pumpkins

Cat’s Got My Tongue or Something Like That

It’s been nice to see a few stories about Gen X in the media recently.  After all, hi! We still exist! The media is obsessed with the Boomers (for what…4 or 5 decades now?) and Millennials, and it can be easy to forget that there is a generation in between the Boomers and Millennials, a generation doing quite well, thank you very much.

I’ve written before about my feelings about being a Gen Xer. They’re mixed because depending on where you get your data, I’m either part of the very end of Gen X or possibly one of the oldest Millennials.  Most of the milestones for Gen X happened when I was still a small child, so while I remember them, they aren’t really my milestones like they are for someone 5-10 years older. And the events and habits that define Millennials are things that are at least 5-10 years younger than I am.  It’s like being part of a lost generation, a generation that exists in some Never-Never Land.

This article about Gen X got it right. Again, some of the examples they use are for older members of the generation, but the overall feeling and characterization is spot on: Meh. I picture that utterance accompanied with a shrug. It’s not negative. It’s not positive. It just is, and it’s freeing.  Because the spotlight has so seldom been on Gen X, we’ve been allowed to chart our own course and to develop ourselves without the sheer numbers that change society like the Boomers and the online opportunities to which Millennials are accustomed.

We’re here, plodding along, doing our thing, and we’re OK with that.

I could go on and on about the article, but I’m curious about your impression. If you are Gen X, do you agree? If you are not Gen X, what do you think, and if you work with Gen Xers, what’s it like?

***

We’ve had a wonderful week with Daniel.  After weeks of tantrums and whining and crying at the drop of a hat that was capped off by me bursting into tears last Sunday after a particularly trying afternoon, this week has been calm and pleasant. And you better believe I’m knocking on every piece of wood I can find.

That has been the definition of age  so far: wonderful moments and teary lows. We’re hopeful that maybe this week wasn’t a fluke and that the Pre-K transition is over. Maybe our talks and warnings and consequences and tears have finally gotten through, and we’re able to reason and talk through hairy moments. Fingers and toes are crossed.

***

We went to our local Farmer’s Market to buy pumpkins and flowers today.  I’m pleased to say that Daniel is just as infatuated with Fall as we are.  I got out our Halloween decorations when I was home on Monday, and he has been demanding one of my decorative pumpkins every day.  We happily picked out pumpkins to decorate our porch and mums to plant in our garden.

It was weird doing all this when it is almost 90 degrees, but that’s North Carolina. Next weekend, it could be 65 (and I’d LOVE it!).

Daniel among the pumpkins

Pumpkin Man!

***

I’m having a bit of writer’s block lately. I’m not even sure if that’s what it is, but when I sit down to blog, I can’t get my thoughts together.  I have so many posts in draft status because I write and write and write and then just taper off, unable to finish.  I’ve thought posts through in the shower and while I’m getting ready, but they fade away. The words don’t flow. I reread the drafts, and the sentences are awkward and clumsy, and the metaphors and analogies are silly, and I’m embarrassed and frustrated. I’ve never considered myself to be an elegant writer, but I expect a basic competence from myself that has been lacking.

Maybe I need to do more of Mel’s Pump and Dump type of writing.  Maybe it’s a good thing that NaBloPoMo is next month.  Hopefully the challenge of blogging every day will clear this blockage.

What I haven’t thought much about is whether my inability to write is symbolic of some other stress in my life (work, I’m looking at you).

What I do know is that Fall is my little family’s favorite time of year. While I’m stunned it’s October, I’m thrilled. Holidays, good food, family, fun events…all are on tap and being scheduled. And as the leaves turn golden and orange and red, I feel myself waking up and feeling alive. The beauty of this time of  year hits me like a hammer, and I’m determined we will enjoy it.

Daniel and mums

Daniel among the mums

Halloween and NaBloPoMo

Nothing seems to be going exactly as planned or desired lately and that applies doubly to holidays.  Just once I’d like to feel truly prepared for an occasion instead of finishing up preparations at the last minute; our Halloween was no exception.

I picked up Daniel early from daycare yesterday, excited to take my little boy home and get ready for trick-or-treating.  Daniel didn’t want to leave and threw a temper tantrum, resulting in me carrying him out to the car and wrestling him into his car seat against his wishes to do it himself.  Not exactly the way I wanted our evening to start.

