From the monthly archives:

October 2009

Haunted House Tour

by Mary Anne on October 30, 2009

I’ve been accused of having a serious problem with Halloween. You decide.

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This is my dining room table once we unearthed all the decorations. As you can see, I even decorated my daughter for the decorating. Redundant? Yes, but you didn’t come here for perfect grammar did you? Also, the blurry thing on the side is the cat making a break for it before I tried to decorate her too.

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This is Zed the Zombie that will great you at our front door. “Zed’s dead, baby…” 10 pts if you can guess what line that movie is from.

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This would be my chandelier covered in tiny ghouls…here take a closer look….

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Do you want to know how long it took to get those creepy little guys up there? No. You really don’t.

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I love that this bony lady appears to be flipping us off…she has such a bad attitude, she fits right in around here.

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That’s the banquet in our dining room. Has anyone seen The Man lately?

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Oh, that’s right, I forgot about that “little fight” we had…

We also have a party for our friends every year at Halloween. Throughout the house, you will find pictures of famous people who “went to the other side” since the last Halloween.

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Before you think the entire house is totally creepy, it’s not. It is decked out as well but mostly with cute stuff like this:

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and this…
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and these guys….

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To be honest, I think that one little pumpkin is just shocked at the staggering amount of alcohol behind him.

After seeing all this, do you think I have a problem?

Okay, maybe I do.

Hope you have a spooktacular Halloween!

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Yeah, yeah…Cowboys and Gunslingers…I’ll get to part two. Yesterday I got a little surprise.

Not a bad one, and not one that was unexpected…just…just…I wasn’t quite ready for this one.

Granted, I’ve had the unmitigated pleasure of having not had to face this line of questioning for far longer than I thought I would. We had a few near misses with this delicate issue, I’ve danced around it as best I could. But finally the statement I didn’t want to hear…

“Mom, there is no Santa Claus.”

OH. MY. GOD.

I was so not prepared for this though I should have been. Mr. C is ten years old, how we avoided this topic for so long astounds me. But there it was, and I had to deal with it. His very best friend shared this information with him yesterday. He had heard it before, but never from such a trusted source.

I remember when I started to question. I was about his age, maybe a little younger. My Santa wrapped the gifts, because in the 70′s, he had time to do that. (Why did he have more time then? Because he wasn’t on facebook or twitter all day, that’s why.) But one day, I was looking for a misplaced toy or something in my parents bedroom and I looked under the bed…only to discover the wrapping paper that Santa had used the year before, because obviously he wouldn’t have the same paper in the North Pole as the rest of the gifts under the tree in Texas, right?

Right.

So I walked out into the den with the wrapping paper in hand, lip quivering, thinking I had been lied to all these years about a jolly fat man sliding down the chimney and you know what my Mother said?

Nothing. Nothing at all. She refused to admit or deny the fact that he existed. She just sort of blinked a few times then wandered off, lit a cigarette, and poured herself a stiff drink. (Hey, it was the 70′s…) Finally after pressing her for weeks like a tiny Perry Mason and brandishing the suspect wrapping paper in her face, she came up with this gem: “To receive, you must believe.” And trust me when I tell you the look on her face let me know we were not to speak of this particular incident again.

So when my oldest child came to me yesterday and said that his best friend had told him that there was no Santa, and that in fact it was Mom and Dad who put the presents under the tree, I immediately morphed into my Mom (sans alcohol because sadly it’s not the 70′s anymore, and also, it was only 3:30) and said,

“To receive, you must believe…”

Sure, he has doubt in his mind much like I did so many years ago standing there with nothing but a roll of wrapping paper as evidence. I guess I want him to believe in the spirit of Santa still more than anything. I want him to understand that at times people will give you gifts for no other reason at all than you are a good and loving person and even sometimes when you don’t deserve them at all. These gifts can come in a varying array of fashions…compliments, hugs, friendships out of the blue or just a simple pat on the back. I’m not ready for him to let go of that thought. And I hope he never does. I never did.

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Of course, the good stuff on Christmas morning doesn’t exactly suck either.

You say there is no Santa?

I say I don’t believe you.

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Cowboys and Gunslingers Part One

by Mary Anne on October 26, 2009

This weekend had a few extremes for us. Big extremes.

