Saturday, October 31, 2009

This is it. The last hurrah before the BIG DAY.
Desperate to not be alone for the viewing of one last scary movie, I enlisted the company of my ever faithful siblings. Yes, I called all of them up and demanded that they come over immediately to have the bejiggers scared out of them or else I would never let them forget how much younger than them I am. (sam I am)
Okay, so coincidentally they all sort of invited themselves over here.
On the same night.
At the same time.
Wait a minute... was this some sort of conspiracy or intervention to get me to... I don't know... socialize?

First, Teresa shows up with a wicked hot soup made with real New Mexican chilies. I mean, this was so fiery that by the time I finished a bowl, (with the help of a substantial amount of milk) I was convinced I had been drooling down my perfectly dry chin. It was like I had just been to the dentist for a novocain overdose. Despite the heat, it really was yummy. Or maybe my tastebuds were just fried.

Then, Tim and Nicole show up with a nice variety of super freaky flicks (I admit, per my request) to choose from. It's the night before Halloween. How can we watch anything that isn't scary?

Poor Maureen. Not the biggest fan of the horror genre, she kept trying to steer us more towards the safer, comedic older movies. (Arsenic and Old Lace) Alas, my broken VCR turned out to be a convenient excuse to see what I really wanted to see. (youngest kid here, I often get my way. I'm also a brat)
It was a toss up between Amityville and Scream.
In the end, we went with Scream. Hopefully, Maureen's boys won't get wind of what she saw because she'll never be able to walk into her ancient and shadowy house after dark without wondering if she might be Punk'd by a cloaked, rubber knife-wielding teenager.

Sleep tight Maureen....mwa ha ha ha ha

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In keeping with the Halloween spirit, I suddenly decided to make cut out cookies today. I had lovely visions of perfectly formed and painted little decorated yummies that would make Martha Stewart drool.

Katie helped me do the cut out part and gave me a chance to overcome my obsessive compulsion to make one sheet of all the same cookies.
Lined up neatly.
With O-so-much effort put into getting the very most out of each rolled batch.
I am cured and can now boast my new skill at mismatched cookie sheets and thumb prints in the ghosts.

But I never even got to the decorating phase of my ambitious plan.

Something kept distracting me.

Something that, (nevermind that it was my fault I didn't set the timer on this batch) distracted me from my duties in the kitchen and caused my tender treats to look more like crispy crackers.
What could it be? I'm not sure, but it sounded an awful lot like this to me.

I don't recall too many English words but I do think I heard something mentioned about stupid brother, HATE this house, and EVERYBODY'S SO LOUD!. (is she too young to understand irony?)

Once we started watching the rest of Night at the Museum, she was instantly back to "normal."

I feel an ominous countdown beginning. Tee minus five years till tweenhood.


Monday, October 26, 2009

What to write, what to write, what to write...
I have run out of things to talk about.
You're thinking, really? Naw, Mary's sooo talkative and always has so many important ideas to discuss. She's just setting up some clever intro into a funny story.
Because she's so clever.
And funny.
Sorry to disappoint.

We had a lovely weekend.

The Zoo Boo event was crowded. But for less than two hours, (thanks to a Halloween candy overdose) I managed not to completely flip out and go all claustrophobic in response to the intense congestion of strollers and toddlers. And for short spurts of time, I enjoyed the atmosphere.
Saturday night we took the kids to Tim's old high school for a haunted house the students put together.
Good thing it was only $5 because Daniel, on the brink of entering the first haunted classroom, heard the blood curdling scream on the other side and said "No, uh uh. I'm not going in there." (he's no fool) And after that one, the other kids were done too.
So we got our money's worth in cookies and painted pumpkins.

Sunday was beautiful.

It's about time we did this.
It's important to me that the kids jump in a pile of leaves before they are too aware of all the skeevy things that live in the leaves.
That happened to me prematurely and now I feel cheated out of decent, quality leaf-jumping time.
The kids are still young enough to think raking is fun.

Katie was so dedicated, she climbed this tree and pulled the still-green leaves off to put in the pile.

