Monday, October 29, 2007

Acer's first Halloween Party!

Acer had a party today at his school, Both he and I dressed up and away we went. Acer as the world's cutest monkey and yours truly as "Bill in the Morning."

I actually got Acer to keep his hood up long enough for me to take this picture and then we were off to the store and then to school. Good thing I had Acer with me as a quiet bit of explanation, there were people who thought I seriously looked like this all the time!

Here we stopped at teacher Miss Diane's table where she had Acer ice a cookie and add sprinkles. He ate the whole thing and then thanked her as prompted, but ad libbed and added "for the cookie" I think he's making strides in sentence construction!

Here I am in all my glory, a passing mom took the photo for us, Acer was in grumpy mode so please ignore his look.

Afterwards we stopped at Vicki's and I had Acer practice "Trick or treat". I think it was successful as she did indeed give him a small package of candy.

Mum came over this afternoon and watched Acer as I worked on my class assignment. She ate dinner with us and then we all headed off to church. Mum and Acer headed off to the nursery, she volunteered to watch him while we were in the service. It was wonderful, for the first time since we came home in May, Bill and I were able to go to church together. Usually one of us stays in and the other takes the disruptive element (Acer) out of the sanctuary.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

More pictures today!

I love to take pictures of the ittle man sleeping, I have no idea why I do, but I do. This is another picture of him, really. there's an Acer sized lump under that comforter.

Acer took these two pictures (with only a little help from Mama) He aimed the camera straight out and I only had had help him push the button. Self-focusing cameras to the rescue. Now we know how Acer would see Rugby - stright on looking him directly in the face!

This is the ever so Fashionable little man in his woodsman look. Who knew they made chamois shirts so tiny!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I feel about this big

What a morning,
I was grumpy, and getting grumpier with all Acer's morning requests and activities. He was getting into the box we keep his dinnerwear & cutlery in and throwing stuff around and other stuff like that. So, when I heard him open the dishwasher and pull the bottom shelf out, I got grumpier yet again, when I heard him try to close it and the crash of all the plates, I went ballistic.

I sat him on the ground and "discussed" getting into the dishwasher with him as I put away all the dishes.

Then I got to the end & saw one of his little forks sitting on the open door, lonely & silently accusing.

Yes, the little man had tried to help and tried to put his fork into the cutlery basket.

Poor little guy, I've probably scarred him for life and he'll never want to do dishes ever again. Sometime in the future I'll have to tell my daughter in law why he'll never willingly do dishes.


I did hug and snuggle with him and tell him I was wrong for being so angry and apologized for being grumpy. Suddenly I felt a lot less grumpy 'cause the little man still says he loves me.

Friday, October 19, 2007

God is good (as if you didn't know that already)

This has been a tight month here financially, I've been working more hours at work, 6 days a week, and Bill had been trying to find other things to do for money (this Saturday he's working at a stage show in the evening). We are so blessed compared to many many others that I'm not complaining, I count all my blessings as they come, including the ability to have a mortgage to have to pay.

So, yesterday two friends, one's two year old, Acer and I went to a big mall grand opening here. We decided to go to it and get there early. It was mildly lousy weather, rain on and off and the little ones definitely aren't used to staying in one place for an hour. So we went to the Parisian store opening, got our free give away, small black lunch type bag and then continued thru the mall. We ended up getting into a line for a clothing store as the line was short by this point, walked in & got handed gift cards! I was excited, 'cause this place is a perfect place to shop, not for me, but for someone else who'll get the card for Christmas! Yeah!

