Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

Dear Ian,

As I write this, we have 3 days left until Christmas!  We're all getting excited about the fun and festivities coming up, and part of that excitement is our fun decorations in our house.  The focal point of which, of course, is our tree.

I have to apologize: You, my son, will most likely never experience the thrill of combing a tree lot for the perfect tree, never see it strapped to the roof of our car (Heaven forbid!) or have the fresh aroma of a pine wafting through our living room.  Mommy is allergic to Christmas trees.  Not like the deathly allergy I have to cats, but it's enough that if we brought a tree into our house, I would basically be miserable from the moment it hit trunk to stand until that bad boy got carted out to the corner for the garbage man shortly after the New Year.  And since I do most of the holiday trimming, baking, shopping and wrapping, if I felt like death, I'd worry that all that wouldn't get accomplished.   So, although I am sorry that you will never have the real-tree experience, know that I am saving you from the experience of putting up with a cranky, sick Mommy.  And I'm also saving you from the experience of fighting with us or your possible siblings over who had to crawl under the prickly branches to water the dang thing.

Although our tree is organically challenged, it doesn't look bad at all.  As of today, it's about 12 years old.  I talked your Daddy into it for his first Christmas in his own place (a town-home in the neighborhood right next to ours, funny enough), and I guess the rest is history.  I take a lot of time getting our tree set up; first I wrap the "stem" with lights even before I put the branches on it.  A while back, a friend told me that SHE heard from Martha Stewart that wrapping the stem of the tree AND then draping lights on the branches made it look like it was not just lit, but shining from within.  I tried it, and it did look pretty, so now I'm stuck.  But moving on...  After wrapping the stem, then I unfold every dang twig, needle and branch to get it to LOOK real.  Even though it's as fake as the day is long, I want it to look like we trotted out into the wild and cut that sucker down.  Then come the lights on the branches.  I just drape them along.  Nothing fancy there.  Our ornaments are kind of a hodge-podge of fun, but that's the point.  Almost all of them have a story.  There's the gorgeous Lenox pieces that Daddy and I got as wedding gifts (a perk to getting married in December), Our First Christmas ornaments, the "Redneck Windchimes" and the S'more fishing snowman that remind us of trips to the Lake, and then there's the ornaments that we had as kids that moved with us into adulthood.  Since you came along, we added a small collection of Baby's First Christmas ornaments and some other fun, cute family ornaments. 

I try to find one new ornament each year to add to our tree.  (And yes, I date them, because I am a lunatic.)    There's really no formula that helps me choose our annual tree trimming piece, but this year's ornament is really something special.  And expensive.  And of course it has a story, so here goes:

Awwww!  Toddler fingerprints.
Your school has a great little fundraiser in November: a silent auction and dinner that brings the parents together for a night of fun, food and funds.  Items and services from business all over Tallahassee are contributed, and the families and friends bid for their favorites.  The classes also get involved in the fun and make items to put up for bid.  There's furniture and wooded pieces decorated with handprints of the kids in the school, and each class makes a plate or serving piece and an ornament.  Yup.  You've guessed it.  Your class made a pretty ornament with the fingerprints of each child in your class.  Even better, they've labeled the ornament will all of your names.  I about died due to the cuteness, and I decided that this ornament would be our 2011 addition to our tree.  Only thing was, only 9 other sets of parents stood between us and your adorable ornament.  It got ugly.  We ended up in a serious bidding war, and at one point the ornament was up to $60.  Whoa, dude.  But then, fate and my brains jumped in and I remembered that you are in TWO classes, so you had another ornament that we had the possibility to win.  Which we did.  For $35 dollars less that the other one. 
See all your names?  This is the neatest part. 

It looks so beautiful on our tree, and I am so glad to have it.  It's your very first class ornament/thing/token.  And know that this is the ONLY year we will be buying one.  I just HAD to have your very first one, though.  It's a little piece of your history, and it's one I will treasure.  And wrap in layer after layer of bubble wrap and tissue paper.  After all, it's probably the most costly ornament on the tree.  (But worth it)

Love always,
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Works of Art #27

Christmas is coming!  Christmas is coming!  And school is helping you get in the spirit of things with some great art.
 Here's a great tree you put together.  I love it, and we have it hanging on your bedroom door.
 'Tis the season for glitter, and this star is completely loaded.  You're very proud of it, though.  You point to it and tell me that the glitter is sparkly.
 More glitter, this time on a really pretty angel.  I really like this one.  We have it hanging from your hooks that are over what used to be your changing table.
And finally, a little paint to go with the glitter.  Here's a pretty wreath and candy cane that you made. These are also hanging from your bedroom ceiling.  

