Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bye, Bye, Birdie!

So just how do I write another upbeat post when I am anything but "up" lately?? Just like I've gotten through this past holiday....gritting my teeth and JUST DOING IT!! Here's proof that Thanksgiving dinner made it on the table!!! Our Norman Rockwell dinner scene full of stuffed smiling faces! Wait!!! Something looks odd with this picture doesn't it?? Seems to be lacking a face or two, eh? As well documented in past posts, you would be right to surmise that Auntie Peggy can be found on the other end of the camera. Hmmmm, now where in the world could the author be found??????? That would be correctly answered if you guessed.... HOME IN HER BED!!!!!!!!! Now I did not miss from lack of trying I assure you! I gulped quantities of prescription drugs and tried every trick right down to a good long soak in a very HOT tub to make the world stop spinning and the nausea end. It just wasn't in the day's plan! Patrick and the girls tried their utmost to get me upright but to no avail. They stepped up big time and peeled, chopped, and stuffed in order to get our portion of the community meal ready but in the end the partial preparations were run up to Auntie Peggy who finalized the cooking. The chemical cocktail churned in my insides and then knocked out my lights!! I slept through the whole party. I would have slept through this whole weekend except that my girls are in a tailspin from worrying about my unusual behavior! So from my prone position on the couch I have directed the beginning of Christmas. They are bursting with the pride of accomplishment to know that they alone were able to dig out the nativity set and set it up, dig out the box of ornaments and carry it up the stairs to the living room, get all the tree parts laid out and staged so that all I had to do was pop up for a brief moment to assemble and place in it's stand! I am living in eternal optimism that I will be a fully contributing member of the ornament hanging team tomorrow!! Those tests and appointments that I whined about in the last post...cannot come soon enough!! Just thought I'd let you see why I have the BEST DAUGHTERS in the whole world!!! Mari's drawing of God watching over me.... and Julia's showing God watching over me as I pray at my bedside. Can't do anything but improve when you have these guys on your team!!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To Knee or Not to Knee....

that has been the question around here for OVER FIVE YEARS now! After back to back gloomy and moody posts I thought I'd try to give you change of pace. The weather is very wintry of late! Still no sign of snow, thank goodness!!! But when you can see all the bare branches loaded with squirrel's nests you know the first flakes won't be long in coming! We've not only been busy with the day to day grind but some social obligations were squeezed in as well! There will be a new little cousin arriving around Christmas and his baby shower was this past Sunday! Basically the most boring kind of party for my girls at this age but since the Mom-to-be is a teacher there was a BOOK theme which helped this one be a bit more interesting. We chose our favorite 5 Little Monkeys book as the 'gift card' and the gifts were a memory card for their camera along with a digital picture frame and scrap booking starter pack which included monkey stickers and band aid stickers (: No, not another visit with Auntie Peggy at work!! Her pediatrics unit is fun but they still require scrubs...not jeans. As you may remember from earlier posts, my Mom has been falling ALOT lately. Most of it is not technically 'falling' as she senses her knee about to give out so she sits herself down and then cannot get back up! She remembers a pretty bad bang to her knee back in her thirties after which her knee was never the same. I do not know about that but I DO KNOW that I sat with her in the orthopedic surgeon's office at least FIVE years ago as he showed us the x-ray of her knee....if you could call it a knee at all!! I was looking at a stump of a femur with it's sturdy 'ball' GONE. Not only was the femur worn to a stump but it was trying to work with a non-existent 'cup'!!! Bone on bone was a generous way to describe how she has been functioning with that knee!!!!!!!!!!! So here she is after FIVE YEARS of stubbornly refusing to undergo the knee replacement surgery that was clearly needed! She's not really sleeping here....just in a morphine induced state of suspended animation!! Julia climbed straight over all the tubes and machines to get in and give Grandma her kiss. While my future nurse .....NOT!!!!!! Mari clearly has no future in the medical profession. Walking past all he paraphernalia was a challenge but she really loves her Grandma so.... she made it past the 'scary' stuff to get to the only open stretch of Grandma's bed in order to give her kiss and get a chat! The 'chat' was brief to say the least!!! Grandma thanked us all for our concern and love and then invited us all to GO AWAY!!!! Seems the only thing she wanted to do was push her little magical pump button and sleep(: So they put their get well cards up on her cork board and we headed out! Today we'll go again and hopefully she will be minus a few tubes. Cannot close a post without showing you the latest salt mine production... the regional championships in Irish dancing are in Columbus, Ohio over the Thanksgiving weekend and this is the last dress I had to complete for that event. Purposely posted this not so great shot just so you can get an idea of how sparkly these things are on the stage. Still feels like 'playing' when you get to sew with velvet and rhinestones!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Treading as hard as we can!

