Friday, October 31, 2014

The Last 48 Hours in 10 Minutes

Yesterday was my last day of the October Dress Project. No, don't check your calendar, you aren't confused and neither am I.  Yesterday was the 30th, but I decided that this year, I'd end a day early to allow me to wear my Halloween costume all day today.

I wore The Dress as a pullover vest over a white button-up shirt (the silver dragon one) and jeans. I needed to dress comfortably and casually to chaperone Lolly's class field trip to the pumpkin patch. I had considered joining in with the kids' Western Day theme at school, but I don't actually own anything Western. Not even a pair of cowboy boots. Certainly not a hat.

I thought the field trip started first thing in the morning, so I got Jaguar and myself all ready to go straight to the pumpkin patch after dropping Fifi off at school. It turned out they weren't leaving until 10, however, so I took the already dressed opportunity to go run some errands, eat some breakfast with my boy and cast my mid-term vote.

Since I had Jaguar with me, I wasn't allowed to ride on the bus with the kindergarteners but had to follow behind in my car.  I thought the field trip was to the local pumpkin patch, so this was no problem. I followed the buses onto the freeway - which seemed a bit strange, but I figured, hey buses! Maybe too big for back roads? (Which makes no sense since buses take kids home on back roads.)  I followed them out of town and then out of the county... and off the Memphis exit... I began to wonder where on earth we were going and if I'd somehow managed to accidently follow the wrong school buses. I was running out of gas too. I called the school, while keeping a very close eye on the buses, to find out where we were going, in case I ran out of gas and needed to hitchhike. 

We went to Motley's Pumpkin Patch, about an hour out of town. I did not run out of gas, because my new car does magic.  I got to meet all the little kids in Lolly's class that she's always talking about, and I learned that I will never, ever become a primary school teacher. Keeping track of that many five year olds was pretty much the reason I will have to dye my roots in just a few weeks. Jaguar loved playing with all the big kids, and Lolly, well, I'd like to say she loved having her mummy there, but actually, she barely noticed me. Some of the kids clung to their parent chaperones, but not Lolly. She's my little social butterfly!  She even made it pretty clear that I was totally crimping her style by trying to sit next to her at lunch time.  I couldn't have been prouder. 

After the field trip, I drove back home to wait for Fifi to come off the school bus and take her straight back out to her first swim meet.  She was swimming in two events- 25 yard freestyle and 25 yard backstroke. She did great, and I was really proud of her. My favorite part was when the 50 yard freestyle boys were on their blocks, preparing to jump in, and they made a call for the next event participants to get ready.  Fifi, being in the next event, went to the other side of the pool where the 25 yard swimmers began, and, true to oblivious Fifi form, she failed to notice she was the only one standing there, and when the whistle blew for the boys, she jumped in too and started swimming towards them!  I jumped out of the bleachers and ran to the pool shouting for her to get out.  She looked up, trying to understand what was going on, and then it clicked. She swam back to me as the boy was almost on top of her - and unaware of her - and I grabbed her arm, pulling her out just as the boy kicked the end of the pool and pushed back to finish his race. It was hilarious! But don't mention it to Fifi, she was pretty embarrassed, poor wee thing. And this blog will remind her of that moment forever and ever.

After the swim meet, we raced - ha - home to make dinner before Trunk or Treat at one of the local churches.  I chopped and fried a gazillion vegetables for the world's fastest cream of red pepper soup ever, leaving an ungodly mess behind me, and practically shoved it down all our throats, wanting to make it to the Trunk or Treat on time.  Which, to me, meant 7 or 7.30.  Unfortunately, for the church organizing the event, that would have meant 6 because it ended at 7.30. By the time I'd realized my mistake, it was 7.  Without even dressing Jaguar in a costume, Scott and I chucked the kids in the car and sped off to the event.  We got there in enough time for the kids to collect a decent amount of candy and play some games before the good times rolled up and turned out the lights.  The girls were upset they never got to do everything, but by this time, I was so tired and so cranky that I didn't give a flying flip what they were upset about.

And that was yesterday.


