Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween everybody!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Candy Top Ten

Halloween is always fun. You never quite know what might happen.

Like maybe you'll be pursued by ZOMBIES in the grocery store.

And giant skeletal creepy guys will walk the streets of your neighborhood...

Luke Skywalker and his cousin always go trick or treating together. Always. Since forever. And this is their last year. They are twelve, and that's the cutoff year in our family, too old to beg the neighbors for candy. So they went EVERYWHERE. And beyond. The haul was most excellent.

While they were evaluating and trading their spoils, we made up this pair of top ten lists.

Top Ten Things Twelve-year-old Boys LOVE:
10: Whoppers
9: Charleston Chew
8: Caramels
7: Laffy Taffy
6: Pixie Sticks
5: Starbursts
4: Life Savers
3: Twizzlers
2: Chips or popcorn
1: FULL SIZE CANDY BARS. Any candy bars, really.

Top Ten Things TwelveYear Old Boys HATE:
10: Gummy Body Parts (Yuk. A few of those this year...)
9: Unknown candy bars like Payday and Milky Way
8: Chicka Stix
7: Spider rings
6: Dum Dums
5: Fruit. Exceptions: Candied Apples or Chocolate Oranges
4: Sweet Tarts
3: Mini size candy bars (seriously? these are the size of a lemon drop), or fun sized (what's fun about less candy?)
2: People who run out of candy before 8pm
1: DOTS.

p.s. don't worry. I outran the zombies quite easily. I've been practicing. I have a zombie plan. Do you?

Friday, October 29, 2010

running out of steam...

Was supposed to carve punkins tonite. Too tired. Up until 3am last nite making Teen Girl Squad costumes for Screamapillar and her 3 BFF's and a corset for Thing One.




Must carve punkins......

Or cheat.
And just share the ones from last year.

Here they ARRR:

My favorites are the malicious looking one at center right bottom row, and the grotesquely shaped one on the very far right. The one with holes drilled in it. With the drill. Cause I'm a cheater like that. By the time I get to the last pumpkins, I'm desperate for something quick & easy. Like the drill.

If you haven't carved yer punkins yet, get moving. You're out of time.

And a reminder: the best site for ideas (in my humble opinion) is ZOMBIE PUMPKINS.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why My Mom's Costume Closet is Epic

***note from julie: it has come to my attention that not everyone has seen this video - where have you been, in a cave? so watch it now, before you read this post, so that you may fully enjoy the following costume***

Whoa that’s so intense.                Whoa man!            Wow! Whoa! Whoa!    Whoa ho ho oh my gosh!            Oh my gosh!    Oh my GOSH!                 Woo! Oh wow!            Woo! Yeah!     Oh ho ho! Oh my gosh!               Oh my gosh look at that!     Oh my gosh it’s full on!

A full on double rainbow all the way across the sky! Oh my gosh... What does this mean? It’s so bright, oh my gosh it’s so bright and vivid! Oh. Ah! Ah! It’s so beautiful! *sobbing* Oh my gosh!! Oh my gosh, it’s a double complete rainbow! Oh my gosh...Oh my gosh, what does it mean? Tell me. *more sobbing* Too much. I don’t know what it means. Oh my gosh it’s so intense. Oh. Oh. Oh my gosh.

(Much thanks to my dear friend Jack Sparrow for her genius in coming up with Halloween costumes out of pieces of the closet.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010



So, I cheat. Here is the most adorable child I own, wearing one of my all time favorite costumes:

Please disregard that the dates on the photos are inaccurate. It really was 2003, not 2002. Eclair didn't walk until 2003 when she was two. Isn't she ADORABLE!!!!!!

Gotta go -- must finish costumes!

Don't have any idea yet what I am going to wear...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sweet Babies - Screamapillar

You know, we parents have only one brief period where we can make kids REALLY do what we want. When they are small and maleable, and they are too small to give us crap yet...

It's such a fleeting time. Take advantage of it!! Use this time for making your kids dress up in adorable cuteness that they would NEVER agree to later in life.

Today, I'd like to share my dear Screamapillar's embarrassing costumes from her early childhood. I hope you will enjoy it.