Been a while since my last post! Must admit I've been too busy/tired/'sick'/uninspired to get around to a new post. It just seems to be my modus operandi to post in fits and spurts of late. Hopefully this confession will jump start another spurt! Busy= Not handling the time management needed to be back in the work force nearly full time would be a more truthful way to describe my current state! Just seems that I'm always chasing after the next thing on my 'to do' list rather than striding confidently up to the tasks in a timely manner. This past week has been a blur of alarm clocks, blow drying wet heads, packing lunch boxes, finding matching socks, double checking back packs for required books, folders, water bottles, and healthy snacks and....then doing almost all of that again to get MYSELF out the door! Tired= Having precious little down time because in some sadly misguided sense of needing to CONTROL things I come home from work to dinner prep, homework assistance, elder care, and housework. Must admit that Auntie Peggy and Uncle Peter are shouldering the yeoman's share of care of my mother but I do have to find time to leave my house and get over to help bathe, feed, and lift from the floor. Psycho but I also feel that should I get a 'found' moment or two that the need to sew outfits for $$ guilt's me off the couch. There has been a steadily increasing push from a certain dearly beloved Auntie for me to recognize the potential workload reduction that could be had if I would only abolish the reign of the resident princesses...who are growing a tad narcissistic and demanding if I do say so myself!!! The ownership of a backbone would be a necessity to accomplish the feat of getting royalty to actually sully their hands...anyone know where I can get one? CHEAP!!! 'Sick'= A lot of my sense of always being two steps behind, of late, also has a lot to do with the fact that my vertigo is snowballing!!! What used to only be a rare inconvenience is now a multiple times per day occurrence. What used to take only a few minutes of laying down to pass is now persistent. So in all my free time (read HEAVY sarcasm here!!) I've had to squeeze in a visit to the doctor who has ordered some wonderful time saving tests and specialist's consults for me (HEAVY DUTY sarcasm there!!!). These tests and consults are to be scheduled right in the midst of the princesses birthdays!!!! Yep, that's right....BOTH Mari and Julia have birthdays early in December... and they both are opting for a party rather than the 'big' present option unlike last year when the Nintendo DS saved me from having to plan and carry out a fiesta. I cannot put the doctoring off anymore...even if I wanted to the dizziness and nausea are getting so intense that it is now affecting my ability to function...because one of Patrick's nieces who is near me in age and who ignored a pain in her side that she assumed to be gallbladder has just been diagnosed with an inflamed spleen.....because she has leukemia!!! So Patrick won't let me put off the doctoring for any reason. Uninspired= Pretty much says it as it pictures or opinions have made their way to the forefront of my brain. Assuming, of course, that what is twirling around up there can still be called brains!! I live in the hope that the mini-vacation provided by the Thanksgiving Holiday will reignite a new little spurt of posts!! Here's to optimism!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hazards of being a News Junkie

