Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pucker up. Watch for slime.

I got this as a gift ?last year. I told a friend that I didn't think I had ever seen mistletoe, and so as a kind of joke she got this for me. I thought it was funny. Then I read the package. This just isn't your ordinary, run of the mill mistletoe.

It's "Grow Your Own" Mistletoe. What's not to like about that?

The second thing of note is how it's a "great way to get that holiday smooch you've been hoping for." 
This will be funnier later.

It's also interesting to know that it grows to 600% of it's size. So how big is that exactly? (For the record, mine didn't grow that big, but maybe it's because it's a year old.)

Thirdly, "As your toy grows it may distort in shape. This is part of the fun." Really? So now, it's large, soggy, and distorted. Let's not forget fun! Good, distorted fun. Ahhh....

Finally, the part that kills me... "The slimy, icky, texture is normal and harmless."
Did they really just put "icky" in there??? 

So now this Grow Your Own Mistletoe is large, soggy, distorted, slimy and icky. And of coarse harmless and fun. Good stuff!

What I haven't quite figured out yet is... how do you hang it? Remember, it's slimy. And do I really want to risk standing under it? Makes ya wanna reach out and smooch somebody with all that slimy, icky-ness, huh?

**Thanks to P for this humorous gift. I have giggled a lot.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Maintaining Innocence

Our tree. Smells so good.

We're almost there. The hurried errands, the last minute buys, quick trips to the store for forgotten laundry soap. Then, meals will be eaten, family moments made. Soon it will all be quiet, and calm. Visions of sugar plums dancing in heads. Or something of that sort. I can't wait. 

As a mom of many littles, moments of quiet are few and far between, and it seems I'm constantly trying to force out those moments instead of embracing the noise. But soon... I will embrace. Young or not so young, we all have eager anticipation of noisy family gatherings and Christmas morning madness, of finding out what Santa brought, and seeing little faces light up. 

It's a magical age to be young and full of wonder. It can be a little sad when the mystery of the Man in the Red Suit is debunked, an end of innocence, in a way. As George recently turned eight, we're getting close to that, and someone at school told him Santa wasn't real. He brought this up at supper one evening. I quickly whisked him off to another room, away from sibling ears, to have a chat about it. Ok, so now he knows, but don't spoil the fun for other kids who still believe, I told him. It's magical and exciting pretend fun, so play along. He asked if he could tell his cousin. I told him I'd get back to him on that. 

Eventually he did tell his cousin, who wasn't in the least bit interested in believing it. at. all. and many arguments ensued. We actually had to "separate" them and not allow them to hang out for a few days. Funny thing is, apparently George really wasn't sold on it either, and has since decided that Santa is in fact real. I know he's still questioning it, but he's just not quite ready to give up that magic. And that's just fine with me. I'll be happy to keep him my little boy for a little while longer.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nothing important

I don't really have anything important to say, no great story or moving message. Just a bunch of little, dumb thoughts.


I am thinking of making a mini-movie of my baby's feet. Because they're so darned cute, and soon he'll be walking (REALLY SOON) and those cute little feet won't be crawling around my living room anymore. I just love looking at his adorable, curled toes. I'm enamored with how he'll sit on his knees, little toesies sticking out the back. Little round balls of munchkin yumminess.

Arguments with your spouse can be really good for your house. (The bad part about marital spats is when you have to apologize to your spouse for your bad attitude and selfishness. :P) The other night, while I was a pouting brat upset, I put the kids to bed and tackled my "green room." Den? Sitting room? Whatever you call it, it needed some love. Well, my whole house needs love, but I want to put the Christmas tree in there, and I needed to clear a space for it. So while hubby was playing guitar at a neighbors house, I was emptied the room of the smaller furniture, rugs included, dusted, rearranged, and scrubbed the floor on hands and knees with a scrub brush. It has an old wide-planked wood floor that we painted, but it's pointless to wash it with a mop, as evident my the disgusting dirt paths left where rugs didn't cover. Couldn't hardly clean a room and just sorta wash the floor. I was in the midst of this when the Kong walked in at 2AM. He was shocked to 1. find me still awake, and 2. to find me cleaning. I still have a few things that need new homes, to clean off the desktop, and a load for recycling and thrift store, but it looks much improved, a place you'd want to be. The furniture arrangement, and some de-cluttering, helped a lot.

