Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Remember Thanksgiving?

That holiday about a week ago? The one I never blogged about? Well I feel bad about that.

Suffice it to say that it was a nice day. Turkey was consumed in mass quantities, Skippy's smoked ham came out beautifully, and we had way too much food. We spent the day with friends going through sale papers (my idea of Tday nirvana) and playing Rock Band. Scrabble, pie, and tired kids.

Anyway, I'm sorry I never got around to a nice long blog about every detail of the day. We were all working on not getting sick, or getting better and overall it was exhausting but a lot of fun. The obligatory picture is adorable isn't it?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's an INCH of snow people!!!!

How in the world was I supposed to know that school would be cancelled over an INCH of snow?

No. Seriously.

WHERE I COME FROM (have I said that enough lately?) an inch of snow has little kids' noses pressed up against the windows, vehemently praying for more - enough for a snow day - like, six inches more. That's not even enough to go outside to make a snowman in. The day after Skippy left last year, it snowed almost sixteen inches in thirty six hours at my house. My pregnant butt had to be helped out of my driveway by a snowplow because I couldn't shovel. THAT my friends, is snow.

So anyway, last night it snowed. (See last night's blog.) We were excited. It was beautiful. So on and so forth. This morning we are up and about at seven just like any other school day, sorting out backpacks and hunting for socks and boots and mittens. I bundle the girls into the car, and off we go. I absentmindedly turn on the radio just in time to hear that Kbear's pre-school is closed.

Now this made me raise my eyebrows, but I wasn't REALLY surprised - Teacher Mary is a one-woman show and she lives on the unincorporated side of town with a long gravel driveway that she probably doesn't want people navigating if there is even the slightest hint of ice. So no biggie. Then I hear that Banana's elementary school has a late start, with no morning Kindergarten.

What? I must have heard that wrong. There is an INCH of snow on the ground. The sun is shining and it's already starting to melt off my car.

Like a ding dong, I continue on up the hill and sure enough, it's a snowy ghost town. No school this morning. No other cars in sight. If a tumbleweed had bounced off my hood at that very moment, I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised.

An inch of snow. I'm seriously baffled. Now in hindsight (now that I'm home and warm and have a Starbucks in front of me) I'm really not that surprised. I mean, we have like, one plow for the entire town. And they don't salt the roads. And we have a lot of outlying rural bus routes that would be dangerous in any kind of snowy/icy weather. So I understand the two hour delay a little better now.

I just wish I had checked before I hustled my kids out the door. When we got home our neighbor (who also teaches at B's school) was outside shoveling his sidewalk and we had a good laugh at my expense. Then he told me that they called it at like, nine last night.

Color me an idiot.

What cracks me up is that it's supposed to be fifty degrees today. But mid-afternoon, the year's first snowfall will be long gone.

But hey, live and learn. And try not to feel stupid. Right?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Let it SNOW!!!!!

Oh yes indeed. Our first official Oregon snowfall is falling as I type!

See, we made this deal with our girls. They share a room and sometimes getting them down for the night is....less than pleasant. So Skippy made this handy dandy little chart where they get a sticker for every night that they both go to bed and we don't have to go in there and raise holy parenting hell. Right now, every twenty stickers, and they get a prize. Next chart we'll probably do every 25, but anyway it has just absolutely worked like a charm.

We've owed them their first prize for about a week now. Tonight they asked if we could go to Burger King. I know, hand over my mommy of the year award for not making them yet another home grown 100% organic meal for mere pennies here at home but a prize is a prize and what kind of parents would we be if we backed out on our promises? They wanted Burger King and the Dollar Store. Easy peasy.

So we left the Chunk with Skippy and went out for a girls' night. Many chicken nuggets, fries, and fizzy drinks later, we headed to the dollar store. Thirteen dollars later (don't ask) we walked outside and it was SNOWING.

They totally freaked out. We're talking super excitement. I was pretty darn tickled too - the flakes were so huge and fluffy - it was like someone had shook out a huge feather pillow over our heads. You could actually HEAR them coming down.

And then my sweet Banana looks at me and says, "Mommy, this is the BEST PRIZE EVER."

Like I made it happen.

How do I top that?

A blessed event...

Oh yes indeed. A blessed event has occured in our household. Last night, for the first time in almost eight months, Skippy and I did NOT have a baby in our room. I was able to fall asleep without hearing every little snore, sigh, and snuffle from the end of the bed.

