Thursday, October 30, 2008

Carving New Memories

For the first time we actually took our pumpkins from the patch and decided to carve Jack-O-Lanterns. This is something I had never done growing up so I really needed Joe's expertise. As expected the kids got a kick out of it, but not quite understanding the end result they did get a little impatient during the more time consuming elements where they could not help as much. Joe did allow them to help with the actual carving and in the end it was worth all the effort to hear their giggles and squeals when we revealed the lit pumpkins in the darkened house. They loved it. Of course, we had to make silly and happy Jack-O-Lanterns. Nothing too scary or intricate this year. As usual, I have a photo montage to chronicle the event:

Jadyn loves Mr. Pumpkin. She named him Adan after Jake's little friend:

The kids were saying cheese and then falling on the ground laughing. Whatever gets them to smile:

Jake took the sticker off the pumpkin and put it on his nose. Silly guy:

Another brother/sister moment:

Neither of the kids were too thrilled with the idea of scooping out the guts:

But they both loved the carving part, especially when the pieces popped out, such as here when Jake had completed the nose:

Me and the kids with the finished product (I detest this picture of myself but it was the only one with us and the finished product):

All lit up and ready for Halloween:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Surprise Halloween Treat

There are a few people in the know who are aware that I have been grappling with an idea for a costume for Jadyn for the past two Halloweens now. Her recent choice to be a monkey was a perfect opportunity for me to explore my idea, since there was no way she could wear her heavy monkey costume for two daytime Halloween parties the kids have this week. So I took her recently acquired logo t-shirt to good use and threw together a more weather appropriate costume for the daytime and nothing could be more appropriate for my lil girl. I am just so ecstatic that it came together and she tolerated it. I will definitely be making a deposit into her therapy fund in the event she does not find it humorous when she is older though. Including a picture of my favorite race car driver from the play date as well as I couldn't resist.

Wordless Wednesday - Pick of the Patch

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Preview

AKA Why you should not ask your 2-year-old what they want to be for Halloween.

As you may recall, I mentioned several weeks ago that we were still undecided as to what Jadyn was going to be for Halloween. Since Jake had voiced his desire to be a race car driver, I decided to see if Jadyn wanted a say in her costume this year, something Jake obviously did not get a choice in until now. We thumbed through a catalog and looked at images online and she confidently declared that she wanted to be a princess. I found this to be an interesting choice being that she had not willingly wore a dress for at least 5 months now. We went to the store and I showed her a very cute but simple princess costume and she broke down in tears, "I don't want to be a princess". Someone had suggested I could dress her as Jasmine but atlas, that idea did not pan out.

Flash forward to the beginning of October as I took all of our Halloween decorations out of the boxes and starting placing them around the house. The kids peered at them excitedly and asked what they were. I explained that Halloween was a celebration of all things that are spooky and creepy, but that it was all in fun and not at all scary. I showed them witches, pumpkins, monsters, ghosts, black cats and spiders. Then I asked them if they remembered trick-or-treating and I reminded Jadyn she still needed to decide on a costume, to which she animatedly replied, "I want to be a little monster!".

She ran around the house all day repeating this like a mantra, " I want to be a little monster", " I am a little monster". I looked online for a monster costume that was suitable for a 2 year old girl to no avail. I showed her all things Halloween-y again, trying to lean her in another direction and finally convinced her that a pumpkin was also a good choice but when I showed her the pumpkin costume I had in mind, she protested, "I don't want to be a pumpkin". Other choices for that day included a lady buy (my idea) and a monkey (her idea).

Finally after an entire day like this she said, " I don't want to be anything!". I then explained to her that if she didn't dress up she could not go trick-or-treating. Her response? "I want to be Halloween!".

We finally had a breakthrough when I realized that if she saw an actual picture of something like a ladybug or a monkey, she would warm up to the idea of dressing up as it BUT if she saw a picture of a child dressed in a ladybug or monkey costume, she immediately shut down. When the ladybug costume arrived, she was ripping off the wings and antennae before I could finish dressing her so that helped in making the decision. In the end, I pictured her as something more feminine but at least she is WEARING a costume, NOT crying and it is something she thought of and picked for herself.

