Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Sunday

Late Sunday afternoon, we all returned from our various points across Texas. I declared it Pumpkin Time. The weather was finally cool enough, and with only a few days to go until Halloween, I thought there was a good chance our carvings would last until October 31. (Yes, I am still burned by the lesson we learned back in 1999 that you can't carve pumpkins in Texas until basically Halloween day if you want them to last).

Our local nursery always has a nice display around Halloween.

But sadly, they were all out of decent carving pumpkins. :(

Still, it made for a nice photo op.

HEB didn't let us down, and we came home with three great pumpkins - one for Alex, one for Ryan, and the family pumpkin.

I'm a fan of carving pumpkins outside.

Less mess, and we can admire our outdoor decorations whilst we carve away.

 The boys wanted Angry Birds pumpkins. These took WAY more time than originally intended, so we only ended up with two carved pumpkins.

Alex's black bomb bird (which lost part of its beak in the carving).

 And Ryan's blue Angry Bird. I'm particularly proud of this one, since it was done all by me. Well, Ryan taped his stencil on the pumpkin. ;)

The family pumpkin will remain uncarved, and can live on as a general fall decoration after we pack up the Halloween decor this weekend.

We're all ready now for a great Halloween night.

Assuming we can find all nine pieces of each boy's Ninja costume - some of those little ties for the arms and legs are small and clearly the cat is hiding them on me.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I had a great morning with the boys today, they woke up in great moods, both behaved very well, had a good morning with each other, helped get themselves ready, were fully dressed to meet the cold, and then got out the door a full 10 min early for the bus.

While sitting in the car waiting for the bus, Alexander handed me this

and asked if I wanted it. Now, what little boy offers a Reeces peanut butter cup to someone else, and not eat it himself? I was touched with his thought for another person.

Now granted, when he got out of the car, I saw another empty wrapper, so he had saved one for himself ;-) But the thought was there and was touching. Both boys are growing so quickly and I think very well.

- Danger Daddy

Monday, October 29, 2012

Photo Bombing

 Last week, my brother and his family made their first trip to Texas in almost six years. I, naturally, took close to a gazillion photos over three days. I'm going through sorting and editing all of them, and these all made me laugh, as they are a version of the infamous photo bomb. Some happened quite naturally, like with Alex on his scooter below.

And you can catch a glimpse of Mom off to the right here.

Since its hard to get kids to smile in unison, we had time for Robyn and Audrey to also appear off to the right.

And then they officially bombed our photo shoot.

But my favorite had to be this one of Alex and Ryan, who were leaving Houston with Carl to go off to the USS Lexington camp out in Corpus. I wanted a photo of them before they took off, since I didn't know if I could count on Carl to get one of them together there.

And look who showed up, also smiling, but little Laurel.

The cutest little photo bomber EVER.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Danger Rooks Overtake Queen Mom

Our school has a Chess Club.

I've never played chess in my life, and unless its a round of Wizarding Chess a la Harry Potter, I don't think I'll ever want to play chess.

But Alex has been interested in chess for years, and he received his own chess board four years ago. He's wanted to join the Chess Club since he started kindergarten. Well, I'm sorry, but there is just something wrong about the Chess Club meeting at 6:45 a.m. on Fridays. So we didn't join.

He asked again, in first grade to join. But it was still meeting at 6:45 a.m. So we didn't join.

He asked again, in second grade, to join. But it was still meeting at 6:45 a.m. So we didn't join.

This year, we caved to his requests, and signed both him and Ryan up for Chess Club. Ryan wasn't so sure about joining, but much like swim team, if we're killing ourselves to get them somewhere in the dark, and they both can theoretically go, then by God, they are both going.

Carl has been kind enough to take them thus far, but the kids started asking why I wasn't going to Chess Club. (As if it wasn't obvious - its hard enough when I have to get up early enough to go inside the school for something on any given morning, but that's at least at 7:45 a.m. But a full HOUR earlier? In the middle of the night? I don't think so.)

So I caved, and went with them. And I took a few pictures, since who knows if I'll make it back for another Chess Club meeting.

So what is Chess Club? Well, its hundreds of kids playing chess, in the dark of night, before school starts on Fridays. These pictures don't do justice to how many kids are there. I stood around talking with other parents before I was put to work by some of the parents who run the show. Yet another reason why I don't think I'll go back to Chess Club. Get up at 5:30, so I can shower, dress, put makeup on, get the kids up, dressed, fed, and hop in the car so I can hand out Chess Bucks? Just shoot me. Talk about feeling like a pawn in the kids' chess board of life.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stage 4

I've tried to write this post several times over the past month, and every time I start out doing so, I delete what I've written.

