Pumpkin Carving

The newspaper covered the linoleum floor. We sat the fat pumpkin with the chewed up stalk (thanks to our dog Mickey) on the kitchen floor, ready to be carved. I examined the knifes in my kitchen. I picked the one I thought was sharpest and started cutting the lid. It was hard and I was barely making any progress. I scanned my knife selection again and chose an old one. It was skinny and extra pointy at the end with a good angle to it, it looked like a Jack the Ripper knife, perfect for Halloween. It cut right through the pumpkin flesh.

My job for pumpkin carving is simple. I cut the lid and help the kids clean out the pumpkin. Brad carves the face. Before I had kids I would spend hours designing and carving elaborate designs on numerous pumpkins. Now with so many little ones and limited time, we carve one or two and clean it the best we can. A little innards left gives it a spooky feel. I forget about the day of a perfectly smooth and even flesh of the inside of the pumpkin. I have forgotten about the elaborate designs. We go by Bradley’s ideas on how he wants his Jack-o-lantern face. It always ends up really cute. Oh, and my other job is snapping a lot of pictures until Brad grumbles so much that I just put the camera away…for a few minutes.

My favorite part about carving pumpkins is that last cut and pulling up the lid. I love the smell of the fresh pumpkin that rolls out when you pull off the lid, the strings and seeds trying to hang on to the inside, even though they have no chance of clinging on. I love digging my hands in the slime and pulling out all the junk and seeds. I love the smell. I love feeling the cold fall nights that are stored in there.

We did pretty good and it went pretty well. I rolled up Collin’s sleeves and the boys dug in, grabbing handfuls of pumpkin brains, as Bradley calls it. For the first few minutes they did good working together. It didn’t last, though. Before I knew it they were thunking each other on the head with theirs spoons and throwing pumpkin guts at each other.

“Mom! Collin just hit me,” Bradley whines.

Collin stands up and points at Bradley and yells something back. I’m assuming he is trying to whine and yell back to defend himself. It’s the same tone as Bradley’s. They stick their tongues out at each other and bicker.

I eventually get them on track, after I sit back and enjoy a little bit of the show. Because I know one day they will look back at these time and miss them. I miss fighting with my sister over silly things.

“Mom, it’s a pumpkin until you cut it. When you make a face on it, it’s a jack-o-lantern.” Bradley is very particular about which is which.

I’m very particular about my pumpkins, too. I like a clean-cut so you can see the light of the flickering candle shining through. I also like a properly cut lid. This means some sort of crazy shape that kinda resembles an octagon with way too many irregular sides. I don’t like a pumpkin lid cut around in a circle. It’s too hard to figure out which way the lid goes on. I like an obvious shape to match up. It’s really quite obvious if you think about it. You always know which way to pop on the lid.

We turned on our fake plastic candles and the boys dropped them in. We turned off the light and admired our jack-o-lantern.

I love Halloween!

xxx

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Paper Mache Pumpkin

I have always wanted to make something paper mache. So Bradley and I made a paper mache pumpkin for Halloween. It was a lot of fun…AND really messy, but that’s half the fun.

Bradley insisted it had lots of blood. That’s a boy for you.

One thing I learned when it was all done, which I didn’t think about at the beginning, was to make a flat bottom on it. Our pumpkin has a rounded botton from the balloon and it doesn’t sit up right. You have to lean it up against something. That’s alright though, it’s still cute and we had so much fun.

I love the conversations we have while doing projects. I learn alot about what he is thinking. Check out the video below. You have to watch towards the end because he totally cracks me up when I asked him what kind of face he wanted to make for his pumpkin.

Did you make anything crafty this Halloween?

Thanks for reading and watching.

xxx

Counting by Tens and Counting My Blessings

I pushed a thick sunflower stem into the floral foam and built up the arrangement with fall mums and lilies. I caught myself singing as I worked, “10, 20, 30…40, 50, 60…” and so on. Bradley’s little catchy tune has been stuck in my head for days.

I am really glad he is learning to count to 100, but that is all I hear all day long. It was really cute the first hundred times, but I think I have heard this song at least a million times by now. But I guess I’m missing my kids today, so his song is keeping me company.

As I left for work today I made my rounds and gave each one of them a hug and kiss, “Bye, baby!” or “Bye, hunny! I love you,” and around and around I went to each cute chubby cheek. I looked back at them around the dining room table with their cereal bowls and spoons and I felt full, not on Cheerios, but love.

I am a lucky mom to have such wonderful and beautiful children. You know how you get those days or moments, and you stop in the middle of the chaos and realize how truly blessed you are just by looking at those sweet faces.

I’m in awe and wonder. I am thankful.

But here is Bradley’s song, so you can get it stuck in your head, too. Watching Brad and the kids in the background just cracks me up. Welcome to my world.

He is getting so smart.

xxx

Things I’ve Never Done

I’m 34 years old.

