Friday, October 30, 2009

This is Halloween

So Halloween in Ohio is a little bit screwy. We don't trick or treat on Halloween, we trick or treat on Beggars Night...(which is always a week night and rarely on Halloween.) I remember my first Halloween here complaining about it to someone because I just don't get it. I didn't have children at the time, but she said she felt sorry for my future kids. As though wanting to trick or treat on Halloween would make me a bad mom.

We went trick or treating Thursday night.

This was not my best year for costumes. Moving in September really threw me for a loop. I didn't even start putting together my own costume until the morning of the ward Halloween party...and I came up with Spencer's only moments before the party.

I of course couldn't put the boys costumes off that long. We made a trip to the thrift store and fabric store a few weeks ago. We went in with certain costumes in mind, but while at the thrift store they were otherwise inspired. I tried to talk them back into their original and much cooler costume ideas, but it wasn't happening.

Parker - Ben Ten. This was the lamest costume of all. (Though he looked cute anyway.) Ben Tennison is a 10 year old boy who changes into 10 different creatures to fight off evil doers. But basically, Parker dressed like a kid for Halloween.

Parker fount this green jacket at the thrift store. It was three sizes too big and I cut it down and added a '10.'
I made him a Ben Ten watch out of felt, too. It's not pictured.

Reid - A Baseball Player. With about every other little boy on the block. How un-original can we be? He loved it and I think the accessories will be well used around here.

Gray - A Golfer. I've been wanting a golfer since Parker was little and could never talk a kid into it. But Gray didn't seem to have an opinion and since we weren't doing a theme with his brothers anymore, I went for it. He got the most reaction. It was pretty cute.

I made the pants and the hat I did without a pattern. Impressed? I am. He wore the sweater vest for the Halloween party, but I put a sweater on him to trick or treat. It was a little chilly.

Spencer - A Frenchman. Though it wasn't much, it was hilarious. Between an cheesy mustache and a cheesy accent, Spencer had us all laughing. Spencer speaks french and could really pull this off. However, I've already surpassed my weekly quota of Spencer pictures on my blog. After much deliberation, he agreed to a small one in a collage. Sorry to disappoint.

Me - Miss Viola Swamp. I chose this costume knowing full well no one would know who I was (except Amanda which made my day). But of the 4 or 5 costumes I put together that morning, this was everyone's favorite. Miss Nelson is Missing is my kids current favorite book and they really loved the costume. So I did it for them. Everyone else just assumed I was a witch.

My dress? United Colors of Benetton. A $4 thrift store find last summer.

The best part about the costumes is that I spent under $15 for the entire family combined. Can't get better than that.

And because I accidentally left this cute one out of the collage:

Blast From Halloween Past

You think I do Holidays big? You should meet my old college roommate, Heidi. She's great. Halloween always remind me of her.

Heidi sort of started a Halloween tradition of baking soup in a carved out pumpkin. One year we invited the neighborhood; our whole four-plex and the small apartment we shared a parking lot with. We had 20-some people all crammed into our tiny apartment for a sit down meal. We moved out all the furniture and borrowed everyone's tables and chairs. It was a really fun night.

Carrie (isn't she pretty?) Erin, Heidi, Me

Spencer and I had been dating a year at that point. Spencer got up to make a "big announcement." Half the people really believed Spencer was proposing at a silly Halloween dinner in front of all of these people. I didn't know what he was going to announce, but I knew Spencer well enough to know that that wasn't it.

Heidi ruined his punchline when she asked if he was pregnant. Spencer sat down ashamed. It's so ridiculous. But we really were having a great time.

Carrie borrowed her parents video camera for a semester and we have this night (as well as many other everyday moments) on video. My disc drive is broken. I just recorded it off the tv; a REALLY lousy recording. And I promise that if you didn't know us in college, you won't enjoy this at all. Carrie recorded the whole night, but it's just a lot of nothing...close-ups on Heidi's mouth and everyone's hind quarters, and water fights, but mostly just conversations. Which I enjoy watching. But I'll spare you.

Stay tuned for Halloween costumes...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An Apple a Day

So posting pictures is not my strength as a blogger. We've been having all kind of fall fun and I haven't posted any of it. I really have so many pictures I haven't made any effort to post. I'll see what I get around to.

But you can't live in Ohio in the fall and not post about apple picking at Lynds Fruit Farm. We only had one Saturday open the entire fall. It was of course the coldest Saturday all month...snow flurries and all. And me with no coat. But with the help of a warm funnel cake and some fresh hot apple cider, we managed.