I know some of you would never dream of putting something like this in writing! I just need to vent and this ether world seems like a promising place to shoot the words to my fears in the hopes that calling them out reduces the power they have over me. I GOTTA STOP WATCHING THE NEWS!!!!!!! I do not know how I can actually accomplish this self intervention. I've tried many times, since the whole hysteria over the two cases in Florida involving child abduction and murder, to just put on one of my favorite Opera C.D.'s instead of the T.V. I've pumped the volume on some of my favorite show tunes and even my high school phase of John Denver has seen a mini-revival! But then the girls need to know the weather to pick an appropriate school outfit so on goes the local weather channel and then as with all addictions I'm sucked into surfing the news networks. I could just check the weather on the Internet BUT there's another whole topic on an addictive influence. I'd consider blocking the channels on my cable remote...if I even had the remotest clue how to do that! BUT then there is the whole conundrum of how to be an informed adult/citizen if you're not familiar with world events??? I JUST DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ANYMORE CHILD ABDUCTION/RAPE/MURDER STORIES....OKAY!!!!!!! Nancy Grace is no longer 'my friend'....I'm 'ignoring' her friend request from here on out. It's not her personally!! Nor her strong support for trying to publicize Amber Alerts! I just CANNOT bear to listen to the in depth analysis of how a FIVE YEAR OLD child can be sold into 'sexual servitude' by her own MOTHER?!?!?!? I do not need anymore fodder for my already over worked mind nor visions that give me insomnia. I do not want to lay awake and wonder if I have enough pictures of my children to provide to the media in the event the worst were to happen!!! I do not want to lay awake and contemplate just how to invent an implantable GPS chip that would be non-toxic and legal! I do not want to look at a beloved picture and the first thought be, "Oh yeah, she has a horrible scar on her left bi-cep (from a stupid and unnecessary vaccination given to her in Guatemala) which could be used to identify her." I've always loved this picture of my two girls...but lately I 'see' Julia's BCG scar...and the unique way her toes overlap....and the little freckle on the back of Mari's calf...and this leads me to say to myself, "And don't forget that Mari has a VERY flat spot on the back of her head from being left in a car seat too many hours as a baby!" This very well may be a 'normal' Mother phase but I'm thinking the spate of news stories has hyper-sensitized me. I want to be able to go back and look at a picture like this and just see the genuine smiles because Julia was only too happy to sit on Mari and Mari, who is sooooo very ticklish, was trying not to laugh from Julia's touch. To remember the carefree day we had at the mall that day when Julia had her first 'short' haircut and how Mari opted for a special do because her perm was still growing out. How I had just bought those dresses for the 4th of July at the Gymboree store and as we passed the Picture People shop we impulsively went in to capture the memory of the new shorter hair on Julia and missed the scrunchie on Mari's wrist. And then I think...well at least I HAVE pictures. How many Mothers around the world have had a child stolen from them who have NOTHING to hold? How many of those children could possibly be sleeping peacefully in an American bedroom? Or how many are sleeping with Jesus? I am not so naive as to think if I do not see/here these stories that they do not happen or are any less horrific. I just do not need them in MY BRAIN. So I will give myself a pep talk every morning as I pump up the volume on my C.D. player and hope that I have the will power to walk away from the remote. I wonder if there is even enough Diet Coke in the world to handle the DT's?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Same Old, Same Old

Well here we are at the end of another weekend filled with sleepovers and salt mines! The poor Dad in this house is finding it hard to keep up with all the antics of his women! He's taken to snatching sleep when he can! Note that he firmly maintains control of the remote even while napping!! While I took this to tease him I must admit to being desperately jealous of his ability to power nap. I always feel tired these days but I dare not lay down because my naps require HOURS of sleeping not moments! BFF/Cousins Deirdre and Julia spend countless hours every week trying to manipulate the Moms into allowing the maximum number of 'together' minutes possible. As is now becoming the norm, Deirdre was here for a sleep over AGAIN!! So while the posse played like mad I made a foray into the salt mine. Christmas is looming and I NEED to get cracking on raising money for the Tamale Basket which we send to Mari's first family. Tamales at midnight on Christmas Eve are a huge tradition in Guatemala. Those too poor to make or buy tamales go door to door begging for a Christmas tamale so it is also tradition to make extra for the poor. Our dear local shopkeeper made arrangements last year for Josefa to receive a basket full of the supplies needed to make the holiday tamales only to send me an urgent email....Josefa had ALWAYS been one of those too poor to buy/make tamales and therefore had no idea how to make the traditional recipe!!!!! Just heartbreaking to know that a woman who made such a huge sacrifice for her daughter had NEVER had the simple luxury of Christmas tamales. So not only do I have to raise the money for the ingredients but I also need to make a bit extra to hire the shopkeepers wife to make the tamales for Josefa and Manuel. This year I'm also hoping to make just that bit extra so that we could actually send a small gift from Mari to her first family! Found a clearance bin clearing out 'fat quarters' of fabric for 50 cents a piece. There were a couple of Hanukkah fabrics so I thought I'd squeeze out this one outfit to see if there was a market. It's a size 6x and I've already put it up on eBay. My ID is drsilk1 if you know anyone who might be interested! BTW, Our Lady of Guadalupe is on it's way to San Jose, California!! The interest was limited so now I've got to rethink what I'm going to do with the 2 1/2 yards I still have. I was thinking if I had somehow listed it in Spanish it might have garnered a bit more action but while I'm functional I'm not confident of my skills to do an eBay listing in Spanish. Started a few 'cutified' denim pieces! This is the first one completed... this is the back view of my Christmas Sweets jumper. It's a 4T denim jumper to which I've added appliques of candy canes and cupcakes. It too is already listed on eBay in the Custom Boutique section. Julia thought it looked "scrumptious" if I make another in her size what are the odds that the new found desire to dress up for Mr. C will last until December????? I think I'll wait a little on that project.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pssst......don't want to say this too loud....