And I’ve never:

1. Wrestled an alligator.

2. Been to Australia.

3. Ate a bag of cotton candy I didn’t like (or ran from it).

4. Taught anyone how to Dougie, nor do I know how. (I will have to put this close to the top of the “to do” list, even though I’m a year or two late to be cool.)

5. Made homemade gravy, unless opening a jar really does count.

6. Rode an antelope.

7. Successfully changed a tire, but I tried once.

8. Jumped off a waterfall.

9. Walked a tight rope.

10. Met a clown I didn’t like.

11. Waltzed or learned to salsa.

12. Had triplets, but I’ve had twins.

13. Been snow skiing.

14. Met Tom Hanks.

15. Made Chinese food.

16. Peirced my nose.

17. Stood on my head while saying the alphabet backwards.

18. Left the United States.

19. Owned a pair of Crocks.

20. Won the lottery.

21. Climbed Mt. Everest.

22. Been on a talk show.

Now it’s your turn.

Mama’s Losin’ It

xxx

Bradley’s 6th Birthday

It’s the anticipation, the excitement, the adrenaline…of a birthday when you’re young.

The waiting for a whole entire year and the day is finally here.

Bradley has been counting down the days since the first of October.

Each day he would say, “Twelve days left until my birthday, Mom.” Or, “Mom, only three days left,” and I could see the excitement in his eyes as he jumps up and down.

“I can’t wait to turn six, Mom. Almost everybody in my kindergarten class is six.”

My boy’s day is here. His special day.

The sugar rush from frosting and melting icecream getting soggy in cake.

The presents waiting to be torn open.

The great big birthday smile.

Running around with cousins up and down the stairs, being as noisy as possible.

What a great birthday party.

I love you. I am proud of you. I can’t believe my first baby boy is 6!

 

 

Baby Gate Blues

I love baby gates. They are one of the greatest inventions; right next to the dishwasher, cheese slicer, and disposable diapers. I can get so much done in the kitchen all by myself.

The kids do not like the baby gates, especially when they know it is just about dinner time.

***Note: You might want to make sure your volume is down for this video.***

Aren’t they just adorable? Well, I think so, even if they are screaming and crying.

They were much happier with full bellies. They love their green beans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on a lighter note, here is a little bit of Collin cuteness.

And not so cute…

He just got done sticking his tongue out at me. heehee. I can’t even remember why he was mad. I think it was because I turned around to take Mallie’s picture. It’s rough being two.

xxx

Just a Few More Bits & Pieces

I watch the kids play and they are getting so big. Bradley has a birthday in four days! I can’t believe he is going to be six. The girls will be one in less than a month! And Collin just turned two, and you can tell, he is perfecting the art of toddler temper tantrums lately.

Oh, my dear Collin. He is so cute and sweet…and ornery. He  does love helping. though. The other day at my sister’s house Elsie was crying. Collin jumped down from his chair at the dinner table and swiped Mallie’s pacifier from her mouth and stuck it in Elsie’s. He then got back up and finished eating. One less baby crying. Poor Mallie, but she didn’t seem to mind.

Collin also loves fighting with his brother. Oh, they torment each other so much. Sticking their tongues out at each other or making faces. Collin will steal Bradley’s markers when he is doing homework and take off running. It can be a regular zoo around here sometimes.

My sister and I were talking:

“Where do these boys get this orneryness? I mean, Jonas did those same things when he was little,” my sister said.

“I know, and so did Bradley,” I say. “Couldn’t be from us! They must get it from each of their Dad’s side,” and I can’t help but laugh.

“Remember that time Bradley got so mad at you for eating that cookie?”

“It was one of the greatest temper tantrums I have ever seen.”

And sweet Mallie, I can already tell she is going to be his partner in crime, like stealing pacifiers and chasing her sister. You can read more at this previous post and watch a video. It’s too funny.

The girls are starting to get too big for the sink. I’m going to start having to give them baths in the tub. But they are so cute in the sink.

Mallie’s bubble beard. She tried to eat the wash rag full of bubbles.

Mallie finally has two bottom teeth AND she took her first little baby step the other day. She holds on and walks around the furniture like a pro. It will be no time before she is walking and chasing Collin.

Below is Elsie waiting for her bath.

She is finally crawling and working on pulling herself up and standing by things. AND she is finally starting to pick up her own food with her fingers and eat. Mallie shovels it in. Elsie will sit there with her mouth open and screams until you feed her. I finally just walked away and left her with her favorite treat. She started picking it up and eating. FINALLY! I think sometimes she would prefer to have you do it. She was the same way with her bottle. She wouldn’t hold it either until I just left it on her chest. She finally quit crying and started holding her own bottle.

Elsie is also really into clapping right now. She claps when she is happy…and she claps when she is mad. Check out the video below.

They get big so quick. I just try to remember to slow down and enjoy the  little moments in this crazy, beautiful, busy life.

xxx