Today God bought Acer a pair of black pants for our family portrait. I've been shopping for them, but didn't want to spend much on them, so I wasn't having any luck. So, fast forward to today and ... Our next door neighbor is a lovely woman and ever so nice to live next to. I'd told her about an ornament at work, hand painted from Russia, with a beautiful picture of Northern MI in winter and the Mackinaw bridge on it. It is a pricey ornament, but she and her 10 year old walked across the bridge this year, It was on the same day as her dec. husband's birthday and it opened the year Linda was born. We only got in 100 of these company wide, so I asked her if she were interested I'd pick her up one, and use my discount. I brought it over to her today, and her change from the purchase. Because they were on sale and I got my discount, it was significantly less than we'd expected. to my amazement she pulled a bill out of the change and handed it to me to "Buy something for Acer" I immediately told her she'd just bought a pair of pants for Acer, I was so stunned, I was almost in tears. God cares even about something so tiny as the right color pants for a little boy.

Friday, October 12, 2007

FFFF #51 - Sweet Tooth

This week's Friday Family Foto Fun was an easy category for us, although I think it should be sub titled, Messy face sweet tooth because all the pictures we took of him eating sweets were because of the cute mess he was making of it. The first one is of Acer's eating his first chocolate chip cookie, the second is apple leather made by Bill's Mom, the third is frozen custard and the forth is from licking the bowl when we made brownies. I guess I should say that the apple leather one is not a messy face one, but the picture is blurry so that makes up for it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

School Fundraising... another step forward down the path of parenthood

Yes, Bill and I are enjoying a part of parenthood many of our friends and relatives have already enjoyed; The school fund-raising drive. Now is the time we go back to those we've supported in the past and ask for a return of the favor, oh joy. But hey, we signed on to be parents and that's part of the job too.
Acer goes to MIPP - Macomb Infant Preschool Program, a program for the special needs children in our county, under three years old. These are kids with all levels of learning disabilities and the fundraiser helps the school purchase supplies and toys to spark their interest and expand their abilities. They have lent us toys and books for Acer to use at home and are a group of caring and concerned people.

One of the things I like is the ability to personalize gifts and to order on line for shipment to your home. One of the things I REALLY like is that the fund raising company gives to Smile Train, and helps fund cleft palate surgeries around the world.

Here's the letter the fundraising people sent us to send out, very bland I think, but what can I say.

Acer is currently doing an online fundraiser for MIPP ROCKWELL... and you can help!

Go to before 11/12/2007
Shop from their great selection of personalized items, chocolates, and more!
Enter 144364 under Option 1 after selecting an item.

By entering number 144364, you'll credit Acer and Mipp Rockwell with a large percentage of your purchase price.

Acer thanks you for all your help!

Aunt Kerry's sweater and the Baba pants

Wednesday it was finally cool enough that I decided Acer could wear a sweater to school. Aunt Kerry the ever talented, knitted this lovely hoodie sweater for the little man, she calls it a wallaby. I've been waiting for an opportunity to have him wear it for ages. Then, lo and behold, in the drawer of Acer's pants I discovered someone had given us these lovely cords. (Acer loved it, he calls cords 'Baba Pants" because Bill wears cords whenever he can, even in 90 degree weather.) I couldn't believe I had such a lovely outfit and so great to wear to school

Household decor

I love to organize, I may not keep things that way but I do like the initial process. This is just a litte funny thing I decided to share with you, part of my cleaning up for Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday. I've seen others have nice little rolled up hand towels in pretty baskets, but mine is much more practical. Yes, those are rolled up little boy underwear sitting nicely on the back of my toilet tank!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

To all my Canadian Friends and Family, wherever you've been transferred to or from during your life, Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Canadian Thanksgiving, It's at a much more logical time of the year, not crammed in so close to Christmas. We started celebrating it a few years back, Inviting Mum, James and Brandon, and then added friends with no family in the area. Mum still has her Canadian citizenship so it really is a legitimate holiday for us to celebrate.

We got up early and started on laundry and sorting stuff around the house. Acer went down for his nap and I went into turkey prep mode. I cooked my first Thanksgiving Dinner when I was 10 and at Mum's we used to cook turkey frequently for meals because it was cheap. Back in '85 my cousin Jean taught me a three hour turkey cooking method (listed below) that I have used ever since. This year, I couldn't use it because I would have had to turn the oven down while I was in class with Acer, which obviously wouldn't work from 8 miles away.

