Archive - October 2007

Not Just Halloween
Well, I’m Back
I’ll Be Back
An Unexpected Turn
Is It Fall Yet?
The Perfect Post
Pumpkin Hat
All In the Family
Dang Squirrels

Not Just Halloween

It’s Boo’s Birthday.

Nine years ago the most beautiful little baby arrived. And I do mean little – 6 pounds 1 ounce! And though every day since then has had it’s fill of challenges, each day has also been filled with love and laughter.

Our Little Boo is full of energy…and words! If he’s not talking, it’s only because he’s sleeping. And even that’s not completely true because he talks in his sleep. He is excitable and fun to tease, helpful around the house and generous to a fault. He is a loyal friend, a good student and an all around great guy.

I guess he’s really not so little anymore. Today our Boo is 9. Happy Birthday, Boo! Today you are halfway to being a man. But you’ll always be my baby. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Well, I’m Back

…and I’ve got pictures.

I can’t say that I got a whole lot housework done while I was on my break, but here’s what did happen.

lilpump1.gifI made Pumpkin Girl a tomato hat.


lilpump1.gifI also started and restarted knitting a sock. But I don’t like the way it’s turning out, so I may frog it. I’m not sure I really like knitting socks. They seem to take forever and then when one’s done…you’ve still got to do another.

lilpump1.gifIt started raining and didn’t stop for four days. This is one of the puddles in our backyard.


It looks like Fall is really here to stay. I may have to make something with pumpkin.

lilpump1.gifSpeaking of pumpkin – I found another little piece of heaven on earth. It’s a pumpkin latte. Not from Starbucks. I have never been to Starbucks and have no plans to go. I just happened to find a recipe for pumpkin lattes in Susan Branch’s book, Autumn. It calls for pumpkin pie spice, which I don’t have. I do know that it’s just a combination of the typical spices used in pumpkin pie, so I did a quick online search for the proportions. In doing so, I found a recipe for homemade Starbucks-esque Pumpkin Spice latte. I combined the two recipes – using Susan’s list of ingredients, but heating it all on the stove together – and it was delightful. Save yourself a few bucks and make ’em yourself.

lilpump1.gifI had a really bad headache. So bad that in the middle of school, Boo said, “Maybe we should stop here.” So we did, and Boo and Pumpkin Girl went off to quietly do their seatwork while I rested. They did a wonderful job of being quiet and finishing their work, piling it carefully for me to review later. While they did that, Bip also set to work at the dining room table, making this lovely sculpture, which he calls, Puntins!


lilpump1.gifI got this:


No, not a new houseboy! A new Dyson vaccum. It does wonders on my worn out government issue carpets.

lilpump1.gifWe got to test out our family’s Halloween costumes at Boo At the Zoo. No one has guessed what we’re going as. Want a hint? Ok… (I’ll put the answer in the comments)

Philip to Boo: Boo, I am your father.
Boo: Nooooo!

I’ll Be Back - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
 I’m taking a short blogging break.  Between soccer practices and games, dance classes, scouts, school and life in general, I need to pay more attention to, ahem, the housework.  I also need to think about my blogging future.  I’ll be back in about a week.

An Unexpected Turn

Had the doctor said “back pain and a fever” or “back pain and a high fever”?  I couldn’t remember. It didn’t matter much now as I followed my husband up the Beltway around 7 pm on Saturday night.  In the back of my car, my older children chattered away endlessly and the toddler talked to himself.  I don’t like driving to start with, let alone having to drive in the dark, so my full concentration was on the traffic.  I tried not to second guess our decision to bring Pumpkin Girl to the emergency room.

Very late Thursday night she woke up with back pain.  With a little motrin and her dad snuggled next to her, she slept peacefully through the rest of the night.  Friday morning she still had some pain, but more motrin fixed her right up.  She was her normal, happy self, playing with her friends at our homeschool group.  She was fine on Saturday morning at Boo’s soccer game, and enjoyed her Mexican folkdance class in the afternoon.

