Friday, December 25, 2009

Gavin- 6 Months

In the midst of all the Christmas chaos, I almost forgot to post about Gavin's 6 month birthday! Holy cow! That's half a year! That means in 6 more months, he will be ONE! Geez.

Ok. At 6 months, you:
*Sit completely unassisted. You are no longer a weeble.
*Love peek-a-boo
*Giggle when Chase pushes your swing and stops it unexpectedly
*Still don't take a bottle (gah!) and still wake up at least twice a night to nurse (probably my fault at this point!)
*Push yourself backwards
*Pivot on your belly
*Constantly roll onto your belly, play for a long time, and then get really really pissed when you forget how to roll back
*Rock on all fours
*Lift one hand up to grab at something while supporting yourself with the other arm
*Want to touch everything electronic
*Bounce up and down like you are riding a bucking bronco
*Have just started picking up little bits and pieces of junk on the floor
*Love crinkling wrapping paper
*Officially are sporting a mullet. Not quite sure what to do with that still. But I must say, the little curls over your ears that stick out and up are totally cute in an elven kind of way.

I think the funniest thing that has happened this month is that you have realized that you can control what you eat...and you no longer will eat anything green. If it is green, and I put it in your mouth, you will stare at me with your mouth open and your tongue hanging out until the food falls out. This would be a little frustrating except that you don't cry or fuss or anything, you just sit there smiling and looking at us like nothing in the world is wrong-- you just happen to have something on your tongue.

Love you, Guy!


Ian's loft bed from Santa is so cool!

But we will have to do something about that fan...

Power Ranger

I forgot to mention that Bryan bought me a new Pink Power Ranger outfit.

Not really :) But I've been telling him for the last year and a half that I don't ride the Harley with him because I don't have a helmet or a jacket that fits. Now I have no excuses!

Christmas 2009

It has been a whirlwind, what with the house torn to pieces, but we managed to pull everything together at the last minute. We spent time at church (an awesome service at the Belk Theatre in Charlotte) and at home with Gaga, Papa, and Uncle Scott. Once everything was put in place, it turned out to be a really nice, relaxing, slow paced day.

Here it is in pictures:

Gavin discovers the wonders of Reese's Pieces...well, he likes the wrapper, anyway.
Huh. Santa left a Target bag for Scott instead of a stocking...
Ian scattered the reindeer food that Grandma Mary sent.
Chase tries out the awesome trampoline from Uncle Todd and Aunt LeShayne (thanks, guys!!!).
The REAL Christmas miracle: this was the first and only shot of the family in front of the tree, and everyone was looking at the camera at the same time. I know.
Decking the tree.
We wouldn't have had the tree up by Christmas eve without Uncle Scott's help. He rocked the fake tree. Side note: it was our first year without a real tree. I have to say, I miss the real tree smell and realness, but the faux fir is super easy. Way, way easy. And I don't have to worry about Chasey pulling it over and watering the new floors.
Chase didn't help deck the tree much, but he did deck himself out.
We took a drive Tuesday night to see some Christmas lights...the boys went in their jammies and hats. Too cute not to take a photo.

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas :) I'm going to have more cookies now...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

I'm probably late to jump on this band wagon, but has anyone tried Dansko shoes??

I bought myself a pair (happy birthday to me!) because I heard so many good things about them. I have definite feet issues, and am on my feet almost all day, and with the installation of the new hard floors, I figured I would treat my feet.
I picked the red patent ones, just for funsies. Red shoes make any outfit. I have to admit, they look at little clownish. And Bryan has been asking me to click my heels together a lot. But, ooooh do they feel good!! Bonus: I am at least an inch taller, too, and my jeans don't drag on the floor anymore.

Anyway. That is my public service announcement for today. Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday! 2 more shopping days left!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Group Hug Apparel

Has anyone else seen this yet? Andrew, an 18 year old, has a line of apparel with a cool Rock-n-Roll theme. He is using the money that he makes to pay for college, as well as donating a part of it to charity.

Oh, and Andrew has Down syndrome.

Check out his site. I think Chase definitely needs a Rock On shirt for Christmas.
Edited to add: Andrew's mom, Karen, emailed me to tell me that this little lady's name is Coco. I think she is well on her way to becoming a professional model for Group Hug, don't you?
Cute Cute CUTE!

