Monday, October 31, 2011

Last-minute costumes for moms

If you're like me, you've spent most of your prep time for this year's Halloween focused on making the holiday fun for your kid.  Choosing an adorable costume, figuring out trick-or-treat routes, and watching the Halloween episode of "Yo Gabba Gabba" to help him get prepared.  (Also, shut up; I love me some "Yo Gabba Gabba".)

However, at least for me, such was not always the case.  Halloween used to be my thang.  Working on costumes weeks in advance, debating on whether or not to brave the crowds on Franklin Street, deciding Hillsborough Street was too lame and involved too much walking in uncomfortable shoes, and inevitably finding myself at Legends.  (There is no party like a gay club on Halloween.)

I can also admit that, prior to the birth of my son, I was one of those girls who went just a liiiiittle on the slutty side with my costumes each year.  Schoolgirl, vampire (corsette + fangs), cigarette girl (won a costume contest with that one, but the dress was so short I specifically bought matching undies for the occassion).

Of course, I don't want to dress slutty for Halloween anymore.  I've outgrown it, and I'm a mom now.  I don't want to present any image that I would be embarrassed for my son to see pictures of years down the road.

However, I still love Halloween.  And now that I've got my son all prepared, I'm realizing that I still really want to dress up for tonight.  Of course, it's the last-minute, so a costume is going to require all my creative MacGyver skills.

Now, a lot of people are throwing on a black turtleneck and some wire-rimmed glasses, carrying around an iPhone and saying they're Steve Jobs.  I think that's a bit insensitive, personally, and I own no Apple products.

So, I started thinking about what's in my closet, and got some ideas.  Then I realized that it's probably very similar to what most moms have in their closets, and I have a chance to do some good here.  So, in case you waited until the last second (like me!) here are some easy Halloween costumes you can throw together for tonight.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Other "First"s

As parents, we are really big on our baby's "first"s.  First tooth, first step, first Christmas, etc.  And while these things are important, they're also kind of boring.  Most "first"s are things all kids have in common.

I started thinking about it the other morning, when my son was being a bit fussy getting ready for school, and I grabbed the first thing at hand:  a sheet of bubblewrap from a recent postage delivery.  As I showed him how to pop it, and watched his face light up with giggles, it occurred to me that he had never played with bubblewrap.  This was a first.  Sure, it's probably not as big a deal as a first haircut, or anything like that, but it made his morning.  After all, what kid doesn't like bubblewrap?  (Of course, true to his habit of renaming everything, he calls it "squeezy-pop".)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We do Christmas right...

Everyone may be picking out costumes and getting their candy ready for trick-or-treaters, but in my house, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

To explain, there are two things you should know about me: 1.) I love the holidays. 2.) I hate crowds.

From October 1st until New Year's Day, I am a happy woman.  As much as I hate shopping for myself, I love buying gifts for other people, and I spend hours at the mall, stores, and on shopping websites, getting ideas, making lists, and comparing prices.  I want to find the perfect gift to put a big, genuine smile on the recipient's face when they open their present.

But I despise crowds, particularly when I'm in my gift-shopping happy place, so it's imperative that I get all of my gifts bought weeks before Black Friday.

I also just love the time with my family, whether it's taking my son trick-or-treating with his cousins, or having everyone stuff our faces together on Thanksgiving.  I love the complete pandemonium that is a Christmas Day with a ton of people and kids underfoot.  I love Christmas Eve services with my church family.  I love the food, and the hot chocolate, and stockings, cheesy holiday movies and the way Christmas trees smell, and just everything about the entire Holiday season.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Maybe it IS the end of the world...

Some of you may remember that the Rapture is five months late, and the guy who said it was coming this past May 21st, Harold Camping, recanted and said that the really REAL Rapture was coming today, October 21st.

And maybe he wasn't so off-base, because it's gotta be a sign of the end times when I start thinking, "Hey, maybe being a SAHM wouldn't be so terrible."

Okay, obviously I need to back up.  Here's the TL;DR version of it:  I took a sick day with my son when he really wasn't that sick.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Son's First Trophy

Well, my son's first pageant was this past Saturday and, all-told, I think he did very well.  I can't say the same for myself.