And a nice (but too short) visit from out-of-town family capped off a nice weekend.
It's a highly underrated word.
Sometimes it just sums everything up perfectly.
I used to cringe when I was described as 'nice.' It seemed so boring and flat.
But I really like it now.
Because the words that run through my head on a typical day are along the lines of: frenzied, crackbrained, deafening, deranged and cuckoo.

What's wrong with nice? Nothing. It's perfect.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some days are so productive and some are more like sick days. Today I unofficially called in sick. I'm not really sick but I did everything a person does when they are at home and bed-ridden with a nasty contagious disease.
Again, I'm not sick.
Just pathetic.
Jammies on till noon, watched morning tv, lunch at one... pretty much I was LAZY today.
As I was nestled snugly on the couch with Katie, we were listening to Neil Patrick Harris sing a song about shoes on Sesame Street and I noticed the lovely leaves outside. They are only pretty for like a day so later I went for a stroll outside to take some nice fall shots.

After about five or so failed attempts at making our suburban neighborhood look more pretty, I decided Katie was much more interesting so I focused on her.

We made a game of pulling down the branches and catching the leaves.
(I just accidentally deleted that pic trying to delete the extra spaces. What is with me lately?)

Till the fun ran out.

Then, (BING!) we rediscovered... more leaves!


So it wasn't a totally unproductive day.
P.S. Happy Birthday neighbor Leah!! Hope it was fun!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The amount of chocolate I consume in any given time period is always in direct correlation with my stress level at that time. The more I eat, the more anxious I must be feeling. (I think most of y'all know what I'm talking about. You didn't know I was just suddenly transported to Texas though eh... and there's Canada)

Today, during a one hour time frame, I consumed:
* a brownie
* hot chocolate
* a pudding cup
* does the chocolate part of a harvest flavored candy corn count? Cause I ate three of those.
* a mini size 100 grand bar whose destiny was supposed to be in the plastic pumpkin of a lucky young Power Ranger or Harry Potter, but what's a desperate girl to do?

I needed some caffeine-rich, endorphin-releasing high calorie cocoa... stat.
I'm not ashamed.

Daniel's homework was to cut coupons from the Sunday paper to practice using scissors. Knowing this would be a popular activity, I set up a spot for Katie too.
They were nice and quiet for about ten minutes. Then the yelling began. Despite the abundance of coupons, they each of course wanted the same one and I found myself pitifully trying to solve the issue before someone's eye was poked out with blunt child-safe scissors.
When I finally released the potential weapons from the tiny scrunched fists, I made a very poor attempt at humor.
I lightly bonked my son's head with the back of the freed scissors and said "You can't both have the same coupon, there's a whole pile here to pick from, numnuts." ( I gave up mother-of-the-year a long time ago)
Unfortunately he did not see my face and witness the smile I was wearing because he thought I was seriously mad and went tearing upstairs to his room with me calling pitifully after him "I'm not angry! I was only messing around! You are not a numnut!" (I don't even know what that is, it just slipped out.)

And then I had some chocolate.
(Daniel quickly recovered and of course we had a nice talk about all the appropriate things you need to cover in this scenario; sharing, the dangers of sharp objects, and the stupidity of parents)

Then Maureen came by and brought more chocolate.
She's always had a sixth sense about these things.
Bless her.
And her delicious chocolate baked goods.
She helped me begin to figure out this sewing machine so generously given to me by my sister-in-law, Nicole.
I'm not a seamstress by ANY stretch of the word and so if I want to learn how to make fabulous Halloween costumes or angel wings or bunny ears or even patches on Daniel's worn pants, I need to start learning.
Unfortunately I don't possess the gene that makes it a desirable activity for me. I was perfectly happy to watch Maureen demonstrate how it works by sewing on Shannon's Brownie patches for me. Convenient right? I think I'll need a few more lessons before I'm comfortable on my own.
It's going to take some serious chocolate to motivate me too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I loved it here!
I'm just going to put up more pictures because it was absolutely that spectacular.
(also, remember the sheep I deleted? Fear not lamb-lovers! There are pics for you too.)

I think the imperfection of the glass makes the windows so interesting.
I remember when we had some of our old six pane windows replaced, I missed the wavyness of the aged glass. Till I opened them without popping a shoulder and almost putting my hand through the glass. Then I got over it.

