Category Archives: Library Adventures

Halloween Adventures

Holy Crunch Bars and Butterfingers. I feel like I just ran a mommy marathon. I also feel like this happens every year…

I build the holiday (any holiday, not just Halloween) up for weeks, doing crafts and making costumes. Participating in whatever activity we can and watching whatever “spooky” movies we have.

The day comes and we start out strong.

We awoke to a foggy day…PERFECT for Halloween!

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We attended our Thursday morning Library Reading Program and got to do some Trick-or-Treating warm-up exercises…

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Autumn’s not a very good Trick-or-Treater. She looks at you like your nuts for giving stuff away. Once she takes whatever it is you give her, she gives back.

 

Lincoln was having a moment.

Lincoln was having a moment.

 

Once warm-ups were over, Autumn set out to do what is typically done in a library…

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By mid day, I start to putter. The kids start feeling it too, but they go down for naps. And if Aidan’s home (i.e. – it’s the weekend), he’s still going strong. That kids is like the Energizer Bunny.

Lincoln, Autumn, and I picked up some eggs from our local country store, The Country Trail, and came home for a quick bite to eat….Lincoln requested scramble egg sandwiches.

We made our way over to Aidan’s school for his class Halloween Party. We were all looking forward to it.

The kids all sat on the rug. Each child got a turn to stand up and pick on someone to guess what they were dressed as….

IMG_3875-2 copyAidan picked A2 (aka The Birthday Girl) to guess what he was.

Both Kindergarten classes then paraded to each classroom in the school. It was adorable! And I, of course, left my camera in the diaper bag. In the classroom.

And whenever there is a parade, there is usually a party to follow (I learned that from the Irish).

Lincoln and Autumn slid themselves right in with the other kids.

Lincoln and Autumn slid themselves right in with the other kids.

The party ended. It was time for Aidan to get back to his scholarly work and for Lincoln and Autumn to nap.

After school/evening time rolls around and I’m eh. And it’s raining.

Yes, eh. It’s an emotion. A legitimate emotion. Especially when rain is involved.

But the kids? It’s like they just woke up. Which Lincoln and Autumn just did. And they want to go Trick-or-Treating.

Um….waiter? Can I please have whatever it is they’re having?

I’m sorry, m’am (yes, people are starting to call me that) you’ll have to shoot myself up with illegal substances to match their energy level.

Right. I’ll stick with eh, thank you.

Anyhoo…I started to freak out a little. On the inside. Maybe slightly on the outside too?

It was 4 o’clock. Dinner wasn’t done yet. Trick-or-Treating was starting in an hour. It was raining. Like raining raining. Autumn was congested and I knew she shouldn’t be out in the rain. And I was cold and didn’t want to be out int the rain either.

Freaking out a little turned into a mommy meltdown. Complete with tears and all.

There was a serious conversation about not going Trick-or-Treating this year.

Since the kids can’t eat 3/4’s of what they get anyway, Nana offered to take them to the toy store. AWESOME!

We sat down. We ate.

I calmed down.

The rain stopped.

My brain reset and I realized Trick-or-Treating was a must.

The boys didn’t care about not being able to eat the candy they collected. They just wanted to wear their costumes and say “Trick-or-Treat”.

And… Nolan went through boxes in two different locations in search of the kids’ Trick-or-Treat bags.

He found them and had them sent to us the day before Halloween.

IMG_3851-2He did this because I said we HAD to have them. I made them 3 years ago. They have become a part of our holiday. And I couldn’t see us Trick-or-Treating without them.

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So, I took the boys to the center of town. Nana stayed home with Autumn, who got a delicious cupcake and a nice warm bath (much better than not-so-warm rain).

The boys were delighted! And I loved watching them love every moment of it.

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The Police Department handed out colored flash light necklaces so the kids could be seen by passing cars.

The Police Department handed out colored flash light necklaces so the kids could be seen by passing cars.

 

As I was taking this picture, Aidan informed me that I didn't have to take pictures of "everything". Um, yea I do Aidan.

As I was taking this picture, Aidan informed me that I didn’t have to take pictures of “everything”.
Um, yea I do Aidan.
Oh, and there is candy in that boot to the left of Lincoln.

 

My most FAVORITE picture for this Halloween!

My most FAVORITE picture for this Halloween!

 

We bumped into Aidan's soccer coach. One of Aidan's school friends was part of his T-o-T group, so we joined them.

We bumped into Aidan’s soccer coach. One of Aidan’s school friends was part of his T-o-T group, so we joined them.

 

It ended up raining most of time we were out, but I didn’t mind. The boys were having fun. They were listening and staying with the group (if you’re a parent, you know how much easier that makes things).

