Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ghosts and Goblins Make Me Mushy

Growing up, I lived in a household and a neighborhood that loved Halloween. I’m talking about graveyards set up in front yards, fog machines, parties, decorations, and candy galore. I didn’t realize until I moved away that that kind of stuff is not the norm. I didn’t realize that not everyone’s parents dressed in costumes, not everyone had 100 trick or treaters come to the door, and not everyone went “all out” for the occasion.

When my husband was first introduced to our Halloween festivities he thought we were crazy. He came from a house where you decorated for fall (not necessarily Halloween) with indian corn and mums. We decorated with skulls and fake blood -to each their own I guess. Now as a grown up myself (umm...when did that happen?) I find myself teetering in between the two worlds. We have mums on our doorstep and our house is not decorated like crazy (in my opinion). Although my husband recently said, “I’ve never seen so many Halloween decorations.” Of course, I had just been thinking maybe we need more so maybe I am crazy (like my mom), after all.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that they don’t like Halloween which is fine. Not everyone has to love everything and to be honest I wouldn’t say that I LOVE Halloween. What I love are the memories that I have of it. The memories of happy times with my mom who is no longer here to celebrate. So when you’re schlepping your kid from party to party, or parade to parade, or house to house, keep in mind that these might just be the times that your child looks back on and remembers fondly. These could be some of the times that mattered the most to them when you’re gone.
Happy Halloween from my crew to yours!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Isabelle!

Five years ago today, we welcomed our beautiful little chatter box to the world. Happy 5th Birthday, Isabelle!

One day old

Eight Months Old

19 Months Old

3 years old

4 years old

October 2012 - Holding her "Favorite Things" poster for school

Friday, October 26, 2012

TLC's The Cake Boss Home For the Holidays (Ticket Giveaway!)

**Contest Closed: Congratulations to Kim H!**

Are you a fan of the Cake Boss? Well get excited because I’ve got some news for you….

Buddy is coming to town!

Buddy’s live show is an evening of cakes, stories, and fun. In this rare live, interactive event, TLC’s Cake Boss will share the stories behind his hit series and his colorful Italian family, answer audience questions, and give a live demonstration of the techniques that have made him one of the most successful and renowned cake artists in the nation.
Buddy will even invite a few audience members on stage to join in. Don’t miss this chance to see The Cake Boss live and in-person!
What’s event better than that? One lucky Dollops reader is going to win a family four pack to the 7:30pm show on Friday, November 23, 2012 in Lowell, MA!! So when you’ve woken up from your turkey coma and finished battling the Black Friday crowds, you can head on over to see Buddy. How cool!

If you HAVE to be at the show and don’t want to risk not winning the tickets then enter the password BOSS when purchasing your tickets for $5 OFF! Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 978-454-2299, or in person at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium Box Office.

How to enter….

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a Blog Post Comment telling me who you’d take to the show with you.

Additional Entries (Leave a separate blog comment for each that you do):

Like Dollops of Diane on Facebook
Follow Dollops of Diane on Twitter (leave your Twitter handle in the comment)
Follow Dollops of Diane on Pinterest

Please note: Winner must be able to attend the show on 11/23 (day after Thanksgiving) in Lowell, MA. This is an all ages show. Winner will be randomly chosen at 8pm EST on 11/4/12. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Scratched Cornea

Yesterday, when I picked up Isabelle at school she ran over to the fence crying and said she had got something in her eye. I looked at it and didn’t see anything so I figured it was no big deal. Surprisingly though she wanted to leave right away which is unusual since we’re always the last ones on the playground and I’m dragging them out. So I knew her eye must have been really bothering her. We went home, I put some drops in it, it seemed better. Then right before we headed off to the Healthy Kids Summit she started crying that it hurt again. It’s just so hard to tell with a four year old when it’s a big deal and when it’s just drama. I honestly knew that there was something wrong with it but just how wrong?

She said she was feeling up to go so we went to the event anyway. She ended up holding a tissue over her eye the entire time even while running the obstacle course and kicking field goals! The poor kid didn’t complain but looked so pathetic with her little tissue eye.

I was hoping that a good night’s sleep would solve all of our problems but when she woke up this morning it was still red, a bit swollen, and bothering her so we headed to the doctor. After some drops and some funky black light action, they confirmed that she did indeed have a scratch of her cornea. So she’s now getting antibiotic eye ointment a few times a day and rocking an eye patch. On the plus side, if you are forced to wear an eye patch is there really any cooler time to do it than around Halloween?

