Friday, November 28, 2008

O Christmas Tree

This season really is steeped in tradition for me. Neurotic traditions at times, but tradition.

For example, that I HAVE TO go cut down a REAL WHITE PINE tree the DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING. I have to. I think my head might explode if we don't.

So after pretending to work for 4 hours in an office with all of 5 out of 60 employees in attendance we went to get our tree. I will let the pictures tell the story....

Matt being manly with his dull saw and tree transporter.

......................Doesn't everyone leave their baby by the good trees in order to mark which one you wanted?........................

........................Helping Daddy cut the tree down!........................


...........................The final result..................................

What these photos don't show is that I think we may have selected a tree that was in the front yard of the tree farm's owner's house. But hey, there was no sign saying they were off limits.

It also does not illustrate was the amount of time it took me to decide on this tree and the amount of times I made Matt walk up and down a rather steep hill to look at ones that were 5 feet taller than our ceiling.

Oh well. Come my little Evergreen friend and scent my home with your branches!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

A slightly belated, but still very much heartfelt, Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends!

Yesterday was wonderful. So wonderful that it never even dawned on me to check my email, much less sit down and write this post!

I know I'm a little bit crazy, but I get buzzed off Thanksgiving. I love the cooking. I love the family togetherness, made even better by Matt's cousin Glen and his whole family sharing it with us. I love the decedent kick off to the holiday season.

I kept thinking about things that I'm grateful for yesterday, so here is my list:

~ I'm grateful that Gracie is a healthy, beautiful, good natured kid.
~ I'm grateful that Matt is great father, a wonderful husband and an absolute best friend.
~ I'm grateful that we have a warm home and food on the table.
~ I'm grateful that our home and our lives brim over with love for each other.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Please Approach the Elephant

Have you ever been to a Rainforest CafĂ©? (I know, stay with me here…)

It is overpriced, but extremely entertaining and monumentally kid friendly. As the name suggests, it is highly stylized in a rainforest theme. It is actually REALLY cool.

My favorite part of the experience though was always over before we were even seated. (OK, sure I loved the faux thunderstorms and random monkey noises too, but if I had to pick one it was this...)
The host stand was a giant elephant. Think Disney’s Dumbo ride (slighlty less cutsie) and that was the size of the thing. So when you were ready to be seated, the host would get on a microphone and call, “Will the X party please approach the elephant. Your adventure is ready to begin.” You would then follow the waitress along a path of painted footsteps, into the jungle that was the restaurant and order fancy sounding smoothies.

Having someone tell you to “Please approach the elephant,” was always so joyful. It was your turn. It was finally your turn!

Well, I do believe we are about to hear, “Please approach the elephant, your adventure is ready to begin,” from Gracie. She is standing, quite well, with no support these days.

At home she has been stretching the length of time she can stand without wobbling. It seems like just last week it was 5 seconds. Now is it up to 30 seconds. This morning I got a report at daycare that yesterday she stood on her own for about 3 minutes. Apparently, the only thing that caused the tumble was her excited clapping over the accomplishment.

Normally, the daycare people are really supportive about milestones. With this one though I have been warned there is trouble to come. One they can stand, walking will come very quickly, I am told.

“You’d better watch out. That Gracie, she will be into everything!” Thanks lady.

Another milestone is upon us.

I am excited about it. I love the excitement and twinkle in Grace’s eyes when she figures out new skills. And this is a big one. There should be fireworks!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wogging Hurts, Part II

I wogged again this morning.

It sucked much more than last week. In fact, it was the direct opposite of last week. I felt good about myself last week. Until the pain set in the next day, I wanted to do it again. I was optimistic.

This week... is a different story.

I know we jogged a lot more than last week. And it was colder. Much, much colder. Still, I don't understand the direct contrast. I wanted to yack at the end of this weeks wog. I wanted to lay down on the frosty grass and take a nap. I wanted to die.

Matt keeps telling me that running is never fun. He says that he's gotten to the point where he at time enjoys the solitude of it, but that he NEVER enjoys the act of running itself.

Why am I doing this? WHY AM I DOING THIS!!??

I don't think I have ever run a day in my life. Not even high school. Come to think of it, I wogged back then too. In the mandatory gym class laps, I would run the straight and walk the curve of the track. I never ran the whole thing. Ever.

I keep telling myself that the more I do it, the easier it will get. Wasn't it supposed to be easier today?

