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It’s the Small Things in Life: Living With Special Needs Siblings

We hear it all the time. It’s the small things in life that are important. And it’s true. I feel this even more as the mom to special needs children. Yes, I feel it for them, but more often lately, I feel it for my typical children.

When Even Small Things are Impossible

We recently had a situation where Apollo was excited for days about a friend riding the bus home with him and playing at our house. It is early release all week and he was looking forward to an afternoon of play. This is a normal enough scenario. Something like this is so exciting to a third grader and his friend.

Unfortunately, the night before his brother had a huge escalation, destroying (by hand) our piano, attempting to break a window, trashing the house. Apollo was scared by the escalation (as any 8-year-old would be). After things had calmed down, we watched a movie together (Chuck, myself, and the kids) and had ice cream. We try (in vain, I’m sure) to “overwrite” the memories of the bad times with good times. In this case, with a movie and ice cream.

The next morning I awoke to the aftermath of my son’s rage. It’s difficult enough for our other children to live through these scenarios without robbing them of the small things like a friend coming home to play. So once Apollo was off to school, I rushed around the house. I obviously couldn’t move a broken piano out of my house by myself, but I picked up the thrown books and papers, hauled the broken pieces outdoors, vacuumed and cleaned the playroom so Apollo could have a fun afternoon with his friend.

The Small Things In Life My Typical Kids Miss Out On

My typical kids miss out on so many of the small things in life. And those many small things add up to big things. Add up, in fact, to the whole of their childhood experience.

My kids will only invite a small number of trusted friends over to the house.

They hate answering questions about the extreme damage to our house. And even more the follow-up question, “why don’t your parents just get it fixed ?” 

They hate explaining to their friends why they have no doors on their bedrooms (because they have been broken, repeatedly).

Jubilee, in particular, hates answering curious questions about why her brother doesn’t attend school (I’ve told her just to say he’s homeschooling).

Other kids have had to ask to stay at a friend’s house, last minute when Chuck was working and I couldn’t leave in the middle of an escalation.

Yesterday I had to cancel Apollo’s student-led conference at, literally, the last minute because I couldn’t leave the house.

Most times Chuck and I have to take turns attending the kids’ events (band, games, etc) because of our son’s behaviors.

We no longer attend church as a family because we can’t.

Every evening, Monday-Friday is filled with ABA therapy either Chuck or myself needs to be present for.

Maintaining a Marriage with Special Needs Kids

If I’m honest, it’s hard not to resent Chuck sometimes, which really isn’t fair at all. He not only has to work so we can pay our bills, but he also has to work to afford the fancy health insurance that covers our son’s needs. (Don’t get me started on how the state has let us down.) But the reality is, Chuck isn’t always here when my son escalates. I am left making split-second decisions, on how to proceed, alone.

And then I feel guilty for feeling resentful, because imagine if I needed a job to financially support our children as well?

All I Ever Wanted Was the Small Things

All I ever wanted was to give my children a safe, secure, happy home. I want each one of my children to know they are valued and loved just for being them. I want them to know that they are an invaluable piece to this puzzle we call family.

We try out best to give the time and attention to our typical kids that they need and deserve, but the reality is, escalation trumps everything.

It’s no secret that some of my children struggle with anxiety and several are diagnosed with OCD. I have no doubt that the frequent escalations at home contribute to that. People tell me to be sure and take care of myself but I cannot.

I still have not met up with a friend I had plans with in April, and then again this summer, due to escalations both days. I planned to go to a knitting afternoon one mile from my house on Sunday, but couldn’t, due to an escalation in progress.  Knitting with friends on a Sunday afternoon is a small thing, but nothing in our house is too big or small to be disrupted by an escalation. I have no doubt that I need a therapist, but my schedule literally does not allow for it.

So there you have it. The small things in life all add up to the big things and often we are simply left to pick up the pieces.

The post It’s the Small Things in Life: Special Needs Siblings appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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Weighted Blanket Review: Mosaic Weighted Blanket, Huggaroo Weighted Blanket

Just a week after getting Apollo’s weighted blanket, I bought myself one as well. I deal with constant fatigue (according to the doctor I’m “fine”) and am the world’s lightest sleeper (is there an award for that?)

