Ghost Bride and an Angel


halloween 2010

Up close:

halloween 2010

Ghost Bride:

halloween 2010


halloween 2010


halloween 2010

Trying to decide on wings. May skip them--easier to party that way.

halloween 2010


Betcha didn't think I'd get it done this year

Anyone who has been around awhile knows that there are certain aspects of mommyhood that I relish. Things that I enjoy so much that they make it worth putting up with the actual kids.

Halloween tops that list. I love the challenge of sewing their wildest dreams.

I wasn't entirely certain it was going to happen this time 'round. Especially since it was about two weeks ago that I looked at the calendar and swore a bit.

Friday after Dowlan left town, I braved small town Wal*Mart at 5 p.m. only to discover that they have no fabric section. *gasp* So we bought our rake and groceries and spent the next grueling hour in Hobby Lobby.

The ever prepared Melody has known exactly what she wanted to be: an angel. Her dress is made and awaiting a halo and wings.

The never prepared Dixie changed her mind as the fabric was being selected. She'd planned on a traditional ghost costume--the sheet with the two holes in it--but saw some sparkly fabric and went for a ghost bride instead. So Sunday, between long stretches of sleep, I made a wedding dress in two hours. It's still awaiting the ghastly part, however.

And today I broke a personal rule to avoid bweaking his heart: I made Charlie the same costume as last year. I was never completely satisfied with last year's LarryBoy. The eyes weren't right, the neck hole too big. Frankly, the whole thing was too big. A refresher pic:


Or two:


Also, it's current location can only be described as, "in a box in the room with the blue carpet." Yes, it is quicker to sew a new costume than to unpack.

So here's LarryBoy deux:

halloween 10

And, because someone said, "Get a pictuwe of my boo-tah-day!"


I'll get more pics later (when I find my camera). The phone does a decent job, but the colors are off. The purple looks blue. Also, I gotta stiffen up those super suction ears a bit. Still, not bad for two hours' work.

Bonus pic~Two Super Cool Guys:

dowlan charlie


Charlie thinks it through

At the convenience store, by the corndogs

I want a hot dog. A hot dog, hidden in bread. 

As he leaves:
It's a hot dog. It's hidden in bread. The bread is corn. It's cornbread. It's a corndog!



To my Dearest Husband,
While I appreciate the great faith you have in our children, first grade is entirely too young to be in charge of one's own homework and folder. Saying, "Sit down and do your homework, Dixie" then going into another room and never checking back is simply unacceptable, especially when the child is often in the backyard as you say this. Homework done in the backyard is rarely done well.

Also at issue is a matter of spelling homework. Spelling homework is not designed to be done independently. One cannot give one's self a practice spelling test. The logistics simply do not work out.

Also, the parent page at the back of the folder is to be initialed by the parent, not forged by the seven-year-old in question. Although you may not recognize the difference between my handwriting and hers, that she was penciling in her own smiley faces instead of having them rubber stamped by the teacher should have been a clue. Yet another clue that things were amiss might be that her folder was filled entirely with drawing paper, half of it blank.

I realize that having children in school is a new concept, as we've only had school 5 days a week, 36 weeks a year for the past two years and that we all know she can be completely entrusted with all other tasks required of her, except, of course, those complicated ones like remembering to wipe her own butt. Still, please know that she requires more guidance in this area. 

In the future, when I come home from work each day and ask, "Have the girls done their homework?" please do not answer, "Yes!" unless you have made visual confirmation of that. 

Thank you for your attention to this matter,
Your Loving Wife


My first weekend to relax in my new home

So today was a long and awful day.

Dowlan left yesterday afternoon to hand keys over to the renter, sign contracts and get the rest of the stuff in the shed loaded. Since it was a Saturday morning and the morning person was two hundred miles away, of course the kids were all awake by 6:30. Considering they've been dragged out of bed at increasingly late intervals this week, it was all the more irksome that their eyes popped cheerfully open before the dawnzer-lee light.

Fortunately for me, there were cartoons on the Tivo and I just had to stir long enough to push the button every 14 minutes or so.

At about 9, I realize that it is raining and call the woman in charge of the homecoming parade to see if it is delayed or canceled, as the girls were supposed to be there at 10:30 and ride on a float.

She's quite adamant, "Don't come out in this weather! I don't have any word, but, whatever you do, do not come out! I have no way to shelter the children out there."

I only have a few moments to consider this overkill before I hear the tornado siren. Oops. Turn on the local news to find that there was a tornado spotted south of town and that the flash flooding is considered serious. I send the kids into the most secure spot in the house, happy that it's made of stone and not going anywhere, and begin to shut doors, turn off lights and unplug things before joining them.

Oh, dear. That is one wild Charlie.

I turn off the lights in the room we are in, thinking that flickering and going out is going to scare the kids, and am immediately grateful that I did, as they stop running off and snuggle in once it is dark. To alleviate the boredom, I tell them a few scary stories. The golden arm, the viper, etc. every tiny noise they make brings sharp pain to my head, so I will do anything to keep them quiet. Even the sound of the rain hurts.