Mum met us at the house early and helped with prepping the table and other tasks which left me free to cook. Thanks Mum! James watched Acer so he didn't become a danger in the kitchen during the busiest period of cooking.

We had Mum, James, Bill's Uncle Gordon, our friend Carl, our friends Betty & Becky Fonfara all sitting aroung around the table at the same time with the three of us. It was nice. Conversation flowed freely and the variety of topics covered was as broad ranging as appendix operations and income tax improvement ideas. Bill had picked up a dutch apple pie for dessert and it was lovely.

Thanks to Uncle Gordon for bringing the befores of cheese & crackers and to Betty for bringing her "crabtoes" and lovely baked squash casserole.

Also Acer behaved himself really, really well during the meal. He ate and leaned on my arm and drank milk for a great deal of the time. Bill put him to bed before we ate dessert and he was quiet very soon afterwards. Acer goes from full tilt talking & kicking in the bed to dead quiet and asleep in a matter of seconds, but the kicking and talking can go on for an hour and a half sometimes. Then the magic sleep button is pushed and poof! he's asleep. Thankfully That night was a short time until sleep

Jean's turkey cooking method - gets raves. No basting needed.
you'll need a brown grocery bag, clean. (you can use a cooking bag too if desperate)
Clean out turkey, don't stuff. (I don't believe in stuffed turkeys because of all the possible issues)
Season as normal
Pre heat oven to 500 degrees
cook at 500 for one hour (yes, and the bag does not catch on fire, this seals in the juices)
cook at 400 for an hour
cook at 300 for an hour
Turkey is done.

Heather's turkey recipe - also gets raves even if Jean's method is not used. no basting needed either
Start this about an hour before you're supposed to put it in the oven, to give it time to get the best flavor
you'll need three oranges and a pound of bacon, plus toothpicks
Peel and slice oranges about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick
Use toothpicks affix the oranges over the turkey breast and drumsticks. I usually go thru the center white core and they stay.
I then let it sit until it's almost time to go in the oven.
Then, use the tooth pick to hold the bacon in place and drape the turkey in bacon. Place in pre-heated over and cook following Jean's method or normal 325 degrees for x amount of time.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Acer enters the Matrix

This evening I was holding Acer, then I set him on the counter, still holding him but much easier on my back. I don't think I've ever done this before on this counter and Acer decided this was a wonderful time to explore everything on the counter. Little man was having a rough, grumpy night, I think he was extra hot and tired today; so, Acer wouldn't stop grabbing at everything and he wasn't listening. I simply took him down from the counter to solve the problem I'd created. Acer was extremely upset at being taken from the new treasures he was discovering and destroying, He held on to my hands and tried to scale the cupboards to get back up. As you can see, Acer did some extremely interesting moves before melting completely down. If his legs were just a few inches longer he would have made it, no problem I'm sure.

Gotta get the little man into gymnastics class I think.

Also on the list of things in the 'who would have thunk it' category this evening. Acer's green Ikea rocking horse made it into the kitchen and next to a different set of cupboards. So he stood on it to check out that counter top. It made sense to him, and he was balanced enough, just made us a little unbalanced to see it.


Problem Solving 101

Last night, we asked Acer to help put the groceries away. He was willing and carried a few cans to the pantry cupboard, dumped a few freezer container lids down the stairs, and then brought me the 300 ounce container of laundry detergent. I waited on the stairs, Bill took pictures and we watched as Acer tried different ways to move this heavy object the three feet to where I was waiting. He first tried picking it up, and succeeded in moving it a few inches. He then pushed, pulled, shoved and grunted and after a bit, managed to get the container to me. He never asked for help, and he certainly asks for it readily enough, he was determined to do this himself and help us out!