Exhibit One: Tribble

You saw this photo briefly last week. I didn't do it justice. This lovely costume was made by gutting a giant stuffed monkey that appeared at my house mysteriously. I hated it. So I ripped it apart and made a tribble out of it. And made her wear it. Like the kid even knew what a tribble was. She still doesn't. So, yeah. The torture begins.

The next year, we tried "behaviour modification by osmosis." Dress her up like an angel, and perhaps?" Needless to say, that was a failed experiment. She is the most stubborn contrary child in the history of......of children. But she sure is cute.

This was back in the day before you could buy wings like that -- I made those using baling wire and old white toddler tights. And feathers, of course. They took absolutely forever, working from the outside to the inside, layering all the feathers.....If you don't believe me, ask to see my glue gun burn scars sometime...

Fast forward another year:

This was another "Stars of the Silver Screen" dress. And I made her wear it in public. In fact, she won the WalMart Halloween costume contest in this getup. It's made from some random red swimsuit fabric my sister gave me because really, who makes their own swimsuit anyway? The orange and green fabric was $1 a yard at WalMart, and the wristbands are Christmas trim. That's the amazing thing about Christmas: WalMart puts out all the Christmas trim in plenty of time for you to make Halloween costumes out of it. Very thoughtful of them, I must say. Got the plastic fruit uber-cheap at Zim's in Salt Lake City. Remember Zims? They had instructions and supplies for "panty hose art" from the seventies last time I was there. It was so retro it was painful.

After this, my opportunity seemed to be lost. The following year she insisted on being a princess. The next year a fairy princess. The next year a fairy godmother. Are you starting to see the trend, here? So parents, take advantage of the opportunity you have to dress your kids up YOUR way while they are little. It doesn't last long.

And I almost forgot: DON'T FORGET TO TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES. For blackmail. When they are almost 16 like that little girl you've been looking at for the last 5 minutes. And post them on your blog. And your Facebook page.

Lots of pictures.

Mop & Pop

Happy 48th Anniversary to my lovely parents.

Who appear to be 14 years old in this picture.

Actually, they were so much older. All of 19 I think.
With parents like this, how could I have ever had a chance? 
Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Apparently Disneyland was in black and white back in those days....things were so tight they couldn't afford color...... 

And yes, insanity is hereditary.

What does this have to do with Halloween? I have no idea. But they got married in October, and by law, that's when you have to have an anniversary. Not in October, but on the date you got married. I'm just making it worse by trying to explain it. So never mind. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

I didn't mean to lie....


Because stuff like this:

happens. And some days I don't get anywhere near my computer.
At top, big trunk pulled out of the ground, and four pieces of the tree that smashed one panel of fence over and shifted another 3 feet off it's post (and broke the post, of course).

There is the biggest part of the tree that has been dragged back into our yard. As you can see in the top photo, it narrowly missed hitting the neighbor's house. It was such a LOVELY torrential downpour and thunderstorm last night. With a side order of WIND. 

And the power went out while I was writing what was supposed to be today's post. So here I am posting too late in the day again.

And it's Bonnie's birthday today. I posted four You Tube videos on her FB page just to be annoying, and I must mention it here as well:

On to today's late post.

As you could see from last night's sneak preview, we made an amazing spiderweb yesterday. I wasn't my idea, it was Erin at  Crafts and Sutch . Very, very clever.

It was quite simple, really. Pushpins around the outer edges, a large nail in the center. Start by tying your black yarn to the nail, and loop back and forth from push pin to nail until you have a web. Then, starting from the center, string the spiral, wrapping once around each of the "spokes," gradually increasing the distance between each spiral. Very, very cool. Erin does a very detailed tutorial at her blog, click the link above if you'd like to check that out.  This is on a pretty big wall, and I wish we had done it earlier so we could enjoy it longer.

And Eclair made inhabitants for the epic spiderweb.

Materials needed:
Black pipe cleaners (or as the packaging says "fuzzy sticks" 
because apparently it is politically incorrect to clean pipes anymore)
Google eyes & glue
Person with short legs and little crafting skills

 Start with four pipe cleaners if you want your spiders to have eight legs. For mutant spiders, use however many you would like. Holding all four together, bend them in half. You must make the face below while bending.
 Take the loopy part at the top, and twist it a couple times.
 Here's what it should look like at this point:
 Bend your spiders legs to make a knee and an ankle.
Glue on google eyes and give them a name. 
We made the baby spider by cutting two pipe cleaners in half and starting with four shorter pieces.

