How to stop eating your kids’ candy.

I see you there, Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. I see you. Mmmm-hmm.

I know you are chocolatey goodness. I know this ALL TOO WELL.

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Halloween is over, friends. Did you know? Last night, as I walked from house to house, holding my hot tea and trying not to stumble over curbs (It was dark! And cold! And I think people who I chatted with thought I was drinking! Because I tripped about five times! But only in their presence! When it was just me, I could walk like a Victoria Secret Model on the runway! But, with more clothes!)*

Halloween is OVER.

PRAISE THE LORT.

Our house currently looks like Willy Wonka blew up all over it. Both children seem to have the genes of their papa, because they have actually acquired more Reeses than I think is even polite. I know at one point that Red actually said, “TRICK OR TREAT WHERE ARE YOUR REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS, LADY?” whilst we were out last night. Because, you know, he is so polite and well-mannered.

It’s possible we had to stop all trick or treating for a full-on lecture that went like this:

Me: YOU SHALL NOT ASK FOR CERTAIN THINGS. YOU SHALL SAY THANK YOU. YOU SHALL NEVER EVER ASK SWEET LITTLE OLD LADIES FOR SPECIFICS, OK? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Small costumed Star Wars cherubs: Yes ma’am. We will agree to basically anything as long as we can resume our chocolate safari, ok?

Me: Then perhaps I should also add that you two will detail my car tomorrow, ok?

Small costumed Star Wars cherubs: SURE. WE DON’T KNOW THAT THAT MEANS BUT OK.

Anyhow. We carried on. We got home, cold and tired, after a hard day at the chocolate mines, and proceeded to lose our ever-lovin minds. (Red: sobbing. Blonde: sullen. Me: grim.) Such is the way of Halloween. It always ends with the monsters coming out.

But NOW, I am sitting here, eyeing all that candy, and thinking, if I start in on it, I will proceed to eat my way through my feelings and the feelings of everyone else here, and end up in a pile of fluttery orange wrappers and despair.

I am telling you true; I really need to lay off the candy.

Last week a friend of mine worked on filming me for a promo video for a speaking gig. It was awesome and fun and funny and even involved SOCK PUPPETS. AND ALCOHOLISM. I KNOW. HILARIOUS.

But, as I was watching the video’s final edits… I couldn’t focus on the message at all. In fact, I couldn’t really focus on much of anything except that I had about fourteen CHINS.

I do realize that the camera adds some yardage, but… does it add thirty pounds? and fourteen chins?

I asked the husband: “I look fat. Do I look fat?” He blinked a few times, knowing full well taht answering this will not go well whatever angle he takes, so he simply kissed me and said, “I love you.” Which of course means I am a freaking hippopotamus. But a well loved one.

Sigh. I know. You’re going to say: “Dana, embrace yourself no matter what. You are a child of God. You are beautiful inside and out. Don’t even.”

Well. I KNOW that. Duh.

But. I don’t feel good. And sometimes… do you find yourself inhaling Nutter Butters and they don’t even TASTE all that good? I think I have just lost my tastebuds. They are buried under processed sugar and carbs, y’all.

November. I see you. You are my month to reset, renew, re-imagine…

Resolve some food issues. And I’m gonna do it all here with you as my audience. Because, accountability. Plus, maybe… just MAYBE there are a few of you out there that want to join me?

So, stay tuned! I’ll unveil my FABULOUS NEW NOVEMBER PLAN-O-RAMA FOR…NEW FABLOUSNESS.

(Perhaps the first thing I need is to come up with a new title for this. I’m a work in progress. 🙂

Love all of y’all. Anybody out there (*taps mic) feeling tired? Feeling like sugar is taking over? Feeling like you need a little Re-new? What are your best tips for tackling such issues? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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*Halloween so used to be a drinking thing. But, not anymore. We alcoholics in recovery don’t drink on Halloween. Or any other day, for that matter. Just so you know.

