11 years ago, I met a really cute Air Force Officer/Volunteer Firefighter, to which my girlfriends squealed, “WAIT. Just hold on a second. You mean to tell us you’ve snagged a guy who wears not just one uniform, but TWO?! Oh yeah honey, you should marry him.” And so I did.
Hands down, best decision I ever made. He is my best friend and my favorite everything. These uniforms have been traded for a suit and tie, but I’m forever proud of my Captain. Happy Veteran’s Day Sweetheart. I love you to the last GPS satellite you launched and back!
Tags: The Girls
Picture of My Untame Children Courtesy of Mark Dickhaus Photography.
I love dirty children. Children who clearly spent their day rolling around in life a bit. My kids won’t wear barrettes or bows or ribbons in their hair, and no matter how many brushes I stash throughout our moving picture of a life, they always look like they just woke up. They are not tomboys per se, but rather, they are CHILDREN. Spotless children who never have a hair out of place creep me out a little. It feels very “first several chapters” of Secret Garden-esque.
I love mismatched children. Authentically human creatures, who refuse any clothing not made of knit. Knits feel better than denim, so why on earth would they choose denim? Ever? That must be why old people wear so much knit! They’ve got nothing to prove and vanity is stupid. Screw it. Knits rock at the ends of the age bell curve. When you’re a kid, blue matches black and brown goes with grey and polka dotted dresses are paired with polka dotted leggins which clearly match striped socks. Why? Because today’s theme was “COLOR”. Lots of it. Hells-yeah. Color. Cool.
I love children who are missing teeth. Adults lose the ability to smile if they are missing teeth, but children have quite the opposite reaction. The more teeth they are missing, the wider they smile. It’s a badge of honor, these gigantic gaps in their grins. High-five, you toothless wonders! Awesome.
I love how children are wrestling with life, and don’t even know it. Today, Kelly grew frustrated with her violin lesson, and flopped down onto the floor without warning. She continued to lie there until she was asked several times to get up. She then announced loudly she had to poop. Sara chimed in that not only did she have to poop, but she also had a very itchy bottom. If adults behaved this way, one would feel compelled to call 911, or at least get a Neurology Consult. I got bored in a meeting last week, and did a great job of pretending to be interested. It was exhausting. Next time, I’m going to stand up and yell, “This agenda is completely uninspiring, and it’s making my ass twitch. Catch you LATER GATORS.” And then I’ll just walk out, because life is short and I’ve got dirt hills to roll upon. It’s cool if I get dirty. Knits wash up nicely.
I love when I lean down to kiss my daughters at night, they lick me instead, and then they squeal with laughter. If adults lick each other (without permission) they go to jail. That’s probably the right call for society, but still…so much less hysterical laughter in adulthood. Also, adults don’t randomly hug each other as if their lives depended upon the joy that hug imbues on the receiver. I’ll miss this commitment to hug-excellence when my kids grow up.
I love how kids don’t seem to notice or care they stink to high heaven, and that everyone around them SMELLS AWFUL. That’s all I have to say on this topic, because while I love that kids don’t notice, I do. WHAT are we feeding these smelly cats?
I love finding Halloween candy stashed under my kid’s pillows. It’s so against the rules, but at least they are clever. Clever is a useful skill, and really, a little love under a pillow is a good idea. I get so PO’d when my old lady bladder wakes me up in the night. Maybe a tiny Twizzler at 2am would ease my frustration.
Sara and Kelly, I love you, just as you are. Someday, when I’m old, stinky, and toothless, I hope you’ll return the favor in the form of a gigantic, ridiculously over-the-top hug. You might slip off of me because knit is practically friction-free, but this can’t be helped. At any rate, and as always, thank you for turning my life and my understanding of it…completely upside down. Wisdom Comes Suddenly.
Tags: The Girls
No, you’re awesome.
NO, you’re awesome.
NO, YOU’RE AWESOME!
