Friday, October 31, 2008


Halloween was a lot of fun this year. It was Big's first real trick-or-treating experience, since last year he was kind of just along for the ride. 

Big was a lot of fun to watch. At first, he had a look of confusion on his face as people put candy into his bucket. It was like he was about to say to them, "Why are you putting things into my bucket?! You're nuts!"

Before too long, however, he figured it out (or at least accepted what all the crazy people were doing. I mean, why not?! It's candy!). Big went from standing on the porches with uncertainty, to wrenching open screen doors and latching onto giver's candy bowls with a death-like grip. He even tried entering a few homes to help speed things along. 

Thanks goodness Big wasn't a complete heathen about it all. He actually said a few thank you's and said good bye to a few folks. I took his bucket (a basketball bucket, of course) at one point to find a piece of candy for him to eat, and boy did he give me a dirty look as he snatched it back. Better not try that one again. 

All of the kids were cute. Once, when we paused to chat to a candy giver, she was holding the candy bowl at Bud's level and he kept reaching out and caressing the side of the bowl. You could tell he wanted to take another piece of candy so bad, but would stop himself and just caress the bowl instead. It was so cute to watch.

Anyway, I'm tired and I'm sure I'm not making much sense (or making much sense very well), so on to the pictures!

Bud was going to be a cowboy, but changed his mind and went as a wizard instead:

Ginger couldn't decide either, so she combined her 2 choices and went as a fairy witch:

Pen, as a "Fashion Disaster":

Big, as a bear with a basketball bucket:

Big, wearing Ginger's hat:

I wish the pictures were better, but standing still for photos is not what they want to be doing once they're in costume!  I hope you all had as much fun on Halloween as we did!


We headed down to my folks' place today so Ginger and Pen could go fishing with Grandpa Fish (that's his name for a reason, you know!) and their Uncle Kevis. They had a grand time, and both girls ended up with a fish.

Ginger was happy to find out that hers was a male:

Brave Pen touched the fish directly-- no stick needed (no comments about the headband Grandma loaned her are necessary, because I know):

The fishing trip went a little longer than expected, as they often do (and as we thought it might), so we ended up trick-or-treating down in that neck of the woods. It worked out great-- I think my parents really enjoyed spending Halloween with some grandkids, and my sister, Aunt Opera, and her husband are in town. 

It's just a good thing we thought to throw our costumes in the car. The only drawback is that the 2 big bags of candy that I bought are still hidden in my cupboard because I wasn't around to hand them out. Oh, well. The girls loved fishing, so it was worth it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Enjoying the Warm

We have been experiencing crazy warm weather. I wish it were just a little cooler-- I really miss that fall nip that is usually in the air-- but I guess I shouldn't complain. We decided to go for a family bike ride (without Pen, who was still doing homework) to enjoy the weather. I took a few shots while Rophone was pumping up a few tires. 

I love this face:

I love how his hair does a "farm boy" part in the middle when he does his "Baywatch" run:

Big parked himself on Bud's tricycle while he waited:

Ginger, next to the sun drenched street:

I can't believe that it is the end of October and we are still dealing with mosquitos and bees! If anyone knows how to get ahold of Fall, tell him (her? it?) that I'm waiting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What a Thoughtful Child

The other night I was discussing with Pen some of my laundry woes (okay, maybe discussing isn't exactly right, but a mom's allowed to gripe now and then, isn't she?!). My woes are never ending, of course, just like the laundry.

Some of you may remember that this blog's inception came about because of my frustration over laundry and my desire for some laundry respect. I am beginning to give up on my dream. I never gave my mom any laundry props, so I don't know why I am clinging to the hope that my own children will be different with me.

Anyway, I was telling Pen that I don't want to be a nag (we're forced into it, right?!), but that the fact that she and Ginger had yet to gather their dirty clothes and bring them to the laundry room-- despite numerous reminders (See?! They made me do it!)-- was really wearing on me. 

I told Pen, "Doing laundry is really not much fun for me, so I don't need you and Ginger to make things even less enjoyable." 

