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Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Lions, Tigers and the Art of Pulling Off a Family Wizard of Oz Costume for $79.81 and Minimal Spousal Resistance

2014 October 30

I’ve decided to start taking blog post naming inspiration from Malcolm Gladwell. Also, I wanted to share our family costume this year. I’m relishing in our success because I am quite aware that luck like this doesn’t strike twice.

All it took was a leftover lion’s mane from two year’s ago + a red hair bow from last Christmas that Leila never wears to get one stinking cute, authentically cowardly, lion. Total = $11

Then I added a clearance Dorothy costume I picked up last year from Jo-Ann Fabrics + second-hand sparkly red shoes + a stuffed puppy from Mamani’s house to get a rather enthused (though the photo doesn’t show it) Dorothy. Total = $13

The scarecrow eagerly came together thanks to an oversized green top from Target + old brown leggings and UGG boots + a kid’s witch hat (also Target) + a bale of straw strategically glued to old ribbon + some terrible brown face paint. Total = $31.

Finally, our tin man was pieced together courtesy of a generous father’s YouTube video, inspiring a previously reluctant Papa to stay up late fashioning an old car seat box into a body + silver spray paint + an old gray shirt and sweatpants and tennis shoes and gloves + a funnel hat and tin elbows from Home Depot + an ax fashioned from a Swiffer, cardboard & duct tape. Total = $25.

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Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Girl

2014 October 27
by Saba

It happened. It took a year, but I got some mileage from the tutu I labored over last year. And I was there to enjoy it and take photos to my heart’s content.

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Those eyes.

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She desperately wanted to hold the baby chicks, but big turtles were a little easier to handle.

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Pumpkin decorating with Papa.

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Even a family photo. Thanks Leila for keeping it real.

The Harder Part

2014 October 24
by Saba

Right before nap I heard Leila calling me from the living room, “Come hide Mommy! Come hide Mommy!” She’d already sweetly asked me to play hide and seek with her, but we were minutes away from naptime. I told her to wait until after nap. (I wanted a minute to myself.) She kept calling, and I found her in the living room, sitting on the couch, under a blanket, patiently waiting. I’m not quite sure why the counter in our already begun (unbeknownst to me) hide-and-seek game was herself hiding, but I took a breath of the charm of the moment and followed her instructions to hide in the kitchen.

As I waited for her, in this moment of precious play, it crossed my mind that this was the harder part for me to appreciate. The baby part, the part where Leila’s dependence was consuming, was easier to savor. Even as she began to move and speak we had this tether for the first two years of her life that brought us together throughout the day (and sometimes night) in moments of quiet. I liked the obligation. Since it has been gone I’ve struggled.

And I don’t think it is a struggle unique to parenthood, at least for me. I have found that I do exceptionally well slowing down in the absence of distraction – during the first blush of romance, living in another country – seasons when I feel permission to be absolutely present. Now, as this having a kid thing becomes more regular, I am starting to take it for granted. Even when I try to engage in my own way, I quite often miss the point. Yesterday, we took in the wonderful weather and set outside to play. I quickly grabbed the camera. Leila asked me to put it down.

Tonight, between starting this thought and finishing it, while dinner cooked, I sat down and asked Leila if she wanted to play Candy Land. I knew the answer was yes. We played three games. I was present. For a moment at least, I found the right moment, and played.

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