This week’s One Word Photo Challenge is, eigengrau. This was a color I had to look up so that I could help you understand the color better by describing it.
March is a month that I’ve always looked forward to every year. Parades, eating pot roast and potatoes, and donning the color green. I can remember one year, when I was in first or second grade, that I had gotten pinched for wearing too much green. I was covered in green from my shoes, socks, pants, and my tee. I never understood why a person would pinch someone for not wearing green or for wearing too much of it, but it was something that I can remember doing every year, supporting my Irish heritage.
It’s something I still do today, attend the local St. Pat’s parade, eat beef and potatoes, and wear as much green as I want without worrying about getting pinched.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day originated in America by the Irish who immigrated to the States over two centuries ago. It became a tradition in celebrating their culture, heritage, music, and of course their patron saint, Patrick every March, that it took off with popularity, continuing on with their descendants and is now celebrated in every major city in the US and almost every city in Ireland, bringing in attendees from every cultural background, including Irish.
According to Ireland of the Welcomes magazine, “the first St. Patrick’s Day parade every record, was in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts, hosted by the Irish Society of Boston.”
“Almost 25 percent of the population in Massachusetts is Irish, making it the most Irish state in the US. Boston is often called the capital of Irish America because of the thriving Irish community that dates back to colonial times.”
Here in Little Rock the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas hosts a parade every year on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a mile long and seems to grow in attendance every year. This year marks their 16th annual parade and will be this Saturday, March 14th at 1PM. The parade will start in front of Dugan’s Pub at Third and Rock, then will travel east on Third, the North on Sherman, towards President Clinton Ave, running in front of the river market, making a right turn on Main St, crossing over the river bridge, ending at Sixth and Main.
I find that the best areas for viewing is right in front of the river market on President Clinton Ave. Though if you have kiddos with sensitive hearing like my daughter, bring ear protection as the several motorcycles, handful of fire engines, and that one guy with the train, can create such a loud echoing noise in between those big city buildings, startling those wee ones.
Please click here for more information on the parade, as the Irish Cultural Society usually host an organization benefit. Last year, they collected canned food for the Rice Depot…There was a sponsored truck in the parade procession collecting canned food from the attendees, I proudly donated a few cans to them as they passed us.
Oh, if you decide to attend, and I hope you do, don’t forget to bring a bag so that the kiddos can collect candy and beads thrown to them from the parade procession.
What does ‘reward’ mean to you?
In the autism world, there are many challenges that are faced every single day. Yet some of those challenges can be very rewarding, for both child and parent. I can think of many challenges we’ve both faced, that in the end, we were equally rewarded – her reward was achieving something out of the ordinary, achieving a goal, breaking out of a habit. For me it was seeing her do something and knowing that she knew she did it without having a complete meltdown, or after the meltdown was over, she saw that what she did, was actually okay.
The first rewarding moment that I can remember, was the first time she sat in a barber chair without assistance or without me holding her down while she got her hair cut. Yes, you read that right. For most children with autism, getting a haircut is a HUGE challenge. I had to sit in the chair with her in my lap, hold her legs and arms as still as possible, all the while listening to her scream and cry as the stylist cut her hair. It’s just a part of that sensory/autism area…someone different combing my hair, that isn’t my hairbrush, etc. The stylist having to spray their hair with water isn’t a big hit either. Plus, the scissors aren’t a favorite thing – something sharp and pointed, coming towards me…
I take her to a place where the hair stylist is familiar with children with special needs; she has a special needs child of her own. Not only that, but the place is very welcoming to all children, especially those with special needs. They can play with all kinds of neat and cool toys. Plus, the stylist doesn’t even have to cut their hair while they’re sitting in a chair. I walked in one day and saw her sweeping up hair from around the train table – the child was preoccupied with the train set, that that was all they were going to do. My daughter was the same way, I couldn’t get her away from the train set, or coax her to sit in the chair to get her hair cut, so the stylist proceeded to cut her hair from where my daughter played. No problems, whatsoever!
Maybe there’s a fear of sitting in a barber chair, who knows!
The last time I took my daughter to get her hair cut, she sat in the chair without a fuss. Cartoons was playing on the TV The stylist was able to find a cartoon my daughter liked on the TV, which kept her preoccupied long enough for the stylist to go to work. It was only when the cartoon ended did she realize what was going on and started to squirm, though the stylist quickly finished, yet did an amazing job. The stylist then rewarded my daughter with a toy of her choosing, for her being so brave and not making a fuss.
This little barber shop also has an awesome store where I can buy sensory toys for my daughter. I even purchased a few puzzles and a few dry erase alphabet mats for my daughter to learn tracing her ABC’s on.
My daughter now calls the barber shop, the train place, because of the train set kids can play with while waiting to get their hair cut. There’s also a dollhouse and a few sensory toys around the store where kids can freely play.
