Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Scenes

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Starting out

This morning started with the big decision of which costume Hattie would wear to school. I had thought she would want to wear her ballerina costume, and was in the process of trying to figure out what parts she could wear to school without ruining them when she suddenly decided to be a dog instead.

Fortunately I just happened to have this costume on hand (as it was the one I originally intended for her to use before the whole ballerina idea). It was quick, it was easy, it was warm, and there were no accompanying parts. Perfect.

She wore it to school for her party, and still had it on when school was over, only slightly marred by an encounter or two with some orange icing.

She's since informed me that she's going to be a ballerina tonight for trick-or-treating. So we'll see what we end up with.

Monday, October 30, 2006

What a box to open

Ohmygosh!! How much do I love this?!

I was just innocently surfing around the craft blog community last night when I checked out Bella Dia's site. She linked to something new called Pandora, so I went and I was BLOWN AWAY.

For free you get to select music, by artist or song, and they use what you select to pick out other music you might like and put it all together with what you selected to make up a playlist that appeals specifically to you! As they play each song you can vote on whether you like it or not, and if you don't, it quietly turns off and switches to the next song. Unbelievable! Oh, and you can set up as many as 100 different stations. Did I mention it was FREE?

Talk about a free market economy! Now I've got the world's biggest iPod!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Rain, rain is falling down

It's been pouring rain all day here. Really, it's been a good, steady, solid kind of rain. When it was time to go out to meet Nate's bus, Hattie and Charlotte amused themselves by stomping in all the puddles they could find.

After Nate got home we came in, they took off their wet clothes, and everyone had hot chocolate. Now the kids are curled up in front of a movie and I'm headed for the kitchen to make spaghetti sauce, two chicken casseroles (maybe more), bread, and dinner.

I love rainy days!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Speech Notebook Wednesday

In this week's speech notebook I wrote about what we did on Saturday, when we went to the Fall Festival at Hattie's new preschool and then finally bought a pumpkin. You can see the actual (not drawn) pictures here.

Tomorrow I have my regular Thursday morning rat race to run. With Hattie in a new school only on Tuesdays and Thursdays now, my Thursday mornings have become "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride," as one of Charlotte's teachers so aptly put it.

Charlotte doesn't ride the bus in to school on Thursdays because she has therapy (OT and speech) at 9 a.m. about 10 miles north of us. It took me 6 months to get that time slot so it wouldn't interfere with the rest of her school week. This schedule was fine while Hattie was in school on M, W, F, because then Hattie just rode along.

Now, however, I'm reduced to leaving the house at 8:15 so as to avoid any possible traffic cluster- you-know-whats (like the first time I tried this, when all the stoplights on a major thoroughfare that I had to use for several miles were out). So I drive to therapy, slow the car down a little and boot Charlotte out for her session. (Well, not really, but kinda.)

Then Hattie and I race back the way we just came, plus an additional few miles, to get her to school at 9:30. I sit in the line with the other moms in minivans feeling my blood pressure rise until I can dump Hattie out and zoom back to therapy to pick Charlotte up at 9:50, so I can take her to school, which is about 2 minutes from our house.

The first time I tried this, in addition to the stoplight issue mentioned above, I took a wrong turn on the way to Hattie's school, which extended our journey just the right amount to transgress Hattie's car riding limit. So she got sick. And once I got there, I couldn't find the carpool line and had to take her in, on the second day she'd ever been there, and there was much separation anxiety, including wailing and clawing (on Hattie's part), and sympathy (on my part), but no time really to deal with it. When I finally got back on the road, I got behind a garbage truck, whose driver was no doubt wondering who the crazy road-rage lady was behind him, banging her head against the steering wheel every time he stopped.

I got back to therapy about 15-20 minutes late, where Charlotte had been wondering where I was. Horrible.

So last week I left early, fairly confident that I could do everything in time now that I knew the drill, except that when I got to Hattie's school and the teachers were taking her out of the car, we discovered that I had forgotten to bring her bag, which contained her lunch, her blood sugar monitor, and (most importantly) (to her) the show-and-tell item.