Poor Chunk has been stuck sleeping in our bedroom since the day we brought him home. He started off in the basinet, and then graduated to the pack-and-play. We have had a queen bed set up in our third bedroom for our never-ending stream of visitors, between Dixie's coming and goings, my Mom's visit, Jax, Sarah, and so on. So yesterday my mother-in-law helped Skippy and I get the damn thing all pulled apart and sealed up, and then he and I took it to be stowed away in our storage unit. Then we brought the crib home.

That was a beast in and of itself, but it's all put together now and it looks just beautiful (Thanks Aunt Jane!) and he's napping in it right now as I sit here and type. I would have loved to see Skippy and Dixie actually wheeling the ENTIRE thing through Home Depot yesterday (they were in search of a few new screws and didn't want to chance coming home with the wrong ones), but I'll be darned, they got it all worked out.

Last night I tucked him in at 8:30 and that little scamp slept until 5:15 this morning.

Oh. Oh happy day. Happy, happy, day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ok, in my defense....

There is actually a really good reason that I haven't been back to finish wrapping up Kbear's birthday blog for four days. We have all been sick. Like, hacking, wheezing, snotty nose, three boxes of tissues a day kind of sick. One of us gets better and then someone else comes down with it. And of course, being the Mom means that you usually get it last, after you're all worn out from taking care of everyone else.

So anyway. Kbear's birthday party was a success. We took everyone bowling at the little alley downtown, where the smaller munchkins had a blast and the adults enjoyed the luxury of using bumpers. We were all pretty bad. Like, embarrassingly bad. I topped the group with a whopping 151. But it was fun. Then we all trekked through the rain to our cars, buzzed back up the hill and enjoyed pizza and cake at the house.

Speaking of cake, check this bad boy out. Pretty cool huh? The day before her party, K and I were sitting at the computer looking at cakes on Family Fun's website and she saw that one and absolutely flipped out. So Skippy worked some magic with fruit by the foot, gumballs, and two frosted 9x13s. I was pretty impressed. AND it tasted good. K was thrilled when she blew out her big number four and the ten "bowling pin" candles.

By the time we cleaned up the food, opened presents, and said our thank yous and good byes, everyone was pretty wiped out. But we had a really fantastic day. It seems like she grew up overnight when we weren't looking, and she told me later that night that it was "the bestest bowling party ever." Music to my ears.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I am so ashamed....

My baby girl's fourth birthday has come and gone with barely a mention from me! Although in my defense, I've been the only semi-healthy person in a houseful of sick people. We even pushed her party back a day due to a Friday afternoon fever. It has been majorly sucktastic all around.

But yes, it's true. My little girl is four. Four is like, officially not a baby anymore. Two is definitely considered a toddler. Three is kind of transitional. But four. Four is a little kid. A not-so-little-kid, at least in the eyes of her mommy.

So here we go - Kbear's fourth birthday, in review.

Saturday night Skippy and I snuck out of the house after bedtime (leaving the girls with my Mother-in-law) and Chunk helped us make a stealth run to Walmart, where we debated the merits of several (okay, two) itty bitty little girl "big girl" bikes. Skippy won out with his choice of Disney princesses - WITH a matching helmet of course - and we picked up a few more things (because it's Walmart and we now have to drive twenty miles to get there) and went on our merry way back home, where I proceeded to try to WRAP a bike with only one roll of paper, half a thing of tape, and a dog. In the end I managed, with only one side of the handlebars sticking out, but I figured that would be part of the fun.

So Sunday morning dawns with pouring rain and a birthday girl who was awake at about quarter to six. She comes sprinting into our room yelling "MOMMY! DADDY! THERE IS A BIKE IN PAPER IN OUR LIVING ROOM!!!!!" Thankfully, this was NOT at quarter to six. After presents (another banner year for Tinkerbell stuff) we started in on breakfast. Staying true to our new tradition, Skippy made BLUE blueberry muffins, green bacon, and orange butter with pineapple and orange juice all around.

Then we took naps. *insert intermission elevator music here*

After that, we BOWLED. More to come later!

Monday, November 19, 2007

The air up there....

Is COLD!!!!!!