Using a weighted blanket is like being wrapped in a hug (for people who like hugs). Or like putting on soft, wool socks in the winter (for people like me).  It is very soothing and I cannot recommend a weighted blanket enough for anyone who struggles with sleep at all.

In our house, we have now tried out three different brands of weighted blankets and I am going to review each one seperately.

This post contains affiliate links.

Sonno Zona Weighted Blanket Review

I ordered the twin size for myself in August just a week after I purchased Apollo’s and I am in love. This is by far the best blanket I have ever owned.

Pros:

Wide selection of weights and sizes.

A wide variety of weights and sizes to choose from. I chose the 15-pound blanket. Its dimensions are 48×72 inches which makes it more or less twin sized.

Removable cover.

This adult sized weighed blanket comes with a removable cover. This is awesome because when your 8-year-old spills coffee on it and your cat bleeds on it (true story), you can simply remove the cover and wash it.

Washable blanket.

The blanket itself is washable, though I haven’t tried that yet.

Super-soft Minky fabric.

The Minky fabric is so soft. This adds an extra layer of coziness that helps me sleep at night.

Superior bead distribution.

The Sonno Zona weighted blanket has some type of batting in each square which prevents all of the beads from pooling at the bottom of the square. This is important for getting a uniform weight distribution while using the blanket.

Price

At $119 this blanket is well-priced in the weighted blanket market.

Cons:

Length.

I wish this blanket was just a couple of inches longer. I like to pull it up over my shoulders and feel the weight up by my neck. When I have it pulled up that high I have to be careful if I want to keep my feet covered (and keep in mind I’m short).

Some people have wondered if this blanket is too hot. It’s not for me. If I do get hot, I kick my feet out and that cools me off enough to be comfortable.

I give this adult sized weighted blanket a 5 out of 5 stars.  I really have no complaints about it and it is exactly what I wanted. In fact, I loved it so much I ordered a second, larger sized one, for Mordecai.

Mosaic Weighted Blanket Review

Mordecai has this 15-pound Mosaic weighted blanket. He likes it, but truthfully he likes mine better (and so do I) for a few specific reasons.

Pros:

The Mosaic weighted blanket offers tons of choices in colors, patterns, and sizes.

Cons:

Price. The biggest con to me about the Mosaic weighted blanket is the cost. Mordecai’s cost $199 vs my blanket (same size and weight) which was only $119. That is a significant price difference. I might be willing to pay an extra $80 if I thought the product was superior, but sadly, it isn’t.

No outer cover. The Mosaic blanket does not have an outer cover which means if you cat bleeds on it or your son spills coffee (or pees) you are stuck washing the entire blanket. According to the Mosaic website, the blankets up to 12 pounds can be machine washed but you must use a commercial washer for the larger sizes.

Poor Bead Distribution. 

This is my biggest complaint and the real dealbreaker here. It seems to me that the Mosaic weighted blanket has each square filled with beads and nothing else in the square (whereas the Huggaroo and Sonno Zona have some type of batting in with the beads). You can see this in the pictures above. This means that the beads tend to pool at the bottom of each square making them distributed unevenly. This definitely affects the coziness and feel of the blanket.

I am giving the Mosaic weighted blanket 2 out of 5 stars. It’s weighted, you can choose from multiple sizes, weights, and patterns but this is an inferior product to the much cheaper Sonna Zona weighted blanket I bought off of Amazon.

Huggaroo Weighted Blanket Review

This is the first weighted blanket I purchased. I bought it for Apollo hoping it would help him sleep better at night. Spoiler alert: it works, he loves it, and it helps him fall asleep and stay asleep.

Pros:

Washable Cover

The Huggaroo weighted blanket comes with a washable cover which to me is essential in a weighted blanket, especially for one you plan to use for a child.

Good distribution of beads.

This, I would say, is as important as having a washable cover. Without a good distribution of beads, the blanked loses much of its usefulness in applying pressure to the body. It is annoying at best and renders the blanket useless at worst.

Price.

I bought this for $89 off of Amazon. Yes, I realized $89 isn’t exactly pocket change, but this is a quality blanket and assuming you are buying this for a child who would benefit from a weighted blanket, it is well worth the price.

Cons:

I honestly haven’t come up with any cons for this blanket. I am 100% happy with it. When Apollo outgrows it, it will become a lap blanket for reading or watching movies.

I am giving the Huggaroo Weighted blanket 5 out of 5 stars. I have no complaints about this product.

