Friday, October 30, 2009

A Poem for Allhallow's Eve

A Ghostly Conversation
Smell me,
I rise from rotten ground. . .NO

Taste me,
I am all cold, black air. . .NO

Touch me,
I have no bones, no hair. . .NO

Loot at me,
My sunken eyes, my transparent shroud. . .NO

Listen to me,
Wailing, crying, calling to you. . .NO

Be with me, then,
Allhallow's Eve,
Be with me, pity me,
I have no friend but you. . .

Be with me. . .NO


Halloween Paper Art

These cute little Halloween packages were delivered to the kids from Aunt Lori, Uncle Al and the new baby boys Asher and Toby! The best part was that the goodies are held in these super cool paper boxes. I have no idea how she folded them together so don't ask, but my sister-in-law does amazing things with paper!

When she is no longer covered in baby spit-up or elbow deep in poopy diapers, I will have her give me a tutorial. Until then, enjoy!

p.s. Taylor got to her package before I could take a picture of it, hence the almost-empty box.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Thank you for finally cooling down. I was really starting to despise you Southern California. I think deep down I was born to live somewhere else. Or am I just changing? Welcome fall fires.

May you all be cozy tonight.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Over the Hill and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go!

3 weeks ago the two kids received two very special invitations in the mail:

It was time for Nana and Papa's annual Halloween Party! Each child that was invited received a hand-painted invite. These were so darling, inspired from old vintage children's drawings. Each character had a mask attached with a brad that moved. The kids, being 2 and 4, I'm sure do not have the same appreciation as I do for these works of art, so after letting them give the masks a few swings, I swiftly grabbed them from their grimy hands and hid them.

The skeleton pictured here was the invitation from last year's party. His arms and legs moved

Halloween at my mother-in-laws house is magical. She has Department 54 stuff everywhere. The kids love it and I have grown to love it. The pictures that follow are some of my favorite pieces.

My mother-in-law is really into hand-cutting things. She did cut every single one of these witches from felt and attached the foamy letters for each child's place setting. The women is in her mid 60-s. I'm certain that with all of my knuckle-cracking that by the time I'm in my mid 60's I won't even be able to move my fingers, let alone cut with scissors.

Ah! And here the fun begins. To Infinity and Beyond!

What a good sport dad is, dressing up as Woody. I personally made that vest people, and I am very proud of myself, thank you very much!

A brunette Alice of course

"Off With Her Head!"
A sneak peek at the Queen costume...the whole costume will be revealed after Halloween.
Taylor later said to me after I was quoting the Queen, "mommy why would you say that to a child? People are going to think you're a bad mommy." Yeah, you've got a point there Tay. Don't want CPS on my trail!

Group Shot

Good old fashioned pumpkin carving. I think my niece Tavi, who's 5, did this one.

And the grand finale! My sister-in-law made these adorable little cheese puff sandwiches for the kids. Of course they loved them. What kind of crazy kid wouldn't? Bravo Carrie!

Happy Halloween Everyone! Now if only it would cool the freak down!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Activity For the Kiddos

We brought in pumpkins to Taylor's preschool on Friday and they used golf tees to poke holes in the pumpkins so they could in turn stick feathers in them to decorate. Many of the kids really seemed to enjoy pounding the tees in more than the actual decorating. So we put some golf tees to use this morning and started pounding away.

Taylor liked just using one tee and poking holes in her pumpkin again and again

Syd's philosophy though was the more the better. My thoughts exactly! Look at how hard he's working at this. Great for hand-eye coordination, especially for the 2 and 3 year olds.

Of course now these pumpkins will be more susceptible to mold and rot sooner because of the holes, so we'll either carve these right away or boil them up to make puree. Enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Looking Back on Monday on Friday

Monday was one of those days. Not a horrible day, but not a good one either. A lot of it had to do with being stuck in a traffic jam for over an hour on the 405 on the way to a field trip at Tanaka Farms. By the time we got there we were frazzled and frustrated. I spent the trip lugging three kids in and out of the wagon carrying a diaper bag and a huge camera bag By the end of the trip I was cursing that damn camera bag and the camera.

BUT, had I not had the camera, I would have never captured this beautiful sweet face.
She seriously makes me weak in the knees.

Nor would I have captured Sydney's pant leg stuck in a permanent hike position. He wouldn't let me fix it all day. He's a weird kid sometimes I tell you.

NICE Syd, real nice. This is his impersonation of the shirt eating goat I guess.
I told you he was a weird kid.

This llama scared the bejesus out of me! LOOK at those TEETH!!!
Holy crap, no wonder he was kept behind a gated fence!
This is not the sweet llama from our book Llama, Llama Red Pajama!


Picking their own veggies was exciting, especially the carrots, since our garden has refused to bear any.

Look at the sky that day!

They got to pick their own pumpkins, but the thing I thought was kind of weird was that they had to be able to walk a certain distance holding it unassisted. Whatever.

Look at the dirt under those fingernails! I LOVE IT!!!

If you look closely you can see some dirt on his cute little nose too.
We were a sight by the time we got to their doctor's office for flu shots.

Only in Southern California is an organic farm nestled in the middle of a golf course and multi-million dollar homes!

Looking back at all these great pictures I realize that it wasn't such a bad day after all. In fact, it was a great day. That's the beauty of a camera and pictures. You can delete the tears and the tantrums and be left with just the good stuff. Guaranteed in a year when we look back at these, the frustrations of the day will long be forgotten, but these moments captured on film will remain forever. And that's worth every bit of back-ache from carrying around a 15 pound camera bag.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What brings you Peace?

This weekend was a very long moment of peace for me that I thoroughly enjoyed. I felt like I accomplished so much, yet felt relaxed while doing it. I got to see pure joy in my children's eyes and was fully present for it instead of being distracted.

I was able to take part in an amazing fund raising events that benefited animals (we also were able to take part in an event that benefited a little girl that has touched so many hearts since the day she was born).

I got to connect with a dear friend over a common interest and had a great time doing it. At the flea market I scored an amazing old cast-iron corn bread muffin tin so I had to give it a trial run.

What goes better with corn bread than soup? Butternut squash soup to be exact that I made with butternut squash grown in our garden.

The recipe was something I kind of came up with on the fly but overall was really easy and the results stupendous. If you have a soup tureen that never gets used, this is the perfect time to break it out and make an occasion out of it.

Butternut Squash Soup
Cut stems off of 2-3 medium sized BS and cut in half. Place flesh side down on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes - hour at 400 degrees

Let cool, then scoop out flesh into a blender and puree along with 2-3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth.

Heat 3-4 tbsps of butter in a large stock pot and add:
3 diced carrots
half diced onion
4-5 diced green onions (use bottom halves only and save top greens for garnish)
Sautee till soft but not browned

Add butternut squash puree and about 2 cups of frozen or canned corn to the sauteed veggies
Also add about 2-3 more cups of chicken or vegetable broth till it's the consistency you want (more broth for a runnier soup, less for a thicker soup)

Simmer till heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste

Other moments of peace included realizing that we have friends that love and accept us even when we are over an hour late to an event! And to my relief, getting a call from a friend that I thought was mad at me.

Then MONDAY came...
and after sitting on the 405 freeway en route to Tanaka Farms for Taylor's preschool field trip, thus delaying our pumpkin patch ride over an hour, resulting in two hungry, cranky and at times, screaming kids, followed by flu mist doses that were administered to more screaming kids while being pinned down, my weekend of peace has passed.

My assignment is to find a little more peace to mix into what is starting off as a crazy week. Yo peace, I want you back. Ready or not, here I come.


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