Friday, October 29, 2010

Don't be scared by this ghost...

I love Halloween. I love it as a fun time of make believe and a chance for kids to be creative with costumes and a little acting. When the boys got to a certain age, we had some spookier yard decorations but always kept it (hopefully) kid friendly enough for the little ones.
The last few years, our outdoor decorations that are specifically for Halloween have been very few. That will probably change as Colton becomes more aware of what they are and we decorate with him in mind. Indoors, he has been fascinated by a small witch flying on a broom that hangs from a ceiling vent. Her bat wings flap when you pull on a suspended pumpkin. It hangs at my eye level so much of the last two days was spent holding him so he could investigate.

We have a life size plastic skeleton lit with a string of white lights hanging on our coat tree in the family room. It is supposed to hang outside but we recently had two days of high winds that nixed that idea, plus hanging inside made it more enjoyable for our little guy.
Until I see Colton dressed for Trick or Treating this weekend, the following is my favorite Halloween decoration. I used the idea shared here to make a greeting from Colton to his parents, his other grandparents, to his Uncle Billy and of course, one for us to keep.
While in his high chair, I painted the bottom of his foot with white acrylic craft paint then held his foot against black cardstock. Trick or Treat is a piece of printed ribbon. I plan to repeat this greeting for the next few years which I think will be a cute chart of his growth. Until he looks at me like I've grown a second head and complains Grandma...stop it!  But hey, a second head this time of year is perfectly acceptable, right?
Photobucket  Photobucket

Monday, October 25, 2010

A visit to a Minute Clinic

A cold has been circulating the greater Detroit area. My younger son and I had it a few weeks before the wedding. Most of the bridal party was sick either just before, during or after the event. Last Wednesday I was hoping it was just my sinuses bothering me, but by Friday I figured the cold was back again. We had a combination birthday and retirement party to attend Saturday afternoon. I thought a late morning nap would make me feel more rested. That plan backfired as a cough kept me awake and I could now hear a rattle in my chest.
I've had bronchitis often enough to know that I need to take it seriously. Wishing it was still Friday with the possibility of seeing my own doctor wasn't getting me anywhere, so I decided to try one of the Minute Clinics at a CVS drugstore. 
There were three people ahead of me when I signed in, but two were getting flu shots so they were in and out quickly. The nurse practitioner saw me about 25 minutes after I signed in. After the usual questions regarding why I was there, duration of symptoms, checking of ears, nose, throat, temp and blood pressure, the diagnosis was bronchitis and three prescriptions were given to me.

I've done not much more than watch TV and sleep since returning from the clinic, but I definitely feel better. I don't know what the mission statement of Minute Clinics might be, but my take is that they exist for those who cannot get in to their doctor when needed or perhaps don't have a doctor in the area. My own doctor will remain my first choice when I feel that I need treatment, but I am glad that Minute Clinics exist and helped me out this weekend. Based on how I was progressing, I think I would have been very ill by this morning when I could have made an appointment with my doctor.

Now, does anyone have any chicken soup they can send me?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

One more serious post on bullyism

This is going to seem unbelievable to most of you. Bullying isn't bad enough among this case it is adults who have targeted a child.

For updates on this story which include good news such as the outpouring of love by many, click here and read the updates in the sidebar. The monster of a neighbor has had her own children removed and they are now living with their biological father. That this woman is a parent herself and could act this way is truly mind boggling.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2 for 1 today: Serious first, then fun

I was going to write about something completely different today but after visiting Carol at Charli and Me and reading her posts dated October 20 and October 18, that post idea has been tabled. Carol's Oct 20, 2010 post is the serious part of my entry today. It is about bullying.
One of two links in Carol's blog will take you to another blogger who wrote her blog post as a letter to her daughter. The author thought only a few people would read it but instead it has "gone viral" and been referenced by many other bloggers.

Is there an easy answer to stopping bullying? No, but we can all do something. Tell a child they are wonderful. Tell them you love them. Tell them they can talk to you about anything. Don't stop telling them any of this. My guess is that bullying is worse today than when I was a child for many reasons. Growing up in the 50s and 60s, the pace of life was different. A teacher was more likely to hear or see the bully in action. Other parents were likely to see or hear it and intercede. Because we had a respect for adults back then that isn't always present today, and because we feared repercussion if an adult told our parents of our bad behavior, some bullies may have been stopped early and much more easily.

Today, with cell phones ever present and tweets, texts, blogs (do kids use blogs?) and Facebook, bullying can go cyber and anonymous. A bully's parents may have no idea what their child is doing. The child may be doing this in their own effort to fit in, to divert attention from their own insecurities or lack of popularity. Scary stuff. Photobucket

Now on to the light stuff. 

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Carol's post dated October 18th featured pumpkins at a local vendor's stand. I did a double take, wondering if we had visited the same seller. Probably not, but if you look at her photos and at these, you might think my husband and I were following her! Maybe due to the season, I should say corn stalking her?
 Grandpa, I am not afraid of this straw is just to bright out here to open my eyes!

 Whatever I am sitting on sure feels picky.

This one isn't a bad size, at least I can hold it. 

See? I can touch him in here where I can open my eyes.

Isn't Grandma done with the camera yet? I'm counting to three and then we're outta here.
(See his fingers? He was on "two" so I had to hurry and snap the photo!)

 Hey Grandpa, watch it there squeezing my biceps!

If I refuse to look at her and smile, will she finally let us go home?

Don't look at me! I didn't put this thing here!

Maybe next year this will be more interesting.

May the worst thing any of our lil punkins have to deal with this Halloween season, be they 7 months or 32 years old, is that mom, dad, grandpa or even grandma might snitch a piece or two of their favorite Halloween treat.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

And finally, the Main Event!