As I said last week, I will do the 5K on Saturday. I will jog at least part of it. I will relish the silliness of the reindeer antlers Jen bought us to wear. And I hope, I hope, I hope I get caught up in the pack driven mania of the race. I am praying for race version of 'hive mind' to help propel me forward to complete this thing with dignity.

Some joy would be nice too. Just saying.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Parenting Snapshot

There is a mom in Gracie’s daycare that drives me nuts.

When I volunteered to be a parent liaison for the daycare, I had no idea what I was volunteering for. Most of the time it is fine. It is kind of cool. We are notified of stuff before everyone else.

Sometimes it is a royal pain. Like when dealing with the complainers. We have become the vehicle of said complaints, because they just don’t want to forward them themselves. Every so often they are legit. Most of the time they are not.

My latest gripe was an email to forward onto the Director the week. The concerns were:
A) The children are not getting enough fresh air and said parents thinks all the kids (even infants) should be going outside until the weather is BELOW 35 degrees.
B) She is concerned with the amount of ‘scary videos’ being shown and wants to have pre-approval authority before exposing the children to new movies and learning video games.

I was annoyed with the thought of having to forward such ridiculousness. My counter part drafted a very nice disclaimer to the Director before emailing it. I on the other hand, wrote a saga of why this person is a whack job. It included a mini-diatribe about how we CHOOSE to work and we CHOSE this daycare, so shouldn’t we trust them enough to know what is and is not appropriate. Thankfully, I deleted it before it left my desktop.

Today though, I had to take a step back and re-evaluate.

Today was picture day. I was told pictures would start at 9 am, so at 8:45 I changed Gracie into her cute little dress. 9 am came and went with no picture lady.

At 9:10, the head teacher announced that it would still be a little bit and that dresses were not compatible with playing so Grace should put her shirt back on. I said, "Eh, she’s fine. We will just work on walking until the picture people show up."

The teacher apparently disagreed because she unbuttoned the back of her dress and had it off before I could blink.

I was so mad. In my head I screamed, "I’m her mother, not you! If I want her to suffer and crawl around in dresses everyday that is my option, not yours!”

In real life I said nothing. I didn’t want to get into a fight with the lady who takes care of her for 8 hours a day over something so simple. I do wish I had said something though.

I need to keep reminding myself that yes, while I need them, they need me too. Even though I am giving up 8 hours a day of hands on parenting for my career, I am still the parent. I am still the decision maker for Gracie, not the teacher.

From this, I now have a slightly new outlook on the crazy, overbearing parent. I still think she is wrong, but SHE thinks she is right. And that is what matters.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tis the Season

This will be Gracie's first real holiday season.

Sure, she was here last year, but she was still brand new and not very fun.

I recall screaming 10 minutes into the Thanksgiving meal I had spend hours preparing and days obsessing over. The complaint is only about the screaming though. I L-O-V-E the cooking and obsessing part of Thanksgiving.

I also recall the lump of 2 month old baby that didn't enjoy Christmas morning either. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say there was crying involved that morning too. Despite our efforts to crinkle paper, decorate her with bows and then drown out the cries with mimosas.

This year will be different though. In fact, it already is.

Much like retail stores, my satellite radio is moving up the start of Christmas too. Sure, they have a million stations so it makes absolute sense, but I will still surprised when an alert came up that my favorite Christmas song was playing somewhere in the box. The music, much like the decorations are supposed to start the day after Thanksgiving. Not weeks before.

Anyway ...

This has turned out to be a wonderful thing for me. Why? Grace seems to L-O-V-E Christmas music. You know, jingle bells and all make for great head bobbing. So far, Sleigh Ride is her favorite. Lots and lots of bells.

So this year's holiday season is filled with hope.

Thanksgiving will be served during the happiest part of the day, 3 pm-ish(right after her nap). I know she is a fan of yams, so they will only be better with butter and brown sugar. Cranberries will be a hit with their sweet squishability. Turkey will be tasted and shared with the dog.

It's a win-win for everyone. She will be happy, Lil' Rick will be happy, I will be happy and (most importantly) there WILL BE NO CRYING.

Here me kid?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saturn #1

Upon our return from the Bahamas, we decided a little bit of financial re-assessment was in order. You know, a few hundred dollars in Pina Coladas will do that to you.

Over the last … oh, it’s only been a week and a half … it feels like a lot longer than that … we have been on a budget. No lunches out. No buying lunch at work because the kind of soup they have is tastier than the one I packed for myself. No trips to Target for stuff I really don’t need. No more fun at all.

