Monday, October 31, 2011

Best of Halloween!

Before cackling my way to Eliza's kindergarten Halloween party, I said goodbye to my little dragon.

He had his own party to get to.
 "Later, Mom!"

Lucky for me, Nana Marie offered to tend this little duck while I was away. 
It's surreal to be helping in my child's Kindergarten class. How did we get here so fast? Needless to say, I loved every second. Her classmates are adorable and I love when I have the chance to volunteer in her class. And while my pictures of the indoor festivities aren't great, take my word for it when I say that she beamed during her parade.

That afternoon included lunch with cousins and a serious recharge of our batteries. 

 Even dragons benefit from power naps. In no time, he was back in action, ready to wage dragon war on the trick-or-treat scene!

 Eliza and Lottie were happy to join him.

And so were we.

  After making the rounds in our neighborhood, we caught up with this crazy crew for more fun. 

 Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

carving memories

It's a few minutes before seven. Your head is still planted to your pillow as you notice that a light in the hall has just been turned on. In an attempt to rebel against the impending wake up call, you nestle deeper under the covers. It takes a moment before you realize that your oldest child has just been to the bathroom. A wave of gratitude runs through as you realize that for the first time ever, you are thrilled that she is inexplicably incapable of flushing toilets; a trait that frustrates you on a regular basis. The noise of which would have certainly alerted the younger two children. Bless her for being independent enough to handle this task on her own. As the light switches off, you hear her quietly return to her bedroom. The sun that is slow to rise this time of year has proven to be an ally as she clearly has no idea what time it is.

Knowing that the start of your day is around the corner, you do your best to enjoy the spare minutes of quiet. Sleep is the fuel you need to combat the sickness your children have so generously shared with one another. Each morning you wake, wondering if you're its next victim or if you're strong enough to avoid it. As your thoughts continue to race, you've accepted that your totally awake now; even though your body appears to be asleep.

With a house full of sick children (two on the mend, one in the thick of it), the day promises to be tiring, repetitive and at times demanding. But you know, if you're lucky, you can squeeze in a moment of fun in between the moments of crazy.

"Who are you calling crazy?"

For all the begging and pleading that was done that we carve pumpkins THAT NIGHT (according to Eliza, the urgency of the activity was a matter of life and death!), I found it humorous that the only one courageous enough to play with the pumpkin guts was Lottie. She thought it was fabulous. But you don't have to take my word for it!

I love these kids... boogers and all.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Coughing, congestion and chills... oh my!

Five minutes after finishing the thought, 
"Wow. We've been really lucky. It's been a long time since anyone's been sick." your husband's on his way to the store to pick up another bottle of children's tylenol while you stay behind to rummage through the medicine cabinet in search of the vicks vapor rub. The humidifier, that's been designed to look like a frog, has magically reappeared. It doesn't take long to realize its been inoperative since 2008. The humid south prevented such a need from occurring. In an effort to bring the frog back to life, Andrew works hard to scrub it clean. Preparing to set it up in his already slumbering child's bedroom, he muses:

"Eliza will wake up and wonder what on earth this is."

Autumn has arrived and with its brilliant beauty, comes seasonal illness. Germs are quietly shared with the passing of crayon boxes and glue bottles. Despite a teacher's best efforts, homework won't be the only thing sent home with each child. My bet is that it's the Mother who first notices the arrival of the unwanted uglies. The eyes of her child aren't shinning. Complaints of being cold, unexplained grumpiness and finally a warm forehead confirm that a storm is on its way. Preparations for comfort and sanitation begin on the home front. As the night approaches, you shift into your own Mother as you quietly repeat her words with tenderness,

"Sleep is the best medicine. Try your best to rest. Close your eyes darling." The two of you, patient and caretaker, cringe in unison with each coughing spell. Offering your hand, you caress their skin. You hope that your touch communicates your sympathy along with your desire for them to be well. Together, you wait. Both sets of eyes are heavy; one with worry, the other with exhaustion.

And thus it is at the Flegal home. The children have been fevered, off and on, since Thursday. Accompanying said fever is a nasty cough. Lottie is the last to come down with the illness. It would seem that our warnings to,

"Stay away from the baby!" weren't enough to keep her well. Our weekend has proven to be low key which is okay as my children have fallen under the spell of the Wizard of Oz. Aside from being ill, the calm break in our busy routine has been welcome. Here's hoping they bounce back in time to enjoy the remaining festivities of the season. I hate to see them sick.

When Truman comes to town...

In the days that followed Lottie's party, we were lucky to have our favorite New Yorkers come stay with us. Before making the drive up to our place, we had a fun luncheon at Nanna Teresa's.

Truman and Henry proved compatible as their imaginative play fell into sync. It was delight to watch them run around outside, splash in the tub and sit around the camp fire together. We tried to take advantage of the later hours as we visited with Liz child-free and played games. I can't help but pick her brain about what it's like to live in the big city and how she manages her two small children with such finesse. You're amazing, Liz!

One of our outings was to the Tree house Museum's, "Step into the Woods" event involving children in costume and fairy tale characters meandering through the museum interacting with the kids.Other than discovering that Eliza was fevered, the outing was fun for all. Soup and smores followed. Here are a "few" pictures taken during their stay.

Truman and Henry: 


Andrew's sister Liz and baby Chantel!

Lottie was happy to finally meet her! Hey, Lottie! What do you think you're doing?!

"Shhh,! Don't tell Daddy!"

We had a photo shoot before heading to the museum.
Blame it on these cute faces, but I had hard time trying to "pick" a favorite shot (I'm sorry Liz. I can't help that Truman's wandering finger makes for a good pun.We love that boy!)

Miss Lottie learned a new trick. She isn't walking, but she sure gets a kick out of standing up unassisted.
Our last morning together found us (along with the rest of the state of Utah) at Gardner Village. Beautiful weather, the charming witches, visiting with friends and family and a day free of elementary school, motivated me to make the drive down. 

"My face looks so sad in that picture" - Henry Flegal

 Cousin Mia had her 7th birthday party there that morning.
They enjoyed breakfast with a witch! 
Eliza decided she wasn't completely well yet.


Friday, October 21, 2011

The party she won't remember

Last Saturday we celebrated Lottie's first birthday.

It really is a shame that she won't carry with her a memory of the fun we had in her honor. Lucky for her, she has a Mother who is a compulsive photo opportunist.

Dinner was first. In addition to a fine selection of soup, the menu offered a few spooky eats too (thanks to MKC, of course)!

Before the bolt implantation:

And when the children cried to their "mummy's" that they didn't want to eat soup, we introduced them to our friends:

Our last minute decision to eat outside was a good one. The weather was beautiful.
We sang to the birthday girls next! Lottie is lucky to share a birthday with her Nanna Teresa!


I hate to say it, but I can't escape the frosting's resemblance to newborn baby .... oh, don't make me type it. The malignant comparison makes it difficult to focus on how cute that messy baby is.

Lottie's mood proved mellow as she took in all that was going on. Sharing the spotlight with Aunt Jen's new puppy, Elwood, was fine by her. She welcomed his kisses.

Everyone needs an Elwood. Even my Dad.

Tractor rides, time at the play ground, birthday presents, glow sticks, smores and the campfire added to the happiness of the evening.

I was so happy to be able to spend the night in the company of our family. Thank you for making the drive to our house and for loving our baby.