Where The Pumpkins Are

October 23, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday | 18 Comments
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Which one should we choose?

Wearing sandals in October.

Weighty pumpkins.

Wheeeeee!

Wonderstruck.

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” — George Eliot

Are you wedded to autumn like Eliot (and me) or to another season? Have you made your annual pumpkin-patch pilgrimage yet? Are your Halloween costumes ready to go??

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W is for wheeeeee! and wonderstruck and wedded to autumn. See more W’s at Jenny’s.

Jenny Matlock

Patch Work

October 30, 2012 at 12:12 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday | 15 Comments
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“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” — William Blake

We visited the neighborhood nursery earlier this week. It was 80-something degrees and so humid I could practically hear monkeys in our urban rainforest. Or maybe it was just my kiddos. They hopped and raced and hollered through the carving pumpkins, the pie pumpkins, the miniature pumpkins, the corn-cob bin, the mums, the petunias, and the rock samples. I hurried after them, clutching my camera strap and trying not to sweat on my lenses. After exactly 27 minutes, I was exhausted. I loaded up the van with my rosy-cheeked lovelies and our carefully chosen fruit — did you know pumpkins were berries? — and counted my blessings. Including air-conditioning.

What blessings are you counting this autumn? Have you made the annual pumpkin-patch pilgrimage yet? And are you still running the AC??

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See more fruits and vegetables at Beth’s.

Monster Mash-Up

October 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Posted in Bun, Haiku Friday | 4 Comments
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Haiku Friday: Monster Mash-Up

 

He’s my furry red
Monster, with a sausage fist
Clutching his “punkeen.”

It’s “How-ween” and he’s
Over the moon yet slightly
Confused. Free candy??

Two and oh-so-sly,
He barters hugs for sticks of
Pink Laffy Taffy.

He greets werewolves and
Witches with mild concern, then
Moves in for the treat.

Too many Tootsie
Rolls? And that Elmo suit sprouts
Horns and a forked tail.

What are your favorite little monsters going to be for How-ween? Will they be saving or trading the Tootsie Rolls? And what will you be sneaking from their pails after bedtime? 

Say Cheese

October 24, 2012 at 7:02 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday, The Pups | 11 Comments
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“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” ― Charlie Chaplin

These pictures have only one thing in common: they all make me smile. They make my heart feel like a big gooey marshmallow sandwiched  between king-size pieces of Hershey bar. And after Monday’s reflections, they are just the simple sweetness I needed.

What is making you smile this week? Have you carved your pumpkin yet? And s’mores: yea or nay?

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See more smiles at Beth’s.

Chilly Chili Bang Bang

October 17, 2012 at 12:02 am | Posted in Bun, Photo Tuesday | 16 Comments
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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” ― Henry David Thoreau

It’s going to be 90 degrees tomorrow. The only way I know it’s fall is by the sheer number of acorns that tumble out of little pockets during my washing machine’s spin cycle. The sweaters and scarves are waiting, waiting, waiting in blue plastic bins on my bedroom floor. The AC chugs along every day, ready for its annual hiatus.

But there are pumpkins. And candy-laden grocery store aisles. And squirrels feasting under the oaks that stretch their thick, gnarled muscles over my driveway. And, so, we hope. For chili ingredients ready to be crock-potted. For hot showers and hot cocoa. For fuzzy socks. For fall, in all its smoky, crunchy, orange glory.

How do you know it’s fall where you are? What color are your favorite pair of fuzzy socks? And what kind of Halloween candy will you be buying? Trading? Eating??

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See more fall at Beth’s.

Photo Tuesday

November 1, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Posted in Bun, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 20 Comments
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“Backward, turn backward,
O Time, in your flight
make me a child again
just for to-night!”
— Elizabeth Akers Allen

There is no Halloween in Romania. So we created our own festivities. We magicked Halloween costumes with a little help from Michael’s, Etsy, my mother, and the U.S. Postal Service. We went to two parties (one with a group of international families, the other at the home of a fellow expat). We danced to “Thriller” and smacked a piñata. And we most assuredly felt the requisite rush (and crash) that only a sack full of sugar can induce. But the best part? Sharing our American tradition with our new Romanian friends. The kids colored jack-o-lantern cards and I baked loaves of pumpkin-chocolate-chip bread, which we wrapped in good old American Ziplocs and delivered to our neighbors, our nanny, my physical therapist, and my husband’s work colleagues. No tricks, only treats … and fists full of air-mailed candy corn.

Do you celebrate Halloween where you are? What’s your favorite costume of all time? And how many pieces of candy did you sneak from your children’s bags after they fell asleep??

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Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

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See more Halloween tricks and treats at Beth’s on Thursday.