Add spiders to spiderweb. Enjoy.

Now here's the funny part: Eclair put one of her spiders on Hubby's leg while he was watching tv and not paying attention. When Hubby finally noticed, he screamed. It was wonderful.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Barely Posting....again. And who is the madwoman on the ladder?

Here I am again, doing better I suppose since it is only 10:35 pm as I post today....

Here's what I made this week for my front door. Yes. It is lame. But it is colorful and Halloween-ish. So there it is.
Frame from Box o' random frames under the piano.
"Happy Halloween" sparkly foam cutout from dollar store
Green feather boa and skeleton heads also from dollar store.

Total cost for dimensional sparkly fluffy sign with skulls?
What are you muttering over there? Waste of three dollars? Really! I am appalled. It is all part of my EVIL PLAN...

It SHOULD make you wanna run right out and make something for your door just as SCARY. 'Cause if it's scary enough, the little people will be too afraid to ring your bell and THERE WILL BE MORE CANDY LEFT OVER FOR YOU!!! If it were me, parent to trick-r-treater child, and I saw such a lame looking thing on the door, I'd just make my kids keep walking...."Sorry sweetie, let's skip this house....dorky people live here, they won't have any good candy. They'll just give you Dots!"

And here's what I did today (other than hide in bed and curse my arthritis) instead of blogging (actually it's Thing One taking over after I almost took a header off the ladder):

Doesn't that look like fun? So you will get a REAL post tomorrow morning, not a lame middle of the night post like you've had to endure all weekend. A tutorial of how to do this awesomeness and create it's occupants with a little help from Eclair.

And the punkin chili? Yeah, I'll finish that post this week also...didn't mean to leave you hanging.

Tune in tomorrow for more fun!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Barely posting

It's 10:45 pm. And I haven't posted yet today. But today isn't quite over yet....

Here's what I did today instead of posting:

Cleaning out the garage (last day for free dumpster at Fall Cleanup)...
Preparing 4000 lbs. of too-small/unwanted clothing to go to be donated to the thrift store...
Nailing the stupid loose raingutter back to the house so I don't have to walk under a waterfall to get to my car...
Grocery shopping...
Playing Frontierville...
Reading Scott Card...
Doing Laundry...
Eating candy corn...
Driving Eclair to a birthday party and later picking her up...
Watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with my daughter and laughing at the special effects...
Editing photos for friends...
Hated monthly trip to the evil Wal-Mart...
Making two trips to Little Caeser for pizza...

The best part of the day was the second trip for pizza. At 9:30 pm, Luke Skywalker walked in to my bedroom. "Why didn't anyone tell me we had pizza?"
"Sorry, buddy, I thought you knew."
"No one told me."
"Well, isn't there some left? Did you get any?"
"There's just this one -- the cat was eating it. I'll just finish it. Nevermind, Mom."

Holy stars and garters. I would be the evil-est mother ever if I DIDN'T make a second trip out for pizza. Poor forgotten overlooked middle child. He got first dibs on the fresh, hot pizza, lucky boy.

So here's your Halloween photo for today, Luke Skywalker with his best friend Other Matt, and The Amazing Jared. Little man's smile looks kinda pained....he just walked by here (he should be in bed) and said "Don't post that, I have pointy ears!" Yeah. So make sure you leave a comment about the ears, k?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Punkin Chili

More pumpin food! Sick of it yet? NEVER!!! Pumpkins are good for you. They are rich in antioxidants, and they're just so colorful, how could you not LOVE them?

Today is an experiment. Pumpkin chili. I just used my "dump in a bunch of stuff" chili recipe, and dumped in a half can of pureed pumpkin.

Hubby was horrified. He loves my chili, and was mortified that I would mess with a proven recipe.

"Why pumpkin?" he asked.

I just glared at him. 'Cause I'm mean like that.

"Oh, yeah. I forgot. Pumpkin week." Yes, he reads the blog. I think he had been trying to block it all out after the pumpkin facial and all.

He continued, "So why do you have to put it in the chili?"