Acer's Hair

Acer's hair is a concern to the both of us, as we work on getting his now longer than crew cut length to do something, anything, that doesn't leave him looking like Moe Howard. I tend to part it on the side, because of the placement of his cowlick, but Saturday Bill tried to have it all go straight back away from his face. Despite the fact that I've cut Acer's hair for a side part, this looked pretty good and managed to stay that way for a while. I may need to re-cut it back to even again just to give us a better choice of hairstyles. I actually think it's kind of funny, that the both us us, with naturally curly hair and no real skills in hair styling are doing our best to make sure the little guy looks good. We could just cop out and let it be, but we're working on getting the most attractive look for him. I just can't wait until the rest of his hair grows out from the crew cut and gives us a few more options.


Thursday, October 04, 2007


Acer frequently repeats what he hears, this is normal for a 2.75 year old. What I find unusual is that he repeats both sides of a conversation,including changing his voice and inflections to imitate the speaker's voice.
example (currently being repeated ad nauseum)

A. euuhh (said in a tone of minor distress)
A. What's the matter? Use words, tell Mama" (said in a different voice, supposedly mine)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Made by Aunt Stephie

This week, I've been feeling pretty happy about Acer's bonding as we have multiple conversations a day following this script
A. "Mama"
H. "Acer"
A. "Acer's Mama"
H. " Yes and that makes me happy"
A. "Mama Happy!"

He also has been far more affectionate than before, looking for physical closeness.
Another quote has been an adaptation of my words " Mama yao ni Forever!" which is a Chinese-English mix of "Mama wants you forever" Acer says "Acer yao ni mama forever"

So I was feeling pretty good until the other day when I'd put him down for his nap, with Aunt Stephie's blanket, and had finished doing his lotion on the belly and lotion on the legs ritual we do (theoretically it calms him for the nap, in reality it is just good for soothing his scratch & surgery scars) Anyway, I'd left him to get to sleep when I hear "Acer Yao Lotion Forever"

hmm, I rate right up there with lotion! Yeah Me!

Mum and Acer Stepping out

Mum came over Monday so that I could work on my monthly article for the MI gardener magazine (for those in MI, I am euphemistically called "English Gardens Experts) I had a harder time than usual getting anything accomplished because Acer still wanted to be in the room with me, attached to my leg. So I sent Mum and Acer out for a walk, all went quiet and I typed away. Soon, I thought I heard the back gate open & close. I thought I was mistaken, or perhaps it was just the dogs rattling the gate. However, I quickly figured out what had made the noise, Mum had correctly interepreted Acer's 'Tricycle follow Grannie Pat on sidewalk' request, located the tricycle and I heard Acer's gleeful shouts of "Go! Go! Go!" out the window.
Go Mum!

Acer the Monk

Wednesday was Acer's third day of school and Acer's first day with his play group. We got up as normal and had our shower early so we wouldn't be in a rush later. Acer ran around in his robe for a while as you can see below.

After Acer had breakfast, morning activity and then mid-morning snack, we headed off. Acer was and extremely grumpy little man. He was upset during most of the class. Miss Cathy took pity on me and gave him his first whole apple to chew on. He might have had apples in China but they are different in taste and texture than the standard US apple. Who would've guessed that he would be that hungry well before his normal lunch time? I felt embarrassed, like I was a neglectful mom who never fed her kid. He ate snack of Applesauce & Juice & then resumed munching on that apple. The rest of the class, three little girls, got their apples after class. Miss Diane said he did well enough, that some kids cry the ENTIRE first class. It was still frustrating, because I know he likes playing with other kids.
So we headed off home and I cooked him his requested chicken nuggets. The boy must have been hollow yesterday, because he ate a whopping 15 chicken nuggets! He usually only eats 4 or 5, then he drank 2 more bottles of milk after nap! He also ate a huge dinner.
This morning it's not yet 10:30 and he's eaten, bowl of cereal, glass of milk, an egg, and is now going for his second string cheese! Note by 11:30 he'd added a handful of dried cherries and a stem of grapes and is asking for more grapes!