Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sigh of Relief

You will all be happy to know that the Halloween 2010 Standoff ended amicably and with only a little bribery and concession.

Bring on November!

Read about the construction of these costumes and my pattern review here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


My kids think it hilarious to try to take photos of ourselves. You know the kind, reach your camera out in front of yourselves as far as you can and try to snap a shot. We click and giggle and click and giggle until our sides just hurt. Most of the time ending with me at the bottom of a dog pile balancing my camera in fingertips. Precarious.

Try it! It's a hoot.

PHOTO NOTE: Coop and me in aforementioned self-portrait on our way to a Halloween party -- dragon and dairy queen.

Friday, October 29, 2010

May You Grow Old Together

Hey Boys!
Today, basking in the shining surprise of sunshine in October, I caught a glimpse of something I hope you will share 40 years from now. Whether or not I'm alive to see it, I hope you remain friends forever, and ever.

Seated in comfy chairs, staring at shapes in the clouds you enjoyed the comfort of peaceful friendship. Not once, but twice passersby asked me if the two of you are twins. I proudly replied, "Nope, but they are very close."

Truly, there is no one we can invite over to play who plays as nicely with you as when you play together. And I've also found you've naturally weeded out the playmates that don't accept you as a pair.

Because a lot can change through the years, promise me you will grow old together, turn to each other for help, and never forget the times you've had as brothers. And I promise to provide the chairs.

Your Mamma

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kindred Spirit


I'm faced with a dilemma. My 4-year-old might be my karmic penance. He announced to me that he will not wear his costume this Halloween. Will not.

Friends, this is a costume that I sewed. It is so dang cute. Love sewn into every stitch. He requested it. I cobbled several patterns together to create it. He repeatedly pestered me sweetly with, "Is my costume done, yet." Now, it is done. He doesn't want to wear it.

Here is the thing. I think he does want to wear it. He is my kindred spirit. Stubborn enough to convince himself of his own excuses which are really only covering up his fear to be noticed by too many.

Seriously, he might not wear it.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All the Credit

I have four brothers. It's an interesting task teaching your own children about your own brothers. Particularly if they live in other states and see your children about as often as they would have liked to see you back in the day. This is why I found it so interesting when Cooper offered up that Uncle Andrew was his favorite.

There isn't any reason that Andrew would not be his favorite, except for the part that Cooper met Andrew briefly as an infant and then didn't see him again until he was 3 years old. And has seen him only about once a year since then... so, you know, twice in the past two years.

So I pushed him and queried, "Why is Uncle Andrew your favorite?" And he replied with great swiftness, "Because he did that gigantic puzzle with me."

Oh friends, this is where I break the news to you. Mistaken identity. Uncle Trent did the puzzle. Further, you might argue that Cooper should have a grand affinity toward Uncle Devin who essentially introduced him to THE OCEAN. And let's not forget Uncle Adam, who I practically feel is my son's actual twin. They are so alike in so many ways that I feel I should write an instruction manual for Adam's wife, "How to raise a child who is exactly like your husband."

But whatever. My point is this, my brothers are amazing uncles. Every one of them. Despite where credit is placed. (Half of them are extraordinary fathers, too.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pffffft, It's Here

Ahem. I'd like to amend a previous pronouncement.

It seems I was a bit too effusive on the topic of Autumn. My once absolute proclamation that Fall was the very best season of the year has expired. Turns out I don't actually like Fall. Fall, as in the day when you can only stare out the window at the mesmerizing drift of leaves as they are whipped out of their lofty branches in a matter of minutes by Arctic winds.

My heart actually belongs to Indian Summer.

Which is to say, I love when it's still warm outside but you've been watering your garden long enough that you merely break up with it one day and proclaim that "the season" is over. I love when it's warm enough to wear shorts, but cool enough to retire the tank tops. I love when it's warm enough to justify leaving a pair of flip flops in the mud room. I love when it's warm enough to leave the gym in your sweaty clothes without concern that they will freeze to your skin. I love when it's warm enough to golf after league is over. I love hunting for pumpkins among sun-crisped squash vines. In short, I love last week.

This week, my friends, I do not love.

Monday, October 25, 2010

3 Dog Night

The true measure of a cousin campfire? When the youngest cousin eats three hot dogs.

Seen here procuring first hot dog.

Picture snapped directly after taking first bite into second hot dog, which was WAY too hot.

Picture snapped directly when Mason turned to us and said, "Whoa that was a hot, hot dog."

And just a little later on, the third hot dog.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We Broke The Rules and Survived Anyway

Given that I've already recapped our journey to get to Utah, it's a needlessly mentioned conclusion that we survived the trip. It goes without saying that I will belabor this point by describing the reason we should not have.

Namely, no one -- I repeat no one -- should drive through, near, or in Wyoming before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. And yet, we did. Lived to tell about it. So, you know, maybe there is such a thing as global warming.

Of course our day started with coffee, lots and lots of coffee. So let's skip that nonsense and get right into the gritty:

9:29 a.m.
Find ourselves en route to Colorado.

Pass into Wyoming and simultaneously conclude it ("it" being driving through aforementioned hell) wouldn't be so bad if you could drive 100 mph or so.

Stop at Little America. Despite the glamour, Mason refuses the facilities. And I am categorically disappointed that this is probably the last possible stop in which I could find a suitably tasteless souvenir for one of my friends, and recognize that I have failed her miserably.

1:40 p.m.
And here we have Rawlins. It's high time I distribute gifts/bribes/concession trinket. Cooper is now the proud owner of a Zooble named Rad. He is fascinated by this name.