I'm telling you, I'm still adjusting to the weirdness that is living in a mountain/foothill/not-flat-like-Illinois region. Last night it was COLD. Like, really cold. And rainy. And just kind of blah. It rained all day - on Kbear's birthday no less, but that's another blog. Anyway, it rained and rained and rained. My sister-in-law Terri came up for K's party and said they had snow all the way to Dufur (I know I've told you I didn't name the towns, stop laughing) and last night on the news they were calling for snow in all the passes, and along the entire Cascade mountain range.

SNOW???? Did someone say snow? I love snow. Snow rocks.

So imagine my disappointment when I woke up this morning and saw that we had only gotten rain, rain, and more rain. And then imagine my amazement when I hopped into the car to run Banana up to school and saw cars coming down the hill just COVERED in snow.

*Imagine me raising my eyebrow here. If I could do that. Pretend I can.*

I was puzzled.

Apparently when you live in Oregon, a little bit of altitude makes a big BIG difference. At our house, we had rain. Not even a mile up the hill at the elementary school, there was snow sticking to the grass. Not too much farther up from there, the foothills were absolutely covered and just beautiful.


More to come. I have to recap K's birthday. The kids have been sick and we've been busy, but I promise we'll get all caught up later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Supermommy flies again

Whew. This morning I ran 56 thank you cards up to the elementary school for PTA when I dropped Banana off. Each card had a handwritten note to each staff member, plus a pretty little typed insert inside that I painstakingly cut out informing the teachers and staff that the PTA was bringing in food for after school today, and during the day tomorrow in honor of American Education Week. The thank yous took me "only" four hours last night.

Then I took Kbear to preschool, dropped Skippy off at work, and ran two MORE freshly written thank yous to school for the two teachers who weren't on my list, plus some fresh flowers that I picked up between the Google and home. Came back home to build a fire in the fireplace because it's a balmy 63 in my house this morning. At two I'm meeting another crazy PTA mom so that we can pick up the deli trays and sandwiches and get them up to school. Before then, I really hope to shower.

Since stopping back at home to nurse the baby all I've managed to accomplish was a chat with the neighbor, wiping the baby's poor little nose fourteen thousand times, putting a pot of soup on the stove, and clipping some coupons. Now I have to go pay the water bill and swing by the bank to get Banana's jacket, which she left there almost a week ago. Then it will be time to pick the girl children up from school and come home for lunch.

I wonder if they would just give Banana's jacket to me through the drive up window? Hmmmmm.

I REALLY hope I can fit in that shower.

More to come, hope you are having a good day, whatever you are up to!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Has anyone seen my cape?

Tomorrow I have to be (duh duh da-duhhhhhh) SUPER MOMMY.

Runner of kids to school. Superb kicker of husbands into the shower. Colossal baby soother. And defender of all things PTA.

Gonna be a loooooong day. I think a preemptive hot bath is in order right now.

In unrelated news, had Chunk back at the doctor today to see what's going on. Did a chest Xray just to be safe. (Aunt Jane, they totally didn't have a "monkey chair" - they just had me hold his little legs and they held his arms while he blew spit bubbles at the light) I have to give major kudos to AmyM for watching my older two monsters, who I'm sure put her in need of her own hot bath. My kids seem to have that effect on people. Everyone else is good. Kbear was too tickled this morning when I told her that this is the last Monday EVER that she'll be three years old. Banana had a day off from school for Vet's Day. Skippy stayed up until 1:00 in the morning making cheesecake for the first annual (and possibly only annual) cheesecake smack down at the Goog.

I talked to my Grammy yesterday (belated call to thank her for the kids' Halloween cards and McD's money) and she told me that "she hears I have quite a blog" from all the family. I'm so glad you guys enjoy reading it - I definitely enjoy writing it and keeping you all up to date on our random and not-so-random happenings. Southwest has tickets round trip for $200 after the holidays - get your butts on a plane would ya?

And now I'm off to take my bath. Tomorrow I have to save the world. Love to you all, Oregon people and non-Oregon people.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sick babies are no fun

My poor little dude. He is just not feeling good. It started off last week with a runny nose. Then we had a little cough - just a little dry cough that would make you look up from what you were doing to make sure he was okay.

I figured it was the weather changing. I figured it was teething. I figured it was nothing.

Now we've got a deep, full chested, looking at me with big doe eyes MOMMY MAKE ME FEEL BETTER wrecking cough full of phlegm. Ugh. Poor guy.

AND he has his first tooth coming in. Owie.

Please God, don't let anyone else get it. We just sent out invites for K's birthday party next weekend.

