2 moms. 3 kids. 1 amazing adventure.

Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

2011 Holiday Craft Exchange

I came home a few days ago to a package with gorgeous handwriting that I didn’t recognize. I suspected it might be my holiday craft exchange gift, so I dumped–literally, it fell off the edge of the table!–the rest of the mail and tore open my envelope. I tipped the open end and out slid this beautiful pendant from Sky Minded and Ever Growing:

It’s lovely, isn’t it? I wore it the next day. Olivia had her eye on it and asked to wear it the following day. I obliged and she’s been wearing it every day since. She says it brightens up her school uniform. I’m inclined to agree. ūüôā

This is the second year I’ve participated in the craft exchange organized by S over at An Offering of Love. It has been tremendous fun both times…I hope it becomes a long-lasting tradition. If you’d like to see the other beautiful crafts being delivered this holiday, you can find them here. They are all wonderful, thoughful projects from an awesome group of women.


Something New

We tried something new this Thanksgiving.

Nope.  Not a recipe.  Not a new game.  Not shopping on Black Friday.  Not even something REALLY fun like sleeping in.

Olivia and I took a trip.  To the Emergency Room.  Where we discovered (much to my surprise, actually) that she had broken her wrist.

Oh, and to make it even better, she had to¬†have a¬†HUGE splint on to immobilize it for¬†6 (!!!!) days.¬† We¬†were out of state when it happened and they wouldn’t cast it immediately to accomodate swelling (of which she had none).¬† Then it was the weekend and orthopedic doctors don’t have office hours, which was¬†too bad because Olivia was VERY intrigued by the idea of getting a cast from the same doctor that casted me several times as a teenager.¬† ūüôā¬† Then we¬†weren’t able to get¬†an appointment here at home until the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

I think I just about lost my mind trying to follow the emergency room orders of “don’t let it get bumped around at all until it’s casted”.¬† Uhhh, she’s an eight year old kid.¬† With two younger siblings.¬† And an hours-long car ride home in which she sits at the very back of the mini-van where I cannot keep the closest eye on her.

But it gets even better.¬† At her appointment last Tuesday, I learned that the location of her break is a prime spot for “bone slipping”–when the bone shifts and causes it to heal unevenly aligned.¬† Nice.¬† That earned Olivia an above-the-elbow cast and weekly appointments for x-rays to check alignment.¬† After three weeks, we get to move to a shorter cast and xrays for 3 more weeks.

Perhaps you’re asking what happens if they discover, at any point, that the bone has slipped.¬† I sure did.¬† Well, it turns out that they’d sedate her, re-break the bone, and start the process all over again.¬† Gah.¬† It makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.

Luckily, things look good so far.¬† She was just xrayed today and everything looks perfect.¬† I did tell Olivia that she is NOT ALLOWED to break any more bones, though.¬† She also had a major to-do about 3 years ago when she fell off a chair, dislocated her elbow, and came very close to severing a nerve.¬† That particular incident also happens to be one of my most horrible “bad mother” stories, so I’ll just save it for another day.

Needless to say, this year’s something new is not a Thanksgiving tradition I hope to continue!

Photographic Evidence

In the Apple Orchard with Grandpa Jerry

My Dad came up for a visit.¬† We had a wonderful time…except for the stomach bug that kept his long-time girlfriend, S, in the hotel room all weekend.

Picking Pumpkins

The very next weekend we went back to the same place for the pumpkin fields.  Notice that we were all wearing short sleeves (and were too hot in long pants!) last weekend, yet had to drag out the fleece jackets just seven days later (and were still cold!)?

Action Shot

We’ve watched Olivia play some great soccer.

Darth Vader

Olivia carved her own pumpkin from start to finish this year

Haunted House

We carved some fantastic pumpkins.¬† My carving contribution was an Elmo for Amelia, but I didn’t even realize until I uploaded pictures that I never took a picture of it.¬† I hope it’s not mush when I head out to snap a picture of it in all it’s lighted glory.¬†¬†I just went to check:¬† Yep…mush.¬† There will be no photographic record of the cuteness.¬† ūüė¶


80s Day at school

Olivia and Owen dressed for 80s Day at school.¬† Yes, I’m completely aware that the 80s Rocker wig and the preppy turned up collar don’t go together.¬† ūüôā¬† I wanted to turn Owen’s curls into a “Flock of Seagulls” style or use a piece of the wig to make a “tail”, but he would have nothing to do with those once he saw this monstrosity!¬† Olivia thought it was HILARIOUS that I dressed like this every day when I was her age!



Some little sweetheart decided she just had to turn 2!!!