An ad in the window of a "store."
Something about her expression doesn't have me fully convinced that the effectiveness of the product makes it worth buying...

This doll creeped me out a little.
What's with the super teeny tiny feet?

And here's my sheep.

I swear they were posing for the camera.

I'm like an addict. In the absence of larger four-legged animals, (you who know me know what I am referring to) I went a little nuts taking photos of the sheep.

I was desperate to get one of them open-mouthed saying "blaa a a a " but I'm not that dedicated.
(or rather pitiful?)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The location a couple chooses to get married at is quite indicative of the types of people they are.
We went to a wedding this past weekend that took place here.

I may not know these people very well, (Tim's coworkers) but I know I like their style.

The rain and cooler temps didn't mar the beauty of this place one bit. (At least not for me. Ask the bridesmaids about their feet after taking pictures all over and they may disagree)

I can't believe I've lived in this area my whole life and never been here before.

It's hard to describe how I felt without sounding corny, but words like nostalgic, fortunate, awestruck and breathless start to paint the picture.

I was already in a happy place when we walked into this house.

Right away, I felt transported to another time and place. (which ok, is the point of the place. Duh mary) The heavy silence broken only by the regular ticking of the mantle clock brought me instantly back to Grandpa's. Even the smell was reminiscent to me of his house.

Though Grandpa's was not even close to this grand of a home, his place held the same feeling for me that this one stirred up.

This room reminded me so much of the front room, right down to the wallpaper.

The vanity, the sewing machine... it all made me feel so sad and happy at the same time.

And right here is where I was going to say that finding this cute fluffy guy (insert picture of sheep I accidentally deleted) made my day complete.

Since I'm likely the only one who cares about the sheep, I guess that mistake worked out for the best.

What a lovely day, rain and all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My reasons for writing this blog were mainly to remember all the aspects of parenting through the silly and obnoxious things kids do every day. I don't want to forget this stuff and thanks to my fantastic short-term memory, I've already forgotten what happened yesterday. So I thought this might help.
Also, I wanted to share them with anyone who cared to listen.

When I started, I was quite naive to the fact that there are zillions of other parenting blogs out there. So much for originality. One I follow in particular comes from a dad's point of view which I find interesting. Recently, his blog was showcased on another site dedicated to people who do not have kids and love to berate those that do.

I had no idea there were so many child haters out there. I mean, these people are seriously angry. Apparently all kids are brats and their presence in public is considered vile and obscene and a personal affront to many "child free-ers".

What's obscene are the attitudes these supposed adults are taking by insulting all parents and their families. I understand kids aren't for everyone, and that many are very poorly behaved. But some of these people actually believe all parents are smug such-n-suches who take pride in teaching their kids tricks like misbehaving in public places. Unbeknownst to us, these believers are walking around among us, despising our existence and plotting evil attacks on our blogs. "Sticks and Stones" absolutely applies here.

Unbelievable. As if I walk around thinking less of those who don't have kids.

I've never felt the sting of a hate crime first hand and this doesn't even come close to the very raw (not cyber-world) reality that some must live with day to day. I now have a renewed sympathy for those who suffer from them. Nothing stirred up more anger in me than reading the awful views and malicious comments these people had to say. It took quite a lot of will power for me to not desperately try to defend myself to the hatred. I can't even refer to these folks as people because they've been overtaken by such bitterness. I'm trying not to take it personally.

These folks need lots of prayers, they must be living miserable lives. (not because they don't have kids--I could care less about that. Because of the hatred they feel for their fellow man)
One person actually complained about the format a parent used when they left a comment. Something about it being too large a paragraph with no spaces. Also criticized was the use of two question marks.

Really people? So sad.

Sorry to be a Debbie-Downer. I'm sure something hilarious and interesting will happen over the weekend. Probably involving me making a fool of myself at the wedding we are going to. (I WILL NOT DANCE I WILL NOT DANCE IPROMISENOTTODANCE...)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One of the selling points to our 1939 home was our basement. Being an older house, one would assume the basement would be a dank, creepy concrete hole to do laundry in faster than a five year old who has to pee.

