Thursday, October 31, 2013

Too Incredible to Scare

I know, I'm a Halloween FREAK. If I had a lot of money, it would be quite the disaster in how much "Halloween" I would indulge in. Haha.

Okay, so where to begin? The town Trick or Trunk was last Saturday. Or is it called the Trunk or Treat? I never say it right. Who cares. Anyway, it was at that event where we five dawned our family Incredibles costumes. I wanted to take a picture in the front yard before we left, but the sun was so intense, we had to go in the back. The backyard has been torn up by our Lucy (different blog post on a different day) including our sprinkler heads (that's why the grass looks like crap), but we hopefully found a spot to take a picture. 
As Violet's Mom said in the movie, "That's my girl!"
Alexander had a mask but wouldn't let us put it on him. Mikelle didn't want to wear her costume, but she had gotten in huge trouble earlier that day for something else, so by this point, she knew she had to chill or she'd lose even more privileges. Therefore, we even received some smiles from her.
At the Town Event with some awesome Jedi Knights, Storm Troopers and Bounty Hunters! This makes me want to go to Comic-Con!
Dash looked thrilled, huh? He was mad that I asked him to wear the mask for one picture. Just one. Boom. Done.

Mikelle was at the event with us, but was helping my friend and Mikelle's former teacher Theresa with carnival stuff. It's a good thing Mikelle had things to do, because afterwards, the four of us (Myself, Mr. Incredible, Dash, and Jack Jack) went to McDonalds because we were being cheapskates and didn't want to buy food at the event. Christian about died. He did NOT want to go to McDonalds in our costumes. 

Sure, people looked at us weird, but it was the Saturday before Halloween. If it was March and Easter weekend and we were all dressed like that, I can see his point. But he's 9 years old and looking at it from that point of view. Me? I just don't care anymore about stupid embarrassing things because even when I'm trying not to do something embarrassing, I manage to anyway. Therefore, I've given up.

The Incredibles in public didn't end there. We realized that we didn't have our usual "Breakfast for Dinner" groceries for the following day that we needed. We needed to go to the store. The four of us went into SuperTarget in our costumes too. Christian again wasn't too thrilled, but we managed through it unscathed. Our friend's Cami and Micah were coming in as we were leaving and gave us a weird look, but they do that anyway! lol  Micah is a Rogers and he's from Eastern Arizona. I know I have to be related to him somewhere along the line. But I digress.

Yesterday (October 30th), Alexander had his Halloween party at Circle Time/Pre-School. He finally let me put on the mask! 
Arriving at Circle Time! Let's Do This!

Allow me to get on my Halloween soapbox again. At least kids X-Man's age can still enjoy the tradition of wearing the costumes to school that most of us had the privilege to experience in our childhood of yore before such joys and traditions were ripped out from under our own children. I'm obviously very passionate about this! lol...Anyone that knows me knows I'm a proponent of education, but I'm also a proponent of Halloween...

I didn't realize when I ran a computer lab at a junior high in Tempe from 1997 to 2000 that I was seeing the last of being at school/work with the kids dressing up at school. By the time I graduated college and started teaching, it was almost all gone. I admit, I didn't see that coming. :-(

And the Pumpkins are DONE! I'd love to keep doing them through the course of the year so I have an inventory (non-custom ones of course) come next September. But the pumpkins at the killer half price deal are only really available starting in September (maybe August) and when they're gone, they're gone. They don't re-stock them until the following year. 

There should be a chalk outline in the shape of me AND a pumpkin!
But that pumpkin there in that picture is all my fault. I could have been pumpkin-free, but when paying Christian's piano teacher for the month I thought I'd ask her if she would deduct the price of a pumpkin from that month's balance if I made her one. She agreed and there you go! 

And one of my pumpkins fell victim to the X-man yesterday. It was a small one and it's okay...I didn't really need that pumpkin anyway. The fact that he is still wearing his Jack Jack costume makes it even more adorable. And they say Imitation is the Sincerest form of flattery, right? But then he took the pen (permanent ink, mind you) to his Jack Jack costume. I guess I won't be re-selling his costume! lol

I received this appreciation photo today (below - with the purple skull) from my friend Nikki. She was the kids' before/after school sitter when I was still teaching. She even took baby Alexander when I went back to work after maternity leave to finish the school year. Nikki actually ended up with two "Metcalf Manor" pumpkins from me. Long story as to why.
Love her candle-holder!

 An Stoney became Ghostly the other night. 
It looked like someone wanted him to become Boney Stoney the night after that. It's weird that one of culprits has a mask on that looks a lot like the one from all our Incredibles Costumes. Weird.
My first November entry will contain more Halloween stuff as Alexander will go Trick or Treating tonight, but that's it for now.  I am a little back-logged on customer orders that were able to wait until after the pumpkin craze. 

