Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Because today is Halloween, yet my children are now teenagers and therefore too old for dressing up and trick-or-treating (which breaks my heart just a teeny, tiny bit and of course it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that they won't be bringing home any more chocolate candy for moi!), I thought I'd take a look back at their costumes through the years.

I learned a few things as I searched high and low for the elusive Halloween photos.

The first thing I learned is that I really, really need to sit my butt down and go through my boxes and boxes of old photos and get them organized. Because I took pictures of the kids every year - every. single. year. - and yet there are missing photos of Halloween costumes. Which is extremely frustrating.

I learned that my photography skills have definitely improved as the years have gone by!

I also learned that while I may like to remember the costumes that I made and created, the reality is that apparently I bought an awful lot of tacky costumes in the store.

In my defense though, I think I remember a couple of adorable Raggedy Ann and Andy costumes and a couple of kids who threw fits because they HAD to be Darth Vader and Laa Laa and a stressed out mommy who burst into tears of frustration and said, "FINE!" and capitulated. Gracefully, of course.

I learned that sometimes it might be better to just buy the stupid, tacky store bought costumes than to create costumes from outfits grandparents brought back from Chinatown.

Because you just might end up with a photograph of unhappy children that looks like a mug shot.

I learned that when your son reads Master and Commander in the fourth grade and is determined to base his Halloween costume on the character in the novel, it will be expensive. Even when you only rent the costume, it will be expensive.

(But oh so cute!)

I realized that the apple truly has not fallen far from the tree!

And I learned that some costumes are awfully predictable. Or perhaps this is more of the apple not falling far from the tree?

I learned that I miss the excitement of getting on costumes. I miss trying to get the kids to eat something semi-healthy before they head out the door to ring doorbells and shout "Trick or Treat" and giggle uncontrollably in excitement with their friends.  

I miss seeing that sparkle in their eyes and the enjoyment they got out of pretending to be something amazing for one evening - whether it was a pilot, or a sparkly, purple fairy, or Darth Vader or Laa Laa, or even Chinese criminals getting their mug shot taken. 

I miss it. 

And, yes, I miss the leftover chocolate candy too!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

72 Hours

The past 72 hours have been busy ones.

I insisted allowed The Princess to drive down the driveway. She doesn't have her learner's permit yet, but we thought it would be a good idea to let her start to get used to the feel of the brake and gas pedals - on private property without any other cars around!

Don't worry. This wasn't stressful or dramatic at all. The Princess didn't squeal in terror or start giggling uncontrollably or almost start hyperventilating at the mere thought of the excessive speeds she was going (3 mph!!) Naturally, she has been paying attention as we taught her brother to drive and so knew which was the gas and which was the brake pedal already. And naturally she already knew such things as to keep her foot on the brake before trying to put the car in gear. Naturally. Really. It was a piece of cake.

It was so easy, in fact, that I am going to let her father teach her to drive from now on. I think he'll really enjoy it, too. And you know how I am - I don't like to hog all the parenting joy. 

My BFF and I went to Costco on Friday. She has never been to Costco before. Can you believe that? She filled her cart up with all of the usual wonderful Costco delicacies and her three constantly ravenous teenagers were, apparently, quite happy.

The kids carved pumpkins for the Halloween party they were planning to have...

However, when the kids woke up on Saturday they both had sore throats and didn't feel a bunch of their friends were sick as well, so they decided to cancel the party.

They rested all day. And then, apparently they started feeling a bit better because they started rummaging through the old Halloween costumes...

I wasn't quite sure what The Boy was supposed to be. I asked him and he said, "Cool."

Hmm. Okay...

That's not a fake beard. It's grass. And that's a dinosaur on his forehead and a sun on one cheek and a lizard on the other.

He explained it all to me.

Isn't he...original?

And wonderful?

I love that kid.

The Princess transformed herself into a cat...

And she really got into character...she was grooming herself...

And then she snarled at me!!

The Princess with her inspiration, Jack!

It was quite entertaining. 

We had Smorgasbord Soup (my name for the fabulous culinary masterpiece which results when I combine the leftovers in the freezer into a savory soup) and then the kids built a fire in the fire pit and sat outside and talked.

I don't know what they talked about...I could only hear the murmur of their voices over the crackling of the fire and the incessant meowing of a hungry (Feed me! Feed me!) kitty. But it makes me so happy that my kids are friends. Deep down, under the squabbling, they like each other. They're best friends. 

And THAT makes me smile.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Glimpse Behind the Sunrise (aka My Kids Are Slobs!)

I enjoy the sunrises on the lake. In fact, I savor them. Mother Nature is clean and soothing in her perfection. I relish the simplicity and wonder of the sun's reflection on the calm, placid water. I soak up the tranquility.

Because then I turn around and I see that one of my dear, precious children was apparently eating outside and decided to just drop a paper towel. And leave it.

We had a few nights of chilly temperatures and The Boy had to bring his bird, Buddy, inside for the evening. Look at this photo - you can see exactly where The Boy set Buddy's cage. You know, several days ago. And you can still see the bird seed scattered all over the floor. I'm sure that it would only take a moment to sweep that bird seed up. I know that I've only asked The Boy to do it a few (hundred) times.

And then I found this in the freezer. Look closely. Can you see it?

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Yep. That's an empty container. Someone ate the last granola bar and then put an empty container back in the freezer.

Then there's the table. 

1. One of The Boy's school books
2. The Boy's camera
3. A cup and spoon
4. The Boy's laptop
5. Random papers, which I really hope is not homework which was due today.