Pray for Ben

After my pity party about the lack of sleep I had last night, I read this post and caught up on my friend from our Roots and Shoots group, Angie, and her sweet boy Ben. He has been in the hospital since Monday with RSV and is fighting really hard.

It never takes too long for God to put me in my place and to realize how very very lucky I am, and how, even if I was up one million times last night with my guys, they are all relatively healthy and I could do it in my own home.

If you are the praying type, take a second for Ben. He is too cute to be in the hospital for Christmas, isn't he?


True story. I am documenting it so someday I can look back and laugh.

8pm- all kids in bed and sleeping. Bryan is included in this, as I shared my stomach bug with him a few days ago.
8-11pm- I clean up, finish making a bunch of Christmas goodies in the kitchen.
11:20pm- I fall into bed.
12:45- Gavin wakes up to eat, then doesn't feel like going back to bed. I can't bring him back to my bed for fear that Bryan will vomit on both of us, so I set up camp in his glider, where he is super cute, but awake, and I try to snooze a teensy bit.
2:30- I return to bed.
3am- Ian runs into my room crying because he thinks his nose is bleeding. Turns out it is just really runny and raw, and he has a fever. He remains hysterical for 30 minutes, but I get him Motrin and back to bed.
3:45- Ian returns to my room approximately 5 seconds after I put my head down and wants me to come with him while he goes potty because he is afraid of the monsters in the bathroom. Also, he wants me to lay with him in his bed for a while because he doesn't like the scary shadows in his room.
4:30am- I leave Ian's room because Gavin is awake again.
5am- After nursing Gavin, I go back to bed.
5:15- ...for 15 minutes, because Chase is now crying at his door because he has peed through his diaper (oh, and filled it up with poo, too).
6am- Gavin is awake with a stuffy nose. I try to suck the boogers out, but they are wedged WAY up there. He eventually falls back to sleep.
6:30- back in bed.
7am- Ian is awake and can't wait to start playing with that flipping chicken that sings the chicken song.
7:30- everyone else is awake.
9am- Chase dumps out my entire cup of coffee on my unread newspaper and the kitchen floor. After I clean that up, he does redeem himself by giving my leg a very sweet hug.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spoiler Alert

This is the photo for our Christmas card this year, but it is too cute not to post here now while I have the time. Aren't they adorable?!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Little Things

With Chase, every little thing is cause for a celebration. I feel like his personal little cheering squad sometimes. This is what just happened:

He got up from nap, and when I went to get him, he was bouncing on his bed. (YAY! PT! Jumping is his next big goal!)
We got downstairs and he asked for milk. (All right! Initiating verbal words!)
I peeled an orange and he tried a slice. (Woo-hoo! World's pickiest eater is eating something healthy!)
He called it an apple- verbally. (Woot! Wrong word, but it's a fruit!)
I corrected him and told him it was an orange- he repeated the word orange. (Rock! Verbal repetition!)
I asked him if he wanted a bowl to put the orange slices in- he repeats the word bowl. (Yee-haw!)
He takes the bowl of orange slices and his milk cup and carries them to the table without spilling. (Yeah, baby! No throwing food!)
He eats the oranges (score again for the picky eater!) and comes back to ask for more apple. (I'll take what I can get :)
I tell him to bring me his empty bowl. He wanders around a little, then proudly brings it back to me to refill. (Helloooooo receptive language!)

I know that Chase teaches us things. I know that I am learning patience from him (God, do I know!) and to appreciate the little things. Asking for more oranges is not a huge accomplishment, but it is HIS accomplishment. He did it. On his own. And sometimes little things are a big deal.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Christmas Story or Kids Say the Darndest Things

In Ian's backpack today was his preschool class version of the Christmas Story. It needs to be published for all to see (I just used initials for his classmates' responses in case any of you out there are psychopaths...and because it is a pain in the butt to type out all their names).

My favorite answers are "Life Savers" and "a little tiny motorcycle." What are yours?