By the time we got home, Daniel was all smiles again, and I rushed to make him dinner while Jimmy carved the pumpkins.  That’s right: we had done everything but carve them. An important step, don’t you think?  I hustled Daniel into his costume, lit candles, put candy in a bowl and tried to keep myself from hopping impatiently from one foot to another while Jimmy finished.

Finally, the pumpkins were ready and so were we.  The three of us headed out into the chilly night (a rarity for Halloween in North Carolina). At the first house, Daniel clung shyly to my leg but finally managed a “trick or treat!” when the door was opened.  That was all it took for the stress of the evening to melt away and for the magic of the night to take over.

I’ve mentioned before (OK, a lot) that I love Halloween and celebrating it with my family of 3 is one of the sweetest milestones after our years of infertility.  Each year since Daniel was a baby, we have reveled in celebrating it from that first year when we overdressed him as a lion in an outfit lovingly made by his Mimi to this year when he told us what he wanted to be. But this year was the best so far.  This year was the year that Halloween clicked for Daniel.  We prepped by reading Halloween books, and he practiced shouting “Trick or Treat” for weeks.  After discovering candy last Halloween, he knew very well what kind of treats awaited him at each house. This was the year that our little boy grinned, grabbed both of our hands and practically ran down the driveway and from house to house.

We had intended to go to only a few houses and be out no more than 30 minutes, but Daniel kept insisting on just one more house.  We walked up and down the street for an hour, and it was only as we walked up our driveway that Daniel whispered for me to pick him up.

Back in the house, Daniel and Jimmy went through the candy in his bag, one of Jimmy’s favorite parts of Halloween from childhood.  One lollipop and a few stories later, Daniel fell asleep immediately while Jimmy extinguished Halloween outside and inside.

Look at all the sugar!

31 days of excitement and anticipation, and it was over in a few short hours.  Halloween came and went in a rush.  I don’t know how many trick-or-treaters we had.  I barely saw our pumpkins lit.  I don’t mind, though.  The best hour we had all night was walking around our neighborhood with our little cookie.  If that’s all the Halloween that I get to experience, I’m OK with that.

***

NaBloPoMo November 2012

NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) is here again, and I’m going to participate! That means 30 posts, one for every day.  I think it will be a bigger challenge than last year because we seem to be so much busier or maybe it’s just that life abhors a vacuum, and we’ve traded one type of stress for another.   Feel free to prod me if I appear to be getting into a rut or slump.  Or if a daily post from me is more than you can take, I bid you adieu until December 1.  You can also check out some other people crazy intrepid enough to tackle this challenge on BlogHer and Yeah Write

Week in My Life 2012: The Weekend

My little family really needed a calm, quiet weekend after the past few super-busy weeks, and I think we achieved that even if Sunday threw us a curve ball.

Saturday

Saturday was hair cut day.  Daniel’s hair grows really quickly and even though he had a hair cut a few weeks before, he  needed another.  Happily, our stylist was able to fit him in.  Jimmy was going to take him, giving me some time at home by myself.

Pre-hair cut. Note the long bangs. Yes, that’s a Halloween shirt.

After the hair cut and a few lollipops later (if you ask Daniel, he equates hair cuts with lollipops), Jimmy took him to the bounce house down the road.  Unfortunately, every other family had the same idea, and it was packed.  After about 30 minutes, Jimmy decided it was unsafe for Daniel with so many big kids running around unchaperoned and brought him home.

Fun at the bounce house

I had intended to plant flowers, so once they returned, I headed outside to admire the gray, blustery day (thank you, Frankenstorm Sandy!) and pot pansies.

View from my front porch

I even achieved a little seasonal festiveness in time for Halloween.

Just like Martha Stewart amiright?

Daniel enjoyed the gray day too, watching the squirrels run and leaves swirl.

Daniel is really into his trains right now, but we asked him if he wanted to color and he said yes.  I’m amazed at what he can create with his crayons.  When I asked him what the big scribbles were on the right side of his paper, he said, “A big storm.”  Wow.

Petite Picasso? Pollock?

I am not arts & craftsy by any means, but before dinner, we attempted to decorate a pumpkin.

Masterpiece, n’est-ce pas?

Daniel had dragged in his “baby chair” as he calls it from his room and while we were decorating his pumpkin, Lucy decided to observe us more comfortably.  I don’t call her Diva Cat for nothing!

