30 September 2011

Day 273

Crockett got a new toy last and he took LilCrockett for a spin tonight.  These two are going to have loads of fun with their new wheels.



29 September 2011

Day 272

Today was the big day….GothGirl got her braces.  She was so nervous this morning since she didn’t know what to expect.  Our neighbor Diane works at the office and she was the one to assist the orthodontist with putting on the braces.  I think that really helped GothGirl feel a little more comfortable with the process.  I’m really enjoying the atmosphere at this office.  They try to make it as fun for the kids as possible.  Even the little things make a difference.  For instance, they give the kids wooden tokens, which can be redeemed for small prizes.  Tokens are earned by being on time to appointments, having good brushing habits, and such.  When we were there today, a kid came in to get his braces off.  They played the song “Celebrate” loudly on a little boom box and gave him a balloon tied to a box of candy. 

Anyway between Diane and Dr. Tom, GothGirl’s braces went on just fine.  She opted for alternating black and seafoam green bands around the brackets this round.  The bands are strictly for fun as they don’t do anything structurally.  I think GothGirl looks pretty cute with her new tin grin!!









And now for a close-up so you can see the colored bands around the brackets.  This photo also illustrates why GothGirl is getting braces.  You can see that her jaw lines are not in alignment.  Her front bottom and top teeth should align so the spaces between them are on top of one another.  Instead, one of her bottom front teeth falls directly under the space between the 2 top front teeth.  She also has some spacing issues and a few of her teeth, including her 2 top front teeth, kick out a bit. 


Paying for braces is like buying a used car, but we are fortunate that insurance covers about 40% of it.  Between that and the money we save by using my employee Flex Spending Program, it was manageable.  Not fun…but manageable. 

28 September 2011

Day 271

Tonight I’m going to share some recent photos of Felix.  These photos were taken a few days ago.  He does such cute stuff that we marvel over him constantly.

Silly cat is wearing his new collar of shame.  I call it that because he has been collar-free for several weeks after we realized that he wasn’t trying to sneak out the door.  Well fast forward to Sunday and he snuck out into our attached garage several times in one night.  Luckily the overhead garage door was shut so he was still contained.  We cornered him each time and threw him back in the house, but then he just sat there and meowed incessantly (he is part Siamese after all, and they are very vocal).  Crockett decided to try to scare him from wanting to go outside.  He went out into the garage armed with a squirt bottle and then left the door cracked behind him.  Soon after, Felix wandered over and pawed the door open, so Crockett squirted him.  After the 2nd time doing this, he quit whining to go outside.  However, we are not convinced that he is over this temptation yet, so he has to wear a collar again so that he has an ID tag if he manages to sneak outside and get lost.  Thus, I call it the collar of shame.  I have threatened him with the cone of shame if he sneaks out again but since he’s a cat, I’m sure he doesn’t understand!



Over the weekend, I brought up a tub of clean towels and set them on the island in the kitchen for a bit.  Well Felix found that tub before I could take it down the hallway and he decided that it would make a pretty comfy bed.  I came into the room and he was all curled up and cozy.  I didn’t have the heart to move him (plus it was a good excuse not to have to put away the towels!).  Note that these were taken pre-collar!



27 September 2011

Day 270

LilCrockett has been working really hard for the past few weeks.  He has extra reading homework seven nights a week and that’s in addition to any assignments from his regular teacher.  Not to mention any studying that needs to be done before tests.  The hard work has paid off as we are seeing better grades on his assignments and tests.  Thus, I rewarded him with a trip to the dollar store for a toy last night after our tutoring session.  There weren’t a lot of high quality toys there, but he eventually settled on a knock-off army-themed Lego set.  We put the pieces together once we got home.  The quality of real Legos is so much better than this cheapo brand, but he was happy and I saved a lot of money. 