Still, something nagged at the back of my mind.  With our family’s history of vesico-uretal reflux (VUR) – reflux between the bladder and the kidneys- our doctor’s instructions were to take the children to the emergency room if they ever have back pain with a fever.  Or was it back pain with a high fever?

We went to Mass on Saturday evening.  Pumpkin complained of back pain again, so I snuggled her close and in doing so, I felt her forehead.  For the first time, she felt warm.

Church is a good place to be if you’re going to panic.

As soon as we got home I took her temperature. 99.8.  Not too high, but a fever nonetheless.  I turned into Highly Efficient Mom, complete with Calming Smile and Comforting Voice.  I instructed Pumpkin and Boo to pack some books while I heated something to eat. We ate dinner, warm comforting soup in a pumpkin tureen with our family’s favorite cornbread.  Pumpkin’s big eyes betrayed her nerves and I knelt beside her to comfort her.

And that is how I found myself driving to the emergency room on a Saturday night.

Pumpkin Girl did have the beginnings of a kidney infection.  In a couple of more days she would have become very sick, with nausea and vomiting.  But God was good and sent her just enough of a fever for us to know to take her in.  She got an IV bag of fluids and a big dose of antibiotics and we were able to go home once her bloodwork showed that her kidney function was good and her white blood count was fine.

The whole experience wasn’t scary for me in the way you would think.  I wasn’t worried about Pumpkin Girl.  She looked and acted healthy at the hospital, and I had brought Philip along to help me manage the medical folks if I ran into any resistance.  I knew exactly what I wanted them to do for us.  I knew she would be fine.

It wasn’t until we arrived home at 11:15 and had tucked our weary Pumpkin in bed.  I realized then just how easy it was, just how easy it should have been for Rebecca.  A simple test, some antibiotics, everyone goes home no worse for the wear.

Today Pumpkin Girl is pain free.  Now I am worried about what this means for her, long term.  She has never had a UTI before now and she had been off the daily antibiotics since January.  Monday I will call her pediatric urologist to see what we do next.

For today, we just wait.  And pray without ceasing.

Is It Fall Yet?

I love Fall, I really do.  The crisp, cool air is such a welcome change from the hot, heavy air summer.   The drop in temperature energizes me and I almost look forward to being outside.  Spending the morning at the soccer field makes for a great time, even if Boo’s team did suffer one of the most spectacular losses ever.  Well, maybe not ever, ever, but certainly in his short almost 9 years.  He bore it well, though.

So it’s been a bit hard on me to be watching the leaves change while the temperature hovers around 80 degrees.  What’s up with that?  I’ll tell you.  It’s me, again.  Last week, right after the temps dropped into the 60’s, I made a pumpkin spice cake.  It was everything Fall: spicy and sweet and topped with powdered sugar.  You wanted to get out a blanket and turn on the heater just smelling it.  Well, me baking that cake promptly sent the temperatures soaring.  Sorry.

I don’t know what it is about Fall, really.  I grew up in Santa Barbara, where the seasons are Warm and Not As Warm As Before.  The trees are always green and it never rains in the summer.  Somehow, though, I remember shuffling through the leaves in October and November.  It makes me smile to think about it.

Some things just go with Fall.  Pumpkins, mums and leaves, of course.  I’ve got plenty of those.  Pumpkin bread, soups and apple cider are must-haves, too.  But if the temperature is too hot, well, they just sort of loose their appeal.  Maybe if I crank up the air conditioner a little more…

pumpkintureen-1.jpgIn an effort to enjoy the slightly lower temperature today -it’s only going to be 73!- I’m making soup and cornbread for dinner.   In theory, since we’ll be coming home from church as the sun is setting, it should be cooler and coming in to a soup dinner should be comforting.  Especially when the soup is served in my new pumpkin tureen.  In theory.

If the temperatures goes back up to the 80s, you can thank me and my soup.