The couch had been under the window, the corner tv stand next to the brown bookshelf.

That couch, while it may be old and the fabric not what you'd choose, is the bomb. It's a Flexsteel, for starters. We got it for $25 at a rummage sale. The fabric is durable and the couch is comfortable. Kong has take many a nap there. All she needs is a couch cover. Yeah... I'll get to that. Eventually. Maybe.

One frustrating part about doing that level of cleaning is that it makes you realize just how badly you need to repaint. Walls and floor. sigh.

This brown bookshelf is NOT the prettiest thing we own. The problem is... it provides some much needed, very functionally important storage, something we seriously lack. By moving the couch to the middle of the room, it created a nicely defined seating area, while still leaving a path to the bathroom (door on the right). By moving the corner tv stand to, ahem, a corner, I was able to actually center the bookshelf on this wall. It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it made a huge difference in the not-so-ugly-anymore factor. Also, this bookshelf is what you see through the large picture window. A little decluttering (and as I look at this picture I can see already that a storage box has gotten stashed on top of the books. erg.) and yay - eyesore no more.

I wanted to do some kind of Advent activities with the kids. It's December 5th and I haven't started yet. sigh. I have such great intentions and such HORRIBLE implementation. Hello, chore charts and allowances, math facts and reading time? Ugh.

I signed my two preschoolers up for ABCmouse. There was a free month offer so I tried it. It's great. Cheeks loves it. (Boots hasn't had a turn yet.) She has enjoyed the learning games and winning tickets. Just don't set it up without your kid thinking you can go back and set up their avatar. Yeah, that doesn't work. I had to delete each kid and re-add them. Of coarse, you figure that out after sitting  for 20 minutes with a wiggling, impatient child on your lap. But the end result is fun! And learning!

Since I wrote that first thing about the feet, mere minutes ago, Huggyface has taken a step. He takes, usually accidentally, one step, now and then. He also does pretty well at standing on his own, he ever tries to do it, which is so totally cute, and I'm pretty sure yesterday I saw him try to stand up on his own in the middle of the floor.

Cheeks is really into asking why. And... reading the letters off of... well, everything, and asking you what it spells. All these questions could get annoying but I started asking her what she thinks the "why" is, and the letter thing is great because you see her letter knowledge improve and her excitement for early reading.

Ok. School's out and sibling rivalry has begun. Thus ends my blogging. Hopefully I can feed and divide to diffuse further argument.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

You Never Know What You're Going To Get

We are ending our first stretch of the years scout/school fundraisers. THANK GOD it's over. Two kids, selling two different things each. EEK!  Last year Koko's order form got lost. Yeah, that made me crazy sweat. And it was lost right at ordering time, so I had to guess what people ordered. I just have to say, God was totally all over that as I ordered stuff with amazing accuracy, completely blind. Sure I ended up with some extras and some shorts, but for the most part, I was right on. Which is simply amazing.

This year, despite my absolute best intentions to prevent disasters, still proved to have it's own share of complications. sigh. Oh well. I finally got to the point where I decided to fix what I can, write a check for the rest, and .... let     it     go. (mumble grumble $91 later for $30 of popcorn. Ok, I'm done.)

With Girl Scout Nut Sales and Cub Scout Popcorn Sales, we had to hit up lots of people. (I tried not to get anyone twice.) They both did great and hit good goals, so their scout pack/troupe should not be disappointed. Koko definitely showed more confidence this year over last year, and George just knocked my socks off with his eagerness and preparation. He took the initiative to put his scout shirt on without me even telling him to, got his things all ready. I coached him just a bit on what to say and what to do, but for the most part he took off and did it himself. At church, I wasn't even by his side; he did it all by himself. Made me so proud. They both do. But now.. the delivery.

