Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Story of Isaac's 2009 Halloween Costume.

It's a bit of a long one. But I will try to make it short.

Isaac wanted to be a ghost for Halloween this year. At first, I thought this was a great idea. So, we bought the white sheet at Goodwill ... along with a long-sleeved white shirt. I was prepared to sew this costume up in a jiffy and have Halloween only cost $3.99. Hooray, right? Well, later I would realize that if he were wearing a white sheet to any of his many Halloween parties he would have to take his entire costume off to eat or to participate in any of the games, etc. Perhaps a ghost was good for Trick-or-Treat, but not so good for anything else.

However, Isaac was set on being a ghost for everything. So, as I often do, I sought the wisdom of other Moms in figuring out how to create a ghost costume that was more versatile. On a random trip to our local library, I asked a librarian about what she thought I might do so that Isaac could wear a ghost costume to their annual library party and still participate in activities. She sweetly and thoughtfully suggested that I make his costume in two parts. She told me to sew the sheet so that it draped around his body beginning at the shoulders ... create holes for the arms to go through (he would be wearing the white shirt) ... and then create a ghostly hood (yes, she said hood) for his head ... complete with eye holes ... that he can take off when it is time for games or eating. She went on to suggest that I also paint his face white so that when he took the hood off he would still look like a ghost. Now ... if you aren't laughing or mortified by this point ... please take a good look at my son ... and conjure up an image using the following words: black boy, white sheet, removable hood with eye holes only, and white face paint. Think about it. I looked at the librarian for a moment, looked back at my son, then turned to the librarian and gave her a look that must have said, "Seriously?". She then thought about all the advice she had offered and quickly said ... "Oh my goodness. Wait a minute. Don't do anything I said!" Bless her heart.

For days after, I continued to ponder how in the world I could make this ghost look more ghost and less "triple K". I asked Isaac if there was anything else in the world he would like to be for Halloween. Each time he firmly replied "No." I then went back to Goodwill and found the coolest EMT/Firefighter jacket for $2.99. When I brought it home to him I told him he could be a "Rescue Man" for Halloween. I grabbed a stethoscope, ax, badge, and flashlight from his dress-up box and proceeded to show him how cool he could look for Halloween. He loved it! The only thing missing was his firefighter hat. We knew it was somewhere (as he had just recently worn it) and assured him that we would surely find it before any of his Halloween parties.

The day of his first Halloween party came and ... no hat. We couldn't find it anywhere. We had no time for shopping, so I told him that we would surely find it before his second party. He was fine with that ... and enjoyed his party.

An hour before his second party, we combed the area (both our home and area stores) for a firefighters hat and came up empty. Isaac absolutely wanted something for his head, so we checked out the new Halloween store (creepy, creepy, creepy) ... and after much searching ... we decided that Isaac would wear a wig with his costume. At the wig wall - I suggested he pick one out that made him look like a Man ... like Daddy or his Poppy. He then chose the long brunette wig that came with the 'Naughty Nurse' outfit. Hmmm ... "Um, buddy, we don't need to buy a whole outfit ... just a wig. Can you check these out? (pointing to the male wigs - not that I have any problem with transvestites : )" He then chose the Napolean Dynamite wig because it came with glasses. Ok. That works.

I've got to tell you --- every time I looked at him while he wore that wig --- I laughed so heartily that Isaac would get the giggles too. What a riot. His second party was so much fun (thanks to Barbara for the invite). There was a gypsy who read palms ... a haunted house to walk through ... an egg & spoon obstacle course ... and bobbing for doughnuts (Isaac's fave) ...

His wig was a big hit. Someone actually thought it was his real hair (I am not sure what their alcohol intake was). His look made me laugh so much that I was getting pretty excited to take him out in it for Trick-or-Treat. When we got home --- Daddy cracked up at him too. Knowing we would be seeing many friends on Halloween night ... we began to really love the idea of this foolish wig. But then ... Isaac found his original firefighter hat ... under the couch ... and it was all over. Ugh. Now Isaac wants Mommy to wear the wig and glasses for Trick-or-Treat. Not what I had in mind.

So - there you have it ... this year's costume tale. A long post to be sure ... and if you are still with me to this point ... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



P.S. Show me your costumes too!. And while your at it, check this one out. Super cool!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Love for Our Troops : Isaac & I Troop Greet in Bangor.

(terrible iphone pic - sorry)

Isaac and I spent our afternoon yesterday at the Bangor International Airport saying farewell to a large group of brand new soldiers heading over seas. It was both lovely and sobering.