For more information you may want to check out these links:

20 Benefits of Weighted Blanket Therapy

Choosing a Weighted Blanket Size

How to Pack a Sensory-Friendly Travel Bag

Bedtime Routine for Children with Anxiety

You Can’t Buy Sleep

The post Weighted Blanket Review: Mosaic, Sonna Zona, and Huggaroo appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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How to Host a Fun Office-Themed Party

Post contains affiliate links.

Yes, I know, The Office isn’t exactly appropriate for thirteen-year-olds. Or eight-year-olds. And some episodes aren’t even appropriate for 42-year-olds. Despite that, the kids and I spent the summer evenings from 7 to 8 pm watching The Office. Chuck was working a bazillion hours out of town and I was done by that time in the evening. After The Office came reading out loud to Apollo and (finally) bedtime. This “family bonding time” made Tucker’s choice of an Office-themed birthday party easy.

Warning: if you aren’t a fan (or at least familiar) with The Office, this party probably isn’t going to make a lot of sense to you.

We had a ton of fun brainstorming ideas for this easy and fun party. We bought this It Is Your Birthday sign off of Amazon. I was just going to buy the brown and gray balloons locally, but as it turns out, it is hard to find brown balloons (I never did find any), so I ended up wishing I had just gone ahead and bought this entire kit. We ended up making do with white balloons and guess what? Nobody cared.

As for other Office-themed party decorations, I used my light box for the Welcome to Scranton, PA sign. I first saw the lightbox on Tilly’s blog and knew I needed one of my own.

The Office-Themed Party Decorations

It Is Your Birthday Sign

Along with barely blown up balloons and crepe paper (from the episode when Dwight and Jim plan Kelly’s party).

Cardboard Vending Machine

So many jokes, conversations, and sometimes tears take place at the office vending machine. As it turns out there are tons of DIY vending machine ideas online. We weren’t worried about it functioning, we just wanted it to look like a vending machine. Hezekiah got a few ideas online and made this cool vending machine with a hot glue gun and cardboard. I covered it with duct table and we filled it with snack items. Inspired, Hezekiah went ahead and made a mini fridge as well.

Most of our other decorations revolved around food.

The Office-Themed Party Foods

I was able to go to this post on Live Journal and find The Office font and then print these labels myself.

Kevin’s Jar of M&M’s

Several episodes involve Kevin and his M&Ms.

Michael’s Homemade Potato Salad

In one episode Michael brings “homemade potato salad” to a formal event. And admits it was actually store bought.

Schrute Farm Beets

I just bought canned beets and served them.

Big Tuna

Tucker didn’t exactly want tuna at his birthday party so we used Swedish Fish.

Nard Dogs

The main dish: hot dogs.

Jims

Instead of nerds. In one episode Dwight is eating nerds but says they are “Jims”

Scott’s (Tater) Tots

I think this is self-explanatory.

No Office-themed party would be complete without a stapler in jello and a Happy B-day cake with a single chicklet and the birthday boy’s name spelled wrong.

Apollo was brave (crazy?) enough to climb up on our basketball hoop and hang out there while Tucker and his friends shot hoops. 

We had an obstacle course the boys had to go through with a coffee cup full of water.

A few of my kids have these Dunder Mifflin t-shirts which are, shockingly, only $9.99 on Amazon!

We bought Tucker this Schrute Farms hoodie which was on his birthday list. All in all, it was a fun party for everyone.

And just in case you missed it, here is Apollo dressed up as Dwight Schrute (more photos here).

For more themed parties click here.

The post The Office Themed Party: Tucker’s 13th Birthday appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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I Have Some SICK Superpowers…And I Bet You Do Too

I don’t want to brag or anything, but I have some pretty sick superpowers. And by sick, I mean Supernatural Individual and Critical Knowlege.

SICK.

For instance, just this morning I spotted a cluster of green grapes on the steps as I headed up for my morning coffee. Spotting them at all was a feat in and of itself since the steps are so dirty (who’s job is it to vacuum them anyway?) it’s hard to see anything. But see them I did. I got my coffee, headed downstairs and asked The Parent Who Is Not Me if he noticed the grapes on the steps. True crime buff that I am, I was trying to narrow down the window of time in which the fruit was forsaken on the steps.