I believe it was Grandpa Lynd himself who took us on a private tractor-pulled hay ride. He stopped off to pick us some of his favorite special variety of apples almost as big as our heads. It was apple ecstasy. Spencer and I commented how in complete honesty we've never had a better apple in our lives.

We picked pumpkins while we were there. Right off the vine. That was a little short lived. I was freezing at that point.

Spencer talked me into picking way more apples than we needed...but we've been enjoying them ever since.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I have confidence in confidence alone...

You probably don't know this about me, but I have been offered every job I've ever interviewed for. Getting the interview is the hard part. I'm not sure I can sell myself on paper. But once I accept that first handshake, I know I have it in the bag.

Maybe it stems from my (over)confidence. From the time I step foot in that office (or even get the call to set up the interview) I honestly believe that I'll get the job. I think I'm good at reading people and knowing what they want to hear. I actually like interviews. I'm kind of self centered that way. I get undivided attention while talking about favorite topic of conversation.

I had a job interview a couple weeks ago. Parker's school was looking for a Parent Consultant. Each school in our district hires two of them. It's quite similar to PTN (PTA/PTO). The main focus is to get parents involved and informed. Only it's a paid job. (SCORE!) The job description said ten hours a week. (SCORE AGAIN!)

I've been looking for a job like this since I made the big leap into the stay at home mom world. Plus, as an added bonus, I'd be in Parker's school...getting to know all the staff and parents of his friends. It was a win-win situation.

This job only opens up ever five years or so. I very honestly felt like it was fate that this job opened up the same time I had a kid start school here. I felt very, very inspired to apply and truthfully, very inspired that it would be mine. It was perfect on every level.

I applied, interviewed, and naturally, was offered the job.

Only, in the interview, I learned some things about the job that just didn't rest well with me. The other Parent Consultant has no kids at home and devotes her life to this job. She is at the school ALL THE TIME. She has her hands in everything. She puts in significantly more than the allotted ten hours. She sat on the interview committee and told me she didn't expect everyone to commit as many hours as she did. But she did expect (as did the rest of the committee) who ever they hire to put in a full work week when they do fund raisers, or book fairs, or have holiday plans, or special events. And it turned into full work weeks (or two or three) every five weeks. This other consultant sort of set a precedent for committing to extra work.

While I can see how that benefits the school and really, I'm willing to volunteer time at my kids school, I'm not really ready to commit to working so many hours with two kids at home. I thought and thought and thought about this the next day and a half.

Can I really be the kind of mom I want to when I'm gone so many hours? I was ready to leave my kids ten hours...what's a full week every now and then? But it's not just me it's affecting. Would so many hours away start to take a toll on my younger two kids? If I could leave them with Spencer it wouldn't even be a question. I'd work full time if Spencer was home. And frankly, they're not paying nearly enough for me to afford a babysitter more than ten hours a week (though a very generous friend offered to accommodate me on that one). But do I want to drop my kids off with a friend all the time? Is this what I want them to remember of their preschool years? Lots of good parents work and it works for them. Could it work for me?

When I got called (as I knew I would) with a job offer, I told them I would take the job if they were willing to accept me at the ten hours a week they were paying me for (only I said it much nicer in a well thought out speech including an explanation). They kindly told me they understood and thanks but no thanks.

I was hoping to be indispensable to the school. That they'd want me so bad they would accept my terms. No luck. And I'm irritated. I'm irritated that it's a ten hour a week job and they wouldn't hire me because I didn't want to commit to more than ten hours a week.

And I'm sad. I got off the phone with the principal and cried for two days. I'm in a slump. Though nervous, I was really looking forward to being a working girl again. And I was excited to be needed outside the home. I could use a dose of that these days. I'm kinda tired of everything in my life revolving around kids...even my church calling. I've been second guessing myself left and right. Am I crazy for turning it down? If it was as inspired as I thought it was, why am I sitting home feeling sad rather than starting a new job?

It's probably my bad attitude about cookie dough sales.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Heart Craigslist

Really. Am I alone on this?

I bought a new-to-me leather couch a few weeks ago. The woman we bought it from said it had only been sat on sat in her front room for a few years and was only used when her grandmother came to visit. It was worth much more than we paid.

So I sold my couch. It was old and worn down and really uncomfortable. I asked nearly double what I wanted for it just for bartering room. The response was so high. People were offering more than what I was asking just to get their hands on my used couch. Suckers. I would have sold it for much less.

I bought a sweet vintage chair, too. My living room is coming together thanks to Craigslist. It's a great way to get what you want at a portion of the price.