The Perfect Post

I had the perfect post all composed and ready to type out this morning. (Did you know there’s even an award for that?) It was witty and upbeat, interesting and insightful. It was relevant to the times and on point to many a topic. The problem is, it was written at approximately 6:55 in the morning and I was still pretty much asleep at the time. (I’m not a morning person, ok?) In fact, I fell completely back to sleep to the sounds of the Jack Diamond Morning Show on my clock radio and woke up about 10 minutes later when Phil returned from his Cross Fit workout.

And I don’t even remember what my blog topic was. In fact, I didn’t remember that I had written something in my head until I sat down at the computer this morning at 8:30. All I remember is feeling pretty darn smug about already knowing what I was going to blog about today.

Alas, it was not meant to be.

So I will leave you with the Soccer Gem of the Week, as brought to you by Boo’s assistant coach:

Shoot the ball where the goalie isn’t.


Waltzing Matilda has kindly provided me with today’s blog topic.  She asks, what is your guilty pleasure.

I have two, actually.  The first is an anthology of romantic Christmas stories .  That link isn’t to the exact book I have, but one in the same series.  Simple stories of love at Christmas time.  I read them every year.  I’m sappy that way.

My other guilty pleasure is, and I can’t believe I’m going to put this in writing and publish it on the internet, is the movie Center Stage.  The plot is predictable, the acting and writing passable, and I could do without some of the colorful language, but the dancing, oh the dancing!   I watch this movie every time Philip is out of town.  It’s the perfect movie to knit by, since I can focus on my project for most of the movie and take a break to watch the dance scenes.  I actually own the DVD.

So there, I’ve said it.  Hopefully your image of me has not suffered too greatly, but if you feel you can no longer read my blog, well, I’ll understand.  But I’ve just got to have my dance movie.

So, as Matilda asked, what’s your guilty pleasure?

All In the Family

Last Halloween our whole family got into the spirit of things and we went as this famous family:


Mr and Mrs Incredible, Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack.

It started off with Boo wanting to be Dash, then we realized that with her long, black hair and big eyes, Pumpkin Girl was the definitive Violet.  But it was Bip as Jack-Jack that really pulled the whole thing off.

So we had quite the discussion of what to go as this year.  After the unforgiving Elastigirl costume, I wasn’t too thrilled with being anything less than a pumpkin this time.  But more creative heads prevailed and we have our family costumes selected and bought.

Any guesses?  I’ll give you a couple of clues.  It’s a family, but far from a traditional one.  One of the children has to be someone that isn’t related to the rest of us, but is related to the theme.  If you know me in real life, you probably already know – so keep it quiet.  But the rest of you – leave me a comment with your best guess as to our family’s costumes!

Dang Squirrels

This morning I had this charming fall display:
Our home has come under its annual pumpkin infestation and I was getting ready to blog about it and how Bip walks around saying, “Mama!  Puhhn-kin!  Two Puhhn-Kin!  Ghost!  Wooooo-ooo!”   But then…

Today when we returned from dance class and found this:

What happened to the other pumpkin? I asked my neighbor, who happened to be outside, if she had any “extra” pumpkins on her porch. Not that her kids had stolen our pumpkin or anything.  Like me, she has a 2 year old and you know how they get.  But nope, no extra pumpkins on her porch. She suggested that maybe squirrels  had gotten to it, because they’d been eating the pumpkins and gourds she had on her porch and outdoor table.  I guess it’s possible, but could a squirrel carry off a pumpkin?

Then we walked closer to our door and saw this:

Argh!  Dang squirrels!  They not only moved the pumpkin, they ate it!  Here’s the whole scene of the crime, to give you an idea how far the pumpkin was moved:
You can see the rest of the pumpkins to the far left, then the purloined  pumpkin snack on the far right.  I would have loved to see the varmint in question trying to move it!  And isn’t that a lovely rusty pole right in the middle of the walkway!

I guess the heat is making the squirrels crazy.  We’re just trying to have a little fall festivity and it’s like 92 degrees out and the squirrels are eating the decorations.  It’s the end of the world, people.  You heard it here first.

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