Better late than never

I had every intention of being prompt and posting Halloween and All Saints’ Day photos at the start of the week. You’d think that now that I’ve been resigned to a mostly sedentary existence because of that darn hamstring injury I’d have more time to blog (or clean or learn to sew or do something productive), but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

On Sunday my husband had to work, and Madeline had an out of town soccer game so Nana and Pop generously offered to treat Rachel and Mary Elizabeth to a sleepover Saturday night. On Sunday our resident monkey (M.E.) was climbing a tree, a favorite pursuit of hers, when a branch snapped. She fortunately was not far from the ground, but she lost her balance and she fell backwards, and Pop conjectures that her head hit some concrete. While I was cheering Madeline on with Thomas as my sidekick, my sweet 4-year-old was getting staples in her head. There are four of them (I counted yesterday to be sure; I don’t like looking at wounds on my children), and they really are big staples. A friend of mine asked how she was feeling on Tuesday of this week. “Fine,” I told her. “I caught her trying to climb another tree.” It’s apparently going to take a lot more than a busted head to keep that kiddo’s two feet safely on the ground.

There’s never a dull moment at the Wicker household.

But about last week’s festivities… We had a motley crew this year without any theme like we did in 2012 and in 2009 (Mary Elizabeth just loves it that I played a pregnant witch that year, and she was the one who was in my belly). Madeline was a peacock, and I have to say I was satisfied with this non-Pinterest-y mom’s feather assemblage. She definitely received many compliments this year including one couple telling her she had the most elegant Halloween costume they’d seen. Rachel wanted to a cowgirl. Bless her. It was so easy to throw that one together. Influenced by Madeline’s costume, no doubt, Mary Elizabeth chose to be a peacock princess. The princess part is very important. Madeline told me her favorite part of Halloween is having the grandparents come over. Mary Elizabeth, on the other hand, said the best part of Halloween is that she gets to wear makeup. She’s a girly-girl to the core. Thomas was the fifth child to wear the elephant suit my mom made for us. A friend borrowed it for her daughter in addition to all of my kids wearing it.

 

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Now Thomas was a far more reluctant elephant than his big sisters and walked around headless for most of the evening. I happened to be wearing grey, so I made sure the mask didn’t go to waste.

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What struck me the most as I was sifting through the few photos I managed to take on Halloween this year was how old Madeline looks. She’s not even 9 yet (getting very close), but she looks like a young lady. Here’s a photo of her with my mom. I see a strong resemblance.

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The older girls had All Saints’ Day off, so we went to Mass with some homeschooling friends and had a saintly party and indoor picnic with them as well. It was a lovely day. Thomas wasn’t feeling 100 percent, so he stayed back with Nana. From left to right we have St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Cecelia, and St. Mary Magdalene.

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I hope to write a more thoughtful post one of these days, but this will have to do for now.

Short and Sweet

I love St. Valentine’s Day. I love having an excuse to lavish my family with love. I don’t mind them doing it in return for me either. I was the grateful recipient of roses and handmade cards.

We didn’t do anything extravagant. Dave and I were able to sneak away for a quick dinner. We came home, and I sipped some crisp and sweet Riesling that was easy on the wallet. (Thank you for the recommendation, A.P.!)

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The girls and I made Daddy Chubby Hubby Bars.  He likes to have a few unhealthy snacks on hand for his late-night snacking. His mutant metabolism allows him to eat like every day is Valentine’s Day. For the rest of us, it’s a big treat to nosh on so many sugary delights. We all had a Chubby Hubby Bar for dessert. Oh my goodness. These ooey-gooey slabs of deliciousness made me swoon, especially when I dipped them in my coffee. Yes, I ate them for breakfast yesterday, too. It was a holiday – a delicious one at that.

I read Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda Short and Sweet to the girls, and we discussed the mosaic artwork. Then the girls made their own simple mosaics using foam squares I’d cut up for them. Short and Sweet

 Short and Sweet

 

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For lunch there were heart-shaped fried eggs in whole wheat bread slices.

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We shared the Valentine’s Day sugar cookies we made with our elderly, sweet-loving neighbor.

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And this love bug with her big-girl haircut made me laugh.

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big girl haircut 1024x768 Short and Sweet

It was a LOVE-ly, sweet day.

100 Blessings

I took Let’s Take the Metro’s Gratitude Challenge and made a list of 100 things I’m grateful for in honor of Thanksgiving. I didn’t self-edit. I just allowed whatever popped into my head to come out and listed the blessings in that order. So here’s my list, uncut and authentic. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Know that I’m very grateful for each and every reader who stops by my little corner of cyberspace. Why not drop me a line and share what you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving?

  1. Baby feet
  2. Little girls’ voices
  3. Happy, wet dog noses
  4. Fuzzy, sweet peaches
  5. How my 2-year-old pronounces “toothpaste” like “poopaste,” and asks me to put “poopaste” on her toothbrush
  6. Old-fashioned notes, gifts of time, and thoughtfulness
  7. Coffee
  8. Birthday celebrations
  9. Pumpkin Crunch (the girls and I made this dessert to bring to Nana and Pop’s, where we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this year)
  10.  Toasted bagels topped with peanut butter melting into creamy pools
  11.  Friendship
  12. Empty hampers and laundry baskets
  13.  The smell of a new book
  14.  Solitude
  15.  The funny things my kids say
  16. Manchego cheese
  17. The fact that nearly every night my 4-year-old says she’s thankful for “picking flowers for Mommy.”
  18. This dress from Shabby Apple, which I’ll be wearing to my husband’s Christmas party for work, thanks to a gift card:
  19. 1322 100 BlessingsDelicious rolls (the kinds on babies, not the kind that comes out of an oven, although those are good, too)
  20. The smell of lavender
  21. The color blue
  22. A hot shower
  23. At-home date nights
  24. Matching socks
  25. Breaking a sweat
  26. Pen pals (Angela! Ava! Enzo! Miriam!)
  27. Dark chocolate
  28. Baking with my girls
  29.  Spontaneous hugs
  30. Nursing and my generous milk supply
  31. Quiet
  32. My husband’s jawline
  33. Evening walks
  34. The season of Advent
  35.  Tea time
  36. Babies, fresh out of the bath
  37. My Kitchen Aid Mixer
  38. My Ergo
  39. The snuggly baby that fits so nicely into the Ergo
  40. Story time with my girls
  41. Words
  42.  Holding hands with my toddler
  43.  Pigtails and pony tails
  44.  The de-tangling spray that makes pigtails and pony tails possible
  45. Good health
  46.  One amazing husband
  47. All our extended family
  48. Lazy mornings
  49. Creativity
  50. Granola Read more

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