it’s fall! well, it’s starting to feel like it anyway …

everyone! stop what you are doing right now: it is 50 degrees. in south carolina! glory hallelujah! I am wearing a sweater, drinking coffee, and put my kids in jackets this morning. and it was all necessary, unlike most other mornings. you know, when I do it by habit, or in the hope it will be necessary.

let’s all just pause for a moment, and soak up this moment. ahhh.

okay, moving on. in my excitement, I do realize that 1.) this weather is totally normal back home, so you’re probably telling me to get over myself and 2.) there’s a massive hurricane bearing down on thousands of other people, who are now concerned about blizzards/storm surges/flash flooding/wind damage [and not all particularly in that order]. definitely thinking of my friends and others who are snuggled up in their homes in the northeast and hoping for the best.

this week has been relatively peaceful. we’re in a nice routine, full of work days and school days and having fun, hanging out at the park kind of days. while it doesn’t totally feel like home quite yet, I’m sure it will. part of it might be the renting? it might feel very different once we’ve bought a home. hopefully it won’t take that long, as home buying is a project way down the road.

we did have a chicken pox scare. S woke up Sunday morning with a ton of red spots on one arm, which coincided with some others I had seen on her face the other day. there was some slight panic, especially since she’d be vaccinated against it twice. while it’s not the worst disease to contract, I wasn’t really expecting to have to deal with it, given the states mandatory requirements. we were chill about it with her, all the while keeping an eye on her arm to see if they spread. we missed church, for fear of passing along an infection. we gave it a day, but no other spots popped up. that was nice, given that it meant I didn’t have a sick kid with an unvaccinated baby, and she didn’t miss school.

to which begs the question: how many damn bug bites did she have?! and, where did they all come from? I won’t lie, that was a bit unsettling. either there is craziness going on at the playground, or we’ve got some real problems elsewhere. moving on …

I’m 95% sure G is getting his first two teeth. from what I can tell, there are two li’l white bumps on the gums. poor kid, he has the first snotty nose of his life, he’s drooling up a storm, hates for his mouth to be messed with, and is waking up. [again] I swear – I got him set on his schedule, sleeping through the night for about a week. and then this.

but, oh, such is life.

I feel like I have to qualify any complaint about him. the kid is the happiest dang baby you have ever met. period. he flirts and laughs with anyone, he only cries when hungry. not even when he’s in pain, apparently. [we’ll see if my hypothesis holds true; if he’s teething, they should be here in a couple of days] definitely love him.

don’t let that face fool you – he’s loving himself some peas!

yea … Royals? eh, it fit, so I thought we’d try it on. because most days it’s 80, so shorts are completely appropriate. regardless, it did not help the Royals season end any better, nor help the AL win the World Series. fail. [but G looks pretty dang cute in it!]

more food! we’re a pro with the solids – there isn’t much that passes through his lips that he doesn’t like. I think you all will be surprised at how big he is once we’re home for Christmas – he’s a chunk!

we got together with some friends on Friday, the kids & I. R met some fellow professors, one named B, who is a wonderful lady and really fun to hang out with. her husband is from Ukraine, and currently stationed there as he’s finishing his own Ph.D. he sounds awesome, and we definitely can’t wait to meet him. meanwhile, we’ve had International Movie Nights and pumpkin carving nights with her, all to great success. see proof below.

I carved the pirate – yeah, I’ve got mad skills. B carved Scooby, which trumped my mad skills out of this place. intricate, to say the least.

some other friends, J & A, showed up later.  J & A are awesome – they’ve introduced us to the world of Catan, we all enjoy sports, beer & wine, going to the beach, are in love with our kiddos, and they are just about the darn nicest folks you’ve ever met.

earlier in the week, a best selling author had come to CofC. the college really wanted a big turnout, so they bought his latest book for every single faculty member and freshman [because it’s apart of their “First Year Experience” program they have to participate in] and then had it set up for him to speak in mid-October. his latest title, “Eating Animals” came out a while ago and since I had read his other two [fiction] titles and at the time was a hardcore vegetarian, I eagerly snagged it. fast forward three years, where I really can’t claim the title vegetarian at all. I was interested to see if he’d have anything to add that further my cognitive dissonance. he did.

R watched the kiddos, and I headed downtown. the talk was really good – certainly [re]challenged me [more on that to come later], and some of the students had good questions for him. others had really lame, border line accusatory questions that made for a few awkward moments. but then, only an hour or so into the talk, it was done. he spoke for about 50 min, took 5 questions [that took him over 30 min to answer], and then announced he was done. there were more than a handful of others who were in line to ask their questions who had to sit down, questions unasked, and there was no book signing. there were more than a few of us from the community there, and I think there had been the expectation that he’d have a table up for autographs and photos.

nope.

I actually saw him in the alley, behind the arena where he had been speaking as I walked to grab dinner. he had been stopped by a couple of eager college students, who DID get an autograph [luckies] and were gushing to actually be speaking with him. he, on the other hand, did not look so thrilled.

maybe it was a New York versus Charleston thing? perhaps he didn’t think he needed to talk for more than an hour. maybe he was upset at the lack of turnout [there was maybe 300 people there – and there were definitely freshman who were made to go by their professors for extra credit, who left early]. who knows. I just know I had thought there’d be more, and there wasn’t. oh well.

book club was cancelled this last week. that was disappointing, too. the leader of the club was hosting it at her home this week, and sent a last minute e-mail out informing us it was cancelled. she explained that she suffers from an auto-immune disease, and had responded badly to a treatment that she received a couple of days before. while I was disappointed [because there was going to be easily be 20+ folks there to nerdily discuss our book of the month], I fully understood. given that Grandma Dee suffered from essentially the same thing for a decade and more, I get that you don’t get to just ignore your disease and move on. sometimes, it makes you go back to bed for days and you don’t get to do what you want. regardless, I have the novel for next month and we’ll hope for a better outcome [for her & our meetings].

a bit of sad news, too, unfortunately. I found out my Grandma A is in the hospital. it’s not an immediate crisis, but my dad and mom did go down this past weekend to check on her and see what the next step was. they think she’ll be discharged this next week, and she might have to upgrade her care at her assisted living home. [to say she’ll be unhappy about that is an understatement]. it’s during these times that I wish I was closer to home. a Christmas visit is a must!

on a happier note – Halloween is in two days! S is super excited. she really gets that it’s a fun holiday where you get tons of free candy. smart girl. she shifted in her idea of a costume [for the longest time she wanted to be a ballerina – that would have been okay]. we’ve been watching the X-Men Animated series from the 1990’s, and she LOVES Jubilee. I happily encouraged her to be her for Halloween, and she enthusiastically jumped on board. I think I’ve got her costume figured out, and will happily share pictures after the festivities have wrapped.

R’s mom, B, comes out this weekend, which should be awesome! S is excited, and I know B is also. to see the grandkids in person is so different from phone photos and li’l blog blurbs. I’ll do my best to keep up; November is a busy, busy month and I’ll eagerly share all!

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