Since daylight savings time is now in effect, I was just not quite as eager to go around in the dark to deliver, so the last few days have been a flurry of "get it done." Last night we finished up the popcorn. Tonight was nuts. (haha. You know, nut delivery night. teehee)

You just never know what you're going to get going in to people's homes.

We knocked on the door of one customer's home. I remembered it was an older, ahem, gentleman's home. When he opened the door, I just about dropped my jaw. I told him we were there to delivery the nuts and how much it was. He closed the door and went off to get the money. It took all my reserve to not die of giggles, but I knew I needed to keep my calm. Little girls do not easily recover from giggle fits. So as we're standing there alone, Koko and I, in his porch, I asked Koko, "Was he naked?" "Yes," she replied, incredulously, and started to giggle a bit. I grabbed the canister of nuts and pushed her behind me. He came back to the door, still sort of tucked behind it so I couldn't really see him, we enchanged nuts for money and then we bolted. Once outside near the car, she busted out laughing. I asked, "so he was naked? Did you see his... weiner?" "NOOOOO!" she replied. "Oh, so was he wearing underwear or something?" "Yeah, but it looked kind of girlish."


Oh. my. word.

And this is why you should always accompany your child on these sort of things. 

You just NEVER know what you're going to get.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Googly Eyed

Someone recently posted on FB an activity she had her daughter do, she may have seen on Pin-terest, and I thought, Yep, we could totally do that.

Cast of characters:
Stack o' magazines
Googly Eyes
Glue Dots, not glue
Cup o' Skizzors

This is easy, goofy fun. Have your kids cut out pictures of people, animals, etc. and use glue dots to affix the googly eyes. (Trust me on the glue dots. So much easier, much less messy. Glue would make the paper gooey. ew.)

The funniest part, I think, is where the kids place the eyes. It's sure to produce a ton of giggles, and even I could manage to accomplish this "craft" for the afternoon. Cheap easy entertainment.

Koko got a lil eye happy with Mr. Giraffe.

The hamburger. It kills me.

I love them. Love them all.
Check out this little vixen. The girls kept calling her LadyGaga.
These were the Dorky-do's.
Mommy takes full responsibility for the man in the middle. 

All in an afternoon of fun. And thanks to the free (and quite mistaken) subscription we have to ESPN magazine, we had loads of pictures to choose from.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Thanksgiving. What can I say?

The Good:
  • I didn't over eat at either one of the two Thanksgiving meals I ate today.
  • The food was good at both places, and the people were enjoyable at both places too.
  • I got to hang out at a friend's house for a bit today. So fun to have a friend!
  • I somehow managed to get my stove top cleaned. It really is monumental, people. It's been driving me insane for over a week. Either I just got too tired or the stove was in use. Today, despite something baking, I cleaned it anyway.
  • I didn't have to listen to anyone complaining about not liking what I cooked. Because EVERYONE loves dessert. (I made 3 kinds - 7 Layer Bars, Oooey Gooey Caramel Bars, and Lemon Bars, plus a ready-made pumpkin pie.)
  • I drank 5 glasses of wine. The last 3 were close enough together that I felt nice and happy and relaxed. 
  • I can't smell (this will be important later, just hang in there with me).
  • Any unfortunate events happened at the end of the night and not early in the day causing me to miss out on the festivities
  • I was not giving birth, though I enjoyed thinking about last year when I was giving birth on Thanksgiving.
The Bad:
  • I was awoken early this morning by my 3 yo screaming, literally - screaming, because he wanted everyone else to wake up too. No one was interested, least of all, me. I had only had 5 hrs of sleep by that point, and ...
  • I have a cold that is kicking my butt. I am so whooped, my nose is constantly running, I'm constantly sneezing (and whatever goes with that, ladies, ahem) and I feel like I'm in that cold commercial where the head is floating like a balloon. Yeah. Awesome. So after those mere 5 hrs of sleep, I was actually spinning when I tried to open my eyes, like when you have too much wine, only there was no wine. 
  • My hubby was being a (insert not nice word here). I mean, who doesn't love a good spat with your spouse on the eve and day of a family get together?
  • I miss a certain person who shall remain nameless who I don't feel at liberty to contact but I miss anyway. And even though said person probably doesn't want to hear it from me, I love you and I hope you had a great day. 
The Ugly:
  • My kid ralphed all over my mom's bathroom. The one room my parents didn't manage to clean. It was not a pretty site. Then came the pink-pop painted puke, prolifically painting porcelain plumbing. And walls. And clean towels. And the shower curtain. (This would be where my lack of smell comes in VERY handy.)
  • I am going to hurl if I have to see one more FB status or blog post on how thankful you are about your kids and your family and all that crap. Yeah, yeah. Me too. Blah blah blah. I'm sick and crabby. Sue me.
  • My baby is turning ONE in twenty one seventeen minutes and I'm NOT READY to be done with babies. Kids, yes, babies, No. Hello. My name is Mrs. Bananas, and I'm addicted to babies. I love my babies so much. All their shrivelly small, non-talking, non-mobile neediness. They have no excuses and you can't blame anything on them. You can't really teach them anything, or fail to teach them anything, or teach them anything you wish you hadn't. It's a wonderful wonderful time of parenting. Sleepless, very very tiring and sleepless, but so easy. Don't worry, though. This road has been block forevermore. sigh.