And Trick-or-Treating up here felt like something out of the movies. It’s something I’ve never experienced. Something I’m really happy I was able to experience with them.

Once we completed the Trick-or-Treating route, the boys and I headed home for some yummy cupcakes and Halloween books.

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It was a perfect ending to a busy day.

 

 

 

 

 

Tid Bits from the Week

We’re leaving for Jersey tomorrow. This means I’ll be taking a long 4 day weekend off. Yup. I’ll be detaching my fingers from the keyboard and mouse.

With that said, there are a few by-the-way-did-you-know things I wanted to share. Tid bits from our week. All positive. The complete opposite of my vent.

1. Aidan sat down Monday evening to complete his homework assignment (he gets 1 worksheet, front and back, on Monday that contains the weeks homework. It’s broken into 2 sections on each side). While I was finishing up whatever it was I was doing I hear, “T. H. E…. the.”

WHAT?!

A HUGE smile is spread across Aidan’s face.

L. I. T. T. L. E… little.

WAIT! WHAT?! NO!!! REALLY?! OH. MY. GOD. YOU’RE READING!

Aidan skipped to Tuesday evening’s assignment and started spelling and reading the words on the paper. “Popcorn words” to be more exact.

What on earth are popcorn words? Yea. I asked the same thing. In a nut shell, they are sight words. The popcorn comes from the display they have in the classroom.

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Aidan using his finger as he spells out the word “little”.

 

2. Well, I got my butt to the library and picked up the first Dick and Jane book of the series.

We had Reading with Cooper and I brought the book. Aidan read 20 pages! As in TWO-ZERO. 20!

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3. We’ve had some exciting finds in nature this week.

A little frog was out our front window. According to Nana he is a frequent visitor.

little frog

 

Lincoln and Autumn found, what appeared to be, baby snakes.

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Pretty gross, I know.

 

4. Autumn has a developed a tutu obsession. A red, sequin pocketbook one is in the making.

Heading out to the market.

Heading out to the market.

 

At the library Reading Program.

At the library Reading Program.

 

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Tutu over pajamas is the latest trend. That and red, sequin pocketbooks.

 

The red, sequin pocketbook in action.

The red, sequin pocketbook in action.

 

5. Plastic cups are our new best friend. Lincoln and Autumn will sit on the kitchen floor for an hour, sometimes more, playing with them. No lie.

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6. My mom is a genius.

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Lincoln really enjoys doing the dishes. There’s a new dish washer in the house!

 

 

7. While driving to the “puppet” library, Lincoln had this to say… “Bad things are not nice. Good things are nice things”.

My thoughts….
– Uh, yea!
– Is it possible he is FINALLY getting it?

The latter was validated when Mr. McStink Face Farty Fart Pants asked to borrow THIS book from the library….

It's a book about the consequences of lying.

It’s a book about the consequences of lying.

And then again when we read it before nap time. I asked a ton of questions while reading it. I wanted to be sure he was comprehending the story. He was/did.

There. Is. HOPE!

 

 

8. Aidan drew a family portrait.

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It couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

 

 

Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Vent.

Before I have my vent, I just need to share a HUGE accomplishment of Aidan’s…

We went to our weekly Reading with Cooper session last night. Aidan read 20 pages of Dick and Jane. Yup, that’s right. 20!

I realize Dick and Jane doesn’t have much sustenance when it comes to comprehension and story flow. My intention wasn’t to test his comprehension of the story, but rather to teach Aidan to focus on the letters that make up the words. To take those letters and sound them out, combining the sounds until he is able to form the word.

This has been the highlight of my week. It’s what I’m holding onto to prevent myself from slipping into the abyss. That and the fact that we’re going to New Jersey from Friday until Monday. Translation, I’ll have a couple of days where I’m not raising 3 kids alone.

 

I was on the phone with the guidance counselor at Aidan’s school a total of 5 or 6 times this week. He’s still having some issues with one of his admirers. So much so that he had two meltdowns in two days, which is alarming because he hasn’t had a meltdown in quite some time.

Aidan is also having difficulty with his auditory processing. I have to repeat EVERYTHING. And I’m not talking one time. It’s more like 5.

I know it’s his auditory processing and not just him ignoring me. Don’t get me wrong, Aidan is capable and does ignore  me on occasion, but I know the difference between him choosing not to listen and not being able to.

His focus has also been lacking these past few weeks. He’s been very forgetful in certain areas, but hyper-focused in others.

Remembering to bring our sneakers inside so they don’t get rained on or inhabited by any kind of creature, lacking. Remembering mommy promised a special treat and reminding her every 2 seconds, not an issue.

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Leaving sneakers outside to get rained on creates more work for mom. It also means we have to base all of our outfits around brown sneakers until the black ones are dry.