First, I had to explain to my son why we are thanking these men and women. I - who am firmly opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - am still fully respectful of the jobs that these soldiers are doing for our country. I needed to find a way to articulate my love and respect for these men and women in uniform to my son without glorifying war or using political talk. So - I did the only thing I could think of at the time - I drew a map. I explained that this little piece of land here on the map is called "America" ... and it is where we live ... and there are all sorts of other countries all around the world too. And each country has men and women who volunteer (or are ordered) to protect that country and all the people in it. Sometimes one country wants to hurt another country --- so these men and women sometimes have to leave their homes and go fly over to other countries to stop them from trying to invade our own. I further explained that just as Daddy protects us from anyone who might want to hurt us --- these soldiers have the job of protecting our entire country. That is why we say THANKS.

Now, I know that this is very oversimplified ... and war is way more political and nasty than I would dare explain to my 4 -year old. And frankly, not all men and women in uniform are honorable. BUT, they are all human ... they are all our brothers and sisters ... and in the best situations ... they are off to do what they believe is right in order to protect the freedoms we hold dear. This is what I want my son to understand and to respect.

So, Isaac and I waved flags, clapped vigorously and shook many hands as these men and women arrived into our airport. We welcomed them to Bangor, thanked them for their service and told them to be sure to come home safe. All our well wishes were happily received. And it felt so good just to share a smile with these folks before they headed into the unknown (these were mostly young recruits headed off for the first time) ... but it also was heartbreaking. Some of these boys looked like babes to me. And some of the women were very likely somebody's mama or little girl. I don't want them to have to leave. But if they must ... then Isaac and I wish them a safe return.

In fact, we are now official "Troop Greeters" (we read the rules and signed on the dotted line and will now be called at all hours of the day to let us know when troops are coming home or leaving). Our name tags will be here shortly.

Isaac - of course - made best buds with a little blond troop greeter (almost 5 years old) who told him she has been Troop Greeting since she was born. She taught him how to "greet" and then took him around to pass out goodies to the soldiers once they were mingling. It was so very sweet (and a little rambunctious) :

And now I believe he is in love. I am sure it will not be hard to get him to come with me for future Troop Greetings - as this little sweetie told him that she is there as often as she can be :)

I am proud of my little man --- proud that he is learning love and respect for those who serve --- and praying that these wars will end asap.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

One of My Fave Things to Play.

Potato Heads! Looking forward to buying our heads some more accessories in Disney World (just 4 months away).

Got Potato Heads?


P.S. Okay ... I realize these are likely Made in China. All heads (and some accesories) were purchased used ... but I am guilty of buying many accessories new at Disney World --- at the Hasbro store. Shame on me, I know.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Etsy Love ... My Holiday Purchases Thus Far ...

Wanna save your economy? Wanna be more eco-friendly? Wanna help your neighbor stay home and raise her child? Wanna keep jobs in America (or Canada for my Canadian friends)? Want to give gifts that will be appreciated for longer than a week? Well ... I have got the answer for you! ETSY. period.

And here is some of what I have bought so far from some wonderful Etsy sellers. All these are gifts that I am giving over the upcoming holidays (so if you see something you love - you may just be getting it!).

1. Universal Bliss Soap by SacredSuds
2. Twilight Owl Pendant by Analiese
3. Custom Vintage Wallets by SewSewSuckUrToe
4. Fang the Pocket Ghost by SleepyKing
5. Octopal by Benandi
6. Signature Dish Tweet by TheBrickKiln
7. Mouse Starter Kit by AnitaBelcast
8. Skull I Spy Bag by BabyLoveBlankies
9. Set of 4 Dishtowels by VintageLucy

I highly recommend every one of these Etsy sellers.

And of course, you can always drop by my shop for some goodies too ;)

As I continue to shop Etsy, I will continue to share the goodies I find. I hope you will too.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Monday (Evening).

Hi all. Thank you so much for the lovely Birthday wishes and comments this week. You guys rock. It was a great week, but ended with a creepy-crud type virus spreading through our house. We are all on the mend now though :)

As for the winner of my Birthday giveaway ... it is "Sarah" ... hooray! Her comment read: "Hi Jodi - A friend passed along your "blog" to me. Have been enjoying your observations and photos. Especially enjoyed your scenes and text of Belfast Harbor this past summer. Belfast was very different when I grew up there. Am happy for it's transformation. Thanks for sharing your eye for beauty with the rest of us!" Well, thank-you to Sarah's friend for sharing this blog ... and thanks to Sarah for stopping by now and again to share in it. Please send me your address asap so I can send you some Very Merry Un-Birthday Goodies!

