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Tag Archives: Halloween

The Space In Between…

It is currently November 4, and I feel stuck in the space in between.

Last week was buzzing with excitement. The anticipation of Halloween was in the air! I was frantically working my fingers to the bone to sew four Halloween costumes for my littles (good Lord let me just tell you, when you have 4 kids, the last thing you should be doing is sewing all of their Halloween costumes! Lesson learned…). The neighborhood was breaking out their Halloween finest, my kids were daily shrieking with the excitement of seeing new decorations, and my oldest three were chattering nonstop about being Batman for Halloween, saying “trick-or-treat”, and getting candy! Halloween night was so fun this year; the older kids really understood the concept of trick-or-treating, and you could see the wonder in their eyes as their goodie bags continued to get more rotund with every stop that was made.





Next week (after Remembrance Day) is my absolute favorite time of the year! The Christmas festivities begin very early in our house, so that we get the most out of the season. Music, lights, decorations, traditions new and old, and the look on my children’s faces as they experience the holiday season. I am barely holding in my own excitement:)

But today? Today I feel stuck in the space in between.
It’s being in limbo.
It’s finishing one celebration and waiting for the next one to arrive.
It’s the let down after the excitement.

It’s also the space to catch your breath, the time to process, evaluate what has passed and look forward to what is ahead. The chance to relish the memories of the past, and dream about the possibilities of the future. The space in between is an important time.

I write this because I feel the strain of this space in between in life, but I feel it even more strongly when I think about my role as an advocate for Jake.

When we were just starting out on the journey, everything was new. I blogged like crazy, partially because I was processing things for myself and blogging was a good outlet for me, and partially because I was advocating in the best way I knew how. I documented everything – my thoughts, feelings, circumstances that arose, situations we encountered, milestones accomplished, conversations spoken, and so much more. And it was exciting, it was cathartic, it was good and purposeful and meaningful.

In this season of life, however, I feel like I’m the space in between.
I don’t always know what to blog about anymore. I don’t feel as much pressure to convince the world of Jake’s worth. (I think you all know how absolutely incredible and amazing he is, and you see his worth without me having to push my agenda on you!) The old season has passed, and the new season is coming. I’m not exactly sure what the new season of advocacy will hold, however, and so I feel in limbo.

And while I don’t love the feeling of being stuck, I am also grounding myself in it, processing what lies behind and what lies ahead, and waiting with eager anticipation to continue to see what this new season of advocacy will look like! I think the changes will be subtle, and I will continue to advocate for Jake and promote awareness and acceptance until the day I die! But I am excited to see the new forms it will take:)

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Posted by on November 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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The 3 Little Minions…

So, 29 isn’t bad, right?
29 days. I made it 29 days out of the 31 day challenge.
This blogging challenge is one of the highlights of the blogging year for me. It gives me a chance to reflect, write on a more consistent basis, and hopefully spread some awareness and acceptance. Thanks to those of you who journeyed through the past month with me:)

And now, may I present to you, the 3 Little Minions!

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I won’t say a ton about Halloween, except for this…we had a GREAT time!
I was so incredibly proud of Jake. He stayed with us. He didn’t try and run away. He walked on the sidewalk (as opposed to running on the road). He climbed up and down every person’s front stairs by himself. He said “eeeeee” for “trick or treat” and then always said “thank you” for the candy. He was priceless…all three of my kiddos were.
This was the first year that Cole really understood what was happening too. The very first candy that got dropped into Cole’s bag was like a light bulb moment for him. He actually squealed out loud, yelled “candy!!” and then after every house, proceeded to exclaim “more candy, daddy!!” It was adorable.

At the end of the night, Curtis and I both turned to each other and exclaimed “that was fun!”, which to be honest, was sort of a new feeling for us, as we usually feel like our experiences are fun but with a good mix of stress and being on high alert added in.

All in all, a great night was had by all:)

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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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[31 for 21] ~ Photo Friday…

Happiness.

Today’s word is happiness.

This evening we got to carry on a grand old tradition:)
We got to carve pumpkins together with my sister and her kiddos.
We’ve been doing it for several years now, and it is so much fun! Our kids aren’t completely into it yet, but a good time is always had by all.