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It’s the Great Flu Bug, Charlie Brown

 

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So, it’s Halloween today. World’s most divided holiday. (Well, Columbus Day is moving up in the polls on this, so perhaps Halloween will lose its ranking soon).

We celebrate Halloween, yes. Our rules are simple:

1.No creepy.

2. No scary.

3. No plastic knives with fake blood (see #1 and #2)

4. And all Reeses’ are subject to quality control sampling.

Anyhoo – we were all in the works for Halloween. So far this month we have had two birthdays, and something called Hyllingsfest which involves dancing and Swedish meatballs and Lord have mercy there were my boys in tights singing “Children of Our Heavenly Father” in SWEDISH and it was PREASHUSS.

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CAN YOU EVEN? I MEAN HOLY SWEDISH POM POMS. Also: note the ears. They hold up the hat. Of course. Such great little preshus earsie wearsies.

Also there’s THIS:

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It appears in this picture my cute little kid has had just a bit too much of Swedishness and has had to take so many pictures that he just snarls now. BUT IT’S STILL CUTE. IT IS.

Halloween also has the capacity for preshus. I give you, exhibit A:

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And then… Wait for it….

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The TAIL. I don’t even know how to use my words here. Which is kinda rare.

This Halloween, both boys wanted to be All Star Wars, All the Time. I was so proud. And then, that’s when I kind of detached myself from my reality, and said these fated words:

“Oh no, Blonde. Let me make you a Kylo Ren costume. I’m SURE IT WILL BE EASY.”

Yep yep yep. I said that. It’s about as scary and stupid as the girl who asks, “Is anybody there?” in the scary Halloween movie, right before she gets the big bloody heave-ho.

Do you know, that making a HOOD is not really all that easy? Like, if you don’t make it RIGHT, your kid starts to look sorta… like he’s part of the clan?

And I don’t mean caveman clans, people. My costume really really was taking a turn to the fascist, and that’s… well.. no. Just, NO.

So… then this happened:

“Mom? My head hurts. And my stomach. Also, my throat. And my arms. My arms are twitchy.”

Yes. Yes, twitchy arms are evidently also a symptom of MY KID HAS THE FLU RIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN.

I know. This is so scary. Basically it’s like the girl just asked, “Is anybody there?” And THEN she PROCEEDED TO WALK UP THE CREEPY STAIRS. (Why do we go for heights, people, when we are scared? Why? Has not anyone ever considered just turning your butt around and walking right out the door? Oh no. You have to saunter up the STAIRS because up THERE you will be safe and sound and not end up with body parts all over. Suggestion: There’s a Quick Trip down the street – get out, go get a cherry slushy and survive.)

But, I digress.

The kid was sick. Sickety-sick. This all happened on Friday and, as you know, moms never can live for longer than ten seconds without projecting something and then planning the heck out of the ahead, so I started devising.

And it went like this:

  1. My child is sick. And he might still be so on Halloween.
  2. Clearly the most logical thing is to convince the neighborhood to just have Halloween on Wednesday.

Totally should work, right?

When I presented my plan to the husband, I was met with a teensy bit of opposition. It went like this:

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

I responded gently, like this: “THIS IS OUR CHILD. THE FRUIT OF OUR LOINS. HAVE YOU NO SOUL.”

Red: “What are Loinds?”

Anyhow, the hubster, who has so very often found himself in this predicament before, JUST KEPT TALKING:

“Why don’t you just dress him up in his Grim Reaper costume and-”

“Excuse me? What? What did you say?”

“Um… just dress him up. He can answer the door?”

“In his WHAT costume?”

“Um… the Grim Reaper? The one who does the Reaping? No? No reaping? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Why in the world would you think I would dress my son up as Death? Have you really REALLY no soul? This post is really writing you in a dark light, dude.”

“Okkkkaaay. He’s not the Grim Reaper. So, he’s Hooded Bathrobe Guy?”

The rest of the conversation is not acceptable for our ears BECAUSE WE HAVE SOULS AND MY HUSBAND DOES NOT.

