Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Last call for fall.

This was seven days ago. No coats. Mild temperatures. Our little bud Mia stopping by to check out a book or two at our Little Library...("Zorba the Greek", she's an advanced reader)

The windchill is below zero today. There is snow on the ground. It isn't even Thanksgiving yet. Ella is bucking like a wild horse about putting a winter hat on her head. Hello, Midwest winter!

It doesn't seem to bother Thomas, who has taken a real shining to every bathroom fixture he can get on or in. He stares at the toilet water. He stands in the sink and stares at me like I am the crazy one.

Midwest winter means indoor projects take the front burner. The never-ending basement upkeep is back in full swing thanks to Larry and Ella who have been spending time scraping away at some nasty spots. Of course, she is in heels for this because it only makes sense to wear fashionable footwear for such work.

We bundled up for some time at our museum on Sunday and met up with Ava and Addy and Roz. We were delighted to have Mia and Jade, two other FCC kiddos, join us and invade the Family Center with cuteness.

And then under Katie's prompting, we got the girls together for this photo. As usual, I was splattered across the museum floor in order to get just the right angle! As you can see, Jade (on right) is not used to such antics. The photo is a million stories for me - each so individual, so beautiful inside with their cool stuff, stunning outside, journeys to us spanning years, loss, gains, love. Ahhh.


Wedding bells.

The first week of November was spent preparing myself for my nephew's wedding. Of course there is the emotional aspect of your oldest nephew tying the knot, but when Mr. B (Brandon for the rest of you) and Jody asked me to photograph their wedding, I was like yikes! I knew I had it in me but was slightly worried about being gone for 12 hours in the midst of it all Larry trying to get Ella presentable for her cousin's wedding.
We made sure to get in some good stuff the weekend before. I knew November 8 and 9 were going to be a wash.
Little library time with our buds.

Nephew #2 in line, Grant, headed home from Korea to be the best man. I waited 16 months to wrap my arms around him for this selfie.

Obligatory Auntie Heather and Groom pic.
Thank goodness for small miracles in our neighborhood. Mama Brooke came over bright and early on the wedding day to ensure an awesome French braid for the girl, thereby minimizing the gnashing of teeth when Larry would try to do something with her hair later.

The day was perfect. Jody and Mr. B. were perfect. The weather was freezing but the rain stayed away - so I'll call that perfect.

Ella never stopped at the reception. She and little Lily danced the entire night away, only stopping for a quick drink of their mocktails.

And not to be forgotten, my Dad celebrated his big 8-0 on the wedding day. We had big fun joining in for a round of happy birthday at the reception. It was a perfect way to celebrate.

My brother Greg boogying down with his grandsons, Matthew and Michael.
I have so many images from that day to look through and edit and smile about. It will take me six weeks to get through them all. It was -11 below windchill this morning (November 18!), so snuggling in with my laptop is not going to be a huge problem.

Monday, November 17, 2014

First School Conference and Halloween Re-cap.

We endured our first parent-teacher conference last week and were relieved to learn the following: Ella is opening up. Ella is kind. Ella is following rules. Ella and her teacher have a mutual admiration thing going on. To be honest? The rest falls by the wayside. She is catching on with reading and math on schedule. She has stopped screaming for Panda in the morning. She has stopped crying when I take her in for line up before the bell rings. The success of all of this is more than I had hoped for just a few short months ago! Yay Ella! Just don't ask her if she likes school, because she will tell quickly and in a sharp voice, "No".
Moving on to Halloween catch up. Honestly, it is my least favorite celebrated holiday. I'm not into all the decorations and scary business. I can't stand all the gross candy sitting in a bowl on my counter for months, then moved to a cabinet in case future bribery material is needed. This year, it felt like we celebrated for about two weeks straight with school Trunk or Treat, our neighborhood bash, our school parade and party and then actual Trick or Treat on Halloween night. Did I mention the horrid weather we had on October 31st? Kudos to my mom and our new neighbors for trudging a few blocks in sideways rain, wind and freezing temps to get even MORE CANDY.

Glinda and her Daddy on the swings during our neighborhood party.

Look at all the cutertons in Ella's class!

You have to adore a teacher who dresses up in a Pooh costume and parades up and down the halls with her kids.

In and around all this, I finished up my 6-month tenure as co-president (my trusty partner, Mama Mo, too) for our moms' group in the neighborhood. It was a whirlwind of activity and new adventures and a huge increase in participation. We were interviewed by one of our dad's who writes for our local paper. The group got amazing coverage and our little Ella made the front page here.

Amazingly, Ella and Roz have had TWO days off in November at the same time even though they are in different school systems. We have tried to take full advantage with two sleepovers (me included because Ella is still freaked out she will 'need' me) at Roz's house. We also scheduled their flu mist appointments at the same time so that there would be less gnashing of teeth. It worked, kind of.

Henry the overgrown puppy, made sure to stand over me in my comfy digs in the guest room whenever possible.
We also added in a trip to one of our favorite places...just like old times: the art museum.

Last night, snow fell. Ella went to bed  hoping for a snow day. Ha! No luck, kid. Happy Monday, Ella-Land!