Thursday, October 31, 2013

Between the Cracks

So in the hustle and bustle of all that has been going on in Our Life, I have let a few of the cute little things slip between the cracks and haven't put them here in the blog.

They are too cute to not mention.

So here they are:

I know I already posted this chalk art but I hadn't posted me drawing it up. I forgot that Marc had been sitting on the lawn watching me and taking pictures. I like this top one because it shows my friend Amanda laughing at something Marc is saying, probably something about my phone in the back pocket of my tight pants…

I also am glad he took these because it gives a better view of the boy's face, that's the best part.

I also already posted about Aaron's amazing giant pumpkin carving skills, but I never got to the part about the live music that was there and how Brother and baby ran over to get their boogie on with Ya-ya. It was priceless to see them have so much fun! Isn't it interesting how hindered we become to just have fun in a good way once we're older… OK, so I don't really fit into that category, but I've heard other adults talk about it. (smile)

I still cannot believe that I forgot to post about my mom's annual Halloween Party!

It is right up there with Christmas day comparing things I look forward to. I have loved Halloween for as long as I remember! My mom's birthday is on Halloween and she always made Halloween the best holiday ever! I love that she embraces her birthday being on a Holiday instead of being bothered by it!

By the way mom, Happy Birthday!

So back to the Halloween Party. It was fun as always! Hotdog roasting, wagon rides, movies outside, seeing family and loving all the costumes people come up with.

Maybe part of the reason I never got around to blogging about this party is because I really didn't get too many pics this year.

I dressed up as Audrey Hepburn from "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Why? Oh because I had some stuff on hand that would pass for the costume and I have brown hair… trust me, it's not because I have her figure!

Marc was my "sidekick" for a bit as my goofy boyfriend… hee hee!

There were bags of chips on the tables for the potluck and Baby decided that the Cheetos were only for her so she carried around "her" bag all night. And, in case you are wondering, she is dressed as a ghost… it was all going to go under her Cinderella dress, I thought, but she had other plans and we just went the easy route!

Sister was Stitch from "Lilo & Stitch." She got the costume from my mom's collection, of course.

Joel… I really need to watch "Duck Dynasty" some day.
So the costume below was one of my most favorites…

No, not the bald Phantom owl wearing a bow tie… that would just be my silly cousin, Reuben! But, his friend's baby boy was the bomb-diggity! Einstein! Really! Oh my word, I would take bets that Einstein actually was born that way...

But the costume of the night was this creeper!

Mom's were holding their kids close by and the single women were trying to keep their distance. He wouldn't talk to anyone, but he would sit really close to them and just look at them. Or he would stand in a conversation circle just to listen in until people got spooked when they realized he was there.

People kept asking if I knew who it was…

I just said, "I don't know, but I do sleep with him…"

They'd get this creeped out look on their face and then finally realize what I was saying.

He creeped me out too… eeww! chills!

Gracey still comes to spend time with our kids as a volunteer to me and a friend to them. She took a couple of fun pics I just had to put up because I love to see how happy Sister is to be with her.

I forgot to show you what I made for Baby's birthday present!

I was quite proud.

She has started this thing where she won't wear a jacket. I think it is what you see in a lot of kids with special needs like Fragile X where they just don't like certain textures or feels. I also don't think she feels the cold the way we do. I've tried every kind of jacket I could think of and she won't have anything to do with any of them! So I thought, well, I'll try a sweatshirt. You know, it's like a long sleeve shirt but warmer. She'll wear long sleeve shirts, just not jackets. So I thought I would draw something she really likes onto a plain old swear shirt.

Cute huh!

It didn't work. She hated it. Well, I should say she hated it, she loves looking at it, but if I try to put it on you would think I was strangling her or something.

Oh well, I tried.

Baby is starting to try to involve herself with the neighborhood kids. I just had to take a picture of her trying to get on the circle for the little game they were playing to decide who was going to be "it" for tag. She was so happy when she got chosen, but didn't have a clue what it meant...

Sister's little friends and their dad showed up to our Parade of Pumpkins towards the end and they all three got their faces painted. So sweet!

