Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween! (as told by Roman)

I wore my costume all day at preschool. I was the only one to wear it, even though the sign said we all could. Mama said that's because the other parents wouldn't let their kids wear their costumes, and that made me feel better about being the only one.
We ate dinner around 5:30. I kept asking if it was time to go trick-or-treating but Mama said the big hand had to be on the 6. I watched and watched the clock but it didn't seem to move! I asked Mama and Daddy a couple times if it was broken, because the clock just never moved.
Finally Daddy said I could go put my new snow boots on - tonight they were my pretend pirate boots! Mama got her pirate costume on and Daddy stayed at home to hand out candy. I went to lots & LOTS of houses and kept getting candy until it was all full up! My bag was very heavy. We trick-or-treated for about 45 minutes, then came back to help Daddy pass out candy. That was as much fun as getting candy! I got to see all the people coming to our house. I even saw R2D2! Daddy said it was from Star Wars and I think maybe I want to see that movie now.
Daddy took pictures before we left. I am very tired because I did not take a nap today and I surprised Mama and Daddy by crawling into their bed last night when they were sleeping. They didn't even know I was in their bed until I called out in my sleep around 1:30am! I woke them up at 2:30 and at 4am too. So I guess we're all pretty tired.
Look how cute I was in my pirate costume! Next year, I am not going to be a pirate. I will be something else.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sleeping with Dora

Since Saturday, Roman can now get the full experience of sleeping in his Dora sheets. Behold: the big, BIG boy bed!

He has been very cozy in his new bed and all his sheets fit, too. We do have a frame with head & footboards but thought if he falls, better fall from this height first.

In true Roman fashion, he changed his mind about his Halloween costume today. He has been okay with being a pirate Captain Feathersword for months. But at preschool today a firefighter came to talk with the kids, and now Roman wants to be a fireman. I told him all the costumes everywhere were sold out and he just had to be a pirate one more year. He's sad about it, but has agreed. The good news is he gets to wear his costume to school tomorrow for their morning party.

Roman also did not want to carve pumpkins tonight. Well, he wanted to carve them - he just wanted nothing to do with cleaning it out. So I suggested that we draw on our pumpkins instead and make faces on them. He thought that was a great idea - "they can be silly or scary!" But he settled on a cat face when he saw that's what I was drawing. And here's a shot of the artist hard at work, and then a blurry one of him posing with his creation.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Almost Halloween...

Settling back into normal, whatever normal is. Decided to skip Scooter Club yesterday as Roman has just been exhausted from playing with my parents, and playing with his friend Max, and playing at Red Bell… playing is a full time job, you know!

Speaking of my parents, they came for the weekend and were a Godsend. They babysat Roman, did the grocery shopping, planned the meals, helped with laundry, and general small maintenance around the house. We’re practically caught up now!

My grad class is almost finished – just one paper left to write. I gathered all the info I needed today, school improvement plan, demographics, MEAP subscores, etc. Blech. Checked the university’s registration to doublecheck if the class was available for next semester that I need – and it turns out it is! So I’m signed up for “Curriculum Leadership” on Thursday nights from 7-10pm. The last class is on or near my birthday. I only conflict with swimming on 2 nights in March – I thought that was pretty good.

Posted all my pictures from the DC trip. I was struggling with Yahoo! Photos, but they fixed whatever I was struggling with so uploading was much faster. So go here if you want to see all the fun that was had.

Tomorrow night is one of my favorite nights of the school year - the Halloween dance! No costumes allowed at school, but they are allowed at the dance. The creativity of some of the kids is great. We teachers also have heard that Paige T. is having a party at her house, we are debating crashing it to give them a hard time. It's parent-supervised so no big deal, but we think it would be funny. I'm going as a pirate this year, of course. Got my black pants & shirt, my velvety tunic, black belt and hat, knee-high black boots, and even a parrot for my shoulder.