I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. We are secure. Matt and I both have jobs that aren’t going anywhere in this scary economy. We aren’t saving because we HAVE to, we are saving because (on some level- more waited towards Matt’s side than mine) we WANT to. Well, we want to reduce the debt from all our spendy ways anyhow.

This morning was the 1st really cold wake-up of the season for us. Full frost everywhere. Heat on level 2 in the car.

Well, my car anyway. Matt’s umm … didn’t start.

He usually leaves a few minutes before me in the morning, so I was surprised to hear the front door unlock and open when we were putting on coats.

Me: Hey! What did you forget?
Matt: Nothing. Car won’t start.
Me: Uh Oh. Well, first cold snap and all. Want a jump?
Matt: Nope. Has full power, just won’t start.
Me: OK. What does that mean?
Matt: Means I’m not going to work and will start trying to figure out what’s wrong when the sun comes up.

So now the sun has come and the car still won’t start. While I know Matt doesn’t exactly enjoy driving the no-frills-oh-crap-both-our-cars-died-within-two-weeks-of-each-other Saturn, we both enjoy the fact that we own it without any payments.

Hope this doesn’t mean we have something new to be saving for.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wogging Hurts

Sometime ago Matt tricked me into signing up for a 5K.

Yeah, you heard me. He tricked me and that is the story I’m sticking with.

It was surrounded by all this discussion about how I really want to / need to shed a few pounds and I can’t seem to drastically alter my eating / drinking habits, so exercise is in order.

Well, that was quite a few moons ago and I have been ignoring this looming 3.1 mile walk / wog / jog. Definitely not a run.

Anyhow, my only goal with this is to do it. To finish. Frankly, I really don’t care if I walk the entire thing. A little jogging would be nice though.

So yesterday, Jen and I went for a 2.8 mile wog around the lake. I think it went well. I did a lot better than I thought I would, and actually could have pushed harder if we hadn’t gotten so chatty on the back side of the lake.

What’s my complaint then?

I felt like SheRa yesterday and now I feel like hamburger today.

I had no idea how sore muscles I didn’t even know existed could get. We will do it again next weekend and hopefully I will get my butt on our elliptical machine this week to help combat my body’s rejection of exercise.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can You Smell the Coconut?


It has come and gone and I haven't posted anything for a week and a half now. Recouping in hard work

Surprisingly, the 180 hours I was lamenting being away from the computer went very quickly. In fact, there was free internet access. I just choose not to use it. I was on vacation. I was with my family. I wondered what the Internets were doing, but had enough strength to abstain. I was quite proud of that fact.

We had a fantastic time in the Bahamas. Warm, humid, sunny, breezy 80 degree days. Sheer perfection. I made it a point to keep notes while I was away so I wouldn't forget the best moments of our first family vacation together.

In an effort to get the entries out, I am going to back date them to the actual days so I can post when I have time. So scroll back to November 2-8.....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

VaCa - Day 8


Home again, home again, jiggity, jig.

The trip is over. Despite having an hour delay at the airport and then a fully booked flight so we had to hold Gracie for the 2.5 hours home, everything went very well. Grace decided to break tradition and only slept for a half hour, but was still well behaved and happy.

Which made us very happy.

And in true Matt fashion, within one week of our return home, he is planning our next family adventure…..

Saturday, November 8, 2008

VaCa - Day 7


Clouds rolled in on Saturday which made water activity a little bit chilly.

Matt and I had decided that we would go to the lazy river with Grace and take turns doing loops around. I went first, then Matt. In an attempt to warm Gracie up while Matt was away I laid in a deck chair with her on my chest and towels over us for heat. She promptly fell asleep.

Matt went around the river a few times and then brought me a Pina Colada for my motherly efforts. Just for the records, they are quite difficult to drink while lying prone with an infant on your chest, but I was determined and persevered.

Throw in some souvenir shopping and a quick trip to buy some beautiful steaks for our last meal and that was Saturday.

So let me back track and tell the story of …. THE FLAMING COFFEE!

Matt does obscene amounts of research before we go on trips. He is more than a little bit neurotic, but it works out well in the end for me, so I try not to complain too much.

One of the places he read about was the Columbus Tavern.

Under more fruitful economic times, they used to offer a full buffet of free appetizers during happy hour, which is defiantly a draw. Well, those times have passed my friend. At 5pm we were the only folks anywhere near the place. It was ok though because the elevated outdoor restaurant offered a beautiful sunset and still made their Flaming Coffee (a specialty that isn't even on the menu).

