First grade boy Native Americans.

Lily pointed out her turkey to me. She's thankful for flowers, mom, teachers, friends, earth, grandparents, and brothers. Where did "earth" come from? Since when is she thankful for the earth?! This is a girl who draws through a ream of paper a week. And when I suggest that she color on the other side as well I am given the "are you for real mom?" look. And then I looked at all the other turkeys and most of them had earth listed as well. Obviously they were all moved by something and felt the need to be thankful for the earth.

The Thanksgiving feast consisted of sugar cookies in pumpkin shape, turkey sandwiches, goldfish crackers, Swedish fish candies, corn muffins, a popcorn ball, and a rice krispie treat turkey with candy corn feathers. It can't get more accurate than that. Take a visit to Plymouth, MA and they will tell you that this is the exact meal that the Pilgrims and Indians ate back in 1621.

Luckily, these Pilgrims and the Native Americans have remained friends. Lily has already told me she wants her hair in braids for next year when she is a Native American. I didn't bring up the Native American villages yet and I'm hoping she doesn't notice them. She would want to get started immediately.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Patrick's First Flight

Our family tends to travel a lot. Unfortunately, it's usually to no place exotic but instead it's flying to visit family. November 2 was Election Day and my mom's older brother (or MUCH older brother as she likes to clarify) was running for New York State Assembly. This was a first in our family so mom, dad, me, and Patrick decided to fly up to Watertown for election night.

Lily looked like this for her first flight:

She was 7 weeks old and we were flying to Texas for a sales presentation that I had in Dallas. I dropped her off in Temple to stay with Brian's parents while I went to work.

I don't have a picture of Jamison's first flight. It was an early morning flight so I was focused on staying awake and getting through security quickly and efficiently. No need to worry, though, it obviously hasn't turned him against airplanes.

Patrick was the youngest of my parents grandchildren to fly in my dad's plane. We had to bundle up because there isn't much heat in the second row of the plane where Patrick and I were sitting. I had a sleeping bag around my feet for the flight.

The plane isn't pressurized so it's very loud. All of us wear a headset to talk to each other and block out the noise. Patrick's headset was a little large on him. I wasn't very worried if it slipped off, though, don't you think my womb was probably pretty loud? Maybe it would bring back warm in utero memories.

My mom had some problems trying to work my camera so I had to take our picture. (that's my excuse for my appearance, at least).

Mom and Dad. Obviously it's a small plane.

And now, it's time for some New York State geography. Grab your paper and pencils.
The Mohawk River flowing into the Hudson River.

Sacandaga Lake from above....

Sacandaga Lake from below....
(where we vacation every summer)

Patrick wondering what is this thing on my ears?

Barren upstate wilderness. We worry about the people that willingly live up here. There is NO Target within a reasonable driving distance. The Adirondacks are in the distant background.

These wind turbines freak me out. They look alien-like and I don't trust them.

Flying into the Watertown airport (it's really just a landing strip, let's be honest) Lake Ontario is to the west and Canada just beyond.

On the flight home Patrick took it easy and napped.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You Meddling Kids!

Lily started planning her Halloween costume back in August. She was undeterred when I told her we would not purchase a costume until October. She changes her mind so often that I would end up buying and returning five different costumes before October 31.

But she proved me wrong! Back in August she wanted to be Velma from Scooby Doo and she never once waivered from that decision. My kids have been Scooby Doo fans for about six months so her choice of Velma wasn't a surprise.

On October 1 I asked Jamison who he wanted to be for Halloween and he had no idea. So I decided he would be Scooby Doo and Patrick would be Scrappy Doo. Lily suggested that Brian be Freddy and I could be Daphne. Dressing up in a purple mini skirt at the end of October three months after giving birth was NOT on my agenda so no, Brian and I did not dress up.

I ordered the costumes and the kids loved them!

How cute are they?!?!

But five minutes after wearing Scooby Doo Jamison declared that he was not going to be Scooby Doo and wanted to be Spider Man for the second year in a row. Of course - after I pay shipping charges on a costume he decides to have an opinion. So here are Velma, Scrappy Doo, and Spider Man (who is trying unsuccessfully to turn Scrappy Doo's head toward the camera).