So much holiday fun!  And as I write this, we are five days away from Christmas.  You are all geared up and excited for the activities to come, and I know this Christmas will definitely be one to remember.


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Saturday, December 17, 2011

There's No Business Like Show Business

Dear Ian,

This post is all about your big acting and musical debut.  Your school, under the direction of the amazing Miss Jan the music teacher, hosted a Christmas Musical Show last week.  Starting around Thanksgiving, your class, as well as the other classes in the school (mine included) started working on the mastery and perfection of several Christmas songs including instruments. 

Now, Miss Jan had already informed me that during music class, you are typically an "observer" rather than a "participant" of all the musical activities, but that you always know exactly what's going on.  True to this description, you would come home and tell me all about singing Christmas songs in class, and you even sang a few for Daddy and me, but when ever we asked if you were going to sing on stage, you promptly responded, "No."  Therefore, I was really interested in whether or not you were going to stick to this plan or perform once you got on stage with your peers and in front of all those adoring parents, grandparents and other family members.  You're a little bit of a ham.  But I digress...

On Tuesday, your class along with the younger toddler class of Miss Vicky and Miss Dawnadee, took to the stage.  I got to run up from my room to watch, but as we had planned for all of your Grands and Daddy to come on Wednesday, it was just me that got to see this version of the show.  Now before I say another word about how adorable you were, I need to first give tons of credit to Miss Jan, the music teacher and the rest of the teachers involved in this event; somehow they managed to train all most  of these little people to stay on the stage.  There were a few emotional breakdowns from the younger kids once they realized that some of the grown ups in the crowd were related to them, but instead of coming to rescue them, just idly sat there.  You, and most of your class, however sat up there like a champ, doing what was expected of you.  Unfortunately, in your case, that was all you did: what was expected.  You showed up, sat when you were supposed to sit and stood when you were supposed to stand.  That was pretty much it, though.  You remained silent for the duration of the performance, although you smiled the whole time. 

Finally it was Wednesday  This was the day of your other class performance, and since this group of kids is a little older, the show was a little less... emotional.  Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa Brooks, Grandma and Papa Davis and I all got to go.  Once again you looked adorable in your little holiday outfit, and you were so well behaved.  You walked in like a big kid, found your spot, did what you were told, and... stayed mute throughout the singing portion of the performance.  Sigh.  But when it was time to ring your sleigh bells or shake your maraca, you really got into that part. 

Even though you didn't sing a word of your songs, we were so proud of you!  At just two years old, you had your very first public performance under your belt, and there were no tears or fears.  Just a quiet, dignified silence.  Although you were supposed to be singing.  Oh well.

Here's a few pictures from your Christmas show:
 You sitting on stage with your friend Joe Moody.  While you were the strong, silent type, Joe Moody sang enough for the two of you.  Opposites attract, I guess.
 Shaking your maracas.  You really got into the parts with instruments.  Maybe it's because Daddy and I were in band and not chorus?
 The whole big group of you on stage. Your class and Miss Vicky and Miss Dawnadee's class.  Miss Jordan, one of your teachers, is sitting next to you.  The teachers and Miss Jan needed standing ovations after accomplishing the feat of getting you all up there and staying put. 
 Playing the jingle bells while all of the adults in the room sang, can you guess it, Jingle Bells.
  All of your family members that came to watch your show.  We were all so proud of you!  

And there you have it!  Your first show is complete, and you've been launched into the glitzy world of family paparazzi and adoring family fans.  I cant wait until your End of The Year performance to see if you actually participate in the show.  But even if you don't, Daddy and I will still be your number one fans. 

Love you tons!
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Toddler Life #17

You know you are the parent of a toddler when...

...you simultaneously want to snuggle your child while wanting to pull your hair out.  Discipline is not for the faint of heart...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Dear Ian,

Holy Moly!  Mommy is really behind on your letters.  In my defense, this time of year is usually completely nutty, and as expected, I'm running 50 different directions.  But it's an absolute blast.  You're two, raring with holiday energy, and you can help me wrap your own gifts for family.  Sort of. 