Our Christmas Story

What did they feed Baby Jesus?
K, M, L, C, K- baby food
L, C, D- hay
R- lettuce
A- milk
A- Life Savers
(Ian did not have an answer for this one...I'm guessing that he just didn't know. Hey, you can't be an expert on everything)

How did the Wisemen find Baby Jesus?
L, E, L, D, A- Follow the star
K- Walked for a long time
C- the light star
Ian- Because God put the light where Jesus was
R- by a glowing star
K- a light

What did the Wisemen bring Jesus?
L- the baby
D- a pot of gold
EC- baby food
C- a room
C- gold and money
M- love
K, A- gifts
A- food
K, R- gold
C- a banana
Ian- no answer. (I bet he wanted to say Legos)

How many presents did he get?
L, L, C- 5
L- 2
C- 10
C, K, R, D, K, A- 3
Ian- a lot
A, M- 4

What do you think he got for his birthday?
EC- Baby Waddle
E- coins
C- a little tiny motorcycle
C- baby food, money, gold
A, M- pony
R- silver
K- love
D- toys
C- some Dora toys
A- presents
Ian- no answer (what the heck is he doing during class?!)

Why do we celebrate Christmas?
E, EC, A, L, M, D, R, K, K- because it's Jesus's birthday
C- because Baby Jesus wants lots of presents
C- because Jesus was born on Christmas
Ian- Because God sent Jesus down here for us
L- for our moms and dads and our family
C- because you can get presents
A- because Thanksgiving went away

Where was Jesus born?
A, EC- at the farm
L- at the hospital
M, L- in a barn
C- in hay
A, C- in a stable
Ian- in a manger (but when he answers, he pays attention!)
R, L, D, K- Bethlehem
K- at home

Why wasn't Jesus born in a hospital?
E, A, D, K- because there was not any hospitals when he was born
C- I have no idea (at least he's honest!)
Ian- because he was very special

Where did Mary lay Baby Jesus?
L- in a crib
C, E, L- in the hay
L- where animals eat
R, A, C- in a manger
Ian- inside of hay
K- in a bed
K- in a farm
D- in a stack of hay
A- where the animals live

What do you think Jesus is doing this Christmas?
L, C, M, A- celebrating his birthday
EC- dying for our sins
L- putting his Christmas tree up
C- a new earth where no bad people are
Ian- giving us presents (I swear, we never told him that Jesus was coming down the chimney to give presents to the good girls and boys....!)
L- taking care of Sadie and Cinnamon
R- decorating his tree
K- decorating
C, D- playing
A- laying at the farm
K- loving us

Lily's Blog Auction

Ok, people. Time to rally. My blog-friend Michelle (from the Zoromski Chronicles) is trying to raise money to fund their adoption of Lily, a beautiful 5 year old little girl (you may have seen her photo on the sidebar of my blog). They found her through Reece's Rainbow, and they are working madly against the clock to bring her home (to her amazing new family) before she is institutionalized. This is a really pricey process, and I'd like to be able to help out.


They are hosting an online blog auction with a lot of really cool stuff. If you haven't completed your Christmas shopping yet, check it out and see if there is anything you could pick up. If you've already finished your shopping, go and bid on something because you could really use something nice to reward your hard work and early-bird initiative.

Click here to visit the auction, even if it is just to check it out (they have a great story that will tug on your heart-strings, too). Thank you!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Yes, we are still alive. No, we haven't been swallowed by Ian's swollen lip or followed Chase running off into the sunset never to return.

My computer died. My sweet (albeit keyless) Dell mysteriously does not have an operating system anymore, which makes it really difficult to do anything on it except wonder what the hell happened to it. I have the big TV computer, but frankly, it is very hard to type on the keyboard and read it on the TV screen without standing in the middle of the living room to look at it. Plus, some people around here think that every time the TV is on, it should be playing Jack's Big Music Show, and they will whine "...Jaaaack...?" over and over until I surrender the remote.

All of that makes blogging really difficult.

Anyway. We are fine. Ian's lip is healed, Chase is saying more words, and Gavin is perfect, in that he doesn't run away or talk back to me.

Our biggest issue right now is sleep. Deprivation, that is. Gavin is still up twice a night or so, and for the last 4 nights, Ian has been up in between Gavin's feedings for one reason or another. He was actually in our bed almost all night a few nights ago, which made for an awesome night of sleep for all parties involved. Gavin thought there was some sort of party last night and was wide awake, um, all damn night long, just as happy as could be. I was, in turn, not as happy. Nor was Bryan, who took the midnight-2am shift. I am at a loss, and just go to bed every night anxiously awaiting the first cry. Who will it be? What will they want? Can I squeeze in 2 hours of uninterrupted time, or shall I just expect small power naps from midnight-5am? It is exhausting. I am tempted to stop nursing just to be able to drink unlimited amounts of caffeine to survive the days...but as of now, I am thinking it is just a really awful stage, and am remaining hopeful that it will end before I fall asleep in the car line at preschool or standing up at the sink doing dishes.