A gorgeous morning on a glorious day! Kim and her bridesmaids step off the limo/bus and get in line behind the man with the bagpipes as they are led into the church. This gave me goosebumps!
Kim tried, unsuccessfully, not to cry over the bagpipes and seeing so many cheering her on outside the church. I wish I had taken a close up of her necklace. She bought it online through Etsy and it was just beautiful.
Father Mike welcomes us all.
The bridal couple are seated during the First Reading, done by one of our nieces.
The exchange of vows are about to begin. Kim's oldest friend and Chuck's brother (our son Billy) are witnesses.
My sister-in-law sat behind us during the ceremony and held Colton. He was dressed in his own little tuxedo. He kept himself amused by leaning forward and picking at the sequins on my jacket.
When Chuck and Kim took flowers to the Blessed Virgin, my sister-in-law met them at the back of the church, kissed them, and gave Colton to Chuck. The family of 3 returned to the altar so that the priest could bless them all.
After the ceremony, Grandpa held Colton who promptly plucked the rosebud from Bill's boutonniere!
The girls wanted this shot of their killer shoes here. They were killer alright, they had to come off later in the day!
A younger piper was outside as we left the church. Bill is lucky I am happily married. I have a thing for bagpipes!
Bill and I took Colton to our house where the parents of one of the bridesmaids picked him up and kept him overnight. The florist is near our house. Colton fell asleep in the car so I waited with him while Bill got a replacement boutonniere. I took this picture of my corsage while in the car.
The hours between the noon ceremony and 6:00 reception were spent at our house with out of town friends and some of our relatives. The bridal party was in the limo/bus downtown for photos at various landmarks. As two of the first people at the hall, I took a picture while the tables and chairs could still be seen.
Kim's parents, Bill and I decorated the tables the previous afternoon. With a fall theme, there was a white pumpkin on each table with an assortment of silk leaves in fall colors. Instead of table numbers, guests looked for their tree name to find their seats. The one in this photo is Olive.
Kim's parents had this faux pumpkin engraved to sit on the cake table.
The cake was delicious! It is from a local bakery that prides itself on not using fondant (pretty but often tasteless) and their scroll work beautiful. The kids can take their top layer in next year for their anniversary and the bakery will scrape off the old frosting and redecorate it for them.
Close up of the cake topper.
Oh, the toasts...gulp! Billy gave a heartfelt speech welcoming his new sister into the family and told his brother that he loved him.
And then the Maid of Honor spoke about the bond she and Kim have as sister-like friends. Kim had to wipe a tear away.
And then another tear, and her nose too. I think every female at the reception was reaching for kleenex.
And then the Maid of Honor instructed Chuck to take Kim's hand in his left hand. She told the couple to look at one another. Then she told Chuck to place his right hand on top of Kim's and remember this moment....because it would be the last time he ever had the upper hand!
It was the perfect ending to her toast that had us all sniffling then laughing heartily!

I've neglected to show you my dress yet, so here it is. The unlined jacket had the same lace and beadwork as the bodice. Two clear snaps held the jacket fronts in place just to the center side of the dress' straps. That was a brilliant idea. I didn't have anyone take a photo of the back of my hair, but it was a classic French twist. It was beautifully done and stayed in place with the staplegun bobby pins and quart of shellac hairspray that my stylist used. (Love ya Melody! Just kidding about the torture!)
Here I am with my youngest niece. She is a sweetheart. She is also very manipulative. I'll explain in a minute.
When her oldest sister (above, holding Colton) was married, I mentioned to her other sister who is Chuck's age (born 11 days after him) that I danced on a table at my wedding. Surprised that her old aunt would do such a thing, I told that niece that it wouldn't be proper to dance on the table at her sister's wedding because she was the star of the event, but she and I could dance on chairs, and so we did.

Thirteen years later, my littlest niece wanted to dance on chairs with me. I tried convincing her I was too old. I tried using words like "decorum" and "class" but she and I both knew where we were headed, and here we are:
Proving that once you've danced on chairs with your aunt, you can't pass up the opportunity to do it again, here is my other niece joining us. I'm still working on the oldest niece and my sister-in-law.
I'm closing with a trite saying, only because it was so true: A good time was had by all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rehearsal dinner

The weather the day of the rehearsal was as pretty as the day of the wedding. Most of the photos of the actual rehearsal would be meaningless here, but I am including this one of the groomsmen because I like the contrast between Thursday night's rehearsal and Saturday's wedding.

The rehearsal dinner was held in the lower level banquet room of my city's public golf course. The restaurant upstairs is a coney island place, offering the chain's typical fare, but the banquet menu is completely different and very good. The view is wonderful.
My husband and younger son helped set up the centerpieces. It wasn't that they took much time, but as with all weddings, the closer you get to the ceremony and related events, the less time you have to accomplish anything!
The chargers are from Hobby Lobby; the artificial leaves, pine cones and nuts were all post season sales last year at Michael's; the artificial apples and pears are also from Michael's (thank goodness for coupons!); the flat back marbles (I've since learned are known as Angel Tears) became quite collectible by the young children (ages 5-8); the votives were purchased online from Yankee Candle while on sale and with a flat rate of $5 shipping (scent was apple pie) and the candy bar wrappers were from a template I found online. When I bought the Hershey bars, they were 2 packages of 6 bars each for $5 at Kroger. Last week, a single six pack was $4.49!

Colton enjoyed the rehearsal dinner. He was introduced to his first dinner roll. It was love at first bite. Or maybe that should read 'suck' or 'slurp'.
When you're 7 months old, you can sleep anywhere and no one thinks you're rude. In fact, most thought he was adorable.
 Here is Chuck between his new in-laws, two great people.
 I don't know which photo is my favorite of the evening, either this one of all my kids
or this one of my two best guys. Photobucket