Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween: The Past 3 Years

The past 3 Halloweens have proven to me that my boys are growing up.  My homemade costumes and upgrades have taken a backseat to the store bought kind, because this Mom can't create a detailed Transformer from scratch.  We've had a repeat of a couple of costumes and created a few new ones. Regardless, we have still become the characters that we most love.

Yeee Haaa!  Can't you just hear Jessie the Yodelin' Cowgirl now?  Toy Story is a much loved movie in our home.  It inspired our costumes and brought the return of Buzz Lightyear in 2006.  I created M's costume, as well as my own, with the exception of the Woody hat & holster.  My husband, C, wore a light blue shirt with the name ANDY (just as you see it on Woody's boot) written in fabric paint across the front.  Being a part of the Toy Story gang for Halloween was a lot more fun than being at Sid's house!  Of course the dynamic duo fit our boys to a T.  Buzz & Woody, best buddies!

In 2007 M's love of cars was evident.  To be specific, he finds a white VW bug with red & blue stripes and a giant black number 53 surrounded by a big circle to be his favorite car.  That's what brought me to create a "race suit" and Herbie the Love Bug costume for my youngest son.  His brother only wanted to be a Transformer.  Actually, he preferred Bumblebee, but the only robot in disguise available was Optimus Prime.  Without a theme to tie these 2 characters together, I decided to split our family down the middle.  C became Sam Witwicky from Transformers when he wore the infamous "The Strokes" t-shirt from the movie.  My Herbie never had a more loving mechanic when I took on the role of M's pit crew with a race team style shirt, pants, & Herbie hoodie.

Last year, we carved a pumpkin for the first time and discovered Transformers Animated.  O was so excited to find that a very smart someone had created a costume of the fantastic Bumblebee.  You couldn't talk him out of becoming his favorite Transformer if you tried.  M however, decided it was his turn to take on the roll of Anakin.  Of course, we prefer the heroic version of Anakin Skywalker, when he had not yet gone to the dark side.  My husband officially hung up his lightsaber this year, but I jumped at the chance to become Padme again.  Changes had to be made to my previous costume, as I had been not quite 5 months post-baby belly when I last wore it.  I  even upgraded the arm bands and purchased a new pair of boots for the occasion.

This year, my boys have decided to recycle an old costume and purchase a new store bought one.  Can you guess what those 2 might be?  Well, they fit into the same theme and sport logos that basically say "I'm with the good guys."  Did you guess Transformers?  If so, you would be correct.  Someone in the world of Autobots & Decepticons finally got wise and created that strongly desired movie Bumblebee costume.  O will finally be able to transform into that spunky yellow Camaro that he loves so much.  M decided that it would be nice to be the big boss this year and is taking on the Optimus Prime costume that his brother wore 2 years ago.  One thing is for sure, my 2 boys are more than meets the eye.

With my boys becoming Transformers, I decided that I didn't want to join in on their theme.  Who really wants to be Sam's crazy mom, become the bad girl Decepticon, or see a short girl try to dress as Mikaela?  Not me, that's for sure.  Instead, I debated on what character I would like to become in 2009.  After discussing it with my boys, I determined it was time to embrace a huge part of who I am.  With help from my fabulously magical Mom, not too mention a whole lot of pixie dust, I am able to become....

That's right, I embraced my inner pixie and became Tinkerbell!  Whether I'm dressed in her new "Lost Treasure" fashions or wearing the typical Tink green "leaf" dress, I'm happy to report that I feel completely Tinkified!  I'll see you in Pixie Hollow!

Have a safe, healthy, & fun Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween With Kids: The First 3 Years

When my children were born, I couldn't wait to begin experiencing the "firsts" that come with babies.  I intended to make every holiday as special as I possibly could, including Halloween.  Having been trained in the art of crafts & sewing by my Mom, I planned to make or enhance purchased costumes for my kids.  My heart longed to dress a little girl as Supergirl or WonderWoman.  As I did not have any daughters, I assumed my boys wouldn't want to look back at photos of them in a skirt and instead went with costumes meant for boys that they would love as much as I do.  

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... it's... Super Baby!  Yes, what better costume could there be for a little boy's first Halloween, but Superman?  As I am a super hero enthusiast, this was definitely perfect for my son.  However, I didn't want him to be dressed up all alone.  What fun would that be?  I pulled out that high school Supergirl costume and convinced my husband to at least put on a Superman t-shirt, with a red shirt underneath to represent the cape.  The best part of course, was actually gracing the local Sears photo studio for photos!

