Wow, it's been a long time since I posted here! I'm hoping that after the holidays I can get back to more regular blogging. But we'll be leaving for an extended family visit on Dec. 15 and I won't be able to post any pictures, so I'm not sure how much posting I'll do while we're away.
In the meantime, let's see if I can catch you all up on everything that's been going on. Maybe it would be best to go by family member, so I'll start with Ben. Most recently he turned 4 on Monday! I just can't believe it. We celebrated on Saturday with a small party (mostly family) on an M&M theme. That was the request of the birthday boy. I made cupcakes, with some last-minute assistance from Aunt Karen:
The two with M&M's are for Ben, who doesn't like frosting on cake. Unfortunately the only way to make the M&M's stick was to use a teeny little bit of frosting, and here was Ben's face when he discovered what we had done:
I also have to share two new things that Ben did recently: he had his first dentist visit, at which they gave him 4+ (out of 4) for being cooperative, and he has started going to school all day on Tuesdays. He has done this twice now. He has regular school till 11:30, then lunch and rest time, and from 1 to 3 he has an enrichment class. Right now the theme is Polar Express (the Christmas train story) and he is loving it. In January it will be African Safari. He stays for an extra hour afterward and plays while Sarah finishes her nap. It is really working out well so far - the afternoons are more challenging for me now that Ben doesn't really nap much. So this is one way we're handling it and we'll just play the other days by ear for now!
Sarah is doing just fine - 19 months now. She has learned how to count to 5 (although her favorite number is 4) and she is fascinated with the alphabet song right now. She likes to listen to me sing it while looking at the ABC quilt hanging in Ben's room, which we got from Aunt Christine when he was a baby. (Ben did the same thing!) Actually anytime she hears music she will say "song" and she also dances by standing in one spot and turning around in a circle. It's all just so cute! Here's a lovely photo that Grandpa Jerry took the day of Ben's party.
Todd is hard at work but eagerly looking forward to our holiday travel and a nice break from the lab. I'm just looking forward to seeing family, especially baby Hannah, who as of Sunday was off the ventilator and starting to improve at last. I think they are hoping she'll be moved to the cardiac center any day now, where she'll finish her recovery and then finally go home. I think it seems likely that she will be home in time for Christmas, which I know is going to make everyone rejoice.
As for me, I'm completely overcommitted and busy but having a great time, since most of the busy-ness comes from stamping. I had my second craft fair last weekend and cleared $85, so at least that was an improvement over the first one. I made a lot of projects that weren't cards, since I hardly sold cards at the first fair, and that seemed to be successful. I'm hoping to put up some tutorials for some of the projects where I tweaked something else I found online - if I have time before the holidays, I'll do my best. The most successful thing has actually been since the craft fair - I've sold nearly $200 worth of stuff to some of the moms in my online group, and Todd has also generated some interest by taking a few things to work. I have the possibility of a fair at a large company around Valentine's Day, and got another lead for something similar through the fair last Saturday. It seems as if this venture might actually take off, and I'm hopeful! The TMJ situation continues about the same. This week I'll be getting impressions made for a new night guard, and I'll get it next week before we leave town. I hope that will help. My singing voice hasn't really recovered from the horrible bout with laryngitis I had a few weeks ago, so I think I may have to investigate that if I'm still struggling with it after the holidays. It would be nice to know that if the TMJ situation permits, I'd actually be able to sing!
I think that's the update for now. Check back for those tutorials if you're interested, and otherwise, I'll try to post any other news that we have before the holidays!