"It's just squash. Not bananas or something, squash is good. You probably won't enen notice it." I said.

So today is the test. It is currently in the crock pot in the breakroom (yes, I'm at work. I'm feeding everyone today, like I do on the occassional Friday when we have had a harrowing week and everyone needs a treat). I will experiment on the co-workers first. And then on the family.

And then I will update the blog.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Karen Saves Mother from Herself

After yesterday's somewhat desperate post by my mother, I have decided to take a day away from her and post something with pumpkins for the sake of my father's peace of mind. So here we are: Karen cooks!

For those of you who don't realize, Karen CAN cook. She just tends to have bad luck. Luckily I picked a recipe which is pretty much stupid proof. PUMPKIN SEEDS! Now it'd been a while since I had done pumpkin seeds (read: 15 or so years) so I turned to the ever faithful internet for a few recipes for doing pumpkin seeds.

First off, I would like to thank my dear friend Nessa for allowing me to steal her pumpkin seeds, while we brainstormed other uses for pumpkin seeds, including armored "seed mail." Now! Off to the kitchen!

I chose three separate recipes, and collected all my ingredients.


And yes. The laptop protected with saran wrap is part of the cooking process. Sue me, I didn't want to print off the recipes. Also part of the cooking process is having a cat wrap itself around your ankles while you try to cook, begging for scraps, before you banish them to their own food.


The first recipe is a simple, salted pumpkin seed recipe I found on The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen blog. Original recipe can be found here.

2 cups of pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp salt
~1 Tbsp-ish olive oil (you'll see why I use this massively accurate number later)
Season salt (I use Lawry's.)

Clean pumpkin seeds so there's no extra pumpkin guts in with them. Pumpkin guts are gross to eat. However you don't have to be perfect. Then you wash them (we're into like, professional cooking here people, hold onto your hats). Put seeds into a pot with water, add salt, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil.


Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for ten minutes. Seeds will now be a bit darker than they were when you started. Drain seeds with strainer, and get out a cookie sheet. I covered mine with foil for less mess. Yay less mess.

Here's where you get out your olive oil. The PW recipe called for you to just...add the oil to your cookie sheet. This didn't seem like it would coat the seeds very well to me, until I recalled mother's french fries. So I took out mom's handy olive oil spritzer, and liberally sprayed the bottom of the pan. Then I spread the seeds out evenly, coating the top also with lots of olive oil. Then I lightly dusted the whole pan with season salt.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until a golden brown. You'll want to shift/mix the seeds about halfway though to prevent burning or uneven cooking. These were more of a dry, bland taste, but still good.


The second recipe I did was extremely simple. This one was a lot lower on the salt, but also required butter. This is the extremely simple salted pumpkin seeds recipe. The recipe I used can be found here, however I modified it a bit.

2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp margarine, melted
1/2 tsp salt

Clean pumpkin seeds so there's no extra pumpkin guts in with them. Pumpkin guts are gross to eat. Rinse seeds, then dry. Now, any of you who have ever tried to DRY pumpkin seeds know it's a bit hard--pumpkin seeds start slimy, then go sticky as they dry. So the best way I found to dry the seeds was to spread them evenly on a towel, then press them between it and another towel. They still stick to the towel a bit, but it's a lot easier than trying to pat dry them.


Afterwards, scoop back up the seeds into a mixing bowl. Melt butter and salt, then drizzle over the seeds. Mix it all up so that all the seeds get coated. Then spread seeds over a cookie sheet.
Melt butter and add salt, making salty butter solution (oooh, science-y word!). Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour, or until golden brown. Shift/mix the seeds about halfway though to prevent burning or uneven cooking. These ones are very reminiscent of sunflower seeds in flavor and texture.


The last recipe is a more flavored roasted pumpkin seed. I got the recipe off of here.


2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp margarine, melted
1 Tbsp-ish of seasoned salt

Clean pumpkin seeds so there's no extra pumpkin guts in with them. Pumpkin guts are gross to eat (sound familiar?). Rinse then dry, then put in a mixing bowl.

Combine other ingredients and mix together well.


...well, that doesn't look particularly yummy, but it's the prep steps, geeze!

Next you will pour other ingredients over the seeds, mixing them well so they're all coated with the liquid.