for fear of jinxing it but today Julia asked me to get her some 'girly' clothes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It all started innocently enough when she handed me a permission slip for the school's running club. Kind of took me by surprise since my girls classify running in the 'cruel and unusual punishment' category. Julia likes being the 'sweeper' defensive player on her soccer team....because you DON'T have to run so much in that position! So thinking this was surely another of a million things my kids begged to join but had no intention of actually participating in.....or no real idea of what was involved, I confronted her demanding to hear why she thought this was something that I should permit. The pitch went along the most common line, "Because most of my class are doing it!". I was so NOT going to sign that permission slip with that as her reasoning and Mari (from her more vast experience in negotiating with Mom) sensing where I was heading threw out the following game changer, "Well she can't catch up with C (boy in Julia's class) if she doesn't practice with the club and trust me....SHE WANTS TO CATCH HIM....hint, hint, Mom!" Usually I'd have no need to respond because Julia would have tackled Mari and made her take the words back...cry uncle if you will. Not today! She just kind of smiled and gave me THAT FUNNY LOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!! UGGGGHHHH!! My baby girl was admitting to a crush!!!!!!!!!!!! Now what am I supposed to say...or do?? Then she hits me with the wanting some 'girly' clothes request!!! Now my back's against a wall. I've been hoping she would get through the tomboy phase sooner rather than later....BUT NOT LIKE THIS!! My head is spinning. One minute I want to shout for joy that I've got my little girl back but in the very next thought I'm trying to figure out just how to convey the idea that she shouldn't be trying to remake herself to please someone else. Then I'm thinking, "It's just a third grade crush. How long is that bound to last?" Maybe I'll get lucky and she'll rediscover how 'comfy' girls clothes can be thanks to this young man....maybe a third grade crush isn't such a bad thing after all!! Oh this parenting thing seems a lot like treading in quicksand! Off to break the news to Patrick...then again....maybe not?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ladies who lunch???