And in case anyone was wondering, I will not, nor in the foreseeable future, be doing any sort of Black Friday shopping, unless it's online, and not this year either because sleep is WAY MORE valuable to me than a good price on a dvd player. Amen, and good night. Have a great weekend.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Morning Chatter

I think one of the greatest challenges to parents has got to be morning chatter. While most parents are fumbling to grab glasses and robes, stumbling quickly to the coffee pot as their still-asleep brain seeks a jumpstart, children often wake up with their little minds (and mouths) running full speed ahead. Adults tend to appreciate quiet tranquil beginnings, while our children don't necessarily have that need and thus begin the day with endless chatter. Non-stop. High pitched. Loud. Accompanied by running, jumping or squirming.

I'm a night person, without a doubt, but I have managed to overcome my lack of "morning glory" out of necessity. Once my feet hit the floor, it's like a switch is flipped and I'm good to go, just don't talk to me if I'm still horizontal. If you must, it had better be important and you'd better be whispering.

Once vertical, I still prefer calm and quiet, (thought that's not necessarily a morning-only desire) but it doesn't take me the 3-hour adjustment period that other males I know and/or am related to seem to require. (There's more than one.) My children, however, don't understand that. So I must endure. Also, I must force them to be quiet so as not to wake any dragons fathers.

Mr. Boots has definitely entered a very verbal phase as he is understanding more, hearing more (even if it doesn't seem like it) and then practicing more. Monkey see (hear) monkey do (say), right?  I would love to have a recorder in the car tuned in to Boots. The boy talks and talks and it is the most hilarious one-sided conversation you have heard. About everything. Things he sees, random stuff that leaves you befuddled, catch phrases he's heard and new vocab he's trying out. I've caught phrases like "sure", "whatever," "yeah," and "I don't care," mixed in with his talk about "pee water" (don't ask) and cows, or whatever.

This morning as I was putting pony tails in Cheek's hair, something I don't normally do, she and he had this very interesting exchange.

Boots: Oh Cheeks, that looks great. (A boy commenting on a girls hair is fairly impressive)
Cheeks: Ok, but when you say 'stupid' you have to say 'great.'

Say what?

(I finish her hair, she runs to the bathroom to have a look, Boots trailing behind.)

Cheeks: Oh, I love it. (Miss Melodrama)
Boots: Yeah, it looks nice. And you have three eyes.



??? Huh?

It could just be my morning brain, but I have no idea where these random comments came from.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life is short, so Live!

Ever since the movie The Bucket List came out, people are constantly talking about them. There are whole websites devoted to creating a bucket list. I guess I've never really thought about it much, considering my life is still mostly wrapped up in diapers and toddler tantrums (totally could do without those).

Today I'm thinking about it. I wonder how long it will take me to come up with more than three things.

