Actually, it was Halloween

John and I dressed as skeletons in love this year. 

People made barfing noises to express their extreme pleasure at seeing our stolen hearts – it was excellent.

But that’s not the point.

The point is that when looking through pictures of us John gasped and said that “actually”…

…this one…


…is all mine.


Learning to Love Halloween

Here in Wisconsin with Halloween falling at the end of October, last night’s evening of trick or treating in the 50’s was down right balmy. In this fine state, it’s good to be a gorilla for Halloween, a full-sized bag of M&M’s would work nicely or if you dressed as the Abominable Snowman in his best rain gear, you’d be set for a night out trick or treating in Wisconsin – no matter what.

Of course, my girls have never wanted to be any of these things.Clara, Jane, Ivy and Storm

Which means that every year, (in the last frantic hour of leaving the house cause that’s how we do things around here) I’m promoting layers under costumes and (on exceptionally cold years) jackets over them. Last year, I gave up, threw my hands in the air and John and I just showed all the concerned parents that we did, in fact, have warm clothing and shoes for our poorly clad children… whenever they were ready for it.Jane and Ivy

This year, they did better (perhaps last year’s cold toe memories did some good?) and when I talked up the benefits of layers under costumes, I was at least partially heard, some layers were added but, of course, not quite as many as were recommended…

And so, last night, while following chilly children down the sidewalk, I decided I had it all wrong. I’ve always hated Halloween (except for those tiny Milky Way bars) but I should love it. Because Halloween is the ultimate “I told you so” holiday for mothers. Not that I would stoop so low as to look my darling, freezing children with their shivering buckets of candy in the eye and actually form the worlds “I told you so.” (I mean, I do want them to share those tiny candy bars.) But I do believe at least one “Cold? Reeeaaally?! Huh.” may have escaped me.Jane

Eventually Glinda the Good Witch and I retired to the warmth of the truck, (those of us who live in the country have to drive into town to go trick or treating) which may have been because she was cold, though I suspect that was only a ruse (that girl is Elsa through and through and the cold has never bothered her anyway) and that the real issue was the miniature zombies in the dark. Tiny people dressed as zombies are terrible, please don’t let anyone convince you otherwise, and I was happy to sit in the warm truck with her away from those little, creepy, candy collectors.Jane

Now, I’m sure you are concerned about my mini candy bar collection with one kid out of the trick or treating. Thankfully our Wicked Witch of the West was not so wicked after all. She, the shyest of all, spent all night asking if she could take a piece of candy for her little sister and returned to the truck with an overflowing bucket for the good witch. And, luckily for me, her little sister is very good at sharing.Clara

This morning I’m thinking that Jane’s got the right idea. Next year I’m going to promote a Tinker Bell costume and make sure to casually mention that no one will ever know who she is if she wears a jacket over the top of it. Of course then the many suggested layers will be refused and when she inevitably becomes chilly I’ll still be able to roll my eyes in the dark, think a satisfying, “I told you so” and hide in a nice warm truck. As long as her sisters continue to be so generous we will even have a nice stash of Milky Ways at the end of the evening.

Perhaps I could learn to love this holiday after all.

I Created The Monster

I created the monster.Wicked Witch Ivy

Well, that one too, but that’s not the one I’m talking about.

No, the monster I’m talking about is the one that rears it’s ugly head every year at Halloween when I try to tell my children to wear weather appropriate clothes with their costumes.

Probably if I told them to wear weather appropriate clothes more often, this wouldn’t be an issue. But that’s not my way. I’m more of a, “Alright if you don’t want to wear your hat/shirt/shoes/pants/jacket/socks/mittens that’s fine,” sort of mom. I’m a, “Sure you can wear a tank top in October but grab a sweatshirt to leave in the truck just in case,” kind of mom. I’m a, “My kids are smart and will put on clothes when they are cold,” kind of mom. Most importantly I’m a choose your battles kind of mom.

And when it comes to battles, I never choose clothes.