One day I went to pick my daughter up from daycare. I walked into the room, searching for my little girl, but I didn’t see her smiling face anywhere. One of her teachers pointed towards one of the tables and said, “She’s right there.” But I didn’t see her, nor her recognizable blonde hair. Instead I saw a fuzzy creature with its back towards me, playing with toy animals.
I walked up to where her teacher pointed, to get a better view. When I came face to face with the fuzzy thing, I smiled and began to laugh. There stood my daughter, wearing a giraffe costume, smiling so big and bright at me. “Mommy!” she cries out with excitement.
“Aren’t you just the cutest giraffe I’ve ever seen, ” I say back. “May I take you home with me?”
“Yes,” she says. Though she wasn’t going to take the costume off, she wanted to wear it home. I was told it okay that I let her continue to wear it, and I promised that I would wash it and return it on Monday.
When we walked into the door at home, I called for Grams to come look at what I brought home. Grams comes into the living room and smiles at my little girl, then says, “You’re so cute, what are you supposed to be?”
“I’m a giraffe,” my little girl says proudly.
The day continued to go on as normal, but the giraffe costume had no chances in coming off. I continued to watch a giraffe eat dinner at the kitchen table, then walk around the house, then watch cartoons with me in the living room. Then it was time to go to bed. With a little sweet talk and a promise she could where the costume tomorrow, she finally took the costume off before she crawled into bed.
The next day, after her bath and breakfast, I turned to see the giraffe standing in the kitchen. I smiled and laughed. She’s just too cute, I thought to myself. She then asked for some milk. “Do giraffe’s drink milk?” I asked her curiously.
“Yes,” she says smiling. Why wouldn’t they?
“Ok, if you’re sure.” I gave her one of her small cups, poured milk in it, and put one of her bendy straws in it and watched the little giraffe drink every drop. “I guess giraffe’s do drink milk.”
She hands me her empty cup, then takes off to her room to play. I watch her run in a galloping way that makes me think of how a giraffe runs. She takes being a giraffe seriously.
She continued to wear the giraffe costume all weekend, but took it off each night, before bedtime. Sunday night I had it washed and ready to return, as promised, to the daycare the following day. It was a fun an interesting weekend, when I brought home a giraffe.
This week my daughter’s daycare is having ‘Spirit Week’. Monday was Red and Green day, Tuesday was Ugly Sweaters, and today is Wacky Wednesday. The wearer’s outfit is not suppose to match, so two different socks, polka dot shirt with stripped pants, that sort of thing.
I opened my daughter’s drawers to look for something ‘interesting’ or ‘wacky’. I looked at her and told her she needed to wear something silly today for school. She then helped me pick something out for her to wear – her Supergirl costume with a red tutu. Looks wacky, yet awesome!
Sometimes I can see how people would have a hard time guessing my age, especially when I’m with my daughter. Today I took her to get a pair of new shoes; the ones I bought her in mid-August had finally seen their last day. Instead of buying a cheap pair from Walmart I thought about using a half price discount coupon I had at Shoe Carnival here in Bryant. Of course I bought her some girly shoes. But what really got her attention weren’t the bright strips or the gemstones, it was the fact that they light up when she walks.
After purchasing her shoes and putting them in the car, we walked over to Target, which is located a few doors down from the shoe store. The only reason for going to Target was to get her some socks and it was close by. Most of the time if my daughter is with me and it’s around the holiday season and if I have some time, I will take her arou
nd the store to look at the holiday stuff.
I was walking towards the Christmas decorations when I noticed they still had a lot of Halloween stuff out
Clarence. I pushed our cart down that aisle just to look at what was left and could not help but start playing with some of the things that I saw.
After a handful of snapshots we both decided it was time to go home and Mommy make something for din
ner. On the drive home I started to think of Peter Pan and how he never wanted to grow up. When I’m with my daughter, that’s just how I feel, well, until I have to act like the grown up. Dublin loves to wear costumes, hats, funny glasses, and
masks, so I started putting a few things on her and snapped a picture on my phone to send to one of my sisters for a laugh. Dublin was having just as much fun as I was started pointing out things and I would pick it up and put it on her, snap a picture, email it.
I put my daughter down for her nap and started getting things laid out for the Spook City event; costumes, face paints, Halloween gift bags for my niece and nephew, and glow bracelets. I put my shoes by the couch and checked the diaper bag to see if it had enough essentials in it…oh and her sippy cup too! I also placed the camera and my wallet in there as well, as I wouldn’t be carrying my purse.
I painted my nails, then about an hour later I began putting make up on my face. I only needed to shade my eyes as I was only going to be wearing a mask. Then I got an idea to draw something neat looking around my chin. I had a grease make up pen and drew curly lines to look like a tribal beard tattoo. I looked really interesting.
