Tag Archives: Halloween

It’s hard to complain about a busted transmission when there are severed heads floating around

I have decided not to complain about the fact that the transmission just died in our car, that the estimate to repair it was higher than the value of the car, or that unexpectedly purchasing a new (to us) car wiped out our emergency fund and left us figuring out how to put a car payment into our monthly budget.

Instead, I will say that I am grateful I now have a safe car to drive and distract myself (and you!) with a picture of the back wall of the “kids corner” in the car dealership.

Check it out:

When we go back to the dealer for our first tune-up, I am absolutely dressing T in his footed PJ’s that match the wall almost exactly.

You thought I was kidding? It really is almost a perfect match...

I am pretty sure he will look like a head, floating in the heavens (that is, if I can get him to stay in the “kid corner” long enough to snap a photo…when we were there last time, he was in a different kind of heaven…a display room completely full of cars).

It reminds me of when I was in elementary school, and our local weatherman (Gary Dobbs!) came to speak at an assembly, and we thanked him by giving him a sweatsuit in our school color – blue.  Mr. Dobbs apologetically told us he would never be able to wear it on air because it was exactly the same color as the bluescreen he stood in front of while giving the weather report (you know the blue area they overlay the weather map onto before transmitting the signal to your TV).  I remember him saying that maybe he could wear it to report the weather on Halloween, since on that day it would be appropriate to hear the weather from what looked like a creepy floating head.

He didn’t do that.  I actually tuned in on Halloween to see if he would and was seriously disappointed.

This begs the questions: (1) why do I remember the name of the man who reported the local weather in my small Alabama town during the 1980s when I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the woman who says hello to me every single day at Kindergarten pick-up?, and (2) why, of all the wisdom that must have been spouted from that lectern during assemblies, is Mr. Dobbs’ rejection of our blue sweatsuit the only thing I remember in such detail?

I don’t know the answers to those questions.

But perhaps I have distracted all of us from the saga of the car…


Character Confusion (alternate title: our apologies to the neglected Princess Leia!)

E (age 5), looking at a package of candy she received while trick-or-treating:  “Mom, what kind of candy is this?”

Me: “It’s a Starburst.  You’ll love it.”

E: “Oooohh!  Starburst!  I will love it!  All the boys in my class love it!  Some of them said they were going to dress up as different kinds of Starburst characters for Halloween!”

Me: “Um, I think they’re talking about Star Wars.  That’s a movie.  The candy is totally different.  Have a piece…”

(In our house, we are totally unaware that anything other than a Disney princess – or an add for candy – could occupy a movie screen.)

In case you were curious… (alternate title: my life in multiple choice)

Anyone curious about which of the following tasks is more difficult?

(A) Cleaning dog poop off a sparkly glitter shoe without removing all the glitter

(B) Changing a battery in our nursery’s smoke detector while standing on the baby’s glider

(C) Disposing of raw meat scraps (the icky trimmings that begin to smell grotesque after 1 hour in the garbage) while the disposal is broken

(D) Helping a one year old transition from 2 naps to 1 nap a day without disrupting the schedules of the other two children, or

(E) accomplishing anything at all on my actual “to do” list

The answer?  E.  Because (when I am not feeding, dressing, changing, driving, bathing, playing with, or hugging my children), things like A, B, C, and D seem to pop up unexpectedly and consume the majority of my day.

And, in case you were wondering about option ‘A’, you should know that even working with glittery poop is not glamorous.  Note to the general public:  the week before Halloween trick-or-treaters dance through your neighborhood in their favorite dress-up outfits and shoes is a particularly important time to scoop the poop…

My favorite moments from this Halloween…

(1) Watching E & S teaching T how to ask for candy

(2) Seeing all of them in their costumes

(3) Walking through our neighborhood with my family and seeing all the other families out and about

(4) Being completely “in the moment”… (Halloween is such a reminder that childhood is so precious; my husband and I both reflected on how we would miss trick-or-treating with the kids when they decided they were too big to go with mom and dad…)

(5) Hearing – and remembering – the funny things that kids say… yesterday, when I said good morning to S in her room, I reminded her that it was Halloween.  “I know that!” she said, then walked downstairs, turned around and asked me, “Where are the presents?” . . . Um, she might be confusing her holidays!  But that’s ok, E did too when she was younger, telling us right before a Christmas party that if she went in and said “Trick-or-treat, Jesus!” someone might give her a gift.  Oh how I love my quotable kids!

(6) And to prove we are not completely focused on “gifts” (heaven help us…), I must also reveal that one of my favorite moments was recognizing that our kids loved giving out the candy at our door just as much as they loved getting it while trick-or-treating… (It occurred to us yesterday that Halloween really is a great time to celebrate the “joy of giving”.  We are looking for moments to celebrate generosity, and last night as our kids sat content with their overflowing buckets of just collected candy and eager to have the next costumed character knock at our door asking for a treat from our separate home bowl, we found a moment to do that.  It was as simple as saying how proud we were that they enjoyed giving candy to others as much as they enjoyed getting it for themselves… Christmas is another great times to do this too, I think.  I know lessons about generosity will move to another level as our kids age, but we are starting small here…)

Hope you had a Happy Halloween also!

