Wednesday, October 31, 2012


As some of you may know, Halloween has always been a weird holiday in our house. This is because Connor hates dressing up. He has no flair for it, and only picks a totally pre-made costume with the standard plastic mask and branded character. Then he wants to wear it as little as possible, because it feels weird and is everyone else dressed up? and I already got enough candy today at school, I don't want to knock on strangers' doors! I mean really, even free candy didn't motivate him. On the other hand, we have Chloe, who will dress up for dinner if the mood strikes her. (Oh, we're having tacos? Let me grab my sombrero!) This month, she has gone to school dressed as a teacher on Career Day and as a hippie on Seventies Day. She's eaten dinner at Huey's dressed as a "Chinese lady/Ninja," this year's "official" Halloween costume. And let's don't forget the full leotard/tutu/leggings/ballet shoe ensemble she sports each Saturday for ballet class. She can't wait to help me put Gidget in a costume and prowl the neighborhood looking for candy later tonight. Costumes- with a purpose!

This year's Halloween celebrations have gone as follows:

Last Wednesday, Chip and the kids went to the festival at Idlewild Presbyterian, like we do every year. I was still getting over my cold, so I stayed at home. Connor doesn't even have a costume this year, so he wore the "This T-Shirt is My Costume!" shirt that I bought in hopes of shaming him into a costume. Nope- he's nine years old and he's DONE with costumes. Whatever.

Then over the weekend we went to Zoo Boo. In the interest of full disclosure, I was given free tickets by the Zoo. We went last year for the first time, and it was pretty fun. This year, Chip and I had been wavering on spending the money for it when we got the ticket offer. So that decided it for us. The kids and I (Chip was busy) chose to go on Saturday night, as did EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. Seriously- that was at least everyone in Memphis, I'm sure of it. Before we left, asked Chloe if this was a costume or non-costume affair. "Just regular clothes," she stunned me by choosing. I didn't mind. As we headed towards the Zoo, I let the kids know that since we hadn't paid for it, we could stay as long or as little as we wanted- there was no "getting our money's worth" to worry about. That took the pressure off, and helped us enjoy it. Naturally we spent a ton of time playing on the playground, and we enjoyed the decorations and the candy, but the star of the show was Magic Mr. Nick. We've all seen his show before, but we loved it just as much as ever. Chloe even went to sit right down front so that she could volunteer for things, but she wasn't one of the chosen few. Someday! We ended the evening in the animals of the night exhibit, which was awesome because it was actually night, so everyone was real active.

Sunday, we went to the Trunk or Treat at Emmanuel United Methodist in our neighborhood. Mom and the Millfills joined us, which was great because my kids LOVE their cousin Maisy! Here is a picture of them making fun of her sour face during the pumpkin patch portrait portion of the evening.

As you can see, Chloe and Maisy dressed up, but Connor did not. I had come to terms with it by then, and adopted a new motto:  any time I pay for the kids to collect candy (festival, Zoo Boo, etc), they can wear whatever they please. The kids played every game they could, then went inside to jump in the bounce house. It was fun and we ended up with lots of good candy.

Tonight, I plan to dress Chloe and Gidget up to walk the neighborhood in search of lit porchlights. Our neighborhood is generally pretty lame on Halloween, since there are a bunch of old people who seem to be scared of 2012-model schoolchildren. (Some of the kids are black! Hide!) Connor has agreed to stay home and help hand out candy. I really think there were only two years that he actually trick or treated, and one of those years he was a toddler and only went to one or two houses. Just not his thing. On the other hand, last year Chloe had a stomach flu but STILL costumed up to go to the one house with all the cool decorations. Then she came home and passed out for like two days until she was finally better, at which time she woke up and ate that one piece of candy right away. She will not be denied!

Have fun and be safe out there! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sick Day

The next time someone has the sniffles and says, "Oh, it's just a cold, no big deal," they are lying to you. It's either not a cold, or it IS a big deal. I have a cold right now, and it is AWFUL, like stay-home-from-work awful, go-to-bed-before-the-kids-do awful, Jenna-sent-me-home-from-Homecoming-early awful. I can't remember ever feeling this bad without a fever or barfing to go along with it. Just a good, old-fashioned cold, the kind they can't cure, but that generic NyQuil does wonders for.

