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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Happy Halloween
I'm so behind on posting here, and I have no excuse. It just seems that when I have time to sit down and write a post that my brain has died for the day. It's become so much easier just to update my FB status. Shame on me because this will be Sera's book some day.

I don't have the normal fun trick or treating pictures like I've had in the past, so I'm sharing a few pictures I took last week at a Halloween party. Forgive the quality as I forgot my camera and was a little shaky that day, so the pictures appear slightly out of focus. I'd had a minor, unexpected, office surgery two days before and was still recuperating. I wasn't going to let Sera miss that party though. She was so looking forward to it. I'm especially glad now that we went.

When my friend volunteered to host this party, I offered to provide the cupcakes. The idea I came up with was very fortuitous. I made one batch of cupcakes, and Jim made another for me. The morning of the party, I quickly frosted them. I brought small containers of about nine different toppings, sprinkles, etc..., and we let the kids decorate their own. Sera was a huge fan of this idea, and all the others seemed to enjoy it as well. We just put a spoonful of each topping around the perimeter of a paper plate with the cupcake in the center.

This is the weekly playgroup. Sera doesn't get to go weekly, but we go whenever we're on break and during the summer. Sleeping Beauty is in the same boat as Sera so her mom and I signed them up to take gymnastics and ballet together. It's really helped both of them to have someone in the group they see regularly. We (the moms) had talked about how by the time our girls warmed up to everyone, the party was always over. The other kids meet weekly and are very comfortable together.

We had to pass on going out tonight because Sera is on day four of H1N1. Jim picked her up Wednesday after school and noticed how warm she was. He took her temp and it was 101. Wednesday is our gymnastics/ballet night. I had a meeting after school and was planning to rush home, pick up Sera, and race to get there on time. When I got his text, I cancelled our plans.

I took Sera to her pediatrician the next morning. They were fantastic. As soon as I told them her symptoms, they had me scheduled to come in with an appointment within two hours. Her fever was up to 103 that morning, but responded well to Motrin.

We had to wait a very long time once we got to the doctor's office, which is very unusual at this practice. I wasn't upset though because I knew they were being slammed. I was just grateful they'd worked us in so quickly. Sera was having a great time in the waiting room. We finally made it to an exam room and waited a long time again.

When the doctor entered, she seemed uncharacteristically frazzled and apologized for the wait. I assured her that we understood and were fine. She then told me that the morning had gone down hill as the child in the next exam room was so ill they'd just called for an ambulance.

When she saw Sera bouncing around the room and having a good ole time, she got a quizzical look. I laughed because I knew what she was thinking. I went over Sera's symptoms again with her. I also mentioned that she was acting in a way she never had before with a fever. Even at its highest, she was still cheerful and happy. When the fever went below 100 though, she practically went manic. She was like that Wednesday night and Thursday morning. As soon as the Motrin kicked in, she would start twirling, dancing, singing, hanging upside down, and just generally acting like she'd lost it. The doctor smiled, nodded and said, "ah, Motrin high."

Luckily, the crazy behavior didn't last. She's doing very well though. She's congested, coughing, and running that fever. Today her fever didn't get quite as high, and she was even fever-free several times during the day without the aid of Motrin.

Jim is also congested and coughing, but doesn't have a fever. I'm coughing, but no fever and no congestion. We could just have colds, or we could also have a mild case of H1N1. Adults don't always get the fever. We're all sticking pretty close to home and just trying to get healthy again. I'm considering hiring a HazMat team to make sure the entire house is disinfected, sterilized, whatever it takes. Okay, maybe not a HazMat team. I did buy all new toothbrushes and will be stripping all linens and washing in hot water. Everything is getting wiped down, too. If there's a germ in this house, I want it gone.

Halloween wasn't skipped entirely though. Sera got the new Tinkerbelle movie, some stickers, and an Ariel Pez Dispenser and was completely thrilled. Her night got even better though. Sera got some surprise visitors. In the next subdivision over from our house lives a family that have become good friends to us. Tammy used to teach at my school and now teachs at Jim's. Her son is a high school senior and does our yard work. Their daughter is 12. Her name is also Sara. She babysat Sera one evening at their home. Justin and Sara and a group of Sara's friends showed up at our house with treat bags in hand. They all wanted to share with her since she couldn't go out trick or treating. It was the sweetest thing. Justin and Sara are great kids, and it's because they have great parents.

I hope this holiday was warmer and healthier for all of you. We'll try again next year.