Here's another instance of Baby trying to join in with the neighborhood kids:

You are probably wondering why I would have the picture below here. I took it because it makes me laugh a lot. Sister has to take her "time" when it is time to "go." She has this little set-up now where she brings in her ladder and her Pokemon cards so that she can stay busy while she waits.

ADHD, it can even affect the way we use the bathroom. I'm just glad she has found away to adapt to the time she has to spend sitting down.

Ha! Ha!

Don't tell her I posted this picture. She was already mad at me for taking it…

I went into Sister's class Monday because I had forgotten to give her her meds. Needless to say she was a ball of tears and nerves. I felt so bad for forgetting my motherly duties for a moment. I gave them to her and then sat and hugged her for a while and gave her some deep pressure input. Once she calmed down her teacher showed me something she had written that morning:
"For Halloween I am going to be Incredile (incredible)"


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Baby's Birthday Bash?

It really wasn't a bash, that's why I had to add the question mark.

It was just her, Sister, Brother and me and Marc there to have her favorite foods: Cheetos and cupcakes!

Her birthday was in the shadows of the Parade of Pumpkins preparation and, frankly, I just didn't have the energy to have a bunch of people over to celebrate her birthday… especially because she really doesn't even understand what a birthday is for.

So we just had a day for Baby.

I was gleaming with joy because she was able to blow out her candle! That was amazing to watch! Four years old and already blowing out her own birthday candle!

Yes. I'm totally serious! Unless you have a child with special needs you may not understand why I am so happy about this small and seemingly insignificant event. But it would be the same kind of happiness and excitement if your child blew out the candle on their first birthday… hmmm… maybe some one-year-olds do that… I don't really know… I'm off over here in my own world of raising children who are not quite the norm…

Baby has been a bundle of excitement and a ball sensory overload since the day she was born and that's just her. We love her. It is fun sometimes when she tries to squeeze your face off or has to give you a slobbery kiss on the lips… notice, I said "sometimes."

I don't know if it's all the pumpkins I have been exposed to as of late, 
but she sure has a sweet jack o'lantern smile! Tee hee!

I'm excited to see all the wonderful things she starts doing during her fifth year of this wonderful life!

Yes, these are taken before her birthday but these are the special, quiet moments
we try to take advantage of for as long as possible. 

Happy Birthday Baby!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Parade of Pumpkins' Success

Ya, so I had to download a new collage app so that I could get all these pictures up here for you to see! (I just had to put Zac's picture up because it just sums up the entire reason I do all of this for the Fragile X Association of Utah.)

I know some of you missed it, and I wanted to give you as close an idea as possible.

Trust me, though, you really had to be there to get the splendor of it all! I wish I could tell you stories about every single one.

There were some amazing displays and ideas and it was so fun to see our event double in attendance, displays and funds raised as compared to our first time last year.

We can only go up from here.

We learned a LOT of things the hard way, but I am grateful to have been humble enough to take these as learning experiences and not failures.

My family was not only a support in running and facilitating our event but it was a lot of family who actually did many of the displays!

The golf ball pumpkin in the collage above was actually the creative genius of Sister's teacher with the help of her students. Here is the picture that she sent me of Sister getting in on the fun.

She was SO PROUD!

My mother-in-law, Lynne made a bunch of pumpkin oven kits to be sold. I loved them! She worked so hard on them and even stayed for the full 2 days to help with the event. I probably wore her out.

Jessie, Chelsea, Aaron and Kirsten all painted a lot of pumpkins and I even got our nanny, Lindsey to do several with her friends!

The skeleton in the antique washer came about because my mom and dad and I were being funny, and it ended up being a fun display!

Tiffany (my co-leader and second cousin) and Lynne ran the front table both days… they were real troopers being be the open door letting in the cold. So brave. (smile)

Here's Brother helping with one of the pumpkins that Lindsey and her friends did. He was SO proud!

These were a couple of my favorites!

This is the view from the stairway above the action! Pretty impressive, I thought!

This is one of many displays that my mom did. They are both dried gourds. The turkey part was one that was broken and she came up with the idea to make it into a turkey sitting on a pumpkin… clever!

