Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This little witch has pretty much had it with the whole dressing up and being cute thing. She refused to look at the camera and any attempt to hold her in place was met with much screaming and back arching. So this is as good as it gets...

This little witch, however, was more than happy to pose and prance for the camera. She especially liked this "action shot" of her flying on her broomstick. Her favorite part of trick or treating was getting m&m's. She likes it when things match.

Here is the tail shot of my little platypus. At every house Jake would say "Trick-or-treat. I am a secret agent platypus." The response was awesome. The best one was when he came back to where I was waiting on the side walk and told me, "Mom, that man said I was the coolest platypus he's seen all night."

After trick-or-treating we went back to Pa Dave's and had baths to warm up. The kids all got Halloween jammies, because I really just love any excuse to get new jammies. I made Jake's pants out of fabric that he got to pick out. The girls' shirts say "Too cute to spook." Evie informed me when she put them on that they are "the best-ist jammies in the whole wide world of my life!" And you just can't get any better than that.

And because it is Halloween here is the scariest picture I took all night!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Parties

It has been a week of Halloween festivities for us. On Monday Evie had a party with the neighborhood preschool. 10+ 3 and 4 year olds in costume, hopped up on sugar? Fantastic!

They played some fun games, did a pumpkin craft, had little monster face pizzas for lunch and read "scary" Halloween stories.

I dressed Lila up in her costume too and stayed to help at the party. (I don't know that I was a whole lot of help, but it was fun to see all the preschoolers in their costumes.)

That night we had a family Halloween party at Brian's parent's house. They aren't going to be here for Halloween night so they wanted to see the kids in their costumes and celebrate with them before they left. I forgot to take my camera with me. I was scrambling to finish Jake's costume, and by the time we left the house I am lucky I remembered to take all three children with me.

Today was the costume parade and Halloween party at Jake's school. Brian went into work late so he could come watch the parade with us. Daddy and his two little witches!

Here is the only picture I could snag of Jake as he ran past. Can you tell what he is? (It's kind of tricky, because you can't see his tail in this shot.) He is a platypus. A secret agent platypus. Perry the Platypus!

If you haven't seen Phineas and Ferb you are probably confused. It's a cartoon on the Disney channel that Jake loves. Phineas and Ferb are brothers who make all kinds of crazy contraptions and plans. Perry is their pet platypus, but they don't know that he is actually a secret agent who battles the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz in each episode. It is really hilarious.

And this just made me laugh. It's not a convenient as a binkie, but I bet it will be a lot harder to lose!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Three whole days...

I totally called it. Three days is how long Brian lasted with the whole shaving thing. But if you ask him he'll tell you he's growing it back to appease our daughter who has greeted him home from work with, "Daddy! Your beard is coming back!" He says he just doesn't have the heart to keep her in such a state of agitation. I call bull crap.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Wild Hair... (and the reactions!)

When I first met Brian he was sporting a goatee, then after we got engaged in the fall he grew it out to a full beard. He is the kind of man who has a 5 o' clock shadow at 9:30 in the morning. (It only takes him about 3 days to grow a full beard...) So he almost always has had full facial hair. The first time he shaved after I met him was the night before we got married. Yeah. I showed up to the temple to a complete stranger! It really weirded me out and then I spent the rest of our honeymoon with a rash on my face because he started to grow it out the next day. I told him if he ever shaved it all off again he couldn't kiss me until it grew in enough to be soft.

The next time he shaved it all off was an accident about six months later. He had just gotten his first sleep apnea machine and was having a hard time getting a good seal with the mask. Without really thinking it all the way through, he decided he could just shave a little bald patch under his bottom lip. It looked like a second smile. Not going to work. There was nothing for it but to shave it all off and start over again. (And no, he did not get to kiss me...) When he first came out to show me what he had done, I couldn't stop laughing at how silly he looked. I thought he was just going to shave it all but he had fun with it first.

Tonight he decided (pretty much out of the blue...) that he wanted a change after 8 years of always having a beard or goatee. So he recreated what he had done last time he shaved, and this time I got photographic evidence. Just in case he ever toys around with the idea of leaving the house with just a mustache, I can prove to him that it is a bad idea!

What we are used to seeing Daddy look like:

First it was the Fu-Man Shouldn't:

Then came the 'Stache: ...words fail me.

Last, but not least, the Charlie Chaplin:

And now something that not one of our children has ever seen, A Bare-faced Daddy!:

He is such a baby face! Or maybe he just looks younger without all the grey in the beard...

I am really not sure how the kids will respond to this when they wake up, it is a major transformation!

