Halloween costumes

I discovered this year that choosing and shopping for Halloween costumes brings about similar feelings that spring up with school supply shopping (see previous post). The steps always seem to go a little something like this:

Step 1: The kids begin coming up with grandiose ideas of who or what they would like to be.
Step 2: I remind them that I am one of those cheap moms who only buys used costumes, makes homemade ones, or, at the very least, purchases costumes for   no more than $10.
Step 3: This is where things get a little dicey. We go to Goodwill to check out the costumes. At this point I also remind them that if they don’t find what they want, we will go to other places…just not today. This is always a real hit with them.
Step 4: The kids are immediately drawn to all the gory, freaky looking costumes and masks. I gently try to steer them away. (I’m sorry Coleman, I know it’s tough to understand why I won’t let you dress up as a Mad Hatter-Troll-Wizard-with one eye guy).
Step 5: Judah chooses a costume that is way too big for him and I have to explain why we can’t just “pick one up” in his size.
Step 6: We leave Goodwill empty-handed. Then repeat steps 1-5.
Now before anyone starts judging me for not marching my kids into the Disney store and letting them pick out a $50 costume each…just take a look at past years.
Pirate and Frog
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Pirate                                 Peter Pan
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Astronaut                       Darth Vader, Astronaut, Frog
Charlie Bucket, Cheerleader, Buzz Lightyear, Lizard or Snake (still a debate in this house)
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Speedy Gonzales, Darth Vader, French Artist, Tinkerbell
-I think we’ve done alright over the years…

The October Feast

This is not to be confused with the great feast that we all know of that happens on the fourth Thursday in November. This is a feast that has become a new tradition in my family. October 12th is my dear mother’s birthday and to celebrate it, we feast. My mom is Italian and loves Italian food…and quite frankly, who wouldn’t? So I have the privilege of planning out and preparing yummy Italian food while my mom’s husband foots the bill (lucky me)! It’s a gift of love from both of us. Although I could not do this without much help from my sister who made an amazing dish, and my sister-in-law who is always ready for chopping, washing, dicing, slicing…whatever is needed at any given moment. And of course I can’t leave out all the “helpers” who ask when the food will be ready, tell me how hungry they are, and ask when they can eat some apps (appetizers).
This would be where the men and the boys come in. I realize this sounds very 50s-ish. I always look forward to this occasion to celebrate my mom’s birth in the true Italian form…with food. All of our main dishes were pretty authentic, however this year I went with a French pastry remembering it was always one of my mom’s favorites.
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Jack didn’t really enjoy this as much as Andy, and his mom didn’t enjoy it even more
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Josie and her Aunt Jackie
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Linguine with Manila clams, pancetta and red chilies
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Napoleon pastries…a heart attack waiting to happen

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