I love to play Taboo, but when we play as a family, I’m known for setting myself up with an unfair advantage: I always yell shotgun on having Sara as my partner. For a kid with a non-verbal learning disorder, she is phenomenally articulate. And while we couldn’t be more different as people, we’ve always had the ability to read each others’ minds. Kelly and Daddy? They’d prefer to live in a world where robots grunt out thoughts for them. WHY all this TALKING?! Shut your pieholes!
Our Saturday game went something like this (with intense exaggeration regarding my turn with Sara, and an exact word-for-word play-by-play during Kelly and Daddy’s turn):
Mommy: Sara, we once read a book titled “Pandora”, and when she went up to Mount Olympus, she saw her father as a…
Mommy: Yes! In the summer, you beg me everyday for…
Sara: ICE CREAM!
Mommy: YES! But Avery likes her’s on a…?
Sara: CONE! Ice Cream Cone!
Mommy: YES! There was once that time where we went to that place, and you were all like “WHAT?”
Mommy: YES! OK! Now <insert me raising my eyes and looking shocked>…
Sara: The day I was born!
Mommy: Which is your?
Daddy: TIME. God guys. OK Kelly, let’s hit the ground running here. Your turn…we CAN DO THIS!
Kelly: OK Daddy. Um…when you get constipated you need a…?
Kelly: No. You have to go there to get one.
Kelly: No. They have these ALL OVER THE WORLD, and when you are CONSTIPATED, and you go there and have a…?
Daddy: Enema. Doctor. Pharmacy. Public restroom.
Daddy: Skip it!
Kelly: OPERATION. YOU NEED AN OPERATION!
Mommy: TIME! Wow, that was harsh. Sara, your turn.
Sara: <insert look of utter despair while reading a book>
Mommy: Edward Tulane! RABBIT!
Sara: Yes! <insert gesture of spilling a drink on a shirt>
Mommy: Lemonade! The time you spilled lemonade on your shirt at City Barbecue!
Sara: Barbecue! Yes! OK, time for one more? OK. I’ll never forgive you for that time you made us all try…?
Mommy: Carrot salad with an orange dressing!
Sara: Carrot! YES!
Daddy: TIME. Wow, we need redemption Kelly. Are you ready?
Kelly: WAIT. Let me finish this Starburst. OK. Now I’m ready.
Daddy: When you are constipated, you need to find a…?
Daddy: No. You don’t go to the hospital when you’re constipated. It’s simple. You need a…?
Daddy: No. We have 4 in our house.
Kelly: Stethoscopes. Bandages. Call 911!!!
Daddy: Kelly! Listen. There is a place in the house where you go when you’re constipated…
Kelly: Bedroom! Bed! To the KITCHEN!
Daddy: Another place….
Kelly: The garage! You love to work in the garage!
Daddy: TOILET. The word was TOILET.
Mommy: And Sara and I take the game!
Daddy: Taboo is painful.
Kelly: I don’t understand any of this. What just happened? Did we win?
Tags: The Girls
I love him. He’s begging to be glued onto a gift box, isn’t he?
With Halloween behind me, I, like many crafters, bring the autumn projects to a screeching halt, and turn the creative energy beam towards the Holidays. I’m grateful for Kelly wanting to host a slumber party in my sewing room over the weekend, because it forced me to pick up the “Epic” aftermath and clear enough space for Daddy’s Eagle Scout tent and a TV. Embarrassing truth, but I often need an excuse to pick up after myself, which is why I host so many events at my house.
For a gorgeous moment, I saw clean carpet and cleared work spaces. But there’s a something odd about clean sewing rooms…something unnatural. Walking past this space is unsettling, as it never, ever looks like this. Where some women see tranquility and organized peace, I see…
What can I say? I made a few templates, pulled down the ribbon barrel, the felt basket, the holiday fabric bought 10 months ago on clearance, cut out some notion coupons, and…um…
Look! If you JUST look at the room from this angle, it’s still spotless. Head down, movies on, sun streaming in the windows, and STOP! Don’t look behind you. Don’t look beside you. And whatever you do, DO NOT look behind you. Just keep those eyes forward and see the possibilities before you. Right now those possibilities are buried under piles of freezer paper and my cutting tools, but this gal isn’t flustered by clutter. Creative clutter is my process.
