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.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I wanna be your hands, I wanna be your feet.

My kid has a friend. A sweet friend. But... a friend who lies.

In our house, lying is one of the biggest offenses you can make. It is not tolerated, and there will be extra consequences doled out if you are found to have lied.

I have never really known / been friends with, or even acquaintance with, someone who was a habitual liar. (I take that back. I do have a friend like that, but I choose to overlook it. The lies aren't earth shattering ones, and haven't seemed to affect our relationship.) Personally I am a horrible liar. So I just don't. No poker face. So it's almost a foreign concept to me. My husband has been more, uh, ?privileged? in his acquaintances. He can spot a lie a mile away. He loses all respect for people like that. At this point in his life, having worked hard to be a person of integrity, he doesn't put up with it either. In fact, he's been known to un-friend someone (and we're not talking F@cebook here) who has this "habit". The whole, if "birds of a feather flock together," then he doesn't want to be included in that flock. I find that noble. Plus, no one likes to be lied to. It's like they didn't trust you enough with the truth? Didn't think you were worthy of the truth? It's betrayal. And that's, well, hurtful.

Why do people lie? I really don't get it. Defense mechanism? Bored? Learned behavior? What?!?! While the truth may not always be pleasant, isn't it much easier than having to back peddle, or to be caught lying? Eventually, people stop believing you. Isn't the stress of knowing you could be found out much worse than the truth itself? Even if it's a lie to build yourself up. Don't you think, as your friend, that I really care that you don't actually live in a mansion but instead live in a trailer? If the truth is too "undesirable" for certain people, do you really want them in your life anyway? 

But enough of the psychoanalyzing. Back to this child.

This child is likely going to be a friend of my kid for some time. I can already see the drama that this individual will bring to the relationship (and thus our lives), but nonetheless, it's one that will be at least semi-lasting. The lying has already affected my dealings with the parents (caused misunderstandings and uncomfortable-ness), and even caused trouble this evening. Not so much for me as for the "babysitter" and self. This child is very un-trusting. I'm not sure if it's just with me or with everyone. Given that my child has made the proclamation that "We don't lie" to said child, and that kid has also been caught (sort of, at least by me) in a previous lie about me, I get the feeling that the child is even more guarded and a bit skiddish with me. I'm much less worried about my kid learning bad qualities (for the time being), and more irritated by the fact that I'm being lied to, or told to be lied to. But, I'd also like to earn the trust of this child so that they don't (feel the need to) lie to me.

Can I just say, for the record, that MY KID ROCKS. Upon being told, "Just lie to your mom," my child rushed in and immediately told me what that kid said. HA HA! Foiled! It makes me beam with pride at the high moral compass that this child possesses. Not to be mistaken for being snooty or "better than", just that my kid knows right from wrong. Maybe I am doing something right, now and then.

Honestly, it may sound cheesy, but I want to be the kind of mom that kids trust and respect, that is fun but most definitely a mom. I want my house to be one where other kids come to hang out, one where my kids want their friends to come to hang out. (Granted, all this is in theory. The practicality of all the food and cleaning and noise that comes with that is something I have yet to grapple. There is a lot of work to be done on patience and tolerance.) Right now, I don't feel like my house is this place, but anyway, it's a goal. (If you've ever read any Karen Kingsbury books, I'm talking about Mrs. Flanigan. Now you know why I said cheesy. But seriously.)

My question is, is there anything that I can do to positively affect this child? How do I affect kids not my own? Anyone have any experience with this, as either a kid or a parent?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kong Comes Along

It was time for another trip to our favorite local adventure... The Dam. The fall weather here has been rather un-fall like until lately, and then it has been accompanied by gale force winds. (No joke on the winds, either. 30-50 mph gusts, and one even led to a friend's house being burnt down. Seriously.) So needless to say, the gorgeous fall color that we had here only lasted about a week before it all blew away. But that wasn't gonna stop our adventuring.

As we sat around the table this weekend, the kids were brainstorming places we could go (you know, like DisneyWorld, or the Mall of America, or... Granted, one is much closer and much cheaper than the other but... I was looking for quick and low budget). Well, Mrs. Bananas threw out her suggestion of The Dam, and there was no dam way were NOT going there. This time, however, Daddy, aka King Kong, was home and his participation on this field trip was, ahem, "politely requested." cough.

This new face? Hilarious, with a scrunchy nose. But wait... it gets better.