Here goes.
  1. Go on a missions trip with my husband. (And not for the reasons you would expect.)
  2. Revive my Spanish speaking abilities to the point of fluency.
  3. Take all my children to a foreign country. Not necessarily at the same time.
  4. Learn to play the guitar well.
  5. Become a great photographer
  6. Figure out Photoshop
  7. Run a half marathon
  8. Go to a professional soccer game in Spain, just for the experience
  9. Visit all of the United States of America in a touristy fashion (hitting the airport doesn't count)
  10. Take a dance class
  11. Tour Europe
  12. Travel to a subcontinental country (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc)
  13. Wear my sari
  14. Live in a house of my dreams
  15. Become a foster parent
  16. Go shopping and buy whatever I want, no restrictions, no sales rack necessary
  17. Graduate from college
  18. ?Skydive? (I might be too chicken for this anymore, so... 19?)
  19. Para sail / hang glide / or something of that sort
  20. Go on a cruise - one to somewhere warm, the other to Alaska
  21. Read the whole bible
  22. Receive a love letter from my husband (but does it count if that's something someone else has to do for you?)
  23. ...

Just that took me about half an hour. With cheating. 

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. My mom had breast cancer, and while she is totally healthy now, it's a reminder that life is short, so live! Want to enter? Head over to to get the details. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Let's talk about $ex, bay-bee!

I stumbled upon a new blog. Wow. It's good. But... (or rather, yeah!)... it talks about $ex.

You maybe thinking, but this (All My Monkeys) is a blog about a mom and her kids. Yep. It is. But guess what... there's $EX in this world. And if as a parent we don't think about $ex in relation to parenting our children, we're gonna be in big trouble. Fortunately, for the children I am parenting, I don't have to deal with this issue too much. Yet. thank. god. But it scares the livin' daylights out of me how to communicate about all that is out there, being fed to them, so that they don't get hurt, make (huge) mistakes, or become victims of something they weren't ready for. I know my kids will make mistakes and get hurt and experience things I'm they're not ready for, but I still would like to equip them enough so that their mistakes are more calculated, not so bad, not so dangerous, not so damaging, those mistakes. As a parent, I want to remain realistic about what is likely, setting standards or expectations for them that communicate that they are worth more, maintain realistic expectations as a parent as they make their own choices, and unconditionally loving them if/when they do make choices that I opine are bad.

I don't think my parents really talked to me about that stuff. 

How do I have that dialogue, how and when to start that dialogue, with my kids?

I made lots of mistakes. I am not innocent. Do I tell my kids that? Or does it give them license to go and do... because mom/dad did?

I remember being a little kid and wanting to be $exy. I remember wanting to shave my legs at age 4 or 5, and sitting in my backyard with scissors, cutting my leg hair, because it was "gross" or "ugly." How at such a tender age did I get that opinion?

So far, I do know that one of my daughters has already had thoughts about things being romantic, of kissing boys, of boyfriends, of being in love. At least, so much as I can interpret her non-verbalized actions.

My heart aches and I become nauseous (in my gut) by the influence of social media and culture on kids, because I know of it's harm. Little kids, big kids, bigger kids, adults. The $exual imagery, the influence, the distortion, the total lack of reality... it's gross. Posts on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. by kids under 18 reveal a romanticized, crude, view on life and love and $ex. It's almost like a drug, their yearning for it, how they obsess about it, longing for a someone to love and hold them, to arouse them. It makes me sad. There's so much more to life than $ex. Love is not all romance. In fact, love is not about romance at all, but that's another post in itself. 

The best thing you can do is LOVE YOURSELF.

I don't mean this in a conceited kind of way. I mean, in how you treat yourself, how you expect others to treat you, in the kinds of crap you put up with, the way you let people talk to you, the way you talk to you.

This is where "I am a child of the Living God" is a really good thing to know. Not just know, but  k n o w . Know that He thinks you're worth more than you ever will. Know that He doesn't judge the outside - He always thinks you're beautiful. Know that, even though He knows all about your ugly side, He loves you anyway

While these are heavy issues to contemplate, I don't think it's inappropriate for me to be thinking of them. I want to be ready. Prepared. 

