Tag Archives: Halloween

OWPC: Eigengrau


eigengrau

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.

sh2

She loves her superheros!

xmas lights

My sister and I took our kiddos to see the Christmas lights at Garvin Gardens. Of course, I had mini me up on my shoulders. So much easier to keep up with her that way, lol!

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Growing up with Autism


I’ve started to notice my daughter’s Autism progressing more. She’s more sound sensitive, even more scared of the washer, blender, and vacuum cleaner than she was before. The sounds of fireworks terrify her to the point she’s screaming with fright. She’s even more attractive to things with bright, flashing lights, like glow sticks or the light up wands you would find at Halloween or at concession stands at parades or carnivals.

Last night we had our Christmas parade here in Bryant, my hometown. I didn’t take her due to her reaction to the Christmas parade we went to in Benton the night before;  Benton is the town next to us. She showed interest in the floats, decorated with bright Christmas lights, with cheerful people waving and shouting ‘Merry Christmas’. My daughter cheered and waved back at each one as they passed by us. Then she started to push away when the band started coming near us. I calmly walked behind the crowd of people that was around us, but started to dance along with the band’s music, showing her that it was okay.

As soon as the band passed by I put her up on top of my shoulders, where she would sit for majority of the parade. She resumed her clapping, waving, and cheering at the brightly lit floats driving past us, until the motorcycles started to approach us. She started to scream and try to climb down from my shoulders. I cuddled her as best I could, trying to comfort her as she hid her head in my chest, covering her ears and whimpering. I placed my hand over her head, bringing her into my chest and covering her ears as best as I could, telling her all will be okay. The more the motorcycles revved up their engines, the more she stirred and cried.

I continued to stay at the back of the crowd, far from the parade procession. Though as each loud group that passed by us, I would put her back up on my shoulders so she could enjoy the rest of the parade. It was soon coming to an end and it was time for the firetrucks to make their appearance, followed by the fat jolly man on top of the last firetruck. It wasn’t hard to tell they were nearing as each one would blast their sirens, causing it to echo off of the buildings, making it sound louder and louder as the approached. It was our Que to leave.

I didn’t need to stay any longer to see Santa and I knew she could care less if he was approaching or not. It was the loud sirens that had her terrified and her wanting to leave. So leave we did. She loves firetrucks, has several firetruck toys at home. She just doesn’t like the loud sirens that they have.

Children don’t come with handbooks or manuals, nor does Autism. It’s all a learning process. A few years ago I had to learn from these similar reactions that fireworks aren’t something that we’ll be into viewing each fourth of July. Every fourth we’ll go to the carnival, but we return home way before the crowd shows for the fireworks display. I try to distract her with cartoons, puzzles, and games on her kindle as each whistle, pop, and crackle noise is made from the neighbors setting off their own little fireworks.

Parades and fireworks won’t stop us from enjoying ourselves. We might not go off to watch it in person, but that won’t stop us from finding something else to entertain ourselves, such as a Disney movie in the comfort of our own home.

Bryant Fall Fest 2013


This years fall fest went without any issues. The weather was warm and beautiful compared to last years rainy, windy, and cold. Though this year didn’t seem to have as many activity booth’s set up as last year. I’m hoping there will be more next year as there was a HUGE crowd that turned out.

The red and blue things that are behind me in the photo is for laser tag, which is a set up by the Timberland Paintball. They opened a new location here in Bryant, Arkansas.

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I had a booth set up, selling paracord bracelets and paracord keychains, as well as my children’s book Dana’s First Fish. I am happy to say that I sold quite a few books and almost all of my bracelets. I know now to make more smaller bracelets than what I had, as they are more popular with the younger kids than they are with the teenagers and adults. Quite a few people placed special orders, as well as requested that I put them up on my facebook, selling them all year around. Doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

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Another thing I need to make sure I have next time is my canopy. I sat in direct sunlight, getting a nice sunburn. Actually, sunburns are not really nice at all as my chest is on fire, but you can get the meaning. I had not thought to bring sun screen, nor did I think to bring the canopy. The forecast said it was going to be cloudy. I’m not sure who typed that up, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Still, I shouldn’t have forgotten the sunscreen, right? Though there were a few clouds and quite a bit of wind in the early morning, the sky was clear and the sun was hot from about ten AM on. I also wore a short sleeved v-neck shirt, receiving a sunburn on my arms, neck, and chest; my chest being the worse. In a few days it’ll look a little like a farmers tan.

Another return to fall fest was the pumpkin bling contest. I had entered last year, as did my nephew Hunter, and my daughter. My daughter won first place last year in the children’s category and I had won second place in the adult category. This year I made a Cinderella coach, winning third place in the adult category. My daughter made a black cat, but did not place, and my nephew made a pumpkin eating zombie, coming in second place. It was a tough competition this year as there were so many pumpkins that were beautifully decorated in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

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Cinderella’s coach

I am going to rethink next years pumpkin bling, as well as make a check list so as not to forget anything…like sunscreen and shade. I hope everybody is enjoying the first days of Autumn. Happy Monday everyone!

Saying Farewell to Spiderman


It was around Halloween last year that my daughter started getting into Spiderman. I had rented the newest Spiderman movie, The Amazing Spider-Man, and sat down to watch it with my little girl. A few days later we were strolling the costume aisles trying to find a costume for her. Since she hadn’t grown much, the choices of costumes was difficult. The only thing I could find for her were way too infant looking, but the ones that were supposed to be her size, should she have grown some, were way too big. We continued to walk around when she spotted a Spiderman costume. I had to politely say no, being the only girl to go trick-or-treating in a group with five boys, I wanted her to have a girly costume. Not to mention that Spiderman isn’t just my daughter’s favorite comic book hero, so there was a chance that one of the boys would be dressing up as him for Halloween.