Except on Halloween.Wicked Witch Ivy and Clara Bee

Because cold children and trick or treating go poorly together and when one ridiculous evening of candy gathering (don’t get me wrong I love the candy) is hyped for weeks and costumes are gathered (thank you Grandma Pat), the last thing I want after experiencing the horrid-ness that is Halloween (I’m a Halloween hating curmudgeon, it’s true) is for all that effort turns into snot nosed, whining, crying, cold children who need to cut the evening short where they (and I) will be devastated by their meager candy haul. (Miniature Milky Way bars are the only thing that continues to ensure my participation in this terrible holiday.)

And so on Halloween I tell my children to wear more clothes. This is a direction that is so unpracticed on both the directing and the receiving end that to call it a lead balloon would be a kindness.

This year, I eventually remembered that I’m a choose your battles kind of mom, threw my hands in the air and we left the house looking like this.Wicked Witch Ivy, Bee Clara and Princess Jane

While I personally feel that that picture contains a lot of cuteness it’s totally lacking in clothing for weather befitting a drizzly October evening in Wisconsin.

Ivy had cold toes and Clara had cold fingers and Jane was frozen all over. Not that that meant she wanted to put her shoes on. So John and I stood at the end of many sidewalks and showed concerned citizens of our town that our pockets had both sweatshirts and shoes for the small purple princess who was shivering as she slowly minced down the sidewalk after us.

It was just after John made the comment that perhaps we should take away her crown and give her a box of matches  that she was done. John took her back to the warmth of the truck while I continued to follow the others through the town. To their credit none of them whined about the cold. They just talk about it in an, “Oh my gosh I can’t even feel my toes” sort of incredulity as they marched on through the ghoul-filled darkness.Princess Jane


It’s true, I created the monster.

And I’m ok with that because for the other 364 days of the year it’s a monster that serves us well.

As for Halloween, well, I’ve never liked it anyway.

Except for those mini Milky Way bars…


Pumpkin Party

The food is piled willy nilly in the kitchen and there aren’t enough bowls to go around.

There are people carving pumpkins on the table and people carving pumpkins on the floor. jack-o-laterensThe house is getting hot and the kids are getting loud.

Friends have come with mere hours notice, food and pumpkin carvers in hand.

Now they rummage through the kitchen to find spoons, dinner and drinks.

Great Gramps grew the pumpkins and John made the chili. Great Gramps and Jane Halloween is still my least favorite holiday but in this moment…#rawrlove pumpkin

… in this moment, it’s the best.

I’m In It For The Candy

I took the girls trick or treating without John for the first time today.

It was all tears and fights and 37 million costume changes – before we left the house.

But eventual I took a pumpkin, a  princess and a fairy (who abandoned her wings and turned into a princess) out in the rain and despite wet feet, cold rain and a late start they ended up with quite a haul of candy.


My friend Jessie was roped into the photo by Ivy because her scrubs, which she has cleverly hid behind Jane, were Halloween themed. She is also smarter than I am, or perhaps not as desperate for Milky-Way bars, as she declined our offer to join us in our “fun” night.

The house looked like a bomb went off, I’ve never had so much crying while doing something “fun” and the only one who consistently smiled and wished everyone “Happy Halloween!” was the same one who announced to all who would listen, “I a punkin!”

But that pile of candy is loaded with mini Milky-Way bars so it was probably worth it.



The Gates by John Connolly

So, you know, the gates of hell are opening and a small boy needs to save the world, same ol’ same ol’.


Except there are footnotes!

And I really do love footnotes.

These footnotes are not just any kind of footnotes, oh no.

These footnotes are the laugh out loud kind of footnotes.


…get this.

It’s the first in a series.

I haven’t read them yet – but I’m going to.

I’m mean really, a humorous, young adult book with footnotes in a series.

It’s like John Connolly wrote it just for me.

Would I recommend it? Oh – The Large Hadron Collider is in it too. What more do you need out of a book?