Month: October 2011 (page 1 of 2)

This is Halloween.

Officially. But we’re over it already. All the celebrating has already happened. Trick or treat? Been there. Fall party? Done that. Carving pumpkins? Uh huh.

You seem suspicious.

Here’s some proof.

Julia cleans out her pumpkin

Grandma and Lucy scoop out pumpkin guts

Here’s what we ended up with.

Lucy, Julia and Phoebe with our pumpkins

(You can’t see it, but my mom is actually crouched down behind the girls in that picture to make sure no one falls. You guys, I have the best mom ever.)

And here they are in the dark and on fire!

Oooh!  Scary!

Bwah ha ha! Happy Halloween!

I hate to admit this, but I’m starting to feel….just a little bit….kinda….sorta…Christmas-y. You, too?

There are two things you should know.

1. I made a Facebook page for My Mommy’s Place. I’d really like it if you’d “like” it.

2. NaBloPoMo. I’m doin’ it.

Get ready, y’all.

Circling My Wagons

Dave and I took the girls Trick or Treating last night.

My girls, ready to Trick or Treat

Phoebe was Piglet, Lucy was a flower, and you can’t tell in the photograph, but Julia was a cheerleader. We resolved our stalemate by agreeing that she would wear an old dance recital costume. I wasn’t totally happy and neither was she, but no one was absolutely unhappy either. Compromise: when no one really wins and everyone loses a little bit which is better than losing all the way, I guess. (I think I should be a tagline writer.)

I got both Phoebe and Lucy’s costumes at Goodwill for less than $10 each. I declared to Amy that this makes me, officially, THE QUEEN OF SAVINGS. She didn’t disagree, so let’s call me that.

Lucy was really feeling her costume. Here she is soaking up the sun.

Lucy the Flower

I didn’t have to remind that kid even once to use her manners. She greeted everyone with a “Trick or Treat!” and followed up every treat transaction with a hearty, “Thank you!” I reveled in this as I realize it may not last. Julia used to have manners, too.

Speaking of having no manners (segue!), I was mean to a store employee yesterday. Rather, I was mean near one. She was caught in what Dave calls my “aura of anger” which really just makes caring people feel uncomfortable because they know I’m mad and they want to fix it but they don’t know how. And the answer is: you cannot. If you make me mad and then you try to make it better, it makes me more mad. And if you make me mad and you do nothing, it makes me even more mad, too. So, I guess the real answer is: do not make me mad. EVER.

All I will say about the store situation is this: if I have more than $100 worth of groceries in my cart and more kids than hands in my company, forcing me down the self checkout line is probably a really dumb idea. You’re probably going to see me get huffy and puffy. I will scowl. I might even mumble under my breath. And if it’s really bad, like it was yesterday, I’ll say, “Thank you,” but I WILL NOT tell you to have a great day. And then I’ll go home and feel bad about that.

If I can be a little bit honest, I’ll tell you that I’ve been feeling bad about a lot of things lately. And if you’re asking, “Like what?” Well, everything. And nothing. Read this. Meanwhile, I’m taking my husband’s advice. I’m circling my wagons. That’s what you do when you feel thrown to the wolves, right? So, I’m doing that and some other idiom. The world just feels like a really harsh place right now. I’m turning inward for a bit.

All dressed up with no place to go. Strike that, reverse it.

Halloween is almost here and Julia still doesn’t have a costume. Lucy and Phoebe are sorted as they are still small enough to fit in infant and toddler sizes which offer plenty of adorable options designed for comfort and warmth. But Julia is neither an infant nor a toddler. Julia is now a girl. And sizes jump from 5T to SluT as far as costumes go it seems.

I offered to make her a costume – any costume she could dream up! I mean, between my mom and me, we can make just about anything. (Remember the spider? Not too shabby, right?) I told her about the year I went as a T.V. I offered to make her a gumball machine costume! But something homemade is just plain embarrassing, apparently.

So, we hit the stores.

“I could be a cat,” Julia told me as we browsed the costume rack.

I agreed, “Sure, a cat would be good.”

Mom's idea of a cat costume

(Note: The role of “me” is being played by Phoebe in this picture.)

I was thinking putty tat, like Sylvester.

Julia's idea of a cat costume

She was thinking pussy cat, like the dolls. Or Michelle Pfieffer as Catwoman. With less clothing.

Okay, so the one she liked isn’t terrible, but 1) it’s about as much of a cat costume as my leopard print underpants are and 2) it covers about as much of her body. Is it even worth it to pay for something that we’re going to cover up with a heavy coat anyhow? It’s October in Ohio. Come on. She has an old pair of ears in her dress up closet and I have face paint in my make-up bag. She could wear one of her dance leotards or something. Do we need to buy it? No. So that’s what I said.

She said my ideas were lame.

Alas, we are at an impasse. And since my policy is “No Costume, No Candy,” it is possible that my seven year old may be sitting out on Trick or Treat this year. Is that crazy? Yes, it is. I’m sure we’ll figure something out by the big night. Still. What are your kids going as this Halloween? Where do you draw the line on costumes in terms of price and modesty? I’d love to know.

This is what happens when Dave dresses the kids.

A size 4T kid
in size 18 month pants and
a pajama top

As if a day will come when I’ll change my mind.

“Brush your teeth,” I say.
Every day and night. Always,
they ask, “We have to?”

I think there’s probably something to animal-assisted therapy.

I truly believe that the best way to heal is to love. I know this partly because of our cat Christy.

Christy in 1995

She joined our family – my mom, dad and me – in 1995 during a very difficult time. The details don’t matter – Christy didn’t care about them. Cats don’t care about all that much. They don’t care if you’re broken. Or broke. Or fat. Or mentally ill. They don’t worry about how you could or should be better or different. They just understand you as you are. And they love you. More importantly, they let you love them. Christy did that for us at a time when we really needed it.


Last night, Christy died. Though my heart is aching, it is also thankful for the sixteen years I had to love her. It turns out that loving is one of the best ways to live, too.

Mom Dad Gag!

Kids love palindromes
because it gives them the chance
to say “poop” a lot.

Piano Practice

“Play it one more time.”
She bangs her head on the keys.
“That’s not how it starts.”

They say I’m crazy. I really don’t care.*

I’ve been making friendship bracelets. I started with one – just to show Julia how to do it. Then she wanted another one in different colors, so I did that. We made a few more together and, one night, when I couldn’t sleep, I found myself making more and pretending it was 1988.


There was something soothing about that.

Even the simple act of making them is soothing. Cross, slip, pull, repeat! You know how some people will rock back and forth to soothe themselves? This has been my that, I think. It’s better than choking someone. Mostly because choking someone is illegal. Even if they do that thing where they pretend to be understanding or giving you a compliment, but they’re really insulting you? You can’t choke someone for that. Well, you could, but you shouldn’t. That doesn’t mean you won’t want to, though. And in that case, you can easily keep your hands busy with a project like this while you remember a simpler time when it was Your Prerogative.* And friendships could be both created and strengthened with a little bit of string.

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