It is nice to be able to work on flat surfaces again, but I did love the pumpkins. I will even do the larger size pumpkins next year too!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Does This Pumpkin Make Me Look Fat?

It's been fun doing all these pumpkins, but I am glad it's a seasonal thing. After October I hopefully won't be known to some as "The Pumpkin Lady". 

I've been dealing with intense headaches lately. Some of it probably has to do with stress. There's a lot of Pumpkin and non-Pumpkin art demands (that's a good thing!), kids still fighting daily (that never ends), the most difficult 2-year old we've ever had (don't get me wrong, the other two were no picnic. But X-man has the Age 2 thing down pat and we're tired), and worrying about getting this house started in Wickenburg. 

These demands are no different than any other grown ups juggling life and all that comes with it. The headaches just make it so much more difficult. I thought that my eyesight may be an issue as well. I now need reading glasses on top of wearing my contacts for my crazy farsighted eyeballs . Who knows what the culprit is. Maybe it's a combination of all those factors. 
Chris and I walked the property with our contractor in Wickenburg yesterday. Of course the October temps in the 80s didn't stay and it was 91 yesterday. Ugh. Well, it was 85 in Wickenburg. But still - too warm for the third week in October. The heat started making me nauseated and then the sunlight started the headache that still hasn't gone away over 24 hours and quite a few Ibuprofen tablets later. 

And then something so ridiculously stupid and embarrassing happened while we were at the land, but I can't really share on this forum. I mean, granted, I have maybe 4 readers, but still...  Let's just say God has a sense of humor and He must have seen an opportunity.

Here is a praying mantis in the street just in front of our property. I named him Sheldon.
Stoney Update!
The Stoney craze has slowed down, but he's still moving around. I love his latest duds! Mummified!
Today's Stoney all Mummified!
That says "Who's Your Mummy?" The other paper says "A Horse is a Horse of Corpse a Corpse..."
Darth Stoney. Come to the Dark Side, Stoney! We have apples, carrots and oats!
He visited this little one's house earlier this month just in time for her first birthday!

This is a short entry due to the headache. Oh, I almost forgot, the article from the November 2013 issue is now posted online. So if you weren't able to read it in the drugstore and then put the magazine back, here it is

Until next time...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Using Our Powers for GOOD instead of EVIL...

Chris and I went as Mr. Incredible and ElastiGirl at Saturday night's fifth annual "Ferguly" Halloween party.

 It was our fourth year in a row attending (hey! Why weren't we invited the FIRST year? lol....)

Link to Party Pictures From Last Year (2012)

Link to Party Pictures from 2011. And dang...still post-pregnancy fat! Ack!

No party pics from 2010. Oh, we were at the party and pictures do exist. But being close to 8 months pregnant at the time, do I need to explain further why they're not posted? 

I do regret one thing. I didn't use the pregnancy that year for the best costume idea I did think of months prior. If I had the energy and time (I had neither....) I should have gone as a knocked up Prom Queen with a tacky taffeta maternity prom dress with poofy circa 1985 sleeves and a Prom Queen sash and crown, and Chris could have worn a mullet wig, a Tuxedo T-shirt with a black blazer and ripped jeans with a sash and crown. 

I don't know this guy in the picture below, but his look is close to what Chris would have done that year, except Chris would have done a dark mullet wig and I fear it would have looked rather authentic on him!

No, I don't know these people, but her costume is rather close to my October 2010 idea, minus the 80s references I would have had us create.

It would have been awesome. 

A missed opportunity! Oh well.

I reminded Chris the other day how I still wish we did that costume, and he proceeded to remind me how I felt around that time and how at the party I was practically lying down (and our friend Leslie referred to me as a "beached whale"... Thanks and how I had to go on early Maternity leave just a couple of weeks later. Yes, I remember. Of course I didn't put much work into our costumes that year. In fact, we didn't even have correlating costumes. I wore a comfy black and white striped inmate costume and Chris was a vampire.   But I'll never forget leaving the house for the party. Chris was going to meet me there as he was coming from work, so I was leaving alone wearing my fat lady inmate costume. I felt an eerie feeling as if someone was watching me as I unlocked the car. Sure enough, there was my next door neighbor Bryan standing in his driveway laughing. 

"Niiiiice!" He said, as I looked over at him.

He asked me where I was going. Really? I'm a huge pregnant lady wearing a black and white striped inmate costume on a weekend October evening. Where do you think I'm going? I should have said, "Gynecologist appointment." But my health problems gestating another human also stopped me from having the quick wit and I just replied, "Just a party nearby." 

Boring answer. Boring.

Wow. Total digression. It's after midnight and I'm rambling about parties from years before instead of highlighting this particular year's.