"Argh Matey!"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Healthy Kids Summit at Gilette Stadium

Today the kids and I had the opportunity to attend Stop and Shop's Healthy Kids Summit at Gilette Stadium. The event is designed to inspire parents and children about the importance of nutrition, exercise, and a balanced lifestyle. Let me just say, it was AWESOME. Stop and Shop partnered with the Hockomock Area YMCA to share advice, suggestions, and perspective on how we can come together to keep kids healthy. It was fun, informative, and at an amazing location. After listening to a panel of experts, including the Patriot's own Patrick Chung, we were allowed ON THE FIELD. They had an obstacle course set up for the kids, a game of tag, and the kids could practice their field goal kicks. Atfer some exercise outside, they then brought us inside to enjoy some healthy snacks and a mini health fair. It was a great time for all of us! Thank you, Stop and Shop!!

They're going to let us on the field?!
Just hanging out on the field!
Our football player in the making
Isabelle perfecting her field goal kick
Daniel and his bud Patrick Chung
I'm not gonna lie, it felt pretty cool standing here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Have You Been Boo-ed?

Have you heard of the tradition of being Boo-ed (or also called Ghosted)? I hadn’t heard of it until last year but it’s a fun way to get in the Halloween spirit by leaving little treats for a neighbor. You make up a treat for a neighbor, wait until dark, leave it on their doorstep, ring the doorbell, and then RUN! Our house was Boo-ed last night so it was our turn to Boo two people in return.

The kids were so excited today to head to the store and pick out little treats to leave for their friends. We then printed out the Boo-ed instructions and a ghost for them to color. We waited for dark and then big kids and I headed out on our mission. Traditionally, you would Boo a neighbor but we don’t have a lot of little kids in our neighborhood and the fact that we had been Boo-ed led me to believe that our neighbors with kids had been as well. So the kids and I decided to venture off our street and drive to two friends’ houses. Now since I was heading out to basically ding dong ditch with a 4 and 3 year old (who need to be re-buckled in their car seats before we can speed off in to the night) I may have told the children’s mothers that we might be stopping by and asked them to slowwwwllllyyyy walk to the door when they heard a doorbell. The kids didn’t know the difference either way and it was a big success.

The kids were just as excited (if not more) tonight to leave a treat for friends as they were to receive treats last night. It’s really a win/win scenario! If you haven’t been Boo-ed yet (or heard of it before) why not start it up in your neighborhood? I guarantee the kids will love it!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dead of Night Ghost Tours, Plymouth MA

Last night, a group of girlfriends and I headed out (kid free!!) for a night of spooky fun with the Dead of Night Ghost Tours in Plymouth, MA. We met up with our tour guide at the hearse (yes, hearse!), grabbed our lantern, and hit the streets of Plymouth for a ninety minute walking tour. Of course, it was the coldest night of the year so far so we were decked out in winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. Brrr! Now I’m not really in to the whole ghost thing. I don’t really not believe in it, I just don’t think too much of it at all. That being said, I really enjoyed the tour.

The tour guide gave us tons of information about the first Pilgrim settlers, traditions at the time, and other historical facts. We saw the first street in America, the location of the first fort, and where they now keep the bones of the Pilgrims that they had (accidentally) dug up while building a park. So even if paranormal activity isn’t your thing the tour is still really informative. The tour guide also had a knack for storytelling. After all, even if you didn’t believe that Hannah was haunting the graveyard. You still got to hear how she was cursed because she was kissing a boy who was engaged to another young woman. Who doesn’t love a good scandalous story like that?  My favorite fun fact of the night was that the two things the settlers were afraid of most were people who had been cursed and red heads. Smart people.

Of course, everyone’s top question when you go on a ghost tour is, “Did you see any ghosts??” My answer is no. Now that being said, there was a window shade in a building that moved that some people believed was the spirit who haunts the building. I tend to think it was a drafty window or a heater nearby. Whenever you’re dealing with anything like this it’s definitely open for interpretation so people are free to believe whatever they want. I liked that the guide wasn’t trying to convince anyone of anything. She simply told the stories, told things that had happened in the past, and left people to believe/see what they wanted. I personally did not find the tour scary at all. On the flip side, some people think it’s super-duper scary and creepy – again, it’s all open for interpretation.

So if you’re looking for something a little different to do, you should check out a tour. We did the Twilight Lantern Ghost Tour but they have a few different ones on their site that you can pick from. Make sure to reserve tickets in advance (have to actually pay in cash night of) since they do sell out. In addition to walking there is also a lot of stair climbing and walking on dark paths in the cemetery so make sure you only bring people with you who can handle that kind of activity (definitely not handicap friendly). 

If you do go let me know what you think!

Is that a street light behind me or a ghost? I'll let you decide.

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