Please let my poor little man feel better soon.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Too busy to be blah.

Did the run around today.

Got up (Thank you daylight savings time, you don't suck so much on a school day). Took a shower. Got the girls up. Got the baby up. Kicked Skippy into the shower. Got the kids cereal. Nursed the baby. Kicked Skippy into the shower again. Helped the girls get clothes. Helped the girls find shoes. Kicked Skippy into the shower AGAIN.

Took Banana to school. Came home. Changed the baby. Took Kbear to school. Took Skippy to work. Stopped for a much needed white chocolate mocha. Went to my MOPS meeting (Moms of Pre-Schoolers) where we made a kickass craft that I can't wait to actually try - we made a little coffee filter full of stuff to make spiced cider in the coffee pot. Since I only use our coffee pot when we have coffee-drinking company, it will be fun to give this a whirl. Chatted with other mommy friends. Got Chunk out of the nursery. Left early.

Picked up Kbear. Tried to help contain her excitement over ANOTHER birthday invite. Realized that every other preschool Mom is way more brave than I am, because I just can't bring myself to do the "whole class" birthday party thing just yet. Brainstormed other birthday ideas for Kbear while we drove across town to get Banana off the bus. Got Banana off the bus. Ran up to the elementary school for some PTA stuff I needed.

Ran home. Nursed and changed the baby. Surfed the net for ten whole minutes.

Went to lunch with two mommy friends. Three mommies and nine kiddos. In the McDonald's playplace. Where it echoes. Yeah.......

Came back home. Took Tylenol. Got my PTA stuff together. Picked up my friend Amy who bravely agreed to do babysitting during the PTA meeting. Thanked Amy profusely.

Ran my first solo PTA meeting. Spent some PTA money. Kicked ass.

Came home. Cleaned the living room. Bribed the kids with Halloween candy to help for twenty minutes. Actually did a decent job. Sneaked an extra mini-Snickers into my belly.

Made dinner for the kids. Put the very tired baby down for an evening nap.

Skippy came home. Promptly fell asleep in the recliner.

Cleaned behind the TV. Reorganized approximately eight million, forty three thousand and fifty seven cords.



Monday, November 5, 2007

Screw you, Daylight Savings Time

It really messes up your whole universe when you have kids.

My kids are early birds. They always have been, little monkeys. So yesterday instead of waking up at seven, they were up at QUARTER TO SIX. ON A SUNDAY. Can I cry now? Once I accomplished donuts and my Sunday newspaper I was a little better but I pretty much muddled through the day and went to bed before nine last night.

No seriously, what happened to my life? I remember when nine at night was prime nap time for an hour before heading out. I remember when nine meant that ER was on, or it sounded like a good time to start that term paper that was due the next day. But apparently when you have kids and it's time to "fall back" nine means nighty-nite.

So now it's 3:20 in the morning and I'm sitting here blogging and surfing the net, catching up on email, reading my mommy board, and generally being annoyed that I can't sleep.

It was a wonderfully uneventful weekend. We didn't have any company. There was no soccer. We slacked off on the gym (again) and just kind of hung out. I watched my neighbor refinish an antique steamer truck for me. Colored with the kids. Watched a movie. Grocery shopped.

And in more exciting news (at least exciting to me) Skippy and I had a REAL DATE on Saturday night. Like, with a babysitter and everything. Oh my god it was heaven. I got to wear pretty clothes and put on make up and go out to dinner with friends for three whole hours. The company was fabulous, the food was okay, and just being out with no crayons or kids' meals or having to cut up someone else's food was beyond fantastic. So that was fun.

Now I think I'll catch up on one of my favorite blogs ( and go back to bed like a normal person. Tomorrow's agenda includes no school for Banana, dance class for Kbear, and making chicken noodle soup.

Friday, November 2, 2007

She didn't wave

I have to tell you all what happened today. Because it made me sad. And it's silly to be sad. Skippy kind of chuckled at me when I told him this story and gave me the "DO NOT GET SNIFFLY" look of spousal death. But I got sniffly anyway.

Remember the beginning of the school year, just eight short weeks ago? Remember my five year old who didn't want to go into school without mommy, who cried every day for the first week? Who latched onto my leg on the first day and had to be pried off when it was time to go in while I walked away from my big girl struggling not to sob?