So without further adieu, here are the kids at the flashlight candy scramble at the community center Saturday night. It was a fun event. The kids enjoyed hunting for candy in the dark with the flashlights and the older kids were courteous and gracious. It was a great kick-off to a week of spook-tacular Halloween activities!

And since for the last 2 years the kids costumes have coordinated, I will give anyone a $10 Starbucks gift certificate if they can come up with a politcally correct way to relate Dale Ernhardt Jr. and a monkey.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Ghosts of Halloween Past

AKA the Event the Triggered an Obsession.

So before I start going crazy posting pictures of the kids in their costumes and running around the pumpkin patch, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane, especially since this is my first Halloween since starting my blog. It all started innocently enough. Jake was about 5 months old. It was around Labor Day and I was out shopping for some colder weather clothes for my lil guy when I ran across a rack of costumes for infants. Without much thought, I decided I might as well grab something for Jake while I was out - a simple Jack-O-Lantern fleece get-up. It felt good to have the purchase taken care of. So here was Jake on his first Halloween with his cousin Madison who had just celebrated her first birthday earlier in the month:

It was shortly after that Halloween that I started scrapbooking. Scrapbooking lead to my desire to have pictures of Jake in themed outfits for each of the holidays, as well as wanting to have good pictures of him in said outfits, which began my picture taking craze. Now, I rely more on my blog and photo books than scrapbooking for lack of time but I am still obsessed with coordinating themed outfits for the holidays and getting good pictures. Thus the birth of an obsession.

On Jake's second Halloween he was 18 months and I was about 8 weeks pregnant with Jadyn. Since I was not feeling that well myself, I failed to miss the obvious symptoms Jake was displaying the morning of the holiday as we hurried off to his class party. I managed to take one good picture of him in his race car driver costume before he puked all over it and himself in front of all his classmates in the middle of the party. Poor lil guy:

However, after coming home and taking a long nap, Jake was feeling much better. His costume may have been soiled but not his spirit:

By the following year, I had two kids to coordinate. Jake was now 2 years old and Jadyn was 5 months old. Someone had given me an adorable sunflower bunting for Jadyn so I came up with the idea for Jake to be a farmer:

Meanwhile, we began another tradition of putting the kids in their Halloween outfits and going to the pumpkin patch and so began the battle of getting decent photos of the kids together. Although not taken until we got back from the trip, this picture is one of my favorites of both kids together:
Along with this one of Jadyn smiling:

Which brings us to last year's trip to the pumpkin patch:

And their coordinating Halloween costumes as a Redskins football player and cheerleader:

So now you know my dirty little secret. I am obsessed with coordinating outfits for holidays and getting good pictures of the kids together to scrapbook, even though I have not scrapbooked in over 2 years and even though it is nearly impossible to get good pictures of the kids together. LOL! And you also may recall that the kids Halloween costumes will not be coordinating this year as we let them pick their own this year. I have a story about how that turned out so stay tuned for this year's pictures.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Johnny Appleseed

In my circle of blogging friends I have seen a lot of posts about apple picking and those friends are pretty spread out across the country. It looked like so much fun with sprawling rows of apple trees and gorgeous pictures of their children filling wooden buckets with delicious varieties of the beloved fruit. I am pretty sure that with us being in California, we are probably served a fairly unique experience when it comes to time honored seasonal traditions like this and I don't mean that in a good way.

Unfortunately, apple picking did not turn out to be the adventure I had envisioned. For one, it is hard to get into the Fall spirit when it is still 90 degrees outside. More importantly, we traveled to the small farm town of Oak Glen to get away from it all, only to find every other Southern Californian had the same idea for that same particular Saturday so the traffic, parking and crowds were beyond ridiculous. Once instead the farm, the actual area we were restricted to picking apples from was quite small and we only had a choice between Rome and wine sap varieties, one which is not my favorite and the other I had never even heard of. Setting all those facts aside however, the kids still got a kick out of picking the apples off the trees and I think it would be fun to venture back up there later in the Fall when the temperatures are a little cooler and it is no longer the trendy thing of the moment. Even if we cannot pick apples, it is just really pretty in Oak Glen and I have fond memories of my Grandmother taking my brother and I up there every year.