Monday, October 19, 2009
Here's Your Hint

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Can You Guess Where We Are?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

Remember those pie pumpkins I mentioned? Well, I decided to make and freeze my own pumpkin puree. I used Ree's (Pioneer Woman) tips on how to do this. It wasn't difficult at all, except that my food processor wasn't quite up to the task. I switched to the blender, but even so I kept having to add some water to get it to puree. I didn't think it was too watery when I bagged it up, but hours later I had second thoughts. It's too late though because they're frozen now. I probably should have let them drain in some cheesecloth before packaging.

I decided to use my scale and portion out 15 oz per bag. Most recipes seem to call for one can or 15 oz, so this seemed to make the most sense to me. By the way, two small pumpkins produced 6 15-oz bags of puree.

And a heal quickly shout out to my nephew, Peter, who decided to try sledding down the stairs and broke his arm in two places. Next time you want to sled, Pete, come visit us. It's much better in the snow!


Sunday, October 18, 2009
Autumn Days are the Best
Autumn 2007 at Thistleberry Farm

Autumn 2008 at Thistleberry Farm

Autumn 2009 at Matthys Farm

Yesterday was a gorgeous October day. The highs reached into the 50s for the first time in six days. Every year the China playgroup has gone to Matthys Farm, but we've never made it. It always fell smack in the middle of Sera's naptime. This year we decided to join in. The group was much smaller as we were competing with a huge football game in the area. It actually worked out for us because the farm was virtually empty. No crowds at all.

Sera and I arrived very early. I was hoping she'd nap on the way, and I planned on parking and reading my book while she napped. HA! She had other plans. We had to park in a field in the back. As we got out of the car, Sera very excitedly noticed a tractor heading our way. It was pulling a trailer filled with people. When Sera saw the people, she told me quite firmly that she was not going to ride that. Then she said maybe she would when she was older...with her daddy.

We wandered around a bit while we waited. When the others arrived, we went into a greenhouse set up with hay bales as tables and benches. We all shared some cider and donuts before heading out for the hayride. I had told Sera it was completely up to her if we went. She stared at the steps to the trailer and then back at me. When I asked her if she'd like to go, she gave a firm, stoic nod and began to climb up the stairs. We rode out to the corn maze where we were dropped off. When we left the maze, we were at the pumpkin patch where Sera picked out a pumpkin. We then rode back to the main part of the farm. The next two hours were spent at the petting zoo and playground. The girls ran and played and had a wonderful time.

Before leaving, we went back to the market at the entrance where I purchased 20 lbs of potatoes for $5.00, gigantic green peppers marked 4 for $1.00, Sera's pumpkin that we'll carve, some pie pumpkins, and almost two full bushels of apples for $20.00. I didn't intend to buy that many apples. I wanted to buy one bushel because I want to make and can some apple butter and maybe some applesauce. After I bought one bushel, I was talking to the man who was getting it for me. I told him what I planned to do, and he didn't think I had the best apple for that purpose. The apple he recommended was actually less than $20 for the bushel, so he said he'd give me some of the original apples I had purchased to make up the difference. He took the top of the box off and started filling it up. I went outside to load up the car since he was going to send someone out with my apples. They ended up putting two boxes or almost two bushels worth in the car. I'm going to need to go through my apple recipes. It's either that or make an awful lot of apple butter.

Today, I roasted the pie pumpkins and will make puree from them. I've got the seeds drying out for pepitas. I'm also thinking about canning some pepper jelly with those pretty green peppers. I bought some jalapeno peppers, too, just in case. It's a good thing we have a three day weekend coming. I see a lot of canning going on over the next week or two.


Monday, October 05, 2009
Silly Sera

5 Minutes for Mom is holding another photo contest, and I couldn't resist posting this recent picture. Sera is posing and showing off her long, orange hair. You really need to click on the shot to get the full effect of her smug grin. I personally love the way she's leaning back on her arm. The theme for this contest is silly kids. I think Sera definitely qualifies.


Sunday, October 04, 2009
3 Word Sunday
Sera loves to type on my computer. I open up a Word document and let her type away. She especially likes picking out the letters in her name, but just general typing works, too. I stepped off a slippery slope last week when I went to PBS' Super Why. She discovered how to play computer games. Alpha Pig has a couple of age-appropriate alphabet games that she just loved. I'm sure you can all guess where this is headed. I lost my laptop.

Since a new computer isn't in the cards right now, I did the next best thing. Actually, it's just as good if not better in Sera's mind. She can turn this one on and off all by herself and it's just filled with all sorts of games. Best part of all? There's one section that lets her type all the letters she wants.


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