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The Witching Hour

October 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Bun, Transylvania | 14 Comments
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There’s a brief, brief period each day when I’m alone with Bun. After the nanny leaves for her evening college class. Before my husband gets home with Giggles and Lollipop.

It’s never more than an hour. But let me tell you, it’s the longest hour ever.

It usually goes like this: Bun runs from one end of the apartment to the other. He makes mischief. I hop along behind him on my crutches,  knowing I can’t possibly prevent his shenanigans and attempting merely to keep him from doing bodily harm. To himself. And to me, what with all the blocks, trains, and breath mints he tosses in his wake.

I sweat and pant. He cackles. We do it all again.

Last week’s tomfoolery included the following:

1. Dumping cinnamon Listerine all over the bathroom floor.
2. Emptying the potato bin and distributing the spuds around the apartment.
3. Running down the hall wielding a pizza slicer.
4. Lobbing handfuls of dog food in the foyer.
5. Digging petrified Cheerios out from under the couch. And eating them.
6. Rearranging the icons on my task bar.
7. Stealing my crutch and leaving me stranded at the kitchen sink.
8. Poking the dog in the eye.
9. Dismantling my nesting measuring cups.
10. Removing his brother’s socks from their drawer. Then removing the drawer from its hinges.
11. Rearranging the dining room chairs.
12. Poking the dog in the other eye.
13. Putting two green Legos in the freezer.

Tell me there’s been a full moon. There was, right? Last week was for tricks; this week is for treats? Right??

Do your kids have a witching hour? Does the phase of the moon affect them? Care to share some of their shenanigans?

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Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

Photo Tuesday

November 2, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop | 16 Comments
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“Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands — and then eat just one of the pieces.” — Judith Viorst

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How are you coping with your child’s Halloween candy hangover? And your own? Did you, too, hear Christmas music in the grocery store today?

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Haiku Friday

October 29, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Posted in Bun, Family, Giggles, Lollipop | 17 Comments
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Haiku Friday: My Trick-or-Treat Manifesto

Just say no to the
“value” bag. Give out chocolate
Or turn off your light.

You can keep these, too:
Tootsie Rolls, Starbursts, Milk Duds,
And licorice. Blech!

Be generous with
The little kids. Be stingy
with everyone else.

Count the number of
Snow Whites you see. Get to 10,
Have candy. Or beer.

Ration the kids’ stock.
Then help yourself at bedtime.
I won’t tell. Promise.

Happy Halloween!

What are your trick-or-treating rules? What are your kids going to be? And ’fess up, did you buy the “value bag” or the good stuff??

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Haiku Friday

My Haunted House

October 25, 2010 at 10:00 am | Posted in Family, Lollipop | 18 Comments
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October.

Leaves. Acorns. Scarves. Fall.

Pumpkins. Scarecrows. Hayrides. Halloween.

This time of year is one of my favorites. But since I’ve become a mother, it’s also bittersweet — and no amount of candy corn can sugar-coat the melancholy.

Five Halloweens ago, I was a first-time mother with a two-week-old.

Koala Baby: Lollipop's First Halloween

I was shell-shocked. Physically broken. In a sleep-deprived haze I felt sure was permanent.  Worried about a slightly underweight newborn who preferred sleep to milk. Feeling guilty and ashamed that I didn’t know what she wanted, what she needed.

She cried. I cried. She slept. I slept. She woke in the middle of the night. I begged her not to. We were together constantly. All day and night, we sized each other up, trying to figure out how we were going to coexist.

What I remember most from those first foggy weeks is how I felt: unsure, unprepared, scared. I was used to picking up new things quickly. I considered myself smart, confident, industrious. But that person disappeared along with the daily showers I was used to getting. I despaired that I would never learn to be a good mother.

I subsisted on Halloween candy. During the exhausting and incessant cycle of nursing, supplementing, burping, pumping, rocking, tiptoeing, and repeating, I would snag a Snicker’s square or a Kit-Kat stick. Or both. The sweet chocolate was a soothing balm for my shaken soul. When I was sure of nothing else, I could count on Hershey’s.

Eventually, of course, I emerged from the fog, as most of us do. I learned. I made mistakes. I found a new and powerful strength within myself. I discovered that deepest of loves, the one everyone tells you you’re supposed to feel when you become a mother.

It took time. It took chocolate. It took patience — my own, my family’s, my Lollipop’s.

This Halloween, I will lead her from house to house. I will help her unwrap Tootsie Rolls and Sweet Tarts. I will exclaim over all the pirates and princesses we pass.

And I’ll notice the jack-o-lanterns, as I always do, with that strange and lingering mix of resilience and sadness. In the bright flickers of light burning inside them, in the dancing shadows they cast, I’ll see myself.

How have holidays become more poignant for you since becoming a parent? What stands out most from your first weeks as a mother or father? And what was your child’s first Halloween costume?

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