Tuesday, November 15, 2011

American Gothic

I'm admittedly very behind on documenting the highlights of our lives in blog-form, so I dedicate this post to everything I can remember before/during/after/sometime around Halloween. Chronicling our comings and goings and chemos has come in handy, not only in letting total strangers in on my Taco Bell fetish, but when we have little lovers' spats with the insurance company. Yes we DID have genetic testing on Thursday, October 29, 2009. Duh, it's documented on my blog.

Maybe a month ago...maybe six weeks ago...I'm not sure where or why time has gone and left me, but Dan and I went to a Mother-Son Date Knight at Chick-Fil-A. It was pretty awesome to be seated at a table with table cloths and fancy napkins while you are eating fried chicken sandwiches.

All the boys got their own shields and swords. This made Dan extremely happy, as he loves things to beat his sisters with as much as he loves protection from their retaliation.

But most importantly, he loves crafts. And a shield that you can decorate is the ultimate. And he really looks like my mom here, because they both kind of stick their tongue out when concentrating on crafting. I tried sticking my tongue out once when I was younger and concentrating, but I bit it, got a canker sore, and vowed never to concentrate again. It's worked out well for me.

And the rest of the night was filled with boys chasing each other around the play-area while screaming in pure joy at an 11.

One of the coolest new tricks around here is Eve doing the dishes. She has seen Natalie do them and was apparently inspired to make her own puddles of water around the kitchen. I'm not sure if Daniel has expressed no interest in doing dishes because he's a boy or because he's really smart.

We carved our first pumpkin together. Usually, I am the only one who is allowed to handle the pumpkin carving and I let the kids paint and decorate their own sexy gourds.

I don't know why I waited so long. Kids and knives and pumpkin guts just sounded like a perfectly reasonable thing to do this year.

Daniel loves saying eww, pumpkin guts! almost as much as he loves baby eyeball diapers.

Notice it's my hands that are on the pumpkin in case of emergency. Like, if there's a Ijustgotstabbedbythecarvingknife emergency. Matt's hands are much too perfect to risk this important job. My hands are full of dry skin, scars from hot ovens, and I believe my first liver spots. If I get stabbed while holding the pumpkin, it will be like spitting in the ocean at this point.

I didn't get stabbed; the kids were actually very nimble with the knife. A little too nimble. I don't want them thinking they can just waltz into the kitchen and whip out my red knife anytime they please. So let's distract them from their new-found knife skills by introducting them to fire!

Roasted marshmallows are pretty much all I want to shove in my mouth right now. Including nachos supreme. That's how much I love a charred, gooey marshmallow. Dan loves them too, although he really just likes eating things on sticks. He "roasts" his marshmallows by briefly waving them in the direction of the chiminea for approximately one and one-half seconds before stuffing it into his mouth. In his world, a marshmallow is perfect as it is, thankyouverymuch. And the only thing that can make it better is by sticking a skewer into it, like everything else in this world- corn dogs, candy apples, and fried cheesecake.

Dan has his own cookbook, which he has cooked the same three items in for the past three years. Since it was close to Halloween, we decided it was time for him to decorate what he refers to as his "birthday cake." The birthday cake is a spider web cake with a cupcake spider on top, and this is what he has wanted for his next birthday party, three years running. This year, I'm sure he'll want it next year for his birthday, until he realizes once again that you can only really invite one friend with the amount of cake it makes.

Eve wasn't a fan, though. I wasn't going to make a big batch of buttercream for a six-inch cake, so we used store-bought icing. "This icing is YUCKY! I HATE Betty Crackers!"

Poor, poor Betty Crackers. Eve doesn't know what she's talking about. Did I ever tell you how much I love your Rainbow Chip icing with Pillsbury Funfetti Cupcakes baked in foil wrappers? No, it's true! But my daughter thinks you're gross.

Matt and I went to a Halloween party. Being the planners that we are, we waited until the day-of to find costumes. I wouldn't let him cut up one of our white sheets so he went as kind of a pastel Pac-Man ghost instead.

I found face paint leftover from the year before and my wedding dress. I was amused at how many people asked if that was my actual wedding dress, as if I went to David's Bridal and picked up something off the rack for my Halloween costume. I was starting to get my feelings hurt by people who seemed shocked that I could fit into the dress. Look, I wear this dress every afternoon, folks! I put it on before I vacuum and fix dinner and dust the house. But seriously, didn't you read that I burned nine hundred thousand calories last month at the hike?

I bought my wedding dress really big so I could wear it years later and amaze people with how well I kept myself up. (Never mind the whole same size/different shape phenomenon of motherhood.) This is my one piece of advice to the newly-engaged: think about the future and how you can blow people's minds. Oh, and my second piece of advice is to not wear white face paint because it will totally make your teeth look yellow.

Aaand...a third piece of advice would be to not spray your hair black and go to bed on the white sheets that you refused to let your husband cut up.

Shampoo, rinse, repeat. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. Shampoo, rinse, resist the urge to shave your head bald.

But rest assured, I was deblacked and dewhited by the time Eve and I came to have lunch with Nat and Dan at school.

As you can tell by Daniel, I'm kind of a big deal.

Once Eve was done with lunch #1 and Dan's class went back to their room, Nat's class appeared and we sat down for another round of eating. "If I sit still, do you think they'll think I'm a first grader?"