I would like to add that Blonde is all better. I didn’t have to reconfigure the time-space continuum for my neighborhood, so that’s good. My husband and I have worked through our issues and he has adamantly stated that this is the best Kylo costume in the galaxy. He’s a good man.

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Halloween: Keep It Silly and Safe, With Netflix

Oh how I used to love scary movies.

Then, I had children. And I was faced with much more scary things, like never sleeping, or the McDonald’s play zone.

Also, life is scary enough. I’m talking to you, 2017.

At our house, we have a rule: We don’t do creepy for Halloween. We’ve been astronauts, and superheros, and Charlie Brown and Snoopy… and yes, now that the boys are getting older, we’re Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, which is a teensy bit scary. But, there are no bloody machetes, or zombie guts, so I’ll take it.

What I’ll also take is this movie, every Halloween, as I answer the door and divvy out the goods. I always watch it, every Halloween.  It’s just a wee bit scary, I guess. But mostly? It’s hilarious. It’s one of those films that I tend to quote, all the time, to anyone who will listen. I can’t help it. Thank you, Netflix, for streaming this classic:

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Somehow, this movie helps balance out all the zombies with bloody machetes that come calling.

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Halloween is a lot of fun, and my boys have been looking forward to it since, I don’t know, April? We’ve been busy working on our costumes, and insisting that we buy the good candy (#TeamReeses) Which is all find and dandy, but that just means we break into it at least a week before the actual holiday. Quality control, I guess.

Netflix is also helping out with your trick or treating plans. The Skylanders offer up some helpful hints to make sure the night goes happily for all:

Whether you dress-up as a heroic Skylander or an evil Doom-Raider this Halloween, it’s important to stay safe as you fill your trick-or-treat bag with yummy candy. Spyro and his heroic team are busy making their costumes, but everyone’s favorite evil genius Kaos has taken a break from being bad to share some Halloween safety tips with you. Be sure to share this video to make sure everyone has a scary good time while trick-or-treating!

Happy Halloween, from Momsie (who always, and forever, will dress up as a very non-creepy and totally bad@ss Princess Leia), and Netflix.

 

May your night be spook-free, and sugar-laden.

 

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As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, I get to watch the awesomeness that is Netflix, and then chatter about it on my blog. It’s a great gig.

 

Throw Back Thursday and Tiny Stormtroopers

Halloween is nigh, my friends, and it seems we have chosen Star Wars as the theme.

Huh. Like I couldn’t have seen that coming.

This year, sweet Red, who has been Luke Skywalker for the past few years, has chosen Darth Vader. My son has chosen the Dark Side. I know. I could read a lot into this but really? I’ve seen him in his Darth costume and it is fer SURE adorable. You can’t be full on Dark Side AND be cute at the same time, so that saves it.

Here is a throw-back from a two years back:

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This post was sponsored by:

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And:

GUILT.

This should be fun! So let’s get started.

Ok, one of my favorite scenes from Star Wars was when Harrison Ford has that cute conversation with the dude on the intercom. I love it because he is SOOOOO cute! The cuteness! The cute swagger! And he fits in his Storm Trooper outfit really well!

Yes, little ones, I am referring to the real Star Wars. The one that I watched in Glenwood Theater in Overland Park, Kansas in 1977. I was 8. Harrison Ford was a bit too old for me. I had feathered bangs, and Glenwood Theater had a chandelier, people. And velvet seats. And a deep red curtain that opened before each showing. It was an EXPERIENCE, y’all.

The other reason I love that scene is that I kinda feel like Han did in that controller room all the time. Sorta, erm, on the edge a bit and also: TOTALLY FAKING IT ALL THE TIME.

So here’s an update on my week:

The gigantic box from Netflix? Remember that?

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Well, it was just a tv. No biggie. Just a gigantic tv. Because, you know, I’M AWESOME.

Here is how my family reacted to this:

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Husband is blurry because I was giggling.

Ok, also: we had Halloween. So we have ONE picture of ONE child. I don’t know why. Just ONE child evidently was photogenic enough (barely, you’ll see) for me to point and click at him.