Spread evenly over cookie sheet, then bake at 300 degrees for about an hour, or until darker brown. Shift/mix the seeds about halfway though to prevent burning or uneven cooking. These ones have a strong, more robust flavor; crunchy on the outside, soft seed on the inside, also very much like a sunflower seed.


Of all three recipes, mom and I agreed that the second and third were our favorites.

Thing One out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Punkin' Day Three -- Leftovers. A Top Ten, of sorts.

Let's say that you halved Lou's Punkin' Cookie recipe and you had half a can of pumpkin left over. What to do, what to do, with that extra puree?

Well, just because I love you and it was the middle of the night when I have been
 known to do strange things, I have executed some experiments on your behalf.
Here's what to do, and what NOT to do, with pumpkin puree:

 Substitute for WINDOW CLEANER: Wipe on mirror, wipe off. Result? What a mess.
Took a considerable amount of time to remove from glass.
Had to use real window cleaner to remove the resulting film.
 I'd have to call that a FAIL.

AIR FRESHENER: Leave open can on counter. Result? Cats fled the room.
Unexpected SUCCESS:
I have discovered Anti-Catnip. Can I patent this stuff?

 SCOURING CLEANER: Wipe on, scrub. Result?
Equally effective as asking Thing Two to wash pans. FAIL

 ICE CREAM TOPPING:  CRINGE. Eeew. Scraped it off and ate the ice cream anyway
(the only vegetable that should be added to ice cream is chocolate.
 Chocolate comes from beans, okay? So it's a VEG!).  FAIL.

 GENERAL MAYHEM: Using a large spoon, fling a large dallop of pumpkin puree
 on your evil neighbor's somebody's windshield. Result? Don't know yet.
 Help me out here and make your own observation...

 DOG FOOD: Mount Misty loves it. It is supposed to be really good for dogs,
something about aiding in digestion or something.
But then, Mount Misty will eat notebook paper and pine cones,
so never mind; SUCCESS anyway.

 PRANKING: tried dipping an unnamed family member's hand in the puree as he slept soundly and innocently...hoping he might have an accident....kinda like the warm water thing, eh?
FAIL. Kid never even moved.

I read online that pumpkin can be used as a VARNISH REMOVER. And just happened to have something to experiment on..... what a disappointment. Didn't even mar the surface. FAIL

FACIAL MASK: Yes, I really did this. I put it on my face, and rubbed it in. IT WAS LOVELY. Not kidding. Kinda mildly exfoliating, and very refreshing. My skin feels softer and moister. And not sticky after washing it all off. I highly recommend this option. For real. SUCCESS.


I have to go now. I think I still have some pumpkin in my eyelashes....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Punkin' Cookies -- the GOOD kind

We have a guest contributor today:

"The lovely and talented Lou was born and raised in Wadamana, Tasmania. Much of her childhood was spent hiding in the garage to avoid the malicious marsupials that stalked her daily. Longing for a better life, she stowed away on a steamer headed for South America. After arriving in Chile, she was set upon by wild llamas and decided further travel was in order if she was ever to find peace. She walked for many, many days, finally arriving in Provo, Utah where she has lived ever since. She gained much knowledge during her travels, and brings to us this exotic and elaborate recipe from the jungles of Honduras."

(now this is only for VERY ADVANCED COOKS)
(I hope you went to culinary school)
(because this one is remarkably difficult)
(and Very Expensive because of it's rare and unusual ingredients)
(and really, really time consuming)
(don't say I didn't warn you!)

1 can pumpkin
2 boxes Spice Cake mix
1 bag chocolate chips

Combine ingredients and mix well. 
Drop onto baking sheet in 1" balls.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes
Allow to cool on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack.

(I don't know....maybe we need a more throrough tutorial, maybe on how to mix? or how to preheat the oven? Or how to clean up after?)

Thank you SOOO much Lou!!! They seriously taste JUST LIKE the ones from the Macey's bakery, and I've been addicted to those for many years so this help me to save money. And you're not adding oil or butter so they are low fat! Amazing and unbelievably delicious. Go make some. Oh, I almost forgot what Lou said I had to warn you about. "This makes like a million cookies! I finally threw the rest of the dough away after making about seven dozen of them!" So, yeah, large recipe.