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Instead of getting her the costume I bought her a Spiderman movie. Then for her birthday I got her a Spiderman toy. For Christmas a Spiderman cartoon on DVD. Several months later I was shopping for shirts and shorts for her, she spotted a Spiderman tshirt among other superhero tshirts. Since they were all in the little girl section I thought, why not. After all I liked Spiderman too.

It wasn’t long after I got her the Spiderman movie that I noticed it was on constant repeat and the Spiderman tshirt was the only thing she wanted to wear. I think this went on for a few more months until yesterday when I tried to put the Spiderman tshirt on her. She cried out that she wanted to wear her Dora tshirt. It just donned on me that she hasn’t bothered with any of her Spiderman things. Have we finally said farewell to Spiderman and moved on to something else?

I looked at my daughter with a frown and jokingly pouted, adding a dramatic sniffle. She turns towards me and gives me a worried look, “What’s wrong Mommy?”

“I’m afraid you don’t like Spiderman anymore,” I tell her, holding up the Spiderman tshirt.

She frowns along with me and says, “It’s okay,” then reaches ever so slowly for the Dora shirt I had laying on my lap. I sniff again for added dramatic effect and she stands up and gives me a hug, patting me on the back. I was biting my lip, trying hard not to laugh. She sits back down on her bed and I say, “I guess it’s goodbye Spiderman.” She didn’t reply, only put her Dora tshirt on and ran out of the room.

It’s amazing how quick kids can transition from one thing to another, how they can love one thing, then move onto something else. I had planned on making her a Spiderman costume for Halloween, though with an added tutu. I know she would’ve loved it. Now to figure out what she would prefer instead. I don’t know, maybe she’ll still pick a Spiderman costume, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see, Halloween is only a few months away.

Me, grow up?


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

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and on

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.

Halloween was a success!


I am proud of my daughter. I had turned her loose last night to trick or treat unassisted. She followed her cousins door to door with no problems, as if she knew what she was doing all along. With her first house, she simply ran up to the door, saw a piece of candy she liked, calmly took it, put it in her pumpkin, and ran back towards us. She got too excited though as she kept running and tripped in the street. She cried for about the time it took her uncle to give her back her pumpkin and she was fine after that, which was about ten seconds. Later that night I looked and she had a small scratch on her nose. But for the rest of the night she continued to run up to each house, hold out her pumpkin and wait for it to be filled, then run back to us.

My youngest sister and I had our girls ride in the wagon, while the four boys ran around to each house. I think they wouldn’t care about riding in anything, they were enjoying themselves running around the neighborhood. Besides I think the parents wanted them to run off all that extra sugar.

There was one house that was decorated in Haunted Halloween decor. Spooky blinking lights, Halloween music, spiderwebs. Mostly just overdone with the spiderwebs. Our brave boys slowly approached only to have a couple of guys in scary costumes jump out and spook them. The youngest of the boys just stands there and says with his plastic sword dramatically, “I can kill you.” Then he holds out his pail and says, “Trick or treat.”

The girls walk up to the house next, as they are walking slowly behind the boys, and the oldest girl gets spooked and backs away. My daughter just looks at the guy strangely and then laughs. The guy hands her candy and says, “I love her, it’s always the youngest ones that are the bravest.” I then say proudly with a smile, “That’s my girl!” My little girl turns to wave and says, “Bye!” I couldn’t help but laugh.

As soon as we got home I tried putting my daughter to bed. She was crying non-stop and kept getting up. She saw me pull my shoes off and the crying got worse. She grabbed her pumpkin, now emptied of its contents, and brought me my jacket. I think what she was trying to tell me was that she wasn’t done trick or treating. I tried to tell her that Halloween was over with and that it will be back next year. “Candy,” was all she could say through her sobs. She still hasn’t gotten the trick or treat words down just yet, but I’m sure she will next year.

I rocked her to where she finally calmed down enough to finally put her to bed. I was wanting to get there myself. Maybe I should’ve ate some candy along the walk like the boys were doing. I know I wish I had at least an ounce of their energy. I laid her down in her bed without any trouble and crawled into my bed without interruptions. It was a good night and I was excited to see that my little girl enjoyed herself. I’m already looking forward to next year!

Happy Halloween


My daughter and I will be going out trick or treating with her cousins tonight, as we have done the pass few years. Mom and dad stays home and passes out the candy, while my brother and his wife, and two of my three sisters and I walk our kids around the growing neighborhood with our of children. I have five nephews and one niece, ages six months to eight years. My daughter is second to the youngest. It’s all great fun to see them running door to door, hyped up on sugar. But by the time they get home, the sugar has worn off and it’s peaceful dreams, at least for me it is.

I always make little gift bags for all of my nephews and niece. Making sure the boys each have the same things so as not to ensue a fight because so and so has something cooler and they wanted that instead. Normally the gift bags have candy, of course, but I always put those glow bracelets in there. There are parts of our neighborhood where we walk that tends to be a bit dark and the boys love to run off on us. It’s easy to spot them in a distance, just look for the glowing rings up and down their arms.

I wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween or a blessed Samhain.

Spook City was a blast


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 Imagemy 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.”Image

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!

What a busy week


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.

First day of Autumn


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!