The kids did me a solid and slept in until 7 yesterday so I got a full two hours of sleep. I was pretty juiced! So tonight I fell asleep about ten on the couch, probably mid sentence with my husband. He hates to wake me up because he thinks once I do, I won't go back to sleep--boy, was he wrong (note the time). So when I woke up at 1:30 am I was so surprised that he had crocheted more--tassels and a tail, a mouth and hair. It's so awesome!
So here's a list of things to do for Halloween in Roseville. I know that I'm being ambitious, thinking that maybe we can hit all of these things, especially given the kids' dislike for waiting around and Monkey's love of destruction, but I can dream...
We are the Scary Spooks, And I am the bringer of dreams, nightmares, and monsters, of green jumping beans. Were it not for you I would dash all the hopes and bright faces Hot Glue, thanks to you, My kids will be looking aces...
And without further adieu, here are the all-nighter costumes (Max's Wolf Suit ripped off from Katydid and Kid, though not as amazing as hers, owing to four hours and only hand stitching and the wonderful hot glue that has properly removed any trace of fingerprints).
Goose picked a jumping bean for her costume months ago...This is wrapped rabbit fence wired together, padded with polyfil and wrapped in fleece.
And finally, Ziggy's piece de resistance, the crocheted One-Eyed-One-Horned-Flying- Purple-People-Eater, which I will post a better picture of on Friday. It's 4:30 am and I want to go to bed!
We have a wedding to go to on Saturday, and while the prospect of a day with just Goose is exciting since I don't feel like I spend enough time with her, I'm a bit bummed, too. Monkey is sick again and hopefully Ziggy can work the nebulizer and not run him ragged. Plus there's some pretty awesome things going down for free this weekend: Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic is building this super fun looking guy from 10-11am. It says to register, but when we've gone and I've told them we're registered, the guy looks at me weird and hands me a kit. I swear I've heard "nerd" disguised in a cough...
Then off to Lakeshore Learning on Douglas Blvd. from 11am-3pm where kids can make this Halloween countdown calendar. Whatever you do, don't call it an advent calendar near Pottery Barn Kids because they will shriek and tell you it's not religious.
Just down the street is Borders, where at 2pm they have a Halloween party happening complete with crafts, games and music. The Kids' Halloween Spooktacular is a big costume party and sounds like a blast. Plus last time we were there for an event they made everyone the best hot chocolate! And there's a buy one book get a kid's book half off coupon good that day as well.
Then, if one bookstore doling out free stuff wasn't enough, you can swing by Barnes and Noble and get a free hot chocolate and cookie with this printable coupon.
So these next ones involve black paint and stuff you have on hand.
First up. Got paper? Got crayons? Set the kids to work coloring while you enjoy a few minutes to pee with the door closed. Take watered-down paint (the consistency of water, very little paint) and have them paint over their crayon images. The result is a wax resist image that looks way spooky.
Next, and I know Goose looks like the saddest kid in the world and it's partially due to me informing her that she would be giving up her bongo drum (my budding Matthew McConahey? or however that's spelled) to make this project, a luminary.
Take any container and paint it with black paint. Wait for it to dry. Then use an awl or a nail (both of which I wasn't comfortable letting Goose use, so she instead got a pen) then punch an image out along a pattern traced on or freehanded.
Goose's luminary turned out great, though she got a bit overzealous in places and had two huge holes. We lit this with a battery operated candle so there was no fire hazard. Now Goose has a spooky nightlight!
To go along with our celebrating of Halloween, we read at least one spooky book a night. Spooky Hour by Tony Mitton is one of Ziggy's favorites to read.
It's a counting book that has lots of whimsical rhymes to match the whimsy of the illustrations.It's not overly scary and results in a Halloween party. I like this one since it sets up perfectly for bedtime--the last line is "then home they go to snuggly beds", after all. It's also fairly short which does well with the stack of books Goose picks out at night.
It doesn't have much of a message or teach anything, it's just a fun read before bed.
Forget the the pop bubble gum, for me, the best songs are the ones with word candy. I half wanted to keep up the song game and see what everyone came up with with words like "taciturn" and "trajectory", but instead, I'll just offer them up as some of my favorite songs with words you don't hear everyday.