Sunday

Sunday was supposed to be quiet, yet purposeful.  I woke up with a migraine, though, and it rendered me useless for most of the morning.  Jimmy hadn’t slept much at all and had a scratchy throat (joy!), so I let him sleep and treated the migraine with lots of caffeine and water.  Daniel was a trooper and played quietly.  I may have let him watch 2 movies back-to-back. I blame Hurricane Sandy for all of this.

J’ai mal a la tete

Daniel was distracted from his breakfast by Lucy who decided to lurk at his feet in case he dropped anything edible.

A boy and his kitty cat

Daniel loves pumpkin muffins for breakfast, and I had promised him we would make some, so once my headache retreated, we did. He helped by adding the eggs, water, oil, pumpkin and spices.

Does a watched muffin bake?

Then it was time to prep the pumpkins for carving.  Daniel was extremely excited to see Jimmy cut out the tops.

Then it was time for me to scoop out the pumpkin guts.  This task falls to me every year.  I don’t really mind it, but OMG it is gross.  I can’t help but grimace while doing it because the pumpkin coats my hands and dries.  Ewwwww.  Another year with my arm elbow-deep in pumpkin guts!

While I was having quality time with the business end of two pumpkins, Jimmy and Daniel were looking at pictures of family and kitty cats.

We all wanted to nap (at least Jimmy and I did), but I was the only one who did (blame the migraine hangover).  Daniel was wild and bouncing off the walls post “nap.”  We fed him, read stories and got him into bed as soon as possible and within a few minutes, he was sleeping soundly.  Yay!

Then it was time to tackle the Sunday chore of making Daniel’s lunches for Monday-Wednesday.

And with that, I end the Week in My Life series.  I’ve enjoyed it a lot, and it’s been fun to document the various aspects of a week.  It’s been interesting to compare this year to last year as well.  Some things are the same, but there is a lot that is different. This is one of my favorite times of year, and I’ve enjoyed capturing it.  Thanks for reading along!

Capture the Everyday: Love

Daniel loves going outside and exploring our yard, and while he loves leaves and pine cones, he especially loves flowers. He isn’t content to just admire them in the pot or in the ground, he must pick them.  As soon as we go outside, he runs to one and says happily, “pick fower.”

While I’m glad he loves nature and flowers, it sure does wreak havoc with my attempts to beautify our porch and yard! In attempt to reach a compromise (because yes, negotiating with a 2-year-old makes perfect sense), we bought him a purple mum of his own over the weekend.  Purple is his favorite color, and we hope that if we told him he could pick all he wanted from it, he might leave the other flowers alone.  J dubbed it the “sacrificial mum.”

Picking flowers from his mum

As you can see, our strategy is not working 100%.

Oooh, I like the pansies too!

He also loves pumpkins and tries to carry them no matter how big they are.

That pumpkin used to be part of my fall display on my porch

Flowers come and go, but the joy on my little boy’s face when he’s playing with them is worth it.

Capture the Everyday from Adventuroo

									

Autumn 2009

101909_J_D_pumpkin2J and I adore Autumn, and we have been enjoying doing a few Fall activities with Daniel. The leaves finally started to change here within the last week, so I anticipate some really nice walks through the neighborhood (once it stops raining) in the next week or two. Two weeks ago we took Daniel to a local pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins. This place, Ken’s Produce, is about 15 minutes away from our house, and I’ve passed it every day for 4 years. Starting in September, Ken’s creates a corn maze and a haunted after-dark maze. We’ve always bought our pumpkins at Ken’s, so it was special to take Daniel there this year. I had hoped to take a few pictures of him among the pumpkins, but it was quite blustery and chilly that day, so we settled for taking a few seasonal pics at home.

We bought a daddy, mommy and baby pumpkin as well as a few little pumpkins, and the plan is to carve the big pumpkins on Friday. We are so excited about Daniel’s first Halloween! Here are a few pictures and stay tuned for Halloween pics later in the week! I bought Daniel two Halloween outfits, and his Mimi (my mother) bought him two more. I love Halloween, and I have been having a lot of fun. Oh, and those outfits don’t include his actual Halloween costume. But back to the fall pics! I apologize in advance for the fact that the pictures are very me-centric. Fact is that J takes much better pictures of, well, anything than I do. He took the pictures of me, and I took the ones of him. His are good. Mine are ok.
I'm a sucker for flannel

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