Halloween 2012

31 10 2012

I am out of words. Either that, or I’m saving them up for this weekend. Pictures instead:

Rainbow was a puppy. She said, “Next year, I’m going to be something scary. I’ve never been something that’s scary.” Personally, I’d love for her to stick with the non-scary.

But it happens to the best of them, as Eden in all her zombie-ness shows.

I didn’t get one of Zack by himself, so this one where he’s trying to kill his undead sister will have to do.

Colby was pretty much the cutest Yoda ever. I didn’t think he’d keep his ears on, but he did. It was fun to see him trick or treat around the neighborhood. He knows most of the houses where people have dogs, and since he’s afraid and anxious around them, we skipped those houses. “Look at all this candy!” he said.

I did have the chance to haul him around on my back for awhile. Unfortunately we don’t have a very good picture of it.

We do have this one, though, where I’m expertly holstering my blaster. You can’t teach talent like that, folks. It’s simply a gift.

(As is the perfect Luke Skywalker hair.)

Happy Halloween!

The End of the Halloween Grinch?

30 10 2012

I hate Halloween.

I make no secret of it. My kids all know this about me, and they tolerate it well enough.

(That is, if when I say “tolerate,” you think of whining about Halloween decorations, begging for Halloween decorations, and finally making their own Halloween decorations. What is with Halloween decorations? I ask you.)

There are some things about Halloween that I like. Parts of it.

Pumpkin carving. Dressing up. (I’m trying to go with the rule of three here, but I can’t think of anything else.)

There are (and always will be) things about Halloween I dislike. Most of it.

Creepy masks. Any decorations involving guts, gore, and dismembered body parts. Adults who use the holiday to dress up like hookers. Razor blades in apples. (Okay, that’s probably an urban legend.) Having to spend money on candy. Policing the candy intake. (Who am I kidding? I usually let them eat it all in one night so I don’t have to deal with it.) Sugary things that I should know better not to eat but which I eat anyway, which in turn make me feel crummy.

(I’m starting to think the title of this post is a misnomer. I guess that means I need to hurry up and get to the part where I *stop* being grinchy.)

We carved pumpkins last night.

After some arguing about who got the biggest pumpkin (and some threatening that we wouldn’t do it at all if we couldn’t just get along), Rainbow knocked hers out in about an hour. And then, in a fitting tribute to her current love of playing babies (the day after her infusion last week, I found her in her room with about ten baby dolls lined up, receiving their own infusions), she made a baby pumpkin to match.

Eden, of the high-expectation-perfectionist school, cried and stabbed and carved and cried some more as her Frankenstein pumpkin took over two hours to emerge from the gourd. It’s hard being an artist.

Zack won the I-get-the-biggest-pumpkin battle. That means he also won the-pumpkin-with-the-thickest-rind contest. He sawed and jawed and only had a vague idea of what he wanted when he started–so he was, of course, pleased with how well it turned out.

I ended up carving the creepiest-looking pumpkin I’ve ever made personally. Colby chose the face for his from three options. He remembered about “opening” the pumpkins and putting candles inside. “Happy pumpkin,” he said. (When he looked at Zack’s pumpkin, he said, “Oh, it’s crying.” Close enough.)

Of course, when I woke up this morning to this:

I had to remind myself that pumpkin carving is one of the parts of Halloween that I actually like. (And I also had to remind myself that I truly shouldn’t go to bed until the kitchen is clean.)

I went to the store to get candy while the kids were at school yesterday. I found myself thinking, “I can’t believe I just spent $30 on candy!” And then, after paying another $20 for pumpkins which, apparently, weren’t big enough, I started getting a little bit grouchy again. Add another $20 or $30 on for costume supplies (and that’s actually pretty cheap for five people), and I spent nearly $100 on Halloween this year! (Or $70. It just doesn’t sound as impressive, though.)