Only 47 days until the school holiday break. Ready, set…GO!
Tags: The Girls
Is it me? OR, is it Amy Farrah Fowler from the “Big Bang Theory”? At a school where science-geekery is king, my costume was a HIT. The heart-shaped Bazinga pin, along with my perfected Amy Farrah Fowler walk, really pulled it together.
My dear friend Linda was the “Catch Of The Day”, which included a touch of irony, as she hosted the 3rd grade party. They dissected sharks last week. FUNNY.
About 6 years ago, we put our daughters into a school with a very unique mission, and in so doing, I found my tribe. Every day I find myself in a community that just WORKS. It’s not complicated; we simply get each other. When the nerds are together, we’re no longer nerds. Our kids don’t think of themselves as “gifted” (a word none of us really identifies with, as the stereotype couldn’t be more wrong)…and we just…are. There is so much space and trust for us to be ourselves, alongside our children being true to their spirits, and the resulting rarefied air is a treasure. We don’t take it for granted; many of us know what it is to be misunderstood.
Is this Miss Piggy, one of my favorite teachers, or Sara’s Brownie Scout Leader? Or is this an amazing woman who ran a marathon this morning? WAIT…she is ALL of these things! She is also the loving Mommy who walked up to me 6 years ago after I introduced myself and my children, hugged me and said, “You’re at the right place. Welcome to your new school.” Her kindness will never be forgotten.
And on Halloween every year, our Big Bang Theory school lets our colors fly. We pull out all the stops, and inside our little building, Halloween is exactly as it should be. As it used to be. As we all wish it could have stayed, before movies got insane, Haunted Houses took on the mission of trying to compete with “Saw”, and before local businesses stopped caring if their decorations scared the pants off young children. We just forget about this American nonsense, and we celebrate a kid-friendly (and hilarious) holiday. The teachers, the students, the Administrators, and the parents show up in full force, ready to ROCK October 31st.
Kelly’s teachers, and 2 women forever in my prayers. You may remember these ladies as the angels who taught Sara to fly.
Matching teachers get high points. The Head of School always keeps her costume under tight wraps until the day off. Even the PTA President didn’t get a hint (trust me, I tried to get to her to spill). Irony is usually a large part of the game. Add in every character from Harry Potter, and that pretty much sums up the school.
Our Head of School, or an Ostrich Tamer? This is so great, because how many times have you thought, “Where is a good Ostrich Tamer when I need one?!” Wish I had taken a full shot, as this costume goes to the floor.
At 1:00 pm, all academics come to a full-stop, and costumes start flying about like we’re backstage at a Broadway show. One lucky kid gets to drive the floor-cleaning Zamboni and start the parade. As he passes each classroom with the Head of School, the grades file out into the parade, rounding their way through the school. This year’s Zamboni driver went as a Mop and Bucket. Now that’s irony. He was a floor cleaner driving a floor cleaner. His Mother went as a maid to match him. DEE-LICIOUSLY fun.
Our tiniest witch was just sure she’d stay awake long enough to see the big kid parade this year, but alas…she pooped out at her big brother’s class party.
Our Middle Schoolers wait to dress up until the end of the day, as they have their “very own, even bigger kid party” in the gym after school. Loud music, gigantic bounce houses…it’s ridonkulous. Sara, Kelly, Their Gang of Gals, et al., stood near the doorway, eyes as big as saucers, saying, “WOW. I can’t WAIT to be a Middle School kid.” To which I replied, “Come on guys, we’re heading out. NOT YET for you. NOT YET.” During the parade, the Middle Schoolers line their own hallways, giving high-five’s to all of their Lower School buddies. Lots of cheering, lots of hugs. It’s so dumb, I know, but I tear up at their show of school spirit every year. I kept my tears to a low roar this year, because Amy Farrah Fowler does not cry easily.
The parade ends in the gym for an all-school dance party, usually hosted by gym teachers and Ms. B., whom I’ll call our “School Social Director”. These women are fearless.
Back to the classrooms for parties, snacks, apple-bobbing, crafts…it’s a hootenanny.