One of the 'perks' of my 'real' job are the occasional looooong lunch breaks! You see, I work in the schools and depending on the total number of children scheduled it does happen, now and then, that I finish everyone in grades 1-8 before their scheduled lunch periods. The catch is I have to also do the AM AND PM Kindergarten. So on Tuesday I finished the 67 children in all the classes EXCEPT PM Kindergarten by 11am.........and PM Kindergarten did not arrive until 1pm!!!! Great 'found time' as I call it. Especially when I have a list of errands a mile long! Tuesday's long lunch was a perfect chance for me to run out and get a new cell phone. Not that I'm upgrading or anything as nice as's just that Mari, is an attempt to be helpful, put my last one on 'to charge' for me and shoved the charger plug into the wrong hole!!! Not only did it 'damage' the internal components not intended to be poked by the plug BUT in trying to undo her mistake she BROKE the plug off INSIDE the phone!!! The purchase went quickly and smoothly and while driving back to the school I noticed a JoAnn Fabrics Superstore!!!! Like cocaine to an addict I was drawn into the parking lot. Hey! I had another whole HOUR to kill before the kindergarten class was to have arrived!!! Well.........with Auntie Peggy's birthday being December 12th, which is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we have always had an affection for all things related to her. Then I am BLESSED with TWO Guatemalan daughters born in DECEMBER, one of whom is named Maria!!! So when I saw this bolt of fabric laying in the clearance bin my mind immediately starts churning with ideas on how I could use a colorful block print of La Senora. Going to be putting this up on eBay to see how it is received.Thinking if I was to do it again I'd put it with blues and reds instead of the blacks and yellows. The black and yellow polka dot materials just were the first things I came across in my stash last night and I wanted to get this done ASAP so as to give it time on eBay. Did a cute tied bow closure on the jumper. The straps are long and come over the shoulder and through loops and are then tied. While the length of the straps gives some flexibility to the lengths possible on the jumper. these ones are a tad too long. I'd make the next ones shorter and wider to give a more substantial 'bow'! As usual, any of my blog friends that might be interested in ordering one are welcome to leave me a comment. I'm asking $18 + shipping.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lost in time!

One of the big downers about not being OCD is that the effort needed to meet deadlines means other things get lost by the wayside! I had a few little outfits ready and waiting for a nice sunny day to get pictures taken before listing them on eBay....Thanksgiving outfits...which it is now probably a little too late to seriously list! I'm debating if the chances of them getting bids is worth the listing fees. So in a first wave attempt to get these sold I'm going to put them out there for my blog and Facebook friends to see if any of you might be interested? A 2T Harvest time jumper for which I'm asking $14 + shipping. Fits up to a 23 inch chest and is 20 inches long from the shoulder to the hem. A girl's size 6 two piece Thanksgiving Turkeys set for which I'm asking $28 + shipping. The jeans are Arizona brand EUC adjustable waist to which I've added a turkey applique, back pockets covered in matching fabric and ric-rac, and a double ruffle at the hem. Close up of the turkey applique and ruffles! A 3T/4T a-line Thanksgiving feast jumper for which I'm asking $21 + shipping. There's a heart shaped applique of the whimsical 'first feast' print on the chest and a border of the same 'first feast' print set off by red bands. It is 21 inches long and fits 22-24 inch chest. Just add her favorite tee and head off to Grandma's for Thanksgiving dinner!! A 2T/3T two piece Thanksgiving Turkeys set for which I'm asking $22 + shipping. The pillowcase style top has an elastic band which allows for a range of chest sizes as well as an elastic waist band on the capri length pants. The capri pants also feature a double ruffle at the hemlines. If at all interested just leave a comment or shoot me an email at Muingapat at sbcglobal dot net. Now on to Christmas outfits!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Confessions of a Half-Hearted Housewife

Another week that has raced out of my control....beginning to be my new 'normal'. Seems a few weeks back I had promised to make another Irish dancing dress for a competition that I thought was November 14th. Not being from the list making OCD half of the family I got that was the 7th!!!!!! This fact was brought to my attention on Halloween when I received a call asking when the fitting was going to occur. Deeeeeeep breath Suzanne!!!!! Coupled with my other 'new normal' work schedule, which has gone from 1-2 days a week to 4-5 days per week, I now had to make time for another 40-50 hours of sewing time!!!!! Finished in time for yesterday's competition and doesn't even look like a RUSH job...if I do say so myself!! I loooooove making these actually. Who wouldn't like to play with rich fabrics and rhinestones? It's the stage moms and deadlines that have driven me into a sort of retirement. This dress was for a sweet girl who's mom is nothing like a stage mom which is why I agreed to the order in the first place! Oh, and did I mention that I also had an order from my eBay venture? Yeah, well that deadline kind of crept up on me too!!!!!! She was the 'winner' of my little Halloween witch A-line jumper and really looooved it and requested one in Dick and Jane fabric.....AND ..... one in a cowgirl fabric....AND one in a Thanksgiving print as well!!! The past week went pretty much like this- Work, home to sew, order out dinner, sew, put girls to bed, sew, sew some more, and sew even more! Sleep when the eyes would no longer co-operate by staying open and get up in time to go to work. Notice anythings missing from that schedule??? Barely had time for the necessities of eating, sleeping, and bathroom visits let alone homework helping, laundry, and cleaning!!!! So it really should have been no surprise when Mari informed me that one of the pumpkins in our front window had tipped over and this is what I found.......... Is there any wonder that Julia had begun to complain of a sore of her allergy early warning symptoms????? Kind of looked cool in a disgusting sort of way! next week looks like it's shaping up to be another sleep deprived schedule that goes something like this- work, home to clean, cook real food finally, help with homework, put girls to bed, back to laundry and cleaning until sleep can no longer be avoided. Is there any question why my dreams are filled with visions of Sarasota?????