Christmas shopping is in full effect, and I am on treasure hunts to find the best craigslist/thrift store/consignment shop deals that I can. Penny saved is a penny earned, right? There are no Christmas decorations up because the house is a giant mess from the laminate floor project. Bryan has 1/2 the dining room and the foyer done. All that is left is the living room, the kitchen, and the family room. Only, like, 1,000sq ft left. Totally doable. ...right? It does look beautiful, though, and I am looking forward to having floors that don't tell the story of every meal my kids have eaten or every piece of outside that has been tracked in. It will be awesome. Eventually. Right now I just pretend that the entire front half of my house doesn't exist.

Anyhoo. Back to the kids. Chase and William are uncharacteristically quiet in the playroom. ...wonder what is going on in there? It can't be good if it is that interesting...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ian's trip to the ER

Last night, Ian was climbing into the chair for dinner and somehow biffed and smacked his lip on the chair.  He was bleeding pretty bad, so Bryan took him screaming to the ER.  He ended up with 3 stitches inside his upper lip and 4 prizes from the toybox there.  He also came home with 2 cartons of ice cream, and bags of gummy worms and circus peanuts (Bryan says that since they are soft, he can eat them while he is recouperating.

Here he is this morning.  I think it swelled up more overnight.  He looks pretty monstrous.  Poor guy!

Thankgiving Recap

We had Uncle Scott and Rachel here, Papa and Gaga, and Aunt Deb and Uncle Tom here for Thanksgiving.  There was lots of food, lots of drinking, and lots of games (and some injuries).
This is what Scott looked like after 3 nights of Maddex games.
Scott schools Rachel in several rounds of full contact SPOONS...Bryan was the ultimate winner, though.
Chase's favorite game to play with Gavin now is to give Gavin a bunch of toys and then take them away.
Chase didn't much like dinner, but he had awesome hair.
Proof that I was there.
Gaga's shoulder, Papa, Deb, Tom, Ian, Scott, and Rachel...before the meal commenced.
Ted the Turkey...roasted to perfection.  I used Alton Brown's brine recipe.  It turned out YUM.
Before dinner MarioKart tournament.
Ian drives better when he makes funny faces.
Even Papa played!

Good times :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gavin- 5 months!

In some ways, it feels like Gavin has been here forever, and in others it is hard to believe that it has officially been 5 months!  

At 5 months, you sit up in that Weeble-People way, no longer depending on the tripod stance, but holding onto toys while you sit.  Unfortunately, that also means that when you lose your balance, you fall all the way over :)

You eat lots of solids- carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, bananas, avocadoes, peaches, and applesauce.  You hold your mouth open like a little bird at meal times, and sometimes cry if we don't shovel fast enough for you.

You still wake up twice a night, usually about an hour after I go to bed at night and an hour before I have to wake up in the morning.  Hope you appreciate that, because, frankly, that schedule is not convenient for me.

Your brothers ADORE you.  Chase loves to sit next to you and put his face close to yours, nose to nose, and talk at you.  Ian loves to nuzzle you and make you giggle.  You smile every time you see anyone, and your little dimples are absolutely the cutest.  

Your hair is still wild.  You definatey have a mullet and I am contemplating what I should do with that.  Although, here in NC, you kind of fit in :)

We love you so much, Guy Guy!  You light up our family!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crunchy Mama

This is a public service announcement:

I am being green and crunchy over here.  I have made all of Gavin's baby food (carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, bananas and avocadoes, green beans, and baby peas) and it is soooo freaking easy.  Why did I not do this before?!

I just cook everything (steam or bake it), whirl it around in the blender, then freeze it in ice cube trays.  Who knew?

This site also has really good (easy) recipes and ideas.  Check it out.

You can do it, too!  But wait until you have kids, because pureeing food when you don't is cause for concern.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sex Ed.

ACK!  Help!!  

