Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Pickin'

Last weekend we went to the pumpkin farm to pick our pumpkins. This is one of my favorite things to do each year and I was pretty excited for Lily's 1st time! Yeah, yeah...even though she won't remember. Just look how excited she was. :)

The hayride was bouncy and she was so enamored with the sky. She kept looking up at the sky and the trees as we rode out to the pumpkin patch. 

As I have said before, my family just knows that pictures are a part of everything we do, so there's not much complaining about it anymore.  Andrew had a cold and it was day 2 of it, so he wasn't feeling quite himself and Reagan was getting a runny nose too, but they both were good sports all day and excited to go!

We had a great time as usual and this year wasn't muddy or cold like it was last year, so an added bonus!

Lily did great for a little bit and then was super tired and got fussy. Still a cutie even when crying. :)

Happy Fall 2010~


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time to catch up on my 30+ Day Challenge!

Day 13-Goals
My goal is to raise happy, healthy, productive and morally sound children to grow into adults.
~To cultivate a loving and honorable marriage.
~To organize my paperwork better and sooner.
~To be more diligent with my

Day 14-A picture you love
Day 15-Bible verse


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sharing Halloween

*There is some venting in this post.*

I love all things Fall!

Pumpkin picking, carving pumpkins, roasting seeds, the leaves, the festivals, the weather, the smells...ALL of it!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays too! I'm not into scary stuff, but cute Halloween stuff. :)

I love making treats for Andrew's class, baking at home with the kids and now putting Lily in adorable Halloween clothes.


Seriously that little punkin melts my heart!

The last few years we've established some traditions with our family that we all look forward to each year and we've been fortunate to have Reagan with us for trick-or-treating. This is year she will be at her mom's on Halloween.

It's Lily's first Halloween this year, so we're bummed it won't be all of us.

We've still been doing all of our other activities like we do each year. We live our lives, knowing that sharing holidays is simply part of sharing custody of my stepdaughter. 

Andrew's dad and I have had our holidays worked out flexibly for years and it works for us.
It's a little different because his dad lives out of state, but having a working relationship as parents is a huge benefit to Andrew.

We're lucky that our kids still go to schools where they celebrate Halloween with pumpkin carving contests, parties and parades. I love that!

Of course there HAS to be one little hiccup in the events... 

Like I said, we don't have Reagan with us on Halloween this year, as she's with her mom during that part of the week.
Reagan's parade is Friday of this week.
So, we asked Reagan's mom to send her costume in to school for Reag to wear in the Halloween parade.

She said no.


It's your daughter's school Halloween parade where the kids wear their Halloween costumes.

It's YOUR daughter's parade.

See, we didn't think it WAS a big deal since it's her daughter, her costume and her parade. Yep, nothing to do with my husband and myself as people.

We should have known the answer would be no. I, however, was surprised.

It doesn't hurt me, but we definitely had a hurt little girl last weekend.

Instead, it perpetuates a kid who thinks she gets two of everything and has to be two different people --one at our house and one with her mom.  Double everything. Things are not allowed to come to our house because "we're dirty" and "we're poor".   Reference: The Anger List

Before I get into the rest of the bullshit about my stepdaughter playing outside in tennis shoes and her play shoes being "stained" or her jeans having grass stains on them because we let her play outside--THE HORROR!--I need to get back to the costume because the rest of it is so absolutely ignorant and ridiculous, I cannot believe she even wrote it.

So, instead, we get to go get Reagan a different costume for a 15 minute parade.  And the damage done to her, once again, will most definitely last longer than 15 minutes.

I've found this is really difficult for me to write without venting all my anger about the entire situation, as I personally have never encountered a human being who is more destructive to their own child as a means of "hurting" other adults.

Basically the message we received: "She's only my daughter the 3 1/2 days she's with me." 

Yep. Two backpacks, two lunchboxes, shoes and clothes she's not allowed to bring here etc. etc. etc.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm a mom all the time....even when my son is with his dad.