Once this tradition was established, I simply couldn't break it.  Every year since O came into our lives, I have continued to dress up.  I can't say that my husband enjoys donning a costume, so I have allowed him to gracefully bow out of the experience after a few years of torture fun.  He hated didn't enjoy dressing up as a kid, so he really went all out for his own kids.  However, as much as he isn't into dressing up, he does enjoy seeing me get into the spirit of this holiday.  I enjoy it so much, that I continue to make sure our pumpkins are decorated according to our costume theme.

Over the years, we've become a range of characters.  When my son became obsessed with "Buzz Lightyee," after a trip to Disney World, we went to infinity & beyond as a family of space rangers. 

Then came baby number 2, M, and the love of all things Star Wars surfaced.  The force was with us as we ventured to some of my favorite Michigan sand dunes for photos.  By far, these are my favorite Halloween photos to date!  My intent was to mimic the sands of Tattooine.  Do you think we pulled it off?

Would you like to see our Halloween photos over the past 3 years?  Are you interested to see what my costume is this year (no spoilers for those who do know please)?  Check back Friday!  Do you do things differently with your kids than what you did as a kid?  What are your traditions during this holiday?   

* I apologize if the photos are floating a little randomly towards the end of this post.  They were not fully cooperating with me. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet Me On Monday: Halloween Past

Meet Me On Monday:

This Monday, and random Mondays here after, my blog will reveal something about me.
All Meet Me On Monday blogs will be clearly labeled.

Three parts Halloween,
All fun equally,
In which I will be seen,
But who will I be?
As I've mentioned before, my father was not keen on Halloween.  However, I was allowed to partake in the school classroom costume parties, and even dress up with my older brother before I was in school.  My memories, and photos, from these days and moments are few, but the ones I do have make me smile.
My Mom is a sewing queen.  When I was a child, she used her talents to create some of my costumes and these are the ones that I remember the most.  Before I started school, my brother & I loved to clown around.  With a little face paint and some fabric, my Mom created 2 very innocent and non scary clowns.  I remember the elastic that held the sleeves in place around my wrist, the feel of the fabric around my hand, and feeling extremely special because my Mom created it.

The friendliest lion and silly white bunny came to town around the time of my Kindergarten year.  These were 2 more of my Mom's creative masterpieces.  My bunny ears were attached to a removable hood, and would later be paired with a bumblebee costume by one of my younger siblings.  At the end of the sleeves were mitten like pockets that could be pulled over the hand.  This was one of the few times that I remember ever being allowed to "trick-or-treat."  My Mom drove us over to visit a relative, who was expecting us, and we enjoyed a sweet treat and a nice visit.  With a carrot in hand, I was one hoppy bunny, I mean happy girl.

By first grade, I was asking for a Miss Piggy costume.  Try as she may, my Mom was unable to find one of the well sought after plastic masked costumes.  She tried up till the day of my class party, but when it was time for the "parade," I wore a costume that resembled a plastic Kewpie doll.  Beyond that, I can't really remember any of the cheap plastic costumes that everyone sported in the 1980's.

 Break out the Ricky Nelson, Frankie Avalon, Elvis Presley, & Chuck Berry music, put on your saddle shoes (blue suede if you dare), and do the bop, the swing, & the twist!  In 3rd grade I sported one of my favorite costumes. I was addicted to my Mom's "oldies" tunes, so it only made sense that I became a 1950's sock hopper.  For a girl who spent time dreaming about living in the 50's, this costume helped me experience a tiny bit of it in the 1980's. 

The rest of my school day costumes are forgotten.  I honestly couldn't begin to tell you what other characters I became over the years.  Okay, not entirely true, I did have a costume made for me while I was a senior in high school.  I just never wore it in public, until much much later. 

Today, my kids and I fully enjoy the chance to dress up and become someone, or something else, but you'll have to wait until Wednesday to catch a glimpse at that.

What do you remember from your childhood Halloweens?  A favorite costume?  Trick or treating?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Experiencing Vocal Difficulties

We've interrupted this regular blog day for an important announcement from the writer...

*squeaking in whispered tones and a barely audible voice*

I lost my voice this week.  Not my writer's "voice," but rather my actual voice.  While I am attempting to reclaim my vocal chords, I am also working on a PTO Halloween carnival.  Therefore, my resting time is incomplete and I must take today's official blogging context into the blog vacation zone.  Due to the busy & somewhat vocally distressed nature I am currently experiencing, blogs will not resume until Monday, October 26, 2009.  Sadly, I even had my topics ready to go for today & Friday, but simply ran out of time.  Please check back on Monday for an entire week of Halloween themed wordy & visual treasures.  Hopefully my voice will return before my regular blogging posts do.  I now return you to your regularly schedule programming...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Meet Me On Monday: A Double Identity

Meet Me On Monday:

This Monday, and random Mondays here after, my blog will reveal something about me.
All Meet Me On Monday blogs will be clearly labeled.