So the post that got this all thinking was actually about pornography, but the definition of "p0rnography" could be widened to include a lot of what is out there, in magazines, online, on tv. Shows like Jersey Shore, Skins, heck, even Toddlers and Tiaras, are about selling something to people who can't handle it. Kids.

I have friends and relatives who have or have had p0rn as a larger element in their life. A negative element. People I love, wounded by this yuckiness.

I know kids who take in too much "information" for their tender brains to deal with, and I wonder, who is shielding them?

Why are teenage girls posting pics of $exy girls (themselves or other, but especially of themselves) on their own website? Why do 10 yrs olds think they need a girlfriend? Or boyfriend? Ten year olds should not have a "marital" status on Facebook.

There are so many distortions, lies, that are sold to us in this stuff.

So this is the post that had me wowed, which got the wheels turning here, that spawned all this blather.

I wish that 10 years ago someone had educated me on p0rnography. What it is, what it does, and what it reaches in and destroys in the hearts, minds and bodies of men and women.
I wish that someone would have told me that researchers have proven it sabotages your $ex life.
I wish someone would have explained how dopamine, the chemical that is released every time you experience pleasure, drives you to return to what provided that feeling before.
I wish someone would have told me that the kind of pornography you’re most turned on by is usually linked to a corresponding hurtful event in your life, further injuring your brokenness.
I wish someone would have told me pornography would normalize things I wasn’t emotionally or physically ready to handle in my relationships with men, making me feel like I had no options or control over my sex life, filling me with much regret.
I wish someone would have told me I would begin to objectify men, build up images in my mind, and think of $ex day in and day out, to the point where I couldn’t remain focused on anything else.
I wish someone would have told me it would make me feel less valuable to men, and bring up insecurities for years in the bedroom.
I wish someone would have pointed out pornography establishes your sexuaIity completely apart from real-life relationships, causing huge problems in your intimacy with real significant others.
I wish someone would have explained what “$exual anorexia” was and that countless young men are unable to get erect!ons because they’ve been watching porn since they were around 14 years old.
I wish someone would have told all the men I’ve dated that the porn they are watching is keeping them from being turned on by me, ultimately destroying our relationship.
I wish someone would have told me that the dopamine and oxytocin being released from my watching certain types of pornography would cause me to question my $exual orientation, which in turn cost me relationships with friends.
excerpt from ask lauren, etc.

I read somewhere recently that the average age for boys to be introduced to pornography used to be (in the 90's?) 13. Now it's age 8, and it's not just boys anymore. My son is almost 8.

I don't want my kids to have their ($ex) life defined by this. It's so not reality. Or rather, it's not a healthy reality. Unfortunately for some, it is their reality.

Do you have a plan for talking to you kids about $ex?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Obligatory post-Halloween photo post

The much anticipated report. 

Haha. riiiiight. I'm sure you were all waiting with bated breath.

All in all, the kids looked great. Costume-wise, I think we had a good year, unlike last year when costumes were lost at getting-dressed time, and a rather pregnant and uncomfortable mother spent an hour and a half looking for them while her parents patiently waited as she had a melt down, followed by a certain child who flat out refused to wear his (most expensive) costume and ended up with the word "Stubborn" written in washable marker across his forehead. No, I'm not kidding about that. 

Getting ready took longer than I thought (hair curling and make-up application)(doesn't it always, ladies?) so our departure was set back an hour, which landed us at the pizza place smack dab in the middle of craziness. Hot-N-Ready? I don't think so. Try Hot-N-Ready after a 45 minute wait standing in a hot, crowded pizza joint. I was polite and held the door. My friend was nice and filed a complaint this afternoon (for numerous reasons, it was warranted, trust me) on the behalf of her husband and myself. Well, maybe just for her husband, but I'll count myself good on that and spare them my repeated story of dissatisfaction. 

But in the end, we got pizza, got candy, saw all the grandparents and had a nice evening. I'd call that Mission Accomplished.