Someday, maybe we'll actually SHARE custody of this little girl instead of having her torn apart each week.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

These Are the things I Believe ~ Day 12

Day 12-What you believe

I've been thinking about this post and how to really capture into words "what I believe".
I've decided that instead of overwhelming myself with trying to write everything, I'd just focus on a few and see where it goes. :)

Since 1995, I have lived by the belief:
everything happens for a reason.
It has become so cliche that it almost annoys me to say it anymore, but the truth of the matter is, I wholeheartedly believe it.

Everything has a purpose.
Some things I may not know or ever know.
I have faith in His purpose.

Also, ALL of the events of my life have led to me where I am.
I wouldn't change ONE thing.
Without everything being EXACTLY as it happened, then everything else would have been changed as well.

The above is very much a snapshot of who I am.

These are also the things I believe:
~Babies are a gift.
~Pregnancy from conception to delivery is miraculous. A true miracle.
~One can fall in love with another through online and telephone communication.
~All children have a right to a safe home.
~Consistency in parenting offers security to a child and security lets them know they are loved.
~The legal system is broken.
~Things are right or wrong. Not "kinda" right or "kinda" wrong.
~No two children are born into the same family.
~I cannot be the only person in a relationship to make effort and sometimes I have to let that relationship go when the effort is not reciprocated.

I'm certain this list could be miles long, but I'm stopping here. :)

I'm a passionate woman who has very strong opinions, is open minded to others and is more empathetic than sometimes is good for me.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Days 9, 10, 11 ~Blog Challenge

Day 9-A picture of your friends
I have a friends who live here in Pittsburgh, Arizona, Tennessee and all over the country...
 and to pick a few to post pictures of just doesn't seem right to me.
I value friendship and the people in my life so very much.

Day 10-Something you're afraid of
Aside from the big stuff of something happening to one of my children and heights,
I'm afraid of fast moving critters.
Things like: scorpions, mice, centipedes
I guess I'm especially afraid of small fast moving critters.

Day 11-Favorite tv shows
For TWENTY years, I have loved:

I'm sad that the original ended last year.
I love SVU just as much and the jury's still out (haha) on Los Angeles, as of yet.
I watch this show ALL the matter how many times I have seen an episode. I love when they reference past shows, past characters, bring a character back for an episode etc.
20 years? Really? I started watching this show when I graduated from high school?
Sheesh. I'm old.

My new favorite show:


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Days 6 to 8 ~ Blog Challenge

Okie Dokie. Doing this 30 Day Blog Challenge has become more than 30 days, but ya know what?
I'm ok with that.
 I have a lot going on in my life. :)

So, today I'm going to catch up on a few days:

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

I could do this one...because just looking at it makes me happy...

Or this one...because I love when he laughs like that...

Or this one...I am reminded of how much love I feel looking at him...
We had gone fishing over Labor Day weekend in 2007, it was hot and we were super sweaty. I still look at him this

A picture that makes me happy is pretty much too difficult for me because I am OBSESSED with pictures!

Day 7-Favorite movies
Let's see...

I love...





Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Traveling isn't something that I've ever really been drawn towards as a passion. Sure, I like going places and seeing different towns, history, touristy stuff, however, the company is what makes the trip for me.

I've been to a lot of different states and really enjoy trips. I've never been out of the country, but my husband and I have a destination we're planning for.

The first few places that come to mind are: San Francisco, Charleston, SC, and Newport, CA.
Newport, CA July 2007

That's it for now.
On to Days 9-11 and then I will be caught up...
if I finish it today. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Days 4 and 5 ~Blog Challenge

Day 4-Your parents
My parents.
Where to even begin...
For the last 15 1/2 years it's been my mom.
I actually even miss saying "my parents" in the present sense.

I was born to 2 newlyweds in March 1973, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
A man of 26 and a woman of 20.
My mom was from Clarksburg, West Virginia and my dad from Johnstown, PA.

They married in this church in West Virginia...

...and lived in this house in Pennsylvania.
(This is one of my brothers who was also born in Pittsburgh and lived in this house.)