This one's for my brother. This song is great and thanks for the cd. Please excuse these pre-pubescent boys, the only other versions of this song were crummy video phone recordings or this super cool word thing, that was only 27 seconds...
I was 12 when this mind blowing album came out and I remember using our encyclopedias to look up what "ursa major" was...
I keep forcing Astronautalis on people, but he's just so amazing and here you can see why. Totally freestyle! Crazy! (If there was any possibility of finding "Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot" in a good form, I'd put that here because I had to go and look up what "nonpareil" meant from that one!)
As long as you don't have a kid that will write on the wall or try to eat the marker, this next craft is so simple and perfect for a good 20-30 minutes of mommy time (or how I'm typing this post right now.)
Michaels and Joann's have these little wooden die cuts that are excellent for markers. I know you're supposed to paint them, but I don't trust Goose to not end up with paint on her feet or hands and track it all over the house. Buy them when they're on sale (not that they're expensive, the highest I've seen them priced is .39 and the best I've gotten them for is .10 and then I stock up!).
Use a roll of magnetic tape (1.59 for several feet) or a pin backing (2.99 for 40) to make the wooden cutout into something special.
Ok, I'm a bit mad at those people who gave me DNA and call me their daughter. How could you never take me to this place?
Zittel Farms has been around since 1976 (longer than me, guys) and is the perfect pumpkin patch for pictures and frugality. It's located in Folsom on Oak and Folsom-Auburn Rd. right across from the lake.
Pros: Reasonable Pricing Fantastic Pumpkin Backdrops Free Wagons Goats and Sheep are friendly, non-biting and clean Thoughtful laying out of pumpkins to make a track for wagons Pony rides (only on weekends-cost unknown) Carriages and old wagons to play on Kids' area for corn scooping and rocking horses Free Parking
Cons: No big kid attractions like mazes or rides, aka bring your own bribes! Credit cards only on transactions over $10 and a fee A bit small. If it were crowded, you'd probably have to park at McDonald's down the street, which wouldn't have been a bad thing to Ziggy...
I can't say enough nice things about this farm. Goose and Monkey would have been so happy to just sit and play in the kids area for the whole day, which is interesting since it didn't have many thrills, it was old-fashioned fun. The staff was so knowledgeable about where their kids' rocking chairs came from and who made them; how the animals would handle the kids; and even when I like the fool that I am realized that I forgot to bring my cash, the man was willing to bargain with me, which made me feel terrible and almost caused us to end up with a huge painted gourd.
This is going to be the first place we take the kids in the fall from now on. I want to drag Ziggy there right now for family pictures, but I know it's not going to happen this year due to schedules.
Have you noticed I'm always a bit late? Well I meant to start this yesterday, so I'll post two today and then one for everyday until Halloween.
These are my some of my favorite crafts. This one is excellent because in the last month since Goose stopped napping I find myself needing that Mommy time, but needing her to be engaged. So I set her down with black paper and chalk and doorknob hangers came to be!
Just halve a sheet of black cardstock and cut a hole (I used the bottom of a can and my trusty Xacto knife).
So my Blog or Treat buddy sent me a wonderful package that arrived the other day. It was fantastic! We do all kinds of Halloween and she got us these Dia de los Muertos style kitchen items, activities for the kids, candy, and a mask that looks so perfect on the welcome bear we have outside. We usually dress him up, but last year the costume was trashed and we didn't have anything for him, but now we do! Thank you so much Kellie of Princess P, JT and Me, you're super awesome! (I bugged Shannon, the wonderful person who put on this event, for her blog name.)
I really hope that Erica at But Mommy... enjoys the fall pack we put together for her and her kiddos! Happy Halloween to All!
It's sort of funny--the way things come back to you.
It was about twenty years ago that my mom brought home this Hare Krishna book from the airport. I remember looking through it and loving the pictures. All the times that she cleaned out her book stash, I wouldn't let her toss it or donate it, or whatever it was she did with her books then.
Then I went off to college, and that book has left her well organized library and been replaced with lots of Patricia Cromwell, Philippa Gregory, Jodi Piccoult, and so on.