Warning:  Holy spectacled short girl Batman!  What, you want a better warning than that?  Fine.  Random photos of bespectacled people shall appear within this blog.  Don't call them 4 eyes, because you never know who hides behind those frames!

Were you aware that I have a double identity?  During the day, I'm mild mannered Mindy, then... Zap! Pow! Bam!  I instantly change my appearance and become...  Okay, maybe not exactly, but I do have 2 very different looks on any given day.

When I was in the 5th grade, it was determined  through the school  vision testing that I was in need of an eye appointment.  At that age, glasses seemed exciting to me.  Little did I know that when I reached high school I would practically hate them.  After a check up with the eye doctor, they determined I was near sighted.  We went through the process of picking out glasses.  When I found frames that reminded me of my Mom's, that was what I wanted. 

I went through 3 pairs of glasses before I requested contacts as a Freshmen in high school.  Thanks to a family friend's, who also wore contacts, confidence in my responsibility to handle them, my Mom was sold.  It didn't hurt that my current pair of glasses were busted.  Our local eye doctor got me set up with soft lens contacts and I walked out of the office as a new girl!  That girl had a cleaner, clearer, crisper vision of the world.  My life, without the assistance of glasses, was no longer a large watercolor painting.

I've purchased glasses over the years, because everybody needs a backup, but contacts are my main source of vision enhancement.  As an adult, shopping in the women's glasses frames department never worked out well for me.  The fit was always off and I was never confident enough to shop in the kids section, as people already thought I was one.  However, in the Summer of 2004 I browsed the "teen" section of a glasses store and purchased a pair that fit better than any woman's frame.  It wasn't a great fit, glasses sliding down your nose on occasion is never a sign of perfection, but it was an improvement. 

It's been over 5 years since I purchased glasses, and changes in prescription have occurred in that time, so my husband and I felt it was time to purchase a new pair.  Did I mention that he wears contacts (or glasses) as well?  After our eye exam, we both browsed the frames.  He was able to head directly to the men's section of the frames, while I lingered back from the women's.  Instead, I spoke with the assistant about trying out some kid frames.  Another tiny friend of mine wears kid sized frames, so I decided to give it a shot. 

It's amazing how much things have changed since I was a kid.  The kid frames still have bold colors, but the adults do as well these days.  The child sized frames are no longer screaming "hey I'm young!" from across the room.  I was able to try on multiple frames and have more than a few choices that made me feel good.  Not too mention, the fit was awesome!  A little over a week ago, I picked up my Vera Bradley designer kid frames & matching case.  I loved them so much that I wore them out of the store!

Do you wear contacts or glasses?  Love or hate them?  Whether you wear them or not, what do you think of the modern frames available today? 

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Dream Times

What do the Jonas Brothers, their parents, an ABC Soaps star, and multiple negative newspaper editorials have in common?  No, they are not featured in the latest tabloid (at least not as far as I know), but they were all major parts of my dream last night!  What an interesting drama it was.

In this dream, I seemed to be fresh out of high school and family friends of the Jonas family.  When your boys watch Disney channel's JONAS at night, they apparently make a guest appearance in your dreams while you sleep.  Seriously, these boys (um, men or young men I guess) are everywhere!  There I was, hanging out, laughing, and listening to music with the family when in walks One Life To Live's Viki (Erika Slezak). 

The wrinkled forehead, raised to one side mouth, and concerned eyes showed me instantly that she was not here to join in the relaxed atmosphere.  In her hand, she held a current newspaper that was folded in half.  "I thought you would want to see this," she said as she held the paper out to me.  Without a word, my eyes went to the page in front of me.  Before me, 3 negative editorials and my photo starred back. 

Within seconds, the over publicized brother band was behind me.  As they read out loud over my shoulder, the "who would do this?" comment popped out of someone's mouth.  I shook my head and simply stated, "I know who."  The family of Jonas offered words of support while I grabbed my phone and dialed my Mom's phone number.

