As a rule, in this house of mixed insanity, we don’t go big on most things. 
We make cakes for birthdays but there’s usually not a big hubbub.
We usually have a pumpkin somewhere around Halloween. Most years.
But for the most part, we don’t make big deals out of holidays or occasions. Last year for Christmas we decorated the corner ficus tree with paper ornaments.
It works for us. I like to think that we are teaching our children that every day can be special, every day can be fun and great. There’s no need to wait for the calendar to tell you when to celebrate.
It’s my hope that they will believe that for at least a few years before they figure out we’re mostly just gape-jawed, knuckledragging lazy.

Dan takes a somewhat pious stand on the whole situation…”Christmas makes everyone feel like they have to spend money on someone or they don’t love them.”
Dan obviously doesn’t know how many people are getting homemade gifts this year. Ahem.
My point is that we do minimalist holidays around here. I mean, there are six people in this house…it does get a little cozy for comfort when you throw in decor and laundry and whatever board game my kids are yelling over this week (whoever thought to make Angry Birds into a board game….well, that’s just stupid. Yeah, I said it).

But this year we decided to holiday it up, and by we I mean Josh and I. We bought some lights, borrowed a bunch of ornaments from the inlaws, and picked up an honest-to-Moses real live tree. For real. The last time I remember having a real tree, my parents had gold shag carpet (which, by the way, I would totally dig. The vacuum lines were always trippy).
We came home and put up the tree, and my children were in. Heaven. 
Lucy ran her hands through the branches, “Tree, tree!”
Max wondered how many lights we’d need to make the whole thing catch on fire, and he told Dan it made sense for him not to care about Christmas since “you don’t believe in God and that means it’s just a regular old day.” (Note to self: try and convince Max that the Grinch was an atheist and he turned out to be the heart-biggenest of all.)
Ava alternated between moving ornaments around and telling me how glad she was to have a mom like me “who knows how to do stuff.”
I’d say it went over pretty well. If nothing else, I get to sit in the dark with only the tree lights…and for some reason that always calms me. I think that may be worth the whole ordeal.

Picture Heavy Hallow’s Eve

I’m not big on Halloween.
It’s not that I don’t like it, I do. I like the mischief and the scaryish moments. It’s that the planning drives me bonkers. And then there’s always this big letdown – months of planning and costumes and tweaking…..and then it’s over. Bags of candy and streaky makeup.

My kids were all about it, though. Understandable.

The other thing is that we’ve actually never lived in a neighborhood, so we don’t have the picturesque doortodoor smiley waving neighbor situation, and so trick or treating entails getting in and out of the car multiple times and rearranging costumes and making sure no friends or relatives miss out on cute costumed kids.

It’s a lot of damn work, and the only candy I get out of it is candy I steal from my kids.


So we decided to take matters and deal with them creatively.

It was decided that we would buy our own inappropriate amounts of candy, build a bonfire, roast hotdogs, make s’mores, and generally party it up in our own backyard instead of bothering other people for candy we might not even like (there’s always those people who hand out those black and orange wax wrapped…things).

Ava even decided she still wanted to dress up. She was Katy Perry.

At the outset I was a little worried – worried I was stealing memories or some such. I mean, I know I cherish my fall festival memories of sitting on a table at church, manning a game.

But it was awesome. Seriously. Max and Josh were very manly and coordinated the bonfire, and Ava, Lucy and I supervised.

We did some pumpkin bashin’.

Lucy ran and ran and ran.

And as much as I was afraid of warping their childhood memories, I think these are going to be good ones.

This may become a yearly occurrence.

I also ate four s’mores.

Streams of consciousness of consciousness of streams


I’m coming up short lately on things to write about and sometimes to be fair I’m running out of things to even think about. I don’t know if this is the direct result of stuffing in textbooks and tests or if it’s just from only interacting with a toddler most of the time, but it’s real. It’s no joke, people. The well is dry.

Maybe not dry. Maybe just a drought. Something, I don’t know. I’m bad with metaphors.

I’ve been thinking lately about scary movies and how it’s almost Halloween. I’m so bad at Halloween. I’ve never been one of these moms to make costumes and do fancies and frankly this year I’m hoping a little bit that the kids forget. Which they won’t because it’s candy. Hell who am I kidding, I’d go trick or treating for some candy if it weren’t so damn much effort.

Anyway, scary movies. I need to watch some. And I’m not really one for gratuitous (it just took me a full five minutes to find the word gratuitous in my brain, and Dan is the one who said it, not me. I swear my brain broken to word talk) gore, I really go more for story. Something that skivvs me out and gives me weird warblies. I’m open to suggestions.

Ava is learning to ride her bike. It’s very sweet but also a little annoying because every time she goes more than two feet, Max comes whooping and yelling to let us know about it. Also annoying is the fact that she’s really still pretty timid and jumpy, so if she gets rolling and anyone in a six mile radius sneezes, over she goes in a sniffly little pile on the driveway.

To be clear I’ve spent plenty of time outside cheering her on…she just needs practice.

Now, about that movie?

Things I am (irrationally or not) afraid of

I generally don’t think of myself as a skittish person.

I don’t think I do, anyway. I think I’m a pretty ballsy gal.

But there are a few things, hard as it may be to admit, that I am and will always be terrified of. I shall list them.

1. Being blind. Legally I technically already am blind, but I’m talking serious, no-light-no-dark blind. Just thinking about it kind of gives me the wooblies.

2. One of my children growing up to be a murderer.
I’ve mentioned before (here I think) that I like to read true crime stuff. I’ve been known to waste unmentionable amounts of time in the True Crime Library online, reading about legendary and famous murders. I have no idea why it fascinates me so.

3. A razor blade (like a Bic) somehow making contact with either my eyeball or my gums. Think about that for a second and tell me you don’t squirm a little.

4. Snakes. I know it’s cliche, but holy shit those things are scary. I’m fine with them until I start thinking about it too hard….and if I do, then suddenly there are snakes in the bedsheets and in the driveway and stuck in the airbags of the car, thank you Bryan Essary for that image.

5. Something – anything – biting my ass when I sit down on the toilet. No explanation needed.

6. Being caught unawares by something lying behind me when I’m laying on my side (see what I did there? I used both laying and lying for the same thing because I wasn’t sure which one was correct). I think I have Ernest Scared Stupid to thank for that one.

7. Having my ankle tendons (or whatever important musculature lies in that area) slashed by someone hiding under my car.
I think that was some sort of urban legend when I was in high school? I don’t know where I got it, but it’s terrifying.

8. Being spied on through dark nighttime windows.

9. Car wrecks.

10. Losing my teeth. Whether by accident or by nature. It worries me.


I’m sure if I thought more about this, I could go on for days.

I’ll leave you with that. I think that’s plenty of evidence that I am a little too imaginative sometimes.