As for the rest of you ... how about treating yourself to an some handmade organic cotton shirts over at Bo is offering an incredible sale to his Facebook friends ... and I am going to pass it on to you as well. On his fan page, he wrote: order a shirt from my site get another free just for asking. order two shirts and request two free shirts of your choice. order three shirts and get three more for free. etc. 2 for 1...4 for 2....6 for 3. offer good for a little while. Hop on it if you want a "facebook" special. Seriously, check it out. I am thinking of ordering a few for Christmas presents!

Oh, and if you are in the market for even more handmade Holiday gifts ... I am custom making some personalized tote bags right now. Maybe you want to check those out too :)

I hope you are all well. My illness has kept me home crafting some ... so I hope to share some crafty goodness with you all soon. Just need to take some pics...

Chat with you soon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

For Halis. And You.

Dave Matthews is constantly writing up songs that speak to me or for me. I even told him so once. I met him. I chatted with him and even shared some coffee. Its true. I wish I could say that we are friends ... but that chat was our sole connection. At least so far :) And it was wonderful.

Again - his new album speaks to me. I can't imagine a song written by him that wouldn't. Even Isaac is tuned in to Dave (though his favorite song is Gravedigger - he even loves the video ... which is a whole other story ... as he came to love this song after attending his first funeral and learning about death from Mommy ... its actually a healthy thing ... I swear).

Well - I found this video today (don't know why it took me so long) and realized that it makes me feel happy ... like ... I want to sing it out loud to Halis. It is a love song to be sure ... but it is also greater than that ... the video shows something more ... and I love it ... ENJOY:

(I wish I could embed it, but YouTube won't let me ... brats).

Enjoy the song, video and your weekend. And remember, leave a comment on any post from this week (my birthday week!) and you will be entered into a giveaway for a Bday gift from me.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday : My Birthday Walk.

Thank you my men ... for an awesome birthday! I love you both so very much. And Daddy, you have such original thoughts ;)


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Role Modeling is Never Easy.

I do not have "good teeth". My parents never thought that taking care of teeth was important. Heck, they never thought taking care of our bodies was important either. I grew up on Hostess snack foods for breakfast and lunchboxes full of Oreo cookies (and other equally horrible but delicious snacks that my classmates would drool over). Dinner was usually cube steak or American Chop Suey. No veggies. But plenty of milk.

Anyway - not only did my parents feel that oral hygiene and health care was a waste of time and money ... but my Mom also feared doctors and dentists ... and was very vocal about it (still is). I remember having to have a tooth pulled, and my Mom cried the whole morning of my appointment (right in front of me - I was five) ... because she didn't want the dentist to hurt her baby. She also sobbed the day that my brother got glasses (after teachers told my mother that he truly could not see what he was doing and it was causing him migraines in school). Mom was so afraid that he was going to be picked on for his glasses, that she told him he didn't need to wear them if he didn't want to. So, he never did. (Hmm. Would you if it made your Mom cry?) They also left it up to us whether we wanted to go to the dentist or not for our yearly check-ups. So - we opted out of them. What kids wouldn't? And I don't think, in all my 21 years of living with my parents, that I ever saw them make an appointment for themselves with a doctor or a dentist. Unless you count Dad's vasectomy. No check-ups. No paps. No fillings (not if you can just wrench the teeth out yourself!).

Now I am 36. And some things have changed. Dad regularly goes to the doctor. Has been for some years now. Thank God too - as that is why he is alive today. His wonderful doctor (referred by me) caught his heart attack and got him in for a quadruple bypass before his heart was about to give up. But Mom, well, she still avoids it all. She has probably only half her teeth left (Dad too) and could have all manner of illnesses (as she has all manner of symptoms) but won't go for a full work-up no matter how hard I beg. She says she rather die not knowing what killed her. That could be funny I suppose --- if she weren't your Mother.

And what about me? And my Brother? How have our parent's lack of self-care affected us? Well ... my Brother has been regularly visiting doctors and dentists for all of his adult life. Like most of what our parents have shown us (have I mentioned how much I do dearly love my parents?) ... we strive to do the opposite. Don't all kids? But some things have stuck with me through the years ... no matter how hard I try to shake them off. And two things Mom taught me well was to fear dentists and to undervalue the need for self-care (okay ... three things... I still eat chocolate for breakfast). So, I have steered clear of dentists for many, many years. And believe me, my teeth have suffered greatly for it. But not any longer ...

