Monday, October 29, 2007


I haven't posted in the longest time! Spent my free time surfing everyone else's lives instead. Click on the link to "Meesh" to see how creative my sister and husband are and why I always look forward to seeing what they're going to be for Halloween. (By the way Michelle, when you have brown hair we really look a lot alike!)

So here is a catch-up of the many things I've been thinking about and doing over the last couple of weeks:

I found this cut-up 6-pak plastic can holder in the recycling and marvelled how wonderful it is to have a 12-year-old back up! Because when I don't have the motivation to take the time to cut up the plastic thingy to save the birds and I simply chuck it, I have a daughter who notices my carelessness, retrieves the plastic thingy and cuts it up on her own, thereby doing her part to save our environment!

"Bookwise Conference"

I attended a conference downtown discussing writing and publishing. It was interesting, very motivating and so fun to spend time with my sister-in-law who invited me.

In addition, I ran into a friend from Chicago! It was so fun to get caught up and hear about friends I hadn't seen in 10 years. I had actually read her blog recently when I found a link to it on another friend's blog!

So at the Bookwise conference, Marc Brown was going to speak. I had to leave early to take Christopher to a piano rehearsal which was also downtown. As we left the rehearsal, I knew we may be able to catch the last few minutes of Marc Brown speaking. However this entailed a $12 parking fee and a VERY long walk through the entire conference center to get to the other side. As I passed the center, there were a ton of parking meters available.

I had a choice -- get home in time for dinner with Dan and family and enjoy being home, or park and walk a long way with the slight possibility of maybe hearing him speak and having my son get to meet Marc Brown. In a moment of, "What would Mom do?" I pulled over and parked and we walked VERY quickly to try and catch his speech.

We made it to hear quite a bit of his talk and him read a new book he illustrated and talk about another he co-wrote with Rosemary Wells. He was darling!! We also got to meet him right after at his book signing. We LOVE Arthur in our family and I wanted to spend 10 minutes telling him all about how all the kids of all ages watch Arthur, but refrained since the 100 people behind me would have been really mad. But, Marc Brown was wonderful and sooo kind!! AWESOME!

I will also mention that Christopher had a sprained foot so by the end he could no longer walk. I carried him piggy-back to our car and in my intention to take a short cut took a very long cut and walked about a mile around the whole dang conference center with a kid on my back. But I was kind of giddy and still thinking of my own mom and how she inspires us to take "risks" so I was happy to do it.

(Yes, I know, it's funny to hear me call "perhaps missing Marc Brown and then not getting home with enough time to enjoy being home" a "risk" but I'm kind of a like a horse...when home is in sight and I'm tired it's hard to redirect my course!

"Pumpkin Carving"
I used to dread pumpkin carving because it feels like it takes forever and I hate gutting the dang thing times as many kids who also hate gutting it. That was until 4 years ago when I timed how long pumpkin carving takes so I would know what to expect in future years and therefore not dread it so much anymore. It takes one hour. So now I love it because one hour isn't that long after all. And all my kids can gut their own pumpkins (or, as in Marty's case, pay a little brother to gut his pumpkin for him... yes, this truly did happen this year). And once the pumpkins are gutted I enjoy carving.

I did not enjoy watching Nicholas stab his pumpkin with a small "pumpkin carving knife" raised high above his head and plunging it into the pumpkin over and over. It frightened me a bit.

"Christmas Photos"
Finally, if you're having a hard time getting your six-year-old to smile naturally during Christmas photos, try saying "diarrhea!!" And then singing verses of that wonderful song. What's curious to me is that Marty and Nicholas weren't phased. Click on the photo for a larger version!


We're Wingin It said...

So fun! I always thought those six pack plastic thingys were cut up to save the Dolphins. All these years.

I am so glad to know pumpkin carving only takes an hour. We haven't done it yet and I keep wondering when we are going to fit it in.

And I love the Christmas pic! I have fond memories of Bekah and I singing the diarrhea song, we even made up the best verse yet. Maybe I'll break out in song when I need a good picture from my kids. Thanks for the tip!

Courtney said...

I think that the plastic things are cut up to save the birds (so I was told) and the dolphins (so Marty was told. When Bekah was hear they were singing it and Mom even looked it up on the computer to see all the verses.

Courtney said...

I mean singing the diarrhea song, not about the birds and dolphins.

Betsy said...

It's not the actual carving that I dread, it's the cleaning up afterwards. I carved a gourd this year...they are super easy to cut, but very wet inside. Kind of a fun change.

Glad that you are the cool mom!!! You are my inspiration!

Jen said...

I was just telling my sister that I am not carving a pumpkin this year b/c it is complete craziness right now and Brad is out of town for the week. But, you've completely inspired me to stick it out for an hour and let the kids go for it!
Plus, I am inspired by your Marc Brown story. You are such a good mom!

Shoo fly, don't bother me! said...

Cool! I cant believe christopher actually got to pose with marc brown! my mom bought his new book. i love it. it is so cute and creative. tell courtney i said hi! love ya!

Michelle said...

Ethan was also stabbing his pumpkin with the sPumpkin Masters knife as we were carving. Every "good mother" voice in my head said to take the knife away, but the serrated knife thing isn't sharp at all and I didn't think he could really get hurt. So, I let him stab away in order to be apart of the family fun. Brent walked in wondering why our 2-year old was playing with a knife and his mom was contently observing. I'm so glad Nick also got to play with the knife. I feel like a much better mom knowing it was okay by you too :-)

J said...

good times Ang! nice update, and yes, you are a great mom! just on one post there are enough clues about you as a mom to pretty much know that...even if i hadn't known you before.

i agree with my sister, your profile pic could be Sandra Bullock. :-)

Julie said...

That was fun to read about your choice to try and catch Marc Brown, and how you had to carry your boy. That will be a fond memory for both of you, which makes it worth the effort.
I feel the same way about heading for home. And that is so true. It is like a horse.
One hour for pumpkin carving. I'll have to remember that.