Saturday, we went to Six Flags, the weather was perfect, you couldn’t ask for a better day.

Mr. C is a fan of every type of roller coaster ever made, the scarier the better. Being on the smaller side, up until this year, has totally sucked for him because he couldn’t ride the truly frightening rides until just this weekend. The fact that he fully expects me to participate in this is just icing on the cake.

But then there is Miss G who truly believes her life will end on one of these crazy things her brother loves to ride. Even the “baby roller coasters” can prove to be a little bit too much for her which would not be an issue except The Man and I are truly sick and tired of the tea cup rides we are forced to endure with her. Let’s not even speak of the side eye Mr. C gives us if we ask him to ride the little kid rides with her because we just cannot handle one more ride that involves ponies, hot air balloons or flying elephants that day. Because he? Is way too cool to do that and save us.

We had a breakthrough though this weekend when we walked through the gates and she immediately proclaimed her desire to try the Bob Sled ride. Sure, it’s not a full on roller coaster but it’s sorta scary and we almost chest bumped with pride. Still not sure she would like it, and unsure how much damage she would do as she started to flail about screaming, though thankful she was somewhat restrained, we boarded the ride. And she? Neither flailed nor screamed. In fact, she loved it.

So it was with great surprise that she totally, and I do mean totally, lost her ever loving mind on a ride that toddlers beg to be taken on. Let me explain. This ride involves a small log boat, gently flowing water and such terrifying characters as Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd and God help us, the ever frightening Speedy Gonzales.

We waited in line for about :30 minutes for the ride thinking it would be great to just have one ride that didn’t involve premature gray hair as we flew through the air at speeds I don’t want to think about. This ride also involves a cave and there are a ton of teenagers that go on this ride just to kiss make out under the cover of darkness. Since The Man and I are still the emotional equivalent of 14 year olds, we let the kids sit in the front of our little log boat so we could sneak an adolescent kiss in the back.

Bad call.

Thirty seconds upon entering “the cave”, and one quick smooch later, we realized that our Miss G was cowering in fear, bowed down, her head buried in her little hands. We both asked her what was wrong, but she wouldn’t speak, just kept shaking her head and melting into her brother.

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I’m not kidding when I tell you that approximately 1 minute after this picture was taken she had molded herself to her big brothers side, who because he has my sense of humor, could not resist taking a few cheap shots.

OMG…it’s Bugs Bunny! Nooooooo!!!!
Holy Crap! It’s a fat, balding cartoon character with speech impediment…WATCH OUT FOR ELMER FUDD!!!
OH DEAR GOD!!!!! It’s Daffy Duck!!!!! GAH!!!

I have to admit, I completely and totally lost it when she refused to look at Speedy Gonzales, because while she is not afraid of mice and finds them to be quite adorable, when they don a yellow sombrero, somehow they become THE DEVIL.

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The ride finally ended and she declared to us that she did not, in fact enjoy that one little bit, and we went on to ride other, less terrifying rides…most of which she was thankfully to short to attempt.

Here’s the thing though, we overstayed our welcome. After dark, and I didn’t know this, Six Flags turns into “Gangsta Paradise”. When I was growing up, it was a great treat to ride the rides after dark, what with all the blinky lights and all. It would be the understatement of the century to tell you that things have changed since 1975….and by that, I mean DUH.

We headed to the gate about 8:30 pm after noticing a growing trend in the amount of kids that looked like they just got sprung from Juvie (not kidding, wish I was, broke my heart…also, where ARE their parents?). We were almost out the door when I spotted this and had to run back to take a picture:

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It’s a mini paddy wagon! On wheels! BRILLIANT! I want one for my house and possibly for some of the play dates we have been on because I think it might come in handy in breaking up battles over Pokemon and Bratz. Imagine it, you could drag your errant kids home in this and your friends would applaud you as you parade them through the streets. I think I’m onto something here.

Anypaddywaggon, I headed back to where I left my family, but they weren’t there. They had moved about 20 feet off due to a police raid on some gang related activity. At Six Flags. NICE. Apparently what happened is that a wall of police descended (The Man says something like 20 at once) and herded up a bunch of these kids and scooted them out.

Which the story would end there, but, BUT we headed to the parking lot where the drama was still going on. As best I can tell, there was some type of fight and they tried to break the warring factions up. They had fully separated the two groups and three boys were headed out of the front gate and the others were supposedly contained in the parking lot.