Pen was listening very attentively (not tuning me out as usual), and she told me she had a great idea of what could be done to make doing the laundry way better. I allowed my mind to wander, coming up with all sorts of ways the girls could help more (we would be laughing gaily and singing while we worked, of course)... I began to get excited! 

Then Pen announced her plan-- "Mom, I'm going to have Dad take me to Burger King and I'll get you a crown to wear while you do the laundry, since you're the Laundry Queen and all. Won't that make it a lot more fun for you?"

It's nice to have such a thoughtful child. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tying One On

Bud put his own tie on today, without any help at all (I know, it's kind of hard to tell). Boy was he proud! He took me all over the yard to find places to take his picture. I loved every minute of it! I mean, look at that mug!

Pen and I worked on some more pumpkins together this evening after dinner. We had a great time talking and hanging out. Here's what we ended up with:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Wuss

I was so excited for Big to have his first pumpkin carving experience, but it didn't go like I had imagined. Not even close. I thought he would have some initial trepidation, but quickly overcome his fear, to then dig into the pumpkin guts with gusto. Yeah. This is how it really went:

I kept suggesting that he try to clean the pumpkin out, and he kept looking at its poor insides and crying. Over and over. I finally took it away to give Big a break. I'm not sure if he was scared of what the pumpkin contained, or if he was sad that a good "ball" had been ruined! We'll give it a shot again next year. 


I love Halloween! Not for the candy, mind you, but for the pumpkin carving (and to see the kids in their costumes, of course). This afternoon, while Big was napping, the 3 older kids and I had a little fun with pumpkins (let's not even get into whether the pumpkins had fun-- I can't make everyone happy!). 

I decided it would be better for Big to have his first pumpkin carving experience by himself once he woke up-- that way he'd be able to get really messy and I could devote all my attention to taking pictures. So, I'll cover him in the next post.

Ginger hated the pumpkin slime when she was younger, but now really gets into it. This is the only picture I was able to take that showed any of her face:

Pen has always loved the pumpkin carving process, and this year is the first time she carved her pumpkin start to finish all by herself. Way to go, Pen!

Bud loves the idea of the whole thing, but definitely isn't a fan of the reality of the mess. Here he is pretending to clean out his pumpkin (what an actor!):

We had a great time, but with all of the different directions I was being pulled I managed to get distracted enough to totally demolish Ginger's pumpkin. Sorry, Ginger. I'll have to carve another for her tomorrow.  

Here are the 2 pumpkins we managed to carve this afternoon before Big woke up (Pen's is the bat on the left-- the cat is the one I carved for Bud): 

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lamp Ball

Big, the ball addict, has turned his focus from baseball to "backet-ball" (as he calls it). On our daily walk today, he went from driveway to driveway pointing at the basketball hoops and asking to play. 

Anything even vaguely resembling a hoop is fair game for a shot-- which is why my poor lamp looks like this:

The pole is supposed to go straight up the center of the shade, see. I'm not even going to bother to fix it until Big grows out of this stage-- it would just be a waste of time. So, for the meantime we'll live with our skewampus lamp and be glad it still works.

Oh, and in case you were thinking of trying it out.... if your child drops the ginormous tub of Philly cream cheese on the floor, yes, it does come out in one big glob. Ideal for cream cheese castle making if you so desire!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Showing the Signs

Right now, as I sit here, a feeling of dread is developing in the pit of my stomach. I'm afraid that what I feared is happening. It is with great dismay that I realize Big is beginning to show the signs. I was really hoping to have at least another year before it occurred!

Big seems to be growing out of needing a nap! Pen stopped taking naps at 18 months and, I fear, Big is aiming to do the same. At this moment, he is in his crib talking, singing and banging his feet instead of sleeping as he is supposed to do. 

On the days I manage to get him to take a good nap, he then spends an hour in his crib at night playing before finally succumbing to sleep. Yes, Big is definitely showing the signs and I'm NOT happy about it! I'm just sooo not ready!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Lately, Big has been obsessed with using the Swiffer. He manages to get into the hall closet to retrieve it, and spends at least an hour every day Swiffering. It's awesome! It's kind of like having one of those little robotic vacuums that pick up all the debris while I go about my business. 

