Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Dressed up for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a very special holiday in the US, and it is the busiest travel period of the year, as people travel long distances to be with friends and family. This year we cooked dishes to share and got dressed up and traveled almost a full tenth of a mile down the road to Caitlin and Jamie's house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a wonderful gathering, with eighteen of us around the table, including Eliza and Oliver, their older cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents. Although Ollie joined us at the table, he didn't actually eat (of course). But after dinner, Meghan's cousin David treated him to some piano playing, and Ollie loved that.
Thanksgiving 2009

Oliver and Davd on the piano Ollie, Meghan, David on the piano

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Waterfalls and fall colors

As the bumper sticker says, "Ithaca is Gorges", and that's especially true in the fall. For a brief period of time the leaves are a spectacular mix of green and red and gold, the waterfalls are gushing, and the sunsets light up the evening in flaming colors. This year we managed to get out on a few local walks, and in spite of the unseasonable early snowfall, we enjoyed some lovely fall weather. Below, a handful of pictures from around Beebe Lake, Ithaca Falls, Taughannock Falls, and Stewart Park.

Fall colors, Beebe Lake By Ithaca Falls

Ithaca falls with Meghan and Oliver
Ithaca Falls with Shami and Oliver

Fall colors, Stewart Park In Stewart Park

Late fall at Taughannock falls Maple leaves in the fall

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009

Last year Oliver was a (very cute!) pirate for Halloween, but it was a pretty quiet day for us since it isn't a big thing Down Under. But this year, in the US and with lots of cousins around, it was a much bigger event. Although we are patching Ollie's right eye even more now than a year ago (6 hours a day), I thought he should dress up as something different for Halloween. I thought about it, and finally had an idea. I found some red fleece pajamas in a box of hand-me-downs, and I bought some blue socks for his feet and hands. My mom helped to sew a fox snout and ears onto a red fleece hat we had, and made a red tail to match. Voila, the cutest Fox in Socks ever! (For those of you not familiar with Fox in Socks, he is a character from one of Oliver's favorite books by Dr. Seuss.)

Fox in Socks with a smile Fox in Socks

I am not sure how much of the concept of Halloween Oliver grasped, but we had fun talking about it beforehand. I told him how children dress up in different costumes, and that he was going to be Fox in Socks. I explained how they go out and knock on neighbors doors and say "Trick or Treat" to get yummy candy that they like to eat. When I would ask him what he was going to be: a pirate? an elephant? a robot? he would shake his head No No No... until I asked, Fox in Socks? and then he'd give a big grin!

Halloween 2009
So in the evening I suited Ollie up (he didn't fuss too much, luckily!) and we went out Trick or Treating on our street with some of his cousins. I recorded "Trick or Treat" onto one of his talking buttons, so that he could say it himself. Some of the neighbors who are not familiar with Oliver's cerebral palsy probably thought it was weird, but I guess I have to get used to that, or at least try not let it bother me so much. It was both a fun and sad time for me, watching the kids running, playing, talking and collecting candy. I wished things were different for us, and especially missed Shami, who was away for the week at a meeting in England. But I did my best to put on a happy face, and I think Ollie had a fun experience. And he was an awfully cute Fox in Socks!

In the photo: Jeanine, Eliza, Sean, Devon, and Kieran in the back. Caitlin, Shannon, Oliver, and Mariah in front.