26 September 2011

Day 269

Since LilCrockett’s tutor Kara lives in a neighboring town, we’ve decided to alternate meeting places so that we share the driving time and expense.  Because Kara has a broken foot and is in a cast with crutches, some meeting locations (such as those with a lot of stairs, etc.) are not an option.  Fortunately she knows the owners of a local hotel in her town and they let us use some space for the tutoring session.  The hotel is actually billed as a lodge and has cabin-like d├ęcor.  It’s a beautiful space, but not a great setup for tutoring per se as the only tables are upstairs and hard to navigate with crutches.  Thus, they had to work together from the couch in the reception area.  As such, I think this may be the last time we meet here.




25 September 2011

Day 268

LilCrockett was a busy bee this morning.  First, he got out his golf clubs to practice hitting balls in the front yard.  Don’t worry….he was using plastic balls, not the real thing.  I have a large, picture window to protect!


Then he had the brilliant idea to plant some apple seeds in our raised garden box.  He got to work digging., planting, and watering his seeds.  I didn’t have the hear to tell him that the odds are next to nil that a tree will actually sprout, even when he decided to plant a peach seed later.  Please ignore the fire pit that is temporarily residing in the raised bed. 




24 September 2011

Day 267

It’s sort of a sad day around here.  Today is LilCrockett’s last baseball game for the fall season.  In fact, it was a double-header and the games were played at 2 different parks so we had to hustle to get from Game 1 to Game 2.  Happily our neighbors came out for the final game, but the team has definitely played better.  The main coach was out of town so perhaps that was enough to make things a little off-kilter. 

Shots from Game 1:




Shots from Game 2:




Sadly I failed to get photos of the neighbors at the 2nd game.  I think I was a little game weary.  We are so glad they joined us though.

I still need to take some more test shots, but I think my autofocus is working much better.  Yay!

23 September 2011

Day 266

Look what came in the mail today!!  It’s my Canon 7D back from the Canon Service Center.  FedEx is my new BFF for sure for delivering this baby to me.  Oh how I’ve missed this camera.  I’m looking forward to checking it out to see if the autofocus is working better now that it has been serviced.  Cross your fingers.  [Photo taken with my iPhone.]


22 September 2011

Day 265

Can you believe there are only 100 more days left in this year?  Crazy, huh?!! 

GothGirl started treatment for her braces today.  She had spacers inserted between her molars.  These little rubber bands are inserted in between her back teeth to create space for the brace brackets.  They are snug and a little painful during the first few days so I’m sure she will be happy to get rid of them next week.  Here she is before they were inserted and then during the procedure.



21 September 2011

Day 264

When I looked out the window this morning before work, I saw the coolest thing.  It was a thin band of fog over the field across from our house.  It’s rare to see fog like this.  Generally the fog blankets the entire sky. 



20 September 2011

Day 263

Today’s meeting was held at Glacial Park, owned by McHenry County Conservation District.  The park, which is a remnant of glacial activity, contains gravel kames, kettles, restored prairies, oak savannas and wetlands.  The location for the meeting was the Lost Valley Visitor Center.  I took quite a few pictures of the beautiful surroundings before the meeting and during our lunch break.   










After the meeting, one of my coworkers spotted some baby squirrels peeking out of a hole in a tree.  I took a photo but my lens didn’t zoom quite far enough.  I got as close as I could and then cropped the photo later at home so you could see the face a little better.  Pretty cute, huh?!!  We think there were 3 babies inside.  There was a 2nd hole further up on the right tree branch and the momma squirrel was peeking out of it.


19 September 2011

Day 262

I drove up to northern Illinois today with some coworkers so that we can attend a meeting tomorrow.  It was a long drive but we were rewarded with an afternoon field trip to a beautiful nature preserve….Fel Pro RRR Fen.  This beautiful site has several natural communities including gravel hill prairie, savanna, sedge meadow, fen, and several spring-fed lakes.  Of course I had my camera in tow, though I was seriously wishing I had my 7D back for this trip.







Turtle eggs….











After the field trip, we all had dinner together at a local restaurant before heading back to our hotel.  I always enjoy nights by myself in a hotel room because it’s a little respite from my hubby and kids.  Peace and quiet and no responsibilities.  Ah…If only there had been enough room in the van for my 3 huge pillows then this would have been just about perfect! 




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