Monday, November 30, 2009

love (?) letters

Shannon spent some quality time this weekend evaluating her relationship with each of us.

It says:
Dear Kate you are the best best sister ever.

I think you are nice becas you have been grate. I tink you shode be in my club.

ps you shode live in peas forever.

*lovely drawing of heart in a heart*

Love, Shannon

I find this next one (above) to be a particularly accurate description of mommy's and daddy's unending patience and ceaseless ability to never lose our tempers...

It says:
Dear mom and dad

you are the best in t wold. I tink you are nice

ps you are grat and nice and loveing

Love, Shannon

*another beautiful rendering of multiple hearts*

But I find the one above to be a work of high art whose raw honesty rivals that of Hilary Clinton's memoirs.

It says:
Dear Daniel

I do not like the you.

You must not no the better code that I like. You will find out wy becus you have been mean.

ps you may not come in my room ever agen.

from, Shannon

*darling drawing of a clenched fist and a fractured heart*


Saturday, November 28, 2009

He may not realize it, but I really need him. I'm grateful he's around to do for me all the mundane kinda stuff I'm too incapable and too much of a chicken to do myself. (and I'm really not being sarcastic here... really.)

For example, how could I ever take the picture below by myself? There are rare occasions when I ask Tim to take the shots and when I see the results, I wonder why I don't burden him with this chore more often.

I like this picture for two reasons:
One, it is a rare one that has both me and my kids in it.
Two, we are all wearing hoods so I can pretend we are all a band of death eaters on our way to torment some poor muggle. (not that I condone such activities, but someone's gotta play the bad guy in imaginary Hogwart's land.)

Also, I could never do this.

I know because I gave it the ol' college try and failed miserably. Even with a chain saw I know I'd most certainly hack up the poor tree till it looked like Charlie Brown's. (assuming I didn't mortally wound myself in the process, which, given my excellence at klutziness, would absolutely happen.)
I also need this man because just a couple minutes ago, I got up to fetch the camera to download these pictures when I made eye contact with a fat black eight-legged friend, daring me to pass.
As I tiptoed around, I nervously called up to Tim "Hon...get a weapon..."
*urgently* "Get something destructive and get down here right now!"
*now, because he knows me so well he is catching on to what I am talking about and asks* "How large?"
I make a circle with my thumb and forefinger "This large!"
*searching for a book or a baseball bat or a piano, he finds a hammer* "Where is it?"
*me trembling on the stairs* "Just walk straight and look left."
"This? This is it? Come see. I want to make sure that this is it and there isn't another one."
*horrified and shaking violently* "Yeah, that's it."
And just like that, he took care of it, after which he promptly reminded me what a wus I am by saying "I thought you meant the body was that big. Not the whole thing."
At least he didn't catch it and chase me around like a silly schoolboy.
My hero.

Don't get a fat head about it now, that tree you're carrying is only mom's teeny one. I pulled our big fat one on the cart uphill.
Both ways.
I can do some things.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The daunting 10 pounds of potatoes have been heartlessly peeled, diced, cooked and mashed to a pulp.

The homemade beautiful-before-it-was-baked-but-now-resembles-a-wet-coffee-filter crust is filled with chocolate pie and is resting comfortably in the fridge.

The vat of fresh green beans have all been unceremoniously snapped and are awaiting further preparation.

I am sufficiently hungry. (and can't seem to stop drinking milk, what's that about?--shut up Maureen, it's NOT what you want to say)

So in the words of a teeny tiny Dumbledore,

"Let the feast begin!"

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Pig out!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How many?

How many times while out and about with the kids can I feign excitement before I start to actually be thrilled to see... oooh! A corvette! or... Wow! A flagpole! or... Did you see that duck? Awesome.

How many times does a person have to say "be careful" before a kid really is and chooses not to leap from the top stair because mommy actually knows what she is talking about?

How many toys have to break before a kid stops doing whatever it is that is breaking them?

How many times can one see Wonder Pets before they spontaneously break out into the theme song during adult conversations?