Lots of things are going on to help get us in the spirit of the holiday season.  First things first was our annual Christmas pictures for our cards to friends and family.  We all donned our gay apparel (shades of green this year) and headed over to Dorothy B. Oven Park.  Mommy set up the camera on the tripod, got you and Daddy seated, aimed, ran and sat and begged Miss Patti to jump up and down to get you to smile.  They came out pretty good, if I must say so myself.  Especially for self portraits.  Then Daddy took a picture of me with you, and I took a picture of you and Daddy, and viola.  We had a card!
Then our little family participated in a Christmas festival in Market Square right around the corner from the house.  You got to see Santa Claus, listen to Tuba Christmas, play in a bounce house and even ride a pony!  You actually did a pretty good job with Santa this year.  You needed Daddy to sit with you a little, but that was ok.  After your visit with Santa, you got a free candy cane, and that just made your day.  We also shared some ice cream at the Lofty Pursuits store.  It was great fun.  You had a BLAST on the bounce house and slide, and you really seemed to enjoy the pony ride.  Your pony's name was Star.  Here's some pictures from that day...
 You and Daddy with Santa.  You told him you wanted a big, red firetruck for Christmas! 
 You and the pony named Star.  Mommy LOVED this!
 Weeeee!!!  You giggled the entire way down. 
 Our newest Christmas tradition:  You and Daddy doing your Advent Calendar.  Every day you learn to recognize a new number, open the door and then...
 ...you and Daddy get to eat the yummy chocolate inside!! 

But Daddy's not the only one doing Christmas-countdown fun.  I made the little Santa poster in the picture below, and every day we add a new cotton ball to Santa's beard to help us see how many days are left until Christmas!  You are having a fun time filling Santa's beard. 
Having you has definitely added another element of fun to all of our holiday events and preparations.  There's nothing better than seeing the magic of Christmas through your eyes.  

We love you, Little Man,
Mommy and Daddy
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pathological Mommy

Dear Ian,

Since the day you were born, you have stretched my natural limits to... well, their limits.  Some of these, like sleep deprivation, weren't always fun, but in other ways, you have helped me grow as a person.  I now have even more patience than I originally thought I had, I can withstand loud whining noises now like a champ, and I have found new ways to show love.  Hershey kisses in your lunch box, for example.

But, nothing like the challenge of parenting could have expanded my creativity to the lengths I will go to now to teach you things. 

One shining, not-so-thrilling moment was the other day when I told a little white lie to get you to learn a lesson.  It was morning, and on any other, typical morning, Daddy helps you get dressed for school while I get dressed myself.  This particular morning, Daddy had a doctor's appointment, so you and I had to go it alone.  We did pretty well, but in order to make sure I was fully dressed and actually matching, I let you watch a little TV while I donned my work apparel.  The whole time I dressed, I used my teacher skills to help you prepare for the transition from TV to getting in the car to go to school.  "Ian, when Mommy has her shoes on it's time to go."  A few minutes later: "Ian, Mommy now has her left shoe on.  When the other shoe is on it's time to go."  And finally: "Ian, my shoes are on!  Let's to go school!"  And you seemed to be following directions without complaint.  Or so I thought.  Your new temper-tantrum-thing is throwing things.  When you don't get your way, you'll occasionally throw what ever is in your hand or whatever is nearest your throwing arm.  On this fateful day, it was our remote.  It hit the floor and the battery cover came off.  I counted down from about 20, and then told you The Fib. 

"Ian, you know that you are NOT allowed to throw things,  and now you've thrown the remote and broke the TV.  Now we have no TV to watch."  Poor you went to school all quiet and contrite.  On one hand, I felt bad that I had stretched the truth.  But on the other, you seemed to get it.  You kept repeating, "Ian throw remote and broke TV."  Hmmm.  Maybe it would sink in this time that throwing things in a rage just isn't cool.  I stuck to my guns that afternoon, and the TV remained silent and dark.  You would ask every now and then about it, but then you would remind yourself that you had thrown the remote and therefore no TV. 

Then I took my fib another level:  why not increase your belief in that parental omnipotence thing.  I told you that Daddy might be able to fix the TV later on.  Fast forward to today after two days of no TV, and we finally tried the remote.  It worked!  You shouted, "Daddy fixed it!" and kept thanking him over and over even though he wasn't even in the house.  Then I heard you say, "Ian not throw remote no more."  You learned my lesson, Daddy now looks like a super-hero and maybe the remote will live past your two's.

