Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ghosts of Birthdays Past and Present

Happy Halloween everyone! So, for the two to three people who are reading this blog and don't personally know me, thanks, first of all, and second of all, today is also my birthday. When I was growing up I loved having my birthday on Halloween. As a kid, you're guaranteed to hang out with your friends and get a lot of candy.  What's not to like? When I was in college, there were always tons of parties and I definitely worked the birthday angle to my advantage and scored some free drinks.  Having a Halloween birthday when you're an adult with small-ish children is a totally different ball of wax.  Now I spend my birthday getting costumes together for the kids and doling out candy.

This year, Mom had sweetly offered to take me shopping, but the Baby was still nursing a cold, so I wasn't counting on that happening.  In fact, I'd say that I set my expectations pretty low this year.  When I was cleaning up from breakfast this morning, though, I had this birthday surprise:

Can you see her in there?  Someone hid our Russian nesting doll inside the pumpkin. She was peering out of the nose like she was in the gulag. Then when the Baby and I released her from her pumpkin prison she wouldn't totally close.  That's because this was inside the last doll:

We're still not sure who set up the little surprise. I suspect the Boy, but the Baby's money is on Audrey the Moose. I don't think I've mentioned Audrey before, but she is a major player in our household. Whenever some kind of mischief or mess is revealed, the Baby insists that it is Audrey. She lives in our neighbor's car and has telescoping antlers. Audrey has a way with the paintbrush that is surprising for a hoofed (hooved?) animal. Remember our fabric paint project from the other week? Well, old Audrey got into the paint a couple of days ago and made quite a mess. She also left a paint handprint that was just about the size of the Baby's hand. Hmmmm.

In any case, we chuckled about the dolls for a little bit, but then we found an even bigger surprise when we opened the front door:

My sweet friends had rigged up a ghost right outside the front door as a birthday treat. Underneath that sheet is a life-sized cardboard Batgirl. Batgirl has clearly been working out with Jackie Warner. Get a load of that v-taper:

Batgirl-ghost remains up to greet the trick-or-treaters. Her sheet keeps slipping off, which makes her fit in perfectly with our other deteriorating decorations.

The Baby's nose was running, but I thought she could make a go of it at school. I tried to talk her into it by mentioning that everyone would be wearing costumes and she totally freaked out and refused to go, so that was that and I had a companion for the day.

Around mid-day, Mom came by with this random assortment of balloons:

Yes, that's a Sesame Street balloon. I'm not sure if it might have been a political message? Mom is very obsessed with the election.  Since the Baby wasn't that sick, Mom took us to lunch at Taqueria del Sol. If you've never been to Taqueria, you totally have to go. They put something in the food that is positively addictive. We got really lucky because the K was able to join us.

Right before we left for lunch, Dad called from the hurricane zone. They still don't have power and the stores and restaurants are all still closed. The thing about Dad is that he basically subsists on cappuccino, so he's had a rough couple of days. I think that the DTs have set in. He borrowed a french press from my step-brother and his wife, but he didn't know how to use it. So he called to wish me a happy birthday and to get a french press tutorial (never mind that he actually lives next door to my step-brother and probably could have gotten directions that way). I gave him the 411 (does that exist anymore?) on the french press and let him get off the phone so he wouldn't waste his minutes.

After we got back from lunch, I opened Dad's gift (which arrived about a month ago) and, in keeping with the randomness of the day, it was, well, random. Here are some pictures:

The first picture is of a really old blanket with patriotic symbols. The second item is an Amish birth record that is entirely in German. I feel like I'm describing lots in an auction. Clearly these are about as far from a generic gift card as you can get. In my *ahem* youth, I probably would have been annoyed by this and wished for a J. Crew sweater, but I've grown to appreciate these unique gifts. I put the blanket over a chair in our study. I use the term "study" loosely because it's really a room with all the things that don't go in any of the other rooms. Y'all know what I mean? Don't pretend that you don't have a room like that in your house. We should come up with a name for that room.

So, as far as birthdays go, this birthday rated pretty high for me. I loved all the quirky little things that happened - the babushka in the pumpkin, the Batgirl ghost, the Sesame Street balloon, Dad's call about the french press, and my unique gifts. I loved my lunch and wasn't even upset to lose my day of shopping because the Baby's cold/masklophobia. It was really nice to just stay at home and do nothing. Our schedule has been so crazed, that I felt like I got a chance to breathe for just a second. Best of all, tomorrow I get to take down the Halloween decorations! Happy Halloween everyone!

P.S. I added a gadget so you can sign up to get blog posts by email. Let me know if it still doesn't work and I'll try to troubleshoot it. Seeing as my computer skills are on par with my photography, it may take a while to work out all the kinks. Thanks for your patience!


  1. I completely forgot about your birthday. Happy birthday one day late!

  2. I definitely need a good name for *that* room. I call ours "office" though it's filled with boxes, a bed, 2 wardrobes, and soon an entertainment center/shelf unit - not a stick of office furniture.

    I LOVE the pumpkin nesting doll surprise!

    1. Whew! I'm glad I'm not the only one with *that* room. RCK just gently wondered out loud if there was "something" "we" could do to make the study more "functional." My concern is that the function might need to be accomplished without spending any money. You're just moving back in, so you have an excuse!

      I think my children stay up all night thinking about ways to trick/torture me.