Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trunk or Treat

It's trick-or-treating, only you decorate your trunk and bring the party to one single location. The girl's school has done this the last few years and they've had a blast. Here's what we came up with this year.

By the numbers:
1 Raven
1 Strobe Light
2 Rats
2 Jack-O-Lanterns
3 Halloween costumes
12 Floating Eyeballs in a jar
60 Creepy Peepers Mix candy
102 Fruit Roll Ups (minus the 1/2 dozen Moe ate the other morning)
210 Assorted Hershey Candy (minus what Moe ate the other morning - I found her with a pair of scissors and the trunk or treat loot on the floor of the mudroom. Empty wrappers discarded)

One party, one school party, two nights of boo-ing and trunk or treat down. Two school parties and trick or treating to go. Oh and I learned my lesson. I'm pretty sure the candy is all put away where Moe cannot reach it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Carving pumpkins the old fashioned way

Today we carved pumpkins. I took the old fashioned way of using a knife to cut faces and fingers to scoop the guts out. I even let the girls draw their faces as opposed to using a pre-made template. Husband on the other hand, while free handing his pumpkin, took the man's way of carving. He pulled out his dremel tool and attachments and proceeded to buzz away at his creation. He's such a show-off :P Can you guess which one Husband did?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween not so long ago

And since I posted about Halloween from my childhood, I thought I'd post about the girl's Halloween's to date.


It was just Einey this year. We made her a costume of a monkey - which turned out more like a mouse. Husband wanted to add a vest and a fez and an organ grinder.

Einey had her first trip to McDonald's this night.


Here is Einey and Meenie. We wanted matching costumes, so I made the ladybug bug sewing spots on a red dress and adding wings from Old Navy. The sunflower costume was made from a snowsuit, felt and lots of hot glue.


Here's is Einey, Meenie and one month old Moe. Since I was very pregnant and not at all in the mood to make costumes this year, we let the girls pick. They chose a dog and a cat costume. I did make them the cute collars they are wearing with colored ribbon and little tags. The tags had their names on one side and phone number on the other side. So naturally, I made Moe a mouse. We used gray sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt then pinned felt ears and a rope tail. She was so cute!


This year, the girls balked at matching costumes. We made Einey's cowboy costume. Meenie wanted to be Jo-Jo so we brought her a costume. And somehow, Moe was a cave baby. I made this costume as well (which I still love) without a pattern. The fuzzy warm material was a pain though. Husband was a pirate and I threw on an old prom dress as a princess for a Halloween party.


Back to matching costumes. My MIL (she's great!) made the girls these matching princess costumes. They are one of few items that are not in the general dress up area. Husband was a knight and I was a queen. We dressed up to go trick-or-treating and for Mystic Aquarium's Sea Scare. Coincidentally, the family we trick or treated with for a few years, their children were a princess, a king and a frog.


Hodge Podge again. Einey went as a witch. We found this awesome witches hat (another item not for general destruction - it's hanging on the playroom wall well out of reach) and then found a great fairy costume to go with it. Meenie was Dorothy for the sole purpose of getting the much converted ruby red slippers. And Moe was a pirate princess. It took forever for her to choose a costume.


This year, the girls picked their costumes. Einey is a ninja. And instead of the little face mask, she insisted on the full ninja mask (not pictures). Meenie is a geisha girl, otherwise known as queen of the ninjas. We tried to get Moe to go as something similar but it was a no go. It took her forever again to choose a costume - she wanted to be a Disney Princess. We finally found the costume she wanted - a gold (non-Disney) princess costume which she proudly calls her Belle dress.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween's long ago

Gearing up for Halloween this year brought back a flood of memories from Halloween's of long ago (okay not really long in the grand scheme of things, but still 20+ years). I remember many of my Halloween costume's growing up being handmade, or thrown together from items we found. It was always fun to create our own costumes. While I don't always make costumes anymore, we do try to make them every other year or so for the girls. I also remember trick-or-treating being a grand occasion - where I would go with my siblings and nieces and nephews and sometimes friends. It was always a blast. We'd set out in a neighborhood area with pillow cases in hand. By the end of the evening, those pillowcases would be full. We'd even get handmade items - cookies, popcorn balls and from one house, at least one year ice cream cones.

But here are some memories that really stick out.