However, when I hurriedly read (skimmed) the newspapers we were lining the floor with, I found this interesting tidbit in USA Today: “The National Retail Federation estimated that Americans spent $6.86 billion last year on Halloween, double what was spent in 2005.” (Emphasis added. You know, for emphasis.)

In six years, the retail value of Halloween in America has doubled.

What does that say to you? Especially in light of the economic conditions of the past several years?

That people are more willing to spend money on this goofy, gory, secular holiday instead of voting to replace the high school built in the 50’s that has a roof that leaks every time it rains?

Newsflash: I live in Washington. It rains a lot.

(Hopefully, the bond for the new high school will pass. But it didn’t last time it was on the ballot.)

I guess I get a little fed up with people complaining about how hard times are that they can’t support the schools in their community, and then they turn around and spend $6.86 billion on stuff like fake graves for their yards.

Oh, right. That’ll last.

Okay, okay. [Stepping off soapbox.] I’m a Halloween grinch, and I’m also cheap. That’s no surprise.

But here is a surprise: I made some Halloween decorations.

I know, right? Wonders never cease.

All it took was a couple of packages of tissue paper from the dollar store (which I already had), some scissors, and some tape.

Viola! See, I’m not a complete grinch!

And it looks even better at night:

Have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone!

This Boy . . .

29 10 2012

. . . is a full-fledged kindergartener.

He gets homework.

He loves going on the slide during recess.

And his teacher tells me he is a hard worker.

The other day, I laid down on the floor for a little nap. He came into the room. “Mom is taking a nap,” he said. Loudly.

“Set a timer!” (Also loudly.)

“Okay, okay.” I was not speaking loudly. I was mumbling. I took out my cell phone and set the timer for ten minutes.

“Okay, set the timer. Ten more minutes!”

I slipped in and out of the fog.

“Nine minutes!”

“Eight more minutes!”

Occasionally, one of these updates would be punctuated by a shove to my head. (This is where I update my nap post to include the phrases “quiet place” and “a door that locks.”)

Truly, though, Colby’s ability to understand timers is a blessing. It makes turning off the iPad much easier. I’ll say, “Time to go to bed!”

And he’ll say, “No bed! Just one more minute! Set timer!”

So I’ll set the timer, and he’ll watch it count down instead of playing his game, and then he’ll switch the iPad off as soon as the timer reaches zero.


At this point in our day, he’ll run upstairs into my room, saying, “Colby sleep on Mom’s bed.”

“No way! You’re sleeping in your own bed!”

“Sleep in tent?”

“Okay. Go get in the tent.”

He hasn’t actually slept in his own bed for like a year. There’s a little tent set up in his room. Our neighbors gave it to us, along with a big bag of plastic balls: mini ball pit! I put the balls away long ago, and he has his blankets, pillows, and dolphins piled up in there.

He crawls in and I bring his toothbrush and brush his teeth. (This sometimes includes a toothbrushing song, unless he says, “No songs.” Then I try and get all available surfaces cleaned before he bites the toothbrush and I have to yank his head around until he lets go.) Sometimes I floss his teeth with a flosser, and we count to 18, one for each space I dig into. If we don’t floss, then he says, “Frosting tomorrow. Frosting later.”

Then he says prayers, which lately he has taken into his head to say as fast as possible. I have to stop him before he says “Amen” by saying, “And please bless . . . ”

“Please bless Grandma in the nameofJesusChristAmen.”

Then I kiss him (because he is completely kissable at all times) and he wipes it off. So I kiss him again, somewhere else, and he wipes it off. If I don’t say, “Hey!” in a grouchy, offended voice, he reminds me.

So I kiss, he wipes, I “Hey!”, and he laughs until I’ve kissed every crazy place I can think of.

Then he puts on his back pack. (This is new since starting school this year.) Sometimes he has to run to my room and look at himself in my full-length mirror. He looks at himself with a kind of a trace of a smile. Then he’ll turn to try and look at his back pack while it’s on his back. First one way, then the other. When he’s satisfied it’s the most perfect back pack in the world (or whatever it is he’s looking for in the mirror), we head back to the tent to go to sleep . . .