And the best part is the lost and found closet in the cafeteria. Natalie lost a jacket at school one day and swore up and down for a week that she checked the lost and found closet. I walked by it, unable to resist the urge to open it up. It was big enough that I half-expected it to be a portal to Narnia, but it turned out to be this inside:

I think each child in each class was required to lose one article of clothing and have it shoved into this clustercuss. I started going through it and realized how ridiculous it was to have believed Natalie went through everything in here, because it was ridiculous for me to expect myself to be able to get through everything in here. Interesting to note that I found two pair of jeans. I don't know how one accidentally loses the pants that they are wearing, but it's important to remember that nothing is impossible. Like flying pigs and the Bee Gees.

Imagine my excitement when I was rifling through the clothes and found a jacket of Daniel's I didn't even realize was lost. A few more minutes into it, I found Nat's missing jacket. And then I smugly showed her that if she only took ten minutes to dig through smelly soccer shoes and mildewed parkas, she too could recover the jacket that was definitely not in the lost and found. And then I shoved everything back in and closed the closet doors as fast as I could and felt a little bad for the next kid who would open it and have a lost clothing avalanche descend on their wee little body. But then again, if they would just be responsible and keep track of their clothing, they wouldn't be in that position in the first place.

Six-year-olds, sheesh.

It was a cold, rainy Halloween, but that wasn't going to stop us. Matt and I had umbrellas. The kids wouldn't melt when they got wet.

Eve was a princess. Scary stuff.

Nat was a witch. Scarier.

Daniel is the king of super-hero dress up clothes. For weeks before Halloween, he said he was going to be Spider-Man. The night before Halloween, he decided he would be Batman. The morning of, he decided to be Robin. When he got home from school, he decided he would be Superman. Okay, Dan. Just go upstairs and put your costume on.

I heard a lot of drawers opening and closing in his room and some maniacal laughter. Out comes Dan wearing what he wore to school with the addition of a gold medal, a superhero cape, a Mickey Mouse glove, and one leg warmer.

"I'm a clown! Can you paint my face? Can I have crazy hair and spray glitter, too?"

Yes, you can. As long as I don't have to spend money, you can have anything you want. Unless we're talking about the Snickers bars you're about to go get me.

Dan, the "haunted clown." Scariest. Almost scarier are his candy pimps forcing him to continue going house to house when all he wants to do is go home and dive into his loot.

You see Eve's face? That's pretty much how I look most of the day. All she's missing is the old man with the pitchfork.

After Halloween, Nat did what all kids who find a precious stack of Post-It Notes do and used them all up in about six minutes. But it was awesome, because she made a scavenger hunt of sorts for me and Matt. There were tons of them scattered throughout the house, designed to make us go up and down the stairs thousands of times. Or four.

My favorite one was the one directing us to the bathroom:

It wasn't an order to provide a specimen; there was a note on the toilet to look under Natalie's covers...and out popped Natalie, wearing no clothes and out of breath from doing the quiet laugh for the ten minutes we were on the hunt.

It's sweet memories like this that made my trip to the DMV that much more bearable.

Let me back up.

Matt and I tried to go to a concert thirty minutes away that sold out right before we got there. So, insistent that we make a night of it anyway, we did what any red-blooded American couple would do and went across the street to the German bar and looked at the Oktoberfest menu. It's a known fact that white people love Oktoberfest almost as much as they love Cinco de Mayo. Only when I was denied access to the beer did I examine my drivers license and realize, in fact, that the bartender with the skinny jeans and the German glasses was correct. It did expire on June 5. Dammit.

Now, I know what you're thinking, how did she not know that her license expired five months ago? I swear I don't remember getting any notice in the mail from the DMV telling me it's time to renew. And the people at the liquor store and Walmart never seemed to care. Just the Germans.

But even though I was annoyed, it was serendipitous that the issue was discovered. I had a cross-country flight in two weeks and I'm pretty sure they care if you show up without valid ID. Like, care enough not to let you past security but subject you to a pat-down before they throw you out.

Which in turn makes me go to the DMV. Where I sit and wait for an hour before I'm called up. Where I take the vision test and the road signs test and am ready to fork over my money and am told that I am not allowed to get a license. At which point I stare blankly at the nice lady sitting across from me, who I want to emphasize was seriously the nicest person I've ever met at the DMV. But her being nice didn't mean I could get my license.

What's the deal? Oh, you never received my vision paperwork from my eye doctor. Because I am diabetic and I made the mistake of admitting that when I first came to this state, I need to have my endocrinologist and optometrist fill out form after form every other year declaring I'm not endangering the other diabetics on the road who were smart enough to keep their mouths shut when asked, "Do you have diabetes?"

So, apparently my licensed was canceled. Since January.

2010. (Think about it- this is a testament to what a great driver I am!)

So that's why I didn't get a reminder card for license renewal! I didn't have one. At least I'm not crazy.

I'm sure they sent us a letter telling me my license was being canceled if I didn't comply with their silly forms, but in my defense, January 2010 was when Eve was having vital organs removed. I mentally checked out and immediately threw anything that came in the mailbox into the fireplace.

I left that day after the DMV lady faxed a bunch of forms around town for me and hoped for the best. She called me a couple of mornings later to let me know she was following up and found I could now come back and pay my money and get my license. I'm not making this up. Someone at the DMV in Cary, NC cares about me!

So rest assured, I am once again a licensed driver in the state of North Carolina. I am pretty sure I've spent more time here unlicensed than I have with a valid license (don't be shocked to read that this is probably the fourth time this has happened), but I promise I've been insured the whole time.

I think.

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