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Monthly Archives: October 2011

We’ve got more to do this week for Halloween than the past 4 years combined. Thursday at the girls school was costume day and party day.

We had lots of class parties when I was growing up. Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day…. we’d use anything as an excuse to have the room moms bring in cookies and punch. But, the only moms who ever came were the ones who were responsible for that party. So, my mom would come at Christmas and maybe show up at my birthday with some cookies or something, but she would graciously bow out of the Halloween or Valentine’s party. She wasn’t signed up. It wasn’t her deal. And, you know, I don’t think she was sorry to miss those rockin’ parties. It’s not like she loooooved sitting at my first grade desk and watching me overload on sugar.

So, when the girls’ teachers sent home notes about their upcoming Halloween parties, they included a note that went something like this: “Due to the classroom size, each child is limited to one visitor for the party.” What? A visitor? Apparently it’s the deal that all of the parents show up for the party. I guess it’s to take pictures of the kids. But, when I got there for Peanut’s 2 year old class party, none of those kids were willing to cooperate. They had been woken up from their naps and ushered into a room where a plate of cupcakes, bananas, grapes, and cheese squares awaited them. (PS to their teachers: THANK YOU for giving them more than sugar, sugar, sugar, and sugar!) And, next to every kid was at least one parent. Some were standing, some where trying to sit on the little 2 year old chairs, all of them had cameras pointed at their kid. Since there wasn’t really anything else to do, I joined in and took tons of pictures of her eating.

In this one you can see traces of purple icing on sweet Snow White’s mouth. She was giddy with joy that the cupcakes had sprinkles. Or “spinkles” as she says.

Here she is with her treat bag, which was promptly devoured. At this point, I let the treat bag distract her as I slipped out to go down the hall for Bean’s party. Once again, we were full of parents watching their kids eat.

Beanie’s room was packed out with parents, too. She was very glad I showed up, but fortunately understood that I had to split my time between the two parties. Since 4 year olds require less maintenance during a party, I actually got to talk to some of the other moms. Still, I took plenty of pictures of my Princess Ariel eating.

Oh, and cheetos were in abundance at both parties. By the end of the day, the entire school was covered in a fine mist of orange powder….

Then we headed down the hallway to pick up Sis. This offered a chance for them to bug each other.

The important thing is that these girls had fun. And went home with sugary candy.

They also got a pair of Halloween glasses. Peanut is loving these….!


What about your kids? Do all of the parents show up for the parties? Is this something that will only happen while my kids are in preschool? Or, will I still be going up to school for parties when they are in 5th grade? Nope. I’ll bow out for sure by then.




After yesterday’s post on my abhorrence of the color of orange, I went to cook dinner. I made shrimp etouffee. (Ok, I defrosted & heated it.)

It’s orange.

We had rice, veggies, & bread as a side. Then, I made a dessert: Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake. (Yes. It is that good. Michelle, I thank you for the recipe!)

That cake? It’s pumpkin, so it’s orange, too.

The table was full of orange food.

So, I have to make an addendum: I don’t decorate with orange, I don’t wear orange, I don’t craft with orange. Orange food? Bring it on.


P.S. I wasn’t hungry tonight so my dinner was a bunch of Chee-tos & an orange-wrappered Reese’s. I know you are all awed by my healthiness. Awed.

I have a confession to make. It doesn’t come as a shock to many of you. Anyone who has ever crafted with me knows this: I hate orange.

I don’t know why. I’m not sure what memory is supressed in my psyche that causes me to see anything orange and say “Blech! That’s ugly!” Small accents of orange are acceptable, but if there’s too much orange in something, then I won’t use it. I won’t buy orange fabric. I won’t buy orange paint. I won’t buy something that’s orange to put in my house. No orange clothes. No orange flowers.

This is only a problem once a year: Halloween. I just can’t bring myself to deck out the house or the yard for the holiday. I don’t like creepy decorations, so that’s out. I don’t like orange, so harvesty decor is also out. No orange pumpkins, no orange leaf wreaths, no orange bunting or flags or banners.

Some of you may accuse me of hating orange since I went to Texas A&M. Although our rival’s colors are burnt orange & white, I can assure you of the following things: a) I am a very bad Aggie (known as a 2 percenter) & b) My hatred of orange pre-dates me liking A&M.

It may have it’s roots in my middle school band shirt I was forced to wear — bright orange. ICK.

What about you? Is there a color you just don’t like in any manifestation? Or is this just my own weird anomaly? (Don’t answer that last question…..)

I’m off now to buy some non-orange pumpkins & gourds for decorations. Because that’s how I non-orangely roll.