I am a Mother now. I am a role model. I want my son to value self-care. And heck, I deserve good teeth, too. So, I found an awesome dentist ... successfully applied for Care Credit ... and am now on the road to a healthy and gorgeous set of teeth. I know that this is a wonderful treat for me (and great progress in my self-care growth) ... but most importantly, I am recognizing that my son will only learn to care for himself if he sees it modeled for him. His Daddy is great at this --- always eating good foods, regular visits to both doctor and dentist, plays sports, etc. So now it is time for me.

I have taken Isaac to the library to pick out some great books about teeth: Your Teeth by Helen Frost ... an excellent all around introduction to the science and care of teeth ... and Rotten Teeth by Laura Simms ... for pure entertainment. And we have started a homeschooling unit on dental hygiene ... so I think we are off to a good start. Every time I have a dentist appointment (nearly every week until mid-January!) I get very excited and talk to Isaac about how great it feels to take care of my body. Role modeling isn't easy ... but it is part of good parenting ... so even when the dental work hurts, I smile and tell him what a great job I am doing! Let's hope it pays off ... as his first visit will be coming soon ... let's see if he smiles and thinks it's wonderful (fingers crossed).

Hope you are enjoying healthy teeth!


P.S. Remember to make a comment for my Birthday Week in order to win a gift. See here for details.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Surprise Birthday Treat.

Among my top ten favorite joys in the world is a visit with my Brother. And for my Birthday this year (which isn't until Wednesday the 14th), my Brother surprised me with a visit this past weekend. It was very nice, low-key, with perfect weather and a lovely meal at the Sea Dog. But as much as I enjoyed my Brother, I think that my son enjoyed him even more. In fact, I would venture to say that hanging with Uncle Jamie is among Isaac's top five favorite joys in the world. And I am so glad.

This week, I will be so bold as to celebrate the conclusion of my 36th year with a week long blog party. Please leave a comment on each post, all week long, and you may receive a "Happy Jodi's Birthday" gift! Each comment (one per day) will be collected and entered into the drawing. Winner will be announced on Sunday, October 18th. Thanks for helping me celebrate & good luck!



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Color, Color, Everywhere.

Just some random pics taken around the yard to show you the colors that are *exploding* around here. So intense and beautiful. I am always thankful for autumn. I would love to see what fall looks like where you are too.

Oh, and we have a winner for the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book ... "Sweet Tumblebeans". (Please send me your name and address!) We have another giveaway coming soon in celebration of the new movie, "Where the Wild Things Are" - please stay tuned.

Enjoy your day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reading to Tame the "Grumpies" : A Giveaway!

What do you do to satisfy a grumpy little fireman?

I'll tell you ... You read him so many fun books at your local bookstore, that it gets him reading them too --- even to the point where he ignores all the toys around him and goes for the books!

And what sort of reading changed his mood? The Grouchy Ladybug, SkippyJon Jones, and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat. From whining to laughing in no time.

And here is what we picked up for YOU!

A classic. Want it? Just leave a message on this post and I may be sending it to you and your favorite little ones. That's it. Just say "hi".

Thanks. Happy Reading.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Looking for Love.

It seems that the lovely, sweet, little girl goats that I just bottle fed this spring are now all grown up and 'looking for love' ... in order to start 'families' of their own. I knew this day would come soon ... as all my goat books told me so ... but I was a bit caught of guard when I let them out to play yesterday and they began 'mounting' each other. My goat books tell me that when this happens (and after they reach 100 lbs) ... that it is time to find them a mate (usually in the fall) ... in order to have spring kids.

So, it is now time to search for a handsome Nubian buck for my sweet Emily & Me. I have never done such a thing before. I have a few ideas ... but this is totally new territory. I plan to 'rent' said buck for as long as needed ... but have no intention of keeping one. Male goats are far too much work for me. But what a concept eh? To rent a male for the purposes of breeding? Gives me a chuckle really!

I am thinking that I will plan a trip today to a local Nubian farmer and see if I can rent a buck. And not just any buck ... he will have to be the Prince Charming of goats for my sweet girls.

And here is their honeymoon suite ...

Wish me luck!


P.S. If you happen to know some Nubian Farms in the Bangor, Maine area ... please pass their names along. Thank you!