When she answered, I asked instantly, "are you okay?  Did you see it?"  Of course she had, and she knew who was responsible.  My mother quickly filled me in on the fact that the person I expected to be the culprit was unhappy with me coming forward about the abuse in my blog.  This was their way of seeking some sort of vengeance.  "Great!" I thought.  "I should have expected it, even if I was trying to do the right thing by coming forward."

Shortly after that, I woke up to see my youngest son standing next to my side of the bed.  He wanted to sleep in between mom and dad.  "You got it buddy," was my response.  What a crazy dream.

How often do your daily activities or recent events affect your dreams?  Have you had any really crazy ones yourself?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Name Game

Lately, I've found myself playing the name game.  No, not "banana nana fo fanna..."  I'm talking about the name game that all parents play at some point in their life.  You know the one I'm talking about, don't you?  Not sure yet?  Okay, let me give you a couple of examples.

Mom:  "Hey O, can you pick up that book on the floor?"
Son 2:  "Ummmm..."
Mom:  Oh, I'm sorry M, I thought you were your brother."

How about....

Mom:  "I told you to stop making all that noise M!  Please stop now!" 
Son 1:  "Mom it's not M, it's me O!" 

Oops there I go again! 

I love it best when they walk up behind me and I incorrectly assume which of my boys there.  The response is either a giggle or a roll of the eyes accompanied by, "Moooommm!"  At this point, they still find the mix up amusing.

As they get older, the 2 year difference in their ages seems less noticeable.  Some people even occasionally mistake them for twins.  My older son only has a few inches on his younger brother.  They enjoy many of the same activities and toys, and dress in similar clothes.  Even their voices sound alike.  It's easy to hear one of them call for me and not be sure who is doing the calling.  Needless to say, it's easy to get confused.

When it comes down to it, my boys are very different.  However, there is no possible way to look at them and question that they are indeed brothers.  I enjoy observing all of the ways that they are alike and the ways that they are not.  Even if I mix up their names once in a while.

Do you play the name game?  How do your kids react? 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Meet Me On Monday: Mini Mindy Monday Madness Round 3

Meet Me On Monday:

This Monday, and random Mondays here after, my blog will reveal something about me. 
All Meet Me On Monday blogs will be clearly labeled.

Warning: Mini Mindy Monday Madness will ensue further into this posting! Please proceed with caution and be careful not to step on the pixies!
Welcome to Mini Mindy Monday Madness (aka M4), Round 3. I previously took my typical "Meet Me On Monday" topic to a new level with M4 Round 1 & Round 2.  On Mini Mindy Monday Madness days, I give 5 random facts and/or photos that showcase a little bit of who I am.  As you learned some very serious information about me on Friday, thank you for your support & comments through Blogger and off of Blogger by the way, I thought I would keep today's post very light and fun!  These tid bits are from days that have long since gone by.  I will pick up where I left off with #11 on the list. Enjoy!

11.  I am the 2nd born of 4 children and the oldest daughter.  All of my siblings, and myself, have names that begin with the letter M.  Our birth order goes boy, girl, girl, boy.  We range from 32 to 26 at this current date.
12.  I have been published on a local level in the past.  While in high school, I wrote and took pictures for a couple of local papers as a student volunteer reporter.  On one occasion, I was even paid for my work.  I was active on the school newspaper as well.
13.  As you know, I love memory keeping.  I fell in love with layouts in high school as an editor of the school yearbook, I was able to help create a "scrapbook" of memories for my school mates.  Around this time in my life is also when I started my first simple scrapbook.

14.  I've got spirit, yes I do!  I've got spirit! How about you?  I wore my school colors proudly as a cheerleader!  If you've ever seen a football or basketball game, did you notice the cheerleaders?  As the smallest girl on the squad, although I had a friend who wasn't much bigger than I am, you would often find me being thrown into the air as a "flyer."  Go team!

15.   Just call me book nerd, smarty pants, and goody-two-shoes (yes, a classmate did call me this) as I was a National Honor Society member and graduated with Highest Honors (no, not the Valedictorian) from high school.  Since I have given birth to my children, I believe some of my brain power has been drained.  *wink to all the moms*

What number were you in your family?  Do you have any fun facts from those high school days?  What do you want to know about me?  Feel free to ask and I'll be happy to hit on that topic in one of my future "Meet Me On Monday" or "Mini Mindy Monday Madness" days.

Did you notice the new button on my page?  Take a moment to look for a special hidden Mickey.  What do you think of the Autumn leaves?  Tinkerbell got tired and needed a rest, so here she sits on a jack-o-lantern watching over CMOMProductions.  I wonder what she'll do when it's Thanksgiving time...