“Yes” answered The Parent Who Isn’t Me.

“And you didn’t pick them up?” I asked.

“I wanted to remember to talk to you about it,” said The Parent Who Isn’t Me.

“Um…seriously?” I said. Not really asking but casting a look of Scornful Skepticism.

“Well, when I first went up it was dark and I thought it might be poop,” said The Parent Who Isn’t Me.

Because, apparently, it would be perfectly reasonable to leave poop on the steps (or, you know, grapes) so he would “remember” to talk to me about it.

Which brings me to the Dishcloth Incident earlier this week. I was in the kitchen. Cleaning the kitchen. As moms do. The Parent Who Isn’t Me walked past, casually, and tossed a wet dishcloth kitchen floor.

“Umm…why did you just throw that on the floor?”

“Because that’s where I got it from”.

“So…why did you put it back there?”

“Because I thought that’s where we stored used dishcloths” responded The Parent Who Isn’t Me.

[And while I know those two instances make The Parent Who Isn’t Me terrible and lazy. I assure you, he is neither. But he does sometimes like to play dumb pretend that he’s one of the kids. And here is where I should probably mention that yesterday morning he sat down and played a three hour game of Risk with the boys. So see? He is actually pretty awesome most of the time.]

I also happen to be the only person in this house who understands the fundamental difference between wet and dry. This superpower is imperative when emptying out the dryer. Certain teen girls seem to struggle with this more when they have a specific item of clothing that they have to wear. Right now.

I am also the only person in my who can see empty shampoo bottles (as evidenced in our shower), clutter, Any and Every Lost Object. I am also the only person who knows how to put fresh toilet paper on that tricky toilet paper holder and I am most certainly the only parent who can sign a permission slip (at least my kids think so. I’m pretty sure not a single child has ever as The Parent Who Isn’t Me to sign a paper for school).

How about you? Do you have any SICK Superpowers that no one else in your house possesses? 

The post I Have Some SICK Superpowers…And I Bet You Do Too appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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This is the second year in a row we have met up with our homeschool friends for a little bit of spooky fun. Yes, I still hate Halloween, but that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to a bit of innocent fun. Last year we had a great science-themed party, with different science activities. Apollo’s favorite? Dissecting a lamb heart.

My friend, Kym, on the other hand, loves Halloween. The kids? They love snacks, and fun, and generally just hanging out.

Kym outdid herself (in true Little Earthling style) with the spooky snacks. The kids were simultaneously grossed out and thrilled with the offerings. This table was pretty much empty by the time we left.

Kym had all kinds of fun activities out for the kids.

This party actually took place a few weeks ago when Apollo had a Friday off of school. We are trying to still meet up with our homeschool friends regularly even though Apollo is back in our local public school.

As for yesterday, the day after Halloween, Apollo woke up fresh from a good night’s sleep and having consumed no candy the night before.

You are welcome, public school teachers everywhere. I’m doing my part to keep November 1st calm and peaceful.

The post 2018 Halloween Party with Homeschool Friends appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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When I was a six or seven I had a pair of Wonder Woman Underroos (does anyone else remember Underoos?) They were the best ever! I loved those things and would have worn them every day if I could have (Mom, why didn’t you buy me SEVEN pairs?)

Underoos Underwear 1978 Commercial - YouTube

As I’ve said before, I’m no fan of Halloween and we really don’t celebrate in our house but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to dress up and have fun….especially when photos are involved. Kalina decided to transform herself into Wonder Woman this year and I couldn’t have been more thrilled with her choice.

Kalina, like Diana Prince, AKA Wonder Woman, is tough as nails, full of compassionate and empathy and truly wants to make a difference in the world. She was diagnosed with hearing loss at age twelve, but that is honestly one of her smaller battles. I am so proud of this young woman who takes what life throws at her and continues to find joy in the small things.

“Now I know, that only love can truly save the world. So I stay, I fight, and I give, for the world I know can be.”

“I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.”

“We have a saying, my people. Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you’ve first extended it.”

“Please take my hand. I give it to you as a gesture of friendship and love, and of faith freely given. I give you my hand and welcome you into my dream.”

“I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind; but then I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learnt that inside every one of them there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves—something no hero will ever defeat.”