Except.

The group that was still in the parking lot decided it wasn’t really over and we watched as a very small, yet angry looking, state trooper turned on his heels, ran towards the group that was trying to start the fight all over again, and grabbed a teenager much larger than himself, twisted his arm, turned him around and patted him down while his friends looked on talking smack to the cop. I don’t think I need to tell you my kids were glued to the window in fascination. Lots of questions, and me explaining loudly that this is what happens to very bad teenagers, at which point I realized the window was open. Because that? Is how I roll.

Um, yeah.

So if I get killed soon, blame the gangstas, because based on the looks I got, they might not be my biggest fans. But…at least I managed to frighten my children so everyone wins.

PS: Confused about the Cowboys part of this title? Come back next time where I’ll share with you our major rock star experience at the all new Cowboy Stadium….trust me when I tell you, you want to see my pictures and my celeb sighting of one of my favorite TV stars from the 90′s!

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Wrong On So Many Levels

by Mary Anne on October 23, 2009

I’m going to add this to my ever growing list of “things I won’t be buying”. Please don’t tell my husband though, because if he sees this I know what I’ll find stuffed in my stocking this Christmas. Pun intended.

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Mother Of The Year

by Mary Anne on October 21, 2009

Great news everyone! I think I managed to cinch the title of Mother of the Year on Monday! I know we were all in competition for this one so I thought it was only fair that I let you know the competition is pretty much over and you can stop trying.

Since it’s over for this year, I thought I’d share with you a few simple steps in which you too can gain the upper hand in battle for this most auspicious honor.

STEP ONE: CREATE GENDER CONFUSION

Go out and buy your 5th grade son a new pair of Chucks. Send him to school in said Chucks thinking what a cool Mom you really are. Allow your jaw to drop in horror when said 5th grade son comes home from school, promptly walks into your office, throws these spiffy new shoes on the floor and informs you that the Chucks with the stars are for girls.

STEP TWO: DON’T LET UP ON THE FAIL PEDAL

Since you have mortified said 5th grade son by sending him to school in girls shoes, be sure to keep a healthy dose of fail going by missing being there for an important moment. Die a million small deaths when this same son comes home from his Boy Scout meeting and tells you that tonight was the night they handed out badges and all the other parents were there to pose for pictures with their kids. Remind yourself this is his first year at Scouting and you still don’t know what the hell is going on just yet. Then have same son tell you it’s okay, he understands you have no idea what you are doing and he loves you anyway. Resume dying a million deaths.

STEP THREE: CREATE LASTING DAMAGE

This is the most challenging step. Having mortified and alienated your 5th grade son, you should now turn your attention to your 2nd grade daughter, because you want to make sure they are treated equally. After absorbing horrific events inflicted upon your son, you should definitely allow yourself to have a glass or two of wine. As both your children are preparing for bed, you should peer at your daughters face and proclaim her bangs entirely too long. Since she is in 2nd grade and becoming very well aware of her looks, what you should do is this, decide to give her a “little trim”. Do not wet bangs, do not cut in straight line (because you can’t under the best circumstances and the only reason you think you can right now is that little bit of wine you allowed yourself to have) and above all, make sure they are good and short so you don’t have to do this again anytime soon.

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Note: New bangs are showcased by scalping remaining hair back in pony tail, lest anyone think I did something REALLY CRAZY to her hair.

STEP FOUR: HIGHLIGHT YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Upon awakening, feign innocence when your daughter says to you, “Mom, these are way too short.” Try to look nonchalant when she adds, “Also, they are crooked.” Quickly master the fine art of lying when she reminds you that she has a big cheer competition in two weeks and in a backhanded way say, “Pfft. It’ll grow out by then…”. Put daughters hair in ponytail to highlight your work. Think to yourself proudly that while this same daughter managed to butcher her bangs exactly one year ago, you have done a far superior job. Smile smugly as you send her off to school watching her pull on her bangs in attempt to “grow them out faster” knowing that it will now be impossible to beat you in this competition because you are just that awesome.

I have to run now, I have my speech to prepare but I do wish you well in your attempts to win Mother of the Year next year….follow my lead and you are a shoe in!

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