Every once in a while, Ian gets on a kick about wanting another sibling (today he wanted one so that we could 'fill up the van').  Some days he wants a sister, others he would "weally weally weally" like another brother.  Today in the car, he told me that he wanted a brother and could I "please think about having another baby so that he could name him Jackson William, or if it is a girl, she could be named Zoe?"

Several minutes into this conversation, it took a scary little turn, and all of a sudden I was dancing around a birds-and-bees conversation while doing 70mph in a packed minivan.   I tried to satisfy him with vague answers when he asked how the baby got into my belly.  "You need a mommy cell and a daddy cell", "When you are married you can decide to have babies", "When two people love each other very very much...".  But every time I tried one of those, he would answer back with, "But HOW do you get the cells together?"  I even tried the "Let's talk about this when you are a little older,"  but that just stirred up more interest ("Well, can't you just give me a hint...?")

So, my question is...when did you have the official real live talk with your kids about this?  I don't necessarily want to go into all of the details with him, because he is, well, FOUR, and also because he is a very inquisitive little boy.  I can just imagine the conversations he will have with all the little girls and boys at preschool when he is armed with this kind of information.

What do I do?  I ended tonight's conversation by throwing Bryan under the bus- I told him that it was something I'd have to talk to Daddy about, and we had to wait until he got home.  That buys me 24 hours.  Maybe he will just forget.  But if he doesn' there some book for 4 year olds that can explain baby-making in a simple, non-scarring way?  Oy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spotlight Stealer

I was trying to take a photo of Gavin in this outfit to show to my friend Jacki (hi Jacki!) who gave it to him.  But Chase had other plans.  He has just recently discovered that he LOVES the camera
 and has decided that no shot is complete without him.

I love Gavin's expression in the background- "What the WHAT?!  That was my frame!"

Gavin can't even be in the background, either, apparently.
Ho, hum.  It is tough being so fabulous.
Notice Chase's foot is in this one.  I guess it doesn't have to be his face in the picture, as long as there is some body part.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little Guy is Growing Up

Guess who can tripod sit now?!  
This guy!  

BTW, have I mentioned Gavin's nickname yet?  Chase gave it to him.  He can't say Gavin yet, but he can say "Guy Guy!!" with much gusto and enthusiasm.  It is cute.  Very much so.


Ian wanted to make a giant ice cube yesterday.  This evening he and Chase experimented with it.  Okay, so mostly they just licked it and froze their little fingers off.  Cheapest 1/2 hour of entertainment EVER.

(This is the face that Chase makes when he says, "Coooooooold!"

Ian's Proposal

Angelle and I carpool for school drop-offs and pick-ups for our 4 kids.  She always drops-off and I always pick up.  When we get home every day, Ian walks Leah and Erin to their house 2 doors down.  

Sometimes Leah runs ahead because she doesn't want to be walked home.  Sometimes they walk together.  Sometimes Ian helps her carry her backpack.  They are really quite cute.

Anyway.  Today they walked to her house hand-in-hand.  I stood in the doorway and watched because 1) I am terrified that some psychopath is going to drive down the culdesac and snatch one of the kids, and 2) He is really really adorable to watch when he doesn't know you are looking.  When they got to Leah's house, she went inside and I heard Ian calling behind her:

"Bye, Leah!  I love you!"  She closes the door.  Ian must have been afraid she didn't hear, because then he put his mouth really close to the door-crack and yelled again, "I love you, Leah!"  Then, "I'm going to marry you, Leah!"

And just for good measure, he opens up the door and sticks his head in, and hollers again, "I'm going to marry you, Leah!"

Such a romantic, that boy.

Language Explosion!!

I knew that since Chase started walking that he has been more focused on developing his speech, but it wasn't until today when his speech therapist asked how many words he was saying now that I realized how well he is really doing.

I stopped counting the words that I could remember at 25!!  25 words!!  My almost non-verbal boy has more than 25 real words!!  O.M.G!

Granted, some are not all that intelligible to people outside of our family and therapists, but they are deliberate and precise for him.  I am so incredibly proud of him!   ...and relieved, too.  The thought of sending him to school 3 full days a week without any words was scaring me, I won't lie.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In Memory of Grandma Maddex

Grandma Maddex passed away this evening.  Bryan and I just took a walk through all the photos we have of the times that we spent with her in the past few years.  We were fortunate enough to see her a couple times a year at the cottage Michigan and her place in Hilton Head Island.  