*Photos of years past*

Jake is not sure about this...

Pumpkin Fest 2012

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Pumpkin Fest 2013

This year Jake was particularly not interested. In fact, he wouldn’t go near the pumpkins at all, and when I tried to put him up on the chair to take a look and get in on the action, he just screamed “NO!” and hopped back down. Oh well…at least he was excited when they were all done. Here are just a couple cute pics of the night…

The best we got from Noah:) He went to bed about 3 min after this picture was taken...

The best we got from Noah:) He went to bed about 3 min after this picture was taken…

Cutie nephew Peyton!

Cutie nephew Peyton!

This was as close as I could get Jake to being to the action.

This was as close as I could get Jake to being to the action.

Like father, like son...

Like father, like son…

Jake had no interest in carving a pumpkin, so I got to do it instead! At least I thought of him...:)

Jake had no interest in carving a pumpkin, so I got to do it instead! At least I thought of him…:)

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Finished products and happy children!

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Finished products and happy children!

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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…Mario and Luigi…

Just a few post-Halloween pictures for you today:)

Jake and Cole were Mario and Luigi for Halloween!  The costumes were super easy, as most of the items were things they wear anyway.  The hats I actually made…I was a little nervous, but they turned out really well, and they were easy to make!

We took our guys out last night, along with all their cousins.  Shockingly, both Jake and Cole had a BLAST!  Cole wanted to be carried most of the night, but he was loving life!  Jake would walk up to the door, wait for someone to bend down to his level, and then try and grab the candy out of the bowl!  He would then wave goodbye to every single person as we walked away!  All in all, I think it was a terrific success.  A great time was had by all, and it was a really positive experience!

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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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[31 for 21] A Little Preview…

Today I’m going to answer the rest of the questions that I received from my Q&A plea.  And also, I wanted to give you a little preview of what Halloween night is going to look like around our house:)  (Warning: these kiddos are dang cute!)

How mad will you be if Jake says my name before yours? Ha!
This question came from one of my best friends.  To my children, she is “Auntie Sarah”.  She plays a huge role in their lives, and they love her to death!  I feel really blessed to have her in my life as such a good friend, and to have her influence in the lives of my kiddos.
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The answer to the question, Sarah, is VERY!  I will be really mad:)  But I don’t think we have much to worry about…I’m confident in my son’s ability to reach into the speech and language portion of his brain and pull out the big guns for my name!

What do the boys have in common? How do they play and get along? Do they take care of each other, fight etc…?
I would wager a guess that cognitively speaking, Jake and Cole are fairly similar in terms of development.  They both seem to be at the same stage in terms of learning how to play with each other, learning how to share, learning not to take toys, hit, or push, and learning the meaning of the “m” word (that would be “MINE!!”).  These tough life lessons can obviously make for some occasional tension between them, but for the most part, Jake and Cole actually play really well together and get along great.  They do have their moments for sure, but I think that is to be expected with siblings!  I can often let them play together for an hour or more, and rarely hear skirmishes or squabbles.  I think they are too young at this point to “take care of each other”, but they do get along quite well.  When they do fight, it is typical sibling stuff!

You mentioned previously that Jake is a picky eater.  What types of things will he eat and any tips/tricks for expanding his food repertoire or getting him to eat?
If only I had the market cornered on a good answer to this question!  The truth is, Jake is an incredibly picky eater.  He has a decent repertoire of a few basic things, but it is extremely hard to get him to try new things.  I have often felt as though I am banging my head against the wall when it comes to mealtimes, especially supper.  We have worked with an OT on this issue (Occupational Therapist) who suggests repetition, and a positive environment.  I can’t remember the exact statistic, but they say that a child needs to be exposed to something a crazy amount of times, like 17 or something, before they can decide if they like it or not.  Our OT has also told us that exposure does not necessarily mean eating.  Exposure could be that they look at it.  Smell it.  Touch it.  Play with it.  Taste it and spit it out.  The positive environment piece means that we should never be forcing Jake to eat something, or creating an atmosphere where he feels pressured or threatened.
Speaking from experience as someone who grew up understanding that it was my responsibility to eat what was served to me, this is sometimes really hard for me to deal with!  I want to make one meal for my family, not two, or three!!  I am hoping and praying, however, that this is a stage, and that eventually this too shall pass!!