Well, last night we went to a celebration of Diwali and guess what book I was given to look through? The very same!
We sang Hare Krishna and we made wishes as we danced around the hill someone made with ten Krishnas on it making wishes and offering them up to Krishna.
This was our second time going to a service and it's really amazing. Everyone chants and sings and dances in beautiful clothes and the kids VOLUNTARILY will read paragraphs from stories from the Bhagavad Gita along with adults. Then there's an amazing spread that everyone is welcome to. It was really fantastic.
I didn't take pictures because I thought it would be disrespectful, especially since Monkey ripped some posters off the wall, which I missed because Goose was having a meltdown and I was trying to calm her.
Luckily boys under five are little gods and can do no wrong, so with the help of some tape things were kosher. So the agnostic party of three payed our respects and honored our friends and took off through the shady side of Sacramento--bellies full and singing the hypnotic Hare Krishna song.
Goose said she wished for Hugs (doable), Kisses (doable), and a Carousel/Merry-Go-Round (not so much). I wished for my friend who invited us to find a job, one where he doesn't have to go elsewhere in the world away from his family. And of course, what I always wish for, my kids to be happy.
BTW, I think it's pretty wonderful that Obama kept up Bush's tradition of lighting Diyas at Diwali, though Obama was actually present for it, unlike Bush.
So, that's not us. That's from their site, but it gives you an idea of the facility.
It's hard for me to not jump to the ranting, but know that it's coming and soon.
The Pumpkin Farm on Old Auburn Road in Citrus Heights has been around since I was little and beyond that--35 years per their site. It's a place that is much less crowded and fairly unchanging from year to year.
Free stuff-petting zoo and scarecrow competition exhibit. I love looking at the local kids' submissions, some are so creative and what a great school project! The animals are mostly very sweet, though the horse got mad at me for trying to leave and took a nibble on my shoulder, but in his defense there is a sign up saying he likes to bite and I pet him anyway. You can buy food for the animals for a dollar per sandwich bag.
Attraction wise-there's ponies, a bounce house, a train, a hay ride, slides and a haunted barn (which I think still has graves from the Worldcom incident earlier this decade), a corn maze and a bounce house. Each attraction is 2.50, except the ponies which is $4 or $5 and doesn't last all that long. Passes are available which make the attractions cheaper but can certainly add up (family of four = $28). We buy a la carte and let the kids pick what they really want.
I remember the slides as a kid. They were a blast! And this past weekend they didn't disappoint--Goose and Monkey had so much fun for their ten minutes of sliding. The slides are just large PVC tubes but stretch from a tower as high as thirty feet (approx). Goose was a bit of a chicken on the highest slide, but enjoyed the other three. Monkey was fearless and wanted to do all of them, though I kept him to the lower slide.
The train ride is pretty short and I've never been on the hay ride--sorry.
The farm is set up well for photos, though I forgot the camera. Pumpkins picked and in groups make for cute harvest backdrops of the little ones and they have beautiful sunflowers.
Now the ranting. Parking is $4! FOUR DOLLARS. Look Pumpkin Farm, I know that Bishops (Lincoln, CA) charges ten on the weekends, but you don't have quite the same facilities as they do. Your fun has always been that it was something for the kids on the cheap. $4 for parking! Ludicrous! We didn't buy flowers because I didn't have enough cash since who knew you would decide to charge $4 for parking in your sort of hay covered dirt field that still has blackberry brambles uncleared that one must drive over, fall on, and let Monkey tear his pants on!
Now we will be back next year, but on a weekday, which completely takes the fun out of it, since my biggest kid can't join us due to work...
Does anyone play "the song game"? There's probably a better name for it and more complex rules, but basically one person sings a song, or part of a song and picks a word from the lyrics. The challenge is then for the next person to come up with a different song with that word in it. Then a new lyric is picked from the new song and it goes on and on. If you can't come up with a song, then you challenge the other person to come up with a song with his original word.
Ziggy and I used to spend hours playing this driving from school back to our parents' homes. It is great for keeping one awake while she's driving at midnight on a desolate highway!
So here's a snippet of my latest victory. Ziggy was totally stumped!
He broke out with reggae and had "I shot the sheriff" and I picked this fantastic song.