Trick or Treat

We trick or treated in our neighborhood after the birthday party.¬† Yes, it’s weird, but our city doesn’t do trick or treating on Halloween.¬† The city schedules it for the afternoon of the closest Sunday.¬† Our neighborhood does their own little thing on the Saturday evening closest to Halloween.¬† It¬†is VERY strange to get used to…

Anyway, Owen is Darth Vader.  The giraffe is Amelia.  Olivia is a preteen Dracula.  Other party revelers are a candy witch  and an (older) preteen Dracula.

Halloween Lunch Menu

Olivia and Owen had a little lunchbox surprise for Halloween.

Looks Delish!

The mummy and vampire blood were the biggest hit. ūüôā
And there we have it.  One month condensed into just eleven pictures.  Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Finally…an ornament picture

I finally uploaded the pictures of my ornament from this exchange¬†onto the computer.¬† Thanks, S, for organizing this…it was incredibly fun and inspiring.¬†

My ornament arrived on the morning of Christmas Eve.¬† I was so excited that I was¬† tearing into the package before the mailman was off the porch.¬† The ornament had travelled all the way from these ladies (and son) in Canada.¬† It is beautiful!¬† I especially love that it says Blog Exchange 2010¬†on it, so that when I am old and feeble-minded (I give it 3 years ūüôā )I can remember from whence it came.¬† The picture here doesn’t do it justice…the outside is glittery, so it makes it hard to get a clear picture of the inside.¬† There are four fluffy looking snowflakes swinging around inside the globe, all at different lengths so it looks like the snow is falling.¬†

When we went to church on Christmas Eve afternoon, we left the sanctuary to find it snowing lightly.¬† It was just enough to look gorgeous, leave the roads safe for travel, and cover up the crusty blackened snow sitting¬†around.¬† Of course I had to tell everyone we were with about the ornament and how the¬†snow reminded me of it!¬†¬†¬†So, a giant THANK YOU shout out to Melissa, Amy, and Jackson!¬† Without any more blabbing…here it is:

Oh, wait.¬† One more very important thing–

Happy New Year!  I hope this year brings each of you reading amazing, fantastic adventures and much happiness.

Christmas: The 1st Dress Rehearsal, The 2nd Dress Rehearsal, and Opening Day

Living so far from any of our families, we have developed a 3-year travel rotation for the holidays.¬† Year one:¬† Ohio with Dawn’s parents on Christmas, travel from Ohio to St. Louis for my family, and home by New Year’s Eve.¬† Year¬†two:¬† St. Louis on Christmas, Ohio immediately after, home by New Year’s Eve.¬† Year three:¬†stay home.¬† Can I just say, I love those year 3s?¬† And this year…it was a year 3!¬†¬†Dawn’s parents cannot make the 12 hour trip anymore, so¬†they sent presents with us when we were there for Thanksgiving.¬† My family was unable to coordinate one weekend to visit, so we ended up with¬†three celebrations this year.¬†

My dad and his partner, S, came to visit the weekend of the 11th.¬† We went tromping around in the cold¬†and snow to find¬†the perfect tree.¬† We chopped down, drug home, and decorated¬†said tree.¬† We ate, laughed, visited, and opened gifts.¬† Olivia got the DSi she had begged for.¬† Owen received a very large, red, remote-controlled dinosaur–I am not sure if he or my dad enjoyed it more.¬† We even got an extra day to visit because¬† an ice storm stretching the entire length of Illinois prevented their return home as scheduled.

The following weekend, my mom made the same trip up.¬† Her husband, J, came down with the flu and was unable to make the trip.¬† We were all disappointed, but the kids were especially sad that Grandpa wouldn’t be there to play “monster” with them.¬†¬† Again, we ate, laughed, and chatted.¬† The¬†gift opening was a blur of flying paper that ended with¬†all sorts and varieties of new clothes and playthings.¬† I have tried to get my mom on board with the less is more concept, but it just doesn’t seem to fly.¬† Oh, well.

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We enjoyed a lovely, laid back Christmas morning.¬† We¬†peeked in stockings, popped cinnamon rolls in the oven, and opened gifts while¬†they baked.¬† It was so nice to spend the rest of the day in our own house, just the five of us.¬† No agenda, no schedule.¬† Olivia’s main gift was a pair of tickets to see the Nutcracker ballet, so we spent a fair amount of time researching the ballet¬†itself as well as our seating location and nearby restaurants.¬† Owen spent hours arranging and rearranging the furniture in his new doll house.¬† Amelia stacked blocks and danced to Christmas music (oh, so adorable!).¬† Dawn and I relaxed and revelled at how awesome our little family is.¬† A wonderful Christmas, indeed.

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