  • When I was around 4, I remember getting sick and throwing up in my aunt's neighbor's driveway. We were in the back of a truck filled with hay.
  • When I was around 6, I remember walking up to a door with my niece. She opened the screen door, and it opened opposite of what most doors do, resulting in me falling off the step and hitting my head on a Virgin Mary statue.
  • In second grade, I remember sleeping over my best friend E's house. We carved pumpkins that night (it was a few days before Halloween) and I remember roasting the pumpkin seeds. It was the first time I had roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • In fourth or fifth grade, I remember as the year I worked on a pumpkin farm. Okay, so maybe it was only one day and I wasn't paid but in anything except a pumpkin and some squash and gourds. And while there was quite a bit of pumpkin picking from the fields, there was also quite a bit of debauchery mixed in as well.
  • When I was 16, I remember sitting in the back of my brother's truck with not-yet-Husband and a goat. Yes a goat. Not-yet-Husband and I were holding the goat that we were transporting from my aunt's house to my brother's friends frat house for a Halloween party.
What are your memories from Halloween from your childhood?

I can't find any embarrassing pictures from my childhood Halloween's, so if I can find time Tuesday, I'm going to try and make a trip home to search through picture's at my mom's house. Be sure to check back and see what I can find. Also, I've got a whole slew of Halloween related posts ready for the week, so check back each day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Waiting for the crash

Mr. Starbucks Man,

Thanks for giving my coffee obsessed preschooler a free caramel mocha-coffee-latte-chino when I stopped in today. How could you have known that she had cookies, candy and cupcakes for breakfast (on account she's a sneak and nothing is too high for her to find). While I'm sure she believes you are her best friend now, I now have to wait for her to come down from the sugar high she's been suffering all morning.

Moe's Mom.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Psst. Hey you there. Yeah you. You with the full branches of green leaves. Take a look around. Se everyone else? Yeah, they're changing colors and dropping their leaves. You could do the same thing you know. What? Your saving me the problem of raking you say? But I'd much rather rake now when it's just cold and not bitterly cold. It's not a race to see what happens first, you dropping leaves or the snow falling. So yeah, please drop your leaves?


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The new room

When I started converting the nursery to a big girl room, I didn't realize just what I was undertaking. It's starting to cost more than I expected.

For starters, I picked out a new bed set. That was $150 (with the sheets) and I picked up a chair as well for her to sit in which was $30. We decided to keep the walls the same color and just update the top where the trim was. I picked up one double roll of wall paper thinking it would be enough, and I was glad when I realized it was a $50 roll! Yeah, not so much, I need two more rolls. Yikes! Which I ordered today. At the same time, I picked up the two curtain rods Husband wanted, which were $20 each. I still need curtains. I know which ones I want, I just need to pick a color - those are $25 each. I picked up a few pictures/accessories, but those were truly bargains - only a few dollars each. The furniture is staying the same, however, we need a bed frame and mattress and box spring. I've priced those out at two local places and yikes! And we need to pick up (and paint) the chair rail border we're putting up.

But overall, the room is coming along smoothly and I like how it's turning out. Here's an in progress picture.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to pick up any subbing hours. They haven't had any available that fit my schedule. :(

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Diet - week 2

So the two weeks of phase one on the South Beach diet went past with no issues- other than the girls wanting our food. It really wasn't as bad as I thought and I lost 13 pounds! I fairly confident that I'm going to stay on some sort of modified version now - adding in some "taboo" foods but keeping the portions small and more frequent.

What I did notice was that after day two, I was no longer tired. That's right, I could go from morning to night (even waking earlier!0 without the dreaded mid-day sleepies. I no longer had highs and lows throughout the day as my blood sugar went up and down - it stayed at a constant level. And I was happier. Which made the girls happier. So yes, I feel great.

I really wanted to keep the fact that I was on a "diet" from the girls - I didn't want it to impact how they thought about their bodies. Yet they knew. And they asked. In fact, Einey - all teenie tiny her - declared that when she was 18 she was going on a diet. So we talked about how some people weigh a little more then they should and that they need diets, to get healthier. She seemed to accept that.

Meenie pips in with "I know someone else who needs a diet. Uncle Meatball - he's too big".

Heh. If only Uncle Meatball knew. Of course, she justified this by standing on her chair and reaching up as high as she could (after all, Uncle Meatball is really, really tall).