Here you go:

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Riiiiiight. I know. You can’t see him. Someday I am totally going to get fired for lousy photography. But, also…

(Wait for it…)

“Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?”

BOOM. I have been waiting my whole LIFE to be able to channel my inner Leia and say that! And now I can! With a blurry, dark photo of my cute, and short, son!

Oh, and by the way:

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WE WON THE WORLD SERIES. There is such goodness about this I can’t even use words. Well, no, I CAN use words, but they just won’t really do it justice. It is wonderfulness. It is nail biting games and extra innings and Salvie messing with us whenever he talks and stealing home and just a sprinkling of Paul Rudd, for flavor.

Oops, used words. Sorry. Can’t help it.

By now, I bet you’re wondering… where does the guilt part come in?

Well, and also:

I abandoned my child. I KNOW. This post took a rather abrupt turn, didn’t it? We were all happy and celebrating holidays and big screen tv’s and then, WHAMMO.

That’s called a plot twist.

Here’s the deal. My sweet Red, who is wonderful and adorable in every way, is also, well, how should I put this:

Slow. He’s just really slow. He likes to do things slowly. All the things. Eating. Pooping. Walking. It’s all slow.

This totally doesn’t bother me at all.

So, this morning, for some reason, Red really really had a rough time with some basics: I told him to get dressed and I found him, in his underpants, staring out the front door at the sky as if he were contemplating his life choices for his long five years.

Socks. Same problem. Found him upstairs in the train room, just standing there. It was creepy.

Brushing teeth? I don’t even think we got there because we were still stuck at socks. Poor teachers.

Anyhow, finally, I snapped. I uttered these fateful words:

“Red. We are leaving. You have one minute. If you are not ready to go then Blonde and I will have to LEAVE WITHOUT YOU.”

And. Well. To cut the suspense, I’ll just tell you. He got left. We left him. I LEFT him. I took Blonde, grabbed the dog, and walked AWAY FROM MY BABY.

And then, he proceeded to lose his #@!.

But I think he did hurry up a little. He made it to a block from school and I spotted him. He was sobbing and all the mothers of the entire town were surrounding him. I think a few cars had pulled over. Police helicopters were circling overhead and Fox News had been called.

I walked up and said, “He’s fine.” Not the best thing to say. I then explained (because he was NOT fine, but he was “learning a lesson” from his “evil mother” who had to “not relapse because of this morning” and needed to, no matter what, “stick by her words no matter how much it was gonna freak her and the entire community OUT.”)

I explained the situation, and Red headed off, with me behind him. One mom gave me a sympathetic smile, but I swear another one has decided to shadow my house now.

Sigh. I know. All of this kinda puts a pall over the new tv.

Mommies. I’m doing the best I can. We had done the morning dawdle routine just one too many times. I decided to stick to my guns. I just didn’t expect this:

He broke my heart. Seeing him here, all sobbing and sad. I just don’t know. The kid learned a lesson but I did too. If I am going to leave my kid to fend for himself I need to figure out a way to do it with in air surveillance and nerves of steel. As I have neither of these things I am going to try out one of two options:

  1. Get the kid up at 5 am so he will be on time.
  2. Just carry him everywhere.

And that was my morning.

Everything’s fine here. And… How are YOU?

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Have a Scare-Free Halloween with Netflix

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Guys. GUYS! Netflix has FANTASIA!!!!

I have no clever leader here. I am simply too thrilled about Fantasia. The centaurs, cavorting! Mickey and the Sorcerer! The romantic ballet between a hippo and an alligator!

Ok, if you haven’t seen Fantasia then you have NO idea what I’m talking about. Allow me to explain:

FANTASIA! THE BEST! SO AWESOME. I CAN’T EVEN!

Sorry. Ahem. Let me try again: Fantasia is a Disney movie, made in 1940, and it’s unlike any other Disney film made. Ever. It’s a celebration of animation, art, and music. So, dudes like Tchaikovsky (thank you, spell check) and Beethoven show up.

