Friday, October 28, 2011

Has it been that long?

I guess my last post was in September, which does not seem that long ago. In truth, I am not a natural journal-keeper, so blogging has been more of a discipline than a hobby. But I think it's important to document this little slice of life for the kiddos sake, for my sanity's sake, and because I know you're reading this, Mom.
Usually at this time - the time that Anna is at preschool and Isaac is napping - I am madly cleaning something. But I had some minor oral surgery on Wednesday ("subepithelial gum grafts") which are more painful than expected. So here I am, slightly strung out on Vicodin, sporting jowls like Ron Perlman, trying to ignore my mouth. I'm such a wimp about these things. The worst part is that I'll have to do this twice more over the next 16 months. Ack! Anyway, enough complaining. Before you know it I'll be moaning about my sciatica (whatever that is) and then there's no turning back.

It's been a busy few weeks (is it ever not busy? of course not!) so I haven't been keeping up. Jon's been on multiple trips (is he ever not traveling? of course not!) and during his last one I just gave up and stopped cleaning, stopped cooking, and tried to take a step back. By the time Jon returned much catch up was, and still is, needed. At the same time, I'm trying to adopt a more zen-like attitude towards home-keeping. This entails an increase in playtime with the kids (to the detriment of cleaning), and a decrease in apologizing for the concomitant mess that our guests encounter. I report that follow-through on this plan has been intermittent.

In other news, we've been engaging in many autumn activities. Heading out to the pumpkin patch is always a big deal. Anna picked out a few pumpkins immediately, but found it difficult to narrow things down. Isaac took a more circuitous approach, unable to settle on anything, overwhelmed by the selection. Like snowflakes, all pumpkins are wonderfully individual when you're a toddler. Anna did her best to guide him, helping him select a little Isaac-sized one. We also bought a pie pumpkin which I'm going to stuff with rice, raisins, apples, and nuts, and bake to yummy perfection on Monday. A perfect Halloween dinner.

Jon also picked up two pumpkins, these grown by his coworker with a talent for gargantuan squash. They will be carved by sawzall on Saturday. Last year we used our giant pumpkins to make a snowman. This year perhaps a "Pumpkins Crossing" theme, or maybe something princess-ish. We could use our Yugoslavian finger squash as a crown. (Our CSA gave us the finger... squash. Ha! That joke will never get old. Right? Right?! Never mind.)

One thing we did not do this year is a Fall Walk. Previously, the kids and I loved to meander through our subdivision and look at the autumn decorations, the colorful trees, and enjoy the crispness of fall. This year, both kids have been getting nightmares just from the innocuous decor on our street. Isaac won't go to bed without the light on, and says everything is too scary. "Ghosties! Ghosties!" he says. Anna has been doing better, but was on a bad run of nightmares in early October. So, thanks to the houses that go a little too far with their Halloween decorations, we've been keeping it close to home. Our house sticks with scarecrows and pumpkins, thank you very much.

Some good news: Anna and I were able to come to a compromise on her costume. I wanted something easy to put together, warm, and inexpensive. Anna wanted something magical, pretty, and didn't want to wear anything over or under her costume. The winner was "Winter Queen" or "Winter Fairy Queen" depending on whether she's wearing her wings. We started with the wedding dress my mom made a couple of years ago, and added a belt fashioned from leftover silver material. Silver stars and hearts (made from cardboard and aluminum foil) hang from the belt, and the rest of the material can be used as a shawl. The dress is short-sleeved, so we bought some white leggings and use them to cover Anna's arms. Finally, aluminum foil to make the wings and crown sparkle. Voila! Winter Queen!
I wanted Isaac to be a tiger again, but he's really into Darth Vader. So I spent $20 and got him a costume. They only had a medium, so he should be able to wear it for... 6-10 years. I call that an investment! It's warm, but all black. He's practically Invisible Pedestrian. Maybe I can convince him that a flashlight makes a good light saber.