Today started at 4am when my alarm reminded me that I was working the 5am shift at the community center. I actually really enjoy the 5am shift, but after my exhausting yesterday, it was a bit much.  I wore my Where's Waldo? - or to be more exact, Where's Wenda? costume.  I love working at that time, because it's quiet and fairly empty at the community center at that time of morning.  Only the pre-work crowd go that early and a few senior citizens.  And all those senior citizens thought I was dressed up for Christmas like a candy cane. Where's Waldo? must've been after their time, or maybe my costume was just really bad.  The rest of the staff arrived at 8am and my boss even let me take a wee bit of time off to go to the Cardio Dance Party class that I usually attend on Fridays, meaning I didn't actually miss EVERY costume workout this week.  I didn't last long though... dancing in a denim mini-skirt and brown flats isn't very comfortable nor is it very safe. I left the class early to preserve both my health and dignity and went back to work.

After work, I picked up my son from the "babysitters" (our friends to be mentioned later), and we grabbed 50 cent corndogs from Sonic on our way to pick up some things at Sam's Club and attend the carnival at the assisted living building my mom works at. Jaguar was a very loveable gorilla. We only stayed for 30 minutes though, because I had to be back home in time for kids coming off the school bus. Busy busy.

And when they got off the school bus, I instructed them to all be super quiet and let me take a nap or I really would be a scary Halloween sight in just a couple of hours.

Our friend Mike and Alice brought their two cherubs over for trick or treating around our neighborhood.  Little Mikey was a skunk and Grace was a bat (which I only figured out after looking at these pictures later).  Fifi was a dead ballerina again, and Lolly put together an amazing Powerpuff Girl costume all by herself. I just added the makeup.  Scott was the banana to Jaguar's gorilla, and I continued to wander around wondering Where's Wenda's sanity?

And finally, after hitting up all the houses in the neighborhood and filling each kids bucket with about eight pounds of tooth decay, we piled back in the car for our second annual Trick or Treat at the Grandparents' Houses.  Fifirst we hit up my dad for some (more) candy and then we hit up my mom.  

Then this happened.

And after all the exhaustion of the last 48 hours, when by all rights I should've come home and crashed out on the sofa, somehow something crazy hit me and I sat down to balance six months of Pampered Chef accounts that I've been putting off for, well, six months.  

I can sleep when I'm dead.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spook Week Interrupted (With Pictures)

My Spook Week hasn't gone quite as planned. I was going to dress up in costume for all my work-outs this week. I was going to join in with kids dress-up themes for this week's Red Ribbon week. I was going to make Halloween bentos every day.

Then I woke up at 3am on Sunday night with a funny feeling in my tummy... and the rest was history. I spent all day Monday either in bed sleeping or kneeling before the Porcelain Altar.

Thankfully, my wonderful husband worked from home that day to look after Jaguar for me, because I would NOT have been able to feed him or clothe him or keep him safe in the slightest possible way that day.  I was completely out of it. Oh, and Scott had to look after Lolly too, who also said she felt sick Monday morning and had to stay home from school. (She turned out to be okay, but she did sleep a fair bit.)

So I missed taking pictures of Fifi's All Red Day, and I missed wearing my Wonder Woman shirt-and-cape to Kickboxing. And I did not wear the October Dress, understandably.

Tuesday Scott had to go back to work, and I wasn't throwing up anymore, at least, but I still felt like limp pasta left lying in a cold colander. Unfortunately I couldn't even spend the day lying around feeling sorry for myself for being absolutely famished but unable to eat anything, because I had to take Jaguar into Little Rock for an appointment at the Children's Hospital. (He's fine. No worries. More about that later.) The appointment took much longer than planned, I felt nauseated yet starving the entire time, and my stupid ears kept popping. And it was raining, and I didn't know where I was going since I've never been there, so I ended up parking in the farthest parking lot away from the building. I did, at least, wear The Dress, in as comfortable a way as possible. Black leggings, black flats and a black running jacket.

That's me lying in my favorite chair at 10pm in a messy room feeling even more sorry for myself after working my five hour shift at work.

And in my daze of a morning, I missed taking a picture of Fifi's Inside-Out outfit, but I did at least get a picture of Lolly's 50's Day outfit. (For some reason, Kindergarten had a different theme.) I made that poodle skirt, by the way, though I messed up the waist measurements. Instead of halving the dress and cutting out a circle using the radius, I halved and measured out the whole diameter, making the waist hole twice as big as I should have. Math. Sheesh. Luckily, Velcro.