My new toy

My camera came in! Actually it came in last week, but I had to grab a memory card for it and we spent the weekend testing it out. It's great and I love it. I actually had to pry it out of Husband's hand though! It takes great action shots, which is great for all those soccer games we have to sit through each week. It takes great shots indoors - which is great for school as I can never get any pictures to come out inside the gym or church! I wanted to do a Christmas card shoot this weekend, but we ran out of time - maybe next weekend between soccer and the Halloween party we are going to. That and I want to get to the pumpkin patch this week, but it's a busy week. I wish Husband was home more!

Here are a few shots we took!

We get a new camera, and where do we go? A cemetery of course. My girls love traipsing around them!

I tried a different technique - using a leaf as a filter. Ineed to play with the settings/focus more, but still thought it was a neat picture.

Taken while I was driving. Husband was shooting out the window.

These two are in our yard.

Girls - happily smiling for the camera.
Moe up a tree.

My favorite road to travel down.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The fake holiday*

Yesterday was Columbus Day. A day we celebrate in honor of Christopher Columbus for discovering the Americas. But did he really? We know the Vikings arrived in Canada much, much earlier. And of course, there's Amerigo Vespucci who is rumored to have hit the mainland a year or so before Columbus. Regardless of who hit it first? Was it really something that was undiscovered? I'm sure the Native Americans didn't think so.

But, because we need to give credit to someone, Columbus came out a winner. And so, the girls had a long weekend off of school. They got out early on Friday and headed back in this morning. At first, I was dreading the weekend. How could I keep them busy? How could I keep them quiet (while Husband slept)? How could I keep them entertained?

We ended up having a delightful weekend. The weather was great. Cool, crisp fall morning with comfortable afternoons. Friday, we headed out hiking with friends after school. It was great to be out in the woods on a beautiful fall days. But, since we had friends, it was more of a competition to see who could get down the trail the fastest. So we didn't get to really enjoy our surrounds. Still, it was peaceful.

Saturday dawned just as nice as the day before. We headed to the park in the morning for a bit. I was able to actually sit and read (!!!) while the girls played. They stayed in sight and kept checking back. There were no cries for help on the swings of monkey bars. The only complaint was from Einey - there were no kids her age there and she was bored. Couldn't I call one of her friends? She opted, instead, to grab a book and sat, curled up on a platform at the end of the monkey bars. I just shook my head and let her be. After all, who was I to tell her to put the book down and go play?

That evening, we headed back to the park. Again, I brought a book, but this time I didn't get to read it. They found a friend from school, so they were running all over the place. This little girl, is in the grade between Einey and Meenie, but as I've posted before, their school is so small, the kids have combined time together. And so, they were playing games. Hoping from one place to another. By the time we went home for the night, the girls were exhausted!

Sunday morning - another wonderful day. This time, we took the bikes and scooter to another park. We had to wait until after lunch, but it was again, relaxing. I sat in the grass and watched the girls go around and around on the track (I know, I should have been out there as well, but it was nice to just watch). From there, they joined another friend from school who showed up on the playground. We went home for a bit and then headed out to a friend's birthday party. It was an outdoor showing of "Alvin and the Chipmunk's". The kids had a blast playing and then sitting on a huge blanket with their friends. Of course, there was cake, ice cream and candy. What more could a kid ask for at 7 pm? But again, they were exhausted when we got home.

Monday, we again, packed up the bikes and scooters and headed back to the park for an actually planned play date with friends. We biked (alot) and then headed down on of the paths on foot to the giant rock (this thing is massive) in the middle of the woods, The kids went in and out, around and around and then headed back to the bikes. We rode some more and then went to the playground for awhile. When we got home, we started lunch. I got a phone call from a friend "what are you doing today, the natives are restless". So we made plans to head over and have dinner together and then let the kids watch a Halloween movie. I brought over Dora's Halloween and The Nightmare before Christmas (I know, not technically a Halloween movie). Jack Skelenton won out. I'd like to say that the kids settled down once the movie was in, but they didn't. But all was good. My friend and I sat and talked and the kids, well lets just say, the natives were restless. We went home a bit later, especially for bath night, but somehow, I got all three girls bathed, combed, teeth brushed and earrings changed (which can be a pain in itself) and in bed in a little over a half hour. And like the rest of the week, the feel asleep form exhaustion in minutes.