 

Lincoln has had his share in causing frustration and stress.

He’s been lying. And is really good at it. Maybe not good as in me believing him. but good in the respect that he doesn’t break. Easily. And his responses are short and consistent.

Did you fart? It smells awful.
No.
Lincoln, it’s just you and me in the room. And I didn’t fart.
I didn’t part too.
Lincoln, seriously. Did you fart? I’m not upset. I just want you to tell me the truth.
I didn’t part.
This conversation went on for about 5 minutes before he told me the truth.

Who colored the glass door with marker? Lincoln, did you do that?
No. I didn’t.
Please don’t lie to me. No one else is here. Aidan is at school and Autumn is taking a nap. Did you color the door?
No.
Lincoln. Do. Not. Lie. To. Me.
he shakes his head and then starts to nod.
Well, you need to clean it off.

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He’s been aggressive towards his siblings, Autumn especially.

When you reprimand him, he laughs. I don’t know if it’s a nervous habit or a fuck you behavior.

 

Listening has not been one of his strengths lately.

I’ll just 1 instance.

I had to talk to the librarian after we finished reading with Cooper. Lincoln would not stay by me and was running around the library. I was soooooooooooo tempted to say that he if he didn’t stop, his running would wake up the troll that lived beneath the library. And that he would snatch him up as soon as we went outside and drag him underground and eat him for dinner.

Awful, right?

In this case the thought doesn’t count.

And I would never risk the chance of him having nightmares and being unable to sleep. NEVER. Because his sleep habits suck. Ass.

 

Oh, and you can pile the laundry and dishes and general keeping up of the house to all that.

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Stuff I found on the floor when “tidying” up. This is from 1 day.

 

Mix it all together and what you get?

My eyes will give it away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

My eyes will give it away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

 

 

 

 

 

Library Adventures and Reading with Cooper

We LOVE the library. It’s no secret. And the libraries in our area of Massachusetts are AWESOME (as Lincoln would say). I’m not just talking great books. I’m talking toys and playsets (kitchen, castles, etc.) and hand puppets.

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As if that isn’t enough to make the library a weekly adventure, they offer amazing reading programs. For free.

These programs have been a god send for us. Lincoln, who HATED music, has favorite songs and requests them to be played/sung in the car. I’ll occasionally break out into “Open, Shut Them” while changing Autumn’s diaper or vacuuming. Instead of screaming that I’m making “TOO MUCH NOISE”, little man will sit down next to me and sing right along.

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Lincoln is dancing, to music, with a streamer pom-pom he made during one of the reading programs.

It can’t possibly get better, you say.

Wrong! It can!

The library in the next town over offers programs in the evening. One of which is reading with a therapy dog. For free. I took one look at his trading card and knew the kids would LOVE this. Where do we sign up?

Image courtesy of Cooper & Friends

Image courtesy of Cooper & Friends

For those who don’t know what a therapy dog does…
A therapy dog is a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with learning difficulties.
Therapy dogs come in all sizes and breeds. The most important characteristic of a therapy dog is its temperament. A good therapy dog must be friendly, patient, confident, gentle, and at ease in all situations. Therapy dogs must enjoy human contact and be content to be petted and handled, sometimes clumsily. –Wikipedia

 

Last week was our first experience reading with Cooper.

Everyone was super excited (I apologize if I sound like I’m taking to my children. It’s habit). So much so that reading didn’t appear to be on anyone’s agenda except mine. We had the first session which was at 6 o’clock. The kids are typically bathing at this time and instead were stepping foot into the library and hanging out with a dog. If I was them, reading would be the last thing on my mind too. So, let’s skip all the chaos and fast forward to this evening.

Cooper and his handler, Andi, were outside of the Children’s Room waiting for us. Greetings were exchanged. Heads were patted and ears were scratched. We walked into the room together and our session began.

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The boys were browsing through the books they wanted me to read, with Cooper by their side. Aidan was pretty thrilled with a picture he found in the next book of the series we’re reading.

 

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We’re reading Bad Kitty in this picture. At several points in the book the line “bad, bad, bad” was used. Poor Cooper looked at me with a confused expression; he thought he was in trouble.

 

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Although they all don't sit and "read" with Cooper, or me, the kids absolutely love being around him.

Although they don’t all sit and “read” with Cooper (or me), the kids absolutely love being around him.

 

A huge thank you to Cooper for being such a great sport about being poked and prodded by my Dragons and Peanut. And an even bigger thank you to Andi for being so patient and kind.

If you’d like to see more Cooper, you can check out his Facebook page by clicking here. I really enjoyed looking through Cooper’s pictures and seeing him let his fur down before and after working hours.

You can also make a donation to Cooper by clicking here.