When I lived in K-zoo with Sheryl in the duplex, our next-door neighbor said about Halloween that it's the night when people dress up as who they want to be. Now that I've settled on my 3-costume rotation, I have to agree. A pirate, Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter, and a Native American - I just wonder if I had to choose, which one I'd be for real?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We the People

Trip to DC was fantastic. I find that I dislike flying more and more. I can't tell if it's motion sickness rearing up, or the simple paranoia of my plane crashing (which I'm sure it will on takeoff), but I truly have begun to dread getting on a plane. Perhaps the 4 flights to Russia and back have something to do with it?

Instead of posting a summary of the trip, I will post just a few pictures. (note: I tried to attach 4 - only 2 will actually show up). I also will admit when I cried - at the Sept. 11 memorial within the Pentagon, and at the Vietnam Memorial. The Pentagon itself was very, very interesting. The memorial was well done, and it was on the floor/side that the plane crashed into. I mean, I was standing on ground that the plane slammed into. I held it together until I saw the flag that draped the coffin with the remains of all 184 people that died at the Pentagon that day. One coffin. 184 people. Me, crying.

But I was also moved by the little things I saw on the trip - a father and young teen son in deep conversation about history at the FDR Memorial. A World War II vet speaking of his experiences to 3 twenty-something college students at the WWII Memorial, and the students staring in awe and listening intently. The mom at the Archives staring at a document and saying to her kids, "Can you believe it? The Declaration of Independence! Can you believe it?!" That is why I like history so much. When people get it. When history is people, and real things, and other people care.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Winding up before letting loose

It's been a busy, hectic last few weeks. Again, we've planned it that way, what with a football game last weekend at WMU and all kinds of stuff in between. I'm flying out on Thursday night to go to Washington, D.C. for the weekend. That means everything has to be done on Wednesday, which is hard for me to fathom. I have a paper due in my grad class next Thursday, so I've written the rough draft and put 4 "references to the literature" in it, as requested. I leave straight for the airport after conferences, which isn't fun either. But, I have a good roommate and fresh batteries for the camera, so it should be good. Oh yeah, and prepping the sub plans.

Doug is going to have fun this weekend too, actually. He and Paul are going to a U-M game, which Doug hasn't attended since we got the boy 2 years ago. My parents are coming over to babysit Roman, and then staying a couple extra days to save us from drowning in house chores. Namely, my Dad has a new power washer and wants to play with it on our little deck. And if it's power-washed, we might as well go ahead and stain & seal it. And while Dad's here, if he wouldn't mind...
and my Mom loves going to Trader Joe's and IKEA, and is a great entertainer of Roman. So it will be a good visit.

We put Halloween decorations up in the house yesterday evening. Roman was concerned about there being "weird things" in the box, but was overall pleased with my stash. His favorite is a grinning cardboard skeleton with jointed legs and arms which he can position in all sorts of funny poses. He is thrilled he's going to be a pirate - and Mama is too! He keeps asking if it's "trick or treat time" yet.

Roman is doing better with accidents at Red Bell. Doug and I decided to switch tactics and act like the accidents were no big thing and reassured him he could have them. That has totally changed the mindset on this little boy of ours, and he's gone 2 days without an accident. We were starting to have multiple accidents a day last week. See, it's all about control with that one.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

a weekend of celebrating

We made one of our infamous rounds of the west side cities this weekend. Saturday we visited Plainwell, where my nephew Eli celebrated his 2nd birthday. Homemade pizza, chocolate cake, and mint-chocolate-chip ice cream made for the perfect party. Roman loved playing with Iris' & Eli's toys, and picked tomatoes and a strawberry from Aunt Bonnie's garden.

After that party, we journeyed to Grand Rapids where we spent the night at Paul & Nicole's. This morning we celebrated their son Perrin's baptism at church, and then a cookout of their family & friends afterward. Roman enjoyed that party too, because there were older kids who played with him - and Legos that Paul allowed Roman to take apart. We were honored to be asked previously to be Perrin's godparents. We didn't have to do anything for the actual baptism - just take lots of pictures - but we take the implied responsibility pretty seriously. Perrin did what he was supposed to do - smile during church.

Roman was a little put out that he didn't get any presents this weekend. We did, however, update two of our old VHS movies from the mid-1990s (antiquated, I know!) to DVDs. "Cinderella" and "Mary Poppins" have now entered the 21st century at our house. Roman loves the song "Chim Chim Cheree" and is desperately trying to learn all the words. His favorite scene, however, is Bert dancing with the penguins. He laughs out loud every time.