I obviously haven’t been blogging much lately. I have been reading a lot. I wanted to share a few great ones with you.

First off, the hot pink cover and rather sassy title of this book stood out on the library shelves. If you ever watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie when you were growing up, then you’ll definitely need to read Confessions of a Prairie B*#&h by Alison Arngrim. Yup, it’s Nellie’s memoir!

Dude, this book was so good that I read it in 2 days. In addition to her very interesting family history, you also hear about how she got into show business, all kinds of crazy behind-the-scenes stuff, and some downright hilarious stories. Apparently Alison and Melissa Gilbert (a.k.a. Laura Ingalls) were actually really great friends. They were in the grocery store together one time and the customers tried to save “Laura” from mean old “Nellie.” And then there was the time that a school thought it would be a good time to have Nellie & Mrs. Oleson come in costume and the schoolgirls tried to beat her up….! (Apparently there were a lot of people who couldn’t separate fictional tv from reality when it came to that show….)

This isn’t just a memoir of showbiz life. It also tells of the trauma and abuse that she suffered in her family and how she chose to survive. As an adult she got involved with a group called PROTECT that lobbied to change some pretty dreadful laws. As late as 2002, when the organization began, the punishment for someone who molested a relative was barely a slap on the wrist. If a person molested a child outside of their family, there were strict laws. But, if it was a relative, sometimes jail time wasn’t even considered. Alison spoke before state legislatures to help strengthen all laws and increase consequences for anyone who perpetrated abuse against children. (Bravo, Ms. Arngrim!)

As you can tell from the title and the preceding paragraph, this isn’t a book for you to get your 8 year old to read. But, I found it fascinating and a good read. I give it a solid 4 stars.

I also have been rereading more of my Dorothy L. Sayers Lord Peter Whimsey Mysteries. I just love ’em. If you are looking to get started with the series, you can always pick up a collection of short stories. Or, start with the first book, Whose Body?

I actually discovered this series by accident at a small used bookstore in Turkey. This overstuffed and badly organized shop had a teency English-language used section and I found book #2 there for 3 lira.  Clouds of Witness is full of great character development and an interesting story. Sayers knew how to write a mystery that keeps the ending a surprise. If you like mysteries, British novels, or 1930’s-era stories, then this book would be good for you.

According to my rating system, 5 stars are only given to books that I would own and read over and over. Since I do own this book and I like it enough to cart it back across the ocean & through several moves with me and I have actually read it through several times, then this book not only deserves a long run-on sentence of description, but also definitely earns 5 stars.

What have you been reading lately?


Last year, Halloween was easy. Peanut wore Bean’s hand-me-down tinkerbell outfit. She was too young to argue. Bean wanted to be a fairy, but Peanut already had dibs on being Tink, so I whipped up a blue sparkly outfit, slapped on some wings, & told her she was the Blue Fairy. And when I say “whipped up” the costume, I mean that I didn’t measure, rushed through, and made something that would make any seamstress faint. But, I wasn’t going for fabulous durability. I was going for something cheap. And the result was that Bean liked it. Good enough for me.

This year, both girls have many opinions on what they want to be. And, right next to the playground at the mall is the big Halloween store. So, they see all of the $50 costumes and think they are just wonderful. They are pretty cool. But there is absolutely no way I’ll spend $50 on a kid’s costume. I’m too cheap for that. I don’t even want to spend $50 combined on their costumes! First they have to pick a costume, though.

One day Bean will be sure she wants to be a pirate because her buddy MeMo is going to be one. Then she wants to be Cinderella (but the existing Cinderella costume we have in the playroom — including a wig — aren’t good enough for her). Next is a fairy, a different princess, Hello Kitty, and back to a pirate. Or maybe a cowgirl. No! Hello Kitty! Or maybe a pirate. Or a princess.

Guess what she’ll end up being: Whatever I can do the easiest & cheapest.

Peanut isn’t as torn about what she wants to be for Halloween. My sweet girl looks like such a baby in last year’s photos….

A sweet, precious, fairy baby.

This year, whenever you ask her what she wants to be, she yells “A BAD GUY!” I asked her to clarify the other day and explain what a Bad Guy looks like. She thought a minute and then said, “Cookie.” This does not mean a literal cookie. Instead, she was referring to one of the items that she has named Cookie. This could be the real puppy living at Poppy & Mimi’s house, any of the stuffed puppies at home, all of her dolls at home except one, and any other inanimate object in our house.

On second thought, Bean’s costume is going to be easier.

What about you? Do you make your costumes? Buy them? Borrow them?

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