Happy Halloween!

Tricks and treats, spooky ghouls and ghosts – it’s time. Happy Halloween!

Daddy's Little Monster!

Daddy’s Little Monster!

So 45º and rainy does not make for a great Halloween, but you have to make the most of it.


We decided against the local treasure hunt, but stopped in at a couple of stores to eat and run some errands.

Mos Eisley Cantina?

Mos Eisley Cantina?


And really, what fun is running errands if you can’t bring your wookie with you?

Bring your wookie shopping day!

Bring your wookie shopping day!

This is the first year for our family costume, so we all got in on the fun. And here is probably the best part – that is Wife as Chewbacca, DIY suit and all.

All in!

All in!

It seems like the rain has stopped for now. The trick-or-treaters are starting to come around, so maybe we will get rid of some of these 200 juice boxes. Have a Happy Halloween and stay safe out there!

Almost Time!

True, Halloween isn’t until tomorrow. But there are events happening at the school and the girls are dressed up and I haven’t given you all any pictures for a while. So here’s something to hold you over…

Practicing for the big day!

Practicing for the big day!

The Cricket will be in a different costume on the 31st. We are going to try our hand at a “Family Costume”. Want to guess the theme?

Help me Obi-Wan...

Help me Obi-Wan…

All credit due to Buya and Wife here. But there’s more to come! Have a safe end of your week…

Random Thought for Thursday: Time for Scares-St. Viator Haunted House

Growing up I wasn’t too keen on haunted houses. If you asked my friends, particularly the members of my Boy Scout Troop, they would probably remember that in the 4th grade I ran out of a haunted house crying. And they probably wouldn’t remember me going to another one again. Because I didn’t go into another haunted house for eight years, until I was 18. That time I was more distracted by the screaming of the people in our group and more scared that they would pull me backwards that I forgot I was supposed to be scared of the attractions. But, that blip of haunted house courage didn’t convince me to start visiting the various “professional” haunted houses. No different now.

No, no, this year I have two little girls to worry about, and a family “costume” to try to execute. But I will be spending one night at a local haunted house. You see, Sweetie’s school does an annual haunted house as a fundraising event. There is a long history of the church hosting it, originally running through the church basement and boiler room (I know, right?!?), and now the school keeps it going on the second floor of the rec center. So Wife and I are each going to work a night helping out however they need (this is only our first year).

So if you are looking for a scare, but aren’t up for a house filled with professional actors, think about hittin’ up the St. Viator Haunted House. The school is on Addison, about a mile west of 90/94, so it is accessible. It runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, this week and next. The coordinators rate it “PG”, and they discourage children under 10. Check the deets below. C’mon Halloween!


Random Thought for Thursday: Ca-Ca, Ma-Ma, Da-Da

I am a firm believer that a child’s early lexicon is a direct representation of their environment. An unfiltered reflection of what they are living. We are reaching a point where Cricket’s babbling is starting to shape up into words. As you can guess by the title, Cricket’s three favorite words are Ca-Ca, Ma-Ma, and Da-Da. Oh yes, in that order.

I figure she is gaining an awareness of her body and what is happening to her. And her words are reflecting this experience. Poop is gross and uncomfortable, so she is learning to advise us when she is soiled. That’s the ideal. Of course right now just about everything is “Ca-Ca” (which is very easy to mistake for “gracias”, her number 4 favorite word). Everything except Wife, who of course is “Ma-Ma”. Now Mother is the Source, right? She is the fount of life from conception until she is not. So there’s no surprise that Ma-Ma is a favorite. And me? Well I’m always around. I’m happy with a top three finish.

Micompadre could chime in here to explain these beginning sounds and early speech development. He knows all about the different language sounds and where we make them and such. But I didn’t feel like interviewing him on the topic. We’ll just keep working with Cricket and see what forms next. We didn’t push Sweetie, and we won’t push Cricket. I don’t want her to tell me, “Da-Da, Ca-Ca.”

20 Year Take-Aways

There are limousines parked at the Olive Garden, Facebook is exploding with photos of teens in ill-fitting evening wear and reunions abound – we are in the homecoming season. We celebrated by attending my 20 year high school reunion. It turned out to be a fun night spent in the northwest suburbs (down the street from my high school) with many pleasant re-connections and funny memories. We did not take the girls with us, for obvious reasons. But I did try to remember a few things from the night to share with them as they face challenges approach older school years. I figure I have to record these thoughts now – my memory might not be so great by the time the girls can appreciate this wisdom.

  • Things change, people change. It was weird to look around a room full of classmates and pause with so many people. Some of the people who were big in high school are not so big anymore. And some people who were small are not so small anymore. Some people who were “too cool” twenty years ago are approachable and friendly. And some who were friendly then are now a bit too cool. Like everything else in life, people change.
  • The more things change, the more they stay the same. About halfway through the event it struck me. The novelty of the night was wearing off, the music was getting too loud to talk, and the alcohol was setting in. And people starting drifting into the groups that they knew twenty years prior. People went with what was comfortable, even if it was a bit older.
  • Everything shakes out, even if it takes twenty years. Again, the evening was full of pleasant re-connections. Gone were so many of the social constructs of our youth. The social strata was also largely absent. Nobody got loud and nobody re-hashed twenty-year-old drama. Interactions felt more genuine – we were meeting one another right where we were, and that was okay.

I know this stuff is not really profound. In fact, I am sure many people would just say it is just a sign of “growing up”. But I do hope to share these thoughts with the girls when they are in high school. My high school years were not traumatic, but there are things that could’ve been better. I expect their experience to be similar, so I want to have some good stuff to offer them.

So for all of you out there who were at the event, it was great seeing you. I am glad our detours crossed. Especially MN – congrats again on your success, so good to see you, girl. To all those from the “rival” high school, glad you crossed Camp McDonald. So now I guess we start looking forward to the thirty year – Go wildcats!