Bad Poetry, Good Photos, Great Fall Day

Will you always gather leaves with me?

And grin your ornery grin?


Will you always close your eyes when the leaves fall down,

with lashes nearly to your chin?



Will you always laugh that laugh of yours?

The one that melts my heart?


Will you always spend a fall day with me…

no matter how far we are apart?

Fall Fun


Cyber Monday

Mario and Luigi Halloween Costumes: A Review, a Rant & Letting Go of the “Perfect” Halloween

I was going to toss up a typical Wordless Wednesday type post with the boys in their Halloween costumes, but I decided I had things to say about said Halloween costumes.

This photo illuminates all of the reasons that I hate store bought costumes:

Mario & Luigi -- Halloween 2011

“Why Luigi, what a big rack you have!” “All the better to smash bricks with???”

Let me tell you the number of things wrong with these costumes.

Mario & Luigi -- Halloween 2011

1. The bellies don’t adjust very well as the velcro is in ridiculously stupid places. Hence Luigi’s large chest that’s supposed to be a belly. Thankfully BigBrother hasn’t really noticed or cared. However, I’m either going to have to deflate the bellies even a bit more (these were not fully blown up) or nix them completely so that the boys can wear warmer clothes under their costumes. It’s supposed to be a bit chilly both evenings we’re going trick-or-treating. The boys already know this is a possibility and they’re okay with it, though they think the bellies are hilarious. Which, they are. Especially BigBrothers, RIGHT?!

Mario & Luigi -- Halloween 2011

2. They’re too small in general. I ordered two costumes in sizes that should have fit according to the website. However, when the costumes arrived, the packaging also listed an “age range,” and when I held them up, yep, they’re small. They’ll “do” for now (and are just barely long enough without the bellies), but please don’t look at the length and judge me as a bad Halloween mom. It’s not my fault the website didn’t find it important to share the length of the costume, just the weight guidelines. (Note to costume websites: My kids weigh less but are just fine height wise. Weight does me no good.) This reason is why you cannot see their feet in any of these photos. Of note: They’re wearing their black rainboots up and under their pant legs, which will at least be warm and dry.

Mario & Luigi -- Halloween 2011


3. Please don’t get me started on the texture.

Mario & Luigi -- Halloween 2011

4. The mustaches are ridiculous. I mean, sure, they’re cute in these pictures, but the sticky stuff on the back? Covers the WHOLE back of the mustache. Left to right, top to bottom. That means that LittleBrother, who has a smaller face/head and the downward facing Mario mustache, has sticky stuff all the way past his mouth and down onto his chin. That causes the mustache to stick to his chin, thus blocking his entire mouth. Very safe, let me tell you. We’re sticking some paper to the back of it so he can, you know, breathe out of his mouth, but the paper is then annoying to a small child. I predict mustache abandonment in less than a hour.

Mario & Luigi -- Halloween 2011

5. I know the gloves are supposed to be big for humor’s sake, but LittleBrother’s are far too big — to the point that the can’t grab things while wearing them. (So yes, if you’re keeping track: the costume is too small but the mustache and gloves are too big. Sizing fails all over the place.)

And on and on and on.

I originally said I wanted to make the boys’ Mario and Luigi costumes. And then life got in the way and I remembered how poorly I sew while trying to complete another task. I looked longingly at some homemade, fantastic Mario and Luigi costumes on Etsy — my favorite being the fireball variations with the red and green overalls — but I couldn’t justify the price. Maybe I should have, as my sons love to dress up and they could have gotten a lot of use out of high quality, well-fitting costumes that they loved. Hindsight; she’s a … well, she’s something. Even still, I was going to make some really cute bags for trick-or-treating, but Halloween is in five days and it’s just not going to happen.

Mario & Luigi -- Halloween 2011

The good news is that the boys love their costumes. And they loved them last year. And the year before. But they year before that, let’s face it: they were really dang cute. I will never be as talented with a sewing machine as my grandmother. My children will have to suck it up in store bought costumes and I will have to let go of the dream of the perfect Halloween. Besides, they’ll go trick-or-treating (twice, mind you). They’ll have fun. They’ll be pleased with their costumes. They’ll get candy. The world will keep turning.

Mario & Luigi -- Halloween 2011

Quite honestly, that sounds pretty darn perfect to me. Not quite Martha Stewart, but pretty darn perfect.

Can’t Talk on the Phone, Busy Saving the Universe

I was a very verbal Kindergartener. I know that seems very un-shocking to those who know me, but it’s true. I have a specific memory of standing in our small kitchen underneath the corded, rotary dial phone on the wall. I had to stand on a chair to dial my new friend’s phone number. As we talked about who knows what, I spun myself one way in the long beige cord and then back again. Over and over, back and again.

Once, we had a very dramatic five-year-old fight and I hung up on her. At this point, my mom sat me down and gave me a Very Important Lecture about phone manners. I didn’t hang up on anyone again until college, when hanging up was more about pressing a button and removed the instant gratification about slamming down a receiver. Honestly, it’s no fun to hang up on someone nowadays.

I digress.

My sons occasionally talk on the phone… to grandparents, to FireDad when he is at work, to me when I am traveling. They have never asked to call a friend. Not once. Even the conversations they have with their short list of people could set records for shortest conversations ever. They have other more important things to do. In fact, the only time they care about the phone is when I’m on the phone, especially if it is a business call. It’s less about the phone then and more about me not giving them my undivided attention.

So imagine my shock, horror and amusement yesterday when BigBrother brought home a note from a girl that was doodled with hearts and contained her phone number. He kind of laughed when I pointed it out. His tone insinuated, “Why would I want to talk to a girl on the phone?” I blinked at it and tried to recall my Kindergarten phone conversations. Not one was a boy. I had crushes, but I never actively handed out my phone number to the objects of my affection.


I have at least one thing working in my favor: We have no home telephone. While visiting the fire department recently, one of the other firefighters held a tied-to-the-wall-phone to BigBrother’s ear and he was mesmerized by the sound of the dial tone. He asked to hear it again and again. It was comical — and a sad, nostalgic moment. With this fact in place, any calls to or from small girl-like creatures need to be approved by either myself or my husband. And ask my dad: I never answer my phone.

I’m now using this situation to test social science on an anecdotal basis. If BigBrother actually asks to call this girl in three days, the three day rule is an inherent gene passed down through the male generations. If not, we can either assume that he doesn’t like this girl, that the three day rule is bunk or that talking to a grandma is the only phone conversation with a girl that a five-year-old boy needs to be having at this time.



Maybe he’s off saving the universe.

(The next time you hear that as a reason why a boy didn’t call you back, maybe you should just believe it.)