The post Kalina: A Real World Wonder Woman appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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Tilly and Jared shared some great news on Instagram recently. Chuck and I have another kiwi grandchild on the way! We absolutely could not be any happier. Tilly and Jared celebrated their one-year anniversary in August and are thrilled with so excited to start their family.

It looks like I will be headed back to New Zealand in June! I have already started knitting a teeny-tiny baby vest (out of baby alpaca wool) for this new little one. Lucky for me, this baby will be born during winter in New Zealand and will need some sweaters to keep him or her warm. Then I will need to move on to knitting a couple of larger vests for Percy. Adalia says she uses them all the time for him on chilly days.

Here is Apollo in my favorite vest. Unfortunately, a child stuck this vest in the washer. And the dryer. And it became a teeny-tiny felted doll vest.

Speaking of cute babies wearing vests (because that is what we were doing, right?) here is Percy in a vest I knit him before he was born. Adalia says she uses these vests daily during the chilly winter months. It’s so fun to see because this is exactly how we kept Apollo warm when he was a baby and toddler.

Judah circa 2008

Judah was here to visit this weekend. He is currently in the Washington State Patrol Academy and enjoying it thoroughly. I remember our early days of Driver’s Ed and white-knuckling it through drives with him. It is a bit surreal then, to imagine him being taught how to drive in high-speed chases down the freeway. Or how to defend himself with his bare hands. Or a gun. As part of his training he will get tased and sprayed in the face with pepper spray…for a kid who used to be terrified to get water splashed in his face, he’s come a long way.

The post Someone Special is Arriving in June 2019… appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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DIY Dwight Schrute Costume: Assistant Regional Manager

I have a confession to make. And it isn’t pretty. My children have watched The Office. Almost every single episode. It all started when I was home sick one day and Netflix suggested I watch The Office. I watched the first episode. It was okay. Then I watched the second episode which was about Diversity Day. I laughed my sick-little-head off.

You have to understand, we live in Bellingham which is pretty much the Portlandia of Washington. I knew my kids would appreciate the humor and be horrified by Michael Scott’s unknowing ignorance. They were hooked and soon it was our nightly ritual to watch two episodes of The Office (which are thankfully only about 20 minutes each), then I would read to Apollo, then bedtime.

It was fun, it was Family Bonding Time, it was a way to laugh after a long day. We did skip a few episodes that were crossing the line….but for the most part, we’ve watched the show. And BTW, the penultimate episode with Dwight’s proposal to Angela is my all-time favorite episode.

Now that I have my confession out of the way, I present to you, Assistant Regional Manager.

This easy-to-assemble costume was put together solely by shopping on Amazon. You can see the itmes below. We actually already owned the glasses from Hezekiah’s Napoleon Dynamite party last year.

Post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For more ideas check out my post, Last Minute DIY Costumes from Pop Culture.

Have you ever watched the office? Who is your favorite character?

The post DIY Dwight Schrute Costume: Assistant Regional Manager appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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Let’s Be Honest: Why I Quit Sharing Photos of My House

Okay, friends, it’s time to get real. Those of you who are long-time readers may have noticed that I have cut back drastically on the number hanging out around the house, photos I share here. For those of you who are newer, a quick perusal of my archives will show you that my photos used to be 90% of that variety.

There’s a reason I’ve shared a lot fewer of those types of photos in the last year or two, and it’s not because my kids are older and more camera-shy. It’s not because I’m worried about stalkers or Mark Zuckerberg somehow using the camera on my computer or phone to spy on us.

I am much more careful about sharing pictures of the inside of my home because of the ridiculous amount of damage done to it over the last couple of years and I am not talking about the wear and tear you would expect in our large family. Nope, I’m talking about serious damage done by our son with autism.

Our House Looks like the Aftermath of a Years-Long Frat Party

I am talking about windows with I HATE YOU etched in foot tall letters in our living room.

Holes that extend from the floor to ceiling.

Places where the sheetrock has been broken all the way through to the sheetrock on the other side.

A shattered sliding glass door.

It is difficult for me to take a photo in our house without the damage being seen in the background. And the foreground. And front and center.

For the first time in my life, I am embarrassed to have people in my house. There is no way to excuse away the level of damage. If you are wondering why we don’t just fix it. We have. Over and over. As our son gets older, he gets stronger, and the damage gets worse. It is like a massive game of Scavenger Hunt Meets Haunted House. Every day we find new areas that have been damaged and it is exhausting (and expensive).