Yeah, our whole family is doing the Incredibles this year. It's the last year we can really pull it off.  Mikelle is Violet's age (Junior High), Christian is about the age of Dash, and X-man, a little older than Jack-Jack, but still the baby like Jack-Jack.

If our family has the gender and age spread of the Incredibles, I knew we had to do it. But as I said in my previous entry, Christian isn't happy and Mikelle is against it too. But Mikelle's disdain is after she liked the idea months ago. I started buying the costumes months ago because it wasn't plausible to just lay the cash down for five costumes all at once (and bid on some eBay ones that were gently used or whatever. It took awhile to acquire them all!)

Christian didn't even have a Halloween costume idea or show interest in any other costume. He just knew he didn't want to be Dash when I asked him to try on his costume. But I think by the time we dress up as a family again next week, they will survive.

Anyway, here are some snapshots from the adult party last night. More pictures will come by way of the official shots taken that night, but these are the ones I was able to take. 

Okay, I didn't take this first one below. But I took a shot of Jake and Wendy at the party and it wasn't on my camera when I uploaded it. So I stole this one of them. If you don't know what they are, maybe this will help. Alexander and Christian can watch that video all day long if they could get away with it. Luckily I also got Alexander addicted to this one as well to help out my sanity when it comes to repeated videos.  I'm not against the Fox video. I just don't want to hear it all day long. I can actually appreciate the humor and creativity of it.
Apparently this one below is a Breaking Bad reference. I haven't seen the show, but I trust that they got it right.

A lone wolf. 

This baby is only a month old! Yes, I got to hold him and cuddle him for awhile. :sigh: I miss those 5 minutes when my babies were that small.
Yes, this is Miley Cyrus and a Wrecking Ball. And He-Man. And She-Ra. That poor baby is skeeered of Mr. Miley. Wouldn't you be?

Until next time, which I suspect will also have Halloween themes and imagery...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Who are these kids?

The severed leg and foot (yes, FAKE) I had sticking out of our moon roof went MISSING on Wednesday. It could have been stolen, but based on the circumstances of its disappearance, I suspected Thing 1 and Thing 2 were behind the vanishing act due to being embarrassed. 

Sure enough, when Christian got home, he fessed up. Well, not exactly. I asked him straight up if he took the foot from the moon roof, and he did some weird whiny noise (that he does when he's faced with something unpleasant).  

I asked him WHY he took it off and he said, "You pretty much know...."

He told me where he stashed it and it's now hanging out the back of the car.

With it being out of sight more, I think it helps. The last straw for Christian with it being on top of the car may have been the day before when I picked him up from school and we heard some kid yell, "There's a foot on top that car!"

My friend Krisstina said, "I bet your therapy jar is WAY bigger than ours!"

Funny she should say that. Christian had an appointment with his specialist on Monday and we were waiting and one of the receptionists said, "Is that your car out there? Is that a FOOT on there?" 

And yesterday evening I had Thing1 and Thing 2 try on their costumes. Boy, did I get RESISTANCE. We have a family costume this year. When I reveal, it will make sense in that this year was the last chance to pull off this costume. Mikelle was on board 6 months ago when I presented this idea, but now she's not interested one bit. Too bad. Costume has been purchased. And Christian doesn't want to wear his either. 

Again, who are these kids? It is such a buzzkill to the necessary spirit of Halloween!

I will say that Alexander looked absolutely adorable in his. Chris and I will wear ours tomorrow night to a party, but I'm guessing Alexander will want to put his on again when he sees us getting ready. I might just have to have some pictures of at least the three of us tomorrow.

To remember younger simpler times and yesterday was Throwback Thursday and today is Flashback Friday, here are my babies' first Halloweens! Mikelle was the littlest at her first Halloween. And even though she's the girl, she's the one with the least amount of hair! lol

And here is my cousin Lori and I circa 1978. If I posted this before, I apologize. I love Halloween and it's Flashback Friday. But damn...the 70s had WAY TOO MUCH ORANGE and crappy interior design. I think of one of my favorite movie lines:

 "And, uh, oh - hire a decorator to come in here quick, 'cause... DAMN." 

If I posted this reference before as well, I apologize. 

And while we're on Men in Black, this is my second favorite scene from the third Men in Black when Agent J (Will Smith) had to go back to the 1960s to save his partner. 

Okay, back to Halloween. Here is X-man on Wednesday with a T-shirt that will sadly be grown out by next year. Oh well, he got 2 good years out of it. 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Golden Goose

Mikelle played the Golden Goose earlier this month in my friend Theresa's community play "Jack and the Beanstock"
Mikelle performing as the Golden Goose in "Jack and the Beanstock
Mikelle wasn't too enthusiastic to get a picture taken after the performance. In fact, she gets upset whenever I try to take any pictures of her at all. I told her it is what I do as a Mom, and I'm not going to stop. Even if she makes expressions like this to show her discontent:

We Love this Silly Goose...
A couple of days later, Chris went by Theresa's house to pick something up for me and he said she mentioned that Mikelle acts very different until her parents are around. Maybe I should try having a drone follow her with a go-pro camera all the time so I can see how she really behaves. 

