Ana, on Harry Potter and Boys

Tonight Ana and I went on a much needed “big girls date.” We left Hadley and Sim at home and we went out for dinner and a movie. So we decided to go see the last Harry Potter movie at the Valley Cinema where we could enjoy some Pizza Schmizza while watching our favorite wizards on the big screen.

On a "big girl date" with Ana! Time for dinner and a movie!

We were right in the part of the movie (spoiler alert!!) when Harry is about to walk into the Forbidden Forest and offer himself up to Lord Voldemort. Hermione was giving Harry an appropriately tearful hug good-bye when Ana and I had the following conversation:

Ana: Why isn’t Ron going to give him a hug?

Carrie: Well, boys don’t really hug.

Ana: Wow. There is a lot I don’t know.

Carrie: You know lots of things.

Ana: I don’t know much about boys!

I Finished It

Well, I did it. I finished the last Harry Potter book. While I am still in a haze from reading the entire 759-page book in about 30 hours (stopping only to eat, sleep and take care of Ana) I am deeply mourning the fact that there will never be another Harry Potter book. Sure, I will continue to re-read the series, allowing myself to slip into the mystical world J.K. Rowling created. I will be able to share the books with my daughter and experience the wonder and magic with her. But still. This is the ending of an era, and for that reason I am saddened.

While you will find no spoilers here, I will admit that there were deaths. So very many deaths. But there was also life. For each feeling of sadness, despair, and anger there was also happiness, laughter, and love. I am still trying to process all I have read, but I welcome anyone who wants to discuss the books to email me or leave a comment. As a courtesy to those who have yet to finish, I urge you not to leave any information in the comments. But I will say this: Oh. My. God.

Avoiding the Internet

As the seventh and final Harry Potter release date quickly approaches, die hard fans such as myself have to do all they can to prevent the last book in the series from being ruined. Leaks and spoilers run rampant on the Internet, the news, and just about any media you come across. Wanting to actually enjoy the story the way J.K. Rowling intended, I plan to attend my local Barnes & Noble Midnight Magic party with my girlfriends then quickly haul ass home, lock myself in my house, and read the book cover to cover before anyone can ruin the story. So my isolation starts now. I am avoiding the Internet. I am ignoring the news. And I am using my husband as my own personal shield from the outside world. So things will be a little quiet over here for a bit as I do all I can to preserve the literal and figurative magic of the final book. I’ll be back, eyes glossed over I am sure, once I have finished my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Anyone leaving comments with spoilers will have their IP banned quicker than I can say “Azkaban!”

It Takes A Village

I was just watching a TiVoed segment from yesterdays Today show (I don’t normally record the Today Show but there was an interview with Daniel Radcliff about the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie that I wanted to watch) that mentioned how the majority of mothers are overstressed and therefore unhappy. Well I am pleased to report on this issue, I remain a minority. And it is in no small part due to the amazing people in my life.

I am a firm believer in the old adage that “it takes a village to raise a child.” While on day to day matters from diaper changes to middle of the night feedings, I may be the representing member of the village, the majority of the time I have help, or at the very least, support. I am surrounded by wonderful people who really step up to make my life what it is and I just want to take a moment to that them for all that they do.

Thank you to my best friend, Heather, who has been there for me going on 15 years. She is always there whether I need a coffee break, a trip to the zoo, or just some time to vent.

To my girlfriends, Megan, Kimberly, and Kerry “with a K,” who support me in my Harry Potter addiction and are willing to talk for hours on end theorizing about the series, critiquing the movies, or even discussing the merits of Sirius Black’s butt.

To Carole, Chelle, Jen, and the mothers in my playgroups who remind me that I am not alone in this and are always there with a lovely anecdote, some motherly advice or even just a friendly smile.

To Freedom, a friend and co-worker, who, asking for nothing in return, offered to babysit Ana yesterday so Simeon and I could watch the latest Harry Potter movie.