Not in in this case. Ours is semi-finished which means it is carpeted and relatively spook-free. (thanks to one of the previous owners who informed me that she had a "basement phobia.")

Our computer is located in the basement. (yes, we are still living in 1998 and thus do not own a laptop. [actually, we're just thrifty] actually, we're poor. just kidding...sound like that Kristen Wiig skit yet??)

My point is, I did not come to this basement to write last night (and almost tonight) because I chose to watch scary tv till the wee hours of the night and was not prepared for the spooks I knew must be lurking down here. I'm tempted right now to seek refuge upstairs in bed sucking my thumb because I'm sure there is no good reason to stay here, without the protection of my blankie.

Last night, I returned to a show I hadn't watched in a while called Ghost Hunters. I liked that show because it didn't appear to be forcing any sensationalism as most reality-type programs do. The real reason I probably enjoyed it was because most of the time, (if I didn't fall asleep) it wasn't really scary. It's mostly people walking around in the dark with their "ghostbuster" sensors declaring they felt a tug or heard a thump. I hadn't seen it in a while, and struck with Halloween spirit, I watched it last night.

It was a creepy one and I decided a post was not worth risking a trip to our basement. (phobia-free as it is)

Tonight, I watched "A Haunting in Connecticut." I have mixed feelings about this movie. Certain gory aspects turned me right off from the get-go, but it still left me with enough goosebumps to almost not come down here to write tonight. (aren't you lucky.)

Why do we like to scare ourselves? (we as in half the American public who get a twisted sense of fun from temporary self-induced emotional trauma) I guess it's entertaining to jump out of my skin and be haunted by horrifying images once in a while. Yeah, sure. But I'm picky. There are really only a handful of movies that I consider to be quality freak fests.

These movies scare(d) the bejiggers out of me: (go ahead mom, check your book on them. I'm sure at least a couple are not wholesome)

Great Expectations---the only thing I remember was the wacky old lady burning to death and that freaked me out.


What Lies Beneath---My Harrison Ford was changed forever.

The Grudge

The Ring (though that one wasn't too scary)

The Creature From the Black Lagoon---Though not super scary, (actually it's pretty cheesy) it builds great suspense plus it's entertaining.

The House on Haunted Hill (1959)

The Blair Witch Project---This one Tim and I saw in the theater before all the hoop-la surrounded it. I was physically shaking the entire second half of that film.

Halloween---I remember only seeing parts of it when I was a kid (it must have been on tv??) But the part where Mike is seen standing in broad daylight in the bushes left me scared to bike down my own street.

I can't think of any more, help me out. I know there are more out there.
What are some good ones you've seen?

I stay away from those gore/torture fests. I prefer to be unsettled, not psychologically disturbed.

So, tis the season! Go rent that movie that gives you the heebie-jeebies. Just for fun!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We went to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese's this past weekend. (gasp!) It's not really as bad as they say. If you are inclined to sit in the same place throughout the duration of your stay. (because to move means an elaborate dodging of adults and children that would make an olympic triathlon athlete proud) And if you have heavy duty earplugs on. And if you do not have any aversions to the smell of stale food and pee ground into carpet. Or better yet, you have lost your sense of smell altogether. And if you have some really dark sunglasses on, you can have a lovely time.
Seriously though, I'm used to it now and I even kind of like the pizza. Also did you know they now serve beer? Nothing screams "family friendly" like masses of out-of-control children and drunk parents not watching them.

Being a creative (or rather forgetful) mom, I thought a homemade card would be nice.
The birthday boy likes Star Wars and our gift was a Clone Wars gun so I thought keeping the theme would be fun.

I quickly drew a sad little picture of either Boba Fett or a clone trooper, take your pick. (or was Boba Fett a clone? I can't remember)
Then Shannon added a nice little gun.
So far so good.
Once I got the writing done, I asked Shannon to draw whatever her little heart desired all over the rest of the card.