In the living room:

Making sure his bedroom is dust free:

Big also loves to load the silverware into the dishwasher (look at those eyes-- you can tell it's nap time!):

Big really seems to love to clean. Occasionally, I'll even walk into the kitchen to find him on his hands and knees, scrubbing the tile with a towel. If he keeps this up, I'll have to rename him CinderBig!

Hair on My Chinny

I was just cuddling with Bud on the couch, and was enjoying it thoroughly, when this conversation occurred:

Bud: (looking at my face) You really need to take care of your chin.

Me: Why? What's wrong with my chin?

Bud: It's all hairy.

Me: (with shock) Really?! How hairy is it?!

Bud: (very gravely) I'd better go get my hair-cutting equipment.

Yikes! If I wasn't already struggling with getting older.... 

The best part of getting my chin hairs "cut" was when Bud offered to color them. I had a choice of brown, black, or gray. (Just for the record, I checked in the mirror and my chin's just a bit fuzzy. Well, except for that one long one I inherited from my mom. Thanks again, Mom!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Going Primitive

Last night, we got together with the local members of my extended family for a birthday dinner for Pen and her cousin Captain Tornado. As we were getting the food on the table, my brother and I were all up for just putting the fish sauce out in the sour cream container that it was stored in, but my mom put up a bit of a fuss and insisted we scoop it into another dish.

Well, we overruled her. I mean, it's just family! I remember as a kid, having to put the milk in a pitcher to put on the table, or having to scoop the jam and other condiments into dishes before it went out. I know my mom was raised this way, and that she tried to raise us the same way, but I guess it didn't take. I do it for guests, though, so take heart, Mom!

Anyway, as we were getting the final items out on the buffet (and after our discussion on how the fish sauce should be served), my folks had this funny interaction:

(This is as my mom was putting the final touches on the cream peas and potatoes, which were in pot on the stove)

Dad: Are you going to serve them in that? (gestures toward the pot)

Mom: How would I serve them in this?!

Dad: You put a spoon in it.

Mom: Well! (she harumps) As long as we're going primitive!

Yes! One less dish to wash at the end (well, two, if you count the dish we didn't put the fish sauce in)! No one died, no one was offended. It tasted great! Thanks for the dinner, Mom!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hormonal Hattie

This getting older thing is really throwing me for a bit of a loop. I remember as a kid, kind of laughing at my mom as she started shedding clothing, fanning herself all the while. Now that I am the one experiencing hot flashes.... well, sorry Mom.

I have a bit of a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde thing going on at times, only I've named my alter ego Hormonal Hattie. She emerges with no warning to take over my emotions, often making me react in a less than rational way. It's just super. Thanks Hattie!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Snow Play

This morning, after we sent the girls off to school, I took the boys out in the yard to play in the snow. Okay, maybe not in the snow, exactly-- really, they were playing on the snow because it was just as hard and crusty as I expected it would be. But, oh well, they seemed to have fun anyway. Get ready for lots of pictures!

Bud, amusing Big with his show of strength as he crushes chunks of icy snow in his fist:

Brushing snow off Big's jacket:

Big, in his cumbersome snow gear, kept getting stuck in "downward-facing dog" (at first, trying to help him up by the arms, I kept bonking him in the head with my camera, so I started just grabbing him one handed by the back of his jacket):

Finally, exhausted, Big stopped trying to get up on his own. Here, he is sitting and chanting, "Up, up, UP!":

With encouragement, Big managed to get up on his own-- without getting stuck in "downward-facing dog". Hooray! He is so proud of himself:

We had a lot of fun. They wanted to stay out for longer, but I was getting kind of bored just standing on hard snow. Plus, my toes were cold (I don't have any boots, okay?!). I am such a party pooper! 

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Pen got her ears pierced yesterday. Cute, huh?