Remember my elated blog on the day she decided that maybe school was going okay, and that mommy didn't have to walk her in every day? We've settled into a nice routine, the Banana and I. I drive her up to school in the morning and we pull into the line of cars waiting to drop off other kiddos and I give her one last pep talk about having a good day, listening to her teacher, etc all to a chorus of "Yes Mommys." Then we pull up to the ramp (the school is at the top of a big hill and the kids have to run up a HUGE ramp to get to the door) and I hop out and get her coat zipped and hand her backpack over. Then it's hugs and kisses and she runs off, ALWAYS pausing for a minute to yell "WAVE MOMMY!"

So then I stand there (probably annoying other parents who are dropping kids off with my refusal to move out of the way) while she runs up to the top of the ramp and turns around and waves. A few weeks ago she would wave, and I would wave, and then she would stand there and wait until I had completely pulled away before going into school. I always doubled back after turning around to make sure she had actually gone in. Then things improved. She would wave and I would wave, and she would immediately head inside. I don't know if that had to do with renewed self confidence or the fact that it's started to get chilly or what, but it was an improvement.

Today I kissed her goodbye and she headed for the ramp while I stood next to my open car door, watching her go and waiting to wave. About halfway up the ramp I heard "HI BANANA!" and saw her meet up with a teammate from soccer. I felt a rush of pride that my big girl is making friends. I could see them chatting away like five year olds do as they made their way to the top of ramp.

And then she went straight inside.

She didn't stop. She didn't turn. She didn't wave.

She just went inside.

I should be relieved. I should be happy. I should be proud. And on some level I am all of those things.

But I'm also a little sad.

I mean, she didn't wave.

It's funny when you have moments when you realize that in so many ways, you need your kids as much as they need you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I'm so not crafty....Halloween Part Two

If you know me, you know that you can give me a pair of scissors, a needle and thread, a bunch of material, an old washcloth, and some scotch tape and I won't know what in the hell to do with it. My sister-in-law could probably turn it into a prom dress. My friend Charlotte could probably make a blanket, without even using the scotch tape. I just don't know what to do. I'm not crafty. I WANT to be crafty in the worst way but alas, it's apparently not where my gifts were bestowed. Somewhere the patron saint of Martha Stewart and Heloise, and Paula Dean took a look at my infant form and said, "Nope, not happening."

And despite all of this, I decided that this year I was going to make my kids Halloween costumes. I was tired of buying cheap character crap at the store and dangnamit, I was going to MAKE them the most kickass kids costumes EVER.


Good thought.

I started buying materials in September, when my obviously addled brain gave birth to this grand plan. And then it sat. And sat. And it sat some more. Skippy would occasionally nudge a pile of tulle or kick around an old straw hat that I scavenged from the thrift store for a quarter and raise his eyebrows at me. To which I gave my patented response - a slightly put-out and cranky "I'm GONNA DO IT!" (And I wonder where my kids get it.)

Anyway, when last week rolled around I figured I'd better get moving. To my credit, Kbear's costume was already done - I had bought her butterfly wings (I'm not THAT crafty) and made her an adorable matching tutu and found black leggings and a leotard and she was good to go. It was Banana's costume that had me concerned.

A scarecrow. How hard could it be?

Ok, it's not so much that it was HARD, it's just that I am a complete costume making novice. I took an old hula skirt, an old pair of overalls, and a pair of scissors and went to town with needle and thread. Several hours of blood sweat and tears later, I had the legs done and sore pinpricked thumbs. Said thumbs then necessitated a trip to Jo Ann Fabrics, where I bought two rolls of my new-un-crafty best friend, Stitch Witchery. It's this wonderful gift from the crafty Gods that allows you to iron any two fabrics together. I was sold. I pulled out my iron, dusted it off, and went to town, fusing cotton to straw and then attaching old cotton patches cut from overgrown play clothes and and black "crow feathers" all over the place. Once I added the glue gun to my arsenal, it was all over.

When I was all done, I had two pretty darn cute freaking costumes:

And what of the Chunk you may ask? What wonderful handmade costume did I concoct for him? Well......I'm afraid that it's true what they say about the third child. You really do kind of get over the whole baby thing. I mean, when Banana was born we were allllllll about "Her First Halloween!" OH! It's HER FIRST HALLOWEEN! It was a big deal. Kbear got the hand-me-down costume two years later, and about two thirds of the excitement. So by the time we've gotten down to the chunk, I guess it's kind of worn off. I mean don't get me wrong, I still totally get that it's his "FIRST HALLOWEEN" but I'm not in such a fervor to make sure he has the perfect costume because it's not like he's trick or treating and really, I don't think they have managed to make a baby's costume yet that doesn't at some point irritate the hell out of the poor munchkin wearing it.