I am now hoping with all my might that this little action/consequence lesson, even though it's sort of based on a fib, will stick and we'll be able to curb your little throwing issue.  And here's hoping that Mommy doesn't become a pathological liar by the time you're four. 

I love you, and that's the truth!
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pearly Whites

Dear Ian,

In keeping with the tradition of using this blog like your baby book, I have another "first" that belongs in your history.  The other day, November 22, we went to your very first dentist appointment.  Like I know I've mentioned before, you like to chew on the corners of your Loveys when you get tired or feel a little insecure, and because of that, your Daddy and I wanted to make sure that nothing was going on with your teeth as a result of this chewing habit.  We also just wanted to make sure that your little teefers were coming in correctly and that there were no issues with our brushing.  We brush every morning and every night, and we have a pretty good little routine.  First we give you the brush with a little tooth paste and let you "brush" first while we comb your hair.  Then, we "help" you finish up.  Daddy has been our resident tooth-brushing-helper in the morning as of late, because I'm usually running around like a loon trying to get your lunch packed, get myself dressed or whatever.

So, after a little research and a conversation with our dental insurance provider, we were directed to Dr. Carey's office right around the corner from our house.  Our appointment was set, and then Daddy and I started your mental prepping for the visit.  For days and weeks before your visit, we talked about how the dentist was a doctor for your teeth, and that when we got there, they would need you to open wide like an alligator and let them count your chompers. 

I guess we did an ok job with this brain-washing, because you did a GREAT job at your first dental visit.  We were called to the back, and Miss Dawn, the hygienist, first "painted" your teeth to see if there were any spots that we needed to brush better or focus on.  Congrats to your Daddy, because she said that your teeth were super clean!  And you were very tolerant of this new experience.  Then, while Doctor Carey came over and talked to me, you got to practice brushing with a huge toothbrush on a stuffed monkey with funny teeth.  You really seemed to enjoy that!  Then came the actual tooth cleaning.  Again, I was a little worried about how you would react to this new thing, but you took it all in stride.  While you sat on my lap, Miss Dawn demonstrated how her spinning tooth polisher worked, and then she cleaned your teeth.  You were such a big boy.  You didn't cry or wiggle or anything.  I was one proud Mama.  Finally, after Doctor Carey came back and looked at your teeth with his little mirror, it was time to go.  As a reward for your great behavior, Miss Dawn took you to the treat table, and you got to pick out a toy car and a sticker.  You were so excited about these, and you talked about them the whole way to school. 

Today in the mail, we got a neat letter from your dentist's office welcoming you as a patient, and with the letter was a picture that they took of you while we were there.  Here's your picture of you practicing brushing your teeth:

Your smiles make me smile, and now that I know that Lovey isn't causing damage, and now that I know that your teeth are shining and healthy, I can smile bigger.  And we can officially say that our first dental appointment is now in the bag!

Love always,

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Dear Ian,

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and while this time of year usually fills me with warm, fuzzy feelings, having you around adds so much to those feelings.  Now, on top of the warm-fuzzies, I have this feeling of being significantly humbled by just how fortunate and blessed I am.

This year, I'm going to do something a little different and actually have a Top Ten list of the Things For Which I am Thankful.  Here we go...

10.  I'm completely fortunate that you are a good napper and give me the opportunity to write down the things for which I am thankful.

9.  Our life is blessed because of the friends we have.  We are lucky people to have so many that we can call on to play with, eat with, borrow from, cry on, and laugh with, and for them, I am totally appreciative.

8.  I am so incredibly thankful for the basic necessities that we have that sometimes we take for granted.  We have a cute, roomy home in which we can live and grow.  It's warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and dusty all year 'round, but it's OUR house, and we make it the way we like it. 

7.  I'm thankful for the fact that we go to bed with full tummies, and that we have enough food that we can occasionally be picky eaters.  There are so many that don't have this luxury, and I hope to instill in you the quality of generosity.  We will be helping with Second Harvest again this year, because I want to make sure that you know there are people that aren't as fortunate as us.

6.  I am thankful for your wonderful little school, your friends and the amazing teachers and support grown-ups that help shape the school, because they are also shaping you.  We again had the luxury of being picky about where you attend and the fact that I was able to stay home with you until your second year, and for that I am thankful, too.  But Advent and it's staff is just another blessing in our lives.  We're so lucky to have found them.