What is a flaming coffee you might ask?

Well, picture a daiquiri glass with 1/3 light rum, 1/3 dark rum, 1/3 banana rum & a dash of coffee. Potent stuff.

Where does the flame come in?

Once the rums (and by 1/3, I meant 1/3 of the glass!) are in, the glass is held over a flame until the liquor light on fire. Then it is poured between two glasses in a dare-devil of a show.

None of the workers had ANY arm or knuckle hair.

Matt was quite impressed with the show and the resulting drink.

On the way home, we walked by the One & Only Ocean Club's (you know, where they filmed the James Bond 'Casino Royal' movie) Versailles Garden, which is truly spectacular.
Ah, to be rich and able to afford to actually stay there ….

Friday, November 7, 2008

VaCa - Day 6


Today was a wonderfully lazy day.

Gracie got her first taste of the ocean. Not so much a fan of the water, but the sand is another story all together. Apparently, it is delicious.

Another highlight was her taste for sunscreen too. While I was applying a fresh coat to her pinking cheeks, I put a dab on the tip of my finger. Matt called my name and I turned to look at him.

BLOOP. Gone.

Gracie at the sunscreen right off the tip of my finger like it was a dollop of whipped cream. Then she called for seconds.

The day was spent napping on the beach, listening to the waves crash against the shore and watching para-sailors pass by.

Told you it was lazy. It figures that we are figuring out this whole 'relaxing' portion of the vacation as it is coming to an end.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

VaCa - Day 5


The head cold that hand been brewing all week, plus Wednesdays adventures, got the best of me on Thursday.

Matt, Tim, Jen and Grace went on a historical walking tour of Nassau. Even if I wasn't exhausted from the combo of the night before and the cold, I still wouldn't have wanted to go. Except maybe to go to Conch Fritter and to see this sign in person. On the way back to the airport on Sunday though, the Cabbie pointed it out as a Nassau landmark.

When they got back, I tool Grace for a walk to the local dry good grocery store. We needed to restock on the necessities. You know, milk, Diet Coke and cheese. We still had a steady supply of booze. Guess how much the above cost? $18.00. Crazy huh?

That evening, Matt walked across the Paradise Island bridge to gather some fresh seafood at the fish market for dinner.

"The Market" consisted of a bunch of guys sitting on fishing boats drinking beer and trying to sell off what the caught that day. Plus a few stalls of ladies selling produce too. Nothing was purchased from these folks though because everything was tropical (translate to foreign) and therefore unidentifiable to the man who only knolls potatoes, green beans, carrots, peas and corn and veggies. And the 'p' word will not pass his lips.

Matt did however locate the lobster man after trolling the market for awhile and gathering the courage to ask a non-threatening looking produce lady where he could find some lobsters. Then skill took over.

Matt snagged 3 large Caribbean lobsters, straight out of the ocean, for $35, down from an original quote of $50. In a restaurant we would have been lucky to be charged $50 a piece for these things. Heck, I would have been willing to pay the guy $50 just to dispatch them before sale was final. Luckily, that service was included.

And as these things go, one cannot devour food with a face still attached before naming them prior to consumption.

Tim's was Pinchy (despite having no claws). Mine was Yummy. Matt loudly proclaimed his, via much wine, as Future Poo. Made for wonder dinner conversation.

They were indeed scrumptious though.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

VaCa - Day 4


OK, so the next few entries are going to focus on food. The wonderful, decedent, extraordinary food we ate. For 3 nights in a row. Mmmmmm…..

Wednesday night was the one time we all went out together.

We had an Atlantis sanctioned babysitter come and watch Grace while we all went to The Bahamian Club.

Over the phone I was insured that they all had through background checks done, knew CPR (I don’t even know CPR), were great people in general, blah, blah, blah. Whatever, I was nervous, but really wanted to go out. The plan was to have Grace asleep when the woman got there and hopefully keep her that way until we returned.

So the nice lady from parts unknown arrived, 15 minutes early, and we thanked her, signed the paperwork absolving the responsible parties for anything bad that might happen and ran out the door.

Matt had been plotting this dinner for weeks.

His order was already predetermined. He and Tim were going to share the Mixed Grill for Two. (Hee, hee, hee, hee) There were many comments about whether they would intertwine their arms while drinking champagne. All (well most) were ignored under the promise of a kings share of food where isn’t practical to order if only one person wanted it, as it probably would have been enough to feed all four of us, much less two.

