Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Halloween, 80s style October 31, 2011

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 10:40 pm

This was our second year to all dress up in one theme for Halloween. Office party (G and I of course at the same office now) and friends’ costume party on Friday night, and trick or treating on Monday. Whole families are fairly common at the downtown Bothell trick or treating event, although not very populous at work. Sadly, Friday is one of my non work days, so I wasn’t in for the employee costume contest, else surely I would have gotten that damn $50 Amazon gift card. Sadly, G did not win either, despite the fact that only about 5 people dressed up. Anyway.

C has been talking about her costume since last year and we all put a little effort into it. Assembled with thrift store goodies found with her dad, hair paint, hair paste, and a very retro top found at Target last week I present…the girl who just wanted to have fun:



Here is my favorite shot though…


(Um, Cyndi Lauper of course.)

Little M’s costume was a little harder to guess (OK, no one guessed) but fit in with our theme quite well…she was so fine, she blew my mind:


Toni Basil, mostly known for singing “Mickey”.

Let’s say we’ve watched that video a lot.

My costume was somewhat questionable for work, but as it turned out several people didn’t recognize me (hopefully says something about my costume and not my impact at the office). Multiple neighbors did not recognize me either. G rather likes the makeup though.


Who’s that girl?


OK, side by side they aren’t that close. Also, at the costume party several people thought I was Courtney Love. Sigh. I think we were three great looking 80s ladies though!


And what about G? Well, every lady’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man…


ZZ Top (with restyled “cave man” beard).

Now…to start planning for 2012…


Halloween, the not costume parts

Filed under: Family — bonniep @ 10:32 pm

G is getting over an illness, and I am still in the throes of one. With me working many afternoons and busy weekends, the pumpkin patch seemed like it wasn’t in the cards this year. I tried to fake it on Saturday with M at the fruit market. She has a very funny smile lately…


M! Look up at me and smile!


We achieved somewhat more natural looks if I got her to tell me a knock knock joke. The only one she regularly gets right is “knock knock. who’s there? ketchup. ketchup who? ketchup to me and I’ll tell you!”


The other day though, she gave the punch line as “Ketchup to me and I will love you forever and ever!” I think we’ll keep her around a while longer.

Then on Sunday, despite some rainy weather, I squeezed in a pumpkin patch visit in the 1/2 hour we had between engagements…


Pumpkins were a bit sparse and rotting. But mostly we needed gourds anyway. I got some new pie pumpkins to try, “winter luxury pie” instead of the standard “sugar pie”.


Why the pumpkin frenzy? We had two carving parties, on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Now the Saturday one had prizes and again this year we did not win. The competition is quite high. C just cut a moon in hers, but here are G’s and mine:


Sunday there was no competition, but that doesn’t stop us.


(You can see that we each have a specific pumpkin oeuvre in which we work…G prefers to need screws and a drill, I make liberal use of the linoleum block cutter.)

I was really blown away by C, who sat patiently with the little saw cutter for about an hour, drew her own design, and came up with cutaway curtains, swinging doors, spider rings, and a flag on hers…


And that was that.


Eight is Great October 25, 2011

Filed under: Kids — bonniep @ 9:49 pm

C turned 8 this past weekend, and it involved a boatload of presents, dizzying amount of sugar, and a lot of helium.


First up, the grandparents arrived to help with all the festivities. Friday morning found me at the local doughnut shop at 8 am buying 2 dozen doughnuts to bring to school. Friday afternoon found us with the six leftover doughnuts (I thought they would distribute extras to the office staff!) Friday evening we had the neighborhood kids over for cupcakes and a pinata. I found a sweet pinata online that held about 8 lbs. worth of candy and toys…


A big old number 8! In counting how many doughnuts to order, I added up all the kids coming, all the kids who might come, all their parents who might accompany them, and then a few extra for padding…which meant that I ordered 30 cupcakes. Um, yeah. Even after sending people home with as many extras as I could, our baked goods stash was steadily growing!

Saturday was the birthday proper and the day of her “real” party as well—girl friends only, mostly from school. The party had a fairy theme and included huge helium balloons I found online (argh! No photos of those—will try to remedy before they lose all the helium!), a hanging fairy constructed by C and Grandpa, huge tissue paper balls, and an amazing cake made by a friend who is a semi-professional baker.



We kicked things off with a puppeteer who did a marionette performance of Cinderella.


(For the show of course she was hidden, this is afterwards when she came out to answer the kids questions.) All the girls, M included, seemed enraptured during the show and didn’t even fidget much during scenery changes. Afterwards, a puppet came out to sing to C and give her a big hug.

Scene change to the kitchen for strawberries, cider, pizza, and then the piece de resistance, that cake. Someone (ahem) forgot to buy candles, so she just blew out one but there wasn’t too much fussing about that!


C, of course, is wearing her own interpretation of fairy. M was in on that act as well.


After that, there was about 10 minutes of girls running around and screaming until we settled down to open presents. Let’s just say, we will be writing a lot of thank you notes this week!

Once the kids all left (6:30ish) C did her first round of family present opening. She finished on Sunday afternoon (we all went to an amazing production of Harold and the Purple Crayon in the morning), including a tiny violin for her American Girl dolls. M quite liked this gift.


Have I mentioned that C started violin classes about a month ago? It was her decision and she has been pretty good about practicing every day. M is burning with jealousy I think.

So…this one is eight now. Reads whole chapter books in one sitting, makes craft after craft, and gets glowing reports from school about everything except workspace tidiness [sorry kid, that one might be genetic!] Despite some recent attitude (can rolling eyes freeze that way??) she is a pretty wonderful girl and we are thrilled daily to have her in our life.


Now…to finish our family themed costumes for Halloween and attend the two pumpkin carving parties, two costume parties, and trick or treating. Can you say “looking forward to November”?? But hopefully I will get some good pictures to share!