5.  I am so thankful that I was able to find a teaching position at your school as well.  What a lucky turn that was!  No, not lucky.  What an amazing blessing!  The fact that I was able to find a job during this tough time in our country, and the fact that it's at the same school you attend was far too perfect to just be coincidence.  Mommy's prayers were quite literally answered, and I can't begin to mention how many times I've thanked God for the opportunity.

 4.  I am thankful for your grandparents and aunts and uncles.  They provide you with limitless love, and they are always there when we need them.  I'm glad we are all close, both in distance and in relationship, although sometimes it makes holidays a little nutty.  Trying to make sure we spend time with everyone can feel like the Holiday Olympics, but it's a problem I am thrilled to have since some families aren't always that lucky.

3.  I am grateful everyday for the wonderful man that is your Daddy.  Our 10 year wedding anniversary is swiftly approaching, we've been together for 16 years, but I love him more and more every day.  He works hard for our family and for himself (he's very driven), and due to his hard work and diligence, he's able to support us and provide for us.  I'm also very thankful that the economy hasn't been too terribly hard on his business, and I'm appreciative for the new people the company has been able to hire to help lighten his load. 

2.  Also about your Daddy, I'm the most thankful for his patience with you and me.  He's calm when I'm nuts, he's reassuring when you're timid, and he's the foundation for our little family.  He also is just wonderfully kind.  And due to my blood-sugar and occasional lack of will-power, he's dealt with me inflating and deflating more times than a Macy's Day Parade balloon, but still tells me I'm beautiful.  Now that is love, little son, and you remember that.

1. The reason for this blog post, and this blog in general, is you, and for you I am so incredibly thankful.  I cant even begin to tell you how much we prayed for you and fought for you, and the fact that you're here and part of our family still takes my breath away.  I will be honest and say that there are still days when I stop, open-mouthed and think to myself, "I have a son!"  Your smile, laugh, 15-minute-long nonsense conversations and hugs are the sunshine to my day.  I'm such a lucky Mommy. 

I hope that your heart is full and happy, just like your tummy will be tomorrow,

Love always,
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Works of Art #26

Ooooh, I've gotten behind again.  And it's Thanksgiving time, so your art coming home from school has really put us in the fall mood  First to come home was this really cute brown bag pumpkin that you made!  We had it as part of our post-Halloween decorations on the dining room table.  Super cute!   
Next came the gorgeous stained glass leaves that you made with contact paper and tissue paper.  I love these; they are probably my favorite piece of art you did.  These are currently hanging over your changing table (although we no longer use it as a changing table now that you are potty trained.  YAY!).

Then we have your more Thankgiving-y art:  This first piece of art is either a fall leaf or Indian corn.  When I ask you, you say it's a leaf, so we'll go with that.  Either way, I love the colors!

And finally, and most Thanksgiving-appropriate, we have your little construction paper turkey.  He is SO cute!  I'm going to hang him on your wall after you wake up from nap.  I LOVE this little guy!

Here on the home-front, we're still doing art as well, although not as much as we used to do.  Lately we've been working on learning how to cut with scissors, and you've been doing really well with that.  You will make a snip and then tear the paper in a line the rest of the way.  You're on your way to being a great scissor-user.  

We also attempted to make colored noodle Native American necklaces.  I dyed a box of rigatoni noodles different colors, and then gave you a piece of string with a twist-tie needle on which to thread your noodles.  See below:
But then Daddy got involved and showed you that the noodles could also fit on your fingers, and that was WAY more exciting than making some old necklace.  Sigh.  Daddy: what are we going to do with him?!

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Works of Art #25

Here's our 25th entry in your Works of Art category, and its' a biggie!  Your class has been working on a project in Art Class where you've been recreating the art of Eric Carle.  So here it is, without any further ado:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  
Written by Bill Martin Jr.
Illustrated by Ian Brooks
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?  
I see a red bird looking at me.
Red Bird, Red Bird, what do you see?
I see a yellow duck looking at me.
Yellow Duck, Yellow Duck, what do you see?
I see a blue horse looking at me.
Blue Horse, Blue Horse, what do you see?
I see a green frog looking at me.
Green Frog, Green Frog, what do you see?
I see a purple cat looking at me.
Purple Cat, Purple Cat, what do you see?
I see a white dog looking at me.
White Dog, White Dog, what do you see?
I see a black sheep looking at me.
Black Sheep, Black Sheep what do you see?
I see a goldfish looking at me.
Goldfish, Goldfish, what do you see?
I see...Children looking at me.
Here's your Monday-Wednesday-Friday class.
Nick, Tanner, Keelie, Carson, Luke, Joe, Rhiley, Cole, Spencer, J.R., Liam and you.  

