Casey’s Turkey Party

Today was Casey’s Thanksgiving party at school today and Jack’s was last Friday.  I thought it was nice that they were on different days so I wouldn’t have to run back and forth between their parties.  Unfortunately, Jack didn’t feel well today so he didn’t go to school and I couldn’t make it to Casey’s party.  I made a turkey though…a fruit turkey.  It looked mostly like this:

Minus the peppers and most of the cheese. It turns out the cheese wants to fall apart when I try to put it on skewers. I also didn’t like that you slide the cheese on and then the next set of grapes has to slide through the bits of leftover cheese on the stick. So I made a few with cheese and the rest were just grapes. I should have taken a picture, but you can trust that she was an impressive bird. I scattered the rest of the cheese around the bottom.

When I picked Casey up from school, the cheese was all gone and most of the feathers were still there. I guess it was more of a decorative turkey. Although as I was making it, I questioned whether it was wise to give 3 year olds pointed sticks as part of their snack.  I decided an adult could just de-skewer if necessary.

Also while I was making it, Jack was hanging out in the living room and piped up with, “Casey, would love that Mommy!”  I thought he was impressed with my fruit turkey making skills.  It turns out he was watching a commercial with a 3 story princess dollhouse for the Barbie sized princesses.  It’s exactly the castle that Pat thought should would love but I may have called it gaudy.  It was too plastic-y and purple and pink and fake looking for me.  Luckily we’ve found a compromise castle that maintains the princess part and tones it down a little.

Anyway, back to the party…or the after party…

Casey came home with a couple baggies with the food that I guess she didn’t eat, including a turkey sandwich, pumpkin bread and a pumpkin/cream cheese roll. When I asked what she did eat, she said, “A grape. And some jello.” A lovely Thanksgiving feast.  I’m sure Squanto wishes he’d had Jello at the first Thanksgiving.

Instead of stories tonight, Casey wanted to draw pictures on her erasable sketch pad. She asked me to draw a cornucopia which was pretty funny coming from a three year old. When I asked her to draw a turkey, she started drawing and chatting to herself – “Here’s an eye. Here’s another eye. This is a grape. This is a piece of cheese. There…it’s a turkey! Oh, wait, it needs a wattle.” I think she’s got her turkey nomenclature a little confused. But hey, she knows what a wattle and a cornucopia are.

Casey is also very excited about the real turkey tomorrow. I just hope she doesn’t think it will have grapes on it.

Daddy Date Night

Last week, Casey went out on a date with Daddy to see the Broadway Production of Beauty and the Beast.  Pat called her during the day and told her that if she took a nap, he would take her out on a date.  I’ve never seen her run upstairs and hop into bed so fast!

She was so excited to go out on her date and she had a great time with Daddy.  Apparently they were a  little early for the show so they went through the car wash.  It was one of the highlights of her evening.  Other things that she was excited about were the M&Ms she got at intermission and the very special “bottled water.”  She also liked the show 🙂

Jack and I also got to do something a little special…we went over to our neighbors house to watch a new movie she had gotten for her birthday.  Jack was also enamored with the bottle of water he received.  We rarely have bottled water from the store around here so I guess it’s a big treat to my kids.

Here are a few pictures from the night…I think you can see how excited Casey was just by looking at her.

The End of an Era

Yesterday we took this poster down in Jack’s room.  It’s kind of a sad day for me…the end of the Elmo era.  Elmo has been living on Jack’s closet door since we moved into this house 3 years ago but he’s been around for longer than that.

It’s been coming for a while.  Jack no longer wants to sleep with his super big Elmo that he got when he was 1 1/2.  He doesn’t even want to play with him.  Earlier in the year he gave Casey his very first Elmo, his baby Elmo that he slept with on and off since he was born.  

The first video that Jack ever watched was an Elmo video.  I had never seen Elmo’s World before but I remember after he watched the 3 episodes from his video over and over, I finally realized that they were all the same format.

We had tickets to Elmo Live and it was scheduled very close to my due date.  Just two tickets…I figured only Jack and Daddy would go.  I thought I was going into labor on Friday night, the day before the show.  I think I willed Casey to stay inside until Jack could get to his Elmo show.  I so wanted him to be able to go see Elmo.  It was his first show and he had a great time with his Daddy.  And then he got to meet his new sister the next day. 