What if when I meet Jake he runs off with my glasses (or something un-nice). Do I say “bad” or what?
This answer is actually easy for me!  In my post “3 Things I Wish You Wouldn’t Do”, I wrote that my hope is that people, myself included, do not treat Jake differently because he has a disability.  I am speaking, of course, in terms of my hopes and expectations for Jake.  I expect Jake to behave, to be respectful, and to be polite, just as I would expect those behaviors of any of my other children.  With this in mind I would answer your question.  Personally, I would choose not to say “bad” if my child exhibits a behavior that is not fitting.  But I will always tell him to stop what he is doing, I will look him in the eye and say “no, Jake, we don’t _________ (insert undesirable action here!), and then I will make him say sorry (through sign).  He is not great at the saying sorry part yet, but I believe that consistency will help to change that. 

And…A Little Preview:)

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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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[31 for 21] ~ And The Tradition Continues

I absolutely LOVE traditions.  I cherish the memories that I have from when I was a kid, and the traditions that are attached to those memories.  I deeply desire to create the same kind of traditions and magical moments for my kids.

Back when Curtis and I were both single, my sister and her husband started the tradition of Survivor nights.  Actually, they started the tradition with Curtis…I joined in a couple of years in.  Every Thursday night we would go over to their house, eat their food, play with their children, and watch Survivor.  Oh, and have I mentioned that we still do?!  Years and years later, through singleness, flirting, dating, breaking up, getting back together, getting married, and having kids of our own, we are still at their house on Thursday nights.  It has grown and expanded to include other close friends over the years too.  What a great tradition!

Occasionally on these Thursday nights, we’ll throw in other traditions as well.  Every year we carve pumpkins together.  It started with one pumpkin for one child, and has progressed through the years.  Last night we carved 7 pumpkins!  It is chaotic, messy, and usually involves some sort of melt-down, but it is so much fun, and a time I know our kids will remember fondly.

Jake and Cole both got into it this year!  We let them sit on the table with the pumpkins, and they loved it!  Cole tried to eat all the pumpkin seeds and the stringy junk that is inside the pumpkin!  He got so into it that he was putting his whole arm in, and trying to scoop stuff out.  Jake, on the other hand, had a good time, but was a little more reserved.  He looked at the pumpkins, he had fun taking the lids off and putting them back on, and he really enjoyed putting the spoon in the pumpkin to try and scoop stuff out.  He was not, however, a fan of actually putting his hand in!

From happy faces, to Avengers logos, to Angry Birds, to Spiderman, using all sorts of tools including a Dremel 3000 and about a million toothpicks (that’s for you T!!), and getting nice and dirty in the process, I think pumpkin carving night was a success (with only a minimal amount of tears!)

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Take it off, put it on, take it off, put it on, look up and smile impishly!!

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Jake kept inching his way closer to the Dremel tool. Hence the death grip on his shirt!

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First good look inside a pumpkin! We’re not sure what to think!

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“I’ll look Mom, but I’m not sure I want to touch!”

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Using the spoon to scoop out the insides! (and at one point, using the spoon to put a whole bunch of junk back inside the pumpkin when we weren’t looking!)

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“Don’t mind me, I’m just going to try these pumpkin guts! Not sure I like them…”

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The finished products…!!

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Day 31 of 31 ~ Happy Halloween! ~

Happy Halloween from the Pumpkin and Harry Potter!!
This is an almost-wordless-Wednesday post.  Enjoy the pics!

Costumes all laid out and ready to go!

Jake, all dressed up as Harry Potter, and waiting for his cousins to be ready to go out trick-or-treating!

Pumpkin Cole (happy as usual!) with the twins, Peyton (Thor) and Kade (Captain America)!

Cuteness!

Cole couldn’t handle all the excitement! But his cousin Micah sure was happy:)

Fascinated by the “wand” (a chopstick!!)

Family pic!

Post trick-or-treating…eating all the chocolate was the best part for Jake!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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