This is what she drew.
At first she wrote "clone" which was supposed to be "clown" but when I mistakenly brought that to her attention, she decided to cover it in that fancy blue arch.
Then she wrote "wedo" which is supposed to be "weirdo" but I let that slide. (no time to start over, which would definately happen should I question her choice of words) Besides, the strategically puffy pants on the "clown" was causing me to convulse and snort as I tried unsuccessfully to not laugh out loud.
The last thing I wanted to do was cause her any frustration leading to the necessity of a new card of which we had NO time to make.
Plus this one is funny and the parents of the birthday boy are our good friends. They would never question her inspiration...maybe I should though?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why can't I be happy and leave well enough alone? I used to be perfectly pleased with mediocre snapshots without a second thought given to composition and I was blind (ha) to the ugliness a flash gives to the subject.

I was blissfully unaware of what I could accomplish if I actually tried to take a good shot.
Then somewhere, (I'll never tell where because I won't admit this source--ok, it's a blog-- is influencing my life in any way) I heard using a flash was a bad thing and I gave it up. Cold turkey. ("Fish are friends, not food"--sorry)

The camera has become my nemesis. I am determined to save these moments without the crutch of the flash and it's making me crazy. (yeah, moving subjects make it so much easier too)

So many pictures with so much potential but I can't bring myself to go back.
Please help me. I have a problem.
PS--I have lots of other pictures with much more potential than these but I took these today and I was too lazy to look into the archives to pick out better ones. Sorry--I'm just a B average kind of girl.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Okay, so am I the only one who thinks headlines like "Oh Dave! He's had a very, very bad week." are not only horribly offensive and insensitive (I know, when has the media been sensitive?) to David's wife but sad proof of what a "master manipulator" he has been known to be?
I don't dislike his show, in fact I prefer it to Leno. I think Letterman has much more talent off the cuff and is just plain funnier. But he loses points big time with me now that he is being portrayed as the victim in this scenario. Master manipulator indeed. He's handled it very intelligently. Now he'll be getting all kinds of offers from young impressionable women that don't work for him so when his wife leaves him and takes all his money too at least he'll have someone to comfort him.

On to the kitchen. Sorry, there's no way I could come up with a clean segue from Letterman's life to the state of my kitchen.
This is what it looked like after I tore off the paper. Someone seems to have painted it blood red and then sunshine yellow over that. But whomever (whoever??) did this must have grown weary of the effort it takes to properly cover the ancient textured plaster walls and said heck with it, I kind of like that it looks like an elephant was hired to paint the inside of a Taco Bell here.
It says "I need to make a run for the border!"

So even though I was growing fond of the putrid color combo every time I fixed a meal, two weeks is long enough to leave it that way. It was time to end it.
I finally found the paint I knew I bought way back when and actually used it. Wasn't it smart of me to put it in the kitchen--the room it was meant for--rather than with all the other paint we own where I kept looking and saying "I KNOW I bought it! I'm not crazy!"
Or maybe subconsciously I knew where the paint was and purposely did not find it till I was emotionally ready for the daunting task.
Yep. That's it.

Now to finish the rest of the room. (only 2 walls are done) Maybe by next year I'll get it started...

And because I don't want to end this post with a poor picture of a room and much too much said about paint, I'll put this up.
Which is scariest: the power of the media, the color of my kitchen, or these mugs?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No real post tonight.
I am completely emotionally exhausted from dealing with two outrageous episodes involving an overtired five year old, legos, and a lesson about the meaning of bedtime. It wasn't pretty. Let's just say for once, I wasn't doing much of the yelling. Really, what could I do when the kid was screaming so much he couldn't have heard me anyway?
It's time for bed. I think I'll watch Jim and Pam's wedding tomorrow. (thank goodness for dvr)
I'll have a few things to say later about Letterman's "woes" and also the state of my kitchen. Which both seem interesting now but later will seem dumb I'm sure.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We made this tonight.
I figure it's better than spending an embarrassing amount of time on facebook trying to top the high score in bejeweled.
I purposely did not use any references to create this masterpiece because I like to set my standards low, that way no one is disappointed.
And without looking at anything, we made this impressive work of art.
I know, I can't believe it either. (this is where I'd write "NOT" except I'm not a total goon.)
It was a bit frightening to discover what I still have lurking in the kitchen.
Notice the stale lifesavers on top are the yucky flavors? They've been in the cupboard long enough to attain that sticky sheen signifying that they no longer can be classified as "hard candy."