You would have thought the wait was going to kill them. I can't tell you how many times I heard, "Is lunch ready yet? Can we go now? How long before we go?"

It was nice to have Kong there, to join in our experience. Granted, it was all different because he was there, but nevertheless, it was an enjoyable time. He took a little stroll with us before George whisked him away for a little football tossing. (Which, can I say, is totally abnormal for our family. We're not sporty. At. all.) It was sweet to see this father-son moment, though.

The monkeys kids played happily on the jungle gym, asking, "Mom! Mom! Watch me! Mom! Mom! Take a picture of this!" Ok. I'd be happy to.

See? It's so funny, this new thing. He makes a couple new faces.

A few of us took our usual stroll up the hill to the highway, with LOTS of stops along the way for camera experimentation. (I won't bore you with that today, though.) Somehow, I managed to get out of stroller duty. (And no, Cheeks didn't pee her pants, in case you noticed that.)

I shot over 156 pictures. How do you cut that down into one post? I don't know. So expect to see a few more soon. If, you know, I actually get around to it. :D

Daddy being a goof.

Sneak Peak at mommy's mini-photo shoot.

We only stayed about an hour. Given the coughs that pervaded our crew and the winds that were still blowing, not to mention the overwhelming smell of "money" (read: pig manure being spread on fields), that was enough time. Plus, the promise of chips and cheese for supper (a much requested, never given treat) helped the transition back to home. But before we left, we got one of the kids to take a nice, and rare, picture of King Kong and Mrs. Bananas together.

Thanks guys! 
(The true enjoyment was in the laughs we had trying to get said child to take the picture, 
thus our big goofy smiles.)

What a great adventure!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


 Apparently...  I can
 get some
when Big Brother
 decides to feed Little Brother.

All is quiet 
On the Western home front.
Brother is happy,
Because he got to feed Baby Brother, 
Baby is happy, 
Because he got more food,
Mommy is happy
because she got peace and quiet.
Ahhh... I We can get some Satisfaction.

And an applesauce beard is a small price to pay. Now why didn't I think of allow this sooner?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Just a normal Saturday

**eyes closed**head hanging**shakes head** 


What I'm about to write, I'm writing because it's that, beat my child (not really - figure of speech), or cry. Or maybe I'll do all three.


Today the plan was to go to Farmer's Market, hit the grocery store, come home, and later go to a BBQ at some friends' house. We had a slight (and pleasant) change of plans where we were going to swap out the Farmer's Market idea when a friend called an asked if she could drop by to visit, kids can play at the park. HECK YEAH! I love company. Even better when they call to warn me so I can put on a bra.

A while later, my friend and her children leave, and Mr. Boots comes back from the park, riding his bicycle. Normal stuff. Except when he gets closer I see something on his bike. What's that?.....

POOP?!?! You've got to be kidding me. Who poops their pants while riding a bike? Really? REALLY!?!?!? Ugh. So yeah, it's squished right out the back of his pants, on his shirt and plopped onto his bike. Lovely. It's clearly a full load.

To futher demonstrate that point, because of coarse you want to hear the gory details, when I turned the pants inside out, it looked like he had pooped his knees.

Oh joy of my life.

A fact about me, in case you missed it, I DON'T DO POOP. I have thrown away undies and shorts (like, the ONE good pair of shorts the kid had) because there was just too much poop. We are so short on pants right now, I just don't have that option. As it is, I can barely keep him in pants, or even shorts despite the 50 degree days, because some days there are lots of accidents. sigh.

How long does potty training take, again?

TRICK 1: It's MUCH easier to get poop off clothing with the water hose than by dunking them in the toilet.

TRICK 2: Newspaper makes a good floor cover for de-pants-ing - no mess on the floor!! 

I'll let you know when I discover a trick for getting poop off naked-body, poop-filled crevices. It's too cold for the hose, and I don't live in the country. #shucks!

Kid bathes, I hose down clothing outside. Kid is supposedly watching a movie while I take a 10 minute break to de-poopify my mind and gather my wits. (Yeah right.) Boy comes in and starts digging thru my camera case (for the fancy camera) with PEANUT BUTTER COVERED HANDS!


Not only that, but he has decided to not only have a pb snack, but a drink all at the same time, and has gotten out the koolaid and poured it into the peanut butter jar.

I kid you not, people, I'm not making this up. I don't have enough creative brain cells to knock together these days to come up with this on my own.

Pardon me, I have to go cry in my room. Where it's poop-free.