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just a moment in time....

Ever have one of those moments when you come across a picture you haven't seen for a while and the emotional reaction is profound? Today as I was sitting down at the computer to check e-mails I saw the above snapshot laying in a pile I was planning to scan into the computer. Looks pretty mundane you say? It is but it's the memory of this vacation that is brought back that catches my breath. On this trip to DisneyWorld, back in December of 2002 is where I 'lost' my baby.......sigh. You see, Julia had just turned two only days before and it was on this vacation that I could not help but see how very grown up she was becoming! This face painting picture is an example!! She marched herself right into line with the 'big girls' and declared "I'm getting my face pretty too!"....and she sat right up in the chair and without one wiggle let them paint her face. Then she posed for this picture...can't you just see the "yeah, I'm good!" look on her face?!?!?! As hard as I looked around that park I never did find my baby ever again.....well maybe a glimpse every now and again when she'd tuck that sippy cup under her arm.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Adoption Awareness Month

November is adoption awareness month. A topic which is obviously very close to my heart! I am joining with my fellow GuatMoms to promise to devote a few posts this month on the subject as our small contribution to the purpose of the topic. International organizations working with children's issues currently estimate the number of orphaned and/or abandoned children on our planet to be 143 MILLION! They use numbers provided by government run orphanages and NGO's providing aid to these populations. Given the difficulty of guessing just how many children are living on the streets of third world countries who are unable to access the services of an NGO, I'm of the belief that that number may actually be a CONSERVATIVE GUESS. Wrap your brain around 143 MILLION if you can!!!!! Now my rant could run off in any number of directions from this point! I think my plan will be to try and let each rant have it's own post. Today I'm just going to try and limit my ramblings to the relationship between faith and adoption. Since I am a Christian, I really can only address with any knowledge that faith's teachings and actions on the subject. My particular church has a very clear teaching on this subject! Getting past the very obvious teaching of the Golden Rule, my religion exhorts it's members to perform what they call Corporal Works of Mercy. Several of the defined works graze the edges of this topic. They actually, when performed, would greatly reduce the 143 million number because the desperate, ill, or deceased parents of these children would have been fed and given medical care that would have averted the crisis that led to abandonment or orphaning!!!!!!! I specifically note the one which most directly addresses this topic..."Give shelter to the homeless." I mean how clear does the church have to make it for us??? So you cannot adopt to make this happen? Then donate to an NGO that provides shelter or as I will cover in a future post...donate to help a family who WANTS to adopt! (A whole other rant coming on the morally corrupt and sinful COST of adoption!!) I know from my Jewish and Muslim friends that their religions also have doctrine addressing the aid and care of widows and orphans but FOR SURE Christians are obligated. I leave my fellow Christians with this little factoid gleaned from a fellow GuatMom........ If only 7% of those professing to be Christians adopted one child each there would be NO orphans in this world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is an absolute reward here on Earth for those whom God brings together.....just look at proof!!!! The picture that changed all of our lives FOREVER for the better!!!! We were done with the adoption idea after the failed domestic adoption....or so we thought. Then Patrick opened that fateful e-mail asking us to please consider international adoption and specifically the adoption of little Maria Teresa in a country called Guatemala. Led to the simple joy of a FAMILY portrait! I sometimes wonder at the number of times a stranger will stop to tell us how lucky Mari was to be adopted by us?!?!? I mean REALLY!!! To me it seems OBVIOUS that Patrick and I are the lucky ones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kind of felt selfish not to let anyone else in on our 'luck' so.......... The second picture that ROCKED our world!!! Our little family would now be a table for four! Adoption led to..... one HAPPY FAMILY!!!! By family I mean all that it entails! Not trying to sell you on a picture perfect Hollywood family but a real one with sibling rivalry and sleeping together, picky eaters and clean platers, problem sleepers and nesters, oppositional defiance and snuggling, asthma and myopia, honor roll and reading tutors!!! With all it's warts and dimples we could ask for nothing Irish Dad and an American Mom with their Guatemalan daughters brought together to be The Mahoney FAMILY!!!! It works...maybe you should give it a try?!?!?! Now for a quick wrap up to the BIG holiday weekend.... we 'finished' our ofrenda. On both Sunday and Monday we took some time to light the candles and reminisce about some of our family members now deceased. Julia had, with a VERY single minded determination, gathered the rest of the supplies needed to hang all the mortuary cards Mari and she had collected from around the house. She would not leave me alone until I had come in and strung the yarn and clipped the cards to the string! She had gathered the Pan de los Muertos, strawberry tarts(for the Irish souls!!), sugar skulls (which my cousin Eileen had actually given them as their Halloween treat!!), and a goblet of apple cider. A sure sign of how much they have grown up!!! Mari and Julia set up this whole level themselves. I had made outfits for the girls to wear to school on Monday which Julia was so proud to show off!! She said her Spanish teacher was soooooo happy that he had her come back for all his classes so they could talk about the holiday! She wasn't sure about any 'extra credit' points though (: Tried a BUNCH of settings on my camera trying to show how nice it looked in the dark with all the candles lit (used both real and battery operated= where real might have caused a fire hazard!) But I think you can get the idea. We are going to leave it up all month and plans for next year's are already underway!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sweet Exhaustion!

