Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Question for The Blog

I've been trying to ignore the fact that Halloween is rapidly approaching, but I think I may have hit my limit with the church's Harvestween party scheduled for tomorrow.

I remember when I was growing up there were a lot of rules surrounding the Culture of the Costume. Rubber masks were the coolest, most everyone's costume was cheaply made, only boys could be something gross or scary, no one's costume was ever very scary. But I remember the chief, #1 cardinal rule of Halloween was that you absolutely, positively couldn't be what you were last year. So this year, when I asked Thomas what he wanted to be for Halloween and he answered "The Cat in The Hat", I balked. Sure you don't want to be a doctor? A fireman? Uncle Pete? No? The Cat in The Hat.

Really, it couldn't matter less to me--we still have the hat and necktie from last year and no one from church saw his costume last year. But I'm worried that when we go trick or treating someone will recognize the costume and say something. I'm not sure what I'm worried that they will say, and I doubt anyone will remember him from last year, but isn't this breaking some rule? Shouldn't he be something new? What would you do?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Birthday Boy

Look who had a birthday!

My biggest baby is six years old now. He's really turning into a big kid. It seems like he was just a toddler, running around, hanging out in his sling, keeping me up all night. He has been loosing teeth and I swear he just got those teeth a year ago. It is going so fast. It makes me glad that he is homeschooling. It means that I get to enjoy him a little longer.

He is by far my most spirited child. He is determined, persistent and lively. He never stops talking from the moment he gets up in the morning until he falls asleep at night. He loves to have grown ups involved in all of his adventures. He loves to make science experiments and read and write 'messages' for me all day. He loves to learn new things. This year has been all about the food we eat, the weather, growing things in the garden, and gaining proficiency with his knitting.

I'm so excited to see where this next year will take him!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

So Crafty and Then Some

For years now I've been wanting to make Christmas stockings for the kids. I waited until I knew we were done having babies. I wanted to make them a coordinating set and I didn't want baby #4 or 5 to get the Odd-Man Out stocking because I lost the pattern or I couldn't get the same yarn. This is the year for stockings, though. I cast on October 1 in order to give myself plenty of time, but it got done a lot faster than I had anticipated.

Lo! A Stocking!

That's Bartlettyarn in the 2-ply. Colors are Cranberry and something else. The neutral color is Light Sheep Grey. The red is much deeper in person. More like a, uh, cranberry. I suppose I could take a better picture, but it's pretty cold outside. The pattern is Holly from Annie's Woolens. The website says it is a traditional Scandinavian pattern. We do like to get the Swede on around the holidays. Pickled herring. . . yummm.

I've also been pretty busy with the jelly making. Rachel and I got together over the weekend and made a bunch of grape jelly from some of my dad's grapes. The grapes are pretty hit-or-miss, but this was a very good year for the juice.

Last night I did a little experiment. Rosehip Jelly. From my parents' rose hips. I think I'll plant some roses next spring that will give good rose hips. There seems to be some wild controversy on the internet as to the best time to pick the rose hips. I think my dad picked them after a light frost. I got just under three pints from two quarts of rose hips. I can't wait to try it. However, I have a quart of grape jelly in the fridge that didn't get canned, so I think we should eat that before opening anything new. Does anyone have a good recipe that calls for a cup or two of grape jelly?

Yummmm. Sugar.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One Of The Good Days

This is the first normal day we've had in over a week.

Anna came home mid-week last week. Her fever was relatively short-lived and she seemed to bounce back in about four days. Thomas's fever persisted so I brought him into the clinic. He had developed a sinus infection and some lung problems (Don't ask me the specifics, though. Inflammation? Irritation? Whatever. The drugs will make it better.) so he scored an antibiotic and some lung-medicine. The physician's assistant said he thought Thomas had had the swine flu, but that Anna had had a reaction to the Flu Mist. I don't know. They were both pretty sick, but it's true that Anna didn't match Thomas's 104.05 degree fever.

In any case, they are mostly better now. Thomas just has a cough and a snotty nose. I'm so glad to have them back with us.

We had our first day of school in a week. We did a little math, we read the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, and Thomas read Frog and Toad Together aloud to Anna and me. Then we went for a walk around the neighborhood collecting leaves for an art project.

I would like to remember Henry in our orange stroller, Anna running along the curb ankle deep in dry leaves, and Thomas pedaling away on his bike with the ice cream pail dangling from his handle bar. It is one of those rare autumn days that is bright and comfortably warm with leaves changing color everywhere. We were very happy with our collection. We came home and I put Henry down to nap and the kids did leaf rubbings. Even now I'm trying to get them to wrap it up so we (or I) can have a rest.

Some days I really like my job.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another Update

I'm just stopping in to let you know that Thomas and Anna are (still) at my parents' house, convalescing. They both still have fevers and Thomas has a persistent cough. When I last saw them they seemed to be in good spirits--Grandma and Grandpa's house hasn't lost it's charm yet. They are watching oodles of TV and being waited on.

Needless to say, I miss my kids. I want them to come home! And every news story I see or read sends me into fits of hand wringing as I wait for their recovery.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sick Little Bunnies

It seems like it's going to be a slow, lingering sort of autumn in the Casa De Sarah.

Henry's been under the weather all week. There's been a subtle, sort-of cold with a fever on Tuesday that has culminated into a croupy cough with a little wheezing today. Croup. Ack. Remember that? We kept him outside, bundled in the cold, and now he seems improved, even if he's hacking a bit now and then.

The big news is that last night we sent Thomas and Anna for a visit with Grandma and Grandpa. Overnight they developed high fevers and coughs. I called an on-call nurse at our clinic and she said they most likely had H1N1. And that if it's possible at all we should keep them away from Henry.

They are going to stay with my parents another night and then tomorrow Peter and I are going to try to decide what steps we should take next. He hasn't given up hope that this is just a side effect of the FluMist vaccine they received Friday morning. I had thought so, too, but the nurse sounded absolutely confident over the phone that there was no way this was from the vaccine.

I just want them to get better. And I REALLY don't want Henry to get the flu.

Thomas had asked for a break from his math yesterday. I guess he's going to be getting a whole week off, with additional TV time as well. I guess the old adage holds true: "Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it."