And also, THIS DUDE:

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Try meeting up with him when you are about eight years old, in a huge, darkened theatre with a gigantic screen and soft red velvet seats and my mom’s treats from her purse because we never actually BOUGHT treats at the concessions. Don’t ask me why I thought it was important to include that detail, but know this:

Regarding the movie house concession stand: I DO THE SAME THING. My momma taught me well.  I have been known, on occasion, to bring a Diet Coke in to a movie and do the Diet Coke Cough whilst popping it open. They get you at the concessions, people. Bring your own.

ANYWAY. BACK TO FANTASIA.

We have a rule at our house – no scary or spooky for Halloween. My reasoning?  I have kind of had it with 2016 and have decided life is scary enough.

But then… I saw Fantasia in my Netflix cue and thought, “Hey, Satan coming out of a mountain on Halloween night to summon up the undead isn’t THAT awful, right? I FEEL A FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT COMING ON!”

Yea, I know. Consistency is key in parenting. But, to my credit, THIS Satan has a classical score (Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky and then adapted by Rimsky-Korsakov, and if you can rattle off all that Russian in a crowd you will totally impress people. I think. Or, you might spit on them. It’s a lot of ‘S’s.) Also: Satan and the mountain is followed by this:

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Shubert’s Ave Maria.

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It’s a painting, on the screen.

Satan is banished. We are safe, and sacred, in a cathedral in the trees.

I love Fantasia. And no,  It’s certainly not a typical Halloween movie. No jack-o-lanterns. No tricks or treats. But for us, it was perfect.

And also, this year? I have my new costume idea:

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Hyacinth, the Hippo, dancing to Amilcare Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours.

Perfection.

For those of you who are a bit braver, here’s a clever idea – Netflix’s savvy understanding that the doorbell can impede serious Netflix binging on all things scary. So, may I present you with  this:

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Good luck with the viewing of the 9-12 slot. I just can’t. Too skeery!

Or, if you are really up for a scare, watch Chopped, the kids’ episode, and start training your kids to step up their game because:

THANKSGIVING IS COMING. Be afraid, kids. Be very afraid.

“So… Whose dish will be on the chopping block?”

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Happy Halloween and a Guest Post!

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Be my guest.

Guest post today! Squeeee!

One of the BEST parts of my job is meeting other readers and writers from ALL over the universe who actually read Momsie. Amazing, isn’t it?

Let me introduce you to Jen, a great writer, mum, and super auntie, who lives in my beloved UK (I know. I’ve never visited but one can dream.) She is also a techie and a food and crafts writer, and has great ideas to share. Since my idea of crafting for Halloween means drawing on pumpkins with a sharpie (whatever WORKS, ok?), Jen has much better input in this area.

Jen is here today to tell us about how Halloween is “celebrated” over the pond. Enjoy!

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That Moment When Your Child Carves a Pumpkin Better Than You…

It’s a joy to watch your child when they are so dedicated to something. We’ve seen that Lily likes art so my hubby and I let our dear daughter carve some pumpkins with us last year for Halloween.

This year, I’m staying on the sidelines to support her love for all things artsy. I do have some Jack o’ Lantern ideas, and I torture myself more by looking at other cool and cute carved pumpkin creations and then showing them to DD. If only I could do them myself and get them to come out right.

The Typical UK Halloween

For the most part, Halloween celebrations on this side of the world are pretty much the same as anywhere else these days. You’ll see costume parties left, right and centre; there are pumpkin patches; free horror movie screenings for the community; and of course, kids roam around going Trick-or-Treating.

After doing my research with my daughter, I did find out one interesting nugget. The ‘Trick-or-Treat’ tradition began here in the UK! Don’t ask how I didn’t know that. History isn’t my strong point, after all.

A blog I’m following posted some crafts  about Halloween and shared some info about the origin of ‘Trick-or-Treat’. Apparently, in Scottish hundreds of years ago, people used to knock at homes during this season to ask for free food or other valuables. Eventually, the practice evolved into what our children love to do today during every Halloween celebration.