I also wonder what would happen if I manage to land the art teacher position at Wickenburg High School where she will be! LOL!  However, that is only possible if the current instructor leaves and I happen to get hired. Also, I don't know if I'll go back to teaching as soon as Mikelle's high school career, which begins next year. It is a fun fantasy to entertain, however, and use it to frighten Mikelle. But I digress.

Luckily, despite her change in behavior depending on our presence, I know she is friendly and outgoing and I get positive feedback from all her teachers (school, church, drama, etc...). She just won't be as outgoing if the P-meter is going off. The P-meter meaning Parent-Meter, of course.

This is still shot from one of my favorite performances by Mikelle almost a year ago. She was one of the Dwarfs in Snow White. I won't share the photo of her after the performance when I tried to take a picture. I did that already back in the entry when I shared all the photos. lol

I also look forward to school performances next semester in her CREW class. She did CREW last year and really enjoyed it. 

Now to get some sleep. That's been more of a trick lately!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Not Exactly a Pinterest FAIL, But....

A C+, maybe? It's like when you have your hair done, blow-dried and styled. The way the magician - I mean, hair-dresser does your hair , is awesome. But you'll never be able to duplicate it at home.

The Inspiration:
I saw this and KNEW I had to do it. I also wanted to do it because I already had the black paint for the bench ( I hated my park bench and figured I would paint it black to achieve this), and the eyeballs would be easy to do. 

The Result:

I know it needs more Orange. There is actually more orange on the porch - it's just not showing in this picture. Turns out, the eyeballs were not as easy to do as I thought they would be. Figuring out what glue would work to keep them together was a trick (turns out puffy fabric paint works best...who knew?) and trying to figure out how to attach them to the bench is still a work in progress.

Mikelle is frustrating me. Well, she's 13, so of course she's frustrating me. But specifically, what I mean is, she sees me fiddling with the porch and says, "You don't need to do all this to try to be better than everyone else." 

Where did she get that? I don't do designs and decorating to compete.  Eeeeuw!

I do it because it's fun! Then she said something about Halloween being only one day and not all the craziness that I make it. Gee - I thought it was just fun! It's Fall. It's Fun. It doesn't have to be balanced with any deep spiritual meaning (like Christmas and Easter), so you don't have to worry about that. It's

I can't win.

I've heard kids complain that their parents don't do a lot for Halloween and they wish they did. And here is MY kid who is complaining that I am doing a lot for Halloween. :facepalm:
She also thinks I work out and exercise to avoid being fat. While that is usually part of every woman's motivation, it's not the whole reason. She knows it's also for combating stress, keeping healthy, feeling better, and having more energy. However, from her, all I get is, "Stop it. You don't need to keep doing it."  I'm trying to figure out if she truly believes what she's saying or she's just trying to get under my skin. Probably both. No wonder I have to keep exercising.

I wanted to take pictures with the kids yesterday morning, but I knew it would be more of a struggle with Mikelle and Christian. So I grabbed X-man and just had Mikelle take some shots. I threw them into a little montage. You can see some of the orange in these angles.

He needs a haircut so bad! I wanted to get him one last week, but he had that bump by his eye and it was all purple. A week ago he and Mikelle were having a good time playing in her room and he ran into her bedpost. That stopped the fun real quick. 
He's not asleep. He was goofing around (morning after injury), so I took the picture.
Mom! Give me the camera! Mom! Mom!
Speaking of hazards around the house, we have a demon washing machine. It's about 20 years old (almost) and it has a fit and a seizure and shakes back and forth if you give it a full load. I always find it in a different position in the laundry room when it's done.Keeping the clothes "balanced" is only part of the solution. The washer is just nuts. But it still works and I'm not striving to get my dream washer and dryer until the Wickenburg house, so I'm good with the demon washing machine here. 

However, I do have two candidates for my dream washer and dryer in the next house:
Dream Candidate 1
Dream Candidate #2. Oh Baby!
Anyway, around the same time (same day?) as Alexander's eye mishap, the demon washer was having one of its fits. Christian comes in and matter-of-factly says:

"Someday that washer is going to kill us all...."

HAHA! Love that kid. 

And I couldn't end this post of randomness without more pumpkins, could I?

Big and Little. I'll offer the big ones more next year.

Black and White Polka-dot toes! All is good....
 This one is going to Florida tomorrow. My friend Corrine saw it and wanted it. I had to tell her she couldn't have this one. She said to make her one with the same spider and she's going to name him Fred. Plus, she said the owners of the below pumpkin can't name their spider Fred.
Until next time...