In one way, it seems, well, wrong, to write about the negatives and the fact that my beloved grandmother is dying. But visiting with her these past weekends has been such an important part of my life in September and October, it also seems wrong not to mention what I've been doing with most of my free time. Adding to that decision is the fact that BeBe is and always has been one of the most important people in my life, someone who truly helped raise me and form me into the woman that I am today, and this is the first time that I have been faced with really watching someone I love suffer. When my father died, it was immediate and sudden, and I take comfort in the fact that while I didn't get to say goodbye to him, that he didn't suffer much because it happened instantly. Its an entirely different kind of grief with BeBe, since we know its coming, and because she is clearly in horrible amounts of pain.

We found out August 31 that her lung cancer was back, and that she has Stage 4 cancer, which means that the cancer has taken over and spread to other main organs in her body. Because of her age and fragility, chemo is not an option. The only real option was to take some medicine that might help stop the spread of cancer, but the side effects were such that she didn't see the point of taking them. So hospice brought her out a hospital bed, an oxygen tank, and sends a nurse to the house two times a week. We've hired a caregiver who comes in four days a week to help take care of her, and my aunt (who lives across the street) has moved in to BeBe's house since she can't be alone anymore.

When we saw her Labor Day weekend, she was great. She even came over to Mom's house and was in high spirits, and was walking around. I didn't really believe the doctor's grim 3-6 month estimates. But when Ryan and I went back three weeks later, I was stunned at how quickly her health had fallen. It was like she had given up, and that weekend really started our difficult times. Since then, my cousin Lauren has flown in from San Diego, and lots of other family members have also come to visit. I went again last weekend, when my uncle Bobby was there with his new fiance. She did great while we were all there, eating lots, and even venturing out into the living room for almost two hours. We even had a chance to take some pictures of her with her mom, Bobby, and Cheryl. She looks great here, and you'd never know how much she has been suffering. I'm glad these were some of her good days, because the bad days (like I saw two weeks before) are hard to take.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

President Swanson

While we were up at the school on Monday for parent-teacher conferences, we saw Alex's latest artwork on display. The task had been to draw yourself as royalty.

 He opted to make himself president.

Which I admire, but ... if he were  a prince or a duke, than likely I would get to be royalty, too. Being the mother of the president, I don't exactly get a cool title, like the Queen Mother.

Or a tiara, like the girl in the drawing next to him gets to wear. And which is what I really want. Sooo not fair. sigh...

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Pumpkin Decorator

Ryan isn't just my Christmas decorator.

He's also my go-to child for Halloween decorating assistance.

And what better way to help out than to put on the old pumpkin costume?

The one Alex wore when he was three! (Ryan's infant one is long gone, but somehow I've held on to Alex's)

Anyways... he's been a big help, both outside ...

And inside.

We still aren't done yet. It takes a true village (and a lot of free time, of which I have none) to make Alex and Ryan's Halloween vision come to life. Alex knows he wants scary stuff. He just doesn't want to be involved in doing any of the hard work. Maybe Carl and the boys will suprise me while I'm with BeBe this weekend, and I'll come back to a finished outside.

Then again, maybe not.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy Legoween

I was doing some searching around online for Halloween items today, and I came across some very cute ideas.

Like this pumpkin, that looks like it would be easy to do, but I suspect is really difficult.

I did find this carving guide, but still...

And these Lego pops.


We've tried making the solid color yellow ones, and that was a pain in the @$$. I can't imagine having that much patience.

And while this isn't Lego-themed, I thought the idea of using different colored glow sticks inside the pumpkins (instead of candles) was a brilliant idea.

Keep Calm and Trick or Treat

 So, yeah, I bought this.

I mean, could I possibly have resisted??!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pokemon Invasion

Lately, Team Danger has developed an interest in Pokemon.

This isn't something I understand in the slightest, but the cards are (relatively) inexpensive, and it seems to bring them enjoyment.

It also gives Ryan's artistic side a chance to shine.

Hey, copying comic book characters led to my brother majoring in art in college and actually finding a career out of art, so I guess I can support this odd obsession.

What doesn't really show on these scans I made is that Ryan made his own little cards, and cut them down to size, complete with their own mini-pocket he stapled together.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Alex's Hat Trick

For the first three weekends of soccer, we've been rained out twice, and Alex's team suffered a devastating first-ever loss in their first game they had a chance to play last weekend.

Even though it drizzled on and off on Sunday, we were still able to play games (the make-ups from Week 1), so we didn't have a completely soccer-free weekend.

And what a game it was for Alex and Arsenal! It started out with the other team scoring 2 goals in the first few minutes of the game, and we got worried that perhaps our glory days were behind us (at age nine).

 But then Alex came in and scored not one, not two, but THREE goals, bringing the game 3-2 going into the second half. His friend Will scored two more goals, giving us a 5-2 win.

What a game! I'm making do with camera-phone photos since I was too worried about the rain to bring the real deal out.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...