Something that might be more unique in Halloween here, however, is that we have a ‘Mischief Night’ celebration every November 4 wherein people engage in pranks on each other. It’s a lot of fun, but obviously you shouldn’t go overboard just in case someone gets hurt.

People gathered around bonfires, sharing scary stories is also common. Do you know the show “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” That’s the idea, minus the sprinkling of magic powder to make the bonfire flame bigger though.



Hello, pumpkin!



Back to the pumpkins, the only part where I’m sure I can beat Lily is on making pumpkin soup or pie, out of the scraped portions of the vegetable. Not that it’s her job, but come on; you have to let me say “I rule!” once in a while. My hubby is totally awesome at putting together epic decorations and costumes; Lily makes wonderful Jack o’ Lanterns; and me, well, you got to give me something, right?

This year I have the ‘pumpkin and caramel cake’ in my sights. Just you wait, your souls will sing from the heavenly goodness of my culinary treat.

Seriously though, the best thing for me is that we complement each other. It’s what makes the celebration much more special. Getting to watch your loved ones working together, and seeing their joyful faces when we gather around good food are always priceless moments that I will cherish every day of my life.

I believe that’s the whole point. It’s not about the decorations, costumes, and props. It’s not about the parties. It’s about the bond that you strengthen further with your family through every occasion that’s worth truly celebrating. Happy Halloween!

Exclusively written for MomsieBlog.com

by Jen’s a Mom!

Countdown

I’m walking the boys home the other day and noticing the trees. All the oranges and reds and yellows. It’s your basic God’s glory kind of material. The usual off-the-hook stuff that He specializes in.

And I’m all:

 

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Prancing home in the leaves, like a happy little Leonardo.

Also, since Halloween is on Monday, we are having one of those “Dress Crazy Every Day Because This Will Help Us Not Do Drugs” weeks at school. Because Halloween is scary, and so are drugs. And dressing up is fun!

Ok, I am not, my friends, providing any snark about this. Ok, maybe just a little, but it’s from MY end, not the kids’. The kids are cute and adorable and yes, we need to tell them about drugs. But, just a note: Sometimes, when I am trying to find the ONE Captain America glove that has curled up in a little ball and is hibernating VERY SUCCESSFULLY in our house, at 6:46 am, and yes, I know, it’s Superhero Day and if a Superhero doesn’t wear his gloves then he’s Captain Loser and the world has lost all meaning… Sometimes? It’s at times like these that I, just for a teensy tiny minute, think something like this:

“I might really like to have some of those drugs right now.”

Irony, eh? It’s here to keep hitting us upside the head every once in a while. Helps us feel alive.

And I know. I’m awful. I promise I won’t take up drugs just because we didn’t get organized enough to find all the Captain America accessories (of which there are more than BARBIE has, for the Love of Thor). That would just be silly. Hugs, not drugs.

ANYHOW. Back to Fall, where we take the Obligatory Pictures of Children in Costumes (these are of Superhero #2, also known as Flash, which is SO not really in his personality profile, but for the time that he did wear the costume, he did actually TRY a few times to be quick while moving at the same time. He ran into a wall. It was endearing.)

I like to call this series:

The Dog Gets Increasingly Embarrassed

1.

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Oh, and there was Crazy Hair Day. Also known as: Spray a lot of Glitter on my Children Day and Hope They Don’t Get Close to An Open Flame.

I took this picture of a rather grumpy Red:

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And I realized something….

He kinda looked like:

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Which, as you KNOW… is part of the cast for this classic:

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So, I am reminded, logically….

CHRISTMAS MUSIC EVE WILL BE HERE IN FOUR DAYS!!!!!! Woo HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

 

Thank you for staying with me through my thought process on this post, which was brought to you by:

  1. Allergy medication
  2. NO other drugs
  3. Possibly a little glitter

 

Merry Christmas Music Eve!!

I’m coming for you, Joshie!

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