By 10 o'clock, the tornado watch has ended, but it is still flash flooding outside. I let them go back into the rest of the house to play for a bit and go sleep on the couch. I don't know that I have ever slept while alone with awake children, but I could do nothing else. I kept waking up to seek out things to blow my nose on, as there were no kleenex in the house. The wipes were too soggy, the tissue too harsh. The tortillas seemed like they might be cool and soft, but I grabbed an outgrown pajama shirt of Charlie's instead.

(At Wal-Mart last night, I got so desperate that, after eliminating my shirt sleeve as a possibility because it didn't reach, I dug into my pockets. The receipt was too short and the wrong texture. Muttering my apologies to George, I opted for the $1 instead of the $10 and blew away. Still, I did not think to actually PURCHASE any Kleenex, as they weren't on the list.)

At about 11, I realized that I was not ever going to get better. Monday seemed far to long away and, since I have no doctor here, I knew it was doubtful that I could get an appointment then, even if I did live that long. So I had the children get shoes on and went to urgent care.

At urgent care, there is no children's area in the waiting room. Not even a highlight's magazine. Just sixteen chairs in odd arrangements, a TV showing football and about 30 magazines. To one side of the television is an odd sunken area about 5x5 feet, enclosed by walls on three sides and with a 9 inch carpeted rise the width of a balance beam along the perimeter.

An hour into the wait, the kids discovered the area and used it as an imaginary hot tub. That lasted for twenty minutes, and then they were officially out of ideas. I mean, they'd been pretty good, considering I was wholly unable to do anything beyond keeping them from running out the door, a trick that had been tried more than once. As we waited, I noticed that the office was the opposite of the Hotel California . . . in the first 90 minutes, about a dozen people left the back area, but only one person was ever called back.

Having noticed large signs announcing, "You may not leave once you are registered without losing your place in line!" I felt fairly stuck. Since the office staff was back from the pizza break in the back (the delivery guy arrived about half an hour after I did) and now at the important task of gathering around one woman's iPhone to look at her pictures, I braved it and asked how much longer my wait would be. "Oh, at least an hour."

"Can I please take my children to go eat?" I implored. Two of them opened their mouths, clearly about to iterate policy, hesitated, looked at one another and said, "Yes."


We went to McDonald's and got happy meals, hoping for the double whammy of food AND toys but the current toy is a trick or treat pail. Having exhausted the waiting room's supply of Kleenex, I went to Walgreen's for another box and grabbed a 9.99 farm toy set as well before heading back.

Once in, I sent them to the 'hot tub' area and told them the toys had to stay in there.

About thirty minutes later, they came out and called a name. And again. And again. No dice. They called the next name three times. The nurse disappeared into the back for a minute, before she returned to call me back. We picked up toys and went back. After being weighed, I realized I was short one boy, so I went back front for him. The nurse seemed a bit alarmed that I'd forgotten a child.

She gets me in the patient room and asks me questions that I am coughing too hard to answer. The doc comes back and looks me over. Gives me an air flow meter to huff and puff pathetically into.

It appears I have two infected ears, a sinus infection, bronchitis and have developed asthma from having such horrible allergies. A nurse comes in to give me a shot in the but, much to my children's amusement, and we head out the door to return to Walgreens. On the way, Charlie was shouting, "I shoot you in da butt!"

We get to the pharmacy drive-thru to learn that we have beat my prescription there. Glad I didn't get out of the car for this, I head home. By God's infinite mercy, Charlie has fallen asleep and stays that way for the next four hours. No more piercing screams or fear that he will decide to go play in traffic while I am incapacitated.

Still, that leaves a problem: I still have low blood oxygen and no medication.

After about an hour's nap, I call my only friend here to come watch the girls while I go to the pharmacy. (After, naturally, she chides me a bit for not calling sooner.) I grab toilet paper, Kleenex, chocolate, milk, Advil Cold and Sinus and head back for my meds. While she is ringing me up, I raccoon my way into the package containing the inhaler and use it while she bags things up. Then, I go to the other window, where the pharmacist explains to me how to use it and gives me the run down on the antibiotics.

I come home only to sleep for a few more hours. Dowlan calls, he is on his way home. I am feeling much better, save for the intense pain in my face from my stupid sinuses.

Tomorrow, he gets up with the kids.


Some progress

 Remember this room?




And this room?

new house

Well, now we have this room.


When I asked the girls how they wanted their new room, they said, "Just like our old one."

I can live with that. It was a great room, and they didn't get to enjoy it quite long enough.


Same trim, different city. We put plain white chair rail up at the old place. Should make it easier to rent out.


We did, however, convince them to go purple instead of pink. It was just too pink, and I'm hoping purple will take longer to outgrow.