Oh, these are such precious, precious days…




Jill-O-Lantern (courtesy of E):

Have I mentioned lately how much I love E?!

She keeps my heart happy and my pumpkin decorations fashionable.

Love you, E!

“Unanswered Prayers” (alternate title: a conversation between S, God and Garth Brooks)

Today, while standing in front of a mirror holding a piece of curly green ribbon under her nose, S told me, “I really wish God had made me with a green mustache.”

Well, S,  to quote a country song by Garth Brooks, “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”.

(My current prayer  is that S is not on her way to Halloween costume #3, since I am running out of time to pull things together, though I will say that a green-mustached-whatever would certainly capture the uniquely wonderful essence of S!)

Love you, your brain, and your green mustache, S!  (Truth be told, the green actually complements the Frankenstein tattoo you’ve been sporting on your cheek for four days now quite nicely.)

Halloween (with apologies to Jane Fonda!)

A few weeks ago, the girls settled on their Halloween costumes.

– E wanted to be Princess Jasmine

– S wanted to be Barbie from Toy Story 3.

– and, looking for a character that would complement both his sisters and be fun for himself, T settled on being a monkey.  To E, he is Abu (Aladdin’s monkey).  To S, he is “The Eye in the Sky” (the Toy Story 3 character that clangs his cymbals loudly whenever one of the movie’s characters tries to escape).

We did pretty well this year without breaking the bank…

– I found E’s Jasmine costume at a consignment sale ($8!)

– While searching for S’ costume, I discovered that no one makes a “Toy Story 3 Barbie” costume.  No worries, as I was able to piece together an outfit from supplies I found at Wal Mart and the dollar store.

– and T’s monkey costume is on loan from a friend (thank you! he loves it!) and is complemented by some accessories we had around the house.

Here they are…

E’s is spot on, which is good because (at this stage of life…no permanent labeling here), she is my perfectionist…


S’ is pretty spot on too, but it doesn’t matter because only true Toy Story 3 fans will recognize her.

Here’s the actual character:

and here is S’ costume:


The leg warmers are actually dollar store socks with the toe seams cut open. S wears them around the house all the time. (Her mama might have rocked a few leg warmers back in the '80s...what can I say, certain things are timeless...)

I think we did pretty well, and S is thrilled.  However, I am pretty sure most people will think I have dressed her like a miniature Jane Fonda, so I am tempted to put this label on her shirt.


T’s costume wins points for its split personality.  The monkey suit has managed to do what I attempt to do on a daily basis…provide both girls what they need (an celebration of both their characters!) while giving T the fuzzy warm snuggles a toddler requires.  I lose slight points since, in our trial costume run at our (awesome!) neighborhood celebration last weekend (which we attended with our cousins!), someone got all excited and said: “I love it!  He’s a little Ewok from Star Wars!”  Oh well, maybe whatever points we lose in due to “ambiguity” we gain back in the “versatility” category?


T's Monkey Suit...


...which could be Abu from Aladdin (a perfect complement for E's Princess Jasmine costume)...


...or "The Eye in the Sky" from Toy Story 3, a perfect complement for S' "Toy Story Barbie" ensemble... (By the way, we are still working with T on making that face, but he has the cymbal banging part down pat already...)

Anyway, I will conclude the rundown of our Halloween gear by saying that after all this, S announced tonight that she has changed her mind and just wants to wear something from our dress-up bin.

No problem by me!

Though Jane Fonda may be disappointed…

Tootie Fruitie

You may recall that this summer, in an effort to help the girls become more independent, we adjusted the location of several things around the house.  We installed a low towel hook in the main bathroom, moved their jackets from high hangers to low bins in the closet, and we relocated several food items from the elevated cabinets into a low drawer where they could serve themselves.

One of the items we lowered was a bag of our traditional post-breakfast treats.  If you eat all of your regular breakfast at our house (eggs and oatmeal preferred by E, sausage by S!) you can go help yourself to a handful of Tootie Fruities (the generic version of Fruit Loops).

Well, T is now big enough to reach the drawer that holds those Tootie Fruities, but still too little to understand the concept of waiting until after mealtime for his special treat.  As a result of this combo, about 100 times a day, he disappears into the kitchen and pretty soon, I see this coming at me…


That’s right.  Approximately 100 times a day, I am assaulted by a bag of Tootie Fruities with eyes, hair and feet.  He comes at me because he needs help opening the bag to get to his treats.

I did move the bag into a higher drawer for an hour, but poor T was so confused and broken hearted when he opened his drawer and peered into a fruitless void that I couldn’t help but move them back.

So of course, he came at me again…


My question at this point is not about his nutritional status or any dental damage that might result from my weakness and T’s latest obsession.

Instead, I am wondering how bad it would be to dress T as a bag of Tootie Fruities for Halloween.

I mean, he could just carry the bag around the neighborhood.  He would truly look like a bag of breakfast cereal with feet.

As a bonus, people could just drop any Halloween candy into the costume.  It’s designed to hold sugary substances.  (Hold your applause.  I know!  Brilliant.)

So, without taking my fairly low standards into consideration (ahem, this means closer to Halloween I will confess what I dressed T in last year for the holiday), I ask you to answer quite honestly…

…If you saw this guy sitting on your doorstep this Halloween,


wouldn’t you give him a treat?!