Then this morning, it was Fifi's turn to not feel well, so she stayed home in bed and missed Crazy Socks Day. Lolly wore my bones socks, and for some reason was really unhappy about it.

(Still, Scott can always make her laugh by making fun of her grumpy face.)

Today I'm feeling better, but since Fifi is home, I missed my workout again (in which *I* was going to wear the bones socks). However, I decided to still take Jaguar to his toddler class Halloween party, because I had to wear this Wonder Woman shirt at some point, and Jaguar loves his class - and his gorilla costume.

(I even tried to use a fan to get my cape to fly behind me, but it turns out it's hard to take a selfie on a timer and still get the cape to flap at precisely the right moment when the camera clicks.)

(It's also hard to get a two-year-old gorilla to stand still long enough to get any good pictures even without a timer. I did my best.)

And while I didn't make any Halloween bentos over last couple of days, I at least made one last week. I'll hopefully make them again tomorrow and Friday. Maybe.

Spook Week continues; two days left.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dragons and Skaters and Whatnot

When I was in ninth grade, I had a friend who wanted to be a comic book writer.  Jeff was a junior and planned to move to California after high school to work with his comic book writer hero (whose name I of course did not recognize or remember).  At the time, Jeff was working on his own comic book starring all of his skater friends (I hung out with the skaters, ha), and he made me into the character Bounce who could manipulate gravity.  I took a proverbial page out of his proverbial book and wrote my own extremely terrible comic book, making myself into the sea queen Lorisia, because apparently as far as I knew, comic books had sea queens.

All this is to say that is the closest I've ever gotten to knowing anything about anything regarding comic books. That and the fact that our skater friends watched a lot of anime.  And that's the closest I ever got to knowing anything about anime.

So terrible segue from that little anecdote into today's October Dress Project and this shirt that I found at Goodwill.  It has a silver embroidered dragon on the front breast and on the back, like I'm totes into anime or or dragons or something.

I feel like a biker or a goth or something alternative in it.  Although with The Dress and brown flats, I probably don't look like any of those things.  That hasn't stopped Scott from teasing me about it all day though.

End scene.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween Week... And GO!

The Dress comes in two parts today. Early this morning Lolly had her soccer game, and it was cool outside when we left the house, so I wore The Dress over jeans and with a gray owl sweatshirt. It was a little bit of a cheat, since only a small strip of dress showed, but hey, it was 8am.

...Speaking of soccer, Lolly scored two goals this morning. After three seasons, I'd say she's finally starting to get it! I was a proud soccer mum today.

<<She's also not a half bad photographer. Could stand to grow a couple feet though.  Would do wonders for her perspective and angle work.

I love my owl sweatshirt (especially the ears on the hood), but by halfway through the game, it warmed up significantly, so I changed when I got home. I switched into my gray YES! t-shirt and my skeleton bones socks for heading into work.

That second image I think was some kind of Thriller face. Because of the bones socks.

It's Halloween week. We have a hard time in this house deciding on just one costume each year. With various activities to attend, including the school's week long dress-up theme days, we always end up with several costumes each. This morning Fifi had her Girl Scouts Fall Festival. All the other girls were mermaids and princesses. Fifi was...

... a dead ballerina. Alternatively a zombie ballerina. She kept switching back and forth. Either way, she was awesome. The idea was entirely her own. We happen to be very proud of our dead tiny dancer zombie girl.

I bought Jaguar's costume last year in the post-Halloween sale for $2. It fits perfectly this year. I was going to let him be Spiderman this year until I remembered the gorilla purchase. Still, when I saw this costume in the Dollar General for $10, I kind of lost my sense of practicality, and I bought it. I bought it without closely checking the size - it's a 4-6 year. Oops. Jaguar doesn't actually fit in it at all, but he sure loved running around the house in it yelling "MAN! MAN!"

It was too big for Jaguar, but it did, however, fit Lolly to a T.

Lolly was going to be a black cat - and she probably will still be one day this week - but she's now decided that she's going to be "Spider Girl" for Halloween.

And Jaguar still makes the cutest baby gorilla I've ever seen.