Lisa’s Ghost Costume was just too cool. She wins, hands down…Best Parent Costume. She even had white makeup on her face.
The parents host the parties, and one year, a group of parents built a haunted house on the back lawn. I just can’t wait to see what will show up on Halloween! If I’m not hosting, I pop from room to room, taking it all in with my camera.
The Mad Scientist and Anakin. I don’t have sons, so I have to guess at the boys costumes, and Parents-of-Sons costumes! I love this couple…they are fantastic people, and Kelly loved the party they hosted in 1st grade.
It’s kind of a sad truth, but trick-or-treating is almost a let-down after “School Halloween”. This is oddly a blessing because, as you well know, Kelly hates Halloween, with all capitals. Scares her to death. So celebrating it in her favorite place with non-scary “stuff” means we actually get to have a Halloween. She walked the parade this year, gripping my hand tightly, and after it was all said and done, seemed so relieved that every year, it grows less and less frightening to her. And how much do I love the teachers who make sure Kelly is OK with the day, and welcome me into their parade?
Our Head of Middle School managed carpool dressed as a hockey player, on roller blades, with blacked-out teeth, during a gusting rain storm. Surely there is a teacher-badge that comes with this kind of dedication?
The over-the-top celebration was much needed this year, as for the first time in my Indiana history, Halloween was postponed. We’re in the Midwest…we trick-or-treat in rain, in snow, in boots, in gloves, and some years, in short-sleeved shirts and sweating. We just never know what weather to expect in late Fall. But this year, God sent a new kind of challenge: 60 mph wind gusts. Um? NO, we can’t trick-or-treat in winds that carry the kids away.
This funny, bright, wildly inventive tribe of mine brings me so much joy, and their wisdom has changed me. My life has been enriched by finding a place where I can live an unedited version of myself. It’s most important I found this place for my children, but I won’t downplay what it has done for me. It’s funny how a Halloween lens reflected this piece of insight, but we don’t always choose when or how our life’s lessons arrive. What can I say? Wisdom Comes Suddenly.
Do tell me about your tribe, and share words of wisdom about how much it means to you to feel at home in your community of friends.
Tags: The Girls
Someday, should Kelly ever get married, so help me. So help Daddy. So help us all. THIS GIRL is going to be a Bridezilla. Fo’sho’.
Kelly has told us for an entire year that despite hating Halloween (oh Girlfriends, she HATES it), despite her adamant refusal to trick-or-treat, she was most certainly dressing up as a bride. 12 months of certainty, and as luck would have it, my cousin had a brand-spankin’ new costume for her to borrow, straight out of one of those fancy-schmancy costume catalogs. I didn’t even know those things existed.
Kelly was sure she’d found the perfect dress. She was veclempt with joy. UNTIL…oh yes, until…I realized I’d have to make Sara’s dress by hand. Then all bets were off. Did she still want to be a bride? Oh yes. Did she still want to wear her cousin’s dress? Oh yes. Did she suddenly swamp my life with a list of “accouterments” every bride must have? OH YES. Was Sara going to take all of my attention the week of Halloween? Over her non-existent wedding, which is a nice way of saying “Ah hell no”.
First she marched her scowl into my sewing room and announced, “I’ll need something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.” She loves the old pearl purse I found at an antique mall years ago. The dress is borrowed. She begged and begged for the Madonna lace gloves, which she insisted would just MAKE her bridal assemble. Fine. But then, alas, her dress is essentially sleeveless. According to Kelly (and 1st grade Halloween etiquette books everywhere) short sleeved gloves would never do. NEVA’!
She added leg warmers to her arms. Whatever. Go for it Princess. I won’t bore you with the hours she spent trying on every possible white headband/white piece of fabric combo in the house. What did she choose? The one that came with the costume.
The bouquet, the intense, must-have bouquet. We went ’round and ’round ’bout this thing. It MUST have a white center flower which MUST NOT be a rose. White roses should, however, surround it. Other red flowers are acceptable, as long as there is an abundance of red roses on the edges. And TWO green leaves. TWO. Count thee not to three, and four is RIGHT OUT. When I handed her this highly-specific bouquet, made-to-order by yours truly bouquet, what did she say? WHAT? “Mommy, it’s broken. The handle is crooked.” No amount of explaining to her that nosegays have angled handles to give the impression of them leaning forward would suffice. Her bouquet was BROKEN. I’m sending this Bride a bill.