He impressed the woman who was running the 2s and 3s nursery at church this morning. Apparently they learned the Abraham & Sarah story; we had just talked about it on Wednesday at Scooter Club. The woman told me that Roman was terrific - he participated, he knew all the answers, and he was friendly to the other kids. Her last comment was, "your church is really lucky to have a little boy like him!" Oh man, I just glowed. We really do have a fantastic little boy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


The comments, Qs, and As of a 3-and-a-quarter year old.

At "Scooter Club" tonight, when talking about caring:
Q: "How does your mama show you she loves you?"
A: "She plays trains for one (hold up finger) minute."

Q: "How does your daddy show you he loves you?"
A: "He plays trains for TWO (hold up fingers) minutes."
(teacher whispers an aside to me - "I know how it is. I play Star Wars.")

While reading a book last night:
Q: "Mama, did I come from your tummy, like Baby Perrin?"
A: "No, honey. There is a special lady in Russia and you were in her tummy, and when she went to the hospital and you were born, they called me and Daddy to tell us to come get you."
Q: "What was her name?"
A: I tell him.
Comment: "Oh, I see." and a long pause as he takes it in. Then:
Q: "Did you and Daddy swim at the hotel in Russia?"
(I try hard not to laugh.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I need a Kit-Kat bar.

There's little energy when I say... "give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that..." You know what I'm saying. I'm not at "stop the world, I want to get off" mode yet - but close.

I had forgotten how busy a graduate class can make a person be. The last time I took one was 3 years ago, the semester before we got Roman. Now I have spent the last two evenings writing a "brief" paper (only 3-4 pages) which is 20% of my grade, not having received a rubric until last week. And another paper due in two weeks, with a presentation based on that paper. And then another paper (final) due two weeks after that.

Throw in a 3-year-old, a husband, visiting family members and friends, and oh yeah - work - I'm getting a little overwhelmed. Newspaper? Haven't read one in two weeks. TV? I watch 3 hours a WEEK (but that's another complaint for another day). Papers to correct? I have about 90 in my bookbag that won't get touched tonight. House clean? Pshaw. Right. I'm thinking of naming the spiders and keeping them as pets. I would cry or laugh, or even both - but it would take too much energy.

I can't complain too much, however. Part of the reason I'm so overwhelmed is because of the fun I've been planning on the weekends. We camped this past weekend and went to the Renaissance Festival in Holly. It was a gorgeous day, and we had a great time. Roman was fascinated and thrilled with all the costumed people, and even helped pick out the rest of my pirate outfit (50% off sale at Sofi's!).

Today we had a postponed playdate at Maxwell's house. We got there around 4pm, had great fun outdoors, played trains, had a pizza dinner, and left around 6:00pm. Much longer than we thought, but the boys played so very, very well together. Roman fell apart when it was time to go, he wanted to keep playing with Max and his trains. Max very sweetly allowed Roman to borrow Spencer the Train ("fastest engine in the world!"), with the understanding that Max could borrow Jack & Alfie (part of "The Pack") when he visits us next.

Tomorrow is another busy night. Pioneer Club starts at church, and we're going to see if Roman can handle it. Wendy (the teacher) believes he can, as we do - it just depends on how many kids in his age group show up. I will be attending Club with the boy, as Daddy is going to be attending the Open House at Roman's school at the same time. He will be making a craft for Roman - now that, I wish I could see.

By the way, have you watched "Heroes"? Monday nights on NBC, 9pm? People who are finally able to "evolve" by using more of their brains. Teleportation, reading thoughts, physically unbreakable, etc. It's hella cool. Last night's episode kind of freaked me out (lady committing multiple murders but not remembering them - split personality? Two bodies?) but the ending was AWESOME. The Japanese teleporter guy had transported himself a month ahead and saw the future. And let me tell you, it was C-R-A-Z-Y.

Lastly, I have found that when a person is the busiest, that's when crazy thoughts start popping into the head. Such as... maybe we should buy a different house. And let's do some research on adoption again...