More Halloween costumes coming your way. I'll be here all week!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Country Girl

Today I'm trying out my "country" look. I'm not very country, let me first say.  I consider myself way more city than country, but as it turns out, a pair of boots, a fringed sweater and a headband is all it takes to make this girl look like I belong in the woods with a gun and a duck call. Or at least looking pretty in the pickup sitting next to a guy with a gun and a duck call.

I wore The Dress knotted up on both sides (getting a little crazy here!) over rolled up jeans, brown ankle boots (with a little bit of lacy sock showing at the top of the boot) and a skinny black belt around the waist to break up the solid black.  I left my hair wavy and a little wild and wore a stretchy brown headband around my head in a way I've never done before, giving it that hippie/country je ne sais quoi.  I wore a pastel green and pink flower necklace that was a gift from my friend Pauline (in Scotland) several years ago.  A little black and brown semi-dramatic eye make-up finished off the look.

Early in the morning and later this evening, it was a little chillier so I wore the fringed brown wrap-around cardigan when needed. 

Taking these pictures was fun. Jaguar helped.  Most of them turned out poorly, because apparently $15 tripods aren't worth the $15 you spend on them; the top pole kept sliding down and/or coming off, and it wouldn't hold the camera straight.  Christmas idea - a good, quality tripod.  But nonetheless, it was fun doing these pictures.  Except when I put them on the computer to work some Photoshop magic on them, I realized my camera had been on the wrong setting the whole time and all my pictures were blue.  So all non-blue colors in these photos are 100% brought to you by Adobe.

This might be my favorite outfit so far.

Also, I realized my blog deserves an apology for turning into a fashion blog for the whole month of October.  More thought-provoking posts can wait until November with NaBloPoMo.  Just for a month, until DeBloAdMo begins.
Me and my photography assistant

The necklace
Silly sliding tripod.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stars and Scones

Enough with the success-dress; today I'm slumming it. I wore The Dress with a yellow tank top, cropped red star-covered hoodie (thrifted from Goodwill) and my favorite red tartan sneakers (from Next). I pulled my hair into a ponytail with a stretchy white headband and wore my star earrings handmade by my friend Paula in Scotland (30th birthday present, I think). And no make-up.

Click to enlarge

What? Someone taking a picture of me?
I wasn't aware. Of myself. Taking my own picture.

Standing in a fairy circle

I had a nice, fairly chilled out day. I went to Zumba, ran some errands and made scones for Fifi's Girl Scouts food tasting night. (Each girl had to put on a blindfold and taste a different food provided by each parent. I was amazed that out of all the girls, only two of them - Fifi being one - liked the scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam! How anyone could dislike scones with clotted cream and jam is beyond me.) But anyway, my scones were delicious and fluffy and fun to make.


And when Jaguar finally took his nap, I went outside and enjoyed the beautiful crisp, cool weather all by myself.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Precious

The past few days have been rather stressful, but they have all culminated in this...

My new car!

I have been waiting for over a year for this moment. We bought Scott a car first, because he needed something reliable to commute to work in. We bought his car off my mom and stepdad. Getting me a set of wheels was one of those backburner things, especially since my grandpa offered to let me drive his old van for as long as I needed. I have been so grateful for the van, but I also could not wait to finally have something of my own - something with air conditioning, preferably. And something that wouldn't break down on me every couple of months. But we simply had to wait.

Well, the wait is finally over. Today, after three days of working out the details, I finally signed on the dotted line and got the keys to my first ever dealership-purchased vehicle, a 2007 Kia Sportage. I feel like such a grown-up!

Proud purchaser!

I'd like to tell you how awesome I was talking the guy down on the price, but I didn't actually manage to convince him to knock off much. I'd like to believe it wasn't for lack of trying though. So many times I felt like I was being way too ballsy, considering the price did clearly state "No Haggle Price", but in the end, he did knock a bit off and I accepted the offer. (I did the whole, "Well, I guess I'll have to keep looking elsewhere" and start to leave bit - and I really was leaving - and he then agreed to knock a little off the price. So I did good, right?) After all, the offer really was a pretty good one, and the car is in incredible condition considering it's seven years old. The mileage is ridiculously low for such an old car and the interior is spotless. I refused to allow myself to fall in love with the car so that I'd be able to walk away from it, but really, it was too good a deal to walk away from in the end. Now I've let my guard down, and I've fallen in love with it, and I'm just so excited about my new baby! I've named her My Precious, because no one is allowed to touch her, and have already covered the seats with towels and quilts to keep them in pristine condition and kid-proof.