The red thingies are century-old Ludens cough drops. Those were by far the tastier (and yet strangely ineffective) of the two cough remedies offered when I was a kid. The other was Robitussin syrup. Who in their right mind drinks that crap willingly? Thanks mom, I'd rather slowly hack up my esophagus before I ingest that revolting liquid. Heck, I'd FAKE a cough just to get some Ludens. Yummm.
The kids were convinced the ghost was a lollipop.
"No Dan, it's just a tissue."
"But what's inside the tissue?
"Nothing, another tissue."
"But what's that?" (pointing to the ghost-head)
Shannon--"Mommy, what's the ghost made out of? Is that a lollipop?"
Suddenly I have a strange craving for jaw breakers...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You are lookin' at one blissfully happy and unaware canine.

She just walked a fair distance at a blistering pace like she was still a puppy.

She still thinks she is a puppy and has no idea (or rather, just doesn't care) that when she leaps out at that unattainable squirrel or fellow dog or stray leaf, she is in fact ripping my shoulder from it's socket and running happily away with it after that cat she just can't allow to get away. What would she do if she actually caught something? If her hunting skills are anything like her protective skills then the poor thing is in for a huge disappointment. She's a virtuoso alarm system but lacks in the actual protection department. In other words, her bark really is worse than her bite because I'm quite certain that if we were ever to be in the company of a burglar, she would yap her fool head off from the safety of her favorite place: under the bed.

She has no idea that in dog years, she's at an age when it would be wise to start tapping into her pension and considering one of those help-I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up thingies.

And this one is also utterly oblivious to her age and/or size and strength.

She scopes out the challenge.

"That's not all that high, mommy doesn't know what she's talking about! I can shimmy up that better than the greased pole lumberjackers could!"

See mama! No problem!

Okay, so I had a little help.

But tomorrow I'm gonna walk the dog and see what fun that is.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Yesterday was our twelve year anniversary. Because I'm not much of a sentimentalist and because I find proclaiming gushy thoughts over the internet to be the exact opposite of something I'd do willingly, reverently, and with sound mind, I'll sum up our happy marriage in this photo for all the internet (or likely 3 people) to see.

We don't have any good wedding horror stories to retell. The worst was the leaning cake, but someone caught it before it fell over so tragedy averted there. I just remember acting stupid and giddy all day. I'm not used to (or more importantly, skilled at) socializing with scores of people all at once, thus the stupidness. But the giddiness, well I hope that was due to, you know, getting married. Though it was probably an automatic coping mechanism my body sent me into to avoid being swallowed in a pool of sweat. Because it was 80 degrees out. And my dress was heavy Italian fabric. And so I chose not to wear my corset. Stupid. Why would I have such poor judgement on such an important day? Because I was giddy I suppose.

We had a nice enough day yesterday. The kids slept over at Grandma's so we had a chance to eat out for breakfast. (my favorite eat-out meal) But 17 hours of child-free bliss does not a second honeymoon make so I'm holding out for the year we actually go back to Disneyworld. (we sorely missed the 10-year mark)
Sadly by then we'll fall into the if-you-have-heart-problems-do-not-ride-this-ride category so I'll be satisfied with the small stuff for now.
Here's to a lovely 12 years so far and to using our AARP membership at amusement parks together someday.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Shannon has always (like since birth) born a strong resemblance to a particular moody/bossy Peanuts character. (she is also strikingly similar to a certain aunt who happens to be very much like Lucy too)
My eldest daughter's dark hair and angry face coupled with frequent referrals to her brother as a "stupid blockhead" make her a dead ringer for the cartoon.

Yesterday, because she was feeling especially superior, she kept referring to herself as "The Great One" and called Daniel "The Pain".

When I asked her what made her so great she said "Because I know what I'm talking about. I know what I'm doing. I know my manners. I do my chores when I want to."
(From the hand drawn bubble over Lucy's head to Shannon's mouth.)

When asked why Dan was a pain she said "Because he picks his nose, then his ears, then his butt. (sorry) And also he doesn't know what he's doing. And also he never ever knows what he is gonna say. He just makes something up."

What can I say, she's got men all figured out. She's wiser than her years.

I'm so proud.