So, thanks to Columbus for a long weekend. The girls and I had a blast and it was the most relaxing time we've had in awhile. I've nearly forgotten what an empty schedule looks like and am looking forward to more "do nothing" days!

P.S. I've caught up on my blog posts today, so be sure to scroll down to check out my latest posts. There are a few!

The cost of gas

It's no secret, that while gas prices are lower then what they were a few months ago (they are at $3.33 here) they are still high. With the economy in the shitter, I'm still in awe that gas companies can cry poverty yet still post trillions of dollars in gains on their quarterly reports.

However, I was kind of taken back when we pulled up to a gas pump in MA on our date night and saw this:

Yes, that's a TV. On top of the gas pump. Here's a closer shot:

It was tuned into to "GS (gas station)" channel and what was currently on was something from ESPN.

Seriously. WTF? Have you ever seen anything so ridiculous?

And dude, why is gas 20 cents cheaper 30 miles from my house? What's MA got that we don't have?

The Date Night

Last Thursday was our ninth anniversary. Since Husband's schedule at work is a tad messed up right now, we were limited to a night out. And not even an overnight (as the logistics would have been too complicated). Since we are both doing the South Beach thing, we researched where the best place to go out to eat was. We came up with Outback. We could get our choice of grilled meat, and have steam veggies on the side. Add a salad on the side and we were all set. Overall, the dinner was nice.

Then we headed over to The Shoppes in Millbury to try and catch a movie. Unfortunately, every movie we wanted to see had either already started or were not playing for another three hours. So we headed over to Best Buy to look at camera;s (we had discussed finally getting ourselves one for our anniversary). They didn't have the one we wanted, but they had the "newer" model for sale. We decided to head down to Ritz camera in Providence and check it out. They had the camera, we wanted but it was $50 MORE then the newer model at Best Buy. So we decided to hold off on it.

But, we are getting a new camera. We found the newer model (the Canon XSi) plus camera strap (free) and the UV filter (which I've heard is a must to protect the lens) for $668 shipped! That's $31 LESS than what we could have gotten for just the camera at Best Buy or Ritz. And the best part - my friend also has that camera and said if we needed to, we could borrow some lenses. Husband's first comment is he's buying a tripod and macro lens. I'd like a wide angle lens and a good "zoom" lens. For Christmas, I think I'm also buying him a light box. Shhh!

So all in all, while it wasn't a glorious anniversary, we had a nice, relaxing, kid free night out. And it was just perfect!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wanting her boys

Last night during soccer, my mini's were scrimmaging against another team. Einey asked if she could go over and practice with her friend R. at his practice. Previously, Einey had played on R's team, up until this season where they separated the boy and the girls.

Now, this season, Einey has been less then thrilled about soccer. A game, that she's loved and has been good at up until now. As I watched across the fields, I saw her out there running, passing and keeping the ball under control. She was giving 100%. She was having fun.

When we left, I commented on how well she played and told her that's what I expect to see when she's playing on her team. And we talked a bit. And I think I finally found out what's been bugging her (and me) with her team this year. This year, they split the boys and the girls. It's a little more structures in that they actually use positions and are learning what you can/can't do. There's still no ref and no penalties, that will come at the next level. But the team she's on? All they do at practice is scrimmage, scrimmage, scrimmage. There's no passing drills, there's no fun games, nothing. For them, it's all about winning and not about having fun.

At the end of our conversation, she asked me
When am I getting my boys back?

Not soon enough honey. If it takes having a co-ed team for you to have fun and give it your all, then I wish that's what we can have. I'm hoping, that if she wants to even play next season, that I can get her on another team. As VP, that shouldn't be hard, unless like this season, their is only one girls team at that age level. And if not, I'll let her take a break. She already know that next fall, Meenie will move up to her level with her coach and Einey loves that team. That coach is like her old coach, he uses games to teach the fundamentals. However, she doesn't want to play if her sister's on her team.

I wish they'd just give her her boys back!


Click over here to check out my review or, an online calendar and scheduler. It's one of my new favorite toys!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Somehow I think I screwed myself in this deal.

Somehow, I think I drew the short straw on this.