(Edited to add on 10/26) The kids' reactions:

Jake took it in stride, he laughed and said he thought Brian looked "really different." Lila was very unsure at first. Jake handed her to Brian and she just kept looking confused and touching his chin and cheeks. It upset Evie the most. She took one look at her dad and screamed, "Your beard is all GONE!" I think she thought someone stole it while he was sleeping. Apparently she couldn't stop talking about it in nursery class and just told everyone over and over, "My daddy shaved all of his beard off! It's all gone! He doesn't have a beard any more!!!" When we got home from church she sat down on the couch by Brian, looked at him for a minute then said, "You look weird with no hair Dad." Brian laughed and asked her, "Don't you think I look good?" Her reply, "No." A little while later she came down to talk to me while I was sewing and said in a forlorn little voice, "Mom, my Daddy is just no good with no beard." And last night at my dad's Brian was the last one in the door. Evie had been talking a mile-a-minute telling Pa Dave how her dad had shaved off all his beard. When Brian came down the hall, she looked at him then ran to him screaming for joy, "Daddy! Your beard comed back!" (I told you his beard grows ridiculously fast...)

I let him kiss me good night right after he shaved on Saturday night (early Sunday morning... whatever) and told him that would have to last him until it grew back in. He asked, "What if I decide to stay clean shaven for awhile?" I told him I gave it less than a week before he decides shaving every day is too much work. I had to laugh at the number of times he complained about how cold his chin was. Poor baby.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Lesson in Manners...

I love those teaching moments that happen in every day life. Take tonight, a typical family sitting around a table for dinner. Our 6 year-old son finishes his drink and announces, "I need more juice." Seeing a teaching moment in his deplorable lack of manners, my husband looks him in the eye and says, "That is quite a predicament, I wonder what you could do to resolve that problem." My son looks at me, rolls his eyes and growls. I look intently at his glass then announce, "Nope. Growling doesn't refill a glass." Then he laid his head back on his chair and let out a rather dramatic sigh. I peer into the glass, "Nope, I guess sighing won't work either." He looks back and forth from his father to me, obviously wondering just how serious we are being about this situation. After a minute or so of silence, Brian looks at Jake and with just the tiniest hint of laughter in his voice, asks him, "What do you think a good option is to fix this problem." Evie, who has been watching this exchange with some interest, pipes up, "Abracadabra!?" Brian burst out laughing and said, "I guess you can try magic, let me know how it works..."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Halloween Package!

Another great holiday gift from Aunt Kami! My kids were so excited when we found this on our porch this afternoon. (Okay, Jake and Evie were way excited and Lila just smiles and laughs when they are happy...)

It was stuffed to the brim with Halloween candy and toys. Including puzzles, pumpkin bubble necklaces and flashlights they can't wait to use for Trick-or-treating. And this adorable witch hat for Lila. It's perfect!

Some seriously happy kids! Thanks so much Aunt Kami, you made our day!

On a side note: Lila took her first steps today! She isn't quite up to cruising around on her own yet, but if she doesn't realize that she not holding on to couch and she really wants to get something she'll do one or two shaky and unsteady steps before pitching face first to the floor. I am torn between being really happy at this milestone, and sad because I am not ready for her to be that mobile yet...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This Holiday Season...

I saw a card today and almost bought it to send to my brother and his little family. It had a picture of a sad faced Frankenstein on the front and on the inside it said, "Without you here Halloween sucks." It made me chuckle and the sentiment seemed apropos on several levels this year. But then I heard my mom's voice in the back of my head saying, "Go make some magic for your children." (What she said to me last year when I was having a hard time wanting to celebrate Christmas.) And I had a bittersweet epiphany. Halloween won't suck this year. It will be different. I wish that we could all be together for a Family Fun Day of carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating. I wish that we could watch Huck cruise around in costume and see how he and Lila would dance with Frankenstein and get all sticky from tasting new treats. I will even miss listening to Josh quote every line of every Halloween movie we watch 2 seconds early. "Taffeta darling!" "Taffeta darling!".... And I know I will miss my mom coming to watch Jake's costume parade with me, and singing silly Halloween songs, and reading with great dramatic effect all the old favorite Halloween books to my kids that she used to read to us.

It would be so easy to dwell on what I will miss this holiday season, and really easy to slip into apathy and just wanting to skip the whole thing. I am determined not to do that, for my kids sake. They deserve to have happy, magical memories of the holidays. And I am going to give them that. We are going to decorate and celebrate our way into enjoying these moments. Even if I don't really feel like it. It's like that quote, "Love is a policy, not a feeling." This year in our house, holiday celebrations will be a policy. And even more than that, life will always bring us changes. Some we don't want. And we have to adapt to them. I know that Josh and Elena will be making wonderful, magical memories for themselves and Huck (and probably a lot of new friends, if I don't miss my guess...) as well as absorbing some great new traditions from back east. Heck, my brother can find a way to make Arbor Day a special holiday. I hope that we can do the same. Adapt and adopt traditions that will fit our changing family, but always remembering that family is the most important part of the holidays. I am looking forward to spending time with extended family and friends and also celebrating with just my own little family. It is a year of firsts for us, but it is still going to be magic. After all, I've got an angel on my side making sure I remember that.