Elmo was the first Halloween costume that Jack got to help pick out.

But yesterday we took down the Elmo poster and replaced it with a Star Wars poster.  I think the only hold-over is that sometimes Jack still talks like Elmo, in the 3rd person.  It used to bother me, but now it will probably be a little bittersweet as I remember how much we used to live in Elmo’s World and now we don’t.

So goodbye Elmo.  Thanks for the great memories!

Soccer Season

Jack’s first soccer season has come and gone and I didn’t document it very well.  I think even the poor quality of the pictures I took is evident of my lack of excitement about it all.  Jack, on the other hand, had a great time.  
Jack loved putting on his shin pads and his cleats.  I can’t tell you how many times I had to tie his soccer shoes so he could go out back and practice or how many nights he waited for Daddy to get home to practice with him.  Casey would run out and be the cheerleader.  
He also loved his team practice before the game…especially when they got to play “Kick the Coach.”  He loved the games.  He ran around and had a great time.  He spent most of the first game getting comfortable and then the second game he figured it out and scored his first goal.  He is pretty good at figuring out where the ball is going to be and trying to get there, although when there is a gaggle of kids all chasing the ball, it’s not all that predictable.  
We missed one game a couple weeks ago when we went to Ocean City for the weekend.  We had planned to go to his game and then get on the road.  The forecast was for rain so they moved the game indoors and it wasn’t until 11am.  I told Jack his game was cancelled and that we would just go to Ocean City after breakfast.  This caused Jack a little concern. 
“What about the gym Mommy?  I thought they would have it in the gym if it was raining.  Remember when we had it in the gym that time?  I wonder if there is something wrong with the gym.  Maybe there’s a leak in the gym and the rain is getting in there.  Mommy, do you think there’s a leak in the gym?  Is that why we’re not playing the game?  They’ll have to get some workers to fix the roof.  I wonder if there’s another gym we can go to.”
Okay, okay, okay!  I had to tell the poor boy the truth and tell him that his game was in fact scheduled for the gym and that it was just too late for us to go to his game and Ocean City.  I didn’t want him having nightmares about the poor gym and it’s leaking roof.
Our last game was last week and Jack scored two goals.  He was very excited about it and did a great job in the game.  The kids all got medals at the end of the game.  Jack was sad to see it end but as I mentioned recently, he’s already moved on to roller blading and hockey!  

A New Hockey Friend

Now that Jack has mastered his bike, I guess it’s time to move on to something new!  Pat bought him roller blades on Sunday and he is doing pretty well with them.

A few weeks ago, Jack started playing street hockey with C, the boy next door.  He is 8 and just started in a hockey program at the local ice rink not too long ago.  One day he saw Jack out with his net and hockey stick and they have been playing street hockey since then.  C upped the ante last week though when he came out in roller blades.  I think Jack started asking for them after that, but it’s also possible that Pat may have been the one to suggest it to Jack.

Jack calls C his “hockey best friend.”  I heard him saying that across the cul-de-sac last week when they were trying to divide up into teams when there was a group of kids out that day.  Jack said, “I’m going to be on C’s team because he’s my hockey best friend.”  He doesn’t quite get that the two kids who play a lot of hockey probably should be on separate teams to make it even!

It’s been cute to watch Jack’s friendship blossom with C.  C came over last week to tell us when his next hockey game was in case we could get to it.  Then at church C came out in the aisle to wave to us, or Jack really.  After practice for the Christmas program, Jack walked out with C and then told me, “C and I were talking about when we’re going to play hockey next.”  It sounded so grown up – Jack was making plans with someone and I wasn’t needed.

This weekend, I let Jack go out in the cul-de-sac by himself and play with C all afternoon.  I kept an eye on them out the window.  They played hockey and then moved on to baseball and then Jack came in to get the pool noodle lightsabers and they had a pretty epic battle out there.  This is exactly the kind of neighborhood relationships I hoped my kids would make some day.  I want them to be able to be outside playing with all the other kids.

