Today the parents were allowed to watch the last 20 minutes of Scout's ballet class. Now we know what these little girls are up to from the hours of 3:30-4:30 on Wednesday afternoons. It should be noted, however, that today the girls were allowed to wear their Halloween costumes, so the dress code was not strictly enforced. That's why you see some crazy tights and tutu action happening...
Yesterday afternoon the kids and I hobbled--I hobbled, they walked--over to our neighborhood park for some sunshine and Simon Says. I tried to trick them into posing for a picture by saying "Simon says stand over there and give your brother a hug," but they weren't buying it. The kids looked more like weird statues than the loving siblings I was hoping to capture. I guess acting like a robot and jumping around--or not jumping around, Simon didn't say--were more fun.
P.S. Yesterday was "Mis-matched Monday" at Scout's school (inspired by Scout, of course), and Tillie followed suit. Hence the mis-matched shoes.
It was a perfect Austin morning: 62 degrees, sunny, zero humidity. I was running while listening to an NPR podcast on my new iPhone (I imagine hipsters running to NPR podcasts) and feeling generally great about life...until I ate shit. Right there in the middle of the trail, running uphill at exactly the two-mile mark of my four-mile run (I know this because the MapMyRun lady was rattling off my split time as I was going down). I don't know what I tripped on or over but the first thing I checked was that my phone was okay (I do have my priorities--there wasn't a scratch, by the way)*. Then I saw my mangled leg(s) and was annoyed that I couldn't finish my run. It was a beautiful morning, after all...and I still had 20 minutes to go in the Podcast.
*In my defense, I haven't had a new phone in 3 1/2 years. I know this is a first-world problem and I probably sound like a spoiled brat even pointing it out, but it's the truth.
I think I'm still recovering from Friday night's Fall Carnival at Catcher's school. (Or else I'm recovering from the costume party I attended last night, but that's another story.) Back to Friday...
Alex was home and mixed up a couple adult cocktails for our walk to the school. Unbeknownst to me, he slipped an extra shot of tequila into my margarita, so I was pretty tipsy by the time we reached the school grounds. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed myself so much at the carnival this year.
Our strategy with the children was divide and conquer. Catcher chose me to accompany (i.e. follow) him around the campus this year, so Alex was on girl duty. He spent most of his time playing kiddie games in the gymnasium and snacking on popcorn while I was getting the crap scared out of me in the haunted house. The elementary school children didn't think it was frightening; I did.
Our group met up in the auditorium for the classic cake walk and costume contest. The place was packed with zombie cheerleaders and zombie babies and zombie hunters. I'm guessing zombies are a "thing." I wouldn't allow Scout and Tillie to wear their actual Halloween costumes to the carnival (Scout's is white--enough said), so the girls raided their dress-up bin and decided to be ballerinas for the night. Catcher wasn't going to wear a costume and then he was and then he wasn't and then he was again. He finally decided his Star Wars Jawa costume was too good to wear only on Halloween night. There was a small breakdown, however, when part of his mask fell apart. Once the tears were glistening in his little eyeballs, that was our cue to get the heck out of dodge before the dominos fell. In our haste to make it to the car through the (now dark) schoolyard, we forgot to grab the pumpkin we had entered in the pumpkin carving contest. I didn't see it, so I can't substantiate the claim, but Catcher says he saw ours and it had won second place. I guess it's really Alex's pumpkin. Nice work, babe.
Here's what you need for a successful pumpkin carving:
- Mosquito repellent (it's still 85 degrees here, people, we are in prime mosquito time)
- A knife
- A "face" outlined in Sharpie on said pumpkin
Here's what you do not need for a successful pumpkin carving:
- A toddler wielding a rusty butter knife that she found lying on the ground in the backyard (although such a scenario makes for a great photo opportunity).
You might find this surprising (or else you won't if you have children) but kids tend to lose interest in projects--even carving Jack-o-Lanterns!--in very short periods of time. Thus, our afternoon family pumpkin carving extravaganza turned into Alex gutting (Catcher didn't like the "feel" of the pumpkin guts) and carving our 2014 family pumpkin himself while I set the stage for the perfect pumpkin Pinterest carving experience...no one bought into that one. The blanket laid out on the stone "patio" (for lack of a better word) with the wooden fence in the background was all part of my plan to show how totally cool and artsy and Pinterest-worthy our pumpkin carving family is, but it turns out that we aren't that cool and artsy. Instead of sifting through pumpkin guts, Catcher turned himself into a human target and begged the knife-wielding toddler to throw tennis balls at him. Meanwhile the artsiest (thus far, at least) of our children, Scout, didn't even participate in the spectacle. She was too busy inside making sculptures out of cardboard boxes she had fished out of the recycling bin. That, my friends, is childhood.
With the temperatures dipping down to the 60s in the mornings and reaching highs of mere mid-80s in the afternoons, it's finally starting to feel like fall around here. This afternoon we shook pecans down from the tree beside our house and posed with pumpkins--a purchase from Trader Joe's this morning when the "crisp" fall air was pumping into my brain like oxygen through a Casino.
Even though Tillie was less-than-thrilled with the whole sit-on-the-porch-beside-a-pumpkin idea, I'm all in for autumn! If this weather continues, I might have to take the plunge and enjoy my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.
This morning Catcher had a football (in the international sense) game followed by a football (American) game. I don't have pictures from the first sporting event of the day because Catcher spent the first half in tears--of the blotchy, hysterical variety--on the sideline after having left his shin guards at home. When he finally recovered his composure and made it into the game, his little sister (pictured below) was storming off on a temper tantrum run of her own. It was approximately 9:00am. And that's approximately 2 1/2 hours into my day. Buckle up--it's going to be a bumpy ride.
When my son was finally speaking to me again (I think the post-game juice box helped), I hustled the gang into the car to drive to the far Northeastern corner of Austin for our inaugural flag football game. Now it was Scout's turn to pitch a royal fit, and it was 10:15am. Thank goodness we had brought an arsenal of books with us (as per usual) so I was able to catch a few minutes of the game in between reading to Scout and sending her back to my bag to fetch a new book.
Somehow we--or rather, I--made it through the game (both games) and routed the troops to our next destination: a family luncheon celebrating Alex's stepmother's mom's 13th wedding anniversary. (Is that confusing enough for you?) There was cake. Kids love cake.