October 31, 2010

Halloween '10: Treats

We went to a few to-dos this season. Here's what I contributed:

Decapitated bears for the Young Women. I spent more time on these than on the lesson. Oops.

Bananas and cream cake for the ward Trunk or Treat's Cake Walk.

And I think this was my favorite: melon brain. I thought of the sign at the last minute and Ted quickly whipped up the sign on some cardstock. Ten points if you know the reference.

Not pictured because I had way too many other things to think about were the yummy mummies. I wrapped two hot dogs in thin strips of pie dough and used two mustard-covered cloves for the eyes of the "Mummy & Daddy", then wrapped a ton of cocktail wienies as their mummy babies. Served with formaldehyde sauce (BBQ mixed with a little deli mustard). Cute. Tasty.

Halloween '10: Costumes

This year's pumpkin patch: the neighborhood grocery store. Tessa picked us out a fine one.

I stressed myself out this Halloween. In recent past years, I couldn't give a rat's p'tootie for Halloween. As a kid, I dressed up, sure. Went and got myself a load of free candy, you bet. I might have gotten turned off to it, though, during my freshman year in college. I was told everyone on BYU campus dresses up for Halloween. So I went to my History of Civ class all decked out. I should have reported that person to the Honor Code office because HE LIED. The only other person dressed up was the mega-dorky T.A. It was a very awkward Mitch-in-Modern-Family moment. That night, however, I redeemed myself and dressed as Mrs Roper from Three's Company and trick-or-treated in the freshman dorms, and by then, everyone was in costume. I recall that being very fun.

However, since then, I haven't been as into it.

And then I had my first kid, which changed the fun factor as far as dressing up because, c'mon, babies in costume?? Can't deny that adorable-ness. Ted and I played it mellow last year, but for this year, my wheels have been turning since last Feb or March when I went to an out-of-town fabric store with a friend and saw the fabric that was destined to become a disco dress for Tessa. Then the rest of our costumes kinda came together after that. I've been on a family-themed costume kick the last couple years, and I already have a spark of an idea for next. Why do I do this to myself?

The theme was "Disco is dead", though you know I don't believe that. It was just a good theme to pull off, so I went with it. I had it in mind to make all 4 of our costumes but misjudged the speed at which I'm able to sew. Sew.....I only got the kids' costumes done, but I was pleased with how they turned out. Observe.

Tessa displayed our records (B side: Hot Stuff) and Dean was our reflecting disco ball. I danced the night away in an afro wig which I've always wanted to wear, and the "dead" part was Ted as the grim reaper. It was nice to put that PhD robe to use again. And my "costume"....well...consisted of clothes I already own and wear on a normal basis. Does that mean I'm stuck back in the 70s? Oh well.

Dean's disco ball really was a ball. It's squished in the picture because he weighs almost 50 pounds and he couldn't keep it out of his mouth (I found a sequin or two on his chin at various times. You'd think I didn't feed the kid). I found a great tutorial for a soccer ball and just used a different fabric and lined it so it wouldn't get all wonky (the sequin fabric had some stretch to it). I sewed straps and elastic into the seams so it wouldn't come off, then stuck him in his black felted car seat for a better dance floor contrast. Of the four of us, Dean was the biggest hit. No surprise. A 2-month old wearing a shiny disco ball? There was no hope for the rest of us. :)

I worked all week on getting her to do this pose. I don't know if I'm more proud of that or her dress.
It was the first time I made up a pattern, so it's not perfect, but yeah, I'll admit, I was pretty dang excited about that little number.

She was uncharacteristically shy during this video, but you get the idea:

October 29, 2010


Being pregnant is a pretty incredible thing. After the initial excitement, fear, or possible apprehension wears off, even if it took a while to get to that point, lots of women (myself included) tend to move into moments of complaining. Y'know, constant queasiness, loosening joints, back pain, getting your bladder kicked by your fetus. You feel like you have every right to complain, so you do, and then you feel bad for complaining because you realize what a miracle it is that you can grow an entire human being in your body, and that sometimes, for some women, it's not so easy to do. So you stop complaining. For, like, an hour. Then the process starts all over again.

At least that's how pregnancy goes for me. In all of my pregnified experience.

Several times during the nine (plus) months I also start to wonder about our little offspring's character and personality. Will s/he be mellow and pleasant, spawn of Satan, or something in between? What about sports? Music? Gardening? Chocolate or vanilla? Boxers or briefs? As a former student and subsequent teacher of biology, I'm well aware that the gene recombination combinations are limitless, so I find pleasure in all the speculation permutations. The thought of this little person possibly ending up with some of my better traits is pretty exciting. The thought of him/her ending up with my not-so-good ones (I have fears of Tessa trying to outdo her mom with how many guys she makes out with) conversely scares the pants off me. Either way, as kids grow up, they begin to show little glimpses of what their parents gave them.

Recently, there have been a couple of instances that have evidenced my children and I have come from the same gene pool.

First, Tessa. She is sooo affectionate and playful now. She loves to grab a book and come sit on one of our laps to have us read it. She entertains herself easily with a toy or puzzle, and loves the almost daily dance parties we have in our living room. And she has learned a lot of new words. The important ones. One afternoon, we were playing on the floor while dinner was finishing cooking. Tessa was happy as a clam, giggling and playing with us, sitting in between the two of us with a favorite toy in her hands. I asked, "Tessa, do you want to eat?" She immediately dropped the toy, dropped her smile, and got up on her feet and headed to the kitchen without a word. Except that once she got to her high chair, she turned around and repeated, "EEE!" (Eat.) That is one single-minded 20-month old.

Next up, Dean. A while ago, Ted and I watched that "Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD about the 5 S's, which ended up being pretty helpful, but the way it was presented made us giggle in some spots. The pediatrician who came up with all the hoo-ha on the DVD called the first few months of the baby's life "essentially the fourth trimester" because there are so many adjustments a newborn has to go through, and while s/he is figuring out this crazy new body, Mom and Dad are trying to figure out the baby figuring himself out.

Dean totally fit into this description. He is still kind of in this stage. A month or so ago, he was crying and squirming and getting mad no matter what position I put him in, no matter if he was eating from bottle or boob, no matter if he was being swaddled or swung or sound-machined. The fussing went on for half an hour with no relief for him or me. And then. His butt exploded. His body completely relaxed, but the best part was that his head rolled back and he had a HUGE smile on his face. I witnessed my first infant poophoria. And I gotta say, I've had that feeling he was feeling soooooo many times.

Yup. Those are my kids. I love them.

October 12, 2010

5/12ths of the way through

Now that Ted's almost halfway through this semester, I thought I'd post the 2010 version of the first day of school. Dean's very proud of his daddy, and has the outfit to prove it. Our own blue devil's threads came in the mail courtesy of Christy, who refashioned it from her husband's pre-loved t-shirt. Apparently, she's had the shirt in her stash for years, waiting for the perfect project for it, then along came our mutual friend's tutorial on making a newborn gown from a t-shirt, and then her absolute best friend in the whole wide world (moi) makes a move to NC because her husband chose Duke. Then they had another baby. It was like the stars aligned. I put him in this gown constantly. I loves.

And here's the 2009 version of the absolute First day of law school, which I don't think I ever got around to posting last year.

We were still homesick, hence the Caltech gear. Also, we're not on the same page as many Southerners here, who have half their closets full of North Carolina college gear the second their lease is signed. It's nuts.

For next year's first day of school, there will not be an additional child. But perhaps we can have both our current ones in the same photo. I forget there was a time when there was only ONE roll in Tessa's thighs.

The Cooling Rack

Baked goods are only half the story...