The shoes were equally hilarious. MUST be blue, as they are the only thing blue on her. According to Kelly, no blue, no bride. I offered to order some, which offended our little betrothed, because after all, Sara was getting an entire costume handmade. Remember when store-bought was the treat of the century? What happened? I took her Cinderella shoes, ripped off the bows, and attached the POOFS she said were a MUST. ALL THINGS ARE A MUST on your wedding day! I added the hydrangeas to hide where I tied them into the shoes.
And our little bride’s assessment of my attempts to recreate “tiny white truffula trees, floating on my feet”? Too big. The poofs are way too big. They look like house slippers. I JUST HOT GLUED WHITE POOF BALLS TO PLASTIC DRESS UP SHOES! OF COURSE THEY LOOK LIKE HOUSE SLIPPERS! (That a Madam would wear, but let’s no go there).
I told the squirt to stick them on her feet or go barefoot. Or wear tennis shoes. Bridal Shop Couture de Momma was closed for the season. I told her 100x I loved her no matter how many flowers I stuffed into the keister of Sara’s dress. But mixing Momma-sharing with her least favorite holiday with the fear of the all-school parade made for an icky-Kelly mixture. The picture above was taken moments before the parade (I’m dressed as Amy Farrah Fowler from “The Big Bang Theory”, but I’ll show those pics later). She did march, which was BIG for her, squeezing my hand for dear life through the entire parade.
And here we are moments after the parade ended, when Kelly realized how not scared she is of Halloween anymore. She even danced in the gym at the all-school dance party. She enjoyed all of the games at her class party. She posed for pictures with her friends. And then she told me I MUST call Cousin Jordyn and thank her for this GORGEOUS costume, which made her feel like the prettiest girl on earth. She announced one last complaint to me, however: “Mommy, my costume is missing just one more thing.” Exasperated, I asked, “What on earth could you possibly add?” A GROOM, Mommy. A groom. I’ll give Kelly this much: she’s a stubborn handful at times, but she always makes me laugh.
Isn’t that the way with brides? They finish the wedding and find out after all the hub-bub, what was all that drama about? They are still the same gals they were before they alienated everyone they loved with their tempers and ridiculous demands.
And because I hauled, kicked, and shoved mountains of mess out of the way to take these photos, I thought you should see the nicest, cleanest angle I could get of my sewing room. The sewing table is to the right and out of view, which is for the better. It’s so covered in thread, bobbins, and fabric, you might wonder how I didn’t sew myself to it. I might have….a couple of times. So worth it. SO, SO much fun this year. Happy Halloween everybody!
Tags: The Girls
For my latest project, I feel I should set the stage (literally). Sara and Kelly simply loved the movie “Epic”. It is a visual storm of color and nature, so for a child like Sara, who swears her future career is “to live outside”, this movie was indeed…epic. Interestingly enough, as I mentioned earlier in the week, Sara did not want to be the main character, exactly (Queen Tara, played by Beyonce, and pictured above).
Nor did she want to be her favorite character, Marigold Girl, exactly (little girl, pictured above). She wanted to be the moment Queen Tara flies by Marigold, and Marigold yells out, “You’re totally my HERO!” For Halloween, Sara asked me to capture a moment: the juxtaposition of Marigold realizing she wants to grow up to be the Queen while the Queen flies by knowing Marigold will actually grow up to take her place. Sara wanted to dress a spectacular feeling a girl has when she realizes she has hopes of growing up and becoming her hero. Again, an epic feeling for sure.
To put it in less heady terms, Sara wanted to be a fairy, but at the ripe old age of 8, she no longer believes in fairies…exactly. How does one, at the senior citizen age of 8, hold onto the precious dreams of a 5 year old, while she spends her days dreaming of becoming a Middle Schooler? Tough position. After some brainstorming and a few sleeps, my best idea hit: Silk Scapes. YES. The prettiest silk flower store in Indianapolis is Silk Scapes. I’ve shopped there for almost a decade, and they are the NICEST people, plus, their store very closely resembles the Epic sets. You may remember how beautifully they decorated Max when he won the Kentucky Derby. You may recall the wildest and tallest Witch Hat on the planet I made many years ago, and wear every year? Yep…my supplies came from Silk Scapes. I know what you’re thinking, and while they sold me many things on my fall mantel, they are not responsible for that madness. That is ALL me. Their designers have actual talent. Oh Lordy, I can hear Jim, the owner, in my head, if he saw my mantel, “Oh LORI. Tell me you DIDN’T.” Oh yes Jim…oh yes I did.
And knowing the nice, classy people over at Silk Scapes, I did what any equally classy, crafty, brain-storming Momma would do: I asked if I could have their trash. Jim just laughed (he gets my sense of humor), grabbed a huge clear bag, and started opening drawers. The center of their store is a cutting and design table, which is surrounded by drawers where the clippings are dropped. Precious, precious clippings. With Christmas designing in full swing, the summer clippings can’t be used. When I saw what they had, I squealed, jumped up and down, and made Jim hug me…twice. The world’s most perfect costume of a feeling was about to come to life.
Using a green dress fabric remnant from the clearance aisle of JoAnn’s, I designed a leaf. Do you know how hard it is to get a leaf to be the same on each side? Imagine you’re challenged in the art department, as I am.
A-HA! Fold it, trace one side onto the other and trim. Voila! Perfectly shaped leaf. Pin it to fabric and cut 10. Make a band. It gets crazy from here.
After sewing the leaves onto the waistband, I bought 2 yards of white organza. It’s so yummy, I want to renew my vows just to wear it again. I folded it, gathered it, and sewed it opposite the leaves (which are turned over). Just fold in half, sew along the top, and you have a leaf skirt lying on top of a poofy, organza bag. Perfect.
Fill it up with flowers and sew up the back. Well, I mean, have your child try the skirt on about 100x, adjust the velcro closure twice, reinforce the waistband, fiddle with the flowers until you lose your mind, and THEN sew up the open sides of organza.
SO, hmm…skirts need tops. Remember the Rainbow Fairies? That was such a grand year of sewing. I swore I’d never make another Halloween costume after the Rainbow Fairies. Ah…the best laid plans. I’m ridiculous. OF COURSE I was going to make more costumes. The top was too short and the sleeves were too tight, but it has held up beautifully, and fit Sara otherwise. The key piece? It has a zipper. One less sewing step is a decision-maker when you have only a moment to create a costume which represents a moment.
I took off the sleeves, covered the original in green fabric, while making it longer with cute plackets. I then replaced the original sleeves with tubes of organza stuffed with flowers, and added touches of flowers to make it mesh with the skirt.
I added a crystal-studded wrap (mostly so it would tie in the decor on the top, leftover from the original costume), which was the sash from Sara’s Rainbow Fairy Costume. Sara has been saving a flower head band for this very costume for quite some time. That left the wand, which was not to be a wand. Wands are for little girls, not girls standing on the edge of being big. Or bigger at least, because she’s not ready for prime time at 8! (Please don’t tell her I said so.)
I have NO idea why I have leftover silver stalks. They remind me of some amazing thing I must have made years ago. OH WAIT! I remember! These are the leftover pieces from Kelly’s Angel Fish Mask! These ARE awesome. I took a sleeve that didn’t pan out, wrapped it around the bottom, and then wrapped a leaf I forgot to add to the skirt. Hot glue on a flower to match the dress, and voila! The “I’m too old to have a wand, but I want a wand” problem is solved. Just as the sash solved the “I’m too old to wear wings, but I want something shooz-y on my back” problem.
So, to answer the million dollar question: does this costume bring Sara’s feeling to life? Her answer is a resounding: YES!! It’s more of a screaming in my ear, “MOMMY!! MOMMMMYYY!!! THIS IS THE GREATEST COSTUME EVER IN THE HISTORY OF COSTUMES! I LOVE IT! IT’S SO BETTER THAN PERFECT!!!! I LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU!!”
Oh, my sweet baby Ducky. I think it fits my feeling of you perfectly too. Momma loves you, and even when you can only speak in movie lines, Momma knows, Momma knows. Happy Halloween Sweet Girl. You don’t need to dream of being a Queen. You already are one.
Tune in tomorrow when we cover Costume #2: My Little Bridezilla.
*Per FTC disclosure guidelines, no goods or services were exchanged for this post. Jim didn’t even know I had a blog when he gave me that bag of flowers. He’s just a super nice guy, and is used to me popping in and asking crazy questions. I wish you could have seen his face the day I ran in with a picture of a 3-tiered Martha Stewart wedding cake and told him I had to recreate it, I needed deep maroon calla lilies (he had them, of course), and it needed to withstand a 90 degree wedding day…outside. That cake leaned like the leaning tower of Pisa, just as Jim predicted it would. But the flowers were lovely!*
Tags: The Girls
October 28th, 2013 · Comments Off
So many of you have been so kind as to write or stop me in a school hallway to ask if the girls are better. Thank you so much, and yes, they finally recovered from the 10 day croup, and have survived almost an entire week of school. Kelly has half of a voice and Sara is battling the aftermath of what we call her “Infinity Rash”, but all in all, no one is having croup attacks during night terrors, so I’m calling this a touchdown.
Unfortunately, and this should have been expected, their sleep was thrown off. As in way, WAY off. Even after their fevers left, they both looked horrible. Dark circles under the eyes, ashy skin…just yucky. Greg was the medical sleuth who cracked the non-recovery mystery: the girls were sneaking iPads and headphones into their beds at night and watching movies under their covers until late at night. When they heard us coming upstairs, they stashed them quickly, and feigned sleep. Applause for their performance, because it took us a week to catch them.
After the confiscation of the contraband, those dark circles disappeared. Makeup work wasn’t such a chore. Math scores went up noticeably. The morning routine wasn’t met with tears. Amazing how much easier life is WHEN YOU SLEEP.
We’ve put Cyrus on watch to make sure no escapades are occurring unbeknownst to us (he takes careful notes, but GOD, his handwriting…don’t get me started). And for some reason, Kelly has taken to sleeping in her favorite hat.
Keep the cat, keep the hat, put the hat on the cat…I DON’T CARE. I think we can all agree, you can’t put a price tag on children who sleep. Amen.
Tags: The Girls
It’s Halloween week. How do I know? My sewing room looks like a Hurricane hit it. Hurricane Ichabod. Kelly has long wanted to be a bride, and as luck would have it, my cousin had a costume for her, complete with veil. Lucky? Yes, for that blessed second before Kelly remembered she’d need: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. The scope of her planning has resembled that of a full wedding. The description of the bouquet she’d like to carry has more detail than my own bridal bouquet. It would have had a similar cost had I not put my foot down.
But Kelly’s wedding is nothing compared to Sara’s costume quest. Sara is mapping out the location of the Holy Grail, and she expects me to get her there. She wants to be a Nature Fairy, with no resemblance to the Woodland Fairy/Autumn Fairy costumes one might easily find online. It must be green, but not dark green. It must not have wings. It must have a wand, as long as that wand includes vines. It must have many flowers, but not too many flowers…but many…wait…not covered…but…kind of covered. With flowers. Some. Many. More than a few.
After a series of Style Network questions, I came to realize that Sara wants to be Beyonce’s character from the movie “Epic”. But she does not want to wear Queen Tara’s dress, because it’s the spitting image of Tiana’s dress from “The Princess And The Frog”. Funny, but she’s right. However, she does want the leaves of the skirt. And flowers like the actual flower characters, but don’t make her into a flower. But include flowers. She wants to be the essence of “Epic”.
Yes, let’s not border on designing a costume one could actually CREATE, Sara. Above all, be ambiguous, please. Tell me more about how I can design a costume that resembles how a movie made you feel.
SO, for the Halloween I swore I would NOT be sewing a darned thing…if you need me…I’ll be sewing. And gluing, because Kelly has now designed couture BRIDAL SHOES. They are to be blue, with POOFS! And those poofs should POOF like a mighty Truffula tree when she walks!
I wouldn’t make any of this if it weren’t so crazy fun having daughters. I’ve heard boys are far different, and the money I’ve spent on tulle would have been spent on ER visits instead. I’m in the “this is still fun phase”. Check in with me Wednesday night when those ER visits will be looking like a decent trade-off.
Do tell! What are you assembling for big Ween-De-Hallow this year?
Tags: The Girls
Greg and I have a dear friend who is a popular photographer in the city of Indianapolis. Mark Dickhaus is on a team of photographers who cover the Indianapolis Indians, and just won Cassidy Turley’s National “LiveWorkPlay” photo contest. But let’s set these accomplishments aside for a moment, because NOW he can add to his impressive resume: “Turned Lori Into A Pantene Model”.
Mark is a reader of this nutty blog, and knew we’d be taking our annual trek to Anderson’s Orchard this fall. He offered to tag along and take some family portraits, to which I quickly screamed uptown in his direction, “YES!! And…THANK YOU!!!”
After bribing the girls with chocolate to sit nicely, hold apples, and smile (torture I tell you, someone call the authorities), we got to the business at hand: picking those apples. I was actually glad the girls’ croup caused a reschedule, because Ida Reds and Scarlet Beauties are more of a late fall/winter apple, and my favorite for pies. They were in full glory. I was grabbing a few last minute Jonathons when Mark called out, “Stay right there! Don’t move!” Well now ladies, a model does as she is instructed.
When he sent me this picture, I had a good laugh. We’re still arguing about how much editing it took to make me look like this…he swears hardly any, and I swear he used every trick in the Vogue Playbook. Someone call Pantene, because if nothing else, this shot proves I love my hair products. And possibly my new pore minimizer (but more likely, Mark’s editing software). But then I remembered the words of my fabulous Grandmother, may she and her hair secrets rest in peace, “Kid, if you were born just a couple of decades earlier, you could have been a Breck girl.” As a child, I loved me some Breck. I ruined the hair of every doll I owned, carrying those gigantic metal spray bottles everywhere I went.
Mark returned my note with a picture of me as the Breck Girl. AWESOME. How I wish my Grandma were here to see this. She would laugh until her partial hair piece fell off, and then she’d have to call her “Beauty Operator” to have it “redid” in time for Bowling League. After hanging out at the Beauty Shop with “her ladies”, we’d have pie and some coffee from her perc-you-later (it “perked” all day). Some people you just never stop missing.
Mark took all of these beautiful apple pictures as well. He tried to teach me a few things, and MAN, did I try to take it in, but with hot cider in my hands, bushels of apples at my feet, and so much joy in my heart, I couldn’t write it down. “Shoot into the shadows Lori…”: I remember these words, and I’m starting there. Soak in this photographic wonder, because these are the best “Lori went to the Orchard again” pictures we’re ever going to get at Wisdom Comes Suddenly!
I’ll be sharing our family portraits soon; we’ve never had any taken and I still can’t believe it’s us. We’re officially “one of those families sprawled out in an apple orchard, looking all woodsy in their pictures”. The colors are stunning. The models? What we lack in good looks we make up for with enthusiasm (my enthusiasm…the rest of my family is suspect).
Mark does a lot of Business to Business photography, but he shoots everything except weddings and babies. Can you blame him? Brides are crazy and you can’t bribe infants with Twix bars. Send me a note if you’d like his contact information.
Now get ready for fall-sy food-sy posts, because this fall has been LONG, and I’m in serious need of some PIE….
*In accordance with FTC guidelines, there were no goods or services exchanged for this post. Unless you count the jar of apple butter I gave Mark as a gift, in which case, FTC rules are moot, and we’ll need to refer to the FDA. Neither Pantene nor Breck paid me a blessed thing, but they should call me. 41 year old hair models are HOT right now. Just ask Tina Fey.*
Tags: The Girls