Clearly, we haven't moved it all in there yet, nor have we changed the lightbulb. But it's a start!



The one flaw

of the new house is a lack of bathtub. There is one bathroom and it has one heavily tiled shower.

I hate taking showers.

I hate water dripping in my face, I hate trying to keep the wet shower curtain from touching me while shaving the backs of my calves, I hate the steamy feeling. I hate water in my ears. Add in that we now have well water, and it's doubly insulting to be subjected to a shower.

It smells oddly and does strange things to my hair. One time, my hair dries just fine. It's clean and fantastic. The next, it feels coated and as if I never washed it. Forget styling it--I just try to minimize the oddness of it.

Melody is with me on this one.

In fact, the first Thursday night after getting into the house, I was trying to get kids ready for bed and asked her when her last shower was. Her answer? "There wasn't one."

We'd been in the house since the Friday before.

Dixie, ever the opposite, begs daily for showers. On church nights, when there is no time, she pouts and stomps. At 4 in the afternoon, she will start asking, "Is it bedtime yet? Can I get ready for bed now?"

Dowlan's brilliant solution to Mel's refusal is a large orange washtub in the floor of the shower, that he fills for her to bathe in.

Unfortunately, I don't fit.


Oh, and

Last night, I was convinced I had strep, so I typed in for a sub. (Thanks to the interwebz, no calling is left in calling in sick.)

Then, I slept for fifteen hours. When I awoke, I realized I didn't have strep. Just no more energy or voice yet.

Oh, and, this evening, Dowlan got a really lovely rejection letter from the university. Of the forty people they considered, he was in the top, but not their ultimate choice.


That's okay. The thought of having two full-time working parents and an un-unpacked house and having to find childcare for Charlie was practically giving me palpitations. A job will be fantastic, but not quite yet.

The heartbreak continues

Yesterday, while taking Charlie to pick the girls up from school, I saw a huge, pus-filled wasp bite on his knee, complete with intact stinger. Taking advantage of this five-point-harnessed self, I removed the sting and oozed the ooze out of it.

Ooh, he was mad.

Charlie: You make my owie ouched! You bweak my heart! My heart don love you ennnymore!
Me: I'm sorry, honey. I had to get the stinger out.
Charlie: Dat bug put it dere. It wanted it to stay dere.
Me: Yes, but I had to get it out so it would heal. I had to get the stinger out and the pus out.
Charlie: My heart loved it. My heart loved dat pus.


Charlie the territorial eater

Charlie has always been a fan of his food. During the baby food stage, he'd down ten jars a day, plus nursing, bottles and rice cereal. As a toddler, he reminded me of a dog guarding it's bone--too close, and he'd give you a look that says, 'I'm growling at you on the inside.'

His food allergies give him great cause for anguish, especially the strawberry allergy. Heck, I can sympathize with that one. Strawberries are pretty amazing.

He'll tell you, "I not 'lergic to dat. You 'lergic to dat. I gotta eat dat." At his birthday party, there was a bunch of fresh fruit out and he'd tell anyone who would listen, "I can have stwawbewwies. I have one in my tummy wight now and it is yummy."

No such luck, kid. Not going to bite.

Being on a gluten free diet adds yet another compounding level of frustration. "I love gwooten. I eat it. You eat da gwooten fwee stuff. I no eat dat no more."

Dowlan has found that dying some of it green solves that problem.

Now he has started moving in on our food. I had a drink the other day and he said, "Dat is mine now. See? I dwink it. You dwink dat, I bweak you heart." Later, when he saw me near it, he repeated, "I gonna be bweakin' you heart now, you dwink my dwink."


Guess where I am?

I'm on my couch, in my living room. MY living room. Doing very, very little. I breathe in, I breathe out. I occasionally forward through a commercial.

It would be bliss if I didn't have so much to do.

On Friday, we closed on the house. The couple selling it surprised us by arriving no longer pregnant. Baby girl was so new, she hadn't unfolded from that tight little newborn ball yet. I asked when the baby had come, and was told, "This morning."

Now, kids, that's dedication.

We spent the weekend cleaning things up on the outside and painting on the inside, with the help of my parents. Charlie's room is done and the girls' room is about 2/3 done. Quite a few things are unpacked. Most of the new appliances are in and running and all we're waiting on now is a dishwasher.

It has felt really good to come home after work each day. To come *home*. Even as piecemeal and piled up as it is, even though we're sleeping in the dining room, it's home.

Problem is, I'm exhausted. The perpetual motion and superhuman strength that have gotten me through these crazy two months is all gone. I keep getting not *quite* sick. For the past two days, I have come home and crashed.

I'm hoping that my magical energy boost will reappear on Friday, when we drop the kids off at school and leave town. (Don't worry--mom's going to come pick them up!) Friday, we finish packing. Saturday morning, we load up the big truck, clean up a bit, then head home. Sunday, we unload the truck. Then the true unpacking fun begins.

If I can stay awake that long.