A Haystack, A Pumpkin and A LadyBug Costume


October started out beautifully. We had Indian Summer days until the 2nd week of October, with weather in the 70s. 


--Midwest Farm Life--  The first weekend in October, I decided to get Annabelle introduced to her Midwestern roots by taking her to a tourist farm – one of those places that let you pick your own apples and pumpkins (because that’s how we city folks get back to nature).  Well, as un-authentic as it was, we had a blast.  Annabelle was thrilled with the haystacks and the piggies.  I was thrilled with the wine in my thermos.  We went on a hayride, climbed a haystack, petted piggies and cows (accompanied by my long winded explanations about why we don’t kill these animals to eat them to which Annabelle’s response was a deeply thought out “ga”.  I’m sure she got the point. J)


And I got simply the cutest photos of baby girl.






Prettiest girl in hay


Belly & Ellie


The Haugens


A daredevil hayride



--The Artiste --  Annabelle’s daycare has started her career as an artiste.  Every week I get a new finger painting or handprint decoration.  These have begun to adorn our house, turning it into a fine art gallery!




In the middle of October we experienced something called Baby Loves Disco.  The concept is to take over a nightclub in the afternoon, throw in a hip DJ who plays rockin adult disco tunes and babyproof the place. And let all hell and diapered patrons loose.  Here’s the video.


Oct_Nov 06_files\BLD.mpg


-- Daylight savings time --  I know that my fellow parents will continue in their desire to lynch me as I tell you that the switch in daylight savings time meant the following for Annabelle: she refused to switch to a later bedtime, so her 6:30 bedtime became 5:30.  And she cheerfully just added another hour to her already healthy nighttime sleep by still waking up at 7:00am.  Now, the only downside is that I feel like I never see her. I leave work a little early, take her home, throw her in the highchair and then the bath and then she’s rubbing her eyes by 5:15. 


Each night before bed I read Annabelle a story. Morrisey always joins us for this.  Well, it happened that I read Sandra Boynton’s “Doggies” book one night.  You can see what happened….           Oct_Nov 06_files\Story Time.mpg


-- Halloween --  I’ll end the suspense.  Annabelle was a ladybug for Halloween.  How did I make this difficult selection between the ducky, the chicken and the ballerina costumes?  Well, very scientifically.  I held up 3 different costumes in front of Annabelle and selected the one she grabbed and stuffed into her mouth. 


My excuse for my six week delay in posting this entry is that the person who got the best pictures of Annabelle in her costume never sent them to me. I kept waiting and waiting.  So finally I have decided to just include mine.  They are amusing. Annabelle was definitely ready to move, not sit still.



What is up with this costume?

This blows!

I’m SO outta here

Free at last

Animal Girls



Halloween itself was chilly chilly chilly so we hit about 3 or 4 houses, just to show off the costume and then headed home to snuggle in.   Unfortunately, the cold kept away even the larger trick-or-treaters, leaving me with a large pile of kit-kats and snickers.  Don’t worry, gentle readers. I did my bit for starving people by eating each and every candy bar over the course of about a week. 



Well, of course, given that I’d eaten every candy bar under the sun in October, November was distinguished mainly by Mom not fitting into her skirts.  Dear god, will I be reduced to elastic waistbands?  Why don’t I buy a minivan and just get the decline over with?


Oh, yes, you are actually more interested in my child’s development, not my waistline development.


So November started on an exciting and terrifying note with Annabelle’s first steps.  It came on gradually so that I didn’t even realize what was happening. At first it was just the gentle pulling up of girl on my pants legs.  Then there was the infatuation with a little push wagon.  Pretty soon she was doing loopdiloops around my little house pushing the wagon.  And then, there it was.  I looked up, she was taking steps with no wagon in sight.  Fast forward 3 weeks later and she’s a walking fool.  She still has a lot of stumbles, mainly related to Morrisey’s enthusiastic greetings.  But we take walks of ½ a block or so with her holding my hand and with a smile a mile wide as she ambles along.


And here’s a action shot of her prodigious walking skills:  Oct_Nov 06_files\Walking Fool.mpg


November also brought the stairs.  She goes up. She comes down. Then she goes up again.  Then she comes down.  Then she stops halfway and forgets what direction she was going.




Annabelle and I became famous at Target for a day or two when we were featured front and center on the internal home page and our internal magazine because November in National Adoption Month, which Target supports.


-- Aging -- November also heralded birthdays for my mom and myself.  My mom and dad came to visit on my Mom’s birthday and while sitting outside my house, with Annabelle in the car, another car ran into my mom’s car. If she’d gotten out only a second later, it would have been a catastrophe.  As it was, they had to turn around the same day and head back to Iowa to deal with the insurance.  Fortunately, only the cars were hurt, no people. But 2006 continues it’s stellar progress.


After the car crash – everyone is OKAY!!!


-- disease --  November into December has also brought the plague.  At least I think it’s the plague.  It might be Ebola.  Or the Hanta virus.  Or perhaps it’s Lassa fever (from my friendly kitchen mouse).  I have not been so sick in years.  Annabelle is just a constant drip machine.  I was out of work for 3 or 4 days over the last few weeks, just feeling deathly.  When I would drag my butt to work, people would get a look or a listen at me and refuse to sit in meetings with me.  I began to assign conference call numbers for meetings just around the corner from me so I could call in from my desk.  Then, just as I began to mend, Annabelle got sent home from daycare with a fever, which kept me out another 2 days.  I heard about the whole sick child-sick parent thing. I just never imagined it would be this bad. I’m surprised my boss hasn’t put me on disability pay.  It’s been brutal.




-- Marvel -- December brought a new friend into our house.  His name is Marvel the Wonder Horse and he showed up courtesy of my greatest friend Jill. 


Marvel is a horse that toddlers can ride and if they are the right size, move themselves in a galloping motion.  Annabelle unfortunately is not the right size.  But she loves Marvel beyond all reason.  So she hangs on Marvel until I lift her onto his saddle. Then, with her little face beaming, she looks up at me and not-so-subtly begins to bounce and rock.  This is my signal to grab Marvel’s reins and pull him, and her, round and around and around the house racetrack.  And around and around and around.  I could do this for six hours and I don’t think it would be enough.  Oh how it makes me long for the days I could plop her down with a rattle and she’d be amused.


Marvel’s marvelous journey is complicated by the fact that my already tiny little house was rearranged (fancy word for “crammed”) in November to accommodate the gated community in the dining room. 


So now there is NO space to walk or move.  Even Morrisey has to climb through the dining chairs (which are pushed against a radiator) to get to her dog door.  So every time we make a Marvel-lous trip, I have to rearrange much of the gated community.


Jill, thanks for the wonderful gift. Hurry up and have kids so I can return the favor!!! J


My parents and I have decided that we will not celebrate Christmas in any obvious way this year.  Last year at Christmas we were all together at my house and it was the last time my folks saw Margaret. (I saw her for about 10 minutes in February in Boston).  So I am not decorating, which has always been one of my favorite things, I’m usually a get-the-Christmas-tree-the-day-after-Thanksgiving kind of gal. But this year we’ll let it pass quietly, remembering last year when Margaret flying in from Philly just made the holiday for the rest of us. 


Well, that’s the lengthy update. Sorry it was so late.  Have a happy holiday season everyone.