Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dress Up (?)

It's that time of year again! The time of year when Aaron comes up with something obscure and weird and impossible to buy off the rack as his chosen Halloween costume. The first year I got to choose, and I went with Appropriating Mommy's Indian Heritage as the costume choice.

Year two he still didn't have an opinion, so I went with a borrowed lion costume from a friend. That year it was about 84 degrees on Halloween, and the lion costume would have given him heatstroke before his Snickers bars melted in his sweaty little fists, so I brought out the indian costume again.

Year three was when he started getting really adamant about his costume choice, and settled very firmly on being a bagel with cream cheese, and I am not making this up. I did not encourage this costume, and tried my hardest to switch him to a pirate or maybe a hobo, but he wasn't having it.

Year four was surprisingly traditional, and he went with being a pumpkin. That was Harper's first Halloween, and she went as a lobster, which I thought was hysterical. That opinion was shared by nobody else, including Jason, who just kind of looked at her in costume and rolled his eyes. Not like it mattered, she decided within 14 seconds of being outside that she was over and done with this Halloween nonsense, and she was going to make everyone flat out miserable until we took her home and put her in bed.

Year five was when Aaron decided he was just going to see how far I'd go, and he wanted to be a garbage truck. He and Jason would brainstorm this costume, coming up with all sorts of great ideas, which sounds really neat-o until you consider that the costuming department consisted of precisely one person, namely Mommy. In fact, I was not only in charge of Costuming, but also Candy Procurement, Staff Photographer, and Set Decorator. Jason, until that point, had mastered the role of Candy Taster, and that was about it. So I told Aaron that his garbage truck costume sounded great, and I would paint it to look like a garbage truck just as soon as Daddy built the costume. I thought Jason would work overtime trying to talk Aaron back into that awesome hobo idea, but instead, he spent his energy trying to show up my previous years of costume creation. He built Aaron a real "working" garbage truck with a moving hopper, so when people put candy in the front hopper, Aaron could raise the hopper and dump it in the back of the truck. Show off. (I am taking painting credit, though).

Harper was again too young to care what she was, so I went with a cavewoman, which she again hated. Not a fan of dress up, that one. (She had pants and a shirt on under her costume when we went out. I wasn't going for "slutty cavewoman". I find that trend alarming even on grownups. It makes me uncomfortable to see a woman take a normal costume and tramp it up within an inch of it's life, and I think we can all safely say I'm no prude. It somehow seems wrong to be dressed up as "sexy cop" or "sexy Little Bo Peep" or whatever. When did grown up costumes become basically a giant fetish?" Okay, back on topic.)

This year they each chose their costumes, and they're both sticking to their decisions. I went and bought all of the stuff to make costumes , and this week am planning on figuring out how I can hobble these costumes together in two hours or less from an assortment of bath towels, sweatpants, and felt. I was making great headway last night on Harper's costume when I got into an altercation with the sewing machine, and the machine definitely came out the winner. (Skeeve alert!)
Since sewing bath towels is apparently only for experts, I got my middle finger caught in the machine, where the needle went through the nail and out the other side. And while the needle was coming back up, I yanked my hand out of the machine, 'cause that mofo HURT, and you can just imagine the ick factor. I will say that wine and a Spongebob bandaid (and milking the story for all the sympathy I can get) are remarkable medicine. (And in case you're wondering, I didn't have to cut a stitch from my hand, which I was surprised and maybe a little disappointed about. Not that I relished the thought of cutting a machine stitch from my finger, but I think it would have made for a much more interesting anecdote).

Their costume choices weren't anything out of the ordinary this year, but I found the irony delicious, since they each chose their costume on their own, without knowing what the other one had picked. So when Harper told me she wanted to be a dog, and Aaron told me he wanted to be a cat, all I could do was laugh at how ridiculously appropriate it is for them to be dressing up as their own alter egos. Cats and dogs, indeed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ahoy There!

Aaron takes Uncle Bill hostage on the Sandbox Cover Schooner. Rowing rapidly with his lacrosse stick.

Right before or after this picture was taken, I forget which, Aaron was inside getting in trouble for something or another. Let me tell you, it is a fierce person who can keep a straight face while scolding a 5 year old who's looking miserably repentant and wearing a pirate hat. A more fierce person than I.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


We're just going to ignore my spotty posting in the last month, because it's all just excuses, anyhow, right?

Nine years ago today, I was at an awesome party at the beach with all of my family and friends, talking and eating and dancing and drinking until 5AM. And that day, my very best friend of all became my husband.

Fast forward to tonight, our 9th anniversary. I'm sitting at the computer typing this up, the kids are in bed, Jason is at Lowe's picking up wax rings for a leaky toilet, and he and I together have consumed enough sudafed in the past few days to start our own meth lab. My, how times have changed. The time we used to spend running together, or going out to bars, or watching movies has been replaced by reading assignments from kindergarten, following through on punishments, coaxing filthy children into a bath, picking up dog hair tumbleweeds, folding tiny laundry, and thinking that The Daily Show comes on entirely too late for normal human beings to watch.

It wasn't a gradual transition, either. It was like slamming on the brakes, turning the wheel hard enough to fishtail, and then gunning the engine to race in the opposite direction, over the course of a very defined 9 months that ended right around the day of Aaron's birth. We had given thought to being parents, but not any real defined thought, more of that montage of pictures about how it might be with kids. You know, like images of yourself taking your hypothetical child to Disney World to meet Mickey Mouse, without ever considering the trauma (and expense!) of traveling with little children, the inevitable meltdown upon meeting a 7 foot tall rodent, the need to interrupt the day for naptime while you and your spouse sit in the hallway of a hotel hoping your kids stops screaming; that sort of thing. Or maybe picturing yourself going on walks with your hypothetical kids, without considering that 50 feet from your driveway you'll already be sick of telling junior to get out of the street, get the earthworm out of his mouth, and good grief, it's 100 degrees outside and you've only gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before, and when is naptime, for God's sake?

That was a tough transition for our marriage to make. I wasn't sure we'd make it to Aaron's first birthday without retaining lawyers, and Jason will say the same. It's hard to even look back on it and make light of it, because it was so difficult. Between your life shifting at it's very core, and post partum depression, and the financial worries that go along with new parenthood, it's a miracle anyone (namely, us) makes it through intact.

But we did. I'm certainly not going to paint a picture of nonstop bliss since we went through that mess of early parenthood, but I think is was part of the fire that steeled who we are together. Since now our roles as parents tends to overshadow everything else, it's hard not to end a crappy day with your kids without feeling like a little bit of a failure. It's difficult to end a week of fielding phone calls from principals and watching a 2 year old sit on the potty for hours a day and remember who you are as a spouse and best friend.

At the center of it, though, Jason and I are in this mess together, and while sometimes it's difficult enough to bring us to the brink, for the most part, it's become really apparent to me that we complement each other extraordinarily well. We remind each that there's fun involved in all of this, and when one of us is barely hanging on, the other one steps up to whatever task needs to be done. We are each other's perspective and best friend, and at this point in our lives, it might be the most valuable thing we can offer one another. There's obviously more to our relationship, but who wants to read the icky details? Certainly not our parents, I'm sure. Suffice to say, I'm grateful and honored every day to be married to someone I respect so much and adore without end. I'm so thankful that I'm married to someone who weathered this transition with me so well, and I'm looking forward to the rest of this story.

Also, he's a really good kisser and has arms and shoulders that make my pulse race. (Ack! Sorry. I had to.)

I love you, sweetie. Happy anniversary.

Sara & Jason, 9 years ago today