So gratefully the rain decided to stop during the night and Halloween dawned bright but FROSTY!!! Had to pack on as many layers as would fit under the costumes and still there was some shivering...but no one opted to stay in for the day! At no one point did we have everyone together for a group photo shoot! Poor Andrew had a hockey game right smack in the middle of the 'official' trick-or-treat time and missed almost all of the candy haul! He did get to dress up and go to a friend's party though. Ethan was with his dad but Alyssa did make it into a few pictures before heading off to her parties. I'm really pleased with how well her costume turned out! She was giddy with excitement too so that made it even better. She is even planning on wearing it to a concert she is going to next week. The day includes some obligatory stops! First up was my Mom's sister. Aunt Vonnie really enjoys the holiday and socializing that comes along with it...could you tell?!?!? Then it's a stop at the Pediatric Unit to visit Auntie Peggy who had to work on our favorite holiday!!! It's not always all work and no play!! Auntie Peggy had the good stuff to boot!!! Trying to make some more work for me I guess? Then on to Grandma's! My Mom is spending more and more time in her bed anymore. It's hard to see a lady who used to love the whole costume making and Halloween parade scene now opting to sleep her days away. Then they were off!!!!!!!!!!! It was a very fluid night of one peeling off to join a pack of school friends and then another only to be rejoined again later. Amazing how there are no complaints of tired sore feet after miles of trick-or-treating but a few hundred yards in the grocery store is just unbearable?!?!We ended the night with a nice visit with my cousin Eileen where the kids were entertained by our stories of how trick-or-treating was done in the 'olden days'...when we were kids. Good thing there's no school in the morning! Julia had been begging for an hour to leave my cousin's house so she could go home to sleep. The couch was as far as she could make it before collapsing. Sadly, she's now just that bit too big for either Patrick or I to carry her off to bed and I had to be the big, bad meanie who shook her awake and on to her feet. Mari was too tired to wash off the make-up and take of her bun wig! Nice to be so very exhausted...when it's the result of good times!