To Megs, who gets me out of the house, keeps me sane, and never fails to bring a smile to Ana’s face.

To my family who are always there when I need them, are willing to do anything for me in a moments notice, and who never fail to stop in for a welcomed visit.

To Simeon, who supports me in all that I do, loves me unconditionally, and allows me to have the perfect life that we have created together. For being the kind of husband who never forgets a birthday or anniversary, who always puts me first, and who never forgets to put his dirty clothes in the laundry. For being the kind of father who never misses one of Ana’s doctor appointments, who takes off from work early to watch a Baby & Me swim class, and who is always willing to let me “tag out.”

To my beautiful baby girl, Ana, who has changed my life in the most amazing way, who never fails to make me laugh, and is the first person who had actually caused me to cry tears of happiness.

I love you all and am so happy you are a part of my life, a part of my village. Thank you.

We Have a Title!!

As a lovely little Christmas present to her fans, J.K. Rowling has opened the door on her site and announced the title for the final Harry Potter book. As more information about the last book is revealed, I am both happy and sad because it means the book is almost complete. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to read HP7, see how the story comes together and have all my questions answered, but I am also very sad to see it all end. I guess for the time being, I will have to be happy knowing that one day I will get to share the completed series with Ana and teach her to love reading and using her imagination as much as her mama does.

Click “read more” to find out how to open the door and find out the title:

The Door is OPEN!

It has been a long time since the door was open on J.K. Rowling’s site, and even longer since I was able to actually participate. The last time it was open (back in March, I think) I missed it and I have been kicking myself over it ever since. So I try to check in on a fairly regular basis to see if things have changed. I just checked the other day and there was nothing. On a whim, I pulled up the site and realized the “Daily News” and “Diary” sections were both updated since I last checked. I got a little excited and clicked on the eraser just to see if anything had changed. Low and behold, IT HAD. The “Do Not Disturb” sign was gone!

So I clicked around and managed to figure things out. I did get a little stumped at one point, but there isn’t anything a little Googling and forum scouring can’t help. Finally I got in, and it did not disappoint. I will tell you there isn’t any news on the next (and sadly last!) book, but it is all fun regardless. Go on over and check it out. If you need any help, let me know. I love to share.

In the mean time, I will be waiting on the owl post…(hint, hint!)

My Wizard Scar Burns For You

Last night ROCKED. Simeon, Megan C, Aaron and I went to the Harry and the Potters concert and I have to say it was the most fun I have had in a looooong time. A bunch of us went last year but this concert was SO much better. I think the venue made a huge difference because it was outside on this nice patio area which really allowed for better acoustics and the weather was absolutely perfect.

Oh but the wonderfulness didn’t stop with the location. The bands that opened for HATP were AMAZING. First up there was this little girl (she could not have been more than 10 years old) that played guitar and sang some fabulous covers. Lots from the Garden State Soundtrack (which has never left the CD player in my car since we got it, if that tells you anything about how great it is). Up next was Draco and the Malfoys. Now I don’t want to betray my allegiance to HATP, but DATM were so freakin’ funny. I am totally kicking myself today for not buying their CD last night. I just may have to order it off their site. It was that funny. “I don’t want Weasley to eat his own turds/Don’t want Pansy Parkinson to let me get to third…If there’s one thing I want you to bring me for Christmas this year/It’s to make Harry Potter disappear.” Need I say more?

Oh but then it was time for the main act. And our boys did not disappoint. The place was rockin’! People were standing on the tables (hey, why are you looking at me?), singing at the top of their lungs and just having a great time. They had to cut the concert a little short because in Oregon minors aren’t allowed in bars after 9pm, but they closed with my new favorite song “Save Ginny Weasley from Dean Thomas.” You better believe I bought their newest CD and even a T-shirt. Megs bought their 7″ vinyl and had both Harrys sign it for her (and her 6th grade class). Aaron had them sign his “Voldemort Can’t Stop the Rock” shirt and Harry 4th Year wrote, “It’s never to loud to read.” Man, you gotta love those guys.