How many times do I have to convince my kids there is no boogieman before I start to believe there just might be one?

How many times do I have to say "If you keep doing that, it might break" before mommy is proven right and it thankfully does fall apart?

How many "no no, kitty doesn't like that's" does it take to learn that cats don't appreciate the finer points of fashion?

How many processed chicken nuggets can a kid consume before they are grossed out by what they really are?

How many times can a person watch Dora the Explorer before they start to shout everything three times like Dora does?

How many times does mommy have to say "yes, what is it?" before the kids stop saying mommy mommy mommy and start to ask a real question?

and finally...How many times can I put myself in time out before it's considered neglect?

Anyone else have any How Many's?

Monday, November 23, 2009

And so, with the ending of the weekend, so ends another hectic November chocked full of birthday celebrations.

My exaggerated sighs of relief are driving my family to wonder if I might have asthma.
No more presents...did we get the same number for both? (it's much easier when the numbers are smaller, as in one major with two little ones)
Were the (gazillion) parties enough to leave them lasting and fond memories?
No more baking or preparing, all school and family parties have now been completed with a satisfactory grin on my face knowing I went that extra mile to make the kids happy. I'm sure those regular-ol chocolate chip cookies really wowed them to pieces.

Dang, this week is Thanksgiving isn't it? You know, the holiday where we cook and bake like crazy?
You know, the holiday after which Christmas preparation explodes??
That's ok. I can't wait to make Pioneer Woman's mashed potatoes. And my homemade chocolate pie. And ok, I guess I'll make something healthy, like beans. But not without slapping tons of butter on them.
And as for Christmas gifts, that's thankfully mostly done.
So much for my "asthma". (she says while dreaming of mom's homemade rolls...)

I was curiously watching a squirrel out my window today when I turned to Tim and said "It's so funny how they sit on a branch and shake their tails like crazy."
To which he replied "Oh! Is that the light gray one?"
??? No Tim, It's one of those rainbow ones I've been telling you about.
(sorry hon, I couldn't resist.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

After the recent Gremlins debacle, I was thrilled to my tootsies when Daniel picked "A Christmas Story" as our movie for the next couple of nights.

Sure, it's a little early, so to you naysayers I say "F-dash-dash-dash"-you. (sorry mom)
It's fun, and I could watch it "in the middle of the summer on the equator!" and it would still be just as entertaining to me.

Sunday, Dan and I were looking at the ads in the paper and we came across the Dick's one. Because it's hunting season, the cover was plastered with guns and rifles. Though Toys R Us kept him occupied a smidge, his eyes sparkled while looking at this.

He started pointing out the different models, commenting his own made-up ideas like: "this one's for a girl (he pronounced it grill) see? it's pink."

I lovingly looked over, nodded and said "those look like the Red Ryder BB gun from the movie don't they?" ( I know these things, guns are my specialty)

Dan says "What's the difference between a beebee gun and a real gun?"

I knowingly answered "BB guns shoot beebees and don't do as much damage, real guns are much more dangerous."

Dan gives my midsection a quick worried glance and then says:
"Mom, does a beebee gun shoot babies like from your tummy?"

After drying my tears of joy that my son could be so knowledgeable about hunting equipment, I think I corrected him as best as I knew how.
Every time we try to correct him, the conversation goes like this:
Dan- "It's b-a-y bee gun!"
US- "NO, it's bee-bee gun."
Dan- "Yeah, that's what I said. B-a-y bee gun! It shoots baybees!""

Tonight, after saying our prayers, Daniel wanted to add his own spin on a prayer.

He cleared his throat and said importantly:

"God of Life.
Give me food.
And thank you for all the people in the world.
And help me.

And I said "Amen!"

The only time I will allow everyone to get up from the table during a gourmet pizza meal (which you can hear me chewing) is to rock to Journey. So what if the "guitar" is backwards?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm fresh out of originality and the kids are doing the same stupid things, (except that Shannon's social life has abruptly jumped to she-now-has-more-friends-than-I've-had-my-whole-life status) so I'll post some funny stuff I read on someone else's cleverer blog. (though the material isn't theirs either so no guilt for me... at least till mass on Sunday.)

1. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

2. More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

3. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

4. I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

5. Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no
one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk

6. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

7. The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.

8. Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

9. There is a great need for sarcasm font.

10. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

11. I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

12. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

13. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

14. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

15. Was learning cursive really necessary?

16. Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

17. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

18. Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

19. Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

20. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

21. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

22. What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

23. While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

24. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

25. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

26. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

28. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

29. Bad decisions make good stories

30. If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

31. Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

32. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

33. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

34. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

35. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

36. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

37. I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

38. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

39. I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

40. Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

41. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

42. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

43. It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

44. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

44. My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

45. I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

46. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

47. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

48. The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sorry this is so teeny but I couldn't resist posting it. Although it may appear to have been taken in the 80's, it was only a couple years ago. It was an 80's/90's themed party so up went the collars and on went the bright blue eyeshadow. From sticker albums to smurfs, we paid tribute to all things from our youth.

Renee and Sue have been my faithful friends since kindergarten. We were bus-buddies. Actually, technically, Renee was not supposed to ride our bus but in her true "Renee" style, she managed to get her dad to drive her to our stop so she could be with us. (or at least that's what I'd like to think. Maybe her bus stop was filled with a bunch of morons and we were at least a notch better than that.)

In our little private-school world, all us kids were sorta friends. We all hung out together in random groups at some point and I'm pretty sure all the girls were always invited to the sleepovers. Renee's house was the host of many famous such parties. Anyone remember light as a feather, stiff as a board?
Sue also had a reputation for great parties. She had 4 older siblings who introduced us all to great music like B-52's. And let's not forget our mutual unrequited love for Duran Duran and Rick Springfield.

Playing talk-show, doing the hand jive, Mtv, dancing, watching the scariest parts of "Carrie" over and over, Renee's demands I say "goodnight" before falling asleep, trolling around our hometown to buy penny candy from The Village Shop or stickers from the bookstore, those cheesy dances at school...all these experiences included Renee and Sue and made my childhood richer.

Tonight, we celebrated my birthday at Maria's and I laughed till I cried.
So in keeping with the Thanksgiving season, I'm forever grateful that I have these ladies as good pals still today. In elementary school, there were the girls who manipulated and schemed just to rank up in popularity. It sometimes got quite nasty. And there were those who were just friends and never got caught up in all the drama. Renee and Sue were those guys. They stayed the course and even when I had lots of talking behind my back and wild rumors flying, they never believed any of it. Never have I known more honest and decent people as these two and I am so lucky that they are still my friends.

Thanks for great memories and friendships I'll value always guys!

Monday, November 16, 2009

We hosted a joint birthday party on Saturday for Shannon and Daniel since their birthdays are so close together and I have not the energy nor the desire to have separate parties. Because we have a relatively small house, I told Shannon she could invite 3 friends. (2 originally but I realized 3 girls total would not be wise--girlfriend drama has already begun)
Also there were 2 boys, (our friend's kids, Shannon and Daniel's ages) and Katie.

That's 8 kids total. Not too much really when I think about all the parties I've dropped Shannon off to where there were 12 or more kids let loose wreaking havoc.
Who are these parents and how do they not go bonkers?

Here is what was supposed to be 3-tiered cake but turned into 2 because I love to think up grand ideas without researching or practicing, and so last minute modifications became necessary. If I kept it at 3 tiers, not only would it look like a big pile of you-know-what, gravity would have gotten the better of it and we would have had crushed cake souffle for dessert.
So now we have lots of left-over cake.


I really was organized at first. I even had chores written on the calendar for every day leading up to party day. Which would work if I actually continued checking off my list after Wednesday. Then I ran out of steam causing me to go berserk on Saturday morning in a vain effort to clean a house that was just about to get messed up again anyway.