The Sheriff
The Princess
The Cat
The Ninja
The cutest stinkin' Elephant you ever saw (no bias there)

The whole crew

And I'm proud to report that our candy haul was not great, (yes, you read that right) so no Candy Fairy is needed. They'll polish this all off shortly, I'll save myself 40 bucks in fairy fees, and we can resume our regularly scheduled crazy program.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Toil and Trouble

I'm so glad that today is Halloween. Because tomorrow it will NOT BE Halloween. It will be done and I don't have to think about it for at least another 11 months. Except for all that candy. I'm contemplating a Candy Fairy. But what to do with it? Because some candy-addicted part of me just could NOT throw it away, and giving it to someone else seems to be just passing the trouble around. 

I'm also ready to be done with  all the rigmarole of dressing up and school parties and such, and all the annoying blog posts about Halloween themed things. Nevermind F@cebook. The oodles of photo posts tomorrow showing off cute kids in costume not included.

Then there's also all the scary decor that freaks my kids out, people dressed as ghosts and goblins and vampires and Scream guys. Let's not forget last years Trick or Treating episode where, as we went up to one house, the spooky werewolf  "decoration"  jumped up and came to life, freaking out my 2, 3, 5 and 6 yr olds and making even their mom crap her pants. So. not. cool, dude. Needless to say, we'll be going to a Halloween party this year, bypassing the cold hours of dragging my kids around town, and my end-of-the-night sore feet. We'll enjoy festivities in a well lit, werewolf-free, warm building, with a short (and sweet ;D) Trunk or Treating at the end, thankyouverymuch.

Pumpkins I carved a few yrs ago. I enjoy it, and also prefer making non-traditional ones. 
No typical jack-o-lantern faces for this lady. My favorites are the ones with leaves, and the tree on the top left you can hardly see. Last years' designs here.

I enjoy the American cultural tradition side of Halloween, the dressing up and carving pumpkins, getting candy, baking yummy fall treats. Heck, I even started a Boo'ing in my small town, which got many "oh that's so cute" from mom's and dad's alike, but part of me gets a sort of check in my system. And yes, that would be a spiritual check. I can feel the cringes, as I type that. Yours, not mine. No, this is not some holier than thou post, but I also don't hide my Christian side, and feel it's ok, no important, to question my actions, motives, behaviors from time to time. I don't believe in shove-it-down-your-throat Christianity, I think proselytizing on street corners with a bullhorn is offensive. But this here? Just expressing some inner conflict I have. It's not just relevant to October 31st. It's a year-round thing.

Thing is, I'm not into entertaining evil. There is very much a spirit world that is active in our culture (hello... shows like Ghost Hunters and stuff like that). I'm a visual person. A long time ago I read Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. Whoa. Whoa whoa and whoooaa. Totally changed how I saw things. I very much feel "darkness" around me, on certain people. It's a creepy crawly feeling. Unsettling. And I don't want my kids exposed to that. Sue me for being a protective mother.

The rules for costumes are nothing scary or evil. This year we will sport a sheriff cowboy, a princess, a cat and a ninja. We talk about how evil doesn't honor God and "that's why you can't dress up as a vampire, son." No ghosts, goblins or witches. It's a fine line, and I'm sure some would consider it playing with fire, but where do you draw the line? I don't want to make my kids into outcasts by holding them back from school for the entire month of October, unable to play with fiends or having to shield their eyes while walking down the street. (Ok, I kind of do that, but little kids have nightmares and so that's an easy decision.) On the flipside, it bothers me that schools read books about "cute little ghosts", and the older ones play "Spooky Bingo" but I'm not going to homeschool, so what do I do? Have conversation. But "double double toil and trouble" on PBS Kids? Really? I know it's Shakespeare, but seriously, I wouldn't be reading that to my toddlers. 

This is not all just relating to kids, either, though. I get kind of irked, and maybe this is judgemental and so I'll apologize in advance, by my Christian friends posting comics of witches around their cauldron, or a series of "spooky" graveyard photos complete with crows. What are we celebrating? And again, where do you draw the line? Where do YOU draw the line? I'm still not sure about where I do.

I'm ready to be done with this uneasy feeling I have.