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Toddler Life #16

You know you are the parent of a (potty training) toddler...

...when you get into a heated debate over why it's ok to stand to pee pee but sitting is required for the other.


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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Dear Ian,

What a week we've had leading up to Halloween.  We've visited pumpkin patches, carved those pumpkins, made costumes, and trick or treated like champs.

Our festivities for this year's Halloween started about a week ago when we visited the pumpkin patch at Faith Presbyterian Church.  We accidentally met up with Uncle Gary, Aunt Megan and Payton (they were there at the same time, but we didn't know that until we showed up), and that made it an even more fun experience.  We picked out a big pumpkin for us to carve and decorate, and you got to pick out your own little pumpkin.  You were super excited about your little pumpkin.  There were other fun things to do at the pumpkin patch, too.  There were scarecrows to look at and wooden cut-outs that you could stick your face through to make a funny picture.  You really enjoyed yourself, and it was a nice day for our family.  You especially loved having your Daddy around, because to you, Daddy is a rock star.  But I digress...

You are a lucky little dude, because a few days later, we got to visit a second pumpkin patch with Issa and her mommy, Miss Patti.  You and Issa, once again, ran around admiring all the pumpkins, and of course we used it as an opportunity to take cute pictures of the two of you.  And like last year when we did this, you wore an orange shirt, so you blended in to the background.  I need to remember that next year; different color for you little dude.  You and Issa both got tiny little baby pumpkins and were both really excited about them.  To top that afternoon off, we had ice cream at Baskin Robbins, and it was a pretty perfect day.

The next fun pre-Halloween thing we did was at your Great Grandpa's retirement home, Sterling House.  The Friday before Halloween, they hosted a little carnival for the families of the residents, and we went to take part in the fun.  You got to see you Great-Grandfather, and he got to watch you play the games and collect treats.  It was a neat night; you, your Daddy, your Grandpa Brooks and your Great Grandfather were all together.  Four generations of Brooks men.  I regret the fact that I let your Grandpa take pictures while I took this picture, because then we could have had all four of you, but that just means that we need to go back and try again.  It's sad that your Great-Grandpa really didn't realize that you're part of his family, but I know that watching you play brought a smile to his face.   You also got to debut your lion Halloween costume, and it worked really well despite the fact that you refused to wear your headband mane.

And then it was the weekend before Halloween.  We used that Saturday to carve our pumpkins, and they turned out really well.  You were a little hesitant at first to reach on in there and scoop out some pumpkin guts, but eventually you worked up the courage, and predictably, Mommy got covered in pumpkin innards.  You got to choose what your pumpkin looked like, too.  I drew a couple of options for eyes, a nose and a mouth for your pumpkin, and you picked the ones you wanted.  Funny, you chose a traditional jack-o-lantern face :)  We put some lights in them, and you were totally excited about seeing them all lit up. 

FINALLY we get to the actual day.  After a morning of Halloween party fun at school and a good nap, you got dressed up in your costume (again, with no headband mane), and we headed over to the Ghio's house for Graham's birthday party/Halloween get-together.  We got to see all of our baby friends: Chase, Tyler, Issa, Graham, Stokes and Harper were all in attendance.  We celebrated Graham's second birthday with a cupcake, but then we needed to get back home so you could do a little trick-or-treating before bed time.  And you did a GREAT job trick-or-treating.  You remembered to say trick-or-treat at every house we stopped at, and you also remembered your manners when they treated you.  And because Mommy is a stickler for rules, you stayed on the sidewalk and didn't run across the yards. You also helped me pass out a few pieces of candy, too.  The more scary costumes bothered you, but for the most part, the different costumes amused you. 

Whew.  That was a TON of Halloween stuff to post about.  But now it's over, and you're sound asleep in your bed.  Mommy and Daddy passed out the rest of our candy to the neighborhood kids, and our front porch light is officially off for this year's Halloween.  Now we move on to getting ready for Thanksgiving, and with the growth spurt you seem to be going through, I need to buy a 30 pound turkey. 

I love you much my little pumpkin!

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