Joel has had this planned since last year! Quite creative if you ask me, and quite the catch for a real pumpkin hunter!

The picture of the washer skeleton again… but this time we just had to show the irony of the live spider crawling all over it! It really added to the ambience. It made a home there for most of the event… Aleesa, did anyone warn you that you may have brought a friend home with your purchase?

The displays were bigger and better this year!
(If you look up close on the Poison Apple pumpkin you'll see the reason I did it.)

Of course there is always the center of attention and the biggest reason behind the beginnings of the Parade of Pumpkins… the Master Pumpkin Carver, Aaron! He was there for the full event and carved at least 4, if not more, pumpkins while he was there. People got such enjoyments watching him carve!

We also thought we would try out having entertainment this year. It was a great learning experience. Live music is awesome! But you have to choose the right times for the right performers. (Note to self: do NOT have loud rock bands come while the auction is coming to a close.)

It was so fun to have our bass player, Steve's band, Midlife Crisis come play a lot of good oldies for us! I sang along with almost every song!

Heather and her Twist and Shout Performance Group came and entertained us with music, singing, dance and even a little Hot Hula. I had performed in her group a few years ago and it was so fun to see her in action again.

"Judy and The Rest" also performed! Who would have guessed, huh? We had a blast! We were especially entertained with my mom was singing her original songs, would forget the words and then Steve would chime in behind her with the correct lyrics. Tee hee!

We were also excited this year to have trophies to hand out to a few of the select! The event-goers even got to vote for their favorite display. (More on the winners at the end of the post.)

Then there were the people who dedicated SO MUCH time, energy and encouragement to this entire endeavor! I wish I had photos of everyone who made this entire thing possible. I have yet to get thank you cards out, but still want to mention ALL the help I received!

We want to thank all of these businesses and people for helping us make this a success:

Pace Bioscience for being our highest donor to our event

Alexander's for printing up all our signs and posters

Monogram Station screen printing for all of our awesome P.O.P. Staff t-shirts

Big Buns for helping us bring in the crowds and then being kind enough to donate what was left over after they were done for us to sell for our fund raiser

Persnickety Props and Backdrops (my friend, Katy) for also helping bring in the crowds with free pictures

The Red Barn, Vineyard Garden Center and Olson's Garden Shoppe for donating a total of 45 pumpkins to our event

Joel for taking care of more than just the financial end of things

Chelsea for being my right hand girl while getting it all together and for being our great photographer

Kirsten and Jeremy for bringing in pumpkins from all connections they had and for creating their own and supporting this event by helping out and face painting

Tiffany for being a great co-leader and staying for the entirety of the event to run the show

Fowler Printing for printing up our flyers

Judy and the Rest, Twist and Shout Performance Group, Midlife Crisis and The Rockinators for the amazing and unforgettable entertainment

Jessie for being head of face painting (and some of the cutest pumpkins donated) it's not often you get a professional painter like her to paint pumpkins for you

Cousins Cathy and Jerry for coming to oversee everything and make sure it all went well!

Lindsey for watching our 3 FX-ers for 2 days so that Marc could stay to help me

Katie, one of our FX mom's and FXAU members, for gathering tables for our event

Aaron for being our master carver

Gary and Lynne for supporting us by helping and surviving 2 days of our event

All those who made displays and brought in pumpkins, friends and family alike

All the attendees and donators for helping our Parade of Pumpkins become a success


Marc for supporting and loving me all the way through this entire thing!

Below are our trophy winners:

Aaron was voted "Best in Show" by our event attendees

Kyle, of the Giant Pumpkin Growers Association was the winner of our "Highest Donation" award

Thanks to the Loveridge family (they have a young boy in their family affected by FXS) for their incredible gingerbread skills they received the "Master Carver" Award

And last but not least!

Our winner of the Best Display award goes to an 8th grade class whose teacher is friends with my sister and wanted to do a display in honor of Kirsten's son Zac.

Posts coming soon:
Baby's Birthday
St. Louis
Halloween fun
Some of my favorite photos
Just for fun stuff