That's all.

And tomorrow I will post cute photos of cute kids in costume. :D

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Totally weird random stuff

I wanted to put as my FB status just now: "Definition of insanity - being a mother." Cuz BOY ARE MY KIDS MAKING ME CRAZY TODAY. I am definitely not looking forward to all the candy craziness of Monday etc. It's already started, actually. Cheeks had so much candy after her preschool party on Wednesday that she had a candy high the likes of which I've personally never seen before. Really. Not exaggerating. It was bad, and took her about 3 hours to come down. It was like she was on speed. And... she didn't even eat it all. Only about half, but apparently it was enough to send her to the moon and back. (I usually give them about 15-20 minutes. She, apparently, was a speed eater.) 

 Just now Koko asked me something I never thought I'd be asked. In a very whiny voice she said, "Mom, why don't you ever buy any feathers." (She's not talking about those feathers you put in your hair, either.) Gee, I don't know why, my dear. Is it common for people to frequently buy feathers? I must be out of the loop. 

 I had some weird dream this morning, that included these elements: 2 extra rings (other than my wedding ring), goats, a friend and her 4th child, some supposedly amazing ice cream treat that surprisingly came in a tennis shoe (that my friend's child just HAD to have), and a Boy Scout sponsored haunted Halloween *walk* (vs hayride). I think there were other weird elements too, like walking around in a darkened warehouse type store, only very warehouse-y and not so much store, and laying on a cement floor... maybe in a park shelter or something? 

 I know. Exactly what I was thinking.... WEIRD!!!

We went to the Farmer's Market today, for the last day of the season. I got some cute earrings! And also some acorn squash for Huggyface (I make his baby food. He's transitioning to table food but hamburgers are a little too much just yet.), some nice red onions, Honeycrisp apples and a few bags of mini-donuts, because no trip to the Farmer's Market would be complete without mini-donuts. At least not according to my kids. Huggyface insisted (read: screamed, as is his current method of communication these days. :oS ) on not being left out of the donut rations, and when I came home and changed his diaper, I had to laugh because all the crumbs had traveled south, and he had quite a storehouse in that Pamper. 

 Aaaaannndddd.... Time's up. I hear a baby crying.

Subject: Huggyface

I am really adoring and savoring the babyhood of this last baby of mine. Not that I didn't with the other ones, but time flies when  you're sleep deprived having fun, and it's hard to keep hold of those memories. I love babies. Everything about them. I will miss this phase, as it is so very much my favorite. I have wanted to capture lots of things, from his little fingers and chubby knees, goofy faces and the way his little feet stick out behind him when he's crouched on his knees. He has a certain way his toes curl. A dimple in his cheek. I want to preserve those things, for the day when I need the pictures to help me remember.

"Look deeep intooo my eeeyes."
"Yes, baby, yes. Whatever you want, baby. Your wish is my command."

Trust me when I say those words bite me in the butt all. the. time.

Toe curl.

This feet push thing? Yeah, imagine that from the inside. Still does it to this day. Funny the things they do in utero that carry to the outside world.
Feet always pushing something. Legs like an ox.

Hello. My name is Huggyface and I look just like my daddy.

He's posing. With his goofy smile. Makes me laugh every time.

Ooooh, what's that over the edge? Long way down. Looks scary, mama.

Peep toe. ;)

A look of mischief? 

Oh, mom! Ugh! This grass! I don't like it!

Don't. let. feet. touch. grass.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Subject: Boots

As I said in our most recent visit to The Dam, I took a whole lotta photos. George excluded cuz he was off tossing the ole pigskin with pops (hahaha, that sentence cracks me up), I tried to get lots of shots of each kid.

Enter Subject: Boots.

He was eager to have me shoot his every move, while at the same time telling me, "No, Mom. Not yet."

I wish I had a clue on how to use PSE so then I could just make a collage. But since I don't, you'll just have to "enjoy" all these shots the long way.

 Please notice the wearing of the big brother's sweatshirt adorableness.
And the look of absolute concentration. 
You need that when your shoes are on the wrong feet.