About this Blog

Here you will find information and writings by Carrie Dalby, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as the ups and downs of life.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kodak Moments

This week I have the daunting task of taking a group shot of the kids. Not just any shot, but one that's worthy to stuff inside countless Christmas cards and hang on the bulletin board at the pediatrician's office.

Taking a picture of one child is easy.

Two kids, not so bad.

Three makes me appreciate the freedom and cost saving benefits of a digital camera.

Last year I took close to a hundred pictures over two separate days. I quit before tears could turn to wailing—several of us were on the verge of crying. I settled for a picture that none of them were blinking, and the boys were both smiling and looking at the camera. The princess, well, she was looking at the Christmas tree.
Mental note- stand in front of the tree when trying to get a baby's attention.

Here's a sample of one of the better pictures, altered to protect the guilty and for therapeutic reasons:

Yes, I caught the baby before she fell over!

I think this year will be slightly easier. Last year I was dealing with a princess who had to be held by her brother and a year-three-old. Is it just me or are three-year-olds more “terrible” than two-year-olds?

This year it's eleven years, four years, and fourteen months. It could result in extra pain and suffering, since the youngest is now able to run away, but I'm going to keep my expectations high.

I might even attempt to take the picture while on an outing to our favorite location. That would mean dressing the kids in respectable clothing and keeping them clean while we tramp around in search of the perfect photo spot. Visions of Mrs. Tabitha Twitchit setting her kittens loose in the garden while she finishes preparing tea come to mind.

Might need to rethink that idea...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Surfer Girl

I took last week off to recuperate from a family weekend in New Orleans. We celebrated my middle child's fourth birthday by going to both the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium. The kids had a blast, and so did Mommy and Daddy. We all love animals—even the little princess. Her favorite word right now is “turtle”. She used to say “fish” but since she learned how to say “turtle” everything in the water is a turtle. So, here's a picture of a group of “turtles” eating broccoli from a diver at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Love those smiles.

As for my writing life... it ebbs and flows. Last week the tide was out—wrote a little over a page, total, on my WIP. This week I have big plans, so I'm starting it off right with my Monday blogging (to be posted on Tuesday). I even did a page of journal writing yesterday.

In my defense, the princess is teething—cutting four side molars. Last week she was a screaming, clingy, feverish, non-long-nap-taking banshee. So, besides being tired from the mini-vacation I had my hands full with the littlest. And then the tiny birthday party for the four year old. Plus my oldest... well, he was in school a good deal of the time and is holding steady.

So, since it's still quiet time, let me close this and see if I can add to the page count of my project.

No such luck—she's awake.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Haunts

Autumn has returned to the Gulf Coast. I hope it lasts this time!

I survived Halloween weekend. Yes, that's worth noting. There are two candy-monsters under the age of four in my house. (The oldest child only likes suckers—yes, an actual perk of his sensory/eating issues.) We did a church sponsored fall event Friday night and then went to a local family attraction for trick-or-treating Saturday evening. Plus my husband brought the boys to a few houses in his friends' neighborhood on the way home. It's more than I've ever done for Halloween.

I never went trick-or-treating as a child, and I turned out normal... well, sort of...
The neighborhood in California I spent most of the first 14 years of my life was the highest street on a hill—considered a mountain to some people. The deal was us kids got the leftover trick-or-treat candy so we picked out the good stuff at the store. I think eight kids is the most we ever got at our house, and that only happened once. I did wear costumes to school and since we got the big bowl of candy at the end of the evening I never had a desire to take my shy self “door-to-door scabbing” as I liked to call it. I'm pretty sure all my siblings went trick-or-treating with their friends at least once, though.

My favorite Halloween memory is from the home I lived in when I was in college. The house had a balcony across the front and you had to walk under the balcony to reach the front door. I spread a dark sheet across the second story railing and blew bubbles for trick-or-treatsters. It was challenging to time it right so the bubbles were at face level when they turned to leave. By then I'd be crouched down so they couldn't see me. The kids loved it—it brought smiles instead of scares, though it did startle some people at first. Good clean fun.

Love the weather but Halloween is a take-it-or-leave-it in my books. National Dress Like a Freak Day... maybe I could get excited about that. In the past twenty years I've only dressed up twice. Unless you count being a frazzled mother as a scary costume.

P.S. I got a response back a week or so ago from my September letter to Senator Sessions. It appears to be a standard form letter about health care rather than anything specific about mandatory vaccines that I wrote about. Hmmm...