So here I am, at home, well-rested, sweating (because it's 80 degrees outside and our AC is on a timer and I forgot about it until like 3:00 p.m.) and finally getting a little bored with the day. Might as well share my random sick day observations.

I still watch the original CSI, and I caught up on the season during my sick day. It's still a fine show, and Elisabeth Shue is still awesome.

I can't tell if my body is sore from coughing so much, or from being in bed so long. I've been in bed a LOT, starting around 8:15 Saturday night. My lower back is aging much more rapidly than the rest of me, people.

Unfortunately, I've timed being sick perfectly with having an empty fridge. We might eat eat take-out every night this week, because I am NOT setting foot in a Kroger in this delicate state.

The hardest part of my sick day has been being alone with the plate of cake pops my mom and kids made this weekend. I keep walking past it, thinking, "Don't eat a cake pop. Don't eat a cake pop. Don't eat another cake pop."

I finally started taking vitamins regularly a couple of weeks ago, and this is how my body repays me. I was right all along, Chip!

When I'm out of it, Chip takes over the role of Mom very nicely. He even fixed a plate of food last night and then let it get cold while attending to the kids' dinner demands. How very maternal!

Connor can't handle a sick Mom. He wanted to call my boss and tell her to let me stay home Saturday rather than work, then Saturday night he hugged me and loved me and got me everything I asked for. Then last night he made me swear that I wouldn't go to work today, and sweetly tucked me in since I fell asleep before he did.

Chloe can't handle a sick Mom either. People are paying attention to Mom, rather than Chloe? And Mom herself isn't waiting on Chloe hand and foot? She has been unbearable for two days solid now, trying to get us all to remember that she is the most important person in the household world and we should all ignore Mom, unless it's to fuss at Mom for not caring enough about Chloe. She would like things to be back to normal tonight, because MOM is supposed to tuck HER in, not the other way around, thank you very much.

Gidget's like, "Here's the deal- you can stay home  all day if you want, but live with the fact that I lounge on the furniture during weekday hours. I'll look sheepish when you walk in, but I'm not trying to hide who I am anymore, lady."

I just watched an episode of The Mindy Project that had the same plot of an episode of iCarly that I watched this weekend. If any of you can identify that plot, then we are clearly meant to be best friends and need to hang out and watch TV more often.

I'm going back to it tomorrow, whether my body is ready or not. Prepare the hand santizer, King Hall! I'm coming for you!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October Mists

Is there anything more timeless than frolicking with the garden hose?

In late October, it's a little odd. But it wasn't my idea...

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Two Front Teeth Saga

About a month ago, Chloe's two front teeth were perilously loose. One of them was even sticking out at a 45 degree angle. She did not want them touched.

We happened to have a dentist appointment, for a regular checkup. She said, "See how the gum is really red? That's because the one tooth is completely unattached, only held in place by the gum. So your body is treating it like a foreign object and it might get infected." She didn't pull it, though. She knew it would come out in a day or two, and didn't want to turn my oddly-terrified-of-tooth-pulling child off to dentists entirely.

That night at Snowden's Open House/Spaghetti Dinner, her tooth came out in a roll she was eating. How that is better than just pulling it out I'll never know. Gross. So then she looked like this:

Yeah, that other tooth is still sticking out. She looked and sounded pretty silly, but she preferred having Bubba teeth than pulling the other one out. Then things came to a head this week. She sat curled up in Grammy's lap like a baby for two hours, scared to swallow because she might swallow her tooth, then either spitting or slurping when she couldn't take it anymore. GOOD TIMES. Her gums were red, her whole face hurt, and she couldn't even eat a Wendy's Frosty because it hurt too much. She wanted it out so badly, but didn't actually want anyone to touch it. Plus there was a lot of crying. And did I mention slurping? She was freaking out. The rest of us were close.

When it was finally time to head upstairs to bed, I convinced her to just let me touch it one time before the night ended. I did, and she pulled away immediately, and I said, "Uh, I know you hate this, but your tooth is now perpendicular to the others so I at least need to put it back in the right direction before leaving you alone." She consented, and obviously I came away with the tooth in my hand. And duh, it didn't hurt because it WAS NOT ATTACHED. She was so happy! And so was I. I had been dying to remove that sucker.

And now she looks like this, which is awesome and entertaining. I hope it takes forever for those teeth to grow in!