Awhile ago, Husband announced that he wanted to try the South Beach Diet. Then he asked if I'd try it with him - you know, for support and all? I said sure, what the heck, we're going to be doing it together and I can stand to lose a few alot of pounds. Time went by and he still mentioned it. Finally he decided he'd start it yesterday, the day he starts transitioning to his outage schedule. Which means, for the next six weeks or so, he's working nights, six days a week. Which means, I'm home alone with the kids. For three meals a day. For six weeks.

So while he's sleeping the day away, I'm shopping, preparing meals that we can eat AND seperate meals that the kids can eat. I'm sitting down to eat with them, me with a salad or ham and eggs probably and them with carb laden goodness. I have to deal with them whining that they want my hard boiled eggs, my sugar free Fudgesicles, sugar free jello and pickles. I have to deal with them throwing tantrums over what they want to eat and keep them out of our food. And I have to sit and watch them eat. And beg for hot chocolate -because that's the time of year it is. While he gets to eat in piece and quiet, his only concern being that he has foods available he can eat.

When I mentioned it to him, he said "you're strong you can do it. This is the best way for me." I don't know if I can do it, I just jumped on the bandwagon. He also thinks it should be easy for me as I've done it once before*. I'm sure I'll make it past the initial two weeks, but I'm not sure after that.

So far, day one went by uneventful. Today is okay, but I'm hungry. I'll keep you posted.

* I haven't done SB before, however, while pregnant with Meenie, I wasn't allowed to eat any fat in my diet. At all. For nine + months. But it wasn't just me. The health of my unborn daughter was on the line there. That was a no brainer. And I could eat fruit and cereal to satisfy my cravings. And drink milk and milkshakes made with fat free frozen vanilla yogurt. That was easy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

To which, I answer the question

"It must be nice having all the girls in school,"

"Just what do you do all day now?"

"You must be bored."

The answers - it is nice having the girls in school. It's quiet and I can actually get things accomplished. It's not boring because I'm doing many, many things.

To start with, I've cleaned out the playroom - getting rid of bags of toys and garbage, organizing things and rearranging a few items. I've cleaned out the girls rooms, bringing most toys downstairs and books/stuffed animals upstairs. I've cleaned out the closets, bagging up the clothes that are too small for Moe and putting away most of the summer clothes. Fall is definitely here and it's a tad too cold for tank tops and sun dresses. I've washed floors and started cleaning out things in the basement. I've given away DVD's and movies that the girls have outgrown. I've packed up the bathing suit and other beach items. I've worked outside (another post for another day).

But most of all, I've been working on converting the nursery to a tween room. We moved Einey into her own room over the summer and she was happy with it, however she's getting bigger. And that means she needs a real bed. A bed that isn't the crib converted to a daybed. And to get a big bed, we needed to order bedding. And we found bedding, just nothing to match the walls. So now had the dilemma of how to paint the room. We've come up with a solution. Were going to wallpaper the top, where the mural is and leave the walls the blue. Then we're going to put up a border (either paper or wood) to separate the two. After scouring wallpaper books at Lowe's and then bringing Husband to check out what I liked, I found the paper we are going to use. And the border. Only, the border was paper and would be too big to use as a border (even though Husband wanted to cut it into tiny chunks - uh no - this actually caused us to get into an argument at Lowe's and sent Husband storming off). The result - we're not using it and will probably just use decorative molding to us as a divide. So now, back to Lowe's to actually order the wallpaper.

Once that's finished, I can order the mattress and bed frame. I've put that off until we have the walls done. It will make life much easier. I have however, gone out looking and know what I'm ordering and from where.

I've ordered and received the bedding and ordered a chair for her room - which is freaking awesome! Now all that's left is to order the shelves I want from Pottery Barn Kids.

New Bedding

I'm pretty sure I know what the placement of all the furniture will be, with the exception of her two bookcases. I have to see how the bed fits into her room first. And I'm not sure what I'm doing with the bins of clothes (I store them in her room, but would like to move them - I think I need to clean out the closet in the master bedroom and see if I can fit them in there). And then we need to decide whether or not we are putting the old computer or the small TV/N64 in there.

But yeah, that's what I've been up to in a nutshell.

Here's what the room currently looks like. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

P.S. Look to the right - I've added a few buttons where you can follow my blog and join my blog network. So click on over!