What is my zoobles' name, again?


Is my Zoobles' name Red?

No, Rad.

I forgot my Zoobles' name.


Can you tell my Zoobles' name?

Rad. As in, it would be rad if you never asked me that again.

Mason falls asleep.

OK, did you say his name was Red?

Nope. It's Rad. Raaaaaaaaad. Say it with me, Rad.

Mommy, I still can't remember this guys' name.


4: 39
Oh I remember, his name is Rad.


Finished. I am finished. I am getting out of this car and it is going to take serious cash to get me back in it. Serious. Also, Rad is banned.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Walcott, And Other Places I Scorn

Here's something you probably didn't know about me, once I get a bee in my bonnet, I gotta do what I set out to do, even if it's against my better judgement. In other words -- or rather less words -- I'm stubborn. That is how we came to start a multi-state road trip at 4 in the afternoon. 4 p.m., people. That stubborn.

Actually it went down something like this...

4 p.m.
Pick up Cooper from school. And while hoping that we can avoid socializing and get on with ourselves I see the teacher wave me down. I flash between, "Should I pretend I didn't see her." and, "Ah shoot, she knows we skipped homework."

Timidly approach her to find out that Cooper didn't eat lunch because his lunchbox was switched with another boy in school. And according to Cooper the mother of said boy packed "rotten chicken soup" that made, "me and Spencer went like this (motions to make gagging noises and retching faces)."

Arrive home where car is dangerously loaded to the gills and children pile in. We stop for gas. True to the questions I've had since the boys woke up this morning I hear, "I'm so excited, when do we get to grandma's house," at least 47 times.

On the road, only to slam on brakes in bumper to bumper traffic. Oh that's right, people work. And then they drive home from work at about 5. Oooops.

Mason is making non-stop machine gun sounds. I'm over it.

Cooper asks when we're going to be at the airport. Clearly he's over it.

Cross into Wyoming and the temperature instantly drops. We're travel weary already. Nothing is where I want it and I'm feeling cross. The kids seem smashed into the backseat. And to top things off, the new video games that I bought to surprise them? One of them doesn't work. So, planning fail and we're setting a 10 minute turn timer so they can switch back and forth between one Nintendo DS. (Does anyone have a used DS they want to sell?)

While at a Wendy's in Wyoming an anonymous patron belches in such a way I am reminded of demon hounds being released from Gehenna. Which you might think would make my husband and I make gagging noises and retching faces. But no, we had an exchange including eye contact followed by hysterical laughter that will be legendary. Mark my words. In this house, we are quick to find comedic relief in errant eructation. Never did figure out who the culprit was. But it was either the grease ball in leathers and a Yellowstone t-shirt and a very loose idea of personal hygiene or the teenage girl in a soccer uniform enjoying dinner with her family. Toss up. (There is an outside chance it was a large woman who was 75% bald. But I'm unconvinced.)

It's really dark outside. And remarkably cold, 37 degrees. And we see a mile of red lights ahead of us. Uh oh. An absolute standstill on the freeway and we don't have much gas. The night's about to get hugely interesting. Make panicked phone call to family in Idaho for a little OnStar. Learn that I-80 is closed due to an accident. I-80 is THE only route. We pull off the freeway at Walcott hoping for an open gas station. None! Everything is closed. Doesn't 9 p.m. seem a little early to close a gas station? We are literally faced with the decision to sit and wait and hope we don't run out of gas, or drive all the way back to Denver. Hmmmmm... looks like we are aborting this trip.

Make phone call to Wyoming Highway Patrol (if you would like the number let me know) and discover that at least 1 lane is now getting through. So we turn on the car and pull onto freeway (at this point the inside of our car is freezing). It's slow going, it's raining, but we're moving. This is when everyone falls asleep. Everyone, except me because I'm driving and eating. I do this very well. Especially the latter of the two.

12:31 a.m.
Mandatory stop at Little America. LA claims to have the cleanest bathrooms in Wyoming and this could be true. It's a balmy 42 degrees and I'm questioning why we elected to leave a city that was enjoying temps in the 80s. It's cold enough that we consider buying blankets in a gas station. Then we come to our senses and turn on the heat. I'm telling you, we're a little out of practice.

I'm starting to question my decision to let Mason get his immunization this morning. He's groaning in his sleep and complaining that his leg hurts.

We cross the Utah state line, I'm listening to Ted Nugent, clearly I'm chockfull of this road trip for I am listening to my husband's playlist. Everyone else is ... naturally... asleep.

Arrive. Creep by tippy toe into in-laws' home and crawl into bed. Sleep. Sleep very deeply.

I will eventually have fun stories to tell you of our adventures in Utah. Don't worry, none of them include The Browns of Sister Wives fame. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

But What About Prom

There is a young boy who lives at my house who is highly motivated by reward. So much so, that I have changed my thinking about his future prospects. In a recent fundraising opportunity at his school (why children have to sell cookies to afford education in this country is beyond me, but that is another post) he was a true driver. And so it is with amazement that I say that for all intents and purposes, Coop made his number and the SPIFF was a limo ride to lunch.

As you can imagine, excitement. Little boys pirouetting in the parking lot. Little girls getting the little boys to do a cheer -- Yay Limbo! (None of them knew that the word was limo, not limbo.) Parents scurrying to get the perfect photo. But it left me wondering, what are we going to do for prom?

PS -- If you're a local and so inclined, you can support this cause by supporting the local restaurant that fed the kids: Anthony's. Cooper said it was good and he, "Could have even taken some home in a box." Now that is an endorsement.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


We're going to have to do something. The boy is addicted.