My Son Doesn’t Go to School. At All.

Keep in mind, my son doesn’t go to school, at all. And no, I don’t homeschool him. So what, exactly, does he do all day? He is supposed to go to the autism center from 12-3 but has been refusing to go lately. I cannot leave him home alone and end up being held captive by his moods. On a good day, I can get him to the center and spent two hours driving (half an hour each way) for him to be there for three hours, then rush home for ABA home sessions at 4 PM. On a bad day, he stays home getting bored and restless, making ridiculous demands.

{The school is supposed to send out home tutors (per his IEP) for my son since anxiety makes it impossible for him to attend. Here we are, SEVEN WEEKS into the school year, and they have yet to send a tutor out.}

You Must Be Really Mad At Him

After describing a recent incident to a friend she said, “You must be really mad at him”. 

Mad at him? “No,” I told her, “I’m not mad at him because this isn’t his fault and he doesn’t have a choice”. These are not conscious decisions he is making. He is struggling just as much as we are. In fact, probably a whole lot more.

I love my son with all of my heart. Sixteen years ago we committed to being his parents having no idea how difficult this road would be to travel. We welcomed our son into our family with open arms and hearts. But nothing can undo the damage done to his brain prenatally. He was never given a fair chance at life. He isn’t a rebellious teen, he is a kid who struggles hard every single day of his life. A kid whose brain so far has not allowed him to have a fair shake at life. So we support him, fight to get him the services and therapy he needs and try to maintain some semblance of normal family life.

So there you have it, the truth. I am determined not to let the condition of my house stop me from posting photos in the future.

If you are new here check out these posts:

Living with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

When Church is Hard But Your Faith is Strong

The post Let’s Be Honest: Why I Quit Sharing Photos of My House appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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There is nothing like the change in weather from hot nights to cool, brisk, mornings to motivate me to get outside and enjoy the last bit of nice weather and sun before the infamous Pacific Northwest rain sets in for winter.

As you know, Chuck works a bajillion hours a week, two hours away, often six days a week. Last Saturday was a rare treat of nice weather and Chuck being home. We took full advantage and loaded up the kids, the dog, and a few friends to enjoy a fall hike.

We found a crazy number of blackberries still growing and feeding hungry hikers and, no doubt, the local wildlife.

I brought my camera along which inspired several budding photographers to bring there’s along as well. There is nothing quite as fun as sharing my passion for photography with my children.

Judah was home so I could take pictures of him in his WSP Cadet uniform and Apollo could not get enough of his big brother. Now that Apollo is eight, he has read many of the same books as Judah (Percy Jackson, Harry Potter) and the two were chatting away about them.

While I love the beauty of fall, the crisp, cool air, snuggling up in sweaters, heat from the woodstove, and lots of coffee, fall for me will always be haunted by the fact that winter is just around the corner. Winter and I are not friends. I don’t like being cold and it is very hard for me to force myself outside in the winter. I love our spot in the Pacific Northwest, but winter is a challenge for me. Endlessly gray skies and months of drizzling rain…

Thankfully, my kids love fall and the lighting is often magical.

Joyful Jubilee as we like to call her…especially when she gives me this look.

Something absolutely hilarious happened at the very end of our hike. Chuck spent most of the hiking fighting with Frodo who, despite wearing his harness, did not appreciate being on the short leash that Chuck brought (I usually use an extendable one). At one point Frodo was pulling and Chuck jerked the harness and one of the straps broke. This meant Chuck had to move the leash from the front of the harness to his actual collar. Chuck then held onto the handle at the top of the harness, keeping Frodo close.

Just as we reached the trailhead a couple passed by and we heard one of them say, “That’s a service dog”.

We looked at each other confused, wondering why they would think Frodo was a service dog. He wasn’t wearing a special vest and Chuck had been wrestling with him most of our walk, anyway. We got a good chuckle of it and then, someone said, “Wait, I bet they think Dad is blind.”

Sure enough, Chuck was wearing dark sunglasses and holding Frodo by the top of his harness, as if the dog were guiding him down the trail.

We ended up laughing all the way to the van after that. It made the fighting, almost worthwhile. To me, anyway. Chuck may not agree.

The post Fall Hiking at Lake Whatcom {Large Family Fun} appeared first on Little Earthling Blog.

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