Now, I should have posted this yesterday because I started Pumpkin Week without fully preparing you. And because now I have a problem that I didn't have yesterday morning when I posted the pumpkin bread.

For all these recipes, you're going to need pumpkin puree. And Tasty Kitchen will show you how to make the really good stuff from scratch. All you will need is Sugar Pumpkins, you know, like the small ones I had on my porch next to the Butternut Squash cats? I say HAD because....

Leafblower Dad's vagrant children stole all my pumpkins.
All the ones small enough for them to carry off.
So, yeah. No homemade puree for me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What to make with Pumpkins in - day one

Do you have that friend? The one who produces the most amazing food? Like some kind of green thumb for baking, or she's using Snape's special potions book with all the margin notes.... I'm blessed with two friends like that, and both have been generous enough to contribute to ward cookbooks that are currently in my posession. Their recipes are easy to find. Let the book fall open to whichever pages have the most flour/sugar/shortening (or in this case, pumpkin) on the page and you found one.
Last night I made Rachel's Pumpkin Bread. It's loaded with shuga and chocolate chips, as every recipe should be (I'm still trying to find a way to add chocolate to Fettucini Alfedo, without success). It is a dense, moist bread and quite delicious. Funny how kids who turn their noses up at any type of squash, and think pumpkin pie is yucky will inhale pumpkin bread like it's some kind of ambrosia. I made this in the middle of the night so: 1.) I could tell you about it and 2.) because everyone was asleep and there might be a chance that I would get some before the masses consume it all.

Pumpkin Bread
4 1/2 c. sugar
1 big can pumpkin
1 1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 c. water
6 eggs
5 c. flour
3 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/4 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
Don't you love it when, even if you add it very slowly,
the flour tries to save itself by leaping out of the bowl?

Mix wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into greased and floured pans (about half full). Add chocolate chips if desired (why wouldn't you? are you insane?) by sprinkling on top before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on pan size. Yield 3-4 loaves.

I love this bread! It is wonderful and it has pumpkin in it so it's good for you!

Go forth and bake.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Child Abuse

It's Sunday. A day that sometimes I dread. Because if the girls. And their HAIR.

Why is it that the hair is at its most horrible tangled worst on Sunday mornings? The rest of the week it seems fine, we get through it pretty well. Just a quick brush and out the door. Sometimes a ponytail. For some crazy reason, on Sunday we feel like maybe we could do a little more. Usually, because we have some extra time. Or think we have extra time, anyway.

Here's how it went this morning:

10:30 (church at 11:00) -- I look at the clock, knowing that shower to pavement takes me 15 minutes, because: I planned ahead and have everything ready, it's still warm out and I don't have to do the pantyhose dance, and because I HAVE NO HAIR TO WORRY ABOUT. Seriously. My hair is done almost instantly after showering. And I love it that way. But my grils, they got hair to worry about. Thing One and the Screamapillar have theirs all worked out. They're capable of doing it all on their own as long as I keep the bobby-pin box replenished.

Eclair. Yeah, gotta help her out dere, she's got issues. It'll take me what? Three minutes to put in a quick ponytail? No problem.

Not today. Problem.

The root (ha! get it? Root?) of the problem this week was that she went to Grandma's for two days, and apparently didn't brush her hair Thursday or Friday. Or Saturday. She did wash it last night, but forgot conditioner. Then went directly to bed without combing it out. Thus, the tangle that made me so happy today.

Getting my hands on a brush was not easy. They're as easy to find as orphaned twenty dollar bills. Not the round brush, a regular hairbrush. Or a comb. ANYthing but a round brush! After compromising with a pick, I start on the hair. And here's the commentary.

(keep in mind, I love this child, and I am doing this as softly and gently as humanly possible)

E: I need a tissue.
(yelling and attempted getaway)
E: I'm trying not to stand up and run away! I just can't help it!
(hysterical crying and shrieking)
E: Are you doing from the bottom like that trick you told me?
M: Yes, I'm going as gently as I can, please hold still.
(wiggling and whining and more tears)
E: I'm itchy everywhere and I can't hold still
M: Maybe you have dry skin. We should get some lotion. Let's take a break and you go get the lotion from my dresser - it's white and it has a pump on top.
E: Like the dynamite pump thing? (She's been watching too much Loony Tunes)
M: Yeah, go get that.
(brushing resumes, with continued whining and whimpering)
E: I can't do it, my hands are weak
(mom takes a break and applies lotion. Brushing resumes with continued tears)

30 minutes after starting: Half-done
Note: her dress is on backward.