Thank you Tim for helping clean while I decorated the ridiculously time consuming cake. I never anticipated how much time it takes to make stupid little multi-colored candies. I've got to stop looking at stuff and saying to myself "Look at that. I can do that. It'll only take a couple hours."

It never takes just a couple of hours.

Once the guests arrived, I realized (sort of panicky) that I hadn't really planned any activities for these folks. Was I supposed to entertain these little people? I guess I figured they would just run around screaming and playing anyway so why bother to try to get them to play Parcheesie? In retrospect, next time I will absolutely plan something because when 4 (only 4!) 8 year-old girls (well ok, and 3 boys) lack an organized event, they make up their own chaos.

Some of which included this catchy diddy: "Girls go to college to get more knowledge and boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider" (repeat a million times to get the full effect)

Oh but the boys had great comebacks like "Yeah? Well girls are dumb!"

Future politicians here.

I'm convinced that hell consists of fire, brimstone, and hundreds of these clackers in the hands of screaming pre-teens.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let me start by reminding everyone that parents make mistakes. (particularly me...a lot)

Usually they are along the lines of "Oh, so that's how you do math now? It was different back in my day." or "I know you must have taken my lip gloss because I can't find it anywhere."
It can be easy to put the blame on the kids because they are wrong so much of the time and are in constant need of adults' expert guidance and wisdom to help them navigate through life successfully.

Not in this case.

Here, I'm just plain wrong and I have no excuse or justification.

As I was searching for our next flick for movie night, I quickly passed over all the same old ones we've seen a million times. (Cars is great but by the 1,458th viewing, even the tractor tipping loses it's magic)

I came upon Gremlins, released in 1984.
Back then, movies for kids were a little edgier and I'm pretty sure PG-13 was in it's infancy. (if it existed at all yet)

I have fond memories of this movie. I saw it at Grandpa's and thought it was really entertaining and funny. I don't remember being scared or grossed out much so I thought, ok, this is worth a try.
Cute little fuzzy wide-eyed creatures and mischievous green...well, gremlins. This'll be good. Didn't Jim Henson do the puppetry?? (by the way, I'm pretty sure he did not)


Last night we watched the first half hour. Adorable little creatures multiply into more furry critters.

Tonight, part two: sweet fuzzy pets morph into the inevitable gremlins--violence follows.

It's not such a bad movie for slightly older kids, but when the knife-wielding mom microwaved the third gremlin, I made the kids cover their eyes and movie night ended soon after.

I know I'll be up all night with the lights on joyfully singing about raindrops and roses and cream colored ponies to make up for this doozie.

Sorry kids.
(pansies :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When Katie started to give me a hard time about taking a nap today, I said "Well, what do you want to bring upstairs with you to sleep with?"
And she proceeded to grab her:
chicken puppet
nite nite
plastic clamshell little mermaid happy meal necklace
monster puppet
and whistle.
It reminded me of the scene in "The Jerk" when Steve Martin threatens to leave saying "I don't need anything! Except I need this ashtray... And that's it! And, I need this paddle game... but that's it! I don't need anything else...I need this..."

Not for not trying but I couldn't get a nice picture of the little diva on her way to nap (she made it very clear she didn't want her picture taken) so I took this one later tonight, surrounded by her growing collection of "what she needs".

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My head is beginning to remind me that even though I have been taking every effort to prevent it, I am getting a cold.
So my brain kind of hurts right now.
I started to look for pictures I could post to avoid using my throbbing cranium to write this, but then I got it in my head I had to find old pictures of Katie because I haven't seen any in a while. Where did they go? How can a digital image get lost? At least in photo albums, if a picture was missing, you knew it went awol because there would be a lonely empty clean square where the photo used to belong.
Now my brain really hurts.
I found some in our documents folder. Why there? Don't really care right now, but I am starting to get the insane urge to acquire actual physical pictures to put in an album so I can avoid hurting my head.