So he was a bee.

A totally sweet and adorable bee.

No really, doesn't he look just absolutely THRILLED?

Once we were all costumed up it was time to go trick or treating. First we attacked downtown The Dalles. With about two thousand other people. It was fun in that crazy somewhat organized chaos kind of way. We ran into friends, basked in the compliments on our adorable costumes, and engaged in what I will now call drive-by-trick or treating, where basically your kid got candy every ten steps or so because 90% of the fun and funky eclectic little shops downtown participated. It was a blast in a nutty kind of way.

Once Skippy met up with us downtown (That only took four phone calls to each other while we were standing on the same block semi-hollering over the noise "NO WHERE ARE YOU AT?") we headed back to the car and piled in to head over to Spooky's for free pizza. How cool is that? Kids under 12 with a costume get a kids' pizza and drink. Dinner? We don't need no stinkin' dinner man - we got reese cups and free pizza. And sandwiches for Skippy and myself.

Thus nourished, we trekked home where Skippy the brave combined fatherly forces with the dad next door and they took three very excited and sugar high little girls up and down the street, showing off for the neighbors and coming home with even more mad loot. Chunk and I stayed home and passed out candy here at the house, where I got dirty looks when I insisted that the junior high and high school kids actually SAY trick or treat.

And at long last, we clicked off the porch light, shucked off costumes, and dumped out our haul, which fills my HUGE wooden salad bowl. I'm doling it out slowly and whatever is left at the end will go to Google with Skippy. Of course, once we take our cut of tootsie rolls (Skippy) and Snickers bars (me) that should put a significant dent in it.

I hope everyone else had a safe and successful Halloween. Until next year!

Pumpkins, Halloween part one.

And so another Halloween fades away. Whew. What a crazy one it was. I'm happy to say that after a week of forgoing all important housework, taking breaks only to pee and nurse the baby, I am finally out of Halloween costume-making hell. Although I will say that my kids looked pretty darn cute.

Halloween festivities began for us on Tuesday night with pumpkin carving. This is an annual event where the girls bug me, chanting "Can we do pumpkins now? Can we do pumpkins now?" incessantly while I'm trying to do everyday normal things like oh, take a shower or eat. When the evening finally rolls around they are more than ready. They want to carve. They look like miniature cannibals on some exotic island, knives poised and ready, eyes gleaming, and excitement mounting.

Then Mommy reminds them that before you can carve a pumpkin, you have to clean the pumpkin. Mean old mommy.

So we cut the top off and everyone peers inside at the stringy goopy stuff that is pumpkin guts. I hand the first pumpkin off to Banana on about 4,328 sheets of newspaper (that will still somehow fail to contain all the goop by the end of night) and give her a scraper and tell her to have at it. She gleefully plunges her hands inside, only to yank them back out, spraying goop on the walls and seeds at the cat and yells "EWWWWWWWWWW that's so GROOOOOSSSSS Mommy!" and running off to wash her hands.

And so mommy ends up scraping out the pumpkin. Which mommy also thinks is pretty gross and not much fun, but when you're the mommy, that's just what you do.

Rinse and repeat with Kbear, who at least wants to help pull seeds out of the goop to roast, and an hour later we finally have two goop free, scraped out clean pumpkins primed for carving.

Here's the kiddos attempting to clean their pumpkins out:

Then of course I had to step in and finish the job, but it made for good photo ops.

Then it's Skippy's turn. If *I* got stuck cleaning pumpkin guts, at least he has to deal with two little girls who apparently think they attended some international pumpkin design school and want their carvings "just so." So after many sheets of paper, multiple rough drafts, messy marker smeared hands, and head scratchings later, and we finally had two pumpkin designs. Well, we had one - Kbear's looks like a circular scribble with mismatched eyes but we ran with it. Skippy starts cutting, with lots and lots and lots of "help."

Finally, an hour later the tea lights get lit and we have our finished jack-o-lanterns:

All of this of course, is just a precursor to the rest of our Halloween fun, but that's another blog for later today. Right now I have to run my sugar-hung-over kids to school.