E: I'm still itchy.
(sobbing and despair)
E: Why do i have to have hair?
(crying whining and more sniffling - has abandoned the tissues for a nearby bath towel)
E: Can't we just cut it?
(moaning and groaning)
E: I'm itchy.
(tears with prolific sobbing)
E: I'm really trying to be brave. It's just so HARD!

Done at 10:20


It would have taken less time to shower her all over again, wash hair, apply conditioner, and comb out with the conditioner still in. Needless to say, we were late for church.

Now what does this have to do with Halloween? Well looking at all that hair reminded me of my good friend Lynn (who Eclair in named for) who had beautiful long blonde hair like Eclair. And one year for Halloween while we were in high school, she went as Cousin It from the Addams Family. It was epic. Hair combed over face with sunglasses on, then trench coat over hair. She was amazing and I miss her.

I just spent an hour looking for the photo and couldn't find it. Someday I will. Make do with this image so you get the idea:

Kinda like a cross between Cousin It and Chewbacca, actually. Oh well. Thank you for modeling, Eclair.

And Eclair? You. Haircut. Tomorrow.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What to wear for Halloween when You're preggers.

The year I was pregnant with number 4 we had kinda a theme going were into Star Wars ......

Ewok for the little one. Very Cute

Vader for the agressive little boy. All boys need a good weapon on Halloween. For defending the sisters and their candy, right?

Little girl = Princess Leia. All girls wanna be a princess.

But Momma, she's got the big tummy going there, just two weeks away from popping out Luke Skywalker, ironically enough....What should I be for Halloween? I did "Big Red Riding Hood" last time I was preggos  at Halloweeeeen, the Screamapillar was still small enough to hide behind Red's picnic basket. Hmmmm. What to do?

Yes. The answer. Dress up like a cow. Yes. A COW. I felt like one, and the costume was just hanging around left over from a roadshow. And make sure that when your husband takes a picture of you, that you haven't put any makup on yet and you look absolutely horrid. I did, and look where it got me.

The best ever pregnant costume was a friend of mine: tall and thin even while pregnant, she dressed all in black with a white stripe around her belly. She was a speed bump. Next best would have to be this one: Bun in the Oven. Quite literally, it appears.

Share with me, if you will, the best pregnant costume YOU have seen.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fine Portraiture, Part Two


SO here's  something Halloween that is completely unrelated to the subject of this post:
She's a Tribble. And she's holding my phaser. 
And if you don't know what that means, you need to go watch Star Trek. Now.


We recently took our annual family picture. We do this every year in the fall, and about the same time I do portraits for my wonderful friends & family so they can send me a Christmas card. My goal is to have every Christmas card I receive enclose a photo that I took. So I been kinda busy. Taking pitchers of everyone I know and their wonderful kids.

When it came time to do my own kids, something completely different happened. My kids don't like it when I take their pitchers. It took me 90 minutes to do my family, and less than thirty to do the family I scheduled for right after our portrait. And the other family had more kids than we do. I have evil childern.

I'd like to share some examples with you -- we'll start of a couple normal kids as control:

Normal Child
Normal Child
Unfortunately, my child.

Normal Child
MY child, who is apparently Queen of the Rock

Normal Child
My child, again.
Normal Child
My child
Insane Niece masquerading as a normal child

My Oldest Child
Normal children

My lovely daughters....
Adorable normal child

My attractive boys

Sweet little sisters

Brothers demonstrating a headlock. 

Normal sweet child.

When will this end?

Looks like they like each other, the normal family.
I have no response for that. The normal family. There are limits, you know. That family looks SO good that I wouldn't want to screw it up by posting our disastrous photo. Maybe if you get lucky, I'll send you one for Christmas. Hope that I don't. You really don't want to see what happens when I put the camera on a tripod, walk away and hope for the best. Maybe next time I'll try one of those electronic dog collar things on each of the kids -- I could press the button and force simultaneous smiles. Gonna have to look into that....