Monday, December 9, 2013


We have had a lot of change over the last few months around here. Andrew started a new job, and it is very different from his last, including the hours. What this boils down to is that he gets twice as many "awake hours" (as we call them) with Genevieve as he did with his last work schedule.

... and then he got LASIK surgery on his eyes. (You'll notice that he goes from Andrew to SuperAndrew in the pictures that come after this post.)

It's great, and I'm flexible, but it's taken me a while to find my comfortable rhythm. So here we are!

Genevieve helped us carve the pumpkins for Halloween this year, which mostly consisted of squishing pumpkin guts while SuperAndrew, Mom and I all kept the carving implements at a safe distance. (If you like our pumpkins, you can get the carving templates here. I found them via Pinterest.)

The whole family
She was delighted by the pumpkins, mostly because we had five that were all different sizes, which she would label with our titles. Toddlers LOVE order, especially my toddler.

For the two weeks we had the pumpkins, she couldn't pass them without adjusting their order. Since I know nothing about d├ęcor, I let her do her thing. Maybe I could learn something, you know?

Fung shui-ing the porch.
I spend a lot of time waxing poetic about how much (and how quickly) Genevieve changes, but seriously.

Last year:

Halloween 2012
You'll notice that the mouse costume is a bit roomy, and she has the footies on- because she's not walking yet. (She took her first steps on Thanksgiving, which was super memorable.) And LOOK AT THOSE BABY CHEEKS.

Brace yourselves. This year:

Halloween 2013
Walking. Talking. Carrying her Elmo bucket.

The whole night went remarkably well, with the exception of a few small ... hiccups. The first was both major *and* minor. I hadn't remembered to charge my cell phone, and I got the "20% battery life" warning RIGHT as I was about to take pictures of Genevieve in her full mouse-y glory. And then, the screen went black.

[Dear Apple, Inc.; 20% does not equal 0%. Love, Jasmin.]

Fortunately, we were in front of our house, and my camera was ready to go, so I got my pictures.

Family jack o'lanterns

What I may have been *most* pleased about was that she kept the mouse hood on nearly all night. The hood was more challenging than it should have been, but fortunately, I had Mom doing all the hard work helping me.
Mouse ears in progress
Fortunately, I brought fun to the party, which as we all know, makes up for any of my sewing shortcomings. Style eclipsing substance and all that.

Adjusting her ears. Like you do.
Mom stayed at the house with the dogs and handed out the candy (full-sized candy bars; that's how we roll), and SuperAndrew, KidBrotherSam and I took the Mouse from house to house.

It was really fun watching her learn how Halloween works. It took us a few houses, but she got it. She would knock, hold out her bucket and say "Beet!" ["treat" for the uninitiated], sign "thank you" after they put a treat in her bucket, and by the end of the night, would say "'ween!" ["Happy Halloween", again for the uninitiated.] With only the *tiniest* bit of prompting on our part.

The things that were supposed to be scary (rotating saw blades, dismembered body parts, giant spiders) didn't phase her in the slightest. I was feeling really great about how we had done nearly our *whole* street without a panic, and then, two doors down from our house, terror struck.

Our neighbor, dressed in the most *phenomenal* Chewbacca costume, opened the door. Genevieve let out a bloodcurdling scream and tried to -simultaneously- climb up and *through* SuperAndrew. Our incredibly nice neighbor (a father of two middle schoolers), pulled his mask off and tried to make Genevieve feel better.

"It's just me, Genevieve," he said, over and over, in his nicest voice.

Genevieve was having NONE of it. She pointed at the sidewalk, and we apologized profusely to our lovely neighbor (who may have been more traumatized than Genevieve) while we made our way to sidewalk safety.

It was all SuperAndrew and I could do not to laugh. And maybe we did. But there were also a lot of hugs, kisses, and "it's okay, you're okay"s.

[KidBrotherSam chided me about not teaching Genevieve about the classics. I maintain that she's too young for Star Wars. She is barely old enough for the Muppets.]

We took a quick break with some of our other neighbors, whose boys are extremely fond of Genevieve. Fortunately, Genevieve loves them right back, and after we let Genevieve have the packet of pretzels from her haul, we all hit the pavement for a little more trick-or-treating.

The older son, [whom I will call "Mario", since that was his costume] wanted to hold Genevieve's hand while they went door-to-door, and after a couple of houses after the Wookie Trauma of 2013, Genevieve was willing to go with him.

It was one of the sweetest things I've seen in ages; the kindness, the patience. (Halloween is my Christmas, and this was my Halloween miracle.)

I know next year will be 100% different than this year, and that's ok. I know she'll definitely need a new costume, and she'll have opinions about what that costume is.

I'm really looking forward to next 'ween.