And it's a great way to make money off your junk. I've made well over $1000 on Craigslist in the past year. Seriously. I started by only selling the big stuff. But decided to start selling the small stuff, too. Random knickknacks that have been sitting in boxes for years. Things I think are so ugly and out dated get snatched up just hours after I post them. It adds up fast.

Craigslist is a win-win situation...the buyer gets what they're looking for at a fraction of the cost. And the seller makes money on something they would have otherwise tossed. SA-WEET!!!

I'll post pictures of my living room one of these days. We still haven't painted. But I did order a zebra print rug on last week and it arrived Friday morning. I'm lovin' it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Please take note...the "RealFeel" says 35.

I got rid of all my coats. I sold a ten year old wool coat on Craigslist to some crazy Texan. Who would buy that? Who would need that?

This fall has felt particularly cold to me. Is it colder than normal? Or is it just because I spent the majority of the last two winters in the Texas sun? I'm usually too lazy for a coat. But I need one STAT. I'm freezin' my tail off.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Can you tell me how to get... to get to Sesame Street?

Did you know that Sesame Street is celebrating 40 YEARS in a few weeks? It's been around since 1969. It's the longest running children's show ever. It was the first of it's kind on SO MANY levels. I can't imagine how many people have been influenced by Sesame Street in one way or another. It's a part of our culture.

What's even more crazy...Bob has been on Sesame Street since it premiered 40 years ago.

I hadn't watched Sesame Street in quite some time. We kinda had a no TV during the day schedule for a while. But with Park at school all day and just an all around different routine, I sometimes let my younger two turn on Sesame Street before lunch and naps. I think it's fantastic. Don't hate me. I just like Sesame Street. I think there is some smart humor mixed in with all the educational aspects. I love that they spoof prime time television shows on a child's level. And they have the best celebrity guest spots. I find Sesame Street current and educational and entertaining.

And for today's flashback...

Here's to 40 more years!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Looky, Looky it's a Cookie, Cookie

I don't think I've ever mentioned on the blog that I pulled Parker out of the charter school and went with public school. I was not happy with the charter school on a number of levels. In fact, it was an awful experience.

Despite having heard lots of bad things about our district, I didn't have a lot of options. When we used to live in Columbus, the school we would have sent our kids to was a run down building on the corner of a busy, lousy intersection. But come to find out, they've built a brand new building on a residential street. Ahhhh. The building is incredible. And Parker's teacher is fantastic. There are less kids in his class PLUS a teachers aide. Though it's not my dream school, I've been pleasantly surprised. Parker is much happier here (as am I).

So we've hit the dreaded point in the school year... Parker came home Monday announcing with complete excitement that he gets to sell cookie dough. BOOO!

What could be worse than guilting your friends and neighbors into buying an outrageously priced item from your kid? And unfortunately, it's cookie dough...He can't even call up his grandparents expecting an obligatory purchase. We can't mail frozen cookie dough across the country.

So at FIFTEEN DOLLARS a bucket (GASP!) I'll buy one over priced bucket o' dough so he can get his tacky prize and call it good. Or maybe I'll make my own cookies, buy him a tacky toy and save myself $12. OR better yet...I'll make my own cookie dough, sell it to friends at a fraction of the cost and make enough money to purchase my own bucket from his school.

Anyone want to buy some cookie dough?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Unconditional Love

You love someone regardless of their actions.

This is two sided.

I love Spence despite the fact that he once modeled silky pajamas for a catalog.
(Not Spencer's parents. Not Spencer's sister.)

And Spence loves me despite the fact that I posted it on the world wide web.

Now THAT's unconditional love.

Though I had to put my foot down when he was still wearing these pajamas on our honeymoon. (Kidding.)

Love you Babe!

And for redemption...
He was a pretty cute little kid.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

They Call Me Doctor Worm

We found a bed of worms the other day and this is how Gray put it to use...

He was throwing live worms at his brothers heads. I find worms completely repulsive.

And this morning, I opened the dishwasher to load breakfast dishes and found this...

What? Apparently I don't keep his ball clean enough.

Also this morning, I found a diaper in the toilet.

After all the morning shenanigans I assumed all was normal and took the younger two grocery shopping where Gray fell asleep in the cart and stayed asleep for nearly six hours. Poor kid is running quite the fever. I didn't even notice since he was such a fireball this morning. I'm pretty sure I've never seen anything knock him off his feet like this. It's strange to see him hold still for more than a moment.

And as of bed time, it looks like Reid has a fever too.

Ah the joys of motherhood.