Accordingly I spent three hours straight in the car last Thursday, 8:15 to 11:15, and the only time I got out of the car was to grab or drop off something or someone. My route that day looked like something from Spirograph -- home, to therapy, to Hattie's school, to therapy, to my house, to Hattie's school, to my house. All in Atlanta traffic on surface streets, complete with unsynchronized stoplights and old ladies in Lincolns who would explode if they went faster than 20 mph under the posted speed limit.

But at the risk of jinxing things, I might finally have my act together tomorrow. Sheesh.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Fall Festival Day

Today was a perfect fall day. We had gorgeous weather, Nate and Tim went to a Cub Scout function early this morning, then we went to the Fall Festival at Hattie's new school. You can see many pictures of our kids on bouncy-type things here.

On the way home we picked up a pumpkin, which we had been meaning to get for about three weeks now. Then it was home to doze on the couch in front of college football.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Speech Notebook Wednesday

Well, better late than never, I guess. We've been busy around here and I don't really see it letting up until maybe Friday. It's Conference Week at the elementary school, which means everyone comes home at 12:30, ALL WEEK.

But here's Charlotte's speech notebook for this week. You would think I would have lots of ideas about what to write, but really it's not that easy. I must have spent 15 minutes last night coming up with a topic. Of course, this is the third year that Charlotte's been in that class, so I've covered lots of things already and I feel like it would be a real cop-out to do them again.

This entry is all about our morning routine, from Charlotte's perspective of course. The routine usually works out fairly well, except for when the bus is 10 minutes early like it was the other day.

Sometimes I can write about things we did over the weekend, but I thought Saturday's dinner was too complicated to write about, and Sunday I have to say that all I did all day was work on Halloween costumes. To the extent that at dinner time Hattie said, "Mom you need to get dressed!" Which was a valid point, except that you could argue that if you wear flannel pants and a turtleneck to bed, that you're already dressed, in some fashion.

That's pushing it, I know. But I got Hattie's skirt all done and Nate's shirt and a vest-y thing done too. A little work on props and we'll be completely done. I'll take pictures if the sun ever comes out here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Oh, yeah...

Sour Cream Apple Pie
Originally uploaded by 3 to get ready.
Found out about this sour cream apple pie on Posie's post over here. It sounded great and I needed something yummy and seasonal to take to a friend's house for dinner tonight. I can never make anything like that for just us -- cooked apples aren't Tim's favorite, Nate won't eat it, and Hattie probably shouldn't, so that just leaves me and Charlotte and Charlotte's in school all day. That's the last thing I need -- to eat a whole pie by myself.

So I made it for tonight. I'm also taking along some brownies for those people who don't care so much for apple pie.

While it was baking this afternoon I asked Hattie if she wanted peanut butter or cheese with her crackers for lunch. She said, "I want apple pie!"

YUM! Me too.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Works in Progress

Halloween costumes are my primary works in progress. Here we have the first step in trying to make Nate a shirt out of one of Tim's old ones.

Should be interesting to see how that turns out, seeing as I'm going strictly by imagination and not by any kind of pattern or instructions. Fortunately we have many of Tim's old, ratty work shirts in case this approach doesn't work out.

I do have instructions, or at least a plan in mind, for this light pink tulle, white tulle, and wide, pink, satin ribbon. This would be for Hattie, who decided recently that she isn't going to continue the family tradition of being a non-gender-specific dog.

Should be interesting to see how that works out too.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Speech Notebook Wednesday

Wow! A week gone by already. For not doing anything particularly noteworthy, time sure passed quickly.

The subject of today's post was an exercise to see just how impaired I could be and still function. I did it Monday night, after coming home from my first experience with bunco. Late Monday afternoon a friendly neighbor asked me if I wanted to sub, since apparently someone in their group couldn't come. I'd heard about the bunco phenomenon, and read about it in the paper, but had never actually played it.

My only problem was that I had bell choir practice right before, so I had to go straight to bunco without dinner. NOT a good idea.

Everyone was very pleasant and they had some nice snacks, but they had LOTS of beer and wine. So we all threw our dice and chatted and drank our drinks. Then about 10:30 I walked home with my prize: the pumpkin-as-spider tea light holder I'd won for getting the last bunco.

Then I remembered that I had to do Charlotte's homework, which, if I'd been thinking, I would have done earlier.

With games of chance on my mind, I somehow ended up writing about Bingo. My handwriting is messy and my corners aren't as straight, but I think it was passable.

