Sunday, October 31, 2010


Up and down the streets of our subdivision, neighbors sat on their covered porches, front stoops and driveways, transforming the most spine-chilling night of the year into a pleasant aura of sugary Southern hospitality.

Portable fire pits blazed, illuminating the night sky.

The distinct piano tones of the Halloween melody softly pervaded the cool air.

Dozens of families with small children, and groups of tweens and teens lined the streets, asking for candy from folks who welcomed the costumed youngsters to grab from bowls full of delectable treats.

It was an evening well worth every stressful minute of working the past Friday and Saturday nights to have off this one special Sunday.

Oct. 31 in the Chaney Woods subdivision was a night that exceeded our expectations. We couldn't believe how many kids were out.

Jacob's first official trick-or-treat experience, and our first as homeowners, will go down in Karlin Clan history as one that will be difficult to top.

Perfect weather.
Perfect costumes.
Perfect candy.
Perfect neighborhood.
Perfect memories.

Little lion and his flower

For the final time this year, we donned Jacob in his lion costume - the one that drives women wild and even brings the toughest men to utter the words "ain't that cute."

We wrapped a cloth flower around Dolly's neck, rolled out the wagon and hit the pavement at 5:45 p.m.

We were early. We caught the first few homeowners a little off guard, but we didn't want Jacob to stay out late, and we wanted to get home in time to catch a few trick-or-treaters.

Not long after, as the Titans wrapped up their fifth consecutive loss to the Chargers, people began unfolding their camping chairs and preparing themselves for the frightful evening to commence.

Jacob's costume was a hit, of course, especially when he would growl after we asked him what a lion says, but we think Dolly actually received more compliments. Many kids wanted to pet her, and two police officers patrolling the area stopped to ask what kind of dog she was. We thought they were going to say something about her being part pit bull, but they just wanted to pet her.

The first homeowner we approached let Jacob pick from an assortment of candy. He grabbed Skittles. The man asked if he wanted another piece. He grabbed another bag of Skittles.

Noticing his redundancy in selection, the man asked Jacob if he wanted to grab one more piece. I told Jacob we have a big bag of Skittles at home and tried to guide his hand toward a mini Reese's or Kit Kat.

Just as I thought he was reaching for one of them, his hand followed his eyes right back to the bright red bag of Skittles.

The man gave him the Kit Kat, anyway.

About an hour later, we went home to try to catch the last leg of trick-or-treaters. We followed neighborhood suit and sat on our porch. Jacob, jacked up on sugar, had a blast running back and forth across the porch. He thought it was hilarious running into our fake webbing - until he got tangled up.

Jacob collected enough candy to fill his Elmo bucket to the top.

And not one of those pieces was of those crappy peanut butter kisses.

I love our neighborhood.

Pre-Halloween festivities

We made sure to get our money's worth out of Jacob's costume. By Halloween, Jacob had trick-or-treated three times: twice at the zoo and once at The Avenue, an outdoor shopping center in Murfreesboro.

Ghouls at the Zoo was an after-hours event where parents could take their kids for a safe night of trick-or-treating, go on a hay ride, ride the carousel, play games and see spooky shows.

Here are some pictures from those events:

Trick-or-treating at the zoo

Jacob coloring a lollipop ghost

"Check out my mad colorin' skillz"

Cleaning up the pumpkins at the zoo

Trying to pick up a pumpkin bigger than him

Getting candy at the zoo

Daycare Halloween party

Erin and Jacob with our Clarksville friend, Bri, and her son, Waylon, at the zoo

Riding the deer on the merry-go-round

Our haunted house

What's "Memo" doing in the "nah-nah"?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

18-month checkup

The weight-gain woes continue.

It's been no secret Jacob is petite, as he's drifted along the bottom of the growth chart his entire life. But after stuffing his face full of high-protein foods for the past couple months, his weight continues to hover around 20 pounds.

Our pediatricians, both former and current, said they typically don't fret over a child's impeded growth as long as it remains consistent with the child's percentile.

However, at his 18-month checkup last week, our new pediatrician, Dr. Bottoms, said his growth was beginning to plateau.

She said if he doesn't show progress in a couple months, he'll need to be screened for Coeliac disease - a condition that disrupts the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, resulting in a child's failure to thrive.

My heart sank when I heard this. I just stared at Jacob sitting obliviously in Erin's lap, playing with whatever he could get his little hands on. I tried to combat a heap of negative thoughts infiltrating my mind with positive explanations.

Dear God, let it not be true. Is this our fault? How could we let this happen? Why have we been letting this go on for so long? What will this mean long-term?

He's fine. He eats. He eats plenty. He just had a bad week; He's getting over a nasty bug. He's constantly moving; He burns a lot of calories. He's fine.

One good thing going for Jacob, when asked by the doctor, is he's a good pooper. Diarrhea is a symptom of Coeliac disease; Jacob's had none. His lungs and heart also are in tip-top shape.

Regardless of what happens at his next appointment, we're pleased our new doctor is showing concern over Jacob's weight struggles, rather than telling us he's just petite.

So now we're trying to fatten him up - again - at a time when Erin and I are trying to trim down. We've been ordered to feed him healthy fats, such as avocado, butter, and the mother of all healthy fatteners, Pediasure.

At 240 calories a bottle, this love-handle-inducing drink is advertised as a sure bet your toddler will lose further sight of his feet every time he steps on the scale. Jacob can down an entire bottle in one sitting, and still have room for dinner.

Erin had to drink Pediasure when she was a child, so it could hereditary. Our day-care provider also tries to ease our worries by telling us her two children were petite just like Jacob, and now they're average size. Every child grows physically, emotionally and cognitively at his or her own pace.

That being said we're certain he'll be OK. Just because he's not morbidly obese, which seems to be the encouraged norm for today's children, doesn't mean there's something wrong with him. We'll find out in a couple months. For now, think heavy thoughts.

Girth aside, Jacob has grown upward 2 inches since his last checkup - a sign that maybe, in a family of many vertically-challenged people, he inherited his uncle's gangly genes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The next Rembrandt

Jacob finally brought home his first piece of artwork from day care. Ms. Barbara transformed his little pale feet into little orange ghosts. When Erin picked him up at the end of the day, she said he was so excited to show her his painting. Barbara told Jacob to go to his cubby and show his mommy what he made. Understanding every word, Jacob went straight to his cubby and pulled out his picture.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Patchin' Boy

Jacob has been to the pumpkin patch 3 times in the past month. He loves pumpkins aka Nanana's. We are looking forward to taking Jacob trick or treating for the first time next Sunday. Pics to come soon of Jacob in his Scary halloween costume. LOL

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Words Wednesday!

So I am going to update you with his words on a Wed. just this one time because I won't have time to do it tomorrow due to parent/teacher conferences. Also, I probably won't have a lot of time to update next week because Jacob and I are flying to Dallas on Saturday and will stay a week to spend time with my family and friends.

Anyway, New Words in the past month

1. dada
2. mama
3. ball
4. bear
5. elmo
6. more
7. hi
8. bye bye
9. car
10. here
11. All done (still working on consonants)
12. Night Night (still working on consonants)
13. He can roar like a lion.. its too cute!
New Words
14. Juice
15. Cheese
16. CiCi's... i dont know why but he says it
17. Zoo
18. Tickle (loves to tickle Dolly)
19. Head
20. Ear
21. Mouth
22. I am trying to teach him Trick or Treat.. but it comes out Too Tee (he's trying)
23. He can Moo like a cow
24. He can make a car sound when playing with cars and when asked to make a car sound

More to come in November! Can't believe Jacob will be in 1 1/2 yrs on Sun. Crazy!