My seats will NOT be destroyed by children!

So after three days of looking at cars, talking to dealers and working out financing and insurance, I haven't had much energy left for blogging. I have, however, been wearing The Dress, so here's a quick run through:


Tired from a long day

This was my "dress for success" car shopping outfit. I know the stereotypes - woman by herself with a toddler shopping for cars, looks like an easy sell, right? So I wanted to at least look put-together. I wore The Dress with a blue sweater, black tights, brown boots, a brown belt and a chunky brown bead necklace. I wanted to look cool, casual and confident. I was proud of myself for not getting bullied into anything that first day. I looked at some cars, but didn't let the guy tell me what I was going to do. I told him I'd get back to him later and left without agreeing to any of the car salesman tricks he was trying. But so as not to seem too uninterested, I had my stepdad, who knows a good bit about cars, go that evening and look at the car I was interested in. And lucky for me, he also found the car that would in a couple of days become MINE.


"Pooped" after a long day of car shopping and a crazy night at work.
(You'll get the "pooped" thing in a minute.)

Tuesday, unfortunately, I wasn't able to look as cool and collected as I had on Monday. My dad, who is a mechanic, offered to come look at the new car I was considering on his way out of town with my stepmom for their anniversary. I had just finished up at the gym when I talked to him, so I had no choice but to go to the dealership in my gym clothes. So a bit of a fail there, but it was worth it to get my dad's stamp of approval on my car of interest.

That afternoon, after spending all day on the phone, I quickly got dressed for work. I put on The Dress over cropped leggings, and topped it with my new Nerds Gone Wild t-shirt I found at Goodwill. I put on some sneakers and wore my hair in a side ponytail with a stretchy headband.

Thrift Store Fifinds

Then fifteen minutes before I needed to leave for work, my two year old had a poop-explosion and got poop ALL OVER MY DRESS. So I had to throw him in a bath and change my outfit at the same time. I was disappointed to not wear my dress, but I decided to do a sort-of throwback thing by wearing my ODP dress from LAST year instead.

Hence the  "pooped" thing earlier

Wednesday (Today)

If only I'd been wearing a bikini....

Today I wanted to bring back that whole "I'm in control" look (however flimsy it may have actually been), so I wore The Dress with tall brown boots, a green corduroy blazer (only because I couldn't find my gold velour one) and that chunky beaded necklace again. I pulled my hair back into a tidy bun. Yes, The Dress had been washed overnight.

Feeling very happy and excited today.  Already thinking of all the ways I'm going to pimp my ride... personalized plate and eyelashes for the headlights?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ghosts of Halloweens Past

Fifi is my photographer today. Naturally she wanted me to pose with Mr Demon. The first picture she took would have been the best, but it was blurry.

I'm wearing The Dress to work this afternoon with the white shrug from yesterday (only wore it a couple hours anyway) with long black beaded necklace, black leg warmers and black and white striped peep-toe wedges. I also wave-curled my hair today, but it's already starting to fall. Next time I'll remember to mousse it before rolling!

Today, in honor of Halloween, I present you with the Ghosts of Halloweens Past. These are the ones I could find anyway, floating around in various corners of the internet.

The Craft with Sarah and Devon

Lara Croft with Paula, Maria, Heather and Elaine

Lara Croft

Tinkerbell with Captain Hook, a mermaid, and Tiger Lily

Dead Little Bo Peep (with TMNT Raphael Sheep) and hippie Amanda

TinyTalk Tooth Fairy

Wicked Witch of the East with Scott and Sarah (executioner and dead school girl?)

The imprints of bricks on my arm. From the house falling on me.

Dead bride with werewolf

Mavis from Hotel Transylvania

Harry Potter Movie extra

Little Kitty

Banana with Little Orphan Annie

Powerpuff Girl with French Kiss

"Mummy" (I was really pregnant)

Pregnant Cleopatra and Company