JKR’s Site Updated

I feel like a bad Harry Potter fan. I have to admit that I haven’t checked J.K. Rowling’s site as often as I should. To be honest, I was getting disappointed every time I checked and nothing was new. (But I still check the CBBC almost daily because they are full of fun, silly info about anything and everything HP) I know what you are gonna say, this just means that JKR is working on the book, but still.

But, BUT! today I was bored and on a whim I pulled up the site. Low and behold, things were different! Subtle differences, mind you, but differences nonetheless. There is new candy strewn across the desk. The butterfly is now orange instead of blue. The portkeys were all new; what was once a gum wrapper is now a pencil sharpener, the pen is now glasses, the hair band is an eraser, the tea cup is a hairbrush. Anyway, you get the point. I figure JKR was bored with the look and had Lightmaker update things a little.

Oh but they didn’t stop at the main page. They added more Easter eggs! I have found six new things (well only five of them give you scrapbook items, but I still consider the sixth one “found” then again maybe I just haven’t completed it yet?) bringing my scrapbook total up to 12. And let me tell you, the rewards are so cool. Lightmaker has gone and made the rewards zoomable (including the old rewards, so don’t forget to check those out again) so they are much, much easier to read. They haven’t managed to make JKR’s handwriting and more legible, but I think I can overlook that small detail. 😉 Let me know if you find any more. Or email/comment if you need a hint!

I want one.

I love babies. All of ’em. I don’t care. They are so adorable. And cuddly. And soft. And when they reach out their arms for you to pick them up every bone in my body aches with all the love. Oh and what is with that wonderful smell that just radiates out of the top of their heads? Ahhhhhhh. Perfection. And don’t even get me started on when they smile at you. How can you not just love a face like this?

Yeah, the Harry Potter glasses don’t hurt things either. Enjoy the rest of the cuteness from my weekend with Ally and Daemien here!

Harry Potter Halloween Party

In following with my obsession with Harry Potter, and being heavily encouraged by all of our friends,
Simeon and I threw our Second Annual Harry Potter Halloween Party. It was a smashing success! I decorated the house in typical Halloween fashion, allowed the only source of light to come from candles, and made recipes inspired by the books. We strongly encouraged our friends to put on their finest Wizarding Robes and join in the fun.

Simeon was Igor Karkaroff, the Head of Durmstrang AND a former Death Eater. And I was the clumsy Auror, Nymphadora Tonks, who is a member of the Order of the Phoenix and just happens to also be a metamorphmagus (can change her appearance at will).

Heather came as Madam Rosmerta, the barmaid at the Three Broomsticks. She brought her adorable little pumpkin Emery with her as well. But don’t worry Emery, you won’t be used to make any Pumpkin Juice!

Megan and Jason came dressed as Ron and Hermione. Quite the perfect fit if you ask me! And what a cute couple they made at that!

Megan dressed as the drunken house elf, Winky, while Nick chose to be the sock-obsessed house elf Dobby.

Phil and Chelle decided to be visiting professors at Hogwarts; Marge & Homer Dar Vader (spoken with a German accent, of course) parents of little Darth Jacob.

Chloe dressed up as a funky witch and was rarely seen without her little pea-in-a-pod, Ayden.

Aaron was Stan Shunpike, the conductor of the Knight Bus.

Mitch and Jen came cleverly dressed as muggles so that no one would notice them. Mitch is a “personal trainer” and Jen is a coach. Well done on the disguises, guys!

And last, but not least, Little Miss Lindsay was dressed as an adorable little pig. You can see the rest of the pictures from the party in the gallery: Harry Potter Halloween Party. There are also a couple other new galleries. One of Megan’s HalloWEENIE Bachelorette Party and one of the Trick or Treaters from last night. Enjoy!