So what is the Mixed Grill for Two? Well….

House Specialties - For Two Tableside
Mixed Grill $105
Double lamb chops, tenderloin of beef, homemade sausage, lobster tail, pork escalope, bacon,
Served With Roasted red skinned potatoes, carrots, asparagus, mushrooms, glazed shallots, crispy onions, grilled tomatoes and roasted garlic

I totally just tried Googling for a picture of this, but alas, I couldn’t find one. Part of me is disappointed not to be able to full visualize the gluttony, but the other part is glad that no one is tacky enough to bring a camera into this gorgeous restaurant and start snapping pictures to put up.

Anyway, after the two hour carnivorous feast, we went to the casino and then back to the condo. The sitter said everything was fine. Grace did wake up at one point, but she was able to calm her down and put her back to sleep.

What we didn’t realize is that when Grace woke up, the sitter must have been wanting to earn her pay and changed her diaper. (That couldn’t have gone well because she doesn’t even like it when I change her diaper now-a-days.)

The bad part of all this? The woman put a SWIM DIAPER on her. BACKWARDS.

So when Gracie woke up at midnight (and then 1.5 hours after that to make sure we hadn’t abandoned her again) she was SOAKED with pee. Her outfit, her sheets, everything. Drenched.

And I had drank a big-ole martini pre-dinner and then a ½ bottle of wine with dinner, on top of a head cold starting to ravage my brain.


Note to self: If we EVER do that again, point out the difference in diapers before leaving for the night.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VaCa - Day 3


Tuesday was low key. I hardly remember what we did, therefore it was a great day.

It was Election Day, therefore it was a great day. We cast our ballots via absentee vote two weeks early, so our consciouses were clear.

And Nassau kind of is a Miami Jr. It is mainly Americans at the resorts, Miami TV stations and Obama ’08 campaign signs scattered throughout the streets. It was impossible to sit at a restaurant without being quizzed by locals about out thoughts on the election.

Normally, in the US, I would have been irritated about it. In the Bahamas though, it was refreshing. It wasn’t prying. It wasn’t judgmental. It was hopeful. It was optimistic. It was wonderful.

So the four of us sat, just as we would have back home, flipping between CNN and MSNBC. Yeah, I know, I hate MSNBC too, but it was all we had. And quite funny at times.

Oh, but what did we actually do on Tuesday? Like I said a whole lot of nothing. We sat by the pool. We drank $10 frozen drinks with obscene amounts of rum in them. We turned Gracie blue.

You caught that last one, huh?

So under the header of slight neglect again, I’ve come to the grateful realization that Grace doesn’t have any surfaced allergies yet and isn’t sensitive to detergents. So we’ve made the switch back to my Tide with fabric softener built in. I’ve also stopped washing clothes before she wears them the first time. I figure, I don’t do that for myself, and she doesn’t break out in a rash, so why bother?

Not turning the baby blue is why I should bother.

We received a pretty dress that my friend bought us in Africa. I thought would be a perfect swimsuit cover-up for Grace when we were at the pools. It was a long, vibrant teal dress with a black floral print.

That first wearing of the dress didn’t go so well. In preparation for the walk back to our condo, I threw the dress over Grace’s wet suit, handed her to Jen for a few minutes and loaded her into the stroller. On the way back, Jen noticed her hands were blue. Odd. She must have touched something that had just been painted and was still wet.

Then we got back to the condo.

As I stripped Grace’s dress off, mystery solved. The teal was bleeding all over the stoller, her white suit and dying her skin.

I immediately threw the dress and suit in the washing machine, figuring at least it would come out a uniform blue. In the end the suit did turn back to white (thank you cheap Walmart fabrics!) and the dress came out with ½ the color intensity.

Yeah, the baby did stay Smurf-like for a day or two, but it was worth it for the giggle factor. And did I learn a lesson? Hell no. Things would've had to end a lot worse than that to get me to start doing extra loads of laundry. Maybe I will start washing foreign imports before putting them 0n her though.

Monday, November 3, 2008

VaCa - Day 2


Monday morning came and Grace woke without any visible damage from the night before.

The highlight of the day though belongs to Jen and her casino adventure. (Tim & Jen are the suckers, I mean dear friends, that went with us to Atlantis.)

