- October was a month of soccer and Halloween preparations and pretty weather. I finally gave in and started my Halloween village this year. Oh, it's so freaking cool, especially the pirate ship (and there are more pirate ships from what I understand). Donations accepted for future acquisitions!
- We finally sent in our taxes for 2005 this month after filing our first ever extension. Now I can't even remember why we filed for the extension in the first place, but let me tell you that we will never do it again. I hated having that hanging over our heads for 6 extra months! It's bad enough as it is.
- We began our search for a vacation house this month. We made an appointment with a realtor that a friend of a friend has worked with in the past. We brought the kids with us for our first house hunt and they were SO good. When Ryan saw that I had a notebook to jot notes down on, he insisted that I share. He walked around each home, making "notes" and comments. ("Well, it sure looks like they need to fix this railing. Someone might fall off!", referring to an 18 inch drop onto a flat backyard. Yes, the owners were there to hear that!) We left Blue Ridge that day feeling really good about our decision to start up this project--100% confidence, no doubts. I'm happy to say that we still feel the same way.
- We threw our annual Halloween party for our friends and their kids--8 adults, 9 kids. Everyone really got into it this year--I was inspired at the last minute to dress as Minerva McGonagall and Brendan did an awesome job of looking like Jack White of White Stripes fame. (Morgan can sing the lyrics of many White Stripes songs and "Apple Blossom" has been her going-to-sleep song for months.) Our other grown up friends dressed up, too, and I have to say that I think we'll make that part of the tradition from now on. Why should the kids have all the fun?
- On November 4th, we participated in the First Annual Atlanta Moving Toward A Cure fundraising walk for food allergies. We were happy to be joined by Tim and Pat for the occasion. It was unseasonably cold that morning (high 30s to low 40s) and we had to walk about a mile in order to get to Piedmont Park. So we were warmed up by the time we got there! Ryan ended up in the stroller for the "walk" and Brendan carried Morgan the whole way. We bought Ryan a special sign with his name on it and he was excited to see his sign along the walk route. Our goal was $500 and I'm proud to say that we raised $1200! The final total for Atlanta was around $65K (goal of $50K). I know that most of the money raised went to support FAAN and also to the Duke University study which is searching for a viable treatment for peanut allergies. We are thrilled to have been a part of this cause, although Ryan was a bit confused. He knew we were raising $$ so the doctors could find a way to fix his allergy. I guess he thought they already had because he asked us after the walk "So is my peanut allergy gone now? We gave some money to the doctors!" So there was some 'splaining to do. I think we came to an understanding.
- This month, I took the MLM plunge with two open houses, one for each of my businesses. First, I was part of a larger fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association in my Discovery Toys Consultant capacity. Then I worked a 2-day open house in Tucker (waaayy the hell across Atlanta from my house) as a Simply Fun Games PeopleGuy. While I didn't make quite as much $$ as I thought I would, it sure was fun to be out of the house, playing with fun games and toys, and I figured out some strategies to make these experiences more profitable in the future. As a business-style person, working these businesses has been very interesting and I've learned much. It's different from anything I've ever done.
- After a couple more trips up to Blue Ridge, we decided to make an offer on a house (details forthcoming--check back on January 10 or 11!). All I can say is, what a birthday present (the offer was accepted on my birthday!).
- We had planned to have a nice Thanksgiving at the home of a good friend, featuring actual cooking by lil ole me, but Morgan had other plans to the tune of a 103 plus fever. So I ended up making a small Thanksgiving dinner for just us, with most of the trimmings, while still being able to help our friends out (I had been in charge of the turkey, of all things). Poor Morgan has had quite a fall cold season, with (seeming) one cold on top of another and 2 ear infections, too. Nobody else caught the Thanksgiving bug, and that fact, plus the nature of her illness makes me think it was a Baby Thing. We wouldn't understand.
- We kicked off the holiday season by watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Very popular. Lather, rinse, repeat 792 times (still counting, actually).
- I began the month with 2 more shows, one for Toys and one for Games. Figured out that going for the big shows right before the holidays is time better spent! Now I'm not interested in strong-arming others to join (for that is an important part of how people make big $$ in MLM businesses) but I might actually have do some recruiting for Simply Fun, because driving an hour+ across Atlanta for shows is very time consuming. Any takers? ;o)
- Morgan encountered Santa for the 2nd, and I think, final time. Ryan informed his friend next door that Santa was dead. I guess we're off Santa, eh? I was never much into the holding Santa/Christmas over people's heads to get them to behave thing anyway.
- And just in case we weren't completely serious about this whole potty-training thing, Ryan tested out the limits yet again which did not bode well for our upcoming travels. Fortunately, it was a short-term test. Only another year before we go through it all again with Morgan! Here's hoping that the Girls-Are-Easier-To-Train theory is true.
- I did very well in preparing for Christmas, getting all but just a few gifts purchased and sent before the 10th. Very stress-free, I highly recommend it. We had many opportunities for holiday celebrations and gift openings as recounted here, complete with pictures. On New Year's Eve, Ryan, Brendan, our neighbor and their 4 yo son celebrated by lighting sparklers in our driveway, despite the rain. Playing with fire, always fun.
Das ist alles. Whew!