I spent the whole next day trying unsuccessfully to convince myself that I wasn't hung over.

And now my conversion to 100% suburban housewife is complete.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Speech Notebook Wednesday

I'm noticing a very close parallel between posts on Mondays and what ends up in the speech notebook. Sorry for the redundancy, but it's all I've got.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Photographic evidence

Well, today's my birthday. In honor of the occasion, I've put together this little photo retrospective of me over the past four decades. You can tell from this that I'm one of those people who has looked essentially the same my whole life.

I briefly considered doing a "40 things about me" thing, but didn't want to bore people to tears. You can see each of these pictures individually (with explanations) over on flickr.

Thanks to LLA for linking to the cool slideshow trick!

Birthday Montage

Birthday Montage
Originally uploaded by 3 to get ready.
Something for you to look at while I put together what I really wanted to put here........

Sunday, October 01, 2006


My family and I celebrated my birthday today instead of tomorrow for several reasons. One, it's no fun having a birthday on a Monday, which is the absolute worst day for a birthday. Two, Tim has to work late tomorrow night, which doesn't give us much opportunity to do anything. Three, everyone will be at work/school tomorrow except for Hattie, and four, I have several things that must be done tomorrow. These things include but are not limited to: the laundry, cleaning the house, getting the emissions checked on a car, and paying bills. Not exactly birthday-type things to look forward to.

Fortunately our strategy could not have worked better. The weather cooperated, the kids cooperated, the scheduling cooperated -- everything was perfect.

The first thing we did was go out for breakfast at J. Christopher's. We walked right in and sat down. The food and service were great, and the kids behaved beautifully. We did notice on our way out, however, that by then the place was packed and on a wait.

After that we headed for the Atlanta History Center. I'd gotten a family pass for a visit back in February from a school auction and had been wanting to go, but so far we hadn't come up with a free day. Since it was a beautiful day today and we had nothing critical to do, I thought this would be a good time to use it.

Traffic was unusually light and we got downtown about half an hour before the History Center was open. So we stopped at a thrift store nearby and Nate and I ran in while Tim and the girls waited in the car. Nate and I shopped unencumbered, Hattie napped, and Tim and Charlotte listened to football on the radio -- everyone was happy as pie. More about what I got later.

Then we drove on over to the History Center and got there five minutes after it opened. Again, perfect.

We went in and saw a new quilt exhibit (which I highly recommend to anyone in the area -- they are GORGEOUS!) and the 1996 Olympics exhibit. We tried to catch a tour at the Swan House at 1, but we missed it, so we played in the gardens until our tour at the Tullie Smith house at 1:30. Fortunately we'd had such a big, late breakfast that no one was hungry for lunch.

After touring the Tullie Smith House (shown above), the Swan House, and any remaining exhibits in the museum, we were finally ready to eat. It was about 4 pm. We had managed to miss the lunch crowd and we were too early for the dinner crowd.

We drove on over to La Fonda Latina in Buckhead, where we had the whole place to ourselves. Incidentally, this is where Tim and I went on our first date, as it was about a block from the condo I had then. We had a delicious and cheap meal (paella del mar -- YUM), and then we went home via the grocery store, where we picked up a Chocolate Lovers' Delight cake. We ate it about an hour later, after everyone wasn't quite so stuffed.

I opened some presents (check back tomorrow for the report on that), and then it was bedtime. Three baths later and the kids were in bed at about 7:45. Everyone was in a good mood, full, happy, and pleasantly tired. We really couldn't have planned it better if we tried. You can see more pictures from today here.

Oh, back to the thrift store finds. I got two wool sweaters to felt and make into something, and a cute pillowcase, again, for something I haven't figured out yet. But my real find was this:

a classic, lined, plaid wool jumper from Talbots in perfect condition for $1.65. I KNOW! The thing is, it's a size 8 and I wear a 10 (sometimes 12). But I couldn't just leave it there. It would have been sacrilege. I tried to rationalize it thinking that I love the fabric and I could cut it up, but I know I won't be able to cut into it.

Maybe it will be the inspiration I need to lose a little weight. It's so classic that I bet I could even take a few years to do it and I could still wear this. Did you see? $1.65!

Overall, a perfect, perfect birthday.