Jack now spends his afternoons asking me when C will be home so they can play hockey.  Today the poor kid waited 5 hours.  He was in his roller blades the whole time.  Occasionally he would skate around a little bit or play with Casey.  But mostly he sat on the curb, waiting.  Then C had to do his homework when he got home and finally…finally, he came out to play.  The sad part is after all that waiting they only  had about 30 minutes before it got dark.  I think they made the most of it though.

Tugger Update

Did I mention that Tugger only has three legs now?  Actually, I know I haven’t, but I’ve been thinking about this post for a while.  Then I would remember that I don’t have any good pictures of her and I would put it off.  But today I got some nice pictures of her on a beautiful fall day.

About a year ago, Tugger started limping one weekend when Pat’s brother was visiting.  It was only for a weekend and we thought she got a little too excited and hurt herself.  Then her limp came back and her “knee” joint on her left front leg started to look swollen.  We visited with our veterinarian every two weeks for a while and finally took an x-ray.  He recommended we visit an orthopedic surgeon and gave us two to check out.

We went to one surgeon and decided he wasn’t the one for us.  The other surgeon was further away but we finally visited him.  He was pretty sure it was a localized cancer and that about the only solution would be to remove the leg.  I was pretty shocked by this…it hadn’t really crossed my mind that she was going to lose the leg.  I thought he would be able to just remove the tumor but it was eating into the bone and there was no way to take just the tumor.

So, we scheduled the surgery and Tugger officially became a tripod in March.  From the time of our initial visit to the vet until the surgery, Tugger’s ability to use the leg had become less and less.  She was basically hopping around without using it and it was obvious she was in pain if she had to use the leg.

Intently watching the neighbor take down Halloween decorations

The first week post surgery was a little more difficult than I expected.  We were trying to keep her quiet and keep her from licking the incision site and fluid was still seeping out of the site.  It seemed like it would take forever to heal.  Tugger didn’t really have any problems getting around but every time she moved she would start leaking fluid.  She spent most of the time in the crate and we spent a lot of time saying, “No licking, Tugger.”  Luckily she couldn’t reach all of the incision and would just lick around the edge of it a bit.  I tried getting her a cone but when she had it on, she was too active in trying to get it off and she wouldn’t settle down.  It was easier for her to just stay in her crate and she didn’t lick much while she was in there.

After two weeks, the incision was healed and Tugger was getting around fine! She had her energy back and was ready to get out for some walks.  It is amazing how well she got around with her three legs. Even after only two weeks, if you saw her from her good side, you wouldn’t even know she was missing a leg.

8 months after the surgery, Tugger and I now go for runs together, she has been swimming and she has most of her endurance back from before she started to get sick.  Sometimes people will stare at us and I will wonder what they are looking at until I remember that I have a dog with three legs.  Other times people will see Tugger and not even notice she’s missing a leg until some time has passed and then they’ll do a double-take.

I took the picture above not too long after her surgery.  I thought it was kind of strangely funny that it looked like she also lost her head.  But she didn’t…it’s just under the bed.

Tugger has only escaped the house without a leash one time since she got sick.  She ran around for a minute and then she actually came right back to me.  Phew!  Hopefully this means there will be no more chases around the neighborhood or calls to animal control.  Although it made for an entertaining story, I’d prefer not to do it again.  On the other hand, she has gotten so sneaky about trying to get food off the counter.  I have to make sure that I have things up on the high portion of the counter or shoved all the way into a corner where she can’t reach!  She gets right up on her back legs with her front paw on the counter to see what she can get.


Halloween Pictures with Mommy

Preschool Halloween parties, pumpkin carving and a huge bag of candy equals a pretty successful Halloween.  Honestly, I can’t believe the amount of candy the kids collected.  Pat still thinks he’s the one trick or treating and I think he was looking for maximum candy acquisition.  Either that or he likes to think of this as a little protest against all the healthy food I try to make them eat or conversations about food in which I say, “Can you even pronounce all those ingredients?”  

I also wanted a nice picture with my Tinker Bell and Darth Vader.  These pictures are in chronological order.  As you can see, I had a little bit of a moment because Jack would not stop moving around and being silly.  I told him he was not going anywhere until he stood still for a picture.  Then I smiled again.