I forgot how cute she looked when her nose turned pink like this.
Sometimes it's fun to lose pictures and then rediscover them. (though I am asking santa to hook me up with the photo fairy and put all my digital pictures together into nice organized albums)

Monday, November 9, 2009

You'd think being a stay at home mom, I wouldn't care if it was the weekend or not. You'd maybe assume that since I don't have a 9-to-5 job to dread going back to every Monday, that I'd feel happy and content on Sunday nights rather than anxious and angry about the impending ominous beginning of the workweek.

Well, for the most part, that's true. But I still relish the weekend because it's different.

This past Saturday, daddy's work had an open house so we all got a glimpse into the world Tim lives when he's not at home tormenting us. As I was trying to look interested in the spiels about quantum sorters and domestic bulk and some place the employees call "the pez dispenser", what I really wanted to do was take some pictures. (alas, no camera)
Before long, I was pretending I was Indiana Jones and the ark of the covenant was hidden somewhere among all these boxes and scary-high racking shelves.
Except these boxes were way smaller and contained contact lenses, not the historic ark.
And I really don't look much like Harrison Ford.
But Katie got to honk the horn on a fork-lift thingie and Daniel told daddy's boss to "get off his back" so I was still entertained.

Sunday was fun too.
Again, no pictures (sorry)
Shannon, Daniel and I went to church and grandma's on this most excellent unseasonably warm day. We got one last visit to the playground before the snow flies. (and I have tons of great pictures of it in my head)

But the best part of the weekend was dinner Sunday night.

I made ONE MEAL for everyone. I warned the kids that this day was coming and that night, I made the executive decision to make only spaghetti. (well, and meatballs and salad and bread)
And even though Daniel gave us some grief at first, his grumbling belly got the better of him and he came around.
It felt so satisfying. Like this is how it should be.

Shannon may have only been kissing my rear when she declared it "the best dinner ever", but I don't care. It's always nice to hear.

But here we are on Monday and it feels like a Monday even to me.
The tantrums and schoolwork and housework have returned.

At least I'll always have spaghetti.

Yeah, they're sooo funny.
Even still, I couldn't resist this picture.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shannon turned 8 today.

I always had to wait till after dinner to get presents. Those are the rules. You must wait all the live long day suffering from self-induced torturous glee thinking about what was waiting at home, ready to be unwrapped and loved.
But because Shannon was about to explode with excitement, (and daddy works nights) we let her open her gift in the morning.

I had to make up for the impending withdrawal I knew she would feel once she got home and realized her present was done and her fun day at school was over.
So I made special cupcakes.
No, I did not put anything funny in them, I just spent more time on them.

They'll do for now, but I'm planning a 3 tiered masterpiece for the real party next week.

I couldn't be more thrilled that what she got crazy over cost no more than $1.79. She liked the locket too but she has been wanting these "gushies" forever and I never got around to getting them. (they are just rubbery tubes put over pencils to save your fingers)
So the lesson here is that if you withhold something simple that you would normally buy any time you were out, (like underwear, socks, food...) give it as a gift on the next holiday and you'll be a celebrity.
Cruel to be kind eh?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beware the ghost costumes of Halloweens yet to come.

I like to shop early the day after Halloween to snag the half-off deals on costumes if I can. (Dan's I got 75% off!) The downside to this thrifty technique is that the kids want to wear them NOW. (except Katie. She says she still wants to be a bat again next year. Bless her.)

We (me) just can't seem to let go of the best holiday ever.
I neatly arranged all the stuff the kids would need to make a haunted scene so that when they came home from school, I might not have to be constantly hissing at them to keep it down so Katie doesn't wake up.
I don't know why I expect her to stay asleep or that the other two be quiet. I need to accept the fact that her remaining nap days are numbered and that it's quite impossible to chill out after a behaviorally repressed day at school followed by a killer 40 minute bus ride giving them ample time to regroup before their assault on my eardrums.

Finally. This clever tactic was to give me a bit of time before I had to deal with all three of them at once.
And it worked.

For a whole ten minutes.