For starters, I got way too stressed out for no real reason.  Part of the curse of being a perfectionist, I suppose.  I got so obsessed with wanting everything to go perfectly for him that I probably made it worse on him, and for that, I'm sorry.

The first thing I did wrong was to get there too early.  I got there about 20 minutes before registration was supposed to start, which doesn't sound too early, until you factor in that I then had to keep a 2-year-old occupied for 20 minutes in a hotel lobby.  We rode the elevators a lot.

I also tried to make a little small talk with the other moms, not just to size up the competition (though I was doing that, too), but just to be friendly and kill some time.  There was only one other boy in my son's age division (18-35 months) but, though he was a couple of months older than my son, this was his fourth pageant.  The parents also had a daughter in the 3-5 year-old division, a stunning little girl in a dress that probably cost more than the one I got married in.  Intimidating.

When registration opened (a few minutes late, but who's counting?), we were one of the first in line, so my son was contestant #2.  Big mistake.  You go in order of your contestant number.  So instead of getting to see the other kids show us what to do (since we were clueless) we were the second ones to cross the stage.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pageants don't have to be stupid.

First off, let me apologize for the sporadic posting schedule lately.  I have a couple of big posts on the backburner that I'm saving for when I have the time and (emotional) energy to write about them.

That being said, I just wanted to do a little blurb today thanking and endorsing the All American Girl & Boy Pageant.  Their local team has been so friendly and supportive in helping me prepare my son for his first pageant this Saturday, and I really believe they are a good group of folks.

Even though they stress that they are a "natural" (not "glitz") pageant, I was really worried about what I would be up against this weekend.  A look at their website reassured me.  The pictures were of adorable children in age-appropriate clothes, little or no make-up, genuine gap-toothed smiles to the camera.

The mission statement was just as good:  "Our pageant believes that children should look like children. All clothing should be age appropriate. We do not believe in artificial tanning, fake hair and excessive makeup! We believe that pageants should be fun and inexpensive! We like our contestants to look natural and to be themselves."

A world of difference from nightmares like you see on "Toddlers & Tiaras".

I'm getting really excited for Saturday, and I'm hoping the experience lives up to my expectations.  But, sink or swim, celebration or disaster, rest assured that I'll be updating you about it next week.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Little Mr. Sunshine

There are a few things people should know about me, not the least of which is my tendency to seize and obsess upon an idea.  I'm intensely focused, to a flaw, but it's a trait that I can recognize in myself.  When I found out I was pregnant, I knew it would mean I would someday be a "----- mom", whether that be "hockey mom", "band mom", "Science Olympiad mom", etc.  Whatever my child was interested in, I would be invested, 100%.

Of course, even before I found out for sure I was having a boy, I never thought there would be even the remotest possibility anyone could call me a "pageant mom".

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Poverty is not a character flaw.

Special thanks to my awesome Core Group ladies for inspiration for today's post.

Most people in the church world, and even those outside it, have heard of Joel Osteen.  He has multiple megachurches and has become a millionaire through books, speaking engagements, etc.

If you listen to one of his sermons, or read one of his books, it becomes apparent why he has such a huge following.  He is a prosperity, or "health and wealth" preacher, meaning he tells people what they want to hear.  Mainly, that, "God wants YOU to be RICH."

That's a pretty nice thought, right?  He even provides seminars on how you can "unleash your inner champion" and do all these different things to let God rain out his blessings upon you.

Needless to say, I think this sort of Santa-Jesus teaching is a bunch of crap.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday Night Solo

If I'm honest, I can admit that I pretty much hit the jackpot when it comes to husbands.  My hubby can repair anything like he's MacGyver, but has the domestic skills of Martha Stewart.  He's also, easily, the most hands-on Dad I know, with full capability and willingness to feed, change diapers, give baths, tuck into bed, etc.  This has proven itself in the amazing bond he shares with our son.

Which is why my husband going back to school at night has caused a period of adjustment for our family.  Every Monday, he rushes home to take a shower and eat an early dinner with us (usually around 5:00) before he has to hit the highway and attend class from 6:00 to 10:00.  This means he sees my son before work in the morning, for a very brief period thereafter, and the baby has long been in bed by the time he gets home.

So Mondays are hard.