By the way, this was the day before his eye surgery. After the surgery, I realized that Brian and I were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My plan was that after he woke up out of the anesthesia I would look him in the eye (little did I know they would be swollen shut) and say "And that's what you get for eating too much Halloween candy!!" But Brian persuaded me that would be incredibly cruel. I thought it would be best for his health - it could prevent years of over-eating Halloween candy but whatever. OF COURSE I was just joking. I would never do that.

The wig freaked me out. Since we were down a Scooby Doo she carried around my Scooby Doo stuffed animal from 1985.

Scrappy Doo was really just a dog costume from the Carter's outlet.

I tried to rush things along and see if he would crawl at three months, but it didn't happen. It definitely would be more in character with his costume, though.

And it wore him out.

Velma, SpiderMan and I started making the rounds around 5pm while the sun was still up.

They were excited about the candy but didn't think it was worth the effort to walk to each house. So after five houses they were done and we went back home. It helped that it was freezing outside and neither one would put on a coat. Luckily, each of the houses gave multiple pieces of candy so I was able to get a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.
Now the following pictures should probably be in a second post but I need to move on past Halloween so I just threw them in with this post.
Again this year my lovely mother in law sent plastic face pieces for the pumpkins, so we didn't have to do any carving. Yay!
Ignore the purple colored Bumbo. Patrick is very secure in his masculinity. It was a hand me down from my nieces.

I just realized that Lily dressed up as Cinderella to decorate her pumpkin. Very clever, Lily. And it would have saved me $22 if you would have worn this costume for Halloween instead of Velma.

Even Patrick participated!

After they finished their pumpkins Brian had a surprise for Lily. He had just finished reading Harry Potter with the kids and Lily had been begging to see the movie. He took the movie out of the bag and I caught her reaction.

The kids proceeded to watch the movie 14 times in a row, with Lily critiquing the movie as to whether it followed the book accurately enough or not.
Now we're ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I've already set my radio stations for the all-Christmas music all the time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not a Halloween Mask

Jamison had successful removal of the random chalazions yesterday. Thank you to all you prayed for the surgery! All of the pictures that we took were with our phones since I wasn't about to stick my huge camera in Jamie's face post-op.

Before surgery they gave him a wonderful medication that doped him up nicely. He SAT STILL. He was QUIET. I was about to steal some of the stuff for use at home. He was in a great mood most of the morning, just complained (a lot) that he was hungry.

The surgery didn't even take an hour. My sister has gone through this kind of thing with her kids (especially Ruthie) a time or two so she had already enlightened us that coming out of the anesthesia is a tough process. This was nothing compared to Maddie's heart surgery but it definitely brought back memories of THE WORST NIGHT OF MY LIFE.

When they brought us back to recovery they had two orderlies holding Jamison down and he was screaming. Well, screaming might be an understatement. Do you remember what the velociraptors sounded like in Jurassic Park? Yeah, he was doing that. With no words - just screeching at the top of his lungs and kicking. His eyes were swollen shut and he had bloody tears. It was very traumatic to watch.

There was nothing we could do to calm him down until he came out of the anesthesia. I just held him on my lap while Brian held his arms so that he wouldn't pull his IV out. We did this for an hour and a half before he screamed himself to sleep. We could tell he was coming out of it when his screaming evolved from no words to "my eyes" to "my eyes hurt" to "my eyes won't open." Progress!

This picture was taken about 2 hours after the surgery. His eyes were still swollen shut but they looked MUCH better than in the recovery room. This would have been very appropriate for the day before, Halloween.

When they moved us to a single room (thanks to his hysteria) somehow his IV came out; but we didn't realize this until blood had pooled up everywhere. So thankful he couldn't see that! I had to focus on my happy place since I have a slightly negative reaction to blood. This whole time Brian was cleaning things up, getting directions from the staff, and helping me and Jamie get comfortable. I would not have been able to handle yesterday without him! I was so focused on Jamison that I wasn't able to do anything else.

Brian tried incredibly hard to put cold compresses on Jamison's eyes so that the swelling could go down and he would be able to open his eyes. As much as Jamie complained about wanting to open his eyes he hated the compresses more. So we moderated our technique to one compress at a time and a popsicle to make him be quiet.

Seven hours after the surgery he was spider man again and one eye could open. This morning, both eyes are open but there is still some minor swelling. He is acting himself - jumping on things he shouldn't jump on, trying to go outside in 40* weather with no coat, shoes, or hat, and running around the house with his superman cape on. Why, oh WHY, didn't I swipe some of that stuff that doped him up?!?!?