. . . after we read the bus book. “School Bus, by Donald Crews,” I say. By the time we get to the end, where I say, “Home again,” and then I turn the page and I wait for Colby to say, “Home again,” I have yawned a couple of times. When I yawn, Colby laughs and says, “Mom is tired.”

I have to say, “Yes, Mom is tired,” or he’ll just keep saying, “Mom is tired” until I agree.

Bedtime yet? Not quite yet.

“Okay, five more songs.” When he says this, he’s laying down on his back (pack) or his side, and he reaches his hand up in the air, his five fingers spread out to show me how many.

“What song do you want first?”

“Okay, five more songs.”

“Yes, five songs. What song first.”

“Okay, Baby Mine.”

“Fast or slow?”

He changes this part up every night. He’s been on a fast kick lately, where he thinks everything is so funny when it’s fast (which, when you think about how popular The Chipmunks are, must be a kid thing), but he had me sing this slowly last night.

I yawned about six times. “Yes, Mom is tired. Mom is always tired.”

The latest favorites for night songs are “Baby Mine,” “Good Night” (ala Beatles), “Search, Ponder, and Pray,” “Keep the Commandments,” and “If the Savior Stood Beside Me.” He ticks each song off on one of his cute little fingers, reminding me of the count when each finishes. “Just three more songs. Okay, three more songs.”

And then, at last, he goes to sleep.

Even though I say, “At last,” I love it. He is such a sweet boy.

Speaking of being a sweet boy, and of Primary songs, yesterday was the Primary program in our ward. He didn’t stand up for many of the songs, although I did see his little fingers making the rain come tumbling down when they were singing, “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man.”

Eden was helping Colby with his “part,” the time when each child says something in the microphone. He was the very last child to go. This was good, because then he had a chance to see all the other kids doing it. It was also bad, because by the time it was his turn, he was D-O-N-E. (Although frankly, he was probably done by the first song.) Eden went down from her spot on the back row to where Colby was sitting. She bent down and was talking to him. The congregation waited. She kept trying to convince him to get up and say his part. It felt like a long silence, though it was probably only a minute.

I saw her turn around and crouch, and I knew Colby must have requested a “hug for back.” She took him up to the microphone piggy back, and then said into the microphone, “Colby’s goal for this year was to choose the right.” In her hand she held up the CTR shield that Colby had written CTR on earlier this year. Colby had his arms around her neck and his head resting on her back.

And he was smiling.

KIA Power.

7 10 2012

First off, I need to apologize for any misconceptions my last post might have given you. Especially those who visited from my Facebook feed, where I posted a link and tried to make a procrastination joke with the punchline, “I was just in a car accident.” That, of course, referred to the joke in the post proper, where I vowed to use that excuse for any and all things that weren’t being accomplished in a timely manner. Unfortunately, I forgot that the people who saw my Facebook post hadn’t read my blog post yet, so some of them were concerned for my safety. I appreciate it, and apologize for scaring you. It happened in July, I am very okay.

And so is my van. (Now.)

Good as new! Except I’m still missing a hubcap, which reminds me that I need to call the body shop and ask them about it. Maybe I’ll get some spinners!

(That’s a joke, by the way. KIA’s don’t do spinners. And if it comes to that, neither do I.)

Transcribing that last post from my journal also reminded me of this bit of wisdom:

Just think of how much saner the world would be if more people took their drama to their journals on a regular basis.

And, in a completely random turn, here’s a picture of Rainbow:

I made her dress, and my mom wanted to see a picture. Ta da!

I also need to shout out to my awesome home teacher and his wife, who came and painted my porch and trim for me (WAY above and beyond the call of duty, and for which I am extremely grateful) which inspired me to paint my front door, which has probably needed painting for five years.

People are so awesome.