Tim & Jen are...... not gamblers. Jen had never played a slot machine in her 27 years of life before, much less been in a casino. (The mere thought of this is unheard of in our families. Hell, we took my bother to Vegas at 16. He totally got busted by security due to his mid-90's teenage haircut and guilty, nervous look on his face, but that is a whole other story.)

So Monday night, Matt, Tim & Jen went to the gorgeous casino at Atlantis. Matt played blackjack and Jen played penny slots. I have no idea what Tim was doing other than hovering and trying to score free drinks. :)

Jen found a promising slot machine and sat down. She loaded her dollar in and started hitting buttons.

*Whirl* *Whirl* *Whirl* *Braloop*


She had apparently played all 100 credits, so she loaded another dollar and hit buttons again.

*Whirl* *Whirl* *Whirl* *Braloop*

*Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding*

This went on for over 15 minutes.

Jen won $1000 playing penny slots on only the 2nd roll she'd ever taken.

Drinks on Jen and dolphin rides for everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

VaCa - Day 1


Our 1st day was beautiful. As always, Grace traveled well, falling asleep during take off and waking to the ding of the landing. She was pure sunshine the entire day.

Then came the bath.

The tub in our room wasn't practical for leaning and scrubbing, so we went with the bathroom sink. It wasn't very practical either. A little too small and deeply curved. Not good for sitting a child in while bathing at all, but I figured we would be quick and the bath would be over in minutes.

Everything depended on the precarious relationship between the friction of a dry baby butt on the porcelain curve of the sink.

It gave way midway through the shampoo. I can still see the moment in slow motion.

The stick failed and Gracie rushed down the side of the sink like a fantastic ride. I think she actually was having fun in that split second before - WHACK- the crack of the back of her scull on the edge of the sink.

I grabbed her and held my breath. 1. 2. 3…..

And then she let out the most blood curdling scream. It only lasted a few minutes though. No actual blood, no lumps, no bruising. Just bad judgment and slight neglect on my part.

Shit happens and babies bounce. Thankfully that was the only bounce of the trip.

T Minus a Few Hours

Wow. I'm looking at 7 days / 180 hours of internet free life. I mock Matt for his inability to go 24 hours without playing video games or sudoku. I guess I am just as bad because I think that is part of my nervous twitch right now.

We are packed. We are ready. The only things not in bags is my makeup, which of course I need at 4 am tomorrow morning, and various baby related items. I have been forbidden from adding a single shirt more to my suitcase. Hmm. That one may be hard to follow.

I will miss you. My family, my friends - which frankly, are one in the same.

No worries though. I will keep notes in the pilfered, have-used memo pad I stole from work. I guarantee you, there will be stories.

Until then ....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

Yesterday marked Gracie's 1st official Halloween. Yeah, she was here last year, but only a few weeks old and still in her newborn basket case phase.

In our annual tradition of carving pumpkins, she felt the gush of pumpkin guts in her hands. And tasted a few seeds. Which were promptly spit back out and replaced with a fresh one.

At school, she was a begrudged (a good part of it was spent trying to buck out of the stroller) part of the Harvest Day parade through the building. Spectators came. Snacks were handed out. She scored a baggie of Cheese-its and a Rice Krispie treat. She had the crackers, I inspected the Krispie. I did give her a few pieces though.

Later in the afternoon she got to frolic in the daycare pumpkin patch and eat hay with her best friend in the warm sunshine of an unseasonable 70 degree October day. Life doesn't get much better than that.
At home, we made the obligatory round of trick-or-treating to the neighbors on each side of us. Each squealed with delight and took pictures. Did I mention that the fact that Grace was in her leopard costume and I was dressed in a Geisha gown was completely overshadowed by Matt as Elvis?
This costume has a back story. Matt's Dad is a HUGE Elvis fan. Most of Matt's earliest memories of car rides and 8-track tapes revolve around Elvis. 3 years ago, for his 60th birthday party we had a loose Elvis theme. As a surprise, we decided it would be hysterical to have Matt dress as Elvis and come out to serenade his Dad.

Apparently, during the show, his Dad leaned over and told someone, "Man, I hope the kids didn't spend a lot of money on this guy. He is terrible!" I will admit, there was some mechanical malfunctions with the music (my fault), so Matt had to sing on his own, but it wasn't that bad! :)

Anyway, I put Gracie down to sleep and Matt stayed outside to pass out candy to the hordes in our neighborhood. During the 1/2 hour I was gone he created a buzz. Kids specifically were coming to our house. Matt was completely in character and serenaded.

I love Halloween.