Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treating was COLD. Let me just say that I really missed home tonight. ToT'ing involved coats, hats and gloves. It took just about 2 hours and the kids were mad at me for bringing the insanity to an end. My fingers are still numb. It was probably in the mid 40's and windy. Remember we live right by a river, so the chill was just awful! Brrrr....

Kira and Evan didn't want to hide their costumes under a coat. It lasted for about 5 minutes. Then it turned into mittens, and hats and frozen noses.

So, without further ado. The obligatory pics! Enjoy!

We started off with everyone in the neighborhood, but the big kids wound up ditching us eventually. ;)

The loot!

This dog was too cute! Her person said "she doesn't know this isn't dignified." ;)

Dumpster Diving!

Yesterday when I went to get Kira from ballet I saw a little something by the big dumpster behind the building. I made her hurry really fast so no one else would take my treasure!

When we got to it I said "What do you think? Should we put that in the van and take it home?" My little darling said "YES! Let's! I'll stand here and wait while you get the van so no one else takes it!" (A girl after my own heart!) She even had to stand in the rain!

After a little bit of spray paint to cover some yellowing and chipping, she looks lovely in her new home, holding baby doll and American Girl doll clothes! Much improved over the overflowing basket on the closet floor!

Yay for free stuff. (And for grandparents and parents who taught me to never be ashamed to make someone's trash my treasure!)

Two of my favorite boys.

This is where Tipper spends most of his nights now. He loves the big down blanket Evan uses now.

Look at these little cuties I found at Target yesterday!

Urban cowboy:


A halloween party!

Shala threw a huge Halloween party for her daughter Fiona last weekend. She had a houseful of 10 yo girls, a very wonderful and helpful 15 yo, Kira and Ava who are 7 and Evan. Whew. It was so loud! Let me just say that first. Nothing quite like it.

I went out early with the kids to help out and did bunches of decorating, it was SO fun! Shala had great ideas and lots of stuff so it was really simple to put it all together.

One of the best ideas was the costume table, and the girls got to dress up then every 15 min. they would switch, it was great fun! In between they would dance and dance.

The kids had a "Evil laugh" contest and then did a "Trick" show, Kira impressed with her handwalking abilities, and this girl *Jenna was so flexible!

Evan was his usual flirty little self. He had all the girls fawning over him and telling him how cute he was all night!
They thought he was just hilarious when he did this:

Random stuff:

Some super cute kids:

Some more fall photos to share.

Our yard is covered in leaves, they are so deep! It's been raining for a week though, so they are just soggy, heavy and no fun to walk through or jump in! Every time we look outside it looks like it is snowing leaves! Very fun!

NINE DAYS!!! Where on earth have I been?

Well I have actually been busy! Believe it or not, but I didn't forget to take pictures while I've been on my blogging hiatus!

I'll post several different posts to keep things simple. So I'll start with the kindergarten field trip!

We went to Apple Holler in Wisconsin, and I lucked out that the bus was super crowded and so I rode in a van with another mom! Yay for cars! Evan was sort of bummed out, but he was already in the very last seat with two other boys, and his disappointment consisted of a semi-sad face followed by laughter when the other boy poked him in the side. He promptly forgot I was even there. I got off and skipped merrily off to the van. (Yes, I am pretty sure I skipped. It's the little things in life when you are a stay at home mom you know?)

This is my group. That little girl *Emma? I want to bring her home. Kira needs a sister and I just thought she was the sweetest little girl! She really reminds me of Miss Margo, sweet, friendly, and a little bit flighty. We kept losing her, because she saw a lady bug, or a friend, or a rabbit hopping in the orchard. ;) She was in her own little world.

We saw a Johnny Appleseed show, that was pretty boring, but I'm not 5, they seemed to mostly enjoy themselves, then they got a cookie on the way out. I didn't mind that part.

We went on a hayride and the kids got to pick one apple and one pumpkin. Most of them ate the apple before we got back, Evan was thrilled when I told him not to worry about washing it, to just wipe it on his pants. :) I'm such a cool mom!

Then we had a picnic lunch and free time. We went in a maze, and saw some pigs, climbed on hay bales and we mom's were really happy when that 40 min. was over. We were just exhausted by the end of it all!

The funniest thing I found here was the goat bridge. They had pens on either end and the goats just went up and over the people. I was wildly entertained by this. I know. It doesn't take much.


Just needed to write this down, it's not for anyone but me really, though anyone is free to read it if they want too. ;)

I am really struggling with the 160-161 mark. I managed to lose the nearly 8lbs I gained since I moved to Chicago, it took about 3 weeks and some walking and it went well. Of course I'm in week 4 right now, which is notoriously bad for me anyway. But I also haven't done well in the exercise department this week and I'm not anticipating a loss. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but those of you who know me really well, know that I have been stuck at 160 for a YEAR now. So not only do those first few pounds not feel like an accomplishment at this point, it feels scary to be facing this number again that I just can't seem to beat. I feel really nervous and stressed out about it. Now before you tell me, "it's just a number on the scale" I will tell you to save it, because it isn't. And if you have ever struggled with your weight, you know that simply isn't true.

It is a number that for me, has represented a year of failure. A year of not moving, of being stuck and I dread facing that same sticking point.

I *know* my body isn't made to be 160lbs. It simply is not. And I am uncomfortable in this "skin" and I want to change it.

My three options as I see it are :Gain weight again, until it reaches some level I can't bear. Have some faith, stick to the program and eventually overcome that number. Give up and weigh 160.

I'm going for door number 2.

And I'm hoping that soon I will be telling you that I beat that number finally. Even if it isn't this week. I will do it soon.

Getting in the Halloween spirit for cheap!

The kids want spooky. They want scary, they want decorations. So do I. What I don't want is to spend money on stuff that I can't bring back to Tucson. I don't want more than what we came with and we already have more than what we came with.

So in an effort to please the kids and my pocket book and my clutter free self, we compromised and had a "do it yourself" decoration day.

It cost $4 for the "spider web", the paint for the windows was left over from the egg carton spiders, the bouncy string for the spiders was $2 and the Martha Stewart mice were almost $6, but I have wanted those for 2 years and finally didn't have carpeted stairs so I gave in and bought them!

Evan and I also swung by the $ store and picked up our skeleton friend, and the jar of skulls. (Believe it or not Evan thought up the Skull thing. He wanted to put them in a dish but I suggested the jar and he loved that so we did that for $4) That skeleton for reference is 5' tall, just like me! Pretty cool for a buck!

I spent a better part of an afternoon cutting out bats from leftover cardstock. I just printed out the silhouette from Martha Stewarts website and traced it in two sizes. We stuck them inside both lampshades in the living room for a fun effect! The cost of being cheap is your hands hurt from holding scissors so dang long. ;)

Kira contributed the cute ghost and Nathan brought us the cool pumpkin, and we had a wonderful afternoon of decorating!