Shannon declared hers was a garden and Daniel's was a graveyard "where the skeletons eat out."
Then they wanted to eat them and Katie came down wondering where hers was. Oh well, I'll take what I can get.
Today the pediatrician firmly recommended that the kids eat their veggies. I wonder if I can do the same kind of project with broccoli and cauliflower? I wonder if I'll ever buy cauliflower? Yuck.
At least we do all quiet down for our new favorite show. I say "we" because I make them sit with me on the couch and sush or else I eat their Halloween candy.
It works.
And they like "Say Yes to the Dress."
Shannon not only likes to jump in with an occasional "needs more beading" or "the detail work on that mermaid dress is just gaudy" she's also fascinated by the skinny effeminate manager guy. I'm not sure how to explain him to her yet other than everybody's different. He bothers her a little but I reminded her that he is always the one to walk in and save the day. I'm not telling her any more than that for now.
She turns 8 tomorrow, I need to slow this sucker down.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

They've arrived! It's the holiday season!
Wait you say? It's not supposed to start till after Thanksgiving?
Why? When there's so much stuff to sell?

I'm not going to get much support on this but here goes.
I really don't mind the season starting this early. (ok, september is pushing it) Having sales early allows me to get that commercial part of the season over with early so that I can focus on the real reason we are celebrating Christmas during the actual season.

I don't like how commercial it's become, but every year I make a choice when I see the ads pop up in October to look forward to the joy and delight that comes with the holidays. Those ads make me think "yippee! Happy family joyful merriment and food time!"
Not "Oh crap, I gotta buy stuff."
It's too bad the season has become so commercial, but rather than complain about it, I choose to let it build the suspense. By limiting presents and talking more about Advent and carols and family, (oooh, the pies, the wonderful pies) we can enjoy the holidays without all the stress.

Ok, I'll admit that if we had more money, we probably would buy and obsess too much about the stuff, so therein lies the blessing of having little money to work with.

So bring on the season early! So what?! We can start to do good stuff like being kinder and spreading good cheer and singing to each other (that's for you Teresa:) and planning menus...
I may say this tongue-in-cheek but the heart of it is true. The holidays are coming and the stores love it. Let's not let them win. Let's just use it as a reminder to be nice to each other. More people need to be just nice don't you think?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Anyone remember that scene in "Signs" where Mel Gibson is talking to Joaquin (yes I had to look up the spelling) Phoenix in a dark room? It's not particularly scary except that their eyes look like this the whole time.
And that made me nervous.

I think this frightens me a heck of a lot more.

I really struggled with the decision of where to trick-or-treat this year. On the one hand, our neighborhood is our neighborhood and we should really be getting to know the neighbors more than just a quick wave or a 'sorry I backed into you'. (that really happened, though not entirely my own fault)
But on the flip side, Grandma's is way more practical.

Instead of walking an obscene distance while convincing the kids they have to feel the burn before they are rewarded with a stale stick of gum, Tim's hometown street is a lovely short walk. The houses are close together and almost every one has the light on.

And I'm lazy.

*Bing* Easy choice. This street knows how to do Halloween right.

No need to ring doorbells, it's so populated with costumed kids that homeowners better have a backup candy-giver to allow for potty breaks.

All the houses are elaborately decorated. Intricately carved pumpkins, creepy music, orange lights, excessive cobwebs, spiders...oh the spiders. (shudder) One house even had someone dressed up like Mike Myers raking the lawn.
Now that's what I'm talkin' about. (I really regret not getting a picture of that. Or any really good shots. Juggling an unwanted witch hat with a three year old's hand and trying to get a steady shot of moving objects in complete darkness is a skill I haven't mastered yet.)

When I was a kid, our street was all lit up, but it felt more ominous and quiet. There was a tense fear of a real hidden boogieman then, versus the more entertaining quality Grandma's street held.
Because I'm not particularly fond of being up all night convincing my kids there is no boogieman while simultaneously convincing myself of that very same fact, I think we'll stick to Grandma's for now.

I'd much rather see faces like this (nephew Connor) rather than the top one.