My sister and her daughter had arrived and started getting ready, and my daughter was up from her nap and I was getting her ready. Then we were all in the car and headed down the road to Benton. We arrived about an hour earlier than the event started, so I was super excited to get a really good parking spot.
We all visited with one another before sending the kids off with my Mother and my youngest sister. I sat with my dad and watched my sister pass out candy, until he mentioned something about antique cars. That’s something he and I have always had in common. We both love classic cars and hot rods.
It wasn’t about thirty minutes later when we ran into my Mother and the kids. She had said something about camel rides. I asked the kids if they wanted to ride a camel, of course I didn’t have to twist any arms. My nephew rode with my niece and I had my daughter ride with me, who couldn’t stop giggling. I was pleased she was enjoying herself, that’s all I ever ask for.
After the camel ride I went back with dad, while Mother and my youngest sister went off with the kids. My other sister and I decided to trade places passing out candy. Once I started to pass out candy it was like a horde of people came up and the line wouldn’t die down. I did however, on a few occasions, scare a few kids because of my costume. I kindly apologize to the parents and handed them a piece of candy. There was one little boy that made me smile though, he said, “I’m Spiderman, nothing scares me.”
I received several positive comments on my costume, a few odd requests to touch my nose, and one lady who said she wouldn’t bother having the time, nor the effort to make such a costume. Honestly I don’t do this for me, I do this for the kids. In a way I feel like a big kid. But for two hours I pass out countless pieces of candy to kids of all ages who smile at me, saying trick or treat and thank you. Some kids don’t have a neighborhood to go trick or treating in. And some neighborhoods may not be safe for some kids. So I think this is a wonderful event that the city does that I’m happy to be a part of. Even my four year old niece and eight year old nephew passed out candy. I’m really looking forward to next year!
Halloween is in a few days!
This past week has been really busy as it’s nearing Halloween. I’ve had two tests in one day, followed by another test the next day at school. Not to mention we’re all sick here at home. I didn’t think I would make it to school one day. Then I didn’t think I would do well on the tests. I did well enough to pass on two of the tests. I’m still waiting to see what I made on the other one. It’s hard to study when you’re sick. It’s even harder to study or take a test when you’re medicated. I was making so many mistakes on testing day that my teacher was picking on me but in a good way. I did get a few laughs out of it myself.
I spent the last few days still trying to find a costume for my daughter. She really hasn’t grown any taller to fit any of the cute ones that I’ve seen in the 4T sizes and the ones that I saw for her size are more baby-ish than I would like so, I decided to just head over to the actual clothing area and see what I could find over there. I found a cute one piece ballerina outfit and thought, “now why couldn’t they have something like that over there in the costumes instead of pumpkin outfits or fairy’s?” She was a fairy her first Halloween. I looked at the costume, it was the same Tinkerbell fairy costume that she had for her first Halloween.
I had my costume picked out since Target started putting their Halloween things on the shelves in September. I found a Venetian masquerade bird mask that I just loved. It reminded me of the plagued death mask from that era. As soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted to be for Halloween. That was easy. I also bought a black hooded cape to go along with it, the rest I’m sure I could find at home in a closet.
Tonight the City of Benton is having what they call Spook City from 6-8. They block off the city roads around city square and vendors from all around town come and set up tables, booths, rides, and food carts. Adults bring their children and walk around for two hours collecting from each of these booths. The event is free. It’s like the safest and most fun way to trick or treat, minus the crowds. This year my sister has to work at a booth. Usually she helps set the booth up then she and I take our kids around the square, later we’ll come back to the booth and help pass out candy. I’m especially excited today, as my other youngest sister will be there with her daughter as well as my parents.
Autumn is my favorite season. My favorite colors of yellow and orange can be seen in the changing of the leaves, the pumpkins that decorate my neighbor’s front porch. The coolness in the air that makes you forget how harsh the summer was.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. My sister’s place of employment sets up a booth at a Halloween event in downtown Benton, Arkansas called Spook City. The entire square block, surrounding the court house is blocked off and tables, booths, games, face painting, food carts are set up all around the square block passing out candy, coupons, toys, items of all kinds to kids of all ages that come dressed up in their costumes.
I have been doing this with my sister, Jaci, for three years now. Her son and my daughter usually have matching themed costumes. We would walk around the square, letting them collecting candy, then walk back to the booth to help one of her employees pass out candy. I usually ‘oh, how cute and aw, how adorable’ at every infant and toddler that comes our way, dressed in the cutest costumes.
This year I’m thinking of making a costume for myself and dressing up. No, I didn’t dress up the previous times that I’ve been, but now that my daughter is getting a little older, I thought I would show her Mommy’s in the spirit too.
Have a blessed weekend everyone! Happy first day of Autumn!