So now the word I pick is "pistol". Ziggy was stumped. Anyone want to play? Leave a song with the word "pistol" and your new word.
It feels like we constantly are handling Halloween decor. Goose's party has me all out of whack, plus after I took these pictures we had to pack up on account of wind and rain (keep it coming, though, and we'll never move to Seattle!).
But it feels so much more like Halloween. And the Jack-o-lantern over the tv is no longer eccentric, it's just right.
The kids had a blast and Monkey ripped a ghost up to be a spooky Rambo, which everyone then did--so cute...I mean scary!
I know it's Saturday, but here's a Wordy Wednesday anyway...
Have you read any of the Magic Tree House series?
Goose likes it, but a more rudimentary set of books I could not imagine! We've read two in the last two days and they are so mind-numbing!
Not only can you predict the plotlines, but you can guess exactly what and where the simple facts will be inserted into the storyline. You can't guess how the dialog is going to go because it's too simple. There's no finesse. There's nothing interesting there!
I think that Goose likes the simple words, which she can actually sound out--I suppose that's a plus. But this is one series that, if she keeps up with them, I'd be happy for her to read on her own!
Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than beating the crud out of your husband with a weird light saber thing! It doesn't hurt that he can't beat me.
The game overall sort of sucks. Archery is ok, but the swordfighting? Epic. Awesome. And I think it belongs in the office of every marriage counselor (or maybe it already does? My therapist friend uses Wii games on her at risk kids.)
So here's the problem. After my inevitable victory, I showboat--all that forced football watching has to pay out some way. Ziggy forgets that I have no grace about me whatsoever and pushes me. I fall. I bruise. I have a very large bruise across my gluteus maximus. There you have it. And in between laughing hysterically and saying sorry, he snaps a picture! That's me annoyed at him being him. It was time for the next round.
Then full on crying with "Mom...Mommy" in gasps within seconds.
I trudge down the hall expecting an accident and as I lean over Goose's bed she grabs me around the neck, crying, and whispers, "I was worried about you". I hold her until the crying subsides and ask her if she's ok. She tells me she had a bad dream and then breaks off, whimpers again as she says my name. I tell her it's ok and fold myself along side of her in her toddler bed.
She asks me to put up her dream catcher that we made the last time she had a bad dream--almost a year ago. I don't push her to talk about it, but two hours later I'm thankful when Ziggy asks her what her dream was about.
"There was a ghost that changed into a monster and then a spooky shadow".
Ziggy: What happened to Mommy?
Goose: She's over there.
Conversation dropped. But I'm morbidly curious. What happened? Was I attacked by monsters? Did massive amounts of crayon shavings smother me to death as I'm so certain they will while I'm cleaning the oceans of crayons she leaves around the table?
I can still remember my first day and first class of college. It was a child psych class and we watched this film on the way children change their explanations of dreams because of embarassment and the Boogeyman replaces a parent chasing a child (the film imagined a child coping with a parent punishing him for his ill-doing by replacing mom with a monster).
So what is it? What was this dream?
I remember the only childhood dream that ever made me wake up crying was one where we moved into the old Taco Bell. As we were unpacking some guys came in and tried to knife me and my dad defending me, was killed. I had this dream so many times, it's still vivid now.
So is this something that will plague Goose for years to come? Is there a way to stop it? How do you deal with nightmares?
Yes, Monkey's cute. Yes, he's very physically advanced for his age. Yes Monkey loves to cuddle.
But of course there are times where I realize that's just a front. In actuality he's using these talents to be the most evil year and a half old mastermind that ever was. If I'm sweeping and getting my finished pile in the dustpan, he finds Goose's confetti and makes more work. It's been two months since he discovered that chairs of various heights can be pushed together so that he can get on top of the counter, in the short time it takes me to feed the dog.
There are times when I can tell his reason for sitting in my lap is to tick off his sister.
While I picked up toys and art projects and blocks and clothes and electronics yesterday, he followed along and took each and everything out again and laughed his maniacal laugh as mommy's look of frustration increased.
Finally, I gave up in the parlor and said, "ok, let's play with blocks, Monkey". His look could not be more triumphant as he shimmied out of his diaper and peed on the the floor...