We loved the time that we spent with her, and are so very happy that she was able to meet (and spoil) Ian and Chase.  Ian's middle name (Callaghan) is actually her maiden name, so he will always have a special bond with her.

RIP, Grandma.  Be at peace.   

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparations

Ian's class puts on a concert for "Feast Day" at his preschool.  He's been singing songs to himself like "You don't want to be a turkey on Thanksgiving Day."

He also informed me that his class will be dressing up like Pildrums.  I said, "Oh, do you mean pilgrims?"  He looked at me like I was a 2 year old, and said, "No, Mom.  It's pill-drum.  I will be a pill-drum."

I asked him what a pildrum was (you know, since he was such an expert and all) and he replied, "Um, I don't exactly know."

Can't wait for Feast Day :)  I'm pretty sure Chase will be dressing up as a turkey at school, too.  Should be some cute photos.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Chick or the Egg?

Aunt Debi and Uncle Tom are the proud parents of 10 baby chicks that hatched on Tuesday.  We went to visit them this evening and Ian totally fell in love with them.

On the way home he was telling me about how much he liked them and how good he was with them ("I held one and I didn't even break his bones!!")  and trying to convince me that he should be able to have a baby chick at our house.  He came up with many arguments for the chick (I could keep them inside in my closet!  I could put them in a cage!) and I countered them mostly with the fact that the HOA would frown upon it.  

Finally, he made one last ditch attempt:  Well, Mom, having a chick is much more fun than eating an egg.  

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Easiest Baby Ever. Not.

Remember when I said that Gavin was the most laid back, easiest going baby ever?  Yeah.  Sooo.  Not so much.

He decided that he wasn't a bottle baby a while ago...actually, he decided that he wouldn't take a bottle on the day that I was out for 8 hours on a girls-day-out wine tasting event.  He grudgingly took a couple ounces the entire time.  Since then he has taken NO bottles.

To top that off, Bryan's magic Daddy Power doesn't work on him.  Both other boys could be magically lulled to sleep in his arms.  Not Gavin.  Oh no.  Tonight I left for 2 hours to go see Angelle's new baby boy (welcome to the world, Adam!), and when I came home, Bryan was ready for a shot of Tequila and Gavin was screaming in his crib. 

Now, there is a teensy bit of total elation knowing that I am the only one in the whole world that can make this baby boy happy (he will magically quiet down as soon as I hold him- literally.  It is kind of funny)...but at the same time, um, hello?  I have to leave him behind sometimes!  Not to mention, Bryan feels totally inadequate watching him.

I liken it to when I had to leave my 4th grade class when I went on maternity leave for Ian.  They were my best class ever.  But they almost *ALMOST* ran the sub off.  I actually had to come in, on my leave, to yell at them.  I feel like that.  He's a good kid, really.  He is just a holy terror, whiny mama's boy when I am not around.


The boys were super cute as my skeleton crew on Halloween.  We were still in NY and the plan was to go out trick-or-treating, then load the car and the kids and head for NC.

Ian was WAY excited to go out.  I think this is the first year that he was more excited than I was to beg for candy.  Chase didn't care that much, except I think he liked the skeleton costume.  He was especially interested in wearing the gloves, for intervals of 3 seconds.

The best part of trick-or-treating (except reveling in the knowledge that my skeletons were the cutest in the whole upstate NY area) was that we went to my old house.  After we told the owner that we built her house, she invited us in for a tour.  It was really really neat to see the house (I lived there from 2-12 years old) and to see how it has changed.  Her little girl has my old room :)  We also stopped in at all the old neighbors' houses (no one we knew is left).  You know, even though I haven't lived there in 17 years *holy crap* it still feels like home.  

On a related note, I think it should be socially appropriate to knock on people's doors and ask for a tour.  Even if you haven't lived there before.  Because seeing other people's houses is fun.

The funniest event of the evening was when I pointed a skeleton sitting in a van out to Ian.  As soon as Ian looked over, the guy (probably a dad waiting on his kids) wearing the skeleton mask turned abruptly and stared at him...and then Ian shrieked and jumped about 5 steps ahead of us.  Total high-pitched-screamed-like-a-little-girl shriek.  SO funny.