On the other side of the table I find The Princess's towel. Apparently, she got out of the shower and walked around with the towel wrapped around her head until she felt her hair was sufficiently dry, whereupon she dropped the towel on the floor and left it there.

And then there is the laundry.

You see, I have been trying to get the dear, wonderful teenagers to do their own laundry. To become more responsible. To help out.

Perhaps you're wondering how that little endeavor is working out?

Not so well, actually.

The dear, precious little cherubs tend to dump the laundry on the couch, root through for one or two items and then leave the rest there. "I'll do it later" they tell me. Except later never seems to arrive. And the pile keeps growing and growing.

I try to ignore it. After all, it's not MY laundry, right? But I'll let you in on a little secret...that pile of laundry is about to disappear. I'm going to take care of it for them, all right. Oh yes, I am. It's going in a big ol' bag and getting dropped off at Salvation Army. you see why I love those peaceful, calm, tranquil sunrises so much?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The most presh, fab, marv, adorbs, fabu post ever. Totes.

Today's post is brought to you by PMBS: Post Migraine Brain Syndrome. Also known as, another long and rambling post about nothing much at all. 

Firstly, I must tell you that I am heartbroken about the previously mentioned PMBS. You see, a few weeks ago I visited a doctor who felt that I had way too many migraines which were much too debilitating and taking up way too much of my life. (HELLO?!! THANK YOU!!) Anyway, this wonderful doctor prescribed a medication for me to take every day which would, hopefully, prevent my migraines from occurring.

Apparently, it didn't work.

Anyway, it's not the end of the world because I am on the lowest dosage and so we can still play around with the dosage and so forth and so on and also because she said that it may not prevent them altogether but might lessen their duration or how frequently they occur and, btw, do you think this sentence could BE any longer?? 

As I said, we may still be able to get the stinking, stupid, ridiculous migraines under control...but I was still heartbroken because I really, really, really hoped that this would have been a miracle cure and that I would never have had another one.

As I was lying in bed this morning pondering whether or not my head really would actually explode, for some reason I started thinking about how Americans have to shorten everything. And how it irks me. For example, lately I've seen or heard, "WhatEV!" and "That's so legit!" and "Isn't she adorbs?!" and "That's fabu!"

I'm sorry. Adorbs? Fabu? 


And, by the way, it's not just teenagers using these...shortened, trendy,'s adults, too! I've heard women in their forties exclaiming about something being fabu or being adorbs. I even saw a magazine article recently which referred to someone being adorbs.

I just find this sad, silly and pathetic. And I'm sorry if I offend anyone by saying this, but I do. If you go around saying "totes" instead of totally, or "delish" instead of delicious, or "presh"  instead of precious...then you fall into this category. If you've ever found yourself saying "ridic" for ridiculous or "fave" for favorite or "marve" for marvelous or, heaven help us all, "adorbs" for adorable or "fabu" for fabulous...then you also, definitely,  fall into this category.

Is it really so hard to talk like a grown up? Is it really that difficult to pronounce that last syllable? 

When I hear people talking like this, especially adults who should know better, it makes me cringe. It, like, totally makes me gag, you know? For sure!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Life with teenagers is never dull. The other day, as Mr. Wonderful and I were talking to The Boy about college and trying to get a feel for where he might be interested in going, we asked him what subjects he was most interested in. Without missing a beat he  replied, "Girls."


In case you ever wondered, The Princess is a true blonde. Even though her hair has gotten darker as she's gotten older, she's still a blonde at heart.

A few days ago, Mr. Wonderful and I were discussing where to eat before her dance performance. We were torn between two different places and couldn't decide. Mr. Wonderful wondered which one was closer or easier to get to and I replied, "It's six of one, half a dozen of the other." After silence for a few seconds we heard a snort of disgust and then The Princess said derisively (and with a touch of teenage condescension in her voice), "That's the same thing!"


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happiness is...

Happiness is waking up early on a chilly Saturday morning and realizing that you are able to burrow back under the blankets in your warm, cozy bed and sleep for another couple of hours.

Happiness is a husband that quietly takes care of the dog in the morning and lets you sleep...and then has the coffee maker ready to go when you finally stumble out of bed at 9:00 am.

Happiness is the luxury of sipping that cup of coffee calmly and quietly, without rushing anywhere.

Happiness is spending the day with my family here...

Happiness is having two teenagers who still seem to enjoy spending the day with their, admittedly, awesomely cool parents...

Happiness is good-natured kids who let their shutter-happy mama take pictures of them eating their lunch, with their mouths stuffed full of food. 

And happiness is a sweet, submissive dog who, even though she sometimes sheds hair everywhere and gets quite stinky, adores those kids. Happiness is watching her find a safe place to people watch. Behind The Boy's legs... 

Happiness is sitting with the family, enjoying the breeze off the river and listening to the band play while watching the little kids dance on stage and reminiscing...

"Hey, you see that little girl in the neon green tutu shaking her groove thing out there? That would have been you when you were a little girl." (insert sigh here)

"Hey Boy...that little boy with the red balloon sword and the painted super hero face, running around slaying dragons reminds me so much of you at that age!" (insert another sigh)

Happiness is sharing a beer with your best friend while singing along (very, very softly!) to the Go Go's when the band takes a break.

Happiness is a son who wanders off for a few minutes only to return with a funnel cake for the family to share...
(please note the little grabby hands!!)

Happiness is two teenagers who happily sat together and smiled for a picture for their mother when she asked them...

Well, you know...


Happiness is this. 

Right now. This day, this family, this life.

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