Here we are eating breakfast at Apple Annie's with Joe's parents, grandparents, sister and our niece and nephew. I am including the one of Jake and I so you can see he still was not feeling 100% and therefore not really in a picture taking mood. Joe thought his expression was hilarious:

Here we are at Riley's farm as Joe helps Jake pick the perfect apple:

Jadyn concentrating very hard to pick her perfect apple:

One might consider the last two photos previews of what is to come as we briefly visited the small pumpkin patch at Riley's last weekend. You see normally we would have already made it to the pumpkin patch but with Joe in Yuma off and on all month and the kids being sick, we have yet to go and frankly now I am feeling the pressure to go as Halloween quickly approaches. I really want to avoid going over the weekend as a I fear a repeat of the whole Californians flocking, lines, crowds, traffic, etc. However, the thought of waiting until next week seems so last minute and I did actually plan on having the kids carve the pumpkins this year as well as making candy apples. While I am frustrated that they got so sick so early in the cold/flu season, I am trying to look on the bright side, which is that they did not get sick the actual week of Halloween and they are finally on the mend. And I am not trying to complain at all. I just want to keep things real. I don't want to give everyone the impression that every venture we partake in turns out to be some magical fun-filled success. Apple picking is the perfect example.

So from apples to pumpkins, 90 degree weather or not, it appears Fall is upon us.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Things have been pretty hectic. First Jake got sick. Then Joe got to come home for the weekend and we went to Oak Glen for apple picking. On Sunday he practically insisted I take a break from the kids, so I went shopping with two of my girlfriends. The irony was not lost on me as I helped both of them pick out ball gowns for an event I was not attending. Unfortunately, my day did not end with me being saved by a dazzling vampire in a shiny silver Volvo and then eating mushroom ravioli at a quaint Italian restaurant, but I did get supplies to make Jadyn some korker hairbows.

Now Joe is back in Yuma (this is the last week thankfully), work has been steady for me and poor Jadyn caught whatever Jake had and barely has a voice to speak. I still have posts on tap chronicling some of the funnier things the kids are doing and saying that were left over from last month and now next week is going to be Halloween. Never short on blog material, I do seem to be short on time. So I leave you with a few random pictures:

Jake was getting ready for bed last night when he decided that his underwear made a cool hat. While I tried to explain that the garment that touches certain parts of our bodies may not belong on our head and face, I don't think me taking pictures and laughing did much to deter the antics.

And Jadyn, all smiles before Jake's soccer practice even though she is coughing so frequently she has pretty much completely lost her voice. She is sporting one of her new hairbows from Kaycee's Prissy Miss Boutique. And by the way, a big congrats to Kaycee who had her second baby girl, Carrah yesterday afternoon. We can't wait to see pictures of the new addition.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Jammie Jam

In these parts, we have a ritual. When the temperatures finally drop low enough to necessitate a change in our sleepwear, we take pictures - because seriously, who can resist a child with footed sleeper pajamas? This year, we were surprised by the event when a cold snap came through last weekend. Usually this ritual does not take place until November. At any rate, it has been awhile since I had a run of pictures so here ya go. Not surprisingly, one or the other child was not very cooperative so I have no "money shots" but I think you can tell a) how much fun they were having and b) how much they love each other.

So the good news is they look super cute in their PJs. The bad news is that Mommy made a grievous error and as soon as it was time for bed, Jadyn had a fit because she could not get to her belly button and fiddle with it as she has grown accustomed to during warmer months. It's kind of like her lovey as she falls asleep. I had to unzip her PJs all the way down to her naval, which kind of defeats the purpose of them replacing a blanket. SO, the next day we were back to the drawing board (hence the trip to Kohl's Sunday night) and found her some comfy fleece 2 piece sets. I know this one was about 95% my fault but I still feel the need to tell you that her Drama Queen t-shirt arrived with my Twihard hoodie.