In 1976, a baby boy was born into our family and again in 1981, another boy.

In 1979, my parents packed up our belongings and moved us to Mesa, Arizona.
In a dad, my mom, myself at age 6 and my 3 year old brother.
My parents were hardworking (my mom still is) and everything they've always done was for their children.
I am so blessed to have been born into this family
The model of parenting I was given is truly a gift.

Our last family photo shortly before my dad died, May 1995.

Day 5-Your siblings

I am the oldest and only girl to a family of 3 children.
My brother after me is 3 years younger...J.
He is married and has 2 children --a boy and a girl.
I consider my sister-in-law my sibling too. ♥

The "baby" of the family is 8 years younger than me...A.
He is the only native of Arizona

All 3 of us are teachers.

My brothers both teach high school special education.

My sister-in-law and myself are elementary teachers. She's teaches 1st grade and I taught kindergarten.

My brother's are both coaches, as well and teach/coach at the same high school we all attended.

I grew up in a great family and I'm proud they're my brothers!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Little Catch Up

Happy Sunday!

The end of the week has been pretty busy around here --hockey games, scouting activities, yard work, school work and tests for the kids to study for. Seems like Thursdays are the busiest.

I need to catch up on my Blog Challenge and I'm going to do that today. I have days 4-6, I think.

Friday, I went to a great consignment sale that I've now come to look forward to each Fall and Spring. I practiced with the Moby Wrap so that I could shop this sale with ease with Lily. She hung in there like a champ! (pun intended) I was really happy with my finds for her for the winter months! (I HATE spending a lot of money on clothing.) 

Saturday, Andrew, had his first Scout activity to go to. He and George headed off to the Shoot-O-Ree to do boy stuff...shoot bb guns and the like.

And yes, since it's Pittsburgh, "shooting" means hockey too!

The girls and I headed to Reagan's hockey game.

We've been working on lessons of responsibility with the kids recently and Saturday was one of those lessons learned for the 6 year old.
Reag forgot her hockey gear at home. 

Typically, it's in the trunk of the car. I asked before we left to make sure she had her stuff and she said, "Yes."  We got to the game, opened the trunk and there was her stick and that's it. 
Yikes. Helmet, jersey, gloves missing.

She was bummed.
Her coach had a jersey for her to borrow, but without a helmet--no go.  George and Andrew had finished up at the Shoot-O-Ree and were on their way home. They stopped, got her gear and headed to her game. But, for the majority of the game, she watched from the bench and her gear arrived in time only for her to play the last few minutes. 
She was a disappointed little girl. 

Lily enjoyed the game by napping in the Moby Wrap!
(It's kinda like being pregnant again...with the baby on the outside.)

In between hockey games, George worked on trimming the trees that are close to the house so that hopefully the squirrel who loves to jump onto the roof of our house and run laps will find another place to run.
( I LOVELOVELOVE that my husband is so 'handy'!)

It was back to hockey shortly after for Andrew's hockey game last evening:

Lily watched her big brother with her Daddy for a little while...
 ...then cozied back up in the Moby with Mama for the rest of the game.

We had a pretty busy Saturday and are looking forward to a relaxing Sunday.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Our Candle...October 15

Baby, Baby Let Me Sleep On It

Lily moved into her crib between her 7th and 8th weeks from her previous sleeping quarters of her bassinet in our bedroom.

At the beginning this was how she was feeling about it:

And now:

(Yes, my daughter sleeps on her belly sometimes and yes, I have the bumper in her crib. I'm ok with it and have a healthy 10 year old, so I'm comfortable with my choices.)

She's been getting good stretches of sleep for a the last few weeks with one wake up in the middle of the night for sure. 

The last two nights, she went to bed at 9pm and slept until 6am!!  I don't know about y'all, but that's night until morning!

9 hours uninterrupted! WOO HOO!!

I'm hoping we've achieved the real "sleeping through the night" milestone enabling mama a normal awake period. :)

p.s. she sleeps all night on her back.