Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Joys of October

Just to recap--my trip to Lake Tahoe earlier this month with my sister was wonderful.  I always get so much out of being with her.  I'm reminded of when we were kids and had nothing but time to play together.  The scenery in Lake Tahoe was beautiful.  And my sister's dog, Little Hawk took in every part of it.
The view outside the cabin

Crazy how we have the twins-y hair cuts, no?

Ok, show of hands, how many think this is the cutest dog EVER?


This has been a relatively cool October in Southern California.  I am perpetually confounded by the weather lately, as October, in the recent past, has been extraordinarily hot.  But this year, I’ve been breaking out the Crockpot, wearing sweaters, and driving in the rain—an extreme sport in Southern California.  The weather definitely is getting me in the mood for Halloween.  

Usually, beginning in early September, when the costume catalogs start showing up in the mailbox, we trek on down to the party store, peruse the wall of adorable looking children in cute looking costumes, and the kids point ecstatically, “that one, that one!” 

Down comes the industrial plastic bag with a handle fused to the top, and the kids extract the crappy acetate, shoddily constructed, ill-fitting costume with many ooohs and aahhhs.  From me, it’s more like ewwwws and ooohhhs.  How could this possibly be the same as that picture on the wall?  I don’t know why I’m surprised, but the quality of the packaged costume is never as good as I think it’s going to be.  

That’s why, this year, I worked on persuading my kids to go with the homemade Halloween costume.  Oh, I know this means work for me, and as a mom who has a job that I have to go to everyday, this presents the age old dilemma of how do I find enough time to do this.  Well, here’s my mindset on time lately…..

You can find the time to do anything if you really want to do it.  So I set out to make Halloween costumes in my spare time.  I had to start in September, but I think it's finally come together.

T1 wants to be Voldemort (you know, the most villainous of all villains--He Who Must Not Be Named).  So I figured, easy; some robes, some scary make-up and we're done.  We were going for this:

I made this:

Not to be out-Harry-Potter-ed, T2 decided to be Hermione.  I found this cute photo of the "smartest witch of her age" and decided to copy this:

We had the robe and Gryffindor tie from last year when T1 was the ubiquitous boy wizard.  So it was fairly easy to put together this:

The scarf is tucked behind the shoulder on account of the fact that it is still not done.  Super cute knitted scarf takes a loooong time!

I was having so much fun making costumes, that I decided to keep on going.  What's a few more, when you're already on a roll?  

We had tickets to Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland.  It's a costume party, trick-or-treating extravaganza inside Disneyland Park that runs through October.  So really, it's like Halloween night every night.  Our kids literally came home with SIX pounds of candy.  I kid you not.  DG said, with the same tone as the proverbial "walked-to-school-in-the-snow" speech, "When I was a kid, we went trick-or-treating once--on Halloween."  

Well, if you're trick-or-treating twice, you need two costumes, right?  I made us into a pirate family.

DG got the pirate vest and pirate bustiers at the 99 cent store.  I coupled them with striped tights and made raggedy pants and skirts.  T1 didn't want to wear the paper 99 cent store vest, and I can't say that I blame him, so I cut that skull and crossbones from an old, white T-shirt and sewed it on the red one.  He loved it!

I'm still so shocked that I had the gumption to make all these costumes, but now that it's all done, and we're really for Halloween, I am pleased with myself.  Not only did I accomplish something I set out to do, rather than scrapping the projects with a defeatist "Oh well, I didn't have time to do this anyway," but also I rekindled that DIY, homemade part of myself that so rarely gets let out these days.  Being creative feeds my soul, and while there is an element of creativity in my job everyday, it's nice to make something with my hands and soak in the gratitude when the kids say, "Thank you, Mommy! I love this costume!" (No really, I'm not lying--they both said that. *shock*)

Kinda makes me want to get ready for the next project.  Do you think maybe they'll need costumes for the school Holiday show? 

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Getaway

Okay, after all my bitching and complaining about all I have to do, and how can I find time for it all, I get to have the opposite this weekend.  I am traveling to Northern California to go to Lake Tahoe with my sister and her husband's family.  This is by myself--without my husband and kids.  I go to Northern California every fall to visit with my sister. 

I don't think there is a person in the world who gets me better.  She's like the other half of my brain and soul.  We have been each other's best friend and confidant since we were little girls.  When she moved away, I knew that it would be so important for us to continue to keep the lazy togetherness of our childhood alive--times when we just sit together in the same room, but don't need to talk, and then we can talk for hours, long into the night about ANYTHING.  Our unusual sister-bond is remarkable by most standards, and I long to spend time with her.  Now it's here.

I can't think of a better place to rejuvenate than Lake Tahoe.  I intend to suck in the mountain air until my lungs are filled with the richness of fall.  I'm going to knit (I'm making a scarf for T2's Hermione costume), watch movies, and sleep.  Oh, glorious sleep.

And at home, I know everything will be fine.  DG is a superdad.  He actually is excited to take the kids to all their activities (Oh boy, it's a lot too--a future post that I am definitely itching to get out--lots of opinions).  Two soccer games on Saturday, two different classes for both kids today at different locations during the same time.  DG'll get a taste of mom taxi